Yesterday I drew a contrast between North Carolina progressive champion Erica Smith and the conservative Democrat who is opposing her for an open congressional seat, Don Davis. Davis generally sucks; he's the most conservative Democrat in the state Senate but I was looking for one thing that could be the "worst." If you missed the post, this is what I came up with: Two years ago the state legislature was on an anti-Choice rampage. They passed a so-called "Born Alive" bill and-- no surprise-- Davis and one other Democrat voted for it. That's not the worst thing about the story. What is was the aftermath of Governor Cooper's veto of the unpopular bill. The Republicans needed one vote to overturn the veto. The other Democrat who voted for the bill refused to vote to overrule the governor, but they didn't need that vote because they had Davis in their pocket. He was the hero among North Carolina Republicans and anti-Choice fanatics that day.
Anyway, that gave me the idea of trying to figure out the worts thing about more of the Blue America-endorsed House candidates. You can contribute to any of their campaigns here. Since we started with Erica and her anti-Choice opponent, let's stick with that theme and move down to South Texas, where Jessica Cisneros is running against the last anti-Choice Democrat in the House. The others were all defeated. But Henry Cuellar regularly hooks up with the GOP to vote against Choice. He menacingly tells South Texas women that they have no right to an abortion and that abortions are not part of healthcare. Jessica Cisneros recently told CommonDreams.org that "When we talk about healthcare as a human right that includes reproductive healthcare. As the only anti-choice Democrat left in the House of Representatives, Henry Cuellar continues to stand in the way of our reproductive rights and consistently sides with his Republican allies to make healthcare even more inaccessible in South Texas. Now more than ever, South Texas families deserve a representative that will fight tirelessly for affordable healthcare and their reproductive freedom, and Rep. Cuellar is not fighting for us."
Brad Sherman isn't a Blue Dog and he's careful to not stir up the progressives in his district. But sometimes he just can't help himself, usually through omission-- like refusing to support the Ro Khanna's bill to end US aid to the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen and voting against the Pocan/AOC amendment to cut the Pentagon budget by 10%. But sometimes, the mask slips... like when he spoke at a rally in 2019 alongside John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani calling for violent regime change in Iran in support of militant terrorist group called the MEK. Some people say he represents Israel's Likud Party in Congress far more than the residents of the San Fernando Valley. Hopefully they'll help elect Shervin Aazami next year.
There's so much wrong with Kevin McCarthy... where can you even start. I cheated. I asked, Bruno Amato, the Democrat running against him, and he sent me that photo below and said "He votes against the health and lives of his constituents, voting NO on BBB which would cap insulin costs at $35 a month, to voting against clean water infrastructure when the water what little of it there is, is contaminated with toxic Chromium-6 which increases cancer rates 30X."
Just north of McCarthy's district is the old Devin Nunes district, which has changed so drastically that Nunes fled to Mar-A-Lago. So Lourin Hubbard isn't running against Nunes but against another Trumper, Nathan Magsig, who wants to follow the Glen Youngkin approach-- talking about CRT and trying to be as Trump-friendly as possible without mentioning Trump if he thinks any non-trumpets are within hearing distance. And simultaneously Lourin has to run against another conservative-- a putative Democrat, Phil Arballo. Arballo ran lost time, spent a ton of money and got crushed by Nunes. He's a DCCC kind of pointless character who stands for nothing at all except "I'm not Nunes"-- and whatever his consultants tell him he's supposed to be. It's like he shows up as a candidate because it's his job and he's punching the clock. He takes a salary from his campaign and it’s seen by many as just a grift.
Sticking to California, let's look at another conservative: Orange County Blue Dog Lou Correa. He's as bad as the rest of the reactionaries from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party but friends of mine in his district tell me that aside from what he does in Washington, he's a nightmare at home as well. His most recent and most blatant slap in the face to the people of his district-- which is 66% Latino and nearly a third foreign-born-- was his endorsement of Republican white nationalist Sheriff Don Barnes, one of the worst elected officials in the history of Orange County! Our candidate is Mike Ortega and, to say the least, you're never going to find him endorsing anyone remotely like Don Barnes... or any other racist thug.
If you had to pick the 5 worst Democrats in Congress, Oregon Blue Dog Kurt Schrader would absolutely be one of them. So that makes it hard to pick just one glaring thing about him. I guess you would have to point out how hard he worked-- an heir to a Pfizer fortune-- to make sure Medicare would not be allowed to negotiate fair drug prices. Yeah that would bevy pick, although... he did compare calls to impeach Trump to a lynching and he is well known for his vote to make concealed carry reciprocity permits valid in all 50 states. Blue America happily endorsed the woman challenging him this year, Jamie McLeod-Skinner.
Andy Barr is a Kentucky Republican so there's a lot to choose from. Like many conservatives, bribery is Barr's middle name. He takes lots of money from the banking industry and from Big PhRMA and constantly votes to aid their ability to price gouge regular Americans. Barr continues to lie about his record, and fear monger about 'socialized' whatever, 'big government boogieman,' and 'too liberal for Kentucky.' Basically Barr is a careerist and a walking NRCC collection of focus-group tested talking points. He already has over a million and a half dollars on hand for his campaign against our endorsee, Chis Preece, who has raised about $10,000.
Jim Lough did a song for us (below) about Rick Larsen which is basically just one horror after the other. But what holds them all together is that the guy-- a former and probably future, lobbyist-- is that he's a pretender, scrambling to try to pass him off as something he isn't. For his whole career he has misrepresented his role in Congress and that impact he has had on policy and political movements. His tendency to willfully ignore demands of the Democratic base and pretend as if they do not exist gets under the skin of many activists in Washingtion state. Whether it was with Iraq, or endorsing Hillary over Bernie in ’16 (in a district that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie), or a movement for a $15 minimum wage in the mid-2010s, the Black Lives Matter movement pre-George Floyd, or what we see now with a youthful Democratic base clamoring for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All, Larsen almost never speaks about it yet holds this attitude that he’s got the pulse of Democrats in Snohomish (76.1% Bernie), Whatcom (80.5% Bernie), Island (69.1% Bernie), Skagot (73.5% Bernie) and San Juan (76.0% Bernie) counties. The Blue America candidate running against Larsen is Jason Call (a Bernie supporter).