Senate Centrist Dems are partnering with the GOP to eliminate banking regulations and the DCCC is silencing candidates on gun control and healthcare. Lujan petition included. Also included today is a report and video on increased ICE activity in town and the City’s response.
Increased ICE Activity in Santa Fe. Yesterday, a press conference was organized by Somos Un Pueblo Unido with representatives from the City, School District, and Business assembled to describe the escalation of ICE activity in Santa Fe and how our community is responding. I’ve heard disparaging comments about the implementation of the City’s Sanctuary policy: ‘How come they are letting people get detained if this is a Sanctuary city?’ But the City and no other sanctuary city has no capacity to actually stop ICE activity, they simply can refuse to support or cooperate with ICE. For example, in Oakland, also a strong sanctuary city, their Mayor got word of impended raids and warned the community, the Oakland police did nothing to cooperate with ICE, but even still 232 immigrants were detained in a few days. But while there are only a limited number of things the City can do, from the press conference, it appears they are doing all of them. Thanks to our friends at the People’s Progressive Media, we have the full video of the press conference at the bottom of this page. One thing the business community is doing to help protect our immigrant neighbors is to conduct a free workshop for employers so they know their rights and can effectively protect their workers.
- Santa Fe Workshop for Employers: How to Prepare for I-9 Audits by Homeland Security
- Wednesday, March 7, 2-4pm
- Santa Fe Homebuilders Associations
- 2520-B Camino Entrada, Santa Fe
RSVP by calling 982-1774 or email email@example.com. And thanks to the Home Builders Association, Green Chamber, Hispanic Chamber and most of all Somos Un Pueblo Unido, for doing what it can to support our immigrant neighbors.
Don’t Forget to Vote on today. But before you do, how about clicking the donate button and make a contribution. After a good start, donations have flagged and we are still about $1200 below our $3000 goal. Help us get there and the pitch will become less frequent. Thanks so much
If you are undecided on how to vote, please check out the Mayoral Voters Guide, click here, and the City Council Voters Guide, click here. Today’s election will determine the political environment in which all of our local advocacy will occur over the next four years. Your vote matters. Please if you do nothing else this week, VOTE. And, if you’ve got a bit of time today, Click here to get to yesterday’s post with contact info for all campaigns. Call your favorite City Council or Mayoral candidate and ask what you can do to get out the vote.
More Revelations About Lujan-DCCC Tilting the Scales & a Petition to Rep. Lujan
In a recent post, Common Dreams ticked off just some of the recently reported undemocratic practices of the DCCC: “To wit:
- The Intercept reported this week on polling documents presented to House Democrats last April which suggested that the messaging Democrats push on healthcare in no way discuss how Medicare for All cold be a solution.
- Also this week, the Huffington Post reported on how the DCCC told House candidates the day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas “Do NOT POLITICIZE IT TODAY.” The candidates were instead directed to offer “thoughts/prayers.”
- The DCCC repeated that message to candidates following the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. last month.
- The DCCC also attacked progressive candidate Laura Moser, a progressive Democrat who is running to represent Houston, Texas in the U.S. House. Its effort, however, seems to be backfiring.
- BuzzFeed also reported last month on how a group of black Democrats, Collective PAC, is asking the DCCC why it has not included any black candidates in its “Red to Blue” program.”
Common Dreams went on to point to yet another, very specific example of the DCCC undermining a progressive candidate: “Their [DCCC] consultant-driven strategy seems to prefer milquetoast candidates who they believe can appeal to moderate Republicans over progressive candidates of color. This is what systemic racism looks like,” Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for Justice Democrats, said to the Washington Post about the situation faced by Greg Edwards, who’s running for a swing seat in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Edwards, who called himself “the most progressive candidate, the only candidate of color,” told the Post the DCCC asked him to leave the race.”
I’ve been asking that you write to Rep. Lujan and I encourage you to continue to do so. Email Ben Ray at: firstname.lastname@example.org. . But now Credo and Our Revolution have created petitions to Rep. Lujan about DCCC operations so I’d encourage you to use that platform to raise your voice, as well. I suspect your emails will mean more as you can identify yourself as being his constituent. Click here to sign the petition. It will take you 30 seconds.
I want to acknowledge a very respectful and thoughtful comment received yesterday, objecting to my series on Rep. Lujan. The reader pointed to Laura Moser’s terribly ill-conceived comment about never wanting to return to Paris, Texas. While acknowledging that the comment came from over 3 years ago and that Paris is 300 miles from Moser’s district, the commenter pointed out, I think with merit, that the GOP would use this line like a battering ram and that ever prideful Texans would reject Moser for that alone.
The commenter pointed out that the DCCC’s function is to get Democrats elected and so if a candidate is seriously flawed, it is its job to favor more electable candidates. I must admit that when I read about Moser’s comment, I had a similar reaction, that while enflamed progressives would support her even more just because of the perception of favoritism on the part of the DCCC, when it came to November, the comments may not play out so well. Polling suggests that progressives indeed are rallying the troops as Moser has climbed from 6th in the polls to second, which if these polling numbers hold would ensure her a spot in the primary. But in this one instance, I actually can see why the DCCC would be concerned. And as the commenter also wrote, right now our number one priority is to elect Democrats and wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from the GOP. I get that.
But while I can see it as reasonable for the DCCC to look at this race and conclude that a more electable candidate should be advanced, in one of my recent blog posts I highlighted about 20 different races where the progressive candidate was not flawed at all except by virtue of being progressive, click here to review this post. And why this is a problem is outlined below as the Intercept describes how 4 centrist Democrats are working with the GOP to eliminate regulatory safeguards implemented after the economic collapse of 2008.
It is also why it is important that the DCCC not try to curb candidates in their discussion of important issues like gun control and healthcare coverage, something recent posts describe in detail. Read on for why it matters what kind of Democrats we elect. We need Democrats who will advance progressive values, not DINOS (Democrats in Name Only) who will vote with Republicans to curry favor with Wall. St. See below. And I want to thank the reader who offered constructive and respectful criticism of my reporting on Lujan and the DCCC. We need to be challenged on our views and your criticism is very welcome. I have reached out to Rep. Lujan asking that he produce a guest blog, just as I did with Rep. Egolf. I hope he accepts the offer. I think our readers would be eager to hear the thinking behind DCCC strategies.
Corporate Democrats Cave to Wall St. Partner with GOP to Unshackle the Banks. Again.
Just because it worked so well in 2008, corporate Democrats have decided the banks deserve another chance to make obscene profits, engage in risky, unregulated investments, and bankrupt the economy. 2008 Redux. Senate Bill 2155 started as a seemingly well-intentioned bill to provide regulatory relief to small community banks. Indeed I even got an email yesterday from a credit union association encouraging me to call in support of the bill. Apparently the association didn’t read the final draft.
Citibank got involved in the discussion and successfully lobbied for changes that would deregulate pretty much all of Wall St to expand protections from just community banks to cover 85% of the finance industry. And they did it by making one subtle change. Initially, S2199 defined a custodial bank as a bank with a high level of custodial assets, i.e. small community banks and credit unions that services a good many direct customers. But the Senate Banking Committee must have been listening to Citibank, as the version of S2199 that emerged from committee completely changed the definition of a custodial bank to “any depository institution or holding company predominantly engaged in custody, safekeeping, and asset servicing activities.” The change could allow virtually any mega big bank to take advantage of the new rule.
You’d think that Elizabeth Warren would be all over this little change of language and indeed she is, but she is being undermined by a coalition of centrist, corporate DINO’s (Democrats in Name Only) who are partnering with the GOP to ram the bill through the Senate. This is what happens when you elect corporate centrists who drink the DCCC Kool Aid and take money from Wall St. From the Intercept: “There are many different interests in financial services that are looking at this and saying, ‘Oh my God, there’s finally going to be reform to Dodd-Frank that may move, let me throw in this issue and this issue,’” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., in an interview. “There are a dozen different players who decided this is the last bus out of town.” And Coons is a co-sponsor of the bill. Elizabeth Warren is not amused: “Community banks are the human shields for the giant banks to get the deregulation they want,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is waging a last-minute, uphill fight to stop the bill. “The Citigroup carve-out is one more example of how in Washington, money talks and Congress listens.”
Sherrod Brown, also a member of the Senate Banking Committee, is also not fooled. “The financial services industry did better than anyone with the tax cuts, and they just want more,” he said. “I don’t hear an outcry, whether in Appalachia or downtown Toledo, saying be bipartisan and give lots of stuff to big banks.” Indeed, recent polling shows widespread support for tougher regulations on the banking sector. That’s why the 13 members of the Democratic caucus supporting S.2155 — which includes Maine independent Angus King — reflexively claim they’re merely providing relief to the sainted community banks.
The Intercept article goes into great depth describing the nefarious manipulations of the big banks as they crow about how amendments protect the community banks, but don’t mention that they open the floodgates for the mega banks.Above, I have summarized but a small fraction of what is contained in the Intercept report. It highlights how amendments to the bill would exempt lenders of 85% of all car and home loans from scrutiny over discriminatory lending practices and then documents precisely how discriminatory those practices have been.
Another element of the bill would exempt 25 of the 38 largest banks in the US from being required to adhere to standards, which include extra capital and liquidity requirements, stress tests, and souped-up risk management. These are the elements of Dodd Frank that are supposed to protect us from banks making a high proportion of risky investments. I should add that the very same banks being freed of regulation managed to secure over $47Billion in bailout funds. And now they are back asking to make the same unregulated, risky investments. Again.
And I’ll leave you with one more tidbit about Democratic Party abandonment of principles which is evident throughout the article. According to a MapLight analysis of OpenSecrets data, sponsors of the Crapo bill received on average about $258,000 in campaign donations from the banking sector, compared to about $184,000 for non-sponsors. Heitkamp, Donnelly, and Tester, al Democrats and all bill sponsors, are the three largest recipients of contributions from commercial banks in the 2018 cycle.
“The sad fact is,” Warren said, “that a lot of things that are bipartisan get that way because there’s a lot of money behind the effort.”
Click here to read the full Intercept Report, excellent as usual.
We are in a world of trouble my friends. But starting this week, I want to begin featuring more stories on heroic grassroots efforts that are effectively organizing communities, launching successful new business models, creating cooperatives and worker owned businesses or applying innovative approaches to build more affordable housing. We need to be vigilant about what moral offenses are being foisted on us, but it can help us keep our spirit up to appreciate that despite the power of the corporate / colonialist system, there are heroes out there that are achieving much.
Paul & Roxanne