Monday, June 07, 2010

Progressive Jim Wilson Will Run Against Dan Boren.

It looks like we'll have a chance to replace our resident Republican Lite, Blue Dog Democrat with the real deal in the July 27th primaries.

Very few Democrats in Oklahoma have what it takes to stand up for what's right. For some reason, a good many of our Democratic politicians and party leaders feel that keeping someone who wets their panties when the Right says "boo" is preferable to a principled individual who will fight for the working class.

Win or not, the good news is that we have a few good people in the state who won't knuckle under to conservative pressure.

The bad news is that we may not have enough voters in the electorate who have not totally succumbed to the omnipresent right wing propaganda to understand that a vote for Boren is a vote against their own best self interests.

From Okie Funk.

It’s probably an understatement to argue that this has not been a great year for progressive Oklahoma Democrats so far.

No viable Democratic candidate has emerged to challenge U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Both Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, trail U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin in polling. The Republican-dominated legislature continued its destructive, ideological spree at the state Capitol pretty much unabated and sometimes helped by conservative Democrats.

So it was fantastic news for progressives to learn that state Sen. Jim Wilson, a Democrat from Tahlequah, has announced he will challenge Blue Dog U.S. Rep. Dan Boren in the Second District Congressional Democratic primary.

Even more fantastic is this: Wilson, in the words of one blogger, Howie Klein, who interviewed him, won’t be running as “another Republican-lite reactionary.” This means he could challenge Boren on his Republican-like stances on issues such as health care reform and taxation during the campaign. Wilson is a viable candidate who could make Boren respond to criticism that his conservative votes have not always been in the best interests of his constituents.

This is what Wilson had to say in a recent press release about the relationship between medical record management systems and health care reform:

"For years, the debate on true health care reform has not been fact-based. It has been fear-based, driven by the greed of those who profit most from a broken system. As a result, hundreds of thousands of working Oklahomans have not been able to afford insurance. Even those fortunate enough to have it often find that after years of faithfully paying premiums, the companies will do everything in their power to avoid providing the care patients need. With proper reform, there will be no additional cost to Oklahoma, but the benefits will be innumerable."

Boren, of course, voted against the recent federal health care bill, arguing it costs too much money. Wilson argued the federal government was forced to step in to do something about health care and that any costs to Oklahomans “could be easily offset by eliminating waste, fraud and utilizing better management of medical records.”

Wilson, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Marine Corps, is going to draw a sharp distinction between himself and Boren on the campaign trail. This alone is good news for progressives.

The Second District encompasses 24 counties in the eastern part of Oklahoma. Some of the major cities in the district are Durant, McAlester, Muskogee, Tahlequah, Claremore and Miami. It includes the Little Dixie region in southeastern Oklahoma.

There’s little doubt that Wilson faces a real battle to win against an incumbent with huge family name recognition. Boren is the son of University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who is a former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator. His grandfather, Lyle Boren, was a former U.S. Representative as well.

But with enough financial support and a good ground campaign, Wilson can win, and he can win without siding with the fear mongering and corporate worship that defines the current GOP and conservative Democrats, such as Boren. Wilson also has his own Oklahoma credentials and following in his Senate district and surrounding areas. He has also served in the Oklahoma House.

You can contribute to Wilson’s campaign by going to the Bad Dogs page on ActBlue.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)