DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren sell differing messages in each other's backyards

Liz Goodwin

Charles Chamberlain, the chair of the grass-roots liberal group Democracy for America, said it can be risky for Democrats to campaign on a return-to-normalcy message. “Democrats are hungry for real change and I would argue that’s part of why we lost in 2016,” he said.

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Bernie Sanders, Once the Progressive Outlier, Joins a Crowded Presidential Field

SYDNEY EMBER

"A lot of people still believe he is the one who can take trump out," said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the political group Democracy for America. The bigger question now, she said, is "how does he distinguish himself in that bigger field?"

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Sanders seeks 2020 nomination from Democratic Party that has veered left since 2016 loss

Stephen Loiaconi

Yvette Simpson, executive director of Democracy for America, a political action committee that endorsed Sanders in 2016, applauded him for driving a transformative grassroots movement, but she noted supporters of a progressive agenda have more choices this time around—including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

“With Sanders joining Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and a number of others, we're more confident than ever that Democrats will find the candidate we need to defeat Trump and start delivering the kind of economic, social, and racial justice needed to improve real people's lives,” Simpson said in a statement.

 

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2020 Democrats embrace populist message against corporations and the wealthy

Athena Jones

With Sanders considering a second bid and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who built her political career railing against big corporations, already in the race, any perceived closeness to Wall Street will likely be seized upon in a crowded field of candidates looking to differentiate themselves from one another.
"It's going to matter, and it's going to be an issue," said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the progressive group Democracy for America. "In the minds of Democratic activists, the big problem in American politics today is the power that millionaires, billionaires and the wealthy, powerful industries have over our politics. That's where willingness to confront powerful interests is going to be an important point of differentiation."

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Democrats' coveted 2020 prize? It may be endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez

David Smith

Neil Sroka, communications director of the progressive group Democracy for America, said: “She’s built a profile with a savvy way beyond her years, but she also has an agenda that feels right for the moment. AOC does not exist without the bold, inclusive, populist agenda she’s pushing. The vitriol she has inspired speaks to how afraid everyone is; Republicans see her as representing a country they don’t even know how to speak to.”

Experts predict that, by polling day in November 2020, millennials will have overtaken baby boomers to become the biggest voter-eligible age group. Sroka noted: “Millennials are not a young age group any more. I’m 35 in April and I’ve got a wife, a child and a house in Michigan. AOC is 29 and speaks to the range of millennial experiences. There is no one national figure more directly attractive to millennials and that’s what makes her such a potentially powerful endorser in the primary.”

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Great War Between American Billionaires

NLD.COM.VN

"I don't think Michael Bloomberg will win the support of the Democratic Committee for America (DFA - a radical political action committee) if he looks at his connections with Wall Street" - Mr. Neil Sroka, a DFA spokesman, said. "It will be difficult for any billionaire (to run for election) because of concerns about the impact of money on politics."

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DFA on Trump Border Speech: U.S. Has 'National Security Disaster in Oval Office,' Not Crisis

Targeted News Service

"America doesn't have a national security crisis on our southern border, we have a national security disaster in the Oval Office.

"The bizarre rant Donald Trump delivered tonight was not only a dangerous escalation of white supremacist fear-mongering, it was a crystal clear indication that there is no limit to the lies he's willing to tell or the American families he's willing to hold hostage to pursue his racist agenda.

"Americans sent a historic, progressive wave to Washington last November, because they wanted leaders in Congress committed to fighting for an inclusive populist agenda, standing up to Donald Trump, and stopping the monument to bigotry, hate, and division he's obsessed with constructing on our southern border.

"As they fight to get more than 800,000 federal workers back to work and stand strong against a senseless border wall being built, Democrats are being the kind of leaders America needs. It's time for Congressional Republicans to quit their cowering, find their backbones, and join them."

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Why the sexist 'likability test' could haunt female candidates in 2020

David Smith

Neil Sroka, the communications director of the progressive group Democracy for America, notes that in 2016 Sanders had a “gruff demeanor” but pulled off a “curmudgeonly grandfather” act that proved popular. “That wouldn’t work for a female candidate and that speaks to sexism. There is a double standard.”

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Democratic leaders face backlash if they compromise on wall

Alexander Bolton

Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democratic control of the House to put a check on Trump on exactly this kind of reckless behavior," said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of Democracy for America, a grassroots liberal advocacy group.

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Elizabeth Warren sticks to her talking points as she steps forward

Erin Durkin

“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s formal entrance into the 2020 race for president today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead,” said Charles Chamberlain, the Democracy for America executive director.

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Elizabeth Warren declares she is running for US President

Denyse O'Leary

Our country needs a 2020 Democratic nominee defined by bold, inclusive populist ideas and a vision for the future of the country that wins the support of the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters.

“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s formal entrance into the 2020 race for President today helps launch what we believe will be a vibrant discussion of bold, inclusive populist ideas in the Democratic Primary, and we look forward to the wide array of progressive candidates that we expect to join her in it in the year ahead.” — Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

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Progressive groups launch ads, website to draft Gallego for Arizona Senate

Laura Barrón-López

“Whether at home in Arizona or serving in the Marines in Iraq, Ruben Gallego is a battle-tested patriot who has always put the interests and needs of his constituents first,” said Latino Victory Fund President Cristóbal J. Alex and Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson, in a statement first provided to POLITICO. 

"Arizonans deserve a leader who reflects the state’s rich diversity — someone who understands what it’s like to grow up poor, to work hard to achieve his potential and to selflessly devote his life to his country and community.”

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2020 Democrats Agree: They're Very, Very Sorry

Astead W. Herndon and Sydney Ember

“There is no perfect progressive candidate, there is no perfect anyone,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, a political group that is trying to build grass-roots support for the Democratic nominee.

“We’ve also got to give people grace and space to grow and to acknowledge that,” she added. “I’m always open and willing to hear how people grow.”

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Elizabeth Warren tries to quell DNA controversy with apology

Sahil Kapur Bloomberg News

“She was likely damned if she did respond and damned if she didn’t,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive activist group Democracy For America. “It’s never too late to do the right thing and that’s exactly what Warren did” by apologizing, he said.

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Democrats in presidential race call on Virginia governor to quit over KKK photo

Hernan Porras Molina

“After his refusal this evening to be completely transparent about his past actions, it’s clear that Ralph Northam has no business remaining Governor of Virginia,” Chamberlain said in a statement.

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Cory Booker thinks his message of love can win back the White House. Will angry Dems listen?

Claude Brodesser-Akner

"“Candidates have been calling themselves ‘progressive' all over the political spectrum because they realize that’s where the energy and momentum is in the Democratic Party,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for the left-leaning advocacy Democracy for America, which grew out of Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont’s 2004 bid for the White House.

“But 'progressive’ in politics has become like ‘whole grain’ in cereals ," Sroka said. "So Democrats are like, ‘Yeah, I want that, but I need more before I trust you just because you call yourself that.’ 

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Michael Bloomberg Earned $48 Billion and Eternal Adoration From Wall Street. But Does Anyone Else Want Him to Be President?

Aaron Timms

“Giuliani’s endorsement probably makes him DOA for the nomination right there,” argues Charles Chamberlain of Democracy for America, a progressive group that endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary.

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As she baits billionaires, Warren tries to make mark

Liz Goodwin

“You couldn’t invent a more obtuse, narcissistic foil for Elizabeth Warren than Howard Schultz,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the liberal group Democracy for America. “The only thing better is if the Koch brothers decided they were also going to run.”

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Kamala Harris' prosecutor past threatens 2020 White House bid

S.A. Miller

“Black women have long been the backbone of the Democratic Party, and having a progressive trailblazer like Sen. Harris in this race will play a crucial role in ensuring our voices are heard loud and clear in this primary,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive officer of Democracy for America.

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Sherrod Brown Wants to Win Over Workers, But Can He Win Over Progressives?

Andy Kroll

“If your path to victory is about twisting some mythical Trump voter’s arm, we’re not interested,” Chamberlain says. “We’re interested in candidates who are expanding the electorate, who understand that black and brown voters are a crucial constituency of our party.”

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In 2020 campaign, several top Democrats vow not to take super PAC donations

Seth McLaughlin

“A presidential candidate having a super PAC pushing them in the 2020 race I think is going to be a bigger liability than a lot of people might appreciate because of the disgust the Democratic base has with money in politics and the control that the wealthy try to have through super PACs,” Mr. Sroka said. “This is the kind of the thing where a wink and a nod is not going to work.”

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Warren stakes out 2020 ground with wealth-tax proposal

Naomi Jagoda

“Big bold ideas that capture people’s imagination and allow them to see the different world that would be possible with a progressive leader at the helm of the country [are] going to be really important,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America.

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Beto O'Rourke's campaign-in-waiting awaits his signal

David Siders

O’Rourke has not yet said whether he will run for president, and the effort to draft him remains much smaller than the unsuccessful campaign to draw Elizabeth Warren into the presidential race in 2016. Before that presidential election, the influential progressive groups Democracy for America and MoveOn organized opened offices in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire and collected 365,000 signatures before abandoning the effort.

Still, the list-building and organizing work O’Rourke’s supporters are doing on O’Rourke’s behalf could give him a “leg up,” said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of DFA.

After the nearly $1.5 million effort to draw Warren into the 2016 contest disbanded, Chamberlain said, DFA’s next choice, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, “basically took the infrastructure that we built for Run Warren Run,” including staffers in Iowa and New Hampshire.

For O’Rourke, Chamberlain said, “It does give a chance to do some pre-organizing before an announcement.”

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After joining Senate, Gillibrand shifted rapidly to the left

Elise Viebeck

"If we're going to be the party who believes women - and I think we should - Kirsten took a courageous position and that should be acknowledged," said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a liberal political action committee.

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Booker tries to shake doubts about pharmaceutical ties ahead of 2020

Peter Sullivan

“It is meaningful that he recognized the error of his ways and has come in support of some important reforms of the pharmaceutical industry,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive group Democracy for America.

“But there’s overriding concern about Cory Booker’s willingness to confront corporate power in all of its forms,” Sroka added, referencing his positions on Wall Street and education in addition to drugs.

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Bernie Sanders faces scrutiny as he weighs 2020 run

Mary Alice Parks

Yvette Simpson, the new chief executive officer for Democracy for America, a large progressive organization that endorsed Sanders’ 2016 campaign, told ABC News over the phone the story now was “still developing” and that it was “too early to tell” any real impacts on the voters yet. Simpson said she appreciated the Senator’s apology and understood there was a solid effort underway to “prevent this from happening again.”

“We expect to hear more things like this about all of the candidates as this race progresses, and we want to make sure we give space and grace for folks to acknowledge those things and correct those things,” she said. “We do not expect the progressive candidate or the Democratic nominee to be perfect or to have done everything perfectly, but when challenges arise and mistakes are made, we do expect them to acknowledge them and make corrections,” she continued.

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DFA on Trump Border Speech: U.S. Has 'National Security Disaster in Oval Office,' Not Crisis

Targeted News Service

"America doesn't have a national security crisis on our southern border, we have a national security disaster in the Oval Office.

"The bizarre rant Donald Trump delivered tonight was not only a dangerous escalation of white supremacist fear-mongering, it was a crystal clear indication that there is no limit to the lies he's willing to tell or the American families he's willing to hold hostage to pursue his racist agenda.

"Americans sent a historic, progressive wave to Washington last November, because they wanted leaders in Congress committed to fighting for an inclusive populist agenda, standing up to Donald Trump, and stopping the monument to bigotry, hate, and division he's obsessed with constructing on our southern border.

"As they fight to get more than 800,000 federal workers back to work and stand strong against a senseless border wall being built, Democrats are being the kind of leaders America needs. It's time for Congressional Republicans to quit their cowering, find their backbones, and join them."

 

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Warren Kicks Off 2020 Bid, Vows to End System 'Rigged' by Rich

Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg

“While it probably would have been more helpful to respond more quickly after hearing how her response impacted folks in the Native American community, it’s never too late to do the right thing,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the activist group Democracy For America.

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Black Republicans Told Us Why They're Sticking with Trump

Janae Price

That doesn’t meant Democrats have always done right by black voters. Yvette Simpson, a former Cincinnati City Council member and the CEO of the progressive PAC Democracy for America feels that white Democratic politicians have a set formula that often feels contrived. “Traditionally white Democrats interact with black voters by going to church, getting in the pulpit, and saying a whole bunch of things black voters want to hear,” she said. But once the ballots have been cast, some of those politicians don’t revisit those same black areas and don’t deliver on the promises they made.

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Sanders risks getting crowded out in 2020 field of progressives

The Star

Members of Democracy for America, which grew out of Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, overwhelmingly voted to endorse Sanders in 2016, even though Dean supported Clinton. Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the group, said it’s unclear whether any candidate will gain the support of a supermajority of members, the threshold required for an endorsement.

“We have a much wider field this time and it’s going to be way more important for each candidate to express with clarity what their progressive positions are,” Chamberlain said. “Whereas in 2016 it was pretty straightforward.”

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