Carrick Flynn’s Conundrum: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Carrick Ronan Morgan Flynn, who came out of nowhere in Oregon politics, hopes to outrun a primary field of Democrats seeking election to Oregon’s new Congressional District 6 seat created as a result of the 2020 census.

His television radio and digital ads, lawn signs, direct mail, and get-out-the-vote phone calls have been ubiquitous, helping propel him to high name recognition. Most of that activity has been paid for with multimillion donations from his presumed friends, a crypto currencies pacesetter, Sam Bankman-Fried, and the national Democrat’s House Majority PAC, which recently made a $1 million donation. 

“The independent expenditure campaign gives Flynn an outsized advantage in the race to be the Democratic nominee in the new district, which draws most of its voters from Marion County,” observed Willamette Week on April 10. 

The problem is the independent expenditure campaign has also majorly pissed off Flynn’s primary opponents, many with much stronger Oregon ties, exposed him to rebukes by multiple Democratic-associated interest groups and raised questions about backdoor dealings at the national level.

The House Majority PAC’s intervention is particularly mad because it was so unnecessary. Protect Our Future, backed by a man with an almost bottomless pot of money, has already shown it is willing to invest vast sums in Carrick’s race. 

Six of the nine Democrats seeking to win the Democratic primary rapidly issued a statement denouncing the House Majority PAC’s donation to Flynn. “We strongly condemn House Majority PAC’s unprecedented and inappropriate decision…” the joint statement said. “We call on House Majority PAC to actually stand by our party’s values and let the voters of Oregon decide who their Democratic nominee will be.”

The PAC’s endorsement of Flynn probably didn’t help the party with Black Oregonians either. 

Loretta Smith, a Black woman and one of the primary candidates, has said she feels betrayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the PAC’s support for Flynn,. “I think it’s disrespectful and it’s wrong,” Smith said.

Adding to the pique of the other primary candidates, some of the Democrats’ most dependable constituencies objected to the House Majority PAC’s support for Flynn.

On April 11, CHC Bold PAC , a Democratic-aligned political action committee supporting the election of Hispanic Democrats to Congress, condemned the House Majority PAC’s donation to Flynn with a reminder that Latina women have been critical to Democratic victories and the PAC’s support for Flynn ignored the fact a highly qualified Latina, Andrea Salinas, was in the primary battle. 

“HMP is tasked with defending the House Majority by boosting Democrats and holding Republicans accountable, not with spending critical resources against a woman who has spent decades fighting for progressive causes and who will excite Democratic voters in November,” the statement said. 

Withering criticism also came from Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29 ). “At a time when reproductive rights are at stake, Democrats should be moving mountains to ensure that there are more women at the table – especially women of color – instead of actively trying to tip the scales against an exceptionally experienced Latina. That is precisely what House Majority PAC has done,” Garcia said. 

So much for friends who are just trying to help.

——-

I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!

Warren G. Harding

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