Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

I Believe Bill Sali (This Time)

Long-time readers know that I'm not a big Bill Sali fan; I think my Congressman is among the most inept in the country and is mostly just an embarrassment to Idaho. This weekend, however, there's a new story that came out about his campaign, and I've gotta say I believe his side of the story.

The story in the Idaho Statesman discusses how the 527 group "Freedom's Watch" is running campaign commercials against Walt Minnick, Sali's moderate (and better funded) opponent in this November's election. The ads say that Minnick is opposed to more drilling; in fact, Walt supports more domestic oil production.

The controversy comes from who funds "Freedom's Watch". The founder of the group is Sheldon Adelson, a casino mogul who got a lot of his money from starting up gambling businesses in China. While it might seem like a conservative like Rep. Sali wouldn't necessarily want Chinese money supporting his campaign, his spokesman says that it's not really an issue. Despite the fact that Adelson was a big supporter of China getting the recent Olympics, there's no word yet on if famous local China-disliker Brandi Swindell will be protesting at Sali HQ against this source of support.

Normally, when you read about a 527 group "independently" helping out a campaign by attacking someone's opponent, people roll their eyes when they read about how there's "no coordination" between the campaign and the 527. In this case, however, I believe Congressman Bill Sali's spokesman, and here's why: I can't imagine Sali and his campaign/congressional staff (they seem to be one in the same) successfully coordinating a game of 3-on-3 basketball, let alone a major ad buy throughout the district with another group. In this case, I think Sali and his "crack" staff are telling the truth.


Anonymous Julie in Boise said...

For one thing, the idea of the Sali staff playing basketball is pretty funny. (I think the average height is probably 5-6.)

For another, you raise a good point wondering about Brandi Swindell.

Of course, we're learning how the party of family values is always ready to look the other way. It's *other* people's morals they're worried about.

9/01/2008 5:58 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

C'mon, this ain't rocket science. A guy with money decides to spend some on a political cause. Stymied by legal limits on how much he can give a campaign, he decides to start or fund a 527. He goes to his preferred candidate's website and literature to see the resonant issues, picks one, and bangs away at it and the opposition with money.

The benefited campaign can seem entirely passive (as you guess this one is), but I can say from personal experience that it is not unaware. More than a decade ago, I raised about $700 K for my own (unsuccessful) Congressional campaign. About half was 'soft' money, the then equivalent of 527 money. I knew of every dime on the soft side - and, truth be told, found it more work to gather soft money than hard.

Your boy Sali might be an ineffable twit. And a Republican (but I repeat myself...). But he's in office, he has a campaign staff and party backing, and the notion that he is ignorant of 527 effort on his behalf and non-operative in its application is simple fantasy. Been-there/done-that: politcians know where their money is coming form.

9/02/2008 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bubblehead: did you know that CHINFO reads your blog and excerpts it for the daily news clips now?
Way to go!! You're an offical news source now.

Best regards,
An active duty officer who loves anonymity

9/03/2008 6:09 AM


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