Tag: Iron Law of Institutions

Live/Drunk Blogging the Election

Massachusetts approves right to repair legislation.

People do not want to be screwed by their car dealers, at least now without lube.

Good night all.

I am going to leave you with a thought from P.C. Hodgell:

“That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.”

I’m drunk, and tired, and I’m shutting down.

My final thought: America is broken, and Biden was running on a “Return to Normalcy,” and this is unsustainable.

If we had nominated Bernie, we’d have already crossed the 270 threshold, but the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment), needed to keep their gravy train rolling.

Florida approves a $15/hr minimum wage, New Jersey approves recreatinal marijuana.

The initiatives that I am most interested in are right to repair in Massachusetts, and Uber’s attempt to re-institute gig-economy slavery in California.

I think that I might be too drunk to blog, which is WAY less interesting than the Dead Kennedys album “Too Drunk to F%$#.”

I need to note that I am NOT going to stay up beyond midnight, so we are probably not gboing to get a final result for this post.

You might want to check out the cat that went to the beach and hated the wind.

McConnell didn’t just beat McGrath, he destroyed her, and the consultants got a cut of all that money set on fire.

California, Oregon, and Washington went for Biden, but we knew that this would happen.

Switching to The Daily Show.

Lindsay Graham (SC) looks to win reelection, but in Georgia, it looks like the Senate race is heading to a runoff.

Arizona is definitely in play.  Interesting.

McConnell won reelection against the hapless, and anti-ideological campaign of Amy McGrath, favored by the DNC, the DSCC, and the DNC, has failed because, as I have said, , “You can’t beat something with nothing, even if the something is awful.”

She lost to a f%$#ing box turtle.

Remembering 2000, please God, let it not come down to Florida.

BTW, it looks like the highest turnout in decades.

Most of the states out of the Pacific time zone have closed polled.

Breaking for dinner.  Having some Romenesko Broccoli and cheese soup.

Doug Jones loses in Alabama.  Not a surprise.  He’s not running against a pedophile this year.

It looks like Florida is going to go for Trump.

Way to go Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment).

I have a prediction:  That I will be seriously shicker (drunk) within the next 15 minutes.

Arizona, which is always just one election away from turning Democratic Party, appears to remain one election away.

The consultants don’t care.  They get their vig win or lose.

The BBC is strongly implying that Trump will pull this out.

The Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) appears to have screwed the pooch once again.

The Iron Law of Institutions, which states that power WITHIN an organization is pursued at the expense of the power OF that organization, may once again end up f%$#ing us all.

Crap.  It appears that they will be calling Florida for Trump soon.

I wonder how they will blame the progressives for this.

I took a break to cuddle with Meatball, because I needed some Kitteh:

For my Jewish friends, if you want to make Aliyah to Israel, you can go to this link.

If you are not Jewish, consider getting a circumcision.

Democratic party stalwarts are sounding remarkably subdued, because this is NOT the blowout that they expected.

I’ve said this a number of times, “You can’t beat something with nothing, even if the something is awful.”

Why can’t Comedy Central do coverage of the elections?  It would be so much more pleasant.

Switching to the Beeb.  (BBC)

Turning off Taibbi and Halper, mostly they are looking for drinking points for their game.

Checking the NY Times map, and it has:

  • Biden winning Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, DC, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
  • Trump winnign, North & South Dakota, Georgia, Wyoming, Nebraska, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louuisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Ohio is in play in a number of reports.

I need to drink more.

Crap, the awful Susan Collins looking good right now.  She is the epitome of everything that is wrong with politics.

Live streaming Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper as well.

They seem bummed, and Virginia seems to be in play.

We are f%$#ed if that is true.

Switching to MSNBC.

Rachel Maddow, as always is chipper, which I find grating as hell.  I have since she, at the behest of her corporate masters at MSNBC, tried to queer the California primary in 2016.

Well, here we go.  I’ve poured myself a stiff rum and (flat) Coke, and I am ready to turn to the news.

They Have Forgotten Nothing, and They Have Learned Nothing

It appears that the Biden campaign is determined to repeat the litany of f%$#ups that the Clinton campaign used in 2016.

Case in point, the Biden campaign is nearly invisible in crucial states that Hillary Clinton lost, including ignoring the ground game in crucial swing states.

The campaign is studiously avoiding creating campaign offices in swing states.

These mooks (including in 2016 one named Robbie Mook) spent a huge amount of money duing things like running the numbers up in California through a large media buy that served no purpose but to enrich politically connected consultants.

The Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) is less the party leadership than it is a group of bunco artists who find the party convenient for lining their own pockets:

Contrary to the mantra of the “Resistance.” “Russia, Russia, Russia,” the primary reason for Clinton losing in 2016 was most likely that she didn’t campaign properly in many battleground states. This is something Clinton had control over, and she just refused to do it.

Biden apparently feels or thinks or some perverse combination of the two, similarly. Time:

“I can’t even find a sign,” Sabbe says outside a Kroger’s in Sterling Heights, where surrounding cars fly massive Donald Trump flags that say “No More Bullsh-t” and fellow shoppers wear Trump T-shirts for their weekend grocery runs. “I’m looking for one of those storefronts. I’m looking for a campaign office for Biden. And I’m not finding one.”

The reason Sabbe can’t find a dedicated Biden campaign field office is because there aren’t any around here. Not in Macomb County, the swing region where Sabbe lives. It’s not even clear Biden has opened any new dedicated field offices in the state; because of the pandemic, they’ve moved their field organizing effort online. The Biden campaign in Michigan refused to confirm the location of any physical field offices despite repeated requests; they say they have “supply centers” for handing out signs, but would not confirm those locations.

This is truly insane. Absolute and complete malpractice.

Democrats are completely vicious when taking down someone like Sanders, but they don’t even bother to try when it comes to winning national elections against Republicans. To all appearances they actually don’t care if Biden wins, or Trump loses.

Or they are completely incompetent.

Why not both? 


I suspect Democrats lose because not just because they are incompetent but because they don’t actually care. Losing is fine, they’ll still be OK. Pelosi will still be rich as Croesus, Biden will be fine, Harris will fine. Winning is nice enough, but they don’t need to win. They don’t even have a power drive, they’re people with sinecures protecting them savagely, but since they don’t need to win to keep their comfortable lives, only keep control of the party, they are only savage to those who threaten their control of the party (the left), not to the right.

Let me remind you of the Iron Law of Institutions, which states that power WITHIN an organization is pursued at the expense of the power OF that organization.

They care less about winning and losing, even losing to Trump, than they do about maintaining their power, status, and revenue streams.

Another Progressive Upset

What’s more, he came in 3rd, despite out fundraising all of his opponents.

It’s unlikely that Marquita Bradshaw will win the general, this is Tennessee, after all, but it is clear that status quo Democrats are in a place that is not resonating with the voters.

I think that a lot of this comes down to Bernie Sanders energizing the base.

I don’t think that Sanders will run in 2024, but I would like to see AOC run.

She will be 35 in October of 2024, and so she would be constitutionally qualified:

A political novice, Marquita Bradshaw pulled out a surprising victory on Thursday to secure the Democratic nomination for Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race, paving the way for her to take on Bill Hagerty, the winner of a bitter Republican primary battle.

“The progressive movement is undeniable,” Bradshaw tweeted to her followers. “Thank you all so much for your support and this victory. It’s time to put hardworking people first.”

The Memphis Democrat faced four challengers: Robin Kimbrough, James Mackler, Gary Davis and Mark Pickrell. Bradshaw won the race with 35.5% of the vote. Kimbrough had 26.6% and Mackler had 23.8%. Davis and Pickrell trailed with each winning less than 10% of the vote.


Still, Bradshaw beat out a better-known and better-funded challenger. Previously, Mackler ran briefly in 2018 for former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s seat until former Gov. Phil Bredesen joined the race. He bowed out and endorsed Bredesen.

This time around, Mackler received Bredesen’s endorsement and had already been running a campaign aimed at the two leading Republican candidates. He had the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.


Bradshaw is an organizer for and involved with local and statewide efforts of the environmental group Sierra Club. Through those efforts she has focused much of her attention on environmental justice, and how, she said, people of color are disproportionately impacted by environmental policy. It’s something she would focus on in the Senate.

“We started this campaign by listening to voters and taking in empirical data in order to shape policy,” she said. “We included them in that process and we got feedback. Moving forward, we can do this together.”

Since she announced her campaign, Bradshaw raised $8,420, according to her most recent Federal Election Commission filing. Comparatively, Mackler raised $2.1 million to run in the race. In that time, he has spent $1.5 million.

Needless to say, I expect that Bradshaw will be “Ghosted” by the DSCC, because controlling the Democratic caucus in the Senate is more important to Chuck Schumer and his Evil Minions than it is to control the Senate.

There is No Place for Progressives in the Democratic Party

One of the reasons that Bernie Sanders has suspended, rather then ended, his campaign, is because, as he has explicitly stated, he wants a sufficient number of delegates to be able to submit motions on Democratic Party rules.

It appears that the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) is unwilling to even deal with concessions as minor as keeping “super-delegates” out of the first ballot, which is honestly is about the only thing that Sanders would get passed, so they canceled the New York State Democratic Presidential primary to ensure that Sanders will have insufficient votes to submit motions on party rules and the platform.

It is patently clear that the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) sees Donald Trump as their opponent, and progressives as the enemy.

It’s the Iron Law of Institutions, “The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”

There is no single action more calculated to drive people who are undecided about whether to vote 3rd party or write in Stephen Colbert (I’m leaning toward Colbert) at this moment, but they have to do it, because hippy punching is an absolute priority of the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment).

Paging Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair once observed that, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Reports that the Democratic establishment is willing to burn the party to the ground so that they can preside over the ruins is proof of this.

The army of overpaid incompetent consultants, and their friends on the revolving door track at the DNC, realize the iff Bernie Sanders wins, then their personal gravy train comes to an end.

Of course they are willing to produce long lasting damage to the party in order to preserve their position within the party.

It’s the Iron Law of Institutions, “The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”

Dozens of interviews with Democratic establishment leaders this week show that they are not just worried about Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, but are also willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance. Since Mr. Sanders’s victory in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday, The Times has interviewed 93 party officials — all of them superdelegates, who could have a say on the nominee at the convention — and found overwhelming opposition to handing the Vermont senator the nomination if he arrived with the most delegates but fell short of a majority.

Such a situation may result in a brokered convention, a messy political battle the likes of which Democrats have not seen since 1952, when the nominee was Adlai Stevenson.

“We’re way, way, way past the day where party leaders can determine an outcome here, but I think there’s a vibrant conversation about whether there is anything that can be done,” said Jim Himes, a Connecticut congressman and superdelegate, who believe the nominee should have a majority of delegates.

In the words of Mel Brooks, “We gotta protect our phony baloney jobs.”


Burying the Lede

I love reading Taibbi, but in his article on the craziness in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, he buries the lede.

More than ⅔ down in the article is the money quote, “Sanders is the revolutionary. His election would mean a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party, forcing everyone who ever worked for a Clinton to look toward the private sector.

This primary season is about how the Democratic Party consultant class, the leeches, is fighting for its power at the expense of both the party and the country.

And the Dems Draw a Target on Their Shoes and Take Careful Aim

Across the country, College Democrat chapters are boycotting the DCCC over the blacklist of consultants who work for primary challengers:

DCCC to meet with progressives over controversial ‘blacklist’ policy:

Young Democrats at more than 30 colleges nationwide plan to boycott the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in protest of a new policy critics say is intended to freeze out challengers to incumbent representatives.

The policy, launched in late March, would require consultants and strategists to pledge not to work for candidates challenging a sitting Democratic member of Congress or be left off a list of vendors approved to work with the DCCC.

The Harvard College Democrats are leading the coalition, which initially featured 26 chapters nationwide but which Harvard Democrats President Hank Sparks confirmed to The Hill currently stands at 42. Participants include groups based at Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, Michigan State University, Rutgers University-Newark, University of Virginia and Spelman College.

“Primary challengers are essential to ensure that the Democratic Party is continually held accountable to the needs of our constituents. This blacklist policy is undemocratic and antithetical to our values of inclusion and diversity,” the Harvard Democrats said in a letter Wednesday. “Challengers to incumbents have been essential to making the Democratic Party an institution that truly reflects the progressive values and diverse identities of the people it claims to represent.”

The DCCC’s policy is stupid and counter-productive, but the goal is not to create success, it is designed to ensure that those who control the party remain in control, even if it harms the party.

It is the Iron Law of Institutions writ small and petty:

The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

HOnestly, these groups should not be calling for a reversal of the policy, they should be calling for DCCC head Cheri Bustos.

Otherwise, the policy will continue on the down low.

What a Surprise

The story of Alaska, where Democrats have gone from insignificance to a part of the ruling coalition in the legislature, has one important lesson, that political professional must necessarily be ignored in order to achieve success:

On May 23, 2012, after finishing final exams at the end of his junior year at Yale, a 23-year-old named Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins got two phone calls from people back home in Alaska. The first came from an erstwhile losing candidate for state Legislature; the second, from a longtime high school debate coach who remembered Kreiss-Tomkins as a standout from a rival school’s team. Neither one knew the other was calling, but both had the same idea: Kreiss-Tomkins should drop out of college.

Specifically, he should drop out of college, move home to Sitka and become a Democratic candidate for the state House of Representatives. They told him he had 10 days to decide.


Over the next five months, Kreiss-Tomkins campaigned doggedly. He went door to door, by foot, ferry and bush plane. He visited Alaska Native villages, arriving with only a backpack containing a change of clothes, a tube of Ritz crackers, some peanut butter and a stash of business cards.

Thomas, his opponent, hung back, slow to awake to the seriousness of the challenge. Meanwhile, Kreiss-Tomkins, sounding a populist note, hammered him on a vote Thomas had taken to cut taxes for the oil industry. “I framed my candidacy primarily as a referendum on that vote,” Kreiss-Tomkins says, “because I thought his vote on such an important issue directly conflicted with the public interest.”


On December 3, 2012, Kreiss-Tomkins was declared the victor by 32 votes. And although he had no way to know it at the time, it was the beginning of something very unexpected.

In the five years since Kreiss-Tomkins’s upset victory, a most unusual thing has happened: Alaska—which elected Sarah Palin governor and has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson—has turned from red to a bluish hue of purple. Throughout the state, unknown progressives, like the kind Kreiss-Tomkins once was, have been winning. Before the elections of 2012, conservatives controlled all the major seats of power in Alaska: the governorship, both houses of the Legislature, and the mayoralty and city assembly of Anchorage, where 40 percent of the state’s 740,000 residents live; now, progressives and moderates control all of those offices but the state Senate, which has been gerrymandered beyond their control. More than half of the 40-member Alaska House of Representatives has been newly elected since 2012, most of them Democrats or independents; together with three moderate Republicans, they have remade the Democratic-independent caucus into a 22-18 majority.

They have raised the minimum wage, mooted credible discussions about creating an income tax, (Won’t happen until the oil money dries up) expanded voter registration, and legalized marijuana.

Why is this? Because they have sidelined the Democratic Party establishment, which is, in accordance with the Iron Law of Institutions, is really all about keeping their “Phony Baloney Jobs”, not winning elections:

To be sure, this tectonic political shift would have been impossible without traditional Democratic players, like unions. But what’s been less noticed, even in Alaska, is the role played by millennials who, rather than spending years working their way up on the team, instead reinvented the playbook. Three men in particular—Kreiss-Tomkins, Forrest Dunbar and John-Henry Heckendorn—have pointed the way to reviving progressivism in the state by recruiting new, outsider candidates, teaching them how to win, and connecting them with fellow travelers. In bypassing traditional channels—which in Alaska, as everywhere else, tend to elevate predictable, uninspiring pols who have paid their dues—they’ve propelled a wave of untested candidates with little experience and even less party identity, but who believe in the economic populist agenda shared by a coalition of labor, environmentalists and the state’s large, politically engaged Alaska Native population.

Their emerging coalition has been a boon for the Democratic Party, of course, but what’s remarkable is how little of this transformation has depended on the party. To the extent that the Democratic Party has helped in its own revival—and in transforming Alaska from deep red to a blue-ish purple—it was in part by getting out of the way. As progressives across the country try to pry Republicans out of power, they have important lessons to learn from a state where they are wrongly thought to have no power at all.

 (all emphasis mine)

What works in Alaska may not work elsewhere, the nation’s largest state has a small enough population that literally everyone in politics knows everyone else in politics, which means that the political establishment has meaningful face to face contact with any insurgents, but the lesson here, that the party establishment, particularly the unelected “Professional” part, is frequently an obstacle, not an aid to the electoral process.

Quote of the Day

While Richard Florida’s recommendation that the Democratic Party should target the “service class” makes perfect sense, it presupposes that the Democrats have exercising political power as their main objective. In fact, their real overarching goal is maximizing political patronage opportunities.

Yves Smith

It does explains an awful lot about Democratic Party dysfunction.

I’m Impressed

Jeremy Corbyn called for young people to register to vote in the UK, and 90,000 of them registered in one day:

Over 90,000 young people registered to vote on Sunday in a boost to Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign.

A total of 90,200 18- to- 24-year-olds applied to vote on 21 May, according to the latest figures.

It came as the Labour leader made a last-ditch plea for students to register to vote by stressing its manifesto pledge to abolish tuition fees as early as this September.

Just 6,827 55- to- 64-year-olds and  2,628 65- to- 74-year-olds registered on Sunday- a day before applications close.

I understand why all those Blairites in Labour are so concerned about Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Clearly he cannot motivate people to vote for Labour.

Once again, I am forced to invoke the Iron Law of Institutions, which states that people pursue power within an organization, even at the expense of the power of that organization.

This is a No Lose Situation

A special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district is a no lose for the Democrats.

It’s clear that John Ossof, the only serious Democratic candidate, is going to get the most votes, there are 11 votes in the so called “Jungle”primary, in which the top two vote getters to on to the runoff.

The only question is whether he breaks 50%, which would obviate the need for a runoff.

If he breaks 50%, then he is elected, and the seat has a Democrat for the first time since Gingrich was elected in 1978.

If he does not break 50%, then it is almost certain that he would lose the runoff, and the Obama/Clinton establishment playbook, recruit a Neoliberal carpetbagger, shower them with money ($8.3 million more than the rest of the other candidates combined) would get a black eye.*

Remember that the Democratic National Committee could not be bothered to fund a real liberal James Thompson to the tune of one direct mailing in Kansas, because it’s more important to them that Bernie and his supporters lose than that Democrats win. (It was a 7% loss in a district that Trump carried by 40%.)

Once again, it’s the Iron Law of Institutions in action. 

I am so glad that I am not in GA-6:  I would have to choose between voting to make Republicans panicked, or slapping down the Democratic establishment, because it’s clear that in 2018, when it matters, Ossoff will lose.

Polls close at 7pm, and I’ll post an update around midnight.

*Which, of course, they would blame on Bernie Sanders.

The Iron Law of Organizations* Made Manifest

By a wide margin, the most popular politician on America’s national scene right now is Bernie Sanders, and the Democratic Party establishment appears to think that its first priority is taking him, and his supporters, down:

If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close. Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party – out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant – still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.

A new Fox News poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 net favorability rating among the US population, dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he’s even more popular among the vaunted “independents”, where he is at a mind boggling +41.


One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country.

Politico ran a story just this week featuring Democratic officials fretting over the fact that Sanders supporters may upend their efforts to retake governorships in southern states by insisting those candidates adopt Sanders’ populist policies – seemingly oblivious to the fact that Sanders plays well in some of those states too.

Sanders’ effect on Trump voters can be seen in a gripping town hall this week that MSNBC’s Chris Hayes hosted with him in West Virginia – often referred to as “Trump country” – where the crowd ended up giving him a rousing ovation after he talked about healthcare being a right of all people and that we are the only industrialized nation in the world who doesn’t provide healthcare as a right to all its people.

One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country.

These are people who have made their careers sucking up to Wall Street and other corporate interest.

If the Democratic Party moves back toward actually protecting ordinary people from the “Malefactors of Great Wealth,” they will lose power, and likely their phony baloney jobs.

*That power WITHIN an organization will be pursued at the even at the expense of the power OF that organization.

Ironically, I am quoting a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt.

The Democratic Party Leadership Has a Message for the Base

As one wit so trenchantly noted, “The progressives needed to receive some kind of gesture. And they have received one: an enormous middle finger.”

Another poerson called this, “a suicide note,” for the party.

Keith Ellison lost the race for head of the DNC to Tom Perez:

The Democratic National Committee was bracing for a backlash if Thomas Perez won its chairmanship, and it got one. In the AmericasMart meeting room where Perez defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), nine protesters from Democracy Rising carried out the protest — chants of “party of the people, not big money” as Perez and outgoing interim DNC chair Donna Brazile gritted their teeth. Writers on the left, including Nathan J. Robinson, Matt Bruenig and Corey Robin, were quick to ask whether the Democratic establishment had a death wish.

The answer is not that the Democratic Party Establishment has a death wish, but rather that they were following the Iron Law of Organizations Institutions, which states that power WITHIN an organization will be pursued at the even at the expense of the power OF that organization.

In another calculated f%$# you directed at the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, the DNC also voted down a ban on corporate and lobbyist donations, becase they just had to twist the f%$#ing knife.

The best summary of what happened is this:

Before this gets turned into another thing where the establishment Democrats posture as the reasonable adults victimized by the assaults of those left-wing baddies, let’s just be very clear about what happened here. It was the establishment wing that decided to recruit and then stand up a candidate in order to fight an internal battle against the left faction of the party. It was the establishment wing that then dumped massive piles of opposition research on one of their own party members. And it was the establishment wing that did all of this in the shadow of Trump, sowing disunity in order to contest a position whose leadership they insist does not really matter.

It should be noted that in terms of publicly stated positions, there was not a whole lot of difference between Perez and Ellison, but there is one that was VERY important, though it is sort of inside baseball.

Specifically, Perez expressly eschewed putting some distance between the DNC and the multi-million dollar consultants strip mining the party:

The DNC is going through an existential crisis, being at its weakest state since 1920.  This is not the Democrats’ first existential crisis, though. In 2005 the DNC members were at war with national consultants who they claimed were sucking up the resources of the party. It was that year when Vermont Governor Howard Dean won and enacted his 50 state strategy. But it came with a fight over resources, contracts and state funding. And while the 2017 DNC elections have been billed as the Bernie vs. Hillary or the progressives vs. establishment fight, it is actually the 2005 fight over funding, on steroids.

It’s become a common statement over the past few months: The Democrats have raised more money than ever and lost more seats than ever (1,000+ seats nationwide since 2009). They had an elaborate convention, beautifully crafted marketing, what was praised as the most sophisticated data operation to date and teams of veteran campaign strategists working in what was supposed to be the easiest Presidential race in recent history. But around 9:45pm ET on Nov 8, it was clear that the house of cards was on the verge of collapse. And that by the next day, the DNC would have to not just answer how they lost the Presidency and so many other races, but: Where did all that money go?

Former Chair Candidate, NH State Chairman Ray Buckley broke the news during the Phoenix DNC forum that as an executive member he had never seen the budget — and that most leaders at the DNC, as well as all of the members, had no idea where the record amount of money raised was being spent. When the DNC Chair candidates debated over whether the party should accept lobbyist money (which was banned under Obama’s administration), Buckley stated “the question should not be about whether we need the lobbyist money, but rather where we’ve spent all this money we’ve raised.”


Several DNC members have privately disclosed that they received calls on behalf of Tom Perez from Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, a partner of Precision Strategies and former Executive Director of the DNC when the OFA was housed within it. Dillon is also a Co-Chair of the upcoming Unity Commission, forged out of the 2016 rules committee. The goal of the Unity commission is to set the DNC’s new rules.

Members have repeatedly discussed the frustration with the conflicts of interests within the Democratic party. For Dillon — whose firm received $571,573 from HFA and $593,397 from the DNC, totaling almost $1.2 million — having a seat as a co-chair of the DNC’s rules committee, raises red flags.

One DNC member voting for Mayor Pete Buttigieg stated, “When a firm with a large contract with the DNC co-chairs the new rules committee and makes calls on behalf of a DNC candidate, you can’t help but wonder whether Perez’s interests lie with the DNC members or if he’s cut a deal to keep the contract with Precision.”


Today, it is openly acknowledged by many members that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were running an operation together. In fact, it doesn’t take much research beyond FEC filings to see that six of the top major consulting firms had simultaneous contracts with the DNC and HRC — collectively earning over $335 million since 2015. (This does not include SuperPACs.)

One firm, GMMB earned $236.3 million from HFA and $5.3 from the DNC in 2016. Joel Benenson, a pollster and strategist who frequents cable news, collected $4.1m from HFA while simultaneously earning $3.3 million from the DNC. Perkins Coie law firm collected $3.8 million from the DNC, $481,979 from the Convention fund and $1.8 million from HFA in 2016.

And, it would be irresponsible of me to not note that by a simple glimpse of FEC filings, former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and some of her senior staffers remained on payroll with the DNC until December, well past she resigned on July 25, 2016.

What does this all mean? The DNC, which lacks an open budget, has been allocating dozens multi-million dollar contracts without accountability from its members and leadership. The money, of course, did not go into state parties and organizing, and the majority of members I’ve interviewed expresses resentment and frustration.

But as we approach the DNC vote on Saturday, the question over conflicts of interests remaining in the party, is a priority. When I asked Sec. Tom Perez during an interview whether he’d ban conflicts of interests, he answered “The people I talk to want to build a Democratic party that works for everyone…. We have a big tent in the Democratic party.” Secretary Perez, a civil rights attorney surely knows that conflicts of interests would be alarming when presented in a court room. How can a party that condemns Trump’s vast conflicts continue to allow those with millions of dollars in consulting contracts with the national party be in leadership positions at the DNC and/or be voting members. Who controls whom?


At a time when the Democratic party is hemorrhaging members nationally and experienced eight years of crushing losses, many are questioning how a few consulting firms could continue their lobbying for national contracts. Some answer: just raise more money to send to the states. But it’s not just that these national contracts are expensive, it’s that the consultants’ track records are horrifying.

(emphasis mine)

Corrupt AND incompetent is a toxic brew, and I’m depressed enough to consider going to a Democratic Socialists of America meeting.

This is Called Getting Your ducks in a Row

Bernie Sanders and his allies are looking at replacing the Democratic Party leaders at the state and local levels.

Good.  This is how to make real change, and make it stick:

The revolution is back in business.

Supporters of Bernie Sanders’ failed presidential bid are seizing on Democratic disarray at the national level to launch a wave of challenges to Democratic Party leaders in the states.

The goal is to replace party officials in states where Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton during the acrimonious Democratic primary with more progressive leadership. But the challenges also represent a reckoning for state party leaders who, in many cases, tacitly supported Clinton’s bid.

“I think the Bernie people feel very strongly that they were abused, somehow neglected during the primary process and the conventions,” said Severin Beliveau, a former Maine Democratic Party chairman who supported Sanders in the primary. “In Maine, for instance, where Bernie got 70 percent of the caucus vote, they are emboldened and in effect want to try to replace [Maine Democratic Party chairman] Phil Bartlett, who supported Clinton.”

I hope that they can make this work, but they are fighting the Iron Law of Organizations Institutions, which states that power WITHIN an organization is pursued at the expense of the power OF that organization.