Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sucker Punching True Believers

If you've been reading for the past year, you've probably noticed by now that I've become a bit focused on the race for IL-06. I guess when the national party decides to take interest and undermine the local candidate, I get a bit perturbed. But who wouldn't, except Rahm Emanuel. First, Chris Bowers of MyDD declared IL-06 the primary to focus on. Now Austin Mayor's contribution to Eric Zorn's Blogginois year in review focuses on the same issues I've been raising about Rahm's undermining of Cegelis:
The National Democratic Party Discovers the Illinois 6th District.


In early 2005, 6th District Dems heard rumors that the DCCC was taking a serious interest in the 6th District race. Naturally, we expected that the DCCC would get behind Christine Cegelis, the Democratic candidate that garnered 44% in the last election. But the DCCC insisted on being coy. They told the Cegelis supporters that they would have to raise $100,000 by June 30 FEC filing and then the DCCC would support Christine's ongoing grassroots campaign for the 6th District seat.

But while the DC Democratic leaders were assuring the Cegelis team that it would have their backing if it met their fundraising benchmarks, they were simultaneously undermining the Cegelis campaign by courting other potential candidates to run in the 6th District Democratic primary. The DCCC leadership was sending feelers out to multi-millionaire Democrats who would be able to self-fund their own campaigns.

And what happened when the Cegelis team met the fundraising goal set by the DCCC? The DCCC raised the fundraising target.


But while the GOP culture club of corruption and cronyism was lining up behind Roskam, the DC Dems were letting big donors know that they were looking at fielding another candidate for the primary. That's right true believer, just when the DCCC told the Cegelis team that they needed to raise unprecidented sums of Democratic money, they let big money donors know that they were considering fielding another candidate. Well, you know what happened next -- the big Democratic donors decided to keep their metaphorical powder dry and Christine's fundraising calls suddenly fell on deaf ears.

And the DCCC leadership then turned around and used that fundraising drought -- if you can call raising over $160, 000 by Sep. 30 a "drought" -- as their excuse reason to parachute a candidate in from outside the district.

To parachute a candidate from outside the district, who's only lived outside the district for less than three years, outside the state for the majority of her life, with no political experience, virtually no support by local Democratic Township orgs, and nothing but the support of political professionals who call themselves volunteers in an attempt to not violate federal campaign finance laws orchestrated by Rahm Emanuel. The true believers are not happy campers about being sucker punched right about now.