Tag: primary challenge

NRA-supporting DINO Ron Kind finally gets a primary challenger

For the first time in a very long time, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of the 3rd Congressional District of Wisconsin is facing credible opposition within his own party. That’s because Myron Buchholz, a retired history teacher from the Eau Claire area, is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District of Wisconsin.

Very little is known about Buchholz, outside of the fact that he is politically aligned with Bernie Sanders and considers himself to be answering Bernie’s call for ordinary Americans to take back our country from big-money special interests. No information is available as to whether or not Bernie actually recruited Buchholz to run against Kind (I highly doubt that is the case).

Ron Kind, on the other hand, is well to the ideological right of Hillary Clinton on many political issues, including guns, where Kind has taken money from the NRA and received their endorsement in 2010. On gun issues, Kind has voted for, among other things, allowing guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. On other issues, Kind has voted the corporate Democratic line, including supporting President Obama’s free trade deals that have shipped Wisconsin and American jobs overseas.

I strongly encourage Democrats of the 3td Congressional District of Wisconsin to take a serious look at Myron Buchholz.

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ENDORSEMENT: Maria Chappelle-Nadal for 1st Congressional District of Missouri

I proudly endorse Maria Chappelle-Nadal in the U.S. House Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the city of St. Louis and northern parts of St. Louis County.

Maria isn’t just part of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s a way of life for her. During the Ferguson protests that were sparked by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, Maria was hit with tear gas that was fired by law enforcement. Make no mistake about it, Maria herself has been a victim of police brutality, and, if she’s elected to Congress, she’ll fight to end police brutality in America. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is more passionate about racial justice issues than Maria.

Maria is running against incumbent Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr., a backbencher who was virtually silent while chaos erupted in his congressional district.

Right-wing extremist Kyle McCarter to run in GOP primary against Republican Congressman John Shimkus

Republican Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Vandalia) intends to run against incumbent U.S. Representative John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) in the Republican primary in the 15th Congressional District of Illinois.

As a Democrat who lives in the 15th District, I think that Shimkus and McCarter are two absolutely awful right-wing politicians.

Shimkus has been a loyalist to John Boehner, and big-money special interests as a Member of Congress. Furthermore, Shimkus ran his first congressional campaign on a pro-term limits platform, but has now become the ultimate D.C. insider, with Shimkus running for an 11th two-year term in Congress. As a Member of Congress, Shimkus has built up an extremely conservative voting record that reflects the interests of big businesses and bible-thumping zealots, not the interests of the people of the 15th District.

McCarter would be an even worse Member of Congress than Shimkus is. As a state senator, McCarter was one of the most vocal opponents of marriage equality, even going as far as to try to repeal the Illinois marriage equality law. While Shimkus is very conservative on social issues in his own right, McCarter is even more of a Religious Right nutjob than Shimkus is.

If you want proof that the Republican Party is in complete disarray, look no further than the Republican Party in my home congressional district.

Are Democratic donors only interested in sabotaging political campaigns?

Niko Elmaleh, a New York City real estate developer who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats in recent years, bragged in an email to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Treasurer Andy Tobias and Democracy for America (DfA) Chairman Jim Dean about a plan to sabotage the Democratic presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton by having Elizabeth Warren run for the Democratic presidential nomination, only to later drop out of the race after Warren had upstaged Hillary’s campaign:

In his April 3, 2015, email to the small group, Mr. Elmaleh refers to his concern that a lack of a meaningful primary opponent will result in a stale and complacent candidate. He writes, “I think we should seriously consider as an excellent way to keep Hilary fresh in the public eye; Elizabeth Warren should run against her.”

Later in the email he reveals that after an appropriate “show” has been staged, Ms. Warren would be expected to bow out, having strengthened Ms. Clinton as a candidate. “If we can put on a ‘show’ featuring two of the most prominent progressives who are women, it will focus the attention of the bulk of voters on us.”

He then proceeds to land a few glancing blows on the other side’s candidates: “The Republicans’ show is a comic circus and would not compete with ours. Of course, this has to be carefully managed so that Warren can gracefully withdraw after performing this vital task. I don’t think she can win yet (although she could in the future).”

If I were running for public office, I would never take Niko Elmaleh’s money. All Elmaleh wants to do is start trouble within the Democratic Party and cost our party critical elections. While there have been numerous past instances of Democrats upstaging other Democrats who are running for public office (usually in the form of a superb and/or well-remembered speech at the Democratic National Convention or some other political gathering), this is the first time I can recall a Democratic donor being involved in a concerted scheme to sabotage someone’s political campaign by having another candidate upstage him or her. Sadly, the Democratic establishment thinks that grassroots activists are the ones who are causing trouble in the party, when, in reality, their own kind of people is causing a ton of trouble in the party.

If you want a progressive who is sick and tired of big-money political games and is interested in running a real campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, please encourage Bernie Sanders to run for president.

Could Russ Feingold lose a Democratic primary for his former U.S. Senate seat?

Go ahead and laugh at me, but I think it’s possible that Russ Feingold could actually lose a Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat he held for three terms before being defeated by far-right Republican Ron Johnson in 2010.

During his 18 years in the U.S. Senate, Feingold became famous for his advocacy for progressive ideals on a wide array of issues, especially civil liberties and campaign finance reform, and, because of that, he is regarded as a political institution in Wisconsin, especially among progressives. However, it is possible for a Democratic primary challenger to stake out ground to Feingold’s left. One issue where this is possible is on guns. In a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the right-wing majority on the bench prohibited state and local governments from banning firearms, Feingold signed an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the Chicago, Illinois handgun ban that was struck down in the case, although a handgun ban is considered so left-wing of an idea in American politics nowadays that even many progressives refuse to support handgun bans. Another issue where this is possible is on is, believe it or not, regulation of the financial industry. While Feingold actually opposed this from the left, he voted against the Dodd-Frank bill that, among other things, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to regulate the financial sector of the economy, and it wouldn’t be completely unthinkable for a Democratic primary challenger to Feingold to attack him over this and what few other issues Feingold has opposed Democratic and progressive policies and positions and gain political traction.

One strategy that would not work is running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin against Russ Feingold and running to Feingold’s right, as that would do nothing but help Feingold galvanize his progressive base of support, and any Democrat who were to run against Feingold and attack him from the right would face nearly non-stop criticism from progressives. Additionally, if the Democratic establishment in Wisconsin were to throw Feingold under the bus by discouraging him from running for his old U.S. Senate seat, like they’ve done to people like Barbara Lawton, Mark Harris, and Kathleen Vinehout in past gubernatorial elections in Wisconsin, and push an corporate establishment candidate like Ron Kind or Chris “Boss” Abele, you’d never hear the end of the outrage from Wisconsin progressives, even long after my time on this planet has passed and my body is buried somewhere in Dane County, Wisconsin.

While I highly doubt that anyone would run against Russ Feingold in a Democratic primary, it’s not completely impossible for Feingold to lose a Democratic primary for his former U.S. Senate seat.