Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meek Campaign Dead

Kendrick Meek's Senate campaign has been a disaster. Meek is polling a distant third behind opponents Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. Meek's internet liaison Kenneth Quinnell has failed to raise online money. Congressman Alan Grayson has raised $594,208 on Actblue. Grayson does not have an establishment Republican running against him. Meek is running against Tea Party favorite Rubio and has only raised $11,786 on Actblue. As a netroots organizer for a Senate campaign, Quinnell needed to raised money and be in constant contact with bloggers such as Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher and John Amato to galvanize to progressive base of the Democratic Party. Quinnell also needed to stress Meek's policy proposals to the bloggers at Talking Points Memo and TAPPED. This is Netroots Activism 101. There is no excuse for a Democratic Senate campaign running such a horrible online campaign.

Meek is now the center of a scandal. Dennis Stackhouse is accused of stealing $1 million from a development project revitalization program for Liberty City. Stackhouse helped an aide of Meek's buy a house. Stackhouse also paid Meek's mother, former Rep. Carrie Meek, $90,000 in consulting fees. In politics, this is known a pay to play. Stackhouse financially helped people close to Meek. In return, Meek twice put in earmarks for the Liberty City project. Stackhouse never built a thing in Liberty City.

A sure sign that Meek's campaign is dead is the Florida Education Association is endorsing both Meek and Crist. Teachers are high on Crist after he vetoed SB 6. It is unheard of for a Democrat to lose a teachers union endorsement over a (former) Republican. The Florida Education Association want to back a winner. That person is not Meek.

To add insult to injury, The Hill reports the AFL-CIO is going to endorse Meek and Crist. It is literally unheard of for the AFL-CIO not to solely back the Democratic candidate. The Palm Beach Post reported Meek had to speak to the AFL-CIO to secure a split endorsement.

“I don’t just want your vote, I need your full support. Members should not have to walk in to the halls when I walk through and say ‘This is one of our co-endorsed candidates.’ Co? What’s that? You’re either walking or you’re running. There’s no jogging.”

“We didn’t have to wait to see what the climate would be or which way the winds blowing or if the environment is right for me to run. This state needed leadership and needs leadership now.”

“I need your full support. When you came to me in the state legislature and said, ‘Kendrick, I need you to stand up and run this amendment. I need you to be with us. I need you to come out to this rally in front of this company that fired three of our workers because we were trying to organize,’ I didn’t say I’d send staff. I said I’ll be there. I wasn’t a co-friend, I was a full friend.”

That is the sound of a desperate man.

The Meek campaign was salivating at a Crist NPA run. I wrote this when Crist announced he was leaving the GOP.

Democrat Kendrick Meek told reporters he is ""running against two Republicans in the general election." The Meek campaign is hoping Crist and Rubio will split the Republican vote. This is what DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is hoping for. Meek needs to start exciting Democratic voters. Counting on Crist and Rubio to implode is not enough.

The only candidate imploding is Meek.

Update: The Meek campaign sent out a press release of the Florida Education Association endosement. The press release fails to mention Meek sharing the endorsement with Crist.

"For over a decade, a prolonged and mean-spirited battle has been waged against our teachers that demeans the profession and degrades our children's education. But our opponents have bonded us together. We have fought in the trenches during the most challenging of times because we were united by a common sense of purpose and fairness. The forces of low expectations said no to the class size amendment, but we said yes and Florida won. Teachers know who their lifelong fighter and supporter is, and today's endorsement is but another step in our strong relationship. It is always humbling to be supported by any organization, but teachers are family to me, and it's an honor to receive your embrace. Let us work hard together and claim victory for all Floridians in November."

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At May 22, 2010 10:09 PM , Blogger Susan S said...

On April 7th, Joe Sestak was running almost 20 points behind Arlen Specter in the polls. Counting Meek out now is foolish.

Also, could you please tell us what you think the responsibilities of a new media director are? I've never considered fundraising one of them.

At May 22, 2010 11:04 PM , Anonymous Joy Reid said...

A correction: Meek didn't need to speak to the AFL-CIO to secure a shared endorsement. As the leading Democrat in the race, he was always going to both speak and be endorsed. His goal this weekend was to PREVENT a dual endorsement of Crist.

And I think you're off on Ken Quinnell. Online fundraising is still the finance team's job. To the extent Meek hasn't generated excitement, which I agree is the case, blaming it on the Internet guy is kind of like saying it's the directory assistance operator's fault that you have shitty phone service.

At May 23, 2010 2:05 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

Susan, Meek isn't Joe Sestak. Specter also ran a bad campaign.

If Quinnell isn't there to make contacts with A list bloggers and help fundraise then what is his purpose on the campaign. Anyone can send out press releases. I think the blame largely is Meek running a lackluster campaign.

Question: does anyone consider the Meek online campaign to be a success? Crist and Rubio are dominated the press cycle. Meek needs the internet to get his message out. Can Democratic voters list what Meek's policy proposals are? I can't.

At May 23, 2010 7:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meek is not a done deal for the Democratic nomination. Maurice Ferre is by far the most qualified candidate the Democrats could pick, and could help bring back the moderate Dems that have gone to Crist. There's still time to avoid a sure loss in November - by supporting Ferre now.


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