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Liberal activists plan on ‘bird-dogging’ Senator Kyrsten Sinema as she runs the Boston Marathon

Liberal activists intend to harangue Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema on why she won’t support President Biden’s 3.5 trillion dollar Build Back Better Act – while she competes in the Boston Marathon. 

Grassroots activists have already ‘bird-dogged’ the representative – a phrase for putting a politician on the spot in an unexpected public place, forcing them either to commit to a position or to look foolish for dodging a question – in the bathroom at the college where she works, in an airport and later on the airplane. 

At the marathon on Monday, members of the Green New Deal Network from Arizona and Massachusetts intend to hold signs reading: ‘Senator Sinema: Pass the Full Deal,’ ‘Senator Sinema: Stop Running. Start Listening’ and ‘Senator Sinema: Stop Running From Us,’ according to the Boston Globe.

Liberal activists intend to harangue Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema on why she won’t support President Biden’s 3.5 trillion dollar Build Back Better Act – as the representative competes in the Boston Marathon.. Sinema is pictured running the Boston Marathon in 2017

Sinema and fellow holdout Senator Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia have raised ire from protestors, their party and the president for refusing to agree to the proposed plan’s price tag – with a 50/50 split in votes, theirs are needed to pass the bill. 

The ‘human’ portion of the wide-ranging Build Back Better Act would expand the country’s social safety net, and covers health care and family care, paid family leave, climate change, free community college and lower housing and prescription drug costs. 

What is ‘bird-dogging’?

‘Bird-dogging’ is a pressure-oriented tactic used by activists: putting a politician on the spot in an unexpected public place, forcing them either to commit to a position or to look foolish for dodging a question.

The term is a hunting analogy – just as bird dogs bark, scaring birds out into the open where hunters can shoot them, ‘bird-doggers’ hound politicians with questions to force them into making their stances public, or revealing that they have no coherent stance at all. 

During the 2000 presidential campaign, students followed candidate John McCain all over New Hampshire, asking what his ‘plan’ was on global warning – this pushed him to create such a plan. In the 60’s, presidential candidate Bob Dole was famously questioned by a man dressed as a giant cigarette, ‘Mr. Butt,’ who drew attention to the politician’s support for the cigarette industry.

 Source: MoveOn

The ‘hard infrastructure’ portion of the act includes funding for roads and highways, broadband development, water support, bridges and airport projects. 

In recent weeks, Sinema has faced mounting criticism and even the threat of a Democratic Primary opponent over her refusal to support Biden’s signature bill as-is.

Although Sinema’s office has said repeatedly that the Senator would not negotiate in public, according to Salon, her fellow party members have complained that she won’t negotiate privately, either. 

‘Senator Sinema’s position is that she doesn’t quote-unquote negotiate publicly,’ Vermont Senator Sanders said during a news conference. 

‘I don’t know what that means. We don’t know where she’s coming from. Tell us what you want.’ 

According to Salon, Sinema opposes the Democrats’ proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs — even though she campaigned on the issue in 2018.

Last week, video of Green New Deal Network Chief of Staff Kunoor Ojha following Sinema through the Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, asking her why she wouldn’t support the Build Back Better Act as the representative tried to field a phone conversation. 

‘Hi, Senator Sinema? I want to ask if you can explain to the American people what you’re planning on cutting from Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan?’ Ojha asked – Sinema ignored her questions, instead paying attention to her phone conversation.

‘Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut, or is it child care?’ Ojha continued.

Last week, video of Green New Deal Network Chief of Staff Kunoor Ojha following Sinema through the Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, asking her why she wouldn't support the Build Back Better Act as the representative tried to field a phone conversation

Last week, video of Green New Deal Network Chief of Staff Kunoor Ojha following Sinema through the Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, asking her why she wouldn’t support the Build Back Better Act as the representative tried to field a phone conversation

'Hi, Senator Sinema? I want to ask if you can explain to the American people what you're planning on cutting from Joe Biden's ‘Build Back Better’ plan?' Ojha asked - Sinema ignored her questions, instead paying attention to her phone conversation

‘Hi, Senator Sinema? I want to ask if you can explain to the American people what you’re planning on cutting from Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan?’ Ojha asked – Sinema ignored her questions, instead paying attention to her phone conversation

'Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut, or is it child care?' the activist continued

‘Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut, or is it child care?’ the activist continued

Later, a Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient named Karina approached the Senator, who was seated and buckled in to her airplane seat, asking if she would 'commit' to a 'pathway to citizenship for immigrants'

A Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient named Karina approached the Senator, who was seated and buckled in to her airplane seat, asking if she would ‘commit’ to a ‘pathway to citizenship for immigrants’

'Can you commit to that, senator?" Karina asked, 'I don't want to disturb you, but at the same time, I just want to know if I can get a commitment from you, senator'

‘Can you commit to that, senator?” Karina asked, ‘I don’t want to disturb you, but at the same time, I just want to know if I can get a commitment from you, senator’ 

Later, a Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient named Karina approached the Senator, who was seated and buckled in to her airplane seat, asking if she would ‘commit’ to a ‘pathway to citizenship for immigrants.’ 

‘Can you commit to that, senator?” Karina asked, ‘I don’t want to disturb you, but at the same time, I just want to know if I can get a commitment from you, senator.’ 

Earlier last week, a group of immigration activists with the group LUCHA Arizona followed Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University, where she teachers, demanding again that she support a ‘pathway to citizenship.’

They questioned Sinema as she walked into the bathroom, as she entered the bathroom stall and while she washed her hands at the sink. 

Earlier last week, a group of immigration activists with the group LUCHA Arizona followed Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University, where she teachers, demanding again that she support a 'pathway to citizenship'

Earlier last week, a group of immigration activists with the group LUCHA Arizona followed Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University, where she teachers, demanding again that she support a ‘pathway to citizenship’

‘Yesterday’s behavior was not [a] legitimate protest,’ said Sinema on Monday in a press release, after the bathroom incident. 

‘It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.’

Protestors also approached Senator Manchin’s houseboat on kayaks last week to ‘bird-dog’ the hold-out. 

‘I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody,’ Biden said to FOX on Monday when asked about the ‘bird-dogging’ tactics. 

‘The only people it doesn’t happen to are the people who have Secret Service standing around them – it’s part of the process.” 


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