This election is crucial for the future of this country. If Democrats have even two more years to rubberstamp the radical Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda, they will create too big of a debt hole for the country to dig out of. This is the time to invest what we can to help Republicans take over Congress.
There are plenty of campaigns that deserve our attention, but if you are like me, you probably can’t afford to write all of them a check. Priority should be given to campaigns where our modest donations could make a difference. Contests that pretty much meet these criteria should have the highest priority for our money: viable Republican challengers, mostly off-the-radar contests against overconfident incumbents who are unprepared for the Republican wave, competitive contests that are neither hopeless nor realistically already ours, and in which the candidate has a legitimate shot to keep the seat after he/she has won it.
Here are my top 10 suggestions for house races nationally that most deserve investment from small contributors who want to make a difference. Click their names for a link to the campaign web site, which includes a link to donate if you are so inclined.
Steven Palazzo (MS-4) is challenging 21-year incumbent Democrat Gene Taylor in a district that is tied for the most Republican district currently represented by a Democrat (Cook Partisan Voting Index R+20). If Palazzo can air ads that explain how Taylor no longer represents the folks, Republicans can keep this district damned near forever.
State Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-1) is challenging freshman Democrat Walt Minnick in an R+18 district. Minnick’s 2008 election over an unpopular Republican incumbent was an accident, but he has curried favor with his conservative district by voting frequently with Republicans. But he still voted with Nancy Pelosi more often than Republicans’ worst RINO. If we let him get away this election, he could keep a Republican seat in Democrat hands for years to come. We’ve got to get him now.
Former State Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is an attractive conservative alternative to 34-year incumbent Democrat Ike Skelton, who has used a conservative reputation to win reelection easily in his R+14 district. But his record has veered leftward since the Democrats took over Congress in 2006. Polls show Hartzler within striking distance. We need to put her over the top.
Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino (PA-10) has been gaining on two-term Democrat Christopher Carney. This R+8 district was in Republican hands until Carney’s victory helped Democrats seize control of Congress in 2006. Now is our chance to take that seat back.
Beth Anne Rankin (AR-4) is challenging Blue Dog Democrat spokesman Mike Ross in this R+7 district. There are two other Democrat-held districts in Arkansas that will probably flip Republican this year, but this contest will take Democrats by surprise.
Businessman Bobby Schilling has arrogant Democrat Phil Hare in his sights in highly gerrymandered IL-17. Hare has squandered his advantages of incumbency and party registration in the D+2 district with nationally telecast gaffes like “I don’t care about the Constitution!” He needs to go, and we can help him pack.
Jason Levesque is gaining on Democrat Michael Michaud in ME-2, the more conservative Maine district (D+2) where Republicans tried to peel off an electoral vote for John McCain in 2008. Michaud and the Democrats are unprepared for the Republican wave, heightened in Maine by a likely Republican win in a statewide contest to replace an unpopular Democrat governor.
The Republican wave will be diverse, because as many as three of our new congressmen will be African American. That would be the most black Republican in any Congress since Reconstruction, and it would deflate Democrats’ hot-air talking points about Republicans being exclusively white. One, Tim Scott, is a shoe-in for the Republican-held open seat in SC-1 (R+10), and another, Col. Allen West, has raised all the money he can use in FL-22 (D+1). Several others, though attractive, are too much of a longshot for my investment. My investment choice is Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier in suburban Denver (CO-7). He has solid conservative credentials, but the usually liberal Denver Post has endorsed him over incumbent Earl Perlmutter. The district is a competitive battleground (D+4) that Republicans held until Perlmutter won in 2006. Let’s help put Frazier over the top.
A Tea Party Republican, State Rep. Jeff Perry, has a real shot at the least liberal district in Massachusetts (MA-10). The seat is open because the incumbent decided to retire shortly after someone he had let off the hook on a murder charge as a political favor while a prosecutor made national news by shooting a bunch of people to death in a school. Democrats are still smarting from a divisive primary. This could be a hard seat to hold (D+5), but it would be nice to gain a foothold in this liberal bastion.
At first blush, Ed Martin (MO-3) wouldn’t seem to meet my criteria for support because of the Democratic bent of the district (D+7). Only two Republicans currently hold D+7 seats, and Democrats are at least even-money to take both of them this year because the incumbents sought higher office. But Martin has run a fantastic campaign, while incumbent Russ Carnahan seems to be doing everything in his power to lose. Also, the district will likely become more Republican after redistricting next year, so Martin could survive for longer than one term.
Most U.S. Senate races are too expensive for small contributions to make an impact. But that’s not true in low-population states. Most small-state senate seats that are up this year are either realistically already won or lost or feature Republican challengers who are either self-funding or already flush with campaign funds. Alaska should be safely Republican, but sore loser Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign in that quirky state might make it worth your while to help Tea Party Republican Joe Miller. Perhaps the most promising senate investment opportunity is controversial Tea Party Republican Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Pundits are writing her off in an exercise of wishful thinking because they don’t understand what voters want this year. In reality, this political environment is one that makes O’Donnell the ideal candidate to seize the moment. She just needs the funds to get her message out.
I have linked these candidates’ web sites, which all allow you to contribute online. Please check them out, decide whom to support, and donate as an investment in the nation’s future. There’s not much time left to act.