When a Massachusetts Republican raises nearly $2 million in a bid to unseat a Democratic US senator, it should be a good sign that the campaign wars are in full throttle in this notoriously one-sided state. But Jeff Beatty, the GOP's hope for unseating John F. Kerry, is struggling to register even a blip on the state's electoral landscape....Now, from what I understand, Beatty's received nearly $2 million in checks - mainly from small donors, as the article points out later on - but only a tiny fraction of that, less than $300,000, has been available to him due to the expenses of the direct mail firm. Furthermore, this firm, Response America, was suggested to Beatty by the National Republican Senate Committee, NRSC.
The reason for the deafening political silence: Beatty has been able to use only a fraction of his donations directly on his race. The rest, well over $1.7 million, has gone to Response America, a direct mail firm out of Arlington, Va., and its vendors.
Given the facts, there's four possibilities:
- Beatty was hoodwinked. This was a bad deal. The NRSC told him to do it anyway, and when they said jump, he jumped.
- This company is crooked. In such a 'tough economic year' I wonder how much those Response America executives are raking in? I wonder which Republican Senators are friends with the owners of the company? I wonder how hard they're all laughing?
- Beatty's not the brightest bulb. Direct mail, while not the worst way to raise money, is incredibly expensive and thus needs to be used wisely. Did someone bother telling him that? Mail should only go out to previous donors. Donor lists need to be created the hard way, through hundreds and hundreds of candidate phone calls, or at least good lists of people who would be interested in a Massachusetts long-shot senate race (and in that case, only as a start: the list should later be narrowed based on responses). Come to think of it, he had to have been at least partially hoodwinked if he thought blind direct mail all across the USA was going to magically fund his campaign.
- All of the above.
Second, if Beatty ever criticized the Pike or any other mass highway organization with tolls, he should really just get out of this race right now. It's been Ryan's Take for a long while that the Turnpike Authority's sole purpose is to not to fund the Pike, but to employ people, since the overwhelming majority of its toll collections (75%+) goes straight back to the well-compensated employees. This is why Ryan's Take is to just get rid of the freaking tolls, merge the highways systems and raise the gas tax by 5-10 cents to compensate. Well, Beatty's beat those asinine margins by flying colors, paying 85% of what he raised right back into the costs of direct mail - which is just astounding, atrocious and hilarious all at the same time. He would have been better off wandering the streets of Carlisle begging for change. He may have earned a few votes at the same time!
Lastly, after such a dismal and uneventful campaign, Beatty should retire from politics. Talk about a disgrace!