Just a few days ago, State Senator Wendy Davis –the presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor– endorsed a seemingly unknown businessman and dentist, David Alameel, in his quest to become the Democratic nominee for the US Senate. Alameel, as those from the DFW area may recall, ran for Congress last year in a gloriously unsuccessful race that saw him spend over $1k per vote.
However, it is Alameel’s ill-defined political views that have more recently gotten him in hot water. He ran on some pretty weird and conspiratorial platforms in his 2012 congressional campaign, specifically pertaining to the Federal Reserve and his belief that is tantamount to “private tender” and is run by the “Wall Street banking cartel.” There is also the persistent rumor that he took positions against abortion when he ran for Congress, but perhaps the biggest critique his rivals has been pounding on thus far is the fact that he has heavily donated to Republican officeholders –including Sen. Cornyn– in the past.
As I see the US Senate Democratic primary, there are only four candidates of any significance whatsoever: Alameel, Michael Fjetland, Harry Kim and Maxey Scherr. Kim, a physician from Odessa, has run a fairly low-profile campaign thus far but recently created a website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Of these candidates, it is Scherr who has hit Alameel the hardest on his allegedly insufficient progressive credentials.
Scherr has taken Alameel to task over his donations to Republican officeholders, painting this as evidence of an endorsement of their views on abortion. The tactic is rather silly, but the point of his donations (mainly to Cornyn) resonate nonetheless with many Democrats, including myself. Specifically, Scherr points to records that show Alameel donated:
“$150,000.00 to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst $25,000.00 to the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee)
$8,400.00 to Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT)
$4,200.00 to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)”
Oddly enough, his donation to John Cornyn was not included in the attack press release. I personally think the attacks almost reek of desperation, particularly after witnessing the same sorry old tactics in a City Council race last year. Alameel is a businessman who has donated heavily to both sides of the aisle, so a small gift to the Senate Minority Leader is a somewhat venial offense when compared to how much he has given to Democratic senators.
What I personally do not find so excusable is the fact that he gave such a high amount to Dewhurst, but even more that he donated to the same man he is running against now. For all the talk of the Republican Party scooting so far to the right in recent years, John Cornyn has actually been pretty stable. Granted, his stability has been on the right-wing fringe, but the point is still valid.
Scherr –as well as Fjetland and Kim– should focus on these issues. Additionally, the campaign should retain someone to do a little bit of opposition research on if Alameel ever said anything on the campaign trail in 2012 that was anti-abortion, or if he ever otherwise held himself out as pro-life. That would be the smoking gun if the rumor has legs.