Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Before Derrick Crowe Can Face Off Against Whichever Republican They Put Up, He Has To Beat Conservative “Ex”-Republican Joseph Kopser Who’s Pretending To Be A Democrat


The San Antonio Express-News reported that Lamar Smith probably would have been reelected in 2018. But they’re analysis was faulty. Romney took TX-21 with a healthy 59.8% win over Obama’s 37.9%. Trump seriously underperformed in 2016-- beating Hillary 52.5% to 42.5%. Of the 10 counties in the district Trump lost both the 3 biggies-- Bexar County (San Antonio) 54.5% to 41.0% and Travis County (Austin) 66.3% to 27.4%. Campaigning on an aggressive progressive platform Tom Wakely did better than any of Smith’s previous opponents, losing 202,967 (57%) to 129,765 (36.4%). Democrats didn’t even field a candidate in 2014 and the 2012 candidate lost 187,015 (60.5%) to 109,326 (35.4%). Even in the 2006 Democratic wave election, Smith beat Democrat John Courage 60.11% to 24.51%. This cycle he backed out primarily because he understood how electorally vulnerable he would have been.

Reporter Jasper Scherer wrote that TX-21 voters “endorsed the views of Smith, a skeptic of mainstream scientific views on climate change and a stalwart backer of Donald Trump’s agenda.” That’s laughable-- and Smith knew it, even if Scherer didn’t. There are 18 Republicans competing for the nomination while 4 Democrats are left slugging it out-- progressive grassroots activist Derrick Crowe, sleazy multimillionaire and corporate shill Joseph Kopser whose campaign is being run by money-hungry operative Joe Trippi, and two other candidates, former executive director of the Travis County Democratic Party Elliott McFadden and Mary Wilson, a lesbian and Baptist pastor who says she’s comfortable in her own skin. [Blanco County is a rural county and at the local Democratic Party meeting there last week, Kopser was roasted by locals for his position in favor of fracking. He fundamentally does not understand rural voters and their well-founded worries about their water supplies and roads damaged by fracking operations.]

Goal ThermometerCrowe says his progressive agenda will turn out Democrats, independents and anti-Trump voters on Election Day. Kopser,m a so-called “ex”-Republican and a self-admitted Reagan-worshipper, says there aren’t enough of them in the district and he’s running as Republican-lite candidate, who appeals to the DC crowd but not to many TX-21 Democrats. He’s pulled some slimy shenanigans in the past that have made him toxic to Austin Democrats. He was behind the Uber Prop 1 battle which marked him as an untrustworthy dirt-bag to Texas progressives-- exactly try what the DCCC seems to love. Please tap on the ActBlue Take Back Texas thermometer on the right to help Derrick Crowe beat the Republican-prtending-to-be-a-Democrat in the primary.
Dean Rindy, a media consultant for McFadden’s campaign, rejected the idea that running to the center would appeal to crossover voters. The strategy that will win the district is to mobilize progressives, Rindy said, not convert conservatives.

“The experience I’ve had is that Democrats who are Republican-lite candidates don’t usually win in Texas,” he said. “You win elections with platforms that mobilize your base.” Much of the Democratic candidate’s prospects for winning the 21st District lie with who emerges from the Republican field, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said, because a less conservative candidate could make appealing to moderate voters difficult for the Democratic nominee. The most conservative candidates might repel centrist voters, Jones said, giving the Democrat a chance to scoop them up.

“It’s going to take a perfect storm for Democrats to win,” Mark Jones said. “But unlike (previous years), we can’t say it’s completely out of the question.”

Where Kopser falls on the political spectrum has become a key point of attack for McFadden and Crowe, who pointed out that Kopser sits on the board of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), a conservative business lobby. He has also expressed support for hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas extraction method that can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, the Environmental Protection Agency has said.

Rivera said Kopser’s view about serving on the TAB board is simple: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

“If progressive voices refuse to be present in places like that, we’re ceding the capacity to have our voices heard,” Rivera said, noting that Kopser organized business leaders to lobby against the “bathroom bill,” which would have prohibited transgender Texans from using bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Meanwhile, Kopser sees fracking as a bridge to wean the economy off coal, Rivera said. His ultimate goal is to have an economy that runs on 100 percent renewable energy.

“The reality is that we are not going to get there tomorrow,” Rivera said. “What Joseph sees, what we can do more immediately, is to ensure we phase out coal as an electricity resource. And what’s killing coal is natural gas, and fracking is making natural gas affordable.”

Local politicians and community leaders are already lining up in large numbers behind the candidates. A slew of Austin City Council and Travis and Hays County officials have put their weight behind McFadden, while several youth Democratic groups, environmentalist Bill McKibben and Our Revolution, a grassroots group affiliated with Bernie Sanders, have backed Crowe.

…Rindy called Kopser the “candidate of the Washington establishment,” noting that the race embodies what has become a party civil war of sorts between D.C. power brokers and grassroots organizers. Meanwhile, McFadden and Crowe remained unfazed about Kopser’s money advantage and the campaign team he has assembled.

“I’m not concerned about Joe Trippi,” McFadden said. “I think what we’re seeing in Kopser’s campaign is a lot of excitement from D.C. insiders, but not a lot of support from District 21. And at the end of the day, it’s the voters who decide this.”

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