The Democratic Party could soon face much a bigger problem than President Donald Trump and the Republicans.
They’re facing a Civil War within their own party!
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is coming under fire from the party’s progressives for a move designed to cripple the far-left ahead of next year’s elections.
He’s being accused of using an ugly old technique from the past to enforce his iron will: a blacklist.
“They want to blackball us,” Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat hoping to run against Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., next year, told The Los Angeles Times. “We heard the same from enough firms. It’s not an accident.”
Here’s how it works: Schumer and his fellow party leaders control the all-powerful Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which helps to finance Senate campaigns.
Every consultant in Washington wants funds from the DSCC.
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But The Intercept is reporting that consultants are getting the message that they won’t see a penny of that sweet, sweet DSCC cash if they help insurgent candidates.
“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 complained to the Intercept. “It’s been a well-orchestrated operation to blackball ragtag grassroots teams.”
The DSCC has denied a blacklist operations.
But at least two other candidates complained about it to The Times.
Betsy Sweet – who hopes to run in Maine, where the DSCC has already chosen another candidate – told the newspaper that vendors initially “excited” to work with her are suddenly backing off.
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“If you’re part of the political industrial complex and you’re making a career out of it, whether it is implicit or explicit, you don’t want to go up against that machine,” she told the newspaper.
But Schumer could face a major test of his grip on the party after one of the most powerful families in Democratic politics is taking direct aim at a sitting Democratic senator and close Schumer ally.
Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is considering a primary assault on Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
Kennedy has been essentially told by party bigs to wait his turn. But he wrote on Facebook last month that he’s “not sure this is a moment for waiting” and formed an exploratory committee.
This week, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-N.V. – chair of the DSCC – fired a warning shot at Kennedy, saying the committee “will be there” for Markey.
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“That’s why we were created,” she told Politico. “To support our incumbents.”
That means the Democrats could be distracted by a long and ugly fight in their own backyard next summer, right when they should be concentrating on the campaign against Trump and effort to seize the Senate.
Schumer’s backroom campaign is being compared to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2018 efforts to quash far-left and socialist candidates – in particular, her alleged blacklist of firms that worked with “insurgent” candidates, ie., leftists who challenged sitting Democrats in primaries.
Pelosi’s effort wasn’t entirely successful; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her seat by challenging and defeating a long-sitting establishment Democrat (and she’s had a frosty relationship with Pelosi since).
Now, Schumer appears to be be expanding that effort to not only stop progressives from running against incumbents, but from entering any race at all.
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“First they came for the House candidates; now they’re gonna come for the Senate candidates,” Heather Brewer told The Intercept.
Brewer is managing the Senate campaign of New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
But it doesn’t sound like she’s getting much help from Schumer’s team in Washington.
“They’re threatening people’s livelihoods if people dare break with what the insiders in Washington want,” she said. “It’s extortion.”
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”