Saturday, September 14, 2013

DCCC Now Admits It Helps Republican-Lite Democrats Beat Grassroots Progressives In Primaries


Anne Kuster, the newest New Dem

Late in July, the corrupt corporate whores of the Democratic Party-- the right-leaning New Dems-- boasted in a press release that they "now represent over 1/4 of the entire House Democratic Caucus at 53 Members." How did that happen, you wonder? DCCC recruitment. Last year they looked for conservative Big Business-oriented candidates, rather than family-friendly grassroots types, and this year the New Dems wound up with a ton of new members who favor very non-Democratic propositions like, for example, deregulating Wall Street. They work in tandem with Republicans on issue after issue to undermine progressive values. Many of the freshmen who swelled the ranks of the New Dems are millionaires and virtually all of them come from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party: Ami Bera (CA), Joaquin Castro (TX), Suzan DelBene (WA), Elizabeth Esty (CT), Bill Foster (IL), Pete Gallego (TX), Joe Garcia (FL), Derek Kilmer (WA), Dan Maffei (NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Patrick Murphy (FL), Scott Peters (CA), Brad Schneider (IL), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Juan Vargas (CA) and Filemon Vela (TX).

So what prompted the late summer New Dem press release and their boast? A new member! The latest New Dem-- having switched from the Progressive Caucus: Anne Kuster (NH). She ran as a grassroots progressive and almost immediately started voting very conservatively. In July the transformation was complete. This week, always on the hunt for grassroots money, despite having transformed herself into a corporate tool, Kuster was begging her supporters to donate to her campaign again:
You sent me to Washington to be a consensus building problem solver. Since my swearing in, I have been vigorously pushing for solutions that can achieve a broad base of support regardless of party. Unfortunately, right now, we have an extremist sect of Tea Party Republicans who have decided to put party over country, and have forced Washington into gridlock.
She enables them and she votes with them-- a lot. And now she wants to raise money by bashing them? The irony is that Kuster has the safe blue district while the other New Hampshire Rep, Carol Shea-Porter is in a Republican-leaning seat. Unlike Kuster, Shea-Porter sticks by the ideals and values she ran on. Last week, for example, when Kuster was "leaning" towards war against Syria, Shea-Porter was one of the most forthright and outspoken champions of peace in the whole northeast.

When it comes to her committee votes, she's been a shill for corporate America and Wall Street and if you examine her public voting record, she's like one of those Republicans she's excoriating in her letter. According to ProgressivePunch she's earned ZERO ratings-- just like the Republicans-- on civil rights, cyber security, infrastructure funding, corporate tax breaks, clean water and water conservation, and even global warming.

It's true that the New Dems aren't as bad as the Blue Dogs. On economic and fiscal policies they're indistinguishable-- enemies of working families. But the Blue Dogs are mostly a bunch of gay-hating racists and misogynists. The New Dems don't require their members to be that extreme on social issues and, unlike the Blue Dogs, they even have members who are openly women and gay. They also have a lot of reactionary Blue Dogs who have a terrible influence on the caucus as a whole. Anyway, it's a really bad group-- and the DCCC is once again trying to help more of them to Congress at the expense of real Democrats and progressives. One of the Beltway trade rags, Roll Call covered the "new" Israeli policy of interefering in primaries. Israel has decided to take "a calculated risk to help some candidates in contested, open primaries this cycle-- despite the potential blowback that could come down the line." He and his lame staff have an abysmal record at picking winners but they doesn't stop them from charging ahead as though they know what they're doing. Many of their decisions get made based on cash and which candidates are schmearing DCCC-favored consultants (i.e.- former and future DCCC employees.
“Our mission is to help elect the candidate who can win, so when we see a potential candidate who can [win] when other candidates can’t win, we want to help to do what we can,” DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward said in a Wednesday phone interview.

The DCCC’s strategy marks the first time a House campaign committee has publicly helped candidates in contested primaries since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran the DCCC in 2006. Then an Illinois congressman, Emanuel handpicked his recruits-- often angering his party’s base in the process.
Roll Call somehow neglected to mention that almost all the corrupt conservative Emanuel recruited favored over progressives in 2006 subsequently lost their seats and caused a huge tidal wave in favor of the GOP (the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010).
This cycle, the DCCC has selected 16 recruits for its new Jumpstart program, which provides financial, communications and strategic support to candidates in top races. The program acts as a seal of approval from the committee that the candidate has the tools and background to win in a specific district, while other candidates may not.

DCCC aides argue Jumpstart is not a formal endorsement of a candidate. But the first crop of Jumpstart candidates have already received fundraising support via a DCCC event in Washington, D.C.

...Taking sides proved to be a hard lesson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and, to a lesser degree, the National Republican Congressional Committee, in recent cycles. In 2010, the NRSC and its leadership supported GOP candidates in primaries who eventually lost to tea-party-backed opponents. The NRSC no longer endorses non-incumbents as a result.

In 2006, the NRCC endorsed a more moderate Republican, Steve Huffman, over the conservative candidate, Randy Graf, in the open-seat Arizona race eventually won by Democrat Gabrielle Giffords. Graf won the primary, which created deep distrust of the Republican establishment in this perennially competitive district. Democrats have held the seat ever since.

As a policy, the NRCC does not endorse in contested primaries anymore. (There has been at least one exception: Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee in 2010.)

This cycle, there are at least eight contested GOP primaries in top races, and NRCC aides say they have not chosen sides in any of them. Instead, the committee invites any candidate who wishes to enroll in its Young Guns program, which sets specific campaign benchmarks for candidates to receive help from the NRCC.

Like the GOP committees, picking sides in primaries once proved problematic for the DCCC, too.

In 2006, Emanuel backed veteran Tammy Duckworth over Christine Cegelis in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th District. A bruising primary fight ensued as local activists fought the national party. Duckworth won the primary but narrowly lost the open seat to Republican Rep. Peter Roskam. Duckworth won another House race last year.

Democrats want to avoid these kinds of primary catastrophes, especially in competitive races. Ward said the party will support its nominee, even if he or she was not a Jumpstart candidate.

“If a Jumpstart candidate doesn’t win the primary and the Democrat in the general election is competitive and the district is winnable, we will be there,” Ward said.
Wealthy but lo-info big Democratic donors tend to just do whatever the DCCC tells them to do and by putting their easily manipulated conservative candidates on the Jump Start list, they can influence fundraising and then media coverage, creating a kind of conventional wisdom that their candidate has it in the bag. Next week we'll show you how Israel is blowing the chance to beat Steve Pearce in NM-02 by backing a more conservative candidate, Rocky Lara, against a grassroots progressive Leslie Endean-Singh, instead of letting the Democratic primary voters make the decision without clueless and destructive Beltway interference.

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At 6:34 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...


At 6:54 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

I feel "taken" via the donation I gave to her

At 11:06 AM, Blogger susanthe said...

I hope they're prepared to shell out a lot of $$ to Kuster, because the progressives who funded her last time are going to be sending their money to Carol Shea-Porter.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can only hope Endean-Singh pushed Lara more to the left. Lara is scared of the east side of the state and needs to get bold. While we would love to get rid of Pearce, we would also like a true Democrat in that seat. Personally, I'm proud of Tom Udall. He represents New Mexico Democrats well and clearly faces his job with courage. Another politician like him would be welcome.


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