Thursday, July 13, 2006

DCCC Snubs Jerry McNerney

It probably won’t surprise any of Jerry McNerney’s loyal supporters to find out that Rahm Emanuel has taken his toys and gone home. The DCCC just announced that it is expanding its “Red to Blue” campaign. McNerney's name is conspicuous in its absence.
The committee newly identified 13 House candidates as waging competitive campaigns and deserving of additional political and financial support from the party leading up to the November elections.

These additions were the latest installment of the 2006 “Red to Blue” program established in February by the DCCC, which is trying to orchestrate the net gain of at least 15 seats needed to erase the Republicans’ current House majority.
Jerry McNerney’s courageous campaign against Richard Pombo apparently doesn’t qualify as “deserving of additional political and financial support,” despite the fact that a poll commissioned by Defenders of Wildlife two months ago showed McNerney beating Pombo by 46-42.

Frankly, I think he's better off without them.

Back in April, following the announcement of the original 22 candidates selected for inclusion in “Red to Blue,” Adam Nagourney of the New York Times wrote an article profiling Rahm Emanuel, head of the DCCC, and Charles Schumer, head of the DSCC. In his piece, Nagourney focused on the fact that both Emanuel and Schumer are hands-on control freaks who micro-manage every aspect of the campaigns that they are supporting.
Mr. Emanuel calls 40 Democratic candidates every weekend, demanding to know what they have done for him lately.

"He calls me on my cellphone just to see where I'm going," said Lois Murphy, a lawyer from the Philadelphia suburbs who is challenging Representative Jim Gerlach.

Mr. Emanuel is paternal and approving when his candidates meet his standards for raising money or zinging an opponent. He is withering when they do not. Mr. Emanuel is legendary in Washington for ceasing communications with those who have displeased him (which presumably is preferable to the time he sent a dead fish to a Democratic pollster whose work he found lacking).

"I said to every challenger, between now and March 31, besides having X dollars cash on hands, they have to have three proactive policy things that they have announced," Mr. Emanuel said. "I want to see clips. Otherwise you're not part of my red-to-blue program, O.K.?"
Charles Schumer simply takes over the control of his candidates’ campaigns — I can only assume that Emanuel operates the DCCC under the same constraints:
"We'll give you money, but you have to hire a campaign manager, a finance director and a communications director who we approve," Mr. Schumer said. "They have to toe the line."
Great guys. As we well know, once Emanuel had selected Steve Filson as his candidate in CA-11, he went all out to promote him, even taking the highly unusual step of endorsing him and including him in the initial round of candidates supported by the Red to Blue program — all during a contested primary.

Matt wrote about it at the time in his post King Rahm the Infallible:
And the saddest thing is that now that Steve Filson has been admitted to the Red to Blue program, the DCCC will almost certainly start funneling money to him. Not content to simply support him unofficially, the DCCC is now going to entangle itself in the inner-workings of a Democratic primary in CA-11. We’ll have to see how much the DCCC doles out in candidate welfare, but Emanuel seems intent to hitch Filson’s broken wagon of a campaign to the DCCC’s horses and drag him across the finish line.
Well, we all know how that turned out. In today’s announcement, Congressional Quarterly pointed out the obvious:
Inclusion on the Red to Blue list has not always translated to success at the ballot box, however. Two of the 22 original candidate inductees, both California Democrats, lost to other contenders in June 6 primaries.

Steve Filson, an airline pilot, was the DCCC-backed candidate to take on Rep. Richard W. Pombo in California’s 11th District, but he badly lost the Democratic primary to 2004 nominee Jerry McNerney, an executive of a wind turbine company.
After McNerney’s primary victory, the NRCC crowed about Emanuel’s miscalculation:
The DCCC and Rahm Emanuel were dealt a major embarrassment last night when a highly touted candidate of theirs, airline pilot Steve Filson, was trounced in the CA-11 primary by '04 nominee Jerry McNerney.
Now, you tell me. How well could this have possibly sat with a guy who’s in the habit of sending dead fish to those who displease him?

So there shouldn’t be any surprise in CA-11 that Emanuel snubbed McNerney. Indeed, there should be a giant sigh of relief that “Rahmbo” has taken his overbearing and meddlesome patronage elsewhere.

8 Comments:

Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Emanuel is an ambitious power player. He could care less if Pombo is defeated. He just craves power within the Democratic caucus. One of the biggest outrages on that Red to Blue bullshit list was that he pulled the same crap on Jan Schneider in Florida that he tried pulling on Jerry here. The Florida primary hasn't even happened yet and he's already put his corporate hack/"former" Republican recruitee, Christine Jennings, on the list. I hope Democrats in FL-13 are as smart as Democrats were in CA-11.

8:45 PM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

I'm not so sure this is a definite snub. After all, the DCCC has put Zach Space on their Red to Blue list, and he was in an analogous position to McNerney (i.e. running against a DCCC-backed candidate in the primary). Also, the DCCC has told people that they'd help out if McNerney raised at least 200k before the end of the last fundraising period. (Incidentally, I heard this from a union guy who is based in DC, so if he heard this, I bet others heard it as well). We know McNerney raised over that, so we'll have to see what happens.

9:14 PM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Maybe I wasn't clear in making my larger point. I was actually questioning whether DCCC support is worth the strings that apparently come attached to it.

I mean, obviously, if the DCCC was willing to offer monetary support and then butt out, that would be great. But if the dysfunctional and high-rolling Filson campaign, complete with its insipid DLC messaging, is any example of what Rahm Emanuel would attempt to impose on Jerry McNerney as the price of DCCC participation — well, then arguably this "snub" more closely resembles a lucky break.

9:59 PM, July 13, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Matt, babaloo, and Mr Tyranny.

Rocky here. Youse guys sure are smart. Butt I tell you downwithtyranny sure is a long name.

"RahmbO"?? Rocky resembles dat remark. Jest who is dis imposter anyways? Rocky don't like havin his altered ego bein applied to sum buttwipe, even if he is a Dem, and I soitenly wouldn't never be Sly about sayin dis neither.

I agree wit babaloo. We don't need dis guys money anymore den we need Jack-off's money. We're gonna win dis ting wit people power. And wind power. Its what altoinative energy is all about.

Rocky out.

10:22 PM, July 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L-O-S-E-R

No money for you. Guess its time to work harder on those contests.

2:03 AM, July 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello?

Yes this is Jerry McNerney in CA district 11, the democrat nominee. Is Mr. Emanuel available?

Ummm, please hold...Mr. McNerney?

Yes?

Mr. Emanuel wants you to talk to someone he has put in charge of handling your campaign. Can you hold?

Absolutely.

Intern Chris Valpederson speaking.

Hello, this is Jerry McNerney calling from California.

Oh are you that guy who wants to raise the gas tax?

Well yeah.

Chairman Emanuel has pledged our full support to help you win some internet contests. I will round up some interns here so we can pump up your numbers.

Fantastic.

2:33 AM, July 14, 2006  
Anonymous KCinDC said...

The Red to Blue program certainly has strange criteria for choosing candidates. From the name, you'd assume it was about taking Republican seats, but apparently it's embracing people running for already-blue seats as well.

7:34 AM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger A Progressive Alamedan said...

I've been reading Crashing the Gates, which has a good analysis of what happens when the inside-the-beltway consultants and power brokers run campaigns their way. No matter whether they succeed or fail in getting their candidate elected, they just keep doing things the same way. McNerney's campaign definitely doesn't need that. Yes, it would be nice to have the money, but there are very thick strings attached.

9:57 AM, July 14, 2006  

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