Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Read the piece linked here and weep!

Most folks seem to think that, come November, each party will be a couple of seats away from controlling the US House. The lefty 'sphere has rightly been proclaiming a 50 state strategy for months. No stone unturned. Every district counts.

And a bunch of Dem morons in OH quite likely have managed by their gross incompetence to ensure that OH-6 - #5 in the National Journal list of the 25 most vulnerable House seats (my earlier piece) - stays in the GOP column!

The piece says the candidate, Charlie Wilson

took much of the blame, admitting that he didn't realize that his home county, where he got most of the signatures, is split between two Congressional districts.

But why in hell's name were his handlers relying on the candidate to know the boundaries of his district?

Isn't one of the many reasons that a candidate has managers and consultants and the like to ensure that he doesn't have to worry about such details?

Why aren't folks here jumping up and down now like they did over Hackett?

What's the use of a Dem 50 state strategy if the Dem organizations don't take care of the basic, but legally vital, paperwork for their candidates?

What has DCCC honcho Emmanuel (no Calhounist on states rights he) been doing to ensure that no other district suffers from similar problems?

What has Chairman Dean got to say about the OH-6 snafu? If ever another scream was warranted...

Tags: dccc, Democrats, DNC, OH-6, Ohio (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

It is not a "disaster" - yet

He can fix this with a write in campaign for the primary. From what I have read all it takes is the filing of a form that says he is seeking the nomination via a write in candidacy. Then as long as he gets the most written in votes in the primary he will be on the general election ballot as the Democratic candidate.

by Jersey Devil 2006-02-23 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: It is not a "disaster" - yet
The piece linked says
The problem for Democrats is that a write-in campaign would be extremely costly...

I've no idea whether that's right or not.
by skeptic06 2006-02-23 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Charlie Wilson apparently left the petitions in the hands of his campaign manager, who is also Charlie's son.

One small comment, isn't this Ted Strickland's seat?  A loss here would mean we lose an existing seat.

by David Kowalski 2006-02-23 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Yes, indeedy.

I'd got the list of 25 via this piece which mentions that

there are more Republican than Democratic seats on the list, including nine of the top 10.

I guess Strickland's is the odd one out!

by skeptic06 2006-02-23 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Since this news broke, I've written not one but three posts on this. I'm pissed. But responsibility here lies entirely and only with the campaign. It's not Rahm's or Dean's job to nanny campaigns on the most picayune of matters.

Helping to raise money from national sources, helping to staff up campaigns with experienced professionals, helping to recruit candidates, helping shape messages - those are jobs for Rahm, Schumer, and, to a lesser extent, Dean.

But the quotidian operations of an individual campaign - especially something as measely as getting 50 signatures - have to be a campaign's responsibility alone.

by DavidNYC 2006-02-23 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

I agree that getting the signatures (and everything else in the campaign) is the responsibility of the campaign, not the DCCC or anyone else.

But the fact is that the snafu in OH-6 is not just an embarrassment for the campaign, or even the Ohio party: it affects the national campaign for the House.

So the DCCC has a responsibility not for nannying campaigns in particular districts but for protecting the interests of that national campaign.

(Just like, if a bank lends a company a large sum, that doesn't affect the fact that the responsibility for managing the company continues to rest solely with its directors.

But you can pretty much guarantee that the loan agreement will contain all sorts of conditions requiring regular reports and notifications from the company of any intended action that might affect the bank's interest.)

Quite how that supervisory role should be carried out, I don't have the expertise to suggest.

But the thought that the control of the House might be determined by random and avoidable screw-ups like the OH-6 because no system is in place to ensure basic legal requirements are fulfilled is not a happy one!

by skeptic06 2006-02-23 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Too nice, David.  The field was cleared for this guy and he screwed it up.  Insiders have to take some blame here.

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-23 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

Niceness has nothing to do with it: the fate of one moron is not the issue.

I understand that the primary mission of the DCCC is to ensure the election of Dem incumbents, not to secure control of the House for the Dems.

But it clearly embraces a wider role (and with good reason) in clearing the way for what it thinks are the best candidates in open seats - like, I gather, Wilson in OH-6.

But, even if some version of the (mythical) Pottery Barn rule doesn't apply, the basest reasons of self-preservation and not being made a laughingstock might impel Emmanuel to see that a basic level of competence was being exercised by his protégés (if not all Dem House candidates).

Not to mention the prospect of failing to secure a leadership role for himself in a Dem-controlled House because the GOP stays in charge as a result of snafus like that in OH-6!

by skeptic06 2006-02-23 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

A field only gets cleared because would-be candidates let it get cleared. Christine Cegelis certainly hasn't let her field get cleared.

I just don't buy this idea that because insiders favor a particular candidate and that candidate makes a stupid, unforeseeable mistake, some portion of blame redounds to the insiders. This is Wilson's mistake, and his mistake alone. I'm willing to blame Rahm for lots of things, but this is not one of them.

It's legit to assume that an elected official (Wilson is a state senator) can handle the small day-to-day tasks of a campaign. Rahm had every reason to believe Wilson would be a good candidate - this mess was not foreseeable. (And yes, I know Wilson once screwed up something like this before - but anyone who knew that would have said, "Boy, I bet that guy's chastened! He'll never let that happen again!")

Bottom line is that this was unforeseeable - and anyone else who wanted to run, could have run.

(To put it another way: If you tap Whoopi Goldberg to MC a fundraiser and you get upset because she makes some off-color jokes - well, you were an idiot in the first place for inviting Whoopi because you had to know she'd be blue. But if you invited Garrison Keilor and he then made off-color jokes, you'd be forgiven for not having anticipated that.)

by DavidNYC 2006-02-23 03:27PM | 0 recs
Are other people running for the Dem primary?

I'm guessing yes.  If so, they deserve the chance at the seat, since they have proved themselves much more competent than this boob.  If you can't figure out how to get fifty valid signatures, you probably are going to loose the general election.

by Geotpf 2006-02-23 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Are other people running for the Dem primary?

There are two other Democrats running in the primary, but there are complications.

The first, John S. Luchansky, ran as a write-in candidate in the 2004 general election against Strickland, the Dem incumbent who's vacating the seat. Now he's running as a Democrat, but it seems to me that his party affiliation should be in quotes. It doesn't seem legit. And to top it off, I've been unable to find a website for him. If he doesn't even have a single page on the web, that speaks volumes about his chances of defeating a well-funded Republican in November.

The second candidate is Bob Carr. His previous campaign experience includes two runs for Congress in Michigan - as a Republican. And check out his website. Any sign of the word "Democrat" on there? Not that I could find. Also, if you read the text on the first page, it looks almost as if it's his wife that's campaigning. No way is this guy the real deal for us.

So that leaves us with Wilson as our best choice. Not good. A write-in campaign can be outrageously expensive, because you have to pound the candidate's name into the voters heads. Or you have to make sure that a majority of citizens are walking into the ballot booth with "Charlie Wilson" inked onto their palm. It should be slightly less difficult in a primary with all Democratic voters. In a general, it can be just about impossible. Take this example:

For the general election, Democrat and UT math Prof. Lorenzo Sadun made a valiant write-in effort to get the donkeys back in the game, but the result was brutal - he took only 6% of the vote, finishing even behind the (listed) Libertarian candidate. Austinite Michael McCaul, the least reactionary of a nine-way GOP primary field, joined Congress in a 79% landslide.

That was the 2004 race for TX-10, where the State Democratic Party neglected to field a candidate for the primaries. Sadun stepped up to tilt at the windmills, but it was humbling.

So, if Wilson can get enough write-ins to grab the nomination, great. We don't really have a shot of keeping the seat without him.

But even if he does, you can already here the main line of GOP criticism - if the guy can't even correctly file for his candidacy, how can we trust him to represent us in Washington?  

by paulrobeson 2006-02-23 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

It seems to me a pretty honest, if stupid, mistake.  The guy is apparently pretty well known throughout the area (I saw a poll that gave him a 2-1 lead over his likely Republican opponent 44-24%).  The people who know him know he isn't an idiot.

He should make a joke about the whole thing or even intimate that he got ripped off (when they realized they made an error, they resubmitted their signatures, but a new and bizarre Ohio law doesn't allow for refilings) in appealing for write-in votes.

The best model to follow is that loon Washington State Republican Congresswoman Linda Smith, who, in the big Republican year 1994, won the general election as a write-in candidate.  It can be done, and given the level of opposition, it shouldn't actually be that hard.

by Adam T 2006-02-23 11:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Still no rage on potential OH-6 disaster!

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. A mistake is just that, a mistake. It happens to everyone once in a while and I believe this should be a reason to help out this campaign more rather than less. If you want control of your own destiny: adversity is not the time to shrink away, it is  the time to band together set goals, and achieve them.

by TimThe Terrible 2006-02-24 04:33AM | 0 recs
Lessons for other Candidates

1. When collecting signatures, carry a good map of the District.

2. Don't leave the process to your advisors. Collect as many of the signatures as possible yourself, not just from the Party regulars, but from "normal' folks. Asking them to sign is a good opener to introduce yourself.

by benmasel 2006-02-24 09:56AM | 0 recs

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