The Truth About Nina Turner's Record Is Catching Up With Her

AFGE 40th Convention - Women's Breakfast

The panic began last week, on Friday.

Nina Turner, who is running for the special election to fill Ohio's 11th district to fill the House seat left vacated by former Rep. Marcia Fudge's elevation to President Biden's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was thought to have been the prohibitive favorite based on her name recognition alone, and her campaign acted like it. But the ramping up of local organizing and a slew of high-profile endorsements for her chief primary challenger Shontel Brown as well as the release of ads highlighting Turner's record of knifing the Democratic party made the Turner camp nervous. Nervous enough that they responded with their own attack ad against Brown and shoring up the visibility of Turner's own high-profile, alt-left endorsements by reiterating them on Twitter.

On Monday, the Shontel Brown campaign released an internal poll showing that Brown has now surged to within 7 points of Turner, a far cry from the 30-35 lead Turner had enjoyed just a month ago (according to her internal polling).

Also on Monday, there was yet another hard-hitting, no-holds-barred, truth-telling piece of campaign lit that was causing heartburn in the pro-Nina camp. This mailer, sent out by the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, highlighted Turner's abysmal history of contempt against the Democratic party and record of voting against popular Democratic agenda items that she says she supports.

Posted on Twitter by Ryan Grim.

This has sent Nina Turner's campaign and her supporters, like Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan and alt-left media hacks, into a tizzy. They have taken personal umbrage at the insinuation that Nina Turner may not be an archprogressive and that she could ever oppose raising the minimum wage, enacting universal health care, and comprehensive immigration reform.

Yet, she did. And when she did, she wasn't shy about it. Turner was vocal, abrasive, and direct in her opposition to the entire 2020 Democratic Platform, on which she had a vote as a delegate for Bernie Sanders to the Democratic National Convention.

The fact that Turner hides behind ideological rigidity for single-payer "Medicare for All" - which has now been objectively shown to result in worse outcomes for poor people, racial minorities, and people with limited English proficiency - to oppose a practical, achievable, and viable path to universal health care in America makes matters worse for her, not better.

Anyone can tell you that they believe in universal health care, a higher minimum wage, and immigration reform all they want. But when Nina Turner had an opportunity to vote for these policies, she loudly and proudly voted "Hell No." When someone TELLS you they are for something and then VOTES against that very thing, their words become lies and it's the vote that counts.

This concept isn't particularly novel. Democrats and progressives apply it to Republicans all the time, and rightly so. When Republicans said they were for COVID funding but voted against it, progressives rightly said their words were empty. When Republicans said they were for pre-existing conditions and tried to repeal it, we got on their case for lying. When Republicans say they support the police but try to shield insurrectionists who attacked the police and vote against funding for Capitol Police, we rightly determine that their actions outweigh their hollow words.

It should not be any different from Nina Turner. Her words are hollow and opportunistic. Her vote speaks damningly.

And, at any rate, Nina Turner is happy to flip-flop on her supposedly "core principles" in order to get endorsements and to try to get elected. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, a paper whose endorsement the Turner campaign regularly touts on social media, specifically credited Turner's willingness to "move to the center", and abandon Medicare for All and workers' rights in their endorsement article. (Emphasis mine.)

The same Nina Turner who stood up to the Cleveland Teachers Union and delivered state legislative votes across the aisle for Mayor Frank Jackson when he was fighting for his all-important Cleveland Plan for reforming the Cleveland public schools -- one likely reason Jackson is backing Turner now.

[...] That same Nina Turner needs to show up in Congress, to move more to the center where her constituents are, to be pragmatic on achieving her goals. As she recently suggested to reporter Seth R. Richardson, while she supports Medicare for All, that idea might best grow outward from the states rather than being imposed from Washington.

This last part is important because the 2020 Democratic Platform on health care - the one Turner voted "Hell No" on - explicitly supports states creating their own, better, universal health care plans using Affordable Care Act waivers. She couldn't support it then, but suddenly when it came time to get an endorsement from a paper with its own history of union-busting, it was just fine?

Nina Turner and her cadre of alt-left backers cannot have it both ways. They cannot both tout the Plain Dealer Endorsement that credits her for being a compromised milquetoast centrist and argue that she couldn't vote for the Democratic platform on principle less than a year earlier.

Nina Turner voted against universal health care when she had the chance to. Nina Turner campaigned with third-party presidential candidates against the Democratic nominee in 2016. Nina Turner founded a political party to oppose Democrats just as we were trying to prevent a second Donald Trump term. Nina Turner compared voting for President Biden to eating shit.

That is who Nina Turner is. That is what Nina Turner's record looks like. And those of us who know the truth about Nina Turner will not stop telling it.

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