Powerful Krysten Sinema Financier Threatens Her Over Voting Rights

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Emily’s List — a pro-reproductive rights organization that backs women running for public offices across the country — put out a statement this week threatening to ditch Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) during her next race if she continues to stick by her current support for the filibuster. At present, and has been well-documented elsewhere, the 100-member U.S. Senate’s filibuster rules require that at least 60 Senators agree before moving forward with most bills, including certain proposals to protect voting rights with which the Senate was set to deal this week. Sinema has expressed support for these proposals, but that support seems jarringly hollow as long as she keeps backing the filibuster rules that allow Senate Republicans to keep the chamber’s majority from acting on a range of issues.

The statement from Emily’s List reads, in part, as follows:

‘We have not endorsed or contributed to Sen. Sinema since her election in 2018. Right now, Sen. Sinema’s decision to reject the voices of allies, partners and constituents who believe the importance of voting rights outweighs that of an arcane process means she will find herself standing alone in the next election. Electing Democratic pro-choice women is not possible without free and fair elections. Protecting the right to choose is not possible without access to the ballot box. So, we want to make it clear: if Sen. Sinema can not support a path forward for the passage of this [voting rights] legislation, we believe she undermines the foundations of our democracy, her own path to victory and also the mission of EMILY’s List, and we will be unable to endorse her moving forward.’

The organization also observed that Americans “are at an inflection point in the fight for voting rights and reproductive freedom, and Democrats must stand together to protect those critical rights.” Read more at this link.

Saying that Sinema will end up “standing alone” in her next race is a pretty strong statement. There’s already a push to launch a Democratic primary campaign against her, and notably, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) — a favored pick in the anti-Sinema crowd — has not ruled out running, with polls indicating that any one of a slew of challengers could stand a chance. Sinema, like her fellow so-called moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), has spoken of the Senate’s filibuster rules as a way to tamp down on political divisions — but it’s not some vague concept of divisiveness that’s driving the urgency with which those pushing for these voting rights initiatives are acting. Rather, it’s the very real threat poised by Republicans in positions of state-level power around the country who have been putting up suppressive new restrictions around the electoral process, without any legitimate evidence of systematic election integrity problems to back them up.