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I live in AZ-01, that monster district that covers an area larger than many states. We are represented by Ann Kirkpatrick, a conservative Democrat. I worked to get her elected once Bonally-Baldenegro lost in the primary.

Actually, she lost before the primary because her husband ran an ineffective campaign that frustrated even me when I volunteered and got only a list of numbers to call from home - and that took way too long so the accompanying script was no longer relevant.

But sometimes and in some places it's necessary to fight for more Democrats because better Democrats couldn't win, and the alternative would be far worse - in Arizona the Republicans just get nuttier and nuttier.

I seldom correspond any longer with my Senators or state legislators, and when I do, I rarely get replies, and McCain's replies always go something like "I agree this issue is important and that whatever it is needs to happen. However, I voted against it because this is not the best way to make it happen." Translation: "I voted with my party, whatever my personal beliefs."

Well, today I got a reply from Kirkpatrick's office that illustrates all of this, and felt that I had to share it. The body of the reply:

Thank you for contacting my office and sharing your opinion on Pentagon spending and the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund. I’m here to represent my constituents, so it’s important that I hear directly from you. I’m working hard to represent District One by reaching across the aisle on efforts to create jobs, fight for our veterans, and protect Social Security and Medicare for seniors and working families.

I believe that we need to get our spending under control and reduce the national debt with a long-term solution that maintains national security and supports our District One families. As you may know, because OCO funding is classified as emergency spending, it is exempt from the budget sequestration enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. OCO funding, appropriated through Title IX of the Defense Appropriations Bill, is intended to provide stable and predictable advance funding for wartime operations. In Fiscal Year 2014, $85 billion in OCO funding was appropriated, and appropriations are projected to drop to $30 billion as we continue to reduce our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I agree that we need a high level of transparency and accountability in the defense budget. We also need to ensure that our domestic programs such as public education and funding for cancer research are protected from sequestration. For folks in District One, sequestration has meant cuts to programs that ensure clean water and air quality for our families, cuts to critical resources for law enforcement, and thousands of low-income students finding themselves without student aid.

At least we speak the same language.

Originally posted to ramara on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:07:18 PM PDT

  •  The worst Democrats will go to (10+ / 0-)

    Heaven while the best Republicans are heading to Hell. There is no equivalence between the two, ever. Go help that Democrat, godspeed.

    •  With you (10+ / 0-)

      I'm also an Arizonan and feel your pain.  Calls for dumping conservative Dems and only supporting progressives just won't work in the real world of stubbornly red states.

      I'm thrilled to see progressives in other states make it to office (and have been known to contribute to their efforts). But this red state is a different world.  Here we need candidates that can be elected in the general election.  Once they're in, we can put some pressure on to try to influence their choices.  But even then, we can't afford to have them turn so left that they are crushed in the next election.

      Tragic for the progressive movement that states like ours continue to put so many right-wing voting members into the House and Senate. But we few Az Dems can only do so much to turn the tide.

      I voted for Obama thinking his thoughtful, pragmatic approach would lead to more trust for progressive ideals across the country. It isn't really a big surprise that racial biases moved many to "hate Obama" and reject everything he had to offer.  And that (along with the mess he was handed) has limited the progress he could have made.

      I think Hillary would have suffered a similar gender bias backlash.  So, I don't think she would have had an easier time of it, either.

      Understanding is limited by perspective. Perspective is limited by experience. America is a great place to live but it limits our ability to understand.

      by CindyV on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:18:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the state district (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azazello, Desert Rose

        when I first moved here, we had good Republicans and the Dems didn't even run a candidate against them most years. The went the way of the crazies - now have Al Melvin in the state senate, and his clones in the house.

        Red state reality indeed.

        Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

        by ramara on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:23:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's the conventional wisdom, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ramara, Desert Rose, PSzymeczek, kurt

        but I still think some of these Blue Dogs need a primary challenge from the left, if only to keep 'em honest, to remind them that we're out here.

        The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

        by Azazello on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:14:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The question is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          where will this be most effective? I'd say, go for the Senate, where terms are longer and conservative votes matter even more.

          And let's use voting records to decide who, and the possibility of winning a general election. Someone pointed out to me when I was lamenting Benally-Baldenegro that the ability to run a strong campaign matters - a lot.

          Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

          by ramara on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:50:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I would love to get the worst Democrat (7+ / 0-)

    To replace Andy Harris in Maryland.  The worst of the Tea party.  Even said FU to hundreds of his own constituents in Crisfield who lost their homes and business during Sandy.  And God help our country that the arrogant sob went without health insurance for a few weeks before the congressional insurance kicked in.

    "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

    by Navy Vet Terp on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:50:06 PM PDT

  •  Know what you mean. That's why (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allensl, elwior, ramara, PSzymeczek

    I voted for Chuck Schumer.

  •  up top of the front page is a story about my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramara, jan4insight, PSzymeczek

    congressman Corey Gardner a Republican. Before him we had Betsy Markey a firecracker of a little woman who had more gumption than half of congress and voted right every single time. She was also a Blue Dog, a way to maybe win in her district. Between 2010 and redistricting she was toast. One of the better Dems I've seen.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:29:50 PM PDT

  •  If we had enough Latinos and Native Americans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, PSzymeczek

    voting, we wouldn't need blue dogs.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 06:30:26 AM PDT

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