Monday, August 05, 2013

With A Bevy Of Teabaggers Attacking Lindsey Graham, Could Jay Stamper Win South Carolina For The Democrats?


When Alan Grayson ran for Congress in 2008, several "donors" (although I never found them in our donor file) chastised us that we were wasting money because Grayson had no chance to win the primary. He did win-- and by a lot, beating his closest competitor, ConservaDem Charlie Stuart, 49-28%. That didn't slow the complainers down. They then claimed it was a red district and that Grayson had "no chance" to beat incumbent Ric Keller, but in November, Grayson knocked him off 52-48%, becoming the first Democrat to represent downtown Orlando in living memory. And now... well, if you don't know about Alan Grayson, you probably stumbled on this blog by accident.

This week, Blue America sent out a donor letter for another long-shot but very deserving candidate, Rush Holt. When I started the page at Act Blue, I was the first one to contribute, as I always am when Blue America endorses a candidate. One of my colleagues immediately got a letter from a "donor" chastising her for "leading on" our donors that Holt has a chance of beating the conservative Wall Street puppet Cory Booker. I guess he has a crystal ball... but we're not in the prognostication business. We know that Cory Booker is riding high in the polls and that the corporate media and the Establishment types are pushing him. But will the low-info voters who see him as some kind of a Paris Hilton-type created celebrity and are unaware he wants to wreck Social Security, come out and vote in just over a week? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Politics is a funny thing. We had a great laugh with Grayson when all the pundits were left sputtering after he won his primary and then the general election back in 2008.

There's another name on that Senate 2014 page you may not be familiar with: Jay Stamper, the intrepid and fearless Democrat running in South Carolina against Lindsey Graham. I've had the same feedback: "a Democrat can't win in South Carolina" and "no one ever heard of Stamper." A Democrat hasn't won statewide in South Carolina in some time-- but that's the past. (Obama, by the way, scored 44% there last year, better than he did in Montana, both Dakotas, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alaska, all of which have Democratic senators.) And as far as "no one" knowing who he is... that's why early contributions are so important. It's going to help him get better known.

And then there's the luck of the draw. I've always believed in it. And will Lindsey Graham even be his opponent in 2014? Graham has a primary to win first-- and he's far from a shoo-in, even if he's trying to make the weak case that he's the conservative in the race. The Republican crackpot who heads the heavily subsidized fake Tea Party outfit FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe, has been threatening Graham all year. In May, he went crazy when Lindsey and McCain attacked Rand Paul and Ted Cruz as "wacko birds." Kibbe told ABC News that Graham "is begging for a primary."

A bloody and bitter Republican civil war in South Carolina is probably Stamper's best shot at winning. And that's exactly what's shaping up now. Richard Cash, an ice cream truck owner, declared his candidacy in April. At the time, he said,

I am running to replace Senator Lindsey Graham because I believe that after 20 years in Washington he is out of touch with South Carolina values and voters. Although Senator Graham might be hard-working and sincere, I cannot distinguish his core principles and can no longer trust his judgment. It is time for a new voice in Washington. We need a voice that represents Christian, conservative, and Republican principles instead of the latest bi-partisan "deal" that simply makes matters worse.
Spartanburg Senator (and wingnut) Lee Bright and right-wing activist Nancy Mace-- the first woman to graduate from the Citadel-- are also running. Among the three of them, they're likely to drive down Graham's favorability among Republicans and force a runoff. Mace officially declared her candidacy in Goose Creek on Saturday morning. Bright will make it official later in the month.
Bright will run a very aggressive campaign, experts said.

"He is the in-your-face, red-meat conservative who will play real well with voters who are critical of Lindsey," Buchanan said.

But Tompkins said a Bright candidacy could anger libertarians who prefer Mace, popular in some circles because she broke the gender barrier at South Carolina’s previously all-male military college.
According to ABC News, Mace could have a problem because of her connection to right-wing propagandist Will Folks, her business partner-- till last April-- in South Carolina's top far right website, FITSNews. Now Mace is trying to claim she was just passively involved.
It’s an important distinction but an issue her opponents might use against her any way because Folks is best known nationally as the man who claimed in 2010 he’d had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley three years before. Haley was in the middle of her run for governor when the news broke and denied the claim.

“Nancy Mace is Lindsey Graham’s worst nightmare,” Folks said in a statement. “She’s smart and successful. She’s attractive and articulate. She’s got a compelling personal narrative, the sort of picture perfect family you see in shopping catalogs and her name fits nicely on a 4X8 road sign.

“Most importantly, she’s got ideological convictions South Carolinians can relate to-- on spending and personal liberty issues-- which will enable her to appeal to a broad swath of voters. None of the other potential challengers to Graham comes close to matching her electability, which is why Graham backers are so afraid of her.”

Carolina Conservatives United, a conservative activist group launched by the former co-founder of the Gay Republican group GOProud Bruce Carroll, launched last week. They are also bringing some heat to Graham, or trying to, with a Web ad that ends with the line, “It’s time to bring Lindsey home.”

“Everyone is very frustrated because he’s not reliably conservative,” Carroll said. “We can count on our congressional delegation, we can count on [Sen.] Tim Scott, R-S.C., but we can’t count on him and for one of the most conservative states in the nation, that is a source of frustration.”

Carroll says they plan to run more Web ads, possibly television ads, and intend to follow him around when he’s back on the campaign trail.

“We want to make him answer for some of his votes and comments,” Carroll said. “But it’s hard to find him back home. He’s either in the Middle East or in Washington. We are hoping he visits South Carolina this summer.”
The irony of this attack isn't lost on South Carolina Republicans who are aware that Graham is a closeted homosexual and lives a relatively "out" life when in DC. All of the Republicans in the race are attacking Graham for his prominent role as a defender of "big government surveillance." So is Stamper. Stamper is extremely independent-minded and is opposing not just Graham but Obama on several core issues-- like defending Social Security against the Wall Street interests that both Graham and Obama have embraced. A few months ago Stamper explained to us why he opposed Chained CPI:
Some members of Congress want to reduce benefits for the most vulnerable members of our society by replacing the current Consumer Price Index with one that grows more slowly, the so-called "Chained CPI."

I strongly oppose the adoption of the Chained CPI for two main reasons.

First, adopting the Chained CPI is the wrong prescription for our economy. If the proposal is adopted, the total disposable income of millions of Americans will be slashed, reducing the consumer spending that our economy relies on to create jobs.

Second, implementing the Chained CPI is simply the wrong thing to do. It will hurt retirees, veterans, and those receiving disability or social security who depend on the existing Consumer Price Index to keep up with the rising cost of healthcare. Under the Chained CPI, these Americans will find it more and more difficult to afford the medical care they need just to survive.

I am very concerned about the effect of the Chained CPI proposal on veterans in South Carolina and across the country. Our veterans and their families are the last people we should be turning our backs on. Lawmakers like to talk about how indebted we are to our veterans for sacrificing everything to protect our liberty and freedom. Now, we need to prove we mean it by opposing the Chained CPI.
Jay would certainly make a better senator than Lindsey Graham-- or any of the right-wing clowns lining up to primary him, all of whom want to wreck Social Security and tear up the social safety net. If you'd like to contribute to Jay's campaign, you can do so here, through Act Blue.

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At 6:57 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Let's do it i'd do anything to elect to get rid of this big mouth clown Graham out of office.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Genean Hayes said...

Just curious who do they have running against Tim scott

At 4:22 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Genean, there's a guy named Rick Wade running and I'm hearing that someone else may jump in as well


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