Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Overdue Report on July 10th CD10 Democratic Debate

The three Democratic candidates vying for the right to challenge Rep. Bill Young debated each other on July 10th.

After the debate, it became clear that the dynamics haven't really changed.

Samm Simpson is a fiery and passionate advocate, but hasn't shown the sort of political sophistication necessary to unseat an entrenched incumbent like Young. Her easy money economic ideas (no, we cannot just print more money) and thoughts on nutrition (eliminating aspertame?) are not going to win her much in the way of serious earned media. She needs to start raising serious money and get some policy advisors to work with her on the issues.

Max Linn was surprisingly strong - a good speaker and came across as a good candidate, though I was surprised by the anti-immigrant strain of thought running through his ideas. He still has a lot too prove - mainly whether he can turn his theoretical advantages into a strong, well-run and well-financed campaign.

Mayor Bob Hackworth neither overwhelmed nor slipped up. His ideas were very much in the mainstream of American thought (universal healthcare, reasonable path to citizenship for immigrants, alternative energy rather than drilling off Clearwater Beach, etc.)

Hackworth's money for the cycle - $55,504.78 was less than political observers might have hoped. I was looking for him to have raised at least $100k.

Linn only raised $7240 this last quarter, but still has the ability to self-finace.

Simpson's report for the most recent quarter is not yet online.


At 7/15/2008 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Succinct and largely accurate in my view. As always, money will be the barometer by which this campaign will be forecast. Skies look pretty cloudy for Simpson and Hackworth, but we might expect some hot, moist wind from Linn, if he doesn't end up pissing off the Obama people with his huckstering for his book and his loony Change Congress web strategy.

At 7/15/2008 03:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Samm comment about "printing money". Lot's of people misunderstood the comment, and she arguably wasn't clear. She was saying that Congress should once again be in charge of minting/printing and regulating our cash. (Although, admittedly, her attempt at quick humor -- saying "How about Congress printing our money?" -- confused some folks. But it's a call to eliminate the Federal Reserve, which is a privately owned corporation that we pay interest to every time money is put into circulation. Eliminating the Fed and putting the power to coin and regulate currency back into the hands of congress would eliminate a HUGE percentage of our debt.

Re: Her "sophistication"... Agreed that she's no air-blow-dried product of the machine. And that's what an awful lot of voters are looking for.

Re: Her ability to raise cash... She raised more than Max, and about as much as Hackworth. But then Max is $290K in debt (his own money) and Hackworth is $50K in debt (personal money). So NOBODY in this race is RAISING huge sums of money. Although both Linn and Hacworth seem primed to go to Washington given their attitudes towards spending cash that they can't cover by raising funds.

You write: "Mayor Bob Hackworth neither overwhelmed nor slipped up". Maybe so if you call not having a single original idea, searching for words throughout, and constantly invoking the name "Barak Obama" -- his answer to almost every question -- when you're running in a district that Obama only carried 27% of the Democratic vote in the primary -- Hillary crushed him in FL-10, and the room he was in was Hillary heavy. Actually, I'd say he was the biggest disappointment of the evening. Especially since he's supposed to be the "proven" and "seasoned" candidate. His campaign is doing a great job of getting media, but he's looked like a kid being given a pop quiz he isn't ready for ever time I've seen him in public. He stumbled and stammered through a printed speech he was reading at his "announcement" press conference. (Plus he used public property -- the front of Dunedin City Hall -- as the backdrop for his partisan announcement. If not illegal, in poor taste.

Getting back to the debate, I found it interesting that the the loudest applause was for Simpson -- due not only to the fact that she had more supporters in the room going in, but also because she won more throughout the evening.

And I find it even more interesting that the most dramatic and compelling line of the night wasn't picked up by the hack job coverage in the Times nor in Creative Loafing... Simpson said she was willing to give her life -- in her words "Live Or Die" -- protecting and defending the constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.

That's a patriot. The other two are politicians. And that's what will take the day for Samm, as long as her all volunteer army stayes focussed on getting the word out.

But just one humble volunteer's opinion.

At 7/15/2008 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humble volunteer: It sounds like both you and Samm are loons. Samm didn't win anything at the debate because her comments were ridiculous, I.E BIRDSEED, are you kidding me? Samm didn't even raise enough money to file a report today, which means she hasn't raised anything.
Bob is the only choice to challenge Bill Young in this race. By the way his announcement was made in front of a restaurant in downtown Dunedin, not city hall.
You and the rest of the crazies need to face the facts and realize that Samm is unelectable, get with the program. She doesn't really even know the definition of the word patriot much less being one.

At 7/15/2008 09:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check the FEC site again. Samm's report has been submitted by her treasurer. Same treasurer as last campaign and the guy never missed a lick.

Don't know what you're talking about re: Bob's announcement being made in front of a restaurant. I'm talking about his press conference to announce. I was there. It was at city hall.

And since you don't know me from Adam, how about we put an end to the insults?

At 7/18/2008 06:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can confirm Hackworth's announcement was in front of City Hall as I was there too. Too bad people have to try to prove their point (and so obviously to support their candidate) by slipping up on the most basic facts. The end result is to cast doubt about the remainder of your assertion.

And add to the laughable "bird seed" analogy Simpson's allegory about fixing the staircase rather than tie her shoe to prevent falling. I'm all for calling on people's imagination to make a point, but time after time, Simpson kept leading the audience out into left field. In my view (and I appreciate that others will differ), she's either trying too hard and failing, or this is the best she's got, and it isn't enough.

Stumble along as he may, Hackworth remains the winner; not by far, but by enough. Linn's money is still too great a factor to dismiss, but I predict a number of missteps will catch up with him. Already I have heard of a vendor he stiffed who is laying in wait for him. And you can't dismiss the fact that he has lost most of his paid staff. Should the real cause for this become known, it will only add to his demise.

At 7/19/2008 09:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious that the Stonewall Democrats would co-endorse Hackworth and Simpson. Especially considering that Linn was touting nationally prominent (and gay) fundraiser Bob Farmer's support of his candidacy. My guess that is that simply contributing money and hosting a Florida Red and Blue event in his home drew Farmer's courtesy, but that Linn's words (and, perhaps his lack of a record of deeds) were not enough to convince the Pinellas GLBT community to support him.

Good for Simpson for splitting the endorsement, though I can't surmise how that happened.

Hackworth remains the candidate with a record on fairness to this constituency. As Mayor of Dunedin, without any pressure from the outside, he extended benefits to the domestic partners of city employees, simply citing that it was the right thing to do.

Given that, it is not hard to understand the endorsement.

At 7/21/2008 11:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing hard to explain about the endorsement is why in the worl would they endorse Samm? She is nuts, her campaign is faltering, and she campaigns in inappropriate places. They should have gone straight Hackworth.


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