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Progressive Notes: UK’s Strike, Wenona for Arizona’s Big Endorsement, Warren’s Poll Rise, Laugh at Newt and Other Doings

Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.

This week over 2 million workers in Britain went on strike over PM Cameron’s anti-working man policies. Democracy Now did a great report on the mass strike, and it is the largest in decades. Watch and read it here.

Wenona's Gaining Traction for History

One of the most important progressive contests is in Arizona congressional district 1. In 2010 it got swept by Tea Party fever and elected the heinous Paul Gosar. Gosar is the guy pushing to open the Grand Canyon to uranium mining.

The district was represented by Blue Dog Ann Kirkpatrick. She is running again, but she has one heck of a challenger in the Democratic Party. That is Wenona Baldenegro, who would be the first Native American to ever go to congress. A Harvard trained lawyer who is making waves, she landed a crucial endorsement this week:

Signaling a game-changing shift in the Democratic Party’s efforts to retake the northeastern Arizona congressional district from Tea Party freshman Rep. Paul Gosar, Wenona Benally Baldenegro’s campaign announced the prized endorsement of U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7).

“Congressional District One deserves a representative who will passionately stand up for the constituents of this district,” Grijalva said. “Wenona will be their champion. I know that she will stand up for education, healthcare, workers’ rights, environmental protection, and civil rights.”

With a wave of endorsements from key Arizona Democrats, Independents and community and tribal leaders backing her historic candidacy, Benally Baldenegro supporters are hailing the Harvard-trained attorney’s surging bipartisan campaign as vastly more delectable against the increasingly erratic Gosar in the rural district. Saddled by her unpopular votes for Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and environmental protection rollbacks, former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s disastrous 2010 campaign turned away record numbers of voters.

Oh and Wenona also has the backing of some major local progressive players. This is one I’m rooting hard for :

..Baldenegro has recently won the support of a broad slate of state legislators and community, tribal and environmental leaders, including Arizona State Representatives Bruce Wheeler, Macario Saldate, Sally Ann Gonzales, and Catherine Miranda; Navajo Nation Speaker of the Council Johnny Naize; former Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa; Pima County Women’s Commission Co-founder Cecilia Cruz; former national AFL-CIO Director for Arizona Randy Parraz; Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo, and former Arizona CD1 candidate and environmental/civil rights attorney Howard Shanker. In an unprecedented endorsement, The Progressive Democrats of America have also endorsed Benally Baldenegro’s candidacy.

As Occupy moves the conversation the congress is moving towards a major reform bill to end inside trading by representatives. Thank Occupy and 60 Minutes for pushing the story on how congressfolk get rich by getting tips on stock. Now Min. Leader Pelosi and dozens of Republicans are lining up for reform:

…House lawmakers are racing to endorse the lower-chamber bill, sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the Rules Committee.

Before the “60 Minutes” segment ran, there were nine co-sponsors on the House bill, including just one Republican: Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.). Since the program aired on Nov. 13, the number has skyrocketed to 133, including 37 Republicans.

The supporters are lining up so quickly that Slaughter’s office compared the tally to a stock ticker.

Current law prevents insider trading on non-public information received through corporate channels, but the law is much less clear when it comes to whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has similar powers to regulate trades made on non-public information obtained through government activities.

Elizabeth Warren’s senate run continues to gain steam. A new poll shows yet again her ahead of Sen. Scott Brown. In a heavy Democratic state she is electrifying the base while Wall St. freaks out:

Warren leads Brown by 4 points among registered voters in the UMass Amherst Poll, 43 percent to 39 percent, the difference being within the 4.4 percent margin of error, say UMass Amherst political scientists Brian Schaffner and Ray La Raja. The poll finds Warren is drawing strong support from women, middle-to-low income residents and younger voters. Brown maintains a large lead among Independent voters while Warren is getting overwhelming support from Democratic voters in Massachusetts.

“These numbers could mean trouble for Scott Brown,” Schaffner says. “The race is a dead heat and his support is well under 50 percent, which usually means difficulty for an incumbent, especially this far out from Election Day.”

In Right wing nut watch award of the week goes to Newt Gingrich. This man is a real twit. He apparently thinks food stamps can be used to pay for lavish vacations to Hawaii. Uh yeah:

According to NBC News campaign “embed” Alexandra Moe, Gingrich said this:

“Remember, this is the best food stamp president in history. So more Americans today get food stamps than before. And we now give it away as cash — you don’t get food stamps. You get a credit card, and the credit card can be used for anything. We have people who take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii. They give food stamps now to millionaires because, after all, don’t you want to be compassionate? You know, the Obama model: isn’t there somebody you’d like to give money to this week. That’s why we’re now going to help bailout Italy because we haven’t bailed out enough people this week, the president thought let’s write another check. After all, we have so much extra money.”

Wow! I mean this man could usher in a 2nd Obama term and a Dem congress. I can’t believe voters are buying his swill.

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