Friday, July 07, 2017

Can The DCCC Screw Up CO-06 Again? They're Trying As Hard As They Can


CO-06 forms a large "U" around the southern, eastern and northern suburbs of Denver. Serial DCCC incompetence has kept it in a weird status as a blue district with a Republican congressman. Obama won the district against McCain 54-45% and against Romney 52-47%. Last year, Hillary won the district 50.2% to 41.3%. Meanwhile the DCCC has managed to screw up every congressional race since Coffman was first elected in 2008. Last year, while Hillary racked up her big win over Trump there, Republican incumbent Mike Coffman won with as big a margin against the DCCC canddiate-- 191,626 (50.9%) to 160,372 (42.6%). The only Democrat who ever came close to beating Coffman was the one the DCCC didn't recruit and didn't especially like, progressive Joe Miklosi who held Coffman to a 47.8% to 45.8% win (2012).

Blue America has been looking at the race so far and we've identified two excellent candidates-- Gabriel McArthur and Levi Tillemann. They're both the kinds of values-oriented progressives that would be good fits for this very diverse part of Colorado. But, needless to say, the DCCC has very different ideas. They recruited some slimy guy from outside the district, Jason Crow, the precise kind of candidate whose only chance of getting elected would be to be swept up in a massive anti-Trump tsunami. Crow is an embodiment of everything wrong with the DC version of today's Democratic Party.

As you know, we're not big fans of Blue Dogs around here. But you know what we hate even more? Scam artists. There’s a special place in hell for people who enable rich guys that victimize society’s most vulnerable. Unfortunately, some of these wolves in sheep's clothing are among Democrats. To continue the zoological metaphor, they are even lionized. These are the scumbags that give Democrats a bad name with working-class Americans and who have ruined the party's brand. Let me introduce you to top DCCC recruit Jason Crow.

Crow is one of the worst examples we’ve seen so far this year, the quintessential DCCC recruit. The DCCC want to present their puppet candidate as a veteran and a family guy. He has no issues page on his website, of course-- just a lot of identity politics bullshit and platitudes galore. Crow's a lawyer in Denver who spent his career rigging the system against the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the forgotten. The DCCC will never let on that they are completely aware that he profited by making sure that there’s one type of "justice" for rich, white, well-connected men, and no justice at all for those they harm.

For years, Crow’s marketing bio described him as an expert in everything from protecting abusive private medical groups and con men guilty of wire fraud to making sure bankers guilty of securities fraud and insider trading and business owners who bribed foreign governments got off the hook.

Then he decided to run for Congress.

Suddenly, with a little of that DCCC magic that has caused the Democratic Party to lose dozens and dozens of seats over the past decade-- including CO-06-- the guy is Captain America (and also Mother Teresa).

There are people out there who will argue that 'lawyers-gonna-lawyer' and will rightly point out that everyone is entitled to a legal defense. But let’s be clear: there are thousands of lawyers in this country doing good things for people in need. Jason Crow IS NOT ONE OF THEM. He wasn't some public defender providing people their 'right to a legal defense' or a guy standing up for those caught up in a rough system. Jason Crow got rich by siding with the big guys and against the little guys. Again and again and again, systematically and with a sense of purpose. The DCCC looks at that and sees only the capacity for self-funding and low ethics-- their top two requirements for recruitment.

Let’s stop apologizing for these bastards, OK? White collar defense lawyers choose their clients. The clients these lawyers-to-the-rich choose reflect the values they hold.

It’s kind of like Mitt Romney’s "vulture capitalism." Romney was (technically) fulfilling his fiduciary duty when he gutted good American businesses and destroyed thousands of jobs in the process. After all, he was "adding shareholder value." Same could be said of the CEO of Exxon-Mobile when he lies about climate change (one could argue). The 'lawyers gunna lawyer' defense is what lawyers tell you so they can feed at the trough of corruption while protecting the already rich from Justice. And then ask for your vote.

What’s left of the (carefully hidden) public record of Jason Crow’s clients is a laundry list of the worst our country has offer in white collar criminals: from frackers destroying the environment to executives stealing from their employees' pension funds. But rather than going into all of them, I want to look at the human costs of having lawyers like Jason Crow in power by talking about just one of his clients: Predatory Payday lender Western Sky Financial (WSF).

WSF was the notorious predatory lender that set up storefronts on tribal lands in order to target the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The loans they provided were illegal under federal and many state laws, but they exploited Tribal Nations’ soverignty in order to abuse the poor. Many of their loans had interest rates over 300% and fees of as much as 50% of the loan value. For example, a $5,000 loan was supposed to be paid off in 84 monthly payments of $486.58.

That's $40,872.

On a $5,000 loan.

It’s disgusting.

As Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey described it: "it was just another form of abuse piled upon what we have done to Native Americans . . . you’re talking about sophisticated fraudsters using a new version of fraud preying upon the poorest of the poor . . . it is beyond the pale."

But Jason Crow saw an opportunity to feed at the trough of corruption, and he went whole hog. This is a guy who couldn't care less about what happens to the Cheyenne River Sioux mother whose car breaks down and she needs some cash to fix it so that she can get to her two jobs and keep a roof over her kids’ head. He probably never even thought of her.

If Jason Crow could line his pockets by making sure that mom got screwed, he was happy to oblige.

Despite the cases brought by Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the attorneys general of several states, Jason Crow made sure that nobody affiliated with Western Sky ever spent a day in prison and limited the penalties to a little over half a million dollars in a key case he defended. He also made sure that CashCall, WSF’s parent company, was able to continue most of Western Sky’s abusive practices under other names. Isn't one Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Congress more than enough? Do we need a male version of her too?

Given where we know he stands on this issue, does anybody really expect Jason Crow to strengthen consumer protections or the CFPB if Colorado Democrats give him the nomination and he gets sent to Washington? Not a chance in hell! Democrats shouldn't be nominating a champion of con men and payday lenders, an advocate for environmental destruction, a trusted advisor to millionaires and billionaires, and a key strategist in the war against America’s poor and vulnerable. Wrong for the brand; wrong for America, wrong for CO-06.

Everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. But lawyers like Jason Crow have been instrumental creating a legal system where the rich and powerful are free to exploit the poor and marginalized for pleasure and profit. It's disgusting and shouldn't be rewarded by a bunch of out-of-touch politicians at the DCCC.

And you know what-- this is just what we found on Google. If Crow has scrubbed his bio and done his best to hide his professional history from the public but a couple hours in google turned up that he is essentially Mitt Romney’s cold-hearted stepbrother with a client list that makes it look like he has a special grudge against the poor, the elderly, and communities of color... what else is he hiding? And what will Coffman find to use against him if he clinches the nomination? How many more shoes are going to drop? The Koch Brothers and the GOP spent over ten million dollars on CD-06 in 2016 to keep Coffman in office. If the DCCC manages to get Jason Crow the nomination, they'll be doing their job for them this cycle.

As progressives look to 2018 and how we can take America forward, the first critical step is making sure that the Democratic party is not represented by hucksters like Jason Crow. These corporatist tools of the already comfortable and the monied elite have spent their lives championing values that are not just contrary, but diametrically opposed to the cause of justice and progress. Time to tell the DCCC they work for us, not the other way round.

We need leaders with deeply held principles, new ideas, and a commitment help fix a rigged and broken system. In Colorado’s 6th District, either Levi Tillemann or Gabriel McArthur seem to fit that bill. Help them out. But Jason Crow is a non-starter. In the story of Robbin Hood, Jason Crow is the Sheriff of Nottingham. Or maybe even worse-- his scumbag lawyer. Jason Crow's career has been a disgrace and he hasn't earned the nomination, just the support of the like-minded crooks at the DCCC. Speaking of which... the DCCC found the perfect campaign manager for Crow, the same one they found for Josh Gottheimer, an especially contemptible Blue Dog from New Jersey who was elected last year and has voted for Paul Ryan's agenda more than all but 3 congressional Democrats.

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At 1:00 PM, Blogger Mark Gisleson said...

Off topic: Just wanted to alert you that I just sent you a very time sensitive email at the blog email address.

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On topic. once again validation, proof and you still can't take that small final step.

Maybe it's already too late. Won't know until we try taking that final step. But if it is too late... nothing (more) lost in trying.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be shocking if it weren't so typical.

How does a guy like this even think he can run? Coffman would eat him alive.

We need to stop him.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We need to stop the Democratic Party by leaving it behind. They have been selling us out since before Jimmy Carter took the 1976 nomination. He couldn't have won other wise.

What, really, has changed since then except for the Party becoming even more blatantly corrupt?


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