Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 260
This is just one more (if trivial) example of how you can never trust a Rupert Murdoch rag like the Post. They called the critter a "mole" but also called it a rodent. Moles, of course, are NOT rodents. I knew it couldn't be a mole...moles seldom come above ground and they really never scamper. Voles are expert scamperers. So you see...you can't believe everything you see coming from Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire.
Okay, now that I got THAT out of the way...
This week's primaries were quite interesting. In pretty much all cases the more progressive candidate won, or at least forced a runoff with, the more establishment backed candidate.
In Pennsylvania, Admiral Joe Sestak defeated Republican-Democrat incumbent Arlen Specter. I didn't focus on this race so much because Specter, though at heart a Republican, was a more old-school Republican with at least a sense of the value of actually governing. And he hasn't been such a bad Democrat since switching parties (at least compared to the likes of Blanche Lincoln!). Add to that the fact that Sestak isn't himself hugely liberal, but there is still no question that Sestak is better than Specter and we are trading up with this win. And it was a bigger win than anyone expected. Sestak also seems to have a much better shot at winning in the general election. So all in all this was a big win. But it goes deeper. This was a race that, despite my personal ambivalence, most progressives from MoveOn.org to Democracy for America to Daily Kos, put themselves squarely against the DNC and DSCC establishment, and even against Obama and Biden. And the grassroots won. We helped get Sestak elected to Congress in the first place, and now we have helped him in his Senate primary. It speaks volumes for the potential of the progressive grassroots and it means, for whatever its worth, Sestak owes more to the progressive grassroots than he does to any corporate interest.
As almost a side note, in the PA-12 special election to fill Murtha's seat, the Democrat won quite soundly over the Republican. This is a conservative district (and the Democrat who won was a conservative Dem in the Murtha tradition) and the Republicans thought they would do better in this special election. If people wanted to make this a measure of Dem vs. Repub sentiment, the Repubs are probably pretty sad about it because they lost pretty badly. In the end, though, it doesn't change Congress much. I am glad we won, but it wasn't high on my list because either way, the seat is held by a conservative. Better a conservative Dem than conservative Repub, but it is not a district that is likely to go progressive soon.
Then we come to Kentucky. I didn't have a horse in this race. Jack Conway was viewed as the more progressive, less establishment candidate that Daily Kos was backing pretty heavily, but I remember Mongiardo from his past runs and found him okay for a conservative, Southern state like Kentucky. To me either is much better than the Republican Teabagger alternative. But again this is a case where the progressive grassroots took a stand and made a push and won. It was a very close race but we won. It is unclear to me whether Conway or Mongiardo had the better shot in the general, but either way, I think we need to push hard to prevent the proud Teabagger Rand Paul from winning in November.
Then we come to Arkansas, which is where I made my strongest endorsement for the primaries. Here Blanche Lincoln ended ahead, but is forced into a runoff with Bill Halter. A runoff was the best we could hope for this time around, but now we have a shot at winning the runoff. Halter has had some great momentum and has polled as by far the candidate most likely to win in the general. Blanche Lincoln is on her way out and it can either be in the runoff or almost certainly in the general. It is unclear to me who the voters who went for Morrison in this primary will go, but since they rejected Lincoln so far, perhaps enough will go for Halter to give it to him in the runoff.
Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas will all be tough fights in November, but the strength of the progressive grassroots in all three races is a good sign. We are better positioned to win in November than we were before the primary. And we have sent a very clear AND CONSTRUCTIVE message to the DNC, DSCC and Obama that they can't take us for granted. I think Obama will get that message. I have my doubts about the DNC and DSCC.
I have updated my Top Races of 2010 Page to reflect the primary results. Please give $5-10 or more to one or two or a few candidates.
I will end with statements from some of our primary winners:
Bill Halter's latest ad:
Jack Conway's victory night interview:
Sestak's victory speech part 1:
Stestak's victory speech part 2:
Here is this week's newsletter:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Obama and Change
Kentucky Extremist Rand Paul is Republican Candiate for Senate
Senator Al Franken: Help me help Jack and Joe
Brooklyn Focus: Challenging Marty Golden (State Senate)
Brooklyn Focus: Challenging Carl Kruger (State Senate)
Brooklyn, NY Focus
Manhattan, NY Focus
Queens, NY Focus
Bronx Focus: Challenging Pedro Espada jr. (State Senate)
Bronx Focus: Challenging Ruben Diaz, Sr. (State Senate)
Bronx, NY Focus
Suffolk County, NY Focus
Rochester, NY Focus
New York 19th District Focus: Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties
NEW YORK STATE FOCUS
Austin/Travis County, TX Focus
Dallas County, TX Focus
Houston/Harris County, TX Focus
Texas 10th District Focus: Turn TX-10 Blue
Texas 21st District Focus: Turn TX-21 Blue
Orange County, CA Focus
Silicon Valley Area, CA Focus
San Diego, CA Focus
California 11th District Focus: San Joaquin, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties
Charlottesville/Albemarle County, VA Foucus
Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County, VA Focus
Hanover County, VA Focus
Sussex County, NJ Focus
Passaic County, NJ Focus
Warren County, NJ Focus
NEW JERSEY FOCUS
Broward County, FL Focus
Orange County, FL Focus
Pinellas County, FL Focus
Progressive Candidates in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Focus: Lois Herr for Congress
Lancaster Co. PA Focus
Progressive Candidates in Colorado
Boulder County, CO Focus
Larimer County, CO Focus
Douglas County, CO Focus
Atlanta, GA Focus
Fayette County, GA Focus
Coweta County, GA Focus
Progressive Candidates in Michigan
Progressive Candidates in Washington State
WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS
Arizona Republican Leader Follows KKK Leader on Twitter
Progressive Candidates in Arizona
North Carolina Focus: Wells Fargo Preys on Mom of Scalded Baby in ICU
NC-5 Congressional Race: Democrat Bill Kennedy Outraises Republican Virginia Foxx
North Carolina Focus: NC-5 District Focus (Stokes County, Statesville, Surrey County, Iredell County, Watauga County, Yadkin County)
NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS
Tennessee Focus: Wells Fargo's Predatory Lending Against Tennessee Family
Progressive Candidates in Minnesota
Elliot Anderson for Nevada Assembly