I just got pushpolled by the Renew Delaware PAC

Filed in National by on October 18, 2012

The call came from a Colorado number (719-373-2265) and it started off saying that this was a survey from Renew Delaware PAC, and it was not affiliated with any campaign. It then asked me to push 1 if I was voting for anyone but Tom Carper. I did nothing. Because while I may not be a fan of Tom Carper and his extinct DLC ways, I am much less of a fan of Alex Pires and his evil rumormongering and mud slinging and teabagger ways, and even less of a fan of the Republican Kevin Wade (and yes, I can hear Green Party candidate Andrew Groff screaming for recognition right now). But I digress.

The phone line went dead for some time (probably 10 seconds), long enough for me to think that I was hung up upon, which would be a dumb move for a push poll since your goal here is to scare Carper or Carper leaning voters with some new smear in order to get them not to vote for the Senator. Indeed, that long of a delay may have convinced some simply to hang up, thus defeating the point of the push poll. Alas, the vile Paul Ryan-sounding voice came back on the phone and informed me that Tom Carper receives a taxpayer salary as a Senator (duh) and yet his personal net worth increased from $4 million in 2008 to $4.6 million in 2010, while the average Delaware family during that time was struggling to put food on the table with a smaller paycheck. The implied point of the call was to somehow smear the Senator in suggesting this increase was an unjust enrichment of some kind, when in reality it is likely interest income or investment income.

Renew Delaware PAC seems to be behind the Renew Delaware Now blog, which has been up for several months and which seeks to present an Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Delaware message in opposing Tom Carper, labeling the Senator as the Candidate for Wall Street and the 1%. In pursing the different pages of this blog, Renew Delaware contradicts itself on the “Our Mission” page by saying the Senator’s personal net worth went up several millions of dollars during this time period (2008-2010) instead of just $600,000. The rest of the blog replays the Occupy message, that Carper is the candidate that favors Wall Street over Main Street, that big banks are his contributors, etc. We here at Delaware Liberal are quite familiar with the Senator’s close ties to the banks and Wall Street. It is why we don’t like them very much.

But it is a strange message coming from this Renew Delaware PAC. The PAC identifies itself as a Republican/Conservative organization in their FEC profile (via Open Secrets. And the PAC seams to be the brain child of one man, a Dan Anderson of Chevy Chase, Maryland, who capitalized the Super PAC with $50,000 of his own money in November 2011. Mr. Anderson is the only contributor to the PAC listed on Open Secrets. The PAC has spent $39,000 so far, but has not donated to any federal candidates, and has approximately $11K cash on hand left.

Given that, this Renew Delaware blog linked to above is a pathetic piece of, as Vice President Biden would say, “stuff.” It is pure amateur hour, what Delaware Liberal used to look like back in the heady days of 2006. Actually, no, DL looked better. Hey, even Nancy Willing’s old Delaware Way format looked better. If Mr. Anderson (I am feeling all Matrixy) wanted to waste $50,000 to develop an Anti-Carper PAC, he might have come to us. We could have designed something for half the price.

Who is this Mr. Anderson? Well, here is a taste. He filed a frivilous lawsuit against the President and the Democratic Congressional leadership in 2010, alleging, among other things, that the President and his minions in Congress intimidated and coerced Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska to vote in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare)

Oh, and he gives lots of money to Speaker John Boehner and the Delaware Republican Party and Republican Senate Candidate Kevin Wade.

He is also the only reason Mr. Jeff Cragg, the Republican nominee for Governor, has any money at all.

Cragg is also behind a political action committee called Route 1 PAC, which has raised $100,000 from a single conservative donor this year – the developer Daniel Anderson, who has homes in Rehoboth and Chevy Chase, Md. It appears Cragg has used the account to pay the wages of campaign staffers, but Cragg maintains the payments were proper and went to compensate the staffers for work performed outside the normal scope of his campaign.

Uh huh, Jeff.

And hey, Mr. Anderson, I realize you are wealthy 1 percenter, and an retired old coot from Maryland who has a second vacation home in Rehoboth. But do you mind not interfering in our First State politics? Especially in such a disingenuous way? Mr. Anderson supports congressional Republicans and policies that favors the 1%, and yet he is attacking Carper for doing the same in the hopes of electing Kevin Wade who would do the same. Mr. Anderson, if you have money to burn, and seeing how it is likely you are nearing the end of your life what with you being retired and all, perhaps you would like to try to buy your way into heaven now, and give the money to charity, or to a school, or maybe you can build a hospital, or feed the poor. How about you do anything but clog up my phone line at dinner with a ridiculous push poll.

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  1. skeptic says:

    Not sure if you ever open a Cape Gazette, but Mr. Anderson has been polluting the pages of our local Sussex paper for well over a year now with his full page “paid advertisements” that are usually your typical teabag / wing nut ramblings of how the country is going to hell etc. Many people have written in to correct his many errors and hyperbole and have also suggested that he consider charitable donations rather than his idiotic ramblings. I’m pretty sure he has his fingers in the wonderful think tank (and I use the word ‘think’ in the loosest term possible) the Cesar Rodney Institute in Dover as well. He is a great example of the wealthy idiots that have hijacked the Republican party.

  2. skeptic says:

    One other thought…we should really write a letter to the Cape explaining who this Mr. Anderson really is. The PAC information and behavior alone would not sit well with a lot of people. It would be fun to pull the curtain back and let people know that he is much more than your average concerned citizen of Rehoboth Beach.

  3. Delaware Dem says:

    I read the Gazette online occasionally, but I don’t see the ads since those only appear in the dead tree version

  4. Interested Voter says:

    Pires campaign is an obvious attempt by the right wing to split some D votes. With a better candidate it may have worked.

  5. Paula says:

    Similar 1/2 page small-type ads with crazy ramblings appear in the NJ occasionally — maybe that’s him, too. I’ll pay attention next time I run across one.

  6. auntie dem says:

    See page A9 in this morning’s WNJ Business section. Half page ad from this guy.

  7. Michelle M says:

    He frequently puts ads in The News Journal. They are usually full of tea party b.s

  8. Andrew Groff says:

    (Screaming over here, progressives? liberals?) Oh well.

  9. I didn’t link Anderson to those odious ads when I was researching him the other day for a blog post. But my search did uncover enough to enter a valid complaint to the Dept. of Elections.

    Of the three DE PACs Anderson is associated with that I found – and there could be more – the Route 1 PAC is the only one of which he is the sole funder. Starkey showed that the PAC likely paid Cragg’s staffers which is illegal. I called Starkey who said the DoE would only act upon a complaint. My complaint is in the blog post


    The Commissioner called and agreed that the complaint is warranted and then called again to give Cragg’s excuse. He is saying that his staff were doing multiple things that covered more than just his gubernatorial efforts so after the big DoE blowup with Ernie Lopez, he and Daniel Anderson struck a deal where the Route 1 PAC would take over these staff payments.

    Problem is that the payments for Emily Taylor are obviously salary – same amounts in regular intervals etc. reported under Cragg’s finance report for Feb., March and Sept 2012. Her salary is reported under Route 1 PAC for – you guessed it – April, May, June, July and August.

    Sorry, Cragg needs to deliver more detail. I asked Commissioner Manlove to make sure that Jeff Cragg gives his justification in writing. Let’s see him commit this flimsy bs to ink. Manlove says that it looks like Route 1 PAC will have to declare these payments as in kind contributions which puts Anderson over the limit.

    Anderson also funds the pro life Family Policy Council PAC – Repsonsible Delaweare.