For Blue America, primary season is rapidly coming to a close– there are just a few left. We helped with some spectacular wins this cycle– Kara Eastman in Omaha, Marie Newman in Chicago, Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones in New York, Liam O’Mara and Audrey Denney in California… Mike Siegel (TX-10) and Lisa Ring (GA-01) came in first in their primaries and Mike’s runoff is next week (July 14) and Lisa’s is August 11th. In between Mike’s runoff and Lisa’s, the last two candidates on our 2020 Primary A Blue Dog page have their big days: Keeda Haynes in Nashville and Eva Putzova in Arizona’s mammoth first district.
Eva just released a new homemade video introducing herself, here. But after reports this week that Pelosi is doing for her Blue Dog opponent exactly what she did for Jamaal’s– raising tons of cash– I thought it is important to remind people not just what Eva stands for– Medicare-for-All, a Green New Deal, an equitable immigration overhaul, tuition-free college, peace…— but also what the incumbent Pelosi is supporting stands for.
First a quick reminder about AZ-01. It is absolutely massive– bigger than several states– and it includes all or part of 11 counties. (The whole state has 15 counties.) Most of the voters live in just 5 though– Pinal, Coconino, Pima, Navajo and Apache.
It is the home of the country’s biggest Native American population (23% of the district’s residents) and is a classic swing district, although Trump has caused it to turn bluer. McCain won the district by over 3 points, Romney by two-and-a-half points but Trump by just one point. In 2018, the Republican congressional candidate lost by over seven-and-a-half points. Local polling shows Trump being swamped in AZ-01 this November.
The incumbent is a lifelong conservative Republican, Tom O’Halleran, who began his career as a cop in Chicago and then a futures trader on the Chicago Board if Trade. He was elected to the Arizona state House, as a Republican, in 2000 and then to the state Senate in 2007, again, as a Republican, before losing the Republican primary in 2008.
As a state legislator he voted against marriage equality and to criminalize abortion— both bills subsequently vetoed by Governor Janet Napolitano (D). He quit the GOP in 2014– primarily over a water rights issue– but was defeated when he ran for a state Senate seat as an Independent.
When he decided to run for Congress, he suddenly switched parties again and– voilà!— a Pelosi-type “Democrat” was born. Kind of. He joined the Blue Dogs and basically still votes with the Republicans more than half the time (on substantive issues).
A big Austerity fan, O’Halleran is eager to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, takes massive injections of corporate cash (bribes), which helps explain why he has voted with Trump 54% of the time, one of the worst records of any Democrat in Congress.
You want examples? Halleran voted against:
• opening at impeachment inquiry against Trump
• a carbon tax
• removing an antitrust exemption for insurance providers
• disaster relief for Puerto Rico and other areas
O’Halleran voted for:
• a failed amendment to give Trump the authority to go to war with Iran
• a resolution to support ICE
• S 2155, introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and passed into law in May 2018 that rolled back important banking regulations adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010
• an amendment that weakened the historic Raise the Wage Act, by allowing Congress to modify or delay future wage increases. (He wrote the amendment.)
That is especially harmful considering that this was the very first time either chamber of Congress voted to raise the exploitative subminimum tipped wage of just $2.13 to the full minimum wage.
This is the final month before the primary and Eva’s campaign could use more contributions to help fund, among other things, mailers for newly registered voters and GOTV and compared and contrast radio ads for the Navajo Nation.
Please just click on the Primary A Blue Dog thermometer on the right and contribute what you can to Eva’s campaign. I can’t promise you she is going to win– beating an incumbent is hard– but I can promise you two things:
1- She will use your contribution well and work right up until the last vote is counted; and
2- If she is elected, she will be one of the top 5 members of Congress for her entire career, just the way O’Halleran has been one of the 5 worst members at the bottom.
And remember, whoever wins this primary, will be the next member of Congress from AZ-01. There is no need to worry about losing this seat.
And by the way, early voting starts in 3 days!
Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world.
Howie, for the entire Blue America team