A grass-roots Democratic group that helped power the upset victory of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has identified a Texas Democrat as its first target ahead of the 2020 congressional primaries — but as of now, Ocasio-Cortez herself is staying neutral.
Justice Democrats, a political committee founded after the 2016 election to reshape the Democratic Party through primary challenges, is working to recruit a challenger to Rep. Henry Cuellar, a seven-term congressman from a strongly Democratic district who’s one of the few anti-abortion-rights voices in the party’s House conference.
In a statement, the group compared Texas’s 28th Congressional District, which gave the president just 38.5 percent of the vote in 2016, to other districts where left-leaning candidates have unseated incumbents. It is launching a “primary Cuellar fund” to encourage any potential candidate that there will be resources if he or she jumps into the race.
“There’s an Ocasio-Cortez and [Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna] Pressley in blue districts across America, tired of seeing long-standing incumbents serve corporate interests, work with Trump’s agenda, and work against the progressive movement,” said Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats. “These grass-roots leaders just need a little bit of encouragement and support.”
Cuellar’s office did not respond to a question from The Washington Post, but he has long been seen as a target for the party’s left wing as it works to build its bench. Last year, after a left-wing primary challenger to Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) was narrowly defeated, Cuellar told The Post that he would hold his seat in any primary.
“They came after me twice, and I beat ’em,” Cuellar said. “LBJ used to say: What’s the difference between a cannibal and a liberal Democrat? Cannibals don’t eat their own.”
The Justice Democrats’ campaign to oust “corporate Democrats” was restarted after the 2018 elections, with Ocasio-Cortez, one of her party’s biggest stars, as its de facto spokeswoman. In a mid-November call with activists, Ocasio-Cortez said that they could “save this country” by either shaming incumbents out of accepting “money from oil and gas companies” or by ousting them at the polls.
“We’ve got to primary folks,” said Saikat Chakrabarti, who would become the congresswoman’s chief of staff.
But Ocasio-Cortez is not intervening in the “primary Cuellar” campaign right now. In her first days in office, the congresswoman has publicly criticized a House rule that required offsets for any spending increases, while privately working to get appointed to at least one committee with jurisdiction over taxes or health care.
While she was not appointed to the Ways and Means Committee after a left-wing campaign on her behalf, Ocasio-Cortez is expected to get a seat on the Financial Services Committee. She is not part of Justice Democrats’ primary recruitment push.
“We’re not active in their process,” said Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, a co-founder of Justice Democrats. “We’re focused on getting up and going.”
Cuellar himself arrived in Congress via a primary challenge, ousting a more liberal colleague in 2004 to win his seat. He defeated that colleague in a 2006 rematch and has been politically safe ever since.
Left-wing campaign groups, which had their greatest success last year in deep-blue districts, have pointed to the heavy Democratic advantage in Cuellar’s seat as evidence that anyone who unseated the congressman would be elected in November. Cuellar also rankled Democrats last year by helping raise money for Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.), who narrowly defeated a strong Democratic challenger in the Austin exurbs.
“South Texas is in a special position to lead the nation on immigration, renewable energy, and health care, yet Henry Cuellar has failed to do this by instead voting with Donald Trump nearly 70 percent of the time,” said Danny Diaz, an activist in the district who co-founded a voter turnout group, Cambio (Change) Texas.
Former acting CIA director explains why Trump’s inaction on Russian bounty scandal will make things worse
It was revealed nearly two weeks ago that the Russian government is paying a bounty to the Taliban for killing American soldiers.
Since then, President Donald Trump has denied that he and his administration didn't know anything about it. Then he claimed it was a hoax. Now it has become clear that the stories are not only true but that if Trump read his presidential daily briefing in 2019, he would have been aware of the problem.
Speaking to the House Thursday, Trump's former acting CIA director Michael Morell explained that things are being made far worse by the president's denial.
Here are 7 hilarious videos about wearing COVID-19 masks to send people who won’t wear them
While late-night shows are off for a Summer break, Americans are glued to TikTok and Twitter for their humor and every folks have delivered.
The latest trend is to mock fools who refuse to wear masks. While many people who refuse to wear a mask tuck their tails and sulk as they walk away, some take it to a whole new level of fury. Those precious souls are being mocked and shamed all around the world.
Here are seven videos that are hilarious or adorable that encourage wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Wearing a mask is like wearing a lifejacket.https://twitter.com/mattbooshell/status/1280933495674732544
Trump tells Fox News the ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign on Fifth Avenue is like he’s being ‘prosecuted’
President Donald Trump appeared to reveal another quid pro quo during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell pointed it out during an interview with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
"I was very nice to Mayor de Blasio. I got him ventilators when he needed them... I got him the gowns. I got him the masks. I got him everything. Then he throws a big Black Lives Matter sign right down in the middle of Fifth Avenue. I was so good to him and to Gov. Cuomo, like nobody's ever been good. And then all you end up doing out of that place is getting prosecuted."