A little Wednesday morning reading in the 1st CD

Two quick reads on the 1st Congressional District race:

• Conservative Republican blogger Dennis Mansfield offers up a thoughtful take on the national Democrats' $349,000 advertising buy targeting incumbent Rep. Bill Sali.

Mansfield says the "Beat-Up-Bill" buy will backfire on Democrat Walt Minnick, because Idahoans tend to reject national campaign ads.

"If Walt Minnick quietly allows/supports this type of national campaign (which I bet he'll be tempted to accept), he is a political dead man. His obituary will already have been written by Idahoans."

I don't reject Mansfield's theory out of hand. The guy has run for Congress, so he knows a thing or two about the game. And the Democrats' money does come with the risk of a backlash.

Sali won the GOP primary two years ago, and sits in Congress today, thanks in no small part to an infusion of out-of-state cash from the Club for Growth. Imported ad buys are a trickier commodity; while voters have to dig out the arcana lurking in campaign finance reports, ads are right in their face. I guess it comes down to the content of the anti-Sali and pro-Minnick ads. If they feel like canned chain-restaurant political ads, they may not help Minnick.

• Meanwhile, the left-leaning blog the unequivocal notion busted out a headline no congressional staffer wants to see: "Wayne Hoffman Is an Idiot."

The Sali spokesman gets taken to task for his flip answer to a reporter's question about Sali's July 15 campaign finance report, which has not yet been filed.

Hoffman, a former Statesman colleague, is no idiot. But he now earns his paycheck by speaking on behalf of a congressman; yukking it up on camera about an AWOL campaign finance report isn't such a smart idea. For Hoffman, a tireless defender of Sali, this was pretty amateurish.

mansfield is off

here, I recall a slew of last minute national ads that saved Otter from sinking polls and near defeat in the Governor run.

None of this is good for Sali

The fact national Democrats are spending money at all in Idaho should be very scary to Sali and the GOP. I worked on Larry Grant's campaign two years ago, and we had no national support until the very end. We were on our own while, as you say, Sali got an infusion of cash (more than a million bucks, actually) from out of state. Yet he managed to win one of the nation's most ardently Republican districts by a mere 5 percent.

This campaign won't be decided by TV ads. It'll be decided by Idahoans belatedly realizing what a mistake it was to elect someone who can't meet deadlines, who blames his problems on others (Hoffman's stumbling defense of the blown deadlines and his blame-it-on-the-FEC gambit reeks of the Sali camp's earlier blame-the-ATF debacle), and who inhabits the discredited fringe of the Republican Party. Idahoans are conservative, but we aren't clueless, and it's easy to see that Bill Sali and his staff are ineffective at best and duplicitous at worst.

Did Mansfield forget the Club for Greed (Growth) spending?

They heavily invested last time in Sali, and last I looked they are 'dang out-of-staters' too.

Dennis has ...

conveniently forgotten about this and other out of state contributions. I believe that the money from Democrats suggests two things - the DNC is raising a lot of money (Republican/Bush backlash?) and Sali is (and always will be) vulnerable to a viable candidate.

VULNERABLE and UNEMPLOYED are also two different things.

So far your argument has fallen flat. Unless they prove he had a 'sex fest' with those ubiquitous teenaged call girls that went around like a virus, you had better find some REAL things to defeat him.

Lazy thinking isn't going to help anybody this year.

Greed and growth

I am not a Mansfield fan but greed and growth are two different things.

The forms wern't so bad

First off my treasurer had my forms in by July 2. He felt the forms were reasonable. Check it out on the 43 ed state blues, http://www.43rdstateblues.com/?q=node/5283. On my staff we have exactly 1 part time paid worker and the rest are volunteers. It would seem that a sitting Congressman and his campaign staff should be able get out forms in time. Even the Republicans should be worried about Congressman Sali and his methods.

And if this isn't a ploy for extra time...

then it just proves the incompetence of him and his office.

I didn't see light in the tunnel for either of the...

two younguns they picked to talk to channel 7. Don't send peons from the supply warehouse to man the frontlines...