Tuesday, July 15, 2008

After Flooding The District With Cash, Barrow Wins The Primary In GA-12


Regina Thomas didn't win her long-shot race against Congress' most Bush-supporting Democrat. Nor was it close. As I write this, the Georgia Secretary of State's site shows Regina with 24% and Barrow with 76%-- exactly what Blue America's pollster predicted last month. (I'm awed-- even shocked-- by the accuracy of the poll.) So if we knew Regina has virtually no chance to win, why did we work so hard for her? Someone has to stand up for progressive values and principles-- especially against a craven and corrupt jackass like Barrow. And Regina was willing to. How could we not help her?

Perhaps she'll be better known in 2010 if Barrow continues voting like a Republican. Maybe even Obama will realize the mistake he made by endorsing someone who will be opposing so much of what he tries to accomplish. And, believe me, many people will be reminding Obama of his endorsement every time Barrow votes against one of his bills.

One thing I know for sure, we managed to scare the bejeus out of the little twerp. According to the FEC, as of March 31 he had spent $303,492 on the primary. Once Blue America and Democrats.com made some very modest expenditures on behalf of Regina's campaign and raised her a little money, Barrow spent another $500,000. According to tonight's Examiner, the panic-stricken "Barrow spent more than $858,000 on the primary"-- and that was with an endorsement from Obama!

In 2006 arrogant and reactionary California Blue Dog Jane Harman was dragged into a tough primary fight. She won by a wide margin but the fight itself made her a much more loyal Democrat. Her lifetime ProgressivePunch score is a dismal 79.66. Her score since progressive activist Marcy Winograd held her down to under 65% of the primary vote is a much more working family-friendly 93.65. I don't expect such a dramatic turnaround from Barrow, but one thing for sure, if he keeps voting like a Republican he'll probably be able to bank on another primary fight in 2010.


At the exact same moment I was putting up this post, Regina sent me the kind of gracious and loving e-mail that has made me feel like she is family. She worked very hard on this campaign and I hope she will be better prepared next time. Let me share some of her e-mail:
Hello my friend. We didn't pull it out. That's ok, he knows that I will be watching him.  Two years is not long. Let's talk about ActBlue. When the next check comes I want to donate it to Democrats in other states who need the money. I look to you and Blue America to help me figure that out. I do not have a campaign deficit (thanks to Blue America and the others). Once I pay back the loan that I borrowed to qualify ($3,050.00) I will send the rest to progressive candidates who we figure out can use some help.
I am fine. The Lord's will was done and I am ok with that. I have so enjoyed our talks and getting to know you. I will miss that. But...anything can happen in two years.
For now.. I will take care of some personal things-- get my house in order, complete my Senate term and enjoy my grandchildren.

I just got off the phone speaking with her. She said she was glad to have given the voters a choice and to have run an issue-oriented campaign. "Even if I knew the outcome, I would do the same thing. Tomorrow I'm going to get in my truck and drive around picking up my signs. I haven't had a vacation in 14 years and my husband just told me he's glad to get his wife back."

My life is richer for having gotten to know Regina Thomas. I consider myself very lucky for the opportunity.

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At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I am delighted to have contributed to her campaign. I was bummed when I checked Georgia sites earlier, but after reading your account of how much money he spent, I feel ever so much better. Thanks. We didn't quite nail his hide to the wall, but I think we scraped off some skin.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least we have a choice in the Senate between a worthless Democrat (Vernon Jones) and an actually good one. (Jim Martin)

Hey Howie, I want you to look into the WA-3 primary. Bush dog Brian Baird is getting a primary from anti-war activist Cheryl Crist. You should e-mail her and try to interview her. You might like her!

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barrow shelled out $21 for each vote he received. Imagine what it would have cost if he'd had a well funded opponent. He flooded the district with TV ads and mailers. Maybe next time.


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