E-mail from Justice Democrats
It’s no secret that Democrats are taking a beating. The party has lost more than 1,000 seats nationally since 2008 and lost the presidency to the least popular candidate in modern history. Today, based on recent polling Democrats are less popular than the Republican Party, the media, even Donald Trump. Let that sink in…Donald Trump. The party must dramatically change course for their own survival and that of our country.
We’ve been monitoring Congress these first couple of months to see which Democrats learned from the party’s embarrassing defeat last November. We wanted to know who got the message? Who’s standing up for real people?
The results are not encouraging.
Start with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). She sits on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs yet turned her back on Standing Rock, calling the protests “not winnable,” and later called on the President to use federal forces to break up the camp. Heitkamp voted to confirm all but 6 of Trump’s cabinet appointments, including Rick Perry as Energy Secretary and former-ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State — despite neither having any relevant experience for the job. Maybe it’s just a coincidence Heitkamp received over $260K in Oil & Gas donations in 2016?
How about Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)? Oil & Gas insiders consider him a “reliable ally” and have sent over $100K in donations his way since 2010. Warner has repeatedly introduced or co-sponsored legislation to expand offshore drilling and was one of 9 Senate Dems voting to override Obama’s veto of Keystone XL. Naturally, he also voted to confirm Perry and Tillerson.
Then there’s Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), another vote in Perry’s favor. She recently complained she may face a Tea-Party-like primary challenge in 2018 because she’s “not pure” enough for progressives. Well Senator, if the shoe fits. In the last few years McCaskill has voted to fast-track the TPP, repeatedly voted in favor of Keystone XL construction (joining Warner in voting to override Obama’s veto), blocked protections for landowners from eminent domain claims related to pipelines, voted to allow drilling on public lands and voted against transparency in corporate donation disclosures.
But none compare to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Multinational corporations don’t seem to invest much in West Virginia, the second poorest state in the nation, but they invest a lot in the senator. With over $1.4M in donations from Mining, Electric Utilities and Oil & Gas in his pocket, Manchin gleefully endorsed Tillerson and Perry, as well as Scott Pruitt for the head of the EPA. Nearly $1M in donations from the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sectors seem to underwrite his support of Steve “The Foreclosure King” Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary. His glowing praise for Jeff Sessions is the final red flag. A token vote against Betsy DeVos doesn’t make up for being the only Senate Democrat to confirm the embattled Attorney General.
Even so-called Progressives fail the test. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is currently the party favorite for 2020, and last month he drew fire by voting against the Sanders prescription drug amendment. Booker and 12 other Democrats voted against the largely ceremonial measure citing debunked safety concerns. It didn’t take anyone long to notice he’s received upwards of $350K in Big Pharma campaign cash. To his credit, it seems he listened to the fierce backlash, and he now supports a revised version of Sen. Sanders’ amendment. But we remain vigilant, Senator.
Has your senator or representative been misbehaving? Tell us about it.
The message for Democrats is simple: Lip service and identity politics won’t cover the stench of corporate cash anymore.
We demand representatives who will serve us — real people, not corporations.
If you want a Congress that refuses dark money and represents your interests above multinational corporations, support the Justice Democrats.
If they won’t represent us, we will challenge these sell-outs in their next primary. It’s time take over the Democratic Party and restore its purpose as a party for the people. Voters are watching. We are taking notes. And yes, Sen. McCaskill, we are coming for your seat.
Yours for the revolution,
The entire JD Team
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