Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“It’s a bellwether for what the Democratic Party is going to be about,” Democratic National Committee boss Tom Perez boasted.
That was back in March and the Dems had just begun their frantic spending spree in Georgia’s Sixth. By the time it was over, Jon Ossoff, an awkward immature hipster who didn’t even live in the district, had raised $23.6 million and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had burned through another $5 million. Other groups threw in around $2.6 million to achieve absolutely nothing.
$31 million had been spent and wasted on history’s most expensive congressional election. And the Dem experts congratulated themselves that they had lost by a smaller margin than in the past.
They had spent $30 million more than in their first special election in Kansas to gain a whole 1%.
Just as after their previous special election defeats, the charts and graphs came out comparing their performance to those of previous elections. Never mind that turnout differs dramatically during presidential and special elections. Or that spending $31 million to lose by 6 percent is a disaster.
What the Democrat Party really was going to be about was setting piles of money on fire.
In Montana, a quixotic bid by Rob Quist had garnered $5 million in donations and another $1 million in outside spending. Even after a stunt by a Guardian reporter caused the Republican candidate to lose many of his newspaper endorsements, Quist barely ended up with 44 percent.
The special election frenzy began in Kansas when the left decided that Rep. Mike Pompeo’s open seat might be winnable. After Trump’s victory, angry Dems decided to pour money into the campaign. Democrat James Thompson raised around $832,000, but Republican Ron Estes won by 7 percent.
Or single digits.
And the gold rush was on. The special election margin was compared to Trump’s margin of victory. The entrails and tea leaves were read. And the consultants declared it a referendum on Trump.
Millions from blue states flowed into special elections in red states to prove that Trump had lost public support. The deeper theory behind this spending spree was that setbacks in safe districts would lead the GOP to abandon Trump. And that played into feverish conspiracy theories about the 25th Amendment or Senate Republicans turning on Trump in time for impeachment that had gone mainstream on the left.
But after losing 45 to 52 in Kansas for well under a million, they spent $6 million to lose 50 to 44 in Montana and $31 million to lose 47 to 53 in Georgia.
An extra $5 million or $31 million had just bought them another 1 percent in Montana or Georgia.
Dems have consistently managed to lose these special elections by around 7 percent. All that varied was how many millions they spent to lose by 7 percent.
The 7 percent solution was the sucker bet. It was the cocaine that the left began injecting to cope with the psychological pain of Hillary’s defeat. 7 percent was seductive: a single digit number that could be shifted with the right amount of money. It hovered on the horizon like a mirage in the desert. But no matter how much money they spent, the seats they were trying to buy remained out of reach.
Behind the wasted tsunami of cash, lurked greed and some elaborate social engineering.
The Democratic National Committee is badly short of cash. The special elections were its best hope of reviving its fundraising. Unfortunately its fundraising totals continued to fall instead. The DNC didn’t really believe that it could win the special elections, but it needed elections to spur fundraising.
Most of Ossoff’s big haul came through ActBlue. The left-wing fundraising setup has been a cash bonanza for candidates. Almost $7 million poured into Ossoff’s war chest in one month through ActBlue. There were multiple fundraisers for Ossoff through ActBlue with various forms of legitimacy. Even Alan Grayson, the bizarrely sleazy ex-Florida congressman, got into the act by fundraising for Ossoff on ActBlue and then informing donors, “Your contribution will benefit Alan Grayson.”
Quist raised millions for his doomed race in Montana through ActBlue.
The ActBlue setup made it easy to nationalize races. It was part of why Ossoff had hauled in more money from California than from Georgia. And it has been a fantastic engine for parting lefty fools from their money. The “grassroots” fundraising benefits the same old Dem campaign infrastructure.
Ossoff spent $11 million of his haul on ads. Much of his campaign cash flowed to Canal Partners Media, Mothership Strategies and Mission Control Inc. Over $5 million went through these firms and others just during the opening round of the election. That gave him something in common with Quist’s campaign where at least $1.2 million went through Canal and $286K to Mothership.
During the Dem primaries, Canal Partners Media was accused of setting up “Old Towne Media” as a front to hide its relationship with Bernie Sanders. The Canal front billed the Sanders campaign over $82 million. Meanwhile the real Canal was placing a “dark money” ad in support of Bernie Sanders. Canal has complicated ties to Bernie Sanders’ wife who had been accused of profiting from media ad buys.
Behind Quist and Ossoff was the same old Democrat infrastructure. Behind the illusion of grassroots campaigns and small donors was the same old machine.
The special elections scam was set up to funnel money from angry lefties to the infrastructure. Some $40 million was burned through on a dead end program. But it went to all the right people on the left.
Ossoff’s campaign was the final leg of the scam. He was the least promising candidate of all the Dems in all the red state special elections. But his backers weren’t really trying to win in Georgia, but to raise money in California and then take it back to Washington D.C. And Ossoff was perfectly suited for that.
That’s why the most money was raised and spent on his campaign.
Like Bernie Sanders, he was never really supposed to win. He was sucker bait. And the suckers bit hard enough to make a special election in a conservative district the most expensive House race in history.
Ossoff was a great way for Washington D.C. campaign pros to extract money from Bay Area lefties. His campaign had nine times more individual donations from California than from Georgia. He had almost four times more donations from nine Bay Area counties than all of Georgia.
The Dems lost and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.
There was much fussing in the Bay Area over snarky Republican ads in the race taking potshots at them. If they had any sense, they would be far more offended by the greedy contempt of their political allies.
The Democrats have gone far to the left partly because of a profitable machine for transmuting the left’s worst instincts into money. The Washington Post scored record profits by tempting lefties with fake news promises of impeachment. The special elections scam offered lefties the seductive idea that throwing away millions on a doomed cause would somehow reverse Trump’s victory.
Hey, it worked for Jill Stein, didn’t it?
Angry, emotional people do stupid things. Like wear pink hats and shout in public about their private parts, subscribe to the Washington Post because they think it can deliver Watergate on demand or plow millions into backing an annoying hipster with no credentials in Newt Gingrich’s old district.
Jon Ossoff’s slogan was “Make Trump Furious”. He failed even at that. But it isn’t Trump’s fury his backers were interested in. Instead they succeeded in cashing in on the angry stupid rage of the left.