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Tue Jul 30, 2019, 02:11 PM

Marie Newman vs. the Democratic Machine (Chicago: IL 3rd Dan Lipinski)

The Nation
Marie Newman Could Shape the Future of the Democratic Party
The congressional candidate in Illinois is challenging incumbent Dan Lipinski’s betrayals—and her party’s conservative tendencies.

She’s optimistic that voters in a presidential election year will swing in her favor: she’s registered some 7,000 progressive voters since the midterms, she won the under-50 set by 21 points, and her district typically sees a 10 percent voter turnout bump during a presidential election year. However, her campaign has a new and daunting obstacle to face: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

This past March the DCCC issued new standards that stop vendors of political services—such as strategic consulting, research, and marketing—from working with primary candidates who challenge incumbents. It essentially created a blacklist: If vendors help a primary challenger, the DCCC will not hire them or recommend them to any of its campaigns. The organization justifies this by referring to its goal of supporting incumbents, maintaining or expanding its House majority, and dedicating resources to endangered or flippable districts. But the effect has been to protect the party’s straight white men. That has made it predictably unpopular among rising new stars in the party, like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who won their seats by primarying incumbents. But it has teeth. Three vendors have dropped Newman’s campaign, and a handful of others dropped out during the vetting process. “It’s ridiculously expensive to run a campaign,” she said. “Now we have to throw out a good bit of work…and I have to figure out how to cobble together volunteers to help me out with this, which takes my time and my campaign manager’s time. It’s stressful.”

Newman’s run highlights urgent and unavoidable questions about the future of the Democratic Party: Can it encourage new blood, promote diversity, and increase its number of seats while supporting middle-of-the-road incumbents? Should the party embrace a big tent, or is there a place for ideological litmus tests? Will the party be more successful by embracing its progressive wing or hewing more closely to the center? Should being a member of Congress be a job for life? And if the DCCC is truly interested in change, will it be willing to alter its institutional approach to running and funding campaigns?

I asked Newman these questions a few days after the parade, at her home and temporary campaign headquarters in the suburb of La Grange. We sat in a cozy home office, surrounded by stacks of paper, family photos, and a map of the district pinned on the wall. Ziggy, her beagle, sat behind her on the desk chair and snored lightly as we talked. Her campaign has attracted national attention because she has been vocal about the impact of the DCCC vendor rule and because “Pro-Choice Candidate Takes On Anti-Abortion Incumbent” makes for a nice headline in a moment when reproductive rights are under attack.

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Reply Marie Newman vs. the Democratic Machine (Chicago: IL 3rd Dan Lipinski) (Original post)
Duncan Grant Jul 2019 OP
guillaumeb Jul 2019 #1
Duncan Grant Jul 2019 #2
guillaumeb Jul 2019 #3

Response to Duncan Grant (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 02:21 PM

1. Recommended.

I worked with others to set up town hall meetings when she ran in 2018. She is progressive and articulate.

Near the end of the primary, mailers and phone calls were made by a dark money organization that falsely called her a Holocaust denier.

She narrowly lost because of Lipinski's base in Chicago, where his father, the previous Representative, had been an Alderman for many years, but she beat Lipinski in the suburbs.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 02:56 PM

2. And Lipinski is a worse Democrat than Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller

Why, oh why - is Lipinski getting the support from the DCCC? I can’t make a case to defend him. Not to mention his family’s entrenchment in this seat (30+ years).

This race is the perfect vantage point from which to cast a critical eye toward contemporary politics. (To anyone reading: I’m happy to crawl out further on this limb if properly provoked.)

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Response to Duncan Grant (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 30, 2019, 04:55 PM

3. We agree on this.

Plus, Lipinski is a member of the "Problem Solvers" caucus, which is far more to the GOP side than mainstream Democratic ideas.

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