Yesterday posts appeared on Kos and MyDD telling of the disasterous new numbers that have been polled for Mitch McConnell recently. While these numbers were music to my ears, I noticed that only one link to one potential challenger of Mitch McConnell, Crit Luallen was linked in the story.
Well, as noticed by Matt Gunterman over at ditchmitchky, Crit Luallen is not the only candidate who Democrats here in Kentucky are mentioning for this race. Read his post here calling out Markos and Jonathan Singer for ignoring some of the other fine candidates here in Kentucky who could defeat McConnell:
I know the national party, including Chuck Schumer are trying to recruit Luallen, and that they believe that they can choose our candidate for us. However, many of us believe in other candidates, in my case outgoing A.G. Greg Stumbo. Stumbo recently pointed out one potential weakness to a Luallen candidacy:
Another possible candidate, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, said Tuesday he plans to decide by mid-December whether to enter the Senate race. Stumbo also took aim at potential Democratic rival Crit Luallen, saying voters would be turned off if she launched another campaign right after winning re-election as state auditor.
"I don't think you can take the oath of office for a four-year term one week and turn around and file for another office the next," Stumbo said in a phone interview.
In my eyes, Stumbo has a very good point. He also showed confidence in his own ability to win the nomination:
"I think right now that my chances in the spring to get the nomination, no matter who's in the field, are exceptionally good," said Stumbo, whose term as attorney general ends in early January.
And why shouldn't he? Without the help of the DSCC, and mostly from grassroots Democrats in Western Kentucky, Greg Stumbo has shown that he can raise funds by shattering his goal for his Exploratory Committee, $100,000 already as chronicled here:
It seems while the DSCC and some in the blogosphere want to write Stumbo off in favor of Luallen, Kentucky grassroots Democrats don't feel the same. Why not? Well, they remember how after the election of 04, national Republicans were allowed to get away with offense after offense, including the stealing of American's Constitutional rights. While our whole Congress rolled over to President Bush, here in Kentucky when our now disgraced soon to be Ex-Governor tried to get away with the replacing of merit workers with political hacks, A.G. Stumbo made national headlines and put his career at great risk to ensure our Executive in Kentucky didn't get away with the same tactics. A.G. Stumbo did anything but roll over, he launched an investigation that ultimately led to Fletcher being forced to pardon much of his administration. This showed how crooked he really was, and he never recovered. Democrats in Kentucky owe A.G. Stumbo a debt of gratitude for our huge victory here earlier this month.
But not only that, Stumbo has had a long career of fighting for Democratic ideals and Progressive policies in Kentucky. Lets look at some of his accomplishments briefly:
Prior to being elected Attorney General, Stumbo was elected to 12 terms as a State Representative and was Kentucky's longest-serving House Majority Floor Leader and the only Kentucky legislator in state history with 19 years experience in legislative leadership. When first elected House Majority Floor Leader in 1985, Stumbo was the youngest Majority Floor Leader elected in the nation. In January 2003, he was elected to an unprecedented 10th term in that post.
Serving as a Representative from Prestonsburg in Floyd County – a vibrant community in the heart of Kentucky's Appalachian coalfields – Stumbo was known as a tireless fighter to protect Kentucky's environment and natural resources and was hailed as "the chief defender" of Kentucky's environment by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Here is a list of Progressive policies passed by the Kentucky Assembly with Stumbo as leader:
Education Reform – a complete restructuring of Kentucky's public education system called "a national model" by the Los Angeles Times.
Executive Branch and Legislative Branch ethics reform
Upgrading KASPER – the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system (Stumbo co-chaired the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force responsible for the legislation)
Increased penalties for habitual domestic violence offenders
Passage of state lottery legislation (with Stumbo as prime sponsor)
Legislation to promote tourism throughout Kentucky
Modernized mining policies between mineral owners and landowners
Workers' compensation reform
Instrumental in community college reform compromise (a key provision of the Postsecondary Education Reform Act of 1997)
Increased severance tax dollars to coal producing and coal impact counties
Stricter penalties for violent offenders (with Stumbo as prime sponsor)
Stumbo also led the fight to protect two of our most precious resources, our children and our environment:
Attorney General Stumbo is a member of the Environmental Crimes Work Group and is Chair of the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, which oversees the Child Victims Trust Fund. In addition, Stumbo represents Kentucky as Vice Chair of the Environmental Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
In fact, shortly after announcing his Exploratory Committee, Greg Stumbo renewed his dedication for not only fighting for the children of Kentucky, but the whole nation in blasting McConnell and supporting the SCHIP expansion:
When I was in the state legislature, I helped create KCHIP - Kentucky's version of the program. I have to say, I honestly can't believe Sen. McConnell voted against the nation's children that way, and any excuse is just that, an excuse. I most certainly would have been for the expansion of the SCHIP program and think it says a lot about our government and leadership when it's more important to give billion dollar tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy than to insure our nation's children.
In fact, Greg Stumbo has shown that he is dedicated to fighting for the Constitutional rights for all Americans by opposing the FISA bill which gave President Bush broad powers to wiretap Americans without a warrant. As a former prosecutor and soon to be former Attorney General of Kentucky, Stumbo realized this was a blatant violation of our Constitution:
Greg is absolutely not in favor of Expanding the Government's powers to blatently violate the constitution that way. Even as a prosecutor, he understands that prosecuting entities have to have checks and balances, and particularly because of how the Republicans have politicized the Justice Dept.
The simple truth is, if they run into something they believe to be a credible threat, they would have no trouble getting a warrant for the wiretap. They already have very broad latitude. They know that, but they use the fear of terrorism to justify their actions.
I think this speaks volumes about the character and priorities that Greg Stumbo would bring to the table in the U.S. Senate. How many Democratic Senators already serving rolled over on this one and stabbed us in the back? It is clear that Greg Stumbo puts the rule of law, and the Constitution over the constant fear-mongering and hype surrounding the "War on Terror". He doesn't want Americans to give up generations of Constitutional protections at the whim of a madman. Are the DSCC and their strategists really that scared of having another Senator who will show what they haven't, a backbone?
I think Greg Stumbo is just what we need in the Senate. A Democrat with a backbone that will fight not only the Republicans in the Senate, but Democrats in the Senate when they are wrong. Maybe that is what they are all so scared of.
So, before those in the blogosphere gleefully jump on another bandwagon, maybe people like Markos and Jonathan Singer need to actually look at what Greg Stumbo brings to the table and what he has fought for, because it certainly is not lost on grassroots Democrats here in Kentucky. Maybe they need to make sure that all the other candidates support our Constitution and the rule of law as Greg Stumbo does.
I know I don't have the pulpit that people like Kos, and Singer have, but I hope I have made my case effectively to some of you as to why I am supporting Greg Stumbo. As a resident and voter, and grassroots Democrat activist in Kentucky, I think my opinion should hold more water than that of outsiders, and of the DSCC. Before any of these people come meddling in a primary in which Kentuckians should choose their best candidate, I hope they will take a look at the record of Progressive change, and fighting for the ideals of our party that they are opposing.