Is DCCC chief Steve Israel telling House Dems to vote against Dem budgets?

Another quick one while I work on something longer. Last week the House voted on a number of budgets — the Senate budget bill, the House Progressive “Back to Work” budget, the Congressional Black Caucus budget, and the Paul Ryan budget. All but the Ryan budget failed, of course. But the list of voters within the roll calls is interesting. And studying those, Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny makes a great catch.

His post is well worth a read, but I want to pull out just this piece — Steve Israel, Pelosi’s hand-picked DCCC chair, has been telling freshman and “vulnerable” Democrats in the House to vote with Republicans. Get that? A member of the House Dem leadership is whipping Dems to vote against Dem-proposed bills.

Klein (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

Wednesday evening, we took a quick look at the House vote on the Progressive Caucus Back To Work Budget. Wednesday the House also voted on the Senate budget. … Every Republican voted against it… and it failed 154-261. The Democratic caucus operation is a near-shambles and no one was leading. …

[But] Many of them– the freshmen and vulnerable members in red-leaning districts, were counseled by Steve Israel, chairman of the DCCC, to vote with the Republicans. He does that kind of thing; it’s a losing strategy that causes low Democratic turnout. It killed the Democrats in 2010… but Israel has learned nothing from the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse.

Among the Democrats who voted against the Senate budget are these 20 Democrats on the DCCC Frontline List, represented the seats Israel sees as the most vulnerable in 2014:

• Ron Barber (New Dem-AZ)
John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)
• Julia Brownley (CA)
• Cheri Bustos (IL)
Bill Enyart (IL)
Pete Gallego (Blue Dog-TX)
Joe Garcia (New Dem-FL)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
• Ann McLane Kuster (NH)
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)
Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)
• Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)
Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL)
• Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Raul Ruiz (CA)
Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL)
Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ)

Only half a dozen Frontline Democrats ignored Israel and voted for the Senate budget, Tim Bishop (NY), Lois Capps (CA), Suzan DelBene (WA), Elizabeth Esty (CT), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), and John Tierney (MA).

The Hill [link here] claims “House Democrats were instructed to vote for the Senate Democratic budget,” but I [Klein] heard from several Members that Steve Israel was urging “vulnerable” incumbents to vote against it.

Blue Dog Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) said he voted against the Senate budget because it did not go far enough on entitlements.

“It is not enough entitlement reform in there going forward. It needs to be a more complete and balanced picture and it wasn’t bipartisan in the end of the day,” Schrader told The Hill.

We wrote about that Frontline list here, the list of Dems who will get “extra help” from the DCCC in their House races in 2014. This is the second vote this year for which the following statement is true (the first being the minimum wage bill):

When you give money to the DCCC, they give lots of it to people who vote with Republicans. And they protect Republicans like Paul Ryan, whom they pretend to hate. And again, Nancy Pelosi put Israel where he is, twice.

By the way, that phrase of Schrader’s — “wasn’t bipartisan” — could well be the messaging “cover story” from the Steve Israels of the world. It would be if I were Israel. You certainly hear it a lot from people on that list as their reason for voting with Boehner and against the rest of the Dems. For example …

Is that Ann Kuster’s name in the anti–Dem budgets vote list?

Sure looks like it. We talked about Ann Kuster earlier — lauded as a progressive hero (look for “bold progressive fighter”) as a candidate— and yet “bold” Ann Kuster voted with Republicans and for derivatives deregulation. She also made Klein’s list of R-voting Dems above. Here’s Ann Kuster a few days ago on, yep, bipartisanship:

Ann_Kuster_02-26-2013 Floor Statement.png_0Kuster’s remarks repeated her theme of working across aisles in a bi-partisan manner, which was well received by the business oriented audience of 60 people. Describing herself as a “frugal Yankee” who was “born bi-partisan,” Kuster said, “There’s no question in my mind that we do need to cut spending.”

“No question we do need to cut spending.” That’s certainly bipartisan, in the sense that the leaders of both parties are agreed; they all want to cut the safety net.

Ann Kuster also brags about voting with Boehner:

Kuster said she thinks she has a 100 percent voting record with Speaker John Boehner …

Obviously some of those votes were easy (the VAWA, for example), but the phrasing … has some Steve Israel been whispering in her shell-like ear? Certainly seems like it. If not, she got the phone call that said “wear ‘bipartisan’ to high school today.” I suspect there will be much more disappointment from Ann “Bipartisan” Kuster.

Don’t like it? That phone number again is:

Ann Kuster (NH-02) — 202-225-5206

In case you decide to do something about it. Operators are waiting.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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31 Responses to “Is DCCC chief Steve Israel telling House Dems to vote against Dem budgets?”

  1. lynchie says:

    So vote third party and point out to all your friends her voting record. There is nothing more you can do. None of the politicians care what you think or what you want.

  2. lynchie says:

    Don’t insult me. It is my money I paid into it and so did my employer. I am not helping Obama gut it i never said that. SS is not bankrupt and can be fixed with raising the limits on contributions. You are undoubtedly a shill to get rid of the ACA which you know nothing about unless you read the act. Your false assumptions about who I support and who I don’t support are insulting.

  3. htfd says:

    Obviously I did not state it clear enough for you. The “Grand Bargain” would be to end Obama’s Sequestration take the gutting of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, extended unemployment, education funding, food stamps, etc. (whats known as the social safety programs) totally off out of the discussions and off the table Obama has put them on and in their stead put ending Obama Care. Something the Republicans have tried 33 times and are now looking at their 34th attempt. Seems like something they may consider important. That would be trading good programs for a crap one in the bargaining talks. Not one thing is mentioned about giving up anything other than a program that sucks, Obama Care. I intrepid what you’re saying is keep the cuts that Obama and his faux Democrats want no matter what taxpaying voters say. If you believe the Democrats are in your corner that you are brain dead. The Democrats are no better than the Republicans, so to blame them for this mess is totally wrong…it’s both. Obama only negotiates what he wants to begin with and then stabs his followers in the back and whines the Republicans are doing it or I inherited it.

    Thank you for explaining SS to me, I’ve only been on it for 2 years now and never realized what it was. Talk about retarded, allowing and believing in Democrats is retarded. If you stop thinking of it as ‘your money’ and more of it being an earned retirement pension by all workers, one we all share proportionate to what we paid in perhaps you wouldn’t helping Obama and pals gutting it.. If you go back and read the original act you would see that since Clinton the 90% of earnings as a cap in that act has never been kept up with thus short changing Social Security to the tune of 43% of it’s revenue.

  4. emmagee says:

    It wouldn’t matter cjfb. I do live in Kuster’s district and I sent a very pointed message. I got some weird response that had nothing to do with what I wrote.

    The NHDP hates primaries, so Kuster really doesn’t have to worry, especially with O’Brien talking about running. Kuster, the DCCC, and the NHDP all know that lockstep Democrats will vote for her over O’Brien.

    As for me, I hope someone does decide to primary her, but the NHDP is full of timid conservadems.

  5. cjfb says:

    Last election I divided my contributions equally between Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster. If this keeps up Carol is going to get the entire amount next time. I tried to email my concerns to Kuster but because I’m not in her district, the email setup wouldn’t take my message. I guess being a campaign contributor isn’t enough to allow pathway to contact.

    Geez, I can hardly believe she’s doing this! “Working across the aisle” indeed. Hasn’t she noticed that every time the Dems try to reach across the aisle they get their hands slapped? Hasn’t she heard what Nobel economists are saying about austerity budgets?

  6. lynchie says:

    Let me understand. You want to agree to stop cuts in Earned Benefits programs and give up ACA? what are you retarded. They don’t equate. SS and Medicare are funded by my money and my employers. It is like putting money in the bank and when you are 66 you start withdrawing. The affordable Care act does not replace Medicare, it allows people to get some measure of health care (I will give you that forcing people to deal with insurance companies is stupid). Additionally if you think the GOP will live up to the bargain you must be living life on an alternate planet.

  7. GaiusPublius says:

    Steve Israel has a hands-off policy on House R leaders, including Ryan. He’s in a mixed district and they Never back a strong challenger. Ryan’s biggest challenge came from prog-funded Zerban, who got zero money from the DCCC, and came reasonably close to a win.

    Ryan is Wall Street’s man in the House (check out his funding). Israel, like all corp-controlled Dems, protects those Rs that Wall Street wants protected. It’s just a fact, widely known inside the Beltway.


  8. Floridita says:

    Ann Kuster’s office is being run by the DCCC.

    “U.S. Rep.-elect Ann Kuster today will formally announce that she has tapped a veteran strategist as her chief of staff in Abby Curran, former Northeast political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

    A former DCCC director is now Kuster’s Chief of Staff. No wonder Steve Israel’s talking points are being repeated. I bet he’s got Curran’s number on speed dial.

    Here’s more on Curran’s career of undermining the progressive movement:

  9. htfd says:

    Maybe it’s time Progressives start playing the hardball. Obama and his chosen are full time into Obama Care. Well Progressives should wheel and deal with Republicans, exchange cuts to Social Programs for overturning Obama Care. It may be a bumpy road to follow, but it just may have smooth effects for the Progressives; they will come out look like the good guys.

  10. Glenn Wiech says:

    So where are our progressive alternatives? Can we primary these people and get rid of them, including Steve Israel? It’s one thing to know what they are up to and to be outraged. It’s entirely another to hold them accountable.

  11. cole3244 says:

    until the electorate gets educated and aren’t fooled into believing someone like bill clinton is a liberal we are headed for a right wing majority as far as the eye can see, liberalism got america to be the envy of the world and conservatism will take that away if not stopped yesterday.

  12. lynchie says:

    First off they don’t care what you think they already got the money. Second blue dogs lost but were replaced with new Congressmen who now have the money. they are in it for the money not to make it a better place for middle class, poor and elderly. Money is what is worshiped in this country, money and power. We have nothing to threaten them with.

  13. lynchie says:

    Since they have taken their bag of money they are without shame. They realize that we can’t hurt them. If they lose the election they still have the money, if they get re-elected they get more money. They are part of what is rotten. The media will never report the truth when the talking heads get millions a year to report horseshit. Rachael Maddow is one voice and last time i watched she loves her some Obama and she talks to the people who believes as she does so she isn’t converting anyone. When Olberman was fired she said not a word.

    As far as Grayson what has he really been able to do. Like Warren he is a voice on an island and next election huge money will be spent against him probable by the DCCC. they don’t want any outliers, no waves, nobody not with the program. If you are wondering who THEY are they are the 1% who own us lock stock and barrel, who say if we work, if jobs are created, if the treasury is looted, what country to invade, what bullshit to toss in the air and what the media reports.

  14. BloggerDave says:

    And then the caller will politely thank you, hang up, and proceed to laugh his azz off…

  15. BloggerDave says:

    “When you give money to the DCCC, they give lots of it to people who vote with Republicans. And they protect Republicans like Paul Ryan, whom they pretend to hate. And again, Nancy Pelosi put Israel where he is, twice.”
    Now I’ve heard everything… The House Democrats PROTECT paul ryan? The House Democrats PRETEND to hate paul ryan? LOL… Now I know I can’t take you seriously…

  16. citizen_spot says:

    Me too. : ( At least the pre-2009 Howard Dean.

  17. FunMe says:

    There needs to be an ad of the last election, or a youtube one to send to these traitor fake-Democrats, showing all the Blue Dogs that lost the election. The video will end with, this is your future (lost seat) if you keep doing what you are doing because we WILL keep exposing you for the fake that you are!

  18. FunMe says:

    I wanted to move to Independent voter but got lazy. However, in the last election I did NOT vote for many on the Democrat ticket and it felt SO good to vote my conscience. :-)

  19. FunMe says:

    They have no shame right now. But how can we turn that around so they do have shame. I think we need to start shining the light even more with what these politicians are doing. But how do we spread the word?

  20. FunMe says:

    How I miss Howard Dean.

  21. FunMe says:

    They really all DINOs … or as I have been saying to many, these so called Democrats are really republiCONs who have infiltrated the Democrat Party. How do we get rid of them? More importantly, how do we get the word out to people in their district on what scum they are ( i.e., masquerading as Democrats when they are really republiCONs) so that they can voted them out?

    Does anyone have a link I can use on Monday when I call her to remind her how many Blue Dogs lost their seats the last elections?

  22. Ferdiad says:

    This is why I love when my liberal friends lambast republicans and act like they are the spawn of the devil. Seriously, how can anyone claim that Democrats are any better? If you think that everything would be cool with the Dems if it just were not for the R’s – I have a bridge to Alaska to sell you. Why can’t people just wake up and realize both major parties are a joke. The Dems might be worse than the R’s because at least the R’s are honest about their intentions.

  23. Blogvader says:

    You and me both, Becca.

  24. BeccaM says:

    True enough. Which is why I refuse to play the Lesser Evil game myself anymore.

  25. cole3244 says:

    ever since the word progressive replaced liberal there have been fewer and fewer dems willing to remain left of center, we need to remove all the charlatans that are masquerading as dems and elect real liberals to office, these hypocrites are as bad or worse than the gop because they hide their true agendas under the guise of being progressive.

  26. lynchie says:

    Based on the above article I think you are wrong in wanting the speakership of the House and for that manner a majority. It matters not to us the 99% since they have seemingly declared their allegiance to Right Wing agendas. They are all one party and in fact based on Kuster’s campaign and now voting record, who knows what you are voting for. They lie without shame, tell us the things we want to hear (Obama) and when elected and once the pipeline for cash is installed in their congressional office vote as if their promises and their constituents simply don’t matter.

    This puts we on the left in a tenuous position since we can’t determine who the fuck we are voting for. they are all Manchurian moles and one wonders if this has not been the behind the scene plan for the last 20 years. Run candidates who the 1% owns regardless of party and they will vote for the wishes of their masters. That way we the people get the warm fuzzy of sometimes getting our guys and gals in place (Obama comes to mind) and the 1% gets what they want, the transfer of more wealth to the top and constantly diminishing money to the middle class and poor.

    I can’t name a single person in congress who espouses liberal views other than Warren and I fear she will be quickly silenced. This theory falls perfectly the scenario of what happened after the lies about the war, collapse of financial system worldwide, bail outs, mortgage fraud, etc. There is no one who wants to pursue a single DOJ investigation into possible breaches of the law. In fact Holder has the audacity to say publicly that “the banks and wall street are to big to charge with breaking the law”. Going along with this thread is the “Peace Prize” for Obama, the failure of even the minimum of gun control legislation, deregulating the derivatives (as if the regulations stopped anything), rewriting post 9/11 by right and the left saying not a word. No hiccups in the Valley of Stealing Wealth that exists in America. We have an illusion of democracy. With gerrymandering and voter registration changes brings that into question. I don’t know a solution to this problem but I do know the general population haven’t the interest in finding out what is going on. They are engaged in trying to find a job, pay their mortgage, feed their families and simply survive. The issues fall from view on tv, we are awash is Kardashian horseshit, the Voice, America’s got Talent, etc. Unemployment…not even mentioned anymore, foreclosures…not a problem, gun deaths… a few less people who want free health care, student loans…sue the kids. I could go on but what’s the point. Hard to have hope and have your children a little better of than you were.

  27. Ford Prefect says:

    Outstanding, GP!

    As the veils continue to come off, the Inner Party only looks worse. This is what they mean by “buy-partisanship,” don’t you know.

    I can’t wait until the D-Trip’s next failed attempt at fundraising with me! I’m just going to read this post to my hapless caller!

  28. usckitty says:

    Which is why I am not a Democrat…Only Democrats brag about voting 100% with their supposed political opponents…

  29. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrat politicians, all Democrat politicians, are Republicans in drag.

    Period. Full Stop.

    Workers and our unions, people of color, GLBT folks. women, anti-war folks, environmentalists and other groups fighting for equality, a decent standard of living and justice will not begin to make progress until we get out of the last closet, the political closet, and realize that Democrats are the enemy every bit as much as Republicans.

    Democrats =

  30. sistersbeav says:

    I am on their e-mail list so I get their – I beg you for money e-mails. I quit funding them 2 yrs. ago. I do tell them to go “cheney” themselves when I reply.

  31. BeccaM says:

    Wow… we talk about DINOs (Democrat In Name Only), but to actually see them crowing about having a solid pro-GOP voting record in Congress? That takes the cake.

    I know that getting the Speakership and the House majority is important, especially since we’ve seen what the GOPers have done the last several years with their majority. But it’s become clear to me that if that is the only vote that can be counted upon, making it moot and irrelevant if the Dems can’t win a majority — and the Dem leadership is going ahead to encourage some of its members to vote with the GOP — there’s little point in pretending the Dems are anything resembling an opposition party.

    By the way, this vindication yet again of Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy.” And who was responsible for shoving him out the door as DNC chairman? Pelosi, Reid, and Emmanuel, all of whom wanted a more ‘targeted’ and ‘strategic’ approach. The 2010 mid-terms were the result.

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