Friday, February 19, 2016

How The DCCC Is Abandoning Pennsylvania Democrats Once Again


How an incompetent DCCC has reshaped the political landscape of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, one of the most egregiously gerrymandered states in the country, has 18 congressional seats. Even though it's a blue state-- Obama beat McCain 3,192,316 (54.7%) to 2,586,496 (44.3%) and beat Romney 2,907,448 (52.0%) to 2,619,58 (46.8%); Bob Casey beat Tom Smith for the U.S. Senate seat in 2012 53.6% to 44.7% and the most recent statewide race saw Tom Wolf wipe out incumbent Governor Tom Corbett 55-45%-- only 5 congressional seats are held by Democrats now!

In 2006, the congressional delegation reflected the state's partisan split far more accurately: there were 12 Democrats in Congress and 7 Republicans. The incompetence and grotesque corruption of Chris Van Hollen and Steve Israel and their staff guaranteed the portion of Democratic seats in the state would fall from 12 of 19 to 5 of 18. (This has been their impact coast to coast from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.) They like to use gerrymandering as an excuse, but it's a false excuse. The DCCC routinely ignores districts that favor Democrats if the locals have the temerity to nominate a progressive rather than a corrupt DCCC conservative.

This cycle in Pennsylvania-- with it's 13 Republican-seats in what looks to be a huge year, with Bernie or Hillary at the top of the ticket, likely against some crackpot like Herr Trumpf or nut-case Dominionist Ted Cruz and Joe Sestak challenging failed right-wing Senator Pat Toomey, a Wall Street puppet ($6,353,491)-- the DCCC is challenging 3 Republicans. In order of interest, they're looking whomever the GOP nominates to fill Mike Fitzpatrick's seat in Bucks County (almost certainly the NRCC shill, Mike's uptight little brother Brian, who's counting on people mixing him up with his brother), Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan. In PA-08 (Fitzpatrick's seat), they recruited an establishment-favored typical DCCC conservaDem, Steve Santassiero, but backed away when he proved lazy, dumb and unable to raise and money. It looks more likely that the more progressive Shaunghnessy Naughton will win the primary in this seat Obama won against McCain, 53-46%. 

The DCCC recruited a wealthy entrepreneur/pastor, Bill Golderer, as their candidate against Pat Meehan in the Delaware County 'burbs south and west of Philly (PA-07), although there's a real grassroots progressive running, an Elizabeth Warren-type college professor, Mary Ellen Balchunis and she-- rather than he-- has the backing of the local Democratic parties. PA-07 is another instance of the DCCC recruiting their idea of a candidate and foisting him on the locals. 

They recruited a conservative Republican, a party switcher, Mike Parrish, to run in PA-06 (an oddly shaped monstrosity that includes pieces of Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties) but Parrish must have studied in the same how-to-lose school as Santassiero and the DCCC cooled on him as well. A progressive grassroots activist, Lindy Li is also running and she seems to be generating more enthusiasm than the ex-Republican. But those 3 Philly-area districts are the only ones-- of the 13 held by Republicans-- the DCCC is even bothering to contest.

There are no Democratic candidates running against Mike Kelly (PA-03), Bill Shuster (PA-09), Tom Marino (PA-10) or Tim Murphy (PA-18), so no one even building for a future run the way Mary Ellen did against Meehan in 2014 when she got zero help from the DCCC but still managed to bring in nearly 90,000 votes, something she's using as a base of support for her campaign this cycle. It doesn't take a brain surgeon.

But even in the districts where there are Democrats running, like in PA-05, where Kerith Strano Taylor is taking on Glenn Thompson again, the DCCC is ignoring the races, the talent they have in the most abundance. They are also ignoring Josh Burkholder's campaign against Scott Perry (PA-04), Michael Marsicano's campaign against racist/xenophobic freak-show Lou Barletta (PA-11), Steve Larchuk's race against Keith Rothfus (PA-12), the race to replace retiring Joe Pitts (PA-16), where Christina Hartman and Gary Wegman are in a primary-- and where Obama nearly beat McCain 50-49%. But the worst case of DCCC malfeasance is in the Lehigh Valley (PA-15), where Charlie Dent is being challenged by Democrat Rick Daugherty, who did reasonably well against Dent in 2012. Four years before that Obama won the district 52-47%. But the DCCC is uninterested in getting involved.

So while the DCCC gets ready to repeat every mistake they've made in every cycle in recent memory-- recruiting awful candidates that the base doesn't relate to and leaving dozens of seats uncontested-- the NRCC is being far more aggressive and targeting way more House seats, including seats where they know they will lose in November but hope to pick up in 2018-- the kind of long-range thinking imbeciles like Chris Van Hollen, Steve Israel and Ben Ray Lujan are incapable of.

Do you want progressive candidates who can win? Here are 18, only one of whom the DCCC is even supporting at all. If you'd like to help any of them win, please tap the thermometer. Maybe there's even one near you.
Goal Thermometer

UPDATE: Another District In Play?

Pennsylvania's most progressive House Member, Matt Cartwright, just endorsed Christina Hartman in PA-16, which includes Pennsylvania Dutch Country, all of Lancaster and some of blue Reading. Although the district is R+4, Obama won it in 2008 and held Romney to 52% in 2012. If the DCCC were less incompetent and actually got behind Hartman, there's a good chance she would beat likely GOP nominee, state Sen. Lloyd Smucker, an extremist nut who bears a chunk of responsibility for shutting down the state government-- the last thing we need in DC. "With a name like Smucker, he’s got to be a turd" would be a great campaign poster for her... though maybe not in Lancaster County.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 5:43 AM, Blogger Paul_Roden said...

With regard to the PA 8th CD Race: Steve Santarsiero, "is NOT LAZY and DUMB." He has the momentum the endorsement of both the Montgomery County and the Bucks County Democratic Party and a majority of the Committeepeople, municipal Democratic Clubs and Municipal Chairs. Naughten may have raised more money OUTSIDE OF the 8th Congressional District, but Santarsiero has raised more money from inside his district and has more volunteer support throughout all of the 8th Congressional District. The DCCC is notorious for recruiting candidates and then pulling the rug out from underneath them. Steve is the real deal and connects with the voters. Once you know him and see him in action you will love him. We need him in Washington. He has the experience and the ideas. He has earned this position and the nomination. Vote for Steve.


Post a Comment

<< Home