Sunday, July 23, 2017

Martha McSally: Money can't buy her love

Election 2018 is game on for Rep. Martha McSally. That’s what I conclude when following the money. Joe Ferguson (Daily Star) reports that McSally raises more than $1M for 2018 race in Congressional District 2.

The most interesting number in Martha McSally’s latest finance report isn’t the $1 million she raised for her re-election campaign.

It is the $663,000 that her campaign team doled out roughly 18 months before voters go to the polls in Congressional District 2.

The McSally for Congress campaign went through cash much faster than in previous election cycles, spending roughly $2 for every $3 the campaign raised.

The potential challengers on the Democratic side do not raise/spend anywhere near those amounts.

With some candidates either newly announced or still in the exploratory phase, only three filed with the FEC for the last quarter.

Emergency room physician Matt Heinz — who ran against McSally last year and lost — has the largest campaign war chest among the Democratic candidates.

He raised $201,086 in the last reporting cycle and has $181,145 in cash reserves, according to recent filings with the FEC.

Heinz has spent a fraction of what McSally spent — $19,941 on election-related expenses.

Retired assistant secretary of the Army Mary Matiella raised $31,214 in the three-month period but only spent $615.

Businessman Billy Kovacs received $12,733 in the same period but spent $14,678. He had $5,492 in cash reserves at the end of June.

Other CD2 Democratic candidates, former state Rep. Bruce Wheeler, small-business owner Charlie Verdin, pilot Jeff Latas and consultant William Foster, did not have to file paperwork with the FEC.

Add to that list former CD1 Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick who announced her candidacy on Friday.

Other than for the money …

Here’s why all her money, to paraphrase the Beatles song, Can’t Buy Her Voter Love.

Outside political observers say CD2 will be very competitive in the 2018 midterm elections, despite the fact that McSally won the district spanning most of Cochise County and part of Pima County with nearly 57 percent of the vote in 2016.

The Cook Political Report, a well-respected, nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns, lists CD2 as “leans Republican,” giving McSally a slight advantage.

[But] McSally is facing mounting criticism from both well-funded political action committees as well as a grass-roots group that has staged dozens of demonstrations outside her midtown offices.

The GV News granted McSally a bully pulpit from which to brag about one of her votes - in an EDITORIAL: Congress shouldn’t put a price on people’s lives. The essence of McSally’s message is “… I voted against a bill in Congress that would set a federal cap on medical malpractice lawsuits by limiting victim damages not related to earning potential to $250,000. I was one of only a handful of Republicans to break with my party and oppose H.R. 1215, which the House passed, 218–210, despite my opposition.”

That is known as (1) making a safe vote - the House was going to do it anyway, and (2) cherry-picking - that’s the only case in which she voted against Trump and the GOP.

McSally complains about being cast as the Trump Twin but her voting record provides the facts. FiveThirtyEight reports voting records on all sitting members of Congress and compares their votes to the positions taken by our deeply unpopular President Trump. McSally has voted with Trump 97.4% of the time. (By my count, that one vote against her party and Trump is far out-weighed by her 37 votes consistent with Trump.) And that record puts her as the 12th most radically right-wing member of the House.

Consider just one counter example. McSally voted in favor of the House’s Trumpscare bill (AHCA) which would knock millions off of health care nationally and hundred’s of thousands here in AZ. If any form of this passes both chambers of Congress, nearly 50,000 CD2 residents will be at risk (as I reported in Martha McSally’s War on Medicaid back in May).

We must all ask: Why would McSally want that?

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