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What Guccifer 2.0 Leak on DCCC Chairman Reveals

Pelosi names Ben Ray Lujan as new DCCC chairman.
Pelosi names Ben Ray Lujan as new DCCC chairman. Nov 17, 2014. Screenshot from Washington Post.

Hacktivist Guccifer 2.0, who breached the servers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in August, released documents last week relating to DCCC Chairman and Congressman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). The hacker also leaked dozens of additional documents to the Progressive Army. We published the documents below.

Guccifer 2.0 is also responsible for the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) email dump that was released by WikiLeaks. The emails revealed that the Democratic Party was biased towards Hillary Clinton and colluded against her rival Bernie Sanders during the primaries. The leaks led to the resignation of the DNC’s Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). The DNC blamed the data breach on Russia.

The leaked batch of documents reveals four things about the Democratic Party:

1. The Democratic Party Colludes With the Media

A leaked memo titled “BRL Interview Prep MEMO – CO03, CO06, IA01, NE02, UT04” detailed the state of five competitive Congressional races. The document reveals the Party’s collusion and close tie with the press, its active work to control the narrative and ensuring positive press coverage in Utah’s 4th district:

  • We have been very successful in working behind the scenes to shape the narrative favorably in this race. Local and beltway press believe that Love is vulnerable and that Owens is running a great campaign.

The memo also shows that Rep. Brad Ashford’s (D-NE) established a strong relationship with the local press, including Omaha World Herald’s political reporter Joe Jordan who now serves as Rep. Ashford’s communications director. Ashford’s close ties with the press helped change the narrative to his favor:

  • The local press – including Joe Jordan of the Omaha World Herald – has a very open and transparent relationship with Ashford and he receives strong local coverage as a result.
  • Public perception on this race has changed a lot in Omaha and the Beltway. The press views Bacon and Maxwell as weak opponents despite the fact that Republicans should have recruited a top-tier candidate to oppose our most vulnerable incumbent. Reporters have started to write the story that Ashford (and largely his Chief of Staff) has turned things around and that he is not nearly as vulnerable as initially thought.

The memo also shows that the DCCC initially supported Jim Mowrer in Iowa’s 3rd district. The DCCC only became neutral after the primary challenger Mike Sherzan was able to demonstrate his fundraising abilities.

These are not isolated cases. A recently leaked document from the DNC showed that the Democratic Party strategically colluded with the media. The DNC established a strategy to “muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC [Hillary Clinton].” It also planned to levy different attacks through the media by conducting reporter outreach. The DNC would do “off-the-record conversations and oppo [sic] pitches to help pitch stories with no fingerprints and utilize reporters to drive a message. [emphasis mine]

guccifer-leak-dnc-media guccifer-leak-dnc-media-2

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton also has a long record of colluding with the media. Gawker reports how Clinton’s spokesperson manipulated journalists to insert the narrative that Clinton desired in the press. The report found that Marc Ambinder from The Atlantic accepted terms set forth by Clinton’s spokesperson to describe Clinton’s speech as ‘muscular’ in exchange for access to her speech. It notes how Politico’s Mike Allen “promised to deliver positive coverage of Chelsea Clinton, and, in a separate exchange, permitted Reines to ghost-write an item about the State Department for Politico’s Playbook newsletter.

2. The Democratic Party Preselects Candidates

Primaries at all levels are meant to give eligible participants the opportunity to nominate their preferred candidates in races – but leaked documents show otherwise. One of the leaked memos obtained by the Progressive Army indicates that the DCCC preselected and encouraged Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn to run in New York’s first district. The memo reads: (emphasis mine)

  • This swing seat requires a strong candidate that will potentially face a crowded primary and ultimately a well-funded incumbent.
  • The ideal candidate must start their campaign early in order to raise significant funds. This seat is located entirely in the New York City media market, which is extremely expensive.
  • Please ask about her timeline for making a decision, entering the race, and how she plans to deal with potential primary opponents.

Kara Hahn didn’t enter the race.

Earlier this month, we reported how the DCCC supported Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) in her primary in North Carolina’s 12th district against her primary challengers. The Observer also revealed that the Democratic Party quietly picked favored candidates in three congressional elections in Pennsylvania.

Related: Exclusive New Guccifer 2.0 Leak: Democrats Rigged NC Congressional Primary

3. The Democratic Party Had Only One Nominee in Mind: Hillary Clinton

Guccifer 2.0 recent leak also shows that the DCCC considered Hillary Clinton as the de-facto Democratic nominee – well before the nomination had come to an end.

The memo that detailed the state of multiple congressional races also indicates that the DCCC saw an opportunity to claim Utah’s 4th district from Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) in November – thanks largely to Trump’s unfavorable numbers in the state. The “Trump Impact,” according to the memo, makes the otherwise safe Republican state a competitive one in the General Election.

But although the memo was written back in April, well before Hillary Clinton secured the nomination, the document only refers to the former Secretary of State in its analysis:

  • Trump is extremely unpopular in Utah. Public polling has shown that Hillary Clinton could beat Trump in the very conservative state.
  • We do not want to nationalize the race, but Trump will certainly hurt Love’s chances.

4. The Democratic Party Courts Rich Donors

The leak also contains dozens of documents on donor information and fundraising strategies by the DCCC. The documents show that the Democratic Party targets wealthy donors. “Please ask Oscar to write or raise $5,000 for the DCCC,” writes one memo. On average, donors contribute around $1,000 with some donating the maximum amount.

Worth noting is a memo regarding a meeting between Rep. Luján and wealthy insurance executive George Norcross. The wealthy donor “is amongst the most powerful non-elected opinion makers in both New Jersey and nationally,” the memo states. “[He] has used his fortune to influence politics on the county, state and federal level. It is well known that state legislators in South Jersey maintain their power against the more populous north by always voting as a bloc. This bloc of votes is controlled by Mr. Norcross and he uses many tools including independent expenditures, to maintain its influence. [emphasis mine]”

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver showed how politicians spend between 25 to 50% of their time fundraising for congressional races, targeting wealthy donors. Democratic Party members do not deny this. “For Senate race, I’m not calling anybody who doesn’t have the chance of giving me at least a thousand dollars. So you got to imagine that the people I’m calling, you know, are folks that are, you know, making a half a million to a million dollars. And you know, they have fundamentally different problems than everybody else,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).

While many Democrats complain about fundraising, only a few have endorsed reforms such as public funding of elections to fight the impact of big money in politics.

Here is the list of leaked documents with personal information redacted:

File Name
01.12.14_LUJAN.xlsx Download
02.17.15_LUJAN.xlsx Download
022615 Ben Ray Lujan Toplines.pdf Download
022615 Lujan State Contributions.xlsx Download
03.13.15_LUJAN.xlsx Download
032315 BRL Expenses & Perks.pdf Download
032515 BRL Mass Mailings & Communications.xlsx Download
032515 BRL Staff Salaries – Gender Analysis.xlsx Download
032515 BRL Staff Salaries.xlsx Download
032615 BRL Controversial Votes & Votes Against Dems.pdf Download
04.10.15_LUJAN.xlsx Download
051815 BRL Clips Book.pdf Download
063015 BRL Top Hits Memo.pdf Download
11.13.13.Call Results Memo for Congressman Henry Cuellar.pdf Download
113th Congress- Republican Attacks -Lujan.pdf Download
120915 BRL Top Hits Memo – Updated.pdf Download
121415 BRL Top Hits Memo – FINAL.pdf Download
2 3 TEAM CC Memo_Lujan.pdf Download
2008.xlsx Download
2010.xlsx Download
2012.xlsx Download
2014.xlsx Download
6.11.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan.pdf Download
6.12.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan Crowley.pdf Download
6.12.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan.pdf Download
6.16.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan Rankers.pdf Download
6.16.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan.pdf Download
6.9.15 MOC member dues list update – Lujan.pdf Download
Aguilar Rep. Ray Lujan 5.22.13.pdf Download
Antelo Cristina_Latino Council.pdf Download
Antelo, Cristina_Latino Council.GH.docx.xlsx Download
Antelo, Cristina_Latino Council.pdf Download
April Visa Memos (Lujan).pdf Download
BLANK_Latino Council.pdf Download
BRL debt limit votes.pdf Download
BRL Interview Prep MEMO – CO03, CO06, IA01, NE02, UT04.pdf Download
BRL Interview Prep MEMO – NM02.pdf Download
BRL pay votes.pdf Download
BRL Regional Reporter Roundtable Prep Memo.pdf Download
Bueno, Irene.LatinoCouncil.pdf Download
Chairman Lujan Letter to PG County Young Dems.pdf Download
Chavez Martin_Latino Council.pdf Download
Chavez, Martin_Latino Council.pdf Download
Chavez, Marty_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Comment from Chairman Lujan on NV04 primary.pdf Download
DCCC – Ben Ray Lujan Packet Logo.PNG Download
DCCC Congressman Ben Ray Lujan Chairman.PNG Download
Duran Pino_Latino Council.pdf Download
Duran & Pino_Latino Council.pdf Download
Duran, Ingrid_Latino Council.GH.docx.xlsx Download
Duran, Ingrid_Latino Council.pdf Download
Feb Visa Memos (Lujan).pdf Download
Ferreira, David.LatinoCouncil.pdf Download
Gonzalez Lawrence Larry_Latino Council.pdf Download
Gonzalez, John Michael_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Gonzalez, John Michael_Latino Council.pdf Download
Gonzalez, Larry_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Gonzalez, Lawrence Larry_Latino Council.pdf Download
Herrera-Flanigan Jessica_Latino Council.pdf Download
Herrera-Flanigan, Jessica_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Herrera-Flanigan, Jessica_Latino Council.pdf Download
Ibarra Mickey_Latino Council.pdf Download
Ibarra, Mickey_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Ibarra, Mickey_Latino Council.pdf Download
LC Call Sheets to do.xlsx Download
List of Host Calls.xlsx Download
Lists for Latino Council.xlsx Download
Lujan 2008 PFD.pdf Download
Lujan Attendee Briefing – Latino Council Breakfast.pdf Download
Lujan Donor Map Version C.ai Download
Lujan Donor Map Version C.pdf Download
Lujan Grisham 1.30.15.pdf Download
Lujan Grisham.msg Download
Lujan Main Briefing – Latino Council Breakfast.pdf Download
Lujan Norcross 3 5 15.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2008.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2009.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2010 Amendment.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2010.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2011.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2012.pdf Download
Lujan PFD 2013.pdf Download
Lujan PFD Spreadsheet.xlsx Download
Lujan.List – Copy.xlsx Download
Lujan.List.xlsx Download
lujanandchicago.png Download
Magana Mark_Latino Council.pdf Download
March Visa Memos (Lujan).pdf Download
Nexis Clips 1 .pdf Download
NY-1 Hahn Lujan Meeting 2 11 15.pdf Download
NY-23 Plumb Lujan Recruitment Memo 4.29.pdf Download
Ocañas, Gilberto_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Ocañas, Gilberto_Latino Council.pdf Download
Ortiz, Manuel Manny_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Ortiz, Manuel Manny_Latino Council.pdf Download
Pino, Catherine_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Pino, Catherine_Latino Council.pdf Download
Raben Robert_Latino Council.pdf Download
Raben, Robert_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Raben, Robert_Latino Council.pdf Download
Ramirez Oscar_Latino Council.pdf Download
Ramirez, Oscar_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Ramirez, Oscar_Latino Council.pdf Download
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan CHC BOLD PAC Winter Miami Retreat Memo – Members (2).pdf Download
Rep. Lujan Grisham 2014 Cycle DCCC Credit.xlsx Download
Revised AZ Dem Party Speech for Chairman Lujan.pdf Download
Rodriguez Estuardo_Latino Council.pdf Download
Rodriguez, Estuardo_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Rodriguez, Estuardo_Latino Council.pdf Download
Salas, Max.LatinoCouncil.pdf Download
Sinclait, Jean-Robert.xlsx Download
Tapia, Raul_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Tapia, Raul_Latino Council.pdf Download
UPDATED – BRL Prep MEMO – CO03, CO06, IA03, NE02, UT04.pdf Download
Velasquez, Joe_Latino Council.GH.xlsx Download
Velasquez, Joe_Latino Council.pdf Download

Written by Salam Morcos

Salam Morcos

Salam Morcos is a Managing Editor of Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

Political activist for democracy, social justice, racial justice, women's right and human rights.

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