Busansky Makes Cheney Visit an Issue
Republican candidates finding themselves in unexpectedly tough races are caught in a bind. Vice President Dick Cheney is one of the biggest fundraising draws in the nation for Republicans donors - but remains wildly unpopular among voters, with approval ratings in the teens.
State Representative Gus Bilirakis is learning this first hand. After disappointing 2nd quarter fundraising totals that saw his Democratic opponent, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky, outraise him by $70,000 - despite his father's connections - he cannot afford to have another lackluster filing. An event with Cheney, which might bring in upwards of $100,000, seems just the ticket.
Democrat Phyllis Busanky is responding by linking the Republican with the unpopular Bush administration and the even more unpopular Vice President, saying in a recent e-mail:
"Dick Cheney knows the administration needs Gus Bilirakis in Congress. Cheney knows that Bilirakis will be a rubber stamp for an administration that has been successful in destroying our diplomatic relationships abroad, decimating our natural environment, inflating our national deficit, and cutting our vital social programs. Amidst the turmoil of today’s world, Dick Cheney is flying to Florida for a fundraiser because he knows that if Gus Bilirakis goes to Washington, he will maintain the status quo. But we need change. "
Expect to see future mailings and television ads featuring the Vice President and Bilirakis standing together. Also expect to see Bilirakis backpedaling as quickly and discreetly as he can away from Cheney as soon Air Force 2 takes off from MacDill Air Force Base.