Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Dem Party Goes After Nina Turner and Bernie Wing of Party

“I don’t begrudge anybody wanting to get involved in the race,” Ms. Turner said, “but the entire Congressional Black Caucus PAC? That’s sending another message: Progressives need not apply.

I just gave Nina Turner another $100 for the Ausgust 3 primary in Cleveland. I'm fascinated by these internal struggles between the left and center right inside the Dem Party, a much more fun group than Republicans where there is no longer a fight. In the next two weeks there will be a battle royal. Guess which side our own UFT would take?

liberal activists around the country have rushed to Ms. Turner’s defense, with money, volunteers and reinforcements. Her campaign has raised $4.5 million for a primary, $1.3 million in the last month. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York will be knocking on doors for her the same weekend Mr. Clyburn will be in town. Mr. Sanders will join the fray in person the last weekend before Election Day.

"We have worked very hard to center the poor, the working, poor, and the barely middle class in this election with a laser focus on the issues that will benefit working families. My opponent, however, is not running on the issues but on lies." — Nina Turner



Let's bring this thing home!

- Nina 💜




Hilary, Obama, Clyburn, Jeffries, the Black Caucus --- their actions show serious fear of the progressive wing. Nina Turner is a threat to the Dem establishment. 

Nina Turner’s move from Bernie Sanders’s campaign co-chairwoman to House candidate has highlighted a Democratic divide between impatient young activists and cautious older voters.

The Democratic establishment is throwing copious amounts of time and money into an effort to stop Nina Turner, a former Cleveland councilwoman and Ohio state senator. 

Democrats say there is little broader significance to this individual House primary contest, one that pits two Black women against each other in a safe Democratic district that had been represented by Marcia Fudge before she was confirmed as President Biden’s secretary of housing and urban development.

Yet in the final weeks of the campaign, the party establishment is throwing copious amounts of time and money into an effort to stop Ms. Turner, a fiery former Cleveland councilwoman and Ohio state senator known beyond this district as the face and spirit of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, a co-chairwoman in 2020 and a ubiquitous surrogate for the socialist senator.

That suggests leaders understand that the outcome of the race will be read as a signal about the party’s future. It has already rekindled old rivalries. The Congressional Black Caucus’s political action committee has endorsed Ms. Turner’s main rival, Shontel Brown, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chairwoman. So have Hillary Clinton and the highest-ranking Black member of the House, James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, who will be campaigning here this weekend for Ms. Brown. They argue that Ms. Brown is the better candidate, with a unifying message after four divisive years of Donald J. Trump.

Ms. Brown sees herself as liberal, but she would move step by step, for instance embracing Mr. Biden’s call for adding a “public option” to the Affordable Care Act before jumping straight to the single-payer Medicare-for-all health care system Ms. Turner wants.

The race has captured less an ideological divide than a generational split, pitting older voters turned off by the liberal insurgency’s disparagement of Democratic leaders and brash demands for rapid change against younger voters’ sense of urgency and anger about the trajectory of the country and world being left to them.

At every turn here, Ms. Turner hits on the struggles of her city, the poorest large municipality in the country, but also America’s mountain of student debt, its inequity in health care and a climate crisis that has left the West parched and burning, the ice caps melting and Europe digging out from a deluge.

The outcome of the special election could reverberate through the party. Progressive primary challengers have already declared — and are raising impressive sums, far more than previous challengers — to take on Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney in New York, Danny K. Davis in Chicago, John Yarmuth in Louisville and Jim Cooper in Nashville. They are hoping to build on the successes of Representatives Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman in New York, Ayanna S. Pressley in Boston, Marie Newman in Chicago and Cori Bush in St. Louis — all of whom have knocked off Democratic incumbents since 2018.

All of them face opposition from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and a new political action committee, Team Blue, started by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman; Josh Gottheimer, a moderate from New Jersey; and Terri A. Sewell, a Black Caucus member from Alabama.

“It speaks volumes to where they want us to be going as a party,” said Kina Collins, who is challenging Mr. Davis. “The message is, ‘You’re not welcome, and if you try to come in, we’re going to pony up the resources to silence you.’”

Ms. Turner said she wanted the race to be about her issues: single-payer Medicare for all, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, canceling student loan debt and other centerpieces of the Sanders movement she helped create. She said she had been warned from the beginning of her candidacy that Washington Democrats would unite around an “anyone but Nina” candidate.

But on Sunday, even she seemed surprised by the bitter turn the contest had taken. The Congressional Black Caucus PAC’s intervention particularly rankled. With the rise of liberal groups like Justice Democrats dedicated to unseating entrenched Democrats in safe seats, the caucus has emerged as something of an incumbent protection service.

It backed Representative William Lacy Clay Jr. of Missouri, a caucus member, in his unsuccessful bid to stave off a Black challenger, Ms. Bush, last year, and Representative Joyce Beatty of Ohio, now the chairwoman of the caucus, in her successful bid to beat a Justice Democrat.

But the PAC also backed Representative Eliot Engel of New York, who is white, last year against his progressive challenger, Mr. Bowman, who is Black.

And now, inexplicably to Ms. Turner and her allies, the powerful Black establishment is intervening in an open-seat race between two Black candidates.

“I don’t begrudge anybody wanting to get involved in the race,” Ms. Turner said, “but the entire Congressional Black Caucus PAC? That’s sending another message: Progressives need not apply.”

Mr. Clyburn’s high-profile intervention is especially striking. In endorsing Ms. Brown, Mr. Clyburn said he was choosing the candidate he liked best, not opposing Ms. Turner. But he did speak out against the “sloganeering” of the party’s left wing.

Ms. Turner does not back down from that critique. Voters can take it or leave it.

“My ancestors would have never been set free but for somebody bumping up against the status quo and saying, ‘You will not enslave us anymore,’” she said.


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