Thursday, May 3, 2007

Why We Fight

Some people have wondered why we would focus on a Republicrook Congressman in the heart of red California, a district with a +13 PVI (Partisan Voting Index). Let me give you a textbook, big-picture example that shows you how everything is connected in politics, and that progressives can leave no voter behind.

Gary Miller faced no opposition in 2006. Despite that, he managed to rack up some campaign expenditures. Of course, a lot of them were for other campaigns.

Miller's expenditures are listed at OpenSecrets, and you can see that he spent his money enriching the coffers of Republican candidates in close races all over the country. He didn't need the ill-begotten money for himself, so he gave it to his most endangered colleagues. A list:

Anne Northrup $1,000
Barbara Cubin $1,000
Deborah Pryce $1,000
Dave Reichert $1,000
Geoff Davis $1,000
JD Hayworth $1,000
Jim Gerlach $1,000
Keith Butler (MI Senate challenger) $1,000
Joe Knollenberg $2,000
Mary Bono $1,000
Mike Fitzpatrick $1,000
Mike Sodrel $1,000
Rob Simmons $1,000
Thelma Drake $1,000

That's 14 candidates to the tune of $15,000. A lot of those Republicans lost, but the recipient of the biggest expenditure from Miller's campaign was the NRCC, the committee dedicated to re-electing Congressional Republicans, which sent mailers and put up attack ads and made robocalls all over the country. They benefited from $112,000 from one Gary Miller. All of the sleazy developer money he's received over the years helped re-elect some of the worst Congressmen in the country by the skin of their teeth. That's $112,000 we wouldn't be likely to see in the NRCC's coffers if Miller were actually challenged and forced to run a campaign.

Here are some other interesting expenditures:

Signatures (Jack Abramoff's restaurant) $1,550
GMiller Development $43,306
Cathleen Miller $2,632
Gary Miller $5,743

Those last three total over $50,000 in campaign funds. Did they in fact go to Gary Miller and his wife and his business?

Here's the point. There is not an unlimited amount of money for Republican candidates out there. It may seem like it sometimes, but there isn't. When every race is challenged, incumbents can no longer expect their colleagues to shower them with gifts in the form of campaign dollars. That is why you run a 435-district strategy. And that is why you try and get rid of an obviously corrupt Congressman like Gary Miller, no matter what district he's from.

No comments: