I weep for the Republic.
Fake U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth's latest filing with the Federal Election Commission does indeed show $315,314 in contributions in the last three months of 2013. Bosworth's constant stream of Facebook drivel raised almost twice as much cash as Democratic challenger Rick Weiland, eight times more than GOP competitor Sen. Larry Rhoden did, and ten times more than GOP competitor Rep. Stace Nelson. She raised more than half of what GOP front-runner Marion Michael Rounds did. All of those other candidates showed slight downticks in their fundraising from Q3 to Q4; Bosworth surged.
Rick, Larry, Stace, you should be ashamed of being beaten, even for a quarter, by a scam artist like Bosworth. Granted, a big Bosworth bank account gives Weiland little to worry about at the moment: every dollar Bosworth has to spend this spring is a dollar that Mike Rounds may have to match to stave off the crazy attacks that she will make to tackle the front-runner... assuming, of course, that she has any serious intention of winning the Senate race and not just running a new Ponzi scheme to pay off her creditors and promote her dreams of having her own reality television show.
But Rhoden and Nelson now face serious questions about the viability of their candidacies. No matter how clueless Bosworth's donors are, Bosworth has taped a vein of anti-Establishment cash that Rhoden and Nelson have failed to recognize and exploit. They now have to play catch-up with a candidate who has the resources to drown them out in the media. She also has the cash credibility that matters more than ideology or character or anything else to the big D.C. funders who have said they are looking for an alternative to Rounds.
In 2010, Kristi Noem lagged Chris Nelson in competence and intelligence and R. Blake Curd in ideology. She entered the race late, but quickly thrashed Nelson on fundraising and gave Curd a run for his money. She gave donors an image and a farm-girl story that turned into easy money. Now Bosworth really is following the Noem path, and it's working.
Bosworth may lag Nelson on building a real grassroots network throughout South Dakota. But now, if her report is to be believed, she has the cash to buy campaigners to gather signatures, put up signs, and make more phone calls. Whatever the source, cash breeds cash. Scary as it may be, Bosworth now has a practical lead for second-place in the GOP primary. Nelson and Rhoden have two months left—maybe—to re-establish their credibility, crush Bosworth's cash- and propaganda-inflated candidacy, and reclaim the viable opponent's position.