Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why No Members Of Congress Who Call Themselves Democrats Should Contribute To The DCCC This Cycle


The other day a Democrat who I respect and admire had a staffer call me and ask if Blue America would be up for doing a fundraiser for him. He had certainly earned it by his unrelenting work on behalf of working families. My first instinct was to go, "Of course, how much does he need?" But then I thought about it for a second and said, "I know no Republican is running against him; does he have a primary?" He didn't. So why does he need us to ask our grassroots small donor base to contribute, since they're so stretched already trying to help elect Democrats in tough races? "Well, he has to pay his DCCC dues." I guess he doesn't read DWT much.

I was on the phone with another Member today, who described DCCC Chair Steve Israel as "malevolent" and as someone who hates progressives and progressive values and is working to elect conservatives to Congress. "I can't understand," she said, "how Nancy [Pelosi] could have picked him." Another Member explained it to me: it was all about the money. Israel raises big money from shady Wall Street special interests. In the end she "had to" pick between Israel and Wasserman Schultz and, no fan of Wasserman Schultz's, she figured Israel would be the lesser of two evils. That doesn't explain why she reappointed him after his colossal failure last cycle.

This cycle is shaping up to be a far worse disaster for Democrats. Israel is already blowing it by recruiting horrible conservative candidates who won't win and he's going to waste millions on them again, the way he did on his crap candidates last cycle. And the worst of all Israel's picks-- the quintessential Steve Israel recruit: Jennifer Garrison, aka-- the "Sarah Palin of Ohio." Vehemently homophobic, 100% anti-Choice, against the minimum wage and pro-gun, Garrison is by any definition-- except Steve Israel's-- a Republican through and through. This is from an e-mail NARAL sent out to it's members in Ohio:
Last week, Jennifer Garrison, a Democrat from Marietta, officially entered the race for Ohio’s Secretary of State. Jennifer Garrison currently serves in the Ohio House of Representatives and has a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Rep. Garrison showed just how extreme her anti-choice position is when she filled out the 2008 candidate questionnaire for Ohio Right to Life, saying she would:

 support legislation in Ohio to outlaw abortion (with only an exception to save a woman’s life),

 support legislation that would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception, and

 support state funding for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that lie to women about the risks of abortion and never refer patients for abortion or birth control services.

Representative Garrison does not share our values.
Does Representative Israel? It's one thing to support reactionaries already in Congress-- the Barrows and Mathesons and McIntyres-- but why bring more into Congress? Isn't that why there's a Republican Party? A perfectly good state senator, Lou Gentile, wanted to run. He's perfect for the district-- a moderate, mainstream Democrat, not a progressive but not a conservative hack either. Israel got the message out early that he was behind Garrison and drove Gentile away from the race. Gentile could have won the seat; Garrison could never win this district.

Most of the DCCC funding comes from the dues mentioned above. Any Democratic Member who pays their dues is, in effect, helping elect Garrison and bringing her antigay and anti-Choice and pro-Big Business agenda into the caucus.

There's an alternative to paying those dues too-- contributing an equal amount to "approved" candidates. Most of Israel's candidates are along the same lines as Garrison-- but not every one of them. First of all, Members can give to progressive incumbents who need help, like John Tierney (D-MA) or Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). Both are on the Frontline list, so contributions to their campaigns count as dues paid. And then there are the few candidates on Israel's Jumpstart list who are actually pretty good. Of the 13 on there so far, Erin Bilbray (D-NV) is the real deal and I hear good stuff about Martha Robertson (D-NY) and so-so stuff about Pam Byrnes (D-MI), Andrew Romanoff (D-CO) and Staci Appel (D-IA). Better to write the check directly to these guys than give it to Israel so he can waste by trying to elect monstrosities like Garrison who is an affront to every Democratic Party value and principle.

Or better yet, tell Israel to go screw himself, and instead, support genuine progressives like Carl Sciortino (D-MA), the way Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva, Jared Polis and Keith Ellison just did.

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At 12:02 PM, Blogger Cirze said...

They aren't Dems (real Dems anyhow, not the fake Dems running things today).

If there are any real prog Dems left now in that group today.

I believe that this originated during the first Cheney/Bush disaster when the money Dems recognized that money was going to rule in the future and that the public's acceptance of the Supreme Court's pick made elections nonsense anyway.

I have seen nothing since then to change my opinion (and a ton to confirm it).

Long live independents like Grayson!

I will not be voting for the sell outs.

Love you!


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