[Editor’s Note: Hmm, ‘nothing personal’? What is this, a lost episode of the Sopranos? — Mark L. Taylor]
By Lee Fang
The Intercept (4/26/18)
STENY HOYER, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, has for years been a prolific campaigner on behalf of current and potential members of Congress. It was no surprise, then, that December found him in Colorado, where the party has hopes of knocking off Republican incumbent Mike Coffman.
Before Donald Trump had even been inaugurated, local resistance groups began deluging Coffman’s public appearances, pressing him not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and putting him back on his political heels. Levi Tillemann, an author, inventor, and former official with the Obama administration’s Energy Department, moved back home to make a run against Coffman.
He focused his campaign on clean elections, combatting climate change, “Medicare for All,” free community college, and confronting economic inequality and monopoly power. Another candidate for the nomination, Jason Crow, a corporate lawyer at the powerhouse Colorado firm Holland & Hart and an Army veteran, meanwhile, appeared to have the backing of the Democratic establishment, though it wasn’t explicit. In November, it became clearer, as Crow was named by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to the party’s “Red to Blue” list, which the committee specifies is not an endorsement but does carry symbolic weight.
It wasn’t personal, Hoyer insisted, and there was nothing uniquely unfair being done to Tillemann, he explained: This is how the party does it everywhere.
With Hoyer in Denver, Tillemann met the minority whip at the Hilton Denver Downtown to make the case that the party should stay neutral in the primary and that he had a more plausible path to victory than the same centrism that Coffman had already beaten repeatedly.
Hoyer, however, had his own message he wanted to convey: Tillemann should drop out.
In a frank and wide-ranging conversation, Hoyer laid down the law for Tillemann. The decision, Tillemann was told, had been made long ago. The decision, Tillemann was told, had been made long ago. It wasn’t personal, Hoyer insisted, and there was nothing uniquely unfair being done to Tillemann, he explained: This is how the party does it everywhere.
Tillemann had heard the argument before from D.C. insiders and local Democratic bigwigs, all of whom had discouraged him from challenging the establishment favorite. The only difference was that for this conversation, the candidate had his phone set to record.
Crushing competitive primaries
The secretly taped audio recording, released here for the first time, reveals how senior Democratic officials have worked to crush competitive primaries and steer political resources, money, and other support to hand-picked candidates in key races across the country, long before the party publicly announces a preference. The invisible assistance boosts the preferred candidate in fundraising and endorsements, and then that fundraising success and those endorsements are used to justify national party support. Meanwhile, opponents of the party’s unspoken pick are driven into paranoia, wondering if they are merely imagining that unseen hands are working against them.
Hoyer bluntly told Tillemann that it wasn’t his imagination, and that mobilizing support for one Democratic candidate over another in a primary isn’t unusual. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., chair of the DCCC, has a “policy that early on, we’d try to agree on a candidate who we thought could win the general and give the candidate all the help we could give them,” Hoyer told Tillemann matter-of-factly. …
Senior Democrat Steny Hoyer Caught On Tape Pressuring Progressive Congressional Candidate to Drop Out Of Race
This is going on all across the nation.
Washington insiders call the shots in state elections.
Democracy Now! (4/26/18)
A new exposé by The Intercept confirms how powerful Democratic officials have worked to crush competitive progressive candidates in primaries around the country, choosing instead to back moderate, business-friendly candidates. This comes after President Obama used his farewell address to encourage Americans upset about the outcome of the 2016 election to take action by running for office themselves.
We speak with Levi Tillemann, a Colorado man who heeded Obama’s call and found himself disappointed by the process, after he was repeatedly pressured by powerful Democrats not to run. In fact, he recorded a conversation in which he was directly told to drop out of the Democratic primary for Colorado’s sixth Congressional district by none other than the second-ranking House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
We go to Denver to speak with Levi Tillemann, a candidate in Colorado’s Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District, which includes Denver. He is featured in the new exposé by Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, “Secretly Taped Audio Reveals Democratic Official Pressuring Progressive to Bow Out of Election.”
Stand Up To Corrupt National Democratic Leadership — Support Colorado Progressive Congressional Primary Candidate Levi Tillerman
“This is not about me . . . This is about the future of our democracy and community; it’s about the kind of America we want to live in and the kind of world we want to leave for our children and our grand children.“ — Progressive candidate Levi Tillerman
Link to campaign website and put your credit card where your progressive principles are, HERE.