DFA in the News

DFA in the News

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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Why The Joe Biden-Stacey Abrams Rumors Won't Go Away

Darren Sands

Neil Sroka, the national spokesperson for Democracy for America, called Abrams’ “we all do better when we all do better” message “perfectly resonant” with Democratic politics. He said Abrams’ understanding of the importance of that style of campaigning and her commitment to building her campaign to reflect it was the reason his progressive organization endorsed her early in her 2018 primary fight.

“That strategy pays dividends beyond just the new American majority because it gets lots of people excited about the possibilities of multiracial, inclusive populism that’s built into it,” he said.

That level of praise from left-leaning groups could lift Biden, should he decide to run for president and bring her onto his ticket. Just this month, Democracy for America’s chair told BuzzFeed News that “The reality is that Biden’s time is passed.” Some of Abrams’ former staff and advisers are indifferent about the latest round of speculation linking her to Biden; the idea that Abrams might get notice as a running mate for a top-tier candidate is not exactly revelatory, they say.

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The Disrespect Of Floating Stacey Abrams As Joe Biden's Running Mate

Maxwell Strachan

Yvette Simpson, the chief executive of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee that supported Abrams for governor before she even entered the Georgia race, said Biden seems to have more to gain at this stage.

"I can see the benefit of Joe Biden selecting a Stacey Abrams,” Simpson said. “What I can’t quite figure out at this stage is what the benefit is to Stacey Abrams."

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Progressives Refuse to Back Down as DCCC Moves to Kneecap Primary Challengers

Jake Johnson

"We see exactly what you're doing DCCC," declared Democracy for America, an advocacy group that also bolsters progressive candidates. "Don't think for one second that it'll stop us—or the grassroots army we stand with—from backing bold, inclusive populists who will better represent their districts in Congress over neoliberal corporate Dems."

 

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Joe Biden's challenge: Winning over progressives

ELANA SHOR

"You can only go so long on the coattails of a former president, no matter how well-liked a former president is,” said Charles Chamberlain, chair of the progressive group Democracy for America.

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Pelosi waves off impeachment, says it would divide country

MARY CLARE JALONICK and LISA MASCARO Associated Press

Neil Sroka of the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America said Pelosi’s comments were “a little like an oncologist taking chemotherapy off the table before she’s even got your test results back.”

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former New York mayor will not run for president in 2020

David Smith in Washington

"Neil Sroka, spokesperson for the progressive political action committee Democracy for America, said: “No surprise. No constituency. He had an additional challenge as a billionaire at a moment when the last thing people want is someone with ungodly sums of money telling them what to do. More importantly, he was pushing an agenda that has little support in the Democratic party and even less outside the Democratic party.”

There will not, after all, be a battle of the septuagenarian New York billionaire businessmen, between Trump and Bloomberg. Sroka added: “It shows Bloomberg has one thing over Trump: he’s not so blindly narcissistic that he got into this race.”

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