No Labels Qualifies For Arizona Ballot in 2024 To Be A Spoiler In The Presidential Election

Politico’s Playbook reports Playbook: Dems fret about a No Labels spoiler ticket:

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — A prominent Democratic think tank is raising alarms about a third-party ticket spoiling 2024 for Democrats and landing DONALD TRUMP back in the White House.

A new two-page memo from Third Way, obtained by Playbook, takes aim at the potential “unity ticket” being promoted by the centrist group No Labels. With tens of millions of dollars in financial backing, No Labels’ stated intention is to nominate a moderate alternative to potential extreme major-party nominees as an “insurance policy.” Read the memo

But Third Way notes that No Labels has been cagey about what scenario would prompt it to move forward, including whether it would stand down if President JOE BIDEN seeks reelection. In any case, the memo argues, a third-party ticket would mainly peel off Democrats, ultimately boosting the former president who tried to steal an election and incited a riot on the Capitol.

“[T[he conclusion is inescapable: No Labels is committed to fielding a candidate that will, intentionally or not, provide a crucial boost to Republicans — and a major obstacle to Biden,” they write. “As a result, they’ll make it far more likely — if not certain — that Donald Trump returns to the White House.”

RISING DEM ANXIETY — Worries about a potential 2024 spoiler ticket have been percolating among Democrats for months, ever since news of No Labels’ $70 million fundraising goal trickled out last year. But in recent weeks, that anxiety has been heightened as the group — even amid internal turmoil — has put hundreds of petition circulators on the ground nationwide in a bid to win ballot access in key swing states that, in some cases, were decided by a few percentage points or less.

“Definitely people are thinking about how to prevent that nightmare scenario,” said a national Democratic strategist not affiliated with Third Way who described “agita” among party operatives. “No one knows how real it is yet, though.”

Third Way’s memo is aimed at surfacing those worries and making a data-driven case for the danger a third-party ticket poses to Democrats. It follows a CNN op-ed last week from veteran strategist PAUL BEGALA, who cited a previous Third Way analysis in claiming “the vast majority of votes that a No Labels presidential candidate would receive would likely come out of President Joe Biden’s pool of potential voters, not former President Donald Trump’s.”

The new memo notes that third-party voters from 2016 backed Biden by 30 points in 2020, a crucial bloc in helping the former vice president oust Trump. And voters who said they don’t like either party — what Third Way calls “double haters” — backed Biden by 15 points after HILLARY CLINTON had lost the same group by 17 points four years earlier.

Third Way also argues that No Labels is targeting Democratic voters “by their own admission,” citing an electoral map the group has circulated showing a unity ticket’s path to victory — winning two-thirds of their electoral votes in states Biden won in 2020, including such Democratic strongholds as Illinois, Washington and Biden’s home state of Delaware.

And a No Labels ticket would not have to be especially successful to spoil a Democratic win, the memo points out: Biden won six of the seven most competitive states by three points or fewer. As such, it argues, “even a paltry third-party performance would put 79 Biden electoral votes at risk.”

THE PUSHBACK — In a statement to Playbook, No Labels rebuffed Third Way’s assessment, arguing that “our polling resolutely demonstrates that this ticket would draw voters from both sides equally.” The group said it would not run a candidate itself but would ensure a “launching pad” is ready for a third-party candidate should Republicans and Democrats choose unappealing candidates.

“If the two presidential nominees in 2024 decide to placate the extreme voices in their respective parties — there will be a once in a generation opening for a centrist candidate to run and win the White House,” the group said. “It is time for the center of this country to have a voice and a seat at the table. Those that seek to malign this effort with unfounded conventional thinking are protecting the establishment status quo and missing the larger yearnings of the American public.”

Notably, Third Way isn’t the only group that believes a third-party candidate would disproportionately steal away Democratic voters. A post-midterm survey of 2,500 registered voters in 10 battleground congressional districts conducted by the D.C.-based Bullfinch Group found that 45% of Democrats said they were “likely” to “consider voting for a third-party candidate who was Independent, not Republican or Democrat.” Only 35% of Republicans said the same.

That finding came amid an overall shift away from the traditional red-vs.-blue party structure, at least in congressional races. Between August and November, the percentage of voters that picked a Democrat as being “best to represent you or your neighbors in Congress” declined two points to 18%, while those choosing a Republican declined six points to 19%. Meanwhile, those who preferred a candidate “who works and votes with both Republicans and Democrats” rose by nine points to 58%.

“This all may be telling to why, by a 30-point margin, registered voters think Americans would be better off if some congressional districts elected Independent candidates,” the study concluded.

No Labels is not what they purport to be. They are heavily funded by private equity hedge funds and Wall Street banksters. They are not centrist, they represent the wealthy elite of this country who want to preserve their extreme wealth and favored tax status. See, Influence Watch, No Labels, and Open Secrets, No Labels.

See also, No Labels and the ‘Problem Solvers’ are Wolves of Wall Street in Sheep’s Clothing:

For years, the group No Labels and its close partner, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, have quietly promoted policies that are wrapped in the mantle of bipartisanship and pitched as “non-ideological,” while being in the pay of corporate interests. They produce reports, sponsor events, and weigh in on policy on behalf of unnamed corporate donors.

No Labels founder and CEO is Nancy Jacobson, a former finance chair of the DNC and wife of Mark Penn — the former pollster for Bill and Hillary Clinton — Jacobson is regarded as one of the most gifted fundraisers in the nation’s capital. Former vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, a disgruntled Democrat who backed John McCain over Barack Obama,is a co-chair of the group. SeeA Third Party ‘Unity’ Ticket Would Only Help Republicans.

Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.), who is considering a presidential run, is also a co-chair. But see, Larry Hogan won’t seek Republican presidential nomination in 2024 – keeping his options open to run on the No Labels unity ticket? Inside the turmoil roiling No Labels’ unity ticket presidential campaign. Would Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema forgo her Senate reelection bid to run as Hogan’s running mate on the No Labels ticket? Would No Labels’ favorite son Senator Joe Manchin?

As The Intercept reported back in 2018, Here’s a Better Name for No Labels: Republicans:

A group called No Labels has embodied a particular approach to politics and policy in Washington, D.C.; it’s one that insists the real problems are partisanship, divisiveness, and incivility, and that if only sensible centrists from both parties could be brought together under the right conditions, the halcyon days of the past will return.

Yet curiously, the sensible solutions so often proposed by No Labels and its ilk have an uncanny likelihood of benefiting one particular element of our nation’s political economy: the superrich, or more precisely, the finance industry.

A report on Monday from the Daily Beast adds a sweeping array of details to what many long knew or suspected about this movement, which allegedly wants to remain above the fray: It’s funded by the barons of hedge funds and private equity.

Far from remaining aloof from politics, No Labels has consistently been swooping down into the fray in recent years on behalf of Republicans and conservative Democrats. The House Problem Solvers Caucus, which was produced and is funded by No Labels, made headlines recently in its quest to hold up Nancy Pelosi’s speakership bid unless she supported their “Break the Gridlock” rule changes.

But the full suite of reforms would have just ended up benefiting the GOP; after all, it’s not like the Problem Solvers Caucus pressed for these rules when Paul Ryan was up for the position. Selectively tying the hands of Democratic leadership in the wake of a Democratic rout in the midterms isn’t balanced governance, it simply helps the right.

While it was easy to see through the Problem Solvers Caucus’s (failed) ploy to undermine Pelosi, last week saw another effort to push conservative ideology under the guise of pragmatic bipartisanship. A working group consisting of experts from Opportunity America, the Brookings Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute (supposedly liberal- and conservative-leaning counterparts in the think tank world) released a policy report on solutions for the working class. It was touted as a “bipartisan plan of action” developed in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Ostensibly representing the “liberal” side of the working group as one of three Brookings fellows is Bill Galston — one of the co-founders of No Labels and the organization’s most public Democratic face.

In a glowing write-up, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks commended the report’s authors for establishing a “broad left/right agenda that 70 percent of Republicans and Democrats could support” and called for the “return of the chastened establishment.” So what, exactly, are the ideas that the bipartisan working group proposes?

In exchange for rather uncontroversial and moderate policies — like expanding the earned income tax credit for childless workers; making the child and dependent care tax credit refundable; and more funding for career education and training — the working group recommends adding work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and promoting marriage. They have also put forward proposals to “reform unemployment and disability insurance to promote work,” including forcing unemployment insurance beneficiaries to pick up their checks at unemployment offices and cracking down on disability insurance claimants.

Many of these policies are debunked right-wing ideas that have continuously been given the veneer of credibility from the “centrist” think tank establishment. Take, for example, adding work requirements to SNAP. The efficacy of work requirements has long been debunked: When the same conditions were added for welfare recipients in 1996, employment did not increase in the long term. That’s not to mention the fact that most low-income people receiving benefits who can work are already doing so.

Or take the report’s focus on promoting marriage through the “success sequence,” which is the idea that all young people should first get a college degree, then marry, then have children in order to ensure a successful life. Many have long criticized the success sequence because not only is it impossible to enforce, but it doesn’t even make for good policy. (Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project often points out that having multiple incomes in a household is what cuts poverty, not marriage.) As academic critics told The Atlantic, the sequence has mainly been used to push conservative personal responsibility narratives, which are then used to undermine spending on social programs:

Critics of the sequence within academia, like Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland, argue that government promotion of marriage doesn’t lead to more marriages. Instead, they say, many sequence enthusiasts want to restigmatize out-of-wedlock births. By doing so, they aim to put the responsibility for poverty on the impoverished just as Krauthammer implied back in the early ‘90s, thus justifying cuts in government support while ignoring the role of late-20th-century American-style capitalism in pushing families into financial insecurity.

It’s possible that these “bipartisan” policies are simply a bad deal, the result of concessions between the working group’s liberals and conservatives. But the report specifically makes sure to point out that their proposals were the result of “more than horse trading” and that they were truly “grounded in common values.” So what, exactly, are these values?

The authors’ shared principles include the “centrality of work,” a “renewal of norms” (mainly the norm that people should work), and more “expectations” from employers to take “voluntary corporate action” to support the working class (an idea that is radical in its delusion). They also vow to “do no harm” — meaning that all their remedies for the working class are budget neutral.

This last point, the adherence to deficit-neutral spending, is certainly something that both sides of the aisle have pushed. But it’s a fearmongering tactic that ends up being used to justify a right-wing agenda of cutting social programs for the poor and working class. As economist Stephanie Kelton explained in the New York Times, the debt and deficit “serve as body armor to politicians who would deny resources to struggling communities or demand cuts to popular programs.” A “centrist” think tank class that refuses to put forward policy ideas that increase spending will only serve to bolster the conservative agenda.

PERHAPS THE PARTS of the report that best reveal the veneer of the working group’s bipartisanship are the policies that the authors write off from the start: free college and universal basic income. The first idea, they argue, fails to target the working class and the latter, they say, “devalue[s] work.” Yet there is no similar condemnation of radical right-wing policies — like, say, the $1.5 trillion Trump tax cut for corporations, which the authors merely say is “beyond our remit.” This is despite the fact that the regressive bill is going to deepen inequality between low-income workers and the wealthy, something that should surely be within the purview of a report on the working class.

The [Problem Solvers Caucus 117th Congress] is the most noxious and obvious recent example of pragmatic bipartisanship that ends up benefiting the GOP. But think tanks like the Brookings Institution have long given credence to conservative policies — which end up being disastrous for the working class — under the guise of working across the aisle.

Elite think tanks fail to come up with genuinely useful bipartisan proposals because their definition of the partisans involved only includes other elites within their own circles. Indeed, there is overlap between the Daily Beast’s list of donors to No Labels and the donors that the Brookings Institution named on its 2018 annual report: Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chair of Oaktree Capital Management, is listed as having given between $100,000 and $249,999 to the think tank; and the foundation of Andrew Tisch, co-chair of Loews Corp, gave between $250,000 and $499,999. The Walton Family Foundation gives to Brookings, while Christy Ruth Walton is a donor to No Labels.

But if the benchmark for a bipartisan policy is that a significant chunk of both parties, along with independents, support it, No Labels and its fellow travelers would have a lot more ideas to work with if they looked at the preferences of voters rather than politicians. All of a sudden, policies they’d written off — free public college, “Medicare for All,” and even a jobs guarantee — reveal themselves as genuinely bipartisan solutions to genuinely intractable problems.

That it apparently didn’t occur to Brookings or American Enterprise Institute to prioritize the interests of people over those of the elite tells you precisely who these so-called centrist solutions are intended to benefit. If you need even more precision, here they are specifically, courtesy of the Daily Beast:

      • Josh Bekenstein, CEO of Bain Capital, who gave $250,000 in 2015.
      • John Douglas Arnold, head of Centaurus Advisors, LLC, who gave $200,000 in 2017.
      • John Catsimatidis, president, chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods, who gave $100,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Douglas Durst, president of the Durst Organization, who gave $10,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Carl Ferenbach, co-founder of Berkshire Partners LLC, who gave $20,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Former Rep. James Charles “Jim” Greenwood (R-PA), who gave $15,000 in 2016.
      • Kerry Healey, former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, who have $25,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • George Hume, president and chief executive of Basic American Foods, who gave $25,000 in 2017.
      • Ted Kellner, a Milwaukee business executive, who gave $20,000 in 2017.
      • Franklin Pitch Johnson, Silicon Valley venture-capital pioneer, who gave $25,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, who gave $125,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Nelson Peltz, founding partner of Trian Fund Management, who gave $500,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Marc J. Rowan, co-founder of the private-equity firm Apollo Global Management, who gave $150,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Andrew Tisch, co-chairman of Loews Corp., who gave $62,500 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”
      • Christy Ruth Walton, a Walmart heiress, who gave $25,000 in 2017.
      • Eric Zinterhofer, founding partner of Searchlight Capital Partners, who gave $50,000 in 2016 and was labeled a “reoccuring donor.”

Don’t be fooled by this “No Labels” shtick. It is not a real political party if it only runs a candidate for president in 2024. Actual political parties run candidates for office at local, state and federal office levels. There is no reason to believe that No Labels has any interest in being an actual political party because that would require organization, infrastructure, financing, and candidates at all levels of office in all 50 states.

No Labels can only be a spoiler, like other “independent” presidential bids in the past. They are willing to end American democracy and to enable MAGA Fascism.

3 thoughts on “No Labels Qualifies For Arizona Ballot in 2024 To Be A Spoiler In The Presidential Election”

  1. No Labels gains Arizona 2024 ballot spot, could play spoiler
    Jonathan J. Cooper
    6 hours ago

    “While No Labels has focused its attention on the 2024 presidential election, it will have a guaranteed line on the ballot for every state and federal race in Arizona. That has prompted speculation that the group could provide a vehicle to support Arizona independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party last year and faces a tough reelection fight if she decides to run for a second term in a three-way race.”

    • If Sinema runs under No Labels, she needs to collect fewer signatures than she would have to as an “independent” candidate.

      Sinema may also be looking to be on the No Labels presidential ticket as a VP running mate. Let’s keep that speculation alive for reporters and constituents to hound her with questions.

  2. And there it is: “Hogan not ruling out third-party White House bid”,

    Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday said that he’s not ruling out a third-party bid for the White House, after already having announced that he will not seek the Republican nomination in 2024.

    “I have ruled out seeking the Republican nomination. And I haven’t ruled that out,” Hogan told ABC News of a potential third-party run. “But it’s not something I’m really working toward or thinking about.”

    -Fucking liar. He is co-chair of a political organization which has raised $70 million to run a unity party ticket in 2024. Just who does he think he is fooling?

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