Monday, September 3, 2007

All Politics Is Local

Darcy for Congress: Part 2

Labor Day. The traditional start of election season.

No doubt there will be a number of "traditional" starts of election season between now and November a year from now. The New Hampshire primary. Iowa. Super Tuesday and the conventions. But Labor Day (or more accurately, the day after Labor Day) is when people return from their summer vacation and settle down to fall campaigning.

The Group News Blog doesn't endorse candidates. Which isn't to say I don't have people I like, Sara has people she likes, Lower Manhattanite and Hubris Sonic have candidates they're for also. As individuals. Not as a publication, not as the editorial "we."

I'm for Darcy Burner for Congress in the Washington Eighth District as I said earlier. She's smart, talented, and gets things done. Darcy listens carefully, then acts on what she hears. Not only is this rare in anyone, it's almost non-existent in a member of Congress. Not to mention she'll be the member of Congress from Microsoft. Smart, talented, competent, and she listens. Damn.

Darcy has the support of near everyone in the liberal blogosphere. This Call to Action video is a week plus out of date, but just watch:


The most astounding thing about Blue America endorsing Darcy Burner is that we’re just getting around to it now. Darcy is the quintessential Blue America candidate and we missed her last year. Let’s make up for it this year and go the extra mile in helping her get elected in 2008!

She nearly made it last year when she first challenged rubber stamp Republican Dave Reichert in an upscale suburban Seattle district, WA-08, and drew 122,021 votes to his 129,362– an incredible accomplishment.

There were three big differences between last year and the current election cycle and all three work in Darcy’s favor. First of all, last year was her first run and the voters didn’t know who she was, although nearly 49% of them voted for her by the end of the campaign. Her name recognition now is super high.

Second, in 2006 voters weren’t sure how they felt about Iraq; they are now — and guess who’s got a 100% perfect Cheney voting record. If you said “Dave Reichert,” give yourself a pat on the back. Since being elected to Congress Reichert participated in 17 roll calls about Iraq, the latest being Thursday’s vote to stay the course. He could have just as well given Cheney his proxy and gone to play golf. 17 roll calls in a distinctly anti-war district and 17 votes for endless war.

And the third difference between the last cycle year has to do with the voting patterns of the district. Far more people come out to vote during a presidential year and Bush only took 47% of the vote in 2000 and 48% in 2004. It’s by far the most prosperous district in Washington and it leans in a decidedly progressive and Democratic direction. A presidential year will help Darcy beat Reichert.

Although Darcy and Reichert spent approximately the same amount of money in 2006 — $3 million — Rove funneled another $3 or 4 million into the race. In his infamous powerpoint presentation to the GSA in March, Rove emphasized that bolstering Reichert against Darcy must be a top priority for all loyal Bushies. Last year the Republicans made 585,000 calls into the district, the most of anywhere in the country and the aim was to suppress Democratic turnout and to encourage Republicans.

In the last few days of the campaign Rove operatives were calling every household in the district telling voters that Darcy was about to be indicted as a felon, that Darcy was suppressing minority voters and that Darcy was an investor in Big Oil. It was all smear and lies; typical Rovian tactics.

Darcy sounds sweet, hip and disarming. But her mind is razor sharp and she’s one of those Big Picture Democrats the country is crying out for. She’s had backing from Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, both of Washington’s senators, Emily’s list, labor unions and the DCCC and this year she will get her message out much more effectively than before when the institutional players had no idea who she was at first.
The blogosphere fund-raising last week raised $100K for Darcy. This is real political power.

When Alex Alben ran in 2004 for the same district (WA-08), I was his Director of Internet Strategy. We came in second in the primary to Dave Ross, a local radio personality whom the state Dem party chair went out and persuaded to run at the last moment. Grrr. Name recognition won out, but Ross had no organization to speak of and got trounced in the general election. Here's the thing. Alben's campaign didn't inspire personal loyalty. Oh, I liked Alex personally well enough. And most of the people I worked with. But his key advisors kept changing the game plan and they screwed with my pay. I'm still owed close to a grand I'll never see and that's on top of working many more hours than my contract called for.

Darcy's staff is personally loyal. When I want to carefully assess someone, be they a politician, a doctor, a pilot, I talk to the people they surround themselves with -- campaign staff, consultants and volunteers, nurses, therapists and the office manager, flight engineers, flight attendants, mechanics and ground crew. Want to know who a person really is? Talk to the people who work with them in "subordinate" positions.

Darcy Burner is the real deal. Her staff are cooly professional, trustworthy and loyal. Her volunteers are enthusastic yet realistic about what she's up against. She inspires support both inside Washington, in the blogosphere, and at the top levels of the Democratic party.

Darcy faces a massively incompetent very well funded asshole who makes shit up and ill serves everyone except the very rich and even they are in question. About the only person truly served by Sophomore Congressman Dave Reichert is...George Bush.

Dave Reichert's claim to fame is a serial killer caught while he was sheriff. What he doesn't mention is how he's taking credit for other people's work. Reichert's one promise to the 8th district was to get all the radios in Washington to work together. For a former sheriff that's a promise which makes sense. After almost four years in office, all the radios don't work together. Why? Because Reichert gave it up to the White House in order to fund tax cuts for the rich. The House and the Senate were ready to pass the bill. But the White House wanted more tax cuts, so Reichert broke the only promise he actually ever made his district and rolled over for Rove and the political operation. I don't actually know if it got him a photo op. Don't care.

Reichert's voted for the Iraq war every vote. Time to stop him.

Help elect Darcy Burner to Congress by contributing. Please add 13 cents to your total (to let them know it comes from GNB.) Feel free to send me an email letting me know.

Thank you.