It takes a unique tweet from a California congressman to recap how the most controversial Democratic primaries in New York City have gone awry.
Last week, Daniel Goldman, a leading contender to win Tuesday’s primaries in New York’s 10th congressional district, tweeted an ad showcasing his top qualifications for writing. room: his experience as Lead Advisor to House Democrats in 2019 impeachment of Donald Trump.
In response, Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) —a key participant in the impeachment inquiry and a friend of Goldman’s — tweeted, “Looks great. Desperate advertising bullshit from Mondaire. “
Mondaire in question is Representative Mondaire Jones (D-NY), also a competitor in this primary. He just released a hit ad of his own attacking Goldman as a “conservative” – on the basis of which he appeared to endorse abortion restrictions in an interview – and bashing him. is rich and has invested in Fox News.
Goldman and his supporters, quite clearly, believe those attacks are baseless. And Swalwell later deleted the tweet. But distaste among the progressives in New York remained – especially in Jones’ camp.
“If Eric Swalwell has any impact in New York City, it will be the same as his impact in the 2020 presidential primaries,” said Bill Neidhardt, a consultant working for the war campaign. Jones’ nomination, about Swalwell’s short-lived bid for the White House in 2020.
But Twitter coverage is just one of many reasons why this 12-candidate race to fill a seat in the US House of Representatives opens in a super-free zone has become, in the words of one party member. New York-based democracy, “horror show.”
The conditions for that horror show were created as soon as a Republican judge ordered a redo at the last minute of the new state congressional lines in June. This process resulted in a new 10th District, in Manhattan and Brooklyn, that was created without an incumbent but included some of the politically important constituencies in the city – primarily American voters. Asian, Spanish and Jewish.
But perhaps the biggest reason this race has turned bitter is that it has become yet another referendum on whether the progressive left or the centrist left will really win over the Democrats.
The race led to an unusual referendum, because there were not many profound, substantive differences between the policies promoted by the four candidates running for office. “They will all vote the same on 99% of the House bills,” said the New York agent, commenting that it is somewhat rich to see Democrats trying to turn Goldman into “Joe Manchin.”
But more pronounced differences in personal backgrounds, political affiliations, and overall vibe — i.e. the way they talk and the issues they choose to focus on — have sorted the candidates into camps within the eyes of Democratic politicians.
Many progressives in New York and beyond came to believe that electing Goldman would represent a “missed opportunity”, in the eyes of one source, to harness the energy of a dark blue area. , were varied to amplify the left wing of the party and expand representation in the Conference.
A former prosecutor and incredibly wealthy heir to the Levi Strauss fortune – who mined his own fortune to fund his campaign – Goldman doesn’t quite fit that bill. . In fact, his opponents have highlighted his elite status as disqualified.
The problem for progressives is not that they lack a strong, reliable candidate of their own. The problem is that there are too many of them.
The three candidates — Jones, state legislator Yuh-Line Niou, and city council member Carlina Rivera — have all previously run as part of the Labor Family Party for their current offices. , which equates to the state’s left-wing approval. (Niou has WFP endorsement in this race.)
At this point, progressives know they should rally around one candidate, but no one wants to rely too heavily on any one candidate — each of them representing constituencies. important politics and have strong supporters — to drop out.
With the top candidates all convinced they have a way to win, some fear they will split the vote and give Goldman a small, but decisive, number of votes, as the votes cast. tested on Tuesday.
A senior House aide said: “From a progressive perspective, it feels like a slow-moving car crash and we know where it is going.
If Goldman is elected, the aide said, “there will be some re-nominations” in the progressive movement.
With the first days going, the three most left-wing candidates all argued that they were the most likely ones.
In contrast to Goldman’s Resistance-flavored campaign, Rivera has focused on one key issue to rock the party base right now: abortion.
“Progressive New Yorkers and voters in NY-10 recognize that she is the best choice for a true liberal and progressive,” said Sara Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Rivera campaign. to represent us in Congress, particularly on reproductive rights and access to abortion,” said Sara Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Rivera campaign. To amplify that message, Rivera is getting a last-minute backup from the PAC supporting Latino candidates, which is taking $500,000 off TV commercials.
Jones was on the air. Neidhardt said: “Dan Goldman has invested $4 million in this race, so the question is which advances have the resources to resist, and the only candidate to answer the challenge is Mondaire Jones, ‘ said Neidhardt, calling him a “progressive alternative”.
A spokesman for Niou did not respond to a request for comment on the race.
Meanwhile, Goldman’s campaign spokeswoman, Simone Kanter, said their confirmations and polling performance showed he was building the broadest possible coalition. Kanter stressed that Goldman had promised an aggressive campaign and said it was “regrettable” that it had turned out to be such a nasty fight.
Before the internal bloodbath began, the race had previously drawn heated headlines across the country for allegedly using it to launch a comeback against former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. politics — before his poor performance in the polls caused him to drop out of school.
Rivera and Niou — each backed by a range of state and local political power brokers — received a lot of progressive support. Jones, who decided to run for this open seat after being kicked out of his Hudson Valley district by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), tried to make up for lost time by emphasizing achievement. his honest progressive vote in Parliament.
But the field was somewhat volatile until Goldman, fueled by strong fundraising and its own cash, gave his campaign the lead in several polls. An attempt from the progressives to slow his momentum turned into an all-out scramble when New York Times agree with him last week.
That coveted nod is a game-changing development at the end of a campaign that Goldman has failed to make much of an impression on some in the city’s political scene.
“Whoever receives New York Times said a New York Democrat. “I don’t think the last-minute campaign against Dan will stop him a week before the preliminaries.”
There are many progressive surprises about Times attestation. For one, it was packed with the endorsements of two other white candidates in competitive primaries — and without even mentioning Niou or Rivera, the two women of color in the race — offended many of the black Democrats in the city.
Above all, a report in the store on the left Interceptor suggested that the Goldman family had ties to the Sulzbergers, who owned Times for decades, acting as an endorsement. Goldman’s campaign has denied the claim.
But for the Democratic insider, Times Nodding also represents a broader ideological shift. “The left pole has lost its joy,” they say.
After two election cycles in which progressive New York ousted senior incumbent members of the House, 2022 promises to be no longer a flashpoint for the party’s left in the Empire State and across the country.
On Tuesday, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)—campaign chairman of the House Democrats, whose district move prompted Jones to seek junior office—is preferred to retain a challenge from the left state Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
While some celebrities, like Delegate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), rally against Maloney, key figures on the left remain on the sidelines of the District 10 race.
That may be a reflection of the city’s complicated factional politics and the fact that Jones – an incumbent even though he doesn’t represent the area – is well-liked among progressive peers. his in the House of Commons.
No member of the so-called “Squad” — of which Niou hopes to be a member — has endorsed a candidate, nor have many national Democratic figures, save for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), both of whom are supporting Jones.
Perhaps the most controversial political endorsement in the final days before the campaign came from the most hated man in the Democratic Party: Trump.
On Wednesday night, Trump issued statements giving his “endorsement” to Goldman, gloating that impeachment had failed and sarcastically saying he would be “compassionate” toward Republicans. .
While it was a pretty obvious troll, Niou’s campaign quickly took the bait, and on Thursday released a fundraising statement saying Goldman was “endorsed by Trump” and Niou was not.
Shortly after, Goldman tweeted that if someone values Trump’s endorsement, “they simply don’t understand Trump and are ill-equipped to defend and defend our democracy.”
Niou’s campaign did not respond to questions about Goldman’s claims and whether it believes Trump actually endorses Goldman.
Trump’s endorsement, whether intentional or not, could be a gift to Goldman, helping him refocus his campaign’s main theme – countering Trump and his attacks on civil institutions. master – in the last days.
“What Goldman did well was, he stayed really calm and he was good on TV,” said the New York-based Democratic agent. grind that meat and get attacked relentlessly, perhaps serving him well. “