Friday, October 10, 2014

Can Virginia Democrat John Foust Survive The Steve Israel Effect?


If Comstock wins in November, Sean Hannity and Steve Israel deserve the credit

Last week the NRCC put $605,144 into ads against John Foust, the Democrat running in the open northern Virginia seat from which mainstream conservative Frank Wolf is retiring. The Republican candidate to replace Foust is anything but a mainstream anything. It’s notorious right-wing sociopath Barbara Comstock. The $605,144 last week was just a part of the $1,218,367 budget the NRCC has allocated for the race. Steve Israel took one look at the amount and backed out immediately, withdrawing the ads he had scheduled and blaming it on weak conservative New Dem Ami Bera in California (CA-07), who has an uninspiring voting record and needs a big infusion of cash to persuade his constituents he’s worth reelecting (which he isn’t). Meanwhile, despite a poll commissioned last week by the DCCC showing a neck and neck 41-39% race in VA-10, Israel is in full-on abandonment mode nation-wide, taking money from good candidates like Foust to fund really bad ones like Pete Aguilar (CA) and reactionary Blue Dog Brad Ashford (NE).

VA-10— which stretches from McLean, the Dulles Airport corridor and Chantilly in the east out to Manassas, Leesburg, and Winchester in the west— is a swing district. Obama beat McCain by around 9,000 votes (51-48%) and then lost to Romney by around 4,000 votes (50-49%) in 2012. Wolf’s retirement looked like the perfect opportunity to pick up the seat, especially considering the calibre of the fringe nut the GOP nominated.

John Foust seems like an excellent candidate, a proven vote-getter as a Fairfax County Supervisor whose values and vision pretty much mirror the moderate district’s voters— not as liberal as Blue America prefers and not as conservative as Steve Israel prefers— but a moderate in the positive sense of the word. As of the June 30 FEC deadline he had out-raised Comstock $1,480,910 to $1,372,152. He had $1,125,718 cash on hand to her $575,891. The one wrinkle is that the NRCC and its allies started pouring huge amounts of cash into the race. Aside from the NRCC’s $1,218,367, the Chamber of Commerce kicked in $330,414 and other fringe right-wing operations like the NRA put just over another $50,000. The DCCC and it’s House Majority PAC put up $172,452 and big red flashing signs started going off. A late addition to the enfeebled Red-to-Blue program, Foust was being defined by all those negative ads the NRCC was putting on the air, ads that went unanswered by the DCCC, although one of the Beltway professional pundits who is only ever right about anything the day after election day. wrote that “Democrats have zeroed in on a quartet of competitive Republican open seats including… Virginia’s 10th District… where they believe the GOP nominees are either fatally flawed or extremely weak.”

In the last week or so NARAL singled out 10 Men For Choice. Of the 10, only 3 are challengers going up against crazy anti-Choice women— Gary Peters for the Michigan Senate seat (Terri Lynn Land), Bruce Braley for the Iowa Senate seat (Joni Ernst) and Foust. Similarly, Cosmopolitan, which has primarily endorsed progressive women candidates, also singled out Foust for a fulsome endorsement : “The candidates running for a congressional seat in Virginia's 10th district could not be more different: One is pro-choice; the other thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned and supported legislation requiring women seeking abortions— even rape and incest victims— to undergo trans-vaginal ultrasounds. One candidate supports same sex marriage; one voted for a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse same sex couples for religious reasons. In this tight Virginia congressional race, we support John Foust.”

The week before, an editorial in the Washington Post, entitled A sheep in Wolf’s clothing, makes it clear that Comstock is nothing but a doctrinaire ideologue, less interested in solving northern Virginia’s problems than playing up to delusional Confederates who want to fight the Civil War over again.

When the Foust campaign contacted Blue America it was a tough one for us. Comstock is one of the worst and most dangerous Republican extremists on the ballot anywhere. And Foust seemed like a very nice guy and a sincere person who would be solid on most progressive issues. In the end, though, we decided he didn’t really need our help as much as other candidates because he so heavily prioritized by the DCCC and they had reserved almost $3 million in TV and radio time for him. We decided to put our efforts behind more progressive candidates that the DCCC was ignoring, like Mike Obermueller (MN-02), Paul Clements (MI-06), Kelly Westlund (WI-07), Rob Zerban (WI-01), and, most recently, Jason Ritchie (WA-08).

So, with election day less than a month away, we were mortified that Israel decided to pull the plug on Foust, cancelling the crucial TV advertising that surely were part of the Foust path to victory calculus— a shocking $2.8 million worth! What is Nancy Pelosi thinking keeping Steve Israel in place for even one more day. A blindfolded janitor at 430 S. Capitol St. SE would do a more credible job.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home