Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Washington Mike Wants Washington Money
The Associated Press reported yesterday that Congressman Mike Pence wants to raise as much as $25 million for a run for Governor in 2012. That's a big chunk of change for a humble Hoosier, but it's chump change for a Washington elite Congressman.
Pence's campaign told the Associated Press that it is in the process of putting together an organization in all 92 counties across the state. The campaign wants to claim a grassroots mantle, but, as the AP points out, can a campaign that is that big dollar really claim to be grassroots?
While $25 million would seem to be an intimidating amount of money, it shouldn't take that much to win the race for Governor. It shouldn't take that much to get your message on Indiana television screens and in Indiana newspapers. It's, frankly, an obscene amount of money to raise and is over two times of what Governor Mitch Daniels raised in his campaign in 2008.
Granted, it's a goal, but I don't know how Hoosiers will react to that. Pence is certainly going to have to call in his big dollar friends from Washington to help fuel that campaign, and that opens him for criticism from Democrats and frontrunner on that side, John Gregg.
Gregg has yet to officially announce his run past the exploratory stage, but he has released two high-production-value campaign videos and is actively raising money for a potential run.
No matter how much money Pence raises, I think Gregg can still make things extremely interesting by running a true grassroots campaign. He is a hard campaigner, and he will need to raise more money than Jill Long Thompson did in 2008. As long as the field stays relatively clear (there is a longshot Democrat in the race from Southern Indiana), he won't have a problem doing that. Gregg also seems to have few enemies in the state though some will find his conservative-leaning views on some issues problematic. I won't put a number on his fundraising needs, but he will need to raise as much as he can. $25 million is really over the top, though, for Pence.
For Democrats, this is really the last line of defense. I hate to be an alarmist, but electing Mike Pence will usher in the kind of government that some of the most Democrats fear. Pence is incapable of separating his religion from his job, and he will push every wedge issue button he can. By the time he's done, Indiana will be the Arizona of the Midwest.
Democrats, we simply can't stand by idle and watch Indiana go the wrong way. If you thought the last eight years were bad, just wait until Mike Pence is your Governor. This is the line in the sand moment, and the GOP takeover must be stopped here.