Friday, November 03, 2006

NY Sun Newspaper Story of Kings Unheard of Defensive Spending

With a tip of the hat to Blue Spot.

The NY Sun story '
Once-Secure Republicans Spend Thousands To Stem Tide of Democrats' leads with "Reps. Peter King and Vito Fossella, once thought two of the most secure Republicans in the House, are emptying their war chests of hundreds of thousands of dollars to stem the tide of Democratic candidates riding the coattails of Senator Clinton and gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer, who are expected to win by a landslide...."

and continue with

"In the 3rd Congressional District on Long Island, Mr. King, the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, is facing a well-financed Democratic candidate, David Mejias, a first-generation Cuban-American and Nassau County legislator.

While the two candidates disagree over the accuracy of a recent poll that shows them in a dead heat, the race is close enough to encourage Democratic supporters to reach into their pocketbooks. Mr. Mejias has raised more than $650,000, with roughly 75% coming from individuals.

The DCCC has taken note, adding Mr. Mejias to its Red to Blue program, which introduces congressional candidates to Democratic donors across the country.

A Democratic political consultant, Hank Sheinkopf, said both the Republican and Democratic parties view congressional races as investments. They will throw their support behind a candidate when polling numbers look favorable and when a particular candidate has shown an ability to raise money, he said.

Mr. Mejias said the support of the DCCC has opened up new fund-raising sources for the home stretch. (A spokeswoman for the DCCC would not comment on why Mr. Harrison's race was not added to the online fund-raising push.)

Mr. King, meanwhile, has raised more than twice as much money as he did in 2004 — nearly $1.4 million — and has engaged in a vigorous campaign to highlight his accomplishments, including his stand against Mr. Bush over the Dubai Ports World deal earlier this year and his role in helping protect New York.

"King is trying to educate voters and emphasize his conservative stances," a professor of political science at Hunter College, Ken Sherrill, said. He added that voters often know less about a Congress member's achievements than what their political party has, or has not, done.

This has led Mr. Mejias to make frequent mention of political contributions Mr. King has received from Homeland Security interests and his consistent support for the war in Iraq.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Mejias has often repeated what Mr. King wrote to a constituent who in 2005 asked him to censure Mr. Bush: "I thank God every night that he [Bush] is our president."

The King campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the race."

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