These Democrats Need to Stop Behaving Like Old School Republicans
Get with the program, people.
A couple of fairly prominent Democratic politicians have been hanging out in questionable company in recent days. Nothing too serious, I don't believe, but as Political Advisor Without Portfolio Or Perceptible Influence, I feel compelled to warn them that no good can come of these associations, and that both of them should run the next time they see these people coming.
First, at a Democratic fundraiser in Miami, according to TBOTP, the president threw his full-throated support behind Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the curiously still-employed chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, and very much requited legislative love interest of the payday loan industry.
"She's had my back, I want to make sure we have her back… [DWS is] somebody who I don't know how she does it, because she's everywhere all the time, non-stop, and she's a mom and a wife and has been just incredibly supportive of my agenda."
OK, she was his pick, and he's a loyal guy, and that's admirable. But if he can point to one concrete thing she's done to build the party, he's got better eyes than I have. In a political era in which the Democratic Party is energized by populist fervor, DWS is the tool of almost every special interest in Florida. She once took a dive to protect Republican congressional incumbents from challenges by decent Democratic candidates because the Republicans were her pals.
(It's also important to note that the GOP incumbents she refused to help defeat, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the two brothers Diaz-Balart, were all involved in enabling asylum for anti-Castro Cuban terrorists, including Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch, a pair of murderous bombersimplicated in the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet that killed 73 people, including the entire Cuban fencing team. As we've been saying, nice company.)
But that's nothing compared to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had herself a rally over the weekend. One of the guest speakers was embattled Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, and some advance guy in the HRC camp should be fired for letting this cluck within 15 miles of the candidate. Johnson will not be running for re-election. This is because his political career is buried under so much slime and corruption that you'd need a diamond-tipped drill bit just to get through the first layer.
The Baffler has a good rundown of the various scams, grifts, and rackets that old KJ used to line his pockets and those of his various cronies. It appears that Johnson found various neoliberal "public-private partnership" schemes to be a target-rich environment.
There's another striking difference between KJ's charitable network and the nonprofit funds that other mayors control. Whereas the LA mayor's fund is run by a board of prominent citizens, many with backgrounds in philanthropy, Johnson's nonprofits are run entirely by his friends and political consultants. The flagship nonprofit of KJ Inc. is, of course, St. Hope. As mayor, Johnson has been able to leverage, from real estate and other local interests, about $3 million in donations to support the family business. The biggest donors include Sacramento's biggest sprawl developer, Angelo Tsakopoulos; arena developer Mark Friedman and his family; and Kevin Nagle, part owner of the Sacramento Kings and majority owner of the Sacramento Republic soccer team. Nagle is also on the St. Hope board of directors. All these men have been big donors to Johnson's election campaigns and to his strong-mayor ballot measure. But while they are limited by strict political campaign contribution limits, they can give unlimited amounts to Johnson's nonprofits.
And that's not even to get into the various sexual harassment (and worse) charges lodged against Johnson that, among other outlets, Deadspin has been dogging for a couple of years now thanks Democratic Party Should Separate Itself from Likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kevin Johnson: