Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Can The DCCC Mess Up The November Election? That Is, After All, Their Expertise


Kyle Layman, the worst DCCC staffer says the DCCC doesn't care about TX-07 at all and the only reason they savagely attacked Laura Moser was to send a message to Orange Co. Dems that they're going to get the same treatment

More catastrophic midterm indications for the GOP yesterday as Democrats flipped 2 more Republican state legislative seats-- one in Connecticut and one in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, Democrat Phil Spagnuolo beat Republican Les Cartier in a special election in Belknap Co. District 3, 968-841 (54%-46%). State Rep. Donald Flanders (R) had died in September. Trump beat Hillary there 54-41%. That represents another swing of over 20 points. In Connecticut Democrat Phil Young beat Republican Bill Cabral in Connecticut's state House District 120-- a seat the GOP has controlled for 40 years-- after Republican Laura Hoydick resigned to become mayor of Stratford. (Hillary had won the district narrowly.) Meanwhile, a new CNN/SRSS poll finds Democrats leading Republicans in the generic congressional ballot by a large margin, 54% to 38%.

There are a couple of important, related factors here. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more enthusiastic about voting in November (51%) than Republicans and Republican-leaners (41%). This enthusiasm gap has been apparent in the shocking Democratic wins in red legislative seats since Putin put Trump into the White House. Independents are sick of Trump and sick of Republican leadership in Congress. That isn't going to help Democratic candidates in deep red districts where Republicans don't need independents to win. Here are a dozen hopeless Republican districts where the average IQ is far below normal and the vast majority of voters are addicted to Fox and Hate Talk Radio. These districts are drawn to guarantee Republican victories and they are all be beyond contesting:
AL-04 (Robert Aderholt)
AZ-04 (Paul Gosar)
FL-01 (Matt Gaetz)
GA-09 (Doug Collins)
GA-14 (Tom Graves)
KY-05 (Harold Rogers)
MO-08 (Jason Smith)
OK-03 (Frank Lucas)
TN-01 (Phil Roe)
TX-13 (Mac Thornberry)
UT-01 (Rob Bishop)
WY-AL (Liz Cheney)
These are safe seats. Not one of them gave Hillary 30% of the vote-- and in most of them her vote was in the teens and low twenties. But the good news is that there aren't many more like these. Most Republicans can't win without support from independent voters. And most independent voters-- especially those outside of the old slaveholding states-- are not interested in voting for Republicans this year. Focus group data that tested independent voters who supported Trump in 2016 are shocking. These voters have already made up their minds. They will not vote for a Republican in November and they are no longer hearing GOP messaging.
The poll also suggests that the issues on which Republicans have largely pinned their electoral hopes-- the economy, taxes and immigration-- are carrying less weight with voters than are health care and gun policy-- two issues where the Democrats typically have stronger backing from the public overall.

Health care and gun policy are deemed deeply important by about half of voters (53% and 49%, respectively, call them extremely important), while about four in 10 say they are as motivated by the economy (43%) and immigration (38%). Sexual harassment is a sharp motivator for 36% of voters. Taxes, an issue Republicans have said will move voters as they realize the benefits of the tax changes passed last year, is extremely important for 35%. The investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election rounds out the list, with just about a quarter (26%) calling that extremely important to their vote.
A significant plurality of voters are telling pollsters they will not vote for anyone who takes money from the NRA. [NOTE: the clueless DCCC operatives have dug their heals in on right-wing recruits who have been supported by the NRA-- Jeff Van Drew, Anthony Brindisi and Ann Kirkpatrick for example-- and refuse to cut this dead weight loose.] Do candidates matter? Yes... less than in a non-wave election, but they still matter. And the DCCC specializes in finding teh worst candidates possible, conservatives like the people in power at the DCCC. So far, with just a few exceptions, almost all of their endorsed candidates are shitty New Dems and shittier Blue Dogs.

Dave Dayen was down in San Diego over the weekend for the California Democratic Party convention. The biggest news was how progress state Senate President Kevin De León, an unabashed progressive, outpolled conservative Dianne Feinstein in the party nomination process. But, as Dayen reported for The Intercept yesterday, in some of the congressional races, conservatives triumphed over progressives in the battle for the party nomination. He focused on Orange County sleaze bag and New Dem, Dave Min, one of the very worst Democratic candidates running anywhere in California. Min used to work for Schumer when Schumer was selling out the country to Wall Street. In fact, Wall Street was Min's bailiwick in Schumer's office, which helps explain why he's a New Dem, the Wall Street owned and operated caucus. His top opponent in an Elizabeth Warren Democrat, Katie Porter-- you can contribute to her campaign here-- is a full-fledged progressive and nothing like Min. She's also the Democrats' best hope to beat GOP incumbent Mimi Walters.

Under state party rules, candidates who get more than 60 percent of the vote of delegates in the district at the endorsing caucus win the endorsement, which entitles them to a spot on party slate mailers and, potentially, fundraising support. Indeed, the state party endorsement can make a decided difference in races for House seats with low-turnout primaries. A 2012 study from UC San Diego found that the party endorsement in downballot campaigns increased the candidate’s vote total by about 10 percent.

Min got 30 of the 50 votes cast at the caucus-- exactly 60 percent-- but just barely. One delegate who supported a different candidate showed up five minutes late to the caucus; if he were on time, the endorsement wouldn’t have gone through.

Because of that narrow margin, Min’s challengers had a second option. If a candidate gets between 60 and 66 percent at the endorsing caucus, the rivals can gather 300 signatures to force a fight on the floor of the convention to pull the endorsement. UC Irvine professor and foreclosure fraud expert Katie Porter, former Sherrod Brown aide Kia Hamadanchy, and Obama administration science and technology official Brian Forde decided to do so.

The signature-gathering process, done late at night while delegates partied in hospitality suites at the San Diego Convention Center, was marred by accusations of Min staffers interfering with their opponents. An Asian Pacific Islander caucus supporting Min told delegates not to sign petitions “to overturn the will of local delegates.” Hamadanchy claimed that his sister, collecting signatures on his behalf, was screamed at by Min and shoved by staffers. Videos of Min campaign staffers sprinting with signature gatherers appeared online; the Min campaign said they were merely trying to clear up “false information” being presented to delegates. Another video charged that Min was “intimidating” female Porter staff members. The video, which includes Porter’s field director, appears to begin after any alleged intimidation started, but Min can be seen telling staffers to “make sure she doesn’t get signatures.”

The videos don’t exactly confirm intimidation, and the highly charged environment and tight deadlines of petition gathering can lead to misunderstandings. Sources inside the Min campaign even report that their volunteers were being harassed, and that opposing volunteers tried to capture their people in moments that might make them look bad. “Volunteers were there to make their case for the petition to be presented to delegates accurately,” said Min campaign manager Paige Hutchinson. “The paid staff of our opponents were deliberately stirring up controversy.” Hutchinson cited several petitions that were thrown out because they did not include proper information.

Whatever happened, it didn’t stop the successful signature gathering, and the fight moved to the floor of the convention. Supporters and opponents of Min each offered up three speakers for one minute to state their case, and here fissures between the ideological wings of the party emerged.

“It’s not just about electing any Democrat, it’s about electing a Democrat who will act like a Democrat,” said Porter in her speech. “My opponent in this race is endorsed by the New Democrat coalition, the former Blue Dog caucus.” Indeed, the New Dem PAC has put Min on its “candidate watch list.” Porter has been endorsed by Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.

Opponents have also criticized Min for trying to have it both ways on single payer health care. Min consistently says he’s “fighting for universal health care,” which is not exactly the same thing. Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., was seen pulling delegates out of the convention hall during the endorsement caucus to make the case for Min. He said that while he had not endorsed in the race, running on more conservative ideas would have the best chance of success in the district.
This is a false line pushed by the DCCC and conservative Democrats. Takano is a progressive, a progressive who is always trying to elect Asian-Americans to Congress even if they're more conservative than other candidates-- and more conservative than he is. I guess it's politically incorrect to call it reverse racism but I've seen Takano at it before and Min has been sneaking around DC telling Asian friends of mine that I'm an anti-Asian racist... friends who have immediately called me to tell me what a scumbag he is. Back to Dayen:
“Dave is not the candidate who is furthest to the left,” said Paige Hutchinson, Min’s campaign manager. “Do we think that better represents the district? Yes. No Democrat has won here. It’s a conservative district that’s rapidly changing, but people here care a lot about their taxes, and single payer would be a tremendous tax increase.”

Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents California’s 17th District, rebutted that theory in an email released by the PCCC today. “Democrats don’t have to sacrifice progressive values to win this district,” Khanna wrote. “In fact, what we have seen over and over again is that Democratic performance improves when we give voters something inspiring to come out and vote for. Katie is the most reliable leader on progressive issues we care about.”

The DCCC, often criticized for blocking more progressive candidates, has identified California’s 45th District as a “majority maker” seat, but has not gotten involved in choosing sides in the race, according to Porter. “We’ve had the freedom on the ground to run our race and deliver our message,” she said in an interview.

Orange County Democratic Party Chair Fran Sdao and popular State Controller Betty Yee spoke on Min’s behalf; both stressed unity and listening to local leaders. Delegates from across the state, who had little information about one Orange County House race, then had to vote on whether to pull Min from the endorsement calendar. Historically those delegates are reluctant to get involved in a local matter. State Party Chair Eric Bauman called a voice vote and determined that Min won, keeping his name on the endorsement calendar. No roll call vote of the 3,000 delegates was taken.
Dayen wonders why the party gets involved so early to pick winners and losers, rather than leaving it to the voters. Maybe because they want to make sure no progressives get elected. I just read that a really detestable former congressman, Blue Dog Joe Baca, is trying for another comeback. If the DCCC was sane, they would put a lot of effort into keeping him from winning.

Baca is a 70-something year old corrupt conservative who represented part of the Inland Empire from 1999-2013 when he lost to another Democrat, state Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, primarily because of his fealty to the NRA. He tried again 2 years later but came in just fifth in the primary with 11.2%. Then he ran for mayor of Fontana and got wiped out. In 2015 he joined the Republican Party-- which is where he and the rest of the Blue Dogs belong anyway-- and ran for his old seat as a Republican. In the jungle primary he came in third (with 12.4%) after incumbent Democrat Pete Aguilar (43.1%) and Republican Paul Chabot (22.7%). Now he's switching back to calling himself a Democrat and running against Norma Torres in CA-31, a New Dem. I feel sorry for that district which is bright blue (D+8) and deserves a decent member of Congress.

And while we're on the DCCC, Zaid Jilani had a killer post up at The Intercept yesterday, DCCC Internal Polling Presented To Members Of Congress Panned Single-Payer Healthcare. The DCCC "made clear where the party wants its candidates to stand when it comes to health care reform: preferably nowhere, but certainly not with single-payer advocates." If you look at the list of DCCC endorsed candidates, most of them are against single-payer. And Daniel Marans, writing for HuffPo did something of a companion piece, DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting. The always clueless, never tuned in DCCC "said Democrats should focus on offering thoughts and prayers." The DCCC needs to be put out of its misery. They are the reason why the Republicans control Congress-- not gerrymandering... Rahm Emanuel, Chris Van Hollen, Steve Israel, Ben Gay Lujan and, more than anyone, Nancy Pelosi.

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At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Pelosi ain't going nowhere. So her acolytes like lujan and rahm ain't going nowhere.

yet you still think a few BA candidates that might sneak past the DCCC can reform... no, check that; REVERSE the party?

come on... wake the fuck up.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling him Ben Gay Lujan, you guys are a hilarious fucking bunch of hucksters.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

He is a closet case-- not a very hidden one wither-- but you know that horrible spell check app

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS is the Party some insist needs to be reclaimed from within? Do please try! I have a TON of popcorn to consume while watching you try.


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