Aug. 01–WASHINGTON — In a move that illustrates the schism in the Democratic Party, a liberal federal political action committee aligned with 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has endorsed Cori Bush, who is challenging nine-term Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, in next week’s primary.
Democracy for America says it supports Bush over Clay because she supports Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and free college — key platforms components of 2016 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders.
Those proposals have drawn criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats, who say they would explode federal spending. A study by a libertarian-backed group estimates Sanders’ Medicare for All would cost $33 trillion over 10 years, but another study finance by the conservative Koch Brothers says that cost would be less than what the U.S. will spend under its current system.
Clay, who has rarely been seriously challenged in primaries or general elections since being first elected to to Congress in 2000, has called Bush, a pastor and nurse, a democratic socialist.
Dean, who also was the chair of the Democratic National Committee, started Democracy for America after his failed 2004 campaign.
The PAC claims more than 4,300 supporters in Missouri’s1st Congressional District. It has announced plans to raise and spend $12 million in support of progressive candidates in 2018. Its endorsement does not include advertising spending for Bush, but the group helps with phone calls and other voter contact activities.
Its endorsement of liberal politicians has ranged from Sanders to Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.
Clay had a huge cash advantage over Bush in the latest Federal Election Commission reports, with more than $240,000 in his campaign accounts as of July 18, compared with Bush’s $20,000.
This article provided by NewsEdge.