- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
House challengers up effort against GOP stalwarts
High-profile House members typically cruise toward re-election with little worry. But Democrats and their allies this year have vowed to make a few of the chamber’s top Republicans sweat at least a bit during the campaign season.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week amped up its efforts to unseat Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a tea party favorite who sought the 2012 Republican presidential nod — elevating her race with DemocratJim Graves to its “Red-to-Blue program” for contests it considers highly competitive.
Democratic House candidate Rob Zerban has out raised his well-known opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — the House Budget chairman and Republican vice presidential nominee — by more than $200,000 for the year’s all-important third quarter. He also has received significant financial and grass-roots backing from outside liberal groups.
And a strategist for DemocratWayne Powell, a long-shot against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, has promised to politically batter the Virginia Republican so much that he’ll be unfit to ever challenge House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio for his party’s top spot in the chamber.
While most independent political experts say the incumbents will win — and probably easily — Nov. 6, the challengers and their allies deny their endeavors are quixotic. Rather, they say it’s important no one in a thriving democracy have a free pass toward re-election.
And in taking on the seemingly invincible incumbents, the challengers add they hope to shine a strong light on their opponents’ failed policy positions and disagreeable personal traits.
With the DCCC giving the Bachmann-Graves race increased attention, the Graves campaign is now eligible for extra financial, communications, grass-roots and strategic support. The status means the committee will work with outside Democrat-friendly groups to help shepherd money and support on behalf of the candidate.
The DCCC, the fundraising arm of House Democrats, said Mr. Graves has surpassed fundraising, organizing and infrastructure goals. But it wouldn’t say how much money, if any, the Graves campaign will benefit with its new race rating.
“During Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s career in Washington, she has been more focused on being a national right-wing celebrity than on delivering for the Minnesota families she represents,” said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the DCCC’s chairman. “Voters are experiencing buyer’s remorse with Congresswoman Bachmann and her relentless desire to put ideology over solutions.”
Mrs. Bachmann has a significant lead in most polls, including an 11-point advantage in a SurveyUSA poll taken last week. But a September survey commissioned by Mr. Graves showed him trailing 48 percent to 46 percent.
Republicans have dismissed the DCCC’s efforts as much ado about nothing.
“Minnesotans already know that Jim Graves had no problem trying to deceive voters with a phony resume or trying to cover up the fact that he is a dishonest businessman,” said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman with the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In the Ryan-Zerban contest, the DCCC has pegged it as an “emerging race,” a category it reserves for Democratic candidates “making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive.”
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a political action committee dedicated to electing liberal Democrats to Congress, made 42,000 calls in one day last week to district voters on behalf of Mr. Zerban. The group also has raised more than $122,000 for campaign.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow