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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, April 01, 2010

    Standing Up for Choice and for Healthcare: Targeting Bart Stupak (MI-1) and Joe Pitts (PA-16)

    Healthcare reform and a woman's right to choose affect us all. Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak and Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts' attempts to hold healthcare reform hostage to their anti-choice agenda is a particularly horrible way to be obstructionists. It is imperative that progressives and moderates all over the country show Bart and Joe and other obstructionists that they had better get with the program of helping Americans or their seats won't be secure.

    Connie Saltonstall and Lois Herr are challenging anti-choice, healthcare obstructionists Bart and Joe, respectively. You can help Challenge these right wingers (one Dem and one Repub) by contributing to Connie Saltonstall and Lois Herr's campaigns through Healthcare4America.

    Connie Saltonstall is running a primary challenge against Bart Stupak (MI-1), co-sponsor of the anti-choice Pitts-Stupak amendment that would take away the right to choose from many women in America. Stupak is also part of the religious extremist cult surrounding the C-street group and has also supported the failed "abstinence only" sex-education programs that increase teen pregnancy rates. This is our chance to show Democrats who side too much with Republicans are vulnerable.

    The progressive grassroots (including Daily Kos and my own small efforts) have already raised more than $60,000 for Connie Saltonstall in about a week. It isn't enough yet, but it is a great start. I predicted that once she started getting some real money for her challenge, she would start getting some good endorsements. Well, the first one came in already. The National Organization of Women has now endorsed Connie Saltonstall:

    The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee is proud to announce our endorsement of Connie Saltonstall for Congress, representing Michigan's 1st District. Saltonstall is taking on reproductive rights foe and health care reform obstructer Rep. Bart Stupak in the state's Democratic primary this August.

    What a relief that a courageous feminist candidate stepped up to the plate to challenge the co-author of the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Thanks to Connie Saltonstall, Stupak's bullying attempts to use health care reform as an opportunity to restrict women's access to abortion will be contested at the polls. Saltonstall stated: "I believe that [Stupak] has a right to his personal, religious views, but to deprive his constituents of needed health care reform because of those views is reprehensible."

    Saltonstall is a strong supporter of the full range of feminist issues, including reproductive justice, affirmative action, pay equity, constitutional equality and equal marriage rights. More specifically, she is in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment, fully funding the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, rescinding the Defense Of Marriage Act, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act to add paid leave, and undoing the Bush-era damage done to Title IX.

    Saltonstall ran for state representative in 2008 and served as a Charlevoix County commissioner in 2006. Her background includes both education and business. She taught fourth grade in the Charlevoix Schools and in 1978 was elected to the Charlevoix Board of Education, then appointed to the Michigan Association of School Boards Taxation Committee and recently completed a three-year term on the Charlevoix County Commission on Aging.

    Saltonstall may be entering the race with less than six months for campaigning, but she has the force of many outraged women and men behind her. The recent health care reform negotiations have demonstrated just how vulnerable reproductive rights are when we don't have true feminist champions in Congress. NOW/PAC is pleased that a stellar candidate like Saltonstall has emerged, and we look forward to sending her to Capitol Hill to fight for the rights of women and girls

    I suspect NARAL, Democracy for America and Planned Parenthood will soon follow with their endorsements for Saltonstall, making this a real race.

    You can contribute to Connie Saltonstall's campaign through Healthcare4America.

    More on Saltonstall's opponent, Bart "Keeping Women Down" Stupak, from the Rachel Maddow:

    You can contribute to Connie Saltonstall's campaign through Healthcare4America.

    Turning to Pennsylvania, Lois Herr is challenging obstructionist Republican Joe Pitts in the general election. Lois Herr also has raised over $60,000 and she has already received the endorsements of the National Organization of Women and Feminist Majority even before Connie started getting endorsements. And I suspect she will also get NARAL.

    Here is NOW's endorsement of Lois Herr:

    The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee is proud to announce our endorsement of Lois Herr for Congress in Pennsylvania's 16th District. Lois is taking on the all-important challenge of unseating Rep. Joe Pitts, co-author of the outrageous Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Lois rightly called this amendment "a direct attack on the freedom and privacy of American women."

    Thanks in large part to Pitts' efforts, the House's version of health care reform now stands as the greatest threat to women's fundamental right to abortion in decades. That's why we're here today on Joe Pitts' home turf -- not only to express outrage at his actions but also to demonstrate our commitment to getting Lois Herr elected in this district next November.

    Lois is dedicated to providing affordable health care to every person in the United States, but not at the expense of women's access to reproductive health services. She is a longtime NOW member and a strong supporter of constitutional equality, equal pay, affirmative action, equal marriage rights and the full range of feminist issues. Lois understands the hurdles that women face every day in this country, and when we send her to Capitol Hill, she will work to improve the lives of women and girls.

    We have a battle ahead of us, but I am confident that the people of Pennsylvania's 16th District will see the light. The current health care debate has revealed the cynical side of law-making and exposed those legislators who are only too willing to throw women overboard for the sake of political expediency. To those like Joe Pitts, I say: if women's rights aren't safe when you're in office, then we'll just have to replace you. And I can't think of a better candidate to take your seat than Lois Herr.

    You can contribute to Lois Herr's campaign through Healthcare4America.

    Let's make sure Bart and Joe can't continue pushing their extremist agenda. Support Connie Saltonstall for MI-1 and Lois Herr for PA-16.


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