West Hartford Forums

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Is Visconti’s Campaign Strapped for Cash?

Posted by whforums on July 21, 2008

As many of you already know, Republican councilperson Joe Visconti is running for US Representative in Connecticut’s first district (that’s us) this fall against incumbent Democrat John Larson. And as you likely also know, since winning the seat vacated by Barbara Kennelly in 1998, Larson has absolutely thrashed his competition (beating Scott MacLean in 2006 74% to 26%). In a district that’s almost impossible to win for Republicans, and in an election season that seems to be difficult sledding for Republicans, Visconti’s candidacy seems to either suggest a cynically calculated grab for name recognition or a bold ambition and idealism.

Regardless of Visconti’s motivations, the Bristol Press is reporting that Visconti’s “campaign treasurer wrote on July 9 to the Federal Election Commission that Visconti, a West Hartford businessman aiming to unseat U.S. Rep. John Larson, had neither raised nor spent $5,000 yet.” Larson, meanwhile, had raised $700,000 by April, with more than $200,000 cash on hand. The Bristol Press compares Visconti’s current fundraising to Green Party candidate Stephen Fournier, who has also raised less than $5,000. In other words, Larson has outraised both Visconti and Fournier at least 140:1.

Granted — it’s July, and a lot can happen between now and November. But if Visconti is really serious about unseating John Larson and heading to Washington this winter, he’s got a lot of work — and apparently a lot of fundraising — ahead of him.

The consequences of lagging in fundraising are self evident. But Ghengis Conn (the blogger behind ctlocalpolitics.net) spells out (with many cool graphs, I might add) what he believes will be an ugly November for Visconti:

“In the last election (2007) Visconti squeaked into a town council seat by polling 4,563 votes. Mayor Scott Slifka led the voting with 9,591. Will he do better than MacLean? Probably. But he obviously isn’t going to touch Larson, not even in West Hartford. His story is the story of every Republican candidate in the 1st. He won’t raise much money, he probably won’t get on TV, national Republicans will ignore him and the media will forget he even exists. Larson will end up winning by a huge margin–and in a year when Republicans are having a tough time anyway, Visconti is in for a drubbing.”

Might be time to spur that horse, Joe …

Links:

Visconti for Congress

Larson for Congress

Fournier for Congress

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