Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Don't Know Why Emily's List Keeps Sending Me Stuff


EMILY's List-- no friends of progressives

The GOP could just as well send me requests for donations. And I'd be as likely to give to them as I am to EMILY's List. In fact, whenever anyone sends me any news about an EMILY's List endorsement, the first thing I do is reply with this post from August 7, 2008, primary day in Tennessee. Rep. Steve Cohen, a stalwart progressive with a perfect voting record on all EMILY's List's issues-- and a sterling progressive-- had a tough primary against a candidate financed and pushed by EMILY's List, Nikki Tinker, a conservative, pro-Business anti-Semite who would probably make the idiots who contribute to EMILY's List pass out if they looked into her. But she is a her and Steve Cohen, isn't. Eventually, Tinker's anti-Semitic campaign got so outrageous and garnered so much national attention that EMILY's List unendorsed her on the day before the election-- long after early voting and absentee ballots were in, and long after their contributions had gone to help poison the minds of voters in Memphis about the "Godless Jews." In the end the EMILY's List candidate didn't get very many votes, maybe 10% of something. People in Memphis were smarter-- much smarter-- than they were back in their DC perches.

EMILY's List was once a useful and effective organization for getting progressive women into politics. They've long since descended into utter patheticness. If a candidate mentions she's been endorsed by EMILY's List, alarm bells immediately go off. That's a shame because, along with all the conservative women dedicated to making life in America harder and less bearable, they also endorse some excellent candidates. You just have to be very careful when you see the EMILY's List seal of approval. I saw it today on a list of endorsers for Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running against progressive state Senator Eric Griego for the open congressional seat in Albuquerque. I noticed some names on that list that gave me good reason for concern. Right there with EMILY's List were some of the most reactionary members of New Mexico's state legislature, the right-wingers who are always fighting against Griego's efforts for a more just and equitable state. There they were-- John Arthur Smith, Mary Kay Papen, Tim Jennings, Donna Irwin,
Jim Trujillo, the worst dreck in New Mexico Democratic politics. But Michelle is a woman-- and Eric isn't. Forget that his record is more pro-women and pro-family than hers is... what does that have to do with anything in EMILY's List world?

I got an e-mail today from another multimillionaire dilettante and New Age "Business Dem," Stacey Lawson. EMILY's List is pushing this anti-consumer/anti-worker contributors to their business in one of the most progressive districts in the whole country, CA-2. It's a redrawn version of Lynn Woolsey's old seat and inside the new boundaries Obama would have beaten McCain 71-25%. Whichever Democrat wins the primary-- unless two Democrats win the primary, which is a distinct possibility-- will be the next congressmember from northern California. It's the single best hope in the country to elect an outside-politics, movement progressive to Congress, Norman Solomon, a lifelong advocate for peace and for working families. He's not claiming to be a "Business Democrat" any more than any Republican anywhere say they are "Labor Union Republicans." But he has the wrong plumbing for EMILY's List.

Polls show a neck and neck race between another business-friendly Democrat, Jared Huffman, and Norman. EMILY's List will now try to tip the balance against Norman with their huge war chest. The post-Nikki Tinker disaster, new head of EMILY's List, Stephanie Schriock, writes about how enthusiastic she is about endorsing Stacey. "Federal campaign finance reports show that, in the two consecutive quarters since Lawson became a candidate, she has out-raised all her opponents. Lawson has raised $455,000 since late September, turning the crowded race into essentially a two-way contest with Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who has been raising funds since December 2010."

Yes, Lawsen has lots of wealthy friends who wrote her $5,000 maxed-out checks. But, as I said, polls show it's a neck and neck race between Huffman and Norman. Inside-the-Beltway, where EMILY's List careerists go to all the parties and hobnob with all the political hacks, success is strictly measured in dollars and if a candidate can suck up to enough rich people and corporate lobbyists... well, what could be better? It's a different world back there.

I bought Markos' first book, Crashing the Gate when it has just come out. I don't think I fully appreciated then as much as I do now, one of his main points-- about how the single-minded, single interest groups that make up the Democratic coalition are a force for dysfunction. EMILY's List, far more than any other group, is the poster child for that destructive attitude that has been, in recent years, so harmful to the progressive movement.

The Blue America endorsement page is based on overall progressive stands and energy, not on anyone's race or gender or single issue position. You'll find both Eric Griego and Norman Solomon on that list-- as well as lots of worker-friendly, family-friendly, peace-friendly, consumer-friendly, environmental-friendly Democrats... no "Business-friendly" Dems or Blue Dogs though. And no EMILY's List anti-Semites.

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At 10:38 AM, Blogger evodevo said...

I made the mistake of contributing to Emily's List in the madness of '04, and they have been robo-calling me ever since. thanks for an article that I can reference when I reply to them.


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