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Tags: Mark Pryor

Pryor, Walsh Disappoint Liberals. Any Consequences, Guys?



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ThinkProgress is not pleased that seven Senate Democrats just voted with Republicans to reject the nomination of Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Adegbile’s nomination was opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police in part because of his legal efforts to overturn the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

Those seven are, clockwise from top left, Senators Chris Coons of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, John Walsh of Montana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Well, progressives and liberals, if you really wanted to send a signal, you could refuse to donate to the DNC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this year, since they’ll be going all-out to help Mark Pryor and John Walsh win in 2014. (Coons is running for reelection and is considered safe.) You could even pledge to sit out those races, concluding that Pryor and Walsh won’t be there for you on the hard votes, the ones where you really see whether a lawmaker is committed to your values.

But I suspect you’ll just take it and learn to like it.

Tags: Mark Pryor , John Walsh

Tom Cotton: I’ll Stand Up to Obama or Leaders of My Own Party



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Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a National Review favorite, is officially running for Senate in Arkansas and just posted his first ad – emphasizing his small-town roots, learning “true grit,” and his acceptance of the label as “a young man in a hurry.” He emphasizes his willingness to stand up to both Barack Obama and the leaders of the GOP.

Here’s how Jay Nordlinger described him in a 2012 profile:

Tom Cotton is a Republican’s dream, and, for many Democrats, a nightmare. Here is his bio, in brief:

Born and raised in rural Arkansas. Harvard College. Harvard Law School. Is profoundly affected by 9/11. Resolves to join the military. Is advised to serve in the JAG Corps. Refuses. Is trained as an Army Ranger. Leads troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is now running for Congress: a young, brainy, broadly educated, likable, down-home war veteran.

Bob Costa laid out how Cotton is leading the right flank of the GOP on immigration; Eliana Johnson examined his fundraising.

Cotton is, so far, the only Republican running against incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor.

Tags: Tom Cotton , Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor: I Don’t Take Orders From Mayor Bloomberg



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Boy, Democratic senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is really running scared of his vote against the Toomey-Manchin background-check bill, huh? Here’s his first campaign ad of this cycle:

Why, it’s almost as if Pryor expects President Obama’s Organizing for Action and most liberal commentators to fall in line . . . it’s almost as if he fears no challenge in the Arkansas Democratic primary . . . it’s almost as if he thinks that most Democrats give lip service to the issue of gun control, and care most about keeping folks with a “D” after their name in office.

Oh, and it’s almost as if Mike Bloomberg’s activism is actually counterproductive to the causes he prefers in the red states.

Tags: Mark Pryor , Mike Bloomberg

How Much Influence Does Organizing for Action Have in Red States?



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If this really comes to pass, I will be surprised:

Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, told the Los Angeles Times / Tribune Washington Bureau on Thursday that the group will train its resources against the 45 senators who opposed the legislation, including Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

“What is happening right now is the reason that OFA needs to be here: to harness the energy and determination of people,” Carson said. “I think everyone would agree that the American people are on our side on this…. We need to show that the 90% on our side have staying power.”

“This is one of those moments where we have to prove that in the face of a setback we’re not backing down,” he added. “That’s the calculation that some senators were mistaken on…. The consequences they’re going to have to face are a bunch of angry constituents who are going to keep the issue alive.”

Carson said Organizing for Action will also demonstrate support for those who backed the measure, including the Republican co-sponsor, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

“Our volunteers are ready to show Pat Toomey how much they appreciate his leadership,” he said.

The group plans to launch sustained campaigns in which constituents will call and tweet lawmakers, write letters to the editor and hold local events spotlighting their support for gun control. Its next major effort comes Saturday, when supporters are organizing rallies and other events in the states of key senators.

Calls and Tweets, letters to the editor, local rallies with mid-level attendance… eh, most incumbent senators don’t fear those actions, unless they come in overwhelming numbers. One of the big questions is just how many Organizing for Action members reside in Montana, Alaska, and Arkansas.

OpenSecrets.org compiled a sortable, downloadable list of the 1,428 donors who gave more than $250. They list four donors in Alaska, who contributed $1,375; four donors in Arkansas, who contributed $51,500; and three donors in Montana, who contributed $1,250. In Pennsylvania, the group lists 34 donors who contributed $12,888. As you might expect, those are small fractions compared to states like California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland.

As I wrote this morning, the rhetoric of the president and his supporters would suggest that the defeat of Baucus, Begich, and Pryor is a priority. But the real question will be whether any of their fury over yesterday’s vote translates into support for a pro-gun-control primary challenger. The filing deadline for a party candidate in Montana and Arkansas is March 2014; for Alaska the deadline is June 2014.

Tags: Organizing for Action , Mark Pryor , Mark Begich , Max Baucus

Gun Control Rhetoric Is For Show Without Primary Challenges



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Okay, gun control supporters, including President Obama. Let’s see if you’ll put your money where your mouth is.  If you’re so totally convinced by that 90 percent poll figure you keep throwing around, if you’re so utterly certain that your viewpoint represents the will of the American people, let’s see you back pro-gun-control challengers to the three Democrats who voted against the Toomey-Manchin compromise who are up for reelection in 2014: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Begich of Alaska.

Because if you really believe that voting “no” on that proposal is the equivalent to voting for more dead children, you can’t say that it’s an utterly unforgivable act for the Republican senators but an understandable concession to public will for the Democrat senators.

(Well, you can, but that will just reveal that you’re partisan hacks, posturing opportunists who use the emotion of the Newtown horror as a cudgel against your Republican opponents, with no real principled opposition to their position, since it’s acceptable from a Red State Democrat.)

Here’s how Obama tried to thread the needle yesterday:

A  few minutes ago, 90 percent of Democrats in the Senate voted for that idea. But it’s not going to happen, because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea…

It came down to politics. They worried that that vocal minority of gun-owners would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment. And obviously a lot of Republicans had that fear, but Democrats had that fear, too. And so they caved to the pressure, and they started looking for an excuse, any excuse, to vote no.

If you really think that the only reason to not vote for the bill was shameless politics, you can’t later on tell us that Baucus, Pryor and Begich are good senators who deserve reelection. You can’t come to their states for fundraisers, and you can’t go to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee events where you know the cash will be used to try to keep them in office. You can’t mobilize Organizing for Action to pull out all the stops to keep them in office, because you prefer a ‘D’ who votes for more dead children (your rhetoric, not mine) over an ‘R’ who would cast the same vote.

Of course, there’s almost no chance Obama or the DSCC or OFA will take these steps. Bloomberg’s groups may throw money at pro-gun control challengers, but that’s because they’ve got oodles of money; in all likelihood, they’ll help some no-name gun control advocate go from single-digit support in a Red State Democratic primary to double digits.

What yesterday’s vote demonstrated is that nobody really believes that a vote against the Toomey-Manchin compromise is the moral equivalent to voting for more dead children. And that all of this hyperventilating on camera is empty rhetoric.

Tags: Gun Control , Barack Obama , Max Baucus , Mark Pryor , Mark Begich

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