Trying to Put Out the Bernie Fire

“Buffy the Bernie Slayer” — Poster in the Democratic Party of California campaign office, 2015

The corporate wing of the Democratic Party, which managed to lose the presidency, the Senate, the House, and numerous state governments in 2016, has pooled its names and its money with right-wing Republicans to try to take over the most progressive electoral district in the country.  This is the meaning of the candidacy of Buffy Wicks in California Assembly District 15.  Wicks, formerly a hippie and an antiwar activist, is trading off that ancient history to paint herself as a progressive.  She’s hoping voters will not see the company she’s been keeping in recent years and the sources of the money pouring into her campaign chest for this election.

The sheer gall of Wicks’ injection into this campaign is staggering.  Wicks has never held any elective office.  She’s been a party operative and lobbyist.  She has no local government experience whatsoever.  She parachuted in from Washington DC as Hillary Clinton’s California campaign coordinator, earning the nickname “Buffy the Bernie Slayer.”  If she genuinely wanted to advance a progressive agenda, she could have picked a swing district in California, taken on a Republican, and maybe been useful.  No, she targets the most progressive district in the state, a stronghold of Bernie Sanders backers, and the base of a long-established, hard-fighting progressive movement.  Her choice of political venues speaks volumes.

A recent article in The Intercept  looks hard at the company Wicks has been keeping and the money that’s been pouring into her campaign.   Go read it.  Wicks’ money comes from  people like William Oberdorf, a major Republican donor, from an heir to the Walmart fortune, the California Medical Association, major charter school advocates, Chevron lobbyist Eric Zell, and others.  The lawyers who registered and run the “Independent Expenditure” campaigns for Wicks include Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, a notorious right wing firm that has worked for the Trump campaign and for some of the most right-wing California Republicans, such as Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher.  Another is Ashlee Titus, president of the Sacramento branch of the Federalist Society, an outspoken backer of the Kavanaugh nomination.  Corporate Democrats and Trump Republicans have joined hands to install Wicks, their handmaiden, in California’s most progressive district.

Kudos to Lee Fang and Leighton Akio Woodhouse, authors of The Intercept’s article.  Go read it.

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