I was trawling through the Podesta e-mail dump on WikiLeaks looking for something else. Then, out of the blue, I stumbled on an e-mail chain between Bill De Blasio, John Podesta and the Hill columnist Brent Budowsky from 2016.
It reminded me, once again, how many similarities the Deplorables and Bernie Bros share in common. Chief amongst them – how the controlling interests always seek to manipulate their voices and steal their money. And how often the media are the entity to conjure up the means.
On St. Patrick’s day, 2016, Budowsky pitched an idea to John Podesta. John Podesta, for anyone who doesn’t remember, was Chairman of the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign at the time. Also, he was a former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton and then a special counsel to President Obama until 2015. DNC royalty in other words.
At that time, Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential campaign corpse was still fresh in the grave. Budowsky was already scheming up ways to hit the mourners up for some cash. It is very enlightening to read this email in 2020.
Email 1: Budowsky to Podesta.
Please think about this and feel free to share it. My column in The Hill.
It is no secret that I support Hillary without profound enthusiasm and
have spent months praising Bernie with huge enthusiasm. I have a ton of
credibility with Bernie, his senior staff and above all his grassroots and small donor base, who consider me the mainstream columnist who has given
Bernie the most fair shake in the media.
Now, I am beginning to cash in the chips by setting the stage carefully
and tactfully for Bernie’s people to gravitate to Hillary by convention
time. Most but not all of them will support Hillary, some will stay home,
I worry about the younger people especially who do not view politics as we
The next thing I am doing to suggest is an idea I slipped into the column
today to get Bernie people thinking—for him to create a People’s PAC to
amass small donors to support liberal Democrats for the House and Senate in November.
Bernie’s small donor base has revolutionary potential. $42 million in
February alone. Their natural tendency after the primaries will be to
largely disperse. Some, but not a huge number, will give to Hillary.
The next thing I intend to propose is that Bernie, Elizabeth Warren and
Bill de Blasio announce before the convention the People’s PAC, raise a
huge amount of money from small donors using the convention as a launching
pad, to support liberal Dems in the House and Senate (and Hillary).
The convention itself would be an ideal launching pad combining old and
new media, television and social media, for fundraising and organizing. A
reasonable goal would be to raise from small donors $100 million to $200
million which could help elect some very key liberals to the House and
Senate. That’s a lot of dough to influence 8 key Senate races and 35 swing
House races and would make a material difference in who controls Congress.
The project would help fuse together the Clinton and Sanders people, and
Democrats in the presidential and Congressional campaigns using the
convention as an organizing and motivating vehicle.
The writings above are worrying for a number of reasons. Firstly it speaks to columnists role in our politics. Budowsky, consistently refers to his media scribblings as proof of his credibility as a liberal and as the Bernie Bros cheerleader in chief. This email reveals what he looks like when the mask slips. And in my opinion, what he looks like is a self interested, self regarding mercenary.
Secondly, the e-mail touts this idea of creating a Peoples PAC. It has all the hallmarks of someone grovelling to remain relevant and who doesn’t mind using Bernie supporters and their cash to do it. To me, it reeks of contempt for the people of whom, he professes to be the mainstream media ” champion “.
Creating a liberal Super PAC so late in the game ( at the 2016 convention) was never going to be much use to the liberal, Bernie agenda in that election cycle. The candidates were already chosen. Any grass-roots movement would have sought to influence the choosing of more leftist candidates in the Democratic primaries. Indeed that came in the 2018 House elections and ushered in the likes of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and others.
Just in case anyone is in any doubt about whether I am being a tad harsh on the Hill columnist this quote is my get out of Jail free card.
Bernie’s small donor base has revolutionary potential. $42 million in
Their money as opposed to their ideas are what the author finds revolutionary. Indeed.
Bill De Blasio loved this crude idea and scheme, one that essentially pilfers not only Bernie supporters votes but also their money – to help get Hillary Clinton elected. Podesta’s concern about it merely revolved around the optics.
It’s good reminder as the 2020 Presidential campaign kicks off in earnest. Votes are never enough for these people. They must also hit you hard in the pocket. It would be futile to think that certain Republican entities do not also engage in the same behaviour. So keep your eyes open in this election cycle. The small donor base has huge cache. Whether it is the Bernie Bros on the left or The Deplorables on the right. It speaks to grass-root support which in turn leads to election day mobilization.
Trump’s success in 2016 was in part due, to his ability to steer clear of this type of back room politicking. But let us continue and see how Podesta and De Blasio responded to the Budowsky pitch.
Email 2: John Podesta to Bill De Blasio
*Date: *Thu, 17 Mar 2016 11:09:01 -0400
*To: *Bill de Blasio>
*Subject: *Fwd: John and Roy
What do you think of the People’s PAC idea described below? Think it would work? I am sure our team would view it as competition and try to strangle it, but I think it might have merit.
Email 3: Bill De Blasio to John Podesta
*From: * “Bill de Blasio” <firstname.lastname@example.org >
*Date: *Thu, 17 Mar 2016 17:42:26 +0000 >
*To: *John Podesta<email@example.com
On first blush, I think it has A LOT of merit. It would give Bernie followers a way to connect that would then be a good gateway to getting
them more comfortable with Hillary. We need to keep continuity with them.
And the money will be left on the table otherwise. This really could help
Hillary get a Dem Senate and help create the progressive counter-weight
she’ll need to move much of her program. I stand ready to help build this.
” And the money will be left on the table otherwise “
God forbid that people who have only a little – keep it in their own pockets. Especially when it would be used for a candidate they hate. The De Blasio phrasing above has a certain dark beauty to it too. The imagery of a casino owner and the poor suckers spending a weekend in Vegas. Fools and their money must be parted!
That’s what the Democratic Party tried to do to Bernie supporters in 2016. No doubt, somehow and someway they are trying to do it with Bernie supporters again in 2020. Who knows maybe this time round AOC is the delivery weapon.
Link to Wikileaks E-mail Thread below
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