Tuesday, November 30, 2010

House Democrats Cement Ritual Suicide Pact In Place With The Formal Appointment Of Steve Israel To Head DCCC, Coddle Republicans


New DCCC head forgot his clown makeup, but he's all ready to pummel progressives

"Peter King could go to Ireland for the next nine years and still get elected. He has the best Republican district in the state.'' That was reported in the NY Times on June 23, 2002. He's the last Republican on Long Island and his seat had just been made a lot stronger that year. And how did it get a lot stronger with Democrats as powerful as they are in New York? We've tried over the last week or so to introduce you to the new chairman of the DCCC, Steve Israel. If you follow DWT at all, you know how unhappy we've been with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his rival for that position. Well, I'm afraid to say, he's even worse than she is-- and he is the one who guaranteed that Peter King would never lose his seat, the same Peter King who was all over the news yesterday screaming his head off about prosecuting Julian Assanage and declaring WikiLeaks a terrorist organization.

In 2000, before he made the shady deal with Israel, King had won reelection with 60%. Right after the deal went into effect, he won with 72%. In 2004 he took 63%. Israel went from a close win in 2000 (48%) to 58% in 2002 and then 67% on 2004. Without Israel's deal, demographics would have ended King's domination of NY-3. Dave Mejias might have knocked him off in 2006 when King was down to 56% (while Israel's share in NY-2 had risen to 70%). King was back to 64% in 2008 (while Obama lost to McCain 52-47%) and this year he won with a hefty 72% (while Israel's cushion served him well and gave him a 56-43% victory). The two districts are now so partisanly drawn that each wards off viable challengers... which was the whole idea Israel and King worked out between them.

The new districts that the two of them put together "transferred several Republican bastions on the South Shore from the Second District to the Third District, represented by the Republican Peter T. King of Seaford. In return, the Second District was extended into Nassau County to include Plainview, Syosset, Woodbury and Jericho, where the Democrats have an enrollment edge. In addition, it was extended north to encompass the rest of Huntington Town, where Mr. Israel, a Dix Hills resident, served for seven years as a town councilman." And it cut out of the district the home of Israel's predecessor, Rick Lazio... just in case.

So here's how the guy who is being rewarded for not running against Kirsten Gillibrand with the job of overseeing the efforts of Democrats to win back the House managed to make Peter King-- and himself-- bulletproof:
Mr. Israel said he had helped prepare various proposals to the State Legislature's redistricting task force for the once-a-decade redrawing of the state's congressional seats. But he insisted that he never envisioned the district he ended up with.

''A combination of math and geography dictated that he come into my district,'' Mr. Israel said of Mr. King. ''But I was surprised at just how far he came in. I didn't think it was possible for him to go all the way to East Islip.

''Any map that put my district office in Bay Shore out of my district did not resemble what I was looking for,'' he said.

Mr. King said he and Mr. Israel had submitted between 10 and 15 maps of proposed new districts, but he rejected any suggestion that there was an ''unlawful conspiracy'' between the two of them.

''You draw lines which obviously have governmental and political considerations,'' he said. ''The Senate, led by the Republicans, and the Assembly, led by the Democrats, has to find a way to accommodate both sides. Steve pushed what he thought was best for him, I what was best for me. That's what members of Congress did throughout the state.''

In the week before the new map was approved by the Legislature on June 6, Mr. King said State Senator Dean G. Skelos, the Rockville Centre Republican who is the State Senate's deputy majority leader and headed the redistricting task force in the Senate, told him the map ultimately adopted was ''the best he could do'' and still get it approved by Mr. Silver and Mr. Pataki.

Last night one Member of Congress told me to expect no changes at the DCCC and to expect to see longtime Israel cronies Jon Vogel and John Lapp with even more power to use the committee to further an agenda uniquely their own. This cycle Blue America took on the worst Blue Dog in the caucus, Bobby Bright, and contributed to his defeat. We will work in the coming months to help progressives and moderates mount effective campaigns against reactionary Blue Dogs. If you want to help us, you can do it here on our Bad Dogs ActBlue page. The worst of the worst-- Bright, Childers, Minnick, Nye, Kratovil, Taylor, Ellsworth, Carney, Hill, Mitchell, Marshall are gone, but there are still plenty of Blue Dogs who have a predilection for voting against working families and with Boehner and Cantor on a majority of the most crucial votes, slimy corporate whores like Boren, Altmire, Donnelly, Barrow...

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At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in King's district. Yes, it's been an overwhelmingly safe seat for King. I had high hopes for Mejias but the reality is that the Democratic organization in these parts is practically inert.

When I moved to Suffolk from Brooklyn, it was totally Republican. Because the Republicans ALWAYS overreach, they were caught by their own corruption and incompetence. One by one, They lost their seats of power. When Islip elected a Democratic supervisor after the disgrace and indictment of the last Republican in that office, the stage should have been set to get rid of King.

But the Democrats nominated someone in 2006 who ultimately dropped out. Mejias stepped in, but it was too late to mount an effective campaign. Aside from Mejias, King has had the great fortune to never face a competent or charismatic challenger. He's the worst kind of bloviating, huffing and puffing rooster and he should have been swept out in 2008. There's plenty of blame for that, and not just for that bum Steve Israel and his deal with King.


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