In the 2018 Congressional race for CD-49, environmental lawyer Mike Levin has already raised more than $275,000 in just three weeks — double the amount raised by Colonel Doug Applegate before the 2016 primary. Contributions came in to Levin’s campaign from all 50 states and the vast majority of them were small donations — showing grassroots support for Levin’s campaign to send Rep. Darryl Issa into retirement.
Here’s the note Levin sent to supporters on Monday:
Wow, thank you. I am thrilled that I get to share with you the results of our hard work.
In just over three weeks since we launched this campaign, we raised $275,638.51 — and over 87% came from contributions of $100 or below. Together, we showed the world how strong we are and how ours is the campaign to defeat Darrell Issa, once and for all.
One of the best parts? We had support from coast to coast. With over 2,000 contributions from donors in all fifty states, we proved that the entire country is with us and ready to win in 2018.
I’m deeply honored by the depth and breadth of our support. Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress and can self-finance his campaign. But we have something on him that’s much bigger than his bank account: the people. Hardworking Californians proved that they want a Congressperson who is going to work for them, not just the 1%.
Thank you for your support — this is only the beginning.
Applegate is apparently starting to feel the heat. He was at the Issa Town Hall, but unlike Levin, was stuck outside. The video of Levin going after Issa without fear or favor has done viral and has driven a number of contributions to Levin’s campaign. It’s led to appearances on national television. Other candidates challenging Mimi Walters or Dana Rohrabacher have expressed a desire to mimic Levin’s campaign — not Applegate’s. Applegate’s 2016 campaign did get millions from national party sources, but his own individual fundraising wasn’t anything to shout about. It’s unclear how much he’s raised so far for 2018. On Facebook April 1, Applegate challenged Mike Levin to a debate and the Colonel posted this last night:
Tonight I shook hands with Mike Levin at the Casino in San Clemente with the Democratic Women of South Orange County and he agreed to a June 8 debate with or without Issa.
I Stand for Solutions not Slogans. So let’s all put our issues out staring (sic) now:
• Single-payer Universal health care for all…
• P-16 education thru a 4-yr public college degree (grade 16)
There’s So Much More to Come
It’s this blog’s opinion, Applegate’s focus on Levin is wrong. Both Applegate and Levin ought to be beating up Issa. There will be sharp divisions about which candidate is best suited to beat Issa in 2018. It’s a smarter play to beat up Issa than a fellow Democrat and let the voters decide which one is best for November. Remember, both Levin and Applegate live in South Orange County. The Applegate fans will say “But Doug’s got the military vote.” It’s not nearly as big as most people think.
Applegate’s 2016 campaign has some issues with federal filings; the Colonel posted this on Facebook in March:
All FEC reports were refiled on Friday, March 24th. The bookkeeping errors consisted of two different compliance CPAs’ failure to input expenses – two media buys by wire and two checks, totaling nearly $345K alone. A complete audit accounted for all contributions, and no money is or was ever missing.
It was a mistake that never should have happened.
We’re told the same people who managed Applegate’s 2016 run are still running the campaign. Why he’d stick with folks who did some sloppy work is a head-scratcher….I’ll keep pointing to the poor job the campaign did in South OC which was the deciding factor in returning Issa to Congress with about 1,600 vote margin of victory.
The overwhelming theme throughout the party — statewide and nationally — is party unity. There are still sharp divisions among Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters.
More troubling, a post from Applegate in late December suggesting the Hillary Clinton about “the mob should prosecute her to the fullest extent and if they fail to do so they’re cowards and frauds.” What the hell?
Regardless who the ultimate Issa challenger is, both Levin and Applegate need to work on taking this seat from the GOP. Issa’s love affair with President Trump ought to make any voter in CD-49 sick. The ability to raise money matters.
There’s going to be a lot of agreement between Levin and Applegate moving forward — beat up Issa and not each other.