by howardpark, Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 06:48:55 PM EST
Tonight, Tuesday, new, old and in-between Democrats joined Eric Massa for a fundraiser in Washington, DC just hours after George W. Bush campaigned in Canandaigua, NY for freshman Republican Congressman Randy Kuhl. Bush tried, and failed, to explain to New York seniors his complex, budget busting big-pharma enriching prescription drug scheme.
I was not anywhere near the Bush event. Instead, I joined Eric Massa as he rolled out "big gun" Democrat supporters to endorse his challange to Randy Kuhl in New York's 29th district. Kuhl was elected in 2004 with less than 50.3% of the vote. Sen. Clinton spoke about the 29th district and the great job Massa has done to unite and energize Democrats in the region. Massa is expected to announce shortly that all of the Democratic county organizations in his expansive New York district have united behind his candidacy. Sen. Max Cleland spoke frankly about how difficult it is to run for Congress bucking the party establishment. He noted an amazing figure -- only 4 Democrats who are Veterans of military service ran for Congress in 2004, 71 are running this year -- 2006. Wow! Wes Clark spoke with emotion about Massa, his former aide, who was diagnosed with cancer while serving as an aide to then Supreme Allied Commander (of NATO) Clark in 1998. Other speakers on behalf of Massa included Admiral William Crowe and Rep. Steney Hoyer of Maryland.
This post does not do justice to the spirit of the Massa event. Everyone in the crowd was struck by the fact that Massa has been running against Kuhl for over a year already, during times that were thin and tough. In terms of campaign money, Kuhl is a gassed up Hummer while Massa is running on fumes. Massa has faced an uphill battle and is still, very much an underdog. Kuhl has the support of deep pocketed interests and the army of lobbyists who owe their living to his patron, Rep. Tom DeLay. Massa is still, way, way behind in the quest for campaign cash and the ability to buy television time. For more info on Eric Massa and his campaign go to www.massaforcongress.com.