Sunday, June 22, 2008

GA's Deborah Honeycutt: Fundraiser Supreme

Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, candidate for Congress in GA's 13th district, teaching kids about health.
Republican challengers like Melissa Hart, Toni Gilhooley, Tom Manion, Marina Kats, Dana Walsh, Steve Sauerberg, and others know that beating an incumbent Democrat is like drilling through a granite mountain. Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, a congressional candidate in GA's 13th district, apparently has a very big drill.

I posted the material below on Sunday, when most people are not in a blog-reading state of mind. I'll leave it up today and add more material late Monday. If any candidtes wish to speak directly to Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, her phone number at the GA campaign office is: 770-714-4781. Her campaign manager, Michael M. Murphy, ihas teh following email address:

As you'll read below, Dr. Deborah Honeycutt from suburban Atlanta is a formidable Republican candidate for Congress. If you scroll down see material about her opponent -- David Scott -- you will find that one independent (but left-leaning) group has named him one of the most corrupt members of Congress. Deborah is a tremendous fund-raiser, and all candidates, especially challengers -- can learn from the ways she raises money.

Unfortunately, corruption is common among Democratic members of Congress, especially the Black Caucus, but that doesn't make the crooks easy to beat. If anyone can dislodge Scott (before he's lead off in leg irons), it's Deborah Honeycutt, one of the most remarkable women in the U.S. Keep reading to see how she's going about accomplishing her Herculean task.

And here you probably thought the most corrupt members of the House were either Howard Jefferson (with $90,000 of bribe money in his freezer, or Jack Murtha, who has used your tax dollars to enrich his major campaign contributors. But if you scroll down to the italicized section, you'll find the all-time champion of official corruption, GA Democratic Cong. David Scott, who is opposed by Deborah Honeycutt.

This column and those to follow should have great appeal to Republican congressional candidates (in PA and elsewhere) and their supporters around the nation. It focuses on a particular candidate, Deborah Honeycutt, M.D., who is doing everything right, particularly in fundraising. The following columns will describe how she might do the impossible: defeat an entrenched (and corrupt) Black incumbent congressman in a district that's almost 50% Black and Hispanic. I'll post the column Sunday afternoon (about 2:30 p.m. ET) and added to over the next two days. Please visit -- and tell candidates and their supporters across America that it exists. Thanks.

Dr. Deborah Travis ("DAnn") Honeycutt, GOP candidate for Congress in GA's 13th district, caring for a patient. A challenger facing a strong incumbent (David Scott), Dr. Honeycutt is a model for Republican challengers around the country -- particularly in her tremendous performance in fundraising. It's not even July yet, and Honeycutt apparently has raised well in excess of $2 million -- more than twice as much as her opponent. How did she do it? Read below.

Almost every Republican congressional candidate running against a powerful Democrat incumbent has trouble raising enough money to get his or her message across. Dr. Deborah Honeycutt has no such problem. In 2008, she may generate more contributions than any other GOP candidate for the House. How has she done this?

Do I agree with Dr. Honeycutt, a staunch social conservative, on every issue? Nope -- but then again I don't agree with my wife (a supporter of Sen. Clinton) on everything. But Deborah Honeycutt has a clear outstanding of what's currently wrong with our country -- and how to fix those problems. This graduate of Illinois University Medical School is a thoroughly impressive woman.

In 2006, when she ran against David Scott, a totally self-serving man who votes to raise taxes but often "forgets" to pay his own, Honeycutt amazed the world by raising more than $1.3 million. This year she could conceivably raise more than $4 million.

She lost the 2006 race to Scott (a man who doesn't even live in his district!). According to Michael Barone in The Almanac of American Politics, the main reason for Honeycutt's loss was "lack of name recognition." The hard fact is that if people don't know who you are they're not likely to vote for you. This year, however, name recognition is not going to be a problem for Dr. Deb.

If you go to Open, you'll find fundraising information through March 31. You'll note that Scott has raised a little over $500,000 -- 80% of it from PACs. You'll also note that Honeycutt had raised nearly $1.7 million -- NONE OF IT FROM PACS. If she win the election, she would be the least PAC-tarnished candidate to serve in the last 100 years. (No, not all PACs are corrupt, but most of them are.)

Trust me, if the Political Action Committees were making contributions for "good government," the ethically-challenged and robotically Democratic Scott would have received nothing.

(To examine the fund-raising by Honeycutt and Scott please use the following link: )

Aside from the huge amounts of money Honeycutt has received, you'll find similar situations in relation to PACs with Pennsylvania congressional Republicans -- Melissa Hart, Toni Gilhooley, Tom Manion, Marina Kats, Bill Russell, Craig Williams, and Lou Barletta. The PACs now that these people are superior candidates, but hey, the PAC-men will say, "Business is business." The PACs are buying access (a votes), not character and judgment.

Most incumbents -- take a look at Hart's opponent, Jason Altmire, or Gilhooley's opponent, Tim Holden -- get the vast majority of their money from PACs, (Often, they also get a good chunk oftheir donations from individuals associated with companies linked to the PACs -- as happens with Murtha and Altmire in their vast donations from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.)

But how does Honeycutt raise huge sums of money? She gets it from individuals who believe in her and the causes she represents. Refreshing, huh?

Honeycutt has raised most of her money through mailings to "values voters" -- social conservatives, the kind of people who strongly supported Mike Huckabee. There are roughly 15 million such voters in the country, and Honeycutt is using her own mailing list and the lists of third-party fundraisers. It's obviously working very well. She's appealing to people who have an inclination to donate and a history of doing so. (That's the same reason I receive a lot of mail requests for money from John McCain and [many] others.)

A lot of Republican challengers have a terrible time raising money. One reason is that they're asking the wrong people. For challengers, the "wrong people" include the vast majority of PACs. The "wrong people" also include individuals, including Republicans, who need political favors from incumbent Democrats.

Is there a flip side to Honeycutt's focus on mailings to values voters? Yes, because to raise big money requires the expenditure of significant sums. Third-parties who have "golden" mailing lists don't provide their services for nothing.

You'll see on that Honeycutt had expenditures by April of $1.5 million. I dearly hope a good part of that spending went for ad buys (TV and radio), as well as billboards. (Her opponent, Scott, owns an ad company and is famous for billboard ads; I'll explain later today how Honeycutt can use billboards AGAINST the "billboard-man.") The Scott-Honeycutt material on OpenSecrets is very worth examining.

Luckily for Honeycutt (although not for the country), Scott has heeded Nancy Pelosi's admonition to vote against all forms of domestic oil production. My suggestion to Deborah is that she might use that fact on her own billboards on the highways in suburban Atlanta. In short, she has Scott dead-to-rights on high gasoline prices, which will be the biggest issue in this year's campaigns.

To my candidate friends in PA, as well as those in Illinois, California, and elsewhere, Honeycutt is woth not just knowing about, but also studying. She is very, very good at what she does. And as you'll read later, she is good at many things other than just raising tons of cash.

P.S. What's the downside to using third-parties to raise funds from groups. If you don't have a strong link to the groups -- as Honeycutt does with evangelicals, the "values voters" -- you probably won't generate a lot of cash. Also, you may have spend one dollar for every two you raise. However, in my modest town of Ambridge, PA, if you give somebody a five-dollar bill and he hands you back a ten-spot, we call that a great deal.

Honeycutt's Opponent Rep. David Scott: Scum-of-the-Earth

Those of you who've read the above about Dr. Honeycutt may be wondering, "Gee, Steve, don't you have anything to say about her opponent, David Scott, the 13th district Congressman from Georgia, who actually lives in Washington, DC?" No, I have nothing nice to say about Scott, who is a step or two below being the scum of the earth. He's a persistent tax-evader and a violator of House rules on campaign finance. Below is the report of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington, which lists Scott as one of the 22 most members of Congress.

Rep. David Scott (D-GA) is a third-term congressman, representing Georgia’s 13th district. Rep. Scott’s ethics issues stem from allegations of tax evasion and misuse of official resources for political campaign activity.

Tax Evasion

In 2003, Rep. Scott and his wife, Ms. Alfredia Scott, began missing federal income tax payments that now total nearly $154,000 and have failed to pay $23,200 in taxes on their Georgia home. In addition, their company Dayn-Mark Advertising, failed to pay over $4,600 in local and state taxes since 1998. At the same time the Scotts were failing to pay their taxes, they increased their stock holdings from $5,000 to about $67,000 and bought a $702,000 rowhouse in Washington D.C. More than 40 tax liens have been placed against Rep. Scott’s home and business.

Personal, Business and Campaign Finances

Since Rep. Scott’s first congressional bid in 2002, Rep. Scott’s wife, two daughters, his son-in-law and employees of Dayn-Mark have received disbursements from his campaign committee. From 2002 through the July 2007 FEC reporting period, Rep. Scott’s campaign committee paid a total of $124,795.98 to his wife, two daughters and son-in-law, and $491,382.00 to Dayn-Mark Advertising and its employees. Rep. Scott has reimbursed himself $98,952.75 for travel, billboards, and fund-raising expenses. In total, since 2002, Rep. Scott’s committee has disbursed $715,330.17 to his family, business, and himself. The payments to his family and company became larger and more frequent in 2003, around the same time Rep. Scott was falling behind on his taxes.

Rep. Scott, by failing to pay taxes on his home and business and by failing to pay property taxes on his Georgia home may have violated federal and state tax laws.

Misuse of official resources

In July 2007, The Politico reported that a staff member alleged Rep. Scott has misused his federally funded congressional staff and resources to run his political campaigns. The staffer, Robert Merrill, alleged that Rep. Scott had designated certain congressional employees to do only campaign work, that congressional employees often did campaign work on taxpayer time and used government office equipment, that on taxpayer time congressional employees engaged in political work from Rep. Scott’s advertising firm, and that these employees’ absences compromised the productivity of the congressional office.

By using congressional staff to engage in campaign activity on official time and with the use of official resources, Rep. Scott may have violated the prohibition on soliciting political contributions from employees, the prohibition on using appropriated funds for campaign activity, House ethics rules and the regulations of the Committee on House Administration.


Anonymous said...
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Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi, I don't allow comments anymore by anonymous people. If you state your name, location, and political association, fine. If not, down in the dust bin you go. If you're asosicated in any way with the criminal David Scott, please don't darken my door. Get it?