Irish Democrats Rally Behind President Obama; Create new SuperPac
By Ed Forry, August 31, 2012
Coming soon: ‘McBlackpac’
BY ED FORRY
Even as the Republican party met in Tampa in late August to nominate Bain Capital’s Willard “Mitt” Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, a group of Irish Americans were getting ready to troop to Charlotte for the Democrat convention that will nominate President Obama and VP Joe Biden.
Stella O’Leary, a longtime political activist in the Washington Beltway, had some choice words about Romney’s running mate. O’Leary, who in 1996 founded a group called Irish American Democrats, had this to say about the choice of Paul Ryan:
“The Irish owe their success in this country to the fairness and justice provided by the American system and the protection from religious discrimination provided by the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, and the labor movement. Together these institutions made it possible for the Irish to overcome prejudice and rise to the top in every walk of American life. The American government and the Catholic Church provided education, economic security, and health care.
“Without these protections, Paul Ryan would not be in the position he’s in today, but he does not represent the values of this tradition. His budget, with more tax cuts for the wealthy, an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid, and ending Medicare as we know it, by turning it into a voucher system, shows complete disregard for the needs of the middle class and the poor.
“The Catholic bishops felt compelled to send a letter to Congress saying the Ryan budget failed to meet the moral criteria of the church, that the budget should help ‘the least of these, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the jobless.’
Here is part of the letter the bishops sent to Congress:
1. Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.
2. A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects the lives and dignity of “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work, or in poverty should come first.
3. Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.”
O’Leary said the Irish American Democrats will host a party at the Charlotte convention, and on Sept. 5 will launch a superpac, named “McBLACKPAC.”
The PAC is “building on the shared history of African Americans and Irish Americans,” O’Leary said, “from Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell, to President John Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, and now President Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
“Together we will work to elect Democratic candidates to federal and state office who share our values, on civil rights, immigration reform, education, workers’ rights, justice, the environment, and economic progress.
“Hope you will join us and look forward to working with you in the next Obama administration,” O’Leary said.