When will the Arcuri for Congress campaign admit that it has serious problems?
As a reader here pointed out today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) appears to have abandoned consideration of Michael Arcuri as a serious contender. Arcuri is given no part to play in the Committee's Red to Blue Program, which is described as "an exclusive program that will reward the candidates and campaigns that are most skilled, not only at raising money on their own, but at getting their message across to the voters they hope to represent."
21 other Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives, including upstate New York candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, qualified for participation in the program. But Mike Arcuri, apparently, did not qualify. Apparently, the DCCC has concluded that the Arcuri for Congress campaign is not skilled, either in raising money nor in getting their message across to voters - or perhaps is skilled in neither respect.
We Democrats here in the 24th District have noticed a serious lack of commitment from Michael Arcuri from the start. As much as Oneida County Democrats have refused to admit it, Arcuri's refusal to go on a leave of absence or resign from his job as District Attorney has crippled his campaign.
Just over four months before the general election, Michael Arcuri has yet to craft a coherent message. Most Democrats in the district still don't know who Arcuri is, much less what he stands for.
But now, we 24th District Democrats have no other choice than Arcuri. As Arcuri's supporters are so eager to tell other Democrats, Michael Arcuri is our candidate, whether we like it or not. That's hardly the kind of message that will convince voters to give their support.
If Arcuri does not radically reform his campaign committee soon, he will be unable to pull out of his current slump.
This is what we get for having no primary election. This is what we get when back room deals instead of grassroots Democratic support bring the Democratic nomination to a candidate. This is what we get when a candidate turns his nose up at the Internet and refuses to to interact with those of us who could have been among his strongest supporters.
What disgusts me most about this situation is that the same DCCC that has now turned its back on our congressional district was more than happy to interfere when it came to the invigorating contest we had between Democratic candidates earlier this year. None other than Rahm Emanuel declared that Michael Arcuri was a "top recruit" of his. The DCCC worked with Capitol Hill reporters to create the impression that Michael Arcuri was the insider favorite before there was any evidence for such an assertion.
The DCCC propped up Michael Arcuri to intimidate the other Democratic candidates into leaving the race. Then, having eliminated any role for Democratic voters here in selecting their own candidate, the job of the DCCC was done, and they went away.
They left Michael Arcuri's campaign high and dry. Arcuri's campaign, foolishly, appears to have thought that it could rely on the DCCC to bring victory. But was the Arcuri for Congress campaign ever anything but a puppet for the DCCC? Take away the DCCC, and did Michael Arcuri have any ideas of his own? Outside his small corner of the district, did Michael Arcuri ever have any power of his own?
Every time that Democratic critics like me have pointed out how Michael Arcuri's campaign needed to be stronger, we have been dismissed. We were told that Michael Arcuri didn't need progressives, didn't need the Internet, didn't need to be reaching out to voters.
Everything that would make the campaign a success was happening in secret, we were told. Well, now the secret is out. There is no man behind the curtain.
In an open seat contest in a year when all the political dynamics favor the Democrats, Michael Arcuri's complacent campaign has managed to take our district off the map.