National Democratic groups turn up heat on Luetkemeyer

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri)

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri)

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer is being targeted by radio ads in his district, sponsored by the Democratically aligned Americans United for Change,  KOMU reports today. The ads are in response to his opposition to the massive spending bill currently making its way through Congress. Every Republican member (save one, who was absent) opposed the bill in the House, along with 11 Democrats. Both chambers have passed the bill, but still need to vote on the final compromise version.

I’ve learned through a Washington, D.C. source that the DCCC will also be adding to the effort by placing robo-calls into the Missouri 9th. They have targeted at least seven freshman Republican members in their second round of targeting, pledging to make a total of 100,000 phone calls. That means as many as 14,000 pro-stimulus calls could be coming into Luetkemeyers district. I suspect the calls have already started, or will start today, given that the vote will probably happen tomorrow. The other targets are:

Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana)
John Fleming (R-Louisiana)
Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky)
Leonard Lance (R-New Jersey)
Christopher Lee (R-New Jersey)
Tom Rooney (R-Florida)

Luetkemeyer voted against and has expressed strong opposition to the stimulus package. He’s unlikely to vote for it this time around, and surely the DCCC understands that. It’s possible this effort may be an attempt to keep him soft for a potential challenge in 2010. As a freshman who won in 2008 by only a two-and-a-half points, his is probably a district the DCCC will consider targeting in two years, if they can recruit a top-tier candidate.

If they’ve got the money, there’s no downside to running the ads, but I’d say they’re barking up the wrong tree. The eleven Democrats who voted against this in the House were largely freshman or Blue Dogs, who came from conservative-leaning districts like Missouri 9. Luetkemeyer is doing the right thing, from a practical – and political – standpoint.

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