Election Central

Mitchell dings Risch on promise to cut entitlements; Risch rattles tin cup for donors

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell says incumbent Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch is “irresponsible” and is playing to his party’s “extreme right wing” or “really wants to destroy the financial security of seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Either way, it’s flat-out wrong.”

Mitchell made his complaint in a news release last week.

Mitchell’s April 2 release cited a Risch fundraising email sent shortly before the March 31 first quarter deadline, in which Risch wrote, “You can take this to the bank — I’m going to have a perfect voting record when it comes to dumping ObamaCare, cutting entitlements, protecting the 2nd Amendment, and defending unborn life.”

Risch, who ranks among the safest incumbents in the country, apparently is taking first-time candidate Mitchell very seriously.

“Friend, I need your help,” Risch writes. “In just a few days, I face a critical fundraising deadline that will set the tone for the rest of this campaign, and I still haven’t reached my fundraising goal. Can you help me?” (bold in original)

Risch raised about $977,000 in 2013 and had $822,000 in cash at at year’s end. Mitchell announced his upset bid in January and his first-quarter finance report is not yet available from the Federal Election Commission. First quarter reports are due April 15 but because the Senate doesn’t require electronic filing take longer to retrieve than House reports.

Following are copies of the Risch appeal for contributions and Mitchell’s response.

THE RISCH SOLICIT

Friend,

You may not know this about me, but it’s something I want you to know: The American Conservative Union has ranked me first among US Senators for my leadership on conservative issues.

You can take this to the bank – I’m going to have a perfect voting record when it comes to dumping ObamaCare, cutting entitlements, protecting the 2nd Amendment, and defending unborn life.

Here’s what else you should know – none of that is going to matter a bit if my re-election campaign isn’t successful.

Friend, I need your help. In just a few days, I face a critical fundraising deadline that will set the tone for the rest of this campaign, and I still haven’t reached my fundraising goal. Can you help me?

Will you make an immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more right away to defend America’s most conservative Senator?

You see – we are closing the books on the first fundraising period since my opponent announced, and we need to raise an additional $15,000 online before midnight on March 31st to help us reach our goal. If we meet our goal, I am confident we will significantly outraise my opponent.

So will you make an immediate contribution to my campaign right away to help us reach this critical fundraising goal?

Friend, my record opposing Harry Reid and President Obama is about as long as it can be. With ObamaCare already costing thousands of families their affordable private insurance plans, President Obama attacking our 2nd Amendment rights, and a $17 Trillion National Debt spiraling further out of control, you and I cannot afford to let my Democrat opponent win this race.

So please make a contribution of whatever you can afford before the March 31st fundraising deadline passes!

I’m already working overtime to win this race, and I’m counting on your immediate help to propel me to victory.

Whatever amount you send, thank you again for your encouragement and support for my campaign to restore our conservative values in Washington.

Thanks,

Jim Risch
United States Senator


THE MITCHELL NEWS RELEASE

MITCHELL CHALLENGES RISCH ON SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE

BOISE – Citing Risch’s recent fundraising letter that calls for cuts in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, challenger Nels Mitchell today called upon Jim Risch to tell Idahoans exactly which programs he would cut and how deep of cuts he would make.“Risch’s rhetoric is irresponsible,” Mitchell said. “He’s either playing to the extreme right wing of his party for campaign contributions, or he really wants to destroy the financial security of seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Either way it’s flat-out wrong.”

Risch’s letter read in part, “You can take this to the bank – I’m going to have a perfect record when it comes to . . . cutting entitlements . . .”

“Risch seems to be trying to hide behind the code word ‘entitlements,’ but there’s no mistaking what he’s talking about – Social Security and Medicare – the most successful poverty-reducing programs of the last 100 years. We already know where he stands on helping veterans by his recent vote against legislation improving Veteran’s benefits.”

“Now that he’s on record as supporting cuts, Risch needs to tell Idahoans exactly where and how much he wants to cut these essential programs,” Mitchell said.

“We need to make these programs stronger for the long-term, not cut the heart out of them.”

Mitchell speculated that Risch might support ‘privatizing’ Social Security, which Mitchell called “a recipe for disaster.” But he said we’re in the dark until Risch is called to account for himself.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics