Fascist flop... Carper agrees to debate Kerri Harris... Primary update
Thirty bozos with neo-Nazi signs showed up in Washington for a protest today, after wall-to-wall coverage of their impending march. Relatedly, I saw Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman last night and man was it good, I highly recommend it.
I’m in Lancaster, Pennsylvania tonight, reporting on the congressional race between Democrat Jess King and the incumbent, Republican Lloyd Smucker. I got interested in this race last year when I learned about a grassroots organization called Lancaster Stands Up that King co-founded, which was created in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Not only are they working to elect King to Congress, they’re doing a lot of local activism around issues that impact this area of Pennsylvania, as well. It’s different from a normal campaign, which raises money from big donors, spends it on TV, and then, win or lose, everything evaporates. This campaign is trying to build something.
If you live in Lancaster or elsewhere in Pennsylvania’s 11th district, let me know what you think about the race and the politics of the area; nobody thinks this race will even be close, but I think she has a shot. My story should be out later this week.
Later this week I’ll be in Wilmington, Delaware, where Sen. Tom Carper just agreed to debate his primary challenger, Kerri Evelyn Harris. She’s running a similarly grassroots-powered campaign, hoping to prove that while Delaware is dominated by major corporations, it’s possible to win a statewide race without being beholden to them. My story on that is here. (Carper bumped into some Harris canvassers on the campaign trail and took a photo with them, which is kind of cute.)
Jahana Hayes, the 2016 teacher of the year who narrowly lost the Connecticut Democratic party's endorsement during a controversial convention, has another shot at the nomination this Tuesday. You might remember my story with Rachel Cohen from earlier, but if not, here it is. Hayes grew up in a local housing project, got pregnant her senior year and managed to graduate from a school for expectant teens, then worked her way from community college to where she is today, running an unapologetically progressive campaign for Congress, which needs far more people like her.
Minnesota primaries are on Tuesday, as well. The local press has finally started to follow Rachel Cohen’s scoop that as attorney general Lori Swanson pressured her staff to do political work for her, which is not legal. She lists $0 in staff expenses on her expenditure reports. The Star Tribune reported Saturday on a employee coming forward, backing up the charges.
The race to replace Keith Ellison in Congress has gotten fascinating. I won’t spoil it, but this, by Maryam Saleh, is worth reading.
And Ellison himself is now facing accusations from his ex-girlfriend that during an argument he called her “a f---ing b----” and pulled her off his bed, telling her to “get the f---- out of my house.” The accusation was made Saturday night by her son, and today she said it was true. Minnesota media have since reported that his ex-partner had been telling this story to a variety of Minnesota news outlets, including the local NPR, which has done a lot of solid #metoo reporting, but all of the news outlets decided not to run a story, unable to verify the allegations. She is saying publicly that there is video of what she calls an assault. Ellison has flat-out denied that such a video exists, which puts the story in an interesting place.
A firm denial like this should be taken seriously, only because I doubt he would make one if he thought there was any chance such a video existed.