Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The DCCC's Candidates Week Teaches Their Recruits The One Thing The DCCC Is Expert At-- Losing


By "ideologically diverse" Ben Ray means recruiting anti-Choice conservatives

If I call one more progressive member of Congress today to ask him or her why the DCCC is stiffing so many progressive candidates during Candidates Week, which began yesterday, I'll hit an even dozen. And they all tell me basically the same thing: the DCCC says all candidates are welcome. Are they? Well, all the Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party got schedules and personal invitations signed by DCCC chair Ben Ray Lujan over a month ago. Some well-connected progressives got them too but, generally speaking, progressives challenging New Dem and Blue Dog faves in primaries were excluded. Example: CA-22, Devin Nunes' seat, has a Blue Dog-type running, Andrew Janz, who told me he didn't know what Medicare-for-All is when I interviewed him a few months go and that he has two motivations for running: expanding the use of the death penalty and protecting the Second Amendment. Sounds perfect for Ben Ray-- and anyone who wants to keep Nunes in office. When I asked him who his ideal congressmember is he pointed to the Californian who votes most frequently with Trump and Ryan-- rotgut Blue Dog Jim Costa. But the progressive running a sensible campaign on progressive issues, Ricardo Franco, wasn't invited and didn't know about Candidates Week until I told him yesterday.

This morning Ricardo told me the politically engaged folks in the Central Valley have known for years that the DCCC understands nothing about the voters there. "When choosing between Republican-lite candidates or Republicans, it's been proven time and time again that voters choose Republicans. Why? Because we've never run a true Democrat in this race. The Central Valley has some of the highest concentrations of poverty in the country. Republican-lite candidates have zero answers that go towards solving their problems. Blue Dogs are afraid of discussing how China will soon surpass us as the world's largest economy and reserve currency or how our debt will cripple us. Even if these conservative 'Democrats' won their elections, their policy stances would not solve our country's problems. Luckily, our local voters know that. Sadly, the Democratic Party doesn't. Voters are getting very wise to the DCCC game to fill the pockets of career campaign managers and consultants. The party would do well to acknowledge that the DCCC has established itself as a monopoly to make money for the elites rather than actually win elections for the middle class. In a true democracy, voters choose their candidates. The DCCC continues to stand against that.We won't. In a true democracy, political platform and stance is held above the idea of who has money to pay the political machine. The DCCC looks at who has money to pay into their business model. We won't.

"In a true democracy, the DCCC would be seen as an organization that is most interested in making money rather than advancing the cause of the average American: a machine that will focus on keeping expensive, elite consultants employed rather than the interests of voters. We won't. In a true democracy, the DCCC would be seen as a propaganda machine trying to manipulate voters against their own self interest. They will never be brave and bold enough to tell voters, especially those here from the Central Valley, the truth. We will."

They didn't invite Derrick Crowe, the progressive candidate in the Austin/San Antonio district occupied by Lamar Smith. But they did invited multimillionaire "ex"-Republican Joseph Kopser who's running against Crowe. Most of the Berniecrat candidates I spoke with didn't get invitations, regardless of who their opponents were. Alina Valdes, for example, is a strong progressive running against Mario Diaz-Balart in South Florida. She has no primary challenger, at least not so far-- although there have been rumors the DCCC is trying to draft one to run against her-- but she didn't know about Candidates Week until Monday when I called her and asked her if she had gotten an invitation.

TX-23, a district the DCCC has managed to lose by recruiting right-wing candidates over and over and over, has a Republican now-- and a PVI of that went from R+3 last year to a very winnable R+1 this year. Hillary beat Trump there by over 3 points. Oh and one more thing about TX-23: the district has a 71% Hispanic population. So the DCCC invited a conservative Anglo, Jay Hulings, who has been endorsed by both the Blue Dogs and the corrupt corporately-owned New Dems and somehow forgot to invited the Hispanic Berniecrat, with the name everyone in the district already loves, Rick Treviño. Treviño, who is spending the week campaigning in South Texas, wasn't in the slightest bit daunted by the diss from the DC political bosses. "It's not a shocker that the DC insiders have picked their guy. The DC establishment does not want to cede control to grassroots leaders who are beholden to the people. My campaign is directly rooted in the people and issues of TX-23. DC politics is the furthest thing away from my campaign, the way it should be."

One of the 11 congressmembers I asked suggested it might be that the DCCC was judging viability based on how much money had been raised. But that was belied by their non-invitation to progressive Laura Oatman in the Orange County district held by Dana Rohrabacher-- while the 2 candidates endorsed by the New Dems, multimillionaires Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda were invited-- even though Oatman raised around the same low 6-figure amount the other two did. In CO-06, the conservative candidate Jason Crow was invited but the progressive in the race, Levi Tillemann wasn't, even though Tillemann raised over $170,000 last quarter, more than candidates the DCCC did invite.

Yesterday, there was an invitation-only meeting for Blue Dogs at the office of a lobbying firm, where the right-wing Blue Dogs got to meet many of the big Beltway bribers, as well as the slimy consultants. Here's today's schedule. Notice the progressive meet and greet is open to everyone-- probably because they don't counsel their members to commit any crimes. But also because the DCCC invited so few progressives that there was plenty of room for everyone.

From the invitation Ben Ray Lujan tells his members wasn't sent to anyone

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At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, dwt, after proving again that the democraps are shit and cannot be fixed, why do you insist on polishing the doorknobs (in steerage only) on that good ship titanic?

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to Anonymous 4:04 pm. I have stopped asking that question of DWT. He seems to have no answer to that question.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:30, he's not stupid. If I keep asking maybe at some point it'll hit him that he's not really helping... he's prolonging the problem.

maybe not. My experience is passionate people often have a big blind spot for things like this.

Blind spot or not, he's actually prolonging the problem. Hope he wakes up some day.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a resident of the central valley, I have been following the CA-22 race closely. There are actually 3 Democrats running against Trump’s lapdog, Devin Nunes. I have heard Andrew Janz speak many times now and I have not heard him say anything remotely close to what you have indicated there. He is no fan of Jim Costa, but says he can work with him which is of course very necessary. If these are statements he made months ago, then he has changed his tune, which is a good sign that means he listens to feedback.

Ricardo Franco hardly appears to be the progressive hero he is being made out to be. Of the 3 candidates, he seems to me to be the most business friendly. He is pro-logging, pro-water storage for farmers (and “balancing” with the environment, whatever that means) and most disturbingly thinks that Medicare does not have to be run by the state! Wtf does that even mean? If it’s privatized then it’s the same crap we have with Obamacare. He is no doubt massively better than Nunes and I will vote for him if he ends up being the Democratic candidate, but he is my least favorite of the three running.

Bobby Bliatout, whom you have completely ignored in this blog, is probably the most progressive of the Democratics running for CA 22. I would advise you to read up on him and maybe speak with him in person: It’s doubtful he could win a congressional seat at this point in his career, but keep an eye on him. He has a promising future.

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janz is changing his spots as frequently as necessary. Started with a declaration that Blue Dog Jim Costa was his role model. Dropped that position when challenged. He wants to be the law enforcement candidate. All I hear him say is he is not Nunes...never what he really stands for. Ricardo has clearly stated he supports Medicare for All, and Free Higher Education. Bliatout is certainly the most progressive and should be considered if the Democrats want left leaning non-Dem voters to support them. Dems cannot win this seat with only Dem voters...who are usually lazy no-shows


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