Monday, March 31, 2014

Are You A Marjorie Margolies Democrat Or Are You A Daylin Leach Democrat?


This morning, Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed a Democrat running for a House seat in Pennsylvania. Senators don't often endorse in House races and almost never endorse in primaries in other states. Bernie is backing Daylin Leach because of his record of accomplishment in the Pennsylvania state legislature and because of the campaign he's running for Congress and for Daylin's unflinching focus on raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable, shrinking the gap between the rich and the poor and, most important in this particular race in PA-13, expanding Social Security benefits. "At a time when our country has more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth," said Bernie, "and when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider-- it is imperative that we send candidates like Daylin Leach to the U.S. Congress."

Unfortunately, there aren't that many candidates like Daylin Leach. Pennsylvania's "liberal lion" is a lot like Sanders, motivated by standing up for ordinary working families. Probably the issue that has made him stand out the strongest is the difference between himself as the corporate media/Beltway pundit front-running, Clinton in-law and ex-Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies. Compact explanation: Daylin wants to expand Social Security; Marjorie wants to shrink it.

We've covered this dichotomy in the past. Back in February we pointed out a Phildadelphia Inquirer story from June, 1994, "Social Security Curbs Proposed Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky Is Touting Major Changes. Her GOP Foe, Jon Fox, Opposes The Plan." As we said then, Voters in PA-13 should read it carefully. This is a candidate who is eager to cut Social Security and other benefits for working families. She sounds like a garden variety Republican, although the Republican that beat her in 1994 was more a defender of Social Security than she was-- and the way she disappointed the Democratic base and kept voters away from the polls is why she was really defeated that year. Her proposal to cut back on Social Security for retired Americans was even too conservative for Bill Clinton, who pointedly told her that "we do not deal with a problem like the deficit by (creating) income stagnation among the elderly." Now her son is married to his daughter and he's selling out the American people by backing her campaign to get back into Congress. This candidate, of whom the Inquirer wrote "Calling it the first fruit of last year's conference on entitlement spending, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky announced legislation yesterday that would raise the retirement age for Social Security recipients and limit their cost-of-living adjustments… The current legislation, which Margolies-Mezvinsky is sponsoring with Minnesota Democrat Timothy J. Penny, would raise the retirement age to 70 by the year 2013-- beginning in 1999 and increasing the age by four months annually… The proposal would give only the bottom 20 percent of Social Security recipients the full cost-of-living adjustment, which is tied to the Consumer Price Index. Other recipients would receive a flat cost-of-living adjustment equal to that for recipients at the 20th percentile."

Predictably, Margolies has learned nothing from her electoral loss. Today she is still part of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and still pushing the Chained CPI scheme to reduce Social Security payments for retired Americans. Last December, Daylin, pushed back against the Paul Ryan/Marjorie Margolies Chained CPI plank: "Social Security has literally lifted entire generations of seniors out of poverty. But at a time when pensions are shrinking or going away and people are living longer, we must do better if Social Security is going to fulfill its promise of a reasonable life for retirees." This morning he told us that "Making the wealthy pay their fair share is the right way to reform Social Security. Cutting benefits is the wrong way, and a clear difference in my Congressional race… It is important to occassionally assess our policies in the context of what is actually happening in the real world. For example, we see a dramatic decline in the availability of and value of private pensions. Yet Social Security benefits continue to stagnate at best and atrophy at worst. Given how seniors are actually living their lives, it is time we boldly call for not only protecting Social Security, but expand it and increasing benefits. We need to remove the cap on the FICA tax and use that money not only to ensure the stability of Social Security, but to start employing E-COLA to ensure the cost of living adjustments reflect what seniors are actually spending, and to start making reasonable lump-sum payments to new retirees to enable them to settle bills and begin their retirement in a financially healthy position."

That's why Bernie Sanders has chimed in on his behalf. Last week, the highly regarded PoliticsPA interviewed Daylin and he sounded a little frustrated that Margolies' entire campaign is based on one thing-- that her son married Clinton's daughter. She has steadfastly refused to join the other candidates in debates and has tried as best she could to cover up her conservative record.
“Marjorie has a 20 year record of trying to dismantle Social Security; [she] introduced legislation that would cut cost of living adjustments and raise the retirement age,” Leach said. “And recently, when she was asked about the fiscal health of Social Security she said that we could ask wealthy people to voluntarily contribute more.”

But in this election, Leach claims that Margolies has been absent on substance.

“I’ve taken controversial positions, Marjorie has no issue that she’s spoken about at all,” he said. (Margolies has yet to attend a candidates forum with the rest of the challengers.)
May 20 is primary day in Pennsylvania. PA-13 is blue enough so that whoever wins the Democratic primary is sure to go to Congress. The PVI is D+13 and Obama beat Romney two to one-- 210,902 (66%) to 105,024 (33%), an even stronger margin than the one by which he beat McCain there 4 years earlier. PA-13 can be the next home of a brilliant and innovative Representative who stands up for working families-- or they can back a hopeless relic from the past who is from the Big Business/Wall Street wing of the party. I'm very happy that her son married their daughter… but that has absolutely nothing to do with what's good for the families in Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. If you'd like to help Daylin win this race, you can contribute to his campaign here.

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At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Sue in pa said...

While I adore daylin and agree with the endorsement, he and Mmmom are not the only candidates.why did you not mention anyone else?

At 11:11 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Sue in PA, if you hit that little hyper-link PA-13, you will see dozens of other posts mentioning the other candidates. This one was about the two candidates who are talking about Social Security-- one who wants to expand it and one who wants to cut it.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read, re Hawaii, that Obama endorsed Schatz. Was a bit surprising to me, but very glad - L.P.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Terry said...

Two candidates who are talking Social Security? Are you joking me? Arkoosh was endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. There were several articles about her "picking a fight" with Margolies on SS. And now you say these are the two candidates talking about it? I know you are a Daylin homer, but come on. In fact, type "pa13 social security" into Google. It's all articles about Arkoosh. I understand the disdain for Margolies, trust me I do, but don't act like this is a two-horse race.


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