Thursday, February 08, 2018

What's The Difference Between A Blue Dog And A Republican?


No one every knew which party Bobby Bright belonged to when he was mayor of Montgomery. But when the longtime congressman for southeast Alabama (including about half of Montgomery) he decided to claim he was a Democrat, even though he's a total gun nut and NRA ally, a gay-hater and, of course, anti-Choice. But as a Democrat he was able to avoid the crowded GOP primary.

The district, AL-02 includes Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Pike counties and part of Montgomery County. McCalin beat Obama 64-35% and Romney beat him 63-36%. Bad enough, but Trump beat Hillary 65-33%. The PVI is R+16. So... Blue Dog Bobby Bright, who voted very consistently with the Republicans for the one session he was in Congress, is now, as of today, trying to get his old seat back-- as a Republican.

When Everett decided to retire and Bright decided he was a "Democrat," he beat far right Republican state legislator Jay Love 144,368 (50.3)% to 142,578 (49.7%), Love having spent $2,444,627 to Bright's $1,193,166. The DCCC put $625,102 into independent efforts to help Bright, almost as much as the NRCC put in for Love ($671,718). Bright was the first Democrat to represent the district since William Louis Dickinson won it in 1964.

In 2010 Bright was defeated by Martha Roby 111,645 (51.1%) to 106,865 (48.9%). He spent $1,435,526 (+ DCCC - $1,405,067) to Roby's $1,240,276 (+ NRCC- $1,059,414). In 2013 he switched parties and has been a conservative Republican since 2013.

Blue America got involved in making sure Bright wouldn't be reelected and many professional Democrats got angry with us. The stupid, incompetent Republicans hadn't figured out how to beat Bright. They were busy calling him a "Nancy Pelosi pawn" in the white suburbs of Montgomery, where he-- and his conservative politics-- were quite popular. So Blue America decided to point out his record to some of Bright's other constituents. We began a massive, targeted radio and TV campaign in just 4 counties, the 4 counties where Barack Obama did best in 2008, the 4 counties most badly effected by Bright's anti-family votes, the 4 counties that make it hard for a Democrat to win district-wide without landslide victories: Lowndes, Bullock, Barbour and Butler. When the African-American precincts in and around Montgomery were gerrymandered into the 3rd CD, the 2nd was left as a hopeless Republican bastion. It's a freak of nature that even a throwback Democrat as far to the right as Bright could have ever won the seat. He won it 144,368-142,578... but with massive support from the African-American voters in Lowndes, Bullock, Barbour and Butler counties, voters whose interests he consistently ignored from the moment he was elected. Obama only won 36% of the vote in Alabama's 2nd CD but he won landslides in Lowndes County (5,447 to 1,807) and Bullock County (4,001 to 1,389) and ties in Butler and Barbour counties. This is the radio ad some local actors made for us:

Not everyone thought it was sage to help defeat a Democrat in a perilous election. "But what exactly," I asked at the time, "does Bobby Bright bring to the table? What good would saving his seat do? He had already announced he wouldn't vote for Pelosi (which meant he wouldn't vote to organize the House for the Democrats). He voted with the GOP on every contentious issue. He worked within the Democratic caucus to destroy or water down every single piece of progressive legislation he could get his hands on. And he denigrated the Democratic brand with his framing, making it seem toxic to even be a Democrat… When Democrats passed the DISCLOSE Act in the House, to stop the flow of foreign money into American elections, something they knew would be a boon for the GOP and a disaster for Democrats, Bright was one of the Blue Dogs to cross the aisle and vote with the Republicans. He was one of only five Democrats who had been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the funnel for millions of yuan, dinars and rubles being used to pervert our country's political system. So here's the TV ad we ran:

What do you think? Should we do a campaign like this to Dan Lipinski in Illinois? In IL-03 it won't be some crazy Republican like Martha Roby who tales over the seat; it's be a solid progressive Democrat: Marie Newman. What do you think? Let us know. Back to Bright for a moment again. Bright "pointing out that at one point Gov. Kay Ivey, Sen. Richard Shelby and even President Donald Trump were Democrats. Bright said the GOP more closely aligns with his values."
"I tried to be a Democrat, and I didn't do the job as a Democrat that I wanted to do, mainly because my beliefs are conservative and that held me back," he told reporters in Hoover, where he submitted his qualification papers to run as a Republican. "You have to look at where I came from when I chose to run as a Democrat. I was a non-partisan mayor for 10 years, so I worked to make things happen and to be successful across party lines. I felt at the time I could go on to Washington as a Democrat and be very, very effective and we did-- we were very effective to a great degree. But there's limited things you can do up there as a conservative controlled by a liberal party."

Bright was a Blue Dog Democrat, a caucus of the party's most conservative members. He voted against Obamacare.

The attempt to win back his own seat was spurred by people in the district, which spans from most of Montgomery to the Wiregrass Region, asking for change, according to Bright.

"I am answering their call," he said of his former constituents. "They've asked me to consider stepping back into the political arena and represent their interest, and that's what I intend to do."

Bright claimed that residents in the district are not being "properly represented" because Roby does not currently sit on the Armed Services or Agriculture committees and the district has a sizeable military presence and a robust farming community.

"We have two military bases, we have many, many farmers... they have no voice, they have no direct voice to Washington, D.C.," he said.

Last year, Roby told that her seat on the House Appropriations Committee gives her a platform "to fight for our military men and women" by securing funding.

"Representative Roby is focused on doing the job that the people of Alabama's Second District sent her to Washington to do, and she looks forward to discussing her clear conservative Republican record on the campaign trail," a spokeswoman for Roby's campaign said in an email statement Thursday.

The National Republican Congressional Committee-- the campaign arm of House Republicans-- slammed Bright for his vote to elect Nancy Pelosi speaker. The committee is backing Roby in the primary.

"A candidate running as a Republican in Alabama who voted for Nancy Pelosi is definitely the most shocking news of the day-- even in 2018," NRCC regional spokeswoman Maddie Anderson said in an email to "Nancy Pelosi is the most unpopular political figure in the entire country and I look forward to watching Bobby Bright explain to Alabamians how exactly he supports both Pelosi and the tax-cutting GOP agenda."

As of Thursday, there were two other Republican challengers for the seat: Roy Moore aide Rich Hobson and state Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise.

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At 2:33 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Good riddance & may all the Blue Dogs follow him fools.

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not to put too fine a point on it, but the democrap PARTY is different from the republicans only in how often they wear a swastika or say the acronym DACA.

The democraps still have to try to appeal to stupid people who hate a bit less. That's the difference.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the difference, you ask? Blue Dogs have to sleep outside chained to their dog houses while their masters party at the country club.


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