Monday, June 26, 2006

DCCC Backs Away From Michael Arcuri

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.


Anonymous said...

and now, even the pro-Arcuri blogs are drying up and blowing away. Arcuri won't give them any material to write about.

So many broken promises.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm wondering what he can do to turn this around. I don't want Meier for my Congressman, and Ken Camera seems unlikely.

Anonymous said...

The DCCC put up those focused races on the website after the first quarter filings ( your way late on noticing that bit of news - mid April) They intend to put up another round after the second quarter filings
(should appear after July 15) - Michael Arcuri will appear on that next list - you can bank on it....

Anonymous said...

10:29 - your comment makes no sense. Arcuri is getting no press coverage, isn't actively reaching out for fundraising and isn't making a lot of contacts in the district.

I say Ray Meier blows Mike Arcuri away in the next FEC filing.

Anonymous said...

Re: FEC. We will see.

Owego Dem said...

Something must have changed since this post. I got an e-mail from Hillary with a plea to send $ to the Arcuri campaign which I did. The article in the paper this morning said she was using her PAC money to support him by asking her supporters to send money specifically for his campaign. He is very popular here in Owego.

Anonymous said...

The Neocon newspaper in Oneida County didn't cover it of course. They are waiting for the Cheney Love-in. Could you post the newspaper link please, so I can send it to the poor excuse for a newspaper we have to remind them that its their job to cover the news not make Republican kings?