DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Democrats were incensed over Comey's firing, but they're not vowing to fight his replacement

Vox

Not everyone on the left has been happy with Senate Democrats’ support for Wray. The New Republic’s Brian Beutler penned an op-ed last week imploring Democrats to “vote en masse” against Wray. And two progressive advocacy groups, CREDO and Democracy for America, have adopted similar lines. Added Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for DFA: “If Democrats were to vote to approve Wray for FBI director, it would tell Trump he could force out anyone for any time for any reason of his choosing. Our view is you cannot separate Comey’s being fired from the appointment of Wray to his position. Those are not severable.”

More…

Poll: Americans split 42%-42% on impeaching Trump

USA Today

Liberal advocacy groups have been using calls to impeach Trump to raise money, including $25 T-shirts and $15 travel mugs from Democracy for America that declare, "Unfit to serve." This month, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) formally introduced an article of impeachment, accusing the president of obstructing justice when he fired FBI director James Comey in May.

More…

GOP health bill nears demise, but Democrats’ unity masks their own dangerous divide

McClatchy D.C.

“We are nearing the point where support is going to become a litmus test, not just for progressives, but for Democrats writ large,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America.

More…

Major progressive group endorses Martha McSally challenger

The Hill

Democracy for America is throwing its weight behind Mary Matiella, a Democrat running against Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is considered a top 2018 Democratic target. In a release provided first to The Hill, DFA announced it's backing the former assistant secretary of the Army, who faces a crowded primary before she can take on McSally in her Tucson-based district. DFA, which was founded in 2004 by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), touted Matiella’s “populist progressive vision” for the country, with plans to take on income inequality and supporting ideas like Medicare for All, which was championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during his insurgent presidential campaign. “Not only will Mary Matiella be the first Latina to represent Arizona’s second district, she’s ready to fight to expand Social Security, push for Medicare for All, stop the attacks on immigrants and refugees, and build an economy that works for everyone and not just the elite few," DFA chairman Jim Dean said in a release. “Mary Matiella is the progressive choice in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District race.”

More…

Single-Payer Looms as Health Care Rift for Democrats

National Journal

“The only ne­go­ti­ated po­s­i­tion that would be ac­cept­able would be a com­prom­ise to in­clude a pub­lic op­tion in the cur­rent Obama­care ex­change,” said Neil Sroka, spokes­man for the lib­er­al group Demo­cracy for Amer­ica. “In our view, that’s what Demo­crats should be stand­ing for, is Medi­care for all, and if you want to com­prom­ise, the only ac­cept­able com­prom­ise would be the in­stall­a­tion of a pub­lic op­tion.”

More…

Walker, Drew dive into Connecticut governor’s race

Connecticut Post

In Drew’s travels across the state, including meetings with Democratic Town Committees and liberal groups such as Democracy for America, he has promoted Middletown as an example of economic development, downtown revitalization and educational investment. He has spoken against “austerity budgeting” and called for increases to the minimum wage and collective bargaining protections.

More…

Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to endorse Jealous in the Maryland governor’s race

Washington Post

Our Revolution is the second national progressive group to throw its support behind Jealous. In May, before Jealous announced his candidacy, Democracy for America said it was ready to mobilize to help Jealous in a 2018 run for governor.

More…

Democrats Hatch Plans A, B, and C to Impeach Trump

The Daily Signal

MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and other progressive or “resistance” groups have been advocating for it. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., appears to have gotten the most airtime of anyone in Congress talking about impeaching the president on talk shows and public events.

More…

A Tale Of Two Staceys: Georgia Governor’s Race Highlights Democratic Party Divisions

Huffington Post

Abrams has already picked up the support of progressive heavyweights like Democracy for America, a liberal online activist organization, and Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution, the legacy group for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).  Mondale Robinson, Democracy for America’s electoral campaign manager, vehemently defended the organization’s decision to get behind Abrams at such an early stage, calling her the “most progressive candidate up and down the ballot.” He noted that DFA surveyed its Georgia-based members before making the endorsement and ― based on her support for criminal justice reform, workers’ rights and single-payer health care ― Abrams was the favorite. The group plans to mobilize its members on behalf of Abrams and eventually invest money in the race.

More…

Angered by Trump, liberals are transforming city politics

McClatchy D.C.

Liberals also have had success elsewhere: In Cincinnati, for instance, City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson won 45 percent of the mayoral-race vote in May’s election, earning more support than even the incumbent mayor. Democracy for America, a nationwide liberal group based in Vermont, endorsed Simpson. They also scored a major victory in Jackson, Miss., where Chokwe Antar Lumumba became mayor-elect just three years after narrowly losing the mayor’s race. Lumumba already has a national presence, after thrilling an audience of several thousand liberals gathered last month at a conference in Chicago, where he vowed to govern not as a calculating centrist but as a progressive champion.  The national liberal groups involved in these races say they’re also focused on even more obscure races than those for mayor or district attorney. Democracy for America, for instance, endorsed a candidate in a Library Board race in a western Chicago suburb, arguing that progressives should seek to press their advantage in every race. “I don’t think there’s a position too small to start building progressive power, especially with all the energy you’re seeing among progressives this year not just in opposing Trump, but also recognizing how important it is to push for progressive policies like minimum wage to universal health care,” said Vivek Kembaiyan, DFA spokesman.

More…

Democracy for America endorses Randy Bryce in Paul Ryan's district

Wisconsin Gazette

Democracy for America on June 28 endorsed ironworker Randy Bryce for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. The endorsement is the organization’s first of a federal challenger endorsement for the 2018 general election. Bryce is running for the seat held by House Speaker Paul Ryan. DFA has 41,971 members in Wisconsin and more than a million members nationwide. DFA chair Jim Dean issued this statement: “Randy Bryce’s down-to-earth, people-oriented progressivism is a breath of fresh air. While Paul Ryan’s agenda is driven by the lobbyists who can afford to buy his time, Randy’s views on the issues are forged by his time working the iron. His support for single payer health care is informed by his concern for keeping his family covered. His commitment to racial and economic justice is drawn from firsthand knowledge of how they affect his neighbors and co-workers.” “We need more people like Randy, who reflect and understand their communities, to step forward and run for office across the country. Against the right person running a progressive, issue-based grassroots campaign, no amount of lobbyist and corporate backing can save Republicans in the House from losing their jobs. Our members are excited to prove that by pouring their energy into Randy Bryce’s campaign to replace Paul Ryan.”

More…

Major progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement

The Hill

Democracy for America has endorsed Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), its first endorsement of a House incumbent for the midterm cycle. In a release provided first to The Hill, Democracy for America (DFA) commended Gallego for consistently standing up to President Trump since Trump's November election and praised him for leading the efforts against Trump’s “hateful agenda.” Gallego isn’t considered vulnerable in 2018. DFA plans to make additional endorsements in support of House challengers later this week. “In the early days following Donald Trump’s election, a lot of Democrats hemmed and hawed about working with him. Ruben Gallego was not one of those people,” DFA Chairman Jim Dean said in a statement. “We need more progressives like Ruben Gallego who are not afraid of taking a stand on their principles, especially when they are doing so alone. Progressives lawmakers have a special responsibility for leadership that sometimes involves dragging their colleagues out of the establishment way of thinking that can envelope them in Washington.” (Cont.)

More…

“I’m a master legislator”: Nancy Pelosi defends herself against mounting Democratic dissent

Salon

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips, Alejandro Chavez, campaign manager for Democracy for America, said that while Pelosi is “not where we need to go,” he also faulted Ossoff for failing to energize Democratic voters with an economic message that was anemically centrist. “If you look at Rob Quist in Montana and James Thompson in Kansas, they ran on a very populist message in their races, like on single-payer health care. And they closed the gap on Trump in those races,” he said, referring to two other Democratic congressional candidates. “Look at Ossoff, who ran in the middle of that. Trump won by 1.5 points against Hillary Clinton, and then Ossoff lost by four,” Chavez said.

More…

Democrats have reasons for concern

Philadelphia Tribune

“Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America.

More…

Georgia election a wake-up call for both parties?

News OK

Ossoff didn't make Trump central to his campaign, prompting post-election criticism by some on the left. Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said that defeating Republicans in districts they have traditionally held “requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact.”

More…

‘Nancy Pelosi is not where we need to go.’ Why Democrats lost Georgia, a progressive story.

Washington Post

Another gut-punch loss for Democrats, another soul-searching moment. Really, Democrats are having the same internal arguments about why they lost Georgia's special election on Tuesday as why they lost the presidency in November. For one side of that argument, The Fix spoke to Alejandro Chavez, Democracy for America's campaign manager, who was on the ground in Georgia. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. THE FIX: What's your takeaway from why Democrats lost a special election you thought you could win? We cannot continue with business as usual. We cannot continue the same vote-targeting models, we cannot continue the same stream of centralized candidates who don't run on a populist message. We can't continue down these ways that we've seen haven't work for us. We need to change things. And a lot of that has to come from the party's leadership specifically. Meaning spend less on ads and huge TV programs and more on field operations. And we gotta be strong on the message. (Cont.)

More…

Democrats at a loss for explanation after another special-election defeat

Washington Times

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee that deployed staff to Georgia and invested $65,000 in the race, blamed “unforced errors” by the party and the Ossoff campaign. Democrats, he said, need to tilt further to the left and take that message directly to voters. “Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate,” he said. “The same tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice.”

More…

Dem loss in Georgia underscores party challenges

Associated Press (Star Tribune)

"Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact," said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America.

More…

Democrats just went 0-4. When will they win?

CNN

Democracy for America chair Jim Dean blasted the Democratic establishment's "unforced errors."

More…

7 lessons from the 2017 elections

Politico

“Tonight’s result is disheartening to everyone who volunteered to help out another Democrat in Congress. The unforced errors by the party leadership and the campaign present an important learning opportunity for everyone who wants to kick Republicans out of power in 2018,” said Jim Dean, the chairman of Democracy For America, in a statement on Tuesday night. “Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate. That’s what it will take to win districts like this one in 2018 and take back the House. The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice.”

More…

Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’

New York Times

Instead, populist forces on the left took Mr. Ossoff’s defeat as an occasion to criticize the whole notion of centrism as a Democratic strategy. Jim Dean, the chairman of Democracy for America, a liberal activist group, blasted Mr. Ossoff overnight for “lighting millions of dollars on fire” and delivering an “uninspiring message” that he predicted would fail again in 2018.

More…

Five Takeaways from Georgia’s special election

The Hill

Jim Dean, the chairman of the left-wing Democracy for America political action committee, lamented in an emailed statement, “Most candidates do not have the luxury of lighting millions of dollars on fire by spending close to $12 million on ads behind an uninspiring message.”

More…

Three reasons Tuesday was a disaster for Democrats

Boston Globe

Liberal groups like Vermont-based Democracy for America repeated lines so familiar, they could have come after Clinton’s loss in the general election. “The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice,” DFA chairman Jim Dean said in a statement.

More…

Donald Trump ruthlessly mocks soul-searching Democrats after Georgia special election loss

The Independent

“Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before - specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, told the Associated Press.

More…

What The Democratic Loss in Georgia Means For The Midterms

NPR

Jim Dean, chairman of the progressive activist group Democracy For America, in a statement: "Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate. That's what it will take to win districts like this one in 2018 and take back the House. The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice."

More…

Excuses Fly After Democrats Fail to #FliptheSixth

Lifezette

Jim Dean, leader of the liberal group Democracy for America, told NBC that "Jon Ossoff's sound victory tonight is a testament to the growing strength of a nationwide, grassroots movement that's looking for leaders ready to stand up to the Republicans empowering Donald Trump's hate-fueled agenda."  Eugene Robinson, a liberal columnist at The Washington Post, made the claim Ossoff won simply because the Democratic Party didn't lose — yet.  "Do step back though — this is a district that the Republican would be expected to win by 20 points," Robinson told the "Morning Joe" panel. "If you add Ossoff's votes plus the other couple of Democrats, they came one percentage point short."

More…

Can Karen Handel unite fractured GOP to win Georgia’s special election runoff?

Washington Times

“Republicans are being forced to sweat ruby-red districts, like this one, because ordinary people in Georgia and communities across this country focused on resisting Donald Trump’s hate are making elections like tonight’s nail biters,” said Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America.  The result of the runoff will depend on how quickly Republicans can patch up rifts that developed during the campaign, and that have also appeared in Washington, where spats over how to repeal Obamacare and how to overhaul the tax code have divided the GOP.

More…

Updated NH Primary Source: Jasper presses battle with House Republican Alliance

WMUR

DFA BACKS CRAIG – AGAIN. The hardline progressive Democracy for America PAC is weighing in on the Manchester mayoral race.  On Thursday, the group will announce its endorsement of Alderman Joyce Craig. The DFA also endorsed her in 2015, when she lost narrowly to Mayor Ted Gatsas after a recount.  DFA Chairman Jim Dean said Craig would be “an ally in the mayor’s office, who won’t shy away from tackling tough problems like the opioid crisis or struggling schools. From her support for drug-treatment programs to her fearless advocacy for Medicaid expansion, Joyce is a leader who has always focused on the needs of the communities she serves.”

More…

In first 100 days, Schumer focuses on unity, new message

Democrat and Chronicle

“If there’s one place where I think (Schumer) is falling down on the job, that’s in providing the leadership that holds his caucus together, to understand they have to be a united force against Donald Trump at all times,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America. “It never works for Democrats to try to be Republican lite.”

More…

Anti-Trump energy poses recruiting dilemma for Dems

The Hill

“When it comes to candidate recruitment, there is this kind of false belief that the pathway to victory in a swing district is with that so-called mushy middle,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for major progressive group Democracy for America.  Sroka argues that issues considered more progressive, including income inequality and Washington corruption, also play well with voters beyond their base.  “The truth is that there could be a far more potential in finding candidates who can speak strongly to progressive values and reach people across the ideological spectrum,” he said. 
 

More…