Monday, January 09, 2017

The Florida Democratic Party-- Rotted


The Democratic Party is corroding from the inside— rotten at its core. Will it survive the corporatist excesses of the Clinton era as a vehicle for the aspirations of America’s working families? Can a party that celebrates "leaders" like Rahm Emanuel, Debbie Wassermann Schultz, Steny Hoyer, Chuck Schumer and Joe Crowley be a home for real people? Writing last week about the Florida Democratic Party, our old friend Kartik Krishnaiyer pointed out that the party “has long shared the internal behavior of collapsing businesses, declining empires or nation-states as well as losing sports teams in that decisions are often made based more personality, sentiment and factionalism than on competence, accomplishment and merit.

In Florida that means garbage political hacks like— first and foremost— Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and other self-serving careerists from Alcee Hastings and Joe Garcia to renegade opportunistic Republicans like Patrick Murphy and Charlie Crist. The party has acclimated itself to losing and losing and losing and the party “leaders” care nothing about anything except each of their own pitiful little ghettoized pieces of turf.

Referring to a bitter battle over control of the moribund party, Krishnaiyer warns that “whomever assumes control of the Florida Democratic Party is going to inherit a wounded animal – one whose infrastructure and effectiveness has long since waned. Florida Democrats have lost 17 of the last 20 statewide races and 17 of the last 18 statewide cabinet races – a record which is comparable to that of deep red states in the interior of the country. The new chair will also inherit a party with a progressive wing that does not trust the establishment, and an insider clique largely based in Tallahassee who routinely does lobbying business with Republicans despite representing themselves at election time as dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. The party is cracked, even fractured.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is one of the few bright lights in the Florida Party. Andrew’s a fighter and part of the future of the party if it’s going to have one. He’s he’s being personally sued by the gun manufacturers’ lobbyists at the NRA. “In 2014,” he wrote, “as a Tallahassee City Commissioner, my colleagues and I refused to repeal ordinances that prevent shooting guns in a public park.

Because of our actions that day, and our commitment to the safety of our citizens, my fellow locally elected officials and I are facing fines of $5,000 per vote, damages up to $100,000, and the potential to be removed from our elected jobs by the Governor of Florida. We have also been forced to find our own lawyers to defend us in Court.”

Although nobody should be against these types of common sense laws, this lawsuit isn’t about guns. It’s about huge special interests, in this case the National Rifle Association (NRA), spending big money to take away local voices and local control, using tactics called preemption and super-preemption.

It’s also about how these special interests and corporations, after getting their way with state government, are trying to intimidate and bully local communities by filing damaging lawsuits against officials like me. Like your local commissioners. Like your local councilmembers. Like your Mayor. And like you.

It’s wrong, it’s cowardly, and unfortunately, it seems to be getting worse; especially in places with far-right conservative state governments.

But we are fighting back in Florida.

At trial, we have challenged the constitutionality of the laws that are being used to attack our local communities and officials. We have carried that fight to the First District Court of Appeals of Florida, and are set to hear Oral Argument on January 10, 2017.

We have had great support in this effort from state and national partners, and we hope to set a precedent for challenging these “super-preemption” overreaches. Our partners recognize that if these threats are deployed today by the gun lobby, there’s nothing stopping special interests from coming after protections for immigrants, the LGBT community, the environment, and others.

We want to stand up to these bullies everywhere they show up.

That’s why I am officially launching a nonpartisan, grassroots effort to bring together individuals, organizations, and elected officials concerned about the erosion of local rights.

This effort, the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, will send a message to state lawmakers, and give citizens around the country the tools to push back against special interest groups and large corporations, and maintain their right to put forward local solutions to the issues facing their community.

We will hold events to rise against looming threats on issues like minimum wage and health benefits, the environment, local hiring practices, and water quality.

We will help bring awareness and support to similar fights being undertaken by local officials across the country that are fighting to defend local solutions.

And we will elevate the voices and narratives of these efforts, so that no attempt to bully or intimidate local communities around the country will ever be tolerated. 
A good reason we need a vibrant two-party political system, don’t you think? Too bad the Wasserman Schultzes and have thought nothing about anything other than their own nasty little power preserves.

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At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, really, with a Florida(29) Dem state party like that who needs Putin?

Do we get a similar analysis of the state Dem parties of Ohio (18), North Carolina(15), Pennsylvania(20), Michigan(16) and Wisconsin(10)?

Quick quiz for the HRC campaign/DNC: what ARE those funny numbers following the state names?

John Puma

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are they state IQ rankings?

We would be much better served to have a vibrant multi party political system. The fewer the parties, the easier it is for the money to corrupt all of them/it.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above anonymous writers never write anything positive on this blog - always negative, negative, negative. Why don't they have any positive solutions to the problems they are always complaining about instead of just complaining? I am happy to read about someone who is trying do the right thing and trying to resist this corporate takeover of all of our rights. Please continue to share these positive stories with your readers.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep posting that we need to euthanize the Democrap party. Short of that, no solution is possible.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. JFK.

The quote applies to both the Democrap "party" who only cares about the .01% and the 99.99% who are too stupid to realize this.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:21 PM - yes, and that is such an awesome solution to the problem. How do you propose to do that? You need to take a long vacation someplace where all of the whiners live.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 3:40

The Whigs died out when their members went to other parties. It needs to happen to the Democrats.

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:40, it is you who whine. I've proposed several possible scenarios that could work. My status a wage slave and the sole progressive in a city of 75000 mean I can't do it myself.

Soros quits flushing his 9 figures per year to elect the minority party and get behind, OR START, a new and truly left party with the goal of waking up the 100 million who never vote. Blue America could play a part here, but... see disclaimer below.

The Greens.. um.. not squander the brief press coverage they got for trying to do recounts and.. um.. DO something with all the money they got before the fascist courts shut them down. Blue America could play a part here, but... see disclaimer below.

True progressives in congress and states could coalesce into a true left party and secede from the Democraps. Bernie had the opportunity to catalyze that and... he screwed the pooch. Warren could have... but she decided to take the DSCC money for her rerun in 2018. She's now part of the problem. Blue America can play a role here, but they seem only interested in being a tiny minority in an impotent minority corrupt money party. too bad.

There could be other catalysts that might come up. But each time one does, the opportunity is quickly squandered by lack of vision/ambition among the principals and the deafening sound of crickets among the voters.

Which is the real problem, isn't it? When voters are this colossally stupid, apathetic and also evil... not much the 5% or so who are really dedicated progressives can do... unless one of them is a Soros or a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet... with ambition.

At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To augment the above:

OCCUPY had a real opening to a vacuum on the left, but insisted on having no leaders nor any coherent platform, which is a recipe for extinction for any movement. And the more thoughtful among them looked to Democraps, stupidly, for political support and validation. Fools! It went poof.

BLM could have coalesced into a leftish minority movement but for lack of leadership and a coherent manifesto. And, again, blacks' pavlovian support of Democraps and $hillbillary doomed them to failure, even if their master/monster won. The Ds' silent acceptance of Crosscheck proves that they don't give a shit whether blacks can vote or not. BLM is now irrelevant.


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