Saturday, September 29, 2007

END OF THE QUARTER... SOME PROGRESSIVE PRIORITIES

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I've been hearing so many people complaining about "The Democrats." Why aren't they doing what we elected them to do? Why are they wasting time condemning the MoveOn newspaper ad instead of getting us out of Iraq or, crucially important for our country's soul, impeaching Bush and Cheney? Are they as bad as The Republicans? Who are "The Democrats?" We've been telling you about scum like Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer for years. They are as bad as Republicans, even if they do sometimes, for whatever putrid reason, wind up voting for positions our progressive values dictate.

Today is the last day of the quarter for campaign fundraising. Humor me for a moment and open up the Blue America ActBlue page run by DWT, Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake and Digby. No presidentials on that page-- just candidates and incumbents committed to progressive values and ideals. And some of them are in primary races against the other kind of Democrat, the kinds who vote against the interests of working men and women. We only endorse in primary battles when there is a clear case of a progressive versus a reactionary-- a Ned Lamont vs Lieberman situation. In many of these races, the Democratic primary is tantamount either to election or-- worse-- to a choice between a reactionary Democrat and an even more reactionary Republican. Bleeeech!

Now is the time to effect that. Now is the time we can act in concert to derail some of the reactionary Democrats who give Bush the margin of victory to keep his toxic agenda of war and devastation and corruption hurtling down the tracks. Our collective action, in coordination with local grassroots activists, has already frightened off establishment, opportunistic Democrats seeking to get their reactionary asses into races against Darcy Burner and Eric Massa. But some of our Blue America candidates are still facing opposition from the wrong kind of Democrats. These are the ones we should be concentrating on right now.

We have one progressive incumbent, Steve Cohen, being challenged by an untrustworthy DLC-backed candidate in Memphis. Steve's voting record is the 4th most progressive among the freshman class and when it comes to Iraq, to the well-being of our military personnel, to environmental issues, and to health care his votes are 100% on the Progressive Punch scale. Steve has earned our support. If you want another compromising, corrupt reactionary to replace a real Democrat, do nothing to help Steve keep his seat. And now is the time in this district that went 70% for Kerry.

Donna Edwards is an old friend who should be running for president instead of for Congress. But first steps first. She's challenging a Steny Hoyer hack, a corrupt thug who has sold out his constituents on every occasion, the notorious Al Wynn. Donna seemed to have beaten him last year until some suspect last minute ballot boxes turned up. She's far better known now and she has a much better chance of beating Wynn.

Victoria Wulsin nearly beat Mean Jean Schmidt in southwest Ohio last year. This year, far better known, she is poised to close the deal. And wouldn't you just know it, some rich, opportunist shows up to muddy the waters. Vic was one of our favorite candidates in 2006 and we need to back her as strongly this year, now in the primary and then against Mean Jean in November of 2008.

With Denny Hastert finally slinking off in disgrace, we have a chance to elect a Democrat in IL-14. But what kind of a Democrat is up to us. There are two visions competing here-- a Blue Dog who will be a bit better than a Republican and then there's John Laesch, a union carpenter and Iraq War vet who is deeply grounded in progressive values. The choice couldn't be clearer. Unfortunately, though predictably, the Blue Dog is a millionaire eager to buy the seat. John... well, like I said... he's one of us, a working person.

South of John's district is IL-03, currently misrepresented by one of the worst of the Bush Dogs, Dan Lipinski, a Democrat in name only. He firmly opposes women's right to choice (and even stem cell research!) and consistently backs Bush on his war agenda and on domestic spying. Fortunately we have an incredible candidate running against him, Mark Pera, who has a real shot to defeat this slimebag right in Rahm Emanuel's own backyard. Lipinski has enlisted a gaggle of pathetic allies to jump into the race and split the vote, a tactic he employed last year as well. The netroots and local grassroots activists aren't being tricked and the opposition to the odious Lipinski has rallied behind Mark.

Our candidate in upstate western New York, Jon Powers, is taking on rubber stamp Republican Tom Reynolds and he has a great shot at defeating him. But first he has to defeat Alice Kryzan, one of Reynold's financial backers who is running as a "Democrat" to confuse voters. Most Democrats in the district who know her, and that isn't many, know her as the attorney for Occidental Petroleum who called the citizen uproar over the toxic disaster known as Love Canal "hysteria." Jon is a very different kind of candidate and I'd like to urge you to read his live session at Firedoglake and then think about donating what you can to his campaign and the campaigns of the other exceptional candidates mentioned here. Do it right here; it'll make you feel good.

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