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Democratic leadership backs right-wing military-intelligence primary candidates

By       Message Patrick Martin       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 4/30/18

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A tape recording made in January and leaked last week to the Intercept captures House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House of Representatives, telling a liberal candidate for the Democratic nomination in the Sixth Congressional District of Colorado that he should pull out in favor of the choice of the party leadership, Iraq War veteran and former paratrooper Jason Crow, who is now a well-connected corporate lawyer.

The liberal candidate, "green" capitalist Levi Tillemann, had previously denounced Hoyer's intervention and released notes of their discussion, but the tape recording provides a more detailed picture of the electoral strategy being pursued by the Democratic Party leadership in 2018.

With Crow engaged in a primary contest against two more liberal opponents, Tillemann and David Aarestad, a lawyer for the University of Colorado and health care activist, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) gave Crow its highest token of support, designating his candidacy as part of the "Red to Blue" campaign. The DCCC has poured money into the district to support him.

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Aarestad withdrew from the race last month under pressure from Washington, but Tillemann has refused to do so.

The recording is from a face-to-face meeting at the Denver Hilton between Hoyer and Tillemann. Hoyer can be heard saying, "Staying out of primaries sounds small-D democratic, very intellectual and very interesting. But it was clear that it was our policy and our hope that we could, early on, try to come to an agreement on a candidate that we thought could win the general, and to give that candidate all the help we could give them."

Hoyer has personally given $4,000 to Crow's campaign, while his AmeriPac political action committee has donated $10,000. Other big money Democrats have backed Crow, swelling his campaign coffers to $1,260,000 as of the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, on March 31. Tillemann, a developer of electric vehicles and former adviser to the Obama Energy Department, has raised $278,000, while Aarestad had raised $139,000 before withdrawing.

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Similar interventions have been reported in Democratic primary campaigns in Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Minnesota, California and other states. In virtually every case, the party leadership has favored the more right-wing candidate against those who described themselves as "progressives" or hailed from the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.

The transcript of the Hoyer-Tillemann conversation deserves quotation at some length, because it gives a glimpse of the ruthlessness and unvarnished cynicism of the Democratic Party leadership:

Hoyer: Levi, obviously I wanted to talk to you about this congressional race.

Tillemann: You would like me to get out of the race.

Hoyer: You keep saying I would like you to get out, and of course that's correct.

Tillemann: I know you're fundraising for Crow.

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Hoyer: Yeah. I'm for Crow. I am for Crow because a judgment was made very early on. I didn't participate in the decision.

Tillemann: So your position is a decision was made very early on before voters had a say. That's fine because the DCCC knows better than the voters of the Sixth Congressional District, and we should line up behind that candidate.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

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Kristine Hoggatt

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How can anyone support this party after hearing Steny Hoyer's admonition to a progressive candidate to get out of the race because the "winner" had been decided some time ago????

How blatantly corrupt do the Dems have to be before people turn on them?

Submitted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 3:10:16 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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Our whole election system sucks. This is just one element. Because of the way the monopolistic mainstream media ignores or destroys any candidate without tons of money, only money grubbing sycophants can get nominated. The DNC was part of the force that ended candidate forums run by the non-partisan League of Women Voters. A good candidate is marginalized or shut out from the time he registers to run.

The system is rigged, from bottom to top, so only corporate flunkies need apply. Voting in this country is a terrible, wasteful distraction designed to keep "we the people" from putting our money and actions in directions that can make positive changes. It is that bad!

Submitted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 4:32:14 PM

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PCM

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By now, anyone with an above-room-temperature IQ should be beginning to suspect that Democratic Party leadership no longer views its primary mission as winning elections (and definitely not as representing the interests of the bulk of its electorate), but rather ensuring that the working and middle classes remain locked out of power to the fullest extent possible. As with their Republican counterparts, that's what their super-rich principals are paying them to do. Better a Republican win -- any Republican, no matter how reactionary or fascistic -- than a true progressive. Actually, it's exactly what our Constitution -- designed over two centuries ago by wealthy white male property owners ago to protect their riches from the envious masses, and made near-impossible to amend -- was intended to ensure. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable...

Submitted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 7:51:59 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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The Dems are traditionally prowar just like the Repubs. So are almost all of the MSM, and a large majority of the U.S. public. If Tilleman was a true progressive willing to tell the truth about militarism, war crimes, and the total corruption of US politics at all levels, he would get crushed in this election, but maybe at least a few percent of the voters in the district might learn to think and come to a different conclusion. I note Tilleman is still dirty to the extent of his campaign fund.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 9:23:44 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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The problem is these "leaders" have been around far too long and new ideas scare them to the point of not only resisting change but doing all they can to maintain a status-quo. Their "keepers" have paid them well for following the orders they have been paid for and they have succumbed to complete obedience. One cannot recall any new idea they have come up with in saving our nation from its free-fall to third world status. Of course, they are not paid to have ideas, just to follow orders.

The same can be said for the Right-Wing. It matters little to the American people which side has the majority in Congress or do you actually think if the Left-Wing gained control we would see taxes raised for the wealthy or a healthcare system rather than a healthcare for profit system or schools operating as learning centers rather than profit centers or the stop to crimes against humanity through illegally invading other sovereign nations? Of course, nothing would change, just the fingers being pointed across the aisle as the "Good Cop -- Bad Cop" scenario would merely change sides as to who was "Good" and who was "Bad".

Submitted on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 10:28:54 AM

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