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While Trump Was Dominating In Deep-Red Oklahoma, This Democrat Won A Landslide

March 12, 2017

By Zach Carter : huffingtonpost – excerpt

The Democrats clearly ignored the water crisis in California’s Central Valley and wrote off the farmers. There are still thousands of people in the state without drinkable tap water and the Governor’s number one concern is in keeping the EPA money flowing into big money projects and the high-speed rail. When will the Democrats get back to the business of taking care of people first?

Now Joe Maxwell is urging his party not to give up on rural America.

As precinct data rolled into his war room at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City last November, Joe Maxwell realized his team had a landslide on its hands…

or the previous 14 months, they had battled a so-called “right to farm” ballot initiative, with Maxwell serving as “the general” (to quote his friends) of that campaign. Corporate agricultural interests in Oklahoma hoped the measure would protect factory farming from environmental, food safety and humanitarian regulations. The deep-red state’s Republican governor and every member of its all-GOP congressional delegation backed it…

In response, Maxwell, who works for the Humane Society, had helped assemble an opposition force of animal welfare activists, environmental groups, Native American tribes and family farmers. Few political strategists would have picked that coalition to overcome the influence of the state’s dominant industry. But there Maxwell was, quietly enjoying a beer as he listened to former state Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D) deliver the news of their crushing victory to a cheering audience. The “no” vote had carried every congressional district in the state and defeated Big Ag by more than 20 points…

Maxwell won where Democrats weren’t even playing, in a state where Trump carried every single county. When he convinced the Humane Society to get involved against the right-to-farm measure in 2015, independent polling showed his side trailing 64 percent to 15 percent.

His decision to fight and battle plan reveal a possible path for the Democratic Party out of the political wilderness and back to electoral relevance. But taking it would require rejecting the political strategy that Democratic leaders are now honing in Washington…

The Fed’s ruthless interest rate hikes didn’t just bring down prices; they devastated small farmers, sparking a great wave of farm foreclosures across the country. When the farms failed, so did the local community banks that had loaned them money. And when the banks collapsed, so did other local businesses that relied on them for credit. Rural America was ravaged. Farmers rode tractors into Washington to snarl traffic in protest, and Maxwell decided to go into politics.

“That’s when I realized that government actions pick winners and losers,” he said. “And they’d decided that my industry was a loser.”…

“We don’t want government subsidies,” said Fred Stokes, a Maxwell collaborator who founded the Organization for Competitive Markets, which advocates for small farms against big producers like Tyson, Perdue and Smithfield. “We just want the game to be fair. Apply the damn antitrust laws and it’ll work. Teddy Roosevelt had this figured out 100 years ago. I don’t know why it’s so damn hard for people to understand.”… (more)

This appears to be something Bernie gets that Hillary’s handlers did not. You can’t write off anyone.

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