April 13, 2006
Sklar in DC, Feingold in Austin

Couple of Congressional fundraising notes to pass along: Shane Sklar will be in Washington, DC, on May 3 for a fundraiser hosted by a raft of current and former Congressfolk. Here's a partial lineup, from the email I got:

Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
Honorable Rahm Emanuel
Hon. Henry Cuellar
Hon. Lloyd Doggett
Hon. Chet Edwards
Hon. Martin Frost
Hon. Charlie Gonzales
Hon. Gene Green
Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Hon. Nick Lampson
Hon. Solomon Ortiz
Hon. Silvestre Reyes
Hon. Max Sandlin
Hon. Charlie Stenholm
Hon. Jim Turner

Plus a few non-Texans as well. Not too shabby. The cheap seats start at $250, so this could raise some serious scratch for Sklar.

I'll talk about that a bit more in a second, but first, next week in Austin, Sen. Russ Feingold will be headlining a fundraiser for John Courage. I've got the invitation in PDF form here. As with the Sklar event, these tickets are not cheap, so the event has potential to really give Courage a boost.

Why do you care? Well, I see these two races as the top two after Lampson/TBD and Edwards/Taylor. What Sklar and Courage need to get on the radar is enough fundraising to make the usual observers sit up and take notice. Neither is running in a particularly friendly district, but both are running against incumbents who could be vulnerable to someone with the means to get a message out. Ron Paul has years of eccentric do-nothingness, capped by his steadfast refusal to serve the interests of the coastal region he purportedly represents. Lamar Smith is a close DeLay crony and a leader of the xenophobic anti-immigrant brigade that's found itself of late farther outside the mainstream than it thought it was. There's plenty of material there, it's just a question of making these fellows defend themselves. Plus, Paul was unchallenged in his new district in 2004, while Smith underperformed against a placeholder. Add it all up, and these two races have breakthrough potential.

(Rumor has it, by the way, that Paul is a bit wigged out by Sklar's campaign. The story as I heard it is that the Grumpy Gynecologist (tm, Banjo Jones) is telling people they shouldn't vote for Sklar because he's young, newly married, and has no kids. Yeah, that's a terrible stain on his resume, let me tell you.)

(Oh, and check out the greeting Smith got at UT yesterday. Note also that as the Daily Texan story indicates, nobody interrupted Smith's speech; all the boisterousness was outside. That's how you do it.)

Anyway. I know Sklar had something like a $200K $150K quarter ending in March, and he's hoping to top that in the second Q; I don't know where Courage stands yet, but I know he's got an aggressive fundraising plan. If they can do it, look for them to start getting noticed.

UPDATE: I have been informed by the Sklar campaign that their total for this quarter is in the $150K range, not $200K. Apparently, a couple of later-in-the-period fundraisers that would have pushed them to $200K got postponed until the summer. My apologies for the confusion. On the plus side, I understand that Sklar has outraised Paul by $60K to $45K since the primary report was filed. That's another good sign. Go Shane!

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 13, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Russ Feingold, John Courage, Jim Hightower, Barack Obama, Cindy Sheehan, and David Van Os all have speaking events in Austin on Monday and Tuesday of next week. I'll be at most of them, and provide some live-blogging at my various places.

Posted by: PDiddie on April 13, 2006 8:39 AM

Cuellar isn't honorable.

Posted by: Marie on April 13, 2006 10:06 AM