Let me start with something uninformed and typically stupid and misleading from three Politico senior reporters about the IL-06 congressional race, pitting progressive Marie Newman against garden variety New Dem Sean Casten: “Both are progressive, but Newman would likely try to run to Casten’s left.”
According to ProgressivePunch, the only member of Congress with a more progressive voting record than Marie Newman is Andy Levin (D-MI). She’s tied with Mondaire Jones (D-NY) for second place– 98.96%, compared to Levin’s 99.46%. She’s part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus leadership team and she won her election by defeating an abhorrent, long-term corrupt Blue Dog Dan Lipinski, ruffling some establishment feathers– who just struck back at her by drawing her into Chuy Garcia‘s district by 3 blocks!
Sean Casten, on the other hand, isn’t remotely progressive… unless you’re comparing him to Madison Cawthorn, Kirsten Sinema or Marjorie Traitor Greene. He’s a member of the corporately funded New Dem coalition and unlike Newman’s “A,” he scores, a bottom of the barrel “B” and 87.10%.
Where she has the second most progressive voting record, Casten’s is the 87th most progressive, i.e., not progressive. Marie isn’t trying to run to anyone’s left. If the Politico writers bothered trying to actually find out anything about the people they write about, they might understand who she and Casten are and how they’ve been as members of Congress.
This is how the corrupted Illinois Democratic Party goes about silencing a progressive voice in Congress– or tries to. I want to urge all DWT readers and Blue America members to not let them get away with this vengeful and corrupt bullshit. Casten, who sells his votes to the highest bidder, takes corporate money hand over fist. Marie does not. He has over $1 million in his campaign warchest. She doesn’t have half that.
Please use the 2022 Worthy Incumbents Act Blue thermometer on the left to contribute what you can to Marie’s campaign. There is no such thing as a contribution that is too small in a grassroots campaign.
OK, and here’s a map of the new district that was approved by the legislature late Thursday night/early Friday morning. The new boundaries encompass an area that went for Biden by 10.89% last year and for Hillary by 8.29% in 2016.
John Laesch, a progressive labor activist– the former congressional candidate who set up the collapse Denny Hastert’s power– is my go-to source for Chicago-area intel. Last night, he told me that “In the short time that Marie Newman has been in office she has done more to address the climate crisis than Sean Casten has over the course of his professional life or political career. He always talks about the climate crisis but he has been abundantly missing in action when it comes to presenting any meaningful solutions. Myself and other activists personally confronted Casten at one of his own events to challenge him to support the Green New Deal and to pledge to end all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects. He declined both and dodged any real questions during the forum. In sharp contrast, Marie Newman holds a leadership position in the Progressive Caucus that has fought coal baron, Joe Manchin’s efforts to gut the climate portions of the reconciliation bill. Even as I am writing this, I know that Newman is asking the tough questions while go-along-to-get-along Sean is hanging out with other millionaires in the corporate Dems caucus. With Sean Casten you will get someone who endlessly talks about the problem. Marie Newman will get in there and fight for working people, climate and healthcare.”
Casten desperately tried to influence the legislature to not put him in a district with Marie. His campaign sent a hot air script to his supporters urging them to call their state legislators and read it over the phone:
“Combining Sean Casten & Marie Newman would be horrible for Democratic enthusiasm across the suburbs. Forcing two popular members of Congress to battle it out in a primary will leave Democrats discouraged heading into the midterms, when we need all our energy focused on electing Democrats in the suburbs!”
A typical political liar, when confronted with the script by reporters, Casten refused to acknowledge his campaign sent it out and claimed, laughably, that his supporters acted on their own. He is already being supported by one of the most far right, Republican-financed groups to meddle in internal Democratic politics, Mark Mellman’s hate group, the Democratic Majority for Israel. They rushed out this misleading ad as soon as they realized they could attack Marie again as they did in 2018 and 2020. Mellman really is one of tech most hideous people in Democratic politics anywhere in the country:
So far, Casten has absolutely refused to denounce Mellman or his ugly, distorted ad campaign. In fact, some of Casten’s supporters have already been encouraging Mellman. Lynn Sweet wrote today how Marie decided to not run against her friend and ally, Chuy Garcia, into whose district the legislature put her home but to instead run in the new 6th district, which includes 41% of her old district (and about 25% of Casten’s). This is the announcement from Marie’s campaign yesterday:
We can’t let the Corrupt Establishment kneecap yet another of the most progressive fighters we’ve elected so far to Congress. If you can, please help Marie build a strong defense against their lies by making a contibution direct to her campaign via our #BlueAmericaWorthyIncumbents list.
Thanks for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team