“I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” President George W. Bush
DCCC cash on hand $46,494,438.30
NRCC cash on hand $22,594,563.55
* as of Oct. 2007
Why Lou Barletta Should Not Run For Congress
by: Joe Leonardi
Republicans are more than likely going to lose more seats in 2008. Throughout the country President Bush has destroyed our party unity. All you have to do is look at the cash on hand and donations coming into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee compared to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Mayor Lou Barletta — this is not the time, in a democratic district, to take on a democratic incumbent.
To break it down:
– According to FEC filings the Barletta for Congress committee is still in debt about one hundred fifty thousand dollars. Kanjorski’s committee has over 1.2 million dollars on hand. No matter what Lou raises, he is still over 1.3 million dollars down.
– The DCCC is not going to let a senior house member go without a major fight. The money that the DCCC will pour into the 11th will be astronomical. The NRCC will not have the money to fight back.
– Lou has made quite a splash with his stance on illegal immigration. However, Congressman Tom Tancredo has been more vocal and more effective. Tancredo actually helped kill the amnesty bill in the Congress. Has that translated into more support for his presidential bid? If immigration was the end all and be all of national politics, Tom Tancredo would be a top tier candidate in the presidential primary race. Is he?
– The big issues against Kanjorski are nepotism and cronyism. In Luzerne County the voters simply do not care. The money to the Kanjorski nephews was an issue in 2002 and 2006. Cronyism was an issue in the Luzerne County Commissioners race. However each and every time the incumbent democrat won. The fact is, that in Luzerne County, the voters don’t care about cronyism.
The 11th congressional district is more than just Luzerne County.
– Lackawanna County’s republican precincts went democratic in the last commissioner’s race. Granted, many of these precincts were in the 10th, but that only emphasizes the dissatisfaction. Most precincts in the 11th are democratic. If they are angry with republicans, does anyone think, that over one issue they are going to turn republican?
– Monroe County, for the first time in years, has elected democratic majority commissioners.
– Carbon County is a democratic stronghold. Kanjorski is very highly thought of there.
– Columbia County, which is probably the most conservative county, has strongly supported congressman Kanjorski. He has currently promised a levy system on the banks of the river. His seniority, being a member of the majority party and his accomplishments with the levy system up river, will all but assure continued support.
– On two major issues; abortion and gun control, Congressman Kanjorski is solidly in line with the voters in his district. He has received high ratings from the National Right to Life Committee and National Rifle Association. These are huge issues in Northeast Pennsylvania, and with no difference between candidates, most are likely to stick with their party.
– There is no conservative at the top of the republican ticket. Translated — on election day conservatives will stay home. The myth that Hilary Clinton will push conservatives to the polls is one that should not be counted on. If anything, after eight years of President Bush, it is my belief that Democrats will turn out in force to ensure the election of, along with a democratic house and senate, a democratic president.
– Finally, the Mayor’s experience is in the executive branch. In my opinion, Lou Barletta should run for either Governor or Lieutenant Governor. Congress would be a waste of his leadership qualities and abilities. In the House of Representatives he becomes one voice in a sea of four hundred thirty five. He will be a freshman in the minority party. He is not going to be given any committee assignments to raise his profile. If anything, with the democrats in control, he will be minimized and probably never get anywhere near a committee that has anything to do with immigration. Additionally, the democrats will likely cut off funds to much of his district. By freezing out “Congressman” Barletta, it ensures that in two years the seat will go back to the Democrats.
Mayor Barletta is a good, decent honorable man. If he chooses to run he will have my vote. However, presently he possesses secure, salient, powerful political capital. If he opts to misspend it — it will be Lou Barletta’s parting, political swan song.