Saturday, November 15, 2014

On The Concept Of Electoral Silver Linings


Every silver lining has a cloud-- Maloney celebrated his narrow win by voting for Keystone XL yesterday

Here at DWT we did our Democratic Party silver-lining post on Thursday-- a celebration at the long overdue political demise of clueless Ohio Blue Dog type, Chris Redfern. Yesterday, one of the Beltway trade magazines did a silver-lining post from the perspective of the careerist DC Dems the publication serves. It was a story being peddled all over Washington by Steve Israel's office. Ostensibly, it was about the Democrats, mostly from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, who almost lost their seats last Tuesday but managed to hang on by a thread (and get ready for brutal 2016 challenges). "Democrats," wrote Cameron Joseph, "have won all 11 House races that were too close to call Nov. 4, keeping what was a bad cycle from becoming a horrific one," something Israel is actually puffing himself up over-- really; he's a champion. After all, does keeping worthless, crooked creepy-crawly monstrosities like Sean Patrick Maloney in office sound like a reason for singing hosannas? Yesterday, for example, Maloney turned around and stabbed Westchester voters in the back by joining the GOP in passing the Keystone Pipeline XL boondoggle. These are Cameron's "silver linings"-- with their margins of victory:
• Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ)- 52.5- 47.5%
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- 51.6- 48.4%
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)- 49.6- 48.0%
Julia Brownley (New Dem-CA)- 50.8- 49.2%
John Delaney (New Dem-MD)- 49.6- 48.4%
Jerry McNerney (CA)- 52.2- 47.8%
Lois Capps (New Dem-CA)- 51.7- 48.3%
Pete Aguilar (New Dem-CA)- 51.4- 48.6%
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)- a real silver lining on this list- 50.2- 49.8%
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)- still too close to call
John Garamendi (D-CA)- 52.2- 47.8%
Saving the worthless skins of 7 or 8 treacherous, Wall Street-owned New Dems is not my idea of a silver-lining, not for Democrats. I guess they can be counted as silver linings for Boehner if he wants to make believe his bills are bipartisan.
Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and John Delaney (D-Md.) barely dodged upset bids in their heavily Democratic districts. Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) had to wait for their races to be called in their favor, though that was as much because of California’s slow vote-counting process as particularly close calls for their seats.

Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) still awaits his fate in his heavily Democratic district, though he pulled into his first lead since election night on Friday with an 86-vote edge. The DCCC didn’t spend in any of those races besides a small investment in Capps’s district.

Republicans, however, laughed at the fact that Democrats were boasting about any victory on Election Day.

“The fact that the Democrats squeaked out late wins in districts Obama won by double digits is about as impressive as the losing team in the Super Bowl scoring a garbage-time touchdown in a 40-point blowout,” NRCC spokesman Ian Prior said. “Nancy Pelosi and Steve Israel can delude themselves and spin silver linings all they want, but the final scoreboard says that Republicans just won their largest majority since the 1940s.”

Republicans are also confident that former Air Force pilot Martha McSally (R) will retain her lead of less than 200 votes against Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) in one of the election’s top-targeted races. The race is headed to a recount, though McSally has declared victory.
One unexpected loss for the Democrats came in Cliven Bundy country-- NV-04, a blue district that include the Vegas suburbs with a PVI of D+4 where Obama beat McCain 56-41% and beat Romney 54-44%. GOP nut-case Cresent Hardy beat freshman Steven Horsford 63,435 (48.5%) to 59,800 (45.8%). Horsford spent $1,251,106 to Hardy's $266,412. But it was a massive and unanswered $1,072,596 smear campaign by Rove's Crossroads GPS that did Horsford in. (All in the DCCC and its House Majority PAC was too busy wasting tens of millions of dollars on hopeless Blue Dogs like Barrow and Rahall to help Horsford; they only spent an inadequate $478,691 on his race.) The Crew of 42, which blogs about the Congressional Black Caucus, posted an interesting twist on how Steve Israel and the DCCC pushed Horsford into a loss.
Several sources close to the situation reveal that Rep. Horsford was asked to match a DCCC contribution of $80,000 to assist his campaign in closing weeks before November 4th. Horsford’s fellow Black Caucus members were particularly incensed by this tidbit of information because they say Horsford was asked to match while other Dems were being funded by DCCC in a big way.

As a freshman member in a swing district, many believe Horsford should have been selected for the “frontline” list as so many other freshman in challenging districts are. Now that members find Horsford was asked to match funds in late October-- the outrage has swung into a new phase.

A dozen members and staffers with decades of experience who were asked if they ever heard of a member having to match funds with DCCC in late October say they’ve never heard of such a thing happening before. That, mixed with Horsford not being included on a list of “frontline candidates” announced by DCCC Chair Steve Israel in March 2013 has members mad. The anger is connected to the fact that Horsford, the former Majority Leader or the Nevada Senate, is viewed as exactly the type of young member House Democrats should fiercely protect. Horsford’s district is majority white and his rise to Congress represents a winning moment over the new demographics that is rarely seen in the House: A Black member winning in a non-majority white district in a red state. Horsford has been seen at meetings this week and his colleague are confident they will see him again in 2017. But to be sure, he’s taking the loss way better than they are.

The "frontline" candidate list for 2014 included several freshman Democrats in swing districts including Reps. Ron Barber, Ami Bera, Elizabeth Esty, Cheri Bustos, Ann Kuster and Bill Enyart. Being part of the DCCC’s frontline effort is a way of “protecting nearly every vulnerable incumbent who was not affected by redistricting,” according to the DCCC. Those candidates were very well funded by DCCC this cycle.

...One of the more interesting late October money drops from DCCC went to Domenic Recchia, who lost to Rep. Michael Grimm 55-42%-- even though Grimm was indicted on 2o counts by federal prosecutors for fraud, obstruction and perjury in April 2014.

After two candidates declined to take Grimm on, DCCC Chair Steve Israel’s third recruiting choice was Recchia. Though he proved to be less than an inspiring candidate, DCCC spent $1,570,059 to assist his campaign. On October 16, the DCCC spent $127,000 on opposition ads on Grimm. On October 23, the DCCC spent $129,000 on another media buy to assist Recchia. House Majority PAC also dropped $1.1 million to assist Recchia on October 29.

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