Thursday, August 11, 2005

DCCC to Cegelis: "Raise Money"

In today's Sun Times, Lynn Sweet has a piece in which she states that Cegelis "may tempt a self-funded Democratic candidate into the primary" if she doesn't raise more money. She also noted the the DCCC's "major yardstick" for the campaign: Money:
Emanuel is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and part of his job is recruiting strong candidates. Emanuel uses one major yardstick to measure political viability, and that is fund-raising. Cegelis will not get a break from Emanuel just because she is an Illinois Democrat.

[...]

Cegelis said she has talked to Emanuel briefly and the advice he gave her was to "raise money.''

When are the establishment types and the DCCC going to get it? "Raise money" is the only advice and yardstick the they have? The only tempting of a self funder is being done by the DCCC who seems to only have one tool to measure a campaign with.

Sweet uses this angle in her story as well, highlighting the differences in fundraising totals with Roskam, the likely GOP nominee:
In the first six months of this year, Cegelis raised $107,628 and has $43,460 cash-on-hand, totals that won't go far if Roskam's early fund-raising is a predictor of what he can do in the future. Roskam reported raising $395,149 between January and June and has $369,675 on hand. Cegelis' second quarter haul was below the national average raised by Democrats and Republicans competing for open seats, according to research by the DCCC.

Gee whiz, a conservative GOP lawmaker and former aide to both DeLay and Hyde, in a Republican leaning district, is out-raising the Democratic challenger unsupported by her party! I'm shocked! What Sweet doesn't note, is that Roskam's totals are from a small number of donors, often with the same last name, giving high dollar donations. Cegelis during the same time had over 1,000 donors. But this broad base of support is not used as a "yardstick" for her campaign, or a weapon to wield against the GOP, but instead seen as a weakness.

It's all about the money. The DCCC short sightedly seems to target only races think they have a strong chance of winning. To them, "winning" means "outspending." They play not to lose. Fearful that Cegelis won't raise money on her own, they hedge their bets, entertaining the possibility of backing other candidates with no name recognition and no organization on the ground with deep pockets and political connections. This of course undermines the Cegelis campaign's efforts to raise money as influential donors wait to see who national organization will support. This then creating the DCCC's self fulfilling prophecy of an inability to raise money on the part of the Cegelis campaign. Instead, if they lent early support, doors to traditional sources of fundraising would open and Cegelis would be as well funded as any Democratic challenger.

But no. They continue to keep their options open, and hurt their chances of taking this seat while waiting for someone like a McPartlin - with deep pockets and Clinton connections - to run. Which he says he won't. Or does he?
Brian McPartlin, the chief of administration for the Illinois Tollway Authority -- and a veteran of the Clinton White House -- who had been mulling a run, told me Wednesday he will not get in this race, but "I'm not ruling anything out down the road.''

Boy, now there would be a candidate who would take the district by storm: the guy in charge of the oh so very well loved Illinois Tollway Authority with a Clinton connection. Can't imagine the GOP using that to their advantage.

Sheer genius.