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Thursday, March 30, 2006

NY-29: End-of-Quarter Netroots Push for Eric Massa

Posted by DavidNYC

As you may have seen on DailyKos, the combined netroots fundraising page has added Eric Massa to its list of candidates. I'm really pleased with this decision - it was one I supported - and I'll tell you exactly why:

• Massa is running against a freshman, Randy Kuhl, who was only elected with 51% of the vote in 2004.

• New York's 29th Congressional District has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of only R+5.2, which means that over the last two presidential elections, the CD was 5.2% more Republican than the nation as a whole. That's not very much. For instance, two freshmen Dems who won seats last time out - Melissa Bean in IL-08 and John Salazar in CO-03 - ran in districts with almost identical PVIs.

• Randy Kuhl is a totally insane nutbag, who threatened to shoot his ex-wife with TWO shotguns in the middle of a dinner party at their own home! Please click the link - I swear I am not making this up.

• Massa is not only a Fighting Dem - he served in the Navy for twenty-four years - but he's been at the forefront of his band of brothers and sisters. He authored the founding pledge (MP3) which forty fellow Fighting Dems all united behind on Feb. 8th in Washington, DC. In short, he is a leader among leaders.

• Massa's already done a decent job fundraising. He had raised $218,000 by the end of last year, which is a very solid sum for a candidate who isn't on the radar screen of the major establishment players.

• To continue with that theme, the fact that this race isn't considered "top-tier" makes it a perfect opportunity for the netroots to get involved. In a race where both sides will raise millions, the marginal difference we can make is small. But for races which aren't receiving tons of attention, our time, resources and money can have a very big effect.

• Finally, I don't usually make predictions, but I am confident that Democrats in New York are going to have a huge year. With Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer at the top of the ticket - both of whom should easily clear 60% - there will be major Dem coattails all the way down the ballot. Guys like Massa are exactly the sort of people who are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this - if they have enough help from people like us.

And speaking of help, the campaign just sent out an e-mail explaining that Eric Massa needs to raise $15,000 by tomorrow night. March 31st is the end of the fundraising quarter. Like it or not, big organizations and major donors put a lot of stock in those quarterly fundraising reports. Undoubtedly, this final chunk of change will help push Massa over an important threshold.

So let's make it happen. While this blog may not be able to do it alone, we can definitely reach this goal with a widespread push from the netroots. As always, donations of any size are appreciated.

P.S. If you're a blogger and you'd like to get involved with this end-of-quarter drive, please feel free to use the combined netroots page. If you want to make sure your site is credited properly, you can use ActBlue's handy referral codes, which are explained at the top of the netroots page.

Posted at 02:47 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New York | Technorati

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Excellent point on Spitzer-Clinton coattails here. Kuhl ran 5% under Bush, against an underfunded novice. Here's some info from 2006 Almanac of American Politics:

2004 Presidential Vote
Bush (R) 171,317 (56%)
Kerry (D) 127,481 (42%)

2000 Presidential Vote
Bush (R) 152,004 (53%)
Gore (D) 121,596 (43%)

"The Democratic nominee, Samara Barend, 27, had never held elected office; she had served briefly as an aide to former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and had worked on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2000 campaign. Kuhl, with his extensive political experience, was endorsed by the national and state AFL-CIO as "a strong advocate for working men and women and their families." But Kuhl's campaign was rocked in late October by the unauthorized release of his sealed divorce records, which included charges of excessive drinking and womanizing and an accusation that Kuhl had pulled out two shotguns at a dinner party and threatened to shoot his wife. Both Kuhl and his ex-wife denounced the release of the records, which had been obtained by Barend's campaign manager after a staffer got them from a county clerk's office; apparently the documents were inadvertently released. Barend initially denied any role in the incident and refused demands to fire her campaign manager. But Kuhl's campaign said that she was lying. As damaging as the documents appeared to be, they weren't enough to overcome widespread distaste for the manner in which they were made public. Kuhl's win was narrower than had been expected, 51%-41%, with 6% to Assini on the Conservative Party line. In Monroe County, which cast 36% of the total vote, Barend led 48%-39%. Kuhl carried the other counties, including 67% in Corning-based Steuben County."

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2006 12:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment