Friday, March 12, 2010

A Case For Doug Tudor, Progressive Florida Democrat


A couple days ago I mentioned that DCCC Stalinist Debbie Wasserman Schultz, plus anti-Social Security fanatic Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL), had forced the DCCC's professional staff to add reactionary Blue Dog and corporate shill Lori Edwards to the Red to Blue program, tainting and devaluing it for everyone else in the eyes of progressives and grassroots Democrats.

I asked Doug Tudor, the grassroots Democrat running for the seat, who had been forewarned that the DCCC was about to pull this, for a reaction: "Washington politicians and corporate lobbyists are trying to determine who will be the Democratic nominee in FL-12. Despite the hard work and the great showing of our grassroots campaign in 2008, the DCCC didn't contact me and didn't take my calls. They didn't consult the Chairs of the three Democratic Executive Committees which cover FL-12. Basically, they didn't consult the people or the people's representatives. We will prove them wrong in the August primary."

I think Doug felt far worse when his pals at the local AFL-CIO bowed to pressure from Wasserman Schultz and endorsed Edwards. "I respect my brothers and sisters in labor, but I know they made the wrong decision. Lori has aligned herself with the Blue Dogs in Congress, and those Blue Dogs do not support labor. Lori's substandard record in the Florida House in the 1990s also shows that she does not support labor. I understand they were under pressure from the DCCC and the national and state AFL-CIO, but I had expected them to live up to union standards-- leadership from the bottom up. Regardless, I want my friends in labor to know-- though you didn't support me, I will always support you!

"Under Adam Putnam, we have had ten years of conservative non-representation. We cannot allow Washington and corporate lobbyists to force us to endure another FL-12 conservative in the U.S. House."

Tomorrow Doug-- along with 4 other progressive challengers, Billy Kennedy (D-NC), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Natalie Mosher (D-MI) and Bill Hedrick (D-CA)-- will get a nice boost from Congressman Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Rep. Nadler will be kicking off a week-long netroots fundraising effort on behalf of all five challengers with Blue America. He'll be live blogging at Crooks and Liars tomorrow at 11am (PT), explaining the importance of his State Secrets Act. Doug is a big proponent of Nadler's bill and was especially pleased to be selected by the congressman for this kind of support.
"Congressman Nadler continues to show extraordinary political courage with his introduction of The State Secret Protection Act of 2009 (HR 984). He does so in a political climate where any questioning of the federal government, especially in regards to national security, places the questioner in a position of being publicly declared a terrorist sympathizer. It is my belief that, while the government may very well have valid reasons for keeping some matters private, the more sunlight shed upon the government and its decisions and actions, the more likely we the people will have faith in the decision-making process of the government.
"I have spent my entire adult life in the U.S. military, and I held code-word Top Secret clearances for over a decade. I fully understand the delicate nature of some information. Given the opportunity to join Representative Nadler in the House, I would gladly co-sponsor, advocate for, and vote for this important piece of legislation."

Please consider making a contribution to Doug's campaign at the page Blue America uses to Send Democrats A Message They'll Understand.

Yesterday Doug and Lori debated for the first time. They met at the South Shore Democratic Club in Ruskin (Hillsborough). Each gave a stump speech and then stood and answered questions from the (mostly elderly) audience. Lori was furtive, vague, noncommittal and downright dishonest. When she was asked about whether she supported a public option, she in turn asked a couple of people in the crowd what they thought the public option is, a tried and true conservative tactic to avoid taking a stand. On three very basic straight forward questions-- education, prison reform, and marriage equality-- her response was that these were state issues, not federal issues. On three others she didn't seem able to follow the questioner, confusing health care reform with campaign finance reform, stating she hadn’t studied legalization of marijuana (although everyone in Polk County knows her husband is a hippie burnout and a stoner), and saying the federal government had very little to do with K-12 education. And three times, she replied, kind of dismissively, that whatever we might want to happen, it just wasn’t going to happen politically.

As part of Doug's opening speech he reminded the audience that he is "a candidate of conviction, not a candidate of convenience. I didn’t get into this race just because it is an open seat.” She doesn't appear to like being challenged and after Doug did it directly a few times, bringing up her very conservative record, her tightness with the Chamber of Commerce and her startling similarities to Adam Putnam, she threw a mini-tantrum and stomped out of the meeting in a huff. The DCCC is betting on the wrong horse and they expect grassroots Democrats to underwrite it. Instead, let me ask you again, to consider supporting real progressives and real Democrats at Blue America's Sending Democrats A Message page.

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