Three months ago, my co-blogger Toby Uecker suggested that the Mayday PAC would be a perfect fit for Democrat Rick Weiland's Senate campaign. Weiland is the perfect populist running against Republican Mike Rounds's big money policies and fundraising. South Dakota adds diversity to the districts where Mayday PAC founder Lawrence Lessig can test his many-small-donors strategy. And a Weiland victory over Rounds would be surprising, newsworthy, and easily dispositive of the efficacy of Mayday PAC's intervention.
Professor Lessig may have been listening. Mr. Montgomery reports that Mayday PAC is investing a million dollars in Weiland and working to bring more to his aid:
"Like the rest of us, South Dakotans are tired of seeing Congress crippled by its dependence on campaign cash and the cronies who supply it," said Mayday PAC co-founder Mark McKinnon in a news release. "The only way to take our democracy back is to elect reformers like Rick Weiland."
The group also will work with other pro-Weiland outside groups to spend up to another million helping Weiland and bashing Republican nominee Mike Rounds — a total of $2 million on Weiland's behalf [David Montgomery, "PAC to Spend $1 Million for Big-Money Foe," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.10.07].
...the effectiveness of which national political guru Larry Sabato quickly dismisses:
"If this were a different kind of race, ($2 million) might make the difference," Sabato said. "It's a lot of money, but what can you say? South Dakotans don't seem to me the kind to be overly influenced by TV ads and the like. It's such a personal form of campaigning there" [Montgomery, 2014.10.07].
That Sioux Falls paper devotes most of its below-the-fold text to such dismissal, to letting naysayers emphasize Weiland's "hypocrisy" in accepting this big-money intervention, and to letting Team Rounds try to sound like the poor underdog, having to "spend every dime" to fight these dastardly outside attacks... the like of which Team Rounds is surely fishing for right now from conservative groups.
But consider this, friends: contrary to the opposition's spin (and Harry Reid's own petty blindness) that Rick Weiland is somehow an awful candidate, the really smart and dare-I-posit decent people at Mayday PAC are saying Rick Weiland is worth a million dollars and then some. Mayday PAC is saying Rick Weiland not only should win but can win.
It galls me that we have to get big money to beat big money, just as it galls me that we have to use force to defeat force. But sometimes you've got to fight back... especially when the fight is winnable against a failing Republican whose hopes of another easy coronation have disappeared and who appears ill-equipped for a real battle. Thank you, Mayday PAC, for choosing the right side and the right candidate.