By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
You may have heard that Claire McCaskill, Missouri's senior senator, is running for reelection in 2012. She doesn't know who her Republican opponent is yet. (Congressman Todd Akin and former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman are both vying for the job. So is businessman John Brunner. Though, oddly, he's also considering running in Tennessee.) She hasn't even won the primary. Election Day is still seventeen months away.
Nonetheless, last week American Crossroads, a conservative 527 advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., launched a campaign against McCaskill with a $50,000 statewide radio spot and a website, Truth About Claire.
Isn't all this a little...premature?
Not when McCaskill's candidacy is a sure thing, says Jonathan Collegio, American Crossroads' communications director.
"Claire McCaskill is so far to the left of her constituents, she's a top target regardless of who wins the primary," he says. "With a targeted election, it's important to begin framing the campaign and issues early."
Not only that, Collegio says, "Claire McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection net year. While she talks a lot of fiscal conservative talk, her voting record is far more liberal than most Missouri voters realize. If you're a fiscal conservative, you don't vote for bailouts and stimulus packages and massive government healthcare takeovers."
Truth About Claire also highlights — and ridicules — some other proposals McCaskill voted for, such as a $451,614 grant subsidizing the University of Missouri-St. Louis' study of Brazilian wood-boring beetles.
Caitlin Legacki, a senior spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, got back to us via e-mail. "All of the attacks against Claire are going to be about distorting her record," she writes. "As an Independent who has cut spending by going after the big contractors, she's stepped on some pretty big toes, and there are quite a few giants who want to take her out as a result. But Claire has always been comfortable as the underdog, fighting for what's right."
As for the latest group that aims to take her out, American Crossroads is a relatively new political committee: It first appeared during the 2010 election cycle when, along with its sister organization, a nonprofit called Crossroads GPS, it raised $71 million. (Former RNC chair Mike Duncan serves as the chairman of its board of directors, and former White House chief of staff Karl Rove is an adviser.) Most of its money in 2010 went toward negative campaign ads targeting, among others, Missouri senatorial candidate Robin Carnahan, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Washington Senator Patty Murray.
"Campaign laws make it difficult for non-party organizations to support candidates," Collegio explains, almost apologetically. "We most often have to run contrast or negative ads."
Naturally, American Crossroads is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and it's hired a local consultant, Paul Mouton of Joplin. All of which means: 2012 starts now, and it's going to be a very long year.
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great great great McCasket is terrible for Missourians and for the U.S. the sooner she's gone the better and while we're at it let's PURGE The State of all CARNAHANS too we don't need no stinkin DYNASTYs in Missouri
she s a liar & a tax cheat, she should have been arrested& charged with tax evasion & fraud over the airplane her & her husband owns& tried to charge taxpayers for their use of it. she supported every program obama put forht & we know how that worked out . WE WILL GET RID OF HER IN 2012.
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Of course there are a lot of haters out there, its funny, men who take the lead are "Powerful" women who lead are "Bitches"....lol
Its amazing how they are so afraid of her that they start the attack now. Sure sign of a coward. They can't speak to their ideas, or their contributions, its all about running down the other guy. I don't just think that she is so great. She is human like anyone else, willing to do the job few people want. Its the same for voters who talk stuff against a candidate, they don't have the guts to run just shoot down the guy who does. I think all the candidates are just doing the best they can. They are out there working. We may not agree with their stance but hell we are just sitting on our butts bitchin about their decisions. I have been guilty of that too. If you don't like the candidates choices then RUN FOR OFFICE AND STOP BITCHIN
Claire started her campaign a year ago compliments of complacent newspaper reporters. She creates "I'm slaying the dragon just for you" headlines about herself and the newspapers oblige each time she demands an investigation into anything. (Most investigations end in nothing big or new.) In the mean time - she gets her name and the "crisis" in the headline. Pretty cheap campaign ad, provided by (Soros) government ran media. So, if you want to know about CLAIRE - check her voting record and the number of times that she appears in photos - joined at Obama's hip.) That tells me all that I need to know. Of course, my mind was made up after attending one of her healthcare town hall meetings where she wagged her finger at the large crowd in attendence. She called us rude for not agreeing with her. She told us that we were confused and didn't understand the bill. I'm still betting that from the quality and content of the questions ask, the crowd had read more of the bill than she had!
If she didn't vote like a Republican and sponsor super terrible budget bills I might be moved to care.
They should attack Roy Blunt for not being a conservative AT ALL. Claire is more conservative than that money grubber.