BLUE AMERICA-- 6 DAYS TO GO AND STILL PLENTY TO DO
Yesterday Jane quoted Inside the Beltway, rearview mirror prognosticator Charlie Cook to point out 7 House seats that the DCCC ignored but that we (netroots activists) have supported and encouraged, given prayers, moral support, shoe leather, lovely phone voices, cash and, in some cases, advertising spots. Cook is widely considered the gold standard of the rearview mirror prognosticator species; everybody uses him, from the DCCC and DNC to the big, sophisticated funders to the mainstream media to the most with-it bloggers. So he tends to be a self-fufilling propheseer. He's also usually 2-3 weeks behind what's actually happening on the ground.
I want to get into the races in a moment. But first I want to get into a couple of other matters that grassroots/netroots activists (i.e.- concerned and motivated citizens who take democracy seriously, too seriously to leave to the career-obsessed politicians of either Inside the Beltway political party) have been participating in far more than in previous election cycles. The obvious involves fundraising and somewhat less obvious is party defining and building.
A couple days ago Jane compared the fundraising efforts of Blue America to the fundraising efforts of the triumphantist New Democratic Coalition whose members are all over the mainstream media claiming their "moderate" leadership (i.e.- pro-Big Business/anti-worker, anti-consumer) is what is causing the swelling tide of anti-Republican sentiment that will sweep dozens of Democratic into Congress in 6 days.
Last week Ellen Tauscher (CA-10), a greasy corporate whore from Northern California, widely viewed as the most craven Rahm puppet in the Golden State, was campaigning with Jerry McNerney next door in CA-11. Isn't that nice? Not really. "Nice" would be if she turned her campaign treasury over to him or over to non-affiliated grassroots PACs who support him to make up for all the damage she and Emanuel caused him by trying to parachute an anti-grassroots/anti-progressive shill into the district during primary season. If Dirty Dick Pombo is returned to Congress next week it will be because of the efforts made by Tauscher and Emanuel, efforts that haven't made up for post-primary. Tauscher has been running around like a monkey beating her chest and claiming she and Rahmbo and their slimy crew are responsible for the tsunami of revulsion that is sweeping away Republicans. They're not. It's happening despite them, not because of them.
Even with all their corporate lobbyist buddies, they have raised less money for their mostly suspect candidates than Blue America has for ours. We're at $520,000. They're climbing towards $500,000. Most of our donations come in $5 and $10 and $20 increments from public spirited citizens who craven a better government, truer to our national ideals and values. Theirs come in big chunks-- with expensive strings attached, from grubby and self-serving special interests.
How many millions of dollars has Rahm wasted on the Duck's Breath Mystery Theater, first in defeating (by an inch) grassroots fave Christine Cegelis and then to bolster her campaign beyond what the DCCC is doing in any other district in America? That Rahm has some ego! Another $3 million was poured into that single district and Tammy, who might be good-- who knows anything about her except that she's Rahm's?-- is running behind some right wing Repug. Meanwhile, Angie Paccione, a strong-willed, independent minded, unbossed woman is 3 points ahead of the odious Marilyn Musgrave and Rahm won't give her any campaign funds at all. Jacquie mentioned to me the other day that Angie's polling numbers started overtaking Musgrave's at the same time the Blue America radio spots started running in Colorado.
Right now Emanuel and his posse-- who care a lot more about how they come across on the media than on how many seats Democrats win on the 7th-- are trying to overtake the front of the parade so that Emanuel can show the TV talking heads that he's leading it-- and has been all along. While he runs and skips and doles out money to insipid conservatives who hate gays, are anti-choice and pro-corporate bribery, we still have work to do.
John Laesch can't spend money on no fancy-pants pollin' and Rahm sure ain't buyin' him none. Fortunately, Hastert's campaign has a lot more trouble keeping their internal polling numbers secret than they do keeping the serial molestation of of young pages by randy Republican congressmen secret. A "fella"-- not a terribly bright or discerning one-- who knows Coach Denny kind of well got drunk the other night and started bragging to a DWT activist that a private Hastert poll, taken after Americans started absorbing the magnitude of Hastert's cover-up of the page scandal, shows Coach Denny 49% and John 45%. The drunken Hastert enthusiast didn't realize this is nothing to brag about and that when an incumbent drops below 50% with increasing negative momentum-- the last polling had him at 52% and John at 42%-- trouble could be brewing.
I suspected something was going on because within a couple of days of the Blue America ad buy for IL-14, Hastert started buying up all the available radio time he could get a hold of and running ads; also called "running scared." (His radio ad is boring as snoring.)
The other ads have been working too-- as I mentioned, Angie is beating Musgrave by 3% since they started running, and Chris Murphy is up over Nancy Johnson in CT-05 46-42%. No telling what's going on in CA-25; no one is even aware that district exists except the people who read T-Rex. But that's good for Rodriguez who would be the biggest shock of the year to the Charlie Cooks and Rahm Emanuels of the political world. In fact Robert has finely cornered McKeon into debating him (this afternoon) and I asked him to sign in at Firedoglake and give us a post-debate blow-by-blow.
Money-wise, there is exactly one district we can still do something about: Michigan-11, suburban Detroit, where Tony Trupiano is battling it our with the quinessential rubber stamp, Thaddeus McCotter. As of today we have our TV ads up on CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, E!, the Weather Channel, CNBC, A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BET, the Food Network, the Golf Channel, the History Channel, Lifetime, TLC, TNT, the Travel Channel, USA, HGTV, Bravo and several others. So far we bought $15,000 worth of ads. They vary in price from $11 for CNBC to $47 for A&E, all the way up to $92 for Lifetime and TNT. Anything we can send Comcast between now and tomorrow at 3PM will go up on the air in the form of more ads. Can I ask you one last time? If the answer is yes, please put it in the Blue America PAC, next to the picture of the Capitol Dome and the American flag broom getting ready to sweep away the remnants of McCotter and the rubber stamp Congress.