Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ideas for Using Warner's PAC Money

Always happy to spend other people’s money, I have an idea for spending Warner’s PAC money.

The election in 2006 presents a great opportunity for Warner to get out and press the flesh with Democratic candidates for federal races. He'll need to make sure he has money available to write those $5000 checks to congressional candidates (FT is federal only) and pay for travel to campaign with them. If he is looking at targeting just competitive races and strategically located federal (Iowa, New Hampshire, etc.) candidates he is probably looking at donations to over 100 candidates totaling $500k.

Warner would be well served to look beyond just competitive races if the money keeps flowing. The Democratic grassroots are captivated by the idea that Democrats must start building a "farm league" in non-competitive districts in order to win over the long-term (The Dean model). This fits very well with Warner's experience as a red-stater who knows how to compete and win outside the traditional Democratic strongholds.

Were Warner to seize that specific non-ideological element of the grassroots platform and use several hundred thousand of his PAC money to support "non-competitive" races on principle of building for the future (think capital investment), he would quickly become a champion to a lot of Democratic activists who might be to the left of him on policy issues. Image Warner speaking at events for Democratic activists telling them he believes in their goal to compete in every race, and rather than just giving lip service he is "putting his money where his mouth is."

If one of those non-competitive 2006 congressional races become competitive and Warner threw more support helping the Democrats come out with a win, he would have a story that activists would love to hear on the stump.

The chambers of Daily Kos and MyDD would be alive with praise.

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