Friday, January 13, 2006

Progressive Democrats Endorse Cegelis

So the Progressive Democrats of America endorsed Cegelis. And this is surprising how? A national progressive organization backed a candidate consistently on the record supporting progressive issues. I'm shocked. I'm surprised. I'm stunned. I'm not.

From the PDA website:
Christine Cegelis is a progressive to be admired. She speaks eloquently of her opposition to the Iraq occupation, and of the need for the United States to join the global community by joining the community of nations in support of the Kyoto Protocol. The issues closest to her political heart, the issues that matter most to the sixth district, center on job creation and the establishment of a robust economy for her constituents.

[...]

The political beliefs of Christine Cegelis combine broad, progressive ideals with the kind of pragmatic wisdom that the people of her district need. Her elevation to the House of Representatives would be a tremendous boon not only to the Sixth District of Illinois, but to the entire country. Progressive Democrats of America warmly and enthusiastically endorses Christine Cegelis in this race.

This is the difference for me between Cegelis and Duckworth. The Duckworth campaign seems content to hold orchestrated media events talking at residents about their candidate's recent understanding of the issues. The Cegelis campaign openly engages district residents displaying a command of the issues in an honest interaction with district residents. Duckworth supporters say she has some good positions, but they don't know what they are. Cegelis is an on the record and endorsed by true progressives.

More from the PDA email newsletter:
APPEAL TO PDA ACTIVISTS: DEFEND PROGRESSIVE FRONT-RUNNER AGAINST BELTWAY BETRAYAL
You might expect Beltway Democrats to be lining up enthusiastically behind Cegelis in this great opportunity to capture a Chicago suburban area Congressional seat. Instead, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has recruited a candidate to oppose Cegelis for the Democratic nomination.

The reason Party bosses are opposing Cegelis is they fear another independent progressive in Congress. Cegelis is a progressive Democrat: she’s anti-war, pro-choice, pro-renewable energy and opposes NAFTA-like trade deals. She supports a definite timetable for the quick and safe withdrawal of troops. The DCCC prefers candidates who are centrist and pro business, and they want their recruits to be veterans who are moderate on the war.

PDA members should not tolerate this insulting and counterproductive attack on Cegelis. It is an attack on the progressive potential of the Democratic Party. Cegelis has a realistic chance to add another Democratic seat to our Congress. We urge you to go all out for Cegelis. Yesterday PDA officially endorsed Cegelis, and the most helpful thing we can do right now is give to Cegelis generously and immediately to propel her to victory in the March primary.

So how was Duckworth given her endorsement:
Wednesday, Duckworth won the endorsement of the Illinois AFL-CIO, which backed Cegelis two years ago. Illinois AFL-CIO President Margaret Blackshere told me Thursday that calls from Durbin to union activists helped Duckworth clinch the endorsement.

Contrast this with the way Cegelis earned PDA's endorsement:
To receive national PDA endorsement, a candidate must be endorsed by each PDA Chapter that has representation in the geographic area covered by the office the candidate seeks. For example, a candidate for House of Representatives would be officially endorsed by the Spokescouncil only if each Chapter with members in the Congressional District involved endorsed the candidate.

So Duckworth's endorsement is the result of political connections calling in favors and Cegelis' endorsement is the result of local members in the district voting for her. "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do" seems appropriate right now. The PDA newsletter sums it up best:
PDA supporters are urged to go all out to help Christine Cegelis, not only to elect an outstanding candidate, but also to show the Beltway Democrats that their effort to block progressives within the party won't be tolerated. We must help raise significant funds for her, to offset the heavy Democratic spending that's been promised against her. Please send whatever you can afford, whether it's $15, $50, $500, or the maximum $2100. Click here and give on-line.

This is probably the most important political contribution you can make in the current election cycle. With the help of PDA supporters, Cegelis will win the primary and go on to defeat Tom Delay's former staffer in November. The alternative -- letting an unqualified, inexperienced candidate become the Democratic nominee for this open seat -- would result in a Democratic defeat in November, with Tom Delay getting an additional seat in Congress, one that he will personally control.

This is about the heart and soul of how our party does business. Help support a real progressive Democrat and donate to Cegelis today.