The middle fights back? New effort by well-funded superpac to fight "extremists" in primaries (1 Viewer)

superchuck500

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Supported by at least four billionaires and other major donors, the "No Labels" effort will join several superpacs in a new push to support moderate, "problem solving" candidates in primaries that have been dominated over the last decade by party extremists . . . both on the right and the left. The Pac rejects obstructionist candidates who find devoted support from party bases but ultimately accomplish very little in office. Along with candidate funding, the effort will also seek to boost primary turnout among moderates and independents - who often wait until general elections and are left without a meaningful choice.

Apparently a pilot effort in the recent elections saw their three moderate candidates overcome double-digit polling deficiencies (prior to superpac support) and win their respective seats.

A group called No Labels is launching a coalition of super PACs that aims to raise $50 million to support centrist lawmakers in Congress by promising to protect them financially in the 2018 elections.

In recent years, as the tea party and progressive movements have gained steam in their respective parties, lawmakers have faced increasing competition from candidates within their own parties. For members of the House, who are up for re-election every two years, the threat is particularly dire.

Led by founder Nancy Jacobson, No Labels’ effort has already notched the support of four billionaires—investor Nelson Peltz, hedge-fund manager Louis Bacon, investor Howard Marks and former hedge-fund manager John Arnold—as well as six other donors from both parties. On Monday, 200 business leaders and another 40 members of Congress are convening in Washington to discuss the effort.

The initiative, organizers say, isn’t partisan, but rather aimed at encouraging lawmakers to focus on areas of consensus rather than of difference. The goal, said No Labels spokesman Ryan Clancy, is to “send a signal to members that there is a reward for governing like a problem-solver.”

The group hopes that by rewarding centrist lawmakers who don’t always vote with their parties, they will be more willing to take risks. “These members live in mortal fear of getting primaried if they cross their base or party leadership,” Mr. Bacon said in an interview. “So no one takes a risk. Nothing gets done.”

The super PACs will focus on boosting turnout of moderate voters in primaries, rather than general-election battles. Most congressional races are decided in primary elections, which tend to draw voters in the extremes of both parties, rather than those in the middle.
Group Launches Effort to Protect Moderate Candidates From Primary Challenges - WSJ
 

DaveXA

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Supported by at least four billionaires and other major donors, the "No Labels" effort will join several superpacs in a new push to support moderate, "problem solving" candidates in primaries that have been dominated over the last decade by party extremists . . . both on the right and the left. The Pac rejects obstructionist candidates who find devoted support from party bases but ultimately accomplish very little in office. Along with candidate funding, the effort will also seek to boost primary turnout among moderates and independents - who often wait until general elections and are left without a meaningful choice.

Apparently a pilot effort in the recent elections saw their three moderate candidates overcome double-digit polling deficiencies (prior to superpac support) and win their respective seats.



Group Launches Effort to Protect Moderate Candidates From Primary Challenges - WSJ
I really hope they succeed with this. More moderates in Congress is sorely needed.
 
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superchuck500

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I really hope they succeed with this. More moderates in Congress is sorely needed.
Agreed - but I think this group hits the nail on the head: the primary system rewards those who pander to the base. And that's only because moderates and independents don't participate with the same interest in the primaries. That has to change.

I have always been a moderate and an independent. Just this year I started voting in primaries. Waiting for the general doesn't make sense anymore.
 

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Agreed - but I think this group hits the nail on the head: the primary system rewards those who pander to the base. And that's only because moderates and independents don't participate with the same interest in the primaries. That has to change.

I have always been a moderate and an independent. Just this year I started voting in primaries. Waiting for the general doesn't make sense anymore.
Agreed. I've always felt like my (moderate) voice gets drowned out in the primary process. Not sure what the answer is, but I hope these guys succeed where others have failed.
 

tomwaits

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Middle is where we are now right? So extremes would be moving us to either more government or less government.

So this is a call for gridlock?
 

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Middle is where we are now right? So extremes would be moving us to either more government or less government.

So this is a call for gridlock?
No, IMO gridlock really isn't good if our government is to function normally. What we need is a more moderate Congress that is willing to compromise and pass meaningful legislation.
 

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This is something I can get behind. I hope this gets a lot of support and takes off. I'd like to see many more politicians that are open to compromise and working through problems, not just party loyalist with loud barking dogs as their base.
 

JimEverett

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LMAO. Shouldn't the thread title be "D.C. Insiders Fight Back?"
 
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Middle is where we are now right? So extremes would be moving us to either more government or less government.

So this is a call for gridlock?
Huh?

It's primarily a call to reward pragmatic lawmakers who aren't afraid to cross party lines or who refuse to entertain unbending demands as a way of doing legislative business.
 

JimEverett

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Huh?

It's primarily a call to reward pragmatic lawmakers who aren't afraid to cross party lines or who refuse to entertain unbending demands as a way of doing legislative business.
Leadership is a who's who of typical D.C. insiders. Their work is more about keeping themselves relevant and funded then any real change.

From: https://www.yahoo.com/news/no-labels--no-results--no-problem-212252637.html?ref=gs

"It turns out that for a group that consistently bills itself as above the partisan politics and the corrosive culture of Washington, No Labels has come to exemplify some of the most loathed qualities of the town’s many interest groups.

Much of the group’s budget goes toward sustaining or promoting itself. According to No Labels’ confidential document, the group employed 22 paid staffers and eight consultants as of May. Of its projected $4.5 million budget for 2014, only 4 percent — or $180,000 — of spending was slotted for “Congressional Relations.” By contrast, administrative and operational expenses got $1.035 million over the same time period. Another 5 percent was set for travel. A further 30 percent ($1.35 million) was earmarked for digital growth and press, and 14 percent for fundraising."

More than that, I would echo at least one of Frank Rich's criticisms of this sort of language and political idealism:

"The No Labels faith in kumbaya as an antidote to what ails a polarized Washington isn’t derived from any recent historical precedent but from the undying Beltway anecdotes about how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill used to bury the hatchet over booze in times of yore. Bipartisanship is also a perennial holy grail in Beltway punditry — as typified by David Broder, who hailed the Simpson-Bowles commission as “historic” in The Washington Post just hours before its findings were voted down by commission members on both the left (Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois) and right (Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin).

Beltway conventional wisdom is equally responsible for another myth promoted by No Labels: that the Move On left and the Tea Party right are equal contributors to America’s “hyperpartisanship.” In the real world, no one could seriously believe that activists on the left have the sway over Democratic leaders, starting with President Obama, that the Tea Party has over the G.O.P. Nor, with all due respect to MSNBC, does the left have a media megaphone to match the Tea Party’s alliance with the Murdoch empire, as led by Fox News, and the megastars of talk radio."

The Bipartisanship Racket - The New York Times
 
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Leadership is a who's who of typical D.C. insiders. Their work is more about keeping themselves relevant and funded then any real change.

From: https://www.yahoo.com/news/no-labels--no-results--no-problem-212252637.html?ref=gs

"It turns out that for a group that consistently bills itself as above the partisan politics and the corrosive culture of Washington, No Labels has come to exemplify some of the most loathed qualities of the town’s many interest groups.

Much of the group’s budget goes toward sustaining or promoting itself. According to No Labels’ confidential document, the group employed 22 paid staffers and eight consultants as of May. Of its projected $4.5 million budget for 2014, only 4 percent — or $180,000 — of spending was slotted for “Congressional Relations.” By contrast, administrative and operational expenses got $1.035 million over the same time period. Another 5 percent was set for travel. A further 30 percent ($1.35 million) was earmarked for digital growth and press, and 14 percent for fundraising."

More than that, I would echo at least one of Frank Rich's criticisms of this sort of language and political idealism:

"The No Labels faith in kumbaya as an antidote to what ails a polarized Washington isn’t derived from any recent historical precedent but from the undying Beltway anecdotes about how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill used to bury the hatchet over booze in times of yore. Bipartisanship is also a perennial holy grail in Beltway punditry — as typified by David Broder, who hailed the Simpson-Bowles commission as “historic” in The Washington Post just hours before its findings were voted down by commission members on both the left (Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois) and right (Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin).

Beltway conventional wisdom is equally responsible for another myth promoted by No Labels: that the Move On left and the Tea Party right are equal contributors to America’s “hyperpartisanship.” In the real world, no one could seriously believe that activists on the left have the sway over Democratic leaders, starting with President Obama, that the Tea Party has over the G.O.P. Nor, with all due respect to MSNBC, does the left have a media megaphone to match the Tea Party’s alliance with the Murdoch empire, as led by Fox News, and the megastars of talk radio."

The Bipartisanship Racket - The New York Times

I don't know enough about the organizations involved to comment on how genuine the sentiment is, but I do believe in the general premise.

To the second point, I would agree that the kind of obstructionism and extremism as rewarded in the primary system does appear more common to the right than the left. Cruz and the likes of the Freedom Caucus are celebrated primarily for demonizing democrats. That's not really a business plan for accomplishment.

But I'm not so sure that the left should be seen as bearing little responsibility. I think Obama made a mistake in 2009 by pushing away any olive branch offered by Republicans on the Hill. But also, I think the president is a moderating position by nature - the best comparison to legislators on the right is legislators on the left. Have Reid and Pelosi been that much better at forging compromise than the GOP? They may go about in different ways and with different symptoms (e.g. lack of any real liberal analog to right-wing radio) but unyielding agendas still lead to obstruction - no matter how they get there, precisely.
 

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Huh?

It's primarily a call to reward pragmatic lawmakers who aren't afraid to cross party lines or who refuse to entertain unbending demands as a way of doing legislative business.
So.. more laws, regulation and government...

No thanks, I prefer gridlock. I think its the best we can look forward to until the dollar collapses and we have to start over.
 

JimEverett

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I tend to think that top-down movements - like this one is - rarely have a goal outside of self-preservation and perpetuation of the status quo that allows them to have a top-down approach.

Anyways - as odd as it may sound, the Trump presidency might actually produce somewhat less party loyalty than in recent years.

For instance- an infrastructure bill: I can see more than a few Republicans going against such a Trump-backed bill while I can also see more than a few Democrats going for it.

Perhpas an even better example would be any legislation on trade policy. Assuming Trump continues to push his campaign stance on trade then you are going to see coalitions of certain Democrats and establishment Republicans fight Trump while the more pro-union/working class wing of the democratic Party sides with Trump and more nationalist-tupe Republicans.

I don;t think that is exactly bi-partisan. But anything that gets less party-line votes is good if for no other reason.
 
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So.. more laws, regulation and government...

No thanks, I prefer gridlock. I think its the best we can look forward to until the dollar collapses and we have to start over.

Oh, I get it now. You presume that an effective legislature only makes more laws, regulation, and government. That's just overly-simplistic and ultimately inaccurate - at least in concept. Though I would agree with you that it seems that they're much better at just making new law instead of doing the more heavy lifting of going in an replacing existing, unwieldy law.

Effective legislatures also reform, remodel, repeal, and use other mechanisms to improve government. The most effective way to reform the tax code and to make it much more efficient with fewer compliance issues and loopholes is to pass tax reforming law. Or if the goal was to replace ACA with something more efficient and less costly, you would do that with a new law.

An effective Congress could also streamline agency operations. Every year the GAO puts out a report on how Congress could save hundreds of millions from the operations budget by eliminating the duplication of efforts and missions by federal agencies. These missions come from legislation so they have to changed by legislation.
 

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I tend to think that top-down movements - like this one is - rarely have a goal outside of self-preservation and perpetuation of the status quo that allows them to have a top-down approach.

Anyways - as odd as it may sound, the Trump presidency might actually produce somewhat less party loyalty than in recent years.

For instance- an infrastructure bill: I can see more than a few Republicans going against such a Trump-backed bill while I can also see more than a few Democrats going for it.

Perhpas an even better example would be any legislation on trade policy. Assuming Trump continues to push his campaign stance on trade then you are going to see coalitions of certain Democrats and establishment Republicans fight Trump while the more pro-union/working class wing of the democratic Party sides with Trump and more nationalist-tupe Republicans.

I don;t think that is exactly bi-partisan. But anything that gets less party-line votes is good if for no other reason.
generally agree, but there's a bit of darkness cursing in here as well
instead of thinking in terms of philosophies and ideologies (small v big govt, pro-life vs pro-choice, etc) why not about it from 'problem to solution'?
probably the best recent example is energy independence - that's something that most every citizen can get behind, so instead of fighting it from a green vs fossil POV, address it from an 'how does each position get us to the solution' and then compromise will be coin of the realm again (that's a good thing)

instead of pro-life vs pro-choice, approach it as a "doing everything possible to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies - it's just beyond stupid to wait until there is a pregnancy and then weigh in on the political ramifications of that pregnancy

here the problem is "representative democracy" - we have all agreed to that system (by being born here or choosing to immigrate here), so how to we create systems that get us to a more representative govt?
top down, grass roots and middle out will ALL be parts of that solution
as well as tiered voting, fixing the money in campaigning problem, addressing the access to voting issue, etrc etc

light a candle, or many candles
 

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