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August 27, 2007

Burner capitalizes on Bush visit

Posted by David Postman at 10:37 AM

Democrat Darcy Burner is benefiting from an online, counter-fundraiser to President Bush's visit today for Congressman Dave Reichert. So far that has earned her $79,135 over four days. Burner has been promoting her fundraiser through well-established ties with the netroots. The campaign says the money has come from

ordinary Americans determined to "Send a Message" to President Bush and his close ally, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, that the war in Iraq must be brought to a responsible close.

This afternoon, while Bush is raising money for Reichert in Bellevue, Burner will hold a "virtual townhall" meeting to "discuss concretely how to get out of Iraq responsibly." A panel discussion will feature military veterans, anti-war activists and UW law professor Clark Lombardi.

Burner showed in her run against Reichert last year that she has a strong online presence that can help her overcome the incumbent's traditional fundraising advantage. But her campaign sees the past days activities as something more. It's an attempt to nationalize the race and get money and attention from around the country from people looking to channel anti-Bush fervor. Burner campaign aide Sandeep Kaushik told me:

"We're talking about essentially a local congressional race that is going to develop a national profile and it allows for people concerned about the direction of the country to really engage to form a national community over the Web, to concentrate their efforts in a specific location."

The fundraising — tagged Burn Bush for Burner — has been organized and pushed by some of the best-read of the national liberal blogs, including DailyKos, and AmericaBlog. The local bloggers that have been among Burner's most ardent supporters have also helped organize and promote the effort. Says Kaushik:

"I think the way the bloggers see this is as a dry run or test run to create at template they can use in other places to push back against Bush visits. ... It's beyond money. This has been getting intense attention in the blogosphere. People have been seeing stuff about this race, people in D.C. We're engaging the netroots in part, frankly, to get around the jaded traditional media that doesn't quite get how campaigning is changing and what the impact the Web is having on organizing politically and getting messages out to folks."

In addition to the townhall, which will be streamed on her Web site at 3 p.m., Burner will hold a media availability in Bellevue to talk about Reichert and Bush.

The Bush visit is bringing a little negative attention to Burner from the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

There's only one thing wrong with Darcy: she refuses to talk frankly about impeachment.

That's from Bob Fertig.

Yes, I know Bush will be on his way out the door when Darcy is sworn in on January 6, 2009. But Darcy refused to talk about impeachment in 2006, when she could have impeached Bush had she won. If George Bush is not an issue for the 2008 election, then Darcy should apply that principle across the board and never mention his name — which is absurd because Darcy is happy to talk about Bush every chance she gets, and is happy to raise big bucks from the Netroots while he's visiting her district.

Fertig asks, "does she think the impeachment movement is made up of Dirty Hippies and she'll get the cooties by associating with us?"

Meanwhile, Burner's Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Rodney Tom, has taken a much more low-profile approach to the Bush visit. He says he and his campaign have been helping to encourage people to attend protests near the Bush event. He will join the protest himself. He said:

"It surprises me that Reichert would want to be so blatant with his affiliation to Bush."

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