MA-09: Progressive Dem Mac D'Alessandro Takes on ConservaDem Stephen Lynch

SEIU's New England regional political director Mac D'Alessandro has taken the primary plunge against incumbent Stephen Lynch. (Lynch, for you Progressive Punch score followers, gets a lousy 2 rating, coming from Massachusetts, and has a lifetime progressive score on "Crucial Votes" of 81.87, which drops to 71.95 when focusing on 2009-2010.)

D'Alessandro promises to be a progressive alternative to Lynch. D'Alessandro's Facebook group, started this week, is up to almost 900 members. I'd encourage you to join. And he just got on ActBlue. You can help replace ConservaDem Stephen Lynch with a real progressive by making a contribution to Mac D'Alessandro today.

D'Alessandro has also introduced himself to the local progressive netroots at Blue Mass Group:

Greetings, Blue Mass Group! My name is Mac D'Alessandro. I'm the New England Political Director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and, as of this week, I am a candidate for United States Congress from Massachusetts' 9th district. I am a progressive Democrat, and I'm running for Congress because I believe that the working families in our communities deserve a Congressman who will fight for them and who will actually be a leader on key issues that matter to them - from reforming our health care system (and building on the recently-passed reforms) to holding Wall Street accountable to investing in job creation for our communities to protecting our civil rights and ensuring equal protection under the law.

I have spent my career fighting for working families. I've been with the SEIU for nine years. Prior to that, I worked for Greater Boston Legal Services, directing legislative efforts to help families combat poverty. I live in Milton with my wife Jennie, our children Sophie and Atticus, and our cat Nile. Like most families throughout the district and across Massachusetts, my wife and I sit at our kitchen table on a regular basis, going over our bills and the family budget, paying for today while trying to save for tomorrow. We see too often that the well-being of Fortune 500 companies are put in front of the good fortune of working families like ours. That is why I'm running. The 9th district deserves more than just another representative; the district deserves someone who will champion our Democratic ideals in the U.S. House of Representatives as we fight to balance the playing field for working families like ours.

There were 34 House Democrats who opposed health care reform. Lynch was the only one from Massachusetts. And, of those from the 34 who are running for re-election, I still don't see a lot of primary challenges. Supporting Mac D'Alessandro's campaign can send a message nationally to Democrats wavering on other issues (like Wall Street reform). Mac very much represents what it means to be a "Better Democrat." Please spread the word, join the Facebook group, and contribute any amount you can.

Vote to Endorse Tracy Emblem

Vote Now for Tracy Emblem the True Progressive Candidate

We all know in our hearts who the real progressive candidate is -- Tracy Emblem. The other 50th District candidate has lost the general election three times, and is now attempting to gain the DFA endorsement as a "progressive" candidate. She is not a Progressive Democrat who DFA should endorse. In fact, the DFA does not want Blue Dog or Corporate candidates to represent the party as stated in a recent email from DFA.

To our fellow democrats who are Busby supporters we say that your friendship and loyalty to her is admirable, but we all know friends don't win elections. It is the best qualified candidate who should move on to defeat Brian Bilbray. Let's all make it happen, and as our opponet says - "Let's rally the troops."

Why support Tracy Emblem as the Progressive Candidate? Progressive Democrats of America and Progressive Push - both national progressive organizations have endorsed Tracy.

Tracy has the support/endorsements of 16 labor unions who represent hundreds of working families in the 50th District.

This district can only be won by a strong opponent -- Tracy has been a civil rights attorney protecting and fighting for people's constitutional rights!

Please Click on the Link Below & Vote for Tracy Emblem

http://www.primariesmatter.com/elections/california

Vote to Endorse Tracy Emblem

Vote Now for Tracy Emblem the True Progressive Candidate

We all know in our hearts who the real progressive candidate is -- Tracy Emblem. The other 50th District candidate has lost the general election three times, and is now attempting to gain the DFA endorsement as a "progressive" candidate. She is not a Progressive Democrat who DFA should endorse. In fact, the DFA does not want Blue Dog or Corporate candidates to represent the party as stated in a recent email from DFA.

To our fellow democrats who are Busby supporters we say that your friendship and loyalty to her is admirable, but we all know friends don't win elections. It is the best qualified candidate who should move on to defeat Brian Bilbray. Let's all make it happen, and as our opponet says - "Let's rally the troops."

Why support Tracy Emblem as the Progressive Candidate? Progressive Democrats of America and Progressive Push - both national progressive organizations have endorsed Tracy.

Tracy has the support/endorsements of 16 labor unions who represent hundreds of working families in the 50th District.

This district can only be won by a strong opponent -- Tracy has been a civil rights attorney protecting and fighting for people's constitutional rights!

Please Click on the Link Below & Vote for Tracy Emblem

http://www.primariesmatter.com/elections/california

Help a Howard Dean Democrat Win Scott Brown's Seat

Beltway political pundits are pointing to Scott Brown's recent U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts as a sign that Republicans nationwide should be excited about their prospects in November.

You know what would be a terrific rebuke to that false logic: a progressive Democrat winning the historically Republican state senate seat that Scott Brown gave up upon his election to the U.S. Senate. Turning the Scott Brown seat from dark red to bright, progressive blue would make a resounding statement with these political pundits and be a big victory for progressive change.

Dr. Peter Smulowitz is that progressive Democrat!

Dr. Smulowitz is a health care expert and progressive Democrat, very much in the proud, progressive tradition of Dr. Howard Dean. He will bring to Massachusetts government innovative ideas on reducing health care costs while focusing on primary and preventative care - ideas that can be duplicated in states across America. Dr. Smulowitz will fight for economic growth and job creation, particularly by easing the tax burden on small businesses and promoting investment in green industries. He will fight to make government more transparent and responsive to its citizens. And he will always fight for civil rights and privacy rights, including protecting marriage equality for same-sex couples and reproductive rights for women.

The primary in the special election to fill Brown's old state senate seat is in just a few weeks, on Tuesday, April 13. Dr. Smulowitz needs your help in the Democratic primary to make sure that a Howard Dean progressive can succeed the conservative Scott Brown. Dr. Smulowitz has a primary challenger, a hack in the state legislature who was formerly a member of the state House leadership under two consecutive House Speakers, Tom Finneran and Sal DiMasi, who both eventually became convicted felons and who both represent what is wrong with Massachusetts state government. This hack's ties to the convicted felon former Speakers make her completely unelectable in a general election.

On the other hand, Dr. Smulowitz can help champion progressive change by winning conservative Republican Scott Brown's old State Senate seat. But we need your help in the progressive blogosphere!

Please join our fight to help a progressive Democrat, rather than an establishment hack, win the primary and have the opportunity to turn the Scott Brown seat blue. Please make a contribution today via ActBlue!

The pundit class thinks that Senator Ted Kennedy's seat going to Scott Brown is a big, bad omen of what is to come for Democrats in November. Electing a Howard Dean Democrat, Dr. Peter Smulowitz, to succeed Scott Brown would turn that omen on its ear and send a poweful message of its own. Please join our fight!

On the web:
*Dr. Peter Smulowitz for State Senate campaign website
*Contribute to Dr. Smulowitz's campaign via ActBlue
*Become a fan of Dr. Smulowitz on Facebook
*Follow Dr. Smulowitz on Twitter

My Take on Yesterday's White House Progressive Roundtable on the Economy

Yesterday, the White House invited a group of nine progressive bloggers, journalists and radio hosts to the West Wing for an on-the-record session with Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden and a leader in the implementation of the stimulus, on the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act.


Click image to enlarge

From left to right: Jonathan Singer of MyDD, Duncan Black of Eschaton, Oliver Willis of OliverWillis.com, Chris Hayes of The Nation, unknown administration staffer, Thom Hartmann of the Thom Hartmann Show, Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, Erin from BlogHer, Tim Fernholz of the American Prospect, White House economist Jared Bernstein. Not pictured, John Aravosis of AmericaBlog. (Photo credit: John Aravosis)

The basic thrust of the event was to present a case for the efficacy of the Recovery Act as a part of the broader effort to convince the American people that the administration's efforts to restore the economy have been successful. To this end, Bernstein provided some stark numbers: While the economy had been contracting at an annualized rate of about 6%, last quarter saw GDP growth of nearly that amount (while conceding that this number isn't necessarily believed to be sustainable in the long term); and that while the economy was once losing 700,000 jobs per month, job losses have been nearly staved off, falling to just 20,000 per month over the past quarter.

The Recovery Act, Bernstein explained, was not only about bringing the economy away from the precipice, but was also about making meaningful investments to prepare the economy for the future. While year one was about bringing the economy off the brink, year two was about expansion (and specifically a type of expansion that ensures the middle class reaps benefits). This latter effort is focused on planting the seed money for priorities such as clean energy, a smart grid, health IT, universal broadband access and high speed rail -- just as earlier economic revolutions sparked by the development of the internet and a nation-wide rail system a century before that required government investment to leverage private capital, so too do the engines of future economic growth need private-public cooperation.

During the question-and-answer period, I asked Bernstein a question related to a series of posts I wrote here at MyDD that had gotten some traction in the Beltway press: Specifically the notion that progressive populism is beneficial on both a policy and political level. Bernstein responded first on the policy level, explaining that the administration was focused on addressing issues of income inequality -- which is now approaching levels unseen since 1928 -- ensuring that the middle class reaps any benefits from economic growth. On the political level, Bernstein was less receptive, saying that there's a difference between rhetoric and policy, while also noting that the President has expressed indignation. When I followed up by pointing to a quote from President Obama as to the effect that he "[does not] begrudge" the multi-million dollar compensation being received by some on Wall Street -- a quote I agreed that did not necessarily sum up all of the President's views, even if that's the way it was perceived by some -- Berstein sought to clarify that what the President was trying to say was that he, like other Americans, believes that people deserve to be compensated for their hard work. Pivoting again to policy rather than language, Berstein stressed the importance of restoring balance to the tax system, helping create better jobs, working to ensure that unions are able to organize fairly (though the Employee Free Choice Act), focusing on the middle class (he mentioned increased child tax credits, as well as tax credits for paying off college debts, paying for elder care, and other provisions), and, more broadly, reconnecting economic growth with the middle class.

I may write up some more thoughts on the meeting later today or tomorrow (I still have a good deal of notes from the pen-and-pad session, but I have to run to class now). But if you're itching to read more now, you can read others' accounts of the meeting from AmericaBlog, Eschaton, Tapped, Matt Yglesias, Matt Yglesias, and Oliver Willis.

Diaries

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