Sha Na Na Na sang “Rock n Roll is Here to Stay” at Woodstock, and in 2014 it’s the music politicians use to attract the senior vote. Jon Bauman, known as Bowzer as a member of Sha Na Na, campaigned Tueday with Gwen Graham, the Democratic challenger of Republican incumbent Steve Southerland.
This campaign season, Bauman is a front man for a PAC, Senior Votes Count, in targeted races across the country. The group is using an Alliance for Retired Americans checklist of 10 votes on senior issues in deciding whether to support a candidate. Bauman said Southerland’s record is abysmal.
“If you want a percent it is zero, it is just a great big fat zero. And you can’t get any lower than zero,” said Bauman.
Later, when endorsing Graham’s bid, Bauman sang his signature line of “how low can you go” from the musical Grease to describe Southerland’s record on senior issues.
The items used to scored incumbent congressional candidates include votes on the Ryan budget proposal, Medicare privatization, cuts to legal services, a resolution to repeal 2011 Social Security and Medicare cuts, votes on health and Food Stamp programs and the 2013 government shutdown.
“With 13.5 percent of his district being seniors that is most definetly not the North Florida way,” said Graham, employing her campaign’s slogan.
More than 60 supporters gathered at a Tallahassee Tiki Bar to celebrate Bauman’s and the Senior Vote Counts endorsement of Graham. The candidate promised to oppose any plan that increase seniors’ out of pocket Medicare expenses and the Rocker led the crowd in a group sing along of classic Top 40 songs.
The Southerland campaign response to the event pointed out that provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which Southerland opposed do increase Medicare costs.
“Apparently Ms. Graham’s also forgotten Steve’s vote to restore a half a trillion dollars in Medicare funding cut by the Obamacare law she continues to support,” said Luke Strickland, Southerland’s campaign manager.