Last July Chris Donovan, Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, wrote a powerful guest post at DWT, It’s long past time to start rebuilding America. At the time, we pointed out why Chris is the kind of leader progressives long for.
He’s not just good on the issues, he understands the mechanisms of power that create public policy. He’s not the kind of progressive that sits around being right and not getting anything done. That’s why he holds the top position in the Connecticut legislature, and that’s why the Connecticut legislature has been taking such cutting-edge positions on issue after issue at a time when reactionaries like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Tom Corbett, Paul LePage, Bob McDonnell, etc. are dragging their states backwards.
Chris is running for the U.S. House seat in the western and central part of the state (CT-5) being given up by Senate-bound Chris Murphy. It looks like his opponent will be a crazed teabagger, Mark Greenberg, a firm believer in ending Social Security and Medicare so corporate taxes can be further cut and the estate tax on multimillionaires can be eliminated. He’s wrong on every single issue– from the environment and women’s Choice to gun control and national security.
But, like I said, Chris is not just right on every issue; he’s been a leader on every issue. He led the successful fights in the Connecticut House to pass 12 minimum wage increases, implement the strongest campaign finance reform legislation in the country, allow all Connecticut students to pay instate tuition rates through the CT DREAM Act, create the first statewide paid sick leave legislation in the country, ensure marriage equality, end discrimination based on sexual preference and gender identity, decriminalize marijuana, and implement a municipal pooling of health care and prescription coverage that will save both the state and its cities and towns money– the first step on the path to a public option for Connecticut. Dream candidate? Absolutely– and Blue America’s latest endorsed candidate– and very much worth helping elect to Congress!
Like every candidate Blue America has endorsed this year, Chris has told us that jobs is the single most important issue voters in his district are concerned about. If you listen closely, though, Chris isn’t using Republican Party/Inside-the-Beltway framing to discuss it. He’s very much an advocate for public sector jobs and for the government playing a vital role in the general welfare of the nation. “Our private industries and small businesses need customers,” he told me yesterday, “at the same time that our towns and cities need teachers, nurses, and public safety workers. Instead of calling for more jobs to be cut, Republicans and pundits in Washington and Hartford should join progressive Democrats in investing in quality jobs with strong benefits that benefit our communities. We need more teachers, more firefighters, more construction workers, and more nurses. The Republicans in the House claimed to be running on a jobs agenda in 2010– more than 240 days and zero jobs bills later, it’s time for them to honor their promises.”
Above is a video of Chris announcing his campaign last week. He went right to protecting Social Security and Medicare from ravenous Republican class war fanatics. “When I hear that the Inside-the-Beltway crowd is talking about cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, I am outraged. These programs make America what it is, a country that cares– about our seniors, about our children, about our people. That’s what I’m going to fight for in Congress– to protect our future, to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and to make sure they are around to protect our grandparents and our grandchildren.”
Chris will be joining us for a live q&a session in the comments section below today at 2pm (ET). I hope you’ll come over and meet him and hear what he has to say. And, if you can, please consider giving him a hand in the only district in New England Republicans are targeting for a blue to red switch. You can contribute to his campaign here.