It's hardly news for DWT readers but yesterday, Dave Weigel used his Washington Post column to hip readers to the fact that a flood of sewer money from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- much of it from actual Republicans-- is burying progressives in a tsunami of smears. The same dirty characters with the dirty money that defeated Alan Grayson and beat Marie Newman first time she ran-- and are trying again this year-- is now deployed against the best candidates running in 2022, including Summer Lee (PA), Erica Smith (NC) and Jessica Cisneros (TX). a shonda: AIPAC and mark Mellman's GOP money-laundering operation, Democratic Majority for Israel, are at teh center of the anti-progressive jihad... as is the sewer PAC run by Hakeem Jeffries and Josh Gottheimer, Team Blue. Corrupt conservative Jim Clyburn is the House Democratic point man's war against progressives.
The women under attack, most of whom are leading in their races right now, need help with their GOTV field operations immediately. Please consider contributing to the campaigns of Summer Lee (PA), Erica Smith NC), Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR), Kina Collins (IL), Doyle Canning (OR) and Jessica Cisneros (TX) right here. Early voting is taking place right now in Summer's, Erica's, Jamie's, Doyle's and Jessica's races. and Summer's, Erica's, Jamie's and Doyle's races end this coming Tuesday-- 5 days. These races are going to be a major party of determining the future of the Democratic Party. Will it be a party of Wall Street or a party of working people?
Weigel discussed the brutal, misleading attacks on Summer Lee in Pittsburgh-- "TV ads and direct mail, with millions of dollars behind the efforts, portraying Lee as a risky left-winger who would undermine the Democratic Party if she won the safe blue seat. The Democratic Majority for Israel poured in $400,000; the United Democracy Project, a PAC funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, spent more than $2 million to damage Lee and help Steve Irwin, an attorney endorsed by [retiring Rep Mike] Doyle." One campaign operative working with progressive candidates told him that "The idea is that Democrats are going to get slaughtered in the midterms, the remaining caucus in the House is going to be super liberal, and that's going to hamper us forever," explaining the rationale he was hearing from Democratic consultants who want to keep the left out of office. "So, they say we’ve got to spend our money to kill progressive candidates, and save Democratic seats, so that the party is more centrist."
A tidal wave of PAC money is transforming Democratic primaries, blindsiding left-wing candidates who went into the cycle targeting a handful of safe seats. Last year’s U.S. House special election in Cleveland, where last-minute money helped beat former Sanders presidential campaign co-chair Nina Turner, left a playbook behind-- one that some pro-business and pro-Israel groups hope they can use to defend like-minded candidates against liberal challenges.
...United Democracy PAC is also invested in Texas’s 28th Congressional District, where it has spent $1.2 million to help Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) defeat challenger Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar is the only antiabortion Democrat in the House.
Other PACs with no particular focus on Israel have been spending to defeat left-wing candidates, often by portraying centrist candidates as more effective liberal legislators. While Cisneros has worked to make her race a referendum on abortion, Mainstream Democrats, a PAC supported by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, is running ads that muddy the issue, highlighting Cuellar’s opposition to a complete abortion ban.
“This money is being spent in a nakedly cynical matter,” said Maurice Mitchell, the president of the left-wing Working Families Party, which has endorsed Lee, Allam and Cisneros. “They have made the calculation that progressives are more dangerous than the far right. It’s unfortunate, but to me, it’s also a demonstration that what we’re doing is working.”
...Left-wing groups have not been able to match the PAC spending, and in some races, they haven’t even tried. Their first response has been condemnation, with supporters of their candidates, and sometimes other Democrats in the primary, denouncing the money flowing in to their races.
Yesterday, while Bernie was campaigning in Pittsburgh with Summer Lee, Mike Doyle was on the phone with reporters spreading the neoliberal, centrist bullshit that has transformed the Democratic Party from the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to the party of Bill and Hillary Clinton-- from the party of working families to the party of hedge-fund managers. Doyle: "You don't get anything done if you are with Bernie Sanders and the squad."