Jeff Beals

Last on our list is Jeff Beals, the second lowest fundraiser of the seven candidates. But please do not vote for a candidate simply because he has raised the most money, and you assume he is the frontrunner and most likely to win! Bernie Sanders proved in 2016 that you could win with small money donations (His average donation was $27!) How? By also having an ARMY of paid and unpaid volunteers going door to door! LISTEN TO THIS STORY: Kara Eastman, a Justice Democrat in Nebraska’s District 2, recently defeated the “Establishment” “Corporate” “Centrist” Democrat in her primary, a man who had served in the House before, AND SHE DID IT BY HAVING HERSELF, HER 2 PAID FIELD ORGANIZERS, AND HER 30-40 VOLUNTEERS KNOCK ON 60,000 DOORS! Update July 22, 2018: Look at Alexandria Orcasio -Cortez’ stunning victory in the NY-14 Race, where Democratic incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley out-spent her 10 to 1 in terms of total dollars amount (but she out-RAISED him in terms of individual donations – 13,000 donations to his 10000 donations). So even without the DNC’s database, there is hope. Jeff Beals is the only REAL PROGRESSIVE in this congressional race. Why? Because Jeff is the only candidate endorsed by the JUSTICE DEMOCRATS,”the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers working for a People’s Platform using grassroots fundraising; and working to reformthe Democratic Party, bringing it back to its PROGRESSIVE ROOTS (think FDR, Harry Truman, and yes, Lyndon Johnson without the Vietnam part). The Justice Democrats are endorsing 52 candidates nationwide from all occupations, all races, all genders (29 women and on LGBTQ person of color), and all religious faiths – creating a pre-formed caucus to run AS A SLATE,to get money out of politics and create Progressive legislation. Therefore, if elected, Jeff will have a pre-formed coalition of representatives to work with! He is the ONLY candidate with 11 years of government experience. As a CIA intelligence officer, he briefed the secretary of state, Congress, and Middle East ambassadors; and wrote for President Clinton’s Daily Brief. As a decorated State Department Diplomat, he worked for peace in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fluent in Arabic,he worked many years in Iraq: helping to create the first diplomatic talks between our ambassadors, generals, and the insurgency, and bringing warring factions together to create an Iraqi constitution. He returned in 2011 to the Hudson Velley farm he grew up on and raised turkeys, and then moved to Woodstock and became a high school teacher. Jeff’s work for both Republican and Democratic administrations and his diplomatic experience will help to both unite the Democrats and get Republicans and Democrats to work together.ONLY Jeff’s campaign rhetoric uses the word UNITE,”notFIGHT,” as in: “I will fight for this.”

However, in the interests of fairness and full disclosure,  theotherhudsonvalley.com reported on March 28 “An analysis of congressional candidate Jeff Beals’ campaign finance reports shows potential errors involving contributions through ActBlue, a website allowing democrats from across the U.S. to easily contribute to blue candidates. However, ActBlue is not listed on Beals’ Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. There is no indication money received through ActBlue has not been listed in the filings, but Beals’ campaign appears not to have told the FEC this money was received via a fundraising site, or ‘conduit.’” The Beals campaign sent the following response to questions about its ActBlue filings: We review our quarterly FEC filings with the help of a compliance officer,” the statement read. “If the reporting of a conduit is found to need amending by our compliance officer, we will not hesitate to do so.”FEC Deputy Press Officer Christian Hilland said the FEC does not disclose how or if errors are corrected, and added the “potential issues of non-compliance” listed in such letters do not indicate criminality. “We’re not alleging anything,” he said. “We’re just pointing out some issues that may need to be addressed.”  

In additionsome people believe that Jeff has his own set of negatives. Mr. Beals has been criticized for actually not being “diplomatic” in this primary race. Matt Taibi, in his June Rolling Stone article: “The Battle of Woodstock Part II: Dem-on-Dem Violence,” writes: “Watching Jeff Beals wrangle with the Democratic Party and its slate of primary candidates is like watching a gibbon let loose in an Aristocrats’ ball: Bits of silver crashing against the walls, food flying everywhere and landing in wigs, screams and screeches, etc. The other Democratic candidates talk a lot about focusing on the Republicans and being nice to each other. But the Woodstock history teacher, who is endorsed in this race by theJusticeDemocratsand has just picked up the endorsement of People for Bernie, another national Sanders group, isn’t much for kumbaya. He seems as determined to be an Uncontrolled Variable as party officials seem to be to shut him up. On health care, Beals baldly says many of his opponents are ‘full of shit’ on Medicare-for-all. He singles out Flynn for particular disapprobation. “Flynn is desperate to frame this issue as, ‘Five of the seven support Medicare-for-all,’ so he can wound the other two high-roller corporate candidates [Delgado and Ryan], and assume the mantle of ‘most-financed progressive,'” Beals says. “In fact, he’s just like his big-money peers but infinitely more brazen in his PR.” Beals and Flynn have had a number of dust-ups in the race. One involved a candidates’ debate in December at Bard College. One of the groups hosting the event was a local group with an impressively verbose name and acronym: “Indivisible The Fight Is On (ITFIO).” The debate had been a largely placid Democratic handholding session until Beals interrupted with a pointed set of remarks, aimed mainly at Flynn. “We don’t have enough jobs, and the jobs that we have aren’t what they should be, because of corporate power and corporate greed,” Beals began. “These problems are inside the Democratic Party, too,” he said. “Some of the candidates up here, one of them shut down a factory in Buffalo and moved jobs to the Dominican Republic, and moved his corporate headquarters to North Carolina…” Beals did not mention the candidate by name, but he was referring to Flynn, who not long ago was the president of a Buffalo-based company called AccuMED, which in 2016 did indeed move most of its jobs out of Buffalo. Much of AccuMED’s manufacturing is done in the Dominican Republic, with some of the factories located in the infamous town of Bajos de Haina, the subject of a documentary called City of Poison for its environmental record. It should be noted that many of these operations existed before Flynn ever got involved with the company.”

“After the debate Beals, like the other candidates, received a letter from ITFIO indirectly chastising him for being, well, divisible. Beals was also told by the chair of the Dutchess County Democrats to stop committing “Dem-on-Dem violence.” When I reached said chair, Elisa Sumner, she said, “They have to be respectful. Jeff has not been respectful about his Dem-on-Dem violence.”Just before press time, it got even weirder, as Beals was asked to sign yet another pledge asking him to be nice to his opponents co-signed by a bevy of local and state Democratic groups, including ITFIO, Democracy Matters and Blue Streak. Beals refused to sign, saying, “Why don’t they send around a pledge where every candidate running as a Democrat pledges to support Medicare-for-all?”

Taibi continues: “One of the reasons Democrats have underperformed nationally for over a decade now is the party’s fear of internal debate. It has created a candidate-selection process that heavily emphasizes money and platform orthodoxy, and has repeatedly nurtured its candidates in intellectual bubbles, protecting them from hearing outside criticism. This was the major problem with the “Deplorables” incident. It wasn’t necessarily that Hillary Clinton was wrong about many of Donald Trump’s voters, but more that it showed the intellectual bad habits one develops in echo chambers of internal non-criticism: If we lose, it must be because the voters suck, not us. Beals may be a pain in the ass, but forcing Democrats to ask questions about who they are and why they’ve been losing isn’t “violence” – it would seem more to be his job, as a politician. What makes this hard to sort out is that Democrats have a long history by now of favoring progressive-sounding positions during primary seasons, only to walk policies back in the general election, or once in office.”

MY FELLOW DEMOCRATIC VOTERS, “walking back Progressive policies” will not be an issue with Jeff Beals. Why? Because the Justice Democrats are not just a national organization of former Bernie staffers whose endorsement you can acquire just by saying the right things. They will also be a political watchdog group that will hold its endorsed candidates accountable to their campaign promises. If the candidate is elected and fails to work for the Progressive issues promised in the campaign, then two years from now the Justice Democrats will not only withhold endorsement for re-election, but will work to endorse a different candidate to challenge this year’s candidate in another Democratic Primary! I URGE ALL READERS TO VISIT justicedemocrats.com AND CLICK ON “OUR PLATFORM” to see the 22 different policies that candidates like Jeff Beals had to sign a pledge to work for in order to get the Justice Democrats endorsement. You can also click to see photos and biographies of all the endorsed candidates nationwide.

So I conclude this “article” by asserting that not only is Jeff Beals the BEST candidate and least corruptible, but because of the Justice Democrats scrutiny, he is also the “SAFEST” candidate. If you agree with me, point your friends to this website ASAP, and ESPECIALLY to NY19 registered Democrats who are still undecided or who have already chosen a different candidate! MY FELLOW DEMOCRATS, WHICHEVER WAY YOU DECIDE TO VOTE, PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE ON JUNE 26. 

Jeff’s Detailed History and Specific Positions (“the long version.” which you can also read on his website and watch many videos) Jeff grew up on his family’s farm in Putnam Valley, earned a BA in Government with honors from Harvard and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies. He began his adult career as a CIA Intelligence Officer in 1997, briefing Members of Congress, the secretary of state, and Middle East ambassadors about geopolitical issues, and writing for President Clinton’s Daily Brief. He then was commissioned as a State Department Foreign Service Officer in 2002, and worked for peace in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fluent in Arabic, he then became one of the longest serving U.S. diplomats of the Iraq War, facing down insurgents to set up the first diplomatic talks between our ambassador, our generals and the insurgency, and then later helping to bring warring factions together to create a constitution for Iraq. For this work, he was decorated by the U.S. Army and the State Department. During his last assignment in Iraq, after reviewing the American presence with General Anthony Zinni, a prominent critic of the war, he became disillusioned by the course our country was taking there and decided to leave the State Department. He returned to the US in 2008 to pursue a PhD at Columbia but did not complete it. In 2011, he returned to the farm his family has owned since he was 9 years old, starting raising turkeys, then moved to Woodstock to work as a high school history teacher. Jeff has worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations, and feels his diplomatic experience gives him the skill set to both unite the Democrats andto help Republicans and Democrats work together in Congress. He is the only candidate whose campaign rhetoric continually uses the word “UNITE,” not “FIGHT,” as in “I will fight for this or that.” He believes that he can help unite District 19, by “helping us to discover a hidden solidarity binding together the many constituencies in our District – working people, farmers, students, veterans, small-business people and more.” He makes no unrealistic promises about what he will “do” — his one and only campaign brochure during this year-long campaign is less than half the size of an 8½” by 11” document, but is packed with information about what he is “for” and “against.” He is the only candidate to call for breaking up big banks, the only one who is “for” promoting peace and diplomacy and “against” bloated Pentagon budgets, the only one who is “for” not just “protecting,” but actually increasing Social Security benefits, the only one who is “for” public school funding and raising teacher salaries while being “against” charter schools and vouchers, the only one who is “for” lower taxes on working class families, and the only one who supports a federal jobs guarantee. When asked in an interview by WAMC Radio how he would beat Faso, he responded that he is actually more “representative” of us than Faso: he lives and works here in the District, raising two children on a teacher’s salary. Unlike Delgado, Flynn, Ryan, and Rhodes, he did not move here from outside the District in order to run. AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, Jeff is the ONLY candidate endorsed by the JUSTICE DEMOCRATS. In the 2016 New York Presidential Primary, Bernie defeated Hillary Clinton in all of the counties in our District. Check out the 52 candidates at the JD website and you will see people of all races, genders (including 29 women and 1 LGBTQ person of color), religious faiths, and types of occupations, as well as one immigrant and several children of immigrants. Some of these people are also incumbents. The Democratic Party needs to keep the seats it has and pick up 23 more to get a majority in the House this November. However, a majority will not mean anything without a reformed Democratic Party. If all the Justice Democrats win, we will not only achieve a majority, but a majority that will work for the people that elected them, not their big donors. When WAMC Radio asked Jeff how he would stand up to John Faso’s “war chest,” he responded: “Money is the OBSTACLE to democracy, not the key.” Jeff has no “war chest,” so it is up to you and me to get out and knock on doors to vote for Jeff Beals, to make big money campaigns unnecessary, and to help the Democratic Party actually “swing LEFT,” back to its Progressive roots (NOT just to “CENTER”), with policies that represent the working class!

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