Justin Coussoule is running against John Boehner, a wholly owned subsidiary of the financial business sector which is being exposed all across America as fraudulent enterprises foreclosing on homes without provable title or documented ownership in the properties they are taking. (Stealing is another word for it.)
John Boehner will never stand up to these interests. Helping average people fight against powerful corporations goes against everything he believes in. In fact, he leads a party that has been struck dumb in the face of this massive foreclosure fraud, so compromised by their ties to big business and Wall Street that they can't even speak up for average Americans whose homes are literally being stolen out from under them.
Progressive Democrats like Justin Coussoule are the ones out in front, asking for answers, demanding accountability while Republicans are doing everything they can to protect the banks.
If you want someone who isn't afraid to take on the big corporate interests, someone who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political power, who isn't afraid ... period, you'll vote for Justin Coussoule. He's got your back, won't you get his?
It probably won't surprise you to find out that the DCCC is basically using all their resources to save the seats of anti-Choice, antigay, anti-healthcare, pro-Big Business Blue Dogs and doing nothing whatsoever to help progressive challengers take on the worst of the reactionary Republicans who are such a threat to our country. Here at Blue America we're working hard to give Justin Coussoule a fighting chance to beat the orange golfer who would be Speaker, John Boehner. But we've run into a little hitch. Actually a big one-- using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a vehicle, China, Russia and several other foreign powers with a vested interest in seeing Boehner win the Speaker's chair have funneled millions of dollars into the midterm elections. Howie wrote extensively about this yesterday.
Because of Blue America donors we've been able to help put Justin on the map with our billboard campaign and a modest TV ad campaign in Butler County. Now we're ready to knock Boehner's block off. Can you help? Blue America's ad team are putting together what we think will be the blow that will hit Boehner so hard that just could actually win this race!
There are very clear differences between Boehner and Justin, differences that voters need to hear about. Boehner adamantly opposes a woman's right of Choice and would like to see Roe v Wade overturned. Justin is just as adamant that the government has no business interfering with this kind of difficult personal decision and that it's a matter for a woman, her family and her physician to work out. Boehner opposes equality for the LGBT community. More in tune with contemporary feelings on the subject, Justin feels no Americans should be discriminated against under the law. Boehner vociferously opposed the whole concept of Wall Street reform while Justin feels that a legitimate and necessary role of government is to protect consumers and workers from powerful predatory forces. Boehner has been a tireless champion of trade legislation-- from NAFTA and CAFTA to the WTO/GATT and most favored status for China-- that has shipped millions of American jobs to low wage countries. Justin is campaigning for incentives to create good paying jobs in America. I have a feeling that based on the above, we could tell you an issue and you would be able to guess which side Boehner is on and which side Justin is on.
The Chinese Communists are desperate to make John Boehner Speaker of the House. We want to make sure they fail. On this page you'll find a slot to donate to Justin's campaign and a slot to donate to the PAC for our ad buy. Legally we can't coordinate our buy with Justin's campaign and the money that goes for his campaign can't be used for the ad buy. The best scenario is to split whatever you feel like contributing between the two efforts.
Last week when we had Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) over to Crooks and Liars for a live chat, we published the text of the letter on tax cuts that he, Alan Grayson and Mary Jo Kilroy had sent to Speaker Pelosi. A few days later Digby, Amato and I met with Raúl in person to discuss the letter and several other topics Digby covered yesterday. He told us that he, Grayson and Kilroy have been working hard to find co-signers and this morning Mary Jo's campaign sent me the list of Congressmembers who immediately signed on (as well as the nice photo of the congresswoman subtly hinting how much better off Ohio voters would be if they traded in golfer John Boehner for someone who cares about ordinary middle class families):
Mike Capuano (D-MA)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Kendrick Meek (D-FL)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
David Wu (D-OR)
[UPDATE: Members who signed on in the last several hours: Robert Brady (D-PA), Andre Carson (D-IN), John Conyers (D-MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Phil Hare (D-IL), and Jim McDermott (D-WA)]
It's worth republishing the letter:
Last decade, President Bush rammed through Congress a multi-billion dollar give-away for the wealthiest Americans on the backs of our nation's middle-class. In the process, the aforementioned Bush tax cuts eviscerated an unprecedented budget surplus and weakened our nation's fiscal health. As the Bush tax cuts are set to expire, we respectfully urge you to bring to the floor, before Congress adjourns in October, a vote on President Obama's recently proposed tax plan: permanent tax cuts for the middle-class while allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans to expire, using any additional revenue to close our budget deficit.
We must show the American people that our Democratic Majority stands for them-- people who have worked hard, played by the rules and depend on these tax breaks to make ends meet. We also need to get serious about cutting our budget deficit by allowing the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire.
Some have argued that the Bush tax cuts help to stimulate the economy, or that allowing these cuts to expire would hurt our nation's small businesses. This is flat out wrong. According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, the economy boasted 132 million jobs in June 2001, the month that the first of the Bush tax cuts was signed into law. By June 2004, there were just 131.4 million jobs-- a decrease of 600,000 jobs. Furthermore, a recent report from the Tax Policy Center states that, "Roughly 97 percent of small businesses would not be affected at all by increases in the top two tax rates."
Rather, extending the Bush tax cuts will result in an $830 billion give-away for the nation's wealthiest Americans, significantly increasing government debt, the interest on which will be paid by our nation's middle-class for years to come. This astronomical sum could instead be used to close our budget deficit.
It is critical that we pass the Obama middle-class tax cuts-- not providing an even greater lift for the wealthiest Americans who don't need it.
Leading the opposition in the House to middle class tax cuts-- with the proviso that they'll support them if and only if the wealthiest 3% of American families get gargantuan, unaffordable tax breaks that will further harm the economy and balloon the deficit-- are Wall Street shills John Boehner and the Young Guns. I spoke to Justin Coussoule this morning about the tax cuts for the middle class and asked him if he were representing southwest Ohio in Congress instead of Boehner if he would have signed onto the letter. He said he would have co-written it.
Alan Grayson was the first Member of Congress to endorse my campaign. Last week Mary Jo Kilroy became the first Member of the Ohio delegation to do so. In between Raúl Grijalva wrote a letter talking about John Boehner's failure to represent ordinary working families in Ohio and how he is endorsing me because that's exactly what I'm pledging to do. Between Boehner's steadfast agenda of giveaways to the wealthy, bailouts to failed Wall Street banks, trade policies that ship Ohio manufacturing jobs to low wage nations like China, coupled with an hysterical refusal to assist average families in a jam because of the very policies he's pushing, there is a clear difference for voters to see in this district.
Democrats talk about an enthusiasm gap. There is no enthusiasm gap in Ohio's 8th district. Democrats and independent voters-- and more Republicans than anyone suspects-- are seriously considering making a change. The letter that Mary Jo Kilroy penned for Speaker Pelosi is a letter I would have been proud to work with her on. I will never support irresponsible, budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy few and I will always be looking for ways to decrease the burden on ordinary Ohio families and on the small businesses that are the engine of a healthy economy. John Boehner, who still refuses to participate in any debates in the 8th district, is holding tax cuts for 97% of families hostage to the Republican Party's mania to give away more and more to the richest families whose share of the wealth has increased exponentially since he was elected two decades ago. It's time for small business and middle class families to get a break and that's exactly what I intend to devote myself to if the voters in this district decide to replace John Boehner with me in November.
Do the Republicans have any solutions worth considering. Well... polling shows Sarah Palin is the most popular political figure among GOP voters. It makes her powerful inside the party. And in November she has her own slate of candidates running for both House and Senate seats. Here's a short video that highlights a few of them and explains their solution to unemployment, the economic collapse and tax fairness. Give it a look-see and then consider going here:
CINCINNATI -- A billboard along Interstate 75 is getting a lot of attention for attacking House Minority Leader John Boehner.The billboard asks the question, "When was the last time you golfed 119 times in one year?" while showing a picture of Boehner golfing. The billboard also includes the address of a website, BeatBoehner.com, which boasts a picture of his opponent, Democrat Justin Coussoule.
Coussoule himself found the billboard to his benefit. "My first thought was, that's a big billboard, you can't miss it. But then second, it gets the discussion going and it's good for our campaign," he said.
Boehner's campaign denied the allegation on the billboard.Campaign spokesman Cory Fritz issued a statement saying, “Congressman Boehner held seven golf events last year, not 119. He did hold 119 events in the District and across the country to benefit conservative candidates, including receptions, meet-and-greets, rallies, speaking engagements, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but only seven were golf outings. Any assertion to the contrary is false.”
The media is all over it back at home for Boehner and he's being forced to answer how many times he actually golfs. We never said that he held 119 golf events. Notice how they change the subject? He's spent more money playing golf than most American households make in a year.
The billboard was paid for by donations to the Blue America political action committee, said Howie Klein, the PAC's founder and treasurer. Klein said the ad was targeted toward people who live in Boehner's district.
Klein described Blue America as a progressive political action committee that supports candidates who are for the American family. He said Blue America opposes candidates who are "whores and prostitutes" for corporations, a category in which he placed Boehner. Klein said Blue America planned more billboards and television ads in the coming months.
Boehner's campaign remained undeterred. In a statement, his office said, "Being Minority Leader means John Boehner has a bigger platform to push for the priorities and values of the people of the Eighth District of Ohio. If that makes him a bigger target for folks outside of Ohio who disagree with those priorities, so be it. It goes with the territory."
Despite all of the problems facing Ohio families, according to Golf Digest Magazine, Congressman Boehner finds time to play about 100 rounds of golf a year – most with special interest lobbyists. He says he pays special attention to the lobbyists he meets on the golf course, bragging “...if someone I’ve gotten to know on the golf course comes into my office with a good argument, I tend to want to listen,”— Golf Digest, October 2005
By all public estimations, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a pretty good golfer.
He should be, given the $82,998 his political action committee has spent on golf outings so far this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The golf events this year sponsored by Boehner’s Freedom Project political action committee have stretched from April until October, from Florida to Ohio. And the minority leader doesn’t hold his events at worn-out municipal courses. The most recent outing was a $20,921.34 event at the plush Robert Trent Jones track in Gainesville, Va., an invitation-only private club that was once also home to the Professional Golfers Association's President’s Cup.
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.)