Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dan and Marie

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and primary challenger Marie Newman attend a League of Women Voters candidate forum at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois on Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)

To Fend Off Progressive Primary Challenger Marie Newman, Anti-Choice Group Throws Big Money at Blue Dog Democrat

With endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gloria Steinem, and reproductive rights advocates, Newman aims to defeat anti-choice incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois

Jessica Corbett

Now that progressive primary challenger Marie Newman is "within striking distance" of ousting Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois's 3rd District, a right-wing group that typically backs Republicans has made a "six-figure investment" in a "last-minute push" to bolster the anti-choice incumbent.

Ahead of the primary vote on Tuesday March 20, the anti-choice group Susan B. Anthony List has dispatched 70 canvassers and spent thousands of dollars on digital advertisments and a mail campaign for Lipinski, McClatchy reported Thursday. "The group has also helped the incumbent Democrat raise $40,000 this cycle, an SBA List official said, and $80,000 since 2012."

In a Bold Progressives fundraising email for Newman, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue called Lipinski "one of the worst Democrats in Congress," pointing out that he "has repeatedly let his solidly blue district of constituents down by voting to restrict abortion 52 times. Even in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger."

Lipinski is co-chair (pdf) of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and the Democratic Party's centrist Blue Dog Coalition. In addition to his opposition to constitutionally guaranteed reproductive rights, Lipinksi also voted against the 2010 DREAM Act as well as the final version of the Affordable Care Act, and has been heavily criticized for his spotty record on LGBTQ rights.

He's also come under fire from local labor leaders, with SEIU Illinois state council president Tom Balanoff declaring earlier this month that "Lipinski's refusal to support a $15 minimum wage for working people shows how deeply out of touch he is with the working families of his district."

By contrast, Newman—one of the many progressive primary candidates working to push the party left—is not only an advocate of reproductive rights, but according to her campaign platform, she also supports moving toward "Healthcare-For-All solutions"; fighting to reverse the Citizens United decision; measures to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination; enhanced gun safety; and efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions to address the climate crisis.

As the Chicago Tribune noted, Newman has won the support of high-profile groups such as EMILY's List, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, MoveOn.org, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. She has also garnered the backing of feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).

Illinois's 3rd District, which encompasses part of the Southwest Side of Chicago as well as surrounding suburbs, is historically a blue district and the lone GOP candidate—Holocaust-denying white supremacist Arthur "Art" Jones—is not expected to pose a serious challenge to whoever wins the Democratic nomination.

Public Policy Polling results published two weeks ago showed the pair of Democrats "in a statistical dead heat."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo