Monday, April 21, 2014

Jennifer Garrison-- A Portrait In DCCC/Blue Dog Failure… A Stepford Candidate


More dysfunction at the DCCC

Usually when Steve Israel recruit Jennifer Garrison makes the news it's about her anti-LGBT mania, her anti-Choice advocacy or her work on behalf of frackers in Ohio. But a few days ago she made a different kind of news-- her utter failure to raise the minimal amounts to stay on the DCCC Red to Blue Emerging Races list, not that the smitten Israel would ever really throw her off. Despite all the help she's getting from Blue Dogs, corrupt lobbyists, Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel, the wealthy oil and gas industry attorney had no choice but to write her campaign a big check.
Of the $199,683 raised by Jennifer Garrison, a Democrat in the 6th Congressional District race, during the first quarter of the year, $107,000 came from a loan she gave the campaign with $3,666 more in in-kind contributions.

Garrison’s financial contributions to her campaign represent 55.4 percent of the total amount of money she raised between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Garrison, of Marietta, an attorney and former three-term Ohio House member, loaned the campaign the $107,000 on March 24, according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission. The in-kind money went primarily toward running her campaign office in Marietta for expenses such as rent, utilities and email service.

Less than a month ago, Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, a nonpartisan group that handicaps congressional elections, changed the status of the 6th District from “leans Republican” to “Republican favored.” The reason cited was “some of [Garrison’s] stances on social issues have put her at odds with liberal Democrats across the state, and that could make fundraising difficult for her.”
The progressive in the race, Democratic activist and organic farmer Greg Howard, entered too late to have an FEC report this quarter, but his grassroots campaign ins't about lining the pockets of predatory Beltway consultants the way Garrison's is. He's prioritizing voter contact rather than donor ass-kissing. [Blue America has endorsed him and you can contribute to his campaign here.] This was the most recent Rothenberg analysis of the OH-06 race. Short, less diplomatic version: Steve Israel is wasting his time and DCCC resources:
Ohio Republican Bill Johnson is an unassuming House Member who was elected in the GOP wave of 2010. His 53 percent re-election total has Democrats believing that a conservative Democrat would have a fighting chance against Johnson in the Republican-leaning 6th District.

While Jennifer Garrison’s profile as a moderate Democrat might be a good fit for the district, some of her stances on social issues have put her at odds with liberal Democrats across the state, and that could make fundraising more difficult for her.

Garrison is caught in a very tough political position. She must demonstrate a level of independence from President Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party in order to win a majority in the district while needing to raise money from traditional Democratic groups to communicate her message effectively.

Plenty of eyes will be on Garrison’s next fundraising report in mid-April. She has the opportunity to climb back into the conversation of competitive races but also risks falling further down the list of Democratic opportunities.

We are changing our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race to Republican Favored from Leans Republican.
Early this morning, Marianne Williamson, the progressive Independent running way across the country in CA-33, e-mailed me that she thought something she had written would be right up the alley of DWT readers. I agree… and it's what separates hacks like Garrison from stimulating and inspiring candidates like Williamson. Every district should be so lucky as to have a candidate like this running for Congress, asking voters not to be Stepford Citizens:
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi that Americans have in spades: a we-can-do-anything spirit that makes so many things possible for all of us. We’re rugged individualists, aspirational in nature, and we like to think for ourselves.

Who we are as individuals, however, is often quite different than who we are as a group.

Whether it’s because of television or the Internet or whatever other factor, we seem to have a Groupthink mentality these days. And that Groupthink is so easily manipulated by media images, those images seem to overwhelm the nonsense detector otherwise working for us in our private lives.

As individuals, for instance, we’re very clear that we don’t like to be controlled, or manipulated, lied to, or treated unfairly. As a group, however, we’re acting as though we don’t mind.

National Defense Authorization Act, giving the government the ability to indefinitely detain US citizens?

Nah, we don’t mind.

Drones on their way, with the technological capacity to track everything from our sex lives to our log-in information?

Nah, we don’t mind.

Multi-national industries having more influence over our government than we do?

Nah, we don’t mind.

The highest mass incarceration rate in the world, with huge numbers of inmates either non-violent drug offenders or mentally ill?

Nah, we don’t mind.

A permanent war machine, with the President handed year after year the authorization to do whatever he wants wherever he wants, as long as it even vaguely fits the “fighting terrorism” label?

Nah, we don’t mind.

And the list goes on. As individuals, we’re as spunky as ever. But as members of a larger society, we’ve become “Stepford citizens.” We're allowing things we wouldn’t in a million years allow to happen in our personal lives. Being lied to, manipulated and ripped off isn’t okay if you’re doing it to me personally, but if you’re doing it to me as a member of a group then I’ll just magically figure it won’t have consequences in my life.

And there’s the rub. When it comes to politics today, the devils’ not in the details; the devil’s in the big picture. More often than not, he's hiding in plain sight. His minions are wearing a business suit and a smiley face. He is selling us ruin and calling it progress. He is selling us destruction and calling it security. He is dismantling our democracy and saying it's just the way things are.

And the only real problem is that we’re buying it.

We seem to think it’s not so bad, we don’t have to worry, it’s paranoia to be concerned, it’s just negative to mention anything unpleasant after all. But that is not the spirit of who are as individuals, and it isn’t the spirit of who we should be as a group. A threat to our freedom is a threat to our freedom, whether from a terrorist or from a trade deal. I suggest we become as a nation who we are as individuals: not so easily fooled, alert to danger if danger appears, and ready to do the job necessary to respond to it and ward it off.
Also in California, Lee Rogers is not running in some safe Democratic seat. Since first coming into being, CA-25 has been in Republican hands. The PVI is R+3. In 2012, Rogers came close enough to beating 11-term incumbent Buck McKeon so that McKeon chose to avoid a rematch and "retire" to K Street. But Rogers, who has been endorsed by progressive icons like Florida Democrat Alan Grayson, fellow Californian Barbara Lee, Congressional Progressice Caucus Chairman Raul Grijalva, and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, isn't running some kind of Israel-mandated "mystery meat" campaign. Watch his closing statement at the debate he had with the two right-wing extremists the GOP is fielding, Tony Strickland and Steve Knight. You walk away from this knowing exactly where Rogers' stands and that he is there for working families, not for wealthy campaign donors. Yes, he's a collegial, bipartisan guy by nature but listen carefully to how he presents himself to independent Santa Clarita voters, the ones who will determine who wins in November:
"No party has a monopoly on good ideas. But when one party is shameless-- as we're seeing now with the current Ryan budget-- the other party cannot afford to be spineless. I'm proud to be a Democrat. I'm proud to be a part of the party that brought you Medicare and Social Security. I think that if Tony Strickland or Steve Knight were elected, they would do everything to work with Paul Ryan and the Koch brothers to dismantle those two programs. I'm proud to be part of the party that brought you the 40 hour work week and the Family Medical Leave Act and I want to see us go even further. I want to see paid maternity leave and I want to see paid vacation. I'll stand up for the middle class working families. I don't think Steve Knight and Tony Strickland will stand up for you. I think they will stand on you to further their own political agendas.

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At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Garrison certainly is a pathetic choice.
Zack Space started out as a progressive candiddate. After Steny Hoyer got a hold of him it was all downhill.
Hoyer needs to go!


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