Vote Them Out: A Progressive’s Guide to Cleaning Out the House

44 mins read
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I could start this off with some sort of introduction, a long anecdote on why I decided to do this, à la every recipe blog in the world. But I’m not going to.

These lying, gaslighting, conspiracy theorists have made a mockery out of the most respected offices in the country, perfectly content to debase the nation so long as they can continue appointing conservative judges and lining their pockets with NRA cash. Well, I’ve had enough. Here are 7 sycophants who we should leave behind in 2019 — and how to support their opponents.

If you don’t care about the details, skip to the quick incumbent/candidate match-up. Go!

Vote Them Out:

  1. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23)
  2. Representative Devin Nunes ( R-CA-22)
  3. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1)
  4. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)
  5. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH-4)
  6. Representative Mike Turner (R-OH-10)

The Challengers:

  1. Kim Mangone
  2. Phil Arballo
  3. Phil Ehr
  4. Tedra Cobb
  5. Shannon Freshour
  6. Desiree Tims

Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23)

Who: Kevin McCarthy has represented California’s 23rd district since 2013, having previously served the 22nd district between 2007 and 2013. He is currently the House Minority Leader.
Why he made the list: Have I mentioned the lying and gaslighting yet? Well, it’s the only thing McCarthy is committed to. He’s so busy spinning false narratives that he’s forgotten to do. his. damn. job. Don’t believe me? See the tweet below: McCarthy rewriting the facts to fit his worldview. That’s not what public office is for.

On the issues:

Still not convinced? There’s more:

Kim Mangone

Kim Mangone, Democratic candidate for CA-23

Who: Kim is a veteran of the United States Air Force, has a degree in professional aeronautics, and has worked for many years as a systems engineer. She is running as the Democratic challenger to Kevin McCarthy in California’s 23rd district.

On the issues:

Unless otherwise noted, all of Mangone’s positions have been derived from the “Issues” page on her campaign site.

  • Abortion: Mangone believes in protecting women’s rights, including “protecting reproductive choices”.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: She stands against the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people, and supports continuing to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Gun Violence: Mangone recognizes gun violence as an “epidemic” and supports sensible gun control legislation, including: background checks on gun sales, banning gun sales to violent offenders, banning high capacity magazines, and imposing mandatory waiting periods for gun purchases.
  • Climate Change: Kim’s website is the least expansive on this topic, however, she does state that she supports investing in clean technology and actions that support the environment.

Still not convinced? Hard to believe, but I’ll play along:

  • Mangone supports DREAMers and granting them citizenship.
  • She is supportive of universal health care and lowering drug prices.
  • She supports protections for voting rights and enacting measures that prevent foreign interference in our elections.
  • Mangone supports abolishing for-profit prisons and reducing the incarceration of non-violent offenders.

SUPPORT KIM. Donate to her ActBlue page and help her defeat Kevin McCarthy.

Follow Kim on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)

Who: Devin Nunes represented California’s 21st district from 2003–2013, and has been representing the 22nd district since. He is currently the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Why he made the list: Nunes is unbelievably bad at his job. He spent almost the entirety of the public impeachment hearings listing asking the witnesses if they’d heard of his weird conspiracy theories (spoiler: they had not). And, he’s suing a fake Twitter cow in real American court. Think that’s ridiculous? He’s literally subpoenaed Adam Parkhomenko, former DNC National Field Director, in pursuit of the identity of the administrator of @DevinCow. In fact, he’s filed so many lawsuits, this journalist is running out of room on her whiteboard:

Of course, we haven’t even gotten into his connection to the Trump/Ukraine scandal, and his suspicious trip to Vienna in November/December 2018 supposedly to dig up dirt on Joe BidenAnd, in classic Milk Dud fashion, he’s threatened to sue:

On the issues:

This guy is clearly a joke, and I’m sure you’ve been convinced since the whole “suing a parody Twitter account” thing, but just in case:

  • He voted to require photo I.D.s for voting in federal elections.
  • Despite spending almost the entirety of the impeachment inquiry whining about how House Republicans aren’t getting enough representation in the hearings (spoiler: they are), he’s voted against allowing D.C. representatives in Congress.

And, in what is perhaps the biggest joke ever, he voted YES in 2007 to expanding whistleblower protections and preventing whistleblowers from employer retaliations. Life comes at you fast.

SUPPORT the legal fund for @DevinCow and @NunesAlt in their fight against Devin Nunes’ pointless lawsuits. Any left over money will go to Nunes’ Democratic challenger.

Phil Arballo

Phil Arballo, Democratic candidate for CA-22

Who: Phil Arballo is a small business owner and remains involved in local Fresno community organizations. Arballo is running against Devin Nunes for California’s 22nd district. He has been endorsed by Andrew Janz, who previously ran against Devin Nunes in the 2018 elections.

On the issues:

Unless otherwise noted, all positions come from Phil’s campaign website.

  • Abortion: Arballo does not have any stated or implied positions on abortion rights.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: While there are no stated positions on his site, Arballo posted several photos at Fresno’s pride parade, indicating support for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Gun Violence: Arballo’s website does not state his position on gun control, however, he released a statement in August 2019 indicating his disappointment that Nunes voted against background checks. He renounced NRA and has shared a photograph at a March for Our Lives event.
  • Climate Change: Arballo states a desire to invest more in green economies and ensure top air and water quality for residents.

SUPPORT PHIL. Donate to his ActBlue page and send Cow-ngressmen Nunes packing. 🐄

Follow Phil on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

These candidates are also running in the California 22nd in 2020:

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1)

Who: Matt Gaetz has represented Florida’s 1st district since 2017. He previously represented Florida’s 4th district in Florida’s House of Representatives.
Why he made the list: Gaetz is an absolute tool. He was the mastermind behind several members of the GOP barging into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on October 23, 2019, delaying Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs, Laura Cooper’s — whose title is longer than Khaleesi’s — testimony for over 5 hours. Their stunt displayed a flagrant disregard for House rules and, more importantly, national security. They brought their smartphones into a room specially designed to be spy-proof, for crying out loud!

On the issues:

I don’t even need to say anymore. This guy is the personification of everything that is wrong with white men. Vote him out.

Phil Ehr

Phil Ehr, Democratic candidate for FL-1

Who: Phil Ehr is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who rose from Seaman to Commander and provided strategic advice to leaders in Washington, London, and NATO.

On the issues:

Unless otherwise noted, all positions have come from Ehr’s campaign site.

  • Abortion: He supports a woman’s right to choose, stating on his campaign site that Congress “must strongly support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions”.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: Ehr has no official stated positions on LGBTQ+ issues, however, his Instagram page displays a post implying support:
  • Gun Violence: On his campaign site, Ehr states his support for gun safety legislation, but does not list any specific policies (i.e. background checks, buybacks, etc.) he supports.
  • Climate Change: Ehr agrees that human activity is responsible for climate change and implores the federal government to enact policies that work to combat its impact.

I can’t believe I have to type this like it’s a selling point, but here we are: Phil Ehr has renounced white supremacy and white nationalism. Like he should.

SUPPORT PHIL. Donate to his ActBlue page, and send Baby Gaetz to live in his parents’ basement — what he would’ve probably been doing if not for an illustrious father.

Follow Phil on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)

Who: Elise Stefanik has represented New York’s 21st district since 2015. She was the youngest member of the House of Representatives until 2019 when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was inaugurated at age 29.
Why she made the list: Elise flew under the radar for the most part until this year, when she put on the performance of her career as Trump’s staunch defender during the public impeachment hearings. During Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony, Ranking Member Nunes yielded his time during the first round of questioning to Stefanik, which is against House rules, as the first round is limited to questions from the Chairman, the Ranking Member, and each party’s counsel. When Chairman Schiff rightly objected, Stefanik spun a story of misogyny and sexism against Schiff — an insult to actual misogyny and sexism women face every single day.

On the issues:

  1. Abortion: Stefanik has a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. She voted to prohibit federal funding for abortions and for the 20-week abortion ban. She also voted to disqualify Planned Parenthood from receiving funding for one (1) year.
  2. LGBTQ+ Rights: She has a mixed record on LGBTQ+ rights, having earned a 46% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. She voted for the Russell Amendment, allowing federally-contracted religious institutions to discriminate against current or prospective employees who do not share their religious beliefs, paving the way for LGBTQ+ employees to be discriminated against in the workplace. She also voted to repeal portions of the ACA, making it more difficult for LGBTQ+ people to access healthcare. She did, however, vote against the Hartzler Amendment, which would prevent military service members to use healthcare for transition-related needs and she co-sponsored the Fair and Equal Housing Act, preventing LGBTQ+ people from being discriminated against in housing based on actual or perceived sexual orientation.
  3. Gun Violence: Stefanik has an A rating from the NRA, because of course she does! In 2019, she criticized New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signing of the Red Flag Law in New York. She also voted against background checks during the transfer of a firearm from a licensed to an unlicensed person in both 2018 and 2019. On her campaign website, she notes herself as a gun owner and an NRA member, and supported concealed carry reciprocity legislation.
  4. Climate Change: LCV has given Elise a 51% rating, indicating a mixed record on environment votes. Her congressional site implies that she does believe that “extreme weather” is causing problems for the environment, however, she never expressly mentions climate change nor does her voting record show a strong stance either way. In the Faith 2 Action survey she supported federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, however in 25 pieces of climate change legislation, she has only voted in favor of the environment 12 times.

So, you might be thinking: ah, she’s not that bad. Oh, but she is:

  • On her congressional site she claims to be committed to border security. She voted in 2018 and 2019 for additional funds to securing the southern border (in 2019, it was almost $6 billion in funding). Ah, so by “committed to border security”, she really just means the one bordering Mexico, where the people of color are. Not a lot of concern for the other borders, huh?
  • She also voted to defund sanctuary cities.

Elise is young. She could’ve had a long career as a moderate Republican, but no, she’s hitched her wagon to the likes of Cow-ngressman Devin Nunes and Rep. Jim Jordan (up next in this digital burn book), all for the low, low price of her seat in Congress. Hope it was worth it.

Tedra Cobb

Tedra Cobb, Democratic candidate for NY-21

Who: Tedra Cobb has lived in New York for over 30 years, working on delivering health care to the community. She has served as a Spanish-speaking correctional counselor, provided HIV/AIDS testing and education, and been a volunteer firefighter. She started a community health agency to provide important screenings and treatment.

On the issues:

Unless otherwise noted, Cobb’s positions have come directly from her campaign website.

  • Abortion: Her campaign site does not have an official stated position on abortion rights, however, her Twitter account provides two indications that Cobb is pro-choice. She also mentions upholding Roe v. Wade and states the “government should not be involved in private medical decisions”.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: She is a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, including: protections from discrimination in the workplace, support for their service in the military, protecting LGBTQ+ children in schools, banning conversion therapy, including sexual orientation to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and including LGBTQ+ people in domestic violence legislation.
  • Gun Violence: Cobb acknowledges gun violence as a public health crisis, and wants to find a solution that will protect the public while maintaining the second amendment. She supports CDC research into gun violence and universal background checks at gun shows, stores, and via the internet. She opposes concealed-carry reciprocity legislation and supports banning bump stocks and red flag laws.
  • Climate Change: Cobb supports the environment and combatting the impact of climate change. She supports green energy, protecting the EPA and allowing them to do their work, and supports reversing legislation that has weakened the fight against climate change.

Several positions are listed under her “Fair and Just America” page, unless otherwise noted:

  • Tedra, who has firsthand experience delivering healthcare to the public, recognizes and has outlined her vision for combatting the opioid crisis.
  • Cobb supports a living wage as the minimum requirement, but does not specify the hourly rate she would support. She also supports equal pay for equal work.
  • She also supports repealing voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and Voting Rights Act rollbacks, all of which make it more difficult to vote.
  • Cobb supports de-militarizing the police and investing in non-violent de-escalation training — though we all know the police have no problem sticking to non-violence for white offenders…

SUPPORT TEDRA. Donate to her ActBlue page and end Stefanik’s career.

Follow Tedra on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4)

Who: Jim Jordan has represented Ohio’s 4th district since 2007. He previously served as a state senator for Ohio’s 12th district and a member of Ohio’s state House of Representatives from the 85th district.
Why he made the list: Well — *gestures at everything*. More specifically, he’s been accused of covering up sexual abuse at Ohio State University when we was the assistant wrestling coach. Richard Strauss, a doctor for OSU sports teams, sexually abused 177 males between 1979 and 1996. Several former wrestlers have come forward to name Jordan as aware of the abuse and failing to take action, and at least two people have said they told Jordan directly. Unrelated: John Boehner has called Jordan an “asshole” and a “legislative terrorist”, and his hometown paper called him the “second most contemptible human being in the entire U.S. government”. Harsh, but deserved.

On the issues:

Oh, but wait, I’m not done yet:

  • He co-sponsored legislation that recognizes the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith, which recognizes support and respect for Christians in the United States, and rejects the persecution of Christians. Okay, Jim, now do Islam. I’ll wait.

This guy has literally no redeeming qualities. He’s exactly what is wrong with the heavy gerrymandering Republicans have imposed on several states with the sole purpose of retaining GOP power. These guys don’t care about democracy, they don’t deserve a spot in our government. Vote him OUT.

Shannon Freshour

Shannon Freshour, Democratic candidate for OH-4

Who: Shannon Freshour is a former intern for Senator Ted Kennedy and previously worked for Senior Adviser to the President, Kellyanne Conway. She has spent the last 20 years as a litigation paralegal.

On the issues:
Unless otherwise noted, all of Shannon’s positions have come from the “Priorities” section of her campaign website.

  • Abortion: Freshour believes in easy access to birth control, and believes abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: Shannon has no stated positions on LGBTQ+ issues on her website, however, she did post several photos from the Columbus Pride Parade and tweet out her opposition to firing transgender employees on the basis of being transgender.
View this post on Instagram

#columbus #pride🌈 parade #prideparade #pride2019

A post shared by Shannon (@shannonmfresh) on

  • Gun Violence: Freshour supports common sense gun laws, including closing loopholes in background checks and supplying funding CDC research into gun violence. She, too, has added the clarification that she supports Americans’ 2A rights.
  • Climate Change: Freshour supports the fight against climate change. While she has no official positions on her site, she did retweet the following piece from the Washington Post outlining the dangers of climate change, implying support for combatting climate change.

SUPPORT SHANNON. Donate to her ActBlue page, and remind GymBro Jordan that gone are the days of allowing sex abuse to go unpunished.

Follow Shannon on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

The following candidates are also running in the Ohio 4th in 2020:

Representative Mike Turner (R-OH)

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH-10)

Who: Mike Turner has represented Ohio’s 10th district since 2013. He previously served the 3rd district between 2003 and 2013.
Why he made the list: Why tell you in words when you can watch for yourself:

THE DISRESPECT. THE MISOGYNY. Watching this video boils my blood and fills me with absolute rage.

On the issues:

For someone who doesn’t work for women’s rights, nor for the LGBTQ+ community’s rights, nor for the planet, I think he’s been in office long enough. Vote him out!

Desiree Tims

Desiree Tims, Democratic candidate for OH-10

Who: Desiree Tims has previously worked at The White House and on Capitol Hill. She also served as a volunteer during President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

On the issues:

Unless otherwise noted, Tims’ stances come from the “Issues” page of her campaign site.

  • Abortion: Tims supports women’s rights to safe and legal abortions and supports protecting Roe v. Wade.
  • LGBTQ+ Rights: Tims has no stated position on LGBTQ+ rights on her campaign site, however, she did tweet out in support of Pride and in support of National Coming Out Day:
  • Gun Violence: She supports gun control, including: assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and red flag laws. She appears to work frequently with Moms Demand Action in support of sensible gun reform:
  • Climate Change: She believes in climate change and supports investing in clean energy, like wind and solar, programs to combat its impact. She also serves as the Judiciary Program Director for the League of Conservation Voters, which works to create state and national policies out of environmental priorities. The LCV also produces the scorecard used to rate congressional voting records.

SUPPORT DESIREE. Donate to her ActBlue page and tell Misogyny Mike to get lost.

Follow Desiree on social media: TwitterInstagram, & Facebook.

Candidate Match-Ups

A quick view on how the incumbent candidates match up against their challengers on my four key issues: abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights, gun control, and climate change.

Match-up of incumbents and their challengers on the issues.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election. There are likely several more members of Congress who are undeserving of their important space American history. If you have a congressperson you would like to see lose his or her seat, please note it in the comments! I will continually update this post as I do more research on representatives and candidates alike.

A similar post is forthcoming regarding the U.S. Senate, of which 35 seats are up for grabs in 2020.

Originally posted on Medium.
Modified and re-posted with permission.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the excellent roundup of shameless GOP Trump sycophants and their Dem. opponents. Another one who needs to be ousted is Mark Meadows (NC-11). He has at least one promising Dem.opponent, veteran Moe Davis. The reconfigured NC congressional districts may leave Meadows in a more competitive district. 🤞🤓🤓

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