Another Endorsement That Hasn’t Happened Yet (But Still Could)
I didn’t realize that my House congressional district had been redrawn until a Juan Vargas campaign walker knocked upon my door in City Heights. I had to stop and think a moment. I had spent a number of yes, dramatic years, in Susan Davis’ district and it took me a moment to process the impact of the redistricting and that now I’m in the 51st Congressional District.
It took me less than a minute to respond to the question whether I would support Juan Vargas. When asked I said “No. Absolutely not and I’ll tell you why. He went missing on the single payer healthcare vote earlier this year.” Vargas ducked the vote, twice, despite receiving thousands of calls urging him to support the bill.
Vargas was presented with the “Spineless Rubber Chicken” award for sitting out a critical vote on this particular issue. We have a Democratic governor and a Democratic majority in the California legislature and the single payer health care option with dental coverage for our families and neighbor is dead, lacking two votes.
Behind every spineless rubber chicken Democrat is a telling trail of money. “Insurers reportedly spent $1.46 million to elect Vargas to the Legislature. His Congressional campaign has taken another $140,000 in insurance and pharmaceutical contributions…”
We are poised to elect a representative to Congress in the 51st district. It should be noted that this election occurs within the context of a pending Supreme Court decision to determine whether ObamaCare passes the constitutional sniff test. President Obama’s signature legislation addresses the increasing segment of GDP which health care consumes and the human misery and suffering that a lack of adequate health insurance causes.
The Republicans, hell bent for leather on nullifying the American Health Care Reform Act, have absolutely nothing, nada, zip, as a replacement. Juan Vargas, Democrat, is poised to be the best congressman that the insurance industry and big pharma can buy when critical votes arise on the issue—and they will.
But far be it for me to be a single issue voter. I briefly consulted with my uterus and fallopian tubes and likewise decided that Juan Vargas still doesn’t get my vote. Christine Kehoe authored Senate Bill1338 that “would clarify that an estimated 24,000 trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants in the state could legally provide nonsurgical first-trimester abortions in outpatient clinics and a doctor’s office. They would have to complete a specialized training program before Jan. 1, 2015 to be allowed to perform the procedures.”
Vargas voted against the bill, which went down with a 4-4 vote, despite the fact that “Half of California’s counties currently have no abortion provider, including Imperial County, which Vargas seeks to represent in Congress.” If the U.S. House of Representatives retains a Republican majority, the incessant onslaught against women’s reproductive health will continue and Vargas has not given me any reason to believe that he will not contribute to that effort. Shame, shame, shame.
There is no good reason to vote for a big pharma empty suit destined for some lackluster stint as a Blue Dog Democrat outlier. The 51st is a predominately Democratic district and it’s worth remembering that Bob Filner, who had held the seat since 1992, was a member of the Progressive Caucus.
I was pleased that Denise Moreno Ducheny has decided to run for this congressional seat. As a State Senator, she has a significant progressive voting record on health care, including women’s reproductive health issues, consumer protections and education. Over twenty years ago she stood on the bulldozed strip of land that became the I-15 corridor in City Heights and advocated for mitigation of the impacts of freeway construction in my community. Ducheny has substantive knowledge of the communities she represents.
Bob Filner’s decision to leave congress leaves a vacuum for progressive representation. Denise Ducheny has the best voting record for filling that vacuum–a “spineless rubber chicken” not so much.