Tag: krysten sinema
James Carville Vows To Raise Funds For Sinema Primary Challenger

James Carville Vows To Raise Funds For Sinema Primary Challenger

Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, sounding a lot likeReal Time host Bill Maher, has been cautioning Democrats against being too “woke” or moving too far to the left in the 2022 midterms. But the 77-year-old Carville, in a surprising move, is now saying that he will fundraise for a Democratic primary challenger to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in 2024 — specifically, Rep. Ruben Gallego.

In the U.S. Senate, two centrist Democrats who have been frequent obstacles to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda have been Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Carville, during an interview with Vox published on January 27, was more critical of Sinema than of Manchin.

Carville told Vox, “Understand that Joe Manchin is a Roman Catholic Democrat in a state in which not a single county has voted Democrat (for president) since 2008. I repeat: not a single county has voted Democrat since 2008…. If Manchin runs for reelection, I’ll do everything I can to help him…. Now, the situation with Sinema in Arizona is an entirely different situation.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sinema Getting Dropped Left And Right By Major Democratic Allies

Sinema Getting Dropped Left And Right By Major Democratic Allies

Senate Democrats are trying to get rid of the filibuster for voting rights legislation. This shouldn’t be a controversial decision, and in some ways, it isn’t; Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are the biggest obstacles. When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the Senate session on Tuesday, he reminded folks that the “eyes of the nation” will be watching what happens with voting rights, as reported by CNN.

Specifically, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act covers several important dimensions in terms of voting access. The package protects access to early voting, as well as voting by mail and makes Election Day a national holiday—changes that could be huge for the average working person or parent in the nation. The bill also allows the Justice Department to intervene if necessary when it comes to states that have a history of interfering with voting. So, why are Sinema and Manchin holding out? The bill allegedly has their support, but apparently not enough for them to get rid of the Republican filibuster using what is sometimes called the “nuclear” option. And now major progressive organizations (in addition to her colleagues andconstituents) are putting pressure on Sinema to act. Or, you know … lose their support.

Emily’s List (a group dedicated to getting pro-choice women into office) released a statement to Twitter today from organization president Laphonza Butler. The group notes that while Sinema is pro-choice in terms of abortion rights, her failures to actively support the voting rights legislation ultimately outweigh her position on reproductive rights.

“Electing Democratic pro-choice women is not possible without free and fair elections,” the statement reads in part. “Protecting the right to choose is not possible without access to the ballot box. So, we want to make it clear: if Sen. Sinema can not support a path forward for the passage of this legislation, we believe she undermines the foundations of our democracy, her own path to victory and also the mission of EMILY’s List, and we will be unable to endorse her moving forward.”

The statement notes that Emily’s List hasn’t backed Sinema since her election in 2018, and added that the organization is “proud” to work with pro-choice Democrats who do the work to “protect” “critical” rights, including both for voting and reproductive freedom.

This situation is deeply, deeply frustrating, and it’s no wonder people with power and influence are speaking out. In an open letter to the Senate, NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson stressed that there is not a “time more defining to the American story” than the chapter they’re currently involved in. Johnson then asked the question: “What country will your children and grandchildren be left with, given the relentless assaults on American freedom and democracy?”

Progressives are being asked to answer for Sinema and Manchin, too. For example, host Nate Burleson spoke to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on CBS Morning this past Sunday and asked if she thinks the two senators should be challenged in their upcoming 2021 primaries. Warren delicately stepped around this possible firepit of a question and tried to appeal to the masses (and hopefully, the senators in question) by discussing on air who is truly vulnerable to cuts in voting rights protections.

“Who are they trying to keep from voting?,” Warren said in reference to Republicans. “Black people, brown people, college students, people who live on tribal reservations, trying to keep those folks from voting because they might vote Democratic,” she stated. Warren is, of course, right, but it remains to be seen if Sinema and Manchin will actually act.

While the circumstances are not exactly the same, we know that Sinema (and Manchin, for that matter) did vote to waive the filibuster when it came to raising the debt ceiling back in December. There’s been a lot of antagonizing about setting precedence and consequences to changing Senate procedures, but at risk of sounding callous, there is perhaps nothing more fundamental and vital in our country’s politics right now than protecting voting rights, especially when we already know Republicans are looking for ways to attack the most vulnerable, marginalized voters. (If you want a deeper dive into the similarities and differences between these situations, I recommend this write-up by Amber Phillips at The Washington Post, by the way).

Just last week, Sinema practically gave Republicans a metaphorical hug when she declared her aforementioned support of the voting rights legislation—before explaining why she won’t actually support it in practice. Sinema said the bills “treat the symptoms of the disease” but don’t fully address it, and she will not “support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country.”

Democracy is in danger, folks. The time for “both sides” rhetoric and making nice is long past gone (if it was ever remotely appropriate, to begin with…) and the absolute least these people can do is actually protect our constitutional rights… Why does even typing that make me feel like I’m writing about Republicans?

Maybe because I practically am.

Rerpinted with permission from Daily Kos

senate majority leader chuck schumer

Schumer Gives Sternest Warning On Democracy Yet To Manchin And Sinema

Between January 1 and December 7,” an end-of-year analysis by the Brennan Center says, “at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting.” The emphasis is in the original because it needs to be emphasized. There were 440 bills introduced in 49 states last year to restrict voting, at least 88 of which will carry on into 2022 legislative sessions. Ominously, the Brennan Center identifies a “new trend” in 2021: “legislators introduced bills to allow partisan actors to interfere with election processes or even reject election results entirely.”

This is an “alarming and unprecedented attack on our democracy,” as the Brennan Center says, and that it followed a violent, physical attack on our democracy at the Capitol on January 6 is even more alarming. Hundreds of Republican lawmakers around the country watched what happened on January 6 and instead of rejecting the assault in horror, they decided they had to figure out how to legalize it, codify it. All 50 of the U.S. Senate Republicans are tacitly approving that response, even though they were among the literal targets of the January 6 rioters. Just one, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, has signaled a willingness to possibly consider congressional action to preserve democracy.

Those 50 Republicans can stick together under the cover of two Democratic senators: Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia's Joe Manchin. Traditional media is almost entirely ignoring the fact that those 50 Republican senators are subverting democracy by refusing to protect it—including the eight who voted to overturn election results after the attack, after their lives were endangered by the mob Trump sicced on them. They’re let off the hook because Sinema and Manchin, for whatever reasons of their own, have been using their 15 minutes of fame to do so.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling an end to all that, and soon. “Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy,” he told his colleagues in a letter Monday. “We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.”

On the floor Tuesday, he reiterated that, framing the question in the anniversary of the January 6 attacks and the efforts by Republicans in the states to undermine the sanctity of our elections.

“If Republicans continue to hijack the rules of the chamber to prevent action on something as critical as protecting our democracy,” Schumer continued, “then the Senate will debate and consider changes to the rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

A number of Democratic senators including Virginia’s Tim Kaine, Montana’s Jon Tester, and independent Angus King from Maine have been working on Manchin for weeks, including over the Christmas break. Those talks are still continuing, though it’s not clear they’re making any dent.

Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning that he’s having “good conversations” and does recognize “the need for us to protect democracy as we know it.” They’ve gotten that far at least. He said, “I’m talking, I’m not agreeing to any of this,” by which he meant the various possibilities for filibuster reform. He wants bipartisan support for it, saying it’s his “absolute preference.” Which is moving the goal post out of the solar system. Even he has to be cognizant of that fact.

Manchin is also remaining willfully ignorant of the facts on Senate rules. “Once you change rules or have a carve out—I’ve always said this: Anytime there’s a carve out, you eat the whole turkey because it comes back. So you want things that’ll be sustainable.” The Senate just last month created a one-time carve-out in the ridiculously convoluted process they followed to raise the debt ceiling. There have been at least 161 exceptions to the filibuster created since 1969, and the Senate is still in business. Massively dysfunctional, yes, but still standing.

Sinema, as usual, isn’t talking right now. Whether that means she’s not engaging with her colleagues on the issue, whether they’re even trying to engage with her, isn’t clear. Through a spokesperson, she reiterated her opposition to changing the filibuster even though she says she is supportive of both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. There seems to be a general sense among Democrats that Manchin is who they need to get, and that Sinema won’t want to stand alone in opposition.

We’ll find out in the next few weeks.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Krysten Sinema

How Arizona Evolved From Birchite Bastion To Purple Swing State

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

For those old enough to remember the 1980s and 1990s, the thought of Arizona ending up with two Democratic senators in 2021 is downright shocking. Arizona, for decades, was a deep red state that was synonymous with the Barry Goldwater school of right-wing conservatism. But Arizona has evolved into a swing state, and journalists Lauren Gambino and Maanvi Singh stress — in a July 20 article for The Guardian — that it could play an important role in deciding whether or not President Donald Trump wins a second term.

Read NowShow less