DFA in the News

DFA in the News

“I’m a master legislator”: Nancy Pelosi defends herself against mounting Democratic dissent

Salon

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips, Alejandro Chavez, campaign manager for Democracy for America, said that while Pelosi is “not where we need to go,” he also faulted Ossoff for failing to energize Democratic voters with an economic message that was anemically centrist. “If you look at Rob Quist in Montana and James Thompson in Kansas, they ran on a very populist message in their races, like on single-payer health care. And they closed the gap on Trump in those races,” he said, referring to two other Democratic congressional candidates. “Look at Ossoff, who ran in the middle of that. Trump won by 1.5 points against Hillary Clinton, and then Ossoff lost by four,” Chavez said.

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Democrats have reasons for concern

Philadelphia Tribune

“Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America.

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Georgia election a wake-up call for both parties?

News OK

Ossoff didn't make Trump central to his campaign, prompting post-election criticism by some on the left. Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said that defeating Republicans in districts they have traditionally held “requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact.”

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‘Nancy Pelosi is not where we need to go.’ Why Democrats lost Georgia, a progressive story.

Washington Post

Another gut-punch loss for Democrats, another soul-searching moment. Really, Democrats are having the same internal arguments about why they lost Georgia's special election on Tuesday as why they lost the presidency in November. For one side of that argument, The Fix spoke to Alejandro Chavez, Democracy for America's campaign manager, who was on the ground in Georgia. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. THE FIX: What's your takeaway from why Democrats lost a special election you thought you could win? We cannot continue with business as usual. We cannot continue the same vote-targeting models, we cannot continue the same stream of centralized candidates who don't run on a populist message. We can't continue down these ways that we've seen haven't work for us. We need to change things. And a lot of that has to come from the party's leadership specifically. Meaning spend less on ads and huge TV programs and more on field operations. And we gotta be strong on the message. (Cont.)

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Democrats at a loss for explanation after another special-election defeat

Washington Times

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee that deployed staff to Georgia and invested $65,000 in the race, blamed “unforced errors” by the party and the Ossoff campaign. Democrats, he said, need to tilt further to the left and take that message directly to voters. “Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate,” he said. “The same tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice.”

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Dem loss in Georgia underscores party challenges

Associated Press (Star Tribune)

"Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact," said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America.

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Democrats just went 0-4. When will they win?

CNN

Democracy for America chair Jim Dean blasted the Democratic establishment's "unforced errors."

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7 lessons from the 2017 elections

Politico

“Tonight’s result is disheartening to everyone who volunteered to help out another Democrat in Congress. The unforced errors by the party leadership and the campaign present an important learning opportunity for everyone who wants to kick Republicans out of power in 2018,” said Jim Dean, the chairman of Democracy For America, in a statement on Tuesday night. “Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate. That’s what it will take to win districts like this one in 2018 and take back the House. The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice.”

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Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’

New York Times

Instead, populist forces on the left took Mr. Ossoff’s defeat as an occasion to criticize the whole notion of centrism as a Democratic strategy. Jim Dean, the chairman of Democracy for America, a liberal activist group, blasted Mr. Ossoff overnight for “lighting millions of dollars on fire” and delivering an “uninspiring message” that he predicted would fail again in 2018.

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Five Takeaways from Georgia’s special election

The Hill

Jim Dean, the chairman of the left-wing Democracy for America political action committee, lamented in an emailed statement, “Most candidates do not have the luxury of lighting millions of dollars on fire by spending close to $12 million on ads behind an uninspiring message.”

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Three reasons Tuesday was a disaster for Democrats

Boston Globe

Liberal groups like Vermont-based Democracy for America repeated lines so familiar, they could have come after Clinton’s loss in the general election. “The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice,” DFA chairman Jim Dean said in a statement.

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Donald Trump ruthlessly mocks soul-searching Democrats after Georgia special election loss

The Independent

“Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before - specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, told the Associated Press.

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What The Democratic Loss in Georgia Means For The Midterms

NPR

Jim Dean, chairman of the progressive activist group Democracy For America, in a statement: "Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before — specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate. That's what it will take to win districts like this one in 2018 and take back the House. The same, tired centrist Democratic playbook that has come up short cycle after cycle will not suffice."

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Excuses Fly After Democrats Fail to #FliptheSixth

Lifezette

Jim Dean, leader of the liberal group Democracy for America, told NBC that "Jon Ossoff's sound victory tonight is a testament to the growing strength of a nationwide, grassroots movement that's looking for leaders ready to stand up to the Republicans empowering Donald Trump's hate-fueled agenda."  Eugene Robinson, a liberal columnist at The Washington Post, made the claim Ossoff won simply because the Democratic Party didn't lose — yet.  "Do step back though — this is a district that the Republican would be expected to win by 20 points," Robinson told the "Morning Joe" panel. "If you add Ossoff's votes plus the other couple of Democrats, they came one percentage point short."

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Can Karen Handel unite fractured GOP to win Georgia’s special election runoff?

Washington Times

“Republicans are being forced to sweat ruby-red districts, like this one, because ordinary people in Georgia and communities across this country focused on resisting Donald Trump’s hate are making elections like tonight’s nail biters,” said Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America.  The result of the runoff will depend on how quickly Republicans can patch up rifts that developed during the campaign, and that have also appeared in Washington, where spats over how to repeal Obamacare and how to overhaul the tax code have divided the GOP.

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Updated NH Primary Source: Jasper presses battle with House Republican Alliance

WMUR

DFA BACKS CRAIG – AGAIN. The hardline progressive Democracy for America PAC is weighing in on the Manchester mayoral race.  On Thursday, the group will announce its endorsement of Alderman Joyce Craig. The DFA also endorsed her in 2015, when she lost narrowly to Mayor Ted Gatsas after a recount.  DFA Chairman Jim Dean said Craig would be “an ally in the mayor’s office, who won’t shy away from tackling tough problems like the opioid crisis or struggling schools. From her support for drug-treatment programs to her fearless advocacy for Medicaid expansion, Joyce is a leader who has always focused on the needs of the communities she serves.”

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In first 100 days, Schumer focuses on unity, new message

Democrat and Chronicle

“If there’s one place where I think (Schumer) is falling down on the job, that’s in providing the leadership that holds his caucus together, to understand they have to be a united force against Donald Trump at all times,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America. “It never works for Democrats to try to be Republican lite.”

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Anti-Trump energy poses recruiting dilemma for Dems

The Hill

“When it comes to candidate recruitment, there is this kind of false belief that the pathway to victory in a swing district is with that so-called mushy middle,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for major progressive group Democracy for America.  Sroka argues that issues considered more progressive, including income inequality and Washington corruption, also play well with voters beyond their base.  “The truth is that there could be a far more potential in finding candidates who can speak strongly to progressive values and reach people across the ideological spectrum,” he said. 
 

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 Coulda Woulda Shoulda—Democrats Miss a Huge Opportunity in Kansas

The Nation

 Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America, was blunter. Dean hailed Thompson’s run—which DFA backed, along with Our Revolution, the group that evolved out of the Sanders presidential campaign. He celebrated Thompson’s aggressive approach, highlighted the role of grassroots activists in creating a “progressive surge,” and explained that “If we can make Republicans go into full-on freakout mode in a ruby red Kansas congressional district now, we have the power to rip the gavel out of Paul Ryan’s hands in November 2018.” But Dean concluded with a cautionary note for the people at the top of the Democratic Party: “To the Washington Democratic insiders who wrote this race off before it began, it’s time to wake up and realize that the grassroots expects this resistance effort to be waged unflinchingly in every single county and every single state across the country. While Donald Trump is threatening the safety of marginalized communities, Democrats need to quit the dithering and ensure that Trump and his Congressional enablers feel politically unsafe in every corner of the country.”

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Four big lessons from Kansas's special election

Washington Post

The other: While political reporters in Kansas broke story after story about the national campaign moves, local TV did not. It's not clear whether national Democrats would have accidentally roused Republican voters, as the money Thompson needed — and he got, in the end, around $10,000 from state Democrats — was to turn out voters on the margins. Today, more than ever, groups that plunged in early for Thompson (Our Revolution, Democracy for America, Daily Kos) are trumpeting what they did to call voters and send money by contrasting it with how little the official party did.

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A Republican won in Kansas. But here’s why the GOP is not celebrating.

Washington Post

“If we can make Republicans go into full-on freakout mode in a ruby red Kansas congressional district now,” said Jim Dean, director of the progressive group Chair of Democracy for America in a statement, “we have the power to rip the gavel out of Paul Ryan’s hands in November 2018.”

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Howard Dean was warning people about the opioid crisis a decade ago

Vox

The Democrats’ frontrunner collapsed in the Iowa vote, after coordinated attacks from the party hierarchy, and he quit the race after finishing second to John Kerry in New Hampshire. Dean morphed his campaign into Democracy for America. The million-member organization’s goal? To “empower the progressive grassroots to take our democracy back from corporations and the wealthy few and aggressively combat growing income inequality.” While Dean was chair of the Democratic National Committee, between 2005 and 2009, the party took back the House, the Senate, and the White House.

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Thompson to national Democrats: Do more to help elect candidates

The Wichita Eagle

Democrats and pundits immediately began asking whether the outcome might have been different if Democratic groups – such as the DCCC, the Democratic National Committee and the Kansas Democratic Party – had done more to help Thompson. “What did DFA do prior to the last few days?” Democratic operative Dana Houle asked on Twitter, referring to Democracy for America, a political action committee founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.

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Democrats tout narrow loss in Kansas special election as a victory

Washington Times

“To fellow grass-roots progressives leading the resistance in the streets, at townhalls, and at the doors, these results are proof that our movement can have a profound impact at the ballot box in the months ahead,” said Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America. “If we can make Republicans go into full-on freakout mode in a ruby-red Kansas congressional district now, we have the power to rip the gavel out of [House Speaker] Paul Ryan’s hands in November 2018,” he said.

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DNC: If Ossoff Wins it Will Prove Democrats We Support Fare Better Than Those We Don't.

DailyKos

Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America was blunter. Dean hailed Thompson’s run—which DFA backed, along with Our Revolution, the group that evolved out of the Sanders presidential campaign. He celebrated Thompson’s aggressive approach, highlighted the role of grassroots activists in creating a “progressive surge” and explained that: “If we can make Republicans go into full-on freakout mode in a ruby red Kansas congressional district now, we have the power to rip the gavel out of Paul Ryan’s hands in November 2018.But Dean concluded with a cautionary note for the people at the top of the Democratic Party

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MT-AL: Democracy For America Doubles Down On Getting Out The Vote For Rob Quist (D)

DailyKos

DFA members never gave up on a state like Kansas. You helped make more than 287,000 GOTV calls and donated tens of thousands of dollars to elect James Thompson. But much of the Democratic establishment didn't even bother to show up. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sat on their hands until literally the day before the election -- while the progressive grassroots turned out voters, built up momentum and nearly won a major upset.

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"Endangered?" "Vulnerable?" KS-04 demonstrates that label applies primarily to Republicans

DailyKos

There’s dissonance there for me. While I would love to believe that Sen. McCaskill is vulnerable to a progressive primary challenger, of the type being sought to run in races nationwide by Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, Our Revolution and Democracy for America, I’m betting the writer meant she’s vulnerable to a Republican challenger in the general election.

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Liberals fume at Democratic establishment for refusing to take

McClatchy

"To the Washington Democratic insiders who wrote this race off before it began, it’s time to wake up and realize that the grassroots expects this resistance effort to be waged unflinchingly in every single county and every single state across the country,” said Jim Dean, president of Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group.

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Kansas's Special Election Will Be the First General Election Since Trump Won the White House

Independent Journal Review

On the Democratic side, Thompson is also seeing support from national organizations. According to The Huffington Post, Thompson has raised $240,000.00 since Thursday in large donations, thanks to support from groups like ActBlue, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, and Our Revolution.

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Republicans fend off strong challenge to hold on to House seat in Kansas

Washington Post

But progressives were critical of the party for letting the race play out without a major investment. “We lose when we don’t fight, period,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive group Democracy for America, in a tweet.

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