Thursday, September 27, 2007

Eric Egland for Congress

Patrick Ruffini makes the case:

From corruption to influence peddling to selling out his conservative principles, John Doolittle has failed. The answer is Eric Egland, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and true conservative. I urge you to support the $10,000, 4-day online fundraiser for this worthy primary challenger being spearheaded by Red State.

In light of the ongoing FBI investigations into John Doolittle’s ties to Jack Abramoff, many potential challengers are talking about getting in. But Egland is the first and still the best. He understands the War on Terror firsthand, and his work supporting our troops has already earned the respect of the blogosphere. On earmarks, he’ll vote with John Campbell and not like appropriator John Doolittle who scored a miserable 2% on the Club for Growth’s RePORK Card and voted to send your tax dollars to the Charlie Rangel School of Public Service.

California’s 4th district has already been burned by one career politician, and its next Representative needs to be just the opposite. The district needs real change — not just a different Congressman, but a different kind of Congressman. If you want to clean our own house before the voters do it for us, there is no higher priority than CA-4. If you want someone who will go beyond just party-line votes on Iraq and the War on Terror, Eric Egland is your man.

One thing is certain: John Doolittle will have a hard time holding this seat, given the ongoing FBI investigation into his association with Abramoff. This is one of the rare cases where a first-time candidate is likely to be stronger than an incumbent. In a year when the NRCC and Republican candidates generally are dealing with a fundraising disadvantage in comparison to Democrats, it makes sense to nominate a candidate who can hold the seat cheaply, rather than one who will suck up resources best spent elsewhere.

According to, Doolittle spent $2.6 million holding onto his seat in 2006, against an unknown candidate who spent a million dollars less. How much more will Doolittle need to spend in 2008, when his Democratic opponent will have established his credibility, and will receive more assistance from a national Democratic organization flush with cash?

If the race can be won more cheaply by another candidate, so much the better.

Update: Things get a little dicier for the incumbent:

A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to six aides to embattled GOP Rep. John Doolittle (Calif.), who is under investigation by the Justice Dept. over his ties to imprisoned former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The subpoenas were issued to Ron Rogers, Doolittle's chief of staff; Dan Blankenburg, deputy chief of staff; Alisha Perkins, scheduler; Evan Goitein, legislative director; Martha Franco, senior executive assistant; and Gordon Hinkle, field rep.

This is starting to seem like a case where the incumbent agrees to step aside in return for assistance with paying legal bills.

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