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No Tin Cup for Rales

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Rales brought his statewide bus tour into Annapolis this afternoon, nursing a bottle of Smart Water as he spoke with a handful of State House reporters in a local coffee house.

The Potomac millionaire took questions for about an hour, including one that has dogged him since he entered the race with a plan to spend as much as $6 million of his personal fortune: Is he trying to buy a senate seat?

"You can't buy a Senate seat," he protested. "Stop saying that! All the money does is give me a chance to communicate."

And communicate he has, already sinking more than $2 million into an advertising blitz that has made his name recognizable among four in 10 Marylanders, he said. His campaign manager said the campaign polled 10 days ago and found that about 60 percent of likely Democratic voters in the state recall seeing his or other political ads in the past month. Among those who had, 18 percent said they would vote for Rales.

But the campaign would not say where they sat in the polls overall. Every public poll to date has put him in the low single digits, well behind the campaign's two frontrunners, Rep. Ben Cardin and former congressman Kweisi Mfume.

Rales did acknowledge it has been tough to "break out" from the pack. "It's been a little harder than we had hoped," he said. "It's difficult to build trust just through TV ads. I'm running against two guys who are part of the system."

When it's all said and done, Rales said if he doesn't win, he'll get behind the Democratic nominee. And whatever he spends on the race, it shouldn't hurt too badly, he added.

"I'm not going to have a tin cup out at the end of the campaign," he said. "It's not going to put a dent in my pocket book."

By  |  August 15, 2006; 4:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

$6m won't dent his pocket book? This is another Democrat for the "working person". Are you beginning to see the pattern of deceit amongst Md Democratic candidates?

Posted by: BG from PG | August 15, 2006 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Nobody disputes that the special interests own the legislative branch.. Nobody disputes that the special interests don't own Rales. Rales is a Montgomery County, Whitman High, success story. Therefore, Montgomery Countians voting in the September l2 Democratic primary should most definitely vote for Rales for U.S.Senate. Q.E.D.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Independent for Montgomery county Executive | August 15, 2006 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Rales doesn't have a shot and is only taking votes away from the best candidate for Sarbanes' seat, Ben Cardin. Ben Cardin has almost 40 years of experience serving Maryland in the Maryland House of Delegates and the Congress.

Posted by: MR from MC | August 15, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I saw five Rales TV ads during Fox news tonight. All five were positive. Josh, you looked positively Senatorial.My kids are excited. Two graduated from Whitman!

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Independent for Montgomery County Executive | August 15, 2006 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, an endorsement from Robin Ficker. Rales is even deader than he was before.

Posted by: Finished | August 15, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Cardin is a walking ad for term limits.

Posted by: BH from PG | August 15, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Rales is a smart guy with fresh ideas. Cardin should the poster child for term limits. We need people who want to make difference instead of old time politicians who prefer the status quo.

Posted by: PM from AA County | August 16, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Cardin is a walking ad for term limits.

Posted by: BH from PG | August 15, 2006 11:28 PM

Rales is a smart guy with fresh ideas. Cardin should the poster child for term limits. We need people who want to make difference instead of old time politicians who prefer the status quo.

Posted by: PM from AA County | August 16, 2006 10:35 AM

Perhaps what we need are posters who can offer a bit more insight that copying and pasting a talking point off of someone's website. Not that I disagree - Cardin is ridiculious "hey, elect me and I'll cure cancer" what a putz.

Posted by: JP from DU | August 16, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Josh Rales is a Republican running as a Democrat. He has given money to Bush, et al as late as 2004. He made his money as a slum lord...I know, I live in one of his buildings.
Yeah, his ads look good...but it's all smoke and mirrors. Do your homework, voters! Find out what this guy is really all about. And it ain't Democratic values!
I can't help thinking of all the good that $6m might do in the form of a foundation, rather than an ego trip to the Senate which will end up as a dead-end.

Posted by: gatsby46 | August 16, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Cardin is seeking the wrong job. We should make him Director of NIH where it seems we have been making finding a cure for cancer complicated. Later he can help us cure the common cold.

Posted by: NIH slave | August 16, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

We need experience in the Senate. We need someone who has the grasp of the issues that Ben Cardin has. Senators are not entertainers; they don't have to be glamorous; they just have to know their stuff and do their all to better the people of our state.

Posted by: J From MoCo | August 16, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

J from MoCo, you are whining . . .

Posted by: NOT!!!! | August 16, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.theinternationalforecaster.com
www.wsws.org
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www.onlinejournal.com
otherside123.blogspot.com

Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, is under investigation in London by the UK's Serious Fraud Office over their part in an alleged plot to pay more than $170 million of bribes to win billions of dollars of work at a giant Nigerian gas plant. At the time of the alleged bribes, VP Richard Cheney was CEO of Halliburton.

Posted by: che | August 16, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps what we need are posters who can offer a bit more insight that copying and pasting a talking point off of someone's website. Not that I disagree - Cardin is ridiculious "hey, elect me and I'll cure cancer" what a putz.

Posted by: JP from DU | August 16, 2006 11:53 AM

It's not a fair representation of the issues to say that Ben Cardin thinks he can cure cancer. He believes in funding medical research and not tying the hands of researchers as the Bush administration has done.

To BH and PM, what a good idea, suggest locking out an individual who actually is good at what he does and feels passionately about the issues.

Posted by: MR from MC | August 16, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

http://collegedemsofmd.blogspot.com/

check out the blog i contribute to, maryland politics and a college democratic perspective

Posted by: lee | August 17, 2006 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I've seen Rales ads all the time, but until recently I had no idea what he was running for! Either I'm not paying close attention or he never says that he's a Democrat running for Senate in Maryland. I had wondered who this guy was.

Posted by: Ruby | August 17, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Josh, money can't buy you everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Josh Rales is a Republican running as a Democrat. He has given money to Bush, et al as late as 2004...Yeah, his ads look good...but it's all smoke and mirrors. Do your homework, voters! Find out what this guy is really all about. And it ain't Democratic values!
I can't help thinking of all the good that $6m might do in the form of a foundation, rather than an ego trip to the Senate which will end up as a dead-end."

Exactly. The Republicans understand that Cardin is the ONLY Democratic candidate that can beat Steele. The Rales campaign appears to be aimed at siphoning votes from Cardin. I agree with Mfume (who is running second) on many of the issues but recognize that he will likely lose to Steele in the general election. Poll after poll shows him in a statistical tie with Steele. Given his past history at the NAACP (accusations of favoritism, sexual harassment, etc which surfaced long before his bid for the Senate), the Rove/RNC will destroy him in the general against Steele.

If you want Michael Steele to be the next Senator from Maryland...vote for Rales.

Posted by: Princes George Dem | August 17, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Cardin has contributions from every special interest in Washington. He gerrymandered his district into a giant "C" to get reelected. He is a Baltimore guy who knows nothing about P.G. and Montgomery. He is a symbol for everything that is wrong with Congress.

Posted by: Prince Georges Dem too | August 17, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"Cardin has contributions from every special interest in Washington. He gerrymandered his district into a giant "C" to get reelected. He is a Baltimore guy who knows nothing about P.G. and Montgomery. He is a symbol for everything that is wrong with Congress."

Special interests? Are you supporting Rales, Mfume or Steele? If it is the latter, Steele has taken MOST of his money from OUT-of-state special interests, including right-wing PACs.

Again, Cardin is the ONLY Democratic candidate that can and will defeat Steele in November. Rales is a Republican spoiler and Mfume has baggage that Karl Rove and the Republicans will use to destroy him.

I look at the big picture. What is wrong with Congress is that it is being run by Republicans. The country needs a Democratic Senate. The best way to improve the chances of that is to elect a Democratic Senator from Maryland. I am supporting the candidate that has the best chance of defeating Steele who has positions that are out of step with MOST Marylanders.

Cardin voted gainst the Iraq war from the beginning and has a proven track record of voting in favor of progressive legislation in Congress.

Posted by: Prince George Dem | August 19, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Josh, I was wondering if you heard me last night when I commented out loud (near you btw) "what'd you tell Bainum?" I know you'll understand this comment. Your staff won't, voters won't, but cmon, hypocrisy isn't a virtue.

Posted by: Bryan | August 19, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I admit that the "leading the fight against cancer" thing was a bit much, but its not like Ben is the one writing those pieces.

Posted by: J From MoCo | August 20, 2006 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Josh: Poor politics, weak game plan, and wrong party. You have put your own money in because no onr else knows you and wouldn't contribute. You are right you can't flip a switch and become a Democrat. My parents were active members of the Maryland Democratic party with many success stories and results. What have you done? Save your money. Donate to the zip codes that need help not 20854 where you live.

Posted by: G from HC | August 25, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

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