Saturday, July 22, 2017

Who Wants More Republican-Lite Candidates? The DCCC Has One For Minnesota


There are six counties that make up MN-02 but the vast majority of voters are in the suburbs and small towns just south of Minneapolis and St Paul in Dakota County. Obama took Dakota County both times he ran and won MN-02 both times as well. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken won those suburbs as well-- and the congressional district. But in 2003 a right-wing crackpot and ideologue, Kohn Kline, won the district and represented the area in Congress until last year, when he finally retired. The Democrats picked a wealthy self-funder Angie Craig as their candidate. She has a somewhat compelling biography and, working with a cadre of loser consultants from DCCC/EMILY's List world, ran an issues-light campaign, depending on Hillary's coattails to sweep her into office-- and a weak campaign about herself but not about the constituents. She had nothing to offer them and their families other than stories about herself and her family. Just what the DCCC and EMILY's List wants from their candidates. She put nearly a million dollars of her own money into it and outspent Republican Jason Lewis $4,012,823 to $1,020,649. But everything went wrong. First of all, Hillary had no coattails in the Twin Cities suburbs. Unlike Obama she lost. She lost to Trump! By over a point-- 46.5% to 45.3%. And Angie did even worse. She lost 173,970 (47%) to 167,315 (45.2%), despite having out-spent him 4 to 1. The DCCC spent $2,174,366 trying to help and Pelosi's PAC threw in another $759,429... all wasted.

So... guess who the DCCC wants to run again next year. Yep, Angie Craig. She sent out another anodyne letter announcing her intention to start campaigning in a few months. The letter, once again, is all about her, not about issues, not about the Minnesotans she wants to represent:
With the strong support of my wife and our four sons, I’m excited to announce that I will seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in 2018.

We deserve a representative who is committed to listening to everyone-- even those we might disagree with-- and then work to create a level playing field for every family. That’s why I’ll spend the upcoming weeks on a listening tour of the district. Following this, I will formally kick off my campaign in the Fall.

As Democrats, we must understand better why we have lost these past elections. As I talk with voters, already it has become clearer that we must talk more about how we are going to bring back jobs to the United States and create economic opportunity for more hard-working Americans. We have to be clearer about how we will fix healthcare and acknowledge the problems with out of control costs for many families. I grew up without healthcare. There is no one who knows better if you can’t afford insurance, healthcare doesn’t exist.

I would not be making this announcement today if not for the strong support from my wife, Cheryl Greene, a former Minnesota teacher who now works with elementary schools around the country on bully prevention efforts. Our four sons, Josh, Jonas, Jacob and Isaac also have been incredibly encouraging. Our oldest three return to college in August and Isaac will be a freshman at Rosemount High School this year. I also have heard from many of you – encouraging me to make a second run. Thank you for your confidence in me. I will need your help to win.

I have been incredibly blessed in this life. I never imagined as a young girl that I would leave the trailer park I grew up in to become first a journalist, and then a healthcare leader-- much less run for the U.S. Congress. I am ready to use my experience to fight to lower health care costs and ensure families have more economic opportunities.

I humbly ask for your support to be the MN-2 DFL candidate for Congress in 2018 to ensure that Jason Lewis and Washington no longer ignore our neighbors. We must be heard. I will fight Washington to make sure this district gets what it deserves.

I would be honored to have your support. Please, follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on the listening tour and the latest news as I prepare to challenge Jason Lewis.

She was a lobbyist for a medical devise corporation and her inspiring story didn't inspire Democrats or independents in 2016. But she's trying again. But this time she may have a problem. High school American Government Teacher and head football coach Jeff Erdmann is running for the DFL endorsement to challenge Jason Lewis. Erdmann grew up in Lewiston, in southeast Minnesota and has lived in this congressional district for the past 17 years. In radio interviews he often says he "believes in people." On his website it says, he was named the Minnesota Vikings High School Football Coach of the year in 2010, and the Marines Semper Fi Coach of the Year in 2015. Though he attributes his success to the culture of respect and valuing of each person that participates, his campaign-- as demonstrated on that website-- is as policy oriented as you'd expect from a former Berniecrat. It's probably worth mentioning that Bernie didn't just win MN-02 in the primaries-- beating Hillary 10,722 (66.3%) to 5,451 (33.7%), but that Bernie got over 3 times more votes that Señor Trumpanzee in the primaries. (Trump came in third with 3,333 votes, behind weak showings by Rubio and Cruz.)

Angie Craig likes to tell people she grew up in Arkansas, in a trailer park. Last cycle, in every chance she got, she claimed that she is an American Dream story. Climbing the corporate ladder was what she did, very successfully. I’m pretty sure the American Dream is owning a house and getting your kids though college. Lobbying for the medical device industry and reaping huge profits, maybe not as much. Craig moved to Minnesota in 2005, then moved into the district just before her run in 2013.

Jeff’s platform is transparent and extremely progressive. A "working voice for working people" is Erdmann’s tag line, as he strives for Medicare for All, Wall Street reform, political reform to get money out of politics, strengthening social security, and lifting wages for hard working Americans. Jeff is working full time during the campaign because he, "needs to put food on the table." The Erdmann campaign tweets that to change the political landscape, real working people need to run for office. Millionaires haven't been and still aren’t the answer to our problems.

Craig… well, she ran last cycle and took down her website with her stances. Now there is a Crowd Pac page where it says, "Remember, more than 53 percent of the district voted for me or the third-party candidate in 2016." Her announcement press release says she is going on a "listening tour." Which seems odd, as she was just campaigning around the district 9 months ago, yet still seems to have no idea what people are going through or need to make their lives better. A listening tour means that the candidate doesn’t have any ideas of their own, and are so removed from what people are going through, they don’t know what issues effect people on a daily basis. Which makes sense, since she admitted to lobbying to get the medical device tax removed from the Affordable Care Act, a tax that is hated by certain corporations and by Wall Street but is critical to offsetting the cost of insurance plans on the individual market.

In a 2016 debate with Jason Lewis, Angie said she supported the repeal of the Medical Device Tax, because she "saw firsthand in Minnesota that it cost Minnesota jobs." That statement about losing jobs-- a Republican Party talking point-- got a 2 Pinocchios rating in the Washington Post, and was proven inaccurate by 3 other studies. But, the DCCC, as always, is most comforttable with a Republican-lite candidate. They should stay out of the primary and let Democrats in MN-02 decide who their nominee should be.

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At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

With the current news bombshells, getting larger by the day and heading to atomic, it seems almost premature to discuss at this stage what kind of Democrats will run in the next election. We will see if we make it somehow to 2018. Trump will push his obstruction to the max - it is now crystal clear that this is what he is doing - and the constitutional crisis will surely happen well before then. Perhaps even by next week!

Trump loves the grand gesture and flipping the bird in everyone's face, dating anyone to step up against him. This has always worked for him his whole life. He will stop at NOTHING. He is probably working on a proposed list of pardons right now. It may take awhile as it will be a long one - 20, 30 people??? Family, aides, appointees, campaigners?

Will impeachment ever proceed by this awful immoral unethical Congress, with the Republicans de facto colluding with Trump by their silence? It looks doubtful but one can always hope.

Whatever unfolds will surely change the nature of the candidates who run in 2018. And of course, if we have honest elections and avoid tremendous voter suppression and Russian interference.

We re in such a hole. Democracy is falling in deeper and deeper. Will the USA climb out?

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, no, we will not climb out.

The democraps really don't want to win, certainly not both chambers and not with 2009 numbers. They'd have no excuse for failure/betrayal and their donors will never allow MFA and peace, among a very long list.

And we have voters who want the usa to become Nazi Germany and kill millions of untermensch.

And we have millions of voters who thought the goldman-sachs whore was a dandy choice for prez.

And Pelosi, hoyer, scummer, obamanation, the clintons et all will still be there running the party.

Not a recipe for recovery. It's a recipe for digging a bigger hole.

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Hone. The hole is far too deep. It would be easier to traverse the Bright Angel Trail upslope on one's hands backwards than to restore any miniscule amount of popular sovereignty under growing corporatist dominance of politics and economics.


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