I’ve been saying for a while now that the vaunted “accountability moment” that labor and Democratic allies will run against those in the caucus who voted against health care is a mirage. I don’t know how many examples people need. First the primary challenger to Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin was talked out of the race, then Jason Altmire’s challenger realized he waited to long to make a serious run, then Stephen Lynch’s possible primary disintegrated.
Now Greg Sargent tells us that It’s War! The SEIU will not just run primary candidates but institute an entirely new third party in North Carolina, the North Carolina First Party, and they plan to put candidates on the ballot in the fall.
Well, if it’s war, I hope they have a cannon.
SEIU isn’t really at war with the Obama Administration. Andy Stern was just appointed to the President’s deficit commission. They may have problems with some of the Blue Dogs in North Carolina, to be sure. But the third party route is just destined to be squelched by national Democrats.
Furthermore, I don’t see how this is even that viable. The NC First Party needs 85,000 signatures to qualify as a state party, and they tell Greg that they have 100 canvassers on the ground. Needless to say, this isn’t the best ratio in the world. What’s more, the NC First Party is hedging their bets on the front page of their own website.
North Carolina First is on the ground talking to voters. Right now, North Carolina First is gathering signatures to determine whether to qualify as a state party – to give working families the ability to choose a candidate that will fight for their interests – or to identify Congressional candidates who will stay accountable to the needs of working families not Washington’s special interests.
They haven’t even figured out if they’ll create a third party. And if they don’t, and stick to “identifying” Congressional candidates? Well, that won’t do much good for 2010, because… getting out my trusty Swing State Project sortable filing deadline calendar…. yes, the North Carolina ballot is set for the May primaries.
Larry Kissell, one of the three North Carolina Dems who voted No on health care, has a primary challenger in Nancy Shakir, and this might be somewhere the NC First Party wants to go. But the primary is, um, next month, and right now NC First is in the “talking” and “figuring out what it wants to do” stage of development. It is virtually impossible for it to be a factor in the 2010 midterms.
I don’t know why anyone believes one labor official saying that they will “hold accountable” these ConservaDems. Labor is walking the walk in the Bill Halter/Blanche Lincoln race, and that’s about it. Wake me when any other accountability takes place.