A crop of unique and extraordinarily unqualified men and women were elected to Congress last year. It's the ultimate damage the Koch-funded Tea Party did to America. And a case can be made that there was no worse outcome than the defeat of moderate Florida technocrat Ron Klein by raging right-wing extremist and proven sociopath Allen West. Disappointed Democrats and left-leaning independents in Broward and Palm Beach counties didn't bother coming out to vote. In the mid-term before (2006), 43,746 Broward voters gave Klein a 51-47% victory over longtime Republican incumbent Clay Shaw. In Palm Beach County is was 63,611- 59,120 for another 51-47% win for the challenger. Last year it turned around... badly. Klein only managed 39,654 votes in Broward (to West's 46,146) and 60,150 in West Palm (to West's 72,744). In both counties, the GOP vote went up and the Democratic votes... just evaporated. The 22nd CD had been steadily supporting Democratic presidential candidates in recent times. Gore beat Bush 52-48%. Kerry beat Bush 52-48% and in 2008, Obama beat McCain 52-48%.
That brings us to 2012... well first to 2011. The Republican legislature, in strengthening several endangered neighboring Republican districts (Webster's and Rivera's particularly), gerrymandered the area in such away that clearly threw West under the bus. McCain's 48% in 2008 would have been a 44% in the new boundaries... very bad news for West, who doesn't even live in the district.
Ironically, the crazed and clownish West, who will probably get a Fox TV show in 2013, leads all GOP freshmen in fundraising through Sept. 30, bringing in $4.2 million and managing to raise more than half, $2.3 million, in amounts of $200 or less. Two years ago, he’d collected only $543,808 in the same period. The kooks and nuts across the country identify with his sick Jack Bauer persona.
There are two Democrats running for the nomination to take on West, former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy, a rich young businessman with suspicious credentials as a Democrat. In fact, until last January he was a registered Republican
, something the DCCC never lets stand in the way of recruiting. They LOVE rich, conservative candidates, regardless of politics.
Miami Dade Supervisor of Elections records shows that Murphy was a registered Republican in Miami-Dade county from 2004 up until January of 2011 and he cast his vote in the 2010 elections as a registered Republican. Murphy changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat mere months ago- on January 10, 2011, according to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections... [W]hat’s most revealing about Murphy’s party switch is that given its proximity to the announcement of his candidacy for Congress, it appears that it was done much more for political expediency than for any other possible motive.
Like Frankel, Murphy has raised more than $1 million, although, unlike hers, which comes primarily from small donors, he's getting larger sums from suspicious, wealthy sources.
Before buying his way into the Democratic Establishment's good graces by giving "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, the corrupt and reactionary head of the DCCC, $2000 in March (plus $2,400 to Florida's Democratic Senator Ben Nelson in January, $2,500 to Obama and $4,800 each to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutsch this year), Murphy had been a GOP donor and had been contributing thousands of dollars to Charlie Crist (that's them together below) and Mitt Romney.
Something about Murphy stinks. I'm wondering if he's not part of a Republican scheme to give Allen West an easy time. Is it possible that he was recruited by the GOP to run against Frankel in the primary so that she spends all her money and isn't prepared to fight off West's millions in teabaggy and corporate cash?
Murphy sent an email to supporters, claiming he's "proud to stand with the 99 percent" and denounced West's name-calling comments identifying the Occupy protesters as "communists," "Marxist," "Stalinist," and "socialist" in the same sentence and adding that they're just a bunch of "gangs." But what does this rich Republican Mitt Romney donor know about OccupyWallStreet?
This is smelling more and more like a typical Republican trick, where the GOP incumbent recruits his own weak "Democratic opponent." DWT
uncovered this type of scheme in 2006 when California's most crooked congressman, Jerry Lewis, manufactured his own make-believe opponent
, Louie Contreras, who completely disappeared after winning the primary. Since then we've seen other Republicans trying the same trick. It's the second best thing to not having any
opponent. We're going to have to dig a little deeper into Murphy and see what's really there.UPDATE: More West Antics Roil Florida Politics
Although yesterday's biggest news regarding West was his call
for Herman Cain to drop out of the presidential race/book campaign because of his philandering, a bit of West news
is exploding inside Florida political circles. After the new maps came out he supposedly decided to try to switch districts by challenging Tom Rooney. West never lived in the 22nd CD anyway and now it's way bluer than it was when he managed to pull off his win last year. He lives in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district but he doesn't have the guts to challenge her; he's always been a big mouthed coward. So he's going after Rooney, a befuddled GOP backbencher in way over his head.
"Allen's strongly considering making a move," said a highly placed source affiliated with West's camp. "It's not a big move, just a few miles away."
West's best move-- running for U.S. Senate-- still appears to be off the table. But West gave it a second thought recently, another source said. And he could jump in that race, though it's less likely.
All this talk is both premature and potentially too late. On one hand, the Legislature has yet to meet to sign off on the plans. And the Florida House hasn't even proposed its own version. But, sources in the Legislature tell us that the House is more inclined to adopt major portions of the Senate's Congressional map. So West needs to start making noise now, in part because legislators will have to decide whether to help him. Rooney has a key connection in the Legislature: uber-lobbyist and political fundraiser Brian Ballard, who has represented the gambling interests of the representative's family for years.
Regardless of what West and Rooney work out between themselves, DWT
is supporting school teacher and progressive Democratic activist Dave Lutrin for the seat he should have won-- if not for interference from Rahm Emanuel-- in 2006. Lutrin filed for the 16th yesterday. You can contribute to his campaign here
. Between Grayson, Ruiz, Frankel and Lutrin, Florida Democrats may be fielding one of the most progressive batch of House candidates in the country!
Labels: 2012 congressional races, Allen West, Dave Lutrin, FL-22, Florida, gerrymandering, Lois Frankel, Patrick Murphy, Tom Rooney