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Friday, June 02, 2006

CA-50: Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray

From the Stakeholder:

Busby Building Momentum as Election Day Nears

Busby Momentum Builds as Bilbray Stumbles in Race to Replace Disgraced Rep. Duke Cunningham

As Professor Carl Luna said in yesterday's Union-Tribune: "You have to admire Republicans in the 50th District. It's taken a lot of effort, time and money to turn an otherwise safe GOP seat into a toss up..." [San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/31/06]

(Washington, D.C.) - With Election Day just four days away, Francine Busby's campaign is building momentum while Republican Brian Bilbray is struggling at every turn. In the past week alone, an unsure Bilbray lost a visit from GOP Presidential front-runner John McCain, saw the rise of Minutemen-endorsed candidate William Griffith and flip-flopped once again on immigration, telling the Republican National Hispanic Assembly not to worry -- the immigration reform he supports will never pass Congress.

Meanwhile, Francine Busby has continued to build momentum as Californians respond to her message of change and her unwavering commitment to tough, comprehensive immigration reform and her pledge to clean up Congress. Busby is outraising Bilbray financially, Brian Bilbray keeps a conspicuously low profile in San Diego and national Republicans are frantically pouring more than $4 million into the race.

Brian Bilbray's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week (and the GOP Spending Spree to Hold on to a Reliably Republican District)

*NRCC Keeps Spending: Nervous national Republicans continue to pour money into a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats 3-2. Just yesterday, the NRCC spent another $177,867, pushing their total spent up over $4 million.

*Bilbray Still Unsure Where he Stands on Immigration: The Wall Street Journal reported that when appearing before the Republican National Hispanic Assembly on Tuesday, Bilbray backed away from one of the central tenets of his campaign by hedging his support for the provision of the Sensenbrenner immigration bill that would make illegal immigrants felons. This is just the latest Bilbray immigration flip-flop and by doing so, he has created even more problems for himself on the right with Minutemen-endorsed challenger William Griffith. LINK

* GOP Presidential Frontrunner Withdraws Visit: Not wanting to hang his shooting star from the Bilbray campaign's waning fortunes, John McCain pulled out of a campaign visit with Bilbray at the last minute. Perhaps most disheartening for the Bilbray camp is that it was done in an email from one staff member to another as opposed to even a phone call from McCain to Bilbray. Busby's support for the McCain immigration bill and Bilbray's attacks on it of course made the politically cold-blooded move a little easier.

*Republican Poll Shows Bilbray Cratering Among Republicans: According to a poll done by Republican candidate Bill Hauf, 30% of Republicans have abandoned Bilbray, with 10% voting for Busby, 10% for the Independent or Libertarian candidates and 10% not voting. The poll shows Bilbray may not even be conservative enough for the Republicans in San Diego. Half of Republicans polled said that the country was headed in the wrong direction, indicating that even the GOP supporters are looking for a change. [Bill Hauf press release, 5/31/06]

* National Republicans Lowering Expectations: According to U.S. News and World Report, national Republicans are preparing themselves for the possibility of a loss in the special election to replace Duke Cunningham. LINK

* The Rise of Minutemen-Endorsed Candidate Bill Griffith: Independent Bill Griffith is the candidate with the furthest-right stance on immigration and is the only pro-life candidate in the race. Lately, he has been gaining steam in an election where even mid-single digits for him could make an impact. A recent local column points out his possible impact:

* Busby Outraises Bilbray: Despite the clear advantages for Republicans in the seat and heavy national Republican spending, Busby has actually raised $2.25 million compared to Bilbray's $1 million. This is hardly a time in which Bilbray can afford to lose out on fundraisers with national Republicans like John McCain.

The DCCC has been doing an amazing job in California's 50th Congressional District. Jesse Lee says that they have already reached capacity for the DC phone bank, but you can still volunteer for GOTV no matter where you live with MoveOn.

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