A series of political missteps early in Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D-NY) tenure as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has some Democrats reportedly questioning whether he is capable of protecting the Democrats’ slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A “plugged-in” House Democrat staffer told the New York Post this weekend that Democrat members are concerned Maloney is not doing an effective job as chairman of the party’s reelection efforts.
“Members are discouraged with him right now,” the House Democrat aide, who was anonymous, said. “People would like for him to focus on how to protect vulnerable and moderate members and how do we do incumbency protection when [progressives] are coming after us for seats.”
Another anonymous source described as a “person familiar with” DCCC operations, questioned why Maloney has not been recruiting future candidates, especially in a year when redistricting is likely to benefit Republicans significantly moving into the midterm elections. “With redistricting, Democrats potentially start this cycle in the hole and where are Sean Patrick Maloney’s recruits to bring Democrats back into the positive column?” the person familiar with DCCC operations told the Post.
What Maloney has been up to–not recruiting star candidates or protecting vulnerable incumbents–is even more troubling for Democrats. He was caught this month failing to report thousands of dollars in stock trades made in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic last year–meaning the chairman of the Democrats’ efforts to retain their House majority is himself in a potentially compromised financial position as he faces potential ethics investigations and fines for the failure to report the trades as required by law.
Maloney could face a possible ethics probe in the House of Representatives after an independent ethics watchdog asked Congress’s independent ethics office to start one. The nonprofit ethics watchdog, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust’s (FACF), executive director Kendra Arnold, wrote a letter to the House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics asking to “immediately” invest Maloney’s filings.
Breitbart News outlined the initial report on Maloney. Federal law mandates Congress members must publicly disclose stock trades in a ‘periodic transaction report’ within a window of 30 to 45 days of making a trade, which Maloney failed to do. Maloney traded the stocks in June of 2020, and he did not write a letter to the House of Representatives clerk until this month. He cited a mistake in filing due to an “oversight.” The “oversight” was selling eight stocks valued at nearly $11,051 in total.
In the letter from Arnold, she said Maloney clearly violated the law and should face consequences, claiming “there is no such thing as a ‘routine belated filings issue’ and describing it as such further demonstrates his disregard for the law.”
Maloney has also, according to his Republican challenger back home in his district, done a poor job representing his own constituents. New York Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, that GOP challenger, told Breitbart News Saturday recently that Maloney, “is not what the Hudson Valley is about. This is not our values.”
“Our congressman has abandoned us; he’s sold us out, and I said before we deserve a congressman, not a Democrat campaign chairman, not somebody who votes a hundred percent of the time [with] Nancy Pelosi,” Schmitt said, adding, “Maloney’s priority is to divide this country, to go to every single state of this nation and divide us politically for political gain. That’s unacceptable. That’s not somebody who represents a really … a middle of the road, your family value or district that we have here right.”
In addition to his own personal problems, several questionable hires at the DCCC on Maloney’s watch put frontline Democrats in a tough position.
For example, under Maloney’s leadership, the DCCC hired Dyjuan Tatro as a senior adviser. Tatro has supported defunding America’s law enforcement, called police racist, espoused anti-capitalist views, called to end cash bail, and urged officials to let criminals out of prison. Tatro is also a former New York gang member who served time for “shooting two rival gang members in 2006” and was also convicted in 2011 for racketeering. Tatro additionally was the former “triggerman” for Albany’s Original Gansta Killer (OGK). Tatro still works at the DCCC as a senior advisor of strategic outreach despite the criticism.
In addition to Tatro, the DCCC also hired Erica Joy Baker as its Chief Technology Officer who literally advocated burning police precincts to the ground. “If the cops kill me, burn every cop precinct to the ground,” Baker wrote in a tweet, since deleted, as Breitbart News has reported. Baker has made several other highly controversial public comments, but she still works at the DCCC too.
DCCC hires and personal finances are not the end of Maloney’s worries either. The campaign committee also allowed campaign cash to be wired from the socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) directly to vulnerable Democrats. This move came by accident as the DCCC, without telling frontline members, handed out their bank account information to the socialist star from New York so she could wire cash directly into their accounts. The mishap created a wide opening for Republicans to bash the vulnerable Democrats over the transferred money, and some even returned the cash to Ocasio-Cortez rather than keep it for their reelection bids.
Chris Hayden, a spokesman for DCCC, declined to comment on the details of the transfers but told Politico: “We appreciate Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s ongoing commitment to a Democratic majority. Due to a miscommunication, some transfers were made in error, but that has been addressed.” On Monday, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) came out with a website targeting members of Congress who accepted the “socialist” money.
The same Democrats are now under fire for not giving the money back to Ocasio-Cortez. The NRCC launched a “socialist give back” website Monday in response to these Democrats “being bankrolled by radical socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who wants to defund the police, implement government-run health care, and open our borders.”
To top it off, Maloney bungled messaging for Democrats on big picture issues. The messaging misfires were apparent last week in Maloney’s interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. During the testy interview, Scarborough grilled Maloney on his lack of preparedness to respond to Republican criticisms of Democrat efforts to defund the police.
Scarborough accused Maloney of “pretending” Democrat losses in down-ticket House races did not happen in November 2020, and that Democrats did a “damn poor job” responding to GOP criticisms over police funding, cancel culture, and socialism.
“House Democrats did a poor job, so my question is are you going into 2022 with eyes wide open?” Scarborough asked Maloney.
Instead of admitting to the party’s mistakes in the last election, Maloney responded by attacking Scarborough.
In response to these criticisms, DCCC spokesman Chris Hayden defended his boss to the New York Post:
“Rep. Maloney and House Democrats have been busy passing laws that put checks in bank accounts, shots in arms, and get people back to work. Republicans are spending their days writing racist voting laws, defending violent QAnon mobs, and allowing Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz to disgrace the Congress,” said spokesman Chris Hayden. “The DCCC just closed the books on our best first quarter of fundraising ever, outraising the NRCC and giving us the resources we’ll need to remind voters that every single Republican voted against the American Rescue Plan — which has a 75% approval rating.”
But Mike Berg, spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), simply fired back in his own comment to the Post: “Sean Patrick Maloney has been great for Republicans’ efforts to retake the majority. He is constantly hurting his own members.”
Republicans are just five seats away from recapturing the majority in the House. After significant gains in the 2020 election that defied experts’ expectations, the GOP is on the march back to the majority heading into the midterms. The NRCC in March introduced an “Exit List” highlighting Democrats who are “likely to retire or run for a different office in 2022.” That came after a list from the NRCC with 47 “offensive opportunities,” including 29 Battleground Democrats. Battleground Districts are where “President Biden lost the district or where the 2020 presidential or congressional margin was within 5 percent.”