Saturday, April 09, 2016

The DCCC Has Abandoned Ohio Completely-- Which Doesn't Mean Real Democrats Have To


The decision yesterday to add Keith Mundy to the Bernie Congress Blue America page was pretty easy. Within the first 5 minutes on the phone with him, I knew I was speaking with a movement guy, not someone trying to glom onto Bernie's online donation flow.

Keith, who wanted to talk more about Bernie than about his own campaign, is running for the OH-16 suburban seat southwest of Cleveland that carefully skirts Cleveland, Akron and Parma to make sure just 1.6% of the population is black. The district is 92.7% white and the PVI is R+6. McCain beat Obama 51-47% and Romney beat him 54-45%. The multimillionaire, out-of-touch incumbent is Republican Jim Renacci managed to win the seat by defeating freshman Blue Dog, John Boccieri 52-41%. When Renacci beat Boccieri in the 2010 midterms it was because Democrats stayed away from the polls in droves. Why would they do that? How about because Boccieri was anti-choice, anti-healthcare and anti-gay-- like like Renacci. The Redfern Ohio Democratic Party, like the DCCC, never quite got the message that Democrats want to vote for candidates who are Democrats because of values and principles not Democrats because it's a corporate careerist vehicle for a bunch of corrupt insiders. In that race Renacci and Boccieri each spent a bit over $2 million and the DCCC and NRCC each spent around $1.5 on their respective candidates. Renacci self-funded to the tune of $752,400.

Democrats in Ohio's 16th congressional district won't have that problem this year. Keith Mundy is nothing like Renacci and nothing like Boccieri. Needless to say, Steve Israel (and his sock puppet), Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are ignoring Mundy and the DCCC adamantly refuses to offer any help at all. With Redfern gone, the Ohio Democratic Party isn't as overtly hostile to progressives. The current head of the state party, David Pepper, told the media that "With Ohio families desperate for leadership in Washington that solves challenges like low wages and college debt and bad trade deals, Keith offers them a much-needed alternative to who they’re stuck with now." Not that the DCCC cares. They back corrupt conservatives who are basically just like Renacci, but only if they call themselves "Democrats," primarily worthless garbage candidates like self-funder Randy Perkins (FL), Monica Vernon (IA), Brad Schneider (IL), Lon Johnson, Wall Street whore Josh Gottheimer (NJ), failed Blue Dog Pete Gallego (TX), DCCC-Republican Mike Derrick (NY), Val Demings (FL), and Bryan Caforio some carpet-bagger rejected by the California Democratic Party but sent in by the DCCC to destroy progressive Lou Vince's chance to win the seat, virtually guaranteeing the reelection of tea party Republican Steve Knight. The DCCC has written off the state of Ohio entirely; not one Ohio Dem is on any of their Red-to-Blue lists.

So, Mundy is on his own; just him and the folks who believe in Bernie's political revolution. Hillary won Ohio, but Bernie did pretty well in the 16th district. He won Portage County outright, beat Hillary in the parts of Summit County that are in OH-16, and did well in Medina, Stark and Wayne counties. The Democrats there are now concentrating their energy on Mundy's campaign.

In his recent story about Mundy, Jonathan Fuentes, wrote that the candidate is far from being "your typical politician." Mundy told him he "ended up getting interested in Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren a couple years ago. Set up my first Facebook page: who’s it going to be, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? As it turned out, Bernie Sanders was our choice, and we’re all on a journey with him. From that, and organizing northeast Ohio into a really great group, and also opening the first grassroots office in the nation, it got to the point where we needed to have access to the Ohio Democratic Party. One of us had to step up to give legitimacy to our movement... Looking at my running for Congress, no matter who’s going to be our next president, the Congress we have now, you just can’t work with. What we needed to do was look at congressional races and change Congress. That’s when I decided it had to be somebody, and it ended up being me."
In fact, Mundy’s opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci, is what one would expect when thinking of, as Pepper puts it, “a card-carrying member of the Republican establishment.” A quick look at Renacci’s policies shows a politician who strictly adheres to the GOP party line: tax cuts for the rich, defunding Planned Parenthood, opposes gun control, denies climate change, opposes same-sex marriage and doesn’t care about the recent exacerbation of economic inequality.

This stands in marked contrast to a Mundy campaign that is built on a progressive platform. Mundy champions many of the ideals that appeal to the new generation of voters that have begun to find their voices in this election cycle. These ideals include universal healthcare, restoring infrastructure, breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks, leading climate change reduction efforts, and getting money out of politics, amongst others.

Fundraising efforts have only recently begun, since most of the campaign’s time was spent focusing on the Sanders race leading up to the primary.  Despite this delayed start, the United Auto Workers, an important union in Ohio, have already endorsed Mundy, who says the campaign is looking to ramp up in many areas very soon. “We haven’t done any canvassing until now. That’s something we’re going to start doing in about 30 days. The weather is just getting better here, just coming out of the winter, so we’re going to gear up that part of the campaign soon. I’m already reaching out to potential volunteers and potential donors.”

What began as a grassroots effort to bolster support for Bernie Sanders in northeast Ohio has now become the makings of a proverbial David versus Goliath. In a heavily gerrymandered district, Mundy faces an uphill battle, “What we’re looking at as far as progressive people, probably the only progressive people that are in our district are probably the young people.” Mundy will try to overcome this challenge by trying to reach a broad audience. “We’re going to be reaching out to young millennials, and we’re also going to be reaching out to the independents. But, we’re also going to reach out to an awful lot of Republicans who are not happy with the fact that my opponent has done nothing for anybody.”

As one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Renacci is out of touch with the people of his district, according to Mundy. “First and foremost, he’s not there for the people. He’s there for corporations and money. We haven’t been able to find one thing he has voted on that has helped the people within the district.”

“We are reaching out to people and asking them what we can do for them. Unlike my opponent, who really, as far as I’m learning, never comes down and talks to people. Our campaign is going to be a one-on-one with every person we can talk to, whether they be Republican, Democrat, or independent.”
Please consider chipping in what you can to Keith Mundy's campaign, because whether the next president is Bernie, Hillary or Paul Ryan, we're going to need as many progressives in Congress as we can get. Just tap the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home