Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

When controversy strikes, it's often hard to keep up with all of the players and their allegiances. Take the latest dust-up over Edwards staffers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. Sure, there were the usual suspects like professional offendee Bill Donohue and right-wing opportunist Michelle Malkin. But what about some of the other folks involved? Take, for example, the Christian Alliance for Progress, who accused Matt of "intolerance and arrogance." I know I'd never heard of them until this flap.

And what about Brian O'Dwyer of the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council? As reported by Ben Smith at The Politico, O'Dwyer pushed a statement to the media reading, in part, "Senator Edwards is condoning bigotry by keeping the two bloggers on his staff. Playing to the cheap seats with anti-Catholic bigotry has no place in the Democratic Party." Now, whatever you think of the comments made by Edwards' staffers, it's hard to imagine that any Democrat thinks Edwards was "condoning bigotry" by not putting them out on the streets.

Politics being what it is, I had trouble taking O'Dwyer's anger at face value. Sure, I can buy that he found the comments truly offensive. But why would a good Democrat like Brian O'Dwyer publicly bash a fellow Democrat like Edwards with such force? After all, Brian O'Dwyer is a good Democrat who has given money to candidates like Ned Lamont and whose family tree includes his father Paul, President of the New York City Council in the seventies, and uncle William, Mayor of New York from 1946 to 1950.

Could it be that O'Dwyer's anger is less about the words of one blogger and more about his own personal political loyalties? After all, O'Dwyer has given $12,100 to Edwards opponent Hillary Clinton since 2000 -- more than he's given to any other single candidate. And according to his official bio, he was the National Co-Chair or Irish-Americans for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996.

I'm not accusing the Clinton camp of orchestrating this campaign against Edwards. After all, O'Dwyer was relatively late to the game. But it's simply impossible to believe that it was anything but his loyalty to Clinton that led O'Dwyer to join in the right-wing pile-on.

UPDATE: It seems that there's some discrepancy between the reports at CampaignMoney.com, which indicates O'Dwyer gave $3,000 on 1/13/06 and Newsmeat.com, which says $3,000 was returned to him on the same date.

Whatever the case, my original point still stands -- O'Dwyer has been a Clinton partisan and major donor to her political campaigns.

Tags: 2008, clinton, Edwards (all tags)

Comments

48 Comments

Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Scott

I agree with you that Brian O'Dwyer's statement on the bloggers on Edwards campaign is aggressive and angry.

However he did not give 12000+ to Hilary Clinton.  That is an illegal amount, so I looked it up.   I 'll post the link now, but  the site is down. He was reimbursed $4000 by her campaign and so he donated the $6000 dollars.

http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_deta il.php?city=NEW+YORK&st=NY&last= O%27Dwyer&first=Brian.  

The 2000 cycle max for the Senate  is $4000.  the 2006 cycle max for the Senate was 4200. (It is now 4600).  So any total amount over 8200 would be illegal.  

I can't say with 100% certainty that the Clinton people smiled in Brian O'Dwyer's statement, but I highly doubt it because I know a lot of her staff and they are not happy about this controversy at all. They all have or will have bloggers.

I did meet him once, but it was not political. His mother? or aunt? was interesed in an apt I was representing for sale.  It struck me beecause I had never seen him before and I know lots of people in politics in NY.  I can see he donates a lot.  It seems to be business related.  Even thought he lives in Rockland county, north of the city, he donates a lot to Nydia Velasquez who represents Brooklyn and is now chair of Small Business.  Here's alink to article about his law firm repping new voting machines.
http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?i d=811

Brian O'Dwyer is somewhat peripheral to the NY political scene and community. His uncle and father used to be the heart of the liberal community in NY inthe 40's, 50's, 60's but not now.  If I recollect that was before Roe and the O'Dwyers being such devout Catholics are anti choice.

Seriously the Clinton campaign is not happy about this popping up.  They want it to go away and statements like O'Dwyer's don't make it go away; it just stirs the waters.

I think this group is Brian's way to make the ODwyer voice heard again in NY and does not have anyone's imprimatur.  

He was very involved in the Irish question --that's why Peter King.  But Ireland seems to be resolving itself.  He needed another platform

by debcoop 2007-02-13 10:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

I have never heard of Brian O'Dwyer, but I met his father, the late Paul O'Dwyer.  To refer to him merely as a "former Democratic NYC Council President" is telling only a small part of the story.   My first political campaign involvment was on behalf of Paul O'Dwyer, when he ran as an anti-war candidate for the US Senate in 1968.  Prior to that time he was very active in the civil rights movement, and, at a time of intense fear of communism, he accepted leadership of the Lawyer's Guild, a very progressive organization.   After his failed Senate run, he was President of the NYC Council, but was also at the forefront of every progressive cause until his death in 1998.  

by nytrialman 2007-02-14 12:28AM | 0 recs
I do believe there is much more at play then we

know, on KOS also the front page piece with a quote of a fellow democratic campaign, blasting Edwards support of the bloggers. I don't believe anyone has found out yet which campaign staffer was at fault for the slap about supporting Amanda and Melissa in the first place, attack on the netroots.

I wish someone could get to the bottom of the attacks. With Edwards being in the top 3, it would logically look like the two to gain the most would be Clinton or Obama.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/9/1 55311/6433

This line from the 3 update says alot:
Update III: I have confirmed with Slate's John Dickerson that his source was with a Democratic campaign.

by dk2 2007-02-14 12:40AM | 0 recs
Re: I do believe there is much more at play then w

I commented that I think it's Dan Gerstein .. who was the LIEberman spokesman during the campaign against Lamont.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-02-14 02:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

As you note, the answer to that question assumes a fact not in evidence: that he IS angry. Dems, of all types, have believed now for some time that there is more gain to be made by 'moving to the center'. We know who the leader of this movement has been...the Clinton's. We know the deal....we get a Dem president and all the not inconsequential benefits that flow from that.  The price is a weakened party that stands for little. Especially when standing for something has a public cost.

It is part and parcel of my conclusion, whether right or wrong on my part, that the Dems are the Whigs of this century. And they will prove unable to confront the forces that line up against them/us. As the Whigs were unable to confront the forces of the Confederacy. I will be more than happy to be proven wrong on this. In the mean time I will keep supporting Dems with both money and effort. As I have in the past. But I still think they are doomed as a party.  

by jon s 2007-02-14 02:22AM | 0 recs
Most of America has Religious Beliefs

Obama started his speech in Springfield by "giving thanks to God", because Blacks, Christians, Republicans, Democrats and Independents mostly believe that there is a God and they want to know that their government is not averse to God.  

Edwards made a big mistake politically by appointing people who took others' spiritual beliefs lightly and ridiculed basic fundaments of others' beliefs.  Ridiculing the foundations of others faith is the essence of religous intolerance and the American electorate is not going to vote for that.

I've read some stuff from Amanda's site and while she has a right to deconstruct and doubt religous tenets, she does so in a way that would necessarily be offensive to people of those religions.  I do not believe that John Edwards is anti-religion, but he has not shown that he has sufficient sollicitousness for religious tolerance in his decision-making.

Polls show that there is about a twenty-five percent gap between the numbers of voters who believe Republicans are anti-religion and and the numbers who believe Democrats are anti-religion.  More voters believe Democrats to be anti-religion.  Anything that exacerbates that perception is bad for our presidential chances and bad for the future of the Democratic Party.

by francislholland 2007-02-14 03:16AM | 0 recs
They have a funny way of showing it

 What was that study that came out a few months ago -- 99% of Americans had had sex outside of marraige since the 1950's?

 Our divorce rate hovers around 50% nationwide.

 Americans routinely ignore religious declarations that don't suit their political agendas -- witness all the warmongering that infected "Christian" communities even after Pope John Paul II came out strongly and unequivocally against the Iraq invasion.

 Church attendance in America is around 30%.

 "Christian" America has the highest crime rate and the highest incarceration rate among developed countries. By far.

 If America is an overtly religious society, it's got a funny way of showing it. We cheat on our spouses, beat them, ditch them for someone else -- but get all worked up when someone challenges a religious institution's teachings. The same religious institutions we routinely ignore in our daily behaviors. Rudy Giuliani is the norm, not the exception.

 I really hate the human race sometimes.

 

by Master Jack 2007-02-14 03:28AM | 0 recs
Not to mention the 50% divorce rate!

What part of the Bible is being read on Marriage?

by dk2 2007-02-14 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Not to mention the 50% divorce rate!


  Americans lead the world in lip service to Christianity.

 In the actual practice of Christianity, we probably rank about 153rd.

 To Americans, religion is all about form, not content. People don't bother to follow the oh-so-treasured tenets of their faith, but get all bent out of shape when someone suggests that maybe these tenets are misguided and damaging and could stand being reexamined. I'll bet you that at least three-quarters of the Catholics who were "offended" by Marcotte's statements use contraception in the privacy of their own homes.

 It's maddening for us rational types.

by Master Jack 2007-02-14 04:08AM | 0 recs
If ration won elections . . .

Then George W. Bush wouldn't be President.  When Bush bowed and scraped to avowed personal religious views that he probably invented for the purposes of his election campaigns, it must have been because his pollsters told him that religion was important to voters.

Likewise, this whole Republican "values" meme must be a poll-tested attempt to draw voters away from Democrats using empirical results from polling about voters' opinions and what voters believe is important.  When voters believe something is important then, electorally, it IS important, like it or not.

When people tell you they want chocolate ice cream, you're going to go broke trying to sell them Rocky Road.  There had better at least be some chocolate ice cream in that Rocky Road you're trying to sell!  

And there had better be a dose of religion in the Democratic smorgasbord, or many voters will just go to a different restaurant where the banquet includes their favorite plate.

by francislholland 2007-02-14 06:18AM | 0 recs
They don't accept all dogma, but

A Pew study on Religion in America says that most Americans consider themselves to be religious (no matter what we think about it) and they consider the Democrats to be less accepting of religion than the Republicans.  This is about people's perceptions, and their perceptions matter at the polls because they vote.  Here's the link to the Pew research, which has very important implications for 2008.  http://pewforum.org/docs/index.php?DocID =115#1

Here's a link to a diary I wrote about the influence that Bill and Hillary's way of discussing and showing their religious participation has had on their past electoral success.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/14/ 185557/770

It's important to pay attention to what voters say is important.

by francislholland 2007-02-14 06:05AM | 0 recs
Amanda Marcotte doesn't take...

..."spiritual beliefs lightly."

She believes that Catholic policies against birth control cause deaths.

by Eric Jaffa 2007-02-14 05:39AM | 0 recs
Many people say so more nicely. n/t

by francislholland 2007-02-14 06:19AM | 0 recs
And are nice and politely ignored

When they do so.

by boadicea 2007-02-14 07:15AM | 0 recs
When I made this comment

I didn't dare to hope you'd demonstrate its truth so definitively.

Ta ever so.

by boadicea 2007-02-16 06:00AM | 0 recs
After the SC Incident and now this...

I have to imagine the Clinton(s) are the invisible hand-deciding the Democratic nominee before the American people have spoken!

by optimusprime 2007-02-14 03:27AM | 0 recs
Re: After the SC Incident and now this...

I have to imagine that you let your dislike run away with you.  This guy is not aligned with the Clinton campaign at all.  The CLINTON's have nothing to do with this unless you can bring proof to the contrary.  

Besides, I saw one of the first bashers (besides Donohue and Malkin) of Edwards was a Democratic blogger "sympathetic to Obama."  

by georgep 2007-02-14 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

  What does Brian O'Dwyer have to say about Rudy Giuliani's lifestyle choices, which are a permanent affront to Catholicism?

 

by Master Jack 2007-02-14 03:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?


  A Ned Lamont donor who supports Hillary Clinton.

 Extreme cognitive dissonance isn't just a contagion of the right, it appears.

by Master Jack 2007-02-14 03:36AM | 0 recs
hey scott and MyDD guys

If this is "Brian O'Dwyer" of 350 Central Park West he gave 4100$ to Hillary in 2005 and

someone with the same Last name and address (wife?) gave 500$

http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg ?26020091774

http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_ind /2005_S0NY00188/1/O

Is this the guy?

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 03:50AM | 0 recs
THAT"S HIM

4100$ to Hillary in 2005...

great story!

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 03:51AM | 0 recs
Re: THAT"S HIM

Great.  My wife and I gave a lot of support to Patrick Murphy (among others) last year.

Is he responsible for everything I post on DailyKos and this site?

by Adam B 2007-02-14 04:45AM | 0 recs
Please...

comparing O'Dwyer - who is the nephew of the former Mayor of NY and son of city council president to random blogger is crazy.

http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/PersonDet ail.aspx?PersonID=120394926

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Please...

I am far from a random blogger.  Moreover, in 2004, 86% of Edwards' money came from donors at $200+ (p14), compared with 69% for Clark, 63% for Kerry and 40% for Dean.  That's a lot of people whose speech you're making your candidate accountable for.

by Adam B 2007-02-14 06:23AM | 0 recs
because he doesn't take corporate

PAC money like most of the rest.

Edwards doesn't take corporate PAC money so he has to make up the millions somewhere.

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: because he doesn't take corporate

Dean didn't.  I'm pretty sure Clark didn't either.  

by Adam B 2007-02-14 06:44AM | 0 recs
part of that is netroots giving

if a person repeatedly gives small donations online it shows up as many small donations even though the total might not be so different.

this year on actblue we can follow it in real time.

right now Edwards is slightly over 100$ per donor, Obama slightly under,  and Richardson at ~250$..

I don't know what to say except Edwards donors in 04 were less likely to give online than dean or clark, which helps make the donor numbers larger.  each time I give on actblue it counts as a "new" donor...

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 11:30AM | 0 recs
also,

I never said all candidates refused PAC corporate money.

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Please...

This is ridiculous.  Candidates are not , cannot and should not be responsible for every donation or opinion that their supporters have.  It is logically arguing reductio ab absurdem.  Candidates have tens of thousands conributors.

Brian O"Dwyer is no more important than Adam B.  He is not a major player in NY Politics.  As isaid before he and his organization were initially very involved with ireland and as you remember Bill clinton was very instrumental in bringing some peace to ireland.  Which explains his initial closeness.

 And just becuase he supports Clinton does not mean that the Clinton campaign approved what he said, did or even knew about it.

This is not evidence, just insinuation.    

by debcoop 2007-02-14 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Please...

It's not insinuation -- it's deductive reasoning.

That said, no one should construe this to mean that candidates are responsible for the actions of their supporters.  I'm pretty sure you're arguing with the commenters rather than me, as I tried to make it clear in my post that I don't think this was generated from the Clinton campaign, but that Dwyer wouldn't be shy about knocking one of the candidates competing with someone he supports.

Had this same "controversy" happened with Clinton bloggers, I can't imagine that O'Dwyer would be issuing press releases accusing Hillary of "condoning bigotry" -- he'd have held his tongue.

by Scott Shields 2007-02-14 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

John Edwards is attacked for not firing the bloggers, yet he also is attacked for not tying them up and preventing them from resigning.  

Amanda and Michelle still support John Edwards.

There's a pattern here, and that pattern is that any candidate who threatens the status quo will be brought down.  Remember Dean?  This is typical Hilary, through a surrogate.  

But the netroots are proving to be very weak, because they do not support John Edwards on this.  Many folks have turned on him too easily.

Matt and Chris have been stalwart on this issue, and I think they argue from a netroots perspective.  

One thing we know, Hilary is not going to empower the netroots.

by littafi 2007-02-14 04:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Also Scott, the author of this diary, has been good on this. Excellent.

by littafi 2007-02-14 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Of all the candidates running Edwards has the most conservative voting record.  He kind of skipped the moderate center and ran to the left with his rhetoric, but so far all there is is rhetoric.  How would he legislate?  His record is decidedly blue-dog conservative.

This episode continues a pattern of bungling that shows a somewhat amateurishly run organization.  THAT is the pattern here, not some made-up fantasy of the "evil Clinton's" behind all the problems your candidate encounters.  

by georgep 2007-02-14 05:59AM | 0 recs
Oh please, if you don't want to be behind

Edwards then just say so and stop with the amateurishly run stuff.

It is ok to be for someone else, just say so.

I don't see threats as equating to amateurishly run. That leap is way to far of a leap for me.

by dk2 2007-02-14 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh please, if you don't want to be behind

While I don't support Edwards at this point I don't see what my choice has to do with this.  

This is the second time Edwards' campaign has "created" an issue.  Not that I agree with Donohue in any way AT ALL, but if Edwards is indeed offended by the remarks of the bloggers, should they no have been screened by his campaign first?  After all, he is more conservative than most, does not appear to subscribe to an abrasive tone when it comes to dealing with churches and the opponent. It is well known that bloggers shoot off the hip a lot (although, I must say, I don't think a Chris Bowers would have written acidic statements filled with foul vernacular,) so a little check into that to make sure Edwards is not contradicted in posture and word by his staff would have made sense.  Then we have the hoopla about them being fired, no, wait, they are not (Salon) with statemenes attributed to Palmieri that were neither concise nor definite.  Now the two bloggers are gone.  You don't think the campaign staff bungled this up?  That is fine, but others may disagree with you.  

by georgep 2007-02-14 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Edwards is not and never was a conservative, not even for a Democrat.

by clarkent 2007-02-14 10:26AM | 0 recs
Edwards doesn't threaten status quo

If you think about it, the most fundamental aspect of the status quo throughout American history has been the literal and figurative disenfranchisement of Black voters and women.  They could not hold electoral office and they never have held the highest office in the land because white men ALWAYS have arrogated that office unto themselves, sometimes with the complicity of white women.  

If you define the status quo in terms of the actual enfranchisement of those who have been historically disenfranchised, it becomes clear that the election of white male John Edwards would constitute the clearest possible reaffirmation of the status quo possible.  Once again, women and Black candidates would be passed over with the effect of perpetuating the 43-term exclusively white male monopoly of the US Presidency.  Perpetuating the status quo and perpetuating the social, economic and political disenfranchisement of Blacks and women.

Electing Edwards to challenge the status quo is like supporting a queen to challenge the monarchy or integrating an all-white club by adding more all-white club members.

It is possible that electing yet another white man to the Presidency will end the poverty of the historically disenfranchised, with John Edwards serving as a "pass through" for those who have historically been disincluded legally and by custom.  But this is a very convoluted way of achieving what could be achieved much more directly by electing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Of course, ending disenfranchisement is not the only goal of the Presidency, but it is John Edwards' raison d' être, which is why electing Hillary and Barack is the best way to achieve the goal that John Edwards espouses.

by francislholland 2007-02-14 06:36AM | 0 recs
this is a racist and sexist argument

You judge John Edwards on the fat that he is a white male.

From that, I must assume that you would consider electing Clarence Thomas or Michelle Malkin to the White House to be a victory for progressives and a blow to the status quo.

Like I said.  Racist.  Sexist.

Thanks for playing.

by DrFrankLives 2007-02-14 06:49AM | 0 recs
would you like to make a bet

Obama will not be HIllary's VP..

I'm serious... how about lifetime banishment from MyDD??

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 07:51AM | 0 recs
Prediction:

The Clinton campaign will do everything it can to gut the Democratic brand in favor of Hillary's aspirations, but almost exclusively through surrogates.

They always keep their prints off the knife.

by Pachacutec 2007-02-14 04:52AM | 0 recs
this is as close as it gets

by TarHeel 2007-02-14 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Prediction:

The only ones suprised by this are the MSM.  I have been saying it forever, the Clintons are only out for themselves.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-02-14 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Prediction:

slanderous allegation.

by georgep 2007-02-14 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry? - Qui bono?

Excellent research, Scott. One can learn a lot by pursuing just two questions:

(1) Who is funding and supporting whom?

(2) Qui bono (who benefits)?

by FMArouet 2007-02-14 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Don't blame O'Dwyer and don't blame Edwards. I think O'Dwyer's comments showed the Edwards campaign that the blogger controversy had legs, but if O'Dwyer hadn't pushed them, someone else would have further along down the line. The fact is that a lot of Catholic Democrats, including progressive Catholics, would be offended by blasphemy and insults of the Virgin Mary and the church hierarchy. We might not like all the bishops, but they're our bishops and when they're attacked we defend them. Edwards didn't need to be apologizing at every campaign stop for those old throwaway lines by a couple junior aides.

That said, I think progressives and Jewish groups ought to raise hell and demand that Catholic bishops and Republicans repudiate William Donohue for his anti-Semitic, homophobic and other offensive remarks. He has set the standard for guilt by association.

by jcullen 2007-02-14 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Why is Clark included and not Gore? Did he declare?

by inexile 2007-02-15 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?
Posted on a back back back, went to the wrong page this was for ther straw poll.
Sorry
by inexile 2007-02-15 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Is Brian O'Dwyer So Angry?

Since you quote me, I feel compelled to respond.
First off, I was speaking for myself and not the Christian Alliance for Progress. Secondly, you quote me out of context here. I didn't say Matt himself was arrogant and intolerant--Isaid his approach to this issue were.

Here's what I actually wrote:

Mr. Stoller's conviction that there can be only "one" moral response to a situation is the absolute height of intolerance and arrogance. Such cocksure moral certainty is exactly the way the religious right expresses itself. No religious liberal would ever compose such a sentence--because their world view recognizes the limits of our own ability to peceive "the truth."

One definition of tolerance is: "sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own." To say there is only "one way" to respond to things is inherently intolerant.

Arrogance: "exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner..." And, yes, I think that fits, too. It was absurdly arrogant for Stoller to say the religious left only pretends to fight the right. Later, this blog personally attacked Jesse Lava for a post he didn't even write!

by FP 2007-02-16 11:24AM | 0 recs

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