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Democrats in Midterm Meltdown as DCCC Chairman Makes ‘Racist’ District Move

Posted on | May 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Democrats in Midterm Meltdown as DCCC Chairman Makes ‘Racist’ District Move

Let’s face it, this was never going to be a good year to be in charge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The D-Triple-C has its occasional good years (e.g., 2006 and 2018), but this year is not going to be one of those years. When Democrats captured control of the House in 2018, they had a net gain of 41 seats to take a 235-seat majority versus 199 for the GOP. This was a fairly narrow majority — a net loss of 18 Democratic seats would put Republicans back in charge. And then in 2020, with “Landslide Joe” Biden at the top of the ticket, Nancy Pelosi’s majority suffered a net loss of 13 seats (down to 222) so that Kevin McCarthy’s GOP is now just five seats away from recapturing the Speaker’s gavel. The Biden disaster (his approval rating just hit a record low) means that Democrats are almost certainly doomed in November, so DCCC Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was already piloting a kamikaze flight when he got hit with even more bad news closer to home.

Because New York’s population is stagnating, the state is losing representation after the 2020 Census, going from 27 House seats to 26. (Since the 1990 Census, New York has lost eight House seats.) There was a battle over the redistricting map, and a judge threw out a map drawn by the Democrat-controlled state legislature that likely would have given Democrats 22 seats. This map was an atrocious gerrymander (what the legislature did for Jerry Nadler’s district could be considered a human rights violation) and so the judge appointed a special master to create a new map that will probably result in current Democratic members of the House fighting each other in an election game of musical chairs.

But then the DCCC boss stepped on a “racist” land mine:

Democrat Campaign Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) has received calls to resign his position and accusations of racism over “egregious political malpractice” for announcing a run against a fellow Democrat incumbent in the Empire State after a draft map of new congressional lines was revealed.
Maloney, on Monday, without giving Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) notice of any announcement, said he would run in his colleague’s New York Seventeenth Congressional District instead of his own Eighteenth Congressional District.
“While the process to draw these maps without the legislature is against the will of voters, if the newly-announced maps are finalized, I will run in New York’s 17th Congressional District,” Maloney said via Twitter. “NY-17 includes my home and many of the Hudson Valley communities I currently represent.”
Shortly thereafter, Jones told Punchbowl News that “Maloney did not even give me a heads up before he went on Twitter to make that announcement. And I think that tells you everything you need know about Sean Patrick Maloney.”
However, the redistricting debacle process in New York worsened for Maloney after prominent self-proclaimed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called for him to resign from his post as Democrat Campaign Chair if he ends up officially running against his fellow New York Democrat in the primary.
“He’s the chair of the DCCC. It’s his responsibility to make sure Democrats stay in the majority,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), another far-left lawmaker from the Empire State in the neighboring Sixteenth Congressional District. “To not run in 18th is to directly impact our ability to maintain the majority… “You’ve got one job to do and you’re literally not doing that job.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) said it is “Outrageous” for Maloney to run in the district currently represented by Jones and accused the Democrat Campaign Chair of racism after his announcement to run in a different district.
“The thinly veiled racism here is profoundly disappointing,” Torres tweeted. “A black man is ideologically ill suited to represent a Westchester County District that he represents presently and won decisively in 2020? Outrageous.”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes hammered the Democrat congressman, accusing him of “egregious political malpractice.”
“We have seen action from one member of Congress that I have to say is among the most egregious political malpractice I think I’ve ever seen in my life,” Hayes said. He noted that Maloney is supposed to be in charge of keeping the Democrat majority in the House and is already a member of Congress.
“Rather than putting his money where his mouth is and running in the slightly harder district, Sean Patrick Maloney is abandoning it,” Hayes continued. “Maybe Sean Patrick Maloney will be embarrassed by the fact he looks like he doesn’t have the courage of his own convictions. He could decide to remain in the 18th district and hold the seat for the Democrats.”

Fortunately for Maloney, after a four-day brouhaha, the judge released a final version of New York’s district map with a few adjustments:

A state court formally approved New York’s new congressional map late Friday, ratifying a slate of House districts drawn by a neutral expert that could pave the way for Democratic losses this fall and force some of the party’s most prominent incumbents to face off in primary matches.
The map, approved just before a midnight deadline set by Justice Patrick F. McAllister of State Supreme Court in Steuben County, effectively unwinds an attempted Democratic gerrymander, creates a raft of new swing seats across the state, and scrambles some carefully laid lines that have long determined centers of power in New York City.
Jonathan R. Cervas, the court-appointed mapmaker, made relatively minor changes to a draft proposal released earlier this week whose sweeping changes briefly united both Republicans and Democrats in exasperation and turned Democrats against each other.
In Manhattan, the final map would still merge the seats of Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, setting the two Democratic committee leaders, who have served alongside each other for 30 years, onto an increasingly inevitable collision course.
Another awkward Democratic primary loomed up the Hudson in Westchester County, where two Black Democratic House members were drawn into a single district.
But the worst outcome for Democrats appeared to be averted early Saturday morning when one of the incumbents, Representative Mondaire Jones, said he would forego re-election in his Westchester seat. He said he would run instead in a newly reconfigured 10th Congressional District in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, a race that has already drawn the candidacy of Bill de Blasio, the former New York City mayor, but which no other sitting House member is expected to enter. . . .
Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney have both declared their intentions to run in the newly created 12th Congressional District, which comprises central Manhattan. . . .
Just to the south, a growing number of candidates have declared their interest in running for a newly reconfigured 10th District, which encompasses all of Lower Manhattan and a large swath of Brooklyn, including Park Slope and Borough Park.
Mr. de Blasio declared his candidacy on Friday before the lines were finalized. Hours later, Mr. Jones surprised Democrats by announcing that he would follow suit, despite having minimal ties to the district. . . .
Representative Nydia Velazquez lives within the new district lines, but she has previously said she intends to run this year in the nearby Seventh District.
Mr. Jones’s decision will help avert another tense intraparty showdown in the Lower Hudson Valley.
The potential conflict emerged earlier this week, when Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the D.C.C.C. chairman tasked with protecting the House majority, announced that he would seek to represent territory currently included in Mr. Jones’s seat. The decision would have forced Mr. Jones to compete in a primary with either Mr. Maloney or a fellow progressive congressman, Jamaal Bowman, in the neighboring 16th District.

So the potentially divisive white/black battle among Democrats for the suburban 17th District has been averted, but the primaries in the 10th and 12th will be intramural urban slugfests. And the beauty of it is that, while liberals are fighting over solidly Democrat districts in New York, Republicans will be free to spend their time and money focusing on competitive swing districts across America. Life is good!



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