Friday, March 17, 2006

Since When Does Illinois Pick Our Democratic Candidates?

A report just out from Bloomberg news cites Rahm Emanuel, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, referring to Michael Arcuri as "one of his key recruits this year."

Pardon me? One of his key recruits?

Since when does a politician from Illinois get the power to choose who the Democratic candidate for Congress in New York State's 24th congressional district will be?

The answer is simple - he doesn't. We do. We, the Democrats of the 24th District.

I don't care if you're pro-Arcuri, or pro-Roberts, or pro-Tytler. You ought to be offended that Rahm Emanuel believes he can just hand pick which Democrat will represent us in the general election.

Rumors have it that we still live in a democracy, and the way our Democracy works is that we, the people, are supposed to have the power to select our own leaders.

Don't kid yourself into thinking that all we need to do to bring an effective, clean, government into power is just to get the Republicans out of Congress. The problem is much trickier than that. Ideologically, I disagree with the Republicans, and I want them out of office. But, I'm not so stupid as to believe that Democrats are not susceptible to the same corrupting influences that have brought us a slew of Republican scandals, with Jack Abramoff and beyond.

If Michael Arcuri wins a Democratic primary election fair and square, that's fine. If Michael Arcuri gets the Democratic nomination by pressuring the other candidates to quit the race before the primary, however, that's a sign of trouble for us Democrats of the 24th district.

If Arcuri wins the nomination solely because of money pumped into the race by Rahm Emanuel, then we 24th District Democrats have some serious soul searching to do. If Arcuri goes on from such a nomination process to win the general election, he will not represent the people of the 24th District in Congress. He will represent the interests of Rahm Emanuel.

I don't write this blog so that Rahm Emanuel can have another loyal foot soldier in the House of Representatives. I write this blog because I want to participate in the democratic process, and have a member of Congress who is more accessible, and more accountable to the voters, than Sherwood Boehlert has been.

So, watch out for all the Democratic blogs that now say that the 24th District is solidly behind Michael Arcuri - even though there has been no poll of 24th District voters that says any such thing.

Chances are good that we're all being played for a bunch of suckers.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well to be fair the DCCC's whole purpose is to recruit candidates that can win and then fund them. I'm not their biggest fan in the world but normally they talk to local party officials about who the promising candidates are. Not like they just go on whitepages.com and start calling people.

If there is a different candidate that is better able to represent the district then by all means he/she should run in the primary. The DCCC can be heavy handed, but they're not all powerful, they have a history of getting sent packing in primaries when the locals don't agree.

I admit I know nothing of the proposed candidate in question. But if you think someone else should have the nod I'd post a diary or two over at dailykos.com bringing attention to whom you feel to be a better choice. The people over there love kicking the DCCC in the shins by supporting better alternatives.

Really though, the DCCC isn't inherently evil. Often extremely talented and worthy candidates won't even consider running b/c of all the initial fund raising it takes. The DCCC has the power to help these top tier candidates get a running start with funding and advice. The potential for corruption and bad advice is there, but their whole goal really is to make the 24th Democratic.

24 Independent said...

To be fair, there is only one qualification that counts in my book: That a candidate is selected by the voters in that candidate's district, and not by a political party boss in another state.

In a democracy, that's what matters.

Talking to local party officials isn't good enough. That's just a way to let local party bosses muscle out the actual voters.

As a matter of fact, there are three Democrats running in this race. One of them is Michael Arcuri. As of the end of the last reported fundraising cycle, the only money that Michael Arcuri had raised was a loan out of his own pocket.

As of the same time period, one of the other Democrats, Les Roberts, had raised tens of thousands of dollars more than the 2004 Democratic nominee had raised in the entire campaign.

There is a real legitimate contest between Les Roberts and Michael Arcuri. There's also another candidate, Bruce Tytler, who has a history of serving in public office as mayor of one of the three important cities in the district.

So, what the hell is Rahm Emanuel doing coming in to this very competitive primary race, and annointing one of them the chosen one?

Couldn't Rahm Emanuel wait to see who earns the support of local Democrats in the primary election?

Don't we, the Democratic voters of the 24th District, get a say in the matter?

This stinks. If Arcuri gets in because he's been annointed by Emanuel, then nobody is representing the voters of the 24th District.

It's also STUPID politics. If Arcuri simply becomes the chosen boy because Emanuel likes him best, this early in the election year, then there's nothing for voters in this district to get excited about. Nothing for them to get involved in.

There's also no more incentive for Michael Arcuri to reach out to voters here - to do the real work of getting elected. He'll just sit, and coast, and put ads on the TV, instead of getting out in the district and doing everything it takes to win voters over to his side.

No, this is about Rahm Emanuel playing big party boss, and getting another loyal servant in his collection. It's corrupt. It's undemocratic, and I am not going along for the ride.

To me, being a Democrat has always meant much more than just waving a sign in the crowd when I'm told to do so.

This kind of politics is what has kept the Democrats from getting the kind of support they should be getting. I don't know how long you've been around, but my memory is long enough to remember that it's this kind of corrupt maneuvering that got the Democrats kicked out of Congress in the first place.

My God, it's slimy.

Espo said...

Rahm was saying he recruited Arcuri, and likes him. That was all, it's not like he's pushing the others out. You're over-reacting.

Chris said...

This is a terrible post. Good people need to be encouraged to run, and the DCCC goes out and encourages people.

We need to quit giving every wacko who says their running time. The fact is there are serious candidates and people who are not, and if you are not serious and can do what needs to be done, then get out of my way so we can beat republicans.

While this blog should be talking about how we should "take back 24" you are ripping on Rahm Emauel for doing his job...

24 Independent said...

Over-reacting?

Do you know what the DCCC, the committee that Emanuel heads, is? Do you have any idea how much money they can pour into a district?

It's a fix. The fix is in, and if the Democrats of the 24th District don't like it, they're going to have to fight against their own national party political apparatus to do so.

Listen, I've been spending all day reading reports written by people who live and work in Washington D.C. who have never, ever set foot in the 24th congressional district.

You know what they're saying? They're saying things like "The 24th District Democrats are solidly behind Arcuri."

Pardon, but how they hell would they know? How they know if that there's a "buzz" in DC. Who do you think creates the buzz in DC about congressional campaigns? It sure as hell isn't me, and it sure as hell isn't anyone else who lives in the 24th district.

It's Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC.

It's lazy reporting, and it's corrupt, undemocratic politics. I have the idealistic, naive notion that as a resident of the 24th congressional district in New York State, I ought to have a say in who represents me in Congress.

Rahm Emanuel has no business coming into our district and picking his recruit when there is a real competition between Democrats in the district that has barely begun?

Michael Arcuri just made his formal announcement speech and got his campaign web site one week ago. How long have the people of the 24th District had to become acquainted with Michael Arcuri before he's been selected as the national Democratic Party's choice? One week!

Go to Michael Arcuri's web site. I've got a link to it on the front page of this blog. Know how many specific policies Arcuri has outlined? None. Just a bunch of general, introductory language that we expect in the first week of a campaign's launch. Arcuri hasn't even decided what the hell he's standing for yet, and he's been selected by Rahm Emanuel! This is nuts!

The truth is that Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC don't really care whether the Democratic nominee in the 24th District actually represents the people of the 24th District. They just want a Democrat that they pick to win, so that Democrat will be beholden to them.

This is a setup, it's a blunder, and it's rotten.

24 Independent said...

Chris, I don't know if you're from this district, but let me tell you that we have three Democratic candidates, and at least one of the other three, Les Roberts, is a very serious candidate. Les Roberts started raising money back when Michael Arcuri was nothing but talk. Les Roberts has almost certainly raised more than 100,000 dollars, the cut off mark that the DCCC uses to decide what a serious campaign is.

There is a real choice for Democrats here in the district. Not just one Democrat who's super qualified and other Democrats who are not.

Besides, as I said before, the only qualification should matter is the qualification of the residents of the 24th congressional district select. Rahm Emanuel as not allowed us the chance to play a role in this process.

Is that Rahm Emanuel's job? If he wants to be a powerful political party boss, yes it is. Why should I support that? I'm not interested in politics for the sake of Rahm Emanuel.

But now, what's my job, Chris? What's my job?

I'm a voter, Chris. I'm a citizen. It's my job to play a role in selecting who represents me in the United States Congress.

You're telling me to get out of the way? I can't believe that, Chris. I, a Democratic voter in my own congressional district, am supposed to get out of the way so that Rahm Emanuel can come into my home district and dictate who will represent me?

No, Chris. I'm not getting out of the way. Not for you. Not for Rahm Emanuel.

This is still a democracy, Chris, and I have the right to speak up as much as I want to, even if it interferes with the plans of big and powerful people like Rahm Emanuel.

Anonymous said...

I understand the unease concerning the overlords of the DCCC and their selection process, but how often is it that the DCCC pours money into a Democratic primary? It sounds like the only thing Arcuri got was an endorsement from an IL Dem and who in your district really cares about that?

24 Independent said...

When the DCCC describes a congressional candidate as a "recruit" and steers Washington D.C. political writers to declare that the home district is solidified behind that candidate, they've already committed to that candidate behind the scenes, and committed to pouring tons of money into that candidate's coffers.

Wait, watch, and you'll see the machinery of the DCCC doing its work - announcing Arcuri to be the frontrunner without any reference to fundraising or standing in the polls. That's already started happening - see Congressional Quarterly, for instance.

This quip from Rahm Emanuel is just a little ripple that reflects big movement going on beneath the surface.

Anonymous said...

if the dccc directs no money into the primary, which would be the fair thing to do, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. The fact is though that when the primary is done, whatever dem emerges will need the DCCC for money and workers.

Anonymous said...

Jon - it's a two horse race. Bruce Tytler hasn't even raised ten thousand dollars and he's going to give it to someone other than the winning Democrat in the primary here.

Voters in a Democratic primary tend to be more liberal than the electorate as voters in a Republican primary tend to be more conservative.

Ray Meier is the establishment Republican candidate. I have it on very good work that Jim Seward is not going to run. Meier is going to face a conservative challenger in the primary. He might not even do as well as Boehlert there.

Les Roberts stands a very good chance in the primary because he's been recruiting the activist base and the anti-establishment/do-nothing/democratic/leader base.

Unfortunately, neither Roberts nor Arcuri are stating their positions on the Iraq War in very likable terms. We need an immediate pullout.

And neither has a position on abortion. You're not going anywhere with the Democratic base if you waver and hide there.

I think the biggest problem we have is more weak knees. Would someone please get a set of balls?

24 Independent said...

"if the dccc directs no money into the primary, which would be the fair thing to do, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. The fact is though that when the primary is done, whatever dem emerges will need the DCCC for money and workers."

I concur with this. My fears are provoked by what I've seen the national Democratic Party do in the past - try to pick one Democratic candidate, and intimidate all their rivals out of the race before the primary begins. They seem to think that primaries are bad for the Democratic Party. Well, I don't really care if primaries are bad for the Democratic Party. They're good for the voters, and they're good for democracy, and that's what I'm interested in.

Let the national Democrats provide logistical support of some kind to all candidates pre-primary on an equal basis, and then let the locals decide. After the election, they can come in and support who the Democratic voters have chosen. They'd get a lot more support with that approach than with this top down declaration from Washington D.C. insiders about who we here in the 24th District are "solidly" behind.

24 Independent said...

I'm not willing to count Bruce Tytler out yet, because I don't know enough about Bruce Tytler to do so.

If he doesn't get online soon, and get out to meet with grassroots Democrats outside of Cortland some more in the very near future, he's done for.

Let's not declare the election over before it begins, though, shall we? For one thing, none of these candidates have been subjected to a congressional-level of scrutiny - and we don't know what will come of that.

Will we get revelations about one of the candidates' skeletons in the closet? I wouldn't count anything out yet, and that's another good reason for Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC not to be so damned hasty about annointing an official Democratic candidate in the primary. Could we see the candidates perform out on the campaign trail and try to deal with national issues first please?

It's enough to make me want to say Oi!

Oi! There. I said it. Now I feel better.

jim said...

What I want to see from my party is some form of unity when the primary is over, or even before the primary. Candidates need to speak to the issues and not the B/S (which a lot of anonymous people seem to do on here). Now that we know it is not Boehlert Democrats need to ask themselves how can we beat Ray Meier(Since he is apparantly the guy who will run) and who is the best candidate to accomplish that.

By the way, the Utica Observer-Dispatch has a report that Jim Seward will not run. http://www.uticaod.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060317/NEWS/60317009

They actually quote a release by Seward

Lois Chaffee said...

I don't have a preferred candidate and I don't live in the NY 24th District. I JUST CARE THAT A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE PICKS UP THE SEAT!

You Democrats in the 24th District have an opportunity that 90% of voters in this "democracy" do not have - a truly open competitive contest. Please Please Please don't let this chance slip through OUR fingers.

Get it together, Get it organized, Get it done. God be with you.

24 Independent said...

So, Lois, you would have us just close our eyes, and pick a Democrat, any Democrat, whomever the party bosses choose for us?

That's not democracy, Lois, and it's not going to get us the kind of congressional representation we need.

One of the Democrats running in this district is further to the right than Joseph Lieberman. Would you have us pick him to send to Congress, just to end your fear of having a Republican lose the seat?

We don't know where Michael Arcuri really stands on the issues. We don't know what kind of Democrat he really is. Would you have us just pick him blind?

Would you pick your husband that way? The first guy who asks you, even if you don't know him?

We could live with the next U.S. Representative for as long as 24, 36 years, Lois. This is not a decision we should make in a rush.

We have until September to make the choice. Why don't you just calm down and let us, the voters in this district make the choice for ourselves?

It's not good enough just to be a Democrat in name. We need somebody who has the competence, the integrity, and the agenda that align with the best tradition of the Democratic Party, not someone who will sell out whenever things get tough.

Anonymous said...

So get over it already and see if Arcuri is someone you can support. If you have reasons. e.g.,he's anti choice or a war monger, let's hear them. He's not your pick but he's no Koziol. Mike is somebody who can win and who has solid Democratic values. Would you rather we ended up with Meier because, on principle, you encourage a money wasting primary?
It's always about the money. Figure out how to change that and I'm with you.

24 Independent said...

How to change that it's all about the money? The first thing to change is that fatalistic attitude of yours.

Try to see the bigger picture. Of course I don't want a Republican to win. But I want more than just a Democrat winning.

I want the democratic process in this district to be strengthened. The way to do that is to encourage people to get involved - something I have not seen Arcuri do very much (though, to be fair, a lot of other Democrats have the same attitude he does).

If all you want is just to beat the Republicans by any means necessary, then a primary is a waste of money. If you actually care about putting a representative in Congress who will be responsive to the people of the 24th District, it is not a waste of money.

We here in this district should be the ones to choose our own representative. It's that old revolutionary concept - no taxation without representation. Why do you think people feel so alienated from government? It's because of generations of this crass win-at-all-costs attitude.

No, I don't want Meier in office, but if there's an unresponsive Democrat who has more allegiance to some party boss in Illinois than to the voters of this district, then we're not better off. If we have a representative in a corrupt system of power that encourages him to favor the needs of big corporations over our needs, then we're not better off. If we have the majority of Democrats rightfully believing that there's nothing they can do to change their own government even when it's under their own political party, we're not better off.

Consider what's happening in the Senate right now. 70 percent of Democrats want Bush to be censured. Only 26 percent oppose the censure resolution. Yet, only 3 Democratic senators have the balls to stand up and support the censure resolution. That's because they don't think they owe jack to the Democratic voters. They owe their seats to the corporate industry PACS.

You want to put another person in Congress that way? No thanks. We'll just get another corrupt Democratic Congress like we had in the early 90s, and it will get sacked again.

I want this done a better way, and I'm not going to let your style of world weary cynicism stop me from making an effort. Sorry, but no, I'm not just going to get over it and accept my fate meekly.

We deserve better than this, but we're not going to get better unless we start asking for it.

thingwarbler said...

given rahm emmanuel's position in general as a ultra-right wing democrat (viz his very recent reaction to feingold's censure resolution), I think there's every reason to be concerned about his endorsement of arcuri with everything that implies: it implies that a) arcuri will now get the dccc white glove treatment & money, that he'll be the beltway insider's man, and that any progressive stance he might want to take will be beaten out of him with a big, fat check.

so, the question then becomes: should Dems' in NY-24 take this opportunity to tell the pathetic party hacks in DC that they have been weighed and found too light, and that "their man" in NY-24 will be rejected for that very reason? I truly hope so.

We need to see not only Democrats picking up seats in November, we need to see the beginning of a groundswell shift in the Dem party away from the Bush Lite stance of the Lieberman crowd. Whoever Emmanuel and the establishment picks is *not* the choice of true change, but simply more of the same.

Anonymous @ 5.37PM you claim Roberts has yet to state clearly his position on Iraq. His position paper: here is pretty clear: he wants us out a.s.a.p.

Scott Shields said...

I'm not going to jump on the "over reacting" bandwagon here, but let me at least urge some caution. It's possible that Rahm Emanuel recruited Arcuri to run this year -- I don't know. But I've heard this exact same line of thought about other races this year, that the DCCC is evil and if they talk about a candidate, it's because "the fix is in." This is a bit silly. After all, the DCCC's website listing NY House candidates includes Roberts and Tytler as well as Arcuri.

My guess is that when Emanuel was asked to comment about Boehlert's retirement, he mentioned Arcuri because A) he had a hand in recruiting him, and B) Arcuri's been getting the most attention nationally. Honestly, if I had to make a snap judgement between an unelected but respected public health expert and an elected and respected District Attorney, I'm going with the DA. That's just my two cents, and not me trying to force my opinion on the people of the 24th.

One thing I think you ought to ask yourself is what all of this really means to you. You're obviously very angry about this and I'm not sure why. No one can literally force Roberts or Tytler out of the race -- they'd have to drop out. And if they make that decision, it seems you're ready to blame it all on Arcuri and Emanuel. I think that's a bit of a mistake. Your preference for a primary is totally justified. But it seems that you've already decided that Arcuri, if he wins it, will be "another loyal foot soldier" for Emanuel, whatever that means.

Point being, everyone needs to ease up on the DCCC and don't take everything Rahm Emanuel says as a veiled threat. He's a guy with a job he's trying to get done. You might not always agree with how he does it, and that's fine, but I think even he'd agree that this race is yours, and not his, to decide.

24 Independent said...

Let me clarify - it's not just one comment from Rahm Emanuel. There are several, and Emanuel consistently only talks about one candidate - Arcuri, as if there isn't anyone else running.

Also, at the same time, all the establishment political reports in Washington D.C. very suddenly mention Arcuri as the main Democratic candidiate, although there are no public figures on fundraising by Arcuri and no public scientific polls showing that Arcuri has a strong lead over other Democratic candidates.

Basically, there is no factual basis for those political reports to refer to Arcuri as the main Democratic pick - so where, oh where, are they getting that message?

They're getting it from where those political reports usually get their information on Democratic congressional races - the DCCC. It's very lazy reporting, campaigning by rumor mongering, and it is a fix.

People outside the 24th District who haven't been following this story have no way of knowing this, of course. But, I've been following this story closely for months now - checking on it every day and working closely with many sources in the district.

There is no public groundswell of support for Arcuri in the district. It's a myth. So, when I see a full-court Democratic establishment press saying that there is, it sets off all kinds of alarm bells.

Arcuri is already getting a huge amount of support, even if it's not financial, from the DCCC - and he hasn't even articulated any detailed policy positions. The guy has been officially in the race for just one week - how the hell could there be a public groundswell of support for him? Most Democrats in the district still don't know who Arcuri is!

As for a bandwagon, the only bandwagon you'll see is the one being led by Rahm Emanuel for Arcuri.

Anonymous said...

I don't need a Democrat who praises Condoleeza Rice.

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/il05_emanuel/Emanuel_praise_rice.html

Iraq is not listed among his top issues. It's my top issue. It's the very epitome of failure of Bush and the neocons.

Chris said...

24th Democrat,

You need to wake up. I am from upstate N.Y. and live a couple miles from the disrtict borders (and that is due to some very interesting lines, but I have been in the district in the past).

Here is my main point, you guys have already screwed it up. In a swing district, this guy has been elected easily. If the Democrats where so good and organized, he would have never won in the first palce! So Rahm comes in a shows a little leadership and you complain?

In N.Y. there is a September primany, and the Republicans have already cleared the field pretty much. If we are fighing until September and then think we have a shot at picking off someone who has been able to stay above the fray and nesting money in a seat that leans Republican, well sir, you are in fantasy land.

Stop complaining about Democrats and start complaining about Republicans and the direction this country is going in. It is funny with the DCCC, everyone wants their money to come in and help them pull even with the Republicans, but they don't want them to "bully." Well, welcome to the real world of politics. Try winning this seat without the DCCC and see how you do.

When we are in the Minority in everything in this country sometimes we have to all band together and work againsn't the Republican's.

24 Independent said...

No, not everyone wants the DCCC's money. Not me. If I had to choose between their money and the chance to have the choice of candidate take place here, I'd throw their money away in a heartbeat.

It's easy for you to say that we ought to just get out of the way and let the national Democrats pick our candidate for us. You're not the one having your right to representative government interfered with. You don't live in the 24th District.

What good is it to have a Democrat in the Congress if that Democrat isn't actually beholden to the voters? What good is it to replace a corrupt Republican Party with a corrupt Democratic Party?

I am a Democrat, and I do want a Democrat to be elected to this position, but it has to be done the right way - with the support of the Democratic voters of the 24th District. If the Democratic Party won't stand up for the integrity of the democratic process, it doesn't deserve to gain majority control of Congress.

You call what Rahm Emanuel did leadership. A guy from Illinois tries to dictate who the candidate in a New York State district will be, and you call that leadership? Would it be leadership, then, if Vladmir Putin from Russia started interfering in our congressional elections too?

I'm not in this because I'm a cheerleader for the Democratic Party team. I'm in this to support the progressive ideals of liberty and democracy. If the Democrats abandon those ideals, then there's no reason to support them.

Anonymous said...

Get serious. The job of the DCCC is to select the best candidates so that the Democrats can win back Congress. If you haven't noticed, that would be kind of nice.

You also need to remember that NY has a ridiculously late primary--September 12. In many cases, even if you win the primary, it comes so late that you are effectively crippled for the general election. Remember 1992 against Al D'Amato. The Dems had 3 candidates (Holtzman, Ferraro, and Abrams) any of whom could have beaten D'Amato if they hadn't been forced into a nasty primary with the others. Abrams won, but he came out the primary nearly broke and had only a few weeks to focus on taking down D'Amato. He ended up losing to D'Amato even though Clinton won the state in a landslide.

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And, as someone once said, first as tragedy, then as farce. As for me, I prefer not to participate in the farce of pretending Roberts and Tytler actually have a shot at winning in November.

24 Independent said...

No, it is not the job of Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC to pick a Democratic candidate for us.

That is our job as Democratic voters in New York State's 24th congressional district.

Rahm Emanuel and the other members DCCC are trying usurp the power of the voters for themselves. The Democrat that runs in the general election is supposed to represent the Democrats of the 24th District, not Rahm Emanuel, party boss from Illinois.

Get it? It's a little thing called democracy. Get out your pen and spell it out: D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y

Anonymous said...

If Rahm Emanuel was tapping Les Roberts you'd be whistling a different tune.

24 Independent said...

As a matter of fact, I wouldn't. I remember a time I spoke to one of Les Roberts's campaign aides, who said something to the effect of "A primary would be damaging to the campaign."

To that, I replied, "Yes, but it would be bad for the voters. I care more about the voters."

I could still find myself voting for Michael Arcuri in the primary - if he shapes up his attitude about interacting with voters.

We none of us know enough about ANY of the Democratic candidates to make a choice of any one of them. It's way too early to narrow the contest down to just one candidate.

What if, for example, one of the Democratic candidates pulls a Gary Hart? We need to have more than one strong Democratic candidate, or a single false move by one of them could throw the entire election.

Scott Shields said...

For what it's worth, your response to my comment (I think it was mine, anyway) should have been your front page post. Much more clear than the original, and a solid analysis.

A few things, though...

1. The bandwagon I was referring to you was the one where everyone was being overly critical of you. You're a resident in the 24th and you have every right to your opinion. I'm a taxpayer in the 24th, but I'm not up there in the thick of this fight as you are.

2. I kind of have to wonder about the last anonymous commenter. Would you be as angry about this if it was Roberts that Emanuel was talking up? It's something to think about.

3. What's with the anonymous commenters, anyway? At least give your first name, people. Sheesh.

24 Independent said...

Thanks for the clarification. My goal in regard is ultimately pretty simple: I want there to be an open and fair primary with at least two Democratic candidates.

I want the Democrats of the 24th district to make their own choice, not just get whomever Rahm Emanuel tells them they're going to get.

The DCCC often uses pressure tactics that cause rival Democratic candidates to drop out, and I think that's bad for Democracy.

It would be bad if it happened in favor of Les Roberts, and it is bad to see it beginning to happen in favor of Michael Arcuri.

If the Democratic Party cared as much about voters as it cares for its candidates, we might have a Democratic Congress today.

Anonymous said...

Emanuel picked Arcuri because he has won countywide races in a large county, has a pretty face, and got in early. Tytler didn't get picked because he only won small races in a city with a Democratic history, entered very late and apparently hasn't raised much money. Roberts didn't get picked because he has no prior electoral experience. Anybody can figure that out.

The issue is whether Arcuri will toe the DCCC line or be his own man.

It's quite conceivable he has a typical upstate Democratic politician problem of Catholics and there is a reasonable belief he is due to an apparent Italian heritage in a heavily Catholic area. Between his upbringing and the fear of the church, he might not be brave enough to express his own views on abortion.

And guys who want to be career politicians tend to be very muddling on divisive issues so that would explain why both his position on Iraq and non position on abortion exist.

The public is ill served by and tired as hell of run of the mill egotistical politicians. Be brave or be nothing.

Anonymous said...

4:23 has the most relevant post yet

Chris said...

This is now a blog with a agenda. You are being Bill O'Reilly, act like a normal news sourace but all you care about is yourself.

Fact: A Democrat is not going to win this seat without the DCCC help. Your "we don't need the DCCC's help here" pledge is noble, but irrisponsible and stupid. The Republican party is going to pour millions into this seat and unless you have a couple million sitting around, money to make up for that is somewhere.

Quit being your own little version of Fox news, a "neutral" news source that is actually all about themselves. The real enemy here is the Republican party, and to win a Republican seat we need to be unified early, and drive a message home. Not let you and your little blog throw stones at other Democrats.

24 Independent said...

Well OF COURSE this blog is about my opinions and my perspective on the information that's available. It's a blog, not a newspaper.

You want information? Go to the newspapers. Trust me, what you find at the newspapers will be scanty in comparison to what you find here, until we get much later into the year. People need to learn to use a combination of media intelligently, and to understand what each kind of media is for.

But, I'm more than just a blogger. I'm a Democratic voter in the 24th District. So, in that sense, this election is every bit about me as much as it is about Michael Arcuri.

I made this blog because I was sick and tired of just sitting by passively and reading the news about politics. I wanted to get involved in what I knew would be a fascinating race. But, I didn't just want to make myself a volunteer on somebody's campaign so that I could stuff envelopes with somebody else's words. I wanted to get involved on my own terms - as is the right of every voter.

So, I'm doing what I can to be in contact with the different campaigns, and other sources of information here in the 24th District. Do I describe what I encounter as I'm making that contact? Sure. Does that make me a character in my own blog? Yes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Don't like it? Start your own blog.

I know full well that I irritate a lot of people with what I write here. So what? I have nothing to lose but the chance for democratic representation in the Congress.

I've had it up to here with people telling me what I have to do as Democratic voter. My only duty as a Democratic voter is to speak and vote according to my conscience.

I've been thinking a lot about this since Friday, and it's been made very clear to me that we put our country and our district in a great deal of danger if we become so hungry to put a Democrat in office that we don't care who that Democrat is or what he [no women running here] does.

It is foolish in the extreme, this push to narrow the field, six months before the primary, to just one candidate. Arcuri has been formally campaigning for just one week. Do you think we know everything about him? Or is just the fact that he is registered as a Democrat enough for you? Do you want us to vote for a label without looking at who is wearing that label?

We need to be citizens first and Democrats second. I'm not going to sacrifice the democratic process just so my side can win.

Anonymous said...

4:23 said it: Be brave, or be nothing.

The DNC, the DCCC, the DSCC, virtually all of our Party leaders...

fearless leaders? Hardly a one!

Of course we want to win the seat for the Democrats. But this better-safe-than sorry attitude is getting us nowhere. If it worked, if it ever actually won us elections, okay then, maybe we could swallow our despair over the fact that we really aren't any better than that, and accept the lesser of two evils: Republican lite over Republican.

But the better-safe-than-sorry attitude of the Democratic Party establishment DOES NOT win us seats.

So we're safe, and sorry too.

While I agree that it's too early for the DCCC to know which candidate can win in November, and so they certainly shouldn't be fixing the outcome of the primary, I have to say, as a Roberts supporter, that if the DCCC were to realize that Roberts is the only one in the race so far who has already withstood the full might of the Republican attack machine and emerged with his integrity unscathed, I would commend the DCCC for its excellent judgement.

If the DCCC were to realize that the REASON for this is because Roberts is brave and true, and that is possible because he is not a career politician and does not need a career as a politician and so will remain brave and true to his constituents....

I would think, wow, the DCCC is finally coming to its senses about the kind of candidate who can win the hearts of the voters in the whole district, not just its "big city."

I would think, wow, the DCCC realizes that maybe a city lawyer might not go over so well over in Pitcher or New Hope.

I would think, good, the DCCC is looking beyond who could win a primary to see who can win the seat by virtue of who will actually best represent us in Congress, by virtue of who actually has the best talent and experience to bring to the actual job of being our congressional representative....

rather than who, in a better-safe-than-sorry mindset, might look for the moment like a more appealing candidate....

I would think, great, the DCCC is starting to fathom the most important factor in determining what makes a candidate good--actually being a good candidate for the job, not just the resume that lands on top of the pile.

The DCCC focuses on candidates for elections when it should focus on candidates for the job of congressperson. Find the best congressperson, and then make that person the best candidate for the election, not the other way around, that's what I say.

The DCCC can help us take back Congress, but, I agree with Jon, let's take it back right, let's take it back brave and true.

To the extent that the Democratic Party does not represent actual voters, people like me, is precisely the extent to which the Democratic Party is out of touch...and out of office.

So, absolutely, let the primary roll, and let the DCCC support the voters' choice.

Anonymous said...

10:25 am, the candidate most likely to connect with the folks in Pitcher and New Hope is Meier.

Anonymous said...

12:56 pm, the candidate least likely to know where Pitcher and New Hope are is Meier.

Anonymous said...

And he needs to care why? They vote Republican no matter what.

Anonymous said...

7:45 - keep believing it. The surprise will be on you.

rchapman said...

I read this article about RESENTING the DCCC's decision to target the NYS 24th and I had to wonder what century the author thought he was living in.
Every morning I lead kids in the pledge of allegiance and we say, "one nation indivisible," I hadn't realized that the NYS 24th CD had decided those words were applied to another country.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, New York

Anonymous said...

We could just as easily ask what century YOU are living in, teaching kids to be obedient citizens who stand united no matter what.

This is a democracy, and we all have the right to express our independent opinions in politics, as this author has done. Furthermore, this is a representative democracy. Our members of Congress are supposed to represent the districts from which they come - it corrupts the system when people like this Rahm Emanuel comes in and tries to take away choice from the local Democrats.