CLINT CURTIS TAKES AIM AT ONE OF FLORIDA'S CROOKEDEST POLITICAL HACKS-- AND THE DCCC
One of the most corrupt members of Congress still not indicted or imprisoned is Tom Feeney (FL-24), who represents the wealthy suburbs northeast of Orlando and a nice strip of coast starting at Daytona Beach. The district leans Republican, but not overwhelmingly so. Bush took 55% in 2004 and, pathetically, Feeney wasn't opposed that year. Last year he was challenged Clint Curtis, a former computer programmer who was asked by then Florida House Speaker Feeney-- and close Bush family ally-- to create a vote-rigging software prototype. In 2004 Brad Friedman started following this case-- and he's never let up. In fact it was Brad who first told me about Clint and because of Brad I talked with Clint on the phone and asked him to catch us up with what's happening down in the district going into the '08 election-- when he again intends to take on Feeney. A little note before I turn it over to Clint. The DCCC has assured grassroots activists and bloggers that the bad old Rahm Emanuel days of interfering in local races by pushing out progressive candidates in favor of reactionary hacks are over. Occassionally I hear from potential candidates that they're not always being 100% scrupulous in holding to that. Clint is the first person to go on the record about it. "The DCCC lied to you. They are meddling to the best of their ability," he wrote me a few days ago. His post:
Back in 2005, I met with the DCCC in Washington to discuss my campaign. They said they were impressed with all the work I'd done to protect election integrity in Florida and warn voters about the dangers of electronic voting (which is now, thankfully, no longer permitted in the Sunshine State). At that point, they promised that should I win the primary, they would give me $350,000 to beat Feeney. I won the primary with 61% of the vote.
Naturally, the DCCC would not return my calls.
Despite being outspent by Feeney an incredible 26-1, we were within two points of unseating him, according to a Zogby poll taken just weeks before Election Day. Just imagine what we could have done with that $350,000. Defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory.
While in Washington last winter to work behind the scenes in support of ending e-voting, I met with the DCCC again. I was told if we raised enough money and expanded the campaign beyond the voting issue, they would support me. I was told to call anytime for help with media and suggestions on campaign strategy.
We've now learned that the DCCC has actively recruited candidates to run against me. Frank Bruno, Volusia County Chairman, told them that he would not run against me because I would beat him and he doesn't enjoy wasting his time and money. Suzann Kosmos, a millionaire and former Florida state house representative from Volusia County, has decided to run after the DCCC convinced her they'd help her win (a refrain I'm growing increasingly familiar with).
It's no coincidence that the Congress, full of Rahm Emanuel's hand-picked freshmen who back down to the Administration at every confrontation, has an approval rating of a mere 11%. The American people want much more than a legislature of partisans that never accomplish anything they were elected to do. The people want to have a say in government again. They want a representative with the backbone to stand up for them, who will not cave in to Republican aggression or pressure from our Democratic "leadership." They want someone to take the lead in defense of their ideals and aspirations for what our country should, and can, be. That is what I intend to do-- to bring leadership for a change to Washington.
I will be a leader who sets an example of what it takes to work for the American people by protecting our Constitution from the Bush Administration, and protecting our dreams from his disastrous policies. By the time Bush leaves office it is estimated that 700,000 fewer people will own homes than did when he was first sworn in, and the recent sub-prime mortgage debacle is only making the problem worse. It is time to revitalize our middle class so the dream of a bright future where homes are paid off, children have a college education and retirement is secure becomes a reality.
We have a well-organized campaign. We have strong union support. We have deep grassroots support and participation across the country. All we need now are the financial resources to compete with Feeney's deep-pocketed cronies. Despite ample evidence that Feeney, a longtime buddy of Jack Abramoff and now under investigation by the FBI, is a crook and his seat is vulnerable, the media and the pundits won't pay attention to this race unless we step up our fundraising efforts. The DCCC is already doing radio ads pointing out his vote against SCHIP, and the DNC is organizing a lit drop to be held Nov 3rd that will target Feeney, but we know from experience that we can't count on national Democratic groups to still be here when the going gets tough. That's why I'm setting out to raise enough money to send Feeney packing and help bring real change to Washington.
We need a representative in Congress who will listen to your issues, support your causes, and do what is right for the American people. Florida's 24th deserves better than Tom Feeney, and America deserves better than a weak and ineffective Congress. If you can, please help me take this message to Washington.
Clint may sound too independent and too rigorous of a thinker for the Inside the Beltway establishment but, to me, he sounds like exactly what the country needs-- in spades. The DCCC has Jim Marshall, one of the 2 reactionary Democrats to vote to sustain Bush's S-CHIP veto yesterday, on their Front Line Page. If you donate money to the DCCC, you are donating money to Jim Marshall so he can continue voting against children's health care, against Choice for women, against every progressive policy that comes up and for the entire Bush-Cheney War Agenda. Instead, why don't we let them know that they can keep their elitist millionaires-- from both sides of the putrid aisle-- because this government belongs to the people. Check out Clint at his website.