Politics

Democrats launch blistering attack on out Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten SinemaPhoto: Campaign website

Democrats have launched a blistering attack on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) normally reserved for Republicans. The scathing ads tell the out politicians that “since going to Congress, you’ve become the problem.”

Sinema refuses to vote in favor of reforming the filibuster, a Senate procedural measure that, in its current form, requires 60 votes instead of the usual 50 to get a bill passed and has historically been used to promote discrimination. In the face of the Republican Party’s nonstop attacks on Black people’s rights, the ads accuse her of “standing with the GOP.”

Related: How Jesse Jackson helped bring gay rights to the Democratic mainstream

Civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson was arrested yesterday outside of Sinema’s office as protestors demanded the senator fulfill her campaign promises. Dozens have been arrested over the past few weeks as organizers ratchet up the pressure.

Sinema released a statement following the sit-in, expressing her continued support for the filibuster, despite the protests and growing pressure from constituents, progressive advocates.

Claiming the filibuster “compels moderation and helps protect the country,” Sinema said, “To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the Senate minority?”

Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), has refused to reform the filibuster, a procedural move used to stop legislation from moving through the body. It is a relic of Jim Crow and is currently being used to stop voting reform, raising the minimum wage, and landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation.

While LGBTQ activists and donors pointedly issued an ultimatum demanding Sinema get on board or lose support from the community, the senator published an op-ed in the Washington Post defending her decision to scuttle bills that tackled issues she campaigned on. By refusing to remove the filibuster, Sinema has essentially doomed what she claims are her own priorities.

“You don’t have the political courage to do what’s right for Arizona!” a constituent identified as a Navy veteran tells Sinema in one ad.

“Instead of getting things done,” says Rev. Reginald Walton in another, “your defense of the filibuster is causing more gridlock.”

In a recently revealed video, several notoriously anti-LGBTQ politicians, chief among them former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)  tell an audience that they should thank none other than Sinema for dooming LGBTQ rights laws.

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