Tag Archive: Progressive Caucus

They will try to Wellstone Ted Kennedy. Don’t let them.

Not too long ago, there was a conversation between some of us political bloggers; it went on across the country and across state lines. We talked about this: How long do you think it will be before somebody on the right takes Ted Kennedy’s memorial service, and what will inevitably be said there, and trashes it like they did Paul Wellstone’s?

That struck me. I count two things as the engines behind everything I’m doing in politics right now. Howard Dean’s What I want to know … speech. And the massive arena celebration of the lives of Paul & Sheila Wellstone. Sen. Wellstone was not perfect; he was not angelic. But what he was, was brave. An ordinary, everyday guy with a Minnesota Senate seat.

Ted Kennedy was a very different guy. Tried most of his life to connect with the ordinary. And you bet there’s going to be an effort to remind grieving congressional Democrats that health care was the cause of Kennedy’s life. They’d better damn well pass it. And there’s no way the right will not challenge that.

The answer to that question – How long?is now. Today, Rush Limbaugh ridiculed Wellstone’s memorial, that arena brimming with people who knew early that change was coming, and there was work to be done. Forward-thinkers, progressives, and fearless local organizers. There was more loss, and backlash, before there was winning. But that memorial – those people, those speeches – meant everything to me. And I can’t just sit and listen to what was just said on the radio, without saying this:

Paul Wellstone didn’t die. Not like they wanted him to.

He’s now called Wellstone Action.

He’s called Democracy for America.

You can call him the 2008 Senate, House & White House, if progressive.

He’s called Barack Obama. Called Michelle Obama. Aim higher, he’d say.

He is called first-time voters, and change.

Canvasser. Phonebanker. Local organizer.

He’s called Organizing for America. PDA.

Union.

They call him janitor, and educator, and factory worker. New immigrant.

He is called the Congressional Black Caucus, and Progressive Caucus.

He’s the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and those who didn’t made it.

He’s a first-time candidate, who thinks politics isn’t about winning, it’s about improving people’s lives.

He’s not going to let up on Marriage Equality.

He demands the public option.

He’s called the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

And he’s called 50-State Strategy.

He is called Loretta Weinberg.

Paul Wellstone is called Senator Al Franken now.

And he’s called Blue Jersey.

Take that, Rush Limbaugh. You disrespectful son of a bitch.

Assemblypersons Linda Stender and Joe Vas to Speak at Progressive Caucus Regional Meeting

Assemblywoman Linda Stender, the strongest Democrat to run for Congress in the 7th Congressional District in my lifetime (35 years) has agreed to speak at the Central Jersey East regional meeting of the Progressive Caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee at the Springfield Free Public Library (66 Mountain Avenue) in Springfield on Sunday, March 26 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

Also speaking at this meeting will be Assemblyman Joe Vas, who is running against former Assembly Speaker, Albio Sires, in the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary.  Sires has also been invited to speak at this meeting, but has not responded to date.  Congressman Frank Pallone has also been invited to speak, but has also not responded to date.

Assemblywoman Stender has also accepted an invitation to speak at the Central Jersey West regional meeting at the Somerset County Library (1 Vogt Drive) in Bridgewater on Saturday, March 25 from 3:00pm to 4:45pm.

Also speaking at this meeting will be Tom Wyka, who is running against Jack Hartford in the 11th Congressional District Democratic primary.  Hartford has also been invited to speak, but has not responded to date.  Congressman Rush Holt has also been invited to speak, but has also not responded to date.

To RSVP for these meetings or obtain more information about the Progressive Caucus, please e-mail bertinlefkovic@njfordemocracy.org.

To join our listserv, please go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progressivecaucus_njdsc/.

The Progressive Caucus Needs You

If you participated in the meeting of the Progressive Caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Commitee that we held in Piscataway on Saturday, January 28, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you were unable to attend, consider this to be a second chance at participating in the Progressive Caucus. One of the many exciting accomplishments of this meeting was the first steps that we took in the development of an issues platform for the caucus.

NJ Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Meets

The progressive caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee met today in Piscataway to discuss issues, events and strategies for effecting progressive change in New Jersey, the nation, and the world.

Over 40 leaders from progressive groups around the state, including NJ for Democracy, Progressive Democrats of New Jersey, Garden State Equality, and other progressive individuals were joined by the Democratic State Committee’s Richard McGrath, who addressed the caucus on the their shared vision for the state party.

The caucus then set about forming working groups to create a progressive platform on a series of issues of importance to NJ’s progressive community.