Newest Addition to Protecting Our Asses: Steve Kagen

Two weeks ago, I posted a diary on DailyKos, MyDD, Open Left, and the Swing State Project announcing the creation of the ActBlue page Protecting Our Asses.  The goals of this page are as follows:

  • To reinforce vulnerable and potentially vulnerable incumbent members of Congress with cash.
  • To reward good, progressive behavior from these incumbents.
  • To diminish or replace the need for these incumbents to seek fundraising dollars from less progressive sources such as corporate PACs and "moderate"/conservative groups.
  • To send the message that the Netroots will have your back if you have ours.

    More over the flip.

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  • Down Ticket Dilemma

    There has been so much generalized chatter regarding the Democratic candidates effect on down ticket candidates running for Congressional office in 2008 , that I decided to explore some of the top contenders and the effect their candidacy for President may have on a specific down ticket candidate. The Democratic candidates I will be taking a look at are Barack Obama , my candidate , John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Congressional candidate I will be looking at is none other than my own , House Representative and DOCTOR Steve Kagen (D-WI) who represents the 8th District of the state of Wisconsin.

    Dr. Kagen was elected to a seat that was once held by a very strong Republican in a very tight race and the Republicans want their seat back. He was elected in 2006 after running on a platform of HEALTH CARE ! I encourage others who have members of Congress up for re-election to also think about the effect our Presidential Nominee will have on their down ticket candidate. Dr. Kagen was heavily attacked by the Republican opposition last time and is currently on the RNC's Target List for defeat this time as he is up for Re-Election.

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    Why I Declined My Congressional Health Coverage

    Cross-posted at Daily Kos

    As a physician and medical scientist, I know something about Band-Aids.  You have to clean the wound first if you really want it to heal.  A little strip of adhesive glue and gauze is not going to get the job done.

    As a Congressman, I have learned that Band-Aids are what politicians are using to "fix" our nation's broken health care delivery system.  But you don't have to be a doctor or a Congressman to understand that Band-Aids can't fix a fracture.

    That's why I declined to accept the health care insurance offer from Congress.  Plainly put, I will not accept health insurance coverage until everyone I represent in Wisconsin and across America is given the same opportunity.  After all, I did not run for this office to get health care benefits.

    I ran to change Washington and to guarantee access to affordable care for every citizen, everywhere in these United States.

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    Steve Kagen (WI-08): "I Won't Let My Constituents Down"

    After being hounded for nearly two weeks by the media and right-wing blogs over what he did or did not say during a visit to the White House, Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin's 8th district has responded to the issue, by writing an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today. Here are his comments (please visit the MJS for the full text):

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    Much Ado About Kagen

    While right-wing bloggers, assisted by the if-it-bleeds-it-leads media, have been on a brutal campaign to discredit freshman Representative Dr. Steve Kagen and distract from the issues, the new Congressman from Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District has been busy, working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to address the critical issues facing this nation.

    The Democrats in Congress finished their first 100 legislative hours, with Kagen and other members of Wisconsin's congressional delegration voting to increase the minimum wage, lower prescription drug prices, and cut student loan interest rates.

    While right-wing bloggers continue to rehash old news, Congressman Kagen is focused on reaching across the aisle to fix the issues his constituents sent him to Washington to fix. Asked about his part in pushing the Democrats' 100-hour agenda forward, Kagen responded:

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