Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Sunday, February 26

Cong. 13th: ... And the Down Side?

The troubling side of a contested primary is highlighted in this piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, describing the shooting of two 30 minute television "infomercials" for candidate Capri Cafaro (D-Sheffield Village) at a United Auto Workers hall. The theme here is money ... lots of it. As the reporter, Steve Luttner, puts it, "as other candidates in the crowded race for the 13th Congressional District seat are scrambling to raise campaign contributions, the Youngstown shopping mall heiress can simply open her checkbook." Cafaro said it will cost about $30,000 to air the infomercials, but as the May 2nd primary gets nearer her campaign expects to spend $250,000 per week on saturation TV advertising. For a primary. "I want to give the people an opportunity to get to know me," Cafaro said. (Go to Jill Miller Zimon's excellent blog Writes Like She Talks for a couple of fine rants on Cafaro's expenditure of this kind of money on a primary. )

So, how will the other Democrats in this crowded primary respond? They're going to have to spend precious resources of their own, and it hasn't taken long for the long knives to come out. As stated in the article, "at least one of her opponents is openly questioning her integrity, noting that in 2003 she was given immunity during a trial in federal court related to [disgraced former Congressman James Traficant]. In her early 20s, she was president of a Virginia-based aerospace company started by her multimillionaire father, who pleaded guilty to bribing Traficant in an attempt to win contracts for the company. J.J. Cafaro testified against Traficant, who is in prison. Capri Cafaro was never charged with any wrongdoing." At the taping of the commercials, Cafaro responded to the Traficant affair by saying "I love my dad dearly. He made a mistake. I have done nothing illegal. I have never done anything unethical. I'm the one running for Congress, not my dad."

Bottom line - Cafaro's bank account makes her candidacy formidable in the abbreviated time frame of a primary, and a lot of spending on all fronts and a descent into negative campaigning appear to be inevitable.


At 1:08 AM, Blogger redhorse said...

YDS, the bottom line you state for the 13th is accurate, and scares the hell out of me.

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self-financed campaigns rarely win. It's one of the rules in the campaign books. If you could self-finance your way into office, Steve Forbes or Ross Perot would be president.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger scott bakalar said...

Do you suppose the RNC and Craig Foltin are counting on this?

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A resurrected Abe Lincoln couldn't win that seat. It's a Democrat seat. It was padded with D voters to keep Sherrod Brown from running against Taft in 2002.

The primary is the race in this one.

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