Grassroots Dems Standing Up Against The Oligarchs Who Have Purchased DC
And there are Clinton-conservatives vying against progressives everywhere in the country. It's heartening to see people willing to stand up-- often against insurmountable odds-- against Wall Street and its army of corrupt candidates. Yesterday I was heartened to see that the first two major newspapers in Ohio to endorse in the state's Senate race, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal, came in for PG Sittenfeld, rather than for the corpse the Democratic Establishment is running, a near guarantee that Rob Portman will be reelected. The Plain Dealer endorsement got right to the point: "Ohio Democrats should nominate PG Sittenfeld to challenge the re-election of Republican Sen. Rob Portman because Ohio needs to debate its future, not rehash its past. Sittenfeld, 31, is a member of Cincinnati's City Council. He's smart, eloquent and aims to help Ohioans left behind by an economy skewered against many. Sittenfeld also is in tune with the national revulsion against handgun violence-- and against officeholders who's prized National Rifle Association endorsements more than constituents' lives. Sittenfeld's dynamism would give Portman a real race, the kind Ohio voters deserve." Chuck Schumer is probably screaming at his p.r. department! The Beacon Journal was equally enthusiastic:
Ted Strickland fails to see the opportunity in joining a series of debates as he campaigns for the U.S. Senate. The former Ohio governor and U.S. House member doesn’t want to give his opponent, P.G. Sittenfeld, a vehicle for drawing attention. Strickland has taken that safe stand even though he is running far ahead in the polls and his troubled Ohio Democratic Party could use an elevated profile.Wall Street's top Senate lieutenant, Chuck Schumer, has been working to crush Sittenfeld, the same way he has done everything in his power to sabotage the campaigns of Alan Grayson (FL), Joe Sestak (PA), and Donna Edwards (MD) in favor of weaker, conservative establishment shills.
It is a virtual lock, debates or no debates, that Strickland will prevail in the Democratic primary and face U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the Republican incumbent, in the fall. That said, Sittenfeld has proved the stronger candidate in this race, in the positions he has taken and the future he sees for the party in the state. We recommend the election of P.G. Sittenfeld on March 15.
Sittenfeld has tried to make much of Strickland shifting his position on gun regulations. Once proud of his A rating from the National Rifle Association, Strickland now favors more comprehensive background checks and other restrictions. What distinguishes Sittenfeld is his greater awareness and grasp of how the gun question fits into the larger picture of race relations, policing and urban life.
This isn’t to diminish the contribution of Ted Strickland. He was a much better governor than his critics contend. He put forward a most promising school funding formula (albeit not fully funded). He set in motion efforts to mold a more coherent system of higher education. His successor takes credit for plugging a huge budget hole. Actually, the state budget was balanced under Strickland, as required by law. In a punishing recession, he made tough choices.
On many issues, Strickland and Sittenfeld agree. Yet, if anything, both would have benefited from debates, Strickland getting sharper for the general election run. Debates would have helped the Democratic Party in revealing that it has more vitality than many Ohioans realize. P.G. Sittenfeld is a significant part of that new energy, bolstered by substance and ambition, in the best sense. He has been the better candidate in this primary campaign.
Over the weekend, the California Democratic Party had its state convention in San Jose. Schumer got his candidate, Kamala Harris, endorsed, primarily because the alternative, Blue Dog Loretta Sanchez is far worse than the moderate Harris. In House races, however, the establishment had some trouble, particularly in the newly blue seat, CA-25, that encompasses Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley. Local Democrats had selected progressive Agua Dulce councilman Lou Vince when suddenly the DCCC decided to name their own candidate, some guy from Orange County with no connection to the district. Every local Democratic Club endorsed Lou-- several unanimously-- and he won 82% of the pre-endorsement vote. This weekend the DCCC fought ugly to overturn the endorsement, bribing delegates, threatening others but in the end, despite the sleazy tactics of Zoe Lofgren, DCCC California henchman. At one point one of her operatives threatened to destroy Lou, a police officer and ex-marine who doesn't scare easily, with a smear campaign if he didn't drop out. After the dust settled and the ballots counted Lou won the official party endorsement with 76% of the vote against the DCCC guy, a sore loser who went up to Lou after his resounding win and told him he has all the money it will take to bury him in mailers. If the Democrats don't win CA-25 in November, the responsibility will lie with Zoe Lofgren, Steve Israel, Nancy Pelosi and Ben Ray Luján. More news from the convention:
After the vote Lou called me with some good news-- aside from his win: he had officially endorsed Bernie for president, which makes sense since he's been campaigning on the same issues as Bernie all year. So... now you can contribute to Lou's campaign on the same page where you contribute to Bernie and to the other congressional candidates who have endorsed Bernie... just follow the thermometer: