Thursday, January 21, 2010

Letter to Congressman Cuellar in light of the Massachusetts special election

Dear Congressman Cuellar,

Immediately after the Massachusetts Senate special election a Research 2000 poll of Brown voters in shows 82% of Obama voters who went for Brown support the public option and by a 3:2 margin think that the current bill doesn't go far enough. The Obama voters who stayed home think the bill doesn't go far enough by a 6:1 margin.

The Democratic Party has less than 10 months to start governing as a people-powered party, or we will lose both the House and the Senate. With the election of Scott Brown to fill Sen. Kennedy’s unexpired term the damage is done. Unless the Democrats move aggressively to correct the perception that we are the party of backroom deals and massive corporate bailouts, 2010 will be more of the same. Given that the Cook Political Report rates TX 28 as even between the Democrats and Republican you’re on the bubble and are likely to be one of the losers if the party fails to pass populist legislation.

So if you want to activate base voters you need to get behind a big jobs bill to put the nearly 10% of Texans who are unemployed back to work. You need to pass a strong health care reform bill with the Public Option. Surveys show that likely 2010 voters "oppose a mandate to purchase private insurance by 64% to 34% but support a mandate with a choice of private or public insurance by 60% to 37%."

You and the party need to pass green energy legislation and come to grips with the fact that global climate change will happen within the lifetime of many of today’s voters if you don’t do something now. Finally it’s time to stop pouring blood and treasure into Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home so we can spend the money here on infrastructure, health care and education. Those are winning issues in the upcoming election.

I like a quote I read recently, "… a Democratic Party that would abandon their central initiative this quickly isn't a Democratic Party that deserves to hold power." I would add that if the party doesn't stick to the principles it professes to hold and stand up to the lobbyists you’ve kowtowed to from the start, "holding power" won't be anything you have to worry about because the Tea Party is gunning for you. In order to be re-elected you’re going to need the party base proud of what you’ve done and actively campaigning for you and not sitting on their hands at home like the folks in Massachusetts.


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