"At a bar on the hollowed-out edges of Youngstown [Ohio], Betras slid a memo dated May 12, 2016, across the table. It was then that he saw the wave of anger coming and tried to warn Clinton’s campaign.
“I know I am just a chairman but I am a chairman in the trenches,” Betras wrote in the three-page memo, begging Clinton to focus on jobs.
|Mahoning Cty, Ohio|
“That’s when I knew something was wrong,” he said.
He warned Clinton that she had lost all credibility with working-class voters by waffling on trade and offering tepid solutions. He urged in his memo that she talk about infrastructure instead.
“The workers we’re talking about don’t want to run computers, they want to run back hoes, dig ditches, sling concrete block,” he wrote. “They’re not embarrassed about the fact that they get their hands dirty. ....They love it and they want to be respected and honored for it.”
He sent his memo to Clinton’s top campaign adviser in Ohio and other senior party officials. But Betras never heard back.
Months later, he said he thinks his party leaders still haven’t gotten the message....
In recent decades, Democrats have relied on a new base, a diverse mix of minorities, millennials, women, LGBT and college-educated voters--who had turned out in droves for Obama but not for (Hillary) Clinton....
For now, the Democratic future in Ohio looks bleak. Trump not only flipped the state but also won by the largest margin of any presidential candidate since 1988....
The dinner was supposed to be a Democratic strategy session for an upcoming county election. But the mood grew darker as conversation turned toward the future of their party.
One by one, members of the Mahoning County Democratic Party poured out their frustrations: Just months after the presidential election, they felt folks like them were being forgotten---again.
The party’s comeback strategy was being steered by protesters, consultants and elitists from New York and California who have no idea what voters in middle America care about.
But worst of all, they said, the party hadn’t learned from what they saw as the biggest message from November’s election: Democrats have fallen completely out of touch with America’s blue-collar voters.
“It doesn’t matter how much we scream and holler about jobs and the economy at the local level. Our national leaders still don’t get it,” said David Betras, the county’s party chair. “While Trump is talking about trade and jobs, they’re still obsessing about which bathrooms people should be allowed to go into.”
Others around the restaurant table nodded.
Since the election, Democrats have been swallowed up in an unending cycle of outrage and issues that have little to do with the nation’s working class, they said, such as women’s marches, fighting Trump’s refugee ban and advocating for transgender bathroom rights....
Lou Gentile, 37, was among the Ohio casualties in November. A rising local Democratic star, he lost his state Senate seat in a district struggling with coal mining declines in the Ohio Valley.
“It’s tough getting caught in this thing you have no control over,” he said while driving home after lunch with his former legislative aide in Columbus, the state’s capital....
The party’s losses have made it difficult to cultivate a strong bench for future elections, he said. It also has allowed Republicans to redraw Ohio’s districts, making it even more difficult for Democrats to claw their way back to relevancy.
“I’m worried about the party,” Gentile said. “If anything good comes out of this last cycle, I hope it’s that our national leaders finally get the message about what’s going on in places like this. We have to go back to basics — jobs, wages, the things that actually make a difference to people out here.”"...
7/18/2016, "Outside Cleveland, thousands of Democrats are becoming Republicans," CNN, Mahoning County, Ohio
7/22/16-first release of DNC emails
7/22/2016, "Wikileaks Releases Nearly 20,000 Hacked DNC Emails," Daily Caller, Chuck Ross
"Wikileaks has released nearly 20,000 emails it says are from the accounts of Democratic National Committee officials.
The release could cloud the upcoming Democratic party convention, which kicks off next week in Philadelphia.
It is unclear how Wikileaks obtained the records, but the release comes weeks after a hacker (or hackers) going by the name Guccifer 2.0 began releasing records obtained through the DNC’s computer systems. The hacker claims to be Romanian, but many suspect that the records were taken by a team of Russian hackers.
Guccifer 2.0 has said that they obtained DNC emails. Other documents released by the hacker(s) include internal planning memos and databases of Democratic donors.
The DNC, which is chaired by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has acknowledged that their systems were infiltrated. The party has not commented on specific information released through the hack.
According to Wikileaks, which is operated by Julian Assange, the release is “part one” of a new series it is calling “Hillary Leaks.”
The emails come from the accounts of seven DNC officials: communications director Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan, finance chief of staff Scott Comer, finance director of data and strategic initiatives Daniel Parrish, finance director Allen Zachary, senior advisor Andrew Wright and Northern California Finance Director and the finance director for northern California, Robert Stowe.
The emails range in date from Jan. 2015 to May 25 of this year."
10/7/16-first release of Podesta emails
10/13/2016, "The John Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks," cbsnews.com, AP
"WikiLeaks says it has some 50,000 Hillary Clinton campaign emails, and on Fri. Oct. 7, it began leaking the personal emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group said it would release emails every day until Election Day."...
Ohio GOP primary county map, March 15, 2016, CNN
Nov. 8, 2016 election results, Ohio:
Nov. 2016 results:
Comment: Good luck to Ohio Democrat voters. We know what it's like. The Republican Party has no interest in Republican voters either.