On Tuesday night, Dan Lipinski narrowly defeated Marie Newman in the Democratic primary to represent Illinois’ 3rd Congressional district, a seat Lipinski has held since 2005.
Let’s not mince words: Lipinski is a Democrat in name only, who runs with a D after his name even while espousing conservative beliefs because he resides in a blue district. He voted against the Affordable Care Act and the DREAM Act. He is also militantly anti-abortion, and has sponsored 54 bills that Planned Parenthood said “attack women’s health.”
Newman, Lipinski’s Democratic primary challenger, ran on platforms of protecting women’s health, increased gun control, and expanding access to healthcare. (A majority of Americans now believe the federal government should be responsible for ensuring people have health insurance coverage.)
As Democratic-aligned groups and even two of Lipinski’s fellow Democratic representatives from Illinois threw their support behind his primary challenger, the mealy-mouthed centrist group No Labels pulled out all the stops for Lipinski, spending more than $700,000 through a super PAC called United for Progress to defend his seat.
On Wednesday morning, after Lipinski defeated Newman by a slim, 1,600-vote margin, No Labels crowed about their victory over the “far left”:
The Lipinski family dynasty actually stretches back to 1992, when Dan Lipinski’s father, the former Congressman Bill Lipinski, was first elected to represent the 3rd District. After the elder Lipinski won the Democratic primary race in 2004, he promptly announced his retirement and tagged in his son, who had not served in elected office before and had not lived in Illinois regularly since 1989. Because his father shielded him from having to compete in the primary, Lipinski the younger was able to sail through his first election and into the U.S. House of Representatives.
Now, thanks to hard work by view-from-nowhere political groups like No Labels, Lipinski is poised to sail through to re-election yet again. Lipinski now faces Republican Arthur Jones in the general election—a “vocal white supremacist” who was once associated with the American Nazi Party.
This is what groups like No Labels want: to force voters (in a blue district, keep in mind) to choose between a heinously terrible candidate and the rich heir to a budding conservative dynasty, who I guess doesn’t look so bad when compared to a Holocaust denier. Democracy in action!
It’s inspiring indeed to see moneyed interests on both sides of the aisle coming together to keep this mediocre white man in elected office.