Same job, different uniform.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hypocrisy thy Name is Human

The rules always change when it's our guy that's on the line. Or us.

I've been reading accusations directed at the Sali campaign for raising money from out of state. These accusations are hurled by Grant's supporters. That is, supporters of the Democrat running in the First Congressional District.


Democratic candidates in Idaho in general, and the 1st CD in particular, survive on out-of-state money, largely because they've had a hard time relating to voters (who subsequently won't give). Mr. Grant, unlike his predecessor Dan Williams, seems to have overcome this problem, but my online buddies should reconsider their attack in the future. Grant's fundraising patterns were an anamoly.

But, what the heck. What did the numbers look like?

Sali outraised Grant by about $366,000. OpenSecrets is reporting that 70% of Sali's money came from out of state donors while 17% of Grant's did. (These are unitemized contributions, or contributions over $200.)

I don't know why so many out-of-state individuals contributed to Sali's campaign, though I have a guess. He probably hired a professional fundraiser who aggressively campaigned using targeted direct mail--largely out-of-state. If this is true, we shouldn't be surprised at the response. Conservative Republicans were scared and he is a staunch right-winger who rallied the troops.

Individuals contributed 58% of Sali's total contributions. Grant received 64% from individuals. That's not a big difference.

PACs and other party committees account for 39% of Sali's total contributions. For Grant, PACs account for only 13%. We're shocked and dismayed. Special interests bought and sold this election! No, they didn't.

(It might be pointed out here that 93% of Grant's PAC dollars were contributed by labor groups (according to That didn't get much attention, and it's not hard to imagine why.)

First of all, PACs are investors and Idaho is not a safe bet for left-leaning PACs. PAC fundraisers are competing for the same pool of limited funds that every candidate is competing for. They have to be strategic in their use of donor's money. Historically they haven't supported Idaho candidates running on the Democratic ticket. If you don't believe me, take a look at Jim Hansen's PAC contributions. (I'll save you the trouble. It's more than $199 and less than $201.)

Secondly, PACs represent a broad array of interests and are regulated. Contrary to what you might read, Club for Growth did not make or break this election. While they can run independent advertising campaigns, their monetary contributions (depending on how they are registered) are limited to $5,000 per year, per candidate.

On the flip side, left-wing fat cats may have wised up to the fact that donating to Democratic congressional candidates in Idaho is a waste of money.

Either way, the money doesn't win the election and out-of-state donors can't vote. Idahoans still chose Sali.

And his opponents need to be cautious about accusing Idahoans of being backward, narrow-minded or duped. You don't win elections by insulting your voter base.


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Blogger Bubblehead said...

I look forward to Congressman-elect Sali "standing up" to the new Madame Speaker. I also look forward to having Idaho voters realize in two years that Rep. Sali stood up to Pelosi so effectively that she still wouldn't be able to recognize him in a crowd. It's just like I said it would be -- the 1st District is now essentially without effective representation in Congress.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blogger girlfriday said...

So we vote for someone based on whether or not they have a shot at being recognized by leadership? We overlook their ideology? Grant was powerfully squishy on abortion, but that's okay as long as Pelosi likes him?

Sali isn't perfect and he'll learn in a hurry what it's like to be at the bottom of the totum pole.

That is not a reason to vote for someone who is not a reflection of Idaho values.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blogger Julie Fanselow said...

Give me a break, girlfriday. The Club for Growth's MEMBERS, at the Club for Growth's behest, kicked in many hundreds of thousands and the Club itself anted up hundreds of thousands more for independent expenditures - attack ads and robo calls.

All told, the Club's impact on the race was more than $1 million. The Grant campaign number crunchers actually found that Sali's out-of-state total was somewhere in the 85-90% range when everything is added in.

What's more, the CFG and the National Republican Congressional Committee spent more than $350K in Idaho in the last week of the campaign alone. That's about half what Larry Grant raised and spent in 18 months. In total, half of the GOP freshman class was largely funded by the Club for Growth. It's a good thing they are seriously marginalized since we're only talking about six people.

The Idaho media dropped the ball in reporting the full impact of out-of-state money on Sali's win, as well as his refusal to come clean on his stand on Proposition 2. Those of us who reported all this and more during the election are hardly going to let it go now that Sali is in Congress. If anything, we will pursue it more doggedly. Idahoans deserve a Congressman who will represent us, not fat-cat out-of-state extremists.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


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