Congressman William Jefferson of LA-2 won a near landslide victory over his runoff opponent state Rep.Karen Carter on Saturday. He carried Jefferson Parish with 71% of the vote and won significant pluralities in the African-American precincts in Orleans Parish.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune attributed Jefferson’s victory
to a well organized grassroots campaign. Ironically it was Carter who had attracted substantial support from netroots online activists in her well financed campaign that included a number of high profile endorsements. Carter outspent Jefferson 5 to 1 but the incumbent congressman had the support of some powerful political leaders including Mayor Ray Nagin and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee and ran a grassroots campaign that took him to churches and bars throughout the district.
An article in the Times-Picayune has the details on the most recent fundraising numbers down in LA-02:
Carter, a Democratic state representative from New Orleans, raised $320,741 in a month, compared with $72,485 for Jefferson, the eight-term incumbent whose political fortunes — and fund-raising ability — have been dampened by a federal bribery investigation.
Clearly Jefferson’s support is drying up, though he does still have a $117K to $58K cash-on-hand advantage. Actually, I should say that he did have an advantage. For one thing, these reports only go through 11/19. And for another, as Tim points out, Carter has already filed several supplemental reports (you have to file frequent notice of new donations over a certain size when you get close to election day) since the full report was released.
In those four supplemental reports (called “48 hour reports”), Carter has raised almost $130K – and they only start on 11/27, so they leave out the week between the 19th and the 27th. Jefferson’s campaign has filed exactly zero 48 hour reports.
The article also offers a nice mention of the online community’s efforts via ActBlue. While Blue Majority has spearheaded this drive, I’m really pleased to see that Carter has now been added to eleven different ActBlue pages.
As always, keep checking in with Tim over at MyDD for on-the-ground coverage. He has an important new piece up today about the centrality of Katrina to this entire race. For those of us outside New Orleans, this perspective is invaluable.
(I believe PeterB is making us an offer we can’t refuse. – promoted by DavidNYC)
OK, all the gung-ho folks have already given by now, and the rest of us who haven’t gotten around to giving to the Carter campaign are left.
Time is growing short before the runoff – $ needs to be given to the campaign now to have the greatest effect.
Until 9pm PST tomorrow, I am offering a little inducement by matching any Carter donations made at my ActBlue page up to $10 – dollar for dollar.
I’ll donate up to $250 to her campaign if I can get 24 more donors.
Won’t you be one of them?
Tim Tagaris is on the ground in Louisiana with the Karen Carter campaign, and over at MyDD, he lays out exactly why this race matters:
For starters, there’s the corruption. If we are ever going to convince the American people we truly want to “drain the swamp” and clean out the House, we need to prove we are willing to clean out our own house first. As the Blue Majority fundraising page notes, “send a message that the Democratic Party doesn’t tolerate corruption on either side of the aisle.” Coming out of the Republican culture of corruption, it’s time to take away the primary GOP talking point on the issue of ethics reform.
There’s Katrina — the storm and the flood. Unfortunately, one of the problems up on the Hill is “Katrina fatigue.” Having been down here for a few days now, I can assure you the people of the 2nd Congressional District do not share a similar affliction. They need help, and Congressman Jefferson is really in no place to deliver it. He was stripped of his committee assignments by the Democratic Caucus, and continues to place his quest to retain personal political power above the needs of his constituents.
And this isn’t just an anti-Jefferson movement:
Karen Carter has also taken some courageous stances on “social issues.” She is pro-gay marriage, choice and stem-cell research. These are not easy positions to take in the deep South. Indeed, her opponents (primary, run-off, and future) are hammering her, primarily through a network of churches, for those positions. In the face of that pounding, she refuses to run from her convictions.
Carter’s philosophical position is exactly mine:
“I believe in treating people as I would like to be treated.”
If only a few more politicians felt this way. At least, though, we can make sure Carter joins the 110th Congress. I know everyone is strapped from the campaign season, but if you have any spare coin, please toss some Karen’s way over at Blue Majority.
The goal is simple: Blue Majority wants to raise $10,000 for Democrat Karen Carter this week. I’ve already laid out in detail exactly why we’re backing Carter in her runoff against the corrupt William Jefferson, and I encourage you to read that earlier post. But the most important point is this one: We need to send a message that we won’t tolerate corruption on the part of any public official, regardless of party.
Jefferson has a long rap sheet and doesn’t deserve to be a part of the Democratic caucus. If we’re going to run a clean House, then we need to clean house first. Karen Carter can beat Jefferson, but she needs our help. We’ve already raised some cash for her, but I know we can do more. So let’s get her another ten grand this week from the grassroots. The runoff is soon – Dec. 9th – so time is short.
Let’s get to work!