It’s not particularly surprising the DSCC and Chuck Schumer don’t want to touch Cal Cunningham with a 10 foot pole – he blew a primary in 2010 with their endorsement in embarrassing fashion. Back then, Cunningham’s primary opponent Elaine Marshall said of the DSCC’s endorsement: “North Carolina Democrats do not appreciate Washington trying to handpick or anoint their candidate.” She went on to trounce Cunningham by 20 points.
But time heals all wounds, and although the Democratic establishment hasn’t explicitly endorsed Cunningham, that hasn’t stopped the Senate Minority Leader from funneling campaign cash from his New York donor base to Cunningham under the table. In Q2, 35% of Cunningham’s donations were from New York – every one of them made in the last week of the quarter, and 51 of 55 maxing out. Most interestingly – every donor but two have previously donated to Schumer, but none have ever previously donated to Cunningham.
Turns out, North Carolina Democrats are *not* happy about it.
State Sen. Erica Smith – Cunningham’s primary opponent – let loose when asked about the apparent primary rigging. (Does this sound familiar?)
“The special interest groups and big, wealthy donors out of New York are trying to buy this Senate seat, and it’s just shameful and it is embarrassing. I just worry about the people I serve in North Carolina. We don’t have the same demographics as New York, and this Senate seat is not for sale. I am unbought and unbossed. I am not for sale. New York is not going to get another vote in the Senate. That is not fair to the people of North Carolina.”
The DSCC is already in hot water in Colorado with progressives after endorsing former Governor John Hickenlooper, who decided to run for Senate as a consolation prize after flaming out of the presidential contest early. Add North Carolina to the list of potential primary flashpoints with progressives – a growing problem for Democrats this cycle.
“Cal Cunningham has been bought and paid for by Chuck Schumer’s New York and DC establishment. In the Senate, Cunningham would be just another liberal puppet putting Schumer’s far-left New York agenda ahead of North Carolinians.” -SLF Communications Director Jack Pandol