Shameless self-promotion: This blog post is written for the Massachusetts Republicans who are planning to challenge Mr. Delahunt in the Massachusetts 10th Congressional race. As it currently stands, no one has entered this race. I offer my services, for a discounted rate, to that the opposition when it materializes, which I sincerely hope happens soon. Joe Malone, Jeff Perry, Don Hussey, Ray Kasperowicz, and Robert Hedlund I'm talking about you! My email address is Chuckwalla1022@gmail.com and I will send any references you may need.
Bill Delahunt's re-election campaign is about to hit a significant when all these Republicans announce next week to challenge him. For these Republicans, MA-10 went for Brown by the widest margin of any other congressional districts, as I noted here.
What is not well mentioned is that Congressman Delahunt is actually in trouble when it comes to that race.
Traditionally, incumbents win elections, but this year is shaping up to be an anti-incumbent year, and the money advantage that traditionally favors incumbents Delahunt currently doesn't really have.
According to the book, Congress and Its Members, on p. 72, Bill Delahunt raised the least amount for the incumbents, only a meager $93,956, placing him as the least fundraising incumbent.
On the policy issues, Delahunt is particularly vulnerable. Here are just a few instances.
Let's start with his energy policy which is all over the place.
At the same time that Europe is running away from massive subsidies for solar power (especially Germany and Spain), The Wall Street Journal reports "two House Democrats, Jay Inslee of Washington and Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts, are drafting legislation that would create European-style tariffs for solar power."
But Delahunt is a fierce opponent of the Cape Wind project because of subsidies. He wrote that the Cape Wind project is "a $2 billion project that depends on significant taxpayer subsidies while potentially doubling power costs for the region."
Now anyone hoping to get elected in the 10th congressional district ought to oppose Cape Wind, for the simple reason that you don't put a wind farm in paradise, but Delahunt's reasoning here is also suspect. He wants to pick and choose between industries, rather than letting the market decide.
Historically, Delahunt has used his personal relationship with dictator Hugo Chavez to help bring oil to folks in need in Massachusetts. (He has referred to Chavez as an "excellent friend.") But currently oil prices are at historic lows. I don't think he can continue to count on those dependent on subsidized fuel prices to support him. He is, to put it in the language of economics, an "inferior good."
In 2005, Delahunt offered a "profound thank you" for that oil, and commented that it demonstrated Chavez's "willingness to assist low-income citizens here in Massachusetts [and that it] truly demonstrates what good corporate citizenship is all about." (Jon Keller, The Bluest State, p. 109) But Massachusetts voters might rightily ask how things might be better still if Chavez's country were more free. Maybe we'd get even lower prices as he tends to withhold production.
This love affair began when Delahunt gave Chavez a rare baseball card of a Venezuelan who used to play for the Red Sox. The Wall Street Journal has quoted Delahunt as saying, "Chavez, by his actions, has done what he can to encourage investment and to support a free-market economy," but really, how free is Chavez's economy? Freedom House just gave the country a downgrade.
The attack ad writes itself: I don't know about you, but my "excellent friends," hang around the South Shore, taking care of their families and working hard. They do not socialize entire countries, shut down entire TV stations, or call people who Twitter, "terrorists."
Chavez's days are certainly numbered, as former loyalists call on him to resign. Maybe it would behoove the Massachusetts people to work towards more so that we aren't seen by the next regime as collaborators with a tyrant? How do you think it would play for us to have a representative who is an "excellent friend" of someone that called Saddam Hussein a "brother"?
On terrorism and the fight to defeat them, Delahunt has been responsible for releasing information on our techniques to terrorists. Witness an exchange between him and David Addington.
Mr. Addington: That's what I'm answering, because I know where you're headed. As I indicated to the chairman at the beginning of this thing, I'm not in a position to talk about particular techniques -- whether they are or aren't used, or could or couldn't be used, or their legal status. And the reasons I would give for that -- if you'll look at, I think it's exhibit nine of the president's speech of Sept. 6, 2006, explains why he doesn't talk about what particular techniques --Massachusetts voters should only be pleased when Delahunt is removed from office.
Rep. Delahunt: Oh, I can understand why he doesn't talk about --
Mr. Addington: Because you've got to communicate with al Qaeda if you do. I can't talk to you. Al Qaeda may watch C-Span.
Rep. Delahunt: Right. Well, I'm sure they are watching. I'm glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington. . . .
Mr. Addington: I'm sure you're pleased.