Skip to comments.Speaker-to-be wants Ciro as a rep-to-be[TX-23]
Posted on 11/30/2006 2:20:01 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
WASHINGTON Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders are pouring thousands of dollars into Ciro Rodriguez's bid to unseat Rep. Henry Bonilla and expand a Democratic majority in Congress.
The help from Pelosi, D-Calif., comes after Texas Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus pledged cash to Rodriguez and his uphill fight against a better-funded Bonilla.
"The speaker-designate has made a personal decision to get involved in this race," said Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman in Washington.
Hammill said help to Rodriguez would be "largely a financial involvement," but he didn't rule out a possible Pelosi appearance for the San Antonio Democrat who served eight years in Congress.
Rodriguez received $5,000 on Tuesday from a political action committee controlled by Pelosi, Federal Election Commission records show. He received a total of $48,350 in new contributions, including the $5,000 from Pelosi and at least $15,000 from other Congressional Democrats.
He also got $2,500 from the Texas Democratic Party.
A Rodriguez spokeswoman said help from national Democrats "shows the strength of our race."
"This is a viable seat for Democrats," Vanessa Gonzalez said.
Bonilla's campaign said backing from House Democrats was expected.
"It's not surprising that Ciro's party would try to help him any way they could," said Phil Ricks, a Bonilla campaign spokesman.
The Dec. 12 runoff in the 23rd Congressional District is the last of five races still to be decided in the Nov. 7 elections.
Bonilla, the only Mexican American Republican in Congress, has received help from the national GOP this year. Vice President Dick Cheney headlined a San Antonio fundraiser in October that raised $250,000.
That was added to a war chest of nearly $2 million.
FEC reports show that 10 days before the November election, Bonilla had $1.9 million cash on hand and Rodriguez carried a $40,000 debt. Bonilla's spokesman, Phil Ricks, said Bonilla has $1.4 million on hand now.
Bonilla was forced into a special election when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a mid-decade Republican redistricting map unconstitutionally diluted Hispanic voting strength.
Bonilla spent lavishly on campaign advertisements before the Nov. 7 congressional contest, airing TV commercials for six weeks before the election.
He was pushed into a runoff when he failed to receive more than 50 percent of the vote. He received 49 percent.
Rodriguez got 20 percent of the vote, besting four other Democrats and one independent. But the crowded field and short time frame left him with no money to launch a campaign without national help.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has provided staffers to help manage the Rodriguez campaign.
Still, Bonilla's monetary advantage has allowed him to air TV attack ads since Friday that question Rodriguez's voting record in Congress on national security and terrorism.
A DCCC ad attacking Bonilla's record on veterans issues is airing until Dec. 4.
Texas congressional Democrats, in a conference call this month, also pledged donations and support to Rodriguez. They included Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who beat Rodriguez in primaries in 2004 and 2006.
Hispanic Caucus members jumped behind Rodriguez in a Nov. 15 meeting, where they began a push to get party leaders involved in the race.
"I think everyone is doing their own part for Ciro, but the money is essential and it has to get rolling," said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, a Hispanic caucus vice chairman.
Despite the fundraising blitz by Democrats for Rodriguez, the Bonilla campaign has neither sought nor is receiving help from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Ricks said national Republicans are confident that Bonilla has enough money.
Murtha went down.
Hastings went down.
Let's hope that Nancy's latest pick shares their fate.
Rodriguez is maybe the worst campaigner the world has ever seen. This should be a competitive race for the Dems, but they could have found a better candidate.
Attach SF Democrat Pelosi's name to the race. Good incentive for Republicans to turn out.
All Rodriguez has to do is say that HE has a great shot at being the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee..and he won't have any problem winning..and that is why Pelosi is now getting involved.
The Dims are trying to get the runoff date changed because it falls on some Hispanic religious holiday. Didn't Bonilla get most of the vote in Nov.?
The "Excuse" editorial board will be as happy as a pig in slop if Ciro does it.
Unfortunately, I am in the hereditary GGGGonzalez district, i.e., taxation without representation, so I'm stuck until I move.
He'll probably demand to take his oathe of office in Spanish, too......
The runoff lands on a major holiday for Mexican Catholics, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, which the Dems say could cut into Hispanic turnout.
Have you seen an polling data taken since the General?.... I'd think Bonilla will win but with the redistricting it won't be a run away..... jmo.
Henry had 48.6% of the vote and Ciro had 19.9%.
Their ACU ratings:
Representative Henry BONILLA (R)
Texas, District 23
2005 Score - 92
Previous Year's Score - 92
Lifetime Score - 91
Years of Service - 13
Representative Ciro Rodriguez (D)
Texas, District 28
2004 Score - 13
Previous Year's Score - 25
Lifetime Score - 11
Years of Service - 6
Are they really pushing for this?
"....LULAC, a civil rights group, alleged that Perry tried to suppress the Latino vote by setting the date for next month's runoff in Congressional District 23 on a Catholic holy day.
In a letter to the U.S. Justice Department, the League of Latin American Citizens complained that by setting the election for Dec. 12, El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Perry, a Republican, deliberately attempted to discourage Latino citizens from voting."
Every seat is crucial and we cannot afford to lose anymore.