Credo Action

Tell the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: Stop attacking progressive values

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The petition to DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján reads:

“Democrats should fight for progressive values and offer a clear contrast to Trump and the Republican Party. Stop undermining progressive values.”

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    Tell the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: Stop attacking progressive values

    A pair of recent communications from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to Democratic candidates for Congress read as if they could have been written by the NRA or the health insurance industry.

    Last April, the DCCC used a misleading poll to urge Democratic congressional candidates not to support a Medicare For All, single-payer health care system.1 Then, immediately following the horrific mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, the DCCC urged Democratic candidates not to “politicize” the shooting and to instead offer their “thoughts/prayers on social media.”2

    The DCCC should be encouraging Democratic candidates for Congress to fight for what is right and offer a clear contrast to Republicans, not undermining and attacking progressive values.

    Tell the DCCC: Stop attacking progressive values.

    This isn’t the first time the DCCC’s response to a mass shooting could have come came straight out of the NRA’s playbook. In an email to candidates following the tragic shooting in Las Vegas in October, a DCCC communications staffer urged candidates in all caps: “DO NOT POLITICIZE IT TODAY” – echoing a common demand from Republicans and the extremists at the NRA.3 Meanwhile, as several recent polls have shown, gun control legislation is supported by a vast majority of Americans, which is higher now than it has been in decades.4 As Sen. Chris Murphy recently pointed out, “no Democrat should be worried about talking about policy changes in the wake of these mass shootings.”5

    These disturbing revelations about the DCCC’s efforts to undermine progressive values came as advocates began asking tough questions about the fact that not a single one of the DCCC’s 24 House candidates in its top-tier “Red to Blue” program is Black.6 It’s yet another poignant reminder of the DCCC’s failure to live up to progressive values.

    Tell the DCCC: Stop attacking progressive values.

    The DCCC’s anti-progressive agenda has real consequences. As the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, the DCCC raises millions of dollars and provides vital campaign support for dozens of candidates around the country. When the DCCC urges those candidates to shy away from progressive policy positions like the need for strong gun control laws or Medicare for All, some of them will feel compelled to listen and adopt less progressive policy positions. If the DCCC cannot identify, nurture and support candidates of color, it will be perpetuating the very white supremacy that progressives should be committed to fighting against.

    We will not create the world we believe in unless elected officials are willing to take clear, unequivocal stands for progressive values. Right now, the DCCC's advice to candidates is standing in the way of progress. That’s why we’re joining our friends at Justice Democrats to demand that the DCCC immediately stop its shortsighted and unhelpful attacks on progressive values.

    1. Zaid Jilani, "DCCC Internal Polling Presented to Members of Congress Panned Single-Payer Health Care." The Intercept, Feb. 27, 2018.
    2. Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates To ‘Be Careful’ With Initial Comments On Parkland Shooting." HuffPost, Feb. 28, 2018.
    3. Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting." HuffPost, Feb. 27, 2018.
    4. Steven Shepard, "Gun control support surges in polls." Politico, Feb. 28, 2018.
    5. Daniel Marans, "DCCC Advised Candidates Not To Discuss Gun Control Policy Right After Vegas Shooting." HuffPost, Feb. 27, 2018.
    6. Darren Sands, "Group Asks DCCC: Why Haven't You Endorsed Any Black Candidates In The Midterms Target Program?." BuzzFeed News, Feb. 23, 2018.