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Since I have seen diaries speculating on the 2014 Kentucky Senate race, and since we know that Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic Majority Whip, is on the so-called "Gang of Eight" on reducing the deficit, I figure that we ought to be ready to primary him if he does vote yes to ANY Simpson-Bowles style Grand Bargain or have a viable replacement for him if Durbin decides to retire as it has been rumored.

Last summer, the NBC affiliate in Chicago had a blog post stating that friends of Durbin had said that he might retire in 2014.   The blog post named potential successors (it looked at both Democrats and Republicans) but since Illinois is a solidly blue state and 2010 had bad circumstances, a Tea Party wave and a really bad Democratic candidate, I don't see 2014 as having any GOP pickup potential for that seat even if Durbin retires or is primaried out for voting yes on a Grand Bargain betrayal.

The first name that comes up is Dan Hynes who is 44, and was Illinois Comptroller from 1999-2011.   Hynes finished 2nd to Barack Obama in 2004 in the Democratic primary and barely lost in 2010 in primary against the current Illinois governor Pat Quinn.  By checking VoteSmart and his public statements when he was running for governor in 2010, Hynes is pro-choice, pro-LGBT, wants to reduce greenhouse gases but believes in "clean coal".  For the record, there is no such thing as "clean coal".   I cannot seem to find any recent position on earned benefits, but one of the things he was running on in 2010 was proper Medicaid funding.  

Another contender is David Hoffman, who lost to that really bad Senate candidate in 2010.  Hoffman is a former prosecutor and was Inspector General for Chicago.  From his background, I don't see Hoffman playing nice with the banksters.  Looking over a diary from 2010 on Hoffman in that primary, Hoffman is quite progressive.  Very pro-LGBT, strongly pro-choice and had progressive stances on Afghanistan.  Overall I like Hoffman on issues but I think that losing to a bad candidate in a primary doesn't say much about his ability to campaign.

Another name is Toni Preckwinkle, who is the Cook County Board President.   She's currently 65.   Preckwinkle supports living wages, for gun control.  Preckwinkle has a long history with Obama as one of his early supporters when Obama was running for state office.   A New Yorker article noted that she had concerns about Obama being "disloyal" to progressives.   Preckwinkle already said no to running for governor in 2014so she may not want to run for Senate either.  But it be would see to see a progressive, African-American woman in there.   Of course, it might be challenge for her to get downstate votes.

Another female candidate could be Sheila Simon, daughter of the former Illinois Senator.   As the Lt. Governor, she may be dragged down by Quinn's unpopularity.   Simon is pro-choice,  and preventing domestic violence is a big issue with her from judging some of the VoteSmart public statements.    Simon could be a great candidate for downstate but she might be dragged down by Quinn.

Yet another potential candidate is Kwame Raoul.   Raoul is a State Senator who was appointed to fill Obama's seat when Obama won his Senate race in 2004.   Raoul has helped expand early voting and has enacted numerous progressive policies.   Checking VoteSmart, voted yes to Smart Grid Technology, voted yes to limiting artificial trans fats and voted yes to Medical Cannabis.  Among the ratings on issues:  in 2007, the Illlinois LCV(League of Conservation Voters) gave Raoul a 67% rating,  the NRA has consistently given him a 0% or an F(The NRA is of course a Republican interest group), the Illinois AFL-CIO has consistenly given him ratings of over 90% and in 2011, gave him a positions rating of 100%.   Raoul would be a great candidate for 2014 IMHO

The last one mentioned by that article was Jan Schakowsky   Schakowsky is a progressive Congressperson who has been in Congress since 1999.   Nobody would doubt her progressive cred.   She opposed the war in Iraq, and she supports single payer.   The article said she would be too liberal for a statewide election, but I would feel relieved if she were the nominee since I don't see her supporting any Simpson-Bowles bullshit.

I will also add a few other possible names too:

Maria Antonia "Toni" Berrios: Was the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in the Illinois House.  She's still young(35) but a female Latina nominee for Senate would be quite awesome.  

Iris Martinez would be another good choice.   She's 56 and was the first Latina elected to the Illinois State Senate.   She is the Assistent Majority Leader in the State Senate and would be quite qualified to be a U.S Senator.  

Of course, I would like to hear from Kossacks in Illinois that have a better feel for their state.   Please correct me or feel free to add your own potential Senate candidates.

6:11 PM PT: I should add that I hope that I am wrong here and Dick Durbin ultimately rejects a Grand Bargain that reduces earned benefits.   I also understand that this is more hypothetical, and I am just looking at candidates more in case Durbin retires.

Durbin has had a very good progressive record and I am disappointed that he has seemed to be with the Simpson-Bowles phony Democrats.

6:46 PM PT: by the way, I will acknowledge that Durbin has a great voting record (hat tip to Skipbidder)

And following the criticisms of JeffW and psilocynic, I will focus more of my energy regarding Durbin trying to change his mind now rather than talk about primarying him.   I am very open to suggestions from my fellow Kossacks as to where Daily Kos can apply pressure to Durbin to preserve our earned benefits and reject the Simpson-Bowles worthless garbage.

Originally posted to pistolSO on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.


2014 Illinois Senate winner?

5%9 votes
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1%3 votes
1%3 votes
18%29 votes
0%0 votes
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55%88 votes
3%5 votes
5%8 votes

| 159 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  yep... (15+ / 0-)

      purity is about as good an idea as austerity.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:38:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Illinois is a blue state. (7+ / 0-)

        I am for progressive Democrats in blue states.  It's bad enough that we have to put up with the likes of Mary Landrieu in purple states. Compromise in NoDak? Fine.  Illinois? No. Durbin has plotted to sell out the New Deal and I would not vote for or canvass for him if I lived in his state.  Democrats should stand for something besides "the banks run the place."

        The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

        by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:01:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  purity (15+ / 0-)

          Start your list of Senators who are more liberal than Durbin.

          Try to get to 10.

          You can't, at least not without a great deal of argument.

          There are several in the top ten that are arguably comparably liberal, but then you are trying to decide which liberal positions you value more than others.

          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          by Skipbidder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:32:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am very clear on what I value. (5+ / 0-)

            After the Catfood Commission and the various gangs, Durbin doesn't make the cut.  I would not donate to him.  I would not doorknock for him.  If he got a primary opponent I would donate to him or her.

            The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

            by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:11:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yikes (7+ / 0-)

              You are in Iowa.

              Are you advocating primarying Tom Harkin because he has actually voted for Medicare means testing?

              If not, why not?

              Durbin, of course, voted against means testing.

              Regarding liberalism, they are roughly equivalent otherwise.
              Durbin is better than Harkin on marriage equality (being in favor of marriage rather than just civil unions). Durbin is better on progressive taxation as well.

              The plural of anecdote is not data.

              by Skipbidder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:40:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Tom Harkin has been defending these programs (0+ / 0-)

                and not proposing cuts to them from behind closed doors as part of a "gang" intending to ram through those cuts in an undemocratic way.  I tried to find whatever you are referring to, including looking at the Alliance for Retired Americans score sheets back to 2007, and I do not find anything supporting your statement.  ARA gives him a 99% lifetime score. You should watch this speech on CSPAN sometime if you want to know what Tom thinks about the efforts of our Democratic President (with Durbin's help) to cut Social Security.  Everyone has their red lines.  This is one of mine.  

                On marriage equality, I found this:

                On marriage equality, on which his state of Iowa has led the way, Harkin said it was only matter of time before it came to every state.

                "Look," he said, "marriage equality is really the civil rights issue of our time and that time has come. I think more and more people are saying, 'Yes, time to put that behind us.' We did that in Iowa. Yeah, there's always some who want to turn the clock back. Heck, I bet you can find people today who would like to to turn back the Civil Rights Act of the 1965. They want to get rid of the Voting Rights Act. There's always people like that. but I think the great bulk of Americans would just as soon say, 'That's history, we're beyond that.'"

                Also this, same Signorile interview:
                Harkin, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has spearheaded the effort to get ENDA passed, having held hearings in the Senate back in June.

                "I'm not going to give up on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he said. "It's a civil rights issue. I know we can't get it this year because of Republican opposition, but I'll be there next year. We'll have Barack Obama as president. I believe we'll still have a majority in the Senate and I'm going to continue to bring it up. We're not going to sit back on it. And quite frankly, I think we have a lot of employers in this country that would like to see something like this pass. Right now, a lot of employers are caught in a crossfire on this. If they have ENDA, it frees them up. All I can tell you is, we're not giving up."

                The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                by 2laneIA on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:44:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                  I used to live in Iowa. I volunteered for Harkin for Senate. I caucused for him in 1992 when he ran for President. I quite like him. He does have some bad votes, however. The most irritating to me are regarding alternative medicine (DSHEA has done a lot of health care harm, and he was a cosponsor along with the odious Orrin Hatch.)

                  The vote that should bother YOU if you are a health care purist is the vote he cast in favor of means testing for Medicare. He voted to table Ted Kennedy's Amendment #440; to the Balanced Budget Act (Senate 947). Dick Durbin cast his vote in the liberal purist way (which was a NO vote here).

                  I don't really need to read up on Harkin feels about Simpson-Bowles. I don't like Simpson-Bowles. I hope we do much, much better. I think that the circumstances are different now than they were when that committee meant, and that the Dems realize that we don't have to cave that much. I was just point out that Harkin (who is someone from the State where you actually live) has a bad vote on Medicare. It doesn't make sense to me that you want to primary Durbin and not Harkin.

                  Harkin certain is quite good on gay rights. It's just that Durbin is better. Harkin voted for DOMA. His HRC scorecard shows a 93%. This is great. Durbin's is 100%.

                  The plural of anecdote is not data.

                  by Skipbidder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:57:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It looks like a bad vote. (0+ / 0-)

                    In 1997.  Since then he has apparently evolved, and has earned a 99% score from ARA.

                    I have a profound disagreement with what Durbin did last year and is still doing right now, in that he is trying to engineer cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid--unnecessary and cruel cuts that will cause needless death and suffering.  

                    Quoting from the letter from 350 economists that is the subject of another diary:

                    That threat has led to backroom negotiations, backed by a multimillion dollar public relations campaign, toward a "grand bargain" that would maintain tax give-aways for the rich; cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; and impose new, job-killing spending cuts. This is no bargain, and it should be rejected.

                    The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                    by 2laneIA on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:30:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  There are many liberals in redder states (4+ / 0-)

            Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin to name a few. Illinois is one of the bluest states in the country, but this isn't the issue. The real issue is that no democrat should be supporting the catfood commission. It's unpopular everywhere. People love Medicare and Social Security even in red states. This is way different from the Tea Party primaries where candidates took unpopular radical right positions in swing states or blue states like Nevada.

            Are you saying supporting Social Security is too far left for Illinois?!

            "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

            by Johnnythebandit on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:48:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Congratulations Senator Oberweis (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoUBears, terjeanderson, MichaelNY

              Wisconsin also has Ron Johnson as Senator.
              Ohio has Rob Portman.
              Illinois has Mark Kirk. In "one of the bluest states in the country".

              Primary Durbin and watch us end up with Oberweis.

              Voting for Simpson-Bowles in committee, when his vote wasn't enough to approve the report, is something that multiple posters here seem willing to be single-issue about. I'm not. He's got the positions that everyone here wants him to have on everything else. The positions of Brown and Baldwin aren't clearly better. They've got some bad votes/opinions too. Durbin also has a strong voting record on Social Security and Medicare otherwise.

              I trust Durbin on Medicare and SS considerably more than I trust Obama.  

              We are already lining up to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.

              The plural of anecdote is not data.

              by Skipbidder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:10:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't trust either of them. (0+ / 0-)

                Primaries and the threat of primaries can have a salutary effect. They are a form of accountability--not representing what your constituents want, but think you are invulnerable because the other party can't take you out?  Watch this.

                The cuts he has been shilling for are opposed by more than three-quarters of Americans surveyed (pdf), so there is no argument to be made that he is representing his constituents on this issue.  This is what the wealthy want, Wall Street wants, and we know that the banks run the place.

                The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                by 2laneIA on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:52:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Mary Mary (10+ / 0-)

          Please leave Mary out of this. Louisiana is a decidedly red state, she is currently the ONLY statewide elected official still a Democrat.

          Thank god for Mary Landrieu and her vote for ACA, Dodd-Frank and others. She is a great representative and I look forward to working hard to reelect her in 2014.

          21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

          by Stephen Schmitz on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:41:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I understand the dynamics of the race (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, blueoasis, COBALT1928

      would be a lot different if Durbin retires as opposed to a primary challenge if there is a Grand Bargain.

      I would ask though would a chained COLA and/or raising the Medicare eligibility age be acceptable to you and if Durbin stays, would you be fine with him having no consequences from such a vote if that happens.

      Again, a lot of this is just hypothetical, but it always is a good idea to be prepared for a Durbin retirement.

    •  Exactly (16+ / 0-)

      Utter foolishness.  Occasionally, people on our side will not please us.  I will be vocal about my objections on key issues but I am not participating in an effort to primary our people, esp. when they're more good that bad.

      I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy. Twitter: @HawaiiDelilah

      by Delilah on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:53:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yea! (0+ / 0-)

      It's a good thing progressives didn't do anything stupid like nominate some extremist like Tammy Baldwin in a swing state!  

      More seriously, I would expect people on this site to be aware that most of the political science research shows candidate ideology has a relatively small effect on electoral performance.  Meanwhile, primaries are the most effective tools progressive can use to shift the debate to the left.  

      I would scream at someone proposing a left-wing primary challenge to Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu, but if you can't primary a Democrat in a heavy blue state like Illinois, you're going to remain powerless and irrelevant.  

  •  It's very hard to primary someone like Durbin (23+ / 0-)

    As a member of the majority leadership Durbin can raise large amounts of money to fight any primary challenge. Add to that two other items, he is well liked by voters, and the Dem machine will have sharp knives out for any Dem who tries to primary Durbin. It could be a kamikaze attack for a promising IL Dem, that might be career ending. I would not recommend it for a politician I wanted to see stay involved in IL politics.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:34:58 PM PST

  •  I don't support primarying Durbin but if he does (12+ / 0-)

    retire, I support Schakowsky as the nominee.  By the way, the Kentucky diary, is that a subtle shout out to your truly? :)  By the way, I think Tammy Duckworth would be a great choice for 2016 against Mark Kirk but we have to be careful with running against Kirk because of his stroke.

  •  Cheri Bustos? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Hamlet, JTinDC

    I'd vote for her if she primaried Durbin.

    Committed to making sure that Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson are shown the door in 2016!

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:39:06 PM PST

    •  Don't you think she should have a little... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, JGibson, JTinDC, MichaelNY, GoUBears

      ...experience in Washington in the House first? Especially after all those years of Don Manzullo.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:44:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  IL-17, where I was born and where I've lived (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      most of the years of my life, tho not consecutively. I was very pleased to see the electorate there put a Dem back in that seat. Never should've gone to a Repub in the first place. Average every day Dem voters have got to start understanding that midterms matter just as much as presidential year elections.

      JeffW is right, Bustos needs some time in the House before running for Sen.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:17:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She wouldn't be in Congress without Durbin's help. (0+ / 0-)

      Not gonna happen.

  •  even better to apply that energy (8+ / 0-)

    to pressure Durbin to stand against the bargain.  
    Stranger things have happened.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    by vivadissent on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:40:53 PM PST

  •  I'd think more about a replacement... (13+ / 0-)

    ...for Mark Kirk. I don't think he'll be back for long, if at all. He's not springing back very well from that stroke.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:41:00 PM PST

  •  I find these kind of Diaries somewhat useless (27+ / 0-)

    Maybe Durbin will disappoint you, maybe he won't. If there is a bargain of some kind, it will have some elements that are bad and others that are not. If it follows the pattern of the Obama years, some folks will hate it until they realize that it was far more progressive than they thought it was. Panic at what might happen is not useful (nor is believing Bob Woodward). Using our influence to shape policy is useful--now and over the next four years. This Diary abandons that effort.

    We should be focused on building our influence. In 2009 we let our in-fighting create an opening for the Wingnuts to revitalize themselves with the Tea Baggers and then way too many of us sat out the midterms (and/or tried to use 2010 to punish squishy Dems).  I have no doubt that many folks will want to follow that same course of action again. This Diary strikes me as a call to hit the 'repeat' button.

    When the modern Conservative movement is crushed then we can have the fight over which Dem is perfect. Until then, any energy that is not focused on taking back the House in 2014 and crushing the GOP is not that useful.

    Others will, of course, disagree. So it goes.

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:46:15 PM PST

    •  I understand your viewpoint (0+ / 0-)

      But really, what can we do to influence things if the Democrats cave into the GOP again and make the 2014 midterms that much harder.   Don't think for a second that the Republicans won't use a Grand Bargain against the Democrats for attacking Social Security or Medicare.   yes, the Democratic Party still has more credibility on earned benefits but if the Grand Bargain is particularly bad, we could lose that advantage.

      And yes, I could be completely wrong and the GOP caves and Obama could be right in this.   I hope that I'm wrong and Obama is not getting ready to sacrifice earned benefits in the name of avoiding the fiscal slope or getting rid of those loathsome Bush tax cuts.

      And yes, Democrats have to show up and GOTV for 2014.

  •  If he votes for the Grand Bargain, Primary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2laneIA, Williston Barrett

    him.  It's not that complicated.

    "Something in the way, yeah." Kurt Cobain

    by The Hamlet on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:47:38 PM PST

  •  Durbin has done a lot (12+ / 0-)

    to mentor and promote women, minorities and progressive candidates and policy-makers.  Be a damned shame to primary him.

  •  Remember that SNL skit... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, R30A, GoUBears

    where Rahm Emanuel tries to get Obama to get really angry, and then Obama flips out and turns into The Rock and throws annoying puny politicians through walls? Well, primary Dick Durbin and you might get Rahm Emanuel's wish.

  •  suicide (21+ / 0-)

    Dick Durbin?

    Take a look at his the On The Issues page for him:

    He's more liberal (by that site) than the vast majority of sitting Democratic Senators.

    96% from Human Rights Campaign (LGBT)
    100% NARAL and Planned Parenthood
    93% ACLU
    NAACP 100%
    League of Women Voters Civil/Human Rights 100%
    League of Conservation Voters 91-100% over last three years.
    National Education Association=A
    AFL-CIO 100% (2010), 89% (2011)
    ACORN (defunct thanks to GOP) 100%
    SANE (defunct) 100%
    AU (separation of Church/State) 100%
    Citizens for Tax Justice 100% (progressive taxation)

    Competitive Enterprise Institute Tax Score 0%
    Christian Coalition 0%
    CATO 17%

    I literally can't find a score where he isn't on the liberal side by a fair margin.

    Primary-ing him is displaying more "party purity" than the Republicans did primary-ing Dick Luger. Durbin is more liberal compared to his party than Luger was conservative compared to his.

    This can't be serious.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:08:40 PM PST

  •  NONE of those candidates have any chance of (11+ / 0-)

    defeating Dick Durbin in a primary. NONE.

    "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

    by be the change you seek on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:11:19 PM PST

  •  Mistake. (8+ / 0-)

    You just play into the GOP's hands by primarying Durbin.

  •  What a ridiculous notion. (8+ / 0-)

    Durbin is invincible. No sane Democrat in Illinois would even think of a primary challenge. An absolute waste of time.

  •  Senator Durbin, circumstances have changed, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JTinDC, pistolSO

    please don't lend your considerable support to the corporate Bowles-Simpson Fix the Debt campaign.

    "They are portraying themselves as the reasonable ones, because they’re calling for both raising revenues and cutting spending. But if you look at the details of their tax plan, you see that they are really just a Trojan horse. They’re pushing for the same old tax breaks for corporations that they’ve been pushing for for about a decade, Sarah Anderson, Global Economy Project"

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:04:06 PM PST

    •  That right there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Williston Barrett, smiley7, pistolSO
      Bowles-Simpson Fix the Debt campaign.
      "They are portraying themselves as the reasonable ones
      As good a liberal as Durbin is otherwise, this is why he pisses me off. Why the hell didn't he do more to champion fellow commission member Shakowsky's ideas? She had a plan that got virtually no attention. And her math actually worked.

      There are ways to address our fiscal challenges that do not inflict even more pain on the 99%, but the GOP wants solutions that inflicts more pain. Shame on Durbin for lending them unmerited credibility. He's either not as bright as he's been given credit for or he's not as principled as he thinks he is or as we need for him to be.

      We're talking IL for christ's sake. We shouldn't have to put up with this shit. Shakowsky gets my vote to replace him. Time for Durbin to retire. Regardless of whether he can be successfully primaried, he needs to be threatened with it.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:47:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  By himself Durbin is essentially (8+ / 0-)

    invulnerable to primary.  With the support of the Democratic Party of Illinois he becomes doubly so.  With the support of the President of the United States he becomes triply so.

    You can't touch Dick Durbin.  And even if you could, I don't think for a moment that your list of candidates contains anyone with the combination of liberalism and competence to get good things done to the same degree as Durbin.

    He's an excellent senator.  This is not the issue on which to dismiss him.

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:11:39 PM PST

    •  and he's a downstater. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, VClib, JGibson, GoUBears

      and as someone from his hometown, I can say he has an appeal downstate that other dems mentioned don't have. this idea is a bit too far-fetched.

      •  I'm also a downstater (but not his hometown) and (0+ / 0-)

        his willingness to negotiate on SS and Medicare is not playing well here, especially with the elderly and union members.

        There's real unhappiness here with the Democratic Party as a whole who many feel has abandoned its core mission in favor of Wall Street money.

        I continually hear the refrain that Obama and the Democrats bailedl out Wall Street but not Main Street. This willingness on Durbin's part to cut SS and Medicare only strengthens that feeling.

        He will be vulnerable to a primary challenge if he votes to cut SS and Medicare. People around here have just about had it.

    •  Dick Durbin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JGibson, R30A, GoUBears

      is responsible for giving us Senator Obama, which in turn gave us President Obama.

      I'll keep my senator, thanks.

      Kathleen Sebelius 2016

      by pvlb on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:20:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just call him and ask.... (9+ / 0-)

    That's what I do. Sen. Durban is quite accommodating.

    As to the notion of "primarying" Durbin....with all due respect, are you nuts? Durbin is a solid progressive on social issues. He is also trying to come to grips with a big budget mess. he won't sell out to a grand bargain, but he will see through to a solid solution, ala the plans developed during the Clinton years.

    Of the names you mentioned, Durbin would trounce all with minimum 65 % of the toe. That is, should they be ray enough to go up against him.

  •  One thing we should remember (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, pvlb, jncca, skibum59, MichaelNY, R30A, GoUBears, pistolSO

    is that it's counterproductive to criticize progressives for simply sitting on Catfood Commissions, Deficit Reduction Panels, Gangs of Howevermany, or the like. We need some progressive Representatives and Senators to at least be in the room so the centrists can't just sell us up the river. If he does agree to something highly objectionable, that's one thing, but participating in negotiations should not be punished.

    Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison)

    by fearlessfred14 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:23:13 PM PST

    •  It's not his participation that's objectionable. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Williston Barrett

      Shakowsky also sat on that commission.

      What's objectionable about Durbin is that he yielded to rightwing commission members while seeming to completely ignoring Shakowsky's ideas. WTF was that shit all about?

      We need some progressive Representatives and Senators to at least be in the room so the centrists can't just sell us up the river.
      Agreed, that is what we needed on the Catfood Commission. Too bad that's not what we got from Durbin.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:57:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please link to evidence (0+ / 0-)

        I won't criticize normally progressive Senators based on rumors.

        Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison)

        by fearlessfred14 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:22:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can provide this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Schakowsky Deficit Reduction Plan: A Proposal that Actually Strengthens Social Security

          The first thing you need to know about Rep. Jan Schakowsky's plan to strengthen Social Security is what it does not do.

          It does not claim to cut benefits in order to “prevent them from being cut” in the future. It does not “fix” Social Security with 70% benefit cuts and 30% revenue increases and then turn around and call itself a compromise.

          It does not shove middle class retirees and their families into poverty by cutting their benefits as much as 35%.

          It does not pretend that we need to rob middle and low income earners out of house and home to offer the very poorest a more decent living.

          It does not stick it to the overwhelmingly black and Latino workers in physically demanding jobs by making them work till age 69. It does not pretend that because richer Americans are living longer, regular Americans should work till they drop.

          It does not presume that the elderly and disabled can swap long-term care and prescription medicines for cheaper versions when their COLAs get slashed.

          In short, it does not assume that America’s senior citizens are greedy geezers “driving their cadillacs to get their AARP discount at the Perkins,” or sucking on the teat of an extremely large cow.

          No, we already know all about a plan that does those things. It’s called the Simpson-Bowles plan. Conceived by a Wall Street banker and governor’s son, for Wall Street bankers and governors’ sons. But the way the media has reported on it, you would think the cruel blow it strikes to the lives of American retirees, veterans, disabled workers--and yes, children--is somehow brave, as if they were facing up to the inevitable.

          Today, Rep. Schakowsky proved them all wrong. And for that we owe her a debt of gratitude. Her plan puts Social Security on a sound footing for the next 75 years without cutting a single benefit. Here’s how she did it, in three quick steps:

          Lift the cap on taxable payroll back up to 90% on the employee side, and eliminate it on the employer side. This move alone erases 74% of Social Security’s long-term shortfall. Poof! Doesn’t that feel good? That means millionaire bankers and corporate executives will have to pay their fair share for the workers they employ--and a fairer share of their own income.

          Simpson and Bowles lifted the cap up to only 90% on the employer side. That would deliver half as much revenue for the program as Schakowsky’s plan, but the good ole boys made it seem like a big tax increase--a compromise aimed at wooing progressives like Schakowsky. In fact, lifting the cap to 90% would just restore it to where it was intended to be when President Reagan signed it into law in 1983. It was a cap based on average wage growth, meant to avoid a situation where we would pay the richest in this country benefits proportionate to their millions and billions. But because the vast majority of income growth has taken place “above the cap” since 1983--don’t forget, the rich have been the ones getting richer all that time--the same average wage growth formula only covers 83% of the country’s present day earnings. Schakowsky merely takes it a step further by making the Social Security tax more progressive, without levying a major tax increase on employees in the $106,800-250,000 range of income.

          Treat flexible spending accounts like 401(k)s. Like so much of recent Social Security policy, this change boils down to perfecting reforms that were made in 1983 (when Social Security actually did face a financial crisis). Back then, Congress decided that 401(k)s and other employer-sponsored retirement accounts should be considered taxable payroll for Social Security. We call it taxable payroll, but we should call it Social Security's benefit base.

          If an individual does not contribute to Social Security from a particular set of earnings, those earnings will not be counted toward their Social Security benefits later on. Treating 401(k)s as taxable payroll prevents employers from contributing to employees’ pension plans in order to lower the payroll taxes they would have to pay on normal salaries, and thereby depriving their employees of Social Security protection for the earnings they accrue in their private retirement accounts.

          Expanding Social Security's benefit base to include the flexible spending accounts often granted by employers to cover out-of-pocket transportation, parking or child care expenses, in the same way we do for 401(k)s, would erase another 13% of the Social Security’s shortfall. And it is a pretty good deal for workers. Unlike expense accounts, Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation and costs of living, and insure workers and their families against lost income in the event of death or disability.

          Issue a 3-4% legacy tax on all earnings “above the cap.” Still feeling blue about the free ride the rich are getting by not having to pay Social Security taxes on all of their income? This option moves us just a little bit closer to fairness, and wipes away 26% of the Social Security shortfall in the process.

          A 3% tax on the top 10% of the country’s income would be split evenly between the country’s wealthiest employers and employees for a total of 1.5% each. For some perspective on how such a tax compares to other popular proposals, every year that the retirement age is raised cuts benefits for everyone by 7%, and disproportionately affects the lower half of earners. Merely by raising the retirement age two years, the Simpson-Bowles plan cuts benefits by 14%.

          Not only that. There is a good historical reason for us to pay a little extra into the system, beyond the money that we already contribute. We’ve been running on a deficit since the beginning. You might say its our legacy. Well, better put, it’s the legacy of the generation that fought in World War I, survived the Depression, and sacrificed during World War II. That was the first generation of Social Security recipients. You see, President Roosevelt insisted that Social Security begin paying benefits to Americans aged 65 and older in 1940, even though the program had only been collecting contributions since 1937.

          Roosevelt believed that since the Americans of that generation had served their country in the hardest of times, the public owed them a degree of security in old age, even if the program’s revenues were not yet adequate. We were supposed to make up the unfunded benefits through increasing workers’ contributions to the program. But now years have passed, and we never did. Requiring our wealthiest citizens to do so now is not only right for the program, it is the responsibility we carry for the legacy costs of that first generation of beneficiaries.

          Regardless of what people say, this proposal is among the least controversial ways to shore up Social Security’s finances. It is neither a new idea, nor a left-wing one. In fact, the centrist budget hawks Peter Orszag and Peter Diamond proposed it way back in 2003.

          There. That’s it. Rep. Schakowsky’s entire plan. Fair and painless, without all of the technical mumbo-jumbo. And we still have room to create a minimum benefit for the poorest workers, give the oldest beneficiaries a 5% increase, reinstate the student benefit and increase benefits in other ways.

          So the next time someone looks at you condescendingly with that you-just-don’t-get-the-deficit look and demands to know “what your plan is,” you know what to tell ‘em: You support the Schakowsky plan. But when they ask you, “If her plan is so good, why didn’t Obama have her chair the Commission,” do not be afraid to admit your ignorance. Because that is a really good question.

          Now, kindly explain to me how Durbin can justify not championing a plan that would actually meet commission goals without inflicting pain on the 99%.

          Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

          by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:50:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Illinois and Durbin (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, JGibson, MichaelNY, R30A, GoUBears

    Any grand compromise that comes out of the congressional negotiations will be one that president Obama will be behind.  If you are going against whatever Durbin goes for, you will be going against the President.  That is your choice.

    In any case, no one is going to threaten Durbin in a primary.  The Illinois Democratic Party is very united and strong.  You may be blinded by the 16 percent margin of the President over Romney.  But look at what happened in the congressionals and state legislative races.  These were won by organization, and it wasn't Obama for America.  (The Democrats picked up 4 congressional seats and supermajorities in both houses of the legislature).

    If Durbin doesn't run then all bets are off.  In contested state races, the Democratic Party usually doesn't endorse where there isn't an incumbent.  No doubt there will be several strong (and progressive) candidates.  It will be up for grabs.  Given the state of the Republican Party in Illinois these days, any Democrat will have a good chance.  The same goes if there is a special election for Kirk's seat.

    •  So united and strong that Obama's old senate (0+ / 0-)

      seat went to a Republican. So united and strong that Quinn barely oh so barely squeaked through as governor in 2010 and now has the lowest approval ratings of any governor in history (and if he runs again he will most assuredly lose.)

      This is a state that is actually quite moderate and Democrats have repeatedly shown their willingness to vote for Republicans.

      At the voter level, there is very little loyalty to the Democratic Party.

      Durbin is vulnerable.

  •  Knock off the purity crusade crap. (9+ / 0-)

    The Senate would be 50-50 if the GOP hadn't embarked on that. Let's take a lesson from them. Lincoln, who was gonna lose one way or the other, was worthy of primarying. Durbin? Not so much.

    Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

    by Zutroy on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:16:23 PM PST

  •  I like Kwame Raoul's name (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He's my sister's state senator. I laugh every time we walk by his office over on 53rd Street. I have photos of him in costume in the neighborhood Fourth of July parade. Toni Preckwinkle too. Her husband has an even better name: Zeus Preckwinkle. I think that's just about the best name in the world. I went to a New Year's open house at their apartment once with my mom.

    Here's Toni on the Fourth of July. All that costume and it was SO hot!


    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:46:31 PM PST

  •  Please do we look like TBaggers to have purity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:57:41 PM PST

    •  This is not a purity test. (0+ / 0-)

      This is about standing up for what is right. Durbin all but rubber stamped Bowles Simpson without lending any support whatsover to the ideas of progressive Jan Shakowsky. It's not unreasonable, certainly not extremely leftist to have expected better than that from him.

      Dems don't have to necessarily toe the line on every single issue, but this is one of those areas where not toeing the line is a big effin' deal.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:19:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Support for SS and Medicare is one of the bedrocks (0+ / 0-)

      of the Democratic Party, one of its most basic principles.

      To express outrage at a Democrat willing to cut SS and Medicare and violate one of the party's most sacred principles is not a "purity test."

      It would be like a member of the Green Party calling for more offshore drilling.

  •  Durbin's been pretty good for Illinois and the USA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    R30A, GoUBears

    I think Durbin stays in 2014, but throws in the towel in 2020.

    If Durbin retires in 2014, my 1st choice replacement would be Dan Hynes. 2nd would be Sheila Simon.

    I really want Jan Schakowsky to succeed Durbin; however, she would be pegged as "too liberal" and "too Chicago-friendly" to Downstate/non-Chicagoland Illinois voters and the ILGOP.

    Lisa Madigan would be great, but I think she's more interested in the IL-Gov race in 2014.

  •  Disagree with this diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    R30A, GoUBears, MichaelNY, Govinda

    Durbin is a strong Senator

    And don't assume the state must vote a Dem. Depending on how the wind is blowing, it can vote a Repub.

  •  You don't even mention (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, MichaelNY

    the top and main contender, Lisa Madigan.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:55:07 AM PST

  •  Illinois will be lucky if Durbin runs again. (0+ / 0-)

    He's a reliable progressive and one of the most powerful members of the Senate. He's the only statewide leader I'm aware of that makes a serious effort at building the party in downstate. Primarying him over one vote is senseless, especially since the possibility of a Grand Bargain is only a hypothetical at this point. Any challenger to Durbin would lose badly and not have the support of most IL progressives, regardless of how he votes on one issue.

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