by Max Brantley
Blanche Lincoln's dying gasp will be caterwauling about the liberal interest groups backing Bill Halter.
Her words, and those of moveon.org, speak for themselves.I guess it depends on where you sit on which is a disqualifier for support.
LINCOLN CAMPAIGN E-MAIL
To: Interested Parties
From: Katie Laning Niebaum, Lincoln Campaign Communications Director
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010
Re: Bill Halter's Email to MoveOn.Org
Bill's fundraising plea to national members of the liberal group MoveOn.org is another example of his campaign's dependence on out-of-state groups to either fund his campaign or attack Senator Lincoln.
To date, MoveOn.org has raised over $2.1 million for the Halter campaign according to online reports and Halter's FEC reporting. That amounts to over 60% of his total amount raised.
MoveOn.org claims it is trying to punish Senator Lincoln because she doesn't agree with their views, but it is clear that her most egregious offense has been working with both sides of the aisle to get things done in Washington, and not being beholden to one extreme or the other.
One recent email to MoveOn members read, "The stakes in this election are huge-all the pundits and politicians in Washington are watching closely to see if Arkansas voters will replace Blanche Lincoln…Today's election has implications for the whole country and whether we can win real progressive change in Washington."
Another characterized the race as "our best hope for saving the soul of the Democratic Party" and that if Senator Lincoln loses, "all the rest of them will have to sit up and take notice - and we'll be in a much better position to win some major progressive victories in Congress.
In this email appeal, copied below, Bill Halter has shown that he is in the pocket of liberal groups outside Arkansas who are trying to make an example out of Sen. Lincoln.
Regarding Bill's claim that he is being outspent two to one, the facts tell another story.
After media expenditures of more than $5 million in the primary election, national unions have now spent $2,405,745 in the Runoff Election for media attacking Senator Lincoln, according to a statewide survey of Arkansas broadcast and cable television outlets and radio stations. This does not include hidden expenditures for mail, phones and other GOTV efforts.
Arkansas Senate Run-Off Media as of June 2, 2010
TOTAL Labor and Halter $2,723,541
Two Arkansas groups, Arkansans for Common Sense and the Arkansas Coalition of Jobs, have placed ads this week in support of Sen. Lincoln and/or against Bill Halter. Their total expenditure is $541,774.
From: "Bill Halter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 10:14:09 -0700
Subject: An upset victory
Dear MoveOn member,
When I announced that I was taking on Senator Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary three months ago, none of the political insiders thought we had a chance.
But together, we've overcome incredible odds. And we're on the verge of victory next Tuesday.
Unlike my opponent, I could never have financed my campaign with huge checks from the Wall Street banks and big insurance companies. That kind of money doesn't go to a Democrat like me.
Instead, I turned to grassroots progressives like you. And you've responded generously, allowing us to wage a competitive campaign that's on the verge of turning the political establishment upside down.
But we've been outspent by more than two-to-one, and we urgently need more funds for our final get-out-the-vote operation. So with the special runoff election in just one week, I'm hoping I can count on your support one more time.
Raising $300,000 will only take 4 donations from folks in Missoula. Can you chip in?
I'm humbled to have you on my side. Thanks for all you do.
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee