Sunday, October 17, 2004

Hometown news

Their is a very contentious race going now for the new House District 17 here in the Waco area. The incumbent Chet Edwards is enjoying a large advantage in cash on hand, as reported by the Trib's Miguel Liscano. District 17 was designed during the redistricting debacle headed by Tom "cheese-eating dick weasel" DeLay. Those pesky "third-party groups" like Club for Growth are involved as well in this race.

Wohlgemuth received about $95,000 this period from other political campaigns or political action committees and has seen about $470,000 in total from such groups. The contender has received over $400,000 from conservative group Club For Growth members. The group also ran two television spots endorsing Wohlgemuth during the primary and runoff elections, worth a combined $130,000, and are also running television spots in the general election.
This is a pretty good example of how to run a bad "groundwork" campaign. Wohlgemuth has raised plenty of money, but it is mostly from outside her district and from third-party groups. That is a sign of weakness since that means your own constituency (which is supposedly heavily Republican) isn't donating to you. If she had taken the time, along with her campaign managers, to actually work the ground duing the primaries, she wouldn't have run into this problem. Running ads from outside groups doesn't work as well as one might think. The public perceives it as a weakness that you can't afford your own commercials and that you aren't willing to put your name on your attacks. Also, though District 17 covers a very large area, the core is Waco in which Edwards is a popular incumbent. Wohlgemuth is alread seen as an outsider. Polling is almost nonexistent for this race, but I managed to find this one which shows Edwards with a comfortable lead. The two candidates have a debate set for tomorrow which will be televised locally. I will try to liveblog some of it so that you can get a flavor of my local politics. I will also try to have a transcript for you, too.

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