Justice Dems Co-Founder: DSCC ‘Racist’ for Focusing on Candidates’ Wealth

'This is what they do all across the country and they're obsessed with money'

• September 6, 2019 2:55 pm


Justice Democrats co-founder Cenk Uygur claimed during a recent interview that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was "racist" because of its focus on the wealth of Senate candidates during the recruitment process.

Uygur, the main host of The Young Turks, a progressive news network, was speaking with North Carolina state senator and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Erica Smith when he addressed the national Democratic Party's influence in primaries for House and Senate races.

"Sen. Smith, the reporting seems to indicate that the national Democratic Party is concerned about your fundraising ability, that you're not rich enough and you don't know enough rich people," Uygur said. "This is what they do all across the country and they're obsessed with money. They think that's the only thing that matters, but isn't that in a sense racist?"

Uygur said white Americans are 10 times as wealthy as African Americans, and that national Democrats were always going to choose the richer candidate. He asked whether this standard discriminates against African Americans.

"I agree. There is a wealth gap between African Americans and the predominant culture, but that's because of the systemic holdover from racism," Smith said. "There's too much big money in politics, and so these candidates, this has resulted in the failed leadership that we have in Washington, D.C., and many in our state houses."

The Intercept reported last week that Smith was leading in recent polls in her bid to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.). While she said she didn't believe the DSCC and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) were meddling in the Democratic primary, Smith acknowledged rumors they may endorse her primary opponent, Cal Cunningham, who they previously endorsed in 2010.

"It seems clear to me that there is a question of integrity or lack thereof," Smith said. "This brings to question who's telling the truth. And there's an appearance to me that Senator Schumer is trying to purchase—trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina. That is not going to go well for the constituents that I serve. And I am very much opposed to that. New York and North Carolina are extremely different."

The DSCC and Schumer have received scrutiny over perceived meddling in multiple Senate races this election cycle, especially by making endorsements early in the primaries. They have made endorsements in Iowa, Colorado, Maine, and multiple other Senate races.

Back in July, Uygur attacked Schumer on Twitter for the DSCC's endorsement of Amy McGrath to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).

"This is classic Democratic consultants fucking up a winnable race. She is a Schumer candidate and I'm sure he advised her to hire the dumbest, most expensive consultants who tell her to run as Republican lite in Kentucky," Uygur tweeted. "How many times can Schumer make the same stupid mistake?"