Monday, March 13, 2006

Burghard: Born again hard!


Awhile back, I wrote a piece on Duane Burghard's campaign for the US House of Representatives (Missouri, 9th District), which some readers (notably the candidate himself) felt went a bit hard on that campaign (and the candidate).

It would be irresponsible not to come back and note the significant advances Burghard's campaign has made since that time, so I'm going to do that here. It would also be irresponsible to claim that my earlier article was in any way responsible for those advances, so let me make it clear up front: As far as I can tell, I had nothing to do with it. The campaign was obviously in "holding pattern" for good reasons, and the plans for its aggressive "real" launch were obviously already well in process before I put in my two cents' worth.

Burghard's revamped campaign web site is beginning to take shape, and it looks great. The "contact" section isn't just a phone number -- there are email links and a web form. The "get involved" form seems to have some problems (I see a bunch of HTML garbage when I go there -- may be a browser compatibility issue), but when it gets fixed it will, indeed, gather the appropriate information and hopefully help Burghard build a substantial volunteer base.

The site's coming together ... and more importantly, we're seeing an active candidate who's obviously running to win! I count 13 events, in 11 different cities, scheduled for the next 17 days on the site campaign calendar. If Burghard loses the race, it won't be because he isn't reaching out to voters and campaigning district-wide.

This is the kind of oomph the Democratic Party is going to need from its candidates, even -- nay, especially -- in districts where multi-term Republicans hold the the big advantages in money and incumbency. It's the kind of campaign that, however hard the slog, may just have a chance of knocking the king off the hill. And, win or lose, it's the kind of campaign that keeps Republican incumbent money in-district instead of letting it wander off to defend weaker Republican incumbents or to allow Republicans to out-spend Democrats in contests for open seats.

Perfect? No, at least not yet. I note that Burghard still has nothing on his site about the One Big Issue (national security in general, and the war on Iraq specifically), and that's going to have to be addressed. But I do congratulate him on a helluva start toward making this race competitive. My recent return to the Libertarian Party and acceptance of party office precludes an endorsement (not that he needs mine), but I do offer Duane Burghard my salute and my best wishes.

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