Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Busansky Outperforms Bilirakis

In Florida's 9th Congressional District, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky raised significantly more money in the 2nd quarter of 2006 than Gus Bilirakis, a state representative and the son of incumbent Congressman Mike Bilirakis.

Busansky raised $335,000 in the last quarter, compared to $265,000 for Bilirakis - a $70,000 advantage. In terms of cash on hand, at the end of the first quarter, Busansky had $333,134 versus $873,252 for Bilirakis, who has benefited greatly by his father's connections. As a state representative, Bilirakis was not able to raise money during the legislative session.

There seems little question that Bilirakis will have a larger war chest, but it also seems very likely that his cash on hand advantage will continue to decline. Congressman Bilirakis' son will also benefit by name recognition by association and from a Republican leaning district.

Busansky believes she will need at least $1 million to win.

One of the major stories of this election cycle is the fundraising success that Democrats have had. While the Republican National Committee has consistently outperformed the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senate and Congressional committees have been putting the Republicans to shame - as have many Congressional challengers. This split dynamic appears to be driven by the ability of the RNC to call upon President Bush's star power among institutional donors to fill its coffers, but other committees and their candidates are being dragged down by the general malaise affecting the national GOP.


At 7/16/2006 11:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Phyllis!

At 7/17/2006 09:53:00 AM, Blogger jen said...

Phyllis is raising more because she is will do better by the people of FL-09. The money Gus' father pulled in for him was early money that bought those donors a year of Mike's influence. It's going to be a lot harder now when Mike's influence is waning at the end of his tenure.

But, let's talk about who Gus has fundraising for him because, if these people are good enough to headline fundraisers for Gus, there is the implicit assumption that they represent him by association (I have posted similarly elsewhere):

Dick Cheney is hardly the poster-boy for honesty and integrity with his faulty prewar intelligence and a scandal surrounding the indictment of his chief of staff and presidential adviser, Scooter Libby.

Newt Gingrich as well. He was accused of hypocrisy and unethical behavior when he accepted a $4.5 million advance as part of a book deal, had 84 ethics charges filed against him including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes and using the GOPAC political action committee as a slush fund, "unintentionally" gave inaccurate information to the House Ethics Committee, colluded with other House Republicans to abrogate his agreement by misrepresenting the ethics violations he committed. And then there was the extra-marital affair. I've probably left some stuff out.

And look at Dennis Hastert with his $70,000 in contributions from clients of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his letters to Interior Secretary Norton currying favor for clients, his ties to Turkey (allegations of bribe taking are underway) and his position on Hurricane Katrina (he said spending Federal money to rebuild New Orleans from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina "doesn't make sense." and went on to say that "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed".)

Gus should be held accountable for who he has fundraise for him. Does Gus think that Cheney/Gingrich/Hastert are honest and integrity-filled? I am personally saddened that voters would support someone who has these people represent him.

In the end, you have to question Gus' views and definitions of "honesty" and "integrity".


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