Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How a Real Democratic Candidate Campaigns in a Red State

Is there a substantive issue on which Alison Lundergan Grimes disagrees with Mitch McConnell? Any reason at all to think she would vote with the Democratic caucus any more than he does? Anything she's ever said to inspire a discouraged Democratic voter to get up off her ass and vote?

Down with Tyranny:

Not long after Jay announced his candidacy for Graham's Senate seat, he had a talk with Jaime Harrison, the newly elected Chairman of the state Democratic Party. Harrison was curious about Jay's candidacy and they talked amicably for about half an hour. At the time, Jay told me that Harrison had said, “I’m glad you’re running" and he seemed quite buoyed by the conversation and more determined than ever to take the fight to Lindsey Graham, expecting the help of the state party.

Blue America endorsed Jay and, as the months went by his campaign grew and Harrison remained friendly. Just last month, Jay and his wife even co-hosted a state Democratic Party event with Harrison, his wife and actress Phylicia Rashad in attendance.

"But," Jay told me this morning, "I had begun taking stands on controversial issues. I was adamantly pro-choice and I announced my support for marriage equality. As my profile on these issues increased, I began getting negative feedback from party insiders; the party was concerned that my candidacy (in particular my progressive stances on controversial issues) had the potential to highlight Vincent Sheheen’s opposition to both marriage equality and choice. The last thing that the state party wants is anything to distract from Sheheen’s campaign, which it deems the best chance in years to capture the governorship. My candidacy had become a distraction."

Yesterday, on his campaign website, Jay posted a message, I Won't Back Down:

As many of you know, I recently came out in favor of marriage equality. I knew it was politically risky in a state like South Carolina, but I also knew it was the right thing to do.

Several days after my announcement, a state party official summoned me to his office. To my disbelief he tried to persuade me to drop out of the race. I said no thanks.

Apparently, certain well-connected “party elders” believe that my candidacy is a distraction that will only hurt Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen by highlighting his opposition to marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights.

Now, my campaign is meeting resistance from the last place I expected: from within the state party establishment.

I’m proud to be a Democrat. But the party is more than just a handful of well-connected insiders sitting in an office building. It’s you, it’s me, it’s millions of “ordinary” people across the country who believe in equal rights and equal opportunity for all. I’m not going to drop out. I’m not going to back down. And I need your support.
If you'd like to help Jay win against bigotry, you can do so here. - See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/#sthash.izpzrkp2.dpuf
The mere fact that the Kentucky Democratic Republican Party luuuurrrrrvvves Grimes and the repug-incument-protection racket known as the DCCC backs her to the hilt should tell you everything you need to know about the kind of Senator Grimes would be.

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