Talk about your carpetbaggers.
Having been unsuccessful with in-state candidates against House Speaker Paul Ryan for years, local Democrats have been reduced to importing Ryan’s next challenger from Ohio. If the name “David Yankovich” is unfamiliar to you, don’t worry as you’re going to be hearing much more about it in the coming weeks and months.
For starters, Tuesday was “Moving Day” for him according to his Twitter account. One person commenting on Twitter called this “carpetbragging:”
— David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) May 16, 2017
As Yankovich’s tweet points out, he’s currently in the process of moving to Wisconsin; likely the Kenosha area. This means he has no legitimate ties to the state or its politics. He has no in-state family, no connections, no ideas about local issues. All that appears to be driving his candidacy is a drive by local liberal activists to use him as a tool for their political grudges against Ryan. Such a strategy might sound good on paper given Yankovich’s online presence as an activist and occasional Huffington Post columnist; but it has a rather poor track record of success.
Yankovich’s name was first tossed around in early May, when Speaker Ryan’s 2016 opponent, Ryan Solen, issued a press release saying he had no interest in running in 2018. Instead, he would “declare my support for David Yankovich to seek the nomination.” This was quickly followed up by an article in the Janesville Gazette, offering this profile of Yankovich:
“Of the many people who appear to be exploring primary campaigns, I believe David Yankovich is the only one who can win against Paul Ryan. Should he declare, I will do everything I can to see that he is the Democratic nominee and, later, the winner of the general election,” Solen wrote.
Yankovich is a political activist from Ohio who is a political unknown in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
Yankovich has what it takes to challenge Ryan, said Karen Erb, a Democratic activist from Silver Lake, who wrote her own endorsement of Yankovich on the CrowdPac website.
The decision by 1st District Democrats to seek someone out of state to challenge Speaker Ryan has been met with a lukewarm reception at best. This is how one person commenting to the Janesville Gazette article reacted to the news of a Yankovich candidacy:
Nearly 6 million residents in Wisconsin, and the Dems need to import a “political activist from Ohio”?
If you’re going to bring in somebody who has never lived here, has never worked here, and knows absolutely nothing about the state, its residents, or its politics, why not just ask for Hillary?
Instead of flailing around, trying to determine “how do we get rid of Ryan”, shouldn’t the Dems focus on finding, or cultivating, the best person to represent our state in Congress?
A quick Google search of Yankovich gives one a cornucopia of opposition research which could be used against him; much of it written by his own hand. His Twitter feed along is a testament to everything from bizarre conspiracy theories about Obama canceling his presidential transition, calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment for “treason” (No further explanation given, just “Treason”) to whatever kinds of left-wing fantasies floats his boat. He’s a textbook example of why pundits shouldn’t seek public office – too much of a paper trail.
No official documentation for Yankovich has been filed by as of this date with the Federal Elections Commission. Ryan on the other hand, is sitting on a campaign war chest of over 9 million according to his most recent filing.