Democrats, Twenty Twenty, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee discussed on The Electorette Podcast
I'm Jim Taylor skinner. And this is the electorate on this episode. Have A conversation with Jessica Post the president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee or the DNC. You can find deal dot org the deal she sees. Lucas is electing Morris Democrats and winning legislative majorities for Democrats across the country. This is incredibly important for Democrats because having more Democrats in state legislative seats into everything from passing stronger gun control legislation or protecting access to free tape abortions and of course the state legislature has the primary responsibility for creating redistricting plan. And this conversation. Just take a look back at the twenty. Ten midterms talk about what went wrong for Democrats into ten but we also discussed the D. L. C. C.'s. Twenty twenty strategy and. Why Twenty Twenty Year for winning state legislative seats between twenty cents plays in this process. Jessica is incredibly passionate about her work and she the entire team at the deal C. C. Has Been doing an incredible job so without further. Ado WHOSE CONVERSATION WITH JESSICA POSTS JESSICA POST. Welcome thank you so much. It's great to be on electorate. I mean very excited excited to be here. I'm so excited to talk to you too so go back to two thousand ten the two thousand ten midterms which was a point in time that I think a lot of Democrats don't WanNA revisit. I mean because Democrats suffered some pretty significant losses. I think there were thirteen. Democratic governorships that were lost over eight hundred legislative seats were lost to Republicans and we used to have pretty sizable majorities in the Senate and the House and those were all lost in two thousand ten and back then. People described the two thousand ten midterm elections as a bloodbath for Democrats and even Obama said that we suffered a shellacking perspective. What happened in two thousand ten as Democrats? We took our off the ball in the two thousand eight election cycle and really ended twenty ten. Remember we went into twenty ten. We had sixty votes in the United States Senate majority in the House of Representatives the presidency and I think people thought things are going very well the Republicans thought. There was no way back to power of because of the hat. They felt like they had no path to take back the US Senate and no passing big. Take back the presidency with the trends. That were happening in America. The changes that were happening as the electorate grew in Became more diverse under Obama so as a result the Republicans decided to launch project. Red MAB ET AL. In two thousand ten and they spent only three million dollars and the goal was to take back and have permanent. Hold on the United States Congress but also on state legislatures across the country and by doing that they were able to dismantle voting rights and collective bargaining women's rights and really the backbone of these parties across the country by decimating. Democrats in the state legislative level and they gerrymandered bulker legislative districts in the Congressional districts. Making tilting the maps in favor of the Republicans in states like North Carolina where it's a fifty fifty state Republicans have more than sixty percent seventy percent of the congressional delegation and. That's also true. In states like Wisconsin where they gerrymandered In both legislative level and also the congressional level we had to go in and break the supermajority. North Carolina State Legislature in partnership with folks in the state in two thousand eighteen Where they had a democratic governor because the mouths were so challenging and they've been challenged in court so many times I was so about me in twenty ten. I was a national field director at the DLC. See The democratic legislative him. He where the arm of the party that focuses on building democratic power in the states in winning legislative races in the two thousand ten election cycle. I was on the ground in Harrisburg Pennsylvania Where I was the field director and I was trying to save the Pennsylvania State House because we needed that leverage powerfu- redistricting and it was a democratic majority. Going twenty ten and we lost it. It was horrible as those results came. In the state that President Obama I had won a prior year I curled up on the cold. Harrisburg sidewalk as the. It was a rainy. Cold night in Harrisburg As the legislative results human I left. There is still smoking and say bars. I left a smoking bar. And while the coke brothers of and Karl Rove presumably like popping an expensive bottle of champagne I went back into the popped open. Budweiser animated promise to myself. That if I had anything to do with this work in the twenty twenty election cycle that I would fight like hell of a take back state legislatures because really there's twenty years of power on the line. This is the first time in twenty years where we have the opportunity to have presidential your turn out and a pre redistricting election the next time. We'll have this opportunity. Well that's quite the story. I can picture you going back into the smoky bar crying into your be here. It's pretty cinematic so so tell me. We're trying to warn people about this because the Republicans you know. They had something like thirty million dollars dedicated to this effort. That's on an amount that you can amass quietly right. It was a massive effort on their part. Bring you or anyone else. Trying to head off in warned Democrats that they need to be on the ball to match the Republicans effort while I look. I was a junior staffer at DLC. See but I wasn't some of the meetings. I think that some we weren't necessarily speaking the right language. We also spending also was extremely late. In the election cycle I remember we saw a mailings against the leader of the Wisconsin. Assembly come very late and in the Republicans have said. This was a time that preparation that opportunity so we knew that they were raising a lot of money. Karl Rove wrote and a detail in the Wall Street Journal that indicated that they were going to go after state legislatures and I remember. I read the editorial and we were trying to protect the Indiana statehouse which Democratic majority leading up to twenty ten and he. He knew exactly where the races are. He said that racists in West Lafayette Indiana and And outside of Columbus Ohio praises like that could impact Congressional districts for the next decade in the Republicans really knew what they were doing as Democrats we At that time thought if we invested at the top of the ticket but that effort would trickle down would help state legislatures. And that just wasn't the case you really have to build the Democratic Party and build infrastructure from the ground up. That's just the reality of it and I think I was intimate conversations with other national groups. We certainly could have our rang. The alarm more going in and so when I came back as executive director of DC in two thousand sixteen. I made it my mission to always talk about the importance of state legislatures. Beate building voting rights redistricting really most of the things that affect your day to day. Life happens in a state legislature. And and you know that sitting in Washington state where we helped flip the state legislature from red to blue the state Senate in two thousand ten by electing Manca Dhingra and look at all the the progress that's been passed in Washington state since that happened and LGBTQ conversion therapy ban. It's been incredible to see the progress in Washington state and it definitely helped my tank all in two thousand eighteen while we were trying to win a lot more legislative chambers seen the progress that can happen by winning a state legislature. Thank you for that. 'cause I love living here right we have. I think one of the first to pass the fifteen dollars minimum wage because of those changes its ban. I mean the progress in a governor. Jay inslee this huge advocate for climate change. He couldn't get any of that. Climate passed on his own and now Washington is joined the Paris climate accord one of the many states that has gone into the international climate accord without the federal government. And they've done so so much progress in Washington state and since the flipping out legislature. No thank you very much. I'm never leaving. Never leaving the state exactly so I just want to go back to basics because you became president. I think you said in of the deal. Cc In twenty sixteen. So can you tell us what the deal she sees? Function is in the context of the larger party. Yes so we're in. The official Democratic Party Committee committed to winning state legislatures and building democratic power instate. Our job is to elect more Democrats to state legislature to protect the democratic majorities. We have across the country in to do everything hand to support the flipping of state legislative chambers. Right the blue and in doing that We do a number of things to support candidates we support candidate recruitment we fund.