Thursday, November 4, 2010

Something to cheer about in Arizona

One election night bright spot was progressive Rep. Raul M. Grijalva holding onto his congressional seat representing southern Arizona. Grijalva, a four-term representative who had easily won reelection in the past, got into trouble after urging a boycott of his state once it enacted a tough immigration law in April. Grijalva, said the law would promote racial profiling.

He was also part of a group of  Dems, led by Rep. Obey (D-WI), who opposed Arne Duncan's Race To The Top initiative.  On Thursday morning, Grijalva, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was asked on the radio/TV/Internet news hour Democracy Now! whether it was his sense that Obama hopes to make education his welfare reform. 
"That's my sense and also my concern, to be quite honest," said Grijalva, who narrowly won reelection in his Tucson-based district. "We had an opportunity to reauthorize elementary and secondary education. We didn't do that. Now we go back to a session in which the Republicans are going to control the Education and Labor Committee, of which I'm a member." (Huffington)
Grijalva said that large parts of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's education efforts had already been rejected by Democrats. 
"Arne Duncan's four prescriptions for fixing public schools, which were essentially to privatize, close them... we rejected them as a caucus on that committee," Grijalva said.
But Huffington's Ryan Grim adds that Grijalva's opposition could galvanize Obama if he decides that voters were telling him to oppose his base and work with Republicans to go after teachers unions, the element of organized labor that it is now acceptable for liberals to dismiss. Grijalva, though, said that progressives would organize around a defense of public education.

1 comment:

  1. It is GREAT that Rep. Grijalva won a tough re-election.

    I will miss David Obey come January.

    I was sad to hear the news earlier this year that he wasn't going to run for re-election.

    And of course Russ Feingold's loss stings too.

    As does the re-election of President Accountability's favorite Wall Street apologist/teacher basher, Michael Bennet.

    There's a guy that belongs in jail for the deal he did to the DPS with his banker buddies.


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