Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Revolution's Not Just About Bernie Winning The White House


At one point, one of the shiny lobbyist/consultant types who populate the greasy/well-greased Clinton Machine thought it would be smart to make the ridiculous claim that Her Highness' campaign is raising money for Democratic candidates while Bernie is just a selfish, greedball. Well, of course, they were projecting. As Gaius pointed out Monday and I tried showing Sunday, it's Bernie who has been raising money for progressive challengers while Hillary's much vaunted operation is just a typical scam that sucks up more money for herself, while doing nothing for needy candidates. And this goes deeper than the Clintons' well-developed and deeply embedded penchant for corruption.

It's about Hillary's instincts. Just before her 50th birthday-- so not when she was a "little girl" running for the president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans-- she said to an NPR audience "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl." And it shows in her policies and in the way she runs her politics. While Bernie has carefully vetted 3 progressive women running for Congress-- Pramila Jayapal (WA), Zephyr Teachout (NY) and Lucy Flores (NV)-- and helped raise them $1.4 million. That's very substantial-- substantial enough to effect their ability to win their contested primaries.

Hillary's pittance she's sharing with "the Democrats" isn't helping any candidates, just the corrupt, power-mad bosses who are more a part of the problem with what ails the Democratic Party than a part of any kind of a solution. Her wing of the party is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer and Steve Israel, the careerist bottom-feeders who have helped turn the Democratic Party away from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt values-oriented party to what Thomas Frank describes in his new book, Listen Liberal-- What Ever Happened To The Party of the People?

In her mind, plotting to put more New Dems and Blue Dogs into elected office passes for helping the Democratic Party. In actuality it is exactly what is destroying the Democratic Party. Yesterday, in an e-mail from Jeff Weaver, Bernie's campaign manager, he noted that "for months, you've heard the Clinton campaign endlessly repeat in interviews and on social media that they have raised millions and millions of dollars for state parties through something called the 'Hillary Victory Fund.' They've even used it as an attack line to insinuate Bernie wasn't willing to help down-ballot Democrats."
[T]hanks to a Politico investigation, we found out that less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by the Victory Fund has stayed in state party coffers. And indeed, the majority of the money spent by the Victory Fund has gone to benefit Hillary Clinton's primary campaign against us. The piece said some state party fundraisers believe they are basically acting as "money laundering conduits."

...Here's how the scheme works for the Clinton campaign:

Rich people like Alice Walton of Walmart who have already contributed the maximum amount allowable to the Clinton campaign can contribute an additional $350,000-plus to the Victory Fund.

The first $33,400 of her contribution is supposed to go the DNC, and the rest divided up between participating state parties. But that's not what's been happening. The Victory Fund has mostly been doing one of two things with Ms. Walton's money:

1. Taking that money and spending it on advertisements and small-dollar fundraising solicitations. Then they take all the small-dollar contributions and data reaped from Alice Walton's contribution and transfer it directly to the Clinton campaign. This tactic is basically a way for them to benefit from a contribution much larger than the legal limit from Alice Walton.

2. They take Alice Walton's money and transfer it to state parties, who then immediately transfer it to the DNC. Often times they do it without the state party even knowing because the Clinton campaign controls many of the bank accounts involved. So at the end of the day, most of the state parties have received exactly $0 from their Victory Fund arrangement.

So, now that we know the Clinton campaign is taking advantage of state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign, it's time for her to do the right thing and let the state parties keep their fair share of the cash.

...It's unfortunate that Hillary Clinton has benefited from tens of millions of dollars in cash transfers and advertising to campaign against us in the primary. But it's not too late for her campaign to do the right thing by the state parties we're going to need to win elections up and down the ticket this November.

Bernie's campaign isn't just a campaign to put him into the Oval Office. That would be nice, but there's more to the political revolution and the mass movement he's inspired than just one man. His is a rescue attempt for American democracy and for the Democratic Party. It needs to go on beyond the confines of a presidential run that ends in July or November. It may be easier to focus on a cult of personality-- whether for Hillary, Trump, Cruz or Bernie-- but the real work is about participation, if just to decide to not let the wool be pulled down over your eyes, the way it is with all the millions and millions our fellow citizens following Hillary and Trump, and to a lesser degree the (bad)-values oriented Cruz. Millions of Americans sense that there is something wrong with party leaders like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer, Steve Israel and Rahm Emanuel. Is it really your party of they're calling the shots? A candidate for the state legislature, a Bernie guy, told me the revolution reminds him of a mass realization that the party turned to shit when no one was paying attention. "It's like waking up in the morning with a woody," he said, "and then calming down, rolling over and seeing what a monster you just spent the night with."

When people start screaming at you that by not voting for the Hillary monstrosity-- i.e., the lesser of two evils-- you are putting Herr Trumpf into the White House, you might just want to give in and vote for the wretched candidate and figure America will always just be a pile of political crap anyway. But if you want to keep fighting, you can remind them that you oppose what she and her corrupt conservative wing of the Democratic Party stands for and you won't vote for her or for other garbage candidates the party keeps vomiting up as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. And you can point to Lee Fang's post at The Intercept about how the Hillary wing is working diligently to defeat single payer health insurance in Colorado today. "Influential Democratic consultants," wrote Fang, "some of whom work for the Super PACs backing Hillary Clinton, have signed up to fight a bold initiative to create a state-based single-payer system in Colorado."

The anti-single-payer effort is funded almost entirely by health care industry interests, including $500,000 from Anthem Inc., the state’s largest health insurance provider; $40,000 from Cigna, another large health insurer that is current in talks to merge with Anthem; $75,000 from Davita, the dialysis company; $25,000 from Delta Dental, the largest dental insurer in the state; and $100,000 from SCL Health, the faith-based hospital chain.

Under the new system, there would be no health insurance premiums or deductibles, and all health and dental care would be paid for by the state through a new system called ColoradoCare. The plan calls for raising $25 billion through a mix of payroll taxes, along with bringing down costs through negotiations with providers.

The filing reveals that the anti-single-payer group has retained the services of Global Strategy Group, a Democratic consulting firm that has served a variety of congressional candidates and is currently advising Priorities USA Action, one of the Super PACs backing Clinton’s bid for the presidency.

Last month, Global Strategies Group circulated a polling memo that contends that the single-payer ballot measure can be defeated because voters “overwhelmingly reject” the idea.

But, the memo warned, the measure “has some traction with key groups,” including Democrats and millennials, and that the 2016 election year has proven difficult to predict. “[A] sustained campaign pointing out the many flaws in Amendment 69 is essential, especially in such an unpredictable environment,” the memo concluded... The Democratic consultants are listed alongside several Republican firms, including Brandeberry-McKenna Public Affairs, a GOP company that also lobbies for the drug industry.
One very concrete thing you can do about it is to just stop supporting lesser-of-two evils candidates and garden variety corrupt conservative Democrats. There are, after all, still values-motivated progressives in the political field. And you should look in your own neighborhood and districts and check out the candidates. My Assemblyman is termed out and it's taking me a lot of time and effort to learn about the two Democrats running for his seat. But, as a citizen, it's my duty. If you don't have the time or inclination to do likewise, Blue America has compiled a list of congressional candidates who have endorsed Bernie and who are running on his issues. Clicking on the thermometer will bring you to the list and, if you choose to, allow you to contribute to any of their campaigns. Maybe one is running in your district or in a district near you:
Goal Thermometer

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At 9:33 PM, Blogger Lorna Hefel said...

Can we use the Bernie meme (1962 and 2016) in an email or a tweet?


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