Real power in the federal government is hard to come by.
Lawmakers from more populated regions of the country are typically able to climb that political ladder faster.
Well, the Quad Cities finds itself moving up that power structure.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ rise to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gives her a strong voice in her party, one that could bring results for the Quad Cities in Congress when it comes to legislation.
Her primary role in that job is to work to get more Democrats elected to Congress.
That big job also brings growing pains and sometimes big criticism.
Congresswoman Bustos dealt with a bit of that over the last few months.
Chief among them ended with the ouster of several members of the senior staff at the DCCC that included the executive director who was a close ally to Bustos, along with the deputy executive director, the director of diversity, the political director and the communiciations director.
All of that shakeout happened after members of the party complained the DCCC lacked minorities in leadership positions, something Congresswoman Bustos vowed to change.
It’s a different political minefield the congresswoman from the Quad Cities has to navigate these days.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos discussed this and more on 4 The Record this week.
Goals and strategy
The last time we spoke was just before Bustos got the nod to lead the DCCC.
The Democratic Party in the past has been reluctant to pursue a 50-state strategy to elect more members to Congress and win the White House for that matter.
Bustos discussed how important she thinks it is to employ a 50-state strategy and if the Democrats are going to do it in 2020.
This year’s turnover at the DCCC came somewhat abruptly.
Bustos addressed how much the challenges from within her party caught her off guard, what changes she had to make personally and how disappointed she was to lose executive director Allison Jaslow.
DCCC policy changes
A policy enacted under her leadership at the DCCC has been criticized.
It keeps Democratic consultants from working with candidates who launch a primary challenge against a Democratic incumbent if they want to do business with the committee.
If this was in effect earlier this could have derailed the campaigns of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
I asked Bustos, “How is this good for democracy?”
Watch the video above for that answer and the full conversation.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.