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View Diary: IL-06: Duckworth v Cegelis (270 comments)

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  •  I Think (none)
    Archpundit's analysis on 11/09 is the most accurate. Fundraising is OK but the burn rate is going to pull her under.  

    "Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed." ~ Bruce Springsteen

    by ILDem on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 12:55:45 PM PST

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    •  interesting stuff, thanks n/t (none)

      I'm just in it for the pizza money.

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 12:57:32 PM PST

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      •  they are concerned she (4.00)
        cannot receive donations from the organizations and people rahm instructed to not donate to her campaign.  self-fulfilling prophecy.
        •  1,400 people like us (4.00)
          Donated an average of $130 or so. It's small donors that will make the difference here.

          Donate to Cegelis.

        •  No, After Reading the Link... (none)
          ...I suspect they're concerned she's blowing all her money, and is almost broke.  From the link:

          To date, Christine has raised $160545.56
          She has spent $121992.17

          That's a 75 % burn through rate

          One rule of thumb in fundraising quarters is a burn rate of 35% though many would say even lower this far out.

          Last quarter Christine raised $52127.25
          Spent $46615

          That's a 89% burn rate.

          Roskam [The Repub candidate] has in total raised $681046.03
          Spent $129354.88
          A burn rate of just about 19% and a raw total only $8000 more than Christine.

          His burn through just last quarter was about 36%.

          It's realistic to say that no Democrat is probably going to match Roskam dollar for dollar so lets look at Bean's numbers.

          Bean didn't start raising money until the third quarter of 2003 for the 2004 race. She raised $38365.00

          Spent $5076 a 13% burn rate.

          In the fourth quarter Bean raised $100929.45
          Spent $29779.60 at 30% burn rate

          In three quarters, Christine raised $160,000 so far this year compared to two quarters for Bean bringing in $139474 in two, though the last quarter in Illinois should be higher than the previous quarters given the closeness to the primary.

          That said, Bean had $104,721 on hand at then end of 2003. To match that, Cegelis at her current burn rate would have to raise $200,000 approximately in the fourth quarter. Bean's primary wasn't terribly competitive so she may have been able to bank some that far out instead of spend it, but the worst burn rate from Bean was about 50% until the last 3rd quarter when you are spending serious money and then the last month.

          There's no virtue in spending almost every penny you raise and not having anything left to communicate with voters.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 03:27:29 PM PST

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          •  It's a bit disingenuous of you, DH (none)
            Roskam's had the local GOP bigs doing big-ticket fundraisers.

            Christine has been unable to get Dem bigs to line up anything. Rahm's managed to keep them on the sidelines. Small-ticket funders have a high expense ratio. If Emanual had given her his blessing, the numbers and burn rate would be, at worst, similar to Roskam's.

   ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

            by wystler on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 05:42:37 PM PST

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            •  That's BS (none)
              I've been doing campaigns for years, and I've never done a campaign that didn't spend at least 70% of it's expenditures on direct voter contact.  The period in the cycle is when you raise money but don't spend it.  If they're spending everything they raise, they're an incredibly undiciplined and unfocused campaign.  They're eating all their nuts instead of burying them for later, which means they'll either starve or require someone to feed them.  

              And what the DCCC does or doesn't do now has absolutely nothing to do with their expenditures.  Other than FR expenses, there's almost nothing they should be spending money on right now.  

              I had been an agnostic on this race prior to seeing that linked blog entry.  I hated the typical groupthink that makes people into martyrs, but I wasn't ready to embrace the criticism of Cegelis.  But seeing this burn rate, it's political malpractice.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 06:31:32 AM PST

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              •  Interesting Choice of Words (none)
                Where you see "political malpractice", those of use in the IT industry see fiscal responsibility.  It's indicative of an IT project manager:

                1.  Time
                2.  Budget
                3.  People
                4.  Success

                Plan the work.  Work the plan.  It allows people to pay their bills timely.  Many conventional candidates have no desire to be timely.  They do pay the vendors -- eventually.  Until then, the money is in the campaign treasury making them look good instead of being severely in debt, which is routinely their actual status -- in the red.  It also keeps them from being accused of "political malpractice".

                Christine's honorable, responsible.  The country needs her in Congress.

                Qui tacet consentire videtur - "Whoever seems silent, consents."

                by Philosophe Forum on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 07:10:50 PM PST

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                •  What? (none)
                  There's nothing to be spending money on right now!  It's too early to do polling, there's no voter contact, other than a maybe a finance director, there shouldn't be staff...there's simply nothing they should be spending money on.

                  Whatever, convince youreself that being broke before they should have incurred any costs, regardless of when the bills would come do, is a sign of brilliance and virtue.

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 07:20:53 PM PST

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              •  So have you won any campagns in all those years? (none)
                DHinMI, the old patterns of congressional campaign management have not worked for the Dems.  Not even in districts with more Dems than the IL-06.  

                The Cegelis organization is the only established Democratic candidate organization in the district.  All politics are local so adaptation is required to address local constituent needs.  Anything else is old-hat conventional wisdom.  Get out the vote means have an active campaign, the voters want to know that there is a Democrat running for congress.  A Democrat who they know, a Democrat who knows them.

                Oh yeah, I guess Roskham hasn't spent any money on anything.  

                Build the party, spend as needed, spend for the long haul.  Your proposal is simply more establishment pro-money anti-constitutent propaganda.

                The establishment has spent nearly 13 months trying to find a candidate to run against Cegelis.  This latest 11th hour attempt is another example of project mismanagement.  The establishment has lost control of the project calendar, will over spend their budget, will lose the election, will lose credibility and will lose contol of the political agenda.

                Fortunately there are people working to make sure that Democrats will win control of the House.

                •  No, I Haven't (none)
                  Just ignore what I wrote.  

                  Ignornace is bliss.

                  [And ignore the Dean campaign as an example of how to blow all your money too early...]

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 08:26:30 AM PST

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                  •  There you go again. (none)
                    I love how every time DHinMI makes a valid point based on practical knowledge, observation, and experience with the party, somebody has to flame based on the fact that the argument isn't towing the line.

                    DH's posts have nothing to do with how progressive somebody is or isn't, they are merely observations based on the best way to managed a budget. There shouldn't be arguments whose tenor is "It's ok for Cegelis to do things wrong because she's a netroots candidate and anyway the old fashioned ways don't work anymore." I daresey spending most of your funds when voters are mostly not paying attention to the race doesn't seem like such a good idea, progressive or not.

          •  Conventional Wisdom (none)
            Use it, & it'll screw things up every time.  Maybe it worked 15 yrs. ago.  In the 21st Century, it's the best way to lose an election.

             If the 110,000 people that voted for Christine in the November 2004 election each gave her $10, everyone embracing the conventional wisdom would have to shut up about the lack of fundraising. Why haven't local Party leaders sponsored fundraising events & provided mass mailings?

            Good instincts would say to support Cegelis. She's only the best person for the job. Unfortunately, purposely withholding support isn't anything new for Emanuel. Last year it was MN-06 & Scott Mortensen. This year it's MN-02 & Colleen Rowley. Last year in IL it was the senate race. There's definitely a pattern, & some of us are seeing it.

            I'm also concerned about all the money Emanuel's wasting -- $1M start-up for a stealth campaign war chest. The DCCC argument for not supporting more than "targeted" races is based on "limited" financial resources. He's risking a lot on Duckworth. When she loses the Primary, he's wasted it instead of "investing" such a large amount on progressive candidates that everyone wants, & the DCCC should really support.

            With so much money to start & a Chicago Hilton fundraiser for Duckworth's stealth campaign, she doesn't have to spend time on fundraising until after the Primary. As for the low fundraising numbers for Cegelis, it's all part of the plan:

            1. Emanuel doesn't support a candidate because millionaire donors don't contribute literally thousands.
            2. Emanuel doesn't sponsor DC fundraisers with PACs (like the RNCC) so candidate exposure is minimized.
            3. Candidates are poor fundraisers as a result of #1 & #2.
            4. Candidates don't deserve the votes as a result of #1, #2, & #3.

            Ultimately, Dem candidates can never win an election against a GOP incumbent with this strategy, & the Minority remains the Minority. Best case scenario:

            1. Emanuel wastes too much money that the DCCC doesn't have on Duckworth's campaign.
            2. The voters kick ass showing Emanuel that THEY chose their representative & not him. A Duckworth loss proves Emanuel's lack of leadership skills.
            3. Emanuel gets kicked out of the DCCC chairmanship.
            4. Someone with common sense takes Emanuel's place as chair & gives Cegelis the support she so richly deserves.
            5. Cegelis wins in November 2006, & the Party's legislative delegation becomes a Majority in IL.

            Now if we can only find someone in the Party with common sense.  Cegelis wins.  We have someone in the Party -- in Congress -- with common sense.  We win.

            Qui tacet consentire videtur - "Whoever seems silent, consents."

            by Philosophe Forum on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 11:27:33 PM PST

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    •  But Cegelis has been an IT manager (none)
      and knows her way around budgets. I expect that the burn-rate argument fits a less seasoned candidate better that it fits Cegelis who has done this before.

      We at SoapBlox/Chicago have been through all the arguments already with about 10 front-page articles over the last few weeks on the subject.

    •  Fair Enough... (4.00)
      But if the DCCC is that concerned about the burn through, why not express those concerns to the Cegalis campaign?
      •  exactly (none)
        why not have a conversation with the campaign?  why not establish a mutual understanding with the cegelis campaign?  and why would rahm claim on ABC that he knows duckworth but not cegelis?
      •  Maybe They Did...In 2004 (none)
        Actually, this is the most interesting angle I've seen on this race.  This may be exactly why they would like to see another candidate than the one they had in 2004.  They're not against supporting candidates who didn't win in 2004; Lois Murphy in PA has the strong support of the DCCC even though she lost last time around.  But maybe this is exactly why the DCCC would be reluctant to go with someone they already know.  If we set aside the fundraising issue--of course she could raise more money if the DCCC were strongly behind her--they may be concerned about the wisdom of her hires, how she spends money, etc.  

        Don't know if it's the case, but concerns about money that goes out may be a stronger reason to want another candidate than concerns about money that comes in.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 03:19:55 PM PST

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        •  That's entirely possible. (none)
          Still, I have a hunch there is something more to this than just disagreement over campaign expenditures. It's one thing to reduce or cut off support from a candidate who isn't heeding sound advice.  Bringing in a new candidate from out-of-district over the objections of local party leadership is a whole 'nuther level of Hardball.

          Whatever the reasoning behind the DCCC's decision, this situation was obviously not handled well by either party.

        •  Balderdash (none)
          Lois Murphy underperformed in a district where voter registration was about even.

          IL-6, on the other hand, was a district with a lopsided balance (favoring the GOP) going into the 2004 campaign cycle. Folks jaws dropped when Ms. Cegelis got just under 45% of the vote in the district, and just under 50% in the Cook County portion. (She won a few precincts that no organization Dem dreamed of winning.)

          The grass roots folks did some serious heavy lifting last time out, and Emanual wants to take advantage of it. Pissing off the folks that got the district turned this far, though, will drop it right back off the map.

          Duckworth's real chance would be in 2008, when she can run in IL-8 against a first term incumbent republican, but I'm not sure the "Fighting Dems" brand will still have play by that time.

 ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 05:50:34 PM PST

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        •  Apples and Barns (none)
          You can't compare the 2 districts - I'm in PA-06 and was very active in Lois' campaign and spoke frequently with the campaign manager.

          Lois ran Gov. Rendell's campaign in the area in '02 and had a straight line to the Party machine and area high-dollar contributors from the start.

          In addition the '02 Dem candidate Dan Wofford came very close to winning (about the same margin as for Lois in '04)in a district drawn explicitly for Gerlach by the GOP in PA - one of the most gerrymandered districts you've ever seen, dubbed the Pterodactyl district by Dan. The district was to be targeted in '04 as long as there was a credible candidate.

          Democracy is a contact sport...

          by jsmagid on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 06:55:43 PM PST

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    •  The burn rate argument burns me (4.00)
      Roskam has spent more than Cegelis has raised - but given the DeLay fundraiser and Pub party support he has, that's no surprise. But still, Cegelis gets slapped for spending.

      On top of that, Duckworth hasn't even filed, isn't allowed to campaign yet, and she's got a-list Dem consultants working for her. I'll bet her burn rate will be higher than Christine's in actual dollars - but given the Rahm-sponsored fundraising the percantage of her campaign funds spent may be lower.

      To add insult to injury, almost every time I see a comment criticizing Christine for her burn rate there's another comment demanding that she professionalize her campaign - which takes money.

      You can't just look at burn rate as a percentage of funds - you have to look at actual dollars spent. In that regard, Christine is fine. She's bringing in enough money to cover her costs, despite the whisper campaign by Rahm & Co.

    •  I really question this "burn rate" meme. (none)
      You need to spend a certain amount of money each month to maintain a campaign office, to pay a couple of staff members so that there is someone answering the phones and keeping up with the data entry and the FEC requirements, to keep your one or two upper-level people from leaving to go to another campaign, to buy signs for parades and pizza for volunteers, etc.  Her spending per quarter is about average for someone who is doing the bare minimum to keep a campaign running.  Just looking at the last quarter she has spent much less than her Republican competitor, Peter Roskam, who has no primary.  In fact, she has spent less than many of the incumbents in the Ilinois delegation who have no race whatsoever.  And remember, all summer long she was running against two other candidates, Peter O'Malley and Lindy Scott.  One of them, Peter O'Malley, was initially billed as being someone who was really going to raise a lot of money.  He finally dropped out having raised very little money at all even though he had ties to the local DLC and ties to the local Dems as well.

      Support local candidates - join your local Democracy for America group at

      by citygirl on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 02:02:25 PM PST

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