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.