Democrats are polling high, progressive candidates are having a great fundraising year, but the DNC is broke

The DNC continues to struggle to raise cash, holding only $6.3M in the bank on Dec 1, compared to the RNC's $40M. But the numbers are deceiving, because 50% of the country want the Democrats to control Congress in 2018 (compared with 39% who want the GOP to retain power) and individual Democrat candidates are having banner years fundraising, especially the progressive, "Sanders Democrats" who break with the party's coziness with the finance industry and big business. Read the rest

Open primaries? Democratic establishment bars anyone who challenges an incumbent from using the party's Votebuilder database

All things being equal, a Democrat in a safe seat is likely to swing to the right, because doing so allows them to hoover up massive campaign contributions from rich people and corporate lobbyists and secure themselves cozy sinecures for themselves once they leave office -- all without risking their seat, because incumbents automatically get re-nominated and incumbents in safe seats always get re-elected. Read the rest

Hacked 2015 Democratic memo tells candidates how to deal with Black Lives Matter: listen, but offer no policy support

An internal memo from a key Democratic Party electioneering group tells candidates to listen but “don’t offer support” for the “concrete policy positions” of Black Lives Matter protesters—and offers tips on getting past it. Whatever you do, don't say all lives matter! "This is the worst response," the memo warns.

The 2015 memo was allegedly swiped by hackers supporting Russian efforts to influence election season in America.

“Presidential candidates have struggled to respond to tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement,” reads the memo, sent by a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer in November. “While there has been little engagement with House candidates, candidates and campaign staff should be prepared. This document should not be emailed or handed to anyone outside of the building. Please only give campaign staff these best practices in meetings or over the phone.” ...

If approached by BLM activists, campaign staff should offer to meet with local activists,” the memo reads. “Invited BLM attendees should be limited. Please aim for personal or small group meetings.”

“Listen to their concerns,” it continues. “Don’t offer support for concrete policy positions.”

The memo includes advice on what, exactly, to say to Black Lives Matter activists. It recommends avoiding phrases like “all lives matter” and warns not to bring up “black on black crime,” since the “response will garner additional media scrutiny and only anger BLM activists.”

BLM responded:

We are disappointed at the DCCC’s placating response to our demand to value all Black life. Black communities deserve to be heard, not handled.

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How to vote in the New York Democratic primary (please share!)

The New York State Democratic primary is a "closed primary" that excludes anyone who isn't a registered Democrat from casting a ballot. Many people say they are registered Democrat but have been purged from the list, or had their affiliations changed to Republican or Independent. Some have posted images of what they say are forged signatures on voter registration cards. Read the rest

George Clooney's neighbor threw a $27/plate Sanders fundraiser to counter Clooney's $33K/head Hillary event

99 Cents Only store magnate Howard Gold lives next to George Clooney. On Saturday night, both of them threw political fundraisers for would-be 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. Read the rest

Barack Obama: Taking money from 1 percenters compromised my politics

In last night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton defended her enormous super PAC fundraising machine by saying, "President Obama had a Super PAC when he ran. President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from contributors. And President Obama was not at all influenced when he made the decision to pass and sign Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulations on Wall Street in many a year." Read the rest

Ron Wyden vows to filibuster anti-cryptography bill

Senators Richard Burr [R-NC] and Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] finally introduced their long-rumored anti-crypto bill, which will ban US companies from making products with working cryptography, mandating that US-made products have some way to decrypt information without the user's permission. Read the rest

Walmart heiress donated $378,400 to Hillary Clinton campaign and PACs

Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune, donated $353,400 to Hillary Clinton's "Victory Fund" and another $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC. Read the rest

Spike Lee interviews Bernie Sanders: Vermont, Trump, Clinton, guns and Brooklyn

The Hollywood Reporter arranged for a sit-down between Bernie Sanders and Spike Lee (who recently spoke for Sanders at a rally in the South Bronx) and the two talked (MP3) about the lay of the electoral land. Read the rest

Leak: Alaska superdelegate denies duty to represent her state's voters in 2016 elections

Kim Metcalfe is a Democratic Party superdelegate from Alaska, a state whose party members pledged 81.6% of their support to Bernie Sanders. Read the rest

CNN celebrates Sanders' six primary victories by airing a "documentary" about Jesus

Sanders won an unprecedented six out of seven primaries in a streak that culminated with astounding, lopsided victories on Saturday night. MSNBC "covered" it by airing a couple of reality TV shows about life in prison, while CNN preferred to cover some breaking news about Jesus, who has been dead for at least 2,000 years, and who would have felt the Bern anyway. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders support soars among actual voters, if not Democratic Party power-brokers

Trevor Timm reads through the latest poll numbers and finds that Bernie Sanders is gaining on Clinton with key Democratic demographics: people under 45; women under 35; African Americans and Hispanics. Read the rest

Democratic machine won't let Larry Lessig into the debates; will Sanders stand up for him?

Lessig raised $1M for his amazing, unprecedented presidential bid, where he promises that, if he wins, he'll immediately pass campaign finance reform and then resign, handing over the presidency to his running-mate. Read the rest