What could be easily inferred from the ridiculous decision to endorse Kucinich in Ohio is made plain by this article:
But an extensive review of the Sanders-inspired group depicts an organization in disarray — operating primarily as a promotional vehicle for its leader and sometimes even snubbing candidates aligned with Sanders. Our Revolution has shown no ability to tip a major Democratic election in its favor — despite possessing Sanders’ email list, the envy of the Democratic Party — and can claim no major wins in 2018 as its own.
The result has left many Sanders supporters disillusioned, feeling that the group that was supposed to harness the senator’s grass-roots movement is failing in its mission. The problems have also fueled doubts about Sanders’ organizational ability heading into 2020, even after his out-of-nowhere near-march to the nomination two years ago. Critics of the Vermont independent had been worried he’d have a juggernaut-in-waiting to fuel a second presidential campaign, but that anxiety has faded after watching Our Revolution the past year and a half.
Among the findings of POLITICO’s examination of Our Revolution, based on interviews with two dozen sources inside and outside the organization:
- Board members and Sanders presidential delegates from 2016 have raised questions about whether the group’s president, Nina Turner, is using her position to prepare for a presidential run of her own, and to settle scores with the Democratic National Committee from 2016.
- Two weeks ago, the group’s board of directors nixed Turner’s attempt to install her personal political consultant and friend as her chief of staff, even though the person had no experience in political organizing and had praised President Donald Trump repeatedly and attacked immigrants on Fox News.
- Monthly online fundraising totals have plummeted to just one-third of the group’s take a year ago, based on an analysis of processing fees reported to the IRS by Act Blue, the tool Our Revolution uses, and verified by several people familiar with its finances. Our Revolution maintains that it’s still running a surplus and that repeat donations are steady.
- Amid the poor fundraising, Our Revolution earlier this month filed paperwork to launch a PAC so Sanders can help it raise money directly and so the group can coordinate directly with campaigns.
- A founding board member resigned last month, saying Our Revolution wasn’t paying adequate attention to Latino candidates and issues of importance to Latinos.
What’s particularly damning is that, while they wasted a lot of resources backing a nearly unelectable pro-Trump conspiracy theorist against exactly the kind of anti-Wall Street crusader they had been urging Democrats to run, they missed the boat on progressive candidates with actual political talent:
Though Jones and Lamb were ideologically to the right of Our Revolution, the group also had no part in either of the Sanders wing’s big primary wins a week ago. In Pennsylvania, Sanders endorsed Braddock Mayor John Fetterman in the lieutenant governor’s race; he went on to beat the incumbent Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, without the endorsement or backing of Our Revolution.
And in Nebraska, Kara Eastman, who was backed broadly by progressives, upset former centrist Rep. Brad Ashford in a House primary. Our Revolution skipped that election as well.
And this was all pretty much inevitable given who was put in charge:
Members of the national board, meanwhile, have griped privately that Turner has used the group to advance her own causes.
In a conference call two weeks ago, the board’s executive committee overruled Turner’s attempt to install her consultant and friend Tezlyn Figaro as the group’s chief of staff, according to people on the call. Not only had Turner sprung the decision on the board, but Figaro had no experience building a political organization.
Board members flagged Figaro’s frequent appearances on Fox News praising Trump. She has said on the network as recently as the end of April that the president’s critics mostly don’t like that he’s shaking up the system. And last year she said immigrants are “coming into the country and getting benefits that Americans do not get,” and getting away with crimes while African-Americans go to prison.
None of this, of course, says anything about “the Left” per se. God knows, inept grifters proliferate the political spectrum. Conveniently, Mark Penn has chosen to remind us that he’s an utter choad, and well Penn is gone apparently one lesson of Amy Chozick’s book is that too many incompetent sexist douchebros remain. But OR is not helping Sanders advance his goals and will not help him if he runs in 2020, at least if Turner is still running the show.