New ad campaign targets sales representative over $ 3.5 T in Biden bill
WASHINGTON – A group of progressive activists in Hawaii have launched a six-figure campaign to convince U.S. Representative Ed Case to back a $ 3.5 trillion spending plan that many see as essential to Joe Biden’s presidency.
Our Hawaii Action began running ads over the weekend criticizing Case for hesitating over Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, which includes important policy goals to reduce child poverty, reduce the impacts of climate change and building more affordable housing.
Case is one of many moderate Democrats who have expressed doubts about the size of the budget deal and some of its more ambitious provisions which are supported by the left wing of the party.
Case has said he would prefer the House to vote on a $ 1,000 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan that has already been passed by the Senate, saying he does not want to waste the opportunity by tying it to a measure more controversial – the $ 3.5 trillion spending plan – than so far has no support from Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised Case and his cronies a September 27 vote on the infrastructure bill in the hopes that the spending plan would be ready by then as well, but now the Democratic leaders fear they will run out of time to meet the deadline. , which threatens to sink the proposal by $ 3.5 trillion in total.
Democrats can only afford to lose three votes in the House, which means any defection from the party could have a resounding effect.
Our Hawaii Action was founded by former Hawaii State Representative Kaniela Ing and Evan Weber, from Kailua, who is a co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, an organization of young climate activists.
Ing ran against Case for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 2018 as a progressive and garnered support from many national organizations, such as Our Revolution and the Democratic Socialists of America. He was also supported by US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed him in the islands shortly after winning his first primary.
In a press release, Our Hawaii Action announced that it would run a door-to-door campaign and spend $ 130,000 on print, radio and online advertising.
Weber told Civil Beat that the goal of the campaign is to get Case to support legislation that will help workers and citizens in his district who need help the most, especially in light of the track record that Covid- 19 had on Hawaii’s economy.
“What we want is to build a Hawaii that works for all of us, not just well connected people,” Weber said. “We will work to build a movement to make sure we have politicians who respect and defend our local values. “
He said the advertising seed capital came from the Green New Deal Network, a national organization affiliated with labor and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, SEIU and the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Our action in Hawaii is not the first outside group to weigh in on Case’s stance on the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation plan and bipartisan infrastructure bill. It has received support from the US Chamber of Commerce and No Labels, which describes itself as a political centrist organization.
Case, meanwhile, defended his position in an emailed newsletter, saying recent ads targeting him contained “disinformation,” although he did not provide details.
He praised the bipartisan infrastructure plan which he said would bring about $ 2 billion to Hawaii, if passed. While the congressman has said he supports many provisions of the $ 3.5 trillion spending program, he still has concerns about how he will be paid.
“I think there is a limit to how much new income we can or should generate before it becomes too heavy a burden on our businesses and families and cripples our ability to meet real needs. “said Case.
“I also think there is a limit to what a simple majority in Congress will support. The reality is that in order to formulate a social infrastructure measure that meets real needs, distributes the burden fairly, and can actually pass Congress, we will need to make some critical choices. “