DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Dems despair amid D.C. gridlock

DAVID SIDERS

“A lot of people are jaded,” desperate to see Washington “actually start to move some stuff,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive political action committee Democracy for America.

Ever since Congress passed Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier this year, Simpson said, “we’re flatlined. There’s no real significant change that we can see for anything else on the horizon.”

If Democrats can’t break the logjam, she said, the party will pay for it in 2022. “I think it hurts the energy. I think it hurts the momentum.”

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How a socialist captured Buffalo, a moderate Democratic stronghold

BILL MAHONEY

But it wasn’t just the WFP — Walton’s campaign excited several groups around the state and country.

“We asked for people who were inexperienced on political campaigns, and we said, 'don’t worry about it, we’ll find someone to help you,'” Walton said in her victory speech on Tuesday night. “And then here comes [WFP]. Run for Something, Elect Black Women, Democracy for America, DSA — Buffalo DSA, national DSA," she added, referring to several activist groups, including the Democratic Socialists of America.

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Liberal frustration with Biden on the rise

Alex Roarty and Francesca Chambers McClatchy Washington Bureau

Biden met separately with centrist Democrats Manchin and Sinema, who represent West Virginia and Arizona respectively, on the eve of the Senate clash over voting rights legislation. Although both senators ended up casting votes in favor of the legislation, Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, said Biden — who has been chasing Republican support for infrastructure spending — should have spent more time strategizing with Democrats.

“I think he was so concerned about bipartisanship, he wasn’t thinking about how he was going to get his own caucus to deliver,” Simpson said. “He wanted to try to make this perception that he was this president that could bring everybody together, and now there’s a question about whether he can even get his own caucus together.”

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Squad goals: Ocasio-Cortez warns Biden patience is wearing thin

David Smith

Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive organization Democracy for America, said: “Right now people are really getting frustrated because it’s been six months and we don’t see Joe Biden engaging in the way that he should to push for more support. In fact, he’s negotiating against us and what Democrats want.

“So I think there’s a growing sense of frustration among progressives and it’s understandable. We’re feeling like the clock is running out and we’re wasting valuable time and that’s where you’re going to start to see the squad and other members of the progressive movement push back and saying, ‘OK, we’ve got a limited window of time here. We need to put up or shut up’.”

With more than two in three Americans supporting the infrastructure bill, according to a Monmouth University poll, Simpson argues that the squad is on the right side of history. “Their relentlessness, their fearlessness and their persistence on this should be rewarded; they should not be punished because they are fighting for what we should be doing anyway.

“There’s going to be some blowback if the squad is fighting for things that we actually should get done and the rest of the party is saying, oh no, Republicans aren’t on board, oh no, let one person decide that he’s going to hold up an entire agenda for the entire nation, that the entire nation wants overwhelmingly.”

 

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Feinstein s inaction upsets progressives; Progressives fed up with Feinstein, want her to resign now

By Joe Garofoli

The public silence among California elected officials was similar to what happened after what many considered Feinstein’s weak handling of the case against Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The end of the nomination hearings culminated with Feinstein giving a hug to then-Republican Chair Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“That was the hug of death,” Yvette Simpson, CEO of the national progressive organization Democracy for America, told me on my “It’s All Political” podcast this week. “I lost a lot of love for her then.”

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Some Democrats wonder when Schumer will get tough with Manchin

Alexander Bolton

"Clearly, he has decided that he respects and admires [Senate GOP Leader] Mitch McConnell more than he respects Chuck Schumer in his own party," she added. "He's writing an op-ed about what he's going to do. My advice to Chuck Schumer is to put a bill on the floor and see what he does."

Schumer reiterated Monday afternoon that he plans for the Senate to take up the election reform bill during the final week of the June work period.

Simpson said the frustration is widely shared among progressive activists around the country.

"This is core: voting rights, protecting Black and brown people, listening to and valuing diversity, reversing white supremacy. This is foundational to Democratic politics," she said.

"The main job of the majority leader is to bring the caucus together. He needs to be able to deliver votes. That's it. And the fact that he continues to concede to Manchin and allow him to be this pseudo leader is ridiculous," she added. "Manchin wins time and time again with support from unions, with support from working-class voters in West Virginia, and Schumer needs to turn the heat up on him."

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For Dems, time ticking on agenda; President's priorities pile up as talks teeter over infrastructure

LISA MASCARO AP Congressional Correspondent;

"We need to move the ball,” said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, a liberal advocacy organization.

“We told everyone to come out against all odds in the pandemic and vote,” she said about the 2020 election. The promise was that with Democrats in power, ”we’re going to have all these great things happen, their lives are going to be better. And what they’re finding is that it looks like Washington as usual.”

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Democratic allies ramp up pressure on Biden to ditch Republicans on infrastructure

Francesca Chambers

Although both senators ended up casting votes in favor of the legislation, Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, said Biden — who has been chasing Republican support for infrastructure spending — should have spent more time strategizing with Democrats.
“I think he was so concerned about bipartisanship, he wasn’t thinking about how he was going to get his own caucus to deliver,” Simpson said. “He wanted to try to make this perception that he was this president that could bring everybody together, and now there’s a question about whether he can even get his own caucus together.”

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Biden's push for racial justice at stake in bipartisan infrastructure talks

David Smith in Washington

Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “We thought that the American Jobs Plan was already a compromise position and you have Republicans pulling out even more of it.

“When you think about who has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, who is always hit the hardest in this country, it’s Black and brown people. So if Republicans start to gut parts of this bill, the folks who are going to be most affected are the folks who need it the most, which happen to be Black and brown people.”

The Republican view of infrastructure is too narrow, Simpson added. “I always say Republicans love potholes more than people. They love bridges more than they love Black lives. They care more about wealthy than working families.

“Give them everything that they want and they’re not going to come back and support you, so then you’re not going to be able to pass the bigger things that we need to fill the gap as it relates to Black and brown people in this country. We’re talking about the care economy, human infrastructure – things that have to stay in this bill and have to stay robust in this bill.”

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Sanders flexes on Biden, seeking to shape Democratic agenda

Alexander Bolton

“This is not the way people expected the progressive wing of the party to work with Biden. They expected us to be the problem, it turns out Manchin and Sinema, the moderates, are the problems,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, a grassroots progressive advocacy group.
 

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Biden risks first major fight with progressives

Alexander Bolton

“This might be the last opportunity we have to really do big things under reconciliation. We need to see more here, and I think that’s the universal thought across the movement right now,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group, referring to special budget rules that allow Democrats to pass bills through the Senate with simple-majority votes.

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Chris Christie: Biden 'lying' about Georgia election law

Kaelan Deese

Yvette Simpson, the CEO of liberal advocacy group Democracy for America, shot back at Christie. "You should ask the people who know. I’ve been doing voter protection for 10 years. Just the idea that you can’t get people water in line…," she said.

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Progressives unify against Democrat leaders who won't fight for policies like Green New Deal

Alexi McCammond

"After the pandemic, all bets are off," Kelley Jackson, communications director for the progressive PAC Democracy for America, told Axios. "We need Medicare for All. We need a Green New Deal — we saw what happened in Texas."

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Joe Manchin voted for controversial Trump nominees but is undecided on Biden's

Li Zhou

“Women of color mobilized like never before this past election and delivered the White House, the Senate, and down-ballot seats throughout the country,” groups including She the People and Democracy for America write in a letter. “To be clear: We did not deliver the election only to be marginalized once again.”

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Byron York's Daily Memo: Post-impeachment threats begin

Byron York

After President Donald Trump was acquitted, the progressive group Democracy for America vowed, "America will not forget what Senate Republicans did today and we are more committed than ever to defeating every single coward who just voted to cover up Donald Trump's crimes in office. Every. Single. One."

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Donald Trump got away with murder, plain and simple'

By Ryan Lovelace

Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson told ABC’s “This Week” that she fears what will happen next. “Donald Trump got away with murder, plain and simple,” the liberal PAC leader said. “And everybody’s calling procedural playbooks for that and there is no reason for that.

“If the Republicans had a Democrat in that seat, they would’ve broken the rules, created new rules, and they would’ve made it happen,” Ms. Simpson said. “And the idea that now he is emboldened, that the people who support him know that they can get away with this makes me afraid.”

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Don't forget Supreme Court reform

HOLLY OTTERBEIN and THEODORIC MEYER

Democracy for America, another liberal group, said, "We don’t need to be promised a nice report about reform delivered to the White House, we need Vice President Biden to assure Americans that he will take bold action to ensure our courts don’t remain dominated by a right-wing fringe."

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Schumer Faces Impatient Left, Divided Right as New Senate Role

Mike Dorning

Reid “was really plugged into the progressive zeitgeist” in ways that Schumer isn’t, said Charles Chamberlain, chair of the grassroots group Democracy for America. “Chuck Schumer has to deliver results,” Chamberlain said. “We have the House. There’s no question that Nancy Pelosi is going to pass great stuff through the House. There will be no excuses for failure in the Senate.”

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Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary: report

By Sylvan Lane and Ian Swanson - 11/23/20 03:23 PM EST

Democracy for America, another progressive group, called Yellen “a historic, progressive choice.”

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Wiley for mayor endorsed by Democracy for America

Shant Shahrigian New York Daily News

The organization, founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean but no longer linked with him, said Wiley is “fearlessly progressive, unbought, unbossed, and ready to make history the very moment she’s sworn in.”

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Wiley, a former top legal adviser to Mayor de Blasio, shook up the packed race when she officially launched her campaign last month.

“A nationally recognized leader in the fight for racial justice and equity, Maya Wiley understands that building-back after the pandemic requires a New York City Mayor who’ll be ready to take on the status quo, confront systemic inequities, and put forward solutions that ensure that every single New Yorker can thrive,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said in a Tuesday statement.
 

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Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage

By Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley - 10/22

“We don’t need to be promised a nice report about reform delivered to the White House, we need Vice President Biden to assure Americans that he will take bold action to ensure our courts don’t remain dominated by a right-wing fringe installed by Mitch McConnell to attack abortion rights, destroy health care reform, and dismantle our democracy.” – Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America.

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Too Hard to Vote? Fired-Up Black Voters Are Doing It Anyway

Joseph Tanfani, Michael Martina

Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, said the progressive group has used text messages to target 1.7 million mostly Black and Latino voters in 13 battleground states with a simple message: “’Your right to vote is at stake,’” Simpson said. “’We need you to exercise that right against all odds, and here is the information you need to do that.’”
 

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The Democrat Who Could Prevent Democrats From Winning a Georgia Senate Seat

John Nichols

Early in October, 10 progressive groups—Democracy for America (DFA), Be a Hero Fund, Blue Future, Justice Democrats, Progress America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), RootsAction.org, Social Security Works PAC, and the Working Families Party—begged Lieberman to quit the race.

“We urge you, with everything we have, to do the right thing for our country, end your race for U.S. Senate, and ensure Democrats stand united behind Raphael Warnock in this unique election,” wrote the groups in a letter released shortly after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The letter to Lieberman explained the importance of winning an outright victory on November 3, and concluded, “Unfortunately, your continued presence in this race poses a very real and potentially disastrous threat to Democrats’ chances of winning Georgia’s special election for the U.S. Senate.”

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Progressives have knives out for Heitkamp as USDA race intensifies

LIZ CRAMPTONHELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH

On a recent ABC "This Week", Heitkamp sparred with Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, a progressive group, over how the Democratic Party should move forward.

Heitkamp argued for a moderate approach in tackling big problems. She noted, for example, that most North Dakota voters do see climate change as a problem but they “get concerned when they see radical ideas being introduced to completely upend the energy system.”

“There is a place you can go in solving these problems that speaks to all sides and does not radicalize important issues in this country,” she said.

Simpson pushed back forcefully: “You called the base of the Democratic Party — progressives — radical ... that's a Republican talking point.”
 

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Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform

By Jonathan Easley - 10/22/20 03:32 PM EDT

Progressives at leading left-wing groups panned the idea.

“We don’t need to be promised a nice report about reform delivered to the White House, we need Vice President Biden to assure Americans that he will take bold action to ensure our courts don’t remain dominated by a right-wing fringe installed by Mitch McConnell to attack abortion rights, destroy health care reform, and dismantle our democracy,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of the progressive group Democracy for America.
 

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NYC mayoral candidate Maya Wiley lands endorsement from progressive group

Shant Shahrigian

Maya Wiley scored an endorsement from progressive group Democracy for America.

The organization, founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean but no longer linked with him, said Wiley is “fearlessly progressive, unbought, unbossed, and ready to make history the very moment she’s sworn in.”

Wiley, a former top legal adviser to Mayor de Blasio, shook up the packed race when she officially launched her campaign last month.

“A nationally recognized leader in the fight for racial justice and equity, Maya Wiley understands that building-back after the pandemic requires a New York City Mayor who’ll be ready to take on the status quo, confront systemic inequities, and put forward solutions that ensure that every single New Yorker can thrive,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said in a Tuesday statement.
 

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Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives

JORDAIN CARNEY

“There is no excuse for inaction or a failure to deliver by this Senate if we have all three branches of government,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of Democracy for America.
 

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Black And Latino Leaders Push Newsom To Pick A Woman Of Color To Succeed Kamala Harris In Senate

LIBBY DENKMANN

"There's a life experience that comes with growing up and being a Black person in America," said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America. The group is officially pushing for a Black progressive woman, like Lee or Bass, to replace Harris. "Gavin Newson should be honoring Kamala, and thinking of his legacy, by making sure that he replaces her with someone who is in her vein."

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Biden's message is unity, coronavirus in homestretch

By Amie Parnes - 10/24/20 08:56 AM EDT

Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America, said progressives back Biden’s tone. “I know progressives are very much included in the majority of Americans who want a president committed to working to bring the country together rather than driving us apart, fanning the flames of deep hatreds and feigning ignorance about difficult truths about our history because it might work to his short term benefit.”

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As Trump Refuses to Concede, G.O.P. Remains Divided

LIZ CRAMPTONHELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH

The tensions were encapsulated on the ABC program “This Week” in an exchange between former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat, and Yvette Simpson, the chief executive of the liberal group Democracy for America.

“They get concerned when they see radical ideas being introduced to completely upend the energy system,” Ms. Heitkamp said of conservative Democrats in her state. “There is a place that you can go in solving these problems that speaks to all sides and does not radicalize important issues in this country.”

Ms. Simpson took issue with Ms. Heitkamp’s description of left-wing environmental policies as “radical,” calling it “a Republican talking point.”

“You just called the base of the Democratic Party, progressives, ‘radical,’” she said. “If parts of our party, when we bring home the bacon as we did just yesterday, call us ‘radical’ like Republicans did, that’s not the starting place of a good family conversation.”

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