HomeArticlePelosi: “I Don’t See Anything Inappropriate” In Rigging Primaries

Pelosi: “I Don’t See Anything Inappropriate” In Rigging Primaries

The Intercept has published a secretly taped audio recording of one of the most powerful Democrats in America pressuring a progressive candidate to drop out of a Colorado congressional primary race. It hasn’t been getting as much attention as the WikiLeaks drops on the DNC’s sabotage of the Sanders campaign because it’s not about a presidential race, but make no mistake: this is the single most damning piece of evidence ever published exposing the Democratic Party’s war on progressives.

The recording features House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, informing primary challenger Levi Tillemann that if he runs, he will be running against not just the chosen establishment candidate Jason Crow, but against Hoyer and the full might of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as well.

“Which means effectively, Congressman Hoyer,” Tillemann is heard saying toward the end of the recording, “I’m running a campaign against Crow, and against you, and against the DCCC, because you guys are on Crow’s side.”

“Yeah,” replied Hoyer. “You know, frankly, that happens in life all the time.”

Here is a full transcript of the published recording:

HOYER: Levi, obviously I wanted to talk to you about this congressional race.

TILLEMANN: You would like me to get out of the race.

HOYER: You keep saying I would like you to get out, and of course that’s correct.

TILLEMANN: I know you’re fundraising for Crow.

HOYER: Yeah. I’m for Crow. I am for Crow because a judgment was made very early on. I didn’t participate in the decision.

TILLEMANN: So your position is a decision was made very early on before voters had a say. That’s fine because the DCCC knows better than the voters of the Sixth Congressional District, and we should line up behind that candidate.

HOYER: That’s certainly a consequence of our decision. There are two things I would like you to consider. One may be easier than the other. First would be, if you stay in the race — and frankly, I hope that you would not — but I’ll get to that in a second. But if you stay in the race, it is not useful to the objective to tear down Crow. Crow’s clearly the favorite; doesn’t mean he’ll win, just means he’s the favorite.

TILLEMANN: I hear you.

HOYER: That doesn’t mean it’s right, just means —

TILLEMANN: No, I hear you.

HOYER: I don’t know Crow well, but I think he’s a decent human being.

TILLEMANN: So before we go any further on that, Crow is the favorite in no small part, Congressman Hoyer, because the DCCC not only put its finger on the scale, but started jumping on the scale very early on. I’m born and raised a Democrat, I mean, it’s undemocratic to have a small elite select someone and then try to rig the primary against the other people running, and that’s basically what’s been happening.

HOYER: I hear you, and I disagree.

TILLEMANN: But you were part of that process.

HOYER: Absolutely.

TILLEMANN: You said, “Abso —”?

Hoyer: Absolutely.


HOYER: I’ve been at this a long time. When I said we need to get in strong, hard, and early, you disagree with me. You know, obviously, that’s your choice.

TILLEMANN: You guys are shoveling money at him.

HOYER: We’re going to continue.

TILLEMANN: You’re going to continue to do it?

HOYER: We are going to continue to do it, and the reason, Levi, we’re going to do it is because a decision was made to focus. It was clear that was our policy and our hope that we could, early on, try to come to an agreement on a candidate that we thought could win the general, and to give that candidate all the help we could give them so that we would have a unified effort going into a general election.

TILLEMANN: Which means effectively, Congressman Hoyer, I’m running a campaign against Crow, and against you, and against the DCCC, because you guys are on Crow’s side.

HOYER: Yeah. You know, frankly, that happens in life all the time.

So there you have it. It simply doesn’t get any more incriminating than a published recording of a top Democrat informing a progressive candidate that the party will be placing its thumb on the scale against his primary opponent if he doesn’t drop out.

Or at least, that’s what I would have thought.

Nancy Pelosi, the only House Democrat who outranks Hoyer, somehow surpassed the jaw-dropping revelations in the audio recording by giving Hoyer’s actions her full-throated endorsement.

“I don’t know that a person can tape a person without the person’s consent and then release it to the press,” Pelosi told reporters today. “In terms of candidates and campaigns I don’t see anything inappropriate in what Mr. Hoyer was engaged in — a conversation about the realities of life in the race as to who can make the general election.

That’s right, instead of blaming this evidence on Russian hackers, Democratic Party leadership has opted to try a brand new approach: they’re openly admitting to knowingly rigging their primaries against progressive candidates and saying that it’s the right thing to do. Because that’s how you win general elections.

So to recap, the leadership of the Democratic party is no longer attempting to hide the fact that it deliberately stacks its own primaries against progressive candidates, and yet still has the gall to act like they’re the smart adults in the room who know how to win general elections. These are the same people who think telling the public “screw primaries, you’ll vote how we say” is sheer strategic brilliance. The same people who lost over a thousand seats under Obama.

The leaders of the Democratic Party may be experts at defeating progressive primary challengers, but they don’t know how to win general elections. Winning general elections is not their concern. Last year we saw resort tycoon Stephen Cloobeck openly boast on national television that he had instructed Pelosi and other Dem leaders to espouse a pro-billionaire platform or else risk losing plutocratic funding, and this is exactly what we are seeing them do. The Democratic Party doesn’t care about winning elections, it cares about making sure the oligarchs who own it are able to continue ruling over the deliberately impoverished and politically impotent masses. That is its job. That is its function.

Since power is relative and America has a system wherein money translates directly into political power, a plutocratic class has emerged which is naturally incentivized to keep the rest of America as poor as possible in order to rule like kings. That plutocratic class wields immense political influence over both parties with legalized bribery in the form of campaign contributions and corporate lobbying, while the deliberately impoverished majority of Americans have no influence whatsoever over US policy and behavior, regardless of how they vote.

These plutocrats don’t care who wins. They are not buying out races because they care which horse comes out in front. They only care that both horses serve them.

Americans are manipulated into supporting this extortion scheme of corporatist oligarchy by a plutocrat-owned media propaganda system which uses fear and divisiveness to herd them into one of two plutocrat-owned mainstream parties, both of which place the interests of their corporate owners over the interests of the people, and even over winning. Progressives have been successfully corralled into the donkey party by using the carrot of someday-maybe-hopefully having sorta-kinda economic justice and the stick of “But Trump!”, but the donkey party is the elephant party with a different mascot and different bumper stickers.

This clearly is not working. The Democratic Party has locked the door on human interests, bolted it shut, and is now admitting it openly. At least when they were trying to hide it they could be pressured to allowing progressive candidates something loosely resembling a fair shot at election, but now they’re just saying “No, progressives are the enemy. Out.” So they can’t even be pressured to pretend that they have real primaries.

The Democrats are officially an over-funded novelty joke party with a humorously ironic novelty joke name. They are useless. They are worthless. Time for something new.


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Latest comments

  • I’ve been saying for years now that the way to deal with the Democratic Party is to do unto them as the Republican Party did unto the Whigs in the 1850s.

    Lincoln was the greatest American president because he led the country according to the desires and needs of the people rather than the powerful and well connected.

  • I dumped the “democratic” party decades ago as I saw how over & over again they went against our interests & continued the endless war theme.
    When Sen. Sanders tried to run in the “democratic” primary, I temporarily switched to dem so I could vote for him in the primaries but when I saw how they treated him & shut him out, gave Hillery super delegates, then he turns around & wanted us to support Hillery! So now I have dumped him as well!

    I again dumped the dems & wasted my worthless “vote” on a third party.
    I will never bother trying to “vote” again in our RIGGED FAKE “ELECTIONS”, change has never come through the “vote” in “elections” that are RIGGED, HACKED, SWITCHED & where people are prevented from having an actual CHOICE of candidate, ALL the candidates are CORPORATE PUPPETS.

    Even worse, even if it were possible to elect an INTELLIGENT, SCIENCE EDUCATED, LEADER, we are so dam overpopulated & into overshoot that collapse is certain & in time, billions of us will die from disease, starvation & in WARS.
    Without affordable OIL, only about 500 MILLION humans could be supported, so we have a lot of DYING ahead of us.
    OIL peaked in 2005 & has been in decline ever since, fracked wells only produce for 3 to 5 years then they are DONE, so called “renewables” are a SHAM & A SICK JOKE & THE “JOKE” IS ON US! They are as tied to OIL as our cars, computers & us. They only exist to make PROFITS for their manufacturers & sales persons.
    The wars for domination & resources will continue no matter what we do, we are just their PAWNS, to be exploited for PROFIT. Our collapse will be a world wide disaster as this high energy, high consumption civilization cannot be sustianed without massive inputs from TEMPORARY fossil resources.
    Large cities are doomed & will become unlivable but the country won’t be any better as hordes of people flood into them looking for work or food. They will be resisted by armed citizens who will fight to protect what they still have left. Migrants will fare no better as armed militias will line the border, illegal immigrants will get shot.

    I live in a rural area, I am armed, I know how to use my gun & will use it to protect what little I have left from invaders as will everyone else here.
    Resources are LIMITED but our ability to breed is not, the excess will have to die.

    • Not a pretty picture, but I have to respect your ability/willingness not only to acknowledge but to deal with it. Our ultimate victory may well be in the proud singing of our death song, having lived, “not like dumb driven cattle”, but with open eyes, open minds, and open (even though broken) hearts. “Hoka-hey!” – it is a good day to die! See you on the flip side, sister.

  • NO primaries and ranked choice voting would fix this.

  • It was all over for me when Bernie Sanders went back to his seat in Philly, after talking “political revolution” for the last year. If he had walked, an energetic, committed, and united front of progressives would have walked with him. He didn’t, but a lot of us did, and we’re not going back to that carny.

  • They’ll have to take my vote against a Democrat from my cold dead hands.

  • “The Democrats are officially an over-funded novelty joke party with a humorously ironic novelty joke name. They are useless. They are worthless. Time for something new.” As you no doubt know, this is true for both parties. The plutocrats don’t only control Democrats, they also control the entire political machine and choose the candidates from both parties that THEY allow to run, giving us the illusion of choice, when, in reality, the choice is only between which kind of political poison we prefer.

  • Yep, no wonder Americans are not voting democratic in droves, there’s no reason to go to the poles for national elections. The only difference in the ‘two’ parties is the window dressing. A civil right here a “tax scam” there. The democrats have forgotten entirely the reason for their party: The workers and social saftey net policies that make life worth living for the lower 50% or more these days. They’ve been left in the dust of financialism and never-ending wars. The 2016 election may be the last one I vote in. Unless there’s a local or state election I think will make a difference I’m staying home. I usually sent in absentee ballots . Now that I found out they only count them in close races I’ll save the $ 1.25 postage and put it toward a book or music; ya know, something tangible, real, no forgotten promises as soon as they take office. Thanx, Nancy, for putting in words what we knew was happening anyway. I hope others are paying attention. Peace, The Ol’ Hippy

  • I suggest someone start a new Party : The ” Anti-Republican Anti-Democrat Party “. This could even succeed absent any kind of comprehensive platform . Just say : ” All that stuff the other guys say they want to do ? We promise we’re not going to do any of it. No legislation. No Executive Orders. No wars. No nothing , just “The Big Pause” , so we can think. The first step toward improving all of our lives is to stop actively ruining them. Vote for us , because we ain’t them. “

    • May I suggest calling it the neo-old-school-democratic-cares-for-people-party. Someone smart out there can work this into a catchy two word name.

    • No nothing , just “The Big Pause” , so we can think. The first step toward improving all of our lives is to stop actively ruining them.

      I would vote for that.

    • I think you’d get a better acronym if you switched it up. Anti-Democrat Anti-Republican Party renders “ADRAP.”

      • Oops. That would be “ADARP.”

    • The Guillotine Party seems appropriate!
      That is the future for the 1% and their lackeys.
      We can even have lotteries to drop the blade while raising money to build housing for the homeless.

    • You are speaking of “The Vote Poor Party”. Vote only for those with the LEAST amount of money.
      Turn their wealth against them.
      Elect dog catchers, plumbers, burger flippers, anybody who wants to throw their hat in the ring.
      How many unemployed grocery checkers are out there that would turn down a $175k a year job guarranteed for four years.
      And like you said, if they did nothing it would be an improvement in governing.
      Make their wealth THE deciding factor of who NOT to vote for.
      It’s the only possible way out of this mess.
      Thanks Caitlin

  • Hmmm. Tough choice – progressive or Republocrat. The article and recording are not surprising. We’ve been saying this for a long time.

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