Friday, June 03, 2016

Beware Of Beltway Professionals Trying To Cash In On Bernie's Name


Trump University isn't the only scam operation looking for suckers

I have to admit that I don't know a lot about 21st Century Democrats. Tom Harkin and Jim Hightower got the group going in the '80s and they seemed to fall into a kind of cult thing with Landmark, the crackpot group that started up on the ashes of Werner Erhard's est empire. I was always a little suspicious of them after reading about that and then a Washington Examiner hit job against them for squandering donor money and other unsavory practices. I usually just delete their e-mails.

Yesterday, though, I got one from Jen Petty, their executive director and I did open it. They want people to sign their petition to the DNC and they're waving the Bernie flag."No matter which Democratic candidate for president you are pulling for, we can all agree on the issues Bernie Sanders wants to address," she wrote and then listed these:
  $15 per hour minimum wage
  Repeal Glass-Steagall
  Break up the big banks
  Expand Social Security
  Free college tuition
  Ban fracking
"We have," she continued, "the opportunity to petition the Democratic Party Platform Committee to adopt these pressing issues and make them a part of the Democratic Platform. Bernie Sanders campaigned on these issues-- issues that 21st Century Democrats looks for in the candidates we support. No matter who you are for, please sign our petition today. We want to rush this petition to the Platform Committee to make your voice heard."

That sounds pretty phishy, so I e-mailed Jen back and, getting no response, called, only to reach a message machine suggesting I e-mail an Admin address. I looked at their website and didn't see endorsements for any Berniecrats (other than Keith Ellison) or for any cutting edge candidates at all. Instead of a list of candidates like Pramila Jayapal, Zephyr Teachout, Tim Canova, Alex Law, Alan Grayson or Jamie Raskin, it was a list of slightly left-of-center safe party hacks, some, like Tammy Duckworth, Ben Ray Luján and Ted Strickland, not even slightly left of center. These are, for the most part, not candidates who support the Bernie agenda. Mostly they are careerist candidates of the status quo. Catherine Cortez Masto, Kamala Harris, Patty Murray... these are garden variety establishment Democrats, not necessarily bad, but not the kind of people pushing Bernie's political revolution. The website states that "In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging-- those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents."

When I searched to see which candidates they've contributed to I kept getting this message: "This organization did not make direct contributions to any candidate." Instead I found an organization that spends all the money it raises on itself-- administration, fund-raising, salaries...

And it was the same story in the 2014 cycle-- lots of money raised, but nothing to any candidates or any efforts to do anything except enrich and sustain themselves:

Same in 2012. Looks like Jen Petty's taken a few hundred grand in personally though. No wonder she didn't call back or return the e-mail. The last contributions I found were to Blue Dog chair Stephanie Herseth in 2004 and current DSCC chair Jon Tester (in 2008), a Schumer puppet who has turned the DSCC into an attack machine against progressives.

And, no, 21st Century Democrats didn't endorse Bernie and isn't raising money for him or for any other Berniecrats. If you want to contribute to Bernie's campaign or to the campaigns of the congressional candidates who have endorsed him and are running on his platform... you can do it here-- where the cash goes directly to the campaigns, not to anyone who will take a cut or pay a salary or an expense account:
Goal Thermometer



At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I hope it didn't actually say "Repeal Glass-Steagall."

At 9:59 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

That is exactly what it said... one of the reasons I became suspicious originally

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expect this kind of self-seeking on the Republican side. But Harkin and Hightower had their names associated with these people? Wow.

What happens to Bernie's donor list is obviously important, but are Wasserman-Schultz and Schumer Democrats so deluded that they think that they are going to get a flood of $27 contributions just because they have Bernie's list? Did it ever occur to them that there is a big difference between policy-driven contributions and contribution-driven policy? They really do hate us and have profound contempt for us, don't they?


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