Wednesday, November 05, 2014

EMILY's Lost


Their one win, Gina Raimondo, is a corrupt corporate shill as bad as ANY Republican

This was a great year for EMILY's List. They accomplished their top goal-- raising an immense amount of money to pay their executives and run their operation. Their candidates mostly lost but winning is only important to EMILY's List insofar as it helps goose the contribution flow. When Ellen Malcolm and a couple dozen friends founded EMILY's List in 1985, they were launching a model group for progressives across the country. Everyone admired EMILY's List. A lot has changed since then.

Their SuperPAC, Women Vote! spent $8,223,774, a very different pot of money from the one that keeps the organizational wheels greased and the empire growing. These were their top independent expenditures this cycle:
CA-31 for Eloise Reyes- $180,500- lost
CA-33 for Wendy Greuel- $158,516- lost
FL-13 for Alex Sink- $177,869- lost
GA Senate- for Michelle Nunn- $2,196,587- lost
HI Senate for Colleen Hanabusa- $507,415- lost
HI-01 for Donna Mercado Kim- $66,236- lost
ME-02 for Emily Cain- $439,828- lost
MI-14 for Brenda Lawrence- 282,837- won against a more progressive Democrat
NH-01 for Carol Shea-Porter- $54,998- lost
NH-02 for Ann Kuster- $57,348- won
NH Senate for Jeanne Shaheen- $975,946- won
NC-12 for Alma Adams- $119,752- won
NC Senate for Kay Hagan- $2,876,224- lost
PA-13 for Marjorie Margolies- $42,545- lost
EMILY's List itself took in $40,241,135 this cycle, their biggest haul in history. A relatively small amount went to help candidates. The biggest single expenditure was $11,014,920 which went to paying their own staffers. After that came $7,265,792 for federal candidates. Administrative costs $4,833,980 and consulting fees added up to $3,229,311. And just over $50,000 for... food.

Today they were trying to take credit for as much as they could. Glomming on to Bonnie Watson Coleman's spectacular win in New Jersey-- considering their refusal to support her in the primary when she actually needed the help-- doesn't count. And Alma Adams district is a D+26 district, so thanks for the imput. Their destructive role in Hawaii was far more to the point of what EMILY's List is all about. The Hawaiian progressive Policy Bear blog exposed them last August.
EMILY’s List spent a huge amount of their members’ donations in futile efforts to defeat two progressive champions in Hawai’i:

EMILY’s List wasted nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in Hawai’i trying unsuccessfully to beat progressive male candidates-- in Schatz’s case a progressive male Senator endorsed by every single woman senator who got involved in the race, including EMILY’s List icon Elizabeth Warren-- with conservative women. They blew $697,891 bolstering Hanabusa and $49,971 bolstering far right reactionary Donna Mercado Kim, a religious freak who’s commitment to Choice is highly suspect.

...Now that both their conservative Hawai’i candidates have gone down to defeat, against pro-choice progressives, will EMILY’s List account for their exorbitant spending? This misallocation and waste of member dollars needs an explanation.

EMILY’s List says they are all about accountability. They say on their website they will:
Communicate with confidence, rationale and clarity. Answer questions with answers, not more questions, and demand the same in return.
We who have supported you in past, and now look aghast at the hard-earned dollars you’ve wasted in Hawai’i trying to elect conservative women and defeat progressive men, have serious questions. We deserve answers. Defeating anti-choice conservative men in the general election is a laudable goal; using member donations against progressive champions in Democratic primaries is quite another thing. Please explain, List, or accept this description of yourself:
EMILY’s List has proven themselves to be, once again, the worst player inside Democratic Party politics. Meanwhile they flat out refuse to assist progressive women they have added to their list without giving any support at all. Shenna Bellows (D-ME), Kelly Westlund (D-WI) and Laura Fjeld (D-NC) could have really used that money to help them defeat dreadful Republican opponents.
Just take a look at this deceptive EMILY’s List mailer from November 2013, in which they frame their support of a right-wing challenger to progressive incumbent US Senator Brian Schatz as a battle for control of the Senate, and where “neck and neck” races against GOP challengers are lumped with Hanabusa’s close primary race against a Democrat:

The GOP is desperate-- just look at them flirting with Scott Brown as he decides whether or not to run against Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.

And now that we are less than a year out, the races are heating up. Latest polls show things tightening up for our candidates; this is when they need every ounce of our support. Kay Hagan is in a close race in North Carolina and Colleen Hanabusa is running neck and neck in Hawai’i. We cannot risk losing the Senate to Republicans and hearing the words, “Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Donate to Jeanne, Kay, and Colleen to ensure they are in Washington to protect us from the GOP War on Women.

Now is the time when EMILY’s List can make the difference between a winning campaign and a losing one. We need you to step up in order to ensure Jeanne Shaheen, Kay Hagan, and Colleen Hanabusa fighting for us in Washington.

And with Republicans in the Senate offering up a 20-week abortion ban, just imagine what they will try to do if they have control.

Give directly to our Senate candidates to make sure they can fight for our rights in Congress. Donate today!

Jonathan Parker
Director of Campaigns, EMILY’s List
Reading that, how is an inattentive donor supposed to know that it’s apples-to-oranges-- and that the party composition of the Senate in 2015 will be unaffected by the result in Hawai’i, a reliably blue state that elects Democrats consistently?

While the vast majority of donor money was spent on the Hawai’i Senate race, EMILY’s List support of Donna Kim might have been even more egregious:
Last Thursday night, backward and reactionary congressional candidate Donna Kim told PBS Hawai’i viewers she opposes marriage equality based on her Catholic faith. The very next morning she was endorsed by EMILY’s List, a nominally pro-choice organization.

When Stephanie Schriock described Kim as “pro-choice” in the group’s endorsement statement, it was more than a desperate stretch; many in Hawai’i were shocked. That term has rarely, if ever, been used to describe to Kim, a state senator who’s been in various elected offices for 30 years. Kim has never been endorsed by the Patsy T. Mink PAC, which supports pro-choice women seeking election to the Hawai’i state legislature. Kim regularly campaigns at vehemently anti-Choice fundamentalist churches, and even partners with them in her official capacity.

Indeed, it hasn’t been clear Kim is even pro-contraception. In 2012, when seeking the endorsement of the anti-choice Hawai’i Family Forum, she described herself as undecided on whether rape victims should be entitled to emergency contraception. She very pointedly hasn’t commented on the Hobby Lobby decision.
A commenter at The Hill summed up the outrage among the Democratic base upon hearing of the EMILY’s List endorsement of Kim:
OK-- Emily’s List REALLY made a major mistake this time. Are they aware that Pat Roberts’ Focus on Family is supporting her? What are they THINKING?

She voted against marriage equality. She delayed and tried to derail raising minimum wage. She’s courting the GOP/Christian Taliban vote. She’s anti-union and anti-environment.

Has Emily’s List completely lost their minds?
Will EMILY’s List account for their decision? Will its leadership provide members and donors with a transparent view of their decision-making process that led to this monumental waste of money? Will anyone in EMILY’s List leadership be held accountable for spending three-quarters of a million dollars on conservative candidates in Democratic primaries in the Fiftieth State?
Author and thought leader Marianne Williamson, the progressive, pro-Choice woman EMILY's List smeared in a failed attempt to elect their conservative candidate, had a very different perspective on yesterday's losses for the Democrats:
Republicans seem to have convinced the average American that what is good for billionaires, oil and gas companies, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, banks, chemical companies and defense contractors is good for them. With this midterm election, we gave the country over lock, stock and barrel to our new corporate overlords.

We watched this disaster approach in slow motion over the last few weeks, but in fact it's been approaching for the last few months and even years. The problem wasn't just that the Republicans purged their moderates; the problem is that the Democrats purged their principles.

And that's what did us in.

Corporate America is not dumb; it's worked hard to sew up both political parties in its nefarious schemes to place their short-term economic interests before the health and well-being of the average American. One major party was more than glad to go along; the other one went along with all this angst and agita in the background perhaps, but it still went along.

And that's what did us in.

The Republican corporatists are worse than the Democratic corporatists, but only to a degree. And Republican corporatists are at least true to their principles, however abhorrent those principles might be to some of us. The Democratic corporatists, however, are the real culprits here. Having sucked the soul out of the Democratic party, they have leeched out of it whatever moral authority it had left. Why weren't they able to activate the base?? Because they decimated the base!

And that's what did us in.

It's time for the Democratic corporatists to move over now, and let people who actually stand for something take it from here. Yes, the corporatists won some short-term power but at the expense of long-term viability. A funny thing happens when you act against your own principles: karma gets 'ya.

The Democratic party needs its soul back, and if the midterm results prove anything it's that people aren't impressed by its current corporatist formation. The Republicans have the elite policies but in a strange way a more egalitarian relationship to its own constituency. The Democrats have more egalitarian policies but in a strange way a more elitist relationship to its own constituency. You're not really a party for the people if you're not a party of the people. Corporatists have led the Democratic party for twenty years now, but this midterm election should leave no doubt in anyone's mind that the Democratic leadership needs to change. Real progressives within the Democratic party are ignored as voters, and marginalized as leaders.

And that's what did us in.

Our mid-term elections this year marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. What has ended? Any illusion whatsoever that big money doesn't rule this country. What's begun? Hopefully, the retrieval of the revolutionary spirit that is core to who we are as a nation. Because that is what we need now. We need a massive movement-- a peaceful, non-violent rebellion against the new corporate order of things. We need to give up the illusion that the Democratic party is the nurturing mother who will balance the excesses of the critical father. Like hell it is. It's become the silent mother who stands in the hall just wringing her hands while Daddy takes his whip out and wallops us. We can't just wait for Mommy to stand up to this anymore. We ourselves simply have to grow up.

The new era begins today, as the Democratic corporatists start lining up for the Presidential nomination in 2016. What can we do? Make it clear-- make it really, really clear-- that hell no, we will not support a corporatist nominee. He or she would do as well in 2016 as the Democrats did this midterm. Why? Because we will not go along anymore. The only hope for the Democrats, and the only hope for America, is to nominate someone who tells it like it really is, reclaims the principles that the Democrats historically stood for and shows the bravery and courage we so desperately need to see right now.

Democratic strategy this year was to arouse people's anger at what the Republicans were doing. It didn't work. What they needed to address was how depressed people are at what the Democrats have been doing, and not doing, to live up to its own principles. The mid-term is over, but the 2016 Presidential race is on the horizon. And the new revolution has only just begun.

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At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The electoral dementia of electing people who CAUSED the problems to FIX the problems is just plain weird. Is it due to a public mixture of anger and apathy?

Whatever the reason, electoral dementia is a toxic state of mind more easily manipulated by the sociopathic connivers, the GOP, than the clueless connivers, the Dem establishment, which itself is also easily manipulable.

Also, the Dem establishment (MW's corporatists, indeed!) doesn't really bottom-line care whether they win or lose. They scam up just as much money either way from donors, both well-meaning citizens and self-interested big-money sharks.

Their only penalty is that they merely have to temporarily display a slightly more challenging set of emotions to the public when they lose. They couldn't care less about what their electoral karma is. They'll even increase their begging for more money to offset their previous losses.

Hopefully, in a schadenfreude kind of way I admit, their actual soul karma will soon catch up to them. Maybe then they'll get themselves to a nunnery or 'adopt a highway' and keep to the kind of public service they can actually understand without harming the public.


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