Sunday, August 13, 2017

Will Randy Bryce Be A Breath Of Fresh Air In Congress?


Over the past 3 days I spoke with 31 Democratic members of Congress and asked each one the same question. With a promise of anonymity I asked them who would you rather have come to their district and campaign with them at a public rally, Joe Crowley or Randy Bryce. I didn't single out Crowley because he's the boss of Queens County, though he is. I didn't single out Crowley because he's the most corrupt Democrat in Congress, though he is. I didn't single out Crowley because he's a Wall Street stooge, though he is. I didn't single out Crowley because he still runs the New Dems, though he does. I didn't single out Crowley because he funnels dirty money into the hands of Democrats in Congress, though he does. I singled out Joe Crowley because he's the handpicked successor to Pelosi and unless someone stops him-- next to impossible without a major upheaval inside the sheep-like Democratic congressional caucus-- this jovial sack of shit will be the next leader of the House Democrats.

I'll get to the results of my survey in a moment. First I want to remind you that the first member of Congress to endorse Randy Bryce probably should have surprised no one. Back before many people knew who Randy was, Ro Khanna, a fighter for working families, told us that "We need leaders connected to the community who can speak with authenticity about the need for universal healthcare, better wages, and good jobs. Randy has a bold vision that is rooted in his life experience. It's heartening to see people like Randy step up to serve. That is what our founders envisioned." On the same day, former (and, hopefully future) congressman Alan Grayson said he's backing Bryce because in him "you’ll find two things that are lacking in most Congressional candidates: (1) an understanding about how ordinary people (not rich lawyers or businessmen) live, and (2) common sense."

Last Wednesday Ted Lieu endorsed Randy as well. "Randy Bryce," he wrote, "is an extraordinary candidate and we're lucky to have him running for Congress. It would be a very healthy development for the House to have more members who are as committed to the interests of working families and to veterans as he is. I've spoken with Randy and, like several of my colleagues, I've gotten to know him. I can tell you that I look forward to working with him on the issues of social justice, jobs and economic equality. Climate change and national security motivated me to run for Congress, and I know Randy will champion those issues as well. Washington Democrats have a lot to learn from Randy Bryce; he has a big future in our party and for our country. I am endorsing Randy because he will do a far better job for Wisconsin and our nation than Paul Ryan."

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), in endorsing Randy said, "The residents of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District deserve a representative that will show up and fight for them. As a veteran, ironworker, and cancer survivor, Randy Bryce understands the challenges Wisconsinites face daily. His sleeves are rolled up and ready to work."

Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) was another early enthusiast. As part of his endorsement statement he noted that "Randy comes from a working class background and has served his country. As a fellow veteran, I know Randy has the training, toughness, and hard work mentality to fight for the people in Wisconsin. His leadership and values are needed in Congress more, now than ever."

Now, I'll get right to the little survey I did. The results were stark. One incumbent said he didn't know who Randy is and he picked Crowley. 29 incumbent Democrats picked Randy Bryce, who has never been elected to anything outside of his union local and to head Veterans outreach for the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. 29-1. Why 29-1 and not 30-1? One guy refused to answer the question. He said he had endorsed Randy but that he admires and trusts Ryan who he considers a close friend and doesn't want to do anything that would offend him. He said even more, but that will be something for a future post.

The other Democrats I spoke with seemed absolutely giddy and talked about stuff like "fresh blood," "moral clarity," "new ideas," though much of what Bryce talks about isn't exactly new and comes from the The French and American Revolutions, FDR's New Deal and the hard-won battles of the labor movement. Almost no one wanted to criticize Crowley but there was a general consensus that their constituents don't know who he is and that he's a backroom and lobbyist kind of guy who needs to be locked out of sight from the voters. Nice. So the Democratic Party is about to pick someone who the Republicans will be able to demonize the way they've managed to demonize Pelosi-- only they'll have far more ammunition with Crowley. No one seems to feel there's anyway to stop the runaway train and they're going to just be stuck with him.

Few of them were aware that there's a young progressive activist, Alexandria Ocasio, primarying him this cycle but not a single one who I brought it up to believed he is vulnerable even though virtually of of them were aware that his degree of corruption is far above and beyond "normal" congressional corruption. Maybe if we elect enough new members-- Randy Bryce and others like him (even a bit like him), we'll wind up with a less beaten down and pathetic Democratic caucus. Maybe.

Meanwhile, I've never seen incumbents and other candidates lobbying a candidate who has never held political office the way I've seen them lobbying Randy. It's great they recognize where the energy in the Democratic Party is coming from-- and where it isn't coming from. Paul Ryan has never employed a tracker to follow his political opponents before. He has one following Randy around now though.

Yesterday, Bryce sent out a note to his followers and supporters in Wisconsin:
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law fifty-two years ago because he wanted to give everyone a seat at the table of our democracy. Ever since then, politicians backed by special interests have been hard at work to make that table smaller again.

In Wisconsin, they've succeeded thanks to Speaker Paul Ryan's good friend, Governor Scott Walker, who signed one of the most restrictive Voter-ID laws in the country.

If you send me to Congress, I'll do everything I can to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and make it easier, not harder for folks to vote.

According to the Associated Press, as many as 300,000 eligible voters in Wisconsin lacked valid photo IDs heading into the 2016 election, which resulted in working people, students, seniors, minorities, and even veterans being turned away from the polls.

Sean Reynolds, a Navy veteran, was one of them. He moved to Wisconsin in 2015 after receiving his associate's degree from a university in Illinois. Sean legally registered to vote and thought all he needed to show at the polls was a current photo ID.

But he worked more than 50 hours a week and never had time to transfer his Illinois driver's license to Wisconsin-- so he was denied the right to vote on Election Day.

I've never met Sean, but I understand his story. I worked two full-time jobs after getting out of the Army just to make ends meet. I didn't have time to do a lot of things.

This is what politicians like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan just don't understand: Working people have to work. Getting to the DMV is also difficult for students, seniors, the sick, and the disabled who don't have cars, access to reliable public transportation, or the time.

I'm running for Congress because we need to make the table of our democracy bigger again.

Last year, Paul Ryan told a group of Democratic lawmakers that he supports bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965 after the Supreme Court struck down key provisions. But Ryan is afraid of right-wing members, so he refuses to allow Congress to vote on it-- despite the bill being co-sponsored by Republicans like Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Paul Ryan is a coward.

I'll go to Congress to give everyone a voice.
He's got his work cut of for himself. If you want to give him a hand... you can do that right here at this Blue America ActBlue page. And tomorrow, get to know him better at his Reddit AMA:

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At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all means next to nothing.

D incumbents would rather have ironstache help because they want to win. If they want campaign help, they'll call Crowley because he has the money.
If an election in the HDC is called, Crowley wins because he has the money.
If Bryce wins, good. Except ryan will be replaced by another Nazi randian clone who is maybe worse.
If Bryce wins, good. Except all lege he might want to push will be spiked by the leadershit of the HDC or the Nazis, depending on who is in the majority.

Removing ryan would ONLY be a bit of revenge for a decade of pure evil done. But it won't make anything get better.

For things to get better, if that's even possible at this point, the democraps have to disappear and voters must be able to choose their own progressive candidates without the corruptive influences of Pelosi, Crowley, scummer, their donors and the media.


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