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Democrats trying to unseat each other II

lpetrich

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lpetrich

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Feds issue subpoenas seeking records related to Rep. Cuellar and his wife, associates - ABC News
The federal grand jury probe that led to the raid of Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's home and office in Texas this week has begun issuing subpoenas, seeking records about a wide array of U.S. companies and advocacy organizations, many of them with ties to the former Soviet nation of Azerbaijan.

Among the information being sought, according to one subpoena reviewed by ABC News, are records related to the congressman, his wife Imelda, and at least one of his campaign staffers.

...
Touting Azerbaijan as "a secular, modern, Muslim country," Cuellar has been an outspoken advocate for the nation over the past decade, even serving as a co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus.

...
The "Baku Summer Energy School" program was backed by a partnership between ExxonMobil, the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, and the nation's state-owned gas company, known as SOCAR, according to the press releases.

...
The subpoena reviewed by ABC News is seeking, among other information, records related to Oksuz, SOCAR, the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, and other entities that the Justice Department mentioned in its case against Oksuz.

Rep. Henry Cuellar Forged Ties With Azerbaijani Oil Interests, Pushed Agenda in Congress - "The Texas lawmaker’s home was raided by the FBI on Wednesday, reportedly in connection with an investigation involving Azerbaijani business interests."
In fact, an Azerbaijani organization Cuellar has had close ties with over the years was previously the subject of an FBI investigation, with its president pleading guilty to charges of wooing members of Congress by serving as a front for the nation’s wholly owned oil company.

In January 2013, Cuellar and his spouse flew to Turkey and Azerbaijan on a trip sponsored by an entity calling itself the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians, according to congressional disclosure reports. The trip for the Cuellars cost just south of $20,000 and was approved by the House Ethics Committee.

Kemal Oksuz, listed as Turquoise Council president, told the Ethics Committee that no foreign money paid for the trip, according to disclosures, but that claim is questionable given events that unfolded not long after.

In 2018, Oksuz pleaded guilty to concealing the fact that a separate congressional trip in May 2013 to Azerbaijan had been funded by a foreign government; he was sentenced in 2019. Oksuz had claimed that the trip in question was paid for by the Turquoise Council and the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan, both of which purport to promote regional and transnational cooperation. In truth, the trip was paid for by SOCAR, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, a wholly owned national oil and gas company.
It's not only in the US that Azerbaijan's officials try to buy influence.
Azerbaijan has been caught up in repeated scandals around the world in which it has been probed for attempting to bribe legislators. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe released a report in 2018 saying that its former members had engaged in “corruptive activities” with the Azerbaijan government. The German Bundestag last year also backed a corruption probe, according to Transparency International, after “the Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation showed how a network of slush funds financed such ‘caviar diplomacy’ through opaque payments to politicians across Europe.”
 

Derec

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So, yeah, sometimes the bad actor shoots and it ends up too late for one person, perhaps the only person to respond.
And so what, right? It's just a cop, or a bystander, right? Who cares about them. Main thing fewer thugs get wasted.

Given that even officers have shit aim, and they practice all the time, it's generally not too late even then.
Bullshit. Every time somebody shoots at you, it's dangerous.

Also given that they are armored, this is yet another contingency.

Armor is hardly 100%.
Take a look at this case, from today:
NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Killed In Harlem Shooting, Another Fighting For His Life

CBS New York said:
Police say three officers were sent to an apartment at 119 W. 135th St. around 6:15 p.m. in response to a 911 call from a woman who said she was in a dispute with her son. The caller did not mention any injuries or any weapons, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
[...]
One officer remained with the woman and son while the other two went down a long, narrow hallway to the back bedroom.
Police say the door to the bedroom then swung open and numerous shots were fired, striking the two officers.
[...]
The injured officers and McNeil were taken to Harlem Hospital, where Rivera later died.
McNeil underwent surgery at the hospital. His current condition is unknown.
Initial reports suggested the third officer who fired at McNeil also sustained some injuries in the incident.

So much better had the perp been shot before he could take a shot and murder at least one officer!
No, response with the brandishing of your firearm and a movement to the side, preferably with a good fake of they raise it, would be appropriate.
Movement to the side? They are not Smith or Neo. Or Boris the Bullet Dodger. They can't dodge bullets.

Anything else would be preemptive.
And when a perp pulls a gun on you, preemptive action is warranted. Otherwise you endanger your life, the life of your partner(s) and sometimes even the lives of bystanders, needlessly.

We give them armor to not be preemptive.
Bullshit. Armor does not cover the entire body. You can still be shot and badly injured and even killed despite the body armor.

There are perhaps some corner cases like, Mexican standoff bluff style cases, but those are details from the subject of the common case.
The goal should be to not let things degenerate to a Mexican standoff in the first place!
resevoir-dogs.gif


A known attacker with a known playbook shot by the FBI because he was under investigation and had made preparations for an attack.
And yet, he could still have had a replica or an unloaded weapon. And despite that, it was correct to shoot him before he shot somebody else.
 
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lpetrich

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EXPOSED: Corrupt Dem’s Shady Ties To Foreign Oil Company - YouTube - by Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks
Earlier this week, the FBI raided the Laredo, Texas, home of Rep. Henry Cuellar. According to ABC News, the raid was made in connection with an ongoing investigation linked to Azerbaijan. While little is known about this specific FBI probe, which CNN reported involves the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, Cuellar’s relationship to Azerbaijan is well documented.

In fact, an Azerbaijani organization Cuellar has had close ties with over the years was previously the subject of an FBI investigation, with its president pleading guilty to charges of wooing members of Congress by serving as a front for the nation’s wholly owned oil company.

In January 2013, Cuellar and his spouse flew to Turkey and Azerbaijan on a trip sponsored by an entity calling itself the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians, according to congressional disclosure reports. The trip for the Cuellars cost just south of $20,000 and was approved by the House Ethics Committee.
Also mentions such tidbits as Henry Cuellar not allowing humanitarian aid to be sent to Armenia about the recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region inside of Azerbaijan a little east of Armenia. It could only be sent to Azerbaijan or the UN.
 

lpetrich

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The REAL Progressive Candidates Directory of 2021-2022 – Progressive Graffiti

Mentioned endorsers like Bold Progressives, Brand New Congress, Democratic Socialists of America, Indivisible, Justice Democrats, Local Berniecrats, Move On, Our Revolution, Run for Something, and the Working Families Party.

That page has a section on what makes a campaign website a good one, starting with having one. A Facebook or Twitter feed is not easily searchable.

A campaign website ought to contain the candidate's platform. What does the candidate propose to do? Like support Medicare for All or a Green New Deal.

A progressive candidate ought to brag about not accepting corporate support, and the candidate's site ought to have a prominent "Donate" button, though must be much more than that button.

A campaign site ought to state the candidate's location, the candidate's affiliation or independence, the office that the candidate is running for, and primary and general election dates.

Knock Down the House - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - YouTube -- she compared her campaign mailers to her opponent's ones, dismissing them as a "Victoria's Secret catalog" without much substance. Hers provided a platform and a primary date, while his didn't, other than "standing up to Trump".
 

lpetrich

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Kate Aronoff on Twitter: "As it happens Henry Cuellar is not the only person on the federal payroll who is passionate about oil and gas development in Azerbaijan. He just happens to have a job where it's easier for that to get you in trouble! (link)" / Twitter
Henry Cuellar’s Azerbaijan Scandal Is a Very American Tale of Oil Addiction | The New Republic - "The FBI’s raid on the Texas congressman’s home is a reminder of how much we normalize ties to foreign (and domestic) oil."

Going into gory detail about HC's Azerbaijan connections, and including this tidbit.
The U.S. today continues to treat the development of Azerbaijani oil as an American security interest well within its sphere of influence. In recent years—through the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations—that’s meant supporting the Southern Gas Corridor. The recently completed project carries fuel from the Shah Deniz gas fields to Europe via the South Caucasus pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
Southern Gas Corridor - Bankwatch

The pipeline starts near Baku, Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, and goes through south Asian Georgia, north Turkey, and north Greece, before ending in Italy's boot heel.

Kate Aronoff on Twitter: "Did you know the US government has given millions of dollars to the Azerbaijan State Border Service to protect oil platforms? Well now you do! (link)" / Twitter
noting
US Ambassador: Southern Gas Corridor places Azerbaijan in the forefront of energy security for many of our allies and partners
 

lpetrich

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Nice interview:
She Challenged Manchin, Then Left the Democrats. Here's Why. - YouTube
This week, Briahna Joy Gray interviewed 2018 challenger to Joe Manchin, Paula Jean Swearengin, about whether Democrats now regret not backing her 2018 run, or her 2020 run for the other WV senate seat. She explains why she's left the Democratic Party, why she's chosen the Movement for a People's Party over the Green Party or Andrew Yang's Forward Party, what political messages land in Appalachia, and what's next for MPP. Subscribe to listen to or watch the full episode: https://www.patreon.com/badfaithpodcast
It's understandable that the Democratic Party might not have wanted to help her in 2018, but not helping her in 2020 was shameful. If she had gotten into Congress, the last year would have been MUCH better. Instead of having to please both Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, it would only have been necessary to please one of them.

Briahna Joy Gray on Twitter: ""AOC took grassroots money with her grassroots pack and gave it to corporate candidates. People that did give up their lunch money--that did work hard for her...she turned it around and gave it to people she's supposed to fight against."
-@paulajean2020
(links)" / Twitter

Episode 144 - Burning Down The House (& Senate) w/ Paula Jean Swearengin & Gregg Marcel Dixon | Bad Faith on Patreon
Early in 2020 or thereabouts, AOC sent some money to some of her colleagues to assist in their campaigns. Many of them found her gift unwelcome, it must be noted.

Be Like Water on Twitter: "The sooner we stop focusing on personalities & campaign speeches the sooner we can get to the real business of fighting for policy, & real change while holding all candidates responsible for votes regardless of their party or popularity. That's the definition of movement building" / Twitter
I agree on movement building.

🌹#PortiaABoulger on Twitter: "@BeLikeWahter @paulajean2020 Thank you @briebriejoy and @paulajean2020 for speaking the truth about @AOC. Since I met her in GA, I knew AOC was about ginning it up for herself. She climbs right up on the backs of others to get to the front of the line.
#TruthMatters #ElectHonestPeople" / Twitter


Paula Jean Swearengin #PeoplesParty on Twitter: "@PortiaABoulger @BeLikeWahter @briebriejoy @AOC I wish I would have listened to you back then. I really appreciate your leadership and wisdom." / Twitter
 

lpetrich

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PJS has joined the People's Party, and although she is fond of Cori Bush, she is disappointed in CB's performance.

As to what AOC did,
Extra "Crunchy" Granola on Twitter: "@briebriejoy @paulajean2020 I'm disappointed that you are choosing to feature this. AOC did nothing wrong. On the contrary, she helped secure a Dem majority House. I'm disappointed that with all the corruption going on in her own state and with politics in general, PJ chooses to try to tear down AOC." / Twitter

Remi on Twitter: "@ExtraGranola @briebriejoy @paulajean2020 "AOC gave money to corporate Democrats" is the most blatantly dishonest way to spin "AOC put corporate Dems in an awkward position by dangling money in front of them, attempting to coax them into actually doing things for voters, and gaining financial leverage over them."" / Twitter
AOC says that she also offered to help her more vulnerable colleagues in their campaigns. They refused, and several of them lost. The ones she did help all won, she says.

I crunched the numbers on the 2020 races, and the losers were all relatively conservative Democrats. Only one endorser of AOC's Green New Deal lost, and no Medicare for All endorsers.

I find it telling that corporate Democrats all of a sudden became very choosy about who they accept bribes from, I mean campaign contributions.
 

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Jessica Cisneros on Twitter: "While we’re out there, doing everything we can to save our loved ones, Cuellar is lining his pockets with money from Big Pharma & the insurance companies charging us high prices or even denying us care.

It's time to replace him: (links)" / Twitter


Ryan Grim on Twitter: "Cuellar banking left (!) in the final stretch (pix link)" / Twitter
97% RECORD VOTING WITH THE DEMOCRATS.
100% RECORD WORKING WITH ANYONE TO DELIVER RESULTS FOR SOUTH TEXAS FAMILIES.

VOTE DEMOCRAT
HENRY CUELLAR
Working with Anyone to Get
RESULTS FOR US

MAKING HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE, fought to lower prescription drug costs, and Increased funding for law enforcement and border security.

PASSED A $15 MINIMUM WAGE AND $1400 STIMULUS CHECKS to put money back in the pockets of South Texas families.

LOWERED ENERGY COSTS, EXPANDED RURAL BROADBAND, AND STANDING UP FOR GOOD-PAYING JOBS.
Ryan Grim on Twitter: "Needless to say, he’s been an obstacle on most of these issues" / Twitter

Then
Kate Aronoff on Twitter: "If I were the subject of an FBI probe regarding my ties to the government of Azerbaijan my last ditch messaging would not emphasize my willingness to "work with anyone"" / Twitter
 

lpetrich

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Justice Democrats on Twitter: ""Few members of the House did more to ensure the demise of the Biden agenda than Cuellar, who teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce and fellow ConservaDems to loudly oppose the Build Back Better Act" (link)" / Twitter
Becoming one of the right-wing-Democrat "Unbreakable Nine".

Alex Sammon on Twitter: "Henry Cuellar is a sure opponent of whatever Dems run on in '22—the climate-only BBB, defending Roe v Wade, opposing corruption, opposing the GOP. It took Pelosi's last minute intervention to save him in '20 and he repaid her by resisting Build Back Better. (link)" / Twitter
I hope that she decides to ditch him.

David Dayen on Twitter: "If you could pick anyone in the Dem caucus more hostile to its agenda, & less of a fit with the likely anti-corruption, pro-choice, anti-GOP midterm campaign, it'd be Henry Cuellar. Will Dem leadership support him in the primary anyway? From @alex_sammon: (link)" / Twitter
noting
Will the Establishment Try to Save Henry Cuellar in Texas? - The American Prospect
Few members of the House did more to ensure the demise of the Biden agenda than Cuellar, who teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce and fellow ConservaDems to loudly oppose the Build Back Better Act as a member of the “unbreakable nine.” The unbreakable nine proved breakable, as Cuellar eventually voted to pass BBB, but not before proliferating the talking points that Senate Dems would use to kill it in its entirety. Summing up his own year in Congress, the best Cuellar can plausibly say for himself is that he tried to oppose his own party and the president’s agenda, but they succeeded in overcoming him.

...
Cisneros challenged Cuellar in 2020 and lost by four points, a surprisingly tight outcome given the incumbent’s long tenure and his sizable fundraising advantage. In fact, it’s possible that Cuellar would have lost outright if not for a drastic, last-second personal intervention from Nancy Pelosi, who came to South Texas in the race’s final days to raise money on his behalf. Cuellar, of course, repaid the favor by making a mess of BBB, which will almost certainly end up as the last shot Pelosi had to pass major legislation in her political lifetime. It was a stunning jab in the eyeball to someone who does not have a short memory. (Pelosi has not yet endorsed in the race.)
 

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Henry Cuellar Is First Democrat Backed By Koch Super PAC | HuffPost Latest News
A super PAC founded and funded by billionaire Charles Koch reported $34,000 in spending to support Rep. Henry Cuellar’s (D-Texas) primary campaign, according to a Friday filing with the Federal Election Commission.

This is the first time that Americans for Prosperity Action is backing the election campaign of a congressional Democrat.
noting
Form 24 for Americans for Prosperity Action, Inc.
with more details in
Schedule E for Report FEC-1385465
Cuellar, a seven-term incumbent, is facing a tough primary challenge from immigration and human rights lawyer Jessica Cisneros. He has one of the most conservative voting records among Democrats in Congress despite representing a safe Democratic seat. His reelection is supported by large national and Texas corporations and business associations, including the American Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Laredo Chamber of Commerce.

Cisneros has won endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, national and local progressive groups, including Justice Democrats, women’s groups, environmental groups, as well as labor unions like the Service Employees International Union and the local Texas AFL-CIO.
Both sides have been the subject of a lot of outside spending.
A nonprofit group called American Workers for Progress spent $720,000 in January on issue ads backing Cuellar. The group is associated with Texas-based political consultant Gilberto Ocañas and was created as a Delaware-corporation on Dec. 11. There is little other information explaining who supports it or is funding its pro-Cuellar efforts.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the chief lobbying organization for corporate America, has also announced plans to spend $200,000 backing Cuellar. Like American Workers for Progress, the Chamber does not disclose its donors. The American Bankers Association is also running ads in English and Spanish backing Cuellar.

Cisneros has received backing from Texas Forward, a super PAC affiliated with the pro-choice women’s nonprofit EMILY’s List. It has not yet reported its donors to the FEC.
 

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Progressive Democratic Ohio Senate candidate Morgan Harper has been trying to get fellow Democrat Tim Ryan to debate her, without success. However, she got a debate with Republican candidate Josh Mandel.
Josh Mandel, the Republican, wants to be seen as the Trumpiest among the G.O.P. candidates he’ll eventually face.

Morgan Harper, the Democrat, is running to the left of her best-known competitor, Representative Tim Ryan.

Mandel, ever the provocateur, lived up to his reputation. “I do not believe in separation of church and state,” he said. He added: “It. Does. Not. Exist.”

“I don’t even really know where to begin,” Harper replied, calling it a “core American value.”

Mandel called Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs,” falsely claimed the 2020 election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump and accused China of manufacturing the coronavirus. Harper said Mandel was “spewing nonsense” to win Trump’s endorsement while ignoring real issues.

Mandel called Harper a “loony Nancy Pelosi” over her support of green energy and called himself “pro-God, pro-gun, pro-Trump.”

Harper said she was “scared, as a woman, as a Black person,” of the idea of Mandel getting “anywhere near a seat of power in the United States Senate.”
 

lpetrich

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Home | Her Time - Katie Hill's PAC. She is endorsing a lot of female Democratic incumbents (name, district, Report Cards for 2020 - Ideology Score - All Representatives - GovTrack.us, House Election Results 2020: Democrats Hold Control - The New York Times,  2022 United States House of Representatives elections):

Angie Craig MN-02 0.42 2.2 0, Katie Porter CA-47 0.24 7.0 +3 , Lauren Underwood IL-14 0.30 1.4 +4, Susan Wild PA-07 0.29 3.8 0, Abigail Spanberger VA-07 0.50 1.8 +1, Sharice Davids KS-03 0.35 10.0 +1, Mikie Sherrill NJ-11 0.38 6.6 +5, Lucy McBath 0.37 GA-07 9.2 +8, Elissa Slotkin MI-07 0.42 3.6 -2, Haley Stevens MI-11 0.35 3.4 +7, Cindy Axne IA-03 0.51 1.4 -3, Kim Schrier WA-08 0.35 3.6 +1, Carolyn Bourdeaux GA-07 new 2.8 +8, Jahana Hayes CT-05 0.10 11.6 +2, Susie Lee NV-03 0.41 3.0 +2, Lizzie Fletcher TX-07 0.40 3.0 +14

Most of these candidates won by narrow margins in districts that are only narrowly Democratic, and they span the full range of ideology in the Democratic Party, from liberal Jahana Hayes and Katie Porter to conservative Cindy Axne and Abigail Spanberger ("Don’t say socialism ever again!")
 

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Looking back a bit.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "The reason a lot of DC insiders are freaking out ..." / Twitter
The reason a lot of DC insiders are freaking out is bc starting in ‘16/‘18, people started to vote en masse for members who reject corporate $.

Those victories built over time. & while big money still has the upper hand (for now), lobbyists can’t dictate the way they’re used to-

&that is jarring to both a culture built on corporate lobbying & media struggling to cover this well. That’s why you see knot-twisting headlines attempting to frame a caucus of ~100 members as the problem instead of the conservative handful blocking votes w/ inconsistent demands-

& I suspect it may also be why you see media reflexively centering coverage of these bills on a number instead of what’s actually in them.

The thing is, 1 number doesn’t tell you anything. It doesn’t help you as a normal person understand at ALL how your life could improve.

Additionally, changes to a topline number isn’t necessarily shorthand for a conservative or progressive policy either.

Ex: There’s a world where a bigger number over longer time could be a conservative win, or a smaller number over shorter time could be a progressive win.Or not!

That’s why it’s so important to discuss this not just in numbers, but in changes to the leg.

Let’s say we bring down $3.5T. We can do that by taxing the rich to offset, cutting universal pre-k, or shortening the funding time.

All can bring outlay down. Which one do you prefer?

THAT kind of conversation helps YOU as a normal person understand & bring you in the same convos that we as your Reps are having as we negotiate.

That empowers you to give your input. & THAT is of so much more service to you than discussing optics or political beefs or whatever
James Surowiecki on Twitter: "Is this actually true? I thought the Dem wave in 2018 mostly swept moderates into office." / Twitter
then
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Many newer moderates won on pledges of rejecting corporate PACs. It’s a progressive value that went mainstream bc no matter your views, most people dislike big money in politics.

That’s also why framing this as “mod vs prog” is inaccurate - it’s a much smaller group stonewalling" / Twitter

Seems like the new wave of progressives is having a little bit of impact, of giving an incentive to avoid problematic funding sources.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Also I don’t see ..." / Twitter
Also I don’t see how it makes sense to frame this infra bill as the #1 determinant of the midterms when the same slow-walkers here are halting voting rights.

Could pass the best bill ever & it’s all a wash if Black & underserved voters are systematically disenfranchised next yr.

With upcoming midterms, we can’t afford to lose the plot.

This is still the same GOP that attempted to usurp the presidential election & collaborated w/ white supremacists to attack the US Capitol.

Protecting voting rights & mobilizing everybody - not just suburbs - is crucial
 

lpetrich

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From last fall:

1010 WINS on Twitter: "Chair of NY Democrats faces calls to resign over KKK remark about mayoral candidate (links)" / Twitter
noting
Chair of NY Democrats faces calls to resign over KKK remark
Saying that her victory is like KKK leader David Duke winning a Democratic primary. Would he feel it his duty to endorse him?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Jay Jacobs absolutely should resign ..." / Twitter
Jay Jacobs absolutely should resign over his disgusting comments comparing a Black single mother who won a historic election to David Duke.

India Walton is the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys’ club is going to change that.

As a federally elected official in the NY Dem party, I have 0 confidence in Jay Jacobs’ ability to lead an NY Dem party that is inclusive & respectful of all.

This is just his latest incident. Jacobs is a toxic presence in the party and his continued post as Chair is shameful.

To have a strong Dem Party, we must have state parties that are truly democratic and operate w/ integrity.

It’s not just his pattern of attacks. Jacobs, as Chair, is undermining the Dem party practice of uniting behind the nominee to protect his predecessor. 💯% disqualifying.
 

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She's back!

Doyle Canning on Twitter: "in personal news:
Progressive Democrat Doyle Canning Announces ‘22 Run for Congress in Oregon’s 4th District. Canning Enters Race with Progressive Endorsements and 200 Donors from Across the District. Full Release (link) #orpol #OR04 #Congress (pix link) / Twitter

noting
PRESS RELEASE: Announcement Canning for Congress in 2022
Progressive Democrat Doyle Canning Announces ‘22 Run for Congress in Oregon’s 4th District

In the Wake of Rep. DeFazio’s Retirement, Canning Enters Race with Progressive Endorsements and Donors from Across the District

Eugene, Oregon -- Doyle Canning filed to run for Congress today in Oregon’s newly redrawn and Democratic leaning Fourth District. Canning, 42, of Eugene, is an environmentalist, attorney, and 20 year veteran community organizer. She is an alumna of the University of Oregon School of Law and was elected Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Environmental Caucus in 2021. This is her second run for Congress, and she enters the race with over 200 donors and endorsements across the District.
Back in the 2020 Democratic Primary for OR-04, incumbent Peter DeFazio got 83.7%, Doyle Canning 15.4%, others and write-ins 0.8%. But PDF is retiring, and he has not named a successor.

I voted for DC back in 2020, and I plan to vote for her again -- I live in OR-04.
 

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Brittany for Congress 🔥 on Twitter: "So many people treat running for office ..." / Twitter
So many people treat running for office like a career move or hobby. It’s a game to them and our communities are pawns to move around and manipulate. THREAD

For them the question of running is one of individual opportunism and goals. They ask themselves “do I want to?” and “can I?” and “how will it help me?” but not really “should I?” or “who asked me or wants me to?” or “is this the best way I can serve?” And once they run their priorities are driven by concerns about “the Black vote” not deep care and commitment to the long term advancement of Black people. (Or women, or the poor, etc etc). We all see it when the come around then disappear. It’s why so many of us check out.

To run for elected office amidst the layered crises we face mostly because you are wealthy and powerful and privileged with the access and identities that will, by default, be perceived as “qualified” and “viable”…to run because you can…is such garish and damaging entitlement. I have been running for Congress in NY-11 for almost a year. I am running because members of my community asked me. Before I said yes I talked to dozens of community leaders, residents and mentors to aak genuinely, “do you think I should? Is this how I can best serve us now?” This campaign has never been about me and it still isn’t. It is about us. It’s a call to organize and flex the enormous but long under-actualized power of people forgotten and ignore by political elites and the 1%. We are the majority. I am part of the 99% of us. And #WeGotUs.

In 2021, against all odds, we raised about half a million without a dime of corporate money. We collected hundreds of surveys on resident priorities and opinions. We highlighted over 30 in-district community leaders doing incredible work. We signed up almost 500 volunteers… We made 10s of thousands of calls, we earned meaningful endorsements, we achieved some of the best earned media in the country, we advocated alongside tenants, workers, immigrants, and more. We organized post-Ida support, did food distribution and donated to families and more. We built a broad, diverse and deeply rooted coalition that can not only win, but can help transform the political landscape to ensure a brighter future and thriving democracy. And we’re growing by the day.

We are the backbone of this district. We are unbought, unbossed and unafraid. We are the majority and when we fight together, we win. We will #FlipNY11 in a historic win for the people. Join us ✊🏼🔥
Linking to her donation page: Unbossed, Unbought, Unafraid.

Max Rose to Run for House, Seeking a Rematch Against Malliotakis - The New York Times - "Mr. Rose, a moderate Democrat, lost to Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican, by six percentage points last year in a conservative New York City district that includes Staten Island."

I expect him to brag about his expertise at winning elections, much like other losing centrist/conservative Democrats.

In the latest proposed Congressional-district map for NY, NY-11 leans a little Democratic, so whoever wins the Democratic primary will likely win the general. It's rather heavily gerrymandered, so the Republicans might sue.
 

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NY State Senator  Alessandra Biaggi has entered the race for NY-03.

She was elected to there in 2018, defeating long-time incumbent Jeffrey Klein. He had been in the State Senate for 14 years, and in the State Assembly for 10 years before that, and he was the #2 Democrat in the NY State Senate and the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Republican-leaning Democrats. Though JK outspent her 9 to 1, she won 54% - 46%, much like AOC's victory over Joe Crowley that year. In 2020, she won the primary with 88% of the vote, and the general election with 74% of the vote.

She has a solid progressive record. From Wikipedia,
In June 2019, the New York legislature passed sweeping anti-sexual-harassment legislation that Biaggi had sponsored.[41] Among other things, the bills reduced employers’ ability to avoid liability for their employees' behavior, provided for attorney fees and punitive damages, and lengthened the timeframe within which to file complaints.[41] In her first six months in office, Biaggi introduced 80 bills, 17 of which were passed.[42]

...
In February 2021, Biaggi wrote on Twitter: "@NYGovCuomo, you are a monster, and it is time for you to go. Now."[43] At the time, her call for his resignation was what The New York Times described as: "something of an outlier in the Democrat-controlled Legislature."[43] On August 10, 2021, Cuomo announced his resignation.[44]
From her campaign site,
I ran for State Senate in 2018 because New York was failing to live up to its highest potential. New York is one of the bluest states in the country, but had a Republican-controlled State Senate, enabled by turncoat Democrats like my predecessor, who was blocking many pieces of legislation that would protect New Yorkers (during the Trump administration, no less) for personal political gain. The legislative session after I unseated him was the most prolific and progressive legislative session in the history of New York State.

Three years later, the people of New York have rewarded us with a Democratic supermajority in the State Senate and I can proudly say that we have accomplished 100% of my 2018 campaign promises. We passed the Reproductive Health Act. We delivered on education funding for New York schools. We passed landmark voting rights legislation. We legalized marijuana. We passed gun safety laws and criminal justice reform. And we passed the most aggressive climate change law in the country.


Their campaign sites:
Home - Alessandra Biaggi
Melanie D'Arrigo for U.S. Congress
Their platforms look very similar, it must be noted.

New York's 3rd Congressional District election, 2022 - Ballotpedia

Listing Melanie D'Arrigo, Jon Kaiman, Navjot Kaur, Joshua Lafazan, Reema Rasool, Robert Zimmerman
 

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Greg Casar on Twitter: "JUST ANNOUNCED: We’re rallying #SATX voters with @AOC on Saturday, Feb. 12! #PuroGOTV 🔥
RSVP: (link)
Donate to help get out the vote in #TX35!
#OurFightOurFuture
👉🏽 (links)" / Twitter

In San Antonio, TX.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Texans, are you ready? 🤠
We’re coming in for a major DOUBLE-RALLY next Saturday, Feb 12th to send @GregCasar + @JCisnerosTX to Congress and support community organizing across the state.
This one’s going to be special.
Join us & RSVP now: (link)" / Twitter


Henry Cuellar soon learned of that planned trip.
Sarah Ferris on Twitter: "Cuellar campaign out with new rebuke ahead of AOC campaign trip for Cisneros:

"The voters will decide this election, not far left celebrities who stand for defunding the police, open borders, eliminating oil & gas jobs, and raising taxes on hard working Texans."" / Twitter


Sarah Ferris on Twitter: ""Members should take care of their own district before taking failed ideas to South Texas."" / Twitter

Then AOC responded.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Well, since he decided to bring me into this…

Did you know that Cuéllar is an anti-choice Dem in a state where women & LGBTQ+ repro rights are under attack?

This district has only gotten bluer, too. It’s 2022. We really don’t have to settle for rock bottom. Vote @JCisnerosTX" / Twitter


JC responded
Jessica Cisneros on Twitter: "@AOC Let’s defeat corporate-funded Cuellar by helping us get our people-powered campaign in front of voters in #TX28. We’ve got 5 days before polls open! Chip in if you can today.

See you on Saturday, @AOC! 😎
(link)" / Twitter
 

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Doyle Canning on Twitter: "👀" / Twitter
notes
Adam Aton on Twitter: "Gerrymandering the House means most lawmakers will only have to worry about primaries.
Translation: progressives will be even better positioned to pressure Dems to act on climate (while GOP will be even more insulated). My latest: (link)" / Twitter

noting
The same gerrymandering that insulates lawmakers from general election challengers could also empower each party’s most extreme elements, political scientists say. The biggest hurdle to winning most House seats could be surviving the primary.

That means Democrats, who already emerged from the Trump era with a more muscular left wing, could see this decade bring even more clout to environmental groups and other progressive activists waging primary campaigns in the name of more aggressive climate action, some analysts say.

And for Republicans, there could be even less room for lawmakers to break with the climate denial of President Trump, whose endorsement remains the most coveted asset in a GOP primary.

...
It’s not only gerrymandering; voters are also sorting themselves into increasingly homogenous red and blue areas.
The number of competitive seats is going down.
Dave Wasserman on Twitter: "Fact: of the 301 new House districts that have now been adopted, ..." / Twitter
Fact: of the 301 new House districts that have now been adopted, just 17 (5.6%) went for Biden or Trump by five points or less, down from 39 of 301 (13.0%) districts in the same states currently.

Back in 2012, after the last redistricting round, 66/435 districts went for Obama or McCain by five points or less. By 2020, only 51/435 districts went for Biden or Trump by five points or less - in other words, voter self-sorting explains a lot of the competitive decline.

But the 2022 redistricting cycle is rapidly compounding the decline. There may only be 30-35 seats in that range by the time all is said and done.

So the House's pro-GOP bias may be reduced or eliminated, but the House is also on pace to be more anti-competitive than ever.

ICYMI, this essay by NYU Law Prof. Rick Pildes from last April is one of the best distillations of the real-world consequences of fewer competitive seats. "We are going to end up with a 'fair' House that is even more dysfunctional," he warns me.
Create More Competitive Districts to Limit Extremism | RealClearPolitics
In a recent New York Times essay, I argued that, among the many different tasks for political reform, one of the most urgent is mitigating the forces of political extremism so dangerous to American democracy. The four areas I singled out in which political reforms could potentially have this effect were the presidential nomination process; the structure of primary elections; regulating money in politics; and designing election districts in ways that create meaningful political competition.
Opinion | How to Keep Extremists Out of Power - The New York Times
Every political reform proposal must be judged by its ability to fuel or weaken extremist candidates.

...
In healthy democracies, they are rewarded for appealing to the broadest forces in politics, not the narrowest. This is precisely why American elections take place in a “first past the post” system rather than the proportional representation system many other democracies use.
A gross misunderstanding of how proportional representation works. People vote for parties, then they form coalitions. That's consensus-building, and that's what author Robert Pildes wants. Looking at nations that score high on democracy-quality measures, one finds these features of their governments:
  • Parliamentary system: the legislature runs the executive branch
  • Weak or absent separate executive: a ceremonial monarch or president
  • Proportional representation
  • Weak or absent upper legislative house
The US loses in all four criteria.
 

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Rayyvana🚀 on Twitter: "Jesus Christ this account is racist (pic link)" / Twitter

JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "Justice Democrats are assigned to play the roles leftists think POC should play:
AOC: Latina from the Block
Bowman: Wise Hip Hopper from Around the Way
Khanna: Tech Bro
Omar: Cool Militant Muslim
Tlaib: Angry Victimized Palestinian
Bush: Outraged Working Single Mom" / Twitter


Seems like Mr. JDW projected a lot of stereotypes onto these six Reps and then said that they were deliberately set up to live out these stereotypes. No actual evidence, like e-mails or blog entries or podcasts or videos, like videos of training sessions.

The account:

JusticeDemWatch (@JusticeDemWatch) / Twitter - "Democrat working to expose the attempted hostile takeover of the Dem Party by AOC, The Squad and the Justice Dems network of entities. Follow me on Medium."

With articles in JusticeDemWatch – Medium
Four so far, one on AOC, one on Ro Khanna, and two on Ilhan Omar.

A connection with
Dick Jackman, Super Hero Investigator🕵️‍♂️ (@DickJackman1) / Twitter
?
He has done detective work on AOC, and he is also hostile to AOC. He also says that activist Zack Exley is a great villain.
 

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JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "I’ve spent the last year researching the “Justice Democrats.” ..." / Twitter
JDW's ten findings:
  1. The Justice Democrats' backstory is a "lie" because the JD's include activists with a history of activism.
  2. JD founder Zack Exley has a history of activist stunts. JDW says that he wants to deprive the capitalists of their property.
  3. JD founder and activist Saikat Chakrabarti was a one-time tech-company person.
  4. JD founder and online commentator Cenk Uygur is an evil monster.
  5. JD founder and online commentator Kyle Kulinski is also an evil monster.
  6. JD people once talked about a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party, like the Tea Party and the Trumpies with the Republican Party.
  7. JD candidate AOC is an evil monster, and those who campaigned with her in 2018 were decoy candidates.
  8. JD candidate Ilhan Omiar is an evil monster.
  9. JD candidate Cori Bush is an evil monster.
  10. Ro Khanna was the first JD, and as one would expect, an evil monster.
All taking well-documented things about these people and using them as "evidence" of what horrible monsters they are.

Since JDW claims to be a Democrat, I expected him to have an online shrine to the victims of JD-like politicians, Democrats that JDW likes:
  • Ro Khanna - Mike Honda
  • AOC - Joe Crowley
  • Ayanna Pressley - Michael Capuano
  • Marie Newman - Dan Lipinski
  • Jamaal Bowman - Eliot Engel
  • Cori Bush - Lacy Clay
I also expected him to make June 18 a day of mourning, the day in 2018 that AOC successfully primaried Joe Crowley.
 

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JDW made some mentions of Joe Crowley, like this one:
JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "Justice Democrats used AOC to target Crowley because he was in line to become Speaker after Pelosi. They followed the blueprint the Tea Party used to target Eric Cantor when he was in line to become Speaker on the GOP side. Here’s AOC explaining it: (vid link)" / Twitter

But no mention of any other politicians primaried by his villains.

JDW seems neutral to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "@TonyMoonbeam @RepCuellar @VP @SpeakerPelosi Agreed. I’ll take Cuellar and Manchin over any left-wing populist every day of the week." / Twitter

He seems to like Rep. Henry Cuellar, whom Jessica Cisneros almost defeated back in 2020. JC is trying again this year.

Not clear what he thinks about Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Here is JDW's list of villains:
  • Reps. AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Marie Newman, Raul Grijalva, Mondaire Jones, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Katie Porter
  • House candidates Nina Turner, Rana Abdelhamid
  • D PA Sen candidates Malcolm Kenyatta and John Fetterman, and Nina Turner, Katie Porter

He isn't clear about the relationship between Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, failing to note that JD is an offshoot of BNC that split because of strategy differences.
 

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JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "I don’t talk a lot about the GOP because I’m focused on defending our left flank. But, for coverage of GOP treason, you should be following @davetroy rather than the Twitter Resistance, which is filled with grifters and foreign agents who are misleading and manipulating you." / Twitter

JusticeDemWatch on Twitter: "I’ve done most of this research and made most of these discoveries all on my own. I’ve also learned a lot from @LeftSplintered and @lizburgh, along with a few other Twitter accounts like @DickJackman1, who has dug very deeply into AOC and Zack Exley." / Twitter

Liz Burgh's avatar is a lizard. :D

LB seems neutral to Nancy Pelosi and seems to like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Especially KS.

She grumbled that AOC has brought in more money than her predecessor Joe Crowley.

LeftSplintered on Twitter: "Watch for Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress and the Working Families Party to attempt this in the midterms. I have my eye on Pennsylvania in particular but there are other states with multiple “progressive” candidates." / Twitter
noting a Twitter thread by Liz Burgh about the NY-16 D primary race in 2020, when Jamaal Bowman and Andom Ghebreghiorgis ran against Eliot Engel. Both of them had very similar progressive platforms, but JB got more support than AG. So JB's campaigners convinced AB to drop out so as not to split the anti-Eliot-Engel vote.

Why was that supposed to be some evil plot? Seems like two candidates running for office entirely separately.
 

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Lauren Ashcraft 💜 on Twitter: "A rich guy running for the 3rd time against a woman who has been in office for 30 years, against multiple women of color, is privilege.

Entering in February and being withdrawn from the community between cycles is ridiculous." / Twitter


I guessed who that might be and I searched. I found out that it was the Indiana Catfish, Suraj Patel. He had run against CM two times previously.
New York Democrat Suraj Patel sets up rematch against Maloney | TheHill
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of NY-12
Patel’s campaign also released internal polling along with the announcement showing Patel winning 37 percent of the vote in a head-to-head with Maloney, while the incumbent gets 41 percent of the vote. Maloney leads Rana Abdelhamid, another progressive primary challenger, by a 44 percent to 23 percent margin in the same survey.

When the entire field is polled, Maloney leads with 37 percent support, trailed by Patel at 28 percent and Abdelhamid at 9 percent.

Most Primary Polls So Far Are Internal Polls. That’s A Problem. | FiveThirtyEight

"FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver found in 2017 that internal and partisan polls conducted during the last three weeks of U.S. House general elections overstated their party’s candidate by an average of 4 or 5 percentage points."

But they nevertheless have some value.
 

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rallies Support For Progressive Texas Candidates | HuffPost Latest News
Campaigning for Jessica Cisneros and Greg Casar, Ocasio-Cortez sent a message to the Democratic establishment: "Do not mess with Texas progressives."

Ocasio-Cortez recounted how the years she spent as a community organizer in South Texas when she was in her late teens and early 20s convinced her that Democrats will eventually flip Texas. She argued that electing Cisneros and Casar, who are capable of exciting the state’s young and racially diverse electorate, could hasten that process.

“That’s why I’m here: for the long haul,” said Ocasio-Cortez, vowing to return. “I don’t care how many cycles it takes, it is going to happen.”

“Texas turning blue is inevitable!” she added. “It will happen. The only question is when, Texas!”
About Greg Casar,
Casar, an Austin city councilman, is competing in an open race against state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and former San Antonio Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, both of whom are less left-wing than him.
AOC also took aim at Jessica Cisneros's opponent in TX-28, incumbent Henry Cuellar.
Ocasio-Cortez said that while she normally doesn’t speak ill of her colleagues, Cuellar “decided to put my name in his mouth, so let’s talk.” Cuellar had dismissed her as a “far-left celebrity” ahead of her visit to campaign for Cisneros.

“He is bankrolled by big money. So from a very basic level, if you are just a person in our democracy and you have a representative that is bankrolled by the Koch brothers and by Wall Street ― and by every name in the book ― you have to worry about whether he’s listening to you or listening to them,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez also noted Cuellar’s vote against the PRO Act, legislation that would make it easier to unionize, and likened Cuellar to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has held up President Joe Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better climate and social policy bill. While Cuellar helped force a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill ahead of Build Back Better, he ultimately voted for the version of Build Back Better that passed the House in November.
JC:
“We are offering an alternative vision for South Texas, one that’s fighting to recognize that health care is human right and not a privilege, one that’s going to have Medicare for All, one that’s going to have a $15 minimum wage, one that’s going to fund education, one that’s not going to have a border wall, one that’s going to fund the people here,” Cisneros said.
 

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One factor that may complicate Ocasio-Cortez’s effectiveness in shaping electoral outcomes with her visits is that her following is so passionate that, as was evident on Saturday, her rallies draw people from well outside the districts whose voters she is trying to sway.

She also inspires a level of contempt on the right that matches the enthusiasm she elicits on the left. ...
Like interpreting MAGA as "Make AOC Go Away".
But at a pre-rally press conference, Casar maintained that Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement has already been a major benefit for him with voters.

“You might see that hate online, but we’re not seeing it in the community,” he said. “She’s by far the most popular progressive politician from Austin down to San Antonio.”

Can Justice Democrats Swing Two Texas Congressional Districts to the Left? – Texas Monthly - "The Bernie-inspired organization’s heaviest hitter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, came to Texas to back two candidates who share her platform."

With a picture of her holding a sign that says "Nuestra Lucha Nuestra Futuro" - "Our Fight Our Future"

Jessica Cisneros on Instagram: “Grateful to be on stage in San Antonio with @aoc and @gregcasar …”
Jessica Cisneros on Instagram: “THANK YOU, SAN ANTONIO! ❤️ #TX28”
Jessica Cisneros on Instagram: “Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. …”

Greg Casar on Instagram: “Thank you @jackievenson for kicking off our Get Out the Vote Rally in San Antonio! #PuroGOTV” - showing her playing a guitar
Greg Casar on Instagram: “THANK YOU, San Antonio! Early voting begins on Monday, let’s do this! 💪🏽
Greg Casar on Instagram: “Don’t mess with Texas progressives 🤠 Photos by @polipixco 📸
Greg Casar on Instagram: “Thank you to @banda.512 for kicking off our Rally for our Rights: The Power of Latino Organizing 💪🏽
Greg Casar on Instagram: “We can win this, together. Thank you for your support, @aoc! …” - showing the two hugging
Greg Casar on Instagram: “Thank you, Austin! Early voting starts Monday, and polls are open 7AM-7PM. Let’s vote for a better Texas! 💪🏽 Photo by @polipixco” -- with AOC

For her part, AOC posted
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram: “🎶 Bidi Bidi Bom Bom 🎶
showing her dancing at a party at that rally. "Ted Cruz could never"

She was wearing a shocking-pink pantsuit and block-heeled shoes.

The first comment: hrodrigueziv: Just imagining Ted Cruz trying to do this is the most cringeworthy thing ever….😂
 

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u〽️ichvoter 🌴🏳️‍🌈 on Twitter: "Result predictions for TX-28 (Cuellar vs Cisneros)?" / Twitter

u〽️ichvoter 🌴🏳️‍🌈 on Twitter: "I’m gonna go with Cisneros +3, she’s gonna have the more energized voter volunteer base and I expect the turnout differentials to favor the more activist grass roots campaignand the district gained more of core San Antonio since last time" / Twitter

BEAT VANDY (23-2) on Twitter: "@umichvoter and then she’ll lose in the general 🤣 progressives never win in swing districts. All her opponent has to do is call out her ties to AOC and the Squad and she’s sunk" / Twitter

Except that Katie Porter won in Orange County. The land of B-1 Bob is now the land of Whiteboard Katie.

Other tweeters in that thread also predicted a slight JC victory. Predicted margins: -8, +3 (2), +4, +5 (2), +6, +7 (2), "high single digits", +13
Tannya Benavides: 4%, 9%

One tweeter listed HC as "Azerbaijan".

What's in the new district may make a difference. Note: San Antonio is in Bexar County ("Be'ar" or "Bekhar").

Zek Hans on Twitter: "@PlayfulPianoVGM @umichvoter Yup, exactly what I was going for. The extra parts of San Antonio that are now in this district will pull her through." / Twitter

Anthony 'King of THEE Gays™' Cruz on Twitter: "@umichvoter Slight Cisneros win. Bexar went for her by a large margin but it's an almost entirely new district here.
But, being under FBI investigation definitely isn't a winning message." / Twitter


observant lurker on Twitter: "@umichvoter Cisneros wins. She got really close last time, Cuellar’s scandal is really bad, and the new district has more Bexar in it." / Twitter
 

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Marie Newman accused of bribing potential primary opponent not to run - Roll Call - May 26, 2021
Rep. Marie Newman persuaded a potential primary opponent not to run against her by offering him a six-figure job in her congressional office upon her victory, a contract the Illinois Democrat violated, a lawsuit filed by Iymen Chehade alleges.

“In an effort to induce Chehade not to run against her in the primary, Newman offered Chehade employment as Foreign Policy Advisor and Legislative or District Director,” the lawsuit states.

Chehade alleges that he and Newman entered into an employment contract in December of 2018 that said if Newman won her congressional race in Illinois’ 3rd District, Chehade would be hired in her office and paid a salary “of no less than between $135,000 and $140,000 per year.”

Newman won the primary in March 2020 but later told Chehade she did not plan to fulfill the contract, according to the lawsuit. The agreement would have also given Chehade a minimum of three weeks vacation and Newman would have had to try to provide Chehade a private office if possible.
Rep. Marie Newman settles lawsuit alleging she bribed potential opponent - July 20, 2021
“The parties have resolved their dispute and the lawsuit has been dismissed by agreement,” Rima Kapitan, a lawyer representing Chehade, said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, was dismissed with prejudice on July 16, meaning it cannot be refiled. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed in public court filings. Neither Newman nor Chehade responded to requests for more detail on the settlement.
 

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But that issue has re-emerged.

House Ethics Committee extends investigation of complaint against U.S. Rep. Marie Newman into 2022 - 2021 Dec 10

Former Allies Question Marie Newman's Ethics Probe Defense - Rolling Stone - 2022 Feb 1 - "Rep. Marie Newman is accused of making a quid-pro-quo job offer to convince a potential rival not to run against her"

Congresswoman Marie Newman's Bribery Scandal Takes Shocking New Turn - 2022 Feb 1
The scandal enveloping congresswoman Marie Newman—who is accused of signing and then reneging on a contract to pay a political rival not to run against her—has taken a shocking new turn. Federal campaign records show that after striking a secret settlement with the rival, the Illinois Democrat did, in fact, put the man on her campaign payroll.

...
Newman’s latest FEC filings show she did hire Chehade as a foreign policy adviser—only instead of being paid through her congressional office, Chehade was hired through Newman’s campaign.

Chehade has received a total of $54,000 since the second half of 2021, mostly in salary installments of $7,500 a month, but sometimes with additional $2,000 payments. According to the FEC filings, the disbursements to Chehade began on July 1, 2021, just two days after both sides reached a deal to resolve the lawsuit.

New Twist in Dem Rep. Marie Newman’s Bribery Scandal: Negotiating Anti-Israel Positions - 2022 Feb 3
Among the positions Chehade laid out were “opposing any legislation that entails ADDITIONAL military sales or aid to Israel,” supporting legislation that achieves “justice and self-determination” for Palestinians, and organizing “fact-finding” delegations to Palestine and other Middle East countries. Chehade even said he wanted “complete discretion” over the itinerary for such a trip.

“At no point will Newman accept partial or complete funding for congressional delegations from the [Jewish National Fund], any organization affiliated with the Israeli government, or any organization that embraces Israeli’s Zionist or colonial project,” Chehade said.

In total, Chehade’s section on the positions that “Newman commits to” was 277 words and included four bullet points with multiple sub-sections.

Congresswoman accused of adopting anti-Israel stance as bribe to would-be opponent | The Times of Israel - 2022 Feb 4 - "Chicago-area Democrat Marie Newman being probed by ethics office over allegations she hired Palestinian-American as an adviser in deal to get him to drop out of primary"

What was in the agreement made by MN and Iymen Chehade? Those payments? That adviser position?
 

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What Rep. Henry Cuellar said about AOC:
Olivia Beavers on Twitter: "NEW ⁦@RepCuellar⁩ campaign stmt hits @AOC & her upcoming TX trip:

“The voters will decide this election not far left celebrities who stand for defunding the police, open borders, eliminating oil & gas jobs, and raising taxes on hard working Texans.” (link)" / Twitter



POLITICO Playbook PM: Big money enters Dem vs. Dem primary- POLITICO
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Protect Our Future, a recently launched Democratic super PAC, is planning to back Rep. LUCY MCBATH (D-Ga.) to the tune of $2 million in her primary bid to represent Georgia’s 7th congressional district.

That’s a huge amount of money for a Dem-on-Dem primary. McBath is running against fellow Rep. CAROLYN BOURDEAUX, a centrist, after Georgia redistricting smooshed their districts into one. It’s already shaping up to be one of the most-watched primaries of the season. Last week, the PAC released a poll that found McBath leading Bourdeaux by 9 points. (The poll)

Looking ahead: Protect Our Future is planning to pour $10 million in Democratic primaries, “focusing initially on candidates who take a long term view on policy planning, especially as it relates to pandemic preparedness and prevention.” It has already endorsed Rep. RITCHIE TORRES (D-N.Y.) and NIKKI BUDZINSKI, a Biden OMB alum who is running for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, with more announcements expected soon.
noting
Representative Lucy McBath Leads by 9 Points in the Democratic Primary in Georgia’s New 7th Congressional District

Nothing on other races at Data for Progress as far as I could find.
 

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Cryptocurrency traders’ super PACs back state Rep. Jasmine Crockett | The Texas Tribune
Protect Our Future PAC announced Thursday that it is investing $1 million on Crockett's behalf, while a second super PAC, Web3 Forward, shared first with The Texas Tribune on Friday that it was injecting an additional $1 million to the race. The latter said it would put its money toward TV ads — they were already up on the Dallas airwaves as of Thursday — and direct mail for Crockett.
Crypto super PAC backed by Anthony Scaramucci’s firm targets midterms - POLITICO - "The crypto super PAC's backers include SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund led by former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci."

Patrick Svitek on Twitter: "New: A super PAC is coming in big for @JasmineForUS in the crowded #TX30 Democratic primary, planning to spend $1M before March 1 (pic link)" / Twitter
with a screenshot that I was unable to source:
Protect Our Future Announces Five New Endorsements

New Democratic super PAC endorses five congressional candidates from Ohio to California; shares plans to invest $1 million in TX-30 supporting Jasmine Crockett

WASHINGTON, D.C. Protect Our Future, a new Democratic super PAC spending at least $10 million in Democratic primaries ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, announced today its plans to endorse five additional candidates in congressional races across the U.S, spanning from Ohio to California. The group, which is supporting candidates who take a long term view a on policy planning especially as it relates to pandemic preparedness and prevention, is endorsing the following candidates:
  • Rep. Shontel Brown (OH-11)
  • Gilbert Villegas (IL-03)
  • Jasmine Crockett (TX-30)
  • Carrick Flynn (OR-06)
  • Robert Garcia (CA-42)
In addition to sharing its new endorsements, the PAC is also announcing its plans to spend $1 million in Texas's 30th congressional district supporting Jasmine Crockett ahead of the state's March Ist congressional primary. This comes on the heels of the group's announcement of pians to spend $2 million in Georgia's 7th congressional district supporting another endorsed candidate Ren Lucv McBath
 

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Patrick Svitek on Twitter: "New x 2: Another new super PAC linked to the crypto industry, Web3 Forward, is also coming to Crockett's aid. It's disclosed $235K on media spending for her today. (link)
A big push clearly underway to help Crockett win the nine-way primary outright #TX30" / Twitter

noting
Schedule E for Report FEC-1568254

That's Web3 Forward's only FEC filing.

Mike Lewis on Twitter: "@PatrickSvitek @JasmineForUS ..." / Twitter
It's an absolute shame to see progressives get roped into the influence of cryptocurrency; a gigantic speculative Ponzi scheme run by tech gatekeepers preying on poor and working people. Crypto is inherently far-right technology dressed up like money. Hope she reconsiders.

New Protect our Future, Web3, GMI and Blockchain Crypto PACs all seem to be working in tandem on some candidates. Worth noting that they are all stated bipartisan PACs except Protect our Future - whose founder also donated recently to Murkowski, Collins and Sasse. More...

It is clear, and clearly stated that their ambition is to back a long game for crypto without apparent concern for much else.
Crypto’s aspiring Washington kingmaker - POLITICO - "Sam Bankman-Fried — the 29-year-old billionaire who founded FTX in 2019 — is leveraging his new political connections as lawmakers try to understand crypto."
How to regulate digital asset trading has become a top priority for lawmakers and regulators now that it has grown to become a $1.9 trillion piece of the economy.

A looming question for crypto trading platforms is the extent to which they’ll face a crackdown from the SEC, which has taken an expansive view of its jurisdiction over digital currencies.

“They want to work with lawmakers, but the goal is to create legislation that would absolve them of any current violations of securities law,” said Timi Iwayemi, senior researcher and director of political education at the Revolving Door Project, a watchdog group.
Nothing on which candidates that they endorse -- seems like their main interest is getting friendly treatment from regulators. Like many other lobbies, they hope to do that by buying the support of politicians by financing their careers. What Kyrsten Sinema called "bribery" when she was starting out.
 

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I'd recently posted on some Squad-haters, and I marvel at how some of them seem to be centrist/corporate Democrats rather than Trumpie right-wingers. Who could ever have thought that that political position could inspire the sort of zeal that one sees on the Left and the Right?


Justice Democrats on Twitter: "Why does it sometimes feel like the Democratic Party establishment works harder to fight against working class nurses, bartenders, community organizers, and principals running for office than making sure Republicans don’t take back the House? 🤔
(link)" / Twitter

noting
Hakeem Jeffries, Team Blue Unveil Plan to Beat Progressive Rebellion - Rolling Stone
The lawmakers united in an effort to provide resources to the increasing number of House Democrats who face primary challenges — in particular, from the left. That circumstance faces the five incumbents who received endorsements on Wednesday: Reps. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), and Dina Titus (D-Nev.). Davis and Maloney face opponents backed by Justice Democrats; Brown faces a rematch from Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner, who had the support of the left-wing group during a special election to fill the seat last year.
With their govtrack.us ideology scores for 2020,
Carolyn Maloney NY-12 0.17 -- Danny Davis IL-07 0.19 -- Donald Payne NJ-10 0.22 -- Dina Titus NV-01 0.26 -- Shontel Brown OH-03 new
Its purpose, Jeffries says, is to protect incumbents’ records from “being distorted” by “the hard-left.” He uses the term to separate himself from his detractors, who see actions like these endorsements as evidence he’s not on their side. “Why are members of the hard-left targeting progressive members of Congress, and then trying to act as though they’re engaging in some ideological contest against the rest of us?” Jeffries says. (It’s worth noting, of course, that Team Blue PAC isn’t defending any incumbents from challenges from the right.)

The primary challengers and their allies do not see any distortion. Democrats’ failures to pass their bold agenda, they say, is proof that the party remains tethered to corporate influence and centrist proclivities. ...

There’s also the matter of corporate campaign funding, which all of the Team Blue PAC-endorsed candidates accept. The PAC itself is primarily financed through corporate PAC money, and I asked Jeffries whether that fact proves his detractors’ point.

“Is there any evidence that their voting record and advocacy has been influenced by people who have contributed to them?” he says, pointing to their voting records. “Somehow we’re supposed to theoretically believe that they’re being unduly influenced because they’re raising money from employee-supported political action committees.”
"Sure, I took those bribes, but I didn't let those bribes influence me." Reminds me of  Francis Bacon - he was a judge for a long time, and when he was caught taking bribes, he offered that defense.

Browse Receipts | FEC for Team Blue PAC
 

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For their part, progressive Congresspeople have endorsed very few challengers to incumbents. Cori Bush endorsing Dina Titus challenger Amy Vilela, and several of them endorsing Henry Cuellar challenger Jessica Cisneros.

Rather curiously, Team Blue PAC's recent announcement omitted HC, even though Nancy Pelosi herself went out to Texas in 2020 to support him. Could it be that they don't think that he's worth trying to defend?

New Cuellar Supporters Take to Twitter to Rep the Texas Rep
Embattled Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar has seen a surge in wildly enthusiastic online support in the weeks leading up to his March 1 primary election against insurgent Jessica Cisneros. The backing comes at a critical time and from a coveted set of voters: those who appear entirely new to politics — and, it seems, new even to planet Earth.

Inspiring the disaffected to engage in the political process has long been the holy grail of American politics, and it appears that Cuellar’s brand of cautious conservatism is just the thing to have activated countless online accounts in the final days of the race.
Elia isabela: he is “a pride, all my support and I hope he stays in the congress”
All she ever does is retweeting HC posts and replying positively. She follows 64 people and has 6 followers, and most of them are just like her about HC.

Selena stephani: “thanks for always caring” and “hopefully achieve great things for texas”

Gabrielle clark: “El futuro de Texas está en manos de Henry" with 2 "clap" emojis
Spanish: "The Future of Texas is in Henry's hands"

Jackie murphy: “With Henry until the end” with a strong-arm emoji

Lulú carey: “The support with Henry is honest. He is a hardworking and prepared man”

Jhon macleod: “Henry is a great example!!! My vote is for he”

Yes, their last names are uncapitalized. They all joined only last month, and they engage only with content about HC or JC.
 

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Cuellar hasn’t always been such a phenom on Twitter. Take his November 5 tweet announcing passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which he had worked to break away from the larger Build Back Better Act. Absent was his swarm of supporters; instead, his followers took the opportunity to lambast him for undermining the broader package, to call him a “sellout,” or otherwise denigrate his legislative activity.

Their tweets about Jessica Cisneros:

Ángel berrera: “We Texans no longer believe we are a proposal on the air, you have no experience”

Jackie murphy: “I’m not convinced by Jessica. She doesn’t have what it takes”
to CNN after that network reported that Bernie Sanders endorsed JC

Sasha hill: "These are the important issues that we must prevent. Excellent Henry."
After HC and Rep. Susan Wild joined in calling YouTube to remove "How to tie a noose" videos, in "Safer Internet Day"

Kelsy gray: “Everything is to benefit our economy, excellent Henry! You have our support”
After HC announced his support of an electric-vehicle grid
It’s fortunate for Cuellar to have won over such committed backers so late in the game, especially after an FBI raid of his home and campaign office in January, tied to an ongoing investigation into Azerbaijani influence peddling, led to a drop in the polls. Many of the rest of the replies to his posts — coming from accounts that have been active much longer and have more diverse interests than just Cuellar — are criticisms of his anti-abortion stance, references to the federal investigation, or calls of support for Cisneros.
Maggie evans: "The best is yet to come"
 

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Others noticed this odd fan club that HC has.

David Morrison on Twitter: "@IsabelaElia @RepCuellar Another paid for Cuellar bot? Same exact Cuellar tweets as the others. Is the FBI following the money? @ExpressNews @Laredo_News" / Twitter

Ryan Grim on Twitter: "If I were caught up in an Azerbaijani influence-peddling investigation I'd hope my bots were a little less obvious than this" / Twitter

Jessica Cisneros on Twitter: "
Our right to choose is under attack. Roe v. Wade hangs by a thread.
But Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to team up with Republicans to make abortion illegal.
South Texans deserve so much more. Early voting is happening now. It’s time we had true representation. #TX28
(vid link)" / Twitter


Shannon Vavra on Twitter: "NEW: @RepCuellar's getting a lot of attention from superfans lately ..." / Twitter
NEW: @RepCuellar's getting a lot of attention from superfans lately—but turns out the seemingly adoring fanclub is actually a fake network of Twitter trolls that popped up just when the FBI raided 🧐 Via @UrsulaPerano @SollenbergerRC & me @thedailybeast (link)

The focus of the Twitter trolls is "coordinated activity amplifying tweets by Rep. Cuellar" in one turn, "and criticizing his opponent in the Democratic primary, @JCisnerosTX" in another, per a @Mandiant analysis shared with @thedailybeast

The accounts also bear the hallmarks of an inauthentic network meant to amplify or distort narratives online, experts told us: Many of the accounts were created in Jan/Feb this year—just after the FBI raid—which could suggest they are controlled by the same actor...

Other red flags: A classic feature of these fake networks is stolen/manipulated profile pics & here we have a winner. Most of them follow a formula of pastels or black-and-white images with a soft glow. Some of the pics are stolen from other accounts, including one of John Mayer

More tipoffs: The accounts' user names have a similar formula and have few followers. The accounts follow each other (a classic move), but while many don’t follow Cuellar's account, they still know just when to tweet about him or retweet...

Dive in to the story on Cuellar's reply guys for more analysis from @AletheaGroup @lisackaplan @shelbygrossman @Mandiant: (link)
noting
After FBI Raid, Congressman Henry Cuellar Feels the Love-From a Network of Trolls - "Days after the FBI raided his home and office, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar’s social media feed was filled with well-wishers that experts say are not actual people."
“Here we will be supporting until the end.”
“Bravo many more achievements.”
“We are getting better and better.”
“For better things for the country!!”
“Hopefully Henry can stay in congress.”

“We identified at least two profile photos from these accounts that appear to have been appropriated from other social media accounts, an indicator that these accounts are misrepresenting their identities. ”
— a spokesperson for cybersecurity firm Mandiant

"As is often the case with inauthentic networks, these accounts feature profile photos that appear similar or touched up—in this case, they’re pastel-colored or black-and-white images touched up with a soft glow."

"The accounts are riddled with other red flags. Their user names follow a similar formula. They have very few followers. Many don’t even follow the congressman’s account, yet somehow they track his every move."

After HC expressed support for an electric-vehicle grid,
“As always doing everything for people. That’s why Mr. Cuellar is recognized,” said one commenter.
“Texas will be better off with you, my family and I will vote for you Mr Cuellar,” said another.
“Henry has the best proposals,” one chimed.
They don't just adore HC.
The trolls are calling Cisneros a “hypocrite,” with others adding, “In texas the experience is worth, you don't have it.”
“You’re too young to represent us in congress,” one account said.
“You always want to pretend that you are doing well, but you are defeated,” said another.

Several of the accounts focusing on Cisneros were created just around the time she launched her primary bid in August 2021.
I looked for some of these accounts, and their tweets were replaced by "This Tweet is from a suspended account." with links to Twitter account notices and what they mean - suspensions and more

So Twitter's management caught up with those tweets.
 

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The next question is who is running these troll bots.

I first think Russia, because that nation runs a troll farm -  Internet Research Agency - and it has a history of  Cyberwarfare by Russia

But I doubt that Vladimir Putin and his friends have much interest in some obscure legislator. They might have some interest in Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell, but not him. So while Russia is guilty of a lot, I consider it unlikely that Russia is guilty here also.

I think that a key is that this fan club got started not long after the FBI's raid on HC's home and offices. Was it HC's friends in Azerbaijan? Or HC's campaigners getting desperate?

Whatever is going on, I think that not capitalizing last names is VERY odd. It's not usual English spelling, and it's not usual spelling in every other language that uses the Roman alphabet, or for the matter, the Greek or Cyrillic alphabets.
 

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On a more pleasant note,
Doyle Canning on Twitter: "2022 @NoFossilMoney pledge just dropped. (vid link)" / Twitter
With a closeup of her signing the pledge. She's left-handed, like AOC.

No Fossil Fuel Money (@NoFossilMoney) / Twitter - "Taking on the fossil fuel industry, one max donation from an oil executive at a time. #NoFossilFuelMoney"

No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge
I pledge not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.

She's running for OR-04, and I live in that district. :D
 

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On a more pleasant note,
Doyle Canning on Twitter: "2022 @NoFossilMoney pledge just dropped. (vid link)" / Twitter
With a closeup of her signing the pledge. She's left-handed, like AOC.

No Fossil Fuel Money (@NoFossilMoney) / Twitter - "Taking on the fossil fuel industry, one max donation from an oil executive at a time. #NoFossilFuelMoney"

No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge
I pledge not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.

She's running for OR-04, and I live in that district. :D
Well, the winner of OR-04 will face Alex Skarlatos. Alex is a real piece of shit and must not serve in the legislature. He supported the Jan 6 rioters and was a quanon supporter. Eugene is not the liberal bastion community that it once was. I don't know much about Doyle. But it would be very bad for democracy if the left voted for a progressive over a moderate that could have beaten Skarlatos.
 
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