PCCC Endorses Daylin Leach in PA-13

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has formally endorsed State Sen. Daylin Leach for Congress.  He is running in PA-13 to succeed Allyson Schwartz who s running for Governor.  Daylin is one of the most liberal members of the state legislature and has led on progressive issues both while serving in the House and Senate.

From the PCCC:

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is endorsing Daylin Leach for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th District, calling Leach a “game changer” and praising his leadership on popular progressive issues such as expanding Social Security benefits, raising the minimum wage, and making college more affordable.

“Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren have proven that bold progressives in Congress can change the national conversation. Daylin is one of those game changers,” said Adam Green, PCCC co-founder. “When Wall Street front group Third Way attacked Elizabeth Warren and Social Security, Daylin could have remained silent — especially since his outgoing Congresswoman, Allyson Schwartz, was a Third Way Chair. Instead he denounced Third Way and demonstrated the kind of clarity and bold leadership we need in Congress.”

In response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Third Way President Jon Cowan and Third Way Senior Vice President for Policy Jim Kessler attacking popular progressive ideas, Leach told Huffington Post:

“I found the editorial appalling, quite frankly. Social Security literally lifted up entire generations of senior citizens out of poverty. I support Elizabeth Warren’s proposals [to expand benefits] and I would not consider myself a Third Way type of candidate in any respect.”

This week, Leach joined the PCCC and progressive candidates from across the country to launch a joint petition calling on Republicans to support raising the minimum wage, a key economic issue ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections.

Tomorrow’s national endorsement and fundraising email to PCCC members is copied below. The PCCC is fundraising for Leach’s campaign from it’s membership base of over 2,000 members in PA-13, more than 29,000 members in Pennsylvania, and nearly 1 million members across the country.

During the 2012 election cycle, the PCCC members raised over 2.7 million dollars for candidates through 250,000 small-dollar donations including hundreds of thousands of dollars for multiple House campaigns. PCCC members made over 2 million calls to voters for progressive candidates. Over 30 PCCC-endorsed campaigns won, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for U.S. Senate and Mark Takano (D-CA), Alan Grayson (D-FL), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) for Congress.

PCCC, DFA Attack Schwartz’s Wall Street Connections

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee today attacked Gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz for her ties to Third Way which attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren yesterday.  Third Way, for which the Congresswoman acts as a Co-Chair, is funded largely by major Wall Street firms.  Sen. Warren is known for her opposition to Wall Street and the Too Big To Fail banks which crashed our economy in 2008.  Democracy For America joined the attacks on Schwartz and candidate John Hanger has also chimed in.  

From the PCCC:

Wall Street is trying to marginalize Elizabeth Warren, and we need to bolster her.

Third Way — a Wall Street-funded group that poses as a “progressive” think tank — blasted Warren and her bold economic agenda yesterday in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

They wrote that Warren’s “economic populism [is] disastrous for Democrats,” including the growing consensus that we must expand — not cut — Social Security benefits.

Shockingly, Rep. Allyson Schwartz is Honorary Co-Chair of this group that’s attacking Elizabeth Warren!

Can you call Allyson Schwartz today and tell her to drop her affiliation with Third Way immediately? Click here for the number.

Third Way receives a ton of money from Wall Street, but they don’t publicize this on their website or in their attacks on Warren’s economic agenda that stands up for the little guy.

Polling shows Warren’s ideas are popular in red, purple, and blue states. In fact, expanding Social Security is popular by 2 to 1 in Kentucky and 3 to 1 in Texas!

Third Way has no grassroots support — they are just a tool for Wall Street and big corporations to attack popular, progressive ideas.

DFA’s Jim Dean had this to say:

“Pennsylvanians already have an unpopular Governor who supports cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, they don’t need another one who does the same thing by providing cover to the Wall Street-funded front group Third Way.  If Allyson Schwartz opposes cutting the benefits that seniors and working families rely on and earn with every single paycheck, now is the time for her to say so publicly and resign from her position at Third Way.”

John Hanger:

“Third Way’s attack in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal on Elizabeth Warren, Bill DeBlasio, and other Democrats who are fighting for working people was misguided and unacceptable. Sen. Warren has captured Americans’ imagination and Bill DeBlasio won the mayoralty of New York City because they effectively and unapologetically challenge the political elites and the big money interests just as we are doing in our People’s Campaign for Governor in Pennsylvania. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz can undermine Third Way’s unacceptable attack on good Democrats and important ideas by resigning as Third Way’s Honorary Co-chair. I hope Congresswoman Schwartz joins my call to strongly disavow and rebuke this right wing attack on Senator Warren, Mayor-elect DeBlasio, and progressive policies.”

I’ve been saying all along that as much as I admire Congresswoman Schwartz, she is no progressive.  Yesterday’s attack on these progressive Democrats and her leadership position of Third Way should disqualify Schwartz from consideration by liberals and progressives.  In addition to Hanger Rob McCord and Tom Wolf are strong progressives in the race for Governor.

Sen. Warren today sent a letter demanding that Wall Street firms be forced to open their records about how much they fund think tanks and which ones they finance.

Matt Cartwright: “I’m From the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party”

Matt Cartwright borrowed that famous phrase from Paul Wellstone and Howard Dean to differentiate himself from incumbent Blue Dog Dem Tim Holden.  Indeed, the PA-17 Congressman’s voting record has been anything but Democratic over the years and he faces a tough challenge from the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre attorney.  The newly drawn 17th Congressional District, which Tim Holden like enough to pressure Democratic State House members to cross the aisle to support, may now be his nightmare.  Encompassing heavily Democratic areas like Luzerne, Lackawanna and Northhampton Counties he figured this was his ticket to several more (he’s had 19 so far) years in Washington.

Unfortunately for Holden Matt Cartwright is the hometown guy there and he’s very well known, very well supported and has 60% of the Democratic vote in the new PA-17 in his backyard.  PoliticsPA says he’s raised $600,000 in his brief campaign and he told me he’ll have enough money to get his message to the voters.  One of Holden’s weaknesses has been his inability to raise large amounts of campaign cash and that tends to draw challengers.  The fact his voting record is so bad I understand why many traditional Democratic organizations shy away from supporting him.  The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said they’d never endorse him again after he voted against the Affordable care Act.

He has also voted anti-choice by supporting bans on abortions, family planning, gay adoption and for constitutional amendments against marriage equality.  He voted for the AUMF and funding for the wars while also voting for the USA PATRIOT Act, FISA surveillance, immunity for telecoms conducting warrantless wiretaps,and intelligence gathering without civil oversight.  A few more of his horrendous votes:

Bush/Cheney Energy Task Force

Star Wars

School prayer

Against funding for embryonic stem cell research

Against modifying bankruptcy laws protecting homeowners from mortgage foreclosures

For drilling on the continental shelf

Against regulating greenhouse gases

Against increased CAFE standards for vehicles (fuel economy)

Against endangered species

Against third world debt reduction

Supports the WTO

Against representation for DC

For tort reform

Supports restrictions on class action lawsuits

Supports limiting lawsuits against health plans and insurers

Against Medicare Part D (prescription plan)

Against section 8 housing

Supports the border fence

Against withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan

It’s a sorry record and not one which will stand up to a serious challenge.  Cartwright intends to make that challenge.  We sat down this morning for a conversation:

PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draft Sestak Effort

(The results of the straw poll… – promoted by John Morgan)

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

As many of you know, over the last five days, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in partnership with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, asked those in the netroots, “Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?”

Netroots for Sestak The results are in and they are overwhelming.  85% of Pennsylvanian respondents and 86% of respondents nationally want Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary.  The poll has even gotten the attention of Congressman Sestak, as the PCCC points out:
“I am honored that so many of you took the time to vote in the recent grassroots Straw Poll. Let me tell you, I and many others were paying attention. If I decide to run it will be in large measure because of the grassroots energy of so many people like you. Until I and my family make that decision, please accept my thanks and my best wishes as you continue be active participants in our people-powered democracy. Thank you so very much!”

Due to such an overwhelming response, a Draft Sestak Fund has been created on ActBlue.  To contribute and further encourage Congressman Sestak to enter the race, click on the image below:

Draft Sestak Fund

If you need any additional motivation to contribute to this effort to draft a real Democrat to oppose Specter in the primary, consider Specter’s actions since announcing his Party switch:

1) Specter opposed the Obama budget.

2) Specter opposed the “cramdown” mortgage/bankruptcy reform, siding with banks over families.

3) Specter reiterated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.

4) Specter reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Counsel.

5) Specter announced his support for Republican Norm Coleman over Democratic Senator-elect Al Franken in Minnesota’s Senate race.

6) Specter promoted a website that appeared to raise money for cancer research but, in actuality, simply raised money for his campaign.

7) Specter denied reports that he told President Obama that he would be a “loyal Democrat” despite multiple reporters sticking to their story.

The netroots have displayed overwhelming support for Congressman Sestak to take on recently-Republican Arlen Specter.  Help the effort by contributing to the Draft Sestak Fund.