Sunday, October 21, 2007
Andrew Rice, currently a state senator, is seeking a promotion in an attempt to unseat Jim Inhofe. Oklahomans will have a clear choice before them--to be a part of the solution to the many problems plaguing our nation, or do we continue to ride in the back of the bus and throw spitballs.
Problems like Iraq, our national debt, health care, environmental issues, torture, rendition, elimination of Habeus Corpus, warrantless wiretapping, immigration, etc. require solutions, not the partisan obstructionist machine that Inhofe is in lock-step with.
Mr. Rice got into politics shortly after losing his brother in the attacks on September 11, 2001. He opposed the invasion of Iraq and wants us out as safely as possible. He won a landslide victory as a state senator and is now campaigning to take Inhofe's job.
Mr. Rice has the backing of the netroots, a group of progressive bloggers created to fill the void of progressive politics. We have done quite well, as opposed to the conservative side of the blogosphere. Andrew Rice currently has 500 netroot supporters, kicking in $32,322. Inhofe, on the other hand, has one supporter who donated a dollar.
It was interesting to learn that Chuck Schumer, the Senator from New York and head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been in communication with Mr. Rice. Chuck is not famous for backing progressive candidates. Indeed, in the 2006 campaign he insisted on backing only those candidates that were not to the left of the candidate running in the reddest of states. He would choose, or at a minimum, approve of the campaign director.
Fundage allocated from the DSCC came with strings held in the hands of DC insider consultants. A recent article in the Oklahoma Gazette held forth that perhaps Chuck would be reluctant to dole out millions of dollars in light of the drubbing Brad Carlson took by Tom Coburn in the 2004 campaign. The DSCC kicked in 2.3 million dollars and lost by 12 points.
The reporter, Grant Slater concludes Chuck may feel Oklahoma to be beyond the reach of the Democratic party, and sending money would be like "kicking a dead donkey." Brad Carson tried to hire a very effective advertising agency who hailed from the corporate world, Milwaukee-based Steve Eichenbaum. One of his clients was Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold who took the seat in an improbable bid in 1992.
Russ won again in 1998 against withering Republican assaults. He vowed to spend no more than $1 per voter in his campaign, about $4 million total, while his opponent spent $11 million. But when the DSCC heard Brad Carson was thinking of hiring Eichenbaum they reigned him in, pressuring him to hire the inside-the-beltway DC firm of Murphy Putnam Media. Brad quickly realized that these consultants were above him in the food chain. He had to negotiate what he put in his commercials and if he did not do as they said, they would call the money men in DC.
These consultants are beholden only to themselves and there position in the DC elite Village. They can lose and lose and lose, in fact they have for years, yet their positions are never in jeopardy and candidates are required to use them. Hopefully Mr. Rice has done his homework and talked with Brad Carson about these things.
The race will be tough enough fighting with Inhofe without having to fight the National party as well. We have a candidate in Andrew Rice. He is a very bright, articulate, passionate and charming representative, not an angry old obstructionist partisan idealogue. Mr. Rice needs all of our active support. We cannot leave this to others to do. Go to the Andrew Rice Website here and read about him and volunteer. Donate to his campaign here.