The Inside-The-Beltway Party Committees-- Where Conservatism And Corruption Meet
The DCCC isn't clearing the field for Chris Donovan
This post was so long that I broke it in two and the second half, which is more general will be up at 10am (PT). This one we're going to devote entirely to the race in Connecticut's 5th CD, where current Congressman Chris Murphy is leaving to run for retiring Joe Lieberman's Senate seat. Blue America endorsed Connecticut Assembly Speaker, Chris Donovan, an exemplary and accomplished progressive leader, last year. He has two primary opponents, Elizabeth Esty a very wealthy ex-state Rep who's being run by EMILY's List and Dan Roberti, another one percenter, a p.r. guy who's dad is a well-connected DC lobbyist. The DCCC claims to be neutral in primaries-- unless they don't want to be. And they don't want to be when they can get a corrupt corporate conservative nominated instead of a progressive, especially the kind of progressive they hate most-- independent minded ones. Nothing frightens cowering party leaders like Steny Hoyer, Steve Israel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Joe Crowley more than independent-minded Democrats.
Chris Donovan must scare the crap out of them. A former SEIU organizer, he got himself elected to the Assembly, organized the progressive caucus, took over the whole thing and started passing all the legislation progressives had hopes Barack Obama would get behind in 2008. Donovan's not just a progressive; he's a progressive who gets things done.
Two DCCC surrogates, James Carville and EMILY's List (which was once an outstanding independent operation and is now, in effect, just a flaccid and pathetic appendage of the Democratic Beltway committees brimming with cash but nothing else) sent out similarly disingenuous letters for, respectively Roberti and Esty this week.
From: "James Carville "
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:01:35 -0400
Subject: The Time is NOW!
You know me – I’m a straight shooter. So I’m just going to cut to the chase.
We have just 3 days left before the first, and arguably the most critical, Federal Election Commission fund-raising reporting deadline of 2012. My friend Dan Roberti is running for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th District, and he needs your help now. March 31st is the last deadline before the state party’s convention.
Contribute now before the deadline.
That means Dan needs to have the strongest showing possible. The media, the pundits and our opponents will use Dan’s fund-raising totals as a measure of his momentum going into the convention.
We have set an aggressive goal to raise $25K more before March 31st – but we can’t do it without you. Will you chip in to help my friend Dan?
Contribute now before the deadline. Even just $5, $10, or $25 can make a difference.
Dan has the momentum to win in November, but he needs you now. Chip in $5, $10, $25 or more – any drop in the bucket can help us reach our goal.
Thanks for your help.
And... from EMILY's List, a letter trying to "bundle" with Elizabeth Warren and Betty Sutton, two women who fight for working families, not with a record of fighting against them.
So, who are these two candidates for whom the DCCC is "staying neutral?" Dan Roberti is, basically just a spolied rich kid with nothing going for him but a dad with big-time DCCC cronies he calls friends. That's it. The father is a sleazy lobbyist, Vincent Roberti, and a major bundler for Democratic Party insiders. He's on the DCCC Speaker's Cabinet and the DSCC finance committee. And he's given over half a million dollars, personally, to DCCC and DSCC candidates. You can imagine why worms like Crowley and Israel don't want to piss him off by telling his kid to take a hike. And Dan's given almost $100,000 himself-- all while being a student living in New York.
Don't get me wrong; I don't doubt freaks like Israel and Crowley genuinely like Vincent Roberti. He's very much like them in the most basic ways, in fact. He narrowly escaped prison on an arson rap-- gotten off by the skin of his teeth by former State Democratic Party Chair, and huge Lieberman supporter, John Droney. And it's not like he was an angel before that-- not by a long shot. In his 1978 race for the Assembly, his opponent found 130 of his campaign signs in the rear seat of Vinnie Roberti's car and three years later he was suspected of firebombing two cars owned by his opponent, the sitting mayor. A few years later he was arrested for beating up a college kid outside of a bar, although he was later able to "persuade" the kid to drop the charges. Vinnie's nickname in the legislature while he was serving was "Dirty Roberti" and he was routinely voted one of the worst legislators in the General Assembly by his colleagues. How could sleaze-bags like Israel and Crowley not love him?
Think anyone besides me noticed this is illegal?
The kid has no experience doing anything in Connecticut to speak of, so his campaign has been largely funded by his family (tons of Robertis have maxed out) and his dad's connections. For example, in the Q4 2011 filing, $50,000 was raised from just two NJ families that run the Midtown Operating Corp., a yellow cab company in NYC ($37,500 from the Shermans and $12,500 from the Tiffenbergs. As you can see, his donors come almost exclusively from his pop's D.C. power set. You want more crap like that in Congress? Isn't that's what's wrong with Congress?
As for Esty, the EMILY's List candidate, in her one term at the state house, during the fight over the budget with Republican Gov. Rell, Esty and other conservative Democrats sent a letter calling on the legislature to agree to Rell's budget cuts instead of raising taxes on millionaires. Among other things, Rell's cuts would have decimated Medicare and S-CHIP, cut funds to education and libraries, closed senior centers... you know, the whole Paul Ryan routine. She also proposed an alternative budget and crows about it on her campaign website but it also would have cut health care spending, Medicare, s-chip, schools, nutrition programs for pregnant women and infants.
Compared the Roberti family, at least she's relatively honest. But just relatively. Her campaign took $2,000 from four Northeastern Utilities (owner of Connecticut Light and Power) executives one month before her husband, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (with oversight of NU) controversially stepped in and made the unprecedented move of asking a regulatory agency to rescind a draft opinion denying Northeast Utilities multi-million dollar request to instal smart meters on all it's customers in CT and pass the cost on to the customers by levying new fees. He then came under fire because NU was not on his recusal list, despite taking more than $200k from them in consulting fees over an eight year period that ended in 2005. His given excuse was that he hadn't worked with NU in 5 years, and all of the executives that he had previously worked with were no longer at NU-- but the Esty campaign took money from CURRENT executives. It seems that the particular execs may have had more than a passing familiarity with the smart meter plan D. Esty stepped in to save.
Today's the last day of the FEC quarter. Help Blue America make sure Chris Murphy is replaced by an outstanding legislator, not some shady self-entitled one-percenter. If you can, please contribute to Chris Donovan's campaign here on the Blue America ActBlue page.