As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pre-Emptive Strike

In New York today, the Republicans are dispensing with the election and going right to the overturning of the election results:

Republican Jim Tedisco may be running for the House in a district where Republicans outnumber Democratic voters by some 70,000, but with the polls closing in a matter of hours, Tedisco’s campaign is prepping for a loss.

An electoral loss, anyway.

The Dutchess County Clerk’s Office has confirmed to FDL that Tedisco’s people have filed an ex parte motion in order, the effect of which would be to investigate and overturn today’s election results, should the outcome not be to Republicans’ liking.

FDL is trying to obtain a copy of the motion and will post when available.

This filing come on the heels of a report that Tedisco’s own polling has him losing to Democrat Scott Murphy by a narrow margin.

Why not? It's working for Norm Coleman. In fact, given that success I'd be surprised if Republicans acknowledge losing an election ever again.

By the way, I want to address somnething else about this race. There are definitely national implications to Tedisco losing this seat, in a Republican-leaning area, to a virtual unknown in the district, especially because the race has turned in many ways on Murphy's support for President Obama's stimulus package. And on taking joy in watching Republicans flail about and continue their losing streak I take a back seat to no one. However, I never asked readers to support Scott Murphy financially, only wrote about the race a few times, and whenever I did I included the caveat that Murphy has planned to join the Blue Dogs. And I completely agree with Chris Bowers that we cannot keep supporting Democrats just because of the D next to their name, especially after they announce their intentions to undermine our values.

We--participants in blog and email list small donor fundraising efforts--have to completely stop raising money for Blue Dogs. We should not give a single cent to any current member of the Blue Dog coalition. We should not give any money at all to any candidate who refuses to rule out joining the Blue Dogs once in Congress. If we hope to improve Democratic behavior in Congress, this break has to be as public and as thorough as possible.

In politics, money speaks a lot louder than either voting or public criticism. We can criticize Blue Dog behavior all we want, but as long as we keep funneling their members millions of dollars every two years in small, online donations, then we will actually be ratifying, not criticizing their behavior. We will be supporting their efforts to push the party to the right, not working to push the party to the left. We will be sending a clear signal of support for their votes, not working to hold them accountable for those votes [...]

If we keep sending the Blue Dogs millions of dollars in small, online donations every year, then there is no incentive for Blue Dogs to ever change their behavior, or for Democratic candidates to not seek out membership in the Blue Dog coalition. Currently, being a member, or prospective member, of the Blue Dog coalition provides you access to a network of Hill staff, corproate lobbyists and their PACs, large donor fundraisers, and press releases back home to talk about how you aren't like those other, dirty liberal Democrats. If we want to change Democratic behavior in Congress, we have stop adding even more incentives for Democrats to become Blue Dogs. Instead, we must offer strong disincentives for them to become Blue Dogs, such as a significantly reduced access to online, small donor fundraising.

Unfortunately, in Scott Murphy's case, small online donors raised over $300,000 for him even after Murphy had stated he was applying to join the Blue Dogs. That has to stop. Before we raise money for other congressional candidates in 2009-2010, we have to extract promises from those candidates that they won't join either the Blue Dogs (for House candidates) or Evan Bayh's groups (for Senate candidates).

Blue Dogs derive their strength from their numbers, and their ability as a caucus to block progressive legislation. I support particular individuals in the Blue Dogs on particular stances from time to time - Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania comes to mind. But I can't support any individual who joins that group, which has been composed for the sole purpose of blocking progressive legislation. If we keep giving them money time after time we are being played for suckers.

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