| Exactly a year ago, RootsAction released a report titled "Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'"
Since then, one of the 15 corporate Democratic congress members we profiled has been defeated in Illinois, another was apparently just defeated in New York, and one of the worst Democrats in Congress – Josh Gotthemier – is now being “primaried” in northern New Jersey. The progressive challenger is Dr. ARATI KREIBICH, a neuroscientist, local elected official, immigrant, and anti-racist activist. (Gottheimer recently boasted of his 100 percent rating from the National Association of Police Organizations.)
Click here to support Kreibich for Congress and RootsAction.
In New York days ago, long-serving militarist Eliot Engel was apparently defeated (mail-in ballots yet to be counted) by a progressive challenger highlighted in our “Bad Blues” report: renowned educator Jamaal Bowman. RootsAction members donated thousands of dollars to Bowman’s campaign. It looks like Bowman will enter Congress in January, and the progressive “Squad” will gain a new member.
It's very difficult to oust entrenched incumbents, but grassroots progressives are showing that it can be done.
At the time our "Bad Blues" report came out, conventional wisdom said that Congressman Engel couldn't be beaten. The same is being said about Gottheimer, with his campaign lavishly funded by wealthy elites.
Click to help Arati Kreibich's grassroots campaign against Gottheimer in New Jersey's July 7th primary.
Read about Gottheimer’s awful record below, as published a year ago in RootsAction’s “Bad Blues.”
JOSH GOTTHEIMER (NJ-5)
Very few House Democrats are more eager to align with the GOP than Josh Gottheimer. During his first two years in Congress, he voted with Trump a whopping 55 percent of the time. Gottheimer cochairs the reach-across-the-aisle Problem Solvers Caucus; his official website says he leads the group “to find areas of agreement” for such goals as “lowering taxes” and “cutting burdensome and unnecessary regulation.” Gottheimer’s generous Wall Street patrons are no doubt gratified.
A former precocious speechwriter for President Bill Clinton at age 23, he has won acclaim from corporate leaders for his congressional efforts. Last year, the US Chamber of Commerce gave Gottheimer its “Spirit of Enterprise Award” -- which, his office noted, made him “one of only 13 Democrats in the House” to receive the plaudit. Gottheimer quickly returned the compliment, declaring that the anti-union and anti-environmental Chamber “has been a voice for economic growth and a champion for opportunity and prosperity for Americans and businesses of all sizes.”
Gottheimer “has deep ties to the lobbies for Saudi Arabia and Israel,” The Intercept’s Ryan Grim reported in May -- and deep hostility toward the two progressive Muslims who became colleagues this year, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. After meeting with him, Tlaib recalled: “He was using a very stern tone, like a father to a child. At that moment, I realized he’s a bully. He had a goal of breaking me down.”
As the first Palestinian-American in Congress and a strong advocate for the human rights of Palestinian people, Tlaib has been a logical target for Gottheimer, who has few equals as an Israel-can-do-no-wrong lawmaker. Overall, Grim describes him as a centrist “willing to take the fight directly to the squad of freshmen trying to push the party in a progressive direction.”
In 2016, Gottheimer flipped a longtime GOP district in northern New Jersey. Since then -- on a range of issues including the US-backed Saudi war on Yemen and predatory banking practices -- he has maneuvered to undermine efforts by progressive Democrats in the House. A prodigious big-check fundraiser, he entered this year’s second quarter with almost $5 million in his campaign coffers.
Want to help us say goodbye and good riddance to Gottheimer? Click here.
--- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> Arati for Congress Website
>> The Intercept: "Josh Gottheimer Is a Democrat Who Votes Reliably With Republicans. His Primary Challenge Is Heating Up."
>> RootsAction: "Bad Blues"