Senate 2010: The Money Race

Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Sen. Kim HendrenI noted below that Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas’ senior senator, has $2.3 million on hand for her 2010 reelection campaign, which is a hell of a healthy start.

State Sen. Kim Hendren, her only announced opposition at this time, tells the AP’s Andrew Demillo that he’s prepared to put “a substantial amount” of his personal fortune into the race, though he declines to offer specific figures. (An Arkansas Project source claims that Hendren has set aside $1 million of his own money to pour into the race.)

Another point I should have made: If nothing else, all this talk of Lincoln’s “vulnerability,” coupled with the presence of potential GOP challengers, surely has to be doing wonders for Lincoln’s current fundraising efforts, since it’s easier to rally supporters when a perceived threat is at hand. She reported $1.7 million raised in the first quarter of ’09; I’d expect more big numbers when the next FEC report is filed in July.

Some people accuse me of fixating too much on campaign money matters, and maybe they’re right, but it’s something I was conditioned to do by working on the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, where Mike Beebe outraised my boss, Asa Hutchinson, by a 2-to-1 margin.

And let me tell you, you would fixate on campaign money, too, if you’d endured the pain of being on the losing end of a 2-to-1 cash advantage in the last months of a political campaign. You can’t imagine what that’s like. In fact, here’s what we’ll do: I’ll just come over there and kick you in the balls every day for the next three months. That’ll give you a good idea of what it feels like.

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16 thoughts on “Senate 2010: The Money Race

  • April 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm
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    Actually D- I’d like your take on why Beebe got that kinda scratch as opposed to a Republican Candidate. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans typically have more cash lying around.

    I’m serious here- is it because that assumption is dead wrong? Are Democratic Candidates actually wealthy elitists (at least in this state)? Would that come into play in this upcoming senatorial election? I know I usually play the role of smart@$$- but I’m posing a real question. I’d certainly welcome other’s responses as well.

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  • April 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm
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    Uhhhhh…I’m kinda busy for the next three months. Can we pencil that in for another time?

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  • April 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm
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    I’ll take the Cliff Notes version. In fact, I insist.

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  • April 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm
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    Hey Dave,
    Do you remember that one month we out-raised Beebe?
    It was great.

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  • April 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm
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    Really? You’ll kick me in the balls? For three months? What’s this going to cost me?

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  • April 21, 2009 at 3:44 am
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    Take note that Lincoln was in Springdale on her “SOCIALIST MEDICINE” tour this past week.Can’t think of a better place in NW Arkansas to wind up the illegal vote can you? Goes to show you just what she really thinks of the Arkansas people.

    Get your head screwed on straight people and get rid of her and any other “FREE LUNCH” Democrat state wide before it’s too late!

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  • April 21, 2009 at 7:15 am
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    AFG,
    I don’t know that I have a definitive answer to your question, but, yeah, I’d say that the “wealthy Republicans” assumption is wrong in general, but it’s especially out of whack in Arkansas.

    I had this discussion with a friend who’s been active in state politics longer than I have, and his point was that you have your rich Republicans in Arkansas and your rich Democrats, but the difference is you know who the Republicans are.

    That is, you look at a finance report for a GOP candidate and you see some Stephenses and Murphies and Waltons and some other usual suspects you pretty much expect to see; then you look at a Democratic candidate’s finance report and see some recognizable names, but then it goes on for pages and pages of names and you see dozens of names maxing out and realize you have no idea who they are, because there’s just so many more of them.

    Add to that the fact that the big Republican names are more likely to play both sides, because they need to stay on good terms with the Democratic power structure — but plenty of those wealthy Dems never give to Republicans and never will, because they don’t have to.

    It’s a good question, and that’s kind of a preliminary stab at an answer here at 7 a.m. Others may want to weigh in with more detail or countervailing arguments.
    D.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 8:12 am
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    I would say that for the most part the $1-5k donors in AR are “Incumbocrats” or “businessicans”

    They give to the folks that are in there that they may or do need help from. Its just another line item expense.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 8:23 am
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    “Businessicans”? “Incumbocrats”? Very nice, Br549.
    D.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 8:37 am
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    DK –

    My take on the Beebe fundraising edge is simply the fact that he had been ingrained in Arkansas politics for 20 years. A VERY influential State Senator whose work touched all corners of the state. A successful candidate for statewide office. His work for the past 20 years has created a network unmatched in the state since Bill Clinton.

    He called in more favors than you could believe, for years before he actually announced for Governor. He had card-carrying Republicans supporting him because of their personal relationship. In playing both sides, other Republicans could read the handwriting on the wall, knew he would win, and gave him money. You can’t be shut off from the top office in the state, you know.

    Asa faced an uphill battle. Bebee made no mistakes. Race over.

    All this is merely my opinon – no “inside” information by any means.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 8:50 am
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    I heard a rumor of a Democratic senator from Arkansas, but after looking around I think they all died before I was born. That Joe T. guy, maybe?

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  • April 21, 2009 at 8:58 am
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    Oh, sorry for being off topic. I was still fixated on the senator thing.

    Re: the money thing, the purpose of capital is to create more capital. In elections, this translates to making contributions that make a profit for the contributor.

    People who want to change the world for the better and not make a profit at it are generally poor and can’t afford to contribute. They get into heaven a lot easier but that is then and this is now.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 9:05 am
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    Cornelius,
    Yes. In the 2006 election, even though the race was for an “open” seat to replace Huckabee, Beebe was, in effect if not in fact, the “incumbent” (or “incumbocrat,” in Br549’s felicitious coinage) by virtue of his long tenure at the Capitol and his position as attorney general.

    That wasn’t the only problem Asa faced, given the nasty climate for Republicans in 2006, but it was a significant factor.
    D.

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  • April 21, 2009 at 10:32 am
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    After the House voted 90 to 7 to eliminate tax on Charity Bingo, Kim Hendren and 4 other senators voted to add a senate amendment to bring back 30% of the tax. This was done right after my testimony that an average of more than $10,000 had been taken from each local charity holding bingo permits such as: the Little Rock DEAF Community Center, CASA of Saline County, Heber Springs Humane Society, Cradle Care Food Program Inc, Cabot Public Schools, the Fort Smith Disabled American Veterans, Cecil Rural Fire Department, The Junior Auxiliary of Monticello, The Mount Vernon Enola PTO, NEA Clinic Charitable Foundation, the Paris St. Joseph Church School, the Bull Shoals Library Friends Inc., the Hector Fire Dept, the Van Buren School District, the Franklin County Learning Center Inc., the Quapaw Community Center, the St Josephs Mercy Health Ctr Auxiliary, Evening Shade PTO, Malvern Special School District, Logan County Museum, Subiaco Abbey & Academy, Madison County Pet Shelter, Main Street Osceola Inc., Jacksonville Senior Center, London Elementary PTA, Maumelle Friends of the Animals, Friends of AR Health Center and many more.

    Who would vote for a man who believes state agencies can do more good than local charities? A former House Speaker said, “When the time comes that Arkansas is desperate enough to tax charities and non-profit organizations, it will be clear to all citizens and legislators. That time has not yet come and I pray that it never does.” Senator Hendren missed his time and his opportunity to help Veterans’ Organizations and other charities. Politicians who turn their backs on me will receive reciprocity.

    My opinion,

    Gene McVay

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  • April 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm
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    If you believe what you say Gene McVay then you couldn’t vote for a Socialist Democrat ever as they believe you are too stupid to take care of yourself.

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