Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dirty trick? 'Democrats for Bruce Holland'

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 6:53 AM

click to enlarge mystermailer.jpeg
The City Wire reports about something I heard about yesterday and puzzled over: An anonymously financed mailer, said to be from Democrats for Bruce Holland, the Republican Senate candidate, urges Democrats to avoid the no-interest Democratic primary and cross over to help Holland defeat his Republican challenger, Rep. Terry Rice. I'd wager a small sum no true Democratic organization is behind this.

Yes, Bruce Holland gave Gov. Mike Beebe a critical vote for the Arkansas version of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, but this was  as much a mainstream Republican initiative as anything. Indeed, the prevailing Republican side is under harsh attack over that effort from teabagging types in several hot primaries, including this one. Rice was a committed foe, in part because Davy Carter led the charge for Obamacare after pulling an upset of Rice in the race for House speaker.

Democrats generally favor the Obamacare program, but you don't get the feeling they are all het up about it like the Repubs. Democrats for Holland? Doubtful. Holland himself may have nothing to do with it. either But apart from saving the private option I'd have to think hard to find a single other issue on which Holland could be counted on as an ally of Democrats. Holland and Rice are distinctions without a difference in partisan context. Who cares which one wins?

Whatever it is it's more dark money. Citizens United has launched a flood of it. I've just about given up on the notion that any meaningful controls can be put in place, save one and you'd wish it could get bipartisan support: Absolute disclosure for sources of all political-related spending. But the fat cats are prepared to argue this is a 1st Amendment violation, too, and with this Supreme Court, you have to like their chances.

PS — Who knows? This could be a dirty trick to smear Holland by making voters believe he's Democrat friendly. Except I understand the mailing has gone to voters with Democratic vote histories. I also heard these mailers might have appeared in another Republican senatorial primary. Checking.

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