Friday, April 18, 2014

Why Is Pelosi Allowing Steve Israel To Gratuitously Screw Over Working Families In Southwest Michigan?


The ruin of Franklin Roosevelt's great political party

In a recent report from the Kalamzoo Gazette, Upton challenger Paul Clements sets new record for Democratic fundraising in 6th district, the photograph caption was "WMU Professor Paul Clements, who is looking to unseat U.S. Rep. Fred Upton in 2014, speaks to a packed crowd at the Kalamazoo County Democratic headquarters." Packed crowd? Maybe someone should tell DCCC chairman Steve Israel. Or perhaps mention the title to Israel, the part about setting new fundraising records, supposedly the only thing Israel really cares about anyway.

But no one will, because everyone knows it won't do any good. Israel doesn't challenge Republican committee chairs and policy-makers-- no matter how heinous their policies (and few are as heinous as Upton's). And he especially doesn't challenge his old fraternity brothers, like Upton, from his beloved Center Aisle Caucus. So here's the DCCC prioritizing and wasting money on dreadful deep red districts with even more dreadful conservative candidates, while a true blue progressive in a district ripe to be plucked (MI-6 with a PVI of R+1) is absolutely off the table. How can Nancy Pelosi abandon the working families of southwest Michigan to the tender mercies of Steve Israel this way… again?
Heading into the 2014 election season, Congressman Fred Upton's Democratic challenger announced that he has raised more money than any prior Democratic congressional candidate in Michigan's 6th district.

Paul Clements, 52, a political science professor at Western Michigan University, had raised $365,469 as of March 31, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Clements appears to be the first Democratic candidate in the 6th district to surpass the $300,000 threshold. In 2012, Democrat Mike O'Brien, who at the time had raised more money than any Democratic congressional candidate in the 6th district in 20 years, raised a total of $293,986, according to the FEC. (The current 6th district was formed in 1992, combining parts of the third and fourth districts.)

"Our report shows a broad movement that wants bipartisan solutions on job creation, education and investments in our future," Clements said in a statement. "The people of Southwest Michigan deserve an independent voice focused on their needs, and that's not what they have been getting with Congressman Upton."

During the first quarter of 2014, Clements raised $122,178. Of the more than 2,500 individual contributions, 86 percent were for less than $200, Clements' campaign reported, citing strong grassroots support. According to the FEC, Clements took in $3,950 from political action committees (PACs).

John Taylor, chairman of the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party and a county commissioner, confirmed that Clements had broken the Democratic congressional fundraising record set by O'Brien in 2012 for the 6th district.

"The really impressive thing about Paul's number is there's very little PAC checks in there," he said in a phone interview. "Individuals are stepping up for his race and that's a positive sign."
Israel, instead, is staying focused on Jennifer Garrison an anti-Choice, gay-hating, pro-NRA, pro-fracking conservative who is said to look an awful lot like his former mistress (his latest former mistress, the one his most recent wife divorced him over). Her district doesn't have a PVI of R+1, like Upton's. It has a PVI of R+8. And even with all the help Israel and Steny Hoyer are giving her, she isn't raising the kind of money grassroots progressives like Clements are. This quarter she brought in a meager $89,000, about a third of what the DCCC had assigned her. And she isn't the only Steve Israel recruit who fell flat on their face, rejected by the Democratic grassroots. Among other big Israel Q-1 recruiting failures were Red to Blue designees Jackie McPherson (AR-01)- $112K, Jerry Cannon (MI-01)- $143K, Bobby McKenzie (MI-11)- $133K, and Kevin Strouse (PA-08)- $115K, who is losing the money race to a more grassroots primary candidate Shaunghnessy Naughton, who, unlike him, is campaigning against fracking, which he foolishly supports in the very environmentally-conscious Bucks County (which he is unfamiliar with).

I asked a Member of Congress today if it is too late for the Democrats to win back the House in November. He wasn't optimistic but offered his opinion that damages could be minimized if Pelosi replaced Israel as DCCC chairman. "We'll never win it back with Steve calling the shots there, but I could name half a dozen Members who could walk in there tomorrow, shake the place up, get rid of some of the dead weight, and stop the bleeding… Steve will be lucky to break even. And I don't think Lady Luck has been kind to him in recent years… Nancy should kick him upstairs and give Keith [Ellison] the job. Even [he called me back and asked me to omit this name] would do a better job than Steve."

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