I'll start off this report on the state of the race here in Wisconsin's First Congressional District by showing you what we see here on local television:
As Americans, we deserve a choice. You, not Washington, should decide the path we take and the decisions we make. Americans can't wait, so we won't wait. If we act now, we can get this right. We don't want a government-controlled society. We want a limited government that is both efficient and effective. This is our chance to restore real faith and real opportunity in America. I'm Paul Ryan and I approve this message.Rather vacuous wouldn't you say? When I saw BiPMs mockery in this morning's Cheers and Jeers I couldn't help but think of it. Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only candidate in this race that leaves me wanting.
In April of LAST YEAR I wrote how Rob Zerban (Came) Out Swinging. Since then he and his surrogates have written a few somewhat forgettable posts here at Daily Kos. I'd like nothing more than to have Rob Zerban as my Congressman, but at this point in time I don't see that happening.
The latest press Zerban has garnered is a report in Salon putting a positive spin on the fact that he's 8 points down:
Rob Zerban, the Democrat running against Rep. Paul Ryan, has been trying to make the case that he has a real shot at taking down one of the GOP’s most visible leaders, and his campaign is now touting a new poll showing the race is closer than most expected.Local blogger xoff at Uppity Wisconsin had to reach back and quote a March 2012 blog post at DownWithTyranny! in order to spark some kind of fire in this campaign.
Zerban’s campaign argues that its poll, by giving people a bit more information about the Democrat, shows the potential their candidate has once he increases his name recognition and spreads his message to more voters. Given that most voters in the district still do not know Zerban, there is opportunity for him to improve his standing as his name ID increases. “As Zerban initiates a more active communications and outreach program over the next few weeks and voter attention toward the November election intensifies, we anticipate the race for the 1st Congressional District will tighten and it will become a very competitive campaign,” the polling memo states.
The DCCC loves using Republican cartoonish arch-villains as whipping boys. They're always sending out press releases and even putting together ads attacking the worst GOP figures, particularly Cantor, Boehner and Ryan. But they don't actually do anything about defeating any of them at the polls....On the Democratic Party of Wisconsin website I read this regarding Zerban's fundraising:
And this year, when Ryan finally does have a serious opponent, Rob Zerban, what does the DCCC do? Kick back and issue press releases about how awful Paul Ryan's Medicare-killing plans are-- to the media everywhere in America. But take on Ryan directly? Or even help Zerban go after Ryan? Don't be silly....
With an average contribution of $42, and with 92 percent of his contributions coming from individuals, Zerban raised about $220,000 and has about $205,000 cash-on-hand.Fortunately things have picked up since mid-July. As of this writing ActBlue reports $648,071 from 24,545 donors. Still, Ryan just spent $2 Mil on his ad buy for that batch of meringue above the fold. To be honest I have no idea how the Zerban campaign can counter that, but if they want to win they must. All I know is that too many people here in WI-01 have no idea who Rob Zerban is and if the campaign doesn't do something to change that immediately, we're doomed.
By comparison, only one other time did a challenger to Ryan reach six figures for the entire race. Last year's candidate (John Heckenlively) raised only $12,000.
"Paul Ryan is a favorite of Washington's entrenched special interests, so he will have no problem summoning their mountains of cash," said Zerban, a small businessman and Kenosha County supervisor. "But because of his disastrous campaign to end Medicare, my campaign will be able to raise the resources to educate the public about his assault on the middle class - and to march to victory in 2012. "
Rob Zerban may have John Heckenlively beat in fundraising, but so far he hasn't beaten him in creativity. At Burlington Area Progressives last night I saw a video of a song penned by Mr. Heckenlively. Enjoy:
Time's a wastin' Mr. Zerban. Paul Ryan is more vulnerable than he's ever been. Strike NOW! while the iron is hot. Go for the jugular.