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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.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Friday, May 21, 2010

    Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 260

    I feel compelled to comment that, despite what Rupert Murdoch's NY Post claimed, it was NOT a mole that scampered across the stage while Obama was speaking. It was a vole. Completely different kind of mammal: (look at the bottom of the photo).

    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:


    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


    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


    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


    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)



    Tennessee Focus: Wells Fargo's Predatory Lending Against Tennessee Family


    Progressive Candidates in Minnesota



    Elliot Anderson for Nevada Assembly



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