Friday, February 03, 2012

Your DCCC-- Working Furiously To Elect More Republicans In Florida


Young woman flanked by 2 wealthy Republicans with political ambitions

In 2006 Blue America was supporting school teacher and Florida union and Democratic activist Dave Lutrin in the 16th CD against Republican incumbent Mark Foley. The district takes in St Lucie, Palm Beach, Martin, Charlotte, Highlands and some smaller counties. When Lutrin started running, no one thought he had a chance to beat Foley, a guy who was a fairly well-known closet case and hypocrite but who had managed to pull the wool over the eyes of his local Republican supporters year after year. Then DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel became privy to the fact that Foley was molesting underage congressional pages and was even caught, drunk, trying to break into the boy pages dormitory. The inept congressman who was supposed to be in charge of protecting the pages, pious baloney salesman John Shimkus (R-IL) told Foley not to do it again. Emanuel, instead of alerting the police, as was his legal responsibility, decided to use the information strategically. He sat on it and waited for the right time in the election cycle to leak it. Meanwhile, he recruited a rich Republican, Tim Mahoney, got him to switch his voter registration to Team Blue and set about-- with the help of Steny Hoyer-- to drive Lutrin out of the race. They dried up his sources of contributions and endorsements, wrecking his faith in his own party-- tools the DCCC commonly uses against progressives and grassroots followers.

Long story short: Foley resigned in disgrace but too late (thanks to Emanuel's impeccable timing) to get his name off the ballot, Mahoney won-- by less than 4,000 votes (49-48%)-- went on to serve in Congress as a Blue Dog who voted with the GOP on almost all the important issues and was then caught up in his own sex scandal, losing the seat in a landslide to plutocratic nitwit Tom Rooney after one miserable term (and in an otherwise banner year for House Democrats).

Fast-forward to 2011 and Dave Lutrin decides to get into the race for the seat in his district again. The DCCC-- now chaired by another corrupt conservative in the Emanuel mold, Steve Israel-- ignores him. Like Rahm (and Romney), Israel doesn't think middle class union members should be running for Congress, just self-funders and people with rolodexes filled with the names of wealthy friends and associates. Ignoring is one thing but then something very strange happened, a chain of events that is weird even for Florida GOP politics.
Republican Rep. Allen West will endorse former state lawmaker Adam Hasner, who is announcing that he'll drop his U.S. Senate bid and run for the seat West is leaving. West plans to run in a friendlier Palm Beach County-based congressional seat. 

The endorsement from the Tea Party-backed West comes in the midst a political scramble for Florida's congressional seats. Thanks to redistricting, sitting lawmakers are trying to find friendly home districts-- and so are potential challengers. 

A chain reaction of announcements culminated Tuesday when Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, who currently represents Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties, announced he’d run in a new proposed congressional district that stretches from Martin to Charlotte County.

West then said he’d run in Rooney’s old seat, opening up a slot for a Republican in West’s District 22 seat, which straddles Palm Beach and Broward counties.

That allows Adam Hasner to exit the U.S. Senate race and run for West’s old seat. Hasner, who was struggling in a five-way Republican Senate race, would be running in a congressional seat that mirrors his old Delray-Beach-based state legislative district.

The Miami Herald doesn't have the sequence of events exactly right but the effect is the same. And they left off one other Republican move. The DCCC has another Mahoney-type Republican, rich kid Patrick Murphy, who was trying to run in the 22nd, but getting no traction whatsoever against the real Democrat in that race, Lois Frankel. So the DCCC wants Murphy, who was as recently as last year not just voting for Republicans but donating money to them (including to Mitt Romney), as well as to Steve Israel, to run against West in the 16th. It's an exact replay of what happened in 2006: the DCCC is looking to muscle out a real Democrat-- Dave Lutrin-- to shoehorn in a rich GOP self-funder willing to don a blue tee-shirt for the campaign. It makes my stomach turn, but that's your DCCC. Dave Lutrin can use some help to fight off the GOP interloper. Please consider giving him what you can here.

How could the Democrats not defeat Allen West in November? Just leave it to Steve Israel.

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