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You've been sitting on my desk awhile, and I've been meaning to get back to you.  I appreciate what you have to say about Rep. Markey's record, and I don't doubt your sincerity.  And Rep. Markey--can I call her Betsy to avoid confusion with Ed Markey?--Besty is a dramatic improvement over detestable homophobe Marilyn Musgrave.  But I do have concerns about your resolve.  And since I don't live in Betsy's 4th District of Colorado but rather in the safe 2nd (whose residents probably receive a lot of fundraising letters like you), I think it's fair for you to listen to my concerns about donating.

That last point is a big one for me.  If I am to donate to Besty, I do not want to hear later that Betsy must consider her district constituents first.  If I am a donor, I expect to be treated as a constituent.  I learned this lesson two years ago, after donating hundreds of my minimal working-class wages to multiple Senate candidates in the effort to achieve that 60 vote majority.  Of course elected officials must consider their constituents, but they would do well to give real consideration to anyone who helped them, because ultimately they represent all Americans.

I was also quite concerned over Betsy's No vote on the House healthcare bill.  I'll agree that it is not the most wonderful bill, but really it was the best bill we were likely to get, and it had a public option.  I really need to hear from Betsy that a public option is a Good Thing, and this is a much bigger concern for me.  I appreciate what you have to say about Betsy's support for the A.C.E.S. Act and the Creditcard Holder's Bill of Rights, but that is not enough.  I worry because Betsy did not take a leadership role in her district when it came to supporting, explaining and promoting the public option as the cost-control measure in the healthcare bill, and that makes me wonder if this will be a recurrent problem.

See, I can afford to donate only to candidates whom I can trust not to run away from progressive issues, and not only because I feel strongly about those issues.  When it comes to making a donation, I need some assurance that the recipient will understand how to be a progressive in a Republican district.  I sympathize with any Democrat who won a district that voted for McCain over Obama, and I know that it is not fair for me to ask that all such Democrats be Alan Grayson, because the demographics of each district are different.  However, it is not too much to ask that Betsy take a cue from Rep. Grayson in terms of understanding the generally populist landscape, and to also understand that even if CO's 4th did not elect Obama, enough people came out to vote for Obama to elect Betsy Markey.

Those eastern Plains counties may not be big on social change.  But I am willing to bet that they have a streak of economic populism in them, and that Betsy is more than capable of reminding them of how little the big banks care for them, and that it is precisely public institutions that are obligated to consider them when private ones are not.  It is exactly something like a public insurance option that will most benefit those rural communities who are otherwise not afforded many options by private health insurance interests.  That Betsy Markey assumed that residents of rural and socially conservative counties are committed to voting against their own financial interest is a great concern to me.  I see a great need for representatives to educate their constituents after listening to their concerns, instead of simply saying what Conventional Wisdom holds those constituents want to hear repeated back.

In this story on a Markey constituent meeting, I see Betsy simply assuming that conservatives only want to hear that tax cuts were in (what should have been called the Jobs but ended up) the stimulus bill.  Unless the reporter omitted it, Betsy apparently made no courageous and necessary effort to educate her constituents about the history of the Depression, FDR's programs, and Keynesian economics to dispel the corporate, rightwing attack on all government spending.  I can't send my minimal, hard-earned money to someone who doesn't, can't, or won't do that.  I'm not expecting perfection of Betsy, but if I'm being asked for money, I need some evidence of an effort to not just react to her constituents but to lead and educate by progressive example.

So, I cannot send money now.  However, I am more than willing to send money when Betsy takes the sort of transpartisan populist stands on pro-people issues that will, at the end of the day, promote progressive values, and win hearts and minds in the 4th by example.  That is what will get her dedicated volunteers on the ground as well.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to correspond.

Originally posted to I'm Pro-Future And I Vote. on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:04 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  & ifBetsy won't be Graysonesque, Perlmutteresque (8+ / 0-)

    is also OK, if not as fun to say.

    The Sleep of Regulation Produces Corporate Monsters.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:03:51 AM PST

    •  I do live in her district, she keeps a pretty low (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftcandid, KingofSpades

      profile, sending her minions out once in awhile to take the temperature of the electorate.

      I don't see or hear much from her, personally.  Hopefully she will become more assertive as she finds her sea legs, let's hope so.  

  •  It could have been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenchiledem, Leftcandid

    that she was "allowed" to vote no on HCR. Many Dems in red districts were, and now that their vote might be needed they'll be forced to make a difficult vote. We'll have to see what she does.

    Bear in mind Kucinich also voted no.

    Another thought is the primary, worked for Bennet.

    I went down to Dem headquarters in Denver yesterday for the glad handing session with Udhal. He seemed a lot more aggressive than he'd been sounding at the beginning of his term, maybe it was just the crowd.

    I don't have money to send any of them but I volunteer a lot.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:18:41 AM PST

    •  I think you're right, but you may agree that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this idea of being allowed to vote no is, while tradition, also a dodge.  Wouldn't it be great if candidates didn't feel they had to do this, and wouldn't they gain more respect if they didn't do it?

      The Sleep of Regulation Produces Corporate Monsters.

      by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 12:05:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I donated to a lot of candidates who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    don't represent my district, too.  I tell them straight out when I communicate with them that I live in Texas and that, as a donor to their campaign(s), I consider myself an at-large constituent and am writing about X-issue.

    (If their email is set to only accept emails from people in certain zip codes, I find one from their district, use it to send the email and then 'fess up in my first sentence with my real zip and then my at-large constituency explanation.)

    I don't know that it does any good, but I still think being reminded of out-of-district funds is useful and maybe helps them hold a broader view. Maybe.

    Don't be a dick; be a Weiner! Rise up for health insurance reform.

    by scarlet slipper on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:29:28 AM PST

  •  sigh, my apologies for the number of times (0+ / 0-)

    I called her Besty.  Latent optimism?

    The Sleep of Regulation Produces Corporate Monsters.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 12:07:04 PM PST

  •  I don't know, (0+ / 0-)

    have lived here all my life, I'm giving her a pass for now.  Good luck with winning hearts and minds, I've tried.  Maybe if the demographics shift a bit more.

    "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression..." William O. Douglas

    by Patricia Bruner on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 12:33:57 PM PST

  •  CO-4 hasn't elected a Democrat since Les Aspniall (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    lost re-election in 1972. Yes the three big counties in the district--Boulder (dark blue, but only a small part of the district), Larimer, and Weld--are becoming more friendly to Democrats; but the rest of the counties are dark red. Out in the plains are the most Republican counties in Colorado. Counties like Kit Carson, Kiowa, Sedgwick, Bent, Yuma, Prowers, Baca, and Otero give Republicans more than 70% of the vote. In some cases a few of them are even more than 80% Republican.

    If I am to donate to Besty, I do not want to hear later that Betsy must consider her district constituents first.

    Unfortunately, because you live in the 2nd, you can't vote in her district. She does have to listen to her constituents first because they are the ones who actually vote for or against her. Yes you donate money, but you're not in a position to vote for her.

    Put yourself in her position for a second. Maybe she privately supports the public option, yet she holds townhalls and only the teabaggers show up. Or she checks her voicemail and it is all filled with angry rants against it. Who is she going to listen to? Some left-wing activist in Boulder who can't vote for her or a constituent out in Baca County who can vote for against her?

    •  all I'm saying is that if she's gonna ask a left (0+ / 0-)

      wing activist out-of-district for money, she should be somewhat, if not equally, responsive when it comes to policy stands.  And she needs to hear that if she takes better policy stands, standing against teabagger lies at times, she will receive more money and other support from in and out of district.

      I know how red the Plains are, but they're not equally red across all issues.  It's definitely anti-abortion-rights/anti-gay marriage territory, but it is definitely not pro-bank/pro-corporatist/pro-free trade.  I wouldn't ask her to go to Sedgwick and campaign on the Free Choice Act, but I don't buy that everyone out there is set against the guvmint.  Smaller Plains towns are demographically more elderly, and many of them will remember the Depression, FDR & Truman.  I would vote for Markey if I lived in the 4th, but I can't risk my donation funds on someone who's not progressively committed.

      The Sleep of Regulation Produces Corporate Monsters.

      by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:47:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then donate candidates you support but her (0+ / 0-)

        first priorities are to the voters in her district. Maybe some of those populist positions would help her out in the Plains, but they are perhaps the most Republican counties in Colorado. Some of those counties are even more conservative than El Paso county.

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