Saturday, January 09, 2010

Will Blanche Lincoln Retire And Allow The Democrats To Keep The Arkansas Senate Seat? Fat Chance!


This morning I was informed by David Donnelly, head of the Public Campaign Action Fund, that Arkansas' most corrupt senator, ole Blanche, is so confused about what her job actually is, that she's complaining she had to take time off from meeting with check-writing lobbyists to spend time working on Senate business. She actually had the temerity to publicly complain that she lost $300,000 in "contributions" by having to be in the Senate when she could have been at fundraisers! Donnelly:
"While we're thankful that Sen. Lincoln was able to skip out on fundraisers to do her job, it's scandalous that members of Congress are forced to even make the decision. An untenable and unsustainable campaign financing system has forced members of Congress to juggle the pressure of crafting good policy with the requirement to raise millions of dollars from special interests to win re-election.

"The Fair Elections Now Act would free members of Congress from this fundraising treadmill and allow them to spend their time focused solely on the challenges facing our country. Until its passage, the Senate floor schedule will be forced to compete with Senators' fundraising schedules. We hope Sen. Lincoln will sign on as a co-sponsor of the legislation."

The Fair Elections Now Act, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), would end the reliance on special interest cash by providing candidates the option to run a competitive campaign for office with a blend of limited public funds and a 4 to 1 match on donations $100 or less. The House bill currently has the broad bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 124 co-sponsors.

If you follow Blue America with any regularity, you're probably aware that we will only endorse incumbents who are already co-sponsors of the Fair Elections Now Act and we are only endorsing challengers who are eager to become co-sponsors when they are elected. So far our only endorsee for 2010 is Alan Grayson, a co-sponsor. Next Saturday we will make our first endorsement of a challenger, who aggressively supports the Fair Elections Now Act, always has, and is campaigning on it. With reactionary courts stocked by Reagan and a couple of Bushes with rapib supporters of the status quo, campaign finance reform is in big trouble and needs concerted congressional action. Blanche Lincoln isn't a supporter of reform and, in fact, is a rabid opponent of the kind of real campaign finance reform that would shut down her disgraceful finance operations.

As you probably know, Blue America has been running TV ads about her perfidy-- primarily healthcare related-- since June. It's taken a toll on her standing and she is considered the senator most likely to be defeated. We've learned a great deal about how to effectively advertise in Arkansas and we're still at it-- and will be until Blanche Lincoln is looking for some honest employment. This week we're running one of our four ads again, but only in the heavily Democratic areas along the Mississippi River, counties in which no Democrat can win statewide with racking up landslide victories. Blanche will not be racking up landslide victories in these counties. The ad-- which has been paid for by Blue America donors-- makes the connection between bad healthcare legislation and bad campaign finance law. Take a look:

This week Blue America's longtime, intrepid media buyer, Jacquie, called me steaming mad. Although Blue America is part of the Glenn Beck boycott, hundreds of dollars in ads had just run on his shows all across Arkansas. She was ready for war, ready to eviscerate the cable TV networks from Little Rock to Fayetteville to Texarkana, El Dorado, Jonesboro and back to Little Rock. Instead she did something much smarter and more reasonable. She called the companies, got full refunds and placed new ads in the 7 Democratic counties across from Memphis. After all, we don't care if our ads get run all day and all night on Glenn Beck's shows-- as long as we're not helping him pay off his tax fraud case-- by giving him any ad revenues. If they want to run free anti-Lincoln ads on Beck, extolling the virtues of clean government and healthcare reform, they're welcome to do it as much as they'd like. And since Glenn Beck ads in Ft Smith cost $67.00 and $91.00 and the same ads running in our target areas cost as little as $3.00... well, Blanche Lincoln will be feeling a lot of pain this week again.

So Jacquie put together a powerful schedule of "free" ads up and down the Mississippi River communities of east Arkansas-- the state's Democratic heartland-- with a lot of emphasis on USA, TNT, TBSC, BET, and SPK meant to reach African-American women over 30, a powerful voting demographic concerned about both healthcare reform and clean government. I doubt Glenn Beck's viewers are interested in either but I'm sure they appreciated the anti-Lincoln sentiments anyway-- and the ads were, in the end, free. If you'd like to help us keep our Blanche Lincoln ads running-- her polling numbers are catastrophic and predictive of the kind of cataclysmic defeat that should make her reassess her plans and trade her Senate seat for an ambassadorship to Albania or Papua. Arkansas' popular Lt. Governor, Bill Halter, a moderate, could keep this seat in the Democratic column. Lincoln should do what Chris Dodd just did-- step aside for a Democrat who can win.

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At 12:59 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Has anyone called Schumer(or whomever runs the DSCC these days) and asked why Dodd fell on his sword, but not Lincoln(given her numbers are as crappy as the ones that made Dodd retire)?


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