Monday, May 23, 2005

A "Good" Political Candidate

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, IL, stated that Sen. Richard Durbin isn't ready to give his endorsement for re-election to Gov. Blogojevich because ' "Anyone can run for any office," Durbin said at an unrelated news conference in Chicago. "I'm not going to say what's good or bad for the party. I want to make sure that the voters in Illinois have good candidates to vote for." '

So -- what is Sen. Durbin's definition of a "good" candidate? I don't know that he endorsed any
of the IL Congressional candidates in the 2004 Election Cycle. If he at least endorsed Melissa Bean (IL-08), his campaign committee made no financial contributions to her or any of the others. So far, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has received $3,000 from him for her 2006 re-election. That doesn't say many positive things about the quality of Democratic candidates from his home state.

It's bad enough for the DCCC to ignore Congressional candidates unless they can accumulate thousands in campaign contributions -- first -- to prove their "worth." It's even worse when your Party's local incumbents & the state's Party leadership do the same thing. It misleads the voters into thinking that the incumbents they want out of office are running unopposed. The practice effectively allows a few people a way to control who a lot of people vote for & ultimately manipulate the end results. It failed miserably in 2004 because the Party sacrificed FL, OH, & IL. It's also the exact opposite of everything Howard Dean has been saying for the past 4 months.

From these facts, it seems that the definition of a good candidate is one that can amass the largest amount of money in the shortest amount of time regardless of the economic status of the district & it's constituents. I say the definition of a great candidate is anyone that bothers to show up at all for one of the hardest jobs on the planet & volunteers to work in the best interests of the public trust.


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