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.

    There's more...

  • 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.

    There's more...

    Fundraising for Freshman Democrats: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

    The Hill published an article highlighting some of the fundraising efforts of freshmen Democrats in the House.  Apparently, many are doing quite well.  David Loebsack (IA-02) has raised about $71,000.  Kirsten Gillebrand (NY-20) has raised $65,000 in PAC money alone.  Earl Perlmutter (CO-07) has raised $79,000.  Charlie Wilson (OH-06) has raised $34,000.  Paul Hodes has raised $35,000.  Jason Altmire (PA-04) and Patrick Murphy (PA-08) have both raised $50,000 in PAC money alone.  Zack Space (OH-18) and Steven Kagen (WI-08) have both raised $35,000 in PAC money.

    As far as simple financial numbers go, this is good news.  All of these candidates are vulnerable to some degree.  So, if all of these House members are already off to good starts, they may be able to force out potentially strong challenges early on.

    But the article also has some worrying relevations.  For one thing, Nancy Boyda (KS-02) has raised only $13,000.  Considering the presidential vote in her district (Bush won it by 20 points), Boyda is probably one of our top five most vulnerable Democrats.  Plus, she will not have Sebelius' coattails helping her and will instead have to contend with the Republican tide at the top of the ticket from the eventual Republican nominee and Senator Pat Roberts. Finally, she will possibly face a rematch against Jim Ryun. More over the flip...

    There's more...

    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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