Due to redistricting two Democrats who would have been locks in their old districts are forced to face off in a primary with only one being able to remain in the House. This is a bittersweet moment for us here at Hillbilly Report as both these candidates, Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich are members of the Progressive caucus and have done good work in Congress fighting for our ideals.
And now they are set to fight for their lives in the House against one another. Unfortunately that fight has gotten a little ugly and put a lot of people in an uncomfortable position of having to choose:
Kaptur has gone after Kucinich for voting against millions of dollars in new manufacturing jobs and opposed billions of dollars in aid to U.S. veterans, both claims getting a "Half True" rating from Politifact. Meanwhile, Kucinich has been going after Kaptur for "vot[ing] to waste half a trillion on Bush's wars" and alleging that she "took hundreds of thousands from war contractors and voted for billions more than even the Republicans wanted for military spending."
Some liberal groups have refused to issue any official endorsements in the race, having supported both vehemently in the past. Both Democrats have Super PACs supporting them. The Campaign for Primary Accountability, supporting Kucinich in the race, says its goal is to level the playing field because "incumbents usually have a 'message monopoly' and can raise more money (Both Kaptur and Kucinich are technically incumbents, though Kaptur has been serving in Congress for over a decade longer than Kucinich.) Meanwhile, the Super PAC Ohioans for Opportunity, started only last month by an aide to former governor Ted Strickland, is backing Kaptur.
But choose we must. With the primary coming on Tuesday it is a tough choice indeed for Progressives. For me, one look at the past and another at who seems to be supporting who the most tells me who I am pulling for in this race:
Overall, Kaptur has snagged more support from PACs, taking in $218,000 from those committees, compared to about $65,000 from individual donors, according to an analysis of donations through Dec. 31 done by the Center for Responsive Politics. She has raised $94,000 from labor PACs, by far the biggest interest group backing her.
Business interests also have lined up to support her, with American Crystal Sugar and Boeing Co. each donating $10,000, and General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman each giving $7,000. Kaptur sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee, and the defense industry is her second biggest donor, with a total of $48,000 in PAC contributions.
Kucinich raised 95 percent of his money from individual donors and 4 percent, or about $43,000, from PACs, according to the center's data. Retirees topped his donor list, giving $22,950. They were followed by lawyers and lobbyists ($11,000) and real estate interests ($10,300).
To me, that sums it up nicely. While Kaptur has raised most of her money from PACs and business interests most of the money raised by Kucinich has come from individual donors. Progressive donors like all of us all over the country who want someone who is not timid to fight for our values.
Another reason I have personally decided to donate to Kucinich over Kaptur?? Before this primary I had never heard of Marcy Kaptur. While she has a good record fighting mostly for the right things I have never seen her in a prominent role in the public spotlight fighting for Progressive ideals. While I am sure she has, Dennis Kucinich has long been there fighting unashamed and unabashed, screaming from the rooftops for our country to wake up.
Because Dennis Kucinich is a Progressive fighter that has never been embarrassed to fight for what we believe in I am hoping he pulls out the victory on Tuesday.
For Progressives it will indeed be a bittersweet primary when one of these candidates wins, and one loses.