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“JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR HERE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 16, 2016) — In an email dated April 28, 2015, then-Clinton campaign manager John Podesta strategized with other Clinton supporters, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in writing an email press release about an upcoming gathering on “income inequality” to advocate raising the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly.
Earlier that month in his city, de Blasio had convened a more formal meeting of “national progressive leaders” to “combat the crisis of our time — income inequality.”
The participants in the email chain were President of the Center for American Progress (CAP) Neera Tanden; former Clinton State Department staffer Jake Sullivan; DeBlasio; Podesta; Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.
CAP was founded by Podesta in 2003, and he remains a member of the Board of Directors.
Notably, Tanden responded to Podesta, “Substantively, we have not supported $15 – you will get a fair number of liberal economists who will say it will lose jobs…”
Sullivan then suggested the inclusion in the press release of “John Podesta (and the Red Army) want to support $15!”
The next response reads:
*From:* Neera Tanden [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
*Sent:* Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:28 PM
*To:* Jake Sullivan; John Podesta
*Cc:* Robby Mook; Jennifer Palmieri
*Subject:* RE: Email we are sending out today
And when you say Red Army, you mean the base of the Democratic party, right?
Just want to be clear here.
The term “Red Army” normally refers to the military force formed after the Russian Bolshevik Revolution when communism was imposed in that country and throughout Eastern Europe, forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The USSR’s oppressive domination of its neighbors and strict censorship of any Western influence formed what came to be known as the “Iron Curtain.”
The plight of the “proletariat” vs. the wealthier “bourgeoisie” was extolled upon in Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” which became the basis of 20th-century communism.
In Chapter 1 of the manifesto, Marx and co-writer Friedrich Engels wrote:
In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed — a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.
Issues to be presented to the 2015 press release’s intended audience included “Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation” and “Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.”
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy became the subject of intense ridicule and eventual censure by the U.S. Senate after he warned that communist influence was permeating Hollywood, the U.S. military and State Department.
Sullivan’s final response to Tanden’s question was, “Well…..”