Tuesday, July 05, 2016

You Say You Want A Revolution...


Bernie's political revolution has a long way to go in developing a way to effectively impart a revolutionary consciousness, even among people who consider themselves among his devoted followers. His supporters didn't support Dave McTeague in OR-05 and, even with Bernie speaking at a rally in Syracuse for Eric Kingson a few days before the congressional primary, Bernie supporters didn't vote for him either. And, alas, it's not just the voters. Even many of the candidates themselves are sorely lacking solid, well-developed revolutionary consciousness.

When Berniecrat candidates lost their primary races this cycle I would ask them to help raise contributions on their lists for other Berniecrat candidates. Each one said "OK," but then never bothered to follow through. It might be awkward if they decide to run again and ask for Blue America help next time. Meanwhile, though, someone with loads of revolutionary consciousness, who I didn't need to ask twice, was Eric Kingson. As soon as I started mentioning the idea to him he immediately said he loved the concept and that he'd like to see if he could rally his supporters to the cause of Zephyr Teachout, who's district is a bit south and east of his in New York state.

Last night he sent his followers-- and Blue America sent our followers-- a letter from Eric asking them to help Zephyr win her congressional race in November. Last week, on the same night Eric came up short, she had a gigantic landslide victory in her primary. NY-19 is a blue-leaning swing district in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. The current congressman, Chris Gibson, is, literally, the last moderate Republican left in the House, and he's retiring. Zephyr will be up against a heavily funded right-wing Republican, John Faso, former minority leader of the New York State Assembly and a former candidate for governor. As of the March 31 FEC deadline, he had raised $1,078,898 to Zephyr's $530,733. But a right-wing superPAC, entirely financed by crackpot hedge fund loon, Robert Mercer, has already spent $915,271 on Faso's behalf. (Mercer also spent $13,500,000 this year on trying to get Ted Cruz the GOP nomination.) In any case, Obama beat McCain in NY-19, 53-45% in 2008 and beat Romney for years later 52-46%. It's a very winnable race.

This was Eric's letter:
Zephyr Teachout, my friend and Blue America endorsed candidate for Congress, just won a terrific victory for all progressives. She will be running in November as the Democratic nominee in New York's 19th Congressional District, a Hudson Valley seat that we can win with Zephyr.

Zephyr is THE authority on campaign finance. A Fordham University law professor and activist, her book-- Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United (Harvard University Press, 2014)-- sounded the alarm about the systemic nature of corruption, and how “money in politics” undermines our democracy.

I am writing to ask that you help Zephyr to fight her big-money, Wall Street backed Republican opponent. Zephyr can make it to Congress and be the leading voice on reforming our corrupt democracy, opening the floodgates for real change. But she needs our help. Please consider making a contribution of $5, $25, $100 or more to Zephyr’s campaign.

Goal Thermometer I am grateful for the support that you and others provided to my campaign and Blue America-- a stalwart ally that was first to endorse and provide on-line funding and on-going support of my campaign.  And, of course, many other people and organizations moved our campaign forward, especially Bernie Sanders’ endorsement and rally, Representative John Conyers’ endorsement, Raul Grijalva’s endorsement, Democracy for America's strong advocacy on my behalf, National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America and my fantastic staff and volunteers.

I have much pride in what we did together. I remain active as a committed progressive advocate of economic, political and social justice, beginning this week when I go to Orlando as a member of the Democratic Party’s National Platform Committee and in my ongoing work to expand Social Security. Thank you again for the opportunity to advance a progressive agenda. Will be in touch...

For now I ask that you turn your generosity toward Zephyr Teachout, a talented and widely respected academic and advocate who will, with your help, win a seat for progressives in the next Congress.

Yours for Justice and Peace,

We need more of that spirit, a lot more of that spirit.

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