This morning, after the vote for Biden's Build Back Better Act, several people noticed that just one of the corrupt conservative Blue Dogs who had worked against it-- Jared Golden-- joined the Republicans to vote NO. The rest of the reactionaries all voted for it, albeit grudgingly. It's worth noting that Golden doesn't have a viable primary opponent. One of the worst of the right-wing corporate Dems, Kurt Schrader appeared to be a sure "no" vote, just as he was when it came to raising the minimum wage and, inc committee, when it came to lowering the cost of prescription drugs. So what happened?
Schrader does have a primary opponent-- one who is on track to beat him, Jamie McLeod-Skinner. "Build Back Better," she explained to Oregon voters today, "is an important first step in investing in building healthier, more equitable communities to help Oregon’s families thrive after the pandemic. Its passage-- after months of delay-- shows the power of local organizing to ensure people’s voices are heard. While Kurt Schrader eventually voted for the legislation, his 'Yes' vote came only after extensive pressure on him from Oregonians and Kurt’s numerous attempts to derail and weaken this critical legislation. I’m proud to have been part of the team of working families and environmental champions to pressure him into-- finally-- doing the right thing. Oregonians deserve better."
The same thing happened in Oahu, where corporate shill Ed Case, felt compelled to back BBB after opposing it for months. His opponent, Sergio Alcubilla has spent his legal career in the non-profit sector dedicated to providing legal help to Honolulu's working families, seniors, and most vulnerable in his community. He always says that from his time at Legal Aid, he knows the struggles that many in Hawaii face; living paycheck to paycheck, finding affordable housing, and simply being priced out of living there. As a first generation immigrant to this country, raised by a single mother with six kids, these stories are part of his story. Part of why Blue America has endorsed him is because these are voices and stories that are missing in the halls of Congress. Please consider contributing to Sergio's and Jamie's campaigns by clicking on the 2022 Primary a Blue Dog thermometer below. Both Case and Schrader were members of No Label's Republican-financed "Unbreakable Nine."
"It is a disgrace," Sergio told me today, "that our incumbent contributed to the whittling down of the Build Back Better agenda to 1/5th of what was originally proposed. The people are tired of politicians making compromises to their detriment. I’ve supported the full plan from the beginning. I am pleased that Congress was able to pass the BBB, but as we celebrate, let's remember how cutting this bill down to the bone leaves us now with even more work ahead of us. We are short-changing our students, our seniors, our working families, and most importantly, we are not putting nearly enough money toward saving our planet from the present climate crisis. We know where our incumbent has planted his flag. He has proven to us that he is unwilling to be a champion for the basic needs of everyday people in Hawaii."
He continued, "I pledge that I will be that champion. I will put the long term needs of our people over the short term profits of corporations. When I get to Congress, I will fight to guarantee healthcare for every single person. I will fight to give workers the benefits that they deserve, including raising the minimum wage and protecting their right to organize. I will fight for the Green New Deal to ensure the future of this planet for our children and grandchildren. I will fight every single day to get money out of politics. Our elected leaders should only answer to their voters, not to corporations, which is why I have pledged to not accept any donations from special interest, big business or corporate PACs.
I work only for the people, and no one else."