The Dems are going to reform the party?
Not if this kind of shit continues:
Opponents of Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman are raising new questions about the Minnesota Democrat’s past to make the case that he’s unfit to be the party’s next leader.
Ellison’s critics in the DNC and some supporters of Labor secretary Tom Perez, the other top candidate, are pointing to the Minnesota Democrat’s past tax troubles, campaign finance violations and minor legal issues that once led to his driver’s license being suspended as evidence that he’s ill-equipped to lead the DNC.
Some of those instances date back to the 1990s. All of the issues have been rectified and were previously used in attacks against Ellison during his first run for House in 2006.
That year, Ellison’s then-wife, Kim Ellison, who acted as his campaign treasurer, wrote to the Minneapolis Star Tribune to accept responsibility for all of the violations.
At the time, Kim Ellison said that memory loss associated with her multiple sclerosis was the reason for the unpaid traffic tickets, late campaign finance reports, and household bookkeeping errors.
But Ellison’s detractors within the DNC say that it’s evidence he can’t manage his personal life and would be a poor choice to manage an institution the size of the DNC.
Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from California and one of 447 who will vote in the February election, says he has not backed a candidate yet but will not support Ellison.
“One Republican said to me, `You’re going to elect a tax cheat who drives without a license?'” Mulholland said. “It’s absurd.”
“If Ellison were running as a Republican, Democrats would attack him as a tax cheat, so I have no idea why Washington insiders are urging the grassroots to elect another insider. If you can’t drive or pay taxes, you can’t organize your life, so I concluded early on that he can’t organize for this job.”
Ellison’s past incursions with campaign finance laws and the IRS have been public information for some time, but most DNC members reached by The Hill said they were hearing about it for the first time.
Ellison’s supporters are furious, and accusing his opponents of running a smear campaign against him, which they say started with accusations that Ellison is an anti-Semite.
The Minnesota Democrat has been dealing with blowback over his support as a young man for the Nation of Islam, which he has since rejected, and past comments about U.S. foreign policy being beholden to Israel.
“This is the same bullshit as people pulling up his past comments to try and paint him as an anti-Semite,” said Minnesota Democratic chairman Ken Martin, an Ellison supporter who also has a vote in the DNC race.
Martin points to Ellison’s Jewish supporters–including campaign chairman and former ambassador to Morocco Sam Kaplan–as proof that the anti-Semite accusations are “complete bullshit.”
“His opponents are looking through his past and digging up stuff from his Congressional and legislative races that fell flat and that Minnesotans rejected,” Martin said. “I welcome them to keep focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter. Keith will focus on building the party up from the grassroots.”
DemRat business as usual, seems to me. Just like it’s been since at least 2002.
Following is what Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders have to say about a party that has now almost completely discredited itself by throwing a “sure thing” election (and possible control of Congress and the Supreme Court) to a crude, amateur, anti-establishment hustler.
On December 14, the political advocacy group Our Revolution hosted a livestream event with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) discussing the need to reform the Democratic Party. Both Sanders and Our Revolution have endorsed Ellison in his campaign to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). What follows is an abridged transcript of their remarks, edited for length and clarity.
Bernie: What we are doing tonight is not sexy, and it’s not going to make the headlines in the newspapers all over the country, but it is unprecedented for the Democratic Party and for the long-term future of our country, and it is of enormous consequence. At a time of low voter turnout, at a time when millions of Americans are demoralized politically and are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics, we are gathered here tonight not only in this building but all over America to begin the process of transforming American politics and of creating a government which works for all of the people–not just the 1%.
That is what we are here to do, and in order to make that happen our first step is to transform the Democratic Party from a top-down party to a bottom-up body, to create a grassroots organization of the working families of this country, the young people of this country. I will tell you, having been all over this great nation of ours, there is an incredible idealism of millions of young people who believe in this country and who love this country and are prepared to fight to make this country all that we can become. I want to also urge all Americans regardless of income, regardless of their race, their nationality, their sexual orientation, to jump into the political process and make the Democratic Party a democratic party with a small “d,” not just a capital “d.”
The painful truth is that despite President Obama’s strong victories in 2008 and 2012, the Democratic Party has lost enormous political ground over the last eight years. The Republicans have just won the White House. The Republicans now control the Senate. The Republicans now control the House. Republican governors now control almost two-thirds of the statehouses in this country, and over the last eight years Democrats have lost some 900 legislative seats from one end of America to the other. That is the simple, indisputable truth. Clearly, whatever the leadership of the Democratic Party has been doing over the last few years has failed, and we need fundamental change.
Brothers and sisters, the status quo is not working, and we will not succeed if we continue along the same old path. Now is the time for real change in the Democratic Party, now is the time to revitalize the Democratic Party and bring in people who have not been welcomed in the past. We should not be afraid of new energy and new faces; we should welcome and embrace new energy and new faces. Now is the time for a chair of the Democratic Party who has a very different vision of the party then those who are in control today. Now is the time for Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic Party.
As I know many of you are aware, Keith is currently the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and has been one of the leading progressive voices on all of the major issues facing the middle class and working families of our country. He has been there on picket lines. He’s been up front and out front in terms of workers’ rights, in terms of the environment and climate change, in terms of the need to create a healthcare system that guarantees healthcare to all people as a right. He has been out in front on women’s rights, on the rights of the LGBT community, on the need for real criminal justice reform, on the need for immigration reform and on the need for real tax reform, so that Donald Trump and the other billionaires start paying their fair share of taxes. For many, many years Keith has been there not as a follower, but as a leader. Unlike some of the other candidates running for chair, Keith knew from day one that the TPP was a disaster for working families and helped us defeat the TPP. Keith is by nature a grassroots organizer–that is what he does and that is who he is. He is not a creature of the inside-the-beltway world; he is a person who lives in the real world, feels comfortable in the real world, and is going to bring the real world into the Democratic Party.
Brothers and sisters, we are in a perilous and momentous moment in American history. You all know that, and we are going to need a political party that has the guts to stand with working families, has the guts to take on the big money interests that control to a large degree our economic and political life.
It is my great privilege to introduce to you someone who I believe is going to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. Please welcome congressman Keith Ellison.
Keith: If there was ever a moment when people who love this country and the people in it need to step up and do everything they can to improve the lives of their fellow Americans, that moment is right now.
If I told you that you had an opportunity to fight for people who felt vulnerable and scared in this Trump America, would you do it? If I told you that you had a chance to stand up and fight for working people, would you do it? If I told you that you could be the hero of folks who pour the cement, who teach the classes, who take care of the folks in the hospital, who take care of the children, who cook the food–I mean the hard-working people of America–would you step up and do something for them?
Well that’s good, because we need you to do all of that right now. Because let me tell you, it’s hard to imagine somebody like Donald Trump being elected president, but in a few days he will be the president. I don’t know what stage in the whole spectrum of grief you may be at, but I think we need to arrive at acceptance that he’s about to be the president. And that means that each of us and all of us have to do every single thing that we can to protect our fellow Americans and to advance the cause of economic and social justice. This is a historic moment, this is a movement moment and this moment may well be the moment when the American people thought to reclaim their democracy of, by and for the people.
This is what we got to do: Right now we got to reset the future of the Democratic Party. We got to reset the Democratic party on the basis of grassroots activism. We got to reset the Democratic Party on the basis of working people who are striving every single day to make a better life for themselves and their families right here in America. I’m talking about African Americans, white Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans. I’m talking about Asian Americans, about people who are Jewish and Muslim and Christian and Buddhist and Hindu and those who have no faith at all. I’m talking about folks like you and me, folks like us that need to say that the Democratic Party has got to be democratic, and it starts with getting some leadership in there that’s going to fight for that democracy. I’m telling you right now, this is the moment we have been waiting for: The time for us to stand up and fight back and reclaim our nation. Y’all ready?
Here’s the other thing, there’s a lot of folks who voted for Trump. Don’t reject them; ask them what are you thinking about? How do you feel now? Are you willing to work with us? Now did he disappoint you or do you still feel satisfied? Because there’s a whole lot of folks after they lose their healthcare, they are going to be a little bit annoyed. Don’t push them away, bring them in.
And the last thing I want to ask you to do is just understand that there’s a lot of folks who might have their family roots south of the border, and a guy who just got elected said, “Build a wall.” These people need our support. These are our brothers and sisters, and we can’t let them feel vulnerable and afraid. A dear friend of mine said to me recently that she was called to a meeting with her friend. She brought her little five-year-old daughter with her. And she said to my friend, if me and my husband are picked up and deported, you know Juanita is born in America, she’s a citizen: Would you take care of her? You understand? Think about having that conversation. That’s real for a lot of people. There are other people who were told that they were going to be banned from immigrating here based on their religion. People who are Muslim, be a friend. People who are gay and lesbian, people who are Jewish–a lot of anti-Semitism has really popped up. You got to stand with everybody who is feeling vulnerable right now. Because one of the things Trump has uncorked is that hate machine, and we have got to resist it and stand up against it. Our best weapon against it is our own solidarity. Let’s remake the Democratic Party, everybody.
It’s been a long time since I have heard anybody in even a possible position of power in the Democratic Party say things like this. Since RFK, really. And…as usual…the old guard is trying to use the same sort of old politics smearing to make sure they don’t lose control of the Democratic Party money machine.
If those people succeed, we are back in Humphrey territory once again.
Make your voices heard,
Throw the bums out!!!