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Can A Member Of The Corrupt New Dems Be A Progressive?


New Dems Jimmy Panetta, Adam Smith & Donald Norcross are not progressives but they are members of the Progressive Caucus

Wall Street's owned and operated Democratic caucus, the New Dems-- a center of corporate congressional corruption-- added two new members last month, Shontel Brown (OH) and Nikema Williams (GA). It was inevitable that a career-long crooked corporatist like Brown would find her way to the New Dems, but tragic that Nikema Williams did. Nikema, the freshman who replaced John Lewis, joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus as soon as she was elected. Shontel Brown didn't, gravitating to the conservative New Dems instead.


But then a funny thing happened... progressive champion Nina Turner announced she is running for the Cleveland congressional seat against Brown again and Brown ran to the Congressional Caucus to ask them to admit her... a kind of insurance policy she can use with her constituents to claim she will work for them rather than for the special interests that finance the New Dems. And they took her in.


There are almost two dozen New Dems who have joined the Progressive Caucus. Are they progressives? Normally when you think of the Progressive Caucus, you think of outstanding members of Congress with stellar voting records like Pramila Jayapal (A), Jamie Raskin (A), Marie Newman (A), Cori Bush (A), AOC (A), Ilhan Omar (A), Mondaire Jones (A), Andy Levin (A), Chuy Garcia (A), Ayanna Pressley (A), Jamaal Bowman (A), Ro Khanna (A), Barbara Lee (A).Joe Neguse (A), Raul Grijalva (A), Jan Schakowsky (A), Bonnie Watson Coleman (A), Judy Chu (A), Kai Kahele (A), Nanette Barragán (A)... But what about the members of the Progressive Caucus who are also New Dems? Let's take a look at the members who have had an opportunity to create a voting record (not freshman who have never had to take a vote that differentiated progressives from corrupt conservatives). These are New Dems in the Progressive Caucus, along with their overall progressive scores adjusted for district tilt and their actual lifetime crucial vote scores):

  • Don Beyer (VA)- B (88.09)

  • Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE)- B (88.16)

  • Brendan Boyle (PA)- C (84.71)

  • Andre Carson (IN)- B (86.69)

  • Angie Craig (MN)- F (75.78)

  • Madeleine Dean (PA)- A (94.92)

  • Veronica Escobar (TX)- A (96.88%)

  • Steven Horsford (NV)- B (82.33)

  • Brenda Lawrence (MI)- B (90.58)

  • Joe Morelle (NY)- B (89.66)

  • Donald Norcross (NJ)- D (81.14)

  • Jimmy Panetta (CA)- D (81.68)

  • Adam Smith (WA)- F (74.47)

  • Darren Soto (FL)- B (87.38)

  • Lori Trahan (MA)- A (96.48)

  • Juan Vargas (CA)- C (84.84)

It looks to me like Madeleine Dean, Lori Trahan and Veronica Escobar are progressives in the New Dems, while Adam Smith, Juan Vargas, Jimmy Panetta, Donald Norcross, Angie Craig and Brendan Boyle have no business being in the Progressive Caucus at all.


Washington progressive organizer and the candidate Jason Call, running against corrupt New Dem Rick Larson served notice on the Progressive Caucus that he will not be joining them next year and called on other progressives running this cycle to do likewise and start the #ActuallyProgressive Caucus.

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