Saturday, November 09, 2013

Keith Ellison Bringing A Progressive Vision To… Oklahoma


Keith Ellison (D-MN) is widely viewed as an up-and-coming progressive leader able to articulate progressive ideas and values to ordinary voters. He may not be invited to many events sponsored by lobbyists on K Street or Wall Street, but Democrats all over the country have been inviting him to speak to local grassroots activists. Friday he was in Oklahoma City, explaining a progressive vision in a state where President Obama only received 33% of the vote last year and lost every single county. Obama did best in Oklahoma City and that's where Ellison rallied local activists at the Party headquarters.

He covered a wide range of topics from the dangers inherent in the NSA's domestic spying programs to issues of economic justice-- like the ruling elites' scheme to cut Social Security through Chained CPI. Tom Guild, a friend of Ellison's and the Blue America-endorsed congressional candidate for OK-05 (Oklahoma, Seminole and Pottawatomie counties) was at the event and, like Ellison, stands firmly against cutting Social Security or Medicare. "We must stand firm for our seniors and veterans," he told us after the Ellison meeting, "and reject the proposed cuts that adopting the chained CPI would mean versus the traditional CPI currently used." Tom's position is the progressive position in regard to Chained CPI, regardless of who the president is. Tom:
The chained CPI assumes that if the price of something goes up, people switch to something else that is cheaper in order to financially cope with the new financial reality.  The problem with this logic for seniors is that many expenses for seniors include medications and health care. The prices for these items in a senior’s budget tend to go up regardless of demand.

  It is estimated that the chained CPI would result in the loss of a full month’s income each year for seniors and veterans and others dependent on Social Security.

Seniors and veterans and all Americans deserve better. They have paid into Social Security for many years, and shouldn’t have to rely on their families or strangers for their survival.  Chained CPI is an idea that is not sound, and would visit hardship and deprivation on Americans relying on a predictable and dependable Social Security Program.

  When I’m elected to Congress I will fight for seniors, veterans, and all Americans and vigorously oppose changing for the current CPI to the chained CPI in determining cost of living adjustments for Social Security.
Tom is running against a far right extremist, James Lankford, who doesn't want so much to reduce Social Security as he does to just end the program altogether. A member of John Boehner's unpopular leadership team, Lankford, though, is a supporter of Chained CPI as a step towards wrecking and replacing Social Security. "Mr. Lankford," said Tom, "apparently thinks economic justice means that he receives more huge campaign donations from Wall Street than any other Washington Beltway politician. I believe that we need to protect seniors, veterans, the middle class, and the working poor, and make sure that we have an adequate safety net so that all Americans are able to live with dignity and maintain a reasonable standard of living."

If Tom is elected to Congress, he plans to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus and fight for the values he's campaigning on back home. If you'd like to help him make that a reality, please consider contributing to his campaign here.


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