According to this recent article in Politico, Democrat incumbent Jim Oberstar seems to have spent more time with big donors in Corpus Christi, Texas than he spent with constituents in places like Cass Lake, Minnesota.
Over the last two years, Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar has raised at least $65,900 from Texas Democrat Solomon Ortiz's impoverished Mexican-border district - nearly double the amount Oberstar has collected from his own constituents in the same time period.
Despite this lack of home based financial support, Oberstar's spokesperson says they have no shortage of volunteers to get out the vote on election day.
Oberstar's aides say he's doing everything he needs to do to make sure there's not a Rep. Cravaack in January 2011.
They count 1,006 volunteers in eight offices, which they contend more accurately reflects Oberstar's support in his northern Minnesota district. John Schadl, a Oberstar spokesman, said in an email that the congressman has a "great deal of local support." and it will be "felt on election day when over 500 people hit the streets in a final get out the vote push."
"They are taking lawn signs, putting up lawn signs, making voter-contact calls, door-knocking, distributing campaign [literature]," Schadl told POLITICO in an e-mail. Moreover, Schadl, says, there are another 527 waiting in the wings to help out in the final run-up to the election.
The volunteer numbers are far greater than the local donor base
I had to look at the above paragraph several times. Over 500 plus 527 certainly adds up to more than 1,006. Of course, we know from his performance at the recent debate with Chip Cravaack that Oberstar is arithmetically challenged: He can't distinguish being in the hole by billions from being in the hole by trillions. What really brought me up short, however, was that very odd phrase "527 waiting in the wings" Usually a spokesperson for a political campaign won't say the number 527 anywhere near a reporter, lest these ever vigilant media watchdogs get the idea that the campaign might be illegally coordinating campaign activities with an issues advocacy group. It must just be the unfamiliar stress of Oberstar's staff actually having to campaign for a change.
One thing I think I can say for sure from the experience of working with genuine grass roots campaigns: Those 1,006 election workers will be the very best that money can buy.