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January 15, 2010
11:34 AM

CONTACT: Progressive Democrats of America

Laura Bonham
Communications Coordinator
, (435) 336-2123
Tim Carpenter, PDA Executive Director, (413)-320-2015

PDA Replies to Lynn Woolsey Regarding Fundraising for Jane Harman

WASHINGTON - January 15 -  The following is the PDA reply to Lynn Woolsey's response to the January 13 open letter concerning Woolsey's scheduled appearance at a fundraising event for Jane Harman:

Dear Lynn,

Thank you for your letter, which we're sending to PDA members and other progressives along with this response.

No effort to sugarcoat Jane Harman's political record can change the realities that are overwhelmingly in sync with a salient pair of facts: In Congress, she is not a member of the Progressive Caucus. She is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. 

It's deeply disappointing to read in your letter that you will go ahead with traveling to Rep. Harman’s district to lead the January 16 fundraiser for her re-election campaign. The fact that the formal invitation’s headline refers to you as “Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus” speaks volumes.

What you are conferring on the Harman campaign is something far more valuable than an appeal for financial donations (which, given her vast personal wealth, are hardly needed). Your title of Progressive Caucus Co-Chair will be useful to the Harman campaign as it labors to give Democratic primary voters the false impression that she can be called “progressive” in any meaningful sense of the word.


The profound matters of healthcare and warfare are grim cases in point.

Rep. Harman, who is not among the 88 House members sponsoring the HR 676 single-payer bill, did not participate in the significant congressional efforts on behalf of the Kucinich amendment for a single-payer healthcare state option; her name does not appear as a signer on any of the three key letters sent to House committee chairs on behalf of the amendment last year.

As for war, minimal candor would require us to describe Rep. Harman as a reliable war booster. Typically, last year, she voted two out of two times in favor of the Iraq/Afghanistan war funding supplemental. It would be an understatement to describe her as a pillar of the military-industrial complex.

The question still remains: As one of the most committed anti-war members of Congress, why are you going out of your way to support one of the most pro-war Democrats in Congress?

Accountability is central to a meaningful progressive ethos within the Democratic Party. The progressive base must hold elected officials accountable.

We hope that you will be directly in touch with the 3,649 people who signed the letter that we sent you earlier this week.

We reiterate our full and enthusiastic support for PDA-endorsed candidate Marcy Winograd, the genuine and inspiring progressive in the race in California’s 36th congressional district.


For progressives, in these perilous times, candor is not optional—it is essential—a lifeline for our shared values as we work together to transform this country.

Peace and justice,

Tim Carpenter

National Director, Progressive Democrats of America

Mimi Kennedy
Advisory Board Chair,
Progressive Democrats of America

Donna Smith

Progressive Democrats of America Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign Co-chair

Norman Solomon

Progressive Democrats of America Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign Co-chair

Read Rep. Woolsey's letter.

Read the original letter.


Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. More info:

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