Friday, February 23, 2018

DCCC Comes Out Of The Closet As The Progressive-Hating Attack Machine It's Been For Over A Decade


Jason Westin: Above the ugly DCCC fray in Houston
It isn't hard to figure out why I'd be attracted to Jonathan Tilove's headline in the Austin American-Statesman a few days ago... Nancy Pelosi’s 'cold-blooded' warning to Democratic primary voters: 'If the person who can’t win, wins, it’s not a priority race for us anymore.'. That's old DCCC standard operating procedure: if their corrupt conservative candidate doesn't win the primary, the DCCC abandons the district to the Republicans. Ever since Pelosi took control of the DCCC, that's how it's been run. She never admits it though. So why did she in Texas? Senility?

Tilove didn't understand what she was even doing in his office sitting around for an interminable interview. "She had done public events in Houston over the weekend, and had another, later in the day Monday, in San Antonio. In Austin," he wrote, "it was just private meetings, and this interview. They talked about TX-21, the open Austin/San Antonio district where a wealthy Republican, Joseph Kopser, is pretending-- a little-- to be a Democrat during the primary so that he can beat progressive stalwart Derrick Crowe. The establishment-- par for the corse-- favors Kopser. Tilove had written that story a couple weeks ago. At the time, he had written that "The race for the party’s nomination in the 21st Congressional District has emerged as a microcosm of the sharp division among Democrats across the nation in how to respond to Trump-- do they nominate a candidate like Joseph Kopser, a former Army Ranger turned tech entrepreneur who the smart party money says can appeal to folks in the middle who rarely if ever vote Democratic but are offended by Trump, or go with a candidate who taps the outraged passions on the left, like Derrick Crowe, Elliott McFadden or Mary Wilson?"

Pelosi explained the DCCC theory of the battle for control of the House:
[I]f you’re an incumbent and you’re a chairman, and your votes have been terrible this last year you go home and masquerade as some kind of a moderate but you’ve been up here enabling nothing to come up on guns, nothing to come up on immigration, all these terrible things, well you’re thinking, “I’ve had a nice career, I’m respected in my community, nobody knows how I’ve voted, but they’re going to tell them in this election and I’m going to have to spend a lot of money to win, and I’m probably going to be in the minority, I think I’ll teach in the university.

So they get the retirements. We get the A-plus recruits. And so 36 of them, I think, maybe it’s changed since this morning, around 36 of them have said they are not running, 7 or 8 of them are committee chairman who are not running. So they see the handwriting on the wall.

... [I]t’s not even a recruitment because so many of these people self-recruited-- veterans, academics elected officials, private sector people, so many people coming forward. Forty-five happens to be one of our best recruiters. I have never in my whole political life seen anything like the energy at he grassroots level. You saw that at the march and that was organic, it wasn’t political, they did it and now they’re showing how they want to participate And this past year, all of those people helped us fend off the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, we couldn’t defeat the tax bill, but we won the argument so far.

So we have something like a hundred races, a hundred races, far too many, that are better than any of those special elections, because those special elections were in Republican districts, where hates those Cabinet officers, or Murphy had to resign, right away, your computers turned off, get out of the building kind of resign.

...So, out of that hundred, we have to reduce that down about two-thirds of that to get down to the 24 we need, perhaps 30, 35, you know I’d like to have more than the 24. Right now, today  we could do that. But 100 is too much. In other words, we’d rather double down and win than spread too thinly and lose by a little.

The value of that is, say you’re a slacker, you’re not the candidate we need you to be, you say, “Sunday’s I always play golf.”

“Oh really, not on our time.”

And then we say, we have other places we can go.

So many women candidates.

So candidates know, this is almost like a competition. They have to do their share. This isn’t an entitlement program. We need people to run, oh you’re good, you look good for the district here’s the money, No, they have to work. How do you connect with your constituents. That’s the most important thing. First of all, it’s you would win, but even before that, chronologically, show you are going to represent them. How are you going know them, how are they going to know you.

We have  a great (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) chairman, Ben Ray Luján, who is from New Mexico, very talented, very respected by the members.
She's completely delusional... living in her own fantasy world. She got one thing right: Luján is from New Mexico. But he is not "very talented"-- he's the opposite of that-- and he is not "very respected by the members." Many of them think he's an idiot.

Back to her endless babbling to the poor reporter in Austin: "Forgive me for using this word,  you have to be very cold-blooded about how you make these decisions about the races because everybody’s so great, but one in five children lives in poverty in America and we have to have our best fighters go out there to win.So today we would win. Texas is really  important to us. We have always invested in Texas because Texas will make the difference as to what the future of our country is. Imagine Texas just turning purple even. Wow. We’re one of the few national committees that actually does invest in Texas because we have prospects, and we believe in turning Texas blue, purple, whatever the color."

She's crazy as a loon. The House Democrats elected Jared Polis DCCC Regional Vice Chair for the area that includes Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. He ignored his duties 100% and then decided to run for governor of Colorado. He resigned as regional vice chair. Luján, Pelosi and Hoyer decided to ignore pleas to replace him immediately from people who really did think Texas is key to the 2018 midterms. They refused. It's been over a year and it's the only region without a vice chair. It allows the notoriously corrupt DCCC staff to run wild. And it allowed Luján, Pelosi and Hoyer to handle the area directly. Here's what that means to Hoyer, for example.
PELOSI: We have five races.

(The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted five seats in Texas, now held by Republicans, that it would like to flip. In addition to Smith’s seat in the 21st, they are John Culberson’s seat in the 7th CD, Will Hurd’s seat in the 23rd, Pete Sessions’ seat in the 32nd, and, most recently, John Carter’s seat in the 31st.)

I’ll talk to you  after the primary or the runoff. We think we have a couple of prospects in the Houston area, one in  Dallas, in the Valley. I have a little broader list than the cold-blooded list of the committee, so I’m still hopeful of a little more.

Pelosi is handed a binder by Aguilar, the aide, who executive director of Nancy Pelosi for Congress, with a list of the races and the Democratic candidates competing in each.

So they’re all multi-candidates. So we’ll see. this is about the choice of the people in those districts about who they want.

Could she identify the preferred candidates?

PELOSI: I wouldn’t think of doing that.

There are candidates who match the districts.

...How can I say this in a nice way? We have to be cold-blooded in what we do. In other words, if the wrong person wins-- well nobody’s wrong-- but if the person who can’t win, wins, it’s not a priority race for us anymore, because we’ve got 100 races.

For the Democratic aspirants in the Texas 7, 21, 23, 24, 31 and 32, the March 6 primary is the time to show and prove.

...Show us your strength or your weakness in a race.

Now people have their own enthusiasm, their own enthusiasm that they bring to it and they might be able to created something.

I hope for a wave, but I believe you make your wave. You make your wave.

Since it’s the Olympics, this is what I tell them. In one second, you’re gold, silver, bronze or nothing. These races are tough. They are tight, you win by 300 votes, 1,000 votes, this isn’t like, I’m riding a wave here and it’s just a question of hail fellow well met, combed hair. You have to go door to door to door to door, over and over again so people see what’s in your heart your sincerity, Authenticity is bigger than any amount of intellectual prowess, because people think you can buy that anyway. You can hire that. But conviction, courage, that’s who you are.

It’s always that way but even mores this year because of our friend in the White House, the great organizer.
Her theory behind the races exploded yesterday in Houston when the DCCC did something publicly that it usually only-- and always-- does behind the scenes where no one can watch. It viciously attacked a progressive candidate, Laura Moser, to benefit an establishment corporate shill in the primary. And DCCC appendage, EMILY's List, joined, albeit to benefit it's own establishment corporate shill. [Note: Blue America isn't backing any of these candidates. Our candidate is the other progressive, award-winning cancer researcher and doctor, Jason Westin.] But what the DCCC and EMILY's List are doing to Laura is a story that must be told.

Let's start by going right to the source, Ben Ray Luján, who the delusional Pelosi says is "from New Mexico, very talented, very respected by the members." She forgot to mention "very bloodthirsty" when it comes to progressives. Right on the DCCC website... ammo for the Republicans if TX-07 voters decide to nominate Moser:
Democratic voters need to hear that Laura Moser is not going to change Washington. She is a Washington insider, who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress. In fact, she wrote in the Washingtonian magazine, “I’d rather have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia” than live in Texas. As of January 2018, she claimed Washington, DC to be her primary residence in order to get a tax break. And she has paid her husband’s Washington, DC political consulting firm over $50,000 from campaign contributions; meaning 1 of every 6 dollars raised has gone to her husband’s DC company.


Moser just moved to Texas from Washington, DC. (BACKUP)

In a November 2014 article, Moser said she’d rather have her “teeth pulled without anesthesia” than live in Texas. (BACKUP)

As of January 2018, Moser was still receiving the DC Homestead Exemption on her property in Washington, DC. (BACKUP)

In 2017, Moser paid over $50,000 in campaign money to her husband’s DC consulting firm. More than 1 of every 6 dollars spent by her campaign went straight into her husband’s DC company’s bank account. (BACKUP)
No one has ever seen the DCCC go after a legitimate Democratic primary candidate so viciously in such a public way before. And Ryan Grim pointed out how the despicable EMILY's List piled on immediately.
EMILY's List is dumping big money into an upcoming Democratic primary in Texas’s 7th Congressional District, pitting the women’s group against a pro-choice woman who was, in the months after the election of Donald Trump, a face of the resistance.

Laura Moser, as creator of the popular text-messaging program Daily Action, gave hundreds of thousands of despondent progressives a single political action to take each day. Her project was emblematic of the new energy forming around the movement against Trump, led primarily by women and often by moms. (Moser is both.)

It was those types of activists EMILY’s List spent 2017 encouraging to make first-time bids for office. But that doesn’t mean EMILY’s List will get behind them. Also running is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a corporate lawyer who is backed by Houston mega-donor Sherry Merfish. EMILY’s List endorsed her in November.

The 7th District includes parts of Houston and its wealthy western suburbs, and Merfish and her husband, Gerald Merfish, are among the city’s leading philanthropists. Gerald Merfish owns and runs a steel pipe company in the oil-rich region and Sherry Merfish, who worked for decades for EMILY’s List, is a major donor to the Democratic Party and to EMILY’s List.

...The Houston district is one of scores where crosscurrents of the Democratic Party are colliding. Democrats, who in the past have had difficulty fielding a single credible candidate even in winnable districts, have at least four serious contenders in the race to replace Republican John Culberson. Moser, who has more than 10,000 donors — more than 90 percent of whom are small givers — and cancer researcher Jason Westin make up the progressive flank, while Fletcher and Alex Triantaphyllis are running more moderate campaigns. Triantaphyllis, a former Goldman Sachs analyst who doesn’t live in the district, has the backing of some establishment elements of the party.

“Alex T has been open about being the chosen candidate of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee],” said Daniel Cohen, president of Indivisible Houston, who is not endorsing any particular candidate. (The DCCC has not officially endorsed a candidate in the primary, though its support can come in less public ways.)

...With both Fletcher and Moser battling for a spot in the two-person runoff, and Westin surging in the race, EMILY’s List’s endorsement of Fletcher could end up having the paradoxical effect of producing a runoff between the two men. EMILY’s List, while expending resources in several competitive primaries between women, has also stayed out of other races that pit a pro-choice woman against an anti-choice man. Despite significant pressure, the group held out on endorsing Marie Newman against Democratic incumbent Daniel Lipinski, only shifting course when it became clear the SEIU would be breaking with Lipinski.

The group has also declined to endorse the pro-choice Kara Eastman running against anti-choice Democrat Brad Ashford; the same is true for Lupe Valdez running against Andrew White for Texas governor. (White says that he believes Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and that his religious beliefs would not influence how he approached the issue, but he is far from a champion of reproductive rights.)

The support of first Merfish and then EMILY’s List for Fletcher raises questions about whether the endorsement was made at the behest of a major donor or because the organization truly believed Fletcher is the stronger candidate.
Abby Livingston, political reporter for the widely read Texas Tribune is covering this disgraceful attack by the establishment against Moser. "The campaign arm of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives set its sights on a surprising target Thursday: Democratic congressional hopeful Laura Moser. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted negative research on Moser, a Houston journalist vying among six other Democrats in the March 6 primary to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson. Democrats locally and nationally have worried that Moser is too liberal to carry a race that has emerged in recent months as one of the most competitive races in the country."
DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly went even further in a statement to the Texas Tribune.

"Voters in Houston have organized for over a year to hold Rep. Culberson accountable and win this Clinton district," Kelly said.

Then, referring to a 2014 Washingtonian magazine piece in which Moser wrote that she would rather have a tooth pulled without anesthesia than move to Paris, Texas, Kelly added:"Unfortunately, Laura Moser’s outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate, and would rob voters of their opportunity to flip Texas’ 7th in November.”

Later Thursday evening, Moser obliquely responded to the allegations on Twitter, quoting former First Lady Michelle Obama: "When they go low, we go high."

Later in the evening, she expanded her comments in a statement.

"We're used to tough talk here in Texas, but it's disappointing to hear it from Washington operatives trying to tell Texans what to do. These kind of tactics are why people hate politics," she said. "The days where party bosses picked the candidates in their smoke filled rooms are over. DC needs to let Houston vote."

"This is a landmark year in Texas and in states all across the country," she added. "We have a real chance to not only flip District 7, but bring some sanity back to Congress and resist the erratic extremism holding our White House hostage."

"It's a lot to ask, and we can't do any of it by throwing mud and tearing each other down. This is not the time to be a house divided."

Until this point, the DCCC so far this cycle has gone to great lengths to avoid the impression it was taking sides in primaries across the country. A Democratic source did point out to the Tribune that the campaign committee made a similar effort in a 2014 California House race.

A former Democratic operative emailed the Tribune suggesting that the posting was intended to signal to allied groups where and how to make paid attacks.

UPDATE: Note From A Progressive Congressmember

Dear Howie:

This is shocking to me. Apart from the unfairness of it, what if she wins anyway? They’ve kneecapped her. Didn’t they notice what happened when McConnell spent $7 million against Roy Moore, and then he became the nominee?

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At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ayup. And I s'pose you still believe your BA slate will fix the party?

Talk 'bout delusional.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

It's going to court.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corruption is strong with the DINO-Whig leadership, and the needs of We the People mean absolutely NOTHING to Nancy or any other corporatist running for office, regardless of party affiliation.

"We are all capitalists here", aren't we, Nancy? "The business of government is business", and the people can go fend for themselves against the onslaught of corporate abuses designed to increase profits. Those lackeys who perform well get a few crumbs from the plutocrat's table. Everyone else gets a boot in the butt.


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