Palin Hearts Steelman
Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Sarah Steelman for US Senate yesterday.
The news buoyed the Steelman team, giving it a second wind as the race heads down the stretch. Said one supporter, “I can’t think of a better endorsement for a Missouri Republican primary.”
It’s a major positive for the Steelman campaign in several respects.
First, it’s a positive advertisement they can run, like Todd Akin did with his Huckabee endorsement. The difference is that Palin draws enormous crowds when she comes to Missouri, a testament to her popularity the Republicans.
Second, it should provide a bounce in fundraising. The campaign will likely use the Palin endorsement to pursue online contributions nationally. But it can also circle back to donors who haven’t maxed out, and solicit them for more based on the new momentum.
Finally, there’s a chance that Steelman could even net a personal appearance from Palin in the final three weeks. That’ll be a lot of free media and a big fundraising haul.
The Minority Opinion
From an unaffiliated lobbyist: “Nail in the coffin. Primary voters do not want to lose to Claire and know that the Sarah twins are a liability with Indy voters.”
The Anonymous Attacks
Yesterday I wrote about the use of non-profit organizations as a laundering machine to bring in anonymous contributions and funnel them to political campaigns. Previously Missourians for Responsible Government has been used to provide traceless money the fight against the payday loan ballot initiative.
And this week a similar mechanism was used to provide $100,000 to Missourians for Conservative Values PAC. That PAC then launched a website, television and radio ads aimed at Peter Kinder. The ad (see it here) is a hard hitting negative spot from which one assumes the Brad Lager campaign would like some distance.
Kinder’s team may push back on the anonymous attacks. They appear to have reconstructed the timeline the ad offers of Kinder “missing tie votes,” and have a detailed rebuttal. But rather than get caught in that tit-for-tat, they may charge that the ad is “in violation of multiple Missouri and Federal laws.”
They would allege that in an effort to circumvent Missouri law, Lager and his campaign staff created Better Government for Missouri, as a shell non-profit to conceal Lager’s donors and use of their donations to run this ad. Kinder’s team would argue that there are ties between the Missourians for Conservative Values PAC and Lager’s campaign staff which expose this scheme.
“Lager is in for the roughest next 20 days of his life. This is just the start of a massive counteroffensive that will leave Lager twirling and bloody like fresh hot roadkill. He has been caught lying repeatedly, and he's being called out on it.”
Consultant Chess Match
The final three weeks of the Republican secretary of state primary is shaping up to be a contest of political consultants.
None of the Republican candidates have enough money to follow the typical statewide playbook: spend $400-$500,000 on television and hope your commercials are better than the other guy’s.
Rep. Shane Schoeller finished the July quarter with $301K on-hand; Sen. Bill Stouffer finished with $237K; and Sen. Scott Rupp has $176K on-hand.
One observer notes that Schoeller’s expenses have been higher than his competitor. Schoeller has spent $223K this cycle, about $100K more than Stouffer and $80K more than Rupp. With that extra $100K now, Schoeller might have just enough to carpet-bomb his opposition into submission.
But given the inability of any candidate to saturate the airwaves, the present situation looks like each will have to make strategic decisions and hard choices about how to reach the primary voters most effectively.
Those decisions will rest largely on Dave Hageman (for Schoeller), Jeff Roe (for Stouffer), and David Barklage (for Rupp). There is a handicapping in place though as (based on July numbers) Schoeller will have about 70% more resources on-than than Rupp.
But maybe cash isn’t everything. Barklage has Rupp’s Missouri Right to Life endorsement to leverage, and Roe is getting some mileage from Stouffer’s 60+ billboards across the state.
Congressman Lacy Clay unveiled his first television ad. See it here. “More than ever we need Democrats with backbone! I’ve been standing up to the Tea Party and extremists in the Republican Party to protect jobs…”
Thanks to folks who have sent me some insights/observations on July fundraising numbers. I’ll be revisiting that tomorrow.
How’s the heat wave affecting campaigns? Basically it’s just accentuating differences between ground games. Those with gung-ho volunteers, and paid staff are still grinding it out at the doors. Those who were counting on loaned volunteers from other organizations or other campaigns are finding the heat a convenient excuse for no-shows.
St. Louis’ NPR affiliate looks to add an elections radio producer. See it here. “St. Louis Public Radio – 90.7 KWMU, The Nine Network, and The St. Louis Beacon’s innovative multi-media news collaborative effort Beyond November has an opening for a temporary radio producer (6 month term). This position will research, plan, develop, and produce political and election-related features and spots for broadcast during news programming, online, and multi-media packages, as part of St. Louis Public Radio’s participation in the Beyond November project.”
Shooting for Dollars: July 28 is Sen. Brian Nieves’ fundraiser. “*Shooter’s Package is $250 per person and includes 50 Targets, 12ga Ammo, Lunch and of course a Big Part of that is an investment to keep Brian in our Missouri Senate!*” And then August 12, Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger has his clay shooting fundraiser, “4-Person 56-Bird Scramble with 14 Stations.”
From the Pelopidas website:
Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added Midwest Technical Institute.
Zachary Brunnert, Doyle Childers, Franc Flotron, Kent Gaines, Larry Rohrbach, Dan Schuette, Earl Pabst, Richard McIntosh, Janet Hirschman and David McCracken added The BIO2 Solution.
Matt Hill added Top Tier Promotions LLC, and Missouri Valley Investments LLC.
Daniel R. Pfeifer added FMC Corporation.
Citizens for Largent - $12,000 from Life Sciences Fund of Greater KC.
Missourians for Ed Martin - $10,000 from Lewis & Clark Leadership Fund.
LeVota for Missouri - $6,000 from Simmons Attorney at Law.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Citizens for Timothy Jones.
Happy birthday to Rep. Charlie Davis (47).
Revisions to the MOScout forecasts via an updated “Cheat Sheet” will be out tomorrow morning.