Sunday, May 20, 2018

Kara Beat The Conservative In The Primary-- Now It's On To The Conservative In The General


Last Tuesday, one of the biggest victories for progressives was Kara Eastman's win in the Nebraska Democratic primary. She beat Blue Dog and DCCC endorsee Brad Ashford 20,239 (51.43%) to 19,113 (48.57%). It was another case of local Democrats slapping down the DCCC for their pig-headed interference in a local primary, where they tried to tell a district that voted for Bernie in 2016 that they needed to nominate a proven reactionary and an "ex"-Republican instead of a woman running on many of the same issues that made Bernie so attractive to the local Democrats.

As of the April 25 FEC filing deadline, Ashford had raised, with the help of the DCCC, $558,946 and spent $397,194, while Kara had raised $355,887 and spent $284,880. Ashford was endorsed by anyone the DCCC could round up from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, not just the Blue Dogs but the New Dems, Gabby Giffords, the labor unions that do whatever the DCCC tells them to and, of course ambitious Blue Dog/New Dem Adam Schiff, who has been traveling around the country using his new-found celebrity to help right-of-center candidates like himself beat progressive candidates like Kara. 

Kara had the support of Blue America and of other progressive forces independent of the Democratic Party establishment, from the Nebraska Unity PAC and Nebraska Grassroots Progressives and the Working Families Party to Climate Hawks Vote, the PCCC, VoteProChoice, local independent-minded uinions like the Plasterers and Cement Masons, the Insulators and the Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation union, as well as local political leaders like state Senators Tony Vargas and Justin Wayne and Omaha City Council president Ben Gray.

As soon as Kara's victory over Ashford was official, the DCCC removed him from their Red-to-Blue page. But instead of replacing him with Kara, they took NE-02 entirely off their radar. One of the country's most flippable districts, suddenly no longer existed! What happened to Pelosi's spiel about unity? Is it only the unity of progressives backing successful conservative Democrats but not unity when progressives win? Is that unity? And what happened to Pelosi's spiel about how we all win when women win? Instead we hear Pelosi thundering about how the DCCC won't help party nominees unless the conservative establishment backed them.

Goal ThermometerThe DCCC candidate was Brad Ashford who, as a Republican state Senator in 1994, had run for the congressional seat in the Republican primary and was defeated. Eventually he decided to run for Congress again, this time as a fake Democrat. More recently, Ashford, the most right-wing Blue Dog in Congress for his one miserable term, served as a Hillary super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention, despite his district having gone for Bernie. In the primary his website had no issues page because he knew the voters would never back him on the issues. After he lost a debate with Kara, he canceled all debates. An anti-healthcare Blue Dog, he didn't want to be compared with Kara who was running on Medicare-for-all. "It’s time for our country to acknowledge that quality healthcare and access to health insurance is an American right," her website states clearly. "Families deserve to be able to get the medical treatment and medications they need, when they need them, without breaking the bank. We must ensure that no mother ever weighs the costs before taking her children to the emergency room when they are in the need of immediate care. No father should ever forgo life-saving medication because he is afraid of being unable to pay the medical bills. No family should ever need to claim bankruptcy because they had the audacity to live after an accident or illness. Our country should move toward the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. We need to force big business and the pharmaceutical industry to offer more competitive prices."

When we endorsed her campaign last February, she told us that "over the last decade, Nebraska’s second Congressional district is one of the two most competitive in the nation. So why can’t Democrats consistently win here? They don’t ignite the base, and they don’t go out and talk to voters. I'm the first serious progressive candidate to run in Nebraska’s second district. I’m pro-choice, I support common-sense gun safety regulation, I’m passionate about health and environmental protection, and I’ve opposed the Keystone XL pipeline. I will fight for a Medicare for All system because healthcare is a right. I also will fight for debt-free education, because I’m tired of seeing students, even at Metro Community College where I serve on the Board of Governors, drowning in student loans. The U.S. has to compete in a global market by investing in green and healthy housing. Climate change is the number one moral and national security threat to our children, and we need to address it now."

Now Kara needs our help to beat a tougher candidate in November, Republican incumbent Don Bacon, a Trump rubber stamp very much out of touch with voters in the Omaha Metro. With the DCCC already signaling they'd rather let Bacon stay in his seat then help a progressive win it, Kara is going to need our help more than ever. She's a fighter and winner. Please contribute what you can by clicking on the Blue America 2018 congressional thermometer above.

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At 2:03 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

And now comes the real test for Kara defeating incumbent GOP'er Don Bacon in November it won't be easy but i hope she does her best & succeeds.


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