Senate Dems Campaign Arm Is Pressuring Consultants Not To Work With Leading Progressive Campaign Candidates

“First they came for the House candidates; now they’re gonna come for the Senate candidates. It’s not rocket science to see where this is heading.”

[Editor’s Note: This story was forwarded to me by a  long-time community dem party organizer who has worked hard in campaign after campaign. The link came with the following comment: “It is very hard to stay connected to these as*holes.” The dems continue to cast off some of their most passionate volunteers. — Mark L. Taylor]

By Aída Chávez & Akela Lacy
The Intercept (8/29/19)

BEFORE THE Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee [DSCC] endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate race, it pressured consultants from at least five firms not to work with a leading progressive in the race, the candidate told The Intercept.

Andrew Romanoff, who is one of more than a dozen candidates vying for Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s seat, told The Intercept that multiple consultants turned down jobs with his campaign citing pressure from the DSCC.

“They’re threatening people’s livelihoods, if people dare break with what the insiders in Washington want. It’s extortion.”

“They’ve made it clear to a number of the firms and individuals we tried to hire that they wouldn’t get any business in Washington or with the DSCC if they worked with me,” Romanoff said. “It’s been a well-orchestrated operation to blackball ragtag grassroots teams.”

At least five firms and 25 prospective staff turned down working with his campaign, said Romanoff, who has raised more than $1 million in individual contributions so far. “I spoke to the firms, my campaign manager spoke to the staff prospects,” he said. “Pretty much everyone who checked in with the DSCC got the same warning: Helping us would cost them.”

A consultant who spoke to The Intercept on the condition of anonymity said that their firm had been far along in talks to work for Romanoff when they got word that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the DSCC weren’t happy. The firm was told by a top DSCC staffer that they “absolutely under no circumstances could work for Andrew Romanoff, so we withdrew our offer to be his consulting firm.”

More heavy-handed

The DSCC is using an “unquestionably far more heavy-handed approach this year than they have in previous cycles,” the consultant said.

Earlier this year, the DSCC’s companion organization in the House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made it official policy to cut off funding and vendors to Democrats who challenged incumbent Democrats. Putting the policy in writing ratcheted up what had been more of an informal understanding in prior cycles. But if the DSCC’s intervention in Colorado is any indication, the Democrats’ Senate campaign arm is taking the blacklist one step further, by discouraging consultants from working not only for challengers to incumbent Democrats, but also for progressives running against the establishment’s preferred candidate in a seat currently held by the GOP. …

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Failing Upward: Corporate Lobbyists Run the Democratic Party

The line between donors and party officials is increasingly blurry

By Michael Sainato
Observer (8/15/17)

Donald Trump managed to contrast himself with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party with his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” Clearly, voters agreed that government is overrun with special interests, lobbyists and Super PACs. Despite voters’ demands to sever ties with donors, the DNC, DCCC, and Democratic establishment have doubled down on their ties to these powerful interest groups instead of enacting reform.

As the Democratic Party cozies up to corporate lobbyists, its relationship with voters has disintegrated. Lobbyists bundle campaign donations to ensure Republicans and Democrats represent their interests, leaving voters feeling abandoned.

Part of party leadership’s apprehension to adopt reforms stems from their inability to take responsibility for the party’s losses throughout the last decade. Instead, establishment Democrats blame Sen. Bernie Sanders, his supporters, Jill Stein, Russia, and several other scapegoats. Instead of analyzing their missteps, party leadership affirms it did nothing wrong. Arrogance, entitlement, and insults are the Democratic Party’s fuel. The Democratic establishment writes off those who challenge the status quo. However, if Democrats have any hope of escaping irrelevancy, reform is necessary.

The polarity within the Democratic Party is mischaracterized as “infighting.” There are two sides: those who are fighting to preserve the status quo and those who are fighting to change it. The preservationists hold political power and leadership positions, and they prefer to embrace moderates over progressives. They revere people like George W. Bush and nostalgically yearn for a more palatable system that functions in service to the elite. They refuse to support progressive policies like single-payer health care, saying they are intangible or good only in theory. They remain silent on conflicts like the Standing Rock’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline while lobbying firms and corporations profit off such injustices.

Billionaire party bosses

The party’s losses have further emboldened these interests to assert their power over the party. In January 2017, a billionaire donor, Stephen Bittel, became the Florida State Democratic Party chair. He has already managed to offend, insult, and ostracize black Democratic leaders in the state. In May 2017, a party insider, Eric Bauman, became California Democratic Party chair. In 2016, he made over $100,000 lobbying on behalf of pharmaceutical companies against a proposition to lower prescription drug costs. …

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