Thursday, October 05, 2017

Another Big Win For The Bernie Wing Of The Democratic Party-- This Time In Birmingham, Alabama


Alabama is a badly gerrymandered state in one very predictable way: packing. The racist GOP-controlled state legislature created one congressional district, AL-07, that twists and turns and shoots out tentacles to segregate as many African-Americans in one district as humanly possible. Alabama's population is 26.5% black and has a PVI of R+14. AL-07, which manages to combine black neighborhoods of Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Selma with the Black Belt rural counties in the western part of the state, is 64% Black and has a PVI of D+20. Trump won Alabama with 63% of the vote. Hillary won AL-07, 69.8% to 28.6%. This "packing" by the Republican legislators has made it all but impossible for Democrats to compete effectively or realistically in AL-01, AL-02 and AL-06, all of which have been made far whiter and far redder through the pernicious and clearly racist gerrymandering.

A one-party Democratic district, AL-07 has long been a terrible anti-progressive bastion. In 1992 AL-07 elected an old time populist to Congress, Earl Hilliard, the first person of color since Reconstruction to represent Alabama in Congress. Eventually, he was defeated by an especially vile scumbag from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Artur Davis, a young, slick arch-conservative, who beat Hilliard with the help of AIPAC and establishment whites in Birmingham who were interested in electing an Uncle Tom type to the seat. Davis was a play-thing for the GOP in Congress, voting against Obamacare (the only black Democrat in Congress to do so) and against hate crimes legislation and generally playing the role of one of the Dems always ready to help the GOP make their legislation "bipartisan"-- the worst of the worst. In fact he eventually switched parties and became a Republican (after losing the gubernatorial nomination to Ron Sparks in 2010, Sparks even winning Davis' own district). Good to see him out of Alabama politics and out of Democratic politics-- the DCCC always labeled him "a rising star"-- and out of Congress?

Well... yes, but... Davis was followed in the AL-07 seat by another conservative Democrat, Terrycina "Terri" Sewell, a worthless member of the New Dems, maybe not as bad as Davis but-- BAD.

So what brought on this sad little history of AL-07 lesson? Tuesday night Berniecrat Randall Woodfin unseated William Bell, the 2-term establishment incumbent mayor of Birmingham who was backed by Sewell. And on Tuesday night Our Revolution President Nina Turner said "Our Revolution is excited to congratulate Randall Woodfin on his victory tonight. From knocking on doors to sending text messages, and making calls, Our Revolution invested in Woodfin’s campaign because he truly believes investing in people is how we build better cities. In my travels to Birmingham, I saw firsthand, Randall’s passion and commitment to the people of his city. We look forward to the Woodfin team bringing a new spirit of community and compassion to city hall. This isn’t just a victory for Birmingham, it’s a victory for all of us... Randall Woodfin will be a mayor committed to enacting a progressive agenda that will truly serve the needs of all Birmingham residents. Tonight’s win is just one example of why progressives must invest and support local races all across the country."

Bernie had personally endorsed Woodfin-- who, last year, had been Clinton's Alabama state director-- and recorded an ad for him. The Working Families Party and other progressive national groups helped Woodfin beat the 68 year old Bell by an eye-popping 24,910 (58) to 17,353 (41%) in the runoff. At the same time, 2 longtime Birmingham City Council members, Johnathan Austin and Kim Rafferty, lost their re-election bids while a former council member, Roderick Royal, lost in his effort to return to office, narrowly beaten by John Hilliard. Woodfin ran aggressively on a progressive Berniecrat agenda that Birmingham voters loved.

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At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so... what's the city council like in B'ham?

At 12:50 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

"Tonight’s win is just one example of why progressives must invest and support local races all across the country."

Bingo tremendous job by OR congrats to Randall & Birmingham.

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect it's a decent possibility for Sewell to run for Alabama US Senator Shelby's seat. Shelby will be 87 by the end of his turn.

Is the next stop for Woodfin congress?

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But . . . but . . . I thought Bernie had little support among the Black voters???

Or is that just a lie pumped out by the DNC and related "leaders"?


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