Monday, November 5, 2007

Barnes is the Top Democratic Challenger in the Country

Kay Barnes represents one of the best chances in the nation for a Democrat to knock off a Republican, according to Congressional Quarterly. Below is some relevant portions of the article.

Best-funded House challengers for 2008

1) Jim Ryun, R, Kansas’ 2nd, $880,000 (Nancy Boyda, D)
2) Sandy Treadwell, R, New York’s 20th, $822,000 (Kirsten Gillibrand, D)
3) Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R, Texas’ 23rd, $819,000 (Ciro D. Rodriguez, D)
4) Andrew Saul, R, New York’s 19th, $782,000 (John Hall, D)
5) Deborah Honeycutt, R, Georgia’s 13th, $708,000 (David Scott, D)
6) Kay Barnes, D, Missouri’s 6th, $656,000 (Sam Graves, R)
7) Jim Hines, D, Connecticut’s 4th, $618,000 (Christopher Shays, R)
8) Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, R, Texas’ 22nd, $607,000 (Nick Lampson, D)
9) Christine Jennings, D, Florida’s 13th, $592,000 (Vern Buchanan, R)
10) Dan Seals, D, Illinois’ 10th, $567,000 (Mark Steven Kirk, R)

The races:
. . .
6) Missouri’s 6th District (St. Joseph, part of Kansas City)

Challenger: Kay Barnes, Democrat ($656,000 raised, $578,000 cash on hand)

Incumbent: Sam Graves , Republican ($948,000 raised, $756,000 cash on hand)

Barnes this year finished an eight-year run as mayor of Kansas City, part of which is included in a district that also takes in suburbs of that city — and substantial rural territory in northwest Missouri that is Graves’ political base. Barnes surely will be the toughest Democratic challenger faced to date by Graves, who won narrowly in 2000 to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Pat Danner but has easily beaten subpar Democratic opposition in subsequent elections.

What does this mean? Unlike former candidates up against Graves and his hatchet man, Jeff Roe, Mayor Barnes will have the tools she needs to win. Holding Graves accountable for his votes on SCHIPS, making sure people know of Roe's in your face attacks - everything can be put before the voters.


Anonymous said...

The is Graves first real challenger. If Jeff Roe has slandered the weak opposition, he will pull out all the nasty lies on Kay.

Folks in NW Missouri, BEWARE. Graves and Roe are going to say some of the most vicious things about a non-Nazi you have ever heard. If you have to resort to name-calling, maybe you should go back to 3rd grade.

craig said...

I know it must have been an honest mistake. While you made a point to mention "hatchet man" Jeff Roe, you forgot to mention Kay Barnes attack dog Steve Glorioso. I know you couldn't have done this on purpose. Because if you did you would just be a two bit hypocrite. And I am sure someone of you stature is not that.

mainstream said...

Now now Craig. You've got two strikes against you, you're an anonymous commenter, and you are republican.

According to Bough all anonymous commenters have no credibility, so that shoots a hole through your (and everybody else's)comments.

My problem with Bough's post is a bit different than yours, Craig. I'd like a democrat to win the seat, but Bough is bragging way too early - the CQ post listed a ranking of just Dem fundraising --without noting that the Graves campaign has raised in excess of 50% more than Barnes.

The correct way to rank things in Dem/Rep fundraising is to rate candidates relative to their opponents. The absolute magnitude of an individual candidate doesn't really mean anything.

Unless you're Stephen Bough and you like to talk trash.

But according to Bough, I'm just a stupid, worthless anonymous commenter, along with you Craig, so I have no credibility like 99.9999% of the anony commenters on his posts.

Note to Stephen: do you know how much you have in common with TKC?? Both of you effectively refer to your commenters as d-bags.

the nitwit said...

This is a huge achievement by Barnes. She's clearly bringing in the money, and it's obvious to anyone watching that she's going to have the money to throw mud right back at Graves and Roe.

Graves may have more money, but he's going to need every penny of it. Plus, by showing raising money begets more money, and will help Barnes get even more help from the national Democrats.

My only hope is that when Barnes does throw mud, that she do like McCaskill did, and attack Graves on the issues. Let Roe make a fool out of himself by going personal. That was the stark difference between McCaskill's attacks and Talent's, and that's why she won and he looked desperate.

I have a number of relatives and friends up in 6th District, and I keep hearing how people up there are excited to have a real choice for a change and how tired they are of Graves.

This is a real race, and I suspect the point of Bough's post isn't for Barnes to rest on her laurels but for Democrats in the area to wake up and get excited about having a real chance to pick up a seat in Congress. Something that hasn't happened for Missouri Democrats in I don't even know how long.

mainstream said...

That's a good point, Nitwit. I hope I don't sound too pessimistic, but this is a far from done deal, it's going to be close given the core demographics of that district.

Never underestimate your opponent.

Stephen Bough said...

Dear Craig,

Sorry - I must be wrong. I thought CQ had a point. I'm an idiot. Please don't tell my mom.

Anonymous said...

Strength of arguments, lack of insults, signing your name - all are hallmarks of credibility. Craig, mainstream? You two seem to be lacking.

craig said...

Mainstream and nitwit,
Both of you posted intelligent, honest, and respectful comments. I understand that you disagree with Graves' politics and ideology. I can respect that. I also hope that Graves/Roe don't go dirty in this election cycle, I believe Barnes is a good person, even though I support Graves. I also believe he can beat her without going dirty.
I however, Mr. Bough, have a problem, with a so called "influential blog", whatever that means, intentionally misrepresenting the facts by attempting to make this race about Jeff Roe while ignoring the fact that Barnes uses Glorioso who has been on the losing end of 2 defamation/libel lawsuits. So I will just have to continue to correct your mistakes whenever possible.
And Stephen, you were correct CQ did have a point, but you could have left it with that without being hypocritical, but you chose not to. Remember, I didn't call you an idiot. I implied that you were a hypocrite, and nothing shows me any different.

mainstream said...


You're a solid conservative, as you have demonstrated over the last 6 months or more I've been aware of your comments.

I'm also aware that the Democratic majority in Congress hasn't honored their newest members by recognizing exactly why they were elected and the Dems got the majority.

I'm a proud liberal, and enjoy your informed and sensitive discourse.

The Glorioso issue is tough. With proven rough people like Roe working for Graves, I don't know that I can blame Barnes for keeping Glorioso around.

Unfortunately, the pragmatic side of me can only conclude that the clean fight will have to be fought by onlookers...

mainstream said...

Anon at 8:17

Do you realize the irony of your statement? An anonymous commenter questioning the credibility of anonymous commenters.


the nitwit said...

mainstream, Of course it's far from a done deal, but sweet Jesus, Barnes has a really good shot at this. Let's get excited about this and get on board!

I know some so-called progressives in KC don't agree with everything Barnes did as mayor, even though Sprint Center's early success seems to be proving a lot of the naysayers wrong.

But face it, Barnes would be a huge step in the right direction, and so far she's making all the right moves. Let's give her some props for that, and if you're concerned about her fundraising, let me ask you this, have you contributed to her campaign? If not, then put your money where your mouth is. I have.

mainstream said...

Nitwit, I have contributed, and Kay is a strong liberal voice. Truth be told, I still am mad at her from the mayoral elections, but it wasn't based upon her opposition to Funkhouser.

Kay has a very mean side, and she lets Glorioso manipulate her.

But I definitely want her to win.

My concern can be summarized in a nutshell - her district's demographics lean distinctly conservative. Voters will bristle when they see Kay posing on the front of Camp, an LGBT magazine.

She has a credible liberal base in the ditrict (to whom she needs to voice her liberal values), but it's too small and she needs a bunch of swing voters.

Kay needs to focus on issues like Graves abandoning our troops and veterans, which he has. She has to draw out his ineptness in such a way as voters have more of a reason to vote against Graves, than necesarily for Kay.

I suspect that is the logic that swing voters will use to cast their vote for Kay, and win the election for her.

the nitwit said...

The cover of that magazine is going to make as much difference in that race as the Disney World raising the price of a snow-cone will.

Voters up there aren't stupid, and they're going to vote based on kitchen table issues, not magazine issues. Besides, showing folks a cover of Kay Barnes dressed as June Cleaver is probably doing her a favor. How much more family-values can you get than that?

That entire attack is based on a very naive assumption among the right. Rural voters may be much less likely to support gay marriage, but that doesn't mean most of them (particularly women) favor discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Kay's going to play well in the 6th District, and Roe/Graves track record of phony attacks are only going to make voters less likely to believe them when they spew their "Missouri values" nonsense.

mainstream said...

The Camp magazine was merely an example. The point I was trying to make is that, in the same way George Bush was elected for a second term; and in the same way the democratically-controlled Congress has lower approval ratings than Bush -- that republicans are still more effective in articluating values and short answers.

Doesn't matter where in the intellect is. A majority of Graves' district's frequent voters are moderate conservative to very conservative.

Let me puty it another way - Nancy Pelosi wouldn't be elected dog catcher in that district.

Nitwit, you're making the same mistake many democrats make in thinking that people will vote for what is apparently in their best- and self- interest.

They don't as has been proven time and time again, and the biggest asset in this race are the misdeeds of Graves, not the liberal vision you or I have, or ultimately Kay has.

Also take note of McCaskill's campaign and her behavior in office. The slam dunk in that race is when a pissed off veteran walked in to the St. Louis campaign office complaining about Talent, and subsequently they aired very effective Talent-anti-veteran ads.

Like it or not, this race is going to be a rumble, and the prize goes to the one who punches back hardest.

craig said...

nitwit and mainstream,
I am tempted to let you two argue about this, but I decided to weigh in.
If I was running Graves campaign, I would use her 8 years as mayor against her.
1. Ignoring a crumbling infrastructure.
2. Giving away TIF's like Halloween candy.
3. Failing school district (I know the mayor has little to no control over that, but easy spin)
4. High crime rate (see above).
Her only real positive accomplishment is the Sprint Center, and with the right spin you could use the fact that there is no anchor tenant as a negative (not my opinion just a way to spin).
I would also make her take a stance on illegal immigration. As far as I know she hasn't yet, but I would imagine that it is a pretty liberal stance, and that won't play well in this rural district.
I don't expect this to happen, I am pretty sure that this will just be an ugly race.

mainstream said...

Good points Craig. If I was on Kay's advisory committee I'd be listening to your criticism - it's the best stuff for planning.

I'll disagree with you a little bit on the city stuff. Sure, I think there's some mileage out of some of her past record, but I think there's more to gain out of issues like immigration and taxes.

And lumping her in with the current Democratic Congress would be more effective as well.

And, quite frankly, how many openly gay people do you know in the district? Other than in the historical area in downtown St. Joe, they aren't welcome.

I'll bet you my watch that Kay's commitment to Gay Rights will be tested in this campaign.

And where's Kay's solution to Iraq and how does she want to manage that mess?

Now, we haven't even started with Graves. The list begins with him voting against pay raises and additional benefits for the people putting their lives on the line in Iraq... and more.

Gays are viewed poorly but are mostly, for that district, an abstraction. Denying our troops fair compensation, and their families a fair and respectful death benefit, are pretty damn real.

But, I'm gonna shut up on those points.

I can't wait for the Barnes campaign to surprise all of us with new revelations about Graves.

I suspect there will be many.

craig said...

"I'll bet you my watch that Kay's commitment to Gay Rights will be tested in this campaign."
I disagree, not because I don't think Roe would use that against her,but because it wouldn't do any good. In order for slung mud to stick, the target must be embarrased by the mud. Kay is very proud (righfully so) of her support of gay and lesbian rights and she could simply shrug any critisism of that off as "oh well". Just my opinion, if I was running Graves campaign I wouldn't touch that (but that may be because of my own beliefs).

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