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The DCCC Is Preparing To Lose In WI-01 Again... It's Something They're Very Good At

Peter Barca Is A Turd; He's Not Going To Beat Bryan Steil

The other day, the DCCC added 4 more candidates to their Red to Blue program— a list of candidates they might spend some money on. Three of the new ones are typical DCCC corporate schnooks, pretty shitty careerists; one, Sue Altman is a progressive fighter who would actually add something worthwhile to Congress. All 4 are in swing districts. Below is each district's partisan lean— plus Biden’s 2020 margin over Trump:

NY-04- Laura Gillen (D+10) Biden +14.5

CA-47- Dave Min (D+6) Biden +11.1

CA-45- Derek Tran (D+5) Biden +6.1

NJ-07- Sue Altman (R+3) Biden +3.6

A district they haven’t added yet, but probably will, is the southeast Wisconsin district (WI-01), Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee (partial), Rock and Walworth counties. With the re-addition of nice blue Beloit and the loss of some blood red Waukesha suburbs, the partisan lean went from R+14 ro R+6. Trump beat Biden there by 2 points. The incumbent is traditional establishment Republican, Bryan Steil, who beat a random, unfunded Democrat last cycle 54.1- 45.2%. No Democrat has waged a competitive campaign there since 2018, when Randy Bryce (IronStache) scared Paul Ryan into retiring and then lost to Steil.

The DCCC has been busy recruiting an elderly hack, Peter Barca (68), to run for the seat and it looks like he will. The DCCC has begun including Steil in the one-size-fits-all press releases they send out. In the last two days they included him in two batches they sent out for a couple dozen districts:

1- “Bryan Steil’s Republican Study Committee released a budget last week that cuts taxes for the ultra wealthy and well-connected while leaving working families and the middle class to foot the bill. Steil and the Republican Study Committee’s latest Tax Scam would overwhelmingly benefit the top 5% of income earners by permanently cutting taxes for the rich and billion-dollar corporations and making it easier for them to get away with cheating on their taxes. If Steil made his Tax Scam permanent, it would balloon the national debt by up to $2.7 trillion over the next decade. Additionally, Steil’s proposal cuts Social Security and privatizes Medicare, continues attacks on reproductive freedoms, and raises costs for hard-working Americans. ‘Instead of providing tax relief for the middle class, Bryan Steil’s budget has made clear that his priority is helping the wealthy and well-connected— not everyday Wisconsinites. Voters can see that Steil’s plan for the economy does nothing to help them, but will actually raise costs on them.’”

2- “As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments that could ‘pave the way toward a national abortion ban’ by severely restricting access to the medication mifepristone, Bryan Steil and House Republicans have been simultaneously mounting a multiple front attack on reproductive freedoms in America. Last fall, Steil voted for fervently anti-abortion legislation that would prevent women from receiving mifepristone through the mail or at pharmacies— the exact same issue before the Supreme Court now. Steil’s crusade against access to safe medication is only one of many far-right, extreme measures he and the House GOP have been pushing for to achieve their eventual goal of a nationwide abortion ban. In the 118th Congress alone, Steil and House Republicans have used their majority to try to roll back reproductive freedom every chance they get, from passing anti-abortion legislation that would punish doctors who perform abortionsuse federal funds to spread misinformation, and prevent vulnerable communities from seeking essential health care. Last week, the Republican Study Committee, which Steil is a member of, released a budget proposal in support of a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions for rape, incest, or the woman’s life. Steil himself signed on to an amicus brief that asked the Supreme Court to strike down the constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. ‘Let’s be clear: Bryan Steil, House Republicans, and the anti-abortion groups in front of the Supreme Court are working from the exact same playbook to criminalize abortion and restrict women’s reproductive freedoms. Voters will hold Steil accountable for his dangerous positions and vote him out this November.’”

So why Barca? In 1993, when Bill Clinton appointed longtime WI-01 Congressman Les Aspin Secretary of Defense, Barca, then an Assemblyman, narrowly beat Republican Mark Neumann (who had just run against Aspin) in the special election. Barca, a dull corporate Democrat, was— to put it mildly— uninspiring and 17 months later, having given Democrats no reason to vote for him, Neumann ousted him in a rematch.

In 2008— after a 14-year absence from the state legislature— he was elected to his old Assembly district in Kenosha again. He helped Gov. Scott Walker (R) pass the GOP FoxConn scam and became an object of intense hatred among Wisconsin Democrats. Apparently no one has told the DCCC.

Back to Randy Bryce for a moment. When his campaign worked its ass off tearing down Ryan and finally getting Ryan to throw in his hat, Barca decided he wanted to run for the open seat… so he started bad-mouthing Bryce and claimed only a centrist like himself— the centrist who had already been rejected by the voters— could win. He kept telling everyone that Bryce wasn’t college educated so no one would vote for him. He came up with this crazy idea that Pelosi would back him because they’re both Italian but after she never returned any of his desperate calls, he thought better of running... but kep backstabbing Bryce anyway.

After I heard the DCCC was recruiting Barca, I asked a few people in the district if he was still as bad as I remember him being in 2018. The typical answer: “worse.” One person I really respect said “He’s always been about one thing— what’s in it for Peter?”

A top Midwestern political consultant told me that “Like all things Pete Barca has ever done in his life he’ll fail in this endeavor. If the DCCC is even successful in recruiting him, which I doubt, Peter will lose this race and blame everyone around him for the loss.” 

A veteran and community activist, Chester Todd is running as a Green Party candidate. The 82 year old has a fascinating story. He was on drugs for a while then wanted to switch his life around and give back to the community so he got clean, went to college and eventually got a masters. He’s as critical of the Dems— for making promises to minorities then disappearing— as he is of the Republicans. In a race between Bryan Steil and Peter Barca, I’d definitely vote for Chester Todd. I suspect a lot of Democrats and independents will.


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