DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Tougher debate threshold sets off scramble among 2020 Democrats

By Max Greenwood - 06/08/19 02:47 PM EDT

Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of the liberal political action committee Democracy for America, said that the new rules push candidates to build out the kind of grass-roots campaigns that Democrats need to defeat President Trump in 2020. The ones who “haven’t done what they need to do” would inevitably be weeded out of the race, he said. “To me, it really sounds like complaining because you can’t compete,” Chamberlain said. “The bottom line is for our nominee to win this election, they’re going to need to have a national grass-roots base that is 50 states strong. And they need to be building that starting from day one.” “To me, it really sounds like complaining because you can’t compete,” Chamberlain said. “The bottom line is for our nominee to win this election, they’re going to need to have a national grass-roots base that is 50 states strong. And they need to be building that starting from day one.” “I understand that that’s hard, but running for president is hard,” he said.

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It's open season on Joe Biden

DAVID SIDERS

“It’s not just a flip-flop. It’s like a double axel flip-flop, and he’s not even nailing the landing,” said Democracy for America Chairman Charles Chamberlain, whose group has supported Warren and Sanders in the past. For Biden, Chamberlain said, “It does seem like we’re hurtling ever and ever closer to the fateful day when the train completely goes off the tracks.”

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Joe Biden Mocked For Reminding Voters On 'Best Friends Day' That He's Cool With Barack Obama

Nathan Francis

Some experts believe the strategy won’t get him too far. As Charles Chamberlain, chair of progressive advocacy group Democracy for America noted, Biden will eventually have to show voters that he has progressive bona fides of his own.

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Socialism debate roils Democratic primary

Jonathan Easley

Neil Sroka, the communications director for the liberal group Democracy for America, described the centrists as a “group of older white men who think this is their best path to relevance in the primary.”

“Their argument hinges on a Republican view of the world that anything that is not greed-soaked exploitative capitalism must then be totalitarian communism,” Sroka said. “That’s the binary choice Republicans have decided on and all these old, irrelevant white men are doing is bending to that way of thinking because they believe it’s a path to victory for their campaigns.”

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The 2020 Race Is Testing Progressives' Power. They're Pushing Back.

Astead W. Herndon

Yvette Simpson, chief executive officer of the progressive grass-roots group Democracy for America, said the idea that embracing progressive policies would help Mr. Trump win was a Republican narrative with little backing. She said she believed the entire party had moved leftward, noting that even Mr. Biden had announced his campaign would reject money from lobbyists and corporate PACs. (Mr. Biden still has significant backing from wealthy Democratic donors, and he held a high-dollar fund-raiser on his first day in the presidential race.) “Biden’s ability to win should be measured against whether he excites the left of the party,” she said. “Because if he doesn’t do that — even if he wins the nomination — he won’t win the race.” It comes back to a fundamental schism among Democratic candidates over whether it is more important to win over voters lost to Mr. Trump and Republicans or to motivate the Democrats who sat out the 2016 election, including those who are younger and people of color. Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, said it would be a mistake to view the primary as a referendum on progressives. “The establishment is the establishment because they have the lion’s share of the power within the Democratic Party,” he said.

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Liberals warn Democrats risk backlash by not impeaching Trump

Alex Roarty and Michael Wilner, McClatchy Washington Bureau

“There comes a point where it’s not going to be politically tenable to stand in the way of this investigation,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the liberal group Democracy for America. “We may be reaching that point now or soon.”

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Biden Set to Begin Filling in Policy Blanks of His 2020 Campaign

Jennifer Epstein

"He’s a blank slate that’s ridden up to this primary on the coattails of a popular ex-president, so it’s very easy to project a whole host of ideas about what that means for 2020 and beyond,” said Neil Sroka, communications director of Democracy for America, a progressive activist group. “Once he actually starts having a plan and voters see how it differs from the others in the race, that’s not going to wear very well.”

 

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Biden Shows Early Strength, but Pitfalls Loom in 2020 U.S. Presidential Race

James Oliphant

"I've long said Joe Biden’s best days will be the beginning of this campaign," said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the progressive advocacy group Democracy for America.

 

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Kamala Harris Responds To People Who Question Candidates' 'Electability'

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

“Who are these people who get to determine this? And what are their backgrounds and what is their lens?” Yvette Simpson, the president of the progressive group Democracy for America, told HuffPost last month on the issue of electability in 2020. “I think for a long, long time people have convinced themselves and others that in order to win in certain places or to win at all you have to be a white guy, and the reality is that can’t be further from the truth.”

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Joe Biden is the 2020 Democratic frontrunner. Now he has a target on his back.

Aamer Madhani, Teresa Kay Albertson and Kim Norvell

The fact that so many voters remain uncommitted tspeaks volumes about where the Democratic electorate stands, said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, a left-leaning political action committee. "He hasn't yet presented a vision that will resonate with the modern electorate," Chamberlain said. “The modern Democratic Party and America is looking for fighters that want to fight the status quo, that want to fight against the power structures in D.C. While America wishes Obama were still president, no one is looking to go back to the old school Democrat platform of corporate rule. Joe Biden’s support that is there is shallow and malleable.”

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After sprint to left, some 2020 Democrats inch back toward the middle

Alex Roarty, McClatchy Washington Bureau

"During the early part of this race you had a number of corporate Democrats who were trying to masquerade as progressives because they realized it is the ascendant force in the Democratic Party," said Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America, a progressive activist group.

He added: "The challenging thing for them is the progressive wing of the party is ascendant and there is a real hunger for a nominee in 2020 who is committed to a bold, inclusive populist vision for the future of this country and not mired in the same kind of corporate Democratic talking points that have lost multiple elections and over a thousand elected seats across the country."

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Biden's entry in 2020 campaign drags Obama into spotlight

Seth McLaughlin

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, said progressives remember Mr. Obama’s willingness to try to cooperate with Republicans — and not in a good way.

“What we saw was a Republican Party that was not willing to work with Democrats,” Mr. Chamberlain said. “Obama and Biden never really got that. So one of the things that really worries me is that it looks like Biden still doesn’t get it.”

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Analysis: Biden bets on Democrats' fear of re-electing Trump

Jonathan Allen

"Our Democratic nominee can't just be against Trump," said Charles Chamberlain, chair of the group Democracy for America. "What we need to do is we need to make it clear is what it will mean if Democrats are in power."

And, he added, "A message of hope would have made a lot more sense than a message of fear."

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What the grassroots fundraising contributions reveal about the 2020 presidential race

Fox Business

"All of the candidates are gonna need a lot of money, and certainly having that money is gonna be helpful. I think what is really important about grassroots contributions is what it says about every-day, average Americans and where that support and energy is coming from. When you are able to raise a lot of money from small contributions, from a lot of people across the country, it says that you're resonating. It says that you're talking about things that matter, you're presenting a vision for how you're going to move America forward and people are backing it up with their money. That matters. That matters a lot."

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Sanders cruising, Buttigieg rising

JONATHAN EASLEY

"While these new poll results show Bernie Sanders retaining and even strengthening his support among progressives, the big shifts in support for the broad field of candidate we’ve seen over the last three months make it clear that Democracy for America members are very open to changing their minds, discovering new candidates, and reevaluating potential nominees based on the campaign they run in the months ahead,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman for DFA."

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Outraged by DCCC rule, liberal group backs Rep. Dan Lipinski's primary challenge

By Seth McLaughlin

“We proudly backed Marie Newman when she ran against Lipinksi in 2016, and the DCCC’s anti-primary blacklist policy and the impact its already having in her race made it even more important for us to get her back early in her 2020 campaign,” said Charles Chamberlin, executive director of Democracy for America.

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"It's Going to Be a Guerrilla War": The Sanders Left Opens Fire on Biden

Tina Nguyen

"Donald Trump isn’t going to hold back any punches. He’s going to attack every Democrat for everything he possibly can,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of Democracy for America, arguing in favor of a trial by fire. “I think it’s a good idea for the entire Democratic primary to be a realistic fight of what we’re going to be looking at ahead.”

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Five hurdles facing Joe Biden

By Max Greenwood - 04/26/19 06:00 AM EDT

He has yet to outline much of his policy platform, including whether he supports the kind of Medicare for all health care system touted by more liberal candidates, like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

“We haven’t yet heard from Joe Biden on these issues,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chair of the progressive political action committee Democracy for America. “We’ve heard some things from some of his surrogates and they don’t sound so good."

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Biden to face pressure on Medicare for All

By Jessie Hellmann - 04/26/19 06:00 AM EDT


“I think he’ll face pressure to stand up to the health insurance industry that has bankrupted people and done very little to control the ever rising costs of health care,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a progressive PAC founded by Howard Dean

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Dem race shows signs it could get nasty

By Jonathan Easley - 04/26/19 06:00 AM EDT

On the left, there is bitterness over how the Democratic National Committee and Clinton treated Sanders in 2016 — and worries the party will pull out all the stops to defeat progressives this time around.

It’s one reason Biden’s entry in the race is a watershed moment — and one many think will preface a more negative campaign.

“He’s a corporate Democrat, through and through,” Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of the liberal group Democracy for America, said Thursday after Biden entered the race.

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Bernie Sanders will be tested in 2020 as he never was in 2016

Ronald Brownstein

 Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, says greater debate over Sanders' ideas will make it easier for him to identify himself as the most progressive alternative in the field.
"People having to declare where they are on things like Medicare for All, and the rights for people to vote while in prison, is a phenomenal sorting mechanism for this party," Sroka says. Sroka, the Democracy for America aide, says Sanders will benefit from more engagement than in 2016 over whether to maintain private insurance.
"The point is, I think, that discussion of what it means when you say, 'Health care is a right,' vs. Joe Biden saying, 'You have a right to buy health insurance,' is a good discussion," he says. "I frankly think most people when they hear it are going to side with the progressive case."

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Biden, Beto falter in new progressive straw poll

David Siders

"While these new poll results show Bernie Sanders retaining and even strengthening his support among progressives, the big shifts in support for the broad field of candidate we’ve seen over the last three months make it clear that Democracy for America members are very open to changing their minds, discovering new candidates, and reevaluating potential nominees based on the campaign they run in the months ahead,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman for DFA."

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Democrats face 'Bernie-or-bust' dilemma

Anna Moneymaker

"It’s a pretty small minority of his support," said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the liberal activist group Democracy For America. "But when you’re dealing with an election that was as close in terms of raw votes in 2016, every vote matters. And so that matters."

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Amy Klobuchar's Big Idea: Bipartisan Appeal Can Beat Trump

Lisa Lerer

“When we talk to our members, frankly, they aren’t super excited about Senator Klobuchar,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy For America, a political action committee that backed Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary. “Voters are looking for champions, fighters, people who are going to go all the way. She has taken an approach that is unfortunately more incremental.”

 

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Barr Repeatedly Repeats No Collusion, No Conspiracy Conclusions

John Eggerton

”Attorney General Barr is not protecting the American people or the constitution with this release or his absurd press conference prior to the release of the report,” said Neil Sroka, communications director, Democracy for America. ”He’s protecting Donald Trump, the Trump family, and the criminal campaign that got Trump into the White House.” 

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Sanders courts GOP voters with 'Medicare for All' plan

Peter Sullivan

“Medicare for All is a universal issue that appeals to voters of all types,” said Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America. “I’m not terribly surprised that it got the kind of response that it did in the town hall, although it kind of seemed like it surprised the Fox News hosts.”

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`Bernie or Bust' Voters Create Predicament for Democrats in 2020

Sahil Kapur

"It’s a pretty small minority of his support," said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the liberal activist group Democracy For America. "But when you’re dealing with an election that was as close in terms of raw votes in 2016, every vote matters. And so that matters."

 

"The folks who are hardcore Bernie-only people — a good amount of that stems from the way they feel Bernie Sanders was mistreated in the 2016 primary by the Democratic establishment," Democracy for America’s Sroka said. "If there’s a fair and open process this time, that can repair a lot of those relationships. I think we’re seeing that so far."

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Left wing's frustration with Pelosi increasing

Rachael Bade & Paul Kane

“What we’re seeing here is oldguard leadership trying to marginalize some of the big change agents who were elected in 2018 because they’re afraid of what it means to their leadership in the future,” said Charles Chamberlain, chair of the liberal group Democracy for America.

Using Pelosi’s oft-repeated phrase — “Diversity is our strength and unity is our power” — Chamberlain said that when the speaker “tries to marginalize some of the newest leaders who are fighting hard . . . it’s not a good look and it’s not a smart strategy.”

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Bernie Sanders plans to reintroduce 'Medicare for All' bill

Seth McLaughlin

"I think there is a disconnect between some elected officials in Washington and the majority of not just Democrats, but Democrats, Republicans and Independents,” said Neil Sroka, of Democracy for America. “What is happening right now is frankly the folks who are running for president are more attuned with where voters are on this issue.”

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Top House Democrat Ben Ray Luján announces Senate campaign

Alex Rogers

"She's been an ardent supporter of the issues that matter the most to us — the Green New Deal, Medicare for All," added Yvette Simpson, the leader of Democracy for America. "I think it would be crazy for her not to" consider running.

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