Tuesday, June 24, 2008



In 2006, when right wing kook Mark Green gave up his Wisconsin congressional seat (WI-08, Green Bay and the northeastern part of the state, which gave Bush a comfy 55% in 2004 and has a PVI of R+4) to make a doomed run for governor, conventional wisdom said the Democrats should pick some Blue Dog Republican-lite schweinehund. But this is Russ Feingold territory and Hoyer and Emanuel don't have much sway in the Forward state. Democrats nominated Dr. Steve Kagen, a thorough progressive, to go up against heavily favored John Gard, far right Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, in a district controlled by the GOP for 94 of the last 100 years and which includes the hometown of American fascist Joe McCarthy and the national headquarters of American fascism, the John Birch Society (Appleton). Steve beat Gard 141,598 to 134,990 and has gone on to rack up a solidly progressive voting record, resisting blandishments from Hoyer and Emanuel to come over to the Dark Side and vote like they do, basically, for the "generous" special interests. Steve's tenure in Congress has been notable for keeping arm's length from the special interests and for actually representing the interests of the middle class families of his district. But Gard is back to try again this year.

Even though Gard's political mentor is serving prison time after being convicted on corruption charges, the GOP is investing heavily in his race since, sadly, they see him as their future. Even in the midst of the slimy campaign of lies and distortions Gard is running against him, Steve has shunned the idea of moving right. Last week he again voted independently of Democratic Party leaders Hoyer and Emanuel to oppose the occupation of Iraq and to oppose warrantless wiretaps and retroactive immunity for special interests, all of which Gard favors.

After his votes last week, we were able to persuade Steve to do a quick guest post for us:


-by Congressman Steve Kagen, MD

How much do we need positive change in Washington?  Last week, more than one person warned me that if I cast a vote to protect the nation by protecting the Constitution, I would pay a political price.   
At issue was HR 6304, a bill that continued the Bush-Cheney administration's claims for unchecked executive power by granting legal immunity to those that cooperate with its warrantless domestic spying program. Under the proposal, companies were protected from lawsuits for both past and future invasions of our privacy if they said Administration officials told them it was legal to spy on U.S. citizens.  
I take seriously my sworn duty to protect America and guaranteeing that our intelligence community has the tools it needs to defend national security without forfeiting the rights we have always cherished.  If that means putting the Constitution first and my political party last, that's an easy decision. 
How much do we need positive change in Washington?  Any more questions?

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At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can;t get more right wing than Joe McCarthy. Kagen can paint this corner of the map true blue (not fake blue like some so-called dems) and we need to supoort him.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, brother! you got guts man. there are parts of the establishment that prolly won't like this, but wasn't the progressive party founded in wisconsin? Change your name to Bob La Follette and keep rollin'

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oftentimes "principled" and "Congress" don't mix.

It looks like, sometimes, even our Democratic leaders are part of the problem.

It's good to see that Kagen is committed enough to stand up for what's right. Keep it up!

At 10:33 AM, Blogger hmm1983 said...

I live in Appleton and fully support Steve Kagen! He cares about the working class people of Wisconsin and the nation.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need people like Steve Kagan to do the right
thing for us, the American people. Guts, determination and a strong will are the
ingredients needed for change. Looks like
Kagan has what it takes to do the job. Keep
going; we need leaders like you!

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm about to contribute to steve kagen. thanks for bringing him to my attention, howie.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another progressive hero speaks out on FISA!


It's a really interesting read because Charlie Brown was flying surveillance flights that were subject to FISA. And of course, he would have voted NO to the Hoyer bill based on this knowledge of how FISA works just fine without Bush, Cheney and telecom companies spying on Americans.

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we need more congressmen and women like Steve Kagen. Elected officials who stand up for their constituents and not the ideologues of the respective parties will always have my vote. Steve Kagen is a man of his word, and as by his record a man of the people. Keep it up Steve, and you will have my vote forever!!!

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kagen tells it like it is and his constituents appreciate that.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need more people like you to take back our
country, make things right again. You got my
support; you give me a sense that there are
some politicians who really care about the people
and have genuine ethics and ideals! Keep on


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