Ohio has an open Senate seat-- and predictably, one of the hottest Senate races in the country. Keep in mind that the last time Ohio voters went to the polls to elect a senator, progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown-- who has his own political operation and never depends on the moribund Ohio Democratic Party-- beat conservative Republican congressman and multimillionaire self-funder Jim Renacci 2,355,923 (53.4%) to 2,053,963 (46.8%).
The Democrats have 2 candidates running for the party nomination this cycle, a middle-of-the-road careerist hack, Tim Ryan, and an exciting consumer affairs attorney and community organizer, Morgan Harper. Ryan is following the almost-always disastrous DSCC playbook: not saying anything substantive and hoping the voters will find the Republicans in general the greater evil. He has refused to debate Harper, who has challenged him to six of them, one a month across the state. She's proud of her well-thought out, popular working class positions. He's hiding-- at the urging of the DSCC-- from whatever wishy-washy positions he's running on at the moment. The other day, the Republicans in the race had a big forum in a Columbus suburb. They have no problem at all telling the voters what they stand for and why and, unfortunately, they are completely dominating the narrative-- while Ryan locks himself in a basement calling Chuck Schumer's institutional and wealthy donor list. I wonder if he says, "Hey, I know Schumer got you to fund Kyrsten Sinema, but I won't be as bad as she is." If he stood for anything, he'd want to get it out in the media and in front of the voters by debating Harper.
The Ohio Democratic Party, at Ryan's request, set up a joint fundraising committee with Ryan-- and, likely at the urging of Schumer, refused to do the same thing for Harper, who noted that "The Democratic Party should not be helping one candidate over another in a primary," something progressives have been saying for years.
Last week, David Skolnick of Youngstown's Vindicator reported on how the Ohio Democratic Party, one of the least effect state parties in the country, pulled this little stunt. He explained that "The combination of Ryan's PAC and the state party into a joint committee would allow for Ryan to raise an additional $15,000 per donor-- above the current $5,800 contribution limit to his campaign." If you want to tell Schumer and the pathetic Ship Democratic Party to butt out of the primary, you can contribute to Morgan Harper's campaign here, whether it's $5,800 or $5.80.
"The Ohio Democratic Party doesn't get to choose the nominee; the voters do," wrote Harper. "And the Democratic Party should not be helping one candidate over another in a primary. Ohio Democrats lose election after election-- and this is exactly why. Political insiders choosing favorites in advance and rigging the system in their favor is not what energizes voters and expands the electorate. Instead, it ensures we run the same type of candidate that loses year after year, and it deepens voter apathy and disillusionment with the process. This is exactly why I'm running-- to engage and excite voters who are tired of the status quo, and to rebuild the Democratic Party into a strong coalition that can once again win statewide elections in Ohio and deliver real change for our communities."
This is from the letter Morgan sent Ryan-- cc-ing the state Democratic Party-- challenging him to the six debates. "My campaign would propose six debates, held once a month and conducted in every region of the state. Our campaigns could jointly work out an acceptable format... As you know, the Republican Senate candidates have held several forums and have a debate scheduled in November, which has and will give their party a great deal of publicity. The Ohio Senate seat is too important for Democrats both locally and nationally to allow the Republicans to continue with this advantage. The voters deserve to hear our views and proposals on everything from protecting a woman’s right to choose, to voting rights, to reviving our economy and dealing with climate change."
Ryan ignored the request so Harper followed up with a letter to the state party on Sunday.
Dear Chairwoman Walters:
I am writing to urge you to host a series of debates between candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the open United States Senate seat, namely myself and Congressman Tim Ryan.
As you know, I have written to Congressman Ryan to suggest a series of six debates over the next six months, held once a month and conducted in every region of the state. The voters deserve to hear our views and proposals on everything from protecting a woman’s right to choose, to voting rights, to reviving our economy and dealing with climate change.
As you also know, the Republican Senate candidates have held several forums and have a debate scheduled in November, which has and will give their party a great deal of publicity. The Ohio Senate seat is too important for Democrats both locally and nationally to allow the Republicans to continue with this advantage.
There is precedent for the Ohio Democratic Party to sponsor and host primary debates; furthermore, there is precedent for ODP to host such debates in the fall leading up to the election year. Beginning in September 2017, ODP announced a series of six primary debates among the Democratic candidates running for governor. This debate series was initiated and overseen by your predecessor, Chairman David Pepper.
At the time, Chairman Pepper said, “The Ohio Democratic Party is committed to an open primary with robust, transparent, unscripted debates among our candidates. That’s also what Democratic activists and voters across Ohio are excited to see.”
I hope that the Ohio Democratic Party still remains committed to an open primary. Unfortunately, recent developments have raised questions about the Party’s impartiality in this election. Hosting robust, transparent, and unscripted debates would help put those questions to rest. That’s why I’m asking you, as the leader of the Ohio Democratic Party, to take action.
The time is not in January or February, months behind the Republicans. The time is now. And while media outlets and outside groups have a role to play, we should not rely on them to manage our party’s nomination process. The Ohio Democratic Party should play a leadership role in organizing and sponsoring these debates.
What's the result of Schumer and the Ohio Democratic Party putting their fingers on the thumb for crappy, uninspiring middle-of-the-road candidates like Ryan? We either wind up with unelectable candidates like Cal Cunningham and Patrick Murphy or, at least just as bad, conservative "winners" like Sinema. And policy-wise... ghastly. This morning, the Punch Bowl news crew summed it up like this: "the wealthy end up on top in new Democrats' plan." That would be courtesy of Kyrsten Sinema, Schumer's recruit in 2018. And it's not like he didn't know what he was getting. Not only was she the chair of the right-wing, photo-Republican Blue Dog coalition, she had the single worst voting record of any Democrat in Congress. And Schumer didn't give her the same treatment he's giving Ryan this cycle; that was why he picked her. He doesn't believe in Democratic values and hates progressives and progressivism. Ergo-- Kyrsten Sinema and the other lousy "lesser-of-two-evils" candidates he's always saddling the Democrats with.
The Punch Bowl crew wrote (naively) that "at the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency, it seemed as if America’s rich were going to get soaked. There was a proposed hike of the capital gains tax. Top earners were going to see their tax rates go back to pre-Donald Trump levels. The House also proposed a 3% surtax on incomes over $5 million. Corporations would be taxed at 28%, up from the 21% they are now levied. Democrats were going to do something about the 'carried interest loophole' exploited by private equity fund managers to pay lower tax rates. Inheritance taxes would increase to get at the vast fortunes of this new Gilded Age." So what happened? Lobbyists, to begin with, always welcome for corrupt corporate (i.e., most) members of Congress. "[I]t seems like the merely rich-- let’s leave out billionaires-- are going to do ok... [S]ome wealthy Americans could even see a tax cut!"
Manchin and Sinema are kicking working families to the curb and holding Biden's Build Back Better plan hostage unless they get their way. Manchin wanted to change things here and there but Schumer's gal Kyrsten "didn't like any individual or corporate rate hikes at all, essentially blowing up big chunks of the Ways and Means bill." [T]he merely rich (again, not the 1,000 billionaire families) will get make out great in this deal. Only billionaires and some of the uber wealthy may get a tiny hit. Taxes on "the simply filthy rich" have been shot down by Sinema.
"Democrats have spent years saying corporations and rich folks aren’t paying their 'fair share.' And now, as they get ready to spend several trillion dollars, the rich are gonna do ok, thank you very much." The candidates endorsed by Blue America for Senate seats, like Morgan, would not have allowed Sinema and Manchin to get away with this kind of crap-- and won't in the future if they're elected next year.