California's North Coast is nearly synonymous with a New Age-y strand of progressivism. For two decades, Rep. Lynn Woolsey has represented it in Congress by denouncing the wars waged by both major parties' presidents:
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. She proudly identified herself as the first former welfare mother in Congress. Now Woolsey is retiring, and the campaign to succeed her prominently features two self-described progressives vying for votes in a June 5 open primary.
Woolsey is staying out of the endorsement game, so voters in her district have been left to make up their own minds. Elect Norman Solomon, who has rallied against America's adventures abroad since Vietnam, or pick Jared Huffman, who has five years' experience in the California Assembly.
"Congress is in danger of losing a lot of its lifeblood, its moral center. We can't afford to lose Lynn Woolsey, Dennis Kucinich, other voices for good alternatives to war," Solomon told HuffPost. "We've got to replenish the strength of antiwar and social justice representation in Congress. Our district and my campaign are crucial to that process."
Solomon, whose hair is streaked with silver and whose face easily melts into a grin, wields a resume more typical of a soapbox rabble-rouser than a congressional candidate. He's never been an elected official. He took Sean Penn with him to Iraq in 2002 to oppose a then-looming invasion. He directed a documentary adaptation of his book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He touts his endorsement by Phil Donohue.
All of that, plus the support of liberal advocacy group Democracy for America, might make him seem liable to the same pitfalls that have befallen losing netroots candidates like Ilya Sheyman in Illinois. But Solomon is quick to argue that his candidacy has more than a virtual presence.
"For us the netroots support is important yet secondary," Solomon told HuffPost. "And frankly, that's the reverse of what some of the most publicized races have been. We started in the communities."
Over the last few years, he said, he's given at least 200 speeches and presentations in the district. He's built up a mailing list of 10,000 dedicated supporters who live in it. He has 850 dedicated volunteers, hundreds of whom pitch in for him every weekend.
When he visits his would-be constituents, Solomon said, he tells them they need someone to represent them who knows "the difference between compromise and capitulation." Someone who will carry on Woolsey's strident anti-war legacy. But Solomon added that his candidacy is about more than his opposition to war. Attending a fundraiser at Donohue's Fifth Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday, he wore button emblazoned with a "99%" logo.
"I was the Occupy candidate before there was an Occupy movement," Solomon said. "I started out of the gate in January 2011, declaring that our campaign is a campaign to challenge the undemocratic power of Wall Street."
Opponent Jared Huffman, the tem-limited California assemblyman who is also running for the 2nd District seat, said Solomon is kidding himself if he thinks he's the only progressive in the race.
"I've got a long and proven progressive record, and it's a record of actually getting things done as a legislator and public official," said Huffman.
Huffman has litigated on behalf of the National Organization for Women, served as a senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, and garnered "On The Street" support from the "pro-Israel, pro-peace" group J Street. But Solomon is trying to flank him from the left, arguing that the district's representative shouldn't be afraid to criticize President Obama.
"There's a real contrast in my approach to speaking clearly, challenging the Obama administration when it's wrong, and the sort of silence, mumbling that's typical of my main opponent," Solomon said.
That kind of rhetoric clearly irks Huffman, who wrote on his website that he would "push for a much faster end to the war in Afghanistan" than Obama.
"Not everyone was able to travel to Baghdad with Sean Penn," said Huffman. "If this comparison is about who is the most consistently sanctimonious and loud and self-righteous, he wins. If it's about who combines solid progressive values with an ability to function with others and get things done, I win."
There hasn't been a public poll in the 2nd Congressional District for months. But thePress-Democrat, a local newspaper, tagged Huffman as the front-runner. He raised $586,131 in donations last year, compared to $311,817 for Solomon and $455,959 for Stacey Lawson, a Democrat who garnered the endorsement of EMILY's List, a group that supports the election of pro-choice Democratic female candidates. One Republican, businessman Dan Roberts, is also running, but pundits say the district is so liberal that he is unlikely to have much of an impact.
The top two candidates in June will go on to face each other again in the general election, which means that in November California's 2nd District could be host to a relatively rare phenomenon in American politics: two self-described progressives duking it out for a seat in Congress.
CLARIFICATION: This article was updated to clarify the level of J Street's support of Huffman. He has received "On The Street" support from the group, which is a step below an outright endorsement.
Link to original article on Huff Post
Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = UnknownDeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letterPocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast TrackW/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPPGibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter) Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)
When Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the 2013 class of liberal senators start work this month, they'll have to do more than figure out the byzantine ways of getting things done in Washington.
They'll also have to decide how seriously to engage a progressive movement that sees their assent a historic opportunity to shift the Democratic Party to the left.
WASHINGTON -- Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation.
Politico recently declared, "The Senate is about to become a liberal lion’s den."
In 2012, groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and Democracy for America worked hard to build progressive power in Congress. This week's iconic photo of Senators-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) walking together down the corridors of power is symbolic of the rising progressive tide.
An overbearing and at times ridiculously aggressive Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown came across as a desperate man Thursday night, as he attempted to gain the upper hand in the first debateof this year's most closely-watched U.S. Senate race and, by extension, in a reelection contest that seems to be slipping away from him.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is expected to endorse Democrat Elizabeth Warren on Friday in her bid to unseat Republican US Senator Scott Brown, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.
Bill Clinton may have stolen the show at the DNC last night with his 45-minute, half-ad-libbed barn-burner of a speech, but there were a few other noteworthy speakers as well. After dragging for an hour or two, the night's program picked up when Massachusetts Senate candidate, CFPB creator, and economic realtalker extraordinaire Elizabeth Warren took the stage.
It was a grim, sleety day in Chicopee, a gritty postindustrial town in western Massachusetts, where paint flakes off worn-out bridges and boarded-up factories. At a community relations luncheon, kind security guards were opening back doors and holding out umbrellas for the few willing to brave the freezing slush.
Retired Amherst gentleman John Kick is not known as a political activist. In the Springfield union hall where he ventured last October to hear Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, he might have seemed a world-weary citizen with vague curiosity about the professor turned politician.
But John's sorrowful demeanor and disconsolate eyes betrayed a woefully wounded heart. His son, Gabe, took his own life just a month earlier, at the age of 28. John keeps moving, somehow, in the dreadful private agony understood only by parents who persist in such an aftermath.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how you feel about Elizabeth Warren. Warren is currently running for Senate in Massachusetts, in the hopes of knocking out Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Very few first-time candidates are so well-known, or so passionately beloved.
NOW/PAC is thrilled to announce its endorsement of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the U. S. Senate from the state of Massachusetts. Warren is the most prominent of the three Democrats vying to run against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) in the general election. Recent polls show Warren neck and neck with Brown.
BOSTON – It is past time for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to step up and help prevent unnecessary foreclosures in Massachusetts, said Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren, reinforcing calls from members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Attorney General Martha Coakley.
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.
Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.
For a few years now, politicians straining against all of the antigovernment demagogy have been searching for a way to energize public interest and remind voters of the essential government services and protections they rely on and all too often take for granted.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than a few local Democrats would be ecstatic if Elizabeth Warren decides to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate. Warren is kicking around the idea of running and stopped in Pittsfield on Friday to meet with party members to gauge their support as part of a listening tour across the state.
CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!
Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.
Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.
MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track
Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority
MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership
CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab
If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.