Monday, June 10, 2013

Did The DCCC Muck Up Jim Graves' Run In Minnesota... Again?


If you want to know how "Minnesota nice" sounds, call Jim Graves. He picked up the phone yesterday morning with the warmest, friendliest of greetings... and immediately said he isn't talking to the press until July first and suggested we talk about my upcoming trip to Tuscany instead. He suggested I spend time in Siena, long one of my favorite small European cities. As for questions around his dropping out of the congressional race in MN-06... not a peep, although he did follow up a few minutes later by sending this copy of the Bill Maher "the lights are a little bit dimmer in Crazy Town" video about Bachmann's withdrawal. Like me, Bill Maher will never be cited as an example of Minnesota Nice: "Michele Bachmann is out... still no word on her husband Marcus."

I think Jim likes Maher's interpretation of his leaving the field after vanquishing Bachmann. "Mission accomplished." But that wasn't his first reponse to Bachmann dropping out.
The morning that Bachmann suddenly announced she wouldn't seek reelection, Graves still seemed very interested in making the career leap from hotelier to congressman.

"I never ran against her. I ran for the people," Graves told KARE Wednesday morning.

He had been up late the night before watching the Minnesota Twins 14-inning game against the Milwaukee Brewers on TV, assuming he could sleep in for a change. His phone started ringing with media requests before 5:00 a.m.

The next day Graves apparently had a change of heart. He told reporter Eric Black of MinnPost that he was suspending his campaign for Congress. And furthermore, according to Black's MinnPost article, he would not be talking the other media about it.

"I think he then talked to some advisers, probably got some phone calls, talked to some of the folks he was expecting to get some campaign contributions from," Jacobs said.

He theorized Graves could no longer rely on national political money aimed at ousting Bachmann because she has voluntarily removed left the ballot. And the hotel executive has often said he had little interest in self-funding a campaign.
Notorious drunk Tom Emmer is running instead. Granted, it would be hard to get further right along the political spectrum than Bachmann, but ex-state legislator Emmer, currently working as a Hate Talk Radio host, is certainly not to her left... on anything. He's probably best known outside of Minnesota as the guy who Target had to apologize about contributing campaign funds to after Emmer's deranged homophobic mania became a campaign issue. (Target was probably so enamored of Emmer because one of the planks of his campaign platform was to lower the minimum wage.)
“I’m running for Congress to change the culture in Washington and restore Americans’ trust in our government,” Emmer told a group of about 100 supporters gathered Wednesday in his hometown of Delano, a Wright County community in the conservative heart of the 6th District. “Let’s get excessive regulation and taxes out of the way.”

He likely will face competition for the Republican endorsement, which he said he would respect.

State Sen. John Pederson of St. Cloud said he intends to file as a candidate by the end of the month. Former legislator Phil Krinkie, a 16-year legislator who now is president of the Taxpayers Leauge of Minnesota, and state Rep. Matt Dean have said they’re considering entering the contest.

However, Emmer, a former three-term state representative and the GOP nominee who lost to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2010, already has a base to build on.

“From the minute Bachmann got out, Emmer was in very strong position,” said political consultant Michael Brodkorb.

“He has a donor file, access to major fundraisers and the ability to pull together a team quickly," he said. "He lost a very close race for governor. It will make him a disciplined and hungry candidate who will assemble a team that will put him in a position to win.”

Emmer’s advantage as a seasoned campaigner is also his liability.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin was quick to point that out in a statement: “In Emmer’s unsuccessful 2010 run for governor, he drained Republican Party resources and turned off the party’s major donor community. Many attribute his Ron Paul- and Sarah Palin-backed candidacy to sending Republican and independent votes Tom Horner’s way.”
Regular DWT readers probably don't need to be reminded that I tend to see Steve Israel and the DCCC lurking behind every door. But weeks before Jim Graves dropped out, we talked about how they had sabotaged his run in 2010. They decided to make up for it this year and named him a "Jump Start Candidate," on a par with Israel's most wretched zombie-like conservative candidates like Michael Eggman, Ann Callis, Gwen Graham, Kevin Strouse, et al.

Even before Bachmann dropped out, I started getting an inkling something was wrong. Rumors emanating from the DCCC were undercutting Graves' campaign and his relationships. One of the most corrupt DC organizations, the DCCC wanted to move their own band of incompetent crooks into the campaign so they could start pocketing the big cash the DCCC intended to spend there. With the DCCC, it's always about the rake off for the revolving door staffers. And then, on May 24, the Graves campaign sent out a press release slamming back at the DCCC:
Team Graves Running Independent Campaign

Following rumors reported in the national press from anonymous Washington “Democratic sources” that congressional candidate Jim Graves was pressured to replace his 2012 campaign team with Washington insiders, Graves released the following statement:

“We want to set the record straight. With all due respect to national figures rooting for our success, we are running our own campaign. One of the most valuable rules I have learned in business is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ While Adam Graves, my 2012 campaign manager, decided to turn down the position of campaign manager for 2014 in order to focus on his life’s work as an accomplished philosopher and academic, he remains the closest advisor and strategist to our team. I promoted his deputy campaign manager, Aaron Wells, to manage the 2014 race.”

“Our 2012 team ran an extremely effective and efficient campaign to restore real leadership to our community. We place a high value on loyalty, particularly when folks work tirelessly and with great passion like our 2012 campaign team.”
When the DCCC moves into a campaign, they always try taking over so they can funnel the money into the pockets of their cronies. I can't think of a DCCC campaign where this hasn't happened. And Jim Graves won't be the first.

So, while we're on the subject of MN-06, who will the Democrats put up against Emmer? Thank goodness we haven't heard any stirrings from Elwin Tinklenberg. Tarryl Clark has been telling half the people she meets she's running again. Problem is, she's telling the other half she's not. Another would-be candidate is the anti-Choice mayor-- yes a Democrat-- of Sartell, Joe Perske. And then there's a "secret businessman" who's nosing around and who may or may not run. This one should be safe for the Republicans for another cycle.

Labels: , , , ,


At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Bil said...


You totally nailed that one Howie.


Post a Comment

<< Home