Last Friday Blue America was really hopeful, even optimistic, that we'd raise the $5,000 necessary to put up a BeatBoehner billboard on the I-75 near Boehner's gated golfing community in West Chester in the very southern part of Ohio's 8th CD. Digby, John and I put up some posts and our friends at People For the American Way and the AFL-CIO did the same and generously offered to match whatever we could raise towards that goal. We were jazzed and we were sure we could pull it off. And did we YOU ever!
In fact, we've raised over $16,000, ordered our first billboard and reserved the space for a second one. The first one will be up in just over a week. It's for 119 Times, the design that got the most votes. As of this writing there were 187 votes for that one (and $3,214.00 donated towards it). The second and third place is a seesaw race between Par For The Course and (143 votes and $2,614.00) and I'd Rather Be Golfing (141 votes and $2,465). We're going to close the voting down tonight, so if you want to get in one last vote for second place, please have a go. And remember, whether you donate $1.00 or $500.00, it counts as one vote. Vote by clicking on the image you want to see us put up as a giant billboard in western Ohio:
As for Boehner... don't take his heartless agenda-- limitless war, limitless tax breaks for the wealthy, no breaks for the middle class-- personally. His sister, Lynda Meineke, says Boehner has two brothers and two brothers-in-law back in Ohio who are out of work. He told reporters after he voted against unemployment insurance last week that three brothers had lost jobs during the recession and he wasn't sure which if any had found work. He did remember that one is named Bob Boehner though.
The idea of tobacco lobbyist John Boehner replacing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House is not something many Americans would like to see happen. But today Blue America is proud to introduce you to the young man who plans to make sure it never happens, the Democratic candidate for Congress from western Ohio's 8th CD: Justin Coussoule.
Justin will be answering question in the comments section below. You'll find an exceptional young man, a West Point graduate and former Army officer, married for 10 years-- he met his wife when they were both at West Point-- and the father of two young children. An attorney, he worked as a legislative assistant for outstanding progressive Rep. Maurice Hinchey, started and ran a small business and currently works for Procter & Gamble.
On Monday he did a guest post about John Boehner's role in trying to make sure we never hold Wall Street accountable. Read it; it'll give you some background about how he thinks and where he's coming from. On other issues, Justin comes across as a populist looking out for regular American families:
At the core of our national character is the belief that we all are entitled to a fair opportunity to achieve the American dream. Embedded in that belief is the notion that we all benefit and achieve as a society when we further the ideal of succeeding together. I believe that implicit in each of the topics above, including strengthening the middle class, preserving our economic and national security, reversing climate change, and reforming health care, is the American value that we all succeed or fail together and we must work to ensure we all have the opportunity to lift ourselves up.
And when Justin says "all," he isn't excluding anyone based on race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
His strong stand against Boehner's obstructionism of financial reform has drawn the attention of one of America's most knowledgeable spokespeople for reform, Barney Frank, who was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Justin's campaign.
I support ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and finding ways to simplify the tax code to prevent the wealthiest corporations from exploiting tax loopholes.... I support re-regulating Wall Street to protect middle-class families from predatory loan practices and from paying for another bailout for banks whose irresponsible greed and lack of oversight directly led to the financial meltdown and Great Recession of 2008-09.
That was Justin. This was Barney, chairman of the House Financial Service Committee and voted, year after year, the smartest man in Congress by the Washingtonian this morning:
"I am pleased to endorse Justin Coussoule as someone who understands the necessity of passing financial regulatory reform to avoid repeating the current economic situation. Justin's support for this is especially important because his opponent, John Boehner, led House Republicans last year to vote unanimously to kill any kind of financial reform."
No one's kidding themselves that winning in a district that was gerrymandered specifically to be a safe seat for a Republican is going to be easy. But it isn't beyond hope either. Boehner has never faced a serious opponent since he slipped into office in 1990 by winning a primary against a typical Republican incumbent, "Buz" Lukens, who was caught on camera arranging to have sex with a 16-year-old girl. (Lukens later went to jail for fondling a House staffer in an elevator, and Boehner went on to make a name for himself as the go-between for GOP congressmen and the tobacco industry and was once caught on the floor of the House handing out lobbyist checks to his colleagues during a vote! He hasn't served time yet.)
(Please scroll down below the fold to read Alan Grayson's awesome take on this election and support for Justin Coussoule.)