Clinton Again Goes to War Against a Dem Primary Challenger

During Netroots Nation, FDL had a chance to talk with Mac D’Alessandro, a former SEIU New England political director who is now running a primary challenge to Stephen Lynch in Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional District. Mac described himself as a potential organizer inside Congress. He would join the Progressive Caucus, vote against war funding, support public financing of elections and breaking up the big banks. He also listed his number one priority in Congress as ending corporate personhood. While as just one member of Congress he’s unlikely to reach these goals, he responded, “that’s one more than Stephen Lynch. At least I’ll try to lead on these issues.”

Lynch, who voted against health care (claiming to have voted against it from the left), for the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War, expects to win this race handily. But it’s notable that he has brought in Bill Clinton for a fundraiser for him, taking place tomorrow. As D’Alessandro notes in a letter to FDL, “This echoes Clinton swooping in to save Blanche Lincoln in the run-off against Bill Halter.”

The Clinton fundraiser for Lynch, which will add to his $1.3 million dollar war chest, comes at a time when he just voted to fund $37 billion – all of it unpaid for – to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. D’Alessandro released this statement:

“While teachers are being laid off in Brockton, storefronts are empty from Needham to Dorchester, and so many people are still struggling to find work, I am disappointed that Stephen Lynch yet again voted with Republicans to commit another $37 billion to the war in Afghanistan. This money would have been better invested here at home, in communities like those in the 9th district. Our troops in Afghanistan – and Iraq – have performed admirably and done all we have asked of them. We must honor them now by bringing them home as safely and as quickly as possible.”

The labor movement and progressives have had few opportunities to hold members of Congress accountable for their votes, and D’Alessandro represents one of them.

The Massachusetts primary is September 14.

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David Dayen

David Dayen