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Monday, July 3, 2006

Million-Dollar Burner

Posted by on July 3 at 11:40 AM

The second quarter of political fundraising ended on Friday, and the campaign of eastside Democrat Darcy Burner tells me that Burner reached her goal of hitting $1 million raised. (The precise number will be in later this week.)

Given all the first-quarter focus on Burner out-fundraising her opponent, freshman Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, the news that Burner’s now hit such a big number for the second quarter will be exciting for people backing her campaign.

However, it’s highly unlikely that Burner’s fundraising outpaced Reichert’s again this quarter, what with Reichert’s recent money-raising visit from President Bush and all. Also, it’s a virtual certainty that Reichert remains far ahead of Burner in the overall fundraising totals. As of May, Reichert had brought in a total of about $1.4 million. (His campaign won’t be releasing his end-of-second-quarter total until mid-July.)


I spoke to Burner a short time ago, and she tells me she’s getting good marks from the national party for having hit the $1 million goal:

We’re really, really happy. The folks in D.C. are pleasantly stunned that we’ve managed to raise that much and so much of it is from here. It is again a real demonstration of how excited people are about changing the direction of the country.

Burner says she’ll be focusing less on Reichert’s new fundraising total, when it comes, than on his new cash-on-hand number. Her cash-on-hand number is currently $680,000.

FURTHER UPDATE: I’m told that due to a last-minute surge, Burner’s cash-on-hand number is actually more than $700,000. I’ll do a new post with the precise number when it comes.

CommentsRSS icon

Is it all legal?

I already know your answer, Eli, but I invite some auditors to visit the Burner Campaign and confirm that.

Huh? Is what all legal Gomez? It is unbelievable how you can make an insinuation about just about anything.

Don't play dumb, Daniel. Fundraising. That's a lot of money in less than six months for a first-timer.

That's quite the insinuation, Gomez -- especially since the Burner campaign has to do a federal filing, detailing who has given her money and how much they've given her. It happens every quarter, and it's a rather transparent process. Why, even *you* could do an audit.

Do you have some specific knowledge of an impropriety?

Or are you just aghast at being increasingly wrong about your prejudice that Burner might not be up to winning?

To continue on that tangent, anonymous troll, how does raising a million dollars make a candidate credible in the eyes of the voters? Raising money doesn't necessarily mean you can convince voters you're worth a vote, especially if you're an unproven first-timer with no record.

Yes, I made an exception to my rule, just for you.

I'm sure I'm flattered by the exception.

And the answer to your question is this: it's not the money that will make her credible in the minds of the voters; it's the ads the money will buy. Burner has now raised enough for television ads.

The money was raised, incidentally, by convincing a whole bunch of people to invest in her -- the same sort of activity she'll need to do successfully with voters if she's to win.

Raising money doesn't necessarily mean you can convince voters you're worth a vote, especially if you're an unproven first-timer with no record.

It does mean she's willing to put in the time and effort necessary to win; something the vast majority of candidates are unwilling to do.

This is true. However, putting in the effort does not automatically make you a champion. There are larger criteria to meet.

You know, Gomez, I think you're confusing unproven with incapable. The two are quite different -- they are separated by potential.

What is it that makes you so violently opposed to a candidate who is working hard, running a strong race, and who from all accounts has potential in spades?

And let's be brutally honest: would you react the same way to a man in his mid-30s with the same resume and profile? Think about that carefully before you answer.

Now that you've decided to become a regular, LoaITG, I guess I've gotta read your reply.

I thought about it for all of 7 seconds, about as carefully as one takes out the trash. Yes. Yes, I would say the same of her if she were a guy. Ironically, I think the party's bandwagoning her BECAUSE she's an affluent white woman, and wouldn't bother if she were a man. Affluent white women are marketable in political campaigns. How's THAT for sexism? Why no similar wrath for the Democratic party? Oh, because it doesn't suit your point. Right.

She's a first timer with no experience or record, her only contribution as a public citizen being a programmer and later an executive for Microsoft. That's not exactly composing legislation and unselfishly meeting the needs of your constituency.

She has no political credibility. Her opponent, whether or not he's a two faced sanctimonious jerk, does. No amount of money changes that.

Being elected to the U.S. House with no previous elective experience is not unheard of. Take, for example, this partial list of current members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have no previous elective experience:

Jo Bonner (R-AL01)
Artur Davis (D-AL07)
Rick Renzi (R-AZ01)
J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ05)
Linda Sanchez (D-CA39)
Chris Chocola (R-IN02)
John Kline (R-MN02)
Tom Osborne (R-NE03)
Michael Ferguson (R-NJ07)
Timothy Bishop (D-NY01)
Bill Shuster (R-PA09)
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX05)
Michael Burgess (R-TX26)
James Matheson (D-UT02)
Eric Cantor (R-VA07)
Paul Ryan (R-WI01)

...and there are more.

Apparently the voters don't use the same criteria you do to determine who should serve them in Congress. My guess is that they look broadly at what kind of representative they think someone will be -- rather than getting hung up on a single preconceived notion about what kind of person ought to run for office.

So Burner's not your preconceived cookie-cutter candidate? Get over it.

And as to "no political credibility" -- according to whom (apart from the Republicans)? The DCCC has targeted her for support, as has EMILY's List, many unions, and all of the local Democratic organizations. She's been able to raise the resources it will take to win from people who willingly gave them because they believe she can win. She's got volunteers, money, a highly functional campaign team, and enough momentum to get regular press coverage both locally and nationally.

Your argument doesn't hold water. What's your REAL beef with her, Gomez?

Who did those people run against, and when did they run? What were their stump issues? Did they have public credibility and rapport? (I can tell you that one of the guys on that list, Tom Osborne, was a legendary football coach at Nebraska; that had to help his popularity).

Listing names tells me jack shit. Where's the context?

Darcy has no context for the voters to rely on, and her opponent does. She's some unemployed suburban white woman, with a war chest of backing from a party with a nationwide agenda. Her opponent's got decades of experience and was recently the King County Sherriff. Can you tell me any of the candidates you listed were in the exact same boat, against the exact same type of candidate?

It's an amusing game, Gomez, of you attacking on distractions while refusing to address your underlying issue head on.

The information about the elected representatives named above is trivially easy to find. Take a minute to look it up.

But you give yourself away with your diatribe about Burner being a "suburban white woman". You're right -- she is. You are deeply mistaken about that being a disqualifier in the 8th district.

She's a suburban white woman who grew up a military brat, who worked her way through college, who went into the business world to feed herself and keep a roof over her head, who married and had a child, and who is committed to making a difference politically, right now. As context for her district, that's pretty good: she is a good fit for the 8th.

The fact that you don't like suburban white women is your problem, not a knock on Burner.

Blah blah blah... I don't need to look anything up. YOU look it up. Burden of proof's on you, pal. You're the one trying to shove Darcy Burner down MY throat.

Go take a poll of the 8th district and prove me wrong that the district doesn't buy her. And no excuses about not having her name out there yet: with the election in 4 months, they better know who she is by now, or she's toast.

Shoving her down your throat? You're the one who's obsessed with trashing her, and you seem perfectly happy to just make stuff up - like the utterly unfounded implication you started this thread with.

Your problem with Burner is your prejudice against suburban white women. No more, and no less.

Burner has done a poll of the district - and whatever the results were, they INCREASED investment in her campaign. Reichert has polled, too - and immediately afterwards panicked and flew the President in to try to save him.

The real issue isn't that Burner can't win. It's not that she wouldn't make a smart, effective member of Congress. It's that you're a prejudiced jerk who doesn't want her to win because it would run contrary to your biases.

Fortunately, those are not biases shared by the voters of the 8th district.

LOL More of a Troll Than Fnarf. You basically exposed yourself with all those broad, sweeping statements of blind faith and poo-pooing any notion that maybe Darcy Burner's shit does stink.

Look, no matter my opinion of suburban white women (I don't have whatever serious bias you're convinced I have), my point is that she has no hard experience as a politician, that the most experience she has in the public sector is as an executive for a software company, and that she's spent the last couple of years out of work... and that maybe that sort of person, running for office for the first time ever, probably shouldn't run cold turkey for Congress, especially against a veteran politician, no matter how much money the Democratic party raises for her.

We've actually been over this a few times: None of the polls the Burner camp have taken has polled citizens on the most important question of all: "Hey, who would you vote for, Burner or Reichert?" If they have, they haven't mentioned them, and if the results were positive, why wouldn't they mention it?

Likewise, if the results were crap, maybe they wouldn't want to mention that. It is not a leap of faith to say that Burner's polling poorly: her name recognition within the district in a recent poll was only around 45%. That's just the number of people who know who she is. This doesn't necessarily mean they like or support her.

That's bad news, especially only 4-5 months before the general election. Her biggest campaign appearance wasn't even in her district: it was in Downtown Seattle with a bunch of liberal supporters.

This campaign's been run worse than the Seattle Mariners. With four months left, she's still taking pot shots at Dave and thumping her chest over numbers, instead of giving her constituency solid reasons to vote for her. And that's got nothing to do with her being a suburban white woman.

The image, though, lined up alongside the image of a former King County Sherriff, doesn't help either.

And you, Gomez, are an expert on campaign strategy because...?

You're confident a candidate needs that kind of name recognition this far out, prior to running any ads or sending direct mail, because of your experience with...?

Just as a local anecdote: Patty Murray's name recognition at this point in her Senate campaign was sub-20%. People dismissed her as a suburban mom who was not up to the job. During the primary battle the papers didn't even mention she was running. And she won, statewide.

Would it be better if Burner had elected experience? Sure. Does it mean that she can't win, or can't be an effective legislator? Certainly not.

You're the irrational one here, Gomez.

What do YOU know, random asshole? For all I know, you learn all your politics from Eat The State. Silly argument to make against somebody.

Reasons why Patty Murray's 1992 cold turkey run is irrelevant:

- Rod Chandler is not Dave Reichert.
- The Senate is not the House of Representatives.
- Since the Senate seat involves a statewide election, Murray had the votes of hundreds of thousands of liberal Seattlites. The 8th District has no such liberal groundswell of voters and is well known as a swing district leaning slightly right.
- Murray also had additional steam from the fact that her fellow challenger in 1992, Brock Adams, faced allegations of sexually assaulting a number of women. In fact, by all accounts she ran in response to those allegations. Darcy has no such driving purpose fueling her run. She's just running to oust Reichert. Big whoop.
- The Democrats had control of Congress in 1992 when Murray initially run. The Republicans lacked the talking points, however flawed (War on Terror, No Child Left Behind, etc), that fuel their support today.

Oh, and...
- Darcy Burner isn't Patty Murray. Murray spent years as an activist and lobbyist before she ran. She had history and experience. Burner spent a couple years after leaving Microsoft raising a kid and going to law school before up and deciding to run. No track record.

Apples, meet oranges. Apples and oranges, meet Less of an Idiot Than Gomez... whoever that is.

Hm, well, if the criterion for my identity is that I'm less of an idiot than Gomez, then I could be practically anyone.

How about this: we agree that your first post in this thread would have been more accurate if it had read,

"I'm completely convinced that my low opinion of Burner is more accurate than the opinions of people who have met her, heard her speak, interacted with her campaign, given her money, volunteered to help her, or run the party from which she's trying to be elected, and so these fundraising totals make my brain want to explode. The cognitive dissonance involved in reconciling my convictions about her incompetence and unworthiness with the level of support she's receiving from thousands upon thousands of people -- including every Democrat in the Washington Congressional delegation, a significant percentage of organized labor, thousands of voters in her district, and the notoriously hard-nosed Rahm Emanuel -- is very difficult for me to cope with, and so Eli, I'd appreciate it very much if you could stop reporting on the successes of the Burner campaign, because it's just too hard on me."

And then, with that agreement, we can call it even.

Har har. You and Eli let me know when you get those poll numbers showing Darcy with a huge lead on Reichert on that aforementioned golden question.

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