Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shark Week for Politics

Quarterly finance reports have been filed in most state and federal races this past week. 99% of the population does not even know what that means, and could not care less. For the 1% of the population that is fascinated with the minutiae of electoral politics, though, this has been like shark week - an orgy of downloaded pdfs and posturing and "shocking" news. The spin cycle is on hyperdrive.

It's really all kind of funny.

Here are a few random observations . . .

Koster got himself caught up with a Republican money-laundering scheme. He is not a Democrat, and he has no respect for the law. He cannot be taken seriously as a candidate in the Democratic primary. It is a prime example of his self-promotion taking precedence over his integrity.

Amy Coffman has some wonderfully creative and resourceful people on her side. Having raised barely half as much during the quarter as Kander, thus falling even further behind, and having fallen even further behind in the number of donors, they are proclaiming that they have the advantage. Good for them! I admire their pluckiness. I also admire their resourcefulness in using the comments section of this site to try to get their news out, since they don't have a website up yet, a month after we were told we would have one. (In all seriousness, the $10,000 Coffman raised shows that she's a credible candidate, and the creativity and resourcefulness of her people shows that she might be able to stretch her limited dollars.)

Has Grisamore given up? He only has a hundred dollars in the bank, and his adventure in Jefferson City has put him in debt to the tune of $8500. Maybe he's just going back to his handsomely-paid nonprofit gig.

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38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post Dan. I'm glad your a part of the 1%. We need more commentary.

I agree with you for the most part with the exception of Koster not being a serious candidate. You may disagree with him, but as you state, your only 1%. He reported a million dollars, first candidate to raise a million for the AG race in the history of Missouri. He's got Labor, stem cell and experience. I don't know if I would vote for him yet or not, but to say he's not serious reduces your pseudo journalistic integrity.

10/17/2007 10:34 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Dan, not only is Koster taking money from Rex Sinquefield, he's still got Jeff Roe on his payroll. How exactly can he claim to have broken from the mean-spirited politics of the far right if he's still employing the master of that brand of politics?

10/17/2007 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nitwit - Roe is not on Koster's payroll. Will you try for honesty?

Dan - Coffman has $10K and the support of Sen. Jolie Justus and Rep. Beth Low. It is impossible to quantify the support of Justus and Low. Suffice to say, Coffman just wrapped up the primary. (Because Justus and Low have given them cover, look for at least 3 additional area politicians to publicly support Coffman.)

10/17/2007 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tee-hee - Coffman has wrapped up the primary. Hahahaha. Too funny.

Dan is the sensible one these days.

10/17/2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:37 -

Harris paid Roe's company more than $9,000 in September, and more than
$40,000 in July. That's more than two thirds of the money he spent in the most recent quarter, all going to Jeff Roe. I think Nitwit achieved honesty, don't you?

10/17/2007 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:17 -

I haven't had time to review Harris' report. But if you say Harris is paying Roe, I'll take your word for it.

10/17/2007 3:01 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Harris isn't paying Roe. Koster is. The other anon and I had it right. And his last payment to Roe came well after he allegedly stopped being a Republican. Add to this the Sinquefield money, and it's getting really, really hard to take his conversion seriously.

10/17/2007 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His payments to Roe were for backservices.

Koster's said numerous times that he severed his relationship with Roe prior to his switch.

This is a non-issue.

10/17/2007 3:10 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Koster also said he was a Democrat several times, but we now find out he's taking money from a right wing kook like Sinquefield.

Sorry, but it's really hard to believe anything Koster says.

10/17/2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Even if the payments to Roe were for "backservices" {snicker}, why take so long to pay? And exactly what were those services, anyway? Did Roe really charge Koster over 40K to explain to him that he would have lost in the republican primary? And after last week's field clearing exercises, are there any contested statewide races on the R side? Anything stopping all those republicans from picking up a D ballot in August and voting for Koster in the primary?

10/17/2007 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why Jeff Harris is paying money to Jeff Roe. Harris should know better.

Chris Koster, on the other hand, has the support of the unions, trial lawyers, and those in the life sciences. Sounds progressive to me.

10/17/2007 4:12 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Anon 4:12 is funny.

10/17/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm anon 2:17, and I'm not funny, just sloppy. Sorry - I meant to say that Koster was the one paying Roe. I didn't know that the payments were for "back services" - but that is a disgusting thought.

10/17/2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't think Harris should be making payments to Jeff Roe.

10/17/2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous 10:34 - I didn't say that Koster is not a serious candidate - I said the he is not a serious candidate in the Democratic primary. And he's not. After taking all that voucher money from a Republican shell game, nobody will believe that he is a democrat - especially after paying Jeff Roe for "back services", which probably will offend the Christian right, too. As for my "pseudo journalistic integrity" - I have none to reduce. Please don't confuse bloggers with journalists. They are two entirely different beasts. I am not a journalist - pseudo or otherwise.

Anonymous 1:37 - You win the award for the funniest comment of the month. Hands down. Kander kicked Coffman's ass in number of donations. Kander kicked Coffman's ass in dollars raised. Coffman has failed to live up to her treasurer's promise of an informative website, and hasn't even paid anyone for webhosting (shouldn't that be on the expenditure report??). But she got two minor donations from legislators who will not risk their own credibility by actively working against the guy who's going to win. Sorry, anonymous, but the election is not held in the lady's room at the Central Exchange - it will be held outside of Beth Low's district, among voters who will support a strong leader with military (not lobbyist) experience.

10/17/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why Harris is paying Jeff Roe. He should stop immediately.

10/17/2007 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Risk their credibility actively supporting Coffman? What in the world do you think Justus and Low are doing? Donations from these two politicians is worth more than the monetary amount of the donation. The donations are a deliberate signal to Kander and anyone else thinking about jumping in the race. The signal is: Coffman's our candidate.

Dan, I understand you are onbaord with Kander. Okay, I get that. But be objective here. Getting the support of Justus and Low is a big deal. Both politicians have solid clout and strong grassroots organizations. Does their support mean this race is over? No, but it certainly gives the advantage to Coffman.

10/17/2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

No, anonymous, it does not give "the advantage" to Coffman. Sure, it's a nice thing, and I understand that it is the only thing for Coffman backers to talk about after losing in dollars and numbers. But don't forget, she lost in dollars and numbers. Lost.

You managed to change my words. I said that they "will not risk their own credibility by actively working against the guy who's going to win". You would prefer to claim that they are "actively supporting Coffman". Do you see the verbal sleight of hand here? Clearly, they made a minor donation - tossed a bone to a fellow female candidate. That's fine and laudable. But that does not mean they are going to actively work against Jason. Why would they? About 100 voters in KC will even hear about the donations, and probably 90% of those voters will have formed their own opinions, independent of Low and Justus. To act like these two small donations have any real significance is ludicrous. Remember that Justus did not exactly win her primary by a landslide (though she had my full-throated support), and remember that Low has never won a single vote in the 44th district.

I acknowledged that Coffman did decently enough in the quarter that she is a credible candidate. That is the truth. For anyone to try to claim that she has "the advantage" despite her loss in numbers and dollars is wishful thinking by an anonymous political novice.

10/17/2007 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan -

Last post by me on this topic. Forget the amount of the donations by Justus and Low. (You're right - few people will even hear about the donations.) Consider only the fact they made the donations. It is the message being sent that matters, not the amount in the envelope. The message is that Justus and Low have decided, for whatever reason, to get in this race, and they are doing so in favor of Coffman. You know the rule about Dem politicans not getting involved in Dem primaries. Well, they decided to get involved inspite of that rule. And once you're in, you darn sure get in fully.

(This caught me in your post: "Justus did not exactly win her primary by a landslide." I suspect this subtle threat will have the opposite of its intended effect.)

10/17/2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

Where's the subtle threat? I was strongly for Justus, and I will be again when she gets reelected. I think she's great - I was one of the first bloggers to back her, and she has thanked me for it. My point is only that she's not so tremendously popular or influential in the world of KC politics that her small donations is going to give anyone an advantage. Her partner gave Jason a gift, too, but I'm not desperate enough for good news to try to act like that means anything. Perhaps if my candidate had lost in dollars and lost in numbers, I would have to resort to such a weak argument, and perhaps I would be upset enough that I would misinterpret an innocuous factual statement as a threat, but I'm in a much better position than that. i'm backing Kander, and he's ahead in number of donations, value of donations, and speaking ability.

Even you acknowledge that only a few people will even know about the small donations - they are meaningless. And, if Beth and Jolie try to act like power brokers and play machine politics to get their lobbyist friend elected, I don't think it would be effective, anyhow. Do you, really?

Oh, and Jason has a nice website, too, but Coffman has yet to live up to her treasurer's expectations . . .

10/17/2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Cortney, "The sister by Amy's side" said...

Dan~

Her treasurer understands that she has recently suffered the loss of the matriarch of our father's family, in which she had to assume the role of a funeral planner along with our family, a pallbearer at the service, and a comforter in the days since. Her treasurer understands that she had to quit a job in order to run for this office and in turn had to begin a new business to help supplement an income. Her treasurer did NOT give a DATE for release of the website. And the timeframe he did refer to was in conjunction with the passing of our grandmother...so please forgive the delay. While "where's the website" was being played, we had other important life issues to deal with.

I understand you are probably anxious to tear apart the website and throw out all the "constructive criticism" that you can conjure up, but your anxiety is no reason for Amy to hurry and throw out something that she is not completely satissfied with. And even when it is up, I'm certain there will still be changes to it as the campaign continues and she learns more about what her constituents are interested in.

You speak as though she's been campaigning as long as Jason has and should be just as far along as he. That is not the case of course. This race is not at all a win for either side yet...But since she filed a short few months ago, she has done quite well and I think your disgruntled acknowledgment of that speaks volumes of the challenge you and the Kander camp see before you.

You have had Amy's phone #...you could have called anytime. I bet she is even listed in the book. If you were genuinely interested you could have contacted her to ask questions about her issues, etc. But instead you played this ridiculous bantering game of "still no website" as if that is the most critical issue facing the voters of the 44th, a year out.

Look, I'm no political junkie who has all the wisdom of the bloggers on your site. I'm just the big sister who has finally had enough of this. I know my sister doesn't read this but we certainly inform her about it when it pertains to her...so she will likely not be real excited when I call her to tell her that I have at last posted my opinion here. I chose to respond at this point because I have seen how hard she is working on this campaign beyond the scope of your vision. I am a partner with her in her new business and know how very hard she is working at it. As well, I have seen personally the work she is doing diligently on this highly aniticipated website and frankly her detail to attention is what should be expected, not condemned.

So please,enough already!
Be patient my friend;
IT IS COMING... soon!

10/17/2007 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who does the Councilwoman endorse?

10/18/2007 12:42 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Big Sis -

I'm sincerely sorry to hear about the death in your family, and it's great to hear that Amy is the sort of person who would put her personal plans on hold for her family. As I've said throughout, she seems like a perfectly nice person, and it appears I'm right.

But please don't try to place blame on me for holding her accountable to the timeframe her treasurer published. I happen to be a tremendously kind and warm person - I'll be happy to cut her slack when she needs it. But you can't expect me to dream up unpublicized excuses for her failure to live up to expectations, can you? Heck, I even chatted with her treasurer the other evening, and we referred to the missing website, and he didn't mention it.

Nothing begrudging at all in my acknowledgment that she's a credible candidate - it's the truth, and that's what I put out there. But, when people come here and try to put some crazy spin on the situation by claiming that she has the advantage after losing in dollars and numbers, I'm going to point out the falsity of their arguments.

You're certainly welcome to post here anytime, Big Sis, and let me know if I stray from the truth or if I'm unfair. I have not intention of doing either, but it's always good to have someone supervising me. So far, I think we can agree I've been nothing but truthful and fair . . .

10/18/2007 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Amy have to quit her job to run for office?

10/18/2007 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Cortney "the sister by amy's side" said...

Anon~ She worked for AARP as an advocate for seniors and with their volunteers. As a non-partisan organization, she could not continue her career there.

Dan~
Thank you for your condolences.

Let's leave it at this; neither can declare themselves a winner yet...not based on numbers, dollars, websites or endorsements. The only thing that declares a winner is the final count and that is months and months away.

In the meantime...I'll support my lil' sis in any way I can, including posting when I feel that the truth and fairness may be skewed even just a bit.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice our truth.

10/18/2007 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geeze, Dan, it's one thing to be "a tremendously kind and warm person" (and, actually, you are - I knew you in the "real world", and you're not near as tough and sarcastic as you project here), but it's not necessary to be a total wimp! Big Sis just laid a load of crap on you, and you let her get away with it.

Look, anytime you start calling someone a "matriarch", you ought to be picking out the funeral music. This could not have been a big shocking surprise. My grandmother died a few months ago, and I didn't let it get me a month behind my projects at work. I took a couple days off, was sad, and moved on. I still miss her, but I would never dream of using her death as an excuse for missing a project deadline BY A MONTH!

Why is Coffman so weak? Christ, what happens if her cat gets sick while she's in Jefferson City? What if someone doesn't notice her new scarf, or comment on her hairdo?

I'm a woman in the business world, and it drives me absolutely NUTS when wimpy women give the rest of us a bad name. Fortunately, I've heard there is going to be another woman entering the race - one that won't over-react to life's predictable crises.

I understand that she had to quit her job as a lobbyist to run for this position - it looks bad enough that she has apparently never held a real job outside of schmoozing with politicos. But why did that throw her a month off schedule? Didn't she know she was going to do that?

In my world, you produce results or excuses. Kander produced results, and I respect that. Not a huge fan of his - I'll probably support the woman I've heard about, but I respect his ability to deliver. We need that in Jefferson City. We don't need someone who can't cope, but can try to explain why losing isn't her fault.

10/18/2007 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- As Anon 8:59 proves, this blog has turned unacceptably personal and, frankly, hateful about what should be a positive and thoughtful campaign between two quality contenders for an important job.

Unfortunately Dan, despite your calls for everyone to "peace out", your continued diatribe shows you're the ringleader of this circus.

I hope it's true what they say that only those who have already made up their minds about a race follow and participate in the blog traffic about it -- the voters in the 44th District deserve better than this crap.

10/18/2007 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:19 - you should read more carefully. Dan didn't post a diatribe - he and Amy's sister are the two most reasonable people here.

Free speech is a bitch, ain't it?

10/18/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:11 -- Who said anything about free speech being a bad thing? Since I'm exercising it to call you idiots out, it clearly wasn't me.

10/18/2007 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Cortney "sister by amy's side" said...

Yikes! Anon "I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR"...relax! There is nothing "wimpy" or "weak" about anything I, or for that matter, what Dan posted.

I stated simply that while 20 or so people on this blog think that Amy should be only working on a website for you all...she is building a whole new life..and she is doing a remarkable job at it!

"load of crap"? If you don't like the word matriarch, then fine...to us this is who she was. Don't attack that, it makes you look rather sad and pathetic to refer to the passing of a loved one as such. It's your nastiness that gives women a bad name...nothing else.

And don't worry, Amy doesn't have a cat, she doesn't wear scarves and everyone always notices her cute haircuts!

To anon 10:11- I appreciate your comment...I can see though that I may lose that sense of "reasoning" if I continue to read things like Anon Woman Hear Me ROAR 8:59 am.

So again Dan and the rest of you, thanks for letting me into your blog world, but I think I'll check out for a while...this is the side of politics that drive "we regular folks" crazy! Ha.

10/18/2007 11:55 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

Cortney,

Why you gotta hate on Helen Reddy?

10/18/2007 1:48 PM  
Anonymous TJ said...

If a death in Amy's family isnt an excuse, than Jeff Harris' wife having a baby isnt an excuse for his abysmal quarter.

10/18/2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger Ambitious Fledgling said...

Hah... all the tuff people have to post as Anons... that really and truly cracks me up. You know.. I'm not really into politics either.. but sometimes the banter is so amusing that I must keep reading. =)

10/18/2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Indeed, Ambitious Fledgling. Anonymity tends to bring out the tough talk.

Anonymous 8:59 = Obviously, something struck a tender nerve, but I don't think it's fair to label Amy as weak or wimpy. As much fun as I've been having (and may treat myself to in the future as well) making fun of her lack of a website, it IS still pretty far out from the election. Right now, she's behind and falling further behind in fundraising - I can't blame her for focusing on that right now. Last thing for you - who's the mystery woman? I've heard a name, but I wonder if we're talking about the same person. Last initial "S"?

Anonymous 9:19 - Sorry, I'm not going to shut down my blog or stop writing about politics because some people are a little bare-knuckled from time to time. If you can't deal with that, blogs are probably not a good place for you to spend your time.

Cortny - I'm impressed with the grace and humor you maintained in responding to Anonymous 8:59. I'm sure the matriarch was proud of her progeny.

10/18/2007 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Kander lose his job at the law firm?

10/18/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous SFBB Attorney said...

No, but I don't think he ever liked it here. He's got ambulance chasing in his blood and he left to do that.

10/18/2007 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again Dan, you are acting like the arrogant DC journalists who are more interested in the "horse race" than on an intelligent focus on the issues. The whole website issue is a non issue with the primary over nine months away!!! I support neither candidate by the way other than to say, cut the other candidate some slack.

10/20/2007 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man. Reading these posts (and checking out the candidates' websites - since that's apparently so very important) makes me really wish I lived in the 44th so I could vote for Amy Coffman. Fascinating.

11/14/2007 9:36 PM  

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