Protecting Our Asses: Rewarding Good Behavior from Congresspeople

I've already written in one comment that I'm very disenchanted right now.  Somehow, we're still in Iraq, don't have universal healthcare, don't have stem cell funding.  We're seeing pushes for offshore drilling.  And this week, our party assumed the position when it comes to FISA.

What was even more infuriating is to see candidates that many candidates heavily supported the grassroots and the Netroots (both in the more limited sense that includes the page DailyKos, Swing State Project, etc collaborate on. and the broader sense to include all of the liberal websites such as Democracy for America and MoveON).  It's both heartbreaking and infuriating to see people like Patrick Murphy, Kirsten Gillibrand, Nancy Boyda, Jim Webb, and Jerry McNerney, people we thought would be the vanguard of the coming progressive era, vote they way they do, with the likes of Murphy and Gillibrand joining the Blue Dogs!

I learned about reductionism in research methods.  This is the flawed logic of looking for THE cause of something instead of looking for all causes.  So, maybe we were had.  Maybe (probably?) the Netroots endorsement lists and frontpage diaries need to be more selective.  Maybe (hopefully) these are all still pretty progressive people who are just getting bad advice from their advisors and fellow Democratic caucusmembers.

But I think another cause is worth noting.  Because many are freshman, many won narrowly, and many represent competitive districts, many of these people are in close races.  That goes for the likes of Boyda, McNerney (although that one is looking better), Altmire, etc.  And considering that money, unfortunately, plays a big role in elections, these vulnerable incumbents need money to remain competitive and be re-elected.

This is where, I think the Netroots fail. I do not see one incumbent on the Orange to Blue list.  There wasn't a single one on the Netroots List from the last election.  Democracy for America lacks incumbent members of Congress on their page.

I know many say that our incumbents are doing brisk fundraising.  Yes, but at what cost?  Let's look at Patrick Murphy.  I see $11,750 from Comcast Corp and $10,000 from Credit Union National Assn, for example.  

So, I'm starting a fundraising page called "Protecting Our Asses." This page is designed to provide positive reinforcement for current, vulnerable Democratic legislators.  You vote the right way, you get support.  You throw you lot with the Blue Dogs are the corporatists, then let them bail you out.  

This will hopefully send a message that the Netroots will have watch your back if your watch ours, provide positive reinforcement for good behavior, give much need campaign funds to good but vulnerable Democrats, and dilute or possibly even replace contributions from less than progressive sources.

The first addition to the list is Carol Shea-Porter.  Shea-Porter won in what is, in my opinion, the second-most surprising, positive (because there are some negative surprises, ie. Christine Jennings) race in the country, second only to Nancy Boyda's defeat of Jim Ryun.  Despite representing a light red district and facing a spirited challenge, Shea-Porter has been a progressive through and through.  Shea-Porter had a 98% Party Unity Score in 2007. She has a a 95.7% Progressive Punch score, making her the 29th most progressive member.  She gets A's (above 90) in all but two categories and B's in all.  She has perfect scores on the environment, corporate subsidies, government checks on corporate power, and labor rights.

Carol Shea-Porter voted the right way on stem cell research, Iraq funding, the Iraq escalation, timelines for Iraq, the minimum wage, prescription drug prices, and FISA.  Let's reward her for taking the high road.

http://www.actblue.com/page/protectingou rasses

Tags: 2008, Carol Shea-Porter, contributions, FISA, House, incumbents, Jeb Bradley, Money, netroots, NH-01, vulnerable incumbents (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

Re: Protecting Our Asses: Rewarding Good Behavior

Very well written analysis. I have only one problem with it and that is with the first sentence. You say we are still in Iraq, don't have UHC, and mention stem cell research. Just how do you expect to get any of those enacted with Bush in the WH and a slim majority in Congress? Yes, I agree 100% that we need better Dems than some of the right-wing Dems we have in office now. We also need more Dems before anything will get done. That's a good reason for the netroots to focus on elections where we don't have an incumbent Dem. The DNC and the DCCC will be much more supportive of incumbents than they will with challengers to incumbents. It's a matter of putting their money where they think it will do the most good.

by MS01 Indie 2008-06-26 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Protecting Our Asses: Rewarding Good Behavior

I agree.  I was by no means saying that we should endorse and fund challengers, both to Republicans and to shitty Democrats.  I'm mulling over a donation to Regina Thomas, who's challening Bush dog John Barrow, as we speak.

However, my point is that we should also focus on incumbent retention and keeping our people on the farm ideologically.  The DCCC and DSCC will help incumbents, however that doesn't mean we shouldn't as well.

If someone votes the right way and needs the money, I say they should get it.  We shouldn't ignore incumbents.  Otherwise, they may turn to other, less progressive sources.

by TheUnknown285 2008-06-26 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Protecting Our Asses: Rewarding Good Behavior

All good points.

by MS01 Indie 2008-06-26 10:35AM | 0 recs
Rewarding Good Behavior -CT02 Courtney

May I suggest sending some dough to 'Landslide' Joe Courtney, Dem, CT-02?

http://www.progressivepunch.org/members. jsp?member=HI1&chamber=House&sea rch=findOfficial&zip=06340&x=39& amp;y

Progressive Punch score 95.47
Party Unity score 97

Joe won by the narrowest of margins in the country in 2006 to defeat the incumbent Republican, moderate Rob Simmons.  Since then he has done a great job for this centrist district, being particularly good in constituent services, veterans affairs, and the environment.  Check his accomplishments page:

http://www.joecourtney.com/accomplishmen ts.html

Good story about Joe Courtney from the WaPo:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/06/05/AR2007060501702. html

This is a tough district to win, and it will take money to keep Landslide Joe working for all of us.

Donate?

http://www.joecourtney.com/

by LIsoundview 2008-06-26 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Rewarding Good Behavior -CT02 Courtney

Courtney has a very good chance of making the list.  But I think I'll do it one at a time.

by TheUnknown285 2008-06-26 10:59AM | 0 recs
Nice Work...

...and point well taken.

At DFA our emphasis is on expanding the depth of our progressive coalition by supporting challengers across the country.

There are already many organizations that work to protect incumbents. However, you're point about where that funding comes from is very relevant.

In the near future, DFA will be adding a few incumbents to our list of endorsed candidates. Look for that in August.

Thanks for holding groups like ours up to high standards.

-Charles

Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
Democracy for America

by Charles Chamberlain 2008-06-27 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice Work...

Thanks.  I'm getting through.

by TheUnknown285 2008-06-27 08:10AM | 0 recs

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