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Grim writes: "Democratic chiefs of staff gathered on Thursday for a retreat to hash out strategy for the coming year and orient themselves in Washington. One of the key agenda items: 'How to Engage Downtown.'"

Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of House Democrats' campaign arm. (photo: Todd Wevaert/AP)
Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of House Democrats' campaign arm. (photo: Todd Wevaert/AP)


A Retreat for Democrats and K Street Lobbyists

By Ryan Grim, The Intercept

10 June 19

 

emocratic chiefs of staff gathered on Thursday for a retreat to hash out strategy for the coming year and orient themselves in Washington. One of the key agenda items: “How to Engage Downtown.”

“Downtown” in Washington is a reference to K Street, where the city’s lobbying industry has set up shop. Downtown is the destination for many a chief of staff in their post-congressional career, and that knowledge — as much or even more than campaign contributions — helps shape legislative strategies.

The annual retreat is hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat. A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., referred questions on the retreat to the DCCC, which didn’t immediately respond. The Washington retreat concludes with a happy hour, at which the chiefs can “meet members of the DC Downtown Community.”

The “downtown community,” on the panel on how to engage with lobbyists, is represented at the retreat by Jonathan Smith, an Uber lobbyist and former chief of staff to a House Democrat, as well as Virgil Miller, a lobbyist with Akin Gump, a powerhouse firm in Washington.

There is no agenda item focused on how to engage with the new progressive energy in the party pushing for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, or other sweeping reforms.

The retreat, while part management training, also included political advice of questionable value, sources there said. Fighting President Donald Trump over impeachment or immigration plays into his hands, the chiefs were told, so it’s better to stick to terrain that’s safe for Democrats, such as shoring up the Affordable Care Act and lowering drug prices. Decrying corruption in Washington, they were advised, merely breeds cynicism, which can hurt Democrats.

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+16 # Ramon 2019-06-10 23:47
The Democratic leadership, i.e., the Clintonistas. haven't learned and seemingly can't learn. They really need to be replaced, root and branch, and soon. Abject capitulation to corporate lobbyists is about the most tone-deaf thing they can do right now, Everyone knows they are worthless.
 
 
+4 # tedrey 2019-06-11 04:20
Even if they win, we lose.
 
 
+5 # economagic 2019-06-11 06:00
The fossil fools continue true to form. If they cannot be overcome, it will almost assure runaway climate collapse. Three possible avenues to disrupt their plans:

1. Mass mobilization within the party to force the fools to accept a non-fool as a presidential candidate in 2020.

2. Mass mobilization by the public to force the fools to accept a non-fool as a presidential candidate in 2020.

3. Mass mobilization by the public to create and advance a third-party presidential candidate in 2020, either from scratch or by a massive abandonment by people who voted Democratic as recently as 2000 or 2004 in favor of the Green Party, in either case with an option on the table at the outset to steal a strong candidate willing to bolt from the Democratic party on the chance of restoring the democracy that the "Democratic" party officially abandoned 25 years ago.
 
 
0 # revhen 2019-06-11 07:57
It's all screwy madness.
 
 
+10 # IAMMe 2019-06-11 09:36
Well, doesn't that figure. Vote more progressive Dems in!
 
 
+3 # DongiC 2019-06-11 16:41
The DCCC is a study in absurdity. If they can't see the political tsunami that is coming, and that first struck in November 2018, then, they should lose their position in choosing candidates for political office. It would be nice if the Progressives could turn K street back into a normal thoroughfare by financing all federal campaigns and prohibiting any other funds be used in the campaign process. That would a long way in breaking their haughty power, the corporations I mean.
 
 
+1 # economagic 2019-06-12 20:20
"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."

Bob Dylan, c. 1964. Web search (duckduckgo) for the first two verses.
 

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