Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

A Coup for LaRocco/Fanselow

Posted by Adam Graham on May 3, 2007

Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco (D-Id.) has achieved major coup in hiring Julie Fanselow to run his Internet operations. On a personal note, I have to offer my congratulations. It’s a credit to her talent that she has been sought out so quickly by the LaRocco Campaign.

Having said that, I think she greatly overestimates the strength of LaRocco and draws some faulty conclusions regarding the late Larry Grant-Bill Sali race:

Rothenberg and Cook list Larry Craig’s seat as safe – but then Cook didn’t call Idaho’s 1st Congressional District race a toss-up last fall until November 6, and most prognosticators didn’t even give Larry Grant a chance until mid-October. Bill Sali wound up winning by a mere 5 percent in a district George Bush took by 40 percent in 2000 and 2004.

Idaho is capable of surprising people. And I believe Larry LaRocco can pull off one of those surprises, which is why I’ve joined his campaign to help kick start Internet outreach and communications.

Of course, the Grant Campaign really amounted to a “perfect storm.” It was a bad year for Republicans, the media attacked Sali and became a second arm for the Grant campaign, some sore losers in the GOP attacked Sali. Add to that the fact that Grant was like the protypical winner in 2006: a businessman who talked moderate talk (or not a politician) as he’d say and you’ve got the explanation for what happened in 2006.

LaRocco is a retread who has moved further left since leaving Congress. If Craig runs with no cloud of scandal, other than Dan Popkey doing the Dems dirty work, than he’ll cruise. Jim Risch or Ron Crane run and they’ll cruise. These people have won elections statewide multiple times and were re-elected by overwhelming margins.

Of course, this makes me wonder about the state of Larry Grant’s campaign for 2008. There aren’t Julie Fanselows growing on trees here in Idaho. If Grant runs, there are a few possibilities, mainly that Fanselow will pull double duty (possible, but I can’t see how one campaing doesn’t end up suffering), second is that Grant tries to do it yourself-ala Jerry Brady, the third is that he hires someone else. Most likely if he has to do that, it will be someone out of state who couldn’t tell Gem County from Boundary County. Either way, I can’t see how Grant doesn’t do as well bloggingwise and without a savvy blogger, it will be definitely be harder the second time around.

Hat Tip: Mountain Goat Report

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7 Responses to “A Coup for LaRocco/Fanselow”

  1. I’m thinking Julie could do both jobs, and if she didn’t want to, I’m sure there are other successful Idaho bloggers who wouldn’t mind helping Larry out.

  2. Adam,

    Thanks for the congrats.

    I think Bubblehead is right: We have a very deep blogging bench here in Idaho, at least on the Dem side. Larry G will be OK, mainly because we will all be pitching in to help him.

    Also, I must take issue with your comment about the media doing the Democrats’ dirty work. In fact, the media gave Sali a pass on many issues last year, chief among them the origins of his Club for Growth money and Sali’s refusal to come clean on the Prop 1 issue. And they’re still doing a poor job tracking his votes, as he continues to vote in the smallest minorities on a range of issues. So it’s up to the blogosphere to continue to tell the truth about Sali.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/29/172046/608

    As for Craig, Dan Popkey has been out of the Statesman for three months now. It’s hard to believe Craig won’t either be running under some cloud of scandal, or he won’t be running at all. As for Popkey doing the Dems’dirty work …. oh, please! Whatever goods he may or may not have on Craig, the senior senator has brought on himself.

  3. I realized I erred in my comment above. Bill Sali never came clean on his stand on Prop 2 (and the media didn’t pursue the issue).

    Just to recap, Prop 2 was largely funded by Howard Rich, the wealthy New Yorker who also sits on the board of the Club for Growth, the aggressively anti-government group that bankrolled Sali’s campaign.

    Mea culpa.

  4. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Dan Popkey co-ordinated with the Grant campaign to give coverage to the phony Republicans for Grant group. And the Club for Growth Story has only been told a few thousand times. The large number of out-of-state contributions was reported time and time again, even while Larry Grant’s backing from big labor was unreported. As for Prop. 2, his personal vote on a state issue has nothing to do with the Congressional Campaign.

    Regardless, I question the value of refighting the last campaign.

  5. Why were the Republicans for Grant phony? Because they refused to vote for the extremist who only got 26% in the GOP primary?! Because Mike Simpson had the cojones to say that Republicans who refused to accept Sali as the party’s nominee are actually Democrats?

    News flash: Many Idaho Republicans are independent, moderate thinkers who refuse to kow tow to their party’s noisy fringe, and who resented the Club for Growth’s interference in Idaho matters. To them, Larry Grant – a sensible, business-friendly moderate – was the logical choice. He will be again in 2008 – probably more so, given Sali’s mounting record of extremist votes.

    The Club for Growth story was hardly told a thousand times by the mainstream media. I know that I told it dozens of times on the Grant blog, but it was barely touched by the Boise media. The one outlet (Channel 6) that did a substantive story did so right after the primary, and then failed to revisit the issue in the general election, even as the Club was pouring a million dollars into Sali’s coffers.

    Finally, Adam, it definitely matters that Sali refused to take a position on Prop 2 – after pledging at the Idaho PTV debate that he would – when the ballot measure was bankrolled by a man who sits on the board of the organization that funded his campaign.

    Sali is a deeply tainted candidate, and his congressional record will speak for itself. If 1st CD voters get the full dossier of Sali’s extremist voting record – which we Idaho bloggers intend to be sure they do – Larry Grant will make up the 5% deficit he had last year, and Bill Sali will have to find a new job.

  6. Adam Graham [Member] said

    They actually opposed a lot of other Republicans as I chronicled. Most of them had given more money to Democrats than Republicans, and some had only given money to Democrats

    Unfrotunately with Sali, the Prop. 2 thing slipped. However, that’s not going to be enough to suggested change, and Julie please do focus on every little vote that comes out of the House, especially issues that Idahoans don’t give a hoot about.

    You complain the media isn’t covering Sali’s votes, but how many local papers are covering how their Congressman votes on these silly issues.

  7. When someone is one of only seven people to vote against helping victims of torture, you can bet it’s worth covering. And I’m glad to see the Statesman finally did so today.

    Our little campaign seems to be working. I rest my case.

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