There weren’t many progressives who got dragged under in the Tea Party tsunami– or more appropriately, in the stay-at-home malaise from the Democratic base that practically wiped the GOP-leaning Blue Dogs off the map. But several of Blue America’s best old friends were among that tiny handful– Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Carol Shea-Porter and Mary Jo Kilroy. This week Blue America is very happy to be endorsing Mary Jo once again. And the great news is that in their rush to lock in an unfair Republican electoral map, the state legislature has created one super-blue district based around Columbus… the heart of Mary Jo’s old seat. She’s off and running and Blue America wants to help her get back into Congress. So do Progressive Caucus co-chairs, Raúl Grijalva and Keith Ellison, who endorsed her on the same day she announced she would run. She’ll be joining us for a live chat here in the comments section (below) today at 2pm (ET). You can contribute to her campaign here at the Blue America ActBlue page.
One of the things that first attracted us to Mary Jo is that she came roaring into Congress and immediately flew in the face of both party establishments by voting against the Bush TARP bailout, which she recognized as an unwarranted giveaway to the Wall Street banksters. Today she’s still hammering home what she was saying then:
“We must focus on jobs and the economy. It is time we re-invest in America. Build roads, bridges and rail. Help our manufacturing sector revive. Provide strong job training programs. Expand VISTA and Americorps so young Americans can work to improve their neighborhoods, parks and coastal areas. We need to help those long term unemployed to get back in the workforce.
“It is time to stop giving tax breaks to the most privileged of our society and to end tax cuts for billionaires who pay a lower rate than their secretaries and end the tax loopholes that send our jobs overseas.
“It is time for the millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. They have benefited while working people have been hurt in the economy over the last decade. As Elizabeth Warren was so correct in
pointing out, they benefited from the teachers who taught their workers, the police and fire fighters who protect their homes and businesses, the public roads they use to take their products to market. When I was in Congress I called for a vote– before the 2010 election– on ending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and voted against extending that tax cut.
She went from championing working families inside Congress to working on a grassroots level in the campaign to defeat Kasich’s anti-labor legislation. “Teachers, police and firefighters,” she emphasizes, “did not cause the problems with Ohio’s budget.”
I asked her about the healthcare reform bill that she supported in the House. She called it “a start, a beta version” of what she envisions. “In the last Congress, I voted against the anti-choice Stupak amendment. I pushed to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions are able to access care. I was disappointed in the failure to include a public option. I know there is more work to do to make health care affordable and accessible.”