Save us from Beltway Democrats– Help Get a Fighting Progressive in Congress

A few weeks ago a staffer for a DCCC-approved candidate called and asked if Blue America would endorse him. I asked to speak with him and, embarrassed, the staffer said the candidate isn’t familiar enough with the issues to speak with the media yet but he’s learning them. That’s not the kind of candidates Blue America is looking for and that’s about as far from what Ilya Sheyman is all about as you can be.ย  “I am in this race,” he told us, “because I believe that government and politics are about doing good. They’re about helping every man, woman, and child with a dream– and the willingness to work for it– achieve his or her potential… I’m sick and tired of a Democratic Party that on issue after issue seems to pre-negotiate, pre-triangulate, and pre-capitulate rather than standing up for the progressive values we know make a difference in real people’s lives.”

This is what he’s been doing as a grassroots activist for years. We need people like Ilya in Congress to save us from Beltway Democrats who are chosen by the Establishment for one reason and one reason only: an ability to self-fund campaigns– i.e., whore themselves out to corporate interests. That isn’t Ilya:

“I can’t wait to organize together with grassroots advocates in our community, and allies inside Congress, to pass a real jobs bill that will put millions of Americans back to work and pave the way to a new green energy economy.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s ‘Fairness in Taxation Act’ is a model of the kind of progressive legislation we should be fighting for, and I’m eager to work alongside her to bring back fairness to our tax code so we can invest in America again.”

The current occupant of the suburban seat just north of Chicago, Robert Dold, was caught asking the Tea Party to not publicly endorse him in the general election because it could blow his cover as a fake moderate. Since getting into Congress with a narrow 51-49% win, in a district Obama won with 61% in 2008, Dold has blown his own cover, voting for Ryan’s toxic budget, voting to renew the Patriot Act and just marching along in lockstep to everything John Boehner and Eric Cantor wanted him for. This time Chicagoland voters get a real choice.

Please help us welcome Ilya to the Blue America family and, if you can, please contribute to his campaign through our ActBlue page</a>.

Ilya will be joining us for a live blog session Wednesday at 1pm (Central Time), 11am on the West Coast, at Crooks and Liars. Please try to stop by and meet this extraordinary young man who worked as the Field Director for Democracy for America and, more recently, National Mobilization Director at MoveOn.ย 

“Rep. Dold and the right wing of the Republican Party,” Ilya told us, “are hell-bent on dismantling Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and eliminating the foundations of the American Dream that have made millions of middle-class lives possible– and we can’t let them get away with it… The fact that he continues to advocate for cuts in Social Security benefits shows just how out of touch he is with the voters of the 10th District [and] his vote for the radical Republican budget that ends Medicare in order to give tax breaks to giant corporations and the wealthiest 2% of Americans should put to rest any notion that he actually cares about the deficit.”

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