A few days ago we looked at how the Nevada Democratic Party establishment-- the Harry Reid machine-- decided to break the Democratic Party when their status quo candidates were voted out of office. Every party operative and consultant quit-- though not before stealing the party treasury, putting some into their own pockets and sending some to Schumer. Krystal Ball's video clip from Wednesday puts that into the necessary context: how the Democratic Party political class hates progressives and progressive change and would not just rather see Republicans win than progressives but would rather see existentially-dangerous fascists win instead of progressives.
Krystal makes it clear why the concept of "any blue will do" is absolute poison to American politics. Let me just point, once again, to the state House race in Massachusetts on March 30th, when the Democratic Party candidate, Jeffrey Turco, is a Trump voter, an anti-choice extremist and an all-around conservative. This is in a deep blue Suffolk district. The establishment may not be thrilled, but at least they prevented Berniecrat Juan Pablo Jaramillo from winning the nomination-- all that mattered.
Remember how the Nazis came to take power in Germany-- the unwillingness of the establishment parties to recognize that the threat of fascism was not just the supposed bulwark against the progressive change they opposed, but also a threat against their own lives and the safety of the nation. Right now, in congressional races, Blue America is backing half a dozen progressive reformers against garden variety establishment Democratic incumbents who stand for nothing but the status quo. One of the most outspoken is Jason Call, a progressive organizer in Washington state. He watched the video up top this morning and told me that “Krystal was right on the money with her analysis of the Nevada Dems takeover by my friends (and I actually mean that, not figuratively) in Clark County. The establishment was willing to openly rob the coffers of a half million dollars to prevent the new (and legitimately elected) Party leadership from being immediately effective in terms of getting progressives elected. It’s why I’ve been promoting solidarity with our inspirational allies and encouraging people to donate to the Nevada Democratic Party to replenish those stolen funds." Blue America endorsed Jason's run and you can contribute to his campaign by clicking on the 2022 congressional thermometer below... while you read the rest of his explanation of why progressives need to come from a place of solidarity.
People need to understand how much of a big business party politics is. WA-02 corporate Dem incumbent Larsen raises a million or more every cycle. He really doesn’t need that money, he could beat any Republican handily on less than half that amount. But that money goes not only to pay party insider preferred consultants and campaign staff for Larsen directly, it also becomes a giant slush fund to be showered on local party orgs, shuffled to the state party, to be distributed to other campaigns to pay more preferred consultants. The Democratic Party is pretty much a soft money laundering organization for this network, and winning races is not even the top priority. In fact, losing some races might be preferable because it keeps the urgency to fundraise alive.
Larsen is not a "good" Democrat, but he’s a great fundraiser because he works for the corporatocracy and they have deep pockets. Over half of Larsen’s money comes directly from industry PACs, and the majority of the rest comes from maxed out executives and managers. The new wave of progressive left candidates like myself are rejecting this manner of funding, we’re seeking campaign finance reform and public funding of elections (don’t get me wrong, funds are needed, but so is transparency and accountability to the people) and this new campaign model upends the gravy train for much of what we’d consider a business sector.
Ally Dalsimer is running for the northern Virginia seat held by New Dem Gerry Connolly. This morning she made the case, very perceptively, that differentiates activist candidates like herself from defenders of the establishment like Connolly. "The fundamental difference between corporate establishment Representatives in office and those of us who are true progressives," she wrote, "is that the establishment wants to maintain a status quo where they can raise millions of dollars in corporate PAC and dark money by vilifying the 'other side' while making zero substantive changes. This is true for Republicans and Democrats alike. The reality is that long-time politicians have a vested interest in keeping things as they are so they can stay in power. These careerists are not in it for the people, though many may (or may not) have started that way, and all profess to having their constituents' interests at heart. Yet the reality is that it's corporate PACs and mega-donors who put these people in office, so it is they who actually get represented. The vast majority of our legislators are millionaires; they're part of the 'elite' monied class that benefits from the corrupt corporate structures in place. In my own district, VA-11, Gerry Connolly-- a seven-term incumbent-- talks endlessly about how he 'fights for the people of his district' all while getting 90% of his funds from corporate and wealthy interests, especially from the military industrial complex (Connolly is in the top 10). Then, unsurprisingly, he votes in favor of every war-- just one example. So, while he calls himself a 'progressive' he actually has an F rating from Progressive Punch. In fact, this session, he's tied near the bottom with Cheri Bustos, Abigail Spanberger, and Steny Hoyer-- some of the most openly conservation Dems in the caucus. This is actually the reason I'm running. If Connolly was a true progressive, he would support universal single-payer healthcare, universal high-quality pre-school, and do more for climate change than sign a resolution without even mentioning the amazing implementing GND Act we have here in Virginia. Not only do I support all these and more, I'm a VA GND Champion. People like Connolly, Hoyer, and others, need to go. People like me, who are running against them and FOR the working people of our Districts, need to be voted in!
Los Angeles congressional candidate Shervin Aazami told me he's "unapologetic in advocating for the structural reforms working families need-- single-payer healthcare coverage, guaranteed housing for all as a human right, living wages indexed to inflation, climate justice, federal jobs guarantee, union-backed green energy jobs, and much more. We are in this fight to champion solutions that uplift and empower the working class, dismantle white supremacy, and end corporate welfare."
Unlike any of my opponents, including incumbent Brad Sherman, I have proudly taken the No Corporate PAC money pledge, the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, the No Cop Money Pledge, the Green New Deal Pledge, the Patients over Profits Pledge, and the Move to Amend Pledge. These pledges represent my core values as a candidate, and my vision and hope for the type of representation we deserve-- one committed to people, not profit; and to community, not corporations.
I am the only candidate running on a platform that guarantees housing for all. I am also the only candidate running on tuition-free public colleges and universities, and to cancel all student debt. I am the only candidate running on a platform to tax the rich and corporations, abolish ICE, and cancel all taxpayer subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. I am also the only candidate running on a criminal justice platform that is entirely informed by the Movement for Black Lives. And while my opponent Brad Sherman may have co-sponsored Medicare for All and the Green New Deal-- co-sponsorship is the floor, not the ceiling. We don't need more co-sponsors in Congress-- we need more advocates. Rep. Sherman didn't pen a single sentence of Medicare for All nor the Green New Deal, and continues taking tens of thousands each cycle from weapons manufacturers, private equity firms, commercial banks, real estate developers that are actively lobbying against passage of these necessary reforms.
This is why "any blue won't do." Our communities deserve representation that will tirelessly advocate for the structural reforms we need.
Alexandra Hunt is challenging a corrupt hack politician in Philly and I asked hereabout her opponent's lack of substantive representation for a district as hard-pressed as hers. She explained how "being a proverbial bullhorn for my community and the progressive movement is the highest prerogative of an insurgent candidate. It's the mission and the plan and the beginning and end game. My campaign team and I do this work because my community is desperate for transformative change, and on the current government's watch, we have regressed into a status quo that is indistinguishable from a crisis mode. I live this reality every day--with or without a pandemic. I say and maintain that the status quo has my community in crisis. I say and maintain that legislative initiatives like a living wage, reparations, Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, a federal jobs guarantee, decriminalizing sex work, decarceration, and tuition-free public college and trade school are the floor, not the ceiling, of the kinds of policy changes we need now... Despite being a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Medicare for All Caucus, Dwight Evans does not support progressive legislation like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. I not only support them, my future and my community's future depend on them. Our tireless pursuit of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice depend on them. I am devising a New Deal for Education and support prioritizing public education at the federal level. Dwight Evans is a proponent of charter schools and pulls resources away from public schools in our district. This track record and its repercussions is such a sore subject for us--for our parents, teachers, and teachers union. Dwight Evans is pro-policing. He leads with a platform that, through programs like “Cop Next Door,” would entrench police more deeply into “high crime neighborhoods.” I know that these types of intervention programs can be devastating to a community, and that the best route to problem solving is through prevention. I do not endorse policies and programs that contribute to increasing the numbers of those currently incarcerated. I instead support job opportunities, education opportunities, and funding as prevention and the way we can thrive. Evans cannot claim the same. My main criticism of Dwight Evans is his complacent leadership and even lack of leadership. Philadelphia is being left behind. We are the #1 impoverished large city in America. We are hurting, and while we have needed radical change, Dwight Evans has demonstrated during his time in politics his unwillingness to step out of the mainstream and fight for his constituents. He is a career politician who is swimming in corporate PAC and big special interest money. We never see him. He plays it safe, but the constituents in PA-3 cannot afford leadership that plays it safe any longer."