Jason Hodge: A Republican in Democrat's Clothing
By David Atkins
Remember Jason Hodge, the corporate-backed Democrat running for California's 19th Senate District who "doesn't think you need higher taxes", running against progressive Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson?
Well, I just got a nice big glossy mailer from an organization called the California Senior Advocates League, saying that Jason Hodge would be the Democrat most capable of defeating the Republicans and calling Hannah-Beth Jackson the derogatory nickname "Taxin' Jackson."
What is the California Senior Advocates League? Well, it's a group that only seems to exist come election time. It runs a now-defunct blog called the Silver Dog Blog, whose latest post trashes the Affordable Care Act. And its funders? Mostly the San Diego and California Republican Parties, big oil and pharmaceutical interests. Most recently it received $20,000 from something called JobsPAC. And who funds JobsPAC? Mostly Philip Morris, Chevron, Anheuser-Busch, Anthem Blue Cross, PG&E and a host of similar companies and institutions.
For what it's worth, the "California Senior Advocates League" doesn't appear to have made the necessary legal filing disclosures to the state, but they have made sure that flashy campaign mailers supporting their favorite "Democrat" Jason Hodge make it to left-leaning voters' mailboxes right before vote-by-mail ballots get there in a few days. There has been no condemnation or mention of the mailer from the Hodge campaign.
Keep in mind that this big-money front group didn't just send out a piece to attack Hannah-Beth Jackson. They sent out a piece to promote Jason Hodge. Since the registration numbers dictate that a Democrat will almost certainly win the seat regardless, the big money boys know where their bread is buttered, and it's with Mr. Hodge. After all, why fight an uphill battle to elect a Republican when you can elect a Republican in sheep's clothing instead?
The Hannah-Beth Jackson campaign has responded:
"I'm not surprised that the oil and tobacco companies are behind the mailers attacking me," Jackson said. "After all, I'm supported by the Sierra Club and the Consumer Federation of California. And look at my voting record - I always stood with consumers, working middle class families and the environment. I successfully banned oil tankers and barges from our coast, and have worked against oil company price gouging."
Today is also when Fortune Magazine reported its new Fortune 500 with three of the four biggest corporations in the nation being oil companies, including Chevron.
"These oil and tobacco corporations think they are above the law," noted Jackson. "It's not enough that they launder their money through fake organizations, claiming to represent the interests of seniors. They have failed to report their expenditures against me, even though they were required by law to report the tens of thousands of dollars in postage that they paid last week for the mailers delivered to households today. I'm sure we'll be seeing their reports now that we've exposed them as lawbreakers," Jackson concluded.
This is why it's so crucial to be involved in making the Democratic Party more progressive. No matter how one feels about what is going on in the White House, there are innumerable battles just like this one happening all across America.
Battles where progressive Democrats are up against corporate-backed "Democrats" seeking to make the Party just that much more conservative and friendly to big business interests. These are fights we cannot afford to lose.
David Atkins is a qualitative research professional and prominent blogger. This article was originally published on Digby's Hullabaloo.