Why I support Carl Sciortino for Congress

Let the testimonials commence! Is Carl your candidate? If not, who is? - promoted by david

In the race to replace Ed Markey in the 5th Congressional District, we have a lot of great choices. Speaking for myself — as a resident of Medford and not on behalf of any organization I work for or am associated with — I am proud to say that I am casting my vote for Carl Sciortino and I hope you do, too.

I started out in this election with a lot of assumptions. One assumption I am glad to say has held up is that we have the opportunity to vote our aspirations. There is a slate of good, solid Democratic candidates — we really do not have to vote “against” anyone — so we can vote for who we think will best represents our progressive values. Even the candidate I most disagree with I still believe is a good state legislator and a good person. I feel very fortunate. It is clear, though, that Carl is the most reliably progressive candidate in this race. He is endorsed by Progressive Campaign Change Committee nationally and Progressive Massachusetts (two different progressive organizations, for those who don’t know, but both of which are awesome).

I’m supporting Carl because of how he’ll vote and because of what he’s done:

  • Carl fought for and won protections for women seeking medical care by passing the “Buffer Zone Bill,” which is now working it’s way to the Supreme Court.

  • Carl fought for and won an increase in the minimum wage — and is working to increase it yet again.

  • He fought for and won an end to some egregious corporate tax loopholes.

  • Carl is the leader on LGBT issues in our Legislature. He introduced, organized for, and won passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.

In fact, on every issue — from economic justice to the environment — I’ve seen him hope for the best, work hard for it, lead, and win. If there is a progressive issue out there, chances are that Carl is writing a bill for it, or is a lead supporter and organizing for it.

The clear difference in this race is that 4 of the candidates will all vote the same way in Speaker Boehner’s House, but only Carl has the consistent history of not just voting the right way, but organizing his colleagues (sometimes against Leadership and across party lines) to fight for progressive values.

Now, I know there are many BMGers who support other candidates. Let me say that I actually know most of the other candidates personally and really, really like them. I have friends working on other campaigns, too. But I’m supporting Carl and not staying neutral. And I’m going to go one step further and ask that if you support another candidate, you reconsider.

There is one obnoxious reason why: Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz? Yes. Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz made a marathon 21 hour “filibuster” spouting right-wing nonsense (and sometimes just nonsense). I don’t have to tell you how Republicans in Congress are going farther and farther to the extreme. The shutdown gives plenty of evidence of that.

Electing Carl sends a clear message to Washington in support of progressive values. To truly fight the Tea Party, it’s not enough to talk about how extreme they are. You have to outline what you are for and lay out a broad, bold, progressive vision for the long term.

Only Carl has done that in this race. Example: while most candidates support the Affordable Care Act, Carl supports the ACA AND is working toward a single-payer system which is why he was endorsed by MassCare, the organization that fights for single-payer. It’s not that I think single-payer is going to happen any time soon. I am personally fighting to defend the Affordable Care Act. The point is that this primary is about more than this particular election; it’s about who we want for the long-term and what kind of vision they have in Congress.

Here’s the truth: If another candidate wins, he or she will be a reliable Democratic vote (excluding Brownsberger, who for some reason loves Keystone XL and Citizen’s United). Reliable Democratic votes are good. But getting a reliable Democratic vote AND electing a proven progressive leader is better. Please consider sending a true progressive leader to Washington by voting for Carl.

Also, have you seen his ad? I mean, really! It’s ADORABLE!

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Carl Sciortino for Congress.


15 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I don't live in the district...

    …but he is my preference as well for many of the same reasons. My preference order after that goes Spilka, Koutoujian, Clark, Brownsberger.

  2. First post in years....

    I live in Arlington and admittedly still undecided. While Carl’s principles are closest to my own, I dunno….wouldn’t his election be the leftist equivalent to exactly what the red-hots on the right wing of America are doing? I’m currently leaning against voting for him because Increasing polarization isn’t just a prescription for stalemate, it’s a recipe for disaster. The evidence for what can go wrong you can see playing out today in the Washington version of Russian Roulette over the debt-celing. But, I listening if you want to tell me why I’m wrong.

    • Vote for Carl

      Don’t play into their game! There are people around the country who WISH they had someone half as progressive as Carl Sciortino to vote for, let alone send to Washington. Vote with your gut, not their game.

    • Not the same

      I don’t think there is anything on the left equivalent to what is happening on the right. Those jerks will take the ball and go home if they can’t get what they want. The progressive caucus won’t do that – they never have.

      If there was an equivalent to the tea party on the left, the ACA would have been dead because it wasn’t single payer. That sort of block just doesn’t exist. But, if there were a few more strong progressives in Congress, the ACA might have included a public option. That’s what I like about Carl. He stays true to his principles and knows how to persuade people in his party and across the aisle to move toward the progressive position.

      One way is that he is able to do that is because he is so incredibly nice. Yes, he is tough, but anyone who meets him or works with him likes him. He is not a hot-head who will alienate colleagues.

      Ultimately, if you are scared about the politics and think that only a more centrist person will help the situation, that means that things will shift to the right. If you want someone with the principles, skills, and personality to help tilt things to the progressive position, I think Carl is the best bet. And when the political winds tilt back, he will be a great leader to help pull policy in the right direction.

    • I would echo doubleman

      One of the most amazing things about Ted Kennedy was his ability to be both firmly one of the most liberal members of the Senate and work across the aisle. One Republican Senator (I forget which) was quoted as saying that what we really need right now is another Ted Kennedy. I’m not saying that Carl is the next Kennedy — who could be? — but I do think he is somebody who most is like that. Carl is somebody who is staunchly progressive, but is so affable and pragmatic that he can work with just about anybody to get the job done. Or take a look at Elizabeth Warren — she’s out there every single day standing firm for progressive values. I think she’s the best Senator in the nation right now. She, like Carl, was endorsed by the PCCC and has made her legislative career all about being a strong fighter for progressive causes. But that doesn’t mean that she’s the “Tea Party of the left.” Again, I’m not saying that Carl is an Elizabeth Warren — who is but Warren? — but that I think he fits in that mold the best.

      When I say that we need progressive counterbalances to the Tea Party, I mean yes, we should be pushing the boundaries of what is politically possible. It means changing the conversation from austerity to jobs, from deficits to economic fairness. That doesn’t mean tearing the country apart — it means bringing the country together to fight for common causes: good paying jobs, quality affordable health care for everybody, and equality for all under the law. And, yes, that does mean taking on the Tea Party. It does mean taking on Wall Street. It does mean taking on the NRA. That’s not polarization — that’s breaking the fever our country is in. I think Carl is somebody who will go to Washington to work for that.

      • Yes...this is what I want in Mass 5, someone willing to change the conversation

        We need someone whose eye is on the issues that matter and who is able to speak to those who disagree with fondness and strength. Someone who will work in good faith but won’t bend for pragmatic reasons. There is absolutely no reason to delay the ACA…the Republican votes are present to pass a clean CR, this shutdown is really damaging the Virginia Governor’s race for the Republicans so those reps really want this put behind them! So why won’t Boehner just do it?

  3. Question

    Are these bills that he authored/sponsored and made into law?

    Carl fought for and won protections for women seeking medical care by passing the “Buffer Zone Bill,” which is now working it’s way to the Supreme Court.
    Carl fought for and won an increase in the minimum wage — and is working to increase it yet again.
    He fought for and won an end to some egregious corporate tax loopholes.
    Carl is the leader on LGBT issues in our Legislature. He introduced, organized for, and won passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.

    Change focus:
    Has Katherine Clark actually sponsored, legislated and passed laws that have impact like for instance…..Transgender Equal Rights Bill?

    Has Clark actually sponsored, legislated and passed laws that have impact like for instance……..Spilka’s immense body of work: CHINS, Jenny’s Law, Juvenile Sentencing Reform, Surveillance, Medical billing reform?

    • Yes

      Sciortino was the lead sponsor on the buffer zone and trans rights bills. He was co-sponsor on the others.

      Not sure about Clark.

      An important thing to consider with this line of inquiry is the leadership positions held. I know Clark chairs and vice-chairs a few Senate and Joint Committees. Sciortino does not chair or vice chair any (which makes more sense in the house). Spilka has been part of the main senate majority leadership.

      • Sciortino was pushed out of Leadership in the House

        Sciortino used to be the Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee in the House. However, he stood up to Bob DeLeo on casinos, and as a result, lost his leadership position. Carl is someone who stands up for what he believes is right, no matter what the cost is. We need more progressives like that in DC.

      • Theory on why Sciortino does not chair or vice chair

        My old friend Barney Frank served in the House of Representatives many moons ago and once explained his path to power and influence in the Massachusetts Legislature to me. And I roughly paraphrase him below.

        There are two paths to power here — you can develop an expertise in a particular issue and work you way into leadershbip by first getting named as Vice Chair and then Chair of the Committee. As Chair, you will have the capacity (staff) to screen and promote good bills and delay or kill bad bills. That path requires absolute loyalty to Leadership on his/her top priorities in return for her/his loyalty to you on your top priorites– unless of course they conflict with the Leadership’s priorities.

        The other path is to develop an expertise on a number of issues important to you, to your district and or the whole Commonwealth and put together a coalition of like minded colleagues, outside advocacy organizations and mount a public education campaign by feeding the state house reporters factual and funny talking points at every opportunity – hearings, floor debate, your opponents lame comebacks and clever public exchanges with a parent. And then run for Congress.

        Carl is is very well like and respected as an opinion leader and skilled debater in the Massachusetts Legisalture by everyone — progressives, lunch bucket liberals, middle of the roaders and conservatives alike. And he’s now running for Congress too!!

        • I like it

          That’s a good theory and may well be true.

          I would be very weary of anyone who was unquestionably loyal to Deleo or Murray.

  4. Nice writeup

    No question for me in this race. Carl thinks big, he’s strong on major economic and education issues (like opposing corporate tax breaks, casinos, and MCAS).

    But really, he had me at “Liberal”. Progressive is great, but i don’t like idea of being chased out of a word because of some antiquated poll-testing results. he’s a proud liberal, he works hard, he’s friendly, and he gets stuff done.

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