When we last checked in on la famiglia Cheney, family patriarch and Undead Thing Dick Cheney was hitting the gasbag shows and flogging his heart surgery book The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter Who Shoots You In the Face. Grande dame and soft-core lesbian fan-fic author Lynn Cheney was going Full Metal Carrie on Alan Simpson at some Wyoming society event and, yes Wyoming does too have society events so stop laughing right this minute mister or be forever persona non grata at the annual Greater Laramie Sheepherder’s Embraceable Ewe Cotillion and Tractor Pull.
But what of daughter Liz’s campaign to return, Odysseus-like, to her ancestral home in McLean, VA. as well as join the Senate as the distaff version of Ted Cruz … but without the charm?
It seems that her campaign is bundling right along, although local Wyomitonians seem to be sitting on their wallets and letting them fancy pants out-of-state city-slickers waste their fool elitist dollars on the choice between either Daddy’s Little Deferment or her opponent, incumbent Mike Enzi (R-RINO But Not Really):
Two different fundraising strategies are emerging in the increasingly bitter Republican primary battle for a Wyoming U.S. Senate seat between three-term incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi and his challenger Liz Cheney, but both are relying heavily on support from outside of the state.
Washington insiders, including corporate political action committees, Senate colleagues and lobbyists, populate Enzi’s fundraising reports. Meanwhile, Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is counting on a contradictory mix of establishment Republican donors linked to the administration of President George W. Bush and her father, and tea party donors seeking to upend that very establishment.
“What an interesting choice for voters back in Wyoming to make,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance. “While they may want to represent Wyoming, the funding base for neither of them is representative of Wyoming.”
Let’s check out those donors:
Through September, Enzi pulled in $1.6 million, with $1.2 million coming from PACs and just $343,877 coming from 352 individual donors giving at least $200 each, according to Federal Election Commission records. Thirty-two of Enzi’s colleagues in the Senate, including tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), contributed $280,053 from their leadership PACs to help him win reelection. He has also raised $60,942 from 64 registered lobbyists.
Cheney, on the other hand, has declined to accept PAC money and raised a little more than $1 million through September, with $914,018 coming from 396 individual donors giving more than $200 each, according to FEC records. Overall, donors with connections to the Bush administration or with long links to the Cheney family provided at least $273,850 to the Cheney campaign.
These donors include major Bush administration figures such as Dick Cheney himself, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Cheney chief of staff David Addington and former Commerce Secretary Don Evans. Major Bush bundlers giving to the Cheney bid include Richard DeVos, former Ambassador Sam Fox, Lewis Eisenberg, August Busch III, T. Boone Pickens and Wayne Berman.
When you think about it, purchasing a candidate in Wyoming is the best way to get the most game-changing bang for your political buck because a media dollar goes pretty far in an otherwise negligible state with a population slightly smaller than Las Vegas. But the payoff is pretty sweet, as we recently saw, since one junior senator has the ability to shut the government down by riling up the rubes, to say nothing of the ability to block every appointment made by the President.
And, with a six year term, it’s not hard to imagine the damage that one person, accountable only to a small group of corporate donors, can do when they set their mind to it…