Just in case anyone out there was thinking about helping Tamyra D'Ippolito get on the ballot for Indiana Senate, please consider my plea for you to not provide that help.
On the surface, Tamyra D'Ippolito has a story that might appeal to some people. She appears to hold some left-wing, if vague, positions, is the first woman to run for Senate in Indiana, and was willing to mount a primary challenge to Evan Bayh. And, if she gets on the ballot, it will severely complicate Evan Bayh's parting plan of allowing the Indiana state Democratic Party, sans primary, from likely anointing a right-wing Democrat as the nominee.
However, even a cursory look at D'Ippolito's campaign and background shows that she is a really, really bad choice for Democrats in Indiana. Consider:
Right now, if I were a Republican activist, I would be working to help D'Ippolito get on the Indiana primary ballot as a Democrat. If I was in the Indiana state Democratic Party, I would be hiring lawyers to challenge her filing when it is submitted. This is because D'Ippolito would be a disastrous Democratic nominee in Indiana. At best, she would get thumped by 30-40%, and we would never hear from her. At worst, she would get thumped by 30-40%, and we would hear about how another Democratic Senate nominee has ties to banks that caused the financial crisis (ala Giannoulias Illinois.
- She worked on Wall Street for 20 years, including for Lehman Brothers: From the front page of D'Ippolito's campaign website:
At 25, I moved to New York City where I lived for the next 20 years. I worked on Wall Street for Salomon Smith Barney and later for Lehman Brothers.
Ooooo... now there's a winning background for 2010! She worked on Wall Street for 20 years, including for the company that was the immediate cause of the financial collapse in September of 2008! That should play well.
- No grassroots support. D'Ippolito appears to have been running since at least November 5th. And yet, despite this, she does not have enough of an organization to get the needed signatures to make the ballot:
So how's D'Ippolito doing? She's collected 3,500 of the 4,500 signatures, 500 in each Congressional district in Indiana, which are needed by noon tomorrow in order to qualify. D'Ippolito said that she's particularly short in IN-08, in the Terre Haute/Evansville area of the district. Her campaign manager has contacted all of the heads of the county Democratic parties asking them if they would help her get on the ballot.
She isn't going to even collect enough signatures to make the ballot on her own? And she is particularly weak in Terre Haute where, according to her website, she went to college? That is a severe lack of organization.
But wait, it gets worse! D'Ippolito has all of 23 Twitter followers, despite receiving a mention on Keith Olbermann's program. And then there is this bit:
She is very earnest and liberal, but one of her Facebook posts from 3 days ago says "I am having trouble with my computer so I am going to the library every day."
Really feeling the off-line and online grassroots with this campaign. She is ready to take on the establishment party, and then win the general election.
- No Money Some people decry the amount of money in politics, and don't like ti when candidates are dismissed because they can't raise money. However, D'Ippolito is bad at fundraising even by the standards of Arizona's public financing system, which requires candidates to bring in several small donations before receiving public funds.
D'Ippolito has three donations on Act Blue, for a total of $60. One of those donations came in today.
Further, she has not even filed a report with the FEC, which means she is either flouting campaign finance laws or raised less than $5,000 in November and December combined. I am going to assume it is the latter.
Republicans are inching closer to retaking the Senate. Indiana is a winnable seat--and we can get someone more progressive than Bayh, hopefully--but we throw Republicans a further lifeline if we help D'Ippolito get on the ballot. Please, please, don't help her.
Update: Given the three candidates who are being floated--Rep. Baron Hill, Rep. Brad Ellsworth, and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel--I'm with David Dayden. Mark me down for Weinzapfel. He appears more liberal, and he isn't holding office in D.C. right now.