from our friends at the Orlando Sentinel, the Oveido Seminole Chronicle and the San Diego Union-Tribune
By Winter Patriot on 9/8/2006, 7:55pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The Orlando Sentinel has noticed the "Clint Curtis Is Crazy" campaign being run by Tom Feeney. It's hard not to notice, I'd say, when a three-ring binder full of stories about Clint Curtis lands in your lap.

Scott Maxwell, whose reporting we were fortunate to encounter just the other day, chips in with a line-item from his blog:

*Tom Feeney's campaign sent over its, um, background on Democratic opponent Clint Curtis. It's about 100 pages ... and in a three-ring binder.

There's quite a bit more more detail from Robert Perez in a piece called Congressional race gets 'crazy' fast which begins like this:

Two-term incumbent Tom Feeney is taking off the gloves in his re-election campaign for Florida's 24th congressional district.

Although he has amassed a million-dollar war chest and has much better name recognition than Democratic challenger Clint Curtis, Feeney isn't holding back about his opponent, a Titusville computer programmer who raised less than $25,000 in the primary.

Feeney has labeled his opponent "the craziest man in America."

"Serious times demand serious leaders and Curtis is not even in the same solar system as the rest of us," Feeney says in a recent press release.

I think you should read all of it, especially because it says

[W]hat has Curtis done to earn Feeney's harsh rhetoric?

He accused the congressman of helping to rig elections.

Curtis, whose campaign centers on his concerns about the integrity of America's voting system, has said in dozens of public forums --- and under oath --- that Feeney asked him and his former employer to create a software program to fix elections in 2000.

Feeney has repeatedly denied the accusations, and now it appears his campaign has decided to simply discount Curtis as a kook.


Feeney's latest campaign strategy, Curtis said, is simply an attempt to duck the questions.

Curtis said he passed a polygraph test administered by a retired Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent that verifies he is telling the truth about Feeney. He has challenged Feeney to do the same.

"He won't show up for a polygraph, and he won't respond to the allegations," said Curtis, whose campaign has produced buttons and T-shirts that urge, "Take The Test, Tom."

and it ends this way:

For the record, Curtis said he has never had to seek help from a mental-health professional. And as for being the "craziest man in America," Curtis said he isn't ready to take on the title.

"Did we have a contest?" he asked. "Cause if we did, I missed it."

So that's today's coverage from Orlando. Yesterday in nearby Oveido, home of the Seminole Chronicle, Ace Reporter and Managing Editor Alex Babcock had a piece about the Feeney campaign called Feeney: Conspiracy man following my plan which starts like this:

The election results in Oviedo clearly show that voters wanted change, by electing Keith Britton rather than incumbent City Councilwoman Regina Bereswill. They also picked first-time candidate Clint Curtis to run against District 24 Congressman Tom Feeney in the general election, setting a match-up that could prove the most interesting race of the season.

Take for example the campaign being mounted by Feeney, who says he's in a good-versus-evil campaign, evoking the image that his opponent, Clint Curtis, has used, but in reverse. While Curtis has long portrayed Feeney as being evil, Feeney counters that Curtis is the one who's actually evil.

They could both be right. Odds are Curtis has his heart in the right place, though, since he's making improving the elections system the foundation of his campaign. He's made some fairly sensational claims about Feeney in the past, though, which Feeney is now using to claim Curtis is crazy.

This is another case where I think you should read the whole piece.

And finally, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, Francine Busby's funding has been cut by the DCCC:

The MSNBC appearance, the first face-to-face meeting for Bilbray and Busby since the June election, marks what is likely to be a rare national snapshot of the contest. The special election drew national attention – thanks to the Cunningham scandal and the view among pundits that the district might be a bellwether of the national mood – but Bilbray now is seen by most analysts as the strong favorite.

More important, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – whose financing of Busby forced their Republican counterparts to pour $5 million into the special election – has cut the money pipeline, no longer ranking the contest as among the most competitive in America.

Being dropped in this fashion “makes it all but impossible for a challenger to raise the big bucks necessary to put on a competitive race,” said Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of the nonpartisan California Target Book, which analyzes California politics. “I don't see where she has the bucks, but you never know on these things.”

Attorney Paul Lehto, who is much better versed in the CA-50 situation than I am, says:

Aside from other issues, this may well mean that Francine is a bit freer to be herself, which is a good thing.
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