The Wave Of Roses: DUH Revokes Jayapal Endorsement, Cites Citizen Truth Report As Factor
The Wave Of Roses is a Citizens Truth series which highlights progressive candidates and organizations which challenge corporate Third Way control of the Democratic Party. This entry looks at key United States House of Representatives races for the reignited movement in the United States.
Demand Univeral Healthcare (DUH), an organization pushing for Universal Healthcare legislation in the United States, recently revoked their endorsement of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who represents Washington’s 7th district. In their statement, they cited the story broke by Citizen Truth regarding Rep. Jayapal’s endorsement of Adam Smith (WA – 9th) over Justice Democrat Sarah Smith. From DUH:
Then, also on July 19 [article was published on July 17th], Citizen Truth reported that Jayapal chose to endorse Adam Smith in the 9th District over true Progressive Sarah Smith (https://citizentruth.org/jayapal-endorses-opponent-of-fell…/). As a self-professed progressive, why would Jayapal endorse an incumbent whose stand on healthcare, according to his website, consists of gushing about community health centers and “Establishing standards for health insurance policies, creating a system of subsidies to make healthcare more affordable, and providing free preventative healthcare screenings will not only help the approximately 33 million Americans who are currently uninsured, it simply makes good economic sense for all of us,” over a Progressive woman (though of course, Emily’s List has refused to support ANY Progressive woman, misandric arm of the DNC that it is) who is running ON single-payer healthcare for all, as she says on her website. “Medicare for All is morally and financially, the right thing to do. In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, we can afford to provide our people with healthcare. We know that the single-payer healthcare systems used in nearly every developed nation on Earth improve health outcomes, reduce administrative burden, and cost less per capita than the system we use now, while providing healthcare to everyone.”
Citizen Truth reached out to Sue Saltmarsh, Executive Director of Demand Universal Healthcare and received the following written statement:
I’ll just say that DUH deliberately chose not to be a 501(c)(3) organization specifically so that we could endorse candidates and legislation. We’ve been endorsing candidates since 2012 and never before this year have we found more than 10 who were running purposely on a single-payer healthcare platform, our main criteria. We are the only non-union, tree roots (because trees are way more indestructible than grass), single-issue healthcare organization that endorses candidates. This year at the beginning of the primary season, we had endorsed 134 candidates. We’ve had at least one winner in every primary so far except Illinois and West Virginia.
We were so happy to endorse Congresswoman Jayapal and we still respect the good work that she has done in her first term. But we also strongly feel that the DNC and Democratic party Insiders are doing whatever they can to keep true progressives out of Congress, a goal that is counter to not just our cause, but to our democracy. We would never have suspected that Jayapal would be part of such an effort, being a progressive herself. But evidently, the fact that she and Adam Smith are working together on a bill to abolish ICE [Immigration and Custom Enforcement] and reform immigration – a bill he should support anyway – has lured her to make a deal with the devil.
We’re not naive. We understand that these kinds of deals happen every day in Congress, but that doesn’t make it right to hurt a fellow Progressive woman in order to support an entrenched, establishment incumbent.
Some of our followers have criticized us for revoking our endorsement, and indeed this is the first time we have done such a thing. But we on the Left are constantly talking about calling out politicians who do things against our interests and yet we seldom do. We hoped to demonstrate that we can be just as fierce and tenacious in our support of true progressives as Republicans are of their alt-right conservatives and that we have the courage to choose a new way rather than sticking with the “lesser of two evils/vote for the devil you know” methodology. The kind of “unity” the Democratic Party pays lip service to is not unity to us. We choose to unify with millions of progressive voters and our candidates who are tired of the corruption and game-playing of Party politics.
We know that revoking this endorsement will not hurt Jayapal in the least. She will have the money and the support of the DNC, especially now that she has endorsed their Adam Smith over Sarah. We expect her to win her race easily, so she can continue what we hope will be her progressive work in the House.
As for that, she is a co-sponsor of H.R. 676 and SAYS she will fight for Medicare for All, especially now that she is a leader of the new Medicare for All Caucus. But the fact is, we don’t even know if there will be a 676 in the 116th Congress. With [John] Conyers gone and [Keith] Ellison running in Minnesota [Attorney General], unless 24 like Sarah Smith win and start the work of creating a new Congress, it seems likely that the party line of “it’s not the right time, we’re not ready for it” will prevail. That’s why we think this caucus is a bone thrown to us who want national, single-payer healthcare for everybody now. They can point to it and say, “See what we’re doing? We formed a caucus to further the cause!” But we will be watching to see if the bill moves at all by the end of the year. If it does, I’ll issue an open apology to the caucus. But I somehow don’t think I need to start working on that just yet.
Washington’s ‘top two’ primary concludes on August 7th (Washington has mail-in ballots), it’s wildly expected that both Adam and Sarah Smith will advance to the general election of the 9th district.
Neither Pramila Jayapal nor her campaign responded to a request for comment.