November 07, 2006
I feel their pain

Via Kos, I find myself feeling a twinge of sympathy for the New York Republican Party.

Anticipating historic political losses in New York tomorrow, state Republican leaders are lashing out at the national party in Washington, saying it has exploited New York donors and blown opportunities against a prime target, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The depth of frustration is hard to overstate. The national Republican Party and its candidates from outside New York have raised tens of millions of dollars here this year, party officials say. But they have spent little money helping the nominees for governor and Senate, John Faso and John Spencer, respectively, and there have been no morale-and-money-boosting visits on their behalf by leaders like President Bush or Senator John McCain.

Despite pleas for help, New York Republicans say they have been consistently rebuffed or ignored in Washington. Mr. Spencer, the challenger to Mrs. Clinton, said he was bewildered that the national party did not help him pressure her this fall, and instead left Mrs. Clinton free to campaign extensively for Democrats in other states


Mr. Faso, the candidate for governor, said that Republicans in Washington treated New York like a political A.T.M. for campaign donations and offered little in return.

"The national party comes into New York, does significant fund-raising here, and then there's very little in the way of national support for statewide races," Mr. Faso said. "It's disappointing, and a serious mistake in terms of party building."

Been there, done that. I'm a fan of Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy, and I'm pleased to see it start to bear fruit in places like Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska, but I can't say that I've seen much of a difference here. I know the DNC is paying for four field operatives, but I at least have no idea what they're doing. Maybe that's by design, or maybe I'm just not paying sufficient attention, I don't know. All I can say is that I'm not seeing the effects, and I can sure think of a number of races that could have benefitted from some extra money and/or manpower.

Of course, it's not just the national party that has seen fit to ignore Texas Dems. The powers that be here decided it wasn't worth it to fund Democrats at the statewide level. (I don't include the TDP in that assessment, but the TDP isn't about funding, even if it wanted to be.) We all know how that has gone. I suppose one can look at the Chris Bell campaign and see failure. What I see is a campaign that despite all kinds of adversity is at the very least still on track to finish ahead of the multimillion-dollar candidate who got more votes than anybody else did in 2002 and the media whore celebrity who got vast quantities of fawning coverage before the press decided at long last to start treating him like a candidate instead of a novelty. That's assuming he doesn't win outright, of course. Bell accomplished that despite a nontrivial number of movers and shakers in the Democratic Party who decided that only a non-Democrat could beat Rick Perry. At least Mr. Faso only has to contend with apathy.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 07, 2006 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack

I know the DNC is paying for four field operatives, but I at least have no idea what they're doing.

Why in the world wouldn't the DNC be communicating more effectively with one of Texas', nay the country's, leading progressive political bloggers?

If you have no idea of what they're doing re: outreach, it strikes me that THEY have no idea what they're doing.

And here I thought Howard Dean was all about revitalizing the grassroots via the netroots, and such. What am I missing?

Posted by: kevin whited on November 7, 2006 10:30 AM

It must be a slow news day in NY.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on November 7, 2006 12:30 PM

A) Thank you for starting the ball rolling on telling the truth about what has happened here in Texas. I am just waiting for the inevitable Bell-was-a-weak-candidate stories. I would encourage anyone who's as angry as I am to write, post, and comment on a national level. I keep arguing that the Republicans use Texas to figure out their next strategy. Not only do we have to fix this situation so we can elect Democrats here, we need to convince people that what happens here is not an anomaly--it's the plan.

B) Wondering if Democrats in California are so satisfied with Pelosi, Boxer, and Feinstein that the Arnold parallel doesn't hold. Probably. But they HAVE to see that what's happening on the state level may end up being beyond relevant.

Posted by: lize burr on November 7, 2006 1:32 PM

Californians went to the ballot box last year and slapped Arnold into becoming a liberal.

Posted by: Pug on November 7, 2006 2:33 PM

Maybe Boyd Richie should send the NY Republicans a card saying "Hey, we've been there."

Posted by: Jeb on November 8, 2006 12:43 PM