Experimenting in politics is the legacy of the New Deal. FDR created that alphabet-soup of agencies to work on a variety of problems, giving each agency the charge to make a difference in people's lives. If one approach didn't work, the imperative was to try another. Not a bad model.
I called the campaigns of four Dem representatives today:
1) Called my own rep, Frank Pallone in NJ-06; got put on hold for a while; when someone finally came back on the line, politely explained that I am a constituent, have voted for Pallone ever since I moved to his district; asked if Pallone would give a significant chunk of campaign funds--25% to 30%--to support Dems in highly-contested races. Campaign staffer took down name, address, and phone, and promised that he would pass message along to the Congressman. I ended by saying I was looking forward to hearing back that he had done so.
Pallone was one of several NJ congressmen hoping to step into the Corzine senate seat. Like Menendez and Holt, he had voted against going to war in Iraq, so was actually considered. Amassed campaign warchest in anticipation of the Senate race.
Bottom Line: Don't think it's going to happen, don't think Pallone will cough up $$$ for Dems in any meaningful way this year. He's waiting to run for Lautenberg's seat in 2008, so he's going to keep the cash for that run.
2) Called Rush Holt's campaign office [Mr. NJP does consulting work in his district, and we used to live in his district]. Had the same experience as Gabius above. Spoke with Samantha, who gave me the same run down--Rush's $$ going to several races and to DCCC, campaigning for Stender, brought Murtha to NJ to campaign for Stender, message up on the Rush Holt campaign website. Samantha asked if I was calling after reading Blue Jersey blog, and I said yes, that and MyDD both.
Holt was another contender for the Corzine seat, but didn't amass as large a campaign fund as Pallone or Rob Andrews in NJ-01. Holt probably wants to run for Lautenberg's Senate seat in 2008, too.
Bottom Line: Holt is doing way more than any other Dem in NJ. It's not 30%, but it's not insubstantial. Don't praise him excessively, since he hasn't done nearly as much as he could, but don't trash him, because he's actually done something.
3) Tried to contact Donald Payne's office, NJ-10, where I work. He has no opponent, and I reached an answering machine when I called at 10:30 this morning.
Will try again.
4) Tried to contact Rob Andrews, NJ-01 [my sister lives in his district], but couldn't get a good cell phone connection.