Monday, February 01, 2016

Why The DCCC Is Anathema To California Democratic Activists And Progressives


Lou Vince was the pick of 82% of CA-25 party leaders, despite corrupt DCCC boss Steve Israel

Yesterday, Gallup released a survey showing that voter identification with the Democratic Party has sunk to an all-time low, just 29% (slightly better than the GOP's 26%), as more and more people view themselves as independents (42%). Americans haven't abandoned the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt-- on every level-- has abandoned them. The Democratic Party is now nearly as much a subsidiary of Wall Street as the GOP is. As Pelosi has grown less and less capable of leading and as Chuck Schumer has consolidated his control in the Senate, the congressional wing of the party is basically in thrall to an ugly combination of K Street and Wall Street. The party is next-to-worthless as a vehicle for social change or for fighting to protect the interests of ordinary working families. Today caucus goers in Iowa will decide if the party is indeed the Clintons' corrupt self-serving establishment or still part of a vision for a better nation for the millions of families who are not wealth elites.

Back in December, we looked at why grassroots activists have had their fill of the DCCC and have been increasingly telling corrupt and incompetent Beltway party bosses to stay out of their states. Today everyone reviles the DCCC and identification with the Democratic Party itself is disintegrating because of the likes of Rahm Emanuel, Chris Van Hollen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steny Hoyer, Steve Israel and Ben Ray Luján.

Sunday, Javier Panzar, writing for the L.A. Times, looked into how Beltway Democratic Party hacks are destroying the party in California. He focused on the tremendous victory local Democrats in the Santa Clarita/Ventura area had this weekend in humiliating Israel, Luján, Zoe Lofgren and Pelosi. The clueless party bosses had invented a candidate from Orange County, some rich lawyer named Bryan Caforio, and decided to impose him on local Democrats. Woah-- did that ever not work! Yesterday the state party rejected the DCCC's demands that the party not endorse local candidate Lou Vince. 82% of the party delegates pre-endorsement vote went to Vince despite a month of hysterical calls from DCCC headquarters. In a huge slap in the face of the corrupt DCCC only 6 delegates voted for Caforio (out of 50). Vince will be the official Democratic Party candidate no matter what incompetent Beltway types like Israel, Luján and Pelosi want.
Democrats are eager to oust Knight, a freshman who earned negative headlines and represents the 25th Congressional District in north Los Angeles County and Simi Valley. But first the party's establishment will have to make peace with those local party activists who are upset with Caforio's late entry into the race, his lack of roots in the area and the quick support he has received from national Democrats.

The rift in the 25th District and an ongoing dispute between Democratic party leaders and locals in the Central Valley congressional seat offer an inland California flavor to what is a national trend this year: grassroots activists bucking the establishment.

Caforio raised $138,835 before the year ended, less than a month into his candidacy, according to federal campaign finance filings. He already has been endorsed by six members of California's congressional delegation and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Four members of Congress or their leadership PACs have contributed to his campaign [including Eric Swalwell, Alan Lowenthal and Zoe Lofgren].

But local partisans are upset that Caforio, a trial lawyer who attended UCLA and Yale Law School, and his wife only recently moved into the district from Los Angeles. Caforio was not registered to vote in the district until late November.

When the Simi Valley Democratic Club made its endorsement in the race two weeks ago, all 15 voting members chose Vince.

"There was a lot of negativity about the new guy. He is a carpetbagger," said Jodie Cooper, the club's executive vice president. "[Vince] really made a concerted effort to meet with people and then all of a sudden this guy comes in with money?"

...Despite the grassroots support, Vince, who currently serves as a police watch commander, has struggled to raise the money needed to take on an incumbent. His only congressional endorsement has come from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and that was before Caforio became a candidate. Still, Vince's list of supporters includes local officials and numerous activists.

"When it comes down to it, our volunteers are going to be the ones knocking on their neighbors' doors," said Vince's campaign coordinator John Casselberry Jr.

Some Vince supporters, like state Democratic Party delegate Patricia Sulpizio, said they could end up voting for Caforio if he makes it through the June 7 primary and Vince doesn't. But they are disappointed that members of Congress and party leaders are coalescing behind a candidate locals don't know or seem to be endorsing in large numbers.

Vince supporters have accused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee of meddling in the primary race, which officials have denied.

"You can buy a seat in Congress if you have money or if you have friends and associates with money, and that is really disturbing to me," Sulpizio said.

Local Democrats in the Central Valley also have been frustrated with the national party in recent years, said Mark Martinez, a politics professor at Cal State Bakersfield.

Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) has trounced Democrats for two cycles in the 21st Congressional District despite the party's 16 percentage point edge over Republicans among registered voters. Prominent locals told the Fresno Bee in December that part of the blame fell on the DCCC for micromanaging failed 2014 candidate Amanda Renteria's campaign.

Fowler City Councilman Daniel T. Parra is challenging Valadao in the primary, but he also has not raised much money. Democrat Connie Perez made a big splash when she entered the race but dropped out less than a month later, in part, Martinez said, because of frustrations with the DCCC over campaign staffing.

"What you have here is people who think they are masters of the universe," he said. "They are good at reading numbers but they aren't good at reading people."

The DCCC reputation is so bad in the area that Bakersfield lawyer Emilio Huerta, who entered the race in early January, has been telling voters he was not recruited by the group.

"It's unfortunate that [the] DCCC doesn't have a good track record here in terms of running successful candidates," Huerta said. "They don't take advantage of local clubs or local committees. They bring their playbook to the table and ignore us local folk."
This is Caforio's FEC report. After looking at reports like this for over a decade I can tell you with a straight face, I've never seen anything like it. There isn't one single contribution from the district (other than the money he and his wife gave from their newly rented apartmentin Valencia). But-- literally-- this DCCC plant couldn't get a single person living in the district to give him a dime! Blue America has endorsed Lou Vince, as well as 2 other progressive California challengers who have no support from the DCCC, Nanette Barragán and Bao Nguyen, all three of whom can be found on this page if you are inclined to support independent-minded reformers rather than DCCC hacks, who always lose.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home