Archive for the ‘DCCC’ Category
Rep. Steve Israel’s op-ed is long on whining. The message that comes through clearly is that he doesn’t like it that Republicans put together a strategy for highlighting the ACA’s multitude of shortcomings:
New Yorkers have two ways of looking at a problem. You can ask, “What went wrong, and who do we blame?” or you can roll up your sleeves and ask, “What went wrong, and how do we fix it?”
If anyone in America had any question about which question congressional Republicans would ask, we now have an answer: House Republicans engineered a 17-page playbook detailing how to sabotage and repeal the Affordable Care Act so they can score political points. In this lengthy manual, however, Republicans didn’t offer a single idea for solutions, for helping constituents enroll in health care or understand their benefits. Rather, the entire handbook is a tactical guide to tearing down the law.
I’m impressed with the GOP’s playbook. What’s clear is that they’re effectively attacking the Democrats and the Affordable Care Act with statistics, personal anecdotes and op-eds.
Additionally, this isn’t a policy document on how to fix the Affordable Care Act’s multitude of shortcomings. It’s a playbook for attacking the Democrats while they’re especially vulnerable.
No DCCC op-ed is complete without a healthy dose of Democratic demagoguery. This blast of BS satisfies that ‘requirement’:
Republicans have no playbook to create jobs, they have no playbook to build infrastructure, they have no playbook to pass immigration reform, they have no playbook to pass a budget and they have no playbook to propose a better health care system.
Their only playbook is to take us back to a system that didn’t work, that led hardworking people into bankruptcy and gave insurance companies unchecked power to deny care and drop coverage. Democrats, on the other hand, are going to relentlessly remind Americans that one party is willing to fix the Affordable Care Act and that one party, the Republican Party, wants to repeal the law and put insurance companies back in charge.
To quote a friend of mine, those paragraphs are more full of BS than a Christmas goose. The DCCC, like President Obama and the DNC, can’t talk without piling on the BS. That’s why people don’t trust President Obama anymore. He’s repeatedly lied to the American people about keeping their plan if they liked it. Now that he’s been caught lying, President Obama’s apologists have started rationalizing those promises away, saying that you can’t reform the health care system without significant changes.
That’s indisputably true but that isn’t the point. What’s equally true is that the ACA couldn’t have passed had President Obama told the American people that they could keep their plan if they liked it and if his HHS secretary approved of people’s plans.
Next, the GOP plan for creating jobs is equal parts repealing the ACA, expanding oil, coal and natural gas exploration and cutting EPA regulations that are killing industries.
Third, there’s one party, the Democratic Party, that’s trying its best to paint the Affordable Care Act as fixable, which it isn’t, while the other party, the GOP, predicted about the cancellation notices, the crashed website, the rising premium prices. Democrats call that being mean-spirited. Truth-seeking people call that getting it right.
If Democrats don’t want to get tagged over the Affordable Care Act every few minutes, they should worry first about doing right by the American people, not about how news affects them politically. No op-ed would be complete without them lying. Here’s Israel’s lie-infested trash:
Because when Americans see Republicans in Congress sharing an anecdote or holding a hearing, they can know it is designed to do one thing: Take the country back to the dark days when our health care system didn’t work.
The “dark days when our health care system didn’t work” is now. It isn’t that the system worked perfectly before the Democrats shoved the ACA down Americans’ throats. It’s that that system worked significantly better than it’s working under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have offered their own plans, which Democrats have refused to consider. It isn’t Republicans’ fault that Democrats, starting with Harry Reid and President Obama, are the obstructionists in DC.
Rep. Israel’s statements are misleading, incomplete or verifiably false. In other words, they’re what’s expected from Democratic leadership.
Tom Steward’s article contains some spot-on analysis of the impact Michele Bachmann’s announcement will have on the DFL and the DCCC:
Strategists say it’s not a good day, however, for Graves’ chances to wrestle the seat out of the Republican column.
“Graves doesn’t have Bachmann to run against and partly I think he was benefiting by her being a lightning rod,” said political analyst David Schultz of Hamline University. “So now he’s got to worry about perhaps now there may be another Republican running who’s less of a lightning rod and doesn’t come with all the baggage Bachmann has.”
“Jim Graves’ candidacy is based on the fact he’s not Michelle Bachmann,” said Ben Golnik, a Republican consultant. “Graves went from a slight shot to virtually little chance of winning against a Republican candidate with a fresh slate.”
Jim Graves shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s got tons of money he can spend on his campaign. The media will take every opportunity to pretend that he’s a “new Democrat.” The DCCC will dump tons of money into the race.
That said, Graves’ only shot at winning in 2014 hinged on his ability to remind voters that he isn’t Michele Bachmann. That strategy disappeared this morning about 3:00 am. Whether it was Pelosi vilifying her or Bill Clinton vilifying Newt Gingrich, the reality is that Democrats need to a) run as something they’re not and b) run against a boogeyman.
When Michele’s video got noticed, the DFL’s and the DCCC’s biggest boogeywoman disappeared.
The loss of Bachmann also complicates Democratic messaging and fundraising well beyond the borders of her district. “Bachmann has been a great boon for Democratic fundraising and MSNBC has loved her,” Schultz said. “She’s become basically the person they get to rail against for ratings and to fund raise against and in the state of Minnesota she has been part of the face of the Republican party in Minnesota for the last eight to ten years. Her leaving just makes it harder for people to identify a boogeyman to run against.”
John Hinderaker’s post highlights just how foolish Democrats sound in their messaging with this commentary:
This morning the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out an email commenting on Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she will not run again in 2014. The email employed the breezy, low-rent tone that the Democrats have perfected. You wonder who writes these things; is it a 22-year-old slacker, or is there some middle-aged guy who gets paid millions to impersonate one?
In their email fundraising appeal, they talked themselves into a circle. They started with this:
THIS IS HUGE! Now that the Tea Party’s ringleader has called it quits, Boehner has to be wondering who’s next to go. If we can sweep up 17 Republican seats, we can take Boehner’s Speaker’s gavel and win a Democratic House for President Obama!
Then they say this:
Bachmann’s announcement is a huge blow to vulnerable House Republicans, so we need to put the pressure on them while they’re still reeling.
The DCCC essentially said that she’s a crazy nutjob who is the key to the Republicans keeping their House majority. That’s as credible as saying that Jim Graves is a policy heavyweight. Now Graves is a man without a boogeyman to run against.
In an exclusive interview with LFR, Matt Dean has confirmed that he’s thinking about running for the seat left open by Michele Bachmann’s retirement.
While Jim Graves, the DFL and the DCCC are undoubtedly happy that Minnesota’s Sixth District is now an open seat, they shouldn’t think that this will be an easy seat to win. Matt Dean is a formidable candidate. First, he’s got a good understanding of the Sixth District. He’s participated in townhall meetings throughout the District, including in St. Cloud. Second, his message is a great fit for the Sixth District. Third, Matt’s got the ability to work across the aisle without sacrificing his principles:
A commendable thing happened last week after the Minnesota House failed to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the bill preserving General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) for the very poor: The two House members leading their respective parties’ efforts on the matter, DFL Rep. Erin Murphy and GOP Rep. Matt Dean, just kept working.
Constructively, too. On Friday, a deal was struck that has the blessing of the Legislature’s top leaders in both parties. It’s expected to go to the full House and Senate this week.
That praise was written by Lori Sturdevant, one of the most openly liberal writers at the Strib. It’s important to note that the compromise was built on conservative principles.
Third, he’s got a great understanding of two issues that are important to the Sixth District: health care and education. Fourth, he’s got a track record of being the taxpayers’ watchdog:
House Majority Leader Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) is doing his own inquiry into how the Minneapolis Public Schools spends it money after reading this Star Tribune report. The story revealed Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s decision to award $270,000 in retroactive raises to central office administrators at the same time the district cut more than 100 jobs including 52 teaching positions.
Rep. Dean started this investigation right after a long, tough legislative session. He saw money being spent foolishly so he started an investigation into the mismanagement.
The Sixth District needs a congressman a) whose principles are solidly conservative and b) who pays attention to the details on whether government is doing its job or if it’s failing the people.
If Rep. Dean decides to jump in, I suspect that announcement will come sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Welcome Powerline readers. Follow this link for more information on the early shape of the race.
Though recent polling shows Michele Bachmann with a solid lead, the DCCC has decided to assist Jim Graves:
Buoyed by internal polling that shows hotel magnate Jim Graves within striking distance of tea party favorite Michele Bachmann, House Democratic leaders are set to pump resources into the race to help the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate knock the three-term incumbent off her perch.
The DCCC’s definition of “within striking distance” is interesting:
Israel cited internal poll numbers from Graves’ campaign showing he trails Bachmann, a former presidential candidate, by just two percentage points. The poll also shows Bachmann with a 57 percent unfavorable rating and a 20-point swing against her among independent voters.
“Voters are experiencing buyer’s remorse with Congresswoman Bachmann and her relentless desire to put ideology over solutions,” Israel said.
A KSTP-TV poll released Monday suggests Graves still has some ground to make up between now and Nov. 6. The poll conducted Oct. 9-11 of 598 likely voters shows Bachmann up 50 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.
Graves has talked endlessly about being competitive. The KSTP-SurveyUSA poll shows what’s reality. When Graves attended a fundraiser hosted by Barney Frank, he lost 2-4 points in the polling. That’s because people know that Frank is the man who brought the housing market to its knees.
The KSTP-SurveyUSA poll is an extremely reliable poll. In 2010, their final polling showed Tim Walz with a 9 point lead and Jim Oberstar with a tiny 1 point lead. Walz won by 9 and Oberstar lost by 4,000 votes. In 2006, they predicted a 9 point victory for Rep. Bachmann. Michele won 50-41 against Patty Wetterling.
Let’s dispel some myths about the internal polling. First off, the 57% disapproval rating for Michele is utter myth. Thanks to redistricting, the district is more conservative this time than 2010, when Michele won with 53% of the vote. Michele’s supporters are just as committed today as they were in 2010.
For the 57% figure to be true, Michele’s approval would have had to drop 10-12 points in 2 years. That’s BS. The business community is just as solidly behind her this time as they were 2 years ago. She’s still the TEA Party’s darling. Those two groups comprised 90+ percent of Michele’s support.
Second, independents aren’t as big in the Sixth as in other districts. A 20-point swing of independents isn’t as big a swing of actual votes as it would be in the Third, Seventh or Eighth.
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced Monday the DCCC has elevated Graves’ campaign to its “Red-to-Blue” program, which targets the most highly competitive challenges to Republican-held seats.
That’s pure spin from Rep. Israel. A 9-point Bachmann lead isn’t competitive, especially when she’s reached the magical 50% mark. In 2010, Michele campaigned hard in the district. This year, she’s campaigning harder this time around.
Just like President Obama doesn’t want this election to be about his failed economic policies, it’s clear that the DCCC doesn’t want this election to be about their votes on President Obama’s failed policies.
That’s why they’ve sunk to this:
CONTACT: Jennifer Crider & Jesse Ferguson (202) 485-3440
Foreign Chinese prostitution money is allegedly behind the groups funding Congressman Sean Duffy’s (WI-07) Republican Majority.
The Associated Press reported that Sheldon Adelson, the single largest donor to Congressman Sean Duffy’s House Republicans, allegedly “personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company’s properties in the Chinese enclave” of Macau, China. Recently, Senator John McCain said that Adelson is “injecting millions of dollars in Chinese ‘foreign money’” by contributing to Republican campaigns.
“What will Congressman Sean Duffy do when his Chinese prostitution money comes from billionaire Sheldon Adelson?” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “House Republicans like Congressman Duffy are fighting tirelessly to protect billionaires like Sheldon Adelson who make fortunes overseas and Adelson is now the largest single donor to Congressman Duffy’s Republican Majority. It’s past time for Congressman Duffy to reject the support of these groups funded by foreign money from a Chinese prostitution strategy.”
Billionaire Adelson has given $5 million to Speaker Boehner’s Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC, pledged $5 million to Leader Cantor’s Young Guns Network Super PAC, given $70,800 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and has committed at least $20 million into Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Earlier this year, ABC News found that Adelson’s company “has been under criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials.”
The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Sheldon Adelson isn’t turning the other cheek this time:
In a scathing letter to the [DCCC], Sheldon Adelson’s lawyer accused the organization of “maliciously branding Mr. Adelson as a pimp” and demanded the DCCC either retract and apologize or be sued.
The three-page missive to DCCC press secretary Jesse Ferguson refers to a claim already rated “Pants on Fire” by PoitiFact because it is a claim made in a lawsuit against the Las Vegas Sands chairman, who is dominating the headlines this cycle with his SuperPAC donations. The letter demands the claim be scrubbed from the DCCC site as well as an apology, “a prominent statement, in a form approved by Mr. Adelson, retracting and apologizing for your false claims.”
This might change the subject from the economy but it isn’t the type of distraction that’ll help the DCCC. It’s the type of thing that’ll tell people that the DCCC won’t hesitate in defaming people in their effort to win control of the House.
Mr. Adelson has more than enough money to hire a legal team to totally bury the DCCC if that’s what he chooses. If the DCCC doesn’t publicly apologize for these dishonest, disgusting statements, he’ll file the lawsuit against the DCCC.
Once that happens, the DCCC will be exposed as one of the most digustingly vile, corrupt political organizations in American politics. While it’s true that the American people think most politicians are corrupt, there is a tipping point, a jump-the-shark moment, where they get utterly disgusted and turn on that organization.
If the DCCC doesn’t apologize ASAP, Democrats nationwide will suffer. Their reputations will suffer because of their connection to this organization. They’ll suffer financially because people who need money to be competitive won’t have the money because fundraising will dry up.
The DCCC, and the candidates that get assistance from them, will be tainted by this disgusting press release. If they don’t apologize for this ASAP, that’ll be the least of their worries.
After being obstructionists without an original idea, the DCCC is facing the likelihood that their top targeted race is slipping away. With each passing day, the case for re-electing Chip Cravaack keeps getting stronger. That’s why they dispatched hatchetman Eric Pusey to continue their fabrications:
The title for Pusey’s video is an outright lie:
Chip Cravaack will not hold town halls in Duluth
That wasn’t enough for Pusey, though. He shoved a microphone in Chip’s face and asked why Chip hasn’t had a townhall in Duluth. That’s factually inaccurate. Chip was right in pointing that out. Then Pusey made his mistake. That’s when he asked Chip if he planned on having another one, which is fair game.
After Chip replied that he was planning “something special” for Duluth and that they were ironing out the details, Pusey asked if Chip would show up for the event.
That’s one of the dumbest things a pretend reporter has ever asked. It’s impossible to take Pusey seriously. Why would a congressman announce that he’s planning something special, then not attend?
There are really 2 stories working here. The first is that Chip Cravaack will be far more difficult to topple than the DCCC initially thought. The morning after Chip Cravaack defeated Jim Oberstar, the DCCC has salivated over the thought that the seat would return to their column in 2012.
That isn’t going to happen because Chip’s won over old-fashioned Democrats by fighting for mining. Meanwhile, Democrats in DC have shown that they won’t fight for the construction unions.
The other story is that the DFL’s pathetic chanting point of Chip being out of touch with his constituents isn’t working. That’s why they tried shoving a mic in his face in the hopes of getting Chip flustered.
It isn’t just that Chip handled it perfectly. It’s that Pusey looked like a spoiled brat having a hissy fit.
In the end, this is about Chip getting re-elected. Right now, the DFL and the DCCC aren’t happy that they won’t retake the seat they thought was their’s for the taking.
This morning, I had the privilege of interviewing Congressman Chip Cravaack. The first thing that comes across with Congressman Cravaack is his common sense.
When asked about his fight for mining families, Congressman Cravaack talked about a recent townhall meeting. During his presentation, he noticed a union worker nodding his head as he listened to Chip. Chip said that “It was like he was thinking to himself ‘Why is it that I don’t support him’”?
The DFL and the DCCC has done its best to villainize Congressman Cravaack, which is to be expected. What they aren’t expecting is the difficulty they’ll have in pigeon-holing Congressman Cravaack. What they can’t anticipate is the difficult time they’ll have in proving Congressman Cravaack doesn’t relate to the people of the Iron Range.
Two years ago, Chip Cravaack competed with then-Rep. Jim Oberstar for a union endorsement at the Minntac Mine. He lost the endorsement to then-Rep. Oberstar but he was bouyed by the fact that he lost by a 28-25 margin.
Congressman Cravaack isn’t like previous GOP candidates in CD-8. His no-nonsense style and his outreach will make Rep. Cravaack difficult to defeat.
If any CD-8 DFL activist was surprised by Tarryl’s statement after their straw poll, I could’ve told them this would happen. Here’s what Tarryl said via press release:
“Some have said there were significant irregularities last night and were hoping for much higher participation. The stakes are too high to let “politics as usual” determine the fate of Minnesota and our country. Instead, I am committed to creating good jobs for Minnesota families and keeping America’s promises to our seniors, veterans and children.”
This isn’t about politics as usual. It’s about people not warming up to Tarryl. That’s partially because she’s a carpetbagger, partially because she isn’t that great of a candidate. She’s bought into the fallacy that she’s a rising star in the DFL.
The reality is that she was barely good enough to win a state senate seat. She might not have done that if not for 2006 being a terrible year for Republicans.
To be fair, Tarryl’s fundraising abilities are excellent. Unfortunately for Tarryl, she’s as phony as a $3 bill. It isn’t difficult tripping her up.
Rick Nolan is somewhat of an elder statesman in the CD-8 DFL. That’s polite for ‘He’s a fossil’. He’s checked off all the right boxes. He’s served in the House before. In fact, he was my congressman starting in 1975.
The bottom line is this: Neither Nolan nor Tarryl will beat Chip Cravaack in the 8th because he’s accomplished so much in his brief time in office. There’s no question that he’ll be targeted by the DCCC. There’s no question that Chip’s alot tougher than the DCCC is giving him credit for.
The reality is that that district isn’t as blue as people think. I quoted Charlie Cook’s report in this post:
According to Charlie Cook’s PVI index chart, Minnesota’s Eighth District is a D +3 district, meaning there’s a 3 point gap in registration between Democrats and Republicans. If that’s accurate, and there’s no reason to think it isn’t, then Oberstar is in serious trouble.
Alot of GOP political veterans said that the only thing keeping the 8th a blue district was Rep. Oberstar. It turns out that that wasn’t even right.
Tuesday afternoon, Chip Cravaack’s office issued this statement on the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act:
“After a five-year delay and 23 temporary extensions, this FAA compromise is critical to advancing the nearly eight percent of our nation’s economy impacted by the aviation industry. I commend my colleagues in the House and Senate for working toward a middle-ground solution in the best interest of American workers and their families.”
“While I have always said that EAS needs to be reformed, I’ve worked hard to ensure this long-term funding bill protects Minnesota aviation and construction workers, and finally provides much needed certainty for family budgets.”
Jim Oberstar was the House Transportation Committee chair for 4 of those 5 years. Oberstar’s leadership produced the “five-year delay and 23 temporary extensions.”
Combine that with the likelihood that PolyMet Mining will become reality this year, another thing Rep. Oberstar didn’t get done, and you’ve got the picture that Chip is a problem-solver. Rep. Oberstar’s reputation is that of being a porkmeister.
It isn’t surprising that the DCCC is targeting Chip this year. Before the 2010 midterms, Democrats had held Oberstar’s seat for over 60 years. They aren’t likely to just give up on Chip’s seat.
It isn’t likely that they’ll retake Oberstar’s seat, either. Chip’s accomplishments are substantial. Chip’s accomplishments include creating great paying new jobs on the Range.
The legislation, now prepared for passage, ensures long-term aviation safety and infrastructure funding for the next four years. Importantly, the legislation will not terminate existing Essential Air Service (EAS) programs in Minnesota. Conference reports cannot be amended.
Rep. Oberstar’s recent history shows that he didn’t come close to settling this budget. That’s a committee chair’s first responsibility. If that’s the criteria, Rep. Oberstar’s grade couldn’t top a C, with a C- a distinct possibility.
By comparison, Chip’s grade in helping Minnesota and MN-8 has to be at least a B, with a B+ a definite possibility.
That’s the difference between Beltway leadership and real leadership.
This morning, Michele Bachmann announced that she’s seeking re-election to her Sixth District seat:
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday she will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House following her failed presidential bid.
Bachmann declared her plans in an interview with The Associated Press. The Republican congresswoman had been mum on her plans since folding her presidential campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann will be a formidable candidate in Minnesota’s 6th District, where other Republican hopefuls had stood aside until she made a decision on running for re-election. Some experts had speculated that Bachmann might instead turn to a career in talk media.
That ends speculation that the DFL has a chance of flipping her seat. They don’t. Take that seat off the radar.
Her announcement came in an interview to react to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. Just as she did on the campaign trail, Bachmann criticized Obama for “doubling down on failures that didn’t work.”
“We have to radically scale back on government spending, we have to radically cut back on debt accumulation,” Bachmann said.
It’s refreshing to hear Michele back talking about cutting President Obama’s reckless spending. What’s even more promising is the likelihood that she’ll have a gavel with which to start implementing that agenda.
Ed’s on the case, too, with this post:
Bachmann won her last re-election bid against well-known Taryl Clark by twelve points, so redistricting is probably not a big concern for Bachmann. Minnesota’s Congressional allocation did not change in the last census, although it only narrowly avoided losing a district. The redistricting plan will likely shift the margins around a little, perhaps moving a few precincts of very liberal MN-05 (Keith Ellison’s district) into MN-06, but it’s doubtful that MN-06 will change dramatically enough to endanger Bachmann in 2012.
Besides, Bachmann raised her stature considerably during the presidential campaign. She now has a broader base for fundraising, which builds on what had already been a strength for her in the past. While her hyperbole on Gardasil hurt her in the campaign (and will almost certainly be revisited by the DFL in the district), her overall performance dispelled the “crazy eyes” image that the media had imposed on her during her rise in the House and with Tea Party grassroots. Bachmann ended up presenting the most effective debate attacks on Rick Perry and then later Newt Gingrich, and was a formidable force in those encounters throughout the race.
Ed later said that the DCCC would likely dump lots of money into Michele’s race, something I question a bit. They dumped tons of money into her race in 2010 with a candidate they thought was perfectly suited to defeat Michele. They spent alot of money but Michele still kicked Tarryl’s ass.
At some point, you’d think that the money people at the DCCC would say ‘No mas’. This might be that year.