Where Will the Democrats Go? An Illinois Race May Show Us

Dan Lipinski, oe of the few openly pro-life Democrats left in Congress, fights for his political life

By The Stream Published on March 20, 2018

As CNN reported, the winner of the primary in Illinois’ third congressional district “will show which side of the party has the most strength right now.” The old-fashioned pro-union, pro-life Democrat Dan Lipinski has represented the district since being elected in 2004. His challenger Marie Newman represents the party’s left wing. The New York Times called the race “a proxy war between the Democratic Party’s diminished centrist wing and ascendant liberals.”

Lipinski on Life Issues

According to Democrats for Life, Congressman Dan Lipinski “has consistently been a champion of whole-life issues during all four terms.

“In 2009 and 2010, he led the fight against federal funding of abortion in the Health Care Bill.  In 2012 and 2013, he was a very vocal advocate for protection of conscience rights in health care, including supporting the effort to add a conscience protection clause in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.”

He also cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the Patients First Act, and the Protect Life Act.

Newman, a marketing executive who’s never held public office, has the support of the abortion lobby (NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and EMILY’s List) and the gay lobby (the Human Rights Campaign). Former presidential candidate and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand also support her. Sanders won the district by eight points in the 2018 presidential primary.

Unions like the Illinois AFL-CIO and Illinois AFSCME support Lipinski. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi supports him as well. He earned the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. He is one of two sitting Democratic congressmen endorsed by Democrats for Life

According to the Associated Press, Newman calls Lipinski a “full-on Republican.” Her television ads call him a “Trump Democrat.” He calls her and her supporters a “tea party of the left.” 

Lipinski’s Warnings

Lipinski “has repeatedly warned his party about moving too far to the left,” reports The Economist. He told the New York Times, “This is part of the reason Donald Trump won. Democrats have chased people out of the party.”

Except on the life issues, Lipinski’s a traditional mainstream Democrat. He had originally voted against ObamaCare ACA “because he considered it fiscally unsound and because, as a practicing Catholic, he opposed the way the law funds and supports reproductive services,” said The Economist. However, he now says Obamacare “needs to be fixed, not repealed.” Though he voted against the DREAM act, he has co-sponsored the BRIDGE act giving children of illegal immigrants short-term protection from being deported.

On his campaign website, he touts his support of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Criticizing “bad trade deals made over the past 25 years” that have hurt American workers, he calls for a “21st Century Workers Bill of Rights” he wants included in all future trade agreements.

The winner of the primary will be elected to Congress in November. The Republican candidate is an aging neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier. The Republicans “could not be bothered to recruit a sound candidate for this deep-blue district,” says The Economist. The head of the party in Illinois said “Arthur Jones is not a real Republican — he is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse.”

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