Friday, April 22, 2005

Self-funding candidates

Kos has a little bit of information about the race to succeed Henry Hyde in Illionois. The focus of the post is on the Republicans, but Kos has an interesting line on the Democratic race:

On our side things are in flux, as 2004 candidate Christine Cegelis is already running hard (after a strong rookie performance), but with the DCCC looking around for someone else (read: a self-funder).

This is especially interesting in light of this dKos diary by Richard Morrison, the Democrat who gave Tom DeLay his toughest re-election race yet in 2004. A pattern is emerging of the DCCC stepping into 2006 races that were unexpectedly hot in 2004, but giving the cold shoulder to the candidates who actually made them hot.

Now, it's hard to know exactly the thinking going on in each of these races. And it may very well be that neither Cegelis and Morrison are the best choice for Democrats in these contests in 2006. But the DCCC would be stupid if it were to diss the candidates that a lot of grassroots activists adopted in times of trouble. Acknowledging those candidates as legitimate and worthy of consideration is the least they can do.

And don't get me started on the Democrats over-reliance of "self-funding" candidates (read, candidates who are rich enough to back their own bids). The DCCC likes these candidates because it means they can support them (read: endorse them) without actually having to support them (read: give them some of their precious money). Here's the thing: grassroot candidates have demonstrated an ability to fundraise with the best of them. So, in that sense, Cegelis and Morrison are "self-funding".

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