Saturday, July 15, 2017

If The DCCC Continues To Pick Congressional Nominees, Instead Of Voters, The Democrats Will Never Win Back Congress


The only primaries these 4 should be involved with is defending themselves

Forget that you may have an inkling that here at DWT we feel Pelosi's incompetent and corrupt DCCC has become a source for both evil and failure over the last decade, rather than a worthwhile and constructive party organ. One of my first beefs with them-- under Rahm-- is how they tried to dictate-- despite their own "rule" to the contrary-- who Democratic nominees should be. They claim they don't, but they do-- all the time.

I asked a couple of dozen candidates for their views on the DCCC endorsing in primaries. First I spoke to some who either have DCCC tacit backing or are close to getting it. One told me that he wants DCCC backing in the general election when he has to face a Republican incumbent loaded with corporate special interest money. He told me he feels the voters in his district should pick the candidate, not some power-players in DC. I've never heard a candidate who the DCCC wants to back in a primary not wanting their backing before. This would be an historic first if it actually happens.

Another candidate, in a similar situation said this to me off the record: "We're now hearing they might interfere on our behalf... apparently they had some consultant meeting in DC and a question was asked about if there's a candidate who, on paper, looks like the right one (pedigree, fundraising, etc.) but it's becoming clear that there is a better candidate for the district with a better chance of winning, what would they do, and they acknowledged this openly and said they would use data to try and push the other person out, use the delegation, and spend against them in the primary if needed. I've heard more from other members that it is looking like this as well. Obviously I think this is what they should have been doing all along-- supporting the candidates from the communities with the best chances of winning. Maybe there are signs they are learning?"

I don't agree with him at all. He's a good candidate and I understand why he wants their help in clearing the field but it's anti-Democratic and I urged him to reject their help until after the primary.

Paul Perry is in an excruciatingly tough primary in swingy PA-07, with at least 7 vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Ryan rubber stamp Pat Meehan. There are several DCCC-type candidates-- including an "ex"-Republican-- and there are also 2 other progressives besides Paul Perry, state Senator Daylin Leach and last cycle's candidate Mary Ellen Balchunis. Last cycle, the DCCC didn't want Mary Ellen as the nominee and spent $14,500 on some manufactured establishment candidate, Bill Golderer, who they helped raise $351,551 to depend against Mary Ellen, about $300,000 more than she spent in the primary. But she whipped his ass from Worcester, Whitemarsh and Blue Bell down through Radnor, Wayne, Marple Township, Springfield and down and around to Intercourse and the suburbs south of Reading-- 52,792 (74%) to 18,509 (26%). The DCCC was confused about how someone they judged as not able to win votes could beat the well-funded corporate candidate they parachuted into the district. What did they learn? Absolutely NOTHING! In fact, instead of rallying around Balchunis to defeat Meehan, Pelosi-- who in her more and more difficult to cover up dotage is always babbling her nonsense about "when women win..."-- led a campaign to sabotage Balchunis' fundraising ability. The DCCC pulled out of the district entirely and, allowed Mary Ellen to be swamped with Meehan's cash while Hillary won the same day Meehan beat her. That's what they do. They lie and tell sappy donors they don't interfere in primaries and what they did to Mary Ellen is what they have always done since Rahm was Pelosi's first tragic pick as DCCC chair. And they're doing the same thing today-- picking, for example, Pelosi's 2018 DCCC mascot to run in CA-39.

Here's how Mary Ellen explained what happened to her: "When I taught Political Parties & Elections, I told my students that primaries were when the electorate selected who they wanted to represent the party in the general election, not who the DCCC wanted to represent the party! Although, that is what the DCCC did in my 2016 congressional campaign. They went outside the district and found a wealthy candidate who angered many political committee people and leaders. In Chester County, the Kennett Area Democrats sent numerous emails to the DCCC Chair saying we have a candidate; and it is Mary Ellen Balchunis. As someone, who has worked for the party for decades and ran when the party asked me to run in what many described as the most gerrymandered district and knowing I would lose with the idea 2016 would be better, it was very demoralizing to have the DCCC put someone up against me, rather than support me. I went on to defeat their candidate who outspent me by hundreds of thousands of dollars, 74% - 26%. If the DCCC wants to be the people's party and win, they should let the people select the candidate in the primary and support that candidate in the general!"

Anyway, let's get back to Paul Perry. Yesterday he told us that he believes "the DCCC should be leading the hard work that many grassroots and independent organizations are doing to build a strong bench of progressives candidates, beyond those who can simply self-fund or raise millions in corporate PAC dollars. While it's fine to have high expectations of candidates in terms of community resources they can leverage to win elections, we need Democratic Party leadership to consider and plan for the long game of building the capacity of local leaders while empowering them to win elections and govern as just leaders. Any backdoor influencing of primaries should be brought to light and ended in order for the playing to be leveled for candidates across all lines of difference if we're aiming to build a truly egalitarian Democratic Party."

With Gabriel McArthur's decision yesterday to withdraw from the CO-06 congressional primary and run for Colorado Secretary of State, Levi Tillemann is left as the progressive alternative to the shady establishment candidate the DCCC is pushing, Jason Crow. He wants the DCCC to stop pushing Crow and let the Democratic voters of the district decide who their nominee should be. "This primary," Levi told us this morning, "should be about ideas, public service and what's best for the people of Colorado-- not the preferences of unaccountable political operatives in Washington. Too often, the DCCC gets behind candidates that are simply the most likely to funnel cash into the coffers of the DCCC. They're great at raising money, but not at winning hearts and minds."

Another candidate who has extensive experience with the DCCC from the inside, practically wrote a whole post on the topic but asked that I skip the name part. "When I'm elected I'm perfectly happy to go on the record in terms of the DCCC but for now if we could not associate my name with any of..."
What the DCCC is doing is a disservice to us finding the best candidates for each Congressional District in Orange County. They clearly have picked their candidate in the 48th district and while he looks great on paper and he may end up being a good candidate, it doesn't do anyone good to push out all the other candidates before we actually know whether he's the real deal or whether he's going to completely fall on face.  We've seen lots of people who seem like they are great candidates on paper who have failed miserably. Running for office is hard and no matter the resume its hard to predict who is going to be good at it, especially when none of them have run before. If you are the DCCC you should be trying to find as many good candidates as possible, make sure they all have the tools to succeed, and let them fight it out amongst themselves to see who is actually the best candidate. And you shouldn't just be looking for rich people just for the sole reason that they are rich and that they have lots of rich friends who can help them raise money. Who knows for instance if they actually represent the party's ideals? This obsession with rich people and the donor class is at the very root of are party's problems. It's like no wonder as a party we don't have the ability actually talk to working people.

It's also a terrible idea to push people away from a district like 48, where they actually might be the best candidate, to places they don't actually live. In the 39th congressional district in particular the DCCC seems to have a complete lack of understanding in terms of what a bad idea it is to run someone not from that district. If they had paid any attention to the Sukhee Kang/Josh Newman race they would know what a bad idea it is. If the candidates who live in 48 and who are running in 39 are as good as people think they are, let them run in the district that they actually live in. Look at what happened with Ossoff in Georgia; whatever his reasons in terms of not living in the district and no matter how good they were, he gave Republicans a free attack line to use against him and I don't know if that's why he lost but it certainly didn't help.

There are candidates who are potentially announcing soon in 45 who actually live in 48 and preferred to run there and were told not to. How does that help anyone run against Mimi Walters, who herself doesn't live in 45 but instead lives and is registered to vote at her $8 million dollar home in Laguna Beach in the 48th district? The real problem is they do not seem to understand that Orange County is not a monolithic place and each of these communities are incredibly unique and separate from one another. It's not the game of musical chairs they think it is.

One of the things I noticed when I was running is that no one seems to have learned any lessons from our past failures. Since 2010 whatever we've been doing as Democrats hasn't worked and there all kinds of failures across the country that demonstrate that. In California we continue to fail cycle after cycle to unseat vulnerable Democrats in territory that should be very favorable to us. The fact that Steve Knight, David Valadao, and Jeff Denham are still members of Congress is a demonstration of that. And yet when I asked people who are part of the party's political apparatus what we had done wrong in those seats or in other places around the country and how I could avoid making the same mistakes, no one seemed to have any idea or have any other advice other than "raise a ton of money and hope the national environment is in your favor." That seems extremely problematic to me that no one seems to have any other ideas.

I very much tried to reach out and find out who in the Democratic Party was being the most innovative when it came to campaign strategy and what are the things that I could be doing differently to make sure that I would actually win, and no one had anything to offer. The only advice anyone has is always just to raise as much money as humanely possible. I'm not complaining about that because you can't win without money but just because you have it doesn't mean that you are going to win. More fundamentally we just completed an election where Donald Trump is now the President of the United States and nobody seems to have any idea as what we should be doing differently when it comes to campaigns.

And the thing is it has nothing to do with who is in charge of the DCCC. You can keep changing the staff and keep changing the person in charge and things aren't going to change. Because the way you rise in a place like DC is by learning to be like the people in charge and developing the skills that they have. That's how we as a party have trained an entire class of political operatives and consultants. They are where they are and have risen in politics because they learned how to be like their predecessors and mentors. And when you put them in a position of authority, they are never going to do anything differently. Because they've never learned any other skill-set and doing it the way they know has gotten them where they are. And they also know by continuing to do it that way, even if they lose races, that's the way to avoid blame (as everyone will just blame the political environment instead).

The other thing I've learned is that when you talk to actual members and ask them about their experiences with the DCCC when they first ran, none of them have anything good to say about it. There is something wrong whenever even the members themselves have nothing good to say about the institution and when they give you advice along the lines of "don't let the DCCC push you around."
Bob Poe has been a major Democratic donor from Florida who was once chairman of the Florida Democratic Party and got a taste of what the DCCC is all about when he ran for Congress last cycle and was successfully opposed by a Pelosi New Dem pick, Val Demings, who predictably, has turned out to be one of the worst Democratic freshmen in Congress. It was hard to get Poe to tell his story but he did share a few words he thought would be helpful for DWT readers to understand. "From the day Democrats became the minority in the House of Representatives in 2010 until today, I have received literally thousands of emails from the DCCC asking, begging and pleading for contributions to defeat Republicans and regain the majority. Countless donors large and small have donated millions in pursuit of that noble effort. But, what most donors don't know is the dirty little secret that the DCCC spends a significant amount of of their scarce resources not defeating Republicans but in defeating Democrats. Each cycle, the DCCC involves itself in Democratic primaries-- even in races that are safely Democratic regardless of who wins the primary. This practice is dishonest and it needs to stop."

Doctor David Gill is running in an Illinois district the DCCC keeps losing. He explained to use this morning that "Perhaps no Congressional district in America better reflects the deep schism within the Democratic party than IL-13. As we saw during last year's Presidential primaries, there is a deep divide between the corporatist Democrats and the Berniecrats. I defeated the DCCC's hand-picked candidate in the 2012 primary in IL-13, and I went on to lose the general election that year by just three-tenths of one percent. I was handicapped by the presence of a liberal Independent on the ballot that year, a man who expressed all of the same views as me, arguing in support of campaign finance reform, single-payer healthcare, gay marriage, a woman's right to make her own reproductive health choices, and aggressive action against climate change. That liberal Independent received a little more than seven percent of the vote, and Republican Rodney Davis went off to Washington as an accidental Congressman.

Goal Thermometer "The progressive positions that I support actually won in this district by approximately seven points in 2012. However, the DCCC insisted that my progressive stances had cost me the election, and they chose to run a candidate with much more 'moderate' views in 2014. The result: the 'moderate' Democrat lost by 50-60 times what I had lost by two years earlier.

"And did the DCCC learn anything from the 2014 debacle? Hardly-- rather than supporting my current campaign, they have once again recruited a more 'moderate' Democrat, a woman who has not expressed any public support for issues such as single-payer, a $15 per hour minimum wage, or tuition-free public universities. One can only theorize about the DCCC's motivation in spurning a physician who outperformed President Obama in this district, but one certainly has to wonder if the DCCC's primary goal is to win seats for Democrats. Are they more interested in having lukewarm 'moderate' candidates that they can control, but who subsequently lose decisively, or do they truly want to attain majority status in the U.S. House?"

UPDATE: Lou Vince Would Have Beaten Knight In CA-25

The DCCC pushed a progressive police officer and local elected official, Lou Vince, out of the CA-25 race last cycle to make room for some rich guy-- a Beverly Hills attorney, Knight never stopped emphasizing, from far off Orange County-- and that ended catastrophically. While Hillary was decisively beating Trump in the district, Caforio sat around waiting for her coattails to sweep Knight away... something that didn't happen. Caforio says he wants to try again though polls show he would lose again with almost exactly the same numbers. This morning Lou Vince, who isn't running again, told us that "The DCCC is the reason that we have lost so many races in the last few cycles. They fail to learn any lessons from their losses and that's the primary reason we lost in CA-25 in 2016. Rather than focus on candidates that understand issues and connect with the voters, they'd rather have candidates that function as ATMs and use D.C. talking points like robots. Their meddling needs to stop and they need to stop importing carpetbaggers to lose in winnable districts. They need to stop inserting their vanilla centrist candidates claiming to be progressives."

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


At 6:34 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Kyle Kulinski says it best their vision is dead

As for Nancy our first test to change the leadership starts right here.

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" they truly want to attain majority status in the U.S. House?"

This is what I've been saying since 2010.

Fact: The DCCC takes 9-10 figures per cycle from corporations and billionaires.
Fact: The DCCC after taking a bil cannot then bite the hand(s) that feed it.
Fact: The DCCC knowing this cannot abide truly progressive people messing with that.
Fact: In the 2009-2011 congress, Ds had big pluralities in both chambers + a D-ish (corporate whore) pres. They had to work VEEEEERY hard to not pass progressive lege so that their money train would not derail. They found out that it's hard to pretend to be democrats when they actually need to be republicans (The Rs helped by being Nazis and opposing everything, even corporate friendly stuff).
Fact: The DxCCs have been and continue to promote awful corporate whore and former R candidates instead of finding/supporting true progressives that would appeal to lefty voters and re-animate dormant leftys too. In fact, they are finding haters to fill the void (anti-woman, anti-immigrant...).

Inference: the democrap leadershit doesn't want a majority ever again, even with a team made up of republicans who might not hate so much. It would seem just too hard to repeat 2009-11 and retain even a shred of pretense of being democrats.
They certainly don't want to have to address MFA as the insurance and phrma lobbies would not pay for that.
They will never do shit about income inequality or reinstate more progressive tax structures or their billionaire donors would vanish.
They will never reinstate Glass-Steagall or their TBTF donors would vanish.
They will never help labor or corporate donors would vanish... plus voters never make them.

After this many years and witnessing what they are doing in the sunlight now, nobody should have delusions about the democraps any more.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Steve Adams said...

Why the criticism of Val Demings?

Her Progressive Punch scores look OK.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Demings has a solid "F" from ProgressivePunch. Her Crucial Vote Score is horrible, especially for someone in such a safe blue district. There is no excuse for her voting record.


Post a Comment

<< Home