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Progressive groups are calling out the DCCC and demanding it stop its "crackdown on progressive values." (Image: Justice Democrats)

New Campaign Challenges DCCC's "All-Out War Against Progressives"

"Stop undermining progressive values," a new petition to the DCCC demands.

Andrea Germanos

Pushback on the left to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee continued on Friday with a trio of groups launching a campaign directed at DCCC chairman Ben Ray Luján demanding the political committee "stop undermining progressive values.”

"Right now," said Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, "the DCCC's advice to candidates and its failure to fully embrace candidates of color is standing in the way of progress. That's why we're demanding that the DCCC immediately stop its shortsighted and unhelpful attacks on progressive values.”

Petitions from CREDO, Justice Democrats, and Our Revolution cite a flurry of recent revelations about the DCCC, which is the campaign arm of Democrats in the U.S. House.

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. 

"Their 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.

Given the recent reporting, the petition declares: "Democrats should fight for progressive values and offer a clear contrast to Trump and the Republican Party. Stop undermining progressive values."

As Saikat Chakrabarti, executive director of Justice Democrats, sees it, the DCCC is waging "an all-out war against progressives."

"Poll after poll is showing overwhelming support for progressive issues. Across the country, an unprecedented number of grassroots activists are demanding healthcare as a right, a ban on assault weapons, and action on economic and racial inequality," he said.

"Despite this, the DCCC is doubling down on a strategy to court moderate Republicans and the billionaire class instead of the progressive wing of their own party," he continued. "Now that progressives are threatening major upsets against their hand-picked candidates in upcoming primaries, the DCCC has begun an all-out war against progressives."

"Their attacks on Laura Moser's campaign, their internal memos directing their candidates to stand down on fighting for gun reform and Medicare for All—these are not just attacks on progressives but a completely incompetent strategy that will guarantee more losses," Chakrabarti argued.

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