11/20: Report on the newest members of congress
- Report on the newest members of congressNovember 20, 2006Sue Udrye-mail: sue@...
Legislative Action Coordinator
United for Peace and JusticeThe tendencies of the Newest Members of 110th Congress:
Yvette Clark, replacing Major Owens, the New York City councilwoman from Brooklyn is gonna' be fabulous.
Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack in Iowa, taking their delegation from one Democrat to majority Democrat in one fell swoop. Both candidatesactively support radical change in Iraq and entirely new budget priorities.
Carol Shea-Porter and to a lesser extent Paul Hodes, who swept out the entire New Hampshire delegation. Shea-Porter is an antiwar activist who built her campaign one grassroots handshake at a time.
Out in CA, Jerry McNerney, alternative energy engineer is pretty much the antithesis of his predecessor, Richard Pombo.
John Yarmuth, the Kentucky editor who owned the alternative weekly is the most liberal candidate ever fielded against Anne Northup and he was successful, maybe a lesson on what it takes to get progressives to vote.
Gabby Giffords, in southern AZ, who ran a more moderate campaign, but has affiliated with progressive efforts in the past. The most anti-war candidate lost the primary.
John Hall in New York, who played anti-nuke concerts in the 1980s, was definitely the most progressive candidate in the primary. Good thing he could self-fund until he won the primary, because Emily's List was spending to support a once-Republican woman to take on Sue Kelly.
Keith Ellison, replacing Martin Sabo in MN, who converted to Islam in college and will be the first person of color in the MN delegation.
Mazie Hirono in Hawaii is actually replacing a less progressive Democrat, Ed Case, who supported the war and then foolishly took on Senator Akaka.
Steve Cohen took Harold Ford, Jr.s, seat, which has the numbers to support an uber-progressive, which Ford was not.
Paul Sarbanes didn't get that much attention in the election cycle. In the primary, he outpaced most in fundraising and had a great name for the ballot. However, the folks at 21st Century Democrats, who have redirected their mission to now only support visionary candidates, loved Paul, and that pretty much seals it for me.
Phil Hare, replacing long-time progressive Lane Evans in central Illinois, has served in Evans district office for years, so many hope he is cut from the same cloth.
Peter Welch in Vermont, taking Bernie's place. Vermonters complain that he compromises too much, but for God's sake, we are talking about Vermont, progressive by anyone else's standards.
So that gives us fully a third of the newly elected members coming in with some great thinking -- so much for the philosophy that Democrats ran as Republicans this time.
We will see about a few others over time, because how folks position themselves in campaigns can be very different than what happens when they get to town.
People to watch:
Nancy Boyda, who knocked off Jim Ryan in Kansas, left the Republican party and started protesting the Iraq war on the street corner. She received WAND's endorsement last time, so she clearly has an open mind on quite a few progressive issues. However, her Kansas constituents will keep her somewhat tied to the middle.
Joe Courtney, replacing Rob Simmons in Connecticut, has yet to define himself. He pretty much ran as "not a republican."
Betty Sutton came out of a large primary to win the nomination in Sherrod Brown's seat in OH. However she still had a challenger in the general, so we haven't heard much but campaign rhetoric from her
Chris Murphy, young energetic guy just beat Nancy Johnson in CT, from a Democratic district, can come out fighting
Patrick Murphy, young energetic guy (I see a pattern here), just beat Mike Fitzpatrick in Philly suburbs. Got good union message and a district that will tolerate liberalism
Albio Sires, a Cuban American who ran as a Republican 20 years ago, now has a strong record of public service as a Democrat, now hold's Bob Menendez old seat in NJ
Ron Klein, finally knocked off Clay Shaw in Florida, probably will hold that seat easily so can be his own man
Kathy Castor, once she won the primary, she didn't have to have much platform at all, the seat in Florida is Democratic enough to let her do anything
Tim Mahoney: really, Mark Foley did better than he should of as the name still on the ballot. Mahoney is going to have to immediately show the Florida district that he is the man for them
Tim Walz, who knocked of Gil Gutnecht, no one expected this win, so we really don't know what he will want to do, but he wants to get out of Iraq and he is a school teacher
Kristen Gillibrand, who knocked of Sweeney in New York, ran an uphill battle all the way, but now that she is in, she should be able to keep that seat and will be able to stretch a bit more
Hank Johnson, replacing Cynthia McKinney, represents a district that is willing to allow anything, but he's no Cynthia.
Jason Altmire, uh oh, another young energetic guy who beat Melissa Hart in the Pittsburg area, this district won't be quite as liberal as some others, but he could be ready for fresh ideas
Steve Kagen, who picked up the seat in Wisconsin, ran a pretty much self funded campaign as a doctor and pushed universal healthcare heavily, so I don't really know how he stands on other issues
Whoever we get from Louisiana, the seat is New Orleans, so we shouldn't be too disappointed
People who will be covering their %^$^&&%:
Every new Indiana member:
North Carolina's Heath Shuler
Admiral Joe Sestak, PA – good on the Iraq war, but remember, he is a retired Admiral
Ed Perlmutter, CO
Zack Space, OH – beat the more conservative candidate in the primary, but not with his blazing liberal views
Harry Mitchell, AZ
Nick Lampson, TX (Lampson and Space are probably the most endangered freshmen we have)
Mike Arcuri, NY
Charlie Wilson, OH
Chris Carney, PA (I would put him on the endangered list, but I think he is going to be conservative enough for this Don Sherwood district)=================================================================
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