Arkansas Democratic Senate candidate Blanche Lincoln joined Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union and complained about the "other people" funding her opponent Bill Halter's primary campaign and championed herself as being "out there with the people" because you know, nothing screams populist more than taking large chunks of corporate cash. And of course in her world those evil unions that are unjustly demonizing her can't possibly be representing the best interests of the working people of Arkansas. Who would ever think that unions don't have average citizens best interests in mind? Maybe someone who's getting the better part of their campaign donations from large corporations and PACS. From Think Progress:
While it is true that Halter has received support from outside groups, such as the AFL-CIO labor union, it should be noted that during the 2009-2010 campaign cycle, 93 percent of his funds come from individual contributions, and only 5 percent come from PACs and other interest groups.
And while Lincoln boasts of being “out there with the people,” a review of her campaign contributions shows that she has received far more money from PACs, corporate front groups, and other outside interest organizations than Halter has. During the 2009-2010 campaign cycle, 38 percent of Lincoln’s funding has come from PACs. Here’s a short list of some of the “other people” funding her campaign:
- $9,000 from insurance giant Aetna Inc.
- $7,000 from petroleum company Anadarko
- $6,000 from drug corporation Bayer
- $2,000 from Bechtel corporation
- $5,500 from insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield
- $5,000 from defense contractor Boeing
- $5,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- $5,000 from Charles Schwab brokerage house
- $10,000 from oil giant Chevron
- $6,000 from telecommunications corporation Comcast
- $5,000 from oil company ExxonMobil
- $6,500 from investment bank Goldman Sachs
- $8,000 from retailer Home Depot
- $6,500 from investment bank JP Morgan Chase
- $7,000 from defense contractor Lockheed Martin
- $5,000 from oil industry giant Occidental Petroleum
- $8,000 from retailer Wal-Mart
If Lincoln is going to criticize her opponent for receiving funds from outside groups, she should be upfront about her own as well.
That ain't gonna' happen. Ms. WalMart is too busy playing born again populist. Lincoln carped about unions being "special interest groups" but I guess she doesn't hold large corporate interests in such low regard. She bragged about starting the Blue Dogs, bringing down the cost of the stimulus (how are those unemployment numbers workin' out for ya' Blanche?) and on being a moderate and getting into the "trenches" to work with Republicans. In my book that's just code for voting like a Republican to support her corporate backers.
You can support Bill Halter through Blue America here. Let's send this DINO back to Arkansas.
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
CROWLEY: We are joined now by Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Senator Lincoln, thanks for being here on a particularly busy two days in your career. Listen, you have had the former president of Arkansas, popular guy down there. You have had the support of President Obama, certainly in some radio ads. You have had more than enough money to put ads up on the air. Why is this so close?
LINCOLN: Well, we've had lots of great support. But to be honest with you, Candy, the D.C. unions have put about $10 million in this race in the last 12 weeks. And that's just on the TV. They have also inundated Arkansas with outside workers that they bussed in to go door to door. They have been doing ugly mailers in the mail, radio, a whole host of other thing. So my opponent has had tremendous support, not to mention the fact that 60 percent of his dollars are coming from Moveon.org. The largest contributors to his campaign are residents of California, not Arkansas. So I am up against a lot.
CROWLEY: You are, but it has been my experience in covering politics that unless there is a vulnerability there, it is hard to exploit. What do you think your vulnerability is? Because it does seem, and you have acknowledged, that voters seem to be angry with you. Why is that?
LINCOLN: I think they are angry at Washington. And I think they are frustrated--
CROWLEY: They sort of see you as Washington, right?
LINCOLN: Well, yes. And absolutely the fact that you see so much of these resources from other places that are coming in to paint me in a negative way. The fact is, I have been a part of change in Washington. That's why I first went to Washington. I started groups like the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats in the Senate. I am very much a moderate. I was one of the senators that helped to bring down the cost of the stimulus package and so many other things that I felt like were very much in tune with what Arkansas wanted to see. And so, you know, I've worked hard. But the fact is, when people come in with $10 million and busloads of 60 people to go door to door saying ugly things about you, it is hard. People get confused. They are already frustrated. And it's really sad that, you know, that we would allow these special interest groups, and certainly that Bill would allow special interest groups to come into our state like this and really dominate and manipulate the people of Arkansas.
CROWLEY: Well, and we've noted you have had some heavy hitters in there. You could probably use the president of the United States at this point. He is a pretty good get-out-the-vote guy. And it has been noted that he has not been in the state for you recently. What do you feel about the White House support, about establishment support at this time? Because it looks a little bit as though they are thinking, she may lose?
LINCOLN: Well, no. We have had great support from the administration. President Obama has done some calls for us, he has done some door knockers and some pamphlets and things. Vice President Biden, is a good friend of mine, has been helpful. Wesley Clark, General Wesley Clark, has been supportive and endorsed me.
CROWLEY: You think any of that may have worked against you, because it is sort of this anti-establishment, anti -- we don't like Washington. And these are a lot of establishment figures, and I'm wondering if there is an overarching thing going on in Arkansas that has a greater meaning across the country. And that is, is this about a Washington taint for someone who's been there for 12 years?
LINCOLN: No, I don't think so at all. I think Arkansas people are very independent-minded. And that's one of the reasons that we won the primary. We did win it. We didn't get 50 percent. And we are going to win on Tuesday.
I've spent the last, oh, gosh, the last week on our countdown to victory tour in 20, 25 county courthouses across the state. You know, Bill hadn't been doing that. He has been letting other people fund his campaign and do his dirty work. But I've been out there with people. And, you know, they understand.
CROWLEY: But union -- having union support, it's a legitimate group. You have union members in the state. Certainly, Moveon.org represents a wing of the Democratic Party. What does it say if you lose about the Democratic Party's tolerance for someone who is more moderate, who maybe didn't like the public option as you didn't in health care? And now, it seems to be the object of those who want to get you out, mostly the unions, as you say?
LINCOLN: Right. Well, I think that, first of all, Arkansans will see through all of that. I think I have heard an awful lot from them as I've traveled the state. As you can tell, I'm about to lose my voice. We have been out at PortFest along the White River, we've been all over the place yesterday.
But the fact is that they understand that all of this negative advertising is not who we are as Arkansans. We don't solve our problems in Arkansas -- we weren't taught to solve our problems with hate and anger. We were taught to solve our problems by coming together.
Yes, people are frustrated in Arkansas with Washington. And I certainly have admitted to them, that I've gotten that message, and more importantly, I understand what they feel. As you've noticed in my caucus, I am pretty much the moderate out there, I'm in the middle here in the Senate. I am not one that goes to the trenches or the foxholes on the left or the foxholes on the right. I am the one in the middle of a battlefield trying to find the common ground, because I think the people of Arkansas and the people of this country want us to solve our problems. They want us to solve these issues, they want us to come together and figure out how do we get results, how do we create jobs, how do we move this economy forward?
That's what I focused on in Washington and that's what I focused on in this campaign. I can talk a lot about that and the positions I've gotten myself into, whether it is chairman of the Agriculture Committee or senior member on the Finance Committee, and people understand that.
CROWLEY: Thank you so much, Senator Blanche Lincoln. You don't have much time left. We will see you Tuesday night. Thank you.
LINCOLN: You bet.