Stealthy Democrats running for office urged to hide their positions on immigration
One of the most prestigious and richest progressive think-tanks is urging Democrats in competitive races to hide their real intentions from voters. In a remarkable move, the Center for American Progress is telling Democrats running for office to avoid ("spend as little time as possible" on) discussing immigration – because the issue works for Republicans, not Democrats. Let me translate: deceive voters about what you plan to accomplish if they hand you power.
The Center for American Progress is the think-tank founded by John Podesta and lavishly funded by the radical billionaires who pose as saviors of the poor while pushing policies that enrich themselves and close the doors of opportunity to the underclass. CAP carries a lot of clout among Dems.
I credit the New York Times for obtaining a copy of the four-page memo that CAP circulated among Dems running for office and explaining what's in it. Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes:
Democrats, the strategists who prepared the memo advised, could neutralize the attacks if they responded head-on. But they should spend "as little time as possible" talking about immigration itself, and instead pivot to more fruitful issues for Democrats like health care and taxation.
The strategists worry that Republicans' foreboding immigration message is far more personal to most voters than the more modulated position of Democrats, whose push to protect the young immigrants [sic] known as Dreamers and to ensure humane treatment of undocumented people [sic] does not, in many cases, affect voters themselves.
"It is very difficult to win on immigration with vulnerable voters in the states Trump carried in 2016," the strategy memo said, arguing that "even the most draconian of Republican policies," such as family separation and threats to deport the Dreamers – undocumented immigrants [sic] who were brought to the United States as children – failed to sway most of them.
Other Democrats in close races need no advice from CAP to know that they'd better stay mum about raising taxes. Cole Lauterbach of Watchdog.org writes in the Free Beacon:
Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker has repeatedly dodged questions about the basic details of his progressive income tax proposal, but he's not alone in his refusal to talk specifics.
When asked the progressive income tax plan, Republicans are quick to bash it while Democratic candidates in tight races have been as quiet as Pritzker.
Questions about changing the state's income tax structure from a flat tax to a progressive tax have come in contested races in House Districts 46, 55 and 56. State Rep. Deborah Conroy, D-Villa Park, faces Republican challenger Dr. Gordon "Jay" Kinzler, a transplant surgeon who lives in Glendale Heights, in the 46th Illinois House District. In the 55th Illinois House District, Republican Marilyn Smolenski is going up against Democratic State Rep. Marty Moylan. And State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, faces Republican Jillian Bernas in the 56th Illinois House District.
The stakes in Illinois are huge. Polls show the Dems possibly obtaining a supermajority in the legislature and capturing the governorship.
Pritzker has said he will work to change Illinois' flat income tax into a progressive one that taxes higher earners a higher percentage. House Speaker Michael Madigan also has pushed for the state to adopt a progressive income tax structure without getting into the details. Pritzker has said it's the General Assembly's job to dictate rates, often to criticism that voters would reject the idea if they knew the details of his plan.
A progressive income tax is just the ticket for Illinois to drive away more high-income residents. The state's fiscal black hole is so overwhelming that once this barrier is breached, income tax rates on higher income-payers could reach or exceed California's top rate, which is closing in on the mid-teens. Some rich people stay in California because of the weather, or because of the tech opportunities. Much though I like Chicago as a city, it and the entire state of Illinois lack such anchors to hold on to the wealthy.
It tells you a lot about a party and its ideological think-tanks that it acts as though deceiving voters is good political practice.