Good Monday morning, a few things in the news over the weekend. OFA Astroturf at its finest: holds pro-Obamacare event in Virginia with one attendee (interestingly, Politico headline changed from “Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia” to “Obamacare message war goes local”), Democrat governors admit they are nervous about Obamacare, Debbie Wasserman Schultz angers the White House with self promotion, the DNC is #1 for something… taking money from dead people, billionaire Tom Steyer says he’s playing big in Virginia despite McAuliffe’s support for Keystone and disappointment grows as economists examine Friday’s jobs numbers – many new jobs are part time and low-paying.
- Politico: Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia (changed to “Obamacare message war goes local”)
That means gatherings like today’s in Centreville — although OFA organizers surely had something else in mind. After a scheduling snafu over the start time, a few people showed up and left before it actually started. Just one volunteer stayed to help work the phone bank for the health law, and the event’s organizer bolted after 20 minutes — although he was bound for another Obamacare event, a house party. The poor turnout here in Centreville may not be indicative of what’s happening at other OFA events today and tonight across the country: OFA didn’t respond to a call for comment. But in some ways, this suburban community 20 miles from Washington, D.C., captures the national ambivalence about the health law. Centreville is perched on the edge of two congressional districts, a red one represented by Rep. Frank Wolf — an ardent Republican opponent of Obamacare — and a blue one by Rep. Gerry Connolly, one of the health law’s Democratic champions.
Democratic governors say they are nervous about getting the new federal health care law implemented but add they will be better positioned in next year’s elections than many of their Republican counterparts who have resisted the far-reaching and politically polarizing measure. Several of the 12 Democratic governors shared that sense of nervousness-veiled-by-optimism at the National Governors Association meeting Saturday in Milwaukee. “There’s some angst, and you can see that from the decision the administration made a couple weeks ago,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. “There’s a lot of work to do.”
- Buzzfeed: Democratic Party Chief Angers Democrats: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz plans to use her position to fuel — and fund — her own political ambitions. “Outrage” in the White House.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz angered many top leaders in the party she leads as Democratic National Committee chair when she went public with her plans to use the connections she’s made in her national job to position herself for a statewide run in Florida or even a bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader in the House. “This is unbelievable. So much for supporting the president or electing Democrats,” said a top Democratic political adviser. “She was honest that this is about her.”
- USA Today: Dead people gave nearly $600K to campaigns since 2009
In first place: the Democratic National Committee, which took in more than $245,000. Party officials declined comment.
Tom Steyer, the environmentalist billionaire who has mounted a national campaign opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, has directed his political operation to spend heavily in the Virginia governor’s race in support of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, POLITICO has learned. Steyer, a California-based financier, instructed advisers on Friday to launch television ads starting this week. The paid-media blitz from his group, NextGen Climate Action, will be the opening salvo in what’s expected to be a much larger effort aimed at mobilizing and turning out climate-oriented voters in a key off-year gubernatorial race. The enterprise will be a test both of Steyer’s individual influence in electoral politics, and of the impact of heavily-funded advocacy politics within the Democratic Party. The bet, for Steyer, is that making climate issues a prominent part of the Virginia election will nudge the center of national politics in a greener direction, shaping the political landscape for 2014 and 2016 and giving environmental interests a stronger hand to play in Washington policy debates.
On the Economy…
U.S. employers added a disappointing 162,000 jobs in July, but some economists are even more concerned about the types of jobs the economy is generating. Job growth in recent months has skewed toward part-time work in low-wage industries, and that trend continued in July, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show.