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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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May 9, 2008 4:50 PM

State GOP won't share take from McCain fundraiser

Posted by David Postman

Presidential candidate John McCain will make a fundraising stop in Bellevue Tuesday. But the state Republican Party won’t be getting any of the money raised at the big-dollar event. It’s not that McCain Victory 2008 will keep all the money for the Arizona senator’s presidential campaign. The money instead will flow to states that national Republicans think will be battleground states in November.

The joint fundraising committee formed for the Hyatt Regency event is made up of the McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee and the state Republican parties of Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

State Republican Chairman Luke Esser told me:

We’re not guaranteed to get anything. I wish it was the case we were guaranteed something. The way I like it to see it is we are still in the stages of proving to the McCain campaign that we will be a battleground state in 2008. I think the other states on the list have already proven that. I think we still can.

Esser said he also hopes that some of the money that goes to the RNC and the McCain campaign will end up being spent here.

I’m thinking this won’t be the last fundraising visit by John McCain and I hope we’ll get some money into our federal accounts at the state party if we do our work.

Events at the fundraiser run from $1,000 admission to a general reception to a Victory Dinner that will cost $33,100 per person. You can see all the details, including the proposed split of receipts
here.

At this point the money may not be as important as the pyschological hit of having national Republican leaders make it so clear they don't view Washington as an '08 battleground.

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May 9, 2008 11:37 AM

Why some Clinton voters may not back Obama come fall

Posted by David Postman

I wondered yesterday why so many Hillary Clinton supporters in Indiana and North Carolina said they wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama if he were the nominee. What I really wondered was if race was a factor in that.

Well Jed Lewison has a pretty good explanation of the phenomenon. The one-time aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell pushed himself away from the Vegas poker tables long enough to send me an explanation of the role of the “McCain Meddlers.”

From the exit poll, 1 in 8 Indiana Clinton voters and 1 in 6 North Carolina Indiana voters will not vote for Clinton even if she wins the nomination. These are the “McCain meddlers.”

If you factor them out (also subtracting the McCain meddlers who supported Obama), Obama wins Indiana by 3 and North Carolina by 22.

So what Lewison is saying is that no one should draw too much from the fact that Clinton supporters say they won’t back Obama, because a chunk of them aren’t really Democratic supporters.
And as he writes at The Jed Report:

By the books, there's no taking away Clinton's Indiana victory, but it is worth remember that it was only made possible by voters who have no intention of voting for a Democrat in the fall.

He explains his methodology here.

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May 9, 2008 10:11 AM

Where's Tom Foley?

Posted by David Postman

And more importantly, who does former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley back for president? Foley, a former member of Congress from Spokane, is one of Washington's superdelegates. As the race for the Democratic nomination finally begins to wind down more attention is being paid to who superdelegates are backing.

But no one seems to know for sure where Foley stands. Some sites that track superdelegates show him as a Clinton backer. (He was U.S. ambassador to Japan under President Clinton.) But other sites and news organizations show Foley as uncommitted.

Has anyone seen anything directly from Foley on this question?

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May 9, 2008 9:57 AM

State Republicans make nominating conventions optional

Posted by David Postman

The state Republican Party is recommending, but not requiring, local GOP officials to endorse candidates in contested primaries. That’s a more laissez faire approach than what state Democrats have done. State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz has said local party organizations are required to pick among Democrats in contested races and vote to give one candidate an official endorsement.

Pelz has been disappointed that a few local Democratic organizations balked at endorsing candidates.

The nominating conventions are the parties’ response to the first-ever top-two primary scheduled for August. In that election, they party has no way to identify its preferred candidate and the top two vote getters, regardless of party, advance to the November ballot. Candidates endorsed by party organizations can show that in the voter’s pamphlet, but not on the ballot.

Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said the GOP state committee shares Pelz’ concern about the party having a say in who is nominated. But, he told me yesterday, some felt uncomfortable requiring county and legislative district organizations to nominate a favored candidate.

It can be a little bit challenging to extraordinarily painful for a grassroots organization to go through selecting among different Republican candidates.

That’s particularly true in a heavily Republican district where the November ballot would be likely to include two party members facing off. The party has at least two eastern Washington legislative districts with multiple Republicans running in primaries.

The 117-member State Committee met Saturday to approve the nominating rules. The committee also voted to endorse the three incumbent Republican statewide officials and the three Republicans in the state’s Congressional delegation.

In addition, gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi and state treasurer candidate Allan Martin were endorsed.

Democratic leaders have pushed nominating conventions both as a way to give the party it’s say in the primaries, but also as part of a legal strategy as challenges continue against the top-two primary. Esser said he shares those concerns.

That does make sense. One of the reasons that we went ahead with the nominating process on fairly short notice is to recognize that we’re in the middle of a lawsuit and we needed to send a message that we take this very seriously, and we are concerned about confusion between the officially endorsed Republican candidates and other Republican candidates.

Esser said that allowing the locals to decide whether to hold nominating conventions should not hurt the party’s standing in the legal fight against the primary.

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Recent entries

May 9, 08 - 04:50 PM
State GOP won't share take from McCain fundraiser

May 9, 08 - 11:37 AM
Why some Clinton voters may not back Obama come fall

May 9, 08 - 10:11 AM
Where's Tom Foley?

May 9, 08 - 09:57 AM
State Republicans make nominating conventions optional

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