Monday, January 15, 2018

Hoyer Admits Trying To Rig A Colorado Congressional Race For The Corrupt Conservative Candidate


DCCC incompetence has kept CO-06 in Republican hands for years after the district turned blue. And it's almost as though Steny Hoyer and Ben Ray Lujan are working to keep up their unlikely record of failure. Obama won the district-- the suburbs south and east of Denver (including Aurora, Littleton and Centennial-- in 2008 with 54% and in 2012 with 52%. In 2016 Hillary beat Trump 50.2% to 41.3%. and the PVI went from D+1 in 2015 to D+2 now. In 2016 Bernie won the district and beat Hillary in all 3 counties (Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams). Even though Democratic voters in the district expressed that they were not interested in another status quo establishment candidate, last week, the DCCC interfered in the district primary by endorsing a more-of-the-same corrupt conservative New Dem, Jason Crow (who isn't from the district), over the grassroots progressive in the race, Levi Tillemann, and then going a step further by meeting with Levi and trying to bully him into dropping out.

First a little about Crow, from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party who was recruited by the DCCC. As I've explained before, Steny Hoyer and Ben Ray Luján have taken great pains to present their puppet candidate as a veteran and a family guy. He has no real issues page on his website, of course-- just a lot of identity politics bullshit and superficial platitudes galore. Crow's a lawyer in Denver who spent his career rigging the system against the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and the forgotten. The DCCC will never let on that they are completely aware that he profited by making sure that there’s one type of "justice" for rich, white, well-connected men, and no justice at all for those they harm. For years, Crow’s marketing bio described him as an expert in everything from protecting abusive private medical groups and con men guilty of wire fraud to making sure bankers guilty of securities fraud and insider trading and business owners who bribed foreign governments got off the hook. He got rich by siding with the big guys and against the little guys and by defending payday lenders from justice-- again and again and again, systematically and with a sense of purpose. The DCCC looks at that and sees only the capacity for self-funding and low ethics-- their top two requirements for recruitment. Suddenly, with a little of that DCCC magic that has caused the Democratic Party to lose dozens and dozens of seats over the past decade-- including CO-06-- the guy is Captain America (and also Mother Teresa).

On the DCCC's Red-to-Blue endorsement page-- all shit right-of-center candidates-- they describe Crow as having "a stellar record of service. The son of small business owners [a laugh since his father had a private wealth management firm], Jason worked minimum-wage jobs during high school, enlisted in the National Guard, and worked construction to help pay his way through college. After the horrific 9/11 attacks, he served as a paratrooper in the invasion of Iraq where he earned a Bronze Star. Jason then served two combat tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Now he’s an attorney and veterans advocate." He's one of their very worst this cycle. Hoyer and Luján are helping him raise money and telling institutional donors and bu Democratic contributors to not give any money to Tillemann, the typical DCCC trick which then allows them to claim the candidates they don't back aren't "serious contenders."

I've been fighting with Hoyer about this for over a decade and I found this post I did from November 2006 after he asked me to interview him. It's a hoot. After the DCCC backed Crow last November, Tillemann slammed them for getting involved with one Democratic candidate while giving a cold shoulder to the others.
Levi Tillemann, a clean energy expert and former Obama administration official, said the results of last week’s election-- including sweeping wins by Democrats in swing states and in longstanding Republican-held districts across the country-- make it clear that voters in Colorado’s 6th District are ready to elect a Democrat, something they’ve never done.

“You saw a slate of progressive school board members and a number of strong, progressive city council members elected,” Tillemann told Colorado Politics, referring to election results in Aurora and Douglas County-- both parts of the 6th District. “This is a red-to-blue district, it’s been a red-to-blue district. The question is how we can actually flip the 6th in 2018.

“Let’s be honest. The DNC has put its finger on the scale before voters even have had a chance to meet the candidates. We’ve seen what happened when the DNC gets involved in primaries, and it’s not pretty. I’d suggest they let the Democrats vote rather than seeking to inflict their will on the voters of Colorado.”

While the DCCC insists it maintains strict neutrality in races with contested primaries-- “provid[ing] support to all Democratic House candidates willing to have open lines of communication and work collaboratively with the Committee,” a spokesperson said in a statement-- skeptics made hay when it turned out that leadership PACs run by Luján and Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Democrats’ No. 2 leader, both donated to Crow’s campaign earlier this year but not to his primary opponents.
Yesterday ColoradoPolitics updated a post from last week about Hoyer's attempt to bully Tillemann out of the race, something I've seen him do dozens of times all over the country, always to help corrupt conservative candidates against progressives. He's real piece of shit. It's because of scumbags like Hoyer that the Democrats will never be anything more than the lesser of two evils in a corrupt political system. The sooner he's gone from Congress the better. He's 78; keep your fingers crossed.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in House leadership, encouraged Democrat Levi Tillemann to end his primary campaign in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District during a December meeting at a Denver hotel, saying that state and national congressional and party leaders had decided “very early on” to consolidate their resources behind another Democrat, Jason Crow, to run against Republican incumbent Mike Coffman, according to detailed notes Tillemann wrote immediately after the meeting.

Hoyer told Tillemann that party leaders who had been through a few go-arounds in the district-- one of the top-targeted and most expensive congressional races in the country the past two cycles-- would be “negligent” if they didn’t get involved, adding, “If we just lay back as leaders that have some experience, as leaders that have gone thorough that district four or five times and lost, that’s not a rational thing to do,” according to the notes and a conversation Tillemann had with his campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, minutes after the meeting ended.

“If you stay in the race-- and, frankly I would hope you would not-- but if you stay in the race, it is not useful to the objective to tear down Crow,” Hoyer told Tillemann, according to the notes.

Hoyer doesn’t comment on private meetings, a spokeswoman told Colorado Politics, but the veteran lawmaker said in a statement he was proud to support Crow.

...Hoyer’s support for Crow, one of four Democrats running in a primary in the district, has been public since his leadership PAC made campaign contributions to Crow last year. But his explanation that party bosses consider Tillemann a spoiler and are leaning on him to stand down, in part because the party’s state delegation recruited Crow-- and recommended that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee support him-- directly contradicts the DCCC’s repeated insistence it’s staying neutral in the battleground race.

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, Colorado’s Democratic House members, disputed the account through spokespersons. While Perlmutter acknowledged he supports Crow-- he’s known Crow and worked with him for a decade on veterans’ issues-- all three lawmakers denied they had a hand in recruiting Crow and maintained there had been no decision by the delegation to marshal resources in support of his campaign.

A spokeswoman for the DCCC declined to comment for this story.

The DCCC, the campaign arm of the House Democrats, in mid-November listed Crow among 11 congressional candidates named to its Red to Blue program to provide fundraising and organizational support. The announcement drew protests on social media from Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll, Coffman’s 2016 challenger and a DCCC Red to Blue candidate in that year’s election, who said the move amounted to an endorsement. It was, she said, contrary to both what DCCC officials had told her to expect and the organization’s stated policy of neutrality.

“The DCCC verbally said they would be neutral and in practice just endorsed one of the candidates in CD6,” Carroll wrote in a Nov. 16 Facebook comment reacting to news Crow had receivd the DCCC’s designation. “The neutrality policy is ours at the Colorado Democratic Party but it SHOULD be their policy too at the national level. My 2 cents.”

...Tillemann and Rodriguez told Colorado Politics that Hoyer’s exhortation, and the extraordinarily candid explanation that accompanied it, suggest Democratic party leaders haven’t learned from the scandals that rocked the party during and after the 2016 presidential contest, when accusations emerged that the party tilted the nomination toward Hillary Clinton and away from Bernie Sanders.

“It’s about the DCCC not trusting the judgment of their own people, not trusting the efforts of local party officials who have worked assiduously to make sure it’s a fair fight,” Tillemann said in an interview.

“It’s about a systemic effort to disenfranchise Democratic voters. The DCCC is acting like these contests are fair fights, and they’re not. It’s happening all across the country, and it’s at odds with our fundamental values of fairness and democracy. It’s a form of voter suppression, and it’s something we would condemn in the strongest terms if we saw the Republicans doing anything analogous.”

Rodriguez, who worked on the Sanders campaign in Nevada and Colorado, said he was appalled but not surprised.

“The DCCC is deciding months before the primary who’s going to be the nominee, who they’re going to back and who they’re going to try to force out. It comes down to who has the willingness to do what they tell them to do,” he said.

...Rodriguez said his description of Tillemann’s meeting with Hoyer was based on a discussion with Tillemann that took place almost as soon as the meeting had concluded, along with his review of notes the candidate took right after it had occurred, which was also Rodriguez’ first day on the job. He said Tillemann, author of the book The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future and a journalist with credits in the New Yorker, among other publications, wrote an extensive and detailed narration of the meeting, including numerous direct quotes.

Hoyer had proposed that the two sit down late on the afternoon of Dec. 15 at the downtown Denver hotel where Hoyer would be attending a Crow fundraiser later that evening.

They met for more than an hour in a roped-off section of the lobby of the Hilton Denver Downtown, a regular site of Democratic events and fundraisers-- the 2017 state reorganization meeting and annual fundraising dinner were held there, as will be next month’s Obama Dinner. First they engaged in what Tillemann characterized as a pleasant talk, for a time discussing their shared acquaintance with Tillemann’s grandfather, the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a Bay Area Democrat who entered Congress in 1981, the same year Hoyer was first elected.

Soon, however, the conversation took a turn.

Hoyer told Tillemann he hadn’t known he was planning on getting in the race and added that it wasn’t personal, but maintained that “very early on” a decision had been made by congressional leaders in Colorado and people in Washington, D.C., that Crow was the candidate they were going to run against Coffman, and they had decided to consolidate their money, resources and political capital around Crow.

He repeated the assertion several times that the decision to back Crow had been made “very early on” and said that party elders would be “negligent” if they didn’t get involved in the race.

An incredulous Tillemann asked if that meant Democratic leaders had made their decision before voters would have a say and if that meant they’d decided the DCCC knows best.

“That’s certainly the consequence of our decision,” Hoyer replied, adding, “A judgment was made very early on by the Colorado delegation, and that decision redounds to your detriment.”

Pressing, Tillemann asked whether Democrats shouldn’t have a say in the caucus and assembly process, to which Hoyer said, “They’ll make a choice of one candidate over the other in the primary, but the choice they will make that will make a consequence to the Congress of the United States is in the general (election).”

At another point, Hoyer agreed with Levi’s characterization of Hoyer’s position to mean voters should just line up behind the party’s candidate.

“That’s certainly the consequence of our decision,” Hoyer said, admonishing Tillemann for putting “it in the most negative of terms.” He suggested Tillemann was “reject[ing] out of hand” the responsibility of “the party and the DCCC and the leadership of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives” to do their best to win the seat, which could help hand the gavel to Democrats after the 2018 election.

Then Hoyer stated in no uncertain terms: “I’m for Crow. Because a judgement was made very early on. I don’t know Crow. I didn’t participate in the decision. But a decision was made very early on by the Colorado delegation.”

Soon after, a Hoyer staffer interrupted to say the congressman had to wrap things up.

Tillemann said he appreciated Hoyer’s time and respected his service to the country but disagreed with the approach Hoyer had articulated and would be in touch. Hoyer closed the meeting by asking Tillemann to call his office to discuss Tillemann’s allegation that his campaign was facing attacks from Democrats like Hoyer had said could damage the party’s prospects in the fall election.

Tillemann told Colorado Politics the exchange with Hoyer confirmed his worst qualms about the Democratic Party.

“Our system is committed to the idea that primaries are an important step within the process during which party voters have a say as to which candidate represents their values, their community and their vision for the future,” he said. “What we see not only in the 6th Congressional District but across the country is a proactive and systematic effort by backroom politicians to circumvent the democratic process. That is not democracy, that is paternalism. That is what turns people off from the entire political process.”

Tillemann added that Hoyer’s message, while unexpectedly explicit, wasn’t a surprise.

“We had the sense the DCCC was trying to rig the primary,” he said. After meeting with DCCC officials early last year, Tillemann said he felt frustrated, so his campaign reached out to other Democrats in Washington but ran into cold shoulders there too.

“We don’t want favoritism; all we want is a fair fight,” he said. “We couldn’t get past a receptionist. What we requested was that the DCCC stop jumping on the scales and that they give all candidates within that primary process a fair shot.”

Through a spokeswoman, DCCC officials confirmed they met with Tillemann multiple times.

It isn’t just an insiders’ game, he continued, but an attempt to “drag us toward the center” when the Democratic establishment supports more conservative candidates regardless of the district-- even when the chances of electing Democrats appears higher this year than in memory, as evidenced by results late last year in Virginia, Alabama and across Colorado in local elections.

“What we see is a systemic set of forces that is driving the Democratic Party toward a conservative bias, candidates who are cookie-cutter and uninspiring chosen by party apparatchiks,” Tilleman said.

“This is what I call trickle down democracy. They’re doing the exact same thing we criticize Republicans for in the economic sphere. They are drowning out the voices of voters with money and backroom deal-making. It doesn’t work when you give all the resources to someone at the top in an economy, and it doesn’t produce the best results for your constituents when you give all the resources to a favored candidate in an election in Democratic primaries.”
Hoyer is a slimy character, even by DC standards, 100% owned by the K Street lobbyists. I remember when he used this bullying tactic to win right-wing Republican sex maniac Tim Mahoney a Florida congressional seat. Mahoney was a wretched Blue Dog pretending to be a Democrat and served one term after Hoyer got him the seat and was then driven from office for a series of sex escapades. Hoyer tried the same tactic to drive now-Congressman Matt Cartwright out of his first race against corrupt Hoyer crony Tim Holden. Despite Hoyer's efforts, Pennsylvania Democrats helped Cartwright bury Holden-- along with his disgraceful political career. As long as creatures like Hoyer are crawling around Washington, our country's politics will be something decent people will be hard-pressed to stomach.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 6:35 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

It's an ongoing pattern with the DCCC for years follow the donors & their bribery money what you see is what you get with Steny Hoyer Ben Ray Luján & others.

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times do we have to go around this endless loop? The call goes out for real humans to rise up and run as Democrats, and there is a response, often a good one. Then the DINO-Whigs who control the Party step in and squelch the effort and jam in one of their corrupt cronies to actually BE the candidate.

There have been several such stories posted here. When does it sink in that expecting to reform the Party from within is a fool's errand?

Look at the Tea Baggers. While they are now completely contained in the Republican Party, their effort began as an outside movement. They ran against Republicans and won seats. They now dominate the GOP. Would that have happened had they "reformed the Party from within"? I say no. They only gained traction by showing that they could siphon off traditional Republican support.

It is thus with the DINO-Whigs. True Democratic policies are very popular with the people, and the people will flock to candidates to present them as their platform (see: Sanders, Bernie). My point would have been made if Bernie had walked out of the Coronation will his followers. Instead, he weakened his support by staying and being co-opted by HER! while too many of his followers instead went for Trump. This is the reason Bernie isn't being covered much by the media anymore. He's irrelevant.

But go ahead and keep promoting changing the Party from within while you continue to present stories which report that particular plan doesn't work. Gillens and Page revealed it really doesn't matter anyway - and neither do We the People.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger CorbanTD said...

Thanks! Donated to Levi's campaign. We can at least do our part to make it harder for Hoyer and his ilk to rig this thing.

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

&:13, I'm growing annoyed with you. You regularly beat me to the punch, and you say it more eloquently than I do.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No worries, 5:37. It just means that we aren't alone in this contest.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:13 do you ever wonder why there always seems to be so much more energy to make the worse party even WORSER, while there is never even a tiny fraction as much energy to make the less worse party BETTER?

If the tea-baggers could form, more or less organically (yeah, I know... the kochs), why can't a truly left sub-party form to drag the democraps a little bit to the actual left?

Is it the same stupidity that is pandemic among americans? Tea-bagging was a reaction among the dumbest people in the nation. Is stupidity the same reason that those who don't hate/fear can't seem to coalesce?

I'm kind of wondering if I should retain the last atomic shred of hope for my grand-childrens' futures... or not.


Post a Comment

<< Home