Have the Dems lost their Witts?

by Bill Post

Poor Brad Witt.  Left out in the cold by his own party.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-New York), who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), came to Portland the other day with a couple of tasks.

First of all, he came to tell the “leading Democratic candidates” (according to Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes) in the First Congressional District Special Election to “avoid tough attacks on each other” in the primary.  These remarks were directed to State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and State Senator Suzanne Bonamici.  So what’s the big deal with that?  I can see where he’s coming from; it’s not wise to beat each other up in the primary, stay on task, beat the Republicans in the general election.

Sure, that makes plenty of sense.  Well, he did leave somebody out of that little ol’ “advice session”; State Representative Brad Witt!  Yes, THAT Brad Witt, the one who most in the Democratic Party think is a leading candidate.  So why was he left out?  I don’t know.  Did he miss the invitation card?  Has he changed phone numbers?  Perhaps the DCCC just doesn’t regard Rep. Witt very highly?  No matter what it might be, the poor man is just not the leader for the Democrats.

Rep. Israel said: “I have told both Suzanne and Brad that we will support the winner of the primary.  We shared with both of them the importance of staying focused on Republican attempts to end Medicare in order to defend special interest tax breaks and not focus on each other…and both said that was their intent.”

That sounds like it’s clearly addressing two candidates, not three.  Poor Brad Witt.  Left out in the cold by his own party.

Now Brad Witt says: “Last week the Brad Witt campaign met with representatives of the DCCC and we agreed to continue our positive and fact-based campaign approach.  The reason the DCCC representative met with the other prominent candidates is that they were seeking the same commitment from those candidates.  The meetings were not in any way a statement on the viability of our candidate or campaign and any characterization to the contrary is without basis.” 

Nice recovery, but I think it would be more accurate to say: “HEY how come I wasn’t invited?”  I found the whole story very amusing, yet it also teaches Republicans a thing or two.  Let’s be very careful about how we behave during this very important election.  Let’s not make the mistake that Rep. Israel is warning the Democrats about.  Israel said the 1st is still a “57% Democratic performing district” even after redistricting – and the special election will be run under the old district lines, which are a little more favorable to Democrats.

The second item on Rep. Israel’s agenda was to tell us how important the Fifth Congressional District is to the Democrats.  The DCCC will be pouring money into that race and though there is no Republican candidate at this point, better be ready for this race; it’s going to be a doozy!

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