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5 Veterans Quit Kyrsten Sinema’s Advisory Council With a Resignation Letter Tearing Her to Shreds

Kyrsten SInema wears a mask and a bright floral dress, talking on a cell phone in a parking lot

Five veterans from Kyrsten Sinema’s advisory council have quit, accusing her of “hanging your constituents out to dry” and “answering to big donors rather than your own people.” The New York Times obtained a letter the group wrote to Sinema, tearing the senator the shreds.

“You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress,” they write. “We shouldn’t have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming.”

The group is apparently furious and baffled over Sinema’s obstruction of Joe Biden’s wildly popular (and absolutely essential) Build Back Better Plan, but they have other issues as well—like with Sinema’s opposition to changing the Senate’s completely broken filibuster rule, which is allowing Republicans to block any and all Democrat-led legislation.

By employing the filibuster whenever possible (which is not how it was intended to be used), Republicans have made it so that Democrats can’t move forward with any legislation unless they have 60 votes—the number needed to block the filibuster—rather than the simple majority needed to advance a bill. Sinema apparently has no problem with this.

In a statement to CNN, Sinema’s office thanked the veterans—whose positions were unpaid—but also said “it is unfortunate that apparent disagreement on separate policy issues has led to this decision.”

Sinema clearly misses the point. This is not about “separate policy issues.” It’s about her the ways in which she has abandoned her constituents, betrayed so many of the values she spent her campaign espousing, and dedicated herself entirely to serving corporate lobbyists.

As the Times writes:

Critics have blasted Ms. Sinema’s ties to corporate interests, including the financial and advertising support she has received from groups funded by the pharmaceutical industry and other business interests. As she resists a leading proposal to lower prescription drug prices, Ms. Sinema has received about $400,000 from the pharmaceutical and health industries over the last five years, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit watchdog group.

Unfortunately, Sinema isn’t up for reelection until 2024. But progressive Democrats and groups in Arizona are already starting to talk about challenging her in her next primary election. A new PAC has been set up, backed by “deep-pocket donors.”

“The new Primary Sinema PAC does not plan to support a particular primary challenger,” writes NBC News. “Instead, it will fund local groups to pressure Sinema and help build the support and infrastructure for an eventual candidate.”

A progressive veterans activist group called Common Defense plans to use this letter to Sinema in a new television ad that will run in Tucson and Phoenix. Personally, I’d like to see even more ads exposing Sinema’s self-serving hypocrisy. Can we start by getting this entire thread on billboards nationwide?

(via NYT, image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.