AP’s Today in History for November 15th
Sherman begins ‘March to the Sea’ in American Civil War; Zebulon Pike spots namesake mountaintop; Anti-Vietnam War protesters gather in DC; Joey Buttafuoco gets jail time; Actor Sam Waterston is born.
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
DEMOCRATIC OFFICIALS LIED ABOUT ROLE IN ALEX MORSE SMEAR, INTERNAL REPORT FINDS
Eoin Higgins, Daniel Boguslaw, The Intercept
MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC PARTY leadership lied to The Intercept when it denied involvement with a College Democrats of Massachusetts effort that undermined the insurgent congressional campaign of Alex Morse, a new internal report produced by the party has found. Among other damning revelations, the report paints a portrait of a party that at best mishandled the situation from start to finish, and at worst deliberately stoked a homophobic smear to undermine Morse’s challenge.
The report is the latest chapter in a saga that began on August 7 when University of Massachusetts Amherst’s college newspaper, the Daily Collegian, reported that the College Democrats of Massachusetts had accused Morse of unspecified inappropriate behavior. The bombshell dropped a week before the first debate between incumbent Rep. Richard Neal and Holyoke mayor Morse, whose campaign was gathering steam.
The investigation was conducted by former state Sen. Cheryl Jacques, and was demanded by party regulars after The Intercept uncovered evidence that the attack on Morse was a coordinated and manufactured smear campaign put together jointly by party officials and student activists. Messages obtained by The Intercept showed that CDMA leaders like Timothy Ennis had planned for a year to weaponize allegations against Morse for political ends. Subsequent reporting from The Intercept detailed how the students received advice and guidance from leaders of the Democratic State Committee, or DSC. After revelations about the involvement of party chair Gus Bickford, state committee attorney Jim Roosevelt, and executive director Veronica Martinez, the DSC opened an investigation into the party’s role in the scandal.
Despite its public assurances, the report concluded, the party remained in close touch with the College Democrats as the attack unfolded. Even more damningly, party officials, the report found, spoke to an attorney who said that the allegations, which were not specific nor backed up by evidence, did not rise to the level of something that could be made public without risk of a slander lawsuit. Party leaders then referred the students to a different attorney, Jim Roosevelt, who advised them to put their concerns in writing and helped edit the letter to Morse. The students told party investigators that Roosevelt urged them to leak the letter, but Roosevelt denied giving such advice. Regardless, it was immediately leaked.
While the report details the failings of party leadership to properly handle the allegations, and levels criticism for those leaders involving themselves in the primary, some unanswered questions remain. Morse, however, sees it as vindication of the claim that he was specifically targeted. “It stated pretty clearly that the chair of the party violated their bylaws and that the executive director also violated the bylaws, and that the leadership of the Democratic Party essentially tipped the scales to favor an incumbent and against the challenger,” said Morse. “And it said that pretty unequivocally.”
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Alex Zambito BAR
Something to think about over coffee prozac
99% of Green New Deal Co-Sponsors Won Their Races This Cycle: Analysis
Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams
Shedding more light on a significant electoral trend that progressives have drawn attention to in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. election, a new analysis by Earther found that of the 93 House co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution who ran for reelection this year, only one lost their congressional race.
“Simply put,” wrote journalist Brian Kahn in Earther, “the Green New Deal is not a political loser,” including for representatives in swing districts.
“This quick-and-dirty analysis,” Kahn said, “aligns with other data showing that representatives who have sponsored and voted for progressive policies were not punished by voters.”
As Common Dreams reported this weekend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and others pointed out that every single congressional member who ran for reelection this year as a supporter of Medicare for All won their race.
Ocasio-Cortez hinted that her team would be “running numbers” on the Green New Deal—of which she is the lead House sponsor—next. As Earther’s analysis showed, the reelection rate for representatives who co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution was nearly 100% as well, with 92 out of those 93 congressional members retaining their seat.
“Saying progressive policies held Democrats back from expanding their House majority/taking the Senate just doesn’t hold water with data available so far,” Kahn noted on Twitter.
“For all the complaining about progressive policies sinking Democrats’ chances of expanding their hold on the House and overtaking the Senate,” he added, “the data available so far just is not there.”
John Nichols, The Nation’s national affairs correspondent and author of The “S” Word: A Short History of An American Tradition… Socialism, tweeted that “the Democratic Party’s problem is not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
“The Democratic Party’s problem,” he continued, “is that it keeps trying to marginalize the people who build energy and excitement about fighting for the future, like… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”