DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Joe Biden's running mate - none will satisfy all sections of the party

Daniel Strauss

“The campaign needs to show progressives across this country that he recognizes that the future of the party is with progressives and the only way to do that is by choosing a really strong progressive to be his vice-presidential candidate,” said Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of the progressive Democracy for America outside group.

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Just How Far Will Joe Biden Go?

Michelle Cottle

“He’s not listening to the folks he needs to listen to,” said Yvette Simpson, who leads the political action committee Democracy for America.

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Chris Christie Defends Trump Sending Federal Agents to Cities

Josh Feldman

Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said that “Portland looks like a war zone” and “authoritarian” right now, arguing, “And the idea that you’re trying to protect structures by destroying bodies of people who are protesting — you have moms on the front line. People are showing up with bruises.”

“This is not about public safety. This is about scaring people into believing that our country needs this kind of intervention. We do not,” she added.

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Trump's 2020 strategy: paint Joe Biden as a puppet for the 'radical left'

David Smith in Washington

Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for Democracy for America, a political action committee that endorsed Sanders in the Democratic primary, said: “The realigning of the left and centre has actually already happened. Joe Biden, if he wins in November, will be elected on the most progressive agenda a Democrat has ever been elected on in the history of the country. Period. End of story. “The movement behind Senator Sanders in 2016 and the response to Trump and the movement that grew behind Senator Sanders again in 2020 has fundamentally altered the trajectory of the Democratic party in a way that’s hard to really grasp looking at it from where we were in January 2015.”

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Omar rallies to fight back against primary challenge

By Jonathan Easley - 07/17/20 05:26 AM EDT

“While right-wing interests funneling millions into her opponent's campaign are willing to do anything and say anything to stop her, we're confident that voters in Minnesota's 5th district will stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar in this primary just as she's always stood with them,” said Neil Sroka, a strategist with the progressive group Democracy for America, which is working to get Omar reelected.

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Kanye West's Chances Of Winning Presidency Same As 'An Extraterrestrial's - Election Expert Explains

Samantha Wilson

“After the 2016 election, one has to seriously contemplate the possibility of just about anything,” Neil concluded, referencing Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. “But the chances of winning an Independent bid that hasn’t started until the Fourth of July is equivalent to an extraterrestrial being winning the presidential contest. Anything is possible. I mean, I could get struck by lightning on a cloudless day, I suppose.”

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Fans Think Kim Kardashian West Is Supporting Kanye West's Campaign 'for the Wrong Reasons'

Tram Anh Ton Nu

According to Neil Sroka, Communications Director of the political action group Democracy For America, West is not a viable candidate by any means.

Sroka told Hollywood Life, “The odds of being able to win as an Independent candidate for president are very long even under the best of circumstances, for a variety of reasons. The idea of trying to launch something in July of an election year is beyond absurd. That’s the long and short of it: logistically, it is very, very difficult for an Independent to run a campaign, even if they had been planning this for years.”

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Kanye West's Chances Of Winning Presidency Same As 'An Extraterrestrial's - Election Expert Explains

Samantha Wilson

Neil Sroka, Communications Director of Democracy For America, a political action group that helps elect people of color and white progressives into office, explains why it would be so difficult for a candidate like Kanye to win the presidency on a campaign started just four months before the election. “It’s just to say, the odds of being able to win as an Independent candidate for president are very long even under the best of circumstances, for a variety of reasons,” Neil said. “The idea of trying to launch something in July of an election year is beyond absurd. That’s the long and short of it: logistically, it is very, very difficult for an Independent to run a campaign, even if they had been planning this for years.”

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Joe Biden used to predict a post-Trump GOP 'epiphany.' Now he doesn't.

Sahil Kapur

“At the heart of my concern about VP Biden has been that he continues to want to deal with Republicans like he's in the Senate in 1982,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy For America, a progressive activist group that supported Bernie Sanders for president. “He still has this very flawed corporate Dem understanding of the path towards compromise.”

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After losing big on Super Tuesday, Texas progressives hope to salvage some victories in July

Alex Samuels

But progressives reject the idea that a more centrist candidate would be a more successful candidate in swing districts across the state.“The mantra of the establishment of the Democratic Party is this belief in the fantasy, unicorn Republican who’s willing to flip into the Democratic category just because a Democrat says some things that sound slightly more Republican,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chair of Democracy for America. “I mean, it’s just ridiculous.”

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The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening

Cate Martel[CR-LF][CR-LF] [CR-LF] 36 mins ago

Another reaction: "It's very hard to understand why after going through eight years of the Obama administration that Joe Biden thinks we'll be able to carve out grand deals with Republicans," said Neil Sroka, the communications director at Democracy for America.

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Wins by young progressives start reshaping establishment

REID WILSON

"You can feel a change in the focus that grassroots progressives have put on some of these local races, really since 2016. I think part of it came from a recognizing, waking up from the Obama years just how much Democrats had lost," said Neil Sroka, who directs communications for Democracy for America and also won a city council seat himself. "The Trump moment exposed the ways in which cities and local offices could be a real buttress against a government that was 100 percent in the control of right-wing Republicans. I think that there has been a real awakening." . . . The progressive candidates who are leaping into races across the country increasingly have Justice Democrats, Democracy for America, Data for Progress, and a host of other local and national organizations to support them. Those groups have helped first-time candidates overcome what in previous years would have been insurmountable hurdles.

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Racial unrest seeps into Kentucky Senate primary, reshaping contest to take on McConnell

KENDALL KARSON and QUINN SCANLAN

When Senate insiders decide which candidate they’re going to bless with their endorsement and the millions in contributions that come with it, the critical experience that a young Black man who has lost family members to gun violence, like Charles Booker, might bring with him to the Senate never enters the equation. And, that narrow vision leaves Congress and our country weaker," said Yvette Simpson, an ABC News contributor and the CEO of Democracy for America, a national progressive group, in a statement announcing the group's endorsement on Wednesday.

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A liberal who raises tons of money: What Elizabeth Warren could do as Biden's VP pick

Brian Schwartz

“I think the pandemic has played much into the talents that Elizabeth has in being able to make government work for people,” said Charles Chamberlain, chair of a progressive political action committee, Democracy for America. He pointed to Warren’s plan to fight the coronavirus, which was published earlier this year, as how she could respond to the pandemic if she were vice president.

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Insurgents from the left threaten to upend Dem Party plans in Tuesday primaries

Paul Steinhauser

Jones is being backed by the progressive group Democracy for America, which also endorsed Bowman and Booker. “Progressives have already won by simply being in contention in all these races and we’ll be ecstatic if we get a straight out victory in any one of them,” noted Democracy for American communications director Neil Sroka. He added that “winning all three would be like finding out you’d won the lottery, while you nabbed a royal flush on the river card just after hitting the jackpot on the slots.”

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Progressive group backs Booker in Kentucky Senate primary

By Tal Axelrod - 06/17/20 01:00 PM EDT

Democracy for America (DFA) announced Wednesday it is backing Booker’s bid to win the Democratic nomination over Amy McGrath because he is a “real Democrat” who will advocate for progressive causes on Capitol Hill. “Democracy for America is endorsing Charles Booker because he’s a real Democrat who can beat Mitch McConnell and isn’t afraid of taking a firm stand against Donald Trump, knows he would have voted against placing a man facing serious allegations of sexual assault on the U.S. Supreme Court, and is ready to fight for progressive ideas like Medicare for All,” DFA CEO Yvette Simpson said in an exclusive statement to The Hill. “Especially in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s murder in Louisville, Charles Booker has proven himself to be a fearless visionary and boundlessly compassionate leader with the kind of life experience we desperately need in the U.S. Senate,” said Simpson.

Romanoff touts endorsements ahead of primary against Hickenlooper
The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives raise expectations ahead of...
“When Senate insiders decide which candidate they’re going to bless with their endorsement and the millions in contributions that come with it, the critical experience that a young Black man who has lost family members to gun violence, like Charles Booker, might bring with him to the Senate never enters the equation. And, that narrow vision leaves Congress and our country weaker," she added.

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Left eyes huge night in NY, Kentucky primaries

By Max Greenwood - 06/22/20 06:00 AM EDT

“If you see all three of them win, it’ll be like lightning struck a house on fire in the middle of an earthquake,” said Neil Sroka, the communications director for the progressive political action committee Democracy for America, which has endorsed Bowman, Jones and Booker in their respective primaries.

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Bowman holds double-digit lead over Engel in NY primary

Tal Axelrod

"Tonight's primary victory not only sets Mondaire Jones on the path to becoming the first Black, openly gay member of Congress, it also sets him up to be one of the U.S. House's newest champions for progressive priorities like the Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and robust criminal justice reform," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, which endorsed him.

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Trump bruised as polls favour Biden – but experts warn of risk of dirty tricks

David Smith

Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “We already know he’s actively solicited the help of a foreign government in this election from the Bolton book.”

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Why do Trump and allies repost racist messaging and will it help his reelection effort?

Terrance Smith and Will Steakin

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, told ABC News he believes Trump and his allies are doubling down on racist messaging in order to reach a core group of supporters who've backed him throughout his presidency, saying "that coalition is fueled by racism and fear."

Chamberlain said it's a key reason Trump won in 2016.

"They were able to mobilize the racist base in the Republican Party," he said, arguing it continues to be a central part of their strategy in 2020.

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Movement For Black Lives

Luc Gninyomo

The Movement for Black Lives received further support from Democracy for America following the release of its policy platform. One of the primary goals of the Movement for Black Lives is to promote a democracy that is more representative of black communities in America. Various political organizations have stood in solidarity with MBL because, according to Democracy for America, it is seen as “an ideal catalyst for the substantive, results-oriented conversations the current and future leaders of the Democratic Party must have with the communities they serve.”

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Progressives steamrolled across the Senate map

Politico

Left-leaning groups and the party aren't always at odds. Democracy For America has endorsed candidates ranging from Sweet in Maine to Theresa Greenfield, the national party's pick who won the Iowa primary last week. Yvette Simpson, the CEO of DFA, said they view it as a long game, supporting left-leaning candidates while also prioritizing winning back the chamber.

“In a state where a progressive should win, we support, strongly, progressives to win," she said. "Some of these seats we know are going to be more difficult. So we endorse a candidate who agrees with progressive principles but may not be the quote-unquote traditional, what people think of as progressive, because we need to win these seats.”

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Democratic Leaders Play Catch-Up On Black Lives Matter Movement

HuffPost

“There is still a huge gap” between what activists are calling for and what Democratic leaders are saying, said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive political action and grassroots organizing group Democracy for America.

“We only take action when something has happened and that action is generally temporary and changes when political wind changes and when political leadership changes,” Simpson said of the Democratic Party’s response to police brutality, noting that many of these protests are taking place in Democratic-run cities that have long failed to reckon with their problematic policing practices.

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Renewed skepticism of law enforcement dims Klobuchar, Harris, Demings VP nod

ABC News

“Black Americans -- and certainly a growing number of white Americans -- are not trusting people who have a history in law enforcement,” said Yvette Simpson, an ABC News contributor and the CEO of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee that endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president.

“It’s going to be challenging for Biden and for any of those candidates to make a case for why they should be the choice.”

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Trump again stokes racial divides, a reality at odds with his efforts to court black voters

ABC News

“It defies all logic and reason for Donald Trump to try to court black voters while trying to win white votes by calling black people 'thugs' and amplifying racial violence,” Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America and ABC News contributor said.

“The Trump campaign's attempts to win black votes aren't about serving black people, they're about distracting the public (and especially white voters) from the image of an incompetent president who used bigotry and racial resentment to fuel his political rise, and who continues to fuel the fire of hate and racism today,” Simpson told ABC News.

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Months Before Election, Liberal Groups Press Biden on Picks for Economic Posts

The New York Times

Progressives said Biden has an opportunity to show his commitment to improving the country through his choices for the economic posts. “People whose lives don’t change cycle to cycle aren’t necessarily motivated just to beat Trump,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the advocacy group Democracy For America. “Unity doesn’t mean one of the parts dominates and the rest is silent.”

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Why The Joe Biden–Stacey Abrams Rumors Won't Go Away

BuzzFeed

Neil Sroka, the national spokesperson for Democracy for America, called Abrams’ “we all do better when we all do better” message “perfectly resonant” with Democratic politics. He said Abrams’ understanding of the importance of that style of campaigning and her commitment to building her campaign to reflect it was the reason his progressive organization endorsed her early in her 2018 primary fight.

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Sanders urged to share vaunted donor list with Biden

The Hill

Neil Sroka, a strategist for the progressive group Democracy for America, said that handing the list over would degrade it and lead to diminishing returns, resulting in Sanders’s base of grass-roots supporters giving less money to the liberal causes they support financially.

“The idea that all Bernie Sanders has to do here is turn over his email list so they can pillage it and batter it until it spits out gold coins is absolutely ridiculous,” Sroka said.

“As someone who wants Joe Biden to beat Trump, you want to find ways to help, and connecting supporters to Biden to make contributions is an important and useful way that Sanders can demonstrate the value of the movement he’s built. That’s why Bernie is calling on Joe Biden to meet the moment with more progressive policies, because they’re good policies and will also help him earn the enthusiastic support of the grass-roots liberals he’ll need to win in November.”

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Biden plans to stay home, testing limits of virtual campaign

Yahoo News

Yvette Simpson, who leads the progressive group Democracy for America, said she’s “very concerned” she cannot see “how we’re going to engage people.” She said the campaign has squandered time since Biden took command of the primary in early March.

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Joe Biden is looking for a running mate. Many Democrats have strong ideas - and few agree.

The Washington Post

“It raises serious questions as to how seriously the Biden campaign is considering progressive candidates,” said Neil Sroka, the communications director for Democracy for America, a liberal organization that backed Sanders in the primaries.

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