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In the Democratic Party, the Voters Aren't Really In Charge

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Democrats are hitting the NRCC for having the audacity to allow voters to select their candidates for Congress. According to the DCCC, some GOP candidates have characteristics that make them unfit for office and should be censored.

“At this morning’s National Journal Midterm Cram Session, NRCC Executive Director Guy Harrison admitted that the NRCC does not vet the candidates they choose to support,” wrote the DCCC on their website yesterday. “House Republicans have recruited, endorsed and donated hefty sums of money to candidates with disturbing backgrounds, legal problems, and extreme views.”

Who are these candidates? Andy Barr, a candidate in Kentucky’s sixth district, was charged with the horrendous crime of drinking in front a liquor store... when he was a freshman in college. Jim Renacci, a Republican in Ohio’s sixteenth district, operated a nursing home in which an elderly patient...wait for it... died. Tom Ganley was accused of sexual assault exactly four weeks before the campaign by a woman whose accusations don’t match up with any other witness accounts. By the way, Ganley runs northeast Ohio’s Crime Stoppers program and has received the FBI’s highest civilian award.

In light of these allegations, it’s worth taking a look at some of the stars that the DCCC has put forward this cycle. It’s also worth noting that DCCC Chairman Rep. Van Hollen, Speaker Pelosi, and former DCCC Chairman Rahm Emmanuel do vet these candidates — a direct affront to the idea that voters are in charge.

For example, the DCCC vetted Bill Keating, who is running against Jeff Perry in Massachusetts 10th Congressional district. Keating’s record on prosecuting violent crime during his time as District Attorney is more lenient than a neighboring county’s record by over threefold, on things like average minimum sentences and cases dropped for everything from forcible rape to school zone violations. Keating’s defense is that he worked with victims and had a higher trial completion rate than his neighbor, but regardless — is that the kind of record Van Hollen actively seeks in a candidate?

Kesha Rogers, another stunner, is taking on Republican Rep. Pete Olson in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District, and was quoted as saying that the biggest threat to the United States was “Imperial Britain.” Then there’s the latest bombshell of Ohio Rep. Charlie Wilson’s divorce proceedings, where his wife accused him of “beatings, slappings, and kicking” in the early stages of their marriage. His wife has since said that the issue is a “family matter” and doesn’t want to comment.

Regardless, it’s clear the DCCC has some cleaning-house to do, if their policy is to vet candidates before their voters even get to make a decision. The fact that they need to vet the candidates, however, is almost more alarming than the actual allegations against them.

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