Saturday, May 05, 2018

Joe Crowley Must Be Stopped-- For The Good Of NY, For The Good Of The Democratic Party, For The Good Of America


Earlier this week Bernie sent his supporters an e-mail explaining what he hopes to accomplish by barnstorming in Pennsylvania with congressional candidates Jess King and Greg Edwards. He wrote that "if we are going to defeat right-wing Republicans in 2018 and 2020, we need to win in states that Trump won, like Pennsylvania. And, in my view, the only way we win in those states is by supporting progressive candidates who have the guts to defend working-class families-- white, black, Latino, Asian American, Native American-- and take on the power and greed of the billionaire class." And not just in Pennsylvania, of course. He wrote that "Trump represents something we have never seen before in the history of the United States. It is not just that he represents the interests of the wealthy and powerful. It's that we have never had a president with more authoritarian tendencies than him... The 2018 midterm elections will be long remembered as a pivotal moment in American history because, if we are successful, we can put an end to the disastrous Trump agenda. If we are not, we will have at least two more years of a rapid shift toward authoritarianism, the further normalization of corruption and the continued rise of oligarchy."

Perhaps his most crucial lines were how we cannot defeat Trump and the Republican Party with the same playbook, or by supporting the same kind of candidates long favored by the political establishment and financial elite. That is how we got to where we are today.

The media doesn't give much coverage to Alexandria Ocasio, a Bernie campaign organizer from the Bronx who's running for Congress herself now on a very Bernie-like platform from including Medicare-for-all, free public higher education and a federal jobs guarantee that would promise jobs with a $15 minimum wage to paid family leave and campaign finance reform. And maybe that lack of mainstream coverage could be at least partially explained because she's running for a seat occupied by an "untouchable" political power-monger, Wall Street's owned and operated Queens County machine boss Joe Crowley. Crowley isn't just the most corrupt Democrat in Congress, he's Nancy Pelosi's and Stenchy Hoyer's hand-picked next Democratic House Leader, when Pelosi retires halfway through the next term. (No, that's not on TV or in the New York Times yet; you'll have to take my word for it. Meet back here then.)

Goal ThermometerAnyway, as Nicole Brown wrote for am New York Thursday, Alexandria, a Blue America-endorsed candidate, "is the first person to challenge Rep. Joseph Crowley in a primary race in 14 years. She’s also the first woman of color to ever run in New York’s District 14, which covers parts of southern Bronx and northern Queens." He has a corporately/lobbyist financed campaign war chest of $1,592,362, having raised $2,777,489. Alexandria has raised $115,653, entirely from grassroots contributions. You can help her stand up to him by clicking on the ActBlue 2018 congressional thermometer on the right.
“I don’t think we win by backing down. I don’t think we win by fading into the background,” Ocasio-Cortez told amNewYork, rejecting the idea that moderate Democrats have a better chance against Republicans in the midterm elections.

...Born into a working-class Puerto Rican family, Ocasio-Cortez says she understands the challenges working New Yorkers face. Her mother was a housekeeper, and her father owned a small business. The family moved upstate while she was growing up, but she returned to the Bronx after going to school at Boston University, and she now lives in Parkchester.

She is a harsh critic of Crowley, a Woodside native who has represented Queens and the Bronx in Congress since 1998, and denounces his influence on area politics because of his role as chair of the Queens County Democratic Party.

“This Tammany Hall system of political machines actually disenfranchises communities because this old-school system of politics exists to prop up the already powerful,” she said.

But Crowley’s campaign argues that his influence has helped elect progressive Democrats, including fellow Rep. Grace Meng, who he endorsed over his cousin, Elizabeth Crowley. Recently, his support helped secure Corey Johnson as City Council speaker.

Crowley’s platform includes some of the same stances as Ocasio-Cortez. He became a co-sponsor of a Medicare-for-all bill last year and supports a $15 minimum wage. When asked recently about Sanders’ federal jobs guarantee proposal, Crowley said he wouldn’t “dismiss out of hand anything Bernie Sanders suggests,” but that he needed to look into it.
These are positions the conservative Crowley has undermined and opposed for years in Congress, when he headed the New Dems, basically, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Once he visited his district from his home in Virginia and realized over 70% of the district was made up of people of color, he quickly quit the New Dems and started "changing" his long-held anti-working family positions.

Strong endorsement for Alexandria Friday from The Indypendent. "Career politicians like Crowley are bankrolled by Wall Street and real estate interests. No doubt this funding stream helped ensure Crowley’s votes in favor of the 2003 war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the 2008 bank bailout, and the regime of test-and- punish in our public schools."
In April, Ocasio’s campaign collected 5,480 petition signatures through an all-volunteer effort to get her on the ballot. “I’m not running against Crowley from the left,” Ocasio told supporters at a fundraiser. “I’m running from the bottom.”

Ocasio pledges to take no corporate funding and to run a clean grassroots campaign. She’s banking on people being inspired by the campaign and willing to donate their time in a way people don’t for the Democratic Party machine. And with a platform that includes Medicare for All, ending the war on drugs, 100% renewable energy, tuition-free public college, and a simplified and welcoming path to citizenship, how can district voters not be inspired?

How will Ocasio deliver on this bold platform? By enlisting hundreds of volunteers, winning the primary, winning the general, and going on to speak as eloquently in Congress as on the campaign trail in support of her legislative agenda. And she won’t be alone. She’ll have many other newly elected progressive members of Congress, and the grassroots that elected her, to move policy forward.

A lot is at stake in 2018. It’s time to elect someone with a visionary platform who won’t sell out to corporations. Our district is over 70% people of color and 15% of people here live below the poverty line. It’s time for someone new who represents us. It’s time to stop being afraid of the party machine.

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At 1:31 PM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

"...we cannot defeat Trump and the Republican Party with the same playbook, or by supporting the same kind of candidates long favored by the political establishment and financial elite. That is how we got to where we are today."

Regardless of whether they were right or wrong, DJT voters wanted something different compared to the known quantity/quality of HRC. If the establishment ignores this lesson and decides the same-old-same-old, voters will either not participate or chose the perceived outsider... neither of these bode well for the Democratic party.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with the NY House Delegation for a while. Crowley and his fundraising practices are as you describe them.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Crowley has the Party elite on his side. They will ensure that he doesn't lose no matter what it takes. They feel the pressure and are already working to maintain their control over the Party.

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't just Crowley that needs to go away. It's his entire goddamn party.

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

The establishment elite side needs to go New Yorkers including me are behind you 100% Alexandria.


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