Saturday, October 2, 2010

So... whatever happened to Ridgefield Barbie?

It's no secret that the empty suit running for Congress is as effective a fund raiser as she was a legislator... which means utterly worthless. And there is no question that she's had an extremely difficult time raising money... which is strange, considering she's the anointed shoo-in to take this seat back for the "R" side.

Fund raising is a funny thing. it can mean a lot as to the indicators of a campaign's viability. When someone is perceived as the winner, they start to get "inevitability money" late in the campaign.

Of course, early money is by far the most important. Late money is from the more conservative funders... the one's doing it for show, for dress up. And it looks like Babs is having some major issues collecting it.


What does the big money know that the rest of us don't know?

Well, one of the reasons check books snap shut is when the candidate stops.... running.

Showing up is an important part of the process. Transparency, or the lack of it, in a campaign is indicative of the same thing while holding office. And Ridgefield Barbie doesn't have it.

I get that. The last thing Herrera's handlers want is a close examination of their suit. I know it's empty because this is my playground. They know it's empty because they know what they've got... and the last thing they want is for Herrera to utter a single unscripted word.

So.... what do they do?

They get her out of dodge and then stifle any effort to find out what she's been doing. And there's only one reason for that: they don't want you to know.

This article, from something much closer to a genuine newspaper, lays it all out.

For those of you who, for whatever the reason, support this political waste of skin.... get used to it. Her only reason for any of this is the greater glory of Herrera. McMorris believes she can control her. But that mistake has been made before, through out the history of the world... and my fear is that it's being made again.

That, however, is secondary to this:

Herrera camp tight-lipped about 3rd District candidate's travels

Herrera camp tight-lipped about 3rd District candidate's travels
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buy this photo Roger Werth / The Daily News State Rep. Jaime Herrera works the campaign phones at Cowlitz County Republican headquarters last week.

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Republican Congressional candidate Jaime Herrera doesn't want you to know where she's been.

The Daily News asked both candidates for the 3rd District Congressional seat this week to provide an account of where they've been campaigning since the August primary.

The Herrera campaign refused, saying the information might be used against her by her Democratic opponent, Denny Heck.

"I have no interest in giving Denny Heck or his friends any information about Jaime's schedule with which to dissect and attack her," Herrera press secretary Casey Bowman said in an e-mail.

The Heck campaign, which supplied a list of about 30 events attended by Heck last month, said Herrera has all but disappeared from the campaign trail.

"Honestly, we haven't seen her out there," Heck's press secretary, Aaron Wasser, said in an e-mail. "We've been asked on numerous occasions by people all over the district what our opponent is doing, or where she's going to appear because voters want to hear from both sides."

Bowman said any suggestion that Herrera isn't campaigning is "absolutely untrue." Herrera, he added, has been to Cowlitz County "countless times," including giving a speech at a Lion's Club meeting shortly after the primary.

But he declined to be more specific, saying that if the Heck campaign "learned what Jaime's schedule had been in the last weeks or months, they might attack us for choosing to meet with one group at the same time that we missed a meeting with another group."

The 3rd District race is expected to be one of the most closely watched in the country. The announced retirement of six-term Democratic Congressman Brian Baird is leaving the swing district up for grabs for the first time in more than a decade.

The still-sluggish economy and what national pollsters indicate may be a surge of voter rejection of Democratic incumbents are factors favoring Herrera and other Republicans. Herrera led Heck 52 percent to 42 percent in a SurveyUSA poll last month.

Mark Stephan, an associate political science professor at Washington State University's Vancouver campus, said it's not uncommon for candidates who are ahead in the polls to back off the campaign trail. Campaign stops, he said, can be seen as an opportunity for a candidate to slip up verbally or cause controversy.

"It's reasonable to think that this might have something to do with being up in the polls and feeling comfortable," Stephan said. "The fact is that there is a little higher risk to hurt yourself. The more you're out, the more you're answering questions."

Still, Stephan said it is "a bit odd" that the Herrera campaign won't disclose its previous campaign stops.

"It just raises the speculation that they're not out there at all," he said.

Heck has been trying to gain traction against Herrera with what he's calling a "Let's Get to Work" tour, during which he's been visiting 3rd District businesses and giving stump speeches about reinventing the economy. He visited Cowlitz County four times last month and toured the ports of Longview and Kalama, as well as the Mount St. Helens and Steelscape in Kalama.

The list of campaign events provided by his campaign also includes picnics, parades and roundtable discussions.

A check of Herrera's campaign event invitations sent to The Daily News after the primary shows that Herrera visited a phone bank at Cowlitz County GOP headquarters Sept. 22 and hosted a "Sprint to Victory" breakfast in Lacey Sept. 20.

An unofficial list of her campaign activities obtained by The Daily News says Herrera attended a dozen events in the 3rd District last month, including meetings with a GOP club at a Vancouver retirement community, a meeting with a Vancouver barge company and several fundraisers and campaign rallies. The list also showed that Herrera attended the Highlander Festival parade in Kelso and spoke to the Cowlitz County Republican Women's Club on Sept. 20.

Herrera returned from a fundraising trip to Washington, D.C. this week, her campaign said.

Bowman said Herrera will participate in two Oct. 13 debates against Heck - one in Longview, another in Thurston County.

She will also talk with voters at the Pacific Barber Shop in Kelso Oct. 14, he said.

Herrera has already proven herself capable of lying or exaggerating about anything. That her campaign engages in this kind of crap is not surprising. And this is the kind of representation we should expect from Herrera.

And that's a shame. We could have had a quality representative in the form of David Castillo.

Now we'll likely have to settle for this.

Cross posted at Clark County Politics.

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