The big news this past week out of MA-09 is that progressive challenger Mac D'Alessandro will make the Democratic primary ballot against anti-choice, anti-health care reform ConservaDem incumbent Stephen Lynch. He submitted 5,000 signatures to city and town clerks offices by the May 4 deadline. As long as at least 2,000 are certified valid (should be no problem with 5,000 submitted), Mac submits the 2,000+ certified valid signatures to the Secretary of State by June 1 and he'll give voters a choice against ConservaDem Lynch.
Mac took to YouTube to thank his grassroots supporters for their help making the signature drive a big success:
Progressive Democrats across the country have reason to be active in this race. There were 34 House Democrats who ultimately opposed health care reform; and Lynch's vote was among the most perplexing:
Then there are the real head scratchers. Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-NY) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) famously abandoned the reform push late in the game, after having voted for the House bill. Lynch, in particular, went on a very public crusade of opposition to the bill from the left, and cast his vote despite pleas from President Obama and AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka that he vote with the party.
Of the 34 anti-health care reform Dems, some are running for other office (Senate or Gov), some are retiring, but most are running for re-election. Best I can tell though, few if any have serious primary challengers. MA-09 will provide progressive Democrats nationally with an opportunity to send a message to a ConservaDem who abandoned one of the Democratic Party's central pillars - expanding access to health care and moving toward truly making quality health care a right instead of a privilege.
That appears to be why Mac's campaign has found itself on MoveOn.org's radar screen as a viable primary challenger worthy of progressive support:
In the wake of Rep. Stephen Lynch's vote against health care reform, many progressives have expressed frustration with him—and now he's facing a serious primary challenge.
Mac D'Alessandro is the New England Political Director for the progressive Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and he's pledging to "be on the side of consumers and workers, and not on the side of health insurance companies and big banks."
So get in the game! Now that Mac has demonstrated grassroots strength through the impressively successful signature drive, he has to raise money - and ConservaDem Stephen Lynch starts off with a $1.3 million campaign war chest. So, please, please, please head over to Mac's ActBlue page and contribute as generously as you can!
Mac D’Alessandro of Milton, Massachusetts, has spent his career fighting on behalf of working families. For the past nine years, Mac has worked for the Service Employees International Union, most recently as New England Political Director. Prior to working for the SEIU, Mac worked for Greater Boston Legal Services, directing legislative efforts to help families combat poverty. Mac earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology and Environmental Policy from Rutgers University and his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. Mac, 40, is married to Jennie Mulqueen, an early childhood arts educator, and is the proud father of five-year-old Sophie and three-year-old Atticus.
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.)
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.
Via TP, Grayson believes we will get a reconciliation amendment to put onto the current form of HRC, to pass the bill. Chris Matthews replies that Grayson lives in some other reality-- the netroots (whatever that means):
I should also note that Alan Grayson sent out an email the other day with the title "OMG" on it, which caused me to open it up.
As liberals, we are generally quick to criticize fundamentalist Christians, like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc. And we are right to do so. Their political views promote policies which eat at our personal freedoms and civil liberties. I, and the rest of us, are staunch supporters of minority rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, free speech, etc. We condemn the heinous and terrorist acts of abortion clinic bombers, the Ku Klux Klan, "The Minutemen," etc. As enlightened people, we should always stand against those who preach hate, bigotry, and violence against others.
I'm very pleased to let you know that Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, will join us at Senate Guru today (Thursday, September 10) at 5pm Eastern Time for a live blog session. I'm sure he will update us on how his campaign is going, discuss a variety of issues, offer his thoughts in response to the President's address on health care reform, and, of course, field your questions.
I hope you will be able to join us for the first candidate liveblog session of the 2010 cycle at Senate Guru; and, be sure to bring your questions for Congressman Sestak. (And, if you're really excited for the conversation, support Congressman Sestak with a contribution via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.)