Thursday, September 30, 2010

Across America, Just Like In California, The DCCC Has Its Priorities Ass Backwards-- And Is Giving Away The Democratic House Majority


A few days ago I took a look at the 8 California congressional districts with both Republican incumbents and a majority of 2008 voters who went for Obama-- and how the DCCC is blowing the opportunity to win the seats by focusing all their resources on Blue Dog types in red districts outside of California. The DCCC is spending money-- ineptly-- on candidates like Blue Dog Frank Kratovil who have voted against the entire Democratic agenda, from protecting a woman's right to choice, to the healthcare reform bill to equality for all citizens. In fact, Kratovil, whose Progressive Punch score is an abysmal 35.54, has voted more frequently with John Boehner against his own party than all but 4 Democrats! Another Blue Dog, Bobby Bright of Alabama is also a recipient of massive amounts of DCCC aid and not only did he vote more frequently with Boehner than any other Democrat, he actually voted more frequently with Boehner than two conservative Republicans! In fact, when asked if he would vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker if he winds up being reelected, he demurred. “I would prefer a conservative Democrat, a Blue Dog Democrat like myself. If that doesn’t happen, then I will vote for who I think will allow me to represent my constituents the best.”

Another Blue Dog, North Dakota's Earl Pomeroy, is so desperate that he's actually running TV ads touting his close relationship with the President... President Bush!

If you're contributing to the DCCC you're contributing to anti-Choice zealots, any-gay bigots, and Blue Dogs who put Big Business before middle class families, just the way the Republicans do. The alternative to donating to the DCCC is to donate directly to the campaigns of progressive incumbents, like Alan Grayson-- who the DCCC adamantly refuses to help-- or to fiery and unapolgetically progressive challengers like Bill Hedrick and Beth Krom in California, Ann Kuster in New Hampshire, Billy Kennedy in North Carolina, Ed Potosnak in New Jersey, and Justin Coussoule in Ohio. All of them are on the Blue America ActBlue page.

Back to Bobby Bright for a moment. His case-- like so many Blue Dogs'-- is the very opposite of the 8 California Republicans in districts Obama won. Bright's Alabama district isn't too partial to Democrats to begin with... and African-American Democrats? McCain took 63% of the vote in AL-02. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if ole Bobby got this ad-- which comes on top of his jokes about Nancy Pelosi dying and his promise to vote against her for Speaker in January-- approved in advance by the DCCC-- which is either directly or indirectly subsidizing it. Yes, my friends, the DCCC can't find money to help a progressive like Justin Coussoule campaign against John Boehner because they're, in effect, paying for an ad to extol the wonderfulness of John Boehner. Yesterday they dropped another $176,002.00 into this race with a TV ad attacking Bright's opponent, allowing Bright to run his own spots, like the one below. Watch this-- and if you're donated a nickel to the DCCC in the last 4 years, hang your head in shame:

Blue Dog after Blue Dog is trying to hold onto deeply red districts, mostly in the South, where McCain racked up tremendous wins against Obama, like Mike Ross (AR), where McCain scored 58%, Travis Childers (MS), which gave McCain 62% of its vote, and the 3 conservative Arizona so-called Democrats, Harry Mitchell, Ann Kirkpatrick and Gabby Giffords. These and more like them in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Tennessee are the battleground states for the DCCC, while they all but ignore-- mostly ignore-- three dozen districts where Obama beat McCain.

In Wisconsin, for example, there are two districts where Obama bested McCain, the 1st and the 6th, Ryan's and Petri's. In the 1st, the DCCC drove a viable candidate out of the race and replaced her with a sadly nonviable one, who, of course, they are studiously ignoring, despite the fact that Ryan is widely recognized as one of the 3 or 4 most dangerous Republicans in the House-- and the only one in a vulnerable district. His opponent is John Heckenlively, who has raised so little money that he hasn't been required to file an FEC report. He somehow managed to take in $885 through ActBlue (as opposed to Ryan's $2,613,651 haul this year). And that's actually better than what Petri's opponent, Joe Kallas, has taken in (zero on ActBlue and, again, too little to file an FEC report overall). And we're talking about a district that voted for Obama, not for McCain, just 2 years ago. Chris Van Hollen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are looking forward to big promotions for the great job they've both been doing.

And there are Republican incumbents, basically unchallenged, sitting in seats Obama won, from Frank Wolf and Randy Forbes in Virginia, four in Michigan (Dave Camp, Fred Upton, Thaddeus McCotter and the detestable Mike Rogers and 3 in Illinois (Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert and Don Manzullo) to two each in Florida (Bill Young and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) and New Jersey (Frank LoBiondo and Leonard Lance). Actually in Lance's district, there is a very vigorous neck-and-neck challenge from Blue America-endorsed Ed Potosnak, who would probably win if not for the studied indifference of the DCCC.

The DCCC has made no acknowledgment the Democrats even have a candidate running against the corrupt GOP hack, Lance. Instead of helping solid progressive Ed Potosnak win a race polling within the margin of error (in a district where McCain only managed to take 48% of the vote, the DCCC is pouring money into hopeless races by worthless, cowardly conservatives like Suzanne Kosmas (FL), Frank Kratovil (MD) and Glenn Nye (VA).
In Florida's 24th district Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) trailed state Rep. Sandy Adams by 10 points, according to an NRCC poll that was in the field Sept. 22 and 23. Adams led 49 percent to 39 percent in the survey of 400 likely voters. The poll was conducted by the GOP firm Fabrizio Mclaughlin & Associates and had a 4.9 point margin of error.

...In the Eastern Shore-based 1st district, Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) trailed state Sen. Andy Harris (R) 39 percent to 43 percent, with 3 percent going to third party candidates. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted by the Republican firm OnMessage Inc. and was in the field Sept. 20 and 21. It had a 4.9 point margin of error.

...In Virginia's 2nd district, Rep. Glenn Nye (D) trailed car dealer Scott Rigell (R) by 5 points. The Congressman took 40 percent to Rigell's 45 percent. Independent Kenny Golden, a former Republican, took 7 percent. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted by the GOP firm Ayres McHenry & Associates Sept 23 to 26 and had a 4.9 point margin of error.

The DCCC will probably wind up wasting over $2,000,000 trying, unsuccessfully, to save the three seats of three incumbents who aren't worth a bucket of spit and whose default position is to always cross the aisle and vote with Boehner, Cantor and Pence. Their ProgressivePunch scores are startling low-- Nye 30.58, Kratovil 35.54, and Kosmas 50.41. One tenth of that money would probably win the New Jersey seat for Potosnak, who would be a sharp, tireless crusader for the values and principles that motivate Democrats (not Inside the Beltway careerist Democrats, real Democrats in America). The D-Trip ain't gonna do squat; Ed is progressive, independent-minded, openly gay and incorruptible-- not exactly traits admired by the Insiders. If you'd like to help, he's the newest endorsed candidate by Blue America.

I just got off the phone with Alliea Phipps, campaign manager for Justin Coussoule. She told me how the Hillary Clinton Legacy PAC, which has endorsed one Democratic House challenger in Ohio-- Justin-- and has fielded a field operation to get out the vote for him, went to the DCCC for some funding. The DCCC turned them down flat, saying they have their own way of defeating Boehner. From what I can tell, their way is to reelect lots of Blue Dogs who support the same conservative ideas Boehner supports. But that will at least keep the Capitol Hill corner offices and best parking spots in Democrat hands. Alliea made a good point-- cloistered away Inside the Beltway, these folks don't know anything about the district. They probably think everyone is a wealthy, tanned golfer 'cause that's all they know about OH-8. But people there are soybean farmers and blue collar workers. "I am extremely frustrated with the DCCC's shortsighted take on beating Boehner," she told me. "For the first time since I can remember, having actively worked in politics since I was about 7 (and I'm nearly 46 now), I can honestly say it defies logic. The 8th District is so removed from John Boehner, golf and his country club lifestyle that it really would not require much effort to take this seat from him if they backed the Army Vet running on their own ticket. What the fuck are they waiting on? An engraved invitation to beat him where it really matters most?"

Unless the engraved invitation came with a stack of hundred dollar bills, I don't think it would do much good. The DCCC isn't looking for progressives and it isn't looking for independent minded champions of working families. And, more than anything, it isn't looking for idealistic Americans who are impervious to the kinds of corruption that make Steny Hoyer's, John Boehner's, Debbie Wasserman Schultz's and Eric Cantor's world go round and round and round. Justin Coussoule and Ed Potosnak aren't the kinds of candidates who will do what they're told by political hacks working for Special Interests. They want to represent their neighbors, not Steny Hoyer's donors. So... when you go over to donate to Ed, think about Justin too!

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At 11:54 AM, Anonymous RSR1 said...

There is a Democratic challenger to Peter Roskam in the Illinois 6th District, Ben Lowe of Wheaton. Ben is an enthusiastic candidate, quite progressive, and going it alone with minimal party support. Many local progressives seem to be licking their wounds and sitting this one out though I cannot imagine why they would think it a preferable option to allow the loathsome Peter Roskam to become even more entrenched in the 6th.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Mary Anne said...

I agree that the DCCC is wasting its money in Arizona, especially trying to save Harry Mitchell. Poll after poll has him losing to David Schweikert, because that state still leans pretty conservative and voters don't like Obama and Pelosi - you point out how much the state went for McCain over Obama. Mitchell has voted with Pelosi and Obama the vast majority of the time - for the healthcare bill, the bailouts, etc. and it's killed him in his conservative district.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

every one of their numerous requests for money is returned with the notation"no money for blue dogs" and "i only donate to progressive, pro-choice candidates."don't know if it does any good but it feels great

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Walt, Early on I donated to dccc til I found out they don't support Justin Coussoule in Ohio-8. What more could you possibly want than to defeat the "Tan Man", by a Great candidate like Justin. The Ed show supports Justin and so does my entire family, even though we're not in Ohio=8!!!


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