Congressman Dan Lipinski and his challenger Marie Newman are running hard but perhaps in different shoes and in different directions.
A national debate over Nike’s decision to pull its Betsy Ross Flag inspired shoes off the market has divided the two Democrats with the incumbent joining the boycott and the challenger using the Congressman’s boycott to appeal to the liberal Democratic base for fundraising purposes.
Lipinski started the run toward the issue with a social media post announcing his position and proudly displaying shoes made by New Balance rather than Nike.
Nike had pulled the shoes that had a Betsy Ross American Flag on the back of the shoe after Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL football player called the flag a symbol of racism.
“I’m sitting here working. Notice I’m not wearing Nikes, nor will I anytime soon,” Lipinski tweeted along with a photo of his New Balance sneakers.
Newman who gave Lipinski a run for the money in the 2016 primary race, laced up her own shoes and keyboard to solicit funds from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and made a run to the border.
In the letter, she made light of the boycott but never mentioned the flag issue or the reason for the boycott.
“I’m running to be your representative, so I think it’s important that you know where I stand on critical issues. But I believe it’s equally important for you to understand my opponent’s priorities.
Last week Dan Lipinski joined the conservative talking heads at Fox News and Breitbart to call for a boycott of Nike. Now he’s doubling down on his spat with a shoe company and working with Republican Mike Bost to introduce a resolution on the House floor.
Meanwhile, there’s a moral crisis happening at our border and thousands of his constituents are being threatened with the Trump administration’s draconian immigration policies. He’s done absolutely nothing about it — instead, he’s talking about shoes.
Enough is enough. I am tired of watching the person who’s supposed to represent us spit out Fox News talking points and fall in line with Trump instead of standing up for our community.
If you’re ready to elect a real Democrat with real plans and real fight for the people of this district, chip in to our campaign today.
It’s heartbreaking to see Dan Lipinski look the other way during a crisis like the one we’re facing.
The Trump administration announced that ICE raids will be happening in Chicago and cities across the country, putting thousands of families at risk of having loved ones ripped from their homes.
It’s truly disgraceful that Dan Lipinski is nowhere to be found right now — unless of course you need someone to work with Republicans on a shoe boycott. We need a leader who will stand up for what is right, one you can trust to fight for the interests of everyone in this district. I know that with your help, we can make this change happen.”
Kaepernick, a paid Nike endorser, reportedly told Nike company officials that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery. He didn’t provide names of other people who were offended according to multiple media reports.
However, the flag design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies and it is considered the first flag of the United States. The current flag has 13 stripes for the colonies and fifty stars to represent the fifty states of the union.
Kaepernick famously sat and then began kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem as his football career began to nose dive in 2016.