We Must Stop Raising Money For Blue Dogs

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 13:34


There is a special election in the 20th congressional district of New York tonight. I hope the Democrat, Scott Murphy, wins. However, I am also frustrated that Murphy has received nearly $360,000 on Act Blue from around 2,000 donors. Given that Murphy has made it clear that he will attempt to join the Blue Dogs if he wins the election, the progressive small donor world should not have given him a single dime.

We--participants in blog and email list small donor fundraising efforts--have to completely stop raising money for Blue Dogs. We should not give a single cent to any current member of the Blue Dog coalition. We should not give any money at all to any candidate who refuses to rule out joining the Blue Dogs once in Congress. If we hope to improve Democratic behavior in Congress, this break has to be as public and as thorough as possible.

In politics, money speaks a lot louder than either voting or public criticism. We can criticize Blue Dog behavior all we want, but as long as we keep funneling their members millions of dollars every two years in small, online donations, then we will actually be ratifying, not criticizing their behavior. We will be supporting their efforts to push the party to the right, not working to push the party to the left. We will be sending a clear signal of support for their votes, not working to hold them accountable for those votes.

Let's take a quick review of the Blue Dog behavior we are ratifying. The Blue Dog coalition has made it clear that they believe they have veto power over the entire agenda of the Obama administration and the Democratic congressional leadership. After a meeting with President Obama three weeks before the election, the Blue Dogs declared:

"He also recognized that we had the numbers to block or clear" legislation coming from the White House if he is elected.

If they are coasting that they can block or clear whatever legislation they want, the Blue Dogs consider themselves to be in charge of D.C., not Speaker Pelosi or President Obama. Some highlight of their past behavior include being the driving force in the Democratic Party behind the 2005 bankruptcy bill (they voted 32-4 in favor), the 2006 ending of habeus corpus, the 2007 Iraq War blank check, and the 2008 FISA re-write (see here for both). So far in 2009, they only allowed the stimulus package to go through after extracting a pay-go promise from the Obama administration. Last month, they joined with the New Democrats to block foreclosure relief legislation, which Evan Bayh's Blue Dogs in the Senate seem to have killed. And most of them will vote against the budget, too.

The Blue Dogs are an overt obstacle to progressive governance. For crying out loud, their entire name comes from feeling "choked blue by the left-wing of the party." In the recent past, they have refused to send money to the DCCC because another member of Congress criticized them on Iraq. They are overtly anti-progressive and anti-left wing. They don't even work to help other members of the party. So, why are we working to help them?

We simply must stop funneling money to the Blue Dog coalition. Given how much we complain about Blue Dogs, this may seem self-evident, but it is not. In the past, I, personally, have helped raise a decent amount of money for Blue Dogs. Two of the fundraising pages that I helped build, Netroots Candidates and Blue Majority, took in about $150,000 for Patrick Murphy, Larry Kissell and Bill Foster, three members of Congress who are either Blue Dogs already, or who will be likely announced as such when the new Blue Dog membership list is made public. So, I am as implicated in sending Blue Dogs money in the past as anyone.

If we keep sending the Blue Dogs millions of dollars in small, online donations every year, then there is no incentive for Blue Dogs to ever change their behavior, or for Democratic candidates to not seek out membership in the Blue Dog coalition. Currently, being a member, or prospective member, of the Blue Dog coalition provides you access to a network of Hill staff, corproate lobbyists and their PACs, large donor fundraisers, and press releases back home to talk about how you aren't like those other, dirty liberal Democrats. If we want to change Democratic behavior in Congress, we have stop adding even more incentives for Democrats to become Blue Dogs. Instead, we must offer strong disincentives for them to become Blue Dogs, such as a significantly reduced access to online, small donor fundraising.

Unfortunately, in Scott Murphy's case, small online donors raised over $300,000 for him even after Murphy had stated he was applying to join the Blue Dogs. That has to stop. Before we raise money for other congressional candidates in 2009-2010, we have to extract promises from those candidates that they won't join either the Blue Dogs (for House candidates) or Evan Bayh's groups (for Senate candidates).

No more money for the Blue Dogs. We can't continue to ratify their efforts to push the Democratic Party to the right. There are plenty of candidates and organizations working to push the party in the opposite direction to whom we small online donors should give our money.

Chris Bowers :: We Must Stop Raising Money For Blue Dogs

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No progressive funding for Blue Dogs (4.00 / 6)
Amen.  

No progressive funding until Congress passes the Fair Elections Now Act (4.00 / 1)
Hey folks, Common Cause and Public Citizen have been trying for years to pass campaign finance reform laws for Congress. Now there's actually a chance this will happen.

The Fair Elections Now Act has a lot of support in Congress, including that of Democratic Party Caucus Chairman John Larson. It's just a matter of getting the bill onto the floor for a vote in both Houses.

Key point:


In a citizen-funded "Fair Elections" system, qualified candidates who take no contributions larger than $100 can run for Congress on a blend of small donations and public funds.

The main objective:

To reduce the influence of big donors over federal elections. Under current law, individual contributions are limited to $2,300 per candidate per race, a level far beyond the means of the vast majority of citizens - and bundlers are often able to acquire unparalleled access to members of Congress when they combine individual contributions to present candidates with bundles of anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more.

I live in CT, where the law is working great for state legislators. It can work equally well for our Congressmen in Washington. Read more about the bill at the Common Cause website.


[ Parent ]
Breaking! (0.00 / 0)
I just checked my email and saw this message from Nick Nyhart, President of Public Campaign, one of the groups promoting Fair Elections:

Dear __,

Today, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), along with Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) introduced the 2009 Fair Elections Now Act. This bill will free our elected officials from the campaign money chase and allow them to focus solely on addressing the big problems we face as a country.

   Call Sens. Dodd at (202) 224-2823 and Lieberman at (202) 224-4041 and Rep. Himes at (202) 225-5541 and urge them to co-sponsor the Fair Elections Now Act!

It email continues highlighting the key benefits, which you can read at the Public Campaign website.  


[ Parent ]
Got to get big money out. (0.00 / 0)
Yes! For real democracy to exist, people must choose their representatives based on issues, not on expensive, flashy propaganda and vicious attacks. We've got to get big money out of elections so that normal human beings have a chance to be heard.  

[ Parent ]
New Dems too. (4.00 / 1)
Honestly, they are worse on banking accountability than the Blues.

[ Parent ]
Money for blue dogs (4.00 / 1)
Right on!

Do we presume that to be read as 'No' money? (4.00 / 1)
If so 4.
If not 1.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
A lot of it was Murphy just using ActBlue as a tool (4.00 / 7)
for his campaign. ActBlue like it or not is no longer just a tool for the netroots fundraising lists. Campaigns use it as their primary fundraising tool. When he won the endorsement from the Democratic party he already had 200k from people maxing out on ActBlue. Another 60 or so was from Murphy e-mail asks. So only maybe 100k at best could be qualified as coming from the "netroots."

But other then that, yes, I agree.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power


Second this (4.00 / 5)
I have worked on campaigns where Act Blue was the standard credit card processor.  Meaning during call time if someone wanted to max out on their credit card the staff just took down the info and typed it into Act Blue for processing.  

So yes, your point is well taken, but we can't automatically chalk up Act Blue donations to progressive donors.


[ Parent ]
So if ActBlue is willing (4.00 / 4)
to refuse to work with anyone who won't rule out joining the Blue Dogs, that's even better, right?

Like, 'Here's some of the progressive infrastructure you cannot use.'

Can ActBlue do that? Whom would we contact?


[ Parent ]
ActBlue (4.00 / 2)
is a site for Democrats. They've never claimed to be a site for progressive Democrats.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Blue Dogs never claimed (0.00 / 0)
to be progressive, either, but I still try to sway them. I mean, that's the basics of most activism, isn't it? Trying to influence someone who isn't already doing what you want?

[ Parent ]
ActBlue and Democrats (4.00 / 4)
Howdy,

I'm Adrian, and I'm the Deputy Communications Director here at ActBlue. I just wanted to clarify something: at ActBlue, we're about supporting Democrats. We don't distinguish beyond that or endorse particular candidates for office.

Our goal is to make sure that Democrats have the tools to win seats in Congress, in state chambers, capture the White House and governor's mansions from coast to coast.

In short, we're an explicitly Democratic toolset. Distinctions beyond party affiliation are not our bailiwick.

Best,
-Adrian


[ Parent ]
Thanks, Adrian! (0.00 / 0)
What I'm asking, though, isn't what you are, but what you can be.

And also, of course, what we can pressure you into being.

I mean, I've donated a good chunk of money through ActBlue, but I don't support 'Democrats', I do support 'progressive Democrats'. To the extent that we disagree, and that you're interested in supporting regressive Democrats, there's no reason for me to support you. My question is, can people like me convince you to change your bailiwick, that's all.

Or maybe just develop a bailiwick of our own. www.ActBailiwick.com! I bet the URL is still available!


[ Parent ]
I hope this is true (0.00 / 0)
I've gotten many email solicitations from Scott Murphy even though I never sent them my name. He must have gotten lists from someone else. Of course I wouldn't send him a dime for the same reasons Chris gives. I feel like a sucker for having contributed to Patrick Murphy last year.

I got over excited in 2006 and 2008 and spread my contributions too wide. I will be more careful next time with larger contributions to candidates I think I can trust.

I'm actually still confused as to why so many Democratic candidates want to be associated with blue dogs. It must have some cachet among people I never talk to. To me it just makes them seem like a drag.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)


[ Parent ]
Agree 100% (4.00 / 2)
I am guity too.  I donated to Kissell in 06 and 08, to Mitchell in 06, and even to Lampson in 06.  All were close races where the Dem was a big improvement and we wanted to take back congress, but that is no longer true.

Let the conservatives help the conservatives.  


Great post, Chris. (4.00 / 6)
I agree entirely.  We never will crreate real change so long as we fund those who fight to prevent change.

Why feed dogs that bite you regardless? (4.00 / 4)
Z

. (4.00 / 1)
Maybe I just have a cynical view of politics, but I always thought that if you wanted your voice heard, you had to buy off a candidate. Having him indebted to other interests is a bit undermining.

Just look at major industries. They don't fund one candidate and screw over the other... that's movie shit. They fund both candidates so no matter who wins they have someone in their pocket.


Neon do want all campaigni9ng to be publ;ically funded? (0.00 / 0)
And would it be illegal for even five  cents to be spent supporting a candidate, and would that include building a blog to promote them? To promote any even a group, or even a policy?

Creating a maximum might be easier. Say 1000 $ per year per electoral district, requiring residency perhaps, with similar amounts for each level, and smaller amounts for less note worthy jobs as sheriff's and dog catcher?

It is one thing to cast a wary and jaundiced eye at the problems of funding democracy, and another to suggest solutions. Both have their value of course.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Give everyone public funding (4.00 / 1)
including free air time (the networks are supposed to provide for the public interest anyway).  No need to make everyone have the same resources - if you can give every candidate enough resources to get their message out, the incumbency advantage largely disappears.


Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
. (0.00 / 0)
I love the idea of public funding. As long as it's implementation make a sort of de facto 2 party system (well, we already have one so that wouldn't be to hard, but i'd prefer not to entrench it anymore) I definitely support the idea.

[ Parent ]
Why on earth would you enforce (0.00 / 0)
an arbitrary choice of two?
By law? Would you make the divisions within parties illegal too? How about primary elections? fund those two? And would there be arbitrary limits there too?

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
. (0.00 / 0)
meant to say "As long as it's implementation doesn't make a sort of de facto 2 party system"


[ Parent ]
one caveat (4.00 / 6)
I agree with all of it. But there are some districts where a liberal Democrat just isn't going to win. Chet Edwards' Texas district comes to mind. In those cases it's either a Blue Dog who might be pretty good on a fair number of issues (like Edwards) or a far right-wing Republican, and in such a case the marginal utility of getting the Blue Dog into office is pretty high.

But NY-20 isn't that kind of district. A mainstream Democrat could win there if they ran a good campaign, so there's really no reason to give a Democrat incentive to join the Blue Dogs by serving as a guaranteed base of financial support.


That makes sense... (4.00 / 4)
But should the progressive movement even be focused on electing Democrats in districts where the best we can get is a blue dog? There are plenty of districts that liberal Democrats can win in that we should focus on instead.

That said, I'm sure most of us have contributed to, volunteered for or generally supported at least one blue dog in the past few cycles. There's no reason to regret that or feel "guilty." Our goal was to help the Democratic Party re-gain control of Washington. Now it's time to change the Democratic Party.


[ Parent ]
I agree (4.00 / 1)
The goals are different when you already have a decent-sized majority than when you're just trying to win or maintain a majority.

[ Parent ]
No I think Chris is saying the opposite. No do not fund them. (4.00 / 2)
It is not a special case. Do not fund conservatives to run as democrats in tight races with Republicans. Let someone else do it.

Send them your best wishes if you must. Vote for them if its your district.

Ethical dilemma solved. No do not fund them.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
What's Wrong With A POPULIST??? (4.00 / 5)
Honestly, this comment is so based in rightwing stereotypes about the options that Democrats have that it's pathetic.  Corporate Dems actually have less going for them in districts like this.  It really will help to have the Populist Caucus, if Dems are smart enough to use it as a marketing tool in districts like this.  It will allows them not just to win narrow elections to actually realign voters over time.

BTW,both Kucinich and Sanders have done this with once narrowly-divided electorates--which we tend to forget because they've been so overwhelmingly successful with it.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
NO NO NO. (4.00 / 2)
I can't say this enough times in enough places or loudly enough...

EVERYONE SAYS NOT IN MY DISTRICT! IT'S DIFFERENT HERE!  YOU ARE ALL WRONG.

I've campaigned in more states than most people have visited, in the reddest districts in the nation and crazy blue districts and every shade in the middle, rural, urban, exurban, semi-rural...when it comes to elections, they are all the same.

Conviction is #1, Stand up and be proud of what you believe in and people will listen.  Change takes leadership, candidates running right of center in a right of center district are leading nothing and perpetuating more of the same.

Whether you are talking about Progressive vs Moderate or issues like guns and abortion or about yard signs...ITS NOT DIFFERENT IN YOUR DISTRICT, IT IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE.

Yard Signs don't vote, there is no issue you have to proactively address if it is not part of your message, and a candidate anywhere on the spectrum can win any district if they are good candidate with a strong campaign.

Yard Signs don't vote, there is no issue you have to proactively address if it is not part of your message, and a candidate anywhere on the spectrum can win any district if they are good candidate with a strong campaign.

Yard Signs don't vote, there is no issue you have to proactively address if it is not part of your message, and a candidate anywhere on the spectrum can win any district if they are good candidate with a strong campaign.

(Repetition for better learning)

Worse, when you support that moderate/mediocre candidate in one of these purple districts, you weaken the party in the region and nation.  What is this crazy talk you say?  Yes, you weaken the party by electing (fake)moderates and mediocre candidates under our party's banner.  They are likely to not be party builders (see Jim Matheson), they are likely to be presented as the "far left", allowing the local gop/media to paint anyone left of them as an absolute nut job, they hamper your fund raising ability for local orgs (no urgency), and make it very unlikely you will get a real democrat in the seat...ever.  Seriously, STOP THIS LUNACY.  Support real Democrats, good Democrats, Proud Liberal/Progressives - if you can't find one at home, adopt one somewhere else and do everything you can to help them out.


[ Parent ]
Murphy is running a campaign... (4.00 / 8)
That is supporting Obama, and promoting the stimulus and the budget...  In fact, his whole campaign is based on supporting the stimulus package.

Not much of a blue dog if you ask me... In fact, a pro-stimulus, pro-president representative infiltrating the blue dog caucus could be a very useful tool in destabilizing their hold on congress...

I support murphy and hope he wins, if for no other reason than to shut up the press from trying to use a GOP win to obstruct the budget.  It also would put the GOP in disarray....

Gotta look at the big picture!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


Conflicted... (4.00 / 2)
On the one hand, this obviously makes a lot of sense...

On the other hand, Republicans have a 60k registration advantage in that NY-20... So a "progressive" Democrat might have trouble getting elected there unless they're a superb candidate.

I didn't donate any money to Murphy, but this overall theory sounds a little too exclusionary to me, and possibly similar to the recipe that was used to disastrous consequence for Republicans as their base forced them all to swear fealty to Rush Limbaugh (and his ideals).


why Chris' argument is different (4.00 / 1)
Chris' argument is strategic: we shouldn't support Blue Dogs because we want to give Democrats incentive to move to the left. The Club for Growth, e.g., is ideological: they'll take down any Republican who isn't sufficiently fundamentalist in their conservative views, regardless of the political environment (see Arlen Specter). That sort of thing is what has cause so many Republicans in moderate/liberal districts to veer to the right, and consequently to lose to Democrats in the last two cycles.

Unless I'm reading Chris wrong, he wouldn't say we need to primary someone like Travis Childers from the left, for instance, since that's a district a liberal Democrat almost certainly couldn't win. That's the difference.  


[ Parent ]
I don't see a difference... (4.00 / 1)
The only possible difference that you have there is degree to which we withhold support...  Do we withhold money (ie, make it harder for them to win an election), or do we primary them (ie, make it harder for them to even get to a general election).  I don't see why that's much different.

And not only that, Chris and others have mentioned many many times that we need to primary Blue Dogs to move them to the left.  Again, not something I necessarily disagree with... but I also think that we need to be sensitive to some political realities as well.


[ Parent ]
that wasn't the distinction I was making (0.00 / 0)
The distinction I'm making isn't between withholding funding and primarying; it's between supporting Blue Dogs in lberal/moderate districts, or even slightly conservative districts, and supporting Blue Dogs in very conservative districts, where only a Blue Dog Democrat has a chance of winning.

[ Parent ]
Yes -- it is supposed to sound that way. (0.00 / 0)
sounds a little too exclusionary to me,

This is exactly Chris Bowers point. I seem to be repeating that here, so let me say not so as to usurp CB's words or point, this is what I agree with in Chris' post.

Let someone else pay for it. Like keeping your powder dry. Being on the actual left, and not merely a member of the amorphous centre left coalition, we should remember where our resources are best put, and when.

You didn't contribute, he wasn't important enough, wasn't exciting enough like Thomas Geoghegan (who by the way has this months top cover article: INFINITE DEBT: How unlimited interest rates destroyed the economy. I recommend the article, which isn't available online. Here is Democracy Now's interview with him about the article.) - but thats ok! and it is what Chris I suggest. Its just formalizing that. To concentrate it. No one is suggesting that you shouldn't contribute expressly to Murphy, but that progressive systems should back and benefit progressives.

I can support this. I hope I both understanding and recapitulating the point of his post. It is not a direct attack on anyone really ev en Murphy, it is in it's essence a call to greater accuracy for the left always far too limited funds.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 1)
Money is money...  If Murphy didn't get that $360k from ActBlue donations, then he wouldn't necessarily have "let someone else pay for it."  He'd have $360k less to compete with, and therefore would stand a worse chance of winning the election, and therefore we might get someone who would probably vote with us ~50% of the time (or whatever) and instead get someone who votes with us 0% of the time.

In any case, it's not that I disagree with you or Chris, and as I said I didn't donate to Murphy, but I also think that we need to be careful what we wish for... Yeah, it's great to celebrate good progressive candidates, but if they don't have a chance in hell at carrying the district they're running in, they're not going to do much good for us either.


[ Parent ]
Support progressives, not least horrible person (4.00 / 2)
If Scott Murphy lost because he could not raise $360k from progressives, then the next person who runs in that districts (or elsewhere) might be less inclined to join the Blue Dogs or even run for office. And if a progressive in NY-20 knew they could get $360k from progressive donors, then they would be much more likely to run for office. That is the point. If we want progressives in office, then we have to support progressives, not just the least horrible person that is put before us. Otherwise, we'll just have lots horrible people of various degrees of horribleness running for office.

[ Parent ]
Still talking in circles... (4.00 / 1)
"If Scott Murphy lost because he could not raise $360k from progressives, then the next person who runs in that districts (or elsewhere) might be less inclined to join the Blue Dogs or even run for office."

Right, well.. this is exactly the point though... Maybe that district WANTS someone to join the Blue Dogs... so if people running in that district say that they won't join the Blue Dogs, then they may not get elected... We could be giving up on that seat for a long time, basically.


[ Parent ]
It's easy to win arguments (4.00 / 2)
if you assume points with no evidence, but then hedge your bets with a "maybe."

Maybe that district WANTS someone to join the Blue Dogs

Then they should vote for one. But what does that have to do with how people outside that district spend their limited resources?


Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
let's not forget (4.00 / 3)
That Patterson went out of his way to choose a NY House Rep who was from a competitive district for the Senate seat, and the party mucky-mucks of that district chose not to have a primary.

Why should progressives just play good soldiers when other forces in the party are rigging the game in favour of blue dogs?  It wasn't like Murphy won a primary against a progressive.


[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 2)
Although, at a rally in Hyde Park this past Saturday, he used "progressive" several times in his speech, emphasizing infrastructure, comprehensive health-care, etc. He certainly could have been playing to the crowd, but who knows.

I am absolutely, totally, and completely for better Democrats, but when there was no opportunity for a primary, certainly a Blue Dog Dem are better than a Republican.

I really wish there were a better way of going about it, but turning off the tap of funding would certainly be easier to do next cycle if/when there's a primary, rather than now when there's only a general/special.

Also, objectively speaking, I can't really blame Blue Dogs if they represent "purple" districts, even if I loathe the amount of influence they wield. The key should be to get more progressives in safe districts to dilute the Blue Dog (and even New Dem) caucuses.  


Absolute idiocy (4.00 / 2)
For a site that likes to lecture on the value of liberals moving the debate leftward, you certainly seem incapable of seeing the value of moving the other end of the overton window.

No matter how you game it out, as you replace Republicans with Blue Dogs, the less power each individual one has when it comes to getting votes. That means fewer concessions and better legislation.

Would a more "pure" Dem be preferable? Sure! But it's not realistic in every district. Obviously, replacing perfectly acceptable progressive Dems with Blue Dogs is dumb while taking out conservative Dems in primaries is good. But replacing Republicans with Blue Dogs? I'll take it everytime.

In addition, Murphy's Blue Dog rhetoric seems more window-dressing for the district than actual policy stands so your point makes even less sense. And labeling all ActBlue donations as "netroots" makes as much sense as labeling all credit card donations as "corporate contributions" because VISA processed them.

Of course, this is the sort of tactical genius that knee-capped a Senator Kennedy (D-Liberal) and left us with Senator Blue Dog in the first place so I'm not surprised to see it here.


how (4.00 / 2)
Did progressives force Patterson to pick Gillibrand?  

So the logic is that we vetoed Kennedy, and he naturally went straight for Gillibrand?  Patterson himself is supposed to be progressive.  I count 6 other female Democrats in the New York Congressional delegation.

Patterson made the choice, not progressives.


[ Parent ]
Maybe (0.00 / 1)
If Chris et al weren't throwing a hissy fit over a perfectly good progressive, they could've been advancing a choice they did find acceptable.

Then again, he has a history of knee-capping progressives he deems personally unacceptable with little regard for the consequences.


[ Parent ]
pa blue dogs (0.00 / 0)
It depends on what your top priorities are.  You may not agree with Allyson Schwartz on economic issues but might on health care and the environment.  Patrick Murphy won in 2006 by a very slim margin and having won by a larger margin in 2008 might be more willing to take risks now.  If I understand things, and I'm by no means an expert on his political philosophy, his primary agreement with the Blue Dogs was on paying for things as you go and not running up large deficits.  

Surely not all the Blue Dogs vote as a bloc on all issues.  It might be better to have a breakdown on how individuals votes on particular issues.  Maybe it has been done and I just missed it.  


Agreed because... (4.00 / 2)
If we want Dems to win regardless of their policies - and I suspect that a significant pool of Dem voters feel this way - then we should only vote Dem.

If we want progressive elected officials, we should focus on electing only them.  It may mean that we have some far more conservative Republicans in place of our Blue Dogs in some seats, but while we have a significant majority, we should send this message - only progressives get the support of progressives.  

With a few Blue Dog seats flipping due to decreased progressive support, which we can afford for the short-term,  perhaps we will get them to pay attention to us.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -- Martin Luther King, Jr


Congratulations Chris (0.00 / 0)
Looks like you'll have one less Blue Dog to worry about in New York.

Enjoy Congressman Tedisco.


Rep. Bill Foster is NOT a Blue Dog (4.00 / 2)
We appreciate the help we received from the progressive community in our special election win last year against Jim Oberweis to capture the seat formerly held by Speaker Hastert.  Congressman Foster is not and has no plans on becoming a Blue Dog.  He is a member of the New Dems and as you may recall voted the right way on FISA.

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