Thursday, August 02, 2018

Alyson Kennedy for US Senator, Texas

Found someone I can vote for at the top of my November ballot.

“We invite workers and youth to join us knocking on doors in cities, towns and farming areas, discussing how we can rebuild the labor movement and forge the unity that is necessary for us to fight effectively,” said Alyson Kennedy, candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas. “We will join workers’ picket lines, fights to defend abortion rights, actions demanding prosecution of killer cops and protests against deportations, calling for amnesty for undocumented immigrants.”

Kennedy's name will not appear on the Texas ballot; she will be a qualified write-in, according to the statement from the Socialist Workers Party, via The Militant.  Hat tip Ballot Access News.

I would say that the SWP, being Trotskyite in origin and leaning today (though that is contentious internally; click for more) is somewhat to the left of where I find myself these days.  But the views of the candidate and the party are coming closer to mine than the centrist corporate Democrats holding a death grip on the Donkey Party.

Kennedy was the SWP's presidential nominee in 2016.  Here's an interview from then.

And another where she speaks about women's reproductive freedoms.  More:

She was among the first wave of women who broke the barriers that coal bosses used to exclude women from underground mining jobs. She has been part of numerous United Mine Workers union battles in the coalfields, from West Virginia to Alabama to Utah. From 2003 to 2006, she was among those in the front ranks of a union-organizing battle at the Co-Op coal mine outside Huntington, Utah. The miners there, a majority (of them) immigrants from Mexico, fought for UMW representation to win safe working conditions, an end to abuse by the bosses, and improved wages.

Kennedy joined the teachers on strike in Oklahoma this spring — part of a wave of battles across the country —  and the July 12 rally in Columbus, Ohio, where more than 10,000 union miners, Teamsters, bakery workers and others rallied to demand that the government fund their pensions.

If you recall, the Texas AFL-CIO hesitated in January to give Bob O'Rourke their endorsement.

Explaining the decision not to make an endorsement in the Senate contest, (AFL-CIO President Rick) Levy also said some members "had significant concerns about the congressman's commitment to fighting for working people and, unfortunately, he wasn't at the convention to address any of those concerns."
One of those concerns was likely O'Rourke's support in 2015 for allowing then-President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries. It was vocally opposed by labor unions — including the Texas AFL-CIO — who believed it would threaten American jobs. 

Ultimately the union caved, you know, because "not Ted Cruz".  O'Rourke gave one of his typical double-speak explanations for his TPP vote.

O'Rourke stood by his vote to give Obama so-called trade promotion authority, saying the choice was to let the Democratic president negotiate the deal or let it fall to Republican committee chairmen in the House. He noted it did not mean that he supported the trade deal itself, about which he said he still has "some outstanding concerns" regarding its impact on his El Paso-based district.

In other words, he was for it before he was against it.  

Obama's full-court press for TPP failed, but it succeeded in alienating union rank-and-file (because of the bitter aftertaste of Bill Clinton's NAFTA), and labor's resentment can reasonably be implicated as the primary cause of Hillary Clinton's defeat in the three Rust Belt "firewall" states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.  This was no unforeseen upset; in July of 2016, over two years ago, the threat was on high alert.

That's a far bigger deal than Russian meddling on Facebook and Twitter.  It's probably a bigger deal than "misogyny", generalized.  It's probably even a bigger deal than the voter suppression we know about in Wisconsin and in Michigan (Vox's evidence disputes this).  Update: So does Carl Beijer.

(T)he case that Russian intervention was decisive ultimately depends not on anything we can see in the data, but on completely unsubstantiated theories about what's going on inside of the data, buried beneath an massive avalanche of statistical noise, bad polling, underdetermination, and pure fantasy.

It  was -- and is -- most certainly a greater factor than voting for a non-duopoly candidate.

And I like it better than simply undervoting the US Senate race.  I'm looking forward to seeing Ms. Kennedy swing through Houston.


Noah Horwitz said...

I'm glad you're embracing your inner Stalinist, Perry. Some say 'never go full Tankie,' but you do you!

PDiddie said...

This is a teachable moment.

Once again, we are presented evidence that Noah's dad -- remember readers, don't vote for James Horwitz for Judge, Harris County Probate Court %4 in November -- has completely wasted his money on Noah's college and law education.

Here are a couple of less-than-one-second Googled differences between Stalin and Trotsky and their respective -isms. Anyone who conflates the two is probably beyond intellectual redemption, falling more in the "teaching pigs to sing" category.

Noah is using Greg Abbott logic to try to insult me, which under different circumstances might actually be funny. You should remember this depth of ignorance when Noah himself runs for office in a few years. Unlike most of his generation, he does not care for the leftward tilt of the Donks by people like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria C-O (who are not actual socialists themselves, but democratic socialists. You should Google those differences on your own). That can probably be translated as him wanting his full inheritance, a la Meghan McCain.

Come back again soon, little fellow, and I'll give you another verbal ass-whipping.

Gadfly said...

OK, a more serious issue. I got a copy of what the SOS says is candidates whose applications have been accepted by their office. Kennedy's name not on it. (Neither is Jan Richards for governor.) I'm shooting back a follow-up email as I type this.

PDiddie said...

I also wrote to the SOS shortly after this post and was replied that their office would release a list of all verified write-in candidates "no later than 8/30" by one of their staff attorneys.

I knew Jan Richards wasn't going to make it. Not as a hunch, but as fact.