Monday, July 24, 2017

Why Do Democratic Groups-- And Even Nonpartisan Good Government Organizations-- Give The Blue Dogs A Pass?


Ryan and McCarthy love to brag about how their most toxic legislation passes with "bipartisan" support. And technically, they're right. There is always a pack of bribe-hungry Blue Dogs and New Dems eager to sell their votes to the highest bidders. So far this cycle the 10 most corrupted Democrats in Congress so far-- from bad to worst:
Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)
Daniel Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)
Tom O'Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
I often notice that when Democratic Party affiliated groups-- like the DCCC-- or even Democratic allies in the media chastise Republicans for destructive legislation, they give the handful of Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party a pass. Let me give you an example. MapLight is a non-partisan good government group whose mission is to reveal money's influence on politics. Last week they published a report, Oil, Gas, and Chemical Money Boosts House Members Pushing to Weaken Clean Air Act, a response to the 229-199 passage of what is commonly referred to as the "Smoggy Skies Act." MapLight notes that "Sponsors of a House measure that would significantly weaken the Clean Air Act received more than two and a half times more campaign money from chemical, oil, and gas interests than other House members, according to a MapLight analysis. The House passed the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act” Tuesday, which would delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current ozone regulations until 2025. The bill also would permanently reduce the frequency of the EPA's assessment of ozone levels on health from once every five years to once every 10 years. Opponents of the bill claim it would harm air quality and public health; supporters argue it gives businesses more time to comply with pollution standards created by the agency in 2015. During the 2016 election cycle, the 25 Republican representatives sponsoring the bill received an average of $20,196 from chemical, oil, and gas interests. Other lawmakers received an average of $7,720."

All of that is true-- if slightly misleading. What MapLight identified as "the 25 Republican representatives sponsoring the bill" included 3 ultra-corrupt Blue Dog Democrats-- Henry Cuellar (TX), Jim Costa (CA), and Sanford Bishop (GA). When the bill came up for a vote of the floor last week, Those 3 were joined by another of Big Oil's most notorious congressional whores, Collin Peterson (MN), when they crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans. Meanwhile, 11 Republicans refused to tow the party lie and they crossed the aisle in the other direction and voted with the Democrats. MapLight:
All told, chemical, oil, and gas interests contributed roughly $3.7 million to the campaigns of current House members. More than 200 members received at least $4,000.

A coalition of 121 organizations focused on health and the environment urged members of Congress to oppose the bill in March, arguing it would “systematically weaken the Clean Air Act without a single improvement, undermine Americans’ 46-year right to healthy air based on medical science, and delay life-saving health standards already years overdue.”
And what about the 4 Blue Dog supporters? How much in bribes did they get from chemical, oil, and gas interests in the 2016 cycle? Let's take a peek:
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)- $158,305
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)- $110,525
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)- $44,075
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)- $20,000
Map Light asserts that corrupt Republican bribe takers who sponsored the bill received an average of $20,196 during the 2016 cycle. OK... but the corrupted Blue Dog Democrats who co-sponsored and voted for the legislation took far more on average than even the Republicans! But there was no mention of that in their otherwise very accurate and important report. Odd!

Ignorant twitter commenters and others very frequently try to cover up this kind of fact-based analysis by claiming attacks on Blue Dogs and New Dems are nothing more than "purity tests." Sad.

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At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why, indeed.

Why do some left groups and advocates keep pointing out how terrible the democraps are and how they seem only to get worse, can even dissect completely the who and what and whyfors, yet still advocate electing democraps... presumably because either republicans are worse still... or because they reflexively have fidelity to their tribe... or perhaps both?

Look, either they are terrible and need to be ditched or they are aok and everything they do (and refuse to do) is fine and we really should be governed by them.

If the former, you cannot continue to justify voting for them. It defies reason.
If the latter... well, not all humans are sentient... you KNOW?? Need help with your shoe laces?


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