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NC-Sen: Cal Cunningham adviser sees blacks and women as a fundraising problem

No wonder the Cunningham adviser didn’t want to put his/her name on this unbelievable quote:

When you are in a three-way Democratic primary with a female statewide office holder and an African American it makes it difficult to raise money no matter how good you are,” said one Cunningham adviser.

So blacks and women are keeping the white man Cal down!? That is mindblowingly craptastic “advising.” What could possibly motivate some unnamed aide to utter this on behalf of Cal Cunningham? A clue here:

Former state senator Cal Cunningham, national Democrats’ preferred nominee against Sen. Richard Burr (R) this fall, raised just $345,000 in his first three months of active campaigning — a sum that raises questions about his ability to win the May 4 primary.

“In a multi-candidate primary, the candidate with the momentum in the last weeks almost always emerges on top,” argued Cunningham campaign manager Rick Fromberg in a memo sent to reporters Wednesday night.

Cunningham will face off against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and attorney Ken Lewis among others in next month’s primary. Polling suggests that Marshall is the favorite in that race thanks to name identification built up over her 14 years in her current post.

Neither Marshall nor Lewis have starred in the race for campaign cash either, however. Marshall brought in just $163,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31 while Lewis raised just $109,000. Burr, by contrast, raked in $1.57 million in the year’s first fundraising quarter.

The short story: the DSCC is was looking for a MUCH higher number from Cal (some say a $1M take), and, well, Lewis is black, Marshall’s a woman and since there’s surely nothing wrong with Cal Cunningham as a candidate to have numbers so low, blame it on minorities and women not recognizing the greatness of our candidate — it’s not fair……wahhhhhh. That can’t be a serious strategy for winning.

The hallmark of a campaign in the throw-everything-at-the-wall phase. The thing is, the Cunningham campaign is still at a significant money advantage and it still manages to shoot itself in the foot with the downtrodden white man comment. I don’t get it. Of course, the same whining came from the John Edwards campaign back in the day. Sigh – we know how that all worked out.


To get back to the subject of the Cunningham campaign and the LGBT community, that Wed memo to reporters hit my inbox, and in it, Cal and Co are still touting that Replacements Ltd PAC endorsement.

Yes that same endorsement that candidates Marshall and Lewis were not allowed to compete for. That renders it worthless, and calls into question why the PAC decided not to entertain comparisons between the candidates. I have no idea, but the Cunningham campaign is still being disingenous in trying to say he has some bulk of LGBT support that he has no basis to claim. From the memo:

Endorsements – Cal has earned endorsements from a wide variety of key groups that share our Democratic values and believe Cal is the best candidate to take on Richard Burr. The North Carolina Association of Educators endorsed Cal for his strong plan to invest in our schools. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters endorsed Cal for his record of standing up for working families. The Sierra Club endorsed Cal for his plans to create clean energy jobs and his record on environmental issues. Vote Vets and General Wesley Clark endorsed Cal for his military expertise. And Replacements LTD PAC endorsed Cal for his stance on protecting equal rights and ending LGBT discrimination. Also, The Winston-Salem Journal backed Cal’s campaign, writing “We endorse Cal Cunningham in the Democratic primary for the Senate. Should the general election pit him against Burr, we could expect a lively race that, we hope, would focus on key issues such as veterans’ services and health-care reform.”

As Blenders know, we’ve had all sorts of trouble trying to get Cal here to actually state his views on “equal rights and ending LGBT discrimination,” so sending questionable statements out to reporters, who are unlikely to question that statement is again, problematic and worthy of asking him.

That’s right — remember, Cal Cunningham has finally agreed to do the liveblog; it is scheduled for Sunday, April 25 at 7PM ET.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding