Skip to comments.CA: Bilbray will draw top GOP figures (Hastert, Cheney, McCain)
Posted on 05/06/2006 9:20:27 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A parade of prominent national Republicans traipsing to San Diego County to raise money for Republican congressional candidate Brian Bilbray begins today with a visit by House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Bilbray is locked in a tight runoff campaign race with Democrat Francine Busby to fill the remainder of Republican Randy Duke Cunningham's term. Cunningham resigned and was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges related to accepting bribes.
Hastert, of Illinois, will be the featured attraction this morning at a Bilbray fundraising reception at the La Jolla Marriott.
Vice President Dick Cheney will highlight a Bilbray fundraiser on May 23, followed by U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona on May 31.
Bilbray represented the South Bay in the House for three terms during the 1990s. But it is his post-congressional career as a lobbyist that Democrats have seized on in their effort to block his return.
The type of sellout to big oil companies we've seen from Cheney and Hastert is exactly what to expect from gas company lobbyist Bilbray, said Brennan Bilberry, communications director for the Busby campaign.
With gas prices at record highs, why would lobbyist Bilbray bring in the two biggest defenders of big oil in Washington to campaign with him?
Bilbray is hoping to avoid having to fight a two-front war, with Busby on the left and Republican Eric Roach on the right.
Roach, a wealthy businessman, placed a close third in the April 11 special election and is still on the fence about whether to continue campaigning for the Republican nomination for the full Cunningham term.
The nominations for the next term in the North County-San Diego 50th District will be decided in the June 6 primary election at the same time that someone will be elected to serve out the unexpired term.
The Bilbray camp plainly regards the show of support from Washington heavy hitters as a signal to Roach that it's time to fold. I think it sends a message with the vice president coming out here that Brian is the nominee, said Bilbray campaign manager Steve Danon. We're happy that he's coming out here. We think it sends a strong, positive message.
After a trip to Washington to sound out potential support, Roach is expected to announce his decision soon, perhaps as early as today, said campaign manager Stan Devereux.
The potential of a continued Roach candidacy has been a hot topic on Republican Internet blogs for weeks especially among conservative activists who regard Bilbray as unacceptably moderate.
Yesterday, newly elected Rep. John Campbell of Irvine posted a public appeal for Roach to pack it in on FlashReport, a favorite conservative sounding board.
This year will be close enough without losing what should be safe Republican seats over internal squabbles, Campbell wrote. Politics is a team sport and the Republican Conference in Washington must play as a team. I hope that Mr. Roach sees that the best thing for the team is for him to stay on the bench for this one.
FlashReport editor Jon Fleischman is among those urging Roach to go forward.
In the end, I guess I want Roach to win because I am worried that our majority is most imperiled, not by Democrats, but by liberal Republicans who have hijacked the public policy achievements that our majority should be achieving, Fleischman wrote.
Registered Republican voters greatly outnumber Democrats in the 50th District, 44 percent to 30 percent.
Because of that disparity, the Busby campaign has so far shied away from importing high-profile Democrats, although 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry appeared at a fundraising event for Busby just before the April 11 election.
Francine's campaign is really based on strong local support, not bringing in party bosses, said Bilberry.
The special election: Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby face off June 6 to serve out former Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham's term.
The primary election: On the same day, party nominating contests featuring Busby, Bilbray and a dozen others for the next full term.
The big question: Will businessman Eric Roach, who is on the Republican primary ballot, actively campaign against Bilbray?
The Club for Growth will endorse him if he runs.
Roach campaigning against BilBray will hurt Bilbray and HELP Dem Busby.
"The Bilbray camp plainly regards the show of support from Washington heavy hitters as a signal to Roach that it's time to fold. I think it sends a message with the vice president coming out here that Brian is the nominee, said Bilbray campaign manager Steve Danon. We're happy that he's coming out here. We think it sends a strong, positive message.
It's pretty clear.
Busby and Bilbray are poor choices. Roach is a fool.
If the biggest concern is border control, as the 50th District's constituents claim,
there isn't a better candidate than Bilbray.
He is head and shoulders, heart and soul above the rest.
Will party "leaders" allow voters to choose their candidate in the Primary or impose pressure to eliminate that step in the democratic process by forcing Roach out now?
The "New Tone" of not so long ago very much matches the New Majority's current offerings and modus operandi.
Stifle dissent, lambaste anyone who even questions their motives, which are pure as snow, of course.
I didn't get my invite for the Cheney fundraiser. Must've gotten lost in the mail.
Busby and Bilbray are poor choices. Roach is a fool.
Welcome to the Outsiders Club, newbie, uhh,, newzjunkey. . :)
Life is good for folks who work on campaigns.
Campaigning is the new cottage industry,, more folks today make a living off the government and running for gubamint that ever before.
I thought McCain Feingold was supposed to rein things in. Surprise! and who signed off on it? :-o
I hope roach runs, he has my vote if he does. Nothing pisses me off more than these GOP insiders trying to squash primaries.