Friday, September 15, 2006

Werewolf Picks 2006

With the 2006 elections approaching, I thought I'd lay out the Democratic House campaigns I've been giving money to. So far this year I've only given money in House races, partly because Million Buck Chuck has won us a huge fundraising advantage in the Senate. If you'd like to donate through my humorously named ActBlue page, I'd be quite pleased!

The candidate I've given the most money to is Gary Trauner, who's running for the at-large seat in Wyoming against Barbara Cubin. Now I can see you're thinking -- Wyoming? The second-reddest state in the country? Yeah, but the thing is that Cubin is actually quite vulnerable. In 2004, she won the state with 55% of the vote while Bush got 69%. And that was against a candidate she outspent 945K to 373K. She only got 60% of the vote in the GOP primary this year against a dude whom she outraised 25 to 1. Gary's close in the money race -- at last check, he was only down 233K to 206K in cash on hand. Very popular governor Dave Freudenthal (D), who is up for re-election this year, may also have coattails. CQ has recently changed their rating on the race to "Leans Republican", two notches from their previous "Safe Republican" rating. In May polling, Cubin led only 47-43, with a 47% disapproval rating.

Gary's views on issues are pretty good, especially given what you'd expect in Wyoming -- he's pro-choice, and his support of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is admirable. There are two additional things that I like about funding a Wyoming race. First, these are cheap races, so your dollar will go a long way. Second, since there's only one House seat, Congressmen have little competition to move up when a Senate seat becomes open. Gary's only 47, so if Freudenthal takes the first shot, we may still have two Democratic Senators from Wyoming in the future.

The other Mountain West Democrat I'm giving to is Larry Grant of Idaho. (Yes, the third-reddest state by 2006 standards.) His opponent, Bill Sali, seems to have some problems. Sali won the primary with 26% of the vote in a 6-way race. To quote the Republican Speaker of the House in Idaho, "That idiot is just an absolute idiot. He doesn’t have one ounce of empathy in his whole fricking body. And you can put that in the paper." I've read other accounts in which his fellow Idaho legislators argue about how high a window they'd like to throw him out of. I really don't know what's at the root of all this, but it's resulted in a bizarre little poll where Grant is ahead 22-14, with a big majority of voters undecided. Lots of the West-specific arguments I've made for Trauner apply here too -- it's a cheap race in a state with two Congressmen. The only real reason I'm reluctant to give more money here is that it might not be so bad for us if Bill Sali were loosed on the House GOP caucus. Maybe he'd give them as much trouble as he gave Idaho Republicans.

The third person I've donated to is the one with the best shot at winning -- Darcy Burner from Washington. Recent polling has her leading 49-46. She's a solid progressive from a district that went 51% for Kerry in 2004. This is probably going to be a more expensive race than the other two, though, so your money may not have as big an impact.

But part of me is absolutely thrilled at the idea of having Darcy Burner in Congress -- specifically, that part of me that gets all big and strong and hairy during the full moon. You see, she was a co-chair of the Harvard-Radciffe Science Fiction Association a couple years before I came to campus. Those are the same good folks with whom I watched Buffy and played roleplaying games and ran around campus smeared in blue body paint and howling like a wolf as a modern re-imagining of an ancient pagan ritual.* So I hope you'll understand if I send a little of my money that way.

*note to Reichert oppo researchers: I have absolutely no evidence that Darcy herself did any of these things.


Julie Fanselow said...

Hey Neil. Thanks for your post over at Larry Grant's blog. I followed your name link over here, and I see you've given Larry some financial support as well as blogtime. We appreciate those gestures VERY much, and we, too, hope to see Gary T and Darcy B join Larry in the winner's circle in November.

Julie Fanselow said...

P.S. I see you are a One America guy. I am trying very hard not to think about 2008 just yet, having had my heart stomped on in 2004. But I like Edwards a lot, too, especially his commitment to ending poverty. Rock on!

Neil Sinhababu said...

You're welcome, Julie! I know that these races still aren't going to be easy, but I'm pretty optimistic. And I am, indeed, a huge Edwards fan for 2008.