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Beto v Briscoe

I approve of this, with some small reservations.

Beto O’Rourke

Presidential contender Beto O’Rourke is helping a fellow Democrat raise money to unseat the Texas Rep. Briscoe Cain, after the Republican lawmaker tweeted last week that his AR-15 is “ready” for O’Rourke.

An email over the weekend from O’Rourke — still basking in the spotlight from his debate-stage vow that “Hell yes” he’ll confiscate assault-style weapons if elected — led to more than 3,600 donations for the campaign of Cain’s challenger, Josh Markle, of Deer Park.

Cain, a Baytown Republican, went viral after last week’s Democratic debate in Houston, when he tweeted at O’Rourke, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.” O’Rourke’s campaign reported the tweet to the FBI as a threat, then turned to its followers to raise money for Markle.

“Last year, Briscoe Cain ran completely unopposed,” the fundraising note, which vowed to split all money raised with Markle’s campaign, said. “This time, the Texas House Democratic caucus is running a campaign with Josh Markle to defeat him. The more money we can raise for them today, the stronger and clearer our message to Cain becomes. So please, make your best donation right now.”

O’Rourke’s supporters apparently did just that.

Markle — whose first foray into politics was block-walking and making calls for O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate run — told the Chronicle that his campaign received more than $43,000 in donations from that email alone. He says his campaign has brought in nearly 4,800 donations, totaling more than $68,000, since Cain posted the viral tweet that put the race for the solid-red district on the map.

I assume you heard about Briscoe Cain’s stupid and threatening statement towards Beto; I didn’t bother with it because there wasn’t much to say beyond demonstrating Cain’s profound amorality and utter unfitness to own any weapon, let alone one whose purpose it is to murder many people quickly and efficiently. Beto’s response here – he had other things to say, of course – is the normal political response, which is to make the elected official who said the stupid and offensive thing pay a price for it. The only problem is that Briscoe Cain is largely insulated from such effects, as one can observe in the 2018 numbers:

Dist    Beto
HD128  32.6%
HD130  33.2%
HD127  39.8%
HD150  42.3%
HD133  45.0%
HD129  45.2%
HD126  47.8%

Cain’s HD128 is the most Republican district in Harris County. I don’t see that trend reversing itself any time soon. It’s great to bring money and attention to Cain’s Democratic rival, and all hail Josh Markle for taking on the thankless task of running against Cain. It’s just that Beto could have raised ten times as much for Markle without it having any significant effect. I believe in running everywhere, I believe in supporting worthwhile candidates, and I believe that there’s always a chance. I just hope that the people who gave to Josh Markle did so with their eyes open, and didn’t blow their entire giving-to-local-Dems-in-2020 budget on that race.

(Beto was also busy in recent days boosting Eliz Markowitz’s campaign in HD28. That one comes with no reservations attached.)

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  1. Andrew Lynch says:

    I look forward to democrats dumping money in the trash can to defeat Cain. Beto has energized the right with his gun confiscation language.

  2. blank says:

    I haven’t followed campaign finance in awhile, but I recall that at least at one point campaigns transferred funds a lot. Consequently, it made at least some sense to give money to likely losing candidates, because if a likely losing candidate were to raise no money, then the likely winning candidate would transfer campaign funds to a competitive race. In addition, there are also cases in which a likely losing candidate spends his/her money to register voters and get out the vote, which then helps others on the ballot. For instance, giving Markle may not do much to beat Cain, but if he uses the campaign funds to register voters and get out the vote, the donation would help other Harris County Democratic candidates. (I used to purposely give money to swing congressional districts in swing states, because it essentially multiplied the effects of my donation.) All of this depends of course upon how the campaigns decide to spend their money.

  3. Manny says:

    I am doing that now, giving money in swing contest in Texas and other States.

  4. C.L. says:

    Andrew, I think the public tide may be turning against assault-style weapons being freely purchased by the populace… Question is, are there more folks that are tired of the damage they do than gun lovers who can’t seem to break up with their human killing machine ?

  5. C.L. says:

    Looks like Colt sees the handwriting on the wall…