Bernie: 'I Detest That Type Of Politics And I Think Most Americans Do'

BLUE_AMERICA_ENDORSE_Levi_Tillemann.jpg"In CO-06 the DCCC decided they wanted a white collar criminal defense lawyer (who has represented payday lenders, fracking companies and defended scammers who have targeted senior citizens) to represent us. What we’ve seen is a textbook case of Washington working to rig a primary. Despite our opponent’s crippling weaknesses as a general election candidate, the DCCC is determined to inflict their candidate upon primary voters by creating facts on the ground." 


You think what the DCCC has done in undermining Laura Moser is unique?
It isn't. It's been fairly standard operating procedure since 2006 when Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer decided they should determine who Democratic nominees should be, not local Democratic primary voters. The only thing unique about the Laura Moser incident was how incompetently it was handled and how embarrassingly public it became. 

More "normal" DCCC interference in local primaries is better illustrated by how they're trying to destroy another progressive, Levi Tillemann, on behalf of yet another corrupt New Dem from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Jason Crow, in the Denver suburbs (CO-06). The Republican incumbent, Mike Coffman, is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country. Hillary beat Trump 50.2% to 41.3% in this district, which has a D+2 PVI.

Levi, who Blue America has endorsed today, asked if we remember in 2016 when Washington insiders confidently predicted an overwhelming victory for Democrats up and down the ticket? "Well," he reminded us, "that didn’t happen-- we lost, up and down the ticket. Remember how Democratic insiders spoke confidently about 'viability' and tried to stigmatize candidates who challenged the establishment? It turns out those 'viable' candidates weren’t so viable after all. That broken system got us to where we are today. Levi is confident that "we can fix it. This year must be the beginning of something exciting and new. That means two things: First, we must stand for our progressive agenda; Second, we must push back against the backroom Washington dealers who got us here.

This is a guest post from Levi:

Let’s start with the progressive agenda. Before I decided to run, I spent months listening and here’s what I heard people say: too many workers are being squeezed by the modern economy; hard work should mean a good life; the excesses of extreme capitalism and inequality are threatening the American Dream; things need to change. I agreed. 

Like you, I believe: 

  • Universal healthcare is a right  
  • Americans deserve a living minimum wage of at least $15/hr
  • The future of our planet and the U.S. economy requires a transition to renewable energy by 2035
  • All Americans must be treated equally before the law
  • Donald Trump is a criminal (and Democrats need to fight to remove him from office)

Voters are crying out for an economic and social agenda that delivers economic justice and equal opportunity for all. Progressives demand that these policies address the crushing inequality in America today. I’m committed to fighting for that agenda in Washington. 

But we’ll never get there if we don’t push back against Washington insiders. Lobbyists and establishment politicians are trying to slow-walk our fight for equality. They peddle half-truths, influence and big money donations on behalf of candidates and causes that don’t represent you. Those candidates fit the Washington mold-- and that’s not a good thing. They will go with the flow and won’t stand up for what’s right when it really matters. If we keep sending that type of person to Washington, they’ll keep rigging the system against us. That’s exactly what’s happening in CO-06.

This has been going on for more than a year (they have supplied him with staff, data and hundreds of thousands in donations). Last November, the DCCC brought these efforts into the open by designating our opponent as a “Red to Blue” candidate. The DCCC has now embedded full-time field staffers with our opponent’s campaign, they share polling data with him and help secure endorsements. They traffic in lies, rumor and innuendo about our progressive campaign. 

That’s not only morally wrong, it’s not going to help us win a general election. The DCCC has deployed its strong-arm tactics here before... and they don’t work. Let’s take a look at the DCCC’s losing record over the years. 

The 2014 Bloodbath
In 2014 one of Colorado’s most impressive leaders, Andrew Romanoff was the Democratic nominee against Mike Coffman.  Leading up to the general election, the DCCC committed to funding Romanoff’s advertising costs during the last weeks of the election. But the DCCC reneged on their promise -- leaving Andrew high and dry.  The DCCC cut the legs out from Romanoff’s campaign and didn’t spend a single cent on the promised advertising.  In other words, the DCCC allowed the GOP and Mike Coffman to demolish Romanoff’s good name and record via TV and radio.  Andrew had no way to fight back. Why? Because he trusted the DCCC. The result was an electoral bloodbath.

The DCCC knows best?
In 2016, the Democratic nominee for CD-6 was Colorado State Sen. Morgan Carroll.  Morgan was an extremely qualified, intelligent and charismatic candidate whose campaign was also tanked by the DCCC. The DCCC wanted to tie Coffman to Trump and that was the entirety of their plan: Tie Coffman to Trump.  

An astute politician with local knowledge, Carroll knew this wasn’t the silver bullet. She had a plan to defeat Coffman that was issues driven and focused on aggressive field outreach. But the DC insiders at the DCCC demanded that Senator Carroll follow their orders and threatened to withdraw financial support unless she did as they said. In the face of those threats, Carroll felt she had no choice but to accept the dictates of unelected, unaccountable DC insiders. Coffman won the election in another landslide.

Blue America is asking for your help in Colorado.

Ever since he realized that the DCCC was jumping on the scale early last spring, Levi and other progressives have called on them to back off and let the voters decide. Unfortunately, that’s not the DCCC way. They’ve doubled down on their candidate, lied about it and done everything in their power to stack the primary deck.

Please consider contributing what you can to Levi Tillemann's campaign by clicking on the ActBlue congressional thermometer on the right.

ThermometerActBlue.png

We can win this one by beating the forces of Insider Beltway corruption-- first the DCCC and in November, the GOP. As Bernie said, in reference to the DCCC Lee Atwater/Karl Rove techniques in TX-07, "I detest that type of politics and I think most Americans do... That is to my mind, absolutely unacceptable. And it’s got to end."

Thanks for always doing what you can to make this a better world,

--Howie, for the entire Blue America team



Did Mike Pence Rat Out Boehner And His Mistress?


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Clicking on this billboard is a nice shortcut

Blue America and the Americans for America PAC are making these ads all the time-- like 3 or 4 a week. A few make it up onto TV; most are for the Internet. I guarantee you this one won't be on TV. TV doesn't run ads like this-- not even cable. Not even when they're this poetic.

They’re golf partners... But that’s not all they have in common...

Fans the world over love Tiger

Lobbyists throughout the business world love John Boehner!

Tiger has $100 million in career earnings and millions more in corporate sponsorships.

John has $32 million in career special interest contributions, and has taken hundreds of thousands more in corporate jet travel and special interest golf junkets!

Tiger is notorious for his indiscretions.

John is notorious for HIS indiscretions-- like handing out Big Tobacco checks to Republicans on the House floor!

Hey John, get a room!

On golf trips, Tiger brings along romantic interests.

On golf trips, John inappropriately brings along special interests-- like Jack Abramoff!

Tiger Woods is a three time champion of the British Open.

John Boehner is the tireless champion of British Petroleum, and said BP should be bailed out by US taxpayers for the Gulf spill.

Tiger is a billionaire.

John’s loves billionaires-- more than his own constituents!

Tiger skips lots of tournaments.

John skips out of work a lot and hits Capitol Hill bars with lobbyists.

But there’s one thing above all that Tiger Woods and John Boehner have in common:

Tiger, we were all shocked to learn, is a man ho.

John, we have all long known, is a corporate ho.

John Boehner and Tiger Woods.

HO HO HO!

It was... well, awkward when Chris Wallace interviewed John Boehner yesterday about his silly Pledge. The one-eyed aunt sitting atop the elephant in the room was Boehner's affair with what's-her-name... that K Street lobbyist. Wallace could have asked Boehner for another non-denial denial, but that would never happen on American TV... short of the Stephen Colbert Show (although then Steny Hoyer might get himself all puffed up and protest; ole Steny's only happy when he's bent over grabbing his ankles... and no one can find the lube.) Still, if it were a normal news program-- like in England maybe-- Wallace could have made it a more generic question about his long and sordid history with lobbyists without even bringing up the sexual part which, apparently only is allowed on TV after sunset.

Nor is Hoyer the only Congressional prig puffing and protesting. Last night Mike Pence, who wants to run for president, had his flack call me-- and late at night-- to demand I retract my assertion that it was Pence who leaked the story about Boehner and the lady lobbyist. The flack said it isn't true. I asked him how he knows. He said he was "100% certain." I said that that was impossible and that my informant was 100% certain it was true and that it was a firsthand account. He demanded to know who my informant was. I asked him to put Pence on the phone. He refused and said he would send me a written statement; he didn't.

So here's the newest in our series of ads. Enjoy it here; you won't see it anywhere else-- unless you're in Mike Pence's inner chamber and he's showing it to his cronies so they can all get a good chuckle. And if you'd like to chip in to our effort to help Justin Coussoule sweep out the barn in southwest Ohio, you can click on the graphic up top-- or you can donate here.

[Crossposted at Down With Tyranny.]



Roxanne Conlin-- Is She The Democrat Most Likely To Paint A Red Seat Blue In 2010?

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The ideologically-based media and the corporately owned media have been diligent in painting a decidedly one-sided anti-Democratic picture going into the November Midterm elections. They hope the conventional wisdom that they've created-- that this is a wave year for Republicans-- will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. This isn't borne out by the facts-- Republicans are as untrusted and unpopular as ever, for example, and as the economy recovers from Bush-Republican financial and economic policies (and deprecations), Democrats look more and more attractive to ordinary Americans. What is clear, on the other hand, is that 2010 will be a bad year for incumbents, particularly conservative ones.

Last weekend in Utah, ultra-conservative Republican Senator Robert Bennett saw his political career come to a screeching halt at the hands of deranged teabaggers. At the same time, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, Blue Dog Jim Matheson, was denied the Democratic Party endorsement-- with corporate shill Steny Hoyer in the room pleading with delegates to vote for him-- by an openly lesbian progressive Democrat, Claudia Wright. Mormon-dominated Utah hasn't exactly been fertile soil for progressive values or the Democratic Party, but progressives and Democrats stand to make gains all over the country. And the Blue America guest today, Roxanne Conlin of Iowa, may well be the best shot the Democrats have of turning a red Senate seat blue.

She's also the best shot Iowa Democrats have of taking that seat back from the conservatives in living memory. She's a trial attorney whose life's work has been standing up for ordinary American families against predatory corporations, the kinds of predatory corporations that have financed Chuck Grassley's political career. Conservative barnacle Grassley was first elected to political office in 1958. How old were you then? He's been gulping from the public trough-- with no interruption-- for 52 years. Even if the media doesn't, wily old Grassley does understand that 2010 is shaping up to be an anti-incumbent year, not an anti-Democratic year. And this will be the first time Grassley has ever faced a strong Democratic opponent and the first time he's run with a registration disadvantage. Iowa Democrats overtook Republicans in 2006, increased their share of voters substantially in 2008 and go into 2010 with around 100,000 more registered voters than Republicans.

Grassley, who may be personally liked by-- or at least familiar to-- most Iowa voters, is increasingly seen as kind of senile and bizarre, making inappropriate comments, about "pulling the plug on Grandma" and crazy stuff like that, as though he had Tourette's syndrome. One of K Street's best friends and widely viewed as a senator whose vote is always up for sale to the highest paying corporate interest, Grassley actually failed to keep pace with Roxanne's grassroots fundraising in the first quarter! The 28 point spread between Grassley and Roxanne in January has shrunk to a 9 point advantage for the 30 year incumbent.

So far all this momentum for Roxanne has come with no help from Washington, no TV ads, nothing but grassroots, on-the-ground, old style retail campaigning. She's visited all 99 of Iowa's counties, even the ones that vote for Steve King! She's already beating Grassley among women voters. And what does she talk about? Real issues with a real impact on people's lives. And that's bad news for Grassley. He may not remember, but he was the one who stuck a little provision into Bush's Medicare Part D giveaway for Grassley's Big Pharma campaign contributors that guaranteed that the federal government could not negotiate for fair prices for senior citizens. This is one of Roxanne's favorite points. She told me that when someone buys Zocor (20mg) through the VA (where the government does negotiate, they pay $127.44 annually. Vets were lucky Grassley didn't do to them what he did to seniors. Seniors buying the same Zocor through Medicare Part D pay $1,485.96, thanks entirely to Chuck Grassley and the other conservative corporate shills in the Senate. If you buy your Protonix (40mg) through the VA, the government gets you a nice deal-- $214.53/year. The Chuck Grassley price is a stunning $1,148.40. No wonder the pharmaceutical industry loves him. He's responsible for transferring billions of our dollars into their coffers. He gets a cut, too; they've given him $549,180 over the years.

Roxanne looks forward to getting into the Senate and changing this-- as well as the ban on drug importation, another reason the Big Drug companies love Grassley so very, very dearly. She's also eager to debate Grassley on his ardent backing for corporations that ship American jobs overseas. He has a long and sordid voting record she wants to talk with him about. In 2005, for example, he voted against an amendment (along with every Republican and a few conservative corporate Dems) that would repeal tax incentives for domestic companies that move their manufacturing plants to offshore locations and use the resulting revenue to reduce the federal deficit and debt by $3.2 billion from 2006 to 2010. The year before, he voted against prohibiting American tax dollars from being used to ship jobs outside the country. The amendment Grassley voted against would have: limited the ability of civilian agencies to award contracts to companies that would use offshore workers, prohibited the privatization of jobs when contractors would take the work overseas, and require states to certify that they will not use federal funds for services performed outside the United States, eliminated tax advantages for companies that move factories overseas to make goods that are shipped back to the U.S. market, and prohibited companies from deferring taxes on income earned from these “runaway” manufacturing plants. Again, Grassley and every single Republican voted against it-- joined by 4 DLC corporate freaks, John Breaux, Ben Nelson, Zell Miller and Max Baucus. 2004 was also the year Grassley voted against an amendment that would have struck $39 billion in tax breaks on overseas income. The amendment would have provided for an immediate 9% tax deduction for domestic manufacturers. And in 2003 there were three more votes along the same lines: helping wreck the middle class by rewarding corporations for shipping American jobs overseas. If Roxanne can make this case stick-- get Iowa voters to focus on Grassley's voting record-- he's toast. Let's help her get the message out.



Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Back Marcy Winograd, CA-36

Marcy Winograd was Blue America's first endorsed challenger for 2010. That's because we were looking for a progressive leader, not someone who leans in a progressive direction. Marcy's not a leaner. She's a leader -- and not the kind of corrupt ward healer à la Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emanuel or Chuck Schumer that sadly passes for a "leader" among Democrats -- because of what's in her heart, her soul and her brain. She doesn't command respect and admiration because of an ability to bundle cash from special interests but because of her intellect, her character and her passion.

We asked her back today because she was the first Democrat to stand up beside Raul Grijalva and denounce the xenophobes and bigots in Arizona. Monday is the first day of absentee voting in California. More and more frequently, elections are being won and lost based on absentee and early voting. In CA-36 approximately a third of the voters will vote by mail. And among older voters that number skyrockets to close to 40%.

Last week Marcy asked Jane Harman, the Blue Dog who currently holds the seat, to join her in calling on businesses and residents of the 36th District to boycott Arizona convention facilities and hotels in an effort to reverse anti-immigrant legislation. Harman ignored her and Marcy pressed on on her own.

"If Arizona is allowed to enact laws that promote racial profiling, other states may pass discriminatory laws, as well. That would be a travesty of justice, not only for immigrants summarily stopped and searched for citizenship papers, but for all of us who value civil rights and equality under the law... Rather than passing discriminatory state laws that scapegoat immigrants, we should support federal legislation for comprehensive immigration reform."

Winograd's immigration platform calls for the following:

• a path to earn citizenship for an estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants

• an end to brutal immigration raids and detentions in secret jails

• passage of the Dream Act to award citizenship to immigrants who graduate college

• no national ID cards

• no guest workers' programs

• repeal of unfair trade agreements that worsen unemployment in home countries

Like mine and like so many of ours, Marcy's family came to the U.S. from Eastern Europe to escape discrimination and seek a better life. "America," she points out, "is a land of immigrants and we must never forget our rich cultural heritage or the contributions of immigrants who pay sales taxes and often wage taxes while performing much-needed labor."

That video up top is the one-minute version of what will be a 30-second spot Blue America plans to run. When you donate to the Blue America PAC, it will help us get it on television. If you donate to the Winograd campaign, it will help them run their grassroots-oriented campaign, like the phone-banking Marcy talks about below. You can do either-- or both-- at the Blue America '10 page.



Please Vote In Our Blue America "Red to Blue" Contest

Saturday morning Crooks & Liars joined with our partners at FDL, Digby's Hullabaloo and DownWithTyranny to announce a week-long competition among some of our Blue America House candidates. We're offering $5,000 to candidate who gets the most votes from the readers of the four blogs. These are all candidates who are not on the DCCC's Red to Blue list.

All you have to do to vote is to stick at least one dollar (no more than $2,300) in the pot of the candidate you like best. A dollar counts as one vote; $2,300 counts as one vote. If you give one dollar a hundred times it counts as one vote. But, yes, you are welcome to vote for more than one candidate and that does count.

Since Saturday morning there have been 293 donors and Russ Warner, who's running against L.A. area Bush rubber-stamp David Dreier is way out in front. Russ' supporters have tossed in over $3,000. Altogether over $7,500 has been raised for the 9 candidates so far, aside from Russ, Debbie Cook (CA), Annette Taddeo (FL), Dennis Shulman (NJ), Larry Joe Doherty (TX), Alan Grayson (FL), Barry Walsh (IN), Sam Bennett (PA) and Jared Polis (CO).

We asked Democratic Party bosses Rahm Emanuel, Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to each match our $5,000 check to the winner. None of them have... responded yet. Don't forget to vote! Winner will be announced next Saturday.



Blue America's Steny Hoyer FISA ad

Since we started our campaign to hold Steny Hoyer and other members of Congress accountable for conspiring with Bush against the Constitution, almost 5,000 patriotic Americans-- regardless of political party-- have donated to our drive. You've seen our thermometer rising and now it's approaching $300,000. Our first batch of advertising, including a full page ad in the Washington Post goes out next week.

Here's a sneak-peak at the Post ad: (click on above graphic to make larger)

None of the progressives who voted against Hoyer's disgraceful capitulation to Bush today will go on record advocating for a new Majority Leader and many of the candidates are too frightened to do so. There's even a cousinly split. The two House Udalls, Tom from New Mexico (the progressive one) and Mark from Colorado (the more establishment one), are each running for the U.S. Senate against rabidly right-wing Republicans. Mark (CO) voted with Hoyer, Bush, the Blue Dogs and the GOP to trash the Constitution. Keep it in mind when the DSCC send you an e-mail begging for money. The better Udall, Tom (NM) voted with us and had this to say to New Mexico residents:

The FISA bill we considered today would compromise the constitutionally guaranteed rights that make America a beacon of hope around the world. Today's vote was not easy. I stood up to leaders of my own party and voted against this bill, because I took an oath to defend Americans and That duty is most important when it is most difficult. We can protect our nation while upholding our values, but unfortunately, this bill falls short.

That sounds like real change. Mark? Not so much.




Paid for by Blue America PAC, blueamerica.crooksandliars.com, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.