Friday, July 20, 2007



I love it when Republicans see the error of their ways and join the Democratic Party. Sometimes they join the Democratic Party for more opportunistic reasons and might not see any errors, certainly not in their own ways. I've talked to a number who saw errors in Bush's and Cheney's ways. But their own? Not so much.

Last year Rahm Emanuel and other Inside the Beltway slimeballs were maneuvering full-time to replace dedicated progressive, grassroots, antiwar, lifelong Democrats like Jan Schnieder and Dave Lutrin be replaced by... Republicans who had switched parties. Tim Mahoney may now have a voter registration card that says "Democrat," but he's basically a Republican. Democrats who don't know any better are excited because Christine Jennings-- who was cheated out of an electoral victory against right-wing extremist Vern Buchanan-- has decided to run again. Oh for joy, for joy? Not so fast. Jennings, should she win, will in all likelihood be another fake-Dem, voting for the agenda of her former party-- just like other former Emanuel candidates who are now reactionary members of Congress: Heath Shuler, Harry Mitchell, Tim Mahoney, Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly.

Even worse, is when Republicans, sniffing the tides of fortune turning in favor of Democrats, jump the fence, declare themselves not just a Democrat, but a leader and run against a real Democrat. Friends in the Seattle suburbs have been gritting their teeth, watching Rodney Tom putting in jeopardy Darcy Burner's race against rubber stamp Republican Dave Reichert, who she nearly beat last November. Tom, a craven opportunist, has tossed his hat in the primary ring against Burner.
If he wants to be the Democratic nominee to take on U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in the 2008 election, state Sen. Rodney Tom might have to convince his party's rank and file that his past sins as a Republican are behind him.

For example, his campaign contributions to such Republicans as state Attorney General Rob McKenna, Secretary of State Sam Reed, Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland, King County Councilman Reagan Dunn and Dino Rossi, the 2004 and likely 2008 candidate for governor.

And the money he gave Mainstream Republicans of Washington and the state Republican Party.

And some of the votes he took in the Democrat-controlled state House against a number of Democratic causes, including an oil spill prevention bill and a symbolic measure urging Congress to oppose the Bush administration's ill-fated plan to permit private Social Security accounts.

Local progressives aren't worried about Tom winning; that's beyond his capabilities. They worry that he will force Darcy to spend money desperately needed to challenge the free-spending Reichert. Tom, still a Republican to his core, has continued to vote for GOP agenda items-- like privatizing Social Security. He claims he's "bipartisan."

The King County Democratic Chairwoman, Susan Sheary, who Tom had falsely claimed endorsed him has declared she will stay neutral in the primary. Unlike last year's DCCC chair, Emanuel, the new head, Chris Van Hollen, will not take sides against progressive grassroots Democrats in favor of Insider hacks and "ex"-Republicans. Blue America has very much taken a stand in this race-- in support of Darcy-- and we urge our community to support her campaign with a contribution at our Blue America page.

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At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We didn't mind it when Rodney Tom switched parties and took on Luke Esser, the Republican Senator in that legislative district. Better a middle-of-the-roader than a right-winger. But to take on Darcy is truly crummy. She's a genuine progressive.

The local folks who pay attention are also puzzled because it is so unlikely he can do anything except muck up Darcy's chances. Last year, his only donors besides friends and family were either Republican developers or given to him by the State Senate committee.

We don't think he even understands how hard he is going to have to work and how difficult that will be when he is in session from January through April.

We are left only with him being opportunistic. If he can prevent Darcy from winning this seat, he may be the candidate next time. If he can't, she will be the Congressperson for a decade or two or three.

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you have posted already, let's not forget the candidacy of corportist Nikki Tinker against incumbent Steve Cohen in Tennessee's 9th CD (innercity Memphis).

Unfortunately, race and ethnicity (Cohen is Jewish, and Tinker is black) will most likely be the predominant feature of the race.

Cohen is a true progressive, ranking 18th on the scale. Tinker is a DNC/Harold Ford Jr. shill, and would no more represent the interests of the 9th's mostly poor and middle class constituents than Dick Cheney.


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