Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Campaign Karate

Tucson, Arizona. The announcements this week of fund raising results has stimulated conversation regarding elections throughout the country. Republican supporters of Tim Bee believe he can unseat incumbent Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona Congressional District 8. Others think she will trounce him handily.

One of the latter, Roger at the prior story’s thread expresses a gloomy outlook for Bee’s prospects and considers the $135,000 Bee raised last quarter to be too low. Another astute blogger, Sirocco agrees that the numbers are disappointing. They might be right, but I don’t think so. I want to see what happens when Bee becomes a for real candidate. Tick tock. Sonoran Alliance posted criticism of Bee that I reject outright, an assertion that Bee has committed the "worst handling" of Arizona’s resign to run law, incurring "extensive negative press."

Oh? I can think of one inconsequential Arizona Daily Star piece, like anyone except us bloggers is paying any attention anyway. The other press I've seen is rather benign. Resign to run prevents Bee’s official announcement until the “final year final term” clause kicks in on January 1, 2008. Until that date, he cannot announce without resigning. In his last year and termed out, Tim Bee does not have to resign to run per the law.

However, I’ll assert that if he wishes to stand a chance of prevailing against Giffords, he needs to resign in January. The CD 8 election and the presidency of the senate are not two horses to be ridden at the same time. Juggling both may have little impact on his presidency, but it will hurt his campaign. Technicality or no, he flaunts the intent of resign to run and exposes himself to criticism of the kind Sonoran Alliance suggests, but in 2008, it will happen with teeth.

Without question, he announces in January. Delay inflicts cost with no gain. If he’s smart, his announcement will include both a candidacy AND a resignation. If it doesn’t, we will witness a diluted effort falter against an effort that is anything but diluted. He will lack the focus necessary to hone the edge required. Fundraising and campaign infrastructure will be part of what he does, not ALL that he does, and the inevitable debates, reminding us of a prior candidate, will be above his pay grade.

The Karate Kid features a scene where the master says, “Do karate, ok. Not do karate, ok. Do karate so-so, squash just like grape.”


Blogger thinkright said...

Why would he resign in Jan if he doesn't have a Primary challenger? No reason to resign.

I've known Tim for a few years and he is no Ralph Macchio, he's a Mr. Miyagi.

BTW - Karate Kid was a lame movie.

10/16/2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

He may or may not resign, but I agree if he doesn't it will seriously hurt his campaign.

I suggested before he may simply be trying to build a base in 2008 while finishing his term and then hoping for a better political climate in 2010 ... and if he doesn't resign by early 2008, then I think that would be the plan.

Concerning money, I would agree with x4mr IF anyone really thought Bee was actually exploring whether to run or not. However, it's a given he is going to run, and the regular donors know it. Getting 135K in that period is a disappointment.

As several people (including myself) have pointed out, Giffords got 250K in a one-month period when she first announced in 2006. She wasn't an incumbent then, nor did she have profile of being state Senate head. If Bee's campaign isn't concerned by that figure, they should be.

10/17/2007 7:36 AM  
Blogger thinkright said...

Gabby had a contested Primary with major opponents. Different scenario altogether.

$135k in just over a month, with no primary opponent & at an "exploratory" stage is a positive sign for Tim.

10/17/2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...


As noted in the other comment thread too, when Gabby declared the only other person who was in was Latas. Weiss, who ended up being the most serious challenger, didn't declare until Jan.

Further, I fail to see why being in a contested primary would help, rather than hurt, fund raising. If anything I would suspect the latter, as people remain undecided longer to choose who they wish to support with their funds, or spread money among multiple candidates.

10/17/2007 12:19 PM  
Blogger roger said...

First, on resign to run. Is it that he has to resign to run NOW if he announces or is a candidate. Again, under federal law, he is a candidate NOW, by definition. I think that kicks the resign to run law and that that has to do it now. Rule of law, rule of law...etc.

On fundraising, the amount is a big disappointment. Despite what Thinkright says, his campaign cannot be happy. I doubt that he was only fundraising for a month, speculation among GOP insiders is that he has been "running" and thus getting people ready to contribute for months now. Also, there was this "push" of sorts that we should donate to get him to run...encourage him...if you will. Last, as I have said (and Sirocco gets at), the first quarter is when your big $2300 donors donate first. The people who most support you...the Clicks. This was a BIG and IMPORTANT quarter for him to show he can compete and he needed to at least outraise Giffords. Remember also that this is a "run of the mill" quarter for Giffords. Many of the $2300 donors already donated...she still outraised him. I just dont buy the month thing...excuses excuses.

The most important thing is this. Bee should have made a dent in the fundraising. He should have started to catch up. Instead, in the 3rd quarter, he fell further behind her. He started at $941K behind, he is now behind by over $1 million.

Finally, I dont think his prospects are going to look much better. He should raise much more than this quarter in the 4th if what Thinkright says is true. He had really better.

10/17/2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger roger said...

One more thing that makes this disappointing and something we hear from Bee supporters a lot. This is a GOP district and the GOP has traditionally been better fundraisers. He is also President of the Senate.

Put all that together and it is looking bad for the GOP. Not just here, but look at District 1. Kirkpatrick has a lot more money than Hay. In Shaddegg's district, the incumbent is ahead, but not my much. Challenger Lord has about 80-85% of the funds as the incumbent does! The look at Mitchell 700K on hand the nearest person that filed has a mere 30K. The other have apparently not filed and will be fined.

10/17/2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


The last few days have been hot with CD 8 information. I have lunch tomorrow with someone to verify something. If it goes the way I think it will, expect a significant CD 8 story tomorrow.

For now, I can promise you that Bee does NOT have to resign until January UNLESS he announces. He won't. Bee is not doing anything improper.

2007 is a done deal. He is NOT resigning, and he is NOT announcing. He will run and announces in January.

Yes, the GOP has some serious issues as a whole. More on that later too. Bush has dropped to the lowest levels ever, tying Nixon at the lowest of his lows.

The country HATED Nixon in 74. Bush has reached the same place as of this week.

I understand your sentiments, but Giffords cannot underestimate Bee or think she has it easy. She must press the pedal to the floor.

She will. Against Graf her campaign had ample reason to relax. They didn't slip for an instant, and that has to happen again.

10/17/2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger Tony GOPrano said...

And Hillary Clinton being the democrat nominee for President will help Republicans unite as one to defeat her. All Bee has to do is send out mailers talking about Hillary & the $$$ will roll in. You dems are way too confident. Bee will be fully funded when the time is right.

10/17/2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Sure, Tony.

I can just see you and the guys at Sonoran hugging in unity behind Rudy.

Bee will provide a most formidable campaign.

10/17/2007 9:04 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Fully funded to what level Tony? Please don't mistake my comments above as underestimating Tim Bee and a district that is still GOP. However, I still think that this is going to be about the worst time for Tim Bee to run for this seat. I think he will lose. I think that people advising him just showed him how much of a folly this is. He should have come out of the gate BIG when everyone was watching. He they didn't come through for him.

What does Steve Huffman, Mike Hellon, Randy Graf, Jay Sultan, Tom Volgy, McNulty, etc. etc. etc. have in common? They all ran for this seat...they lost...and the best they were able to do afterwards...thus far...is have an insider voice in party politics.

I assure you that if Bee loses...all the shine will come right off. If he is ambitious and looking for a longtem political career, this race is a massive gamble...it is a mistake. I just don't understand it. I really don't.

My only thought is that the local GOP is so embarassed from last time...so pitifully angry...that the are not seeing reality. The sad thing is this guy goes under the bus for their arrogance.

10/18/2007 9:46 AM  
Blogger roger said...

Oh...if Hillary and Pelosi are the strategy of this campaign...it is lost already.

10/18/2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Tim Bee represents my legislative district and, quite frankly, I like him. I have reasons, as you might imagine.

At the national level, Tim and I would undoubtedly part ways on foreign policy. Of course, I have the same problem with Giffords, so something else will have to be the reason why I would vote one way or the other.

First, I've never been one to vote for a representative based on what is good for my congressional district. I tend to think more in terms of what is good for Congress. I will be honest and say that I definitely want there to be Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate for the foreseeable future. However, I also want there to be good Republicans in both houses. So, if I feel that the Democratic majority is assured, it is not out of the realm of possibility that I would vote for a good Republican.

And, I think that would be the best strategy for Tim, to be the good Republican. He does not need to attack Giffords. He just needs to show the conservative and moderate majority that he is politically aligned with them and that he is a better fit for CD8.

And like I said above, he might pick up a few strays like me in LD30 who are looking at a broader picture and who happen to think he's done a good job for us. Don't underestimate his popularity in LD30.

10/18/2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger roger said...

I wont at all underestimate his popularity in LD 30. Its his district, he owns it, it is conservative and yes he is a good public servant.

He is also conservative and not just on foreign policy Liza. I know you don't like Blue Dogs, but compare him on the issues to Giffords. I am assuming that we might agree on the following. Here are only a few things that concern me about him:

From ProjectVoteSmart:

2007 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona 0 percent in 2007.

2006 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona percent in 2006.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona Right to Life PAC 100 percent in 2005.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona 0 percent in 2005.

2003-2004 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona 0 percent in 2003-2004.

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
(Back to top)

2006 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Equality Arizona 0 percent in 2006.


2006 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona Education Association 25 percent in 2006.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona Education Association 43 percent in 2005.

The Environment:

2006 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 35 percent in 2006.

2006 In 2006 Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter gave Senator Bee a rating of F.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 62 percent in 2005.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter percent in 2005.

2004 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 59 percent in 2004.

2004 On the votes that the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator Bee received a grade of D (with grades ranging from a high of A+ to a low of F).

2003 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 26 percent in 2003.

2003 Based on the candidate's position on votes the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter considered most important in 2003, they assigned Senator Bee a grade of F. (A being their highest rating and F their lowest).

2002 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 44 percent in 2002.

2002 Based on the candidate's position on votes the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter considered most important in 2002, they assigned Senator Bee a grade of F. (A being their highest rating and F their lowest).

2001 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 25 percent in 2001.

2001 Based on the candidate's position on votes the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter considered most important in 2001, they assigned Senator Bee a grade of F. (A being their highest rating and F their lowest).

1999-2000 Senator Bee supported the interests of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters 8 percent in 1999-2000.

And the one group that liberals in this state disagree with the most...and the one that is non-starter for me...period.

2006 Senator Bee supported the interests of the The Center for Arizona Policy 100 percent in 2006.

2005 Senator Bee supported the interests of the The Center for Arizona Policy 100 percent in 2005.

2004 Senator Bee supported the interests of the The Center for Arizona Policy 100 percent in 2004.

10/19/2007 12:43 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

One party rule is no good and that is essentially what we've had for the last six years. Even now we have a very weak Democratic Congress and a president who has absolutely no fear of them because he continues to get whatever he wants.

I'm going to tell you something now, Roger, and get ready because it will hurt you. It is not personal. It's just the way it is.

Giffords is an expendable Democrat. In fact, when taken individually, at least two thirds of the Democrats in Congress are expendable. If we are assured of a Democratic majority in the House in 2008, it will make no difference whatsoever whether or not Giffords is the CD8 representative.

What Congress does need, however, are good, centrist Republicans who are not right wing reactionaries and who are not theocrats. We need the voices of reasonable Republicans. That's my only point.

10/19/2007 2:26 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Doesn't hurt at all Liza, but I think you are wrong. What we are seeing today is why having as many votes in Congress is important. The votes are majority, but fall short of the ability to block votes or to deal with those situations (which you note often) where Dems cross parties with Republicans.

What I really don't agree with is that Bee is a moderate. This is the perception but not reality. Look closely at his votes on choice...look closely at his votes on the environment...look closely on schools, on healthcare, and on about everything but business.

You won't find a vote for choice, you will find a vote (100%) rating for the NRA, you will find 100% support from the Center for Arizona Policy.

Even if I weren't a fan of Giffords, and I am, I would not under any circumstances vote for him given his record. His votes do not portray moderate on some very important issues that are important to me.

I think you feel the same about Giffords given the stance on the war. I understand.

10/19/2007 4:11 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I think that the situation will improve in 2008 and the Democrats will gain more seats in both the House and the Senate. The Blue Dog coalition is actually one of their obstacles.

I haven't heard Tim Bee speak on national issues or foreign policy. I would not be able to say anything about how moderate or conservative I perceive him to be at this time.

We need to get past the numbers of Democrats versus Republicans and pay more attention to the quality of the candidates themselves. There are too many people in Congress who just are not qualified to be there. And who would know? Most of what gets reported in the MSM seems to be their fundraising numbers and what the polls say about their popularity.

One party rule by Democrats that is exclusionary will be no better than one party rule by Republicans that excluded the Democrats. That isn't democracy, not even close.

10/19/2007 4:57 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Sometimes I think the pendulum has to shift back the other way...to heal and make things right again. I don't agree. I think divided government has done us little good at all. Yes, absolute power corrupts absolutely...but there is also the ability to plan, to do good, and to create good public policy. That has not happened under divided government (something I consider ideological).

Last, I tried really hard to get past the funds and give you some real facts. Not just what candidates say. ProjectVoteSmart does its research. Is non-partisan and looks at the history of actual votes and party support, not just the way they spin themselves.

Look up anyone you want. But what I showed about Bee vs. Hershberger is quite true. Its history of course...he could change.

10/19/2007 9:17 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I guess we could argue that a benevelant dictator would be just fine. A benevelant dictator who would negotiate peace with other nations and execute a domestic agenda based on social justice. That would be wonderful and would give the rest of us an opportunity to focus on art, language, and literature.

But it's not democracy.

And, at this point, I feel compelled to ask you what have the Democrats done lately to make you believe they should have absolute power?

Will they surrender Iraq? Will they abandon the idea that the United States must control Mideastern oil? Will they reign in the "Israel firsters" and try to develop a more reasonable foreign policy in the Mideast? Will they give us a single payer, universal health care system? And will all this be done under the leadership of Hillary Clinton?

No, thanks. I do not trust the Democrats and I do not believe in the suspension of democracy for what some might think is the common good. Just look at the last six years. That is essentially what all the propaganda was about.

If I'm going to fantasize, I'd rather fantasize about a Congress full of representatives who are the absolute best that America has to offer. The best and brightest representing all of the American people instead of fundraisers representing those who provided the funds.

As for Tim Bee, yes, I think he will probably be too conservative, but I intend to listen to what he has to say.

10/20/2007 7:22 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Here's another thing to think about with respect to exclusionary one party control. It can't last forever, and the other party comes back with a vengeance. That is exactly what paved the way for radical neoconservatism and the religious right.

The vengeance can manifest itself in other ways too. The Lewinsky scandal was all about vengeance. And what was accomplished? It compromised the Clinton presidency and compromised his foreign policy especially with respect to militant Islamic terrorism. The neoconservatives didn't know diddley squat about militant Islamic fundamentalists in the 90's, but Clinton surely did.

10/20/2007 9:28 AM  
Blogger roger said...

I see your point above and below, but it doesn't match up to party dominance and a shift again to party dominance. We have been living under what many have called divided government for about 20-30 years now. Even when the same party controls both houses, and the Presidency, it is not by enough votes to stop procederal blocks and the like. In addition, the distrists are such that we have two sets of entrenched party representatives and then a small small group of competitive races that shift it back to one way to the next election after election.

I am not at all looking for a benevolent dictator. That is why we have elections so that excesses can be corrected by the power of voters. I understand that many feel that getting both houses of Congress back would help...it didn't. It helped in everyday legislation and it helped in bringing a closer eye on the President, but in today's world you need the Presidency in your control.

What I am looking for is a political realignment...something we haven't had in many many years according to political scientists. One that gives enough of a majority so that people in those competitive districts that people represent can feel pretty comfortable voting any way they want...and for big changes, not the small that we are getting now.

Last, on your point about having good people in office and qualified people, I think we do for the most part...but certainly not always. For instance, I would like to see a much better educated state government and am much more educated citizenry that feels like voting and participation in government matter. I also think, unfortunately, that it takes money to do that.

Last, I don't want vengence at all. I want a change in those who are running our country. I want it be about how we can spend our tax money for the greatest good of the people. I want it to be about helping educate people and build better schools and better people. I want it to be about, yes, healthcare and getting us out of Iraq too. I would like to see more programs that can give a person a hand when they need it. That has been missing for so so long in our country. Because of divided government, even when some wanted it really badly, they knew they that didn't have the votes to pull it off and those who ran their campaigns knew that we would be worse off if they weren't there at all.

Despite peoples disappointment with the Democrat party right now, we are falling right into the trap of the Republicans. Many said before the last election that what might save their ideology is that the Democrats get a slim control with a lot of high high expectations. They would not be able to do anything and the people would be let down. I think that has happened.

The question for this election will be whether people go back the other way because they are disappointed. I don't want to go back to campaigns to ban same sex marriage, campaigns to cut spending and cut taxes, but run defense deficits. I don't want to go back to a complete disregard for our civil liberties. I also don't want to go back to the party that brought us a new fictional enemy and the fear necessary to do whatever they want. I also don't want to go back to the party that has made us look at our browned skin neighbors and wonder if they are illegal. I will take every Mitchell and Giffords I can get over a Bee or whomever pops up because I know very well what I will get from them. I know for a fact what I will get when I do...and we will be back to arguing how we can get some reasonable people in office who might make some changes.

I am enjoying our non-money conversation. I am a bit of a political analyst. Its a hobby for me to read the tea leaves. But these are the bigger questions.

10/20/2007 10:06 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

I've been thinking about "divided government for the last 20-30 years."

The presidency has gone back and forth between the parties within that time frame and perhaps that is the basis for "divided government." The House had 40 straight years of Democratic control until the so called "Republican Revolution" of 1994 when the Republicans took back both the House and Senate. The Senate had been Democratic since the mid-80's. Clinton, of course, was president in 1994 so I guess we can say we had "divided government."

When I refer to "one party rule" there is one major issue that just illustrates my point very clearly and that is healthcare. "Universal" healthcare, of course, was a major campaign issue for Clinton back in 1992 and it was well received. People expected him to do something, and he certainly tried. Clinton gave his famous healthcare speech to a joint session of Congress in the fall of 1993, and that too was well received. We had most of the same problems back then as we do now, except the number of uninsured was much lower.

However, the "universal" healthcare plan put forth by Hillary and her associates was employer based and would have required increased regulation of the insurance industry. Conservatives and insurers attacked "Hillarycare" and the Democrats caved, something they do well and often.

By now it's 1994, Newt Gingrich made a "Contract with America," the House and the Senate were going to be under Republican control, and that was the end of "universal" healthcare.

Have you ever seen an issue of such major importance to so many Americans killed so quickly and stay dead for so long? I attribute this solely to Republican control of Congress.

In fact, what has been accomplished since 1994? There were some COBRA reforms in the mid-90's, S-CHIP passed in 1997, and there were some healthcare reforms legislated around that same time for disabled veterans. In the meantime, the Republicans hawk things like medical savings accounts as a way to address the healthcare crisis as though everyone should be able to put money aside for healthcare if they get a tax break.

It is truly astonishing that it is now 2007 and Congress has done very close to nothing to address a major domestic crisis that affects everyone who either cannot afford healthcare at all or cannot afford to supplement indadequate healthcare because of high deductibles, high drug costs, etc... And that starts with 47 million or more uninsured working poor and goes on to include those who are underinsured and those with excluded "pre-existing conditions" and we could go on and on.

I cannot see the first six years of the Bush II administration as anything but one party rule. The domestic agenda has been to starve social and environmental programs and to shut out any mention of healthcare reform unless it's about medical savings accounts or some such nonsense that doesn't help the people who need help.

Republicans, of course, would argue that they passed Medicare D, the Big Pharma lootfest. The Democrats wrung their hands and said they would fix it later. I call that one party control.

As for the foreseeable future, I definitely prefer a Democratic president and Congress over a Republican. But there are some very fundamental problems and the Democratic party is in dire need of reform, while the Republican party is in meltdown as it is being destroyed from within by extremism. So, of course I prefer Democrats.

I still say, however, that a good Republican candidate is worth looking at. It is important to bring up moderate leaders in both parties. Otherwise, we will sow the seeds for another 1994 "revolution."

10/21/2007 5:27 PM  

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