How to Buy a Seat in Congress 101

counterpunch.org · by Nick Pemberton – APRIL 24, 2018

Photo by Coco Curranski | CC BY 2.0

Dan Feehan has successfully bought the Democratic nomination for Minnesota’s first congressional district (MN-CD1). Dan, having lived outside the state since the age of 14, has allegedly misled the public on his FEC form, claiming residence at his cousin’s address. Here is Dan’s FEC filing form. One can see that it his cousin who lives at this address. In her endorsement of Dan, she mentions living with her husband and two children, and claims Dan as a cousin, not a housemate. His wife still works in Washington D.C. and his kids live there too.

Mr. Feehan has no chance to win in November. While nobody likes a candidate from Washington D.C., people hate Washington money even more. To be fair to Dan he hasn’t taken super PAC money, somehow. But he has raised 565,000 dollars, an outrageous sum for a congressional race. 94% of this money has come from outside the district, and 79% from outside the state. Where does this money come from? Well, according to the campaign, from people around the country who want to keep Minnesota blue. If this was the case, why not wait to give money until Minnesota voted for a candidate in the primary and then donate? And who on earth has this much money to pour into an obscure race outside of their state?

Even if we were to pretend that this money was benign small donations from interested citizens one would have to ask: what about the people in the district? Shouldn’t they have a right to choose who represents them? For all the hoopla around Russian interference, shouldn’t citizens be just as concerned about interference from Washington?

Rich people from outside of the district bought this seat. Perhaps they aren’t super PACs, or at least they found a loophole. But they are rich enough to decide this local race. Why they chose this seat is beyond me. Perhaps because they knew a slick military man who lived here for part of his childhood. Regardless of the reason, this congressional race was decided in Washington a long time ago. The rural people of Minnesota’s first congressional district, who have little time and money to spare, can only give so much to the race. We stand no chance against the Washington elites with bottomless bank accounts. In a country with grotesque inequality, the rich decide who is elected to office. And because of this, the rich get richer.

MN-CD1 is a district is full of farmers who are being left behind by the Washington establishment. Dan speaks in vague mantras only. In contrast look at local candidate Rich Wright’s thoughtful and specific goals for farmers. To quote from his website: “1. Ensuring adequate safety nets for farmers, including crop insurance that fully covers unforeseen losses. 2. Helping young farmers enter agriculture as a career. 3. Investing in diverse farming, such as organic and sustainable crops, to meet demand. 4, Appropriating funds for rural development and infrastructure.” Big city neoliberals think they have the answers, which is fine, but they have no right to decide elections for the people of MN-CD1.

Establishment Democrats have failed to reach rural communities. They do not consider farmers or any citizen of the rural communities to be an important part of their platform, or even their constituency. They have often been quite insulting and dismissive to rural communities. And of course, under the rule of both corporate parties, life for family farmers is becoming more and more challenging. Fox News may call it the liberal war against the family, but it is really the corporate war against the family. The Democrats aren’t brave enough to seriously go after what passes as “family values” in this country, they only go after a family’s means to live. . .

Dan Feehan is of the same breed that most post-Trump Democrats are. Clean cut, military experience, stern, anti-gun, anti-crazy Orange monsters, anti-negativity, and anti-discrimination of rich people who fall under a marginalized group. What are they for? No one knows. If pushed they want “good” education, health care, jobs, environment, etc. But they want Big money too for various reasons, but the ones cited are: because that is the only way to win, because rich people are smart and poor people are dumb, and because money is speech. So they cannot and will not make any concrete commitments. Hence energy becomes “all inclusive”, as if balancing clean and dirty energy was a college admissions department diversity issue, rather than a question of life or death for the entire planet. Healthcare becomes not a right, but a requirement with a giant handout to insurance companies. Near full employment (with the near being very important, when we consider leverage) comes with part-time, short-term, and low paying work. . .

 

via How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101

10 thoughts on “How to Buy a Seat in Congress 101

  1. O steps forward and 3 steps back. Dats murica. No democracy. The oligarchs whether repuke of demcrap in flavor want it all. In a time like the last great depression, where the few own half or more of everything. No decent jobs, young unemployed, unaffordable rent housing, endless war, little or no accessible healthcare.

    FROM jeff St Clair of Counterpunch twitter
    She’s a loser
    She’s a loser
    She’s not what she appears to be…

    Pelosi defends party intervention in Democratic primaries
    washingtonpost.com
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/powerpost/wp/2018/04/26/pelosi-defends-party-intervention-in-democratic-primaries/?utm_term=.8285a0a45efb&__twitter_impression=true

    Like

    • Worse still, Doug, the Democrats aren’t even campaigning on unemployment, unaffordable rent, housing or inaccessible healthcare. They’re campaigning on identity issues, such as gay marriage and transgender rights, or a wedge issue like gun control.

      Like

  2. 99% of the rich 20 or 30%, are mainly the repugs and hillcrats of murica. They simply see the rest of us as expendible and war fodder.

    Like

  3. I feel affirmed by Pemberton’s article. Dan Feehan is not on my “2018 Progressive Candidates” list. (Rich Wright is.) If you go to Feehan’s website, you’ll see he claims support for universal health care, one of the criteria for the list. However, his health care verbiage referenced “the individual market.” That scared me off, in terms of his progressive leanings.

    Not to say I have infallible judgement, but after reviewing nearly 1000 political candidate websites in the last 4 months, I can tell anyone: Ignore the impressions. Read, or listen to, the words. If in doubt (about where a candidate stands), do without. It is the candidate’s responsibility to clearly communicate their priorities.

    If interested in the list, go to my website. There’s a link in the upper-left.

    Liked by 1 person

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