Levi Tillemann would have none of it. In fact, he taped the conversation where Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) leaned on him to quit the Colorado District 6 Congressional Democratic Primary race. Tillemann appeared on Politics Done Right to discuss the ordeal and to urge Progressives to push on.
The DCCC and the Democratic Establishment is creating a dangerous war by proxy in the Democratic primaries that will come back and bite it if it does not stop it now. They need to get the hell out of the primaries and allow Democrats and Independents to support the candidates they want in November. Attempting to micromanage in a manner that shows a vendetta against a faction in the party is not the way.
Who is Levi Tilleman?
I’m an Obama administration alum, clean-energy entrepreneur and a progressive candidate running here in the 6th Congressional District.
What did Steny Hoyer representing the DCCC do?
Last December, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Steny Hoyer, called me in for a meeting. In that meeting, he confirmed that he, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Jason Crow had been cooperating since before day one to ensure Crow would be the nominee. Together, they also deceived voters about the process. Multiple times, Hoyer asked me to get out of a race.
That kind of corruption happens all the time in Washington, D.C. That would have been the end of it, except for one thing: I recorded the conversation.
And what is the back story?
The Hoyer tape pulls back the curtain on Washington’s swamp – and the people who are willing to be part of it. Personally, I was stunned by how explicitly Hoyer acknowledged and embraced the corrupt influence of big, early, organized money in primary politics. It’s a “smoking gun” that elucidates how a tightly-knit, unelected body of Washington operators use big donors and early money to rig primaries across America – and it’s one of the most vivid examples of the corrupting influence of money in U.S. politics in modern history.
Part of this is because Hoyer was shockingly frank. “A judgment was made very early on,” Hoyer said. Explaining that “I’ve been at this a long time,” and that it was the party’s policy to “get in strong, hard and early.” In my case, this is exactly what happened even as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee professed neutrality – and my opponent denied receiving support from Washington.
The contents of our conversation even shocked me – and I knew exactly what was happening. My campaign had been shadow boxing with the DCCC since before day one. Before I jumped in to the race, a DCCC representative told me that I would need to raise $2 million to win the Democratic primary. That seemed like an absurd amount. Surprised, I asked if anyone else was running, and they said “not really.” But as I left, I urged them to let me know if someone was considering a run so I could have a conversation with them and figure out whether it made sense for me to proceed. They finally admitted there might be one person, but declined to further discuss the matter, make an introduction or offer additional details.
But the DCCC was actively working behind the scenes. They were grooming a white-collar criminal defense lawyer — who didn’t even live in the district and had defended payday lenders, fracking companies and scam artists — for the race. By late spring of 2017, my campaign was regularly being told that the DCCC had chosen their guy, that he was receiving support, training and help with endorsements from the DCCC. But publicly both the DCCC and their candidate denied this.
This shameful behavior is standard modus operandi of the DCCC, DSCC, and the Democratic Party Establishment. It is undemocratic. But worse, over the last several cycles they have proven to be completely ineffective. What is worse is that the candidates they choose seldom are politicians working tirelessly for the middle-class and the poor but instead for corporate interests. The candidate selected is associated with payday lending, the crack of the poor.