‘Gale Force Progressives’ Weisser, Woods & Williamson Challenge Arizona’s Tea Party Congressmen

Progressive Mikel Weisser-- from the Left Coast of Arizona-- is challenging Tea Party favorite Paul Gosar for the CD 4 seat.

Progressive Mikel Weisser– from the Left Coast of Arizona– is challenging Tea Party favorite Paul Gosar for the CD 4 seat.

Arizona’s Congressional delegation includes nine members of the House of Representatives: five Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1), Ron Barber (CD2), Raul Grijalva (CD3), Ed Pastor (CD7, retiring this year), and Kyrsten Sinema (CC9) and four Republicans Paul Gosar (CD4), Matt Salmon (CD5), David Schweikert (CD6), and Trent Franks (CD8).

At Blog for Arizona, we complain often and loudly about Blue Dog Democrats and their votes, but our country’s real enemy in the fight for freedom, democracy, and self determination is the Tea Party. They pontificate poetically about family values, but they vote for laws that deny food security, basic healthcare, quality education, and a living wage to millions of Americans. They talk about freedom, but they support for-profit mass incarceration and widespread surveillance of Americans– not to mention forcing us to live in fear due to lax gun laws. They wave the flag and promote patriotism, but they send soldiers to fight in useless wars and cut their benefits and ridicule them when they come home. And, above all, they spout folksy, vacuous platitudes, while they dutifully serve their corporate benefactors and ignore “the little guy”.

Arizona’s Republican Representatives in the House are full-fledged Tea Partiers. (In fact, Franks is one of the most conservative members of Congress, according to GovTrackUS.) In the 2014 elections, the “Gale Force Progressives”, Mikel Weisser, James Woods, and W. John Williamson, are challenging Arizona Teapublicans Gosar, Salmon, and Schweikert, respectively, for their Congressional seats.

“I knew it was an uphill battle when I started,” laughs Weisser. “It is about bringing a fight to GOP ideas I know are wrong for America. About stopping Republican terrorism and backwards thinking and working for a 21st century America.” (Public forum and candidate details after the jump.)

Gale Force Progressives

This Friday, June 20, in Mesa, the “Gale Force Progressives,” who are challenging GOP incumbents in Arizona’s three east valley Congressional districts, 4, 5, and 6, will be holding a candidate forum that advances cutting-edge progressive ideas.

In Congressional District 4, educator/activist/entertainer Weisser is challenging Tea Party favorite Gosar. In Congressional District 5, the “blind visionary” Woods is challenging established AZ GOP leader Salmon. And, in Congressional District 6, high school English teacher Williamson is taking on the equally entrenched Schweikert. In each of the races the Democrat challenger is at a stark disadvantage. In each District, registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats nearly 2 to 1. Yet the three Democratic challengers each somehow found their own inspirations to take on the kind of race more traditional politicians steer avoid.

Like Williamson, who still teaches 11th grade English in Scottsdale and is also in his 2nd Congressional campaign, Weisser’s decision to take on the quixotic battle of being an average man running for Congress came from teaching his students civic responsibility. “Teach a class of 8th graders how to a bill becomes law by showing them how to analyze ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ five times a day for five years straight and there’s no way I would not stand up for what I believe in.”

Woods, one of the few blind people to ever run for Congress, has an even more compelling reason to fight, The fact that he is alive today is a miracle of modern medicine—a living breathing success story of socialized medicine saving lives, the same kind of socialized medicine Republican Reps. Gosar, Salmon, and Schweikert have consistently worked against. Hospitalized for a rampant infection, Woods spent more than six years in hospitals, often in intensive care, surviving amputations, multiple multiple-organ failure crises, a kidney transplant and the loss of his eyesight. Woods announced his candidacy while still in his hospital bed in February. A proud secular humanist, Woods is using his unique candidacy to promote progressive ideas.

“There is an extraordinarily damaging disparity between the decision-makers in Washington and the rest of us, who have to live with the decisions they make,” Woods says. “Arizonans deserve representatives who know what it’s like to face hard times, and what’s needed to overcome them.”

Weisser wants Arizonans to hear some progressive ideas.

“Usually the Right dominates the conversation with their latest hooey with their purity tests of what constitutes a ‘real American’, with their gun rights boondoggles and border threat hysteria and all the real issues facing the country go unspoken.”

Among the issues among the candidates agenda are educational and immigration reform; income and social inequality; the rights of the disabled and other marginalized communities; cannabis legalization; the religious right’s attack on science; banking regulations and the so-called “Robin Hood” electric transaction tax; alternative energy and water policy; campaign finance and, of course, health care.

“Some of these ideas are just not discussed in political forums in this state,” Weisser laughs, “but it’s time for AZ to move forward with the rest of America into the 21st century.”

If you are ready for a change and want to hear fresh ideas, the Gale Force Progressives’ candidate forum begins at 5:30 pm at the Red Mountain Multigenerational Center 7550 E. Adobe Mesa, AZ.

No one ever thought House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would lose his seat, but he did. Maybe it’s a year for miracles.

 

4 responses to “‘Gale Force Progressives’ Weisser, Woods & Williamson Challenge Arizona’s Tea Party Congressmen

  1. Frank Lee Speaking

    Weisberg has about as much chance of winning an election in as as……oh wait. I do know he could get more votes here in Kingman than the local crisscrossed he runs for public office again and again. It claims it held state office in NV once, but won’t tell anyone what it’s name was before starting to pretend it is female.

    But back to Weisser…… ask him about the time he had a hand in inviting a “poet” to speak to middle school students WITHOUT getting permission from the scholarship board first. The “poet” is a radical communist party member.

    Weisser’s effort will be a local joke………just like the efforts of the crisscrossed.

  2. Prup (aka Jim Benton)

    If I could add sound effects, the cheers of a full stadium would be blaring from the speakers right now. At least one state Democratic party remembers the lessons of 06 and 08. There are always chances to win elections if you run a candidate, if not, if you just read the polls and watch your expenditures, you give Conrad Burns another term, and smooth the way for Sen. George Allen’s 2012 Presidential run, you concede to Sen. Castle and Lugar — and wind up with Sen. O’Donnell and Mourdock.
    Of course, it would be wonderful if we picked up some of the seats, and I am not as sure as many commenters are that we won’t. The TP tide is really going out fast — as fast as the ‘radical youth’ tide of the early seventies drained away from our side.
    But even if we don’t we still win with these candidacies in the long run. We start by showing a lot of ‘blue dots in a red sea’ that they are not as alone as they thought they were, that they have ‘others like themselves’ — and that they have people to join with between elections and prepare and work for the future. We will add votes up and down the ballot if we get people out to vote for even a ‘hopeless candidate’ and some of them may shift close local elections our way.
    But there are even better reasons for these candidates to be in there fighting. They can teach the rest of the country — and particularly the rest of the local Democratic parties — that we now ‘own’ the ‘wedge issues.’ The Republicans did own them, and used them well against us, and for forty years we were so sensitive we ‘flinched before we were bit.’
    But they ‘fished the hole out.’ There are no votes left for them in those issues. They have already convinced everybody who could be convinced their way, they’ve already energized all the ‘base voters’ they can with these ideas — and have begun turning off even their supporters as they fail more and more on them.
    Now WE own the wedge issues, not them — if we actually use them. (If we try to run ‘Republican lite’ types, or try and ‘triangulate’ and fudge our real feelings, we’ll be wondering why we bothered competing, after all.)
    Now if these candidates will run not against their opposition candidates but against the Republican party and its policies and failures as a whole, if they begin peeling away republicans who can’t stand the bigotry and the ignorance, the meanness and the scientific absurdity that their party has been preaching, then they can have an effect not just in Arizona but across the country. (This is how the Republicans did it since Gingrich came along — only they never knew what to do with their ‘success’ and majority. We do — I hope. But we have to ‘nationalize’ the election, and we have to call bigots, fools, homophobes, and heartless budget cutting for what they are, and we have to use the most popular and most important issues to begin the ‘salami slicing process.’ *cough, cough* marijuana legalization would peel off tons of ‘small l’ libertarians right away, and would have little organized religious opposition. And gay rights and SSM are working for us — if we make them personal enough, make the voters see their own neighbors, relatives, and friends as the ones being discriminated against.)
    So keep going, and this is a whirlwind that will blow us much good.
    (Now if we can only have one other race somewhere in the country, where a Republican homophobe is fought by a gay Democrat who is willing to challenge the Republican in public. “You know those things you’ve been saying about gays? Well, I’m gay and I would like to see if you have the courage to say them to my face. “)
    But if just one of these candidates begins making enough news that the ‘pundit blimp’ notices him or her, and begins talking about the election as a ‘referendum on Republicanism’ — forget the future, we can win back the House and save the Senate right now.

  3. I agree with Richard. Wonderful that these people are stepping up to take on these toxic FAR RW pols! I hope they are all given huge platforms to inform AZ voters. Great to see.

  4. These men are doing wonderful, amazing work, and thank you for recognizing their herculean efforts.