Sunday, April 16, 2006

North County Times Slams Busby

The opinion section of the 50th District's "newspaper of record," The North County Times, bashes Francine Busby in a series of articles.

The opinion sections top story is an attack on Busby by Nathan L. Gonzales, who we are told is the political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. Gonzales lays into Busby and tells us that her campaign is a failure.

This week's election was not a win for Democrat Francine Busby. She was the top vote-getter in an 18-candidate field, but she was the only serious Democrat in the race compared with a half-dozen active Republican candidates who split the larger Republican vote.

For Busby, the first 44 percent of the vote she garnered was the easy part, but the last 6 percent she will need to win will be much more difficult. Her performance was unimpressive considering she received roughly the same percentage that Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., received in the district (44 percent) against President George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

President Bush and the Republicans have endured virtually 16 straight months of bad news and falling poll numbers since then, and Busby's inability to break through the Democratic ceiling in this special election should make Democrats uneasy.
According to Gonzales, Busby failed........Game over. But, wait, is Gonzales truly nonpartisan? The NC Times cites his association with the Rothenberg Political Report, which Matt Stoller of MyDD finds to be a lot more Republican in its bias. You would think that the NC Times might actually look at where much of Gonzales' other political writing surfaces. It would have found Gonzales all over the conservative Townhall political opinion site, where Gonzales is a frequent "guest contributor."

For the sake of balance the NC Times gave us dueling opinion pieces from the two county party chairs. The reason Republicans own the 50th District couldn't be made more clear than in the two contrasting messages.

Democratic Party chair, Jess Durfee, tells us what Busby would do were she to be elected to congress. His commentary is simple, unexciting and undistinguished.

On the other hand, Republican Party chain, Ron Nehring, raises every Rovian talking point and attacks Busby at every opportunity. Nehring learned his trade from the best. He stands proudly at the right hand of Grover Norquist and remains a "senior consultant" at Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that helped Norquist's close friend, Jack Abramoff, launder money.

The NC Times offers one additional piece of analysis. This from SDSU political science professor, Carole Kennedy. Kennedy, a liberal, provides the most balanced analysis.
Turnout in Tuesday's election was predictably dismal, in spite of the expenditure of millions and millions of dollars by all candidates, the saturation levels of political advertising on television, and well-funded get-out-the-vote operations on both sides. The outcome suggests, however, that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were particularly effective in getting their supporters to the polls. In spite of an all-out effort by Democrats, they could not squeeze the necessary votes to avoid a runoff, and the Busby campaign had to be looking over their shoulder at the recent mayoral race where Democratic candidate Donna Frye handily came out on top against a divided Republican field, only to lose just as handily when she ran one-on-one against Jerry Sanders. On the other hand, Democrats point to the contested Democratic gubernatorial primary in June as having the potential for increased interest and turnout among Democratic supporters as reason for hope.
Not much comfort after the NC Times has allowed the Republican hatchets to take aim at Busby, while leaving her only Durfee's lukewarm defense.