Tuesday, April 01, 2014

What Really Happened In The FL-13 Congressional Race-- Did The DCCC And EMILY's List Blow It For Alex Sink?


Steve Israel to 25 DCCC field organizers in Florida: "Get out of Dodge, STAT!"

I was surprised to wake up the morning after the FL-13 debacle and find a comment by an Alex Sink field volunteer on our election night coverage post. She started by asserting that the field director "was a pompous drunk, who held no-one anymore accountable than he did himself. They got hammered the night prior to the GOTV dry run." From her-- albeit narrow-- perspective this race was being lost on the ground. Higher ups in the Sink campaign, who are still interested in future employment, are talking about why she really lost, but strictly off-the-record. Predictably, the culprits are, once again, the usual suspects: the DCCC and EMILY's List. Both organizations wanted Sink to win but neither was remotely competent enough to bring that to fruition. Sink would have been better off if their money came with no strings attached and with a hands-off attitude. It didn't.

Since narrowly losing the Florida gubernatorial race, Sink had been talking with Florida political operatives about her options. Together, they mapped out data driven analytics for the Penellas county seat, in anticipation of the incumbent's... exit.

The model they created-- based on internal numbers, not belonging to the self-serving profit-driven Beltway firms or committees-- projected a win in even a terrible Democratic showing. It was based on expanding the "persuasion universe" to folks likely to vote more than 50% of the time. This is a major no-no to the DCCC and Emily's List because it means money will need to be spent in the field and not just on TV and mailing, from which their operatives personally profit.

So, Sink hired these Florida folks to do her field, however, per normal, the DCCC and Emily's List thought differently-- and insisted that it was their way or the highway. They "layered over Sink's" campaign a field operation that targeted a small universe, insisting it was a "persuasion year," not a "turnout year." This is code for minimal field, more fat TV contracts and more mail purchases, i.e., more money in the pockets of the DCCC and EMILY's List operatives.

On election night, given her too small early vote victory, the Florida team realized that Sink could not win. They knew that due to the Beltway hacks and incompetents not expanding the universe, this night would belong to a pathetic K Street lobbyist, that even the Republican Party had given up for dead two weeks earlier.

Quickly seeing this, Steve Israel texted the large contingent of DCCC operatives to get out, and apparently so did Emily's List leadership. Before Sink gave her televised concession, no one was seen from the DCCC or Emily's list.

The next thing the Florida operatives hear is that the DCCC is spreading rumors that the Florida field director was drunk, thus the reason for the loss. These Florida folks say this was blatantly untrue, and an excuse for their miserable campaign tactics and lax behavior when they all came from DC "to help" with GOTV.

A little post script: EMILY's List head Stephanie Schriock sent out a misleading donor plea yesterday trying to weedle more money-- for the company's inflated overhead-- from unsuspecting donors by blaming their defeat in Florida on Republicans "spending millions to defeat our candidate in the FL-13 special election." The truth of the matter is that Alex Sink raised $2,541,349 and spent $1,569,762, while David Jolly raised $1,040,187 and spent $857,997. For all their constant fundraising-- most of which is for themselves not for their candidates-- EMILY's List only spent $209,969 in FL-13, almost exactly the same as Eric Cantor's and Paul Ryan's Young Guns PAC spent ($209,128).

EMILY's List quickly moved their operation to Hawaii, where they are trying to unseat progressive Democratic Senator Brian Schatz with corrupt conservative New Dem Colleen Hanabusa. Ironically, Schatz's record is considerably better than Hanabusa's even on women's issues.

Her campaign is backed by a motley array of Military Industrial Complex lobbyists and shady DC insiders. When PCCC activists in Hawaii came out for Schatz, EMILY's List and a notorious paid thug from Las Vegas they have running the campaign in Honolulu attacked them as "outsiders." And yesterday, when President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined almost every Democratic senator in endorsing Schatz, Schriock whined to the Huffington Post: "We've always known this campaign is about Hawaii, not Washington, and that's where it will be decided," Schriock said in a statement. "Colleen Hanabusa is a trusted leader, which is why she's leading in the Hawaii polls and was Sen. Inoyue's [sic] own choice to carry on his legacy. Only one person, Gov. Abercrombie, made the decision to appoint Brian Schatz to this seat-- Hawaii voters will finally have a chance to vote on who represents them in the Senate on August 9." Yes, she said it will up to Hawaii's voters, not politicians, to pick their next senator... She then went on to note that Hanabusa was Senator Inouye's choice to be the next Senator... And misspelled Inouye's name. Because, of course, EMILY's List, far more than President Obama, are the outsiders in Hawaii trying to tell voters there what to do. So far the good news is that EMILY's List hasn't tried running one of their anti-Semitic campaigns against Schatz, the way they did against Steve Cohen in Memphis, or their sexist campaigns against him like they did against L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Both of those vicious campaigns backfired and the pathetic EMILY's List conservative was defeated in each race.)

UPDATE: Alex Sink Is Out

Tuesday morning, Sink announced she's not going for a rematch against David Jolly. And why would anyone in their right mind run for Congress with Steve Israel as chair of the DCCC?

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