With a record-breaking first quarter of raising more than $31 million, the DCCC didn’t lift a finger to help FDR-style populist James Thompson in the Kansas CD-04 special election to replace Mike Pompeo who Trump appointed to direct the CIA. While the Republican Party pumped $130,000 to his opponent Ron Estes, Thompson couldn’t even get a measly $20,000 he requested to close the gap in the tight race.
In a column by Jamie Peck at The Guardian, “The Democratic party is undermining Bernie Sanders-style candidates,” we learn the DNC declared KS-04 a sacrifice zone despite the fact that newly-minted chair Tom Perez specifically identified Kansas as part of his new “50-state strategy” after defeating Keith Ellison. Closer to the KS-04 special election Perez changed his tune, absolving the Party from playing in the Kansas race, “There are thousands of elections every year, though. Can we invest in all of them? That would require a major increase in funds.” Rightfully Peck points out that “the DNC has a fund just for Congressional elections, of which there are just 10 this year.” And, they’ve also had that major increase in funds ($31m in 1Q 2017) which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi bragged about today in The Hill.
Peck contrasts Thompson’s race with the upcoming campaign for centrist candidate Jon Ossoff who the DNC has already raised $8.3m, and committed to sending nine field staffers.
From the article: “Democrats think Ossoff is just the guy to bring his affluent suburban district back into the fold. (Clearly, losing a national election was not enough to reverse course on that most doomed of 2016 strategies: trading blue collar whites for wealthy, suburban ones.)…By refusing to fund the campaigns of anyone but centrist, establishment shills, the Democratic Party aims to make the Berniecrats’ lack of political viability a self-fulfilling prophecy: starve their campaigns of resources so they can’t win, then point to said losses as examples of why they can’t win.”
Read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/progressive-democratic-candidates-james-thompson-loss
Postscript: Matt Stoller had an interesting take on this on Twitter, positing that the DCCC is not so much a recruitment/campaign organ, as it is a tool for Democratic House members to wield power by shaping the character of Congressional winners/losers so as not to threaten the establishment: