Big bucks Democratic donors are turning their backs on centrist policies and candidates and in California and New Mexico, Democrats are dominating. How do we take advantage and solidify gains and build in other states? Plus an update on the Roundhouse Team’s upcoming meeting and training..
Today we draw from two sources, a NY Times article on how major Democratic donors are moving left and how this could impact 2020, plus an article from Politico on how the Democratic Party in California has decimated the GOP. The post also weighs in on how these trends impact us in NM.
If Big Donors Lead the Way Left, While Pelosi, Schumer and the DCCC Follow?
The NY Times article focused on interviews with big donors to the Democratic Party and how they were placing their bets on more progressive, inspiring candidates and on street-level grassroots community organizing in communities of color and in outreach to young voters, populations who simply don’t vote in high numbers. Perhaps these big donors are realizing that these populations don’t vote because Democratic Party messaging, policy and candidates simply do not inspire them to vote. Now if only we could bulk up and press the leadership of the Party to recognize the wisdom of campaign priorities and strategies that emphasize mobilization of low-income communities, not with ads, but with door-to-door conversations, instead of using timid media messaging that may play well with suburban voters who can swing from GOP to Dems and back again but will neve inspire voters skeptical of the political process.
The Times also interviewed Leah Hunt-Hendrix, granddaughter of H.L. Hunt. “The goal is ‘to shift the way political giving happens’ away from advertising and other outreach done by national groups, and toward ground organizing controlled by local groups, according to one of the group’s founders, Leah Hunt-Hendrix. Ms. Hunt-Hendrix, who is also a Democracy Alliance member, is among the most influential young donors on the left. ‘One of the problems with political giving on the right and the left is when it’s used to move a donor’s agenda, whether it’s Wall Street, tech or oil,’ Ms. Hunt-Hendrix said in an interview. Way to Win was created to counter factions of the Democratic donor class that she said were ‘socially liberal but unwilling to challenge corporate power and the accumulation and concentration of wealth.’ op-ednonprofits
To read the full NY Times article, Democratic leadership would be wise to adhere to the thinking of its progressive major donors and build a solid grassroots base that will stick with the party as long as it delivers legislation that meets their needs. To read the full NY Times report, click here.
RIP GOP in NM and California: An Opportunity to Advance Progressive Agendas?
As much as we like to bask in the glow of a blue tsunami here in NM, likely because of the sheer size of the state, California’s election results are turning far more heads. Democrats have even taken every on of the US House seats in historically deep, deep red Orange County causing GOP leadership to realize that they may never be able to restore the vitality of the GOP in California. Three quotes from a Politico report capture the depth of the GOP’s demise in California.
” ‘I believe that the party has to die before it can be rebuilt. And by die — I mean, completely decimated. And I think Tuesday night was a big step,’ says veteran California GOP political consultant Mike Madrid. ‘There is no message. There is no messenger. There is no money. And there is no infrastructure.'”
In these comments lie clues as to the future direction the Democratic Party must traverse if it wants to build upon its gain and maximize its return on the unmistakable demographic trends in the US. GOP operatives realize what Democratic Party leadership must also recognize. The demographic future of this country is far more diverse and also younger. These populations respond to progressive messages and apparently large Democratic Party donors are reading these tea leaves and placing their bets on a bolder, more progressive message.
There will be Democrats who will urge caution in future campaigns and in legislative initiatives, fearful that a too progressive agenda will ultimately anger more moderate voters. This kind of caution could well play out in the NM legislative session in 2019, as I wrote in two previous blogs focusing on the dangers of bipartisanship. It will be the responsibility of the same grassroots power base that canvassed and called for inspiring NM Democratic candidates in the PRC race, the Land Commissioner, in US District 2 and in almost a dozen NM House races to remain vigilant at the 2019 Roundhouse session. We have an opportunity of a lifetime to advance truly inspiring legislation: curbing fracking and gas/oil exploration, investing in renewables, expanding funding for K-12 and early childhood and passing the Health Security Act.
If we are successful in standing up to powerful, well financed lobbyists and to press Democratic leadership to be less timid, we can demonstrate to New Mexicans that its government can work for it, can deliver on its promises, and is worthy of sustained election support. Click here to find out what Retake Our Democracy is going to prepare for the Legislative Session and find out how you can be part of that work.
Paul & Roxanne