Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Can Wall Street Take Over The Congressional Democrats?


Wall Street may be pumping for the GOP-- they certainly contribute significantly more to Republican candidates ($135,086,268 in 2014) than to Democratic ones ($85,022,832 in 2014)-- but they work hard to find corruptible legislators on both sides of the aisle willing to carry their water. And Wall Street infiltration into the Democratic Party, after succeeding at taking over the entire GOP), is as mind-boggling as it is toxic. 

Wall Street's legalistic bribes to Members of Congress are very targeted, and on the Democratic side of the aisle they go in a very big way to New Dems, a wing of the party that is utterly dedicated to Wall Street's agenda. The 5 current House members who benefited most from Wall Street campaign cash in 2014 were all extremely corrupt New Dems:
Joe Crowley (NY, former New Dem chair)- $1,184,858
Jim Himes (CT, New Dem VP)- $1,144,988
Patrick Murphy (FL)- $1,127,650
Steve Israel (NY)- $953,942
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY)- $833,197
Yesterday, Politico celebrated what they called the New Dems' plan to be a more assertive presence in the House, where they are pushing Wall Street's (and the GOP's) agenda on trade, taxes, Medicare, etc. That they are forcing the Democratic House Caucus further and further right on economic issues is something the Beltway anti-family Establishment is thrilled about. Their right-of-center leader, Wisconsin's Ron Kind, told Politico: "We need to reconstitute the center of American politics again, on both sides. That is a crucial role we have to play, especially when it comes to the economic message and what resonates in those competitive districts."

Politico asserts that what they call "moderates" (meaning conservatives) --
are tired of being overshadowed in a party where liberals have long dominated the agenda, even as Democrats slipped further into the House minority after the 2014 midterm elections. They’ve accused the White House and party leaders of focusing too much on niche economic issues like the minimum wage and pay equity-- policies, moderates argue, that turn off suburban voters Democrats need if they want to take back the House. And top Democratic leaders have released them to break with the party’s liberal base, in many cases an acknowledgement that many moderates come from tightly contested districts.
No mention that the slippage for the Democrats was based almost entirely on Democratic voters' revulsion at the voting records of New Dems (and their ugly stepsisters the Blue Dogs) and the refusal to vote for them in elections. Democratic losses are almost entirely due to New Dems and Blue Dogs failing to hold seats or win new ones.

What has made this trend even worse is that the New Dems-- starting with Rahm Emanuel-- have taken over the DCCC and done all they could to sabotage and undercut progressive candidates and favor New Dems and Blue Dogs.
[M]oderates are staking a claim to other economic polices normally dominated by Republicans. Reps. John Delaney of Maryland and Scott Peters of California introduced a “dynamic scoring” bill-- an issue normally favored by Republicans-- that would encourage budget scorekeepers to score tax cuts favorably to reevaluate how Congress spends money on infrastructure, research and education. Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes is one of the most outspoken advocates for reforming the Dodd-Frank financial regulations bill, which he supports, and Delaney has worked to find common ground on foreign tax issues with both parties.

“There is a real opportunity to work with the administration and to work with the majority to try and get [our issues] done,” said California Rep. Ami Bera, a member of the group. “There is an appetite.”

The push hasn’t been always been popular with progressives in the caucus. Liberal Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano lashed out during a closed-door caucus meeting in January, telling moderate lawmakers who supported rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations that they “might as well be a Republican.” And union-- usually staunch allies of Democrats-- pledged to pull fundraising and support from members of the coalition who supported Obama on trade.

...“We’re trying to develop an economic message that we felt was lacking in the last election. We want more of an open-opportunity message that is less about grievances and more about inclusiveness,” Kind added. “There is a little bit of a tug-of-war going on.”

Kind, a member of the influential Ways and Means Committee, has met with the panel’s chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to discuss tax reform. Lawmakers in the coalition repeatedly stressed that reevaluating how the U.S. taxes corporate profits from overseas operations could be an area of compromise between the moderate Democrats and Republicans.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said the coalition-- which announced Wednesday it had reached $1 million in fundraising through its super PAC at the quickest rate ever-- is also refocusing on business groups that have traditionally been Republican allies. He said Democrats have an opportunity to reach new voters and donors with the congressional fight over the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and immigration... “We are more expansive in our economic policy and our economic message than many in the Democratic Party,” Connolly said. “We want to reach out to a pro-business community that we believe is really receptive to a Democratic message if we reach out to them and include them.”

...It helps that the caucus is made up of younger members-- many of whom are seen as the future of the Democratic Caucus. Lawmakers like Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, Tony Cardenas of California, Scott Peters of California, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Joaquin Castro of Texas and André Carson of Indiana have burnished reputations as pragmatic pols.

Connolly said the new, more aggressive tone was a calculated shift after moderates in the party felt they had been pushed out from messaging and strategy decisions. He said the coalition met early in the year to discuss how to push forward key issues like trade-- conversations that continued even after fast track passed the House in anticipation of the language for the Trans-Pacific Partnership coming out later this fall.

“It has not been that frequent that we’ve been as assertive as we have in the past few months,” the Virginia Democrat said. “It’s a new factor. We’re going to insist that our voice is going to be heard and respected.”
These are the rest of the shady "Dems"-- besides Crowley, Himes, Murphy, Israel and Sean Maloney-- who took over $300,000 each from the banksters in the 2014 cycle alone:
John Delaney (MD)- $731,503
Ed Perlmutter (CO)- $710,230
John Carney (DE)- $618,878
Kirsten Sinema (AZ)- $552,253
Gregory Meeks (NY)- $512,733
Ron Kind (WI)- $504,227
Terri Sewell (AL)- $502,602
Bill Foster (IL)- $474,850
Scott Peters (CA)- $451,100
Denny Heck (WA)- $429,489
David Scott (GA)- $405,510
Ami Bera (CA)- $382,661
Elizabeth Esty (CT)- $328,850
Ann Kuster (NH)- $309,601

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At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Congress is so corrupt.


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