Darcy Burner’s edge

Eli Sanders looks at the Darcy Burner–Rep. Dave Reichert race in Washington’s 8th congressional district and asks, “What makes important people think that Eastside Democrat Darcy Burner can win in November 2008 the same congressional race that she lost last year?”

Sanders asked DCCC chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) who was in town to raise money for Burner this week. Van Hollen provides a number of reasons that don’t seem to completely convince Sanders…until he gets to this:

The most significant thing Van Hollen noted during the conference call was that the National Republican Congressional Committee, which last year spent about $2.5 million to help Reichert win, currently has only $2.5 million total cash on hand to help Republicans around the country. Contrast that with the $29.2 million that Van Hollen currently has to offer Democrats and you see not only a snapshot of the hurt that Bush has put on the Republican Party as a whole, but also a clear path to a Burner victory.

The Republican money deficit is far, far more serious than these figures tell. As Andrew Tannenbaum points out:

So far, 22 representatives have announced they are not running. Of these, 17 are Republicans and five are Democrats, and all five Democrats are from safe districts. […] Four of the Republican seats are safe (AL-02, CO-06, MS-03, and WY-AL), but the other 13 will be battlegrounds. In addition, there there are half a dozen seats the Republicans held in 2006 by tiny margins and will have to pour money into to defend. An example is NC-08, in which a totally unknown high school teacher with no political experience, no money, and no support from the national party, came with[in] 329 votes of unseating a wealthy four-term Republican congressman. There are a few Democratic freshmen who come from hostile districts such as Brad Ellsworth in IN-08, but most of them won by decent margins and have voted fairly conservatively in Congress and most are raising money like there is no tomorrow. For example, freshmen Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20), Ron Klein (FL-22), and Joe Sestak (PA-07) have all raised $1.5 million or more already. The median at this point for all 435 representatives is about $400,000.

NRCC chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) will have an enormous cash disadvantage with many open, currently Republican, seats to defend. Unquestionably there will be better investments for the NRCC’s limited funds than WA-08.

Dave Reichert is almost certainly going to have to find most of his own money this election. And given that his recent Bush-headlining fund-raiser raised more money for Burner than for his own campaign, he’ll have to find a strategy that doesn’t shoot himself in the face foot.


  1. 1

    correctnotright spews:

    How about something more substantial than just money:

    Reichert’s votes:

    1. For the War
    2. Against S-chip and children’s health

    and his sycophantic voting record with Mr. 25% approval, el Presidente.

    Those won’t go over well in the 8th.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The demographics they are a’changin’. That’s why, even if Darcy had nothing else going for her, Rubberstamp would face an uphill climb to reelection. Wa-08 is no longer a safe GOP district, or even an unsafe GOP district; it’s a swing district morphing toward becoming a Democratic district.

    It turns out all that commercial development in what used to be a bedroom suburb brought in lots of … workers.

  3. 3

    ivan spews:

    Strange to hear WY-AL characterized as a “safe” GOP seat after Gary Trauner gave Barbara Cubin a good run for her money in 2006. Cubin is retiring, and Trauner is already on the trail.

  4. 4



    Cubin’s sorry performance in the last election was more about Wyomingites being finished with her, rather than them being ready for a Democrat. Cubin had a number of minor gaffes and scandals in her career (including taking some money from Jack Abramoff and a bunch of money from Tom Delay’s PAC. Last year she also broke her own promise to limit her terms.

    I suspect WY is considered “safe GOP” simply because the state leans so strongly Republican in general. It’s safe for any serious Republican except Cubin.

  5. 5

    headless lucy spews:

    In the New Deal, Republicans were painted as narrow-minded, pro-business ideologues whose only interest was in maintaining their own elite position, everyone else be damned.

    The New Dealers were and are 100% correct.

    If the citizens of Wyoming want to vote for Republicans, then they are idiots.

  6. 6

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    Darcy doesn’t have a chance in 08. The political issue of 08 will be tax reform (reform in taxes are too high). Oh it is going to be great to see her cry again.. hehehehehehehheheheheheheheheehehehehehhehehehehehehhehehehehahahahahaahhaahahahahahahahaahahahahha

  7. 7

    headless lucy spews:

    re 6: Tax reform! Yes! As in graduated income tax. That would relieve the property tax issue.

    Believe it.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The times they is a’changin’ in Wyoming. Them fellers is up to hyar with Reperblikan energy politicks:

    “Amid the largest natural gas boom ever on public land in the West, a new kind of sagebrush rebellion is stirring. Ranchers, cowboys, small-property owners and local government leaders – the core of the Republican base in the Rocky Mountain West – are chafing at the pace and scope of the Bush administration’s push for energy development.

    ” … [F]or the first time, it is the Republicans who find themselves the target of angry speeches about lost property rights and tone-deaf federal land managers. And people who have been on opposing sides of the major land battles in the West – mainly property owners and ranchers versus environmentalists – are now allies.

    “‘The word from Washington is drill, drill, drill, and now they’ve basically destroyed our ranch,’ said Tweeti Blancett, a coordinator for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in San Juan County, New Mexico. … The couple has hired Karen Budd-Falen, one of the best-known lawyers in fights over U.S. land policies. … Budd-Falen, a prominent Republican from Cheyenne, Wyoming, said the drilling had turned the political world upside down in the West.


    “Dan M. ‘Buck’ Brannaman sits easily on a skittish chestnut quarter horse, his gray eyes smoldering. … ‘My ranch is torn to hell. They have literally shut down my cattle operation.’ A ride over a nearby hill reveals the source of Brannaman’s anger: A 600-acre draw has been rearranged by earth-moving machines … reservoirs have been gouged into the creek bottom … drill pads have been carved out … [l]engths of drill pipe rust on a staging area bulldozed into a pasture. Dirt roads slice haphazardly across the dry grassy slopes.”


  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 More and more average humans are figuring out they’re getting screwed by Bush’s tax system. But we don’t expect a stupid dog to understand what’s wrong with a system that taxes a billionaire hedge fund manager at half the rate paid by the janitor who empties his waste basket.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There’s going to be tax reform, all right! We’re going to make rich Republican freeloaders pay their fair share.

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Return On Investment

    Between 2000 and 2004, wealthy contributors gave GOP candidates $4 billion, and got back $400 billion of tax breaks.

    And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is THE REST OF THE STORY.

  12. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And Rubberstamp Reichert voted for that bullshit, which is why first-timer Darcy came within 2 points of kicking Reichert’s ass out of D.C. in 2006, and a more experienced and better-financed Darcy is going to swamp her lame-duck opponent next year.

    As a junior member of a discredited minority party, Reichert is doing absolutely nothing for his district, and his constituents know it!

    After 3 years in Congress, Reichert still hasn’t hugged a rabbit! But what do you expect from the guy who took 25 years to catch Ridgeway.

  13. 13

    Phil K spews:

    Lots of people make fun of Dave Reichert’s “helmet hair”, but actually, it’s shielding for Rove’s mind-contol antennas.

  14. 15

    Mark1 spews:

    The only “edge” Darcy whats-her-name has will be the edge of the plastic knives she’ll be handing out at the McDonald’s drive-thru. God help you ignoramouses and especially Roger “gov’t cheese” Rodent.

  15. 16

    rhp6033 spews:

    Not to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but I find it hard to believe that all that Republican money has just “gone missing”.

    The Republicans certainly accepted donatons from their rank-and-file, but they never really relied upon them. The past seven years of the Bush administration showed how they really work – they fly in Bush, Cheney, or Rove to safe, shielded “private events”, give promises to a handfull of fat cat supporters who write big checks, and bar most of the rest of the public – and even the average Republican – from attending the event to hear their government officials speak.

    While a lot of the rank-and-file contributors might be pissed off, and sitting on their wallets this time around, I find it extremely unlikely that these fat cat Republicans would do the same, especially with their tax cuts and special priviledges at risk.

    Could it be that the money is just being directed to be spent outside of the reportable money stream? Perhaps “swift-boat” type groups are being organized around the country, each to target eventual Democratic nominees, and the money is being quietly funneled into those sources?

    One potential strategy I heard being bandied about was to have heads of large corporations reserve large “ad buys” in local media outlests during the last few weeks before the election. Then when a Republican candidate (or “independent political action committee”) hits the airwaves with a “swift boat” campaign directed against the Democratic candidate, the Democratic candidate suddenly finds no ad time available to respond to the charges, except during the late-night slots normally taken up by “Girls Gone Wild” commercials. Since the ad time is used by the corporation as part of its normal advertising campaign (except condensed into a much shorter period of time), it doesn’t count as a donation to the Republican party. But it has the affect of blocking the Democratic nominee off the local airwaves. The executives aren’t even using their own money – they are using corporate funds actually belonging to the stockholders, including 401(k) participants and Union pension funds.

    This potential strategy doesn’t really work on a national scale, though – the airtime is too expensive to corner the market. For that, you need to have consolidated media ownership where one or two guys in each market can dictate what news is delivered to the households every night by radio, TV, and newspaper – hey, wait a minute…..

  16. 17

    Ann spews:

    oh such BS… the surge is WORKING, your boy Murtha has to finally admit it, and he did!

    Americans are shunning anti-American war movies across the country and you idiots think a Republican stronghold in the 8th district is Darcy’s for the taking?

    why? what exactly is Darcy capable of? whining until someone gives her something to do?

    Reichert has the public service history and PRO WAR stance that the GOP supports. All the money in the world wont buy Darcy a seat she doesnt deserve.

    Expect a Rossi in the Governor’s mansion and Reichert will easily beat that wimpy girl.

  17. 18

    Ann spews:

    oh, and dont forget the economy is not falling apart like you lefties are hoping for.

    on the contrary, the economy has been in an upswing but you idiots continue to hope against hope that America will fall.

    Aint gonna happen! :-)

  18. 19

    rhp6033 spews:

    In the meantime, Karl Rove is doing the pre-book circuit, dangling tidbits of bait about what his book will say. Apparantly, it will be released next year, in the middle of the election. One of the thing he promises to say is “the real untold story” how the Democrats in Congress are really responsible for the mess in Iraq, which he blames on them because they forced a vote on the authorization for the war before the White House had lined up important strategic alliances, etc….

    Well, I have to admit he is good at what he does, in an “evil genious” sort of way. He takes a small, tiny grain of truth, and paints a picture around it so misleading that it completely distorts reality. It’s like a verbal form of Picasso cubism.

    The tiny grain of truth is that in 2002 the Democrats in Congress did call for a vote on whether to authorize war with Iraq. Of course, the Democrats didn’t have control of Congress in 2002, so quite a few Republicans in Congress also called for a vote. And it is also true that although the Bush administration was heading full-tilt for war in Iraq, it didn’t have the strategic partnerships in place it needed (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.). And the Bush administration did, at first, resist such a Congressional vote. But that is where the truth ends.

    Within a short sentence, Rove is trying to deceive on several counts. First, he is trying to cause confusion by a reference to “Democrates in Congress” in 2002, to the “Democratic-controlled Congress of 2007-08″. He should more properly refer to the “Republican-controlled Congress of 2002″, but of course, he wouldn’t lower himself to do that for the sake of accuracy, when being misleading serves his purposes so much better.

    Secondly, he is saying that the Bush administration didn’t want a vote because it somehow interefered with the war preparations, but the Democrats were so blindly partison that they endangerd the success of the war by proceeding forward. But the real reason the Bush administration opposed the Congressional vote was because they feared it would fail, and they might be blocked from going to war. Their public statements at the time were that this was the President’s balliwick, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the only official with all the information necessary to protect the country in a post-9/11 world, and Congress should just but out. (The President’s father pretty much said the same thing before the first Gulf War resolution was debated and passed in Congress). But once Bush was assured by Republican leaders that the resolution would be worded in such a way that it would leave him free to act as he wanted (i.e., military authorization granted “if diplomatic efforts fail”), he backed off, and the Congressional vote proceeded to authorize the war. And Bush never did get the partnerships with the nations he really needed, and he never would get them, as Turkey and Saudi Arabia sat this one out, with Kuwait being the only Sunni Arab state to back the U.S. effort.

    Finally, of course, the whole disaster of the Iraqi occupation is properly laid at extraordinary failures of the Bush administration to take into account, or plan for, the easily predictable outcome of the invasion. The U.S. armed forces did what they were trained and equipped to do, and did so extraordinarily well – they defeated the Iraqi army in a very short period of time, with minimal casualties. But what they were not trained or equipped to do, and did not have the force necessary to do, was to police a long-term occupation of Iraq. Even those with a cursory knowledge of the history of Iraq would know about it’s history of opposition to occupying forces, history of insurgency, together with a gun culture which matches that of Texas and Montana, and a deep cultural and religious division between its major divisions (Suni, Shiite, and Kurd), as well as its many traditional tribal and family groups. When it comes to circumventing the minefield of political intrigue among those groups, we were mere babes in the woods. Yet the Bush administration put ideology above pragmatism, and put extraordinarily incompetent partison loyalists in key positions in order to conduct a social experiment of letting “capitalism bloom, curing all other ills”. Within days the military success was wiped out, as occupation czar Paul Bremmer disbanded the Iraqi army, sending millions of young Iraqi men home, jobless and broke, but with weapons in hand and the knowledge of where many more weapons and explosives were hidden.

    Rove’s attempt to blame the Democrats for this mess, which was entirely the making of the Republicans and the Bush Admnistration, is an attempt at historical revisionism at its worst.

  19. 20

    headless lucy spews:

    Was the ‘Surge’ a day-late-dollar-short tactic to ameliorate the quagmire in Iraq, or, an expensive talking point to browbeat Democrats with.

    Republicans do not want to admit that the increase in troops (as Democrats advised at the beginning of this conflict) is a winning idea that they pooh-poohed and ignored for years. Now that they are doing it in a half-assed way and it’s showing some positive results, they want to take credit for the strategy.

    Republicans lie constantly — especially to themselves.

  20. 21


    Rubberstamp Reichert voted for the Military Commissions Act in 2006, which legalized torture and destroyed the right to habeas corpus for the uncharged but detained. Don’t ever forget this!

  21. 22

    Karl Rove's Mellamine Poodle spews:

    19 is so off topic, he/she/it reminds me of me. Give rhp6033 a D- for coloring inside the lines, but a few points of extra credit for caffeine-induced effluvia.

    Main point granted: Clinton revisionism aside (Blue Dress Bill saying he was against the incipient war in 2002-2003 when he’s on record in support of the war in 2002-2003; Bill wedding his administration to Iraq regime change in 1998; etc. etc.), the fact is the fact. What happened in March 2003 and after is Bush’s baby. This is the first flat-out Republican war since 1898, and it’s probably the biggest blunder in our history. Even bigger than JFK’s Bay of Pigs.

  22. 24

    thor spews:

    So I saw Dave Reichert give a speech yesterday for the first time in front of a packed house of business people in Bellevue.

    I’ve seen a lot of speeches from members of Congress. His was the worst. He seemed nice enough. He said next to nothing. He unwittingly said a bunch of stupid things he seemed to think were smart. He projected a aura of a dope. He seems a lot like the village idiot.

    Why is he representing what might be about the smartest district in the nation?

    If I wanted to beat this guy I’d just follow him around with a camera and keep it rolling and run the collection on U Tube.

    Then I’d let people know that they should expect more from someone representing this district. This guy is posing as a member of Congress. It isn’t clear that he has the basic intelligence that the people of the 8th ought to expect.