Last month Meredith Lee, writing for Politico, tip-toed around the fact that Blue Dog reactionary David Scott is not just on the right-fringe of the Democratic Party, but that he’s too senile to function consistently in Congress. She called him “noticeably slowed” and “unable to focus.” The 76 year old Scott is chair of the House Agriculture Committee and his colleagues want him removed ASAP.
Scott’s corruption is more of a concern than his senility. He represents a big swath of suburban Atlanta south and west of the the city, just below Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The PVI is a healthy, unassailable D+23. So what is a district like that doing with a Republican-lite Blue Dog congressman, one who has never– and still doesn’t– even lived in the district? And who has a reputation– well-deserved– for long being one of the Democratic Party’s most corrupt public officials? He regularly votes with the Republicans– earning an “F” from ProgressivePunch— and endorses Republicans running for office.
This cycle his challenger, endorsed today by Blue America, is long-time progressive state Senator Vincent Fort. When he announced he was running a few weeks ago, Fort– when asked why he was challenging Scott– said the district needs someone “who is present and progressive. It needs someone who believes in Democratic ideals and someone who doesn’t vote like a South Georgia Republican. It needs someone who believes in Medicare for All and doesn’t side with the big banks and predatory lenders.”
I asked Vincent to introduce himself to Blue America readers and he wrote the guest post below. Please consider contributing to his campaign by clicking here or by hitting the Blue America 2020 congressional thermometer.
Keep in mind, when Vincent ran for mayor of Atlanta, his platform included decriminalizing marjuana and free tuition at Atlanta city colleges; he was endorsed by Bernie. The guest post below will give you a very clear idea about what kind of a congressman he will be.
First And Foremost An Activist
-by Vincent Fort
I was born into a working class family. Both my mother and father were union members. I earned degrees in African-American and United States history.
I am a former state Senator and a college classroom teacher, but I am first and foremost an activist. I was an activist and a community organizer before I was sworn in as an elected official or stepped into a classroom to lecture. After I left office I remained on activist battlefields– the picket lines and protests.
In the early 1990s I led a fight against banks disinvesting in African-American neighborhoods in Atlanta by closing banking branches. A short while later I was one of the main organizers of the most important environmental justice movement in Atlanta when we successfully prevented a rezoning that would have expanded the Live Oak Landfill from Dekalb County into the city of Atlanta. The proposed expansion would have created the largest landfill in the southeast United States. I helped to close the landfill completely in 2004 while I was in office.
I was elected to office in 1996. During my time in office I fought for progressive issues. In 2000, I authored Georgia’s first hate crimes law. In 2002 I once again took the banks, mortgage brokers, ratings agencies and other Wall Street corporations to pass the strongest predatory lending law in the country.
Additionally, I fought to protect access for poor people to healthcare at Atlanta/Fulton County’s Grady Hospital when there was a proposal to raise pharmacy copayments from fifty cents to ten dollars. I participated in protests and went to jail for civil disobedience while advocating for increased funding at a county commission meeting. I negotiated with the state of Georgia to do a $53 million emergency allocation to Grady Hospital.
During my time in the legislature I was able to get $45 million in the state budget over several years for two 2-year predominately African-American schools in the city of Atlanta. This included $11 million for a health science building at Atlanta Technical College.
I was responsible for creating the first minority business program for $900 million of state money generated by a new tax. This MBE program includes for business owners of color and women among others.
I supported Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 and 2020.
I support Medicare for All; $15 minimum wage; the Green New Deal; Build Back Better; Voting Rights; and Criminal Justice Reform.