Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Which Party Hates Its Own Grassroots More?


McConnell salutes West Virginia grassroots Republican voters

Third party Super PACs spent $7,343,577 tearing apart Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. $6,552,448 of that came from Mitch McConnelll's Senate Leadership PAC. McConnell had so sullied Moore's reputation that when he won the primary against the establishment candidate, he couldn't win the general election. Despite Alabama's statewide PVI of R+14 and despite Trump having crushed Hillary in the state 1,318,255 (62.1%) to 729,547 (34.4%), Democrat Doug Jones still beat him 673,896 (50.0%) to 651,972 (48.3%)on December 12, 2017. Moore could not overcome all the negativity from fellow Republicans.

But it isn't just the corrupt Republican establishment waging this kind of warfare against its own Outside-the-Beltway grassroots. The Democrats do the exact something. The DCCC attacks on Laura Moser in Texas and Levi Tillemann in Colorado are examples of the same kind of ugliness. The DCCC would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive.

And now Alex Isenstadt reported in Politico over the weekend that Miss McConnell is up to his tricks again, this time in West Virginia. Watch:

The Republican establishment has launched an emergency intervention in the West Virginia Senate primary aimed at stopping recently imprisoned coal baron Don Blankenship from winning the party’s nomination.

Late last week, a newly formed super PAC generically dubbed the “Mountain Families PAC” began airing TV ads targeting Blankenship, who spent one year behind bars following a deadly 2010 explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine. The national party isn’t promoting its role in the group, but its fingerprints are all over it.

The 30-second commercials, which the group is spending nearly $700,000 to air, accuse Blankenship’s company of contaminating drinking water by pumping “toxic coal slurry,” even as the multimillionaire installed a piping system that pumped clean water to his mansion.

“Isn’t there enough toxic sludge in Washington?” the narrator intones.

The assault comes amid rising fears from national Republicans that Blankenship is gaining traction ahead of the May 8 primary. The Republican hopeful has spent his own money to fund a $1.3 million TV ad blitz in which he portrays himself as the casualty of an Obama-era Justice Department bent on locking him up. He has far outspent his primary opponents, Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, whom he castigates as pawns of the GOP establishment.

Washington Republicans have spent weeks deliberating whether to go after Blankenship, who was released from prison in May after a one-year sentence. They’re worried that he would destroy the party’s chances of defeating Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November.

At the same time, they’ve been concerned that attacking him would allow Blankenship to portray himself in the race as the embattled adversary of powerful D.C. interests. The scenario is similar to the one that played out in last year’s Alabama Senate race, when the party spent millions of dollars in an unsuccessful effort to stop former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore from winning the GOP nomination.

The national party, perhaps worried about Alabama-style backlash, is not taking credit for the attack or for Mountain Families PAC. But the connections are conspicuous.

According to federal disclosures, the commercials were overseen by several firms that in the past have worked closely with Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that openly led the assault on Moore. They were produced by GOP ad-making firm McCarthy, Hennings, Whalen and were placed on TV by the media buyer Main Street Group, both of whom were paid thousands of dollars by Senate Leadership Fund during the 2016 election cycle.

Mountain Families PAC has also paid nearly $48,000 to Targeted Victory, a suburban Washington-based GOP consulting firm, for web ads targeting Blankenship. During the 2016 cycle, the firm received over $1.5 million from Senate Leadership Fund, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Representatives for Senate Leadership Fund did not respond to requests for comment, or to inquiries about whether it had a role in orchestrating the attack.

The ties between Mountain Families PAC and the national party do not end there. The super PAC lists an Arlington, Virginia, P.O. box that’s previously been used by a number of GOP entities. Among them: a fundraising account benefiting former Republican Sen. Luther Strange, who was the party favorite in last year’s Alabama contest.

The treasurer for Mountain Families PAC, Benjamin Ottenhoff, did not respond to a request for comment. Ottenhoff has previously worked for several party organizations, including the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The ads represent the GOP’s most aggressive action yet against Blankenship. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump flew to West Virginia to hold an ostensibly official event to tout his tax reform package. He was flanked by Jenkins and Morrisey-- a clear attempt to promote their candidacies. Blankenship was not there. Blankenship did not respond to a request for comment. But last month he issued a statement saying he was well aware of the possibility that party leadership could target him.

“There has been an awful lot of talk lately about who the Washington, D.C., establishment and Mitch McConnell, in particular, are supporting in West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race. Let me be clear, I don't care who they are supporting,” he said. “I know that it is not me, because we recognize that those defending the swamp do not want Republican senators who want to drain the swamp.”
In a follow up yesterday evening, Isenstadt reported on Blankenship's response to the news of McConnell's full frontal attack on his campaign. He's demanding that McConnell "stop interfering." Many Democratic candidates could use the same terminology to describe Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer, Ben Ray Lujan, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Crowley: "McConnell should not be in the U.S. Senate, let alone be the Republican Majority Leader. He is a Swamp captain. The Russians and McConnell should both stop interfering with elections outside their jurisdictions."

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At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a difference.

The Nazi party is spending to prevent truly evil people from being elected by truly evil electorates. They do this so that the national party does not suffer from the election of Nazis by local Nazi electorates. They want the national party to be as relevant in national elections in SPITE of the southern white Nazis, but also with their support.

The democraps try like hell to keep their caucus as purely corrupt and feckless so that their big donors don't flee. They fear that if too many good people are elected, their big corporate and billionaire donors will lose confidence in their eagerness to serve.
Ironically, it also appears that they also fear being in the majority, at least in BOTH chambers concurrently. They did this in 2008 and their problem became immediately apparent. They needed to APPEAR to want to address that year's mandate. But they also needed to IGNORE that same mandate in order to serve their donors.
Their acting was ham-handed and they fooled few. They served their donors with pure fidelity... and 15 million voters stayed home in 2010 as a response.

The anti-red wave may give the democraps majorities again. And even $ingularly driven shysters like Pelosi and scummer know that while they serve their donors with pure fidelity, they can't fool very many a second time. They'll lose voters by the 10s of millions. so this is their last time to rake as much as they can from those donors.

Unless they somehow succeed in NOT winning a majority in one chamber (or both).
Then they can still pretend to be fighting the good fight against those evil Nazis.

For democraps, failure is TRULY success.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is clear to me is that both faces of the Corporatist Party are doing all they can to impose a political Gleichschaltung [definition] in order to maintain the flow of fascist capitalist money. The Republican Teabaggers have gone too far for the average corporation to tolerate, and the "democrats" are trying to prevent a return to the New Deal, which was historically the best period of time for true Democrats and for the nation.

Despite the frequent "revelations" that corporations only look ahead about one quarter in their planning, they do have loftier and longer-term goals. They want total economic control over the entire remainder of the planet, and will expend thousands if not millions of our lives in their effort to gain that power.

When I was much younger, I used to ponder the concept of corporate acquisition. I wondered what the person who finally owned everything would do next. Allow the current-day capitalist bastards to continue down this path, and we just might discover the answer. I doubt we will enjoy it much. /s

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:24, the actual ownership of the global corporate assets would be a little murky given what it is today.
Today, stocks and options (and bonds) are owned by a wide spectrum of the public via pension plans, funds and other investment vehicles. Will that work for the final single despotic global corporation?

I doubt that the capitalists would end up tolerating such ownership. I suspect that the final situation will end up being something more like Koch industries or some other concern that owned at least 95% of its own stock.

But before that can happen, we'll have to survive the period of competing multinats who all want to be "the last one" going to war with each other to make that happen.

We humans just can't not go to war, especially over religion or money.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both sects of the money party truly hate their electorate, even as they pander to them.

But the democrap sect also truly fears theirs, as they should. The 2010 experience proved to them that they NEED to be feared.
But the allure of the money is just too absolute and insurmountable. The recent dereg of banks (again) proves this.


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