Updated: Oct 25, 2021
This afternoon, Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Lucas Kunce told me that "Elites in Washington just spent the past twenty years spending over $6 trillion on nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. And now, those same elites can't be bothered to spend a fraction of that here on the homefront, in states like Missouri that have been stripped for parts for coastal corporations? It's a racket that's screwing over working people across Missouri. It's the same racket they've been pushing for years, and it has to stop. We need leaders who give a damn about the people they represent instead of the corporations who fund their campaigns." That reminded me of what Joe Manchin said a couple of weeks ago when he was asked about killing immensely popular programs, like lower drug prices, Climate Crisis amelioration, universal pre-K, child tax credit extension, Medicare expanding to include dental, vision and hearing case, etc. Manchin said that if Democrats want to pass progressive programs like that, they should elect more progressives to Congress. He's never been more correct in his life.
And, of course it isn't just Kunce-- please consider contributing to his campaign here-- Manchin was giving a back-handed endorsement to. Chris Preece is running for the only House seat in a swing district in the commonwealth of Kentucky. The weak and extreme Republican incumbent, Andy Barr, shouldn't be representing any kind of a swing district like that. Today Preece told me that "As a high school science teacher, I address climate change in my classes. To look at the data, and see myriad ways this crisis will affect us all would move anyone to action. Well, move anyone that is not being paid to see otherwise. Money is an incredible filter that can make an honest man look crooked, or a climate crisis look like weather as usual. The data is clear that climate change is happening now, and that we are already seeing the effects of it. As a Nation, we must act boldly and swiftly because this crisis has been kicked down the road for too many years. Here are some words about the Green New Deal from my current representative, Congressman Andy Barr, 'This effort is less about predicting financial stress from climate change and more about causing financial stress for industries that climate extremists hate.' Barr is more worried about money flowing from the haves to the have nots, than he is about the trillions of dollars it will cost if we do not take action, or the lives that will be lost from the flooding and other extreme weather events. I, Chris Preece, am here to take action to reduce the effects of climate change, as well as protect our people. The contrast between myself and Congressman Barr is clear. I am here to represent the people of Kentucky's 6th district, not the monied interests of the wealthy elite."
The progressive Democrat running for the Honolulu seat held by obstructionist Blue Dog Ed Case, is Sergio Alcubilla. Although they're both Democrats, he's nothing like Case. "Unlike our current incumbent in Congress," he told me today, "I believe in not only talking the talk but walking the walk. As a former Legal Aid director and attorney for the last 10 years, I know first hand what our working families are going through; living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to find affordable child care, and worried about what their children’s futures will look like. For me, these are not just talking points but real people that I have walked with. I walk with union members and low wage earners demanding better wages and a respect for workers’ rights. I walk with unrepresented litigants who struggle to find legal help within our judicial system. I walk with our teachers and parents on the PTA to make sure our students have the resources they need to succeed. As a first generation immigrant to this country, raised by a single mother with six kids I know their stories all too well. It’s their voices that are missing in the halls of Congress and are being ignored by those in Washington, including our own representative. I am the better choice to represent our community because I will stand up for our best interests, not the corporations and its money. I always have and I always will."
The central New York district around Syracuse has a PVI of D+2 but still has a conservative Republican opponent. There are two Democrats fighting for the party nomination to challenge him, stalwart progressive Steven Holden and status quo Democratic "centrist," Fran Conole. This afternoon, Holden told me that for once he agrees with Joe Manchin. "We need to elect more progressives and not power-hungry establishment empty suits like Fran Conole or waffling Republicans like John Katko. My dstrict isn’t just a blue district, it is a progressive blue district. As we go across the Central NY, we see people who want an alternative to the status quo, and that alternative is a plan like the Green New Deal for CNY. Where Fran Conole is out for photo ops that offend Native Americans on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, trying to raise the next buck, or stealing campaign ideas because he has none, or John Katko, who cannot decide if he wants to follow Kevin McCarthy or his conscience, we are the only campaign that will bring real change. Fran and Katko can have the money, just like Joe Manchin and Kevin McCarthy; we will take the voters. Although please consider donating to Holden's, Alcubilla's and Preece's campaigns here.
UPDATE: Jason Call
You may have been scratching you head wondering where Washington progressive Jason Call was in this post. Have no fear-- he was a little late, but he did tell me that whenever he gets someone on the phone during call time, he's immediately up front with them that he's challenging a sitting Democrat. "Reality is some Democrats have no interest in supporting an intraparty challenge and it’s best just to have that out in the open. But, I tell them, if we consider the oft-referenced 'Big Tent' that the party claims, WA-02 incumbent and I are on opposite ends of that tent. To be sure, when AOC said 'in any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party,' the same would apply to me and Larsen. His party is the party of corporate hegemony. My party seeks to serve the needs of the working class. We couldn’t be more different. In light of that, it’s quite amusing how Larsen after 20 years of being a proud 'moderate' (whatever the hell that means) is now trying to sell himself as an FDR style progressive. So what are the differences? I don’t take any corporate PAC money, while he’s majority corporate PAC funded (55% in the 3rd FEC quarter). Small donors are 84.5% of my funding, compared to his 23.9%. I support Medicare For All and he’s said he won’t support single payer. I support the Green New Deal and he’s said 'the Green New Deal is not an important resolution.' I oppose bloated military spending, while he’s in the pocket of the Military Industrial Complex and has voted against every cut to the military ever presented. I support universal programs, he’s a big proponent of means testing. I support the estate tax, he’s voted to repeal it. The list goes on and on. Rick Larsen is a status quo corporatist. If you want progressive change, yeah Joe Manchin is right-- elect more progressives."