Missouri’s 5th U.S. Congressional District – The Race To Watch
LEE’S SUMMIT, AUGUST 18, 2012 – A search of the blogosphere for the race between incumbent Congressman Reverend Emanuel Cleaver II and challenger Jacob Turk: This is their 4th race together so they know each other’s campaign style well.
The interesting part of the race is that the Democrat Party has had a lock on this district since the late 1940’s and typically challengers only last 2 races at most, and in most cases it is one race and out. Jacob Turk has been learning and expanding his operation to keep up with a well-funded, experienced fundraising and campaign team.
In 2002 Jeanne Patterson gave Reverend Cleaver a strong run for her money ($3 million of it). Ms. Patterson was a novice and an enthusiastic campaigner; she worked hard to develop her public image based on her experience as a mother and a Cerner Corporation – the Health technology firm her husband founded.
Jacob Turk is very different from Jeanne Patterson. He is an honorably discharged Marine Veteran with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UMKC, a strong work ethic that he started and ran a custom software business where he learned a great deal about dealing with customers, meeting deadlines and payrolls, plus dealing with all the red tape all small businessman face.
Campaign Finance was a big hurdle for Turk in 2006. He only raised $31,000 to run against Cleaver who raised and spent nearly $670,000 and won the re-election by 64% to 36%. Turk was not discouraged, just applied his years of business experience, laid out his plan to raise more money, keep his name on people’s mind and in 2008 raised almost $60,000 to Cleavers lowest amount at $554,000. That year he still lost by a wide margin.
|2012 FEC 2Q12||
The Turk campaign changed a great deal between 2008 and 2010, the experience and the planning paid off early with a fundraising campaign of nearly $275,000 but Cleaver still out raised him using a significant portion from the Political Action Committees for a total of $637,000 (with roughly $380,000 from PAC’s).
Now in 2012 Turk’s political campaign and his ability to raise money is much better. By the end of the second quarter Turk already had $206,000 and Cleaver has $884,000. The campaign continues to work for contributions and to be able to reach the expanded 5th District which added Ray, Lafayette and Saline counties.
It is not unusual for Turk to be outspent in the campaign, but if you look at the 2010 result Jacob Turk received the votes of 47% of the old 5th District and brought Emanuel Cleaver to the lowest vote tally in all the last 20 years. Cleaver paid $12,026 per percent. Turk on the other hand had been much more frugal and productive with his campaign contributions; he spent $5,840 per percent.
Jacob Turk’s efficient and effective use of contributor’s money forced Emanuel Cleaver – the 3rd term candidate – to spend over two times the amount of money per percent of voter’s favorable vote.
The chart above shows the results of every political race since 1992, the great difference is that Jacob Turk has put some history, some familiarity, and some innovative energy into his persistent pursuit of the 5th District’s Congressional Representative office. Penny Bennet ran twice, and so did Steve Gordon, but neither one had the tenacity, the persistency, the determination to learn, grown and improve till achieving the goal.
The largest voting group in the 5th District is the Kansas City inner city. The question that has to be in everyone’s mind is: What has Cleaver done for Kansas City, and what would Turk do?
Cleaver’s voting record shows that throughout his tenure he has missed 3% of the votes. The whole of congress has an average of 2.4% missed votes, so Reverend Cleaver has missed more than is typical for Congressman to miss. The first quarter of 2012 he missed 15.2% of the votes, in what has been determined to be the lowest legislation producing congress since the Great Depression. In the 3rd Quarter of 2012 Cleaver has missed 5.7% of the votes. That is more than 90% of the rest of congress.
If you are missing that many votes, how can you be doing anything for the District you represent?
A look at Cleaver’s sponsored bills, the most recent ones show
- H.R. 6157: To create a patient-centered quality of care initiative for seriously ill patients through … STATUS: Referred to Committee 7/19/2012 – no further action.
- H.Res. 702: Recognizing Major League Baseball as an important part of the cultural history of … STATUS: Referred to Committee 6/25/2012 – no further action.
- H.Res. 701: Recognizing the teams and players of the Negro Baseball Leagues for their achievements, … STATUS: Referred to Committee 6/25/2012 – no further action.
- H.R. 5591: To modify and extend the temporary reduction of duty on beta-cyfluthrin. STATUS: Referred to Committee 5/8/2012 – no further action.
- H.R. 5592: To suspend temporarily the duty on mixtures containing beta-cyfluthrin. STATUS: Referred to Committee 5/8/2012 – no further action.
- H.R. 4665: To suspend temporarily the duty on Flubendiamide. STATUS: Referred to Committee 4/25/2012 – no further action.
- H.R. 4666: To suspend temporarily the duty on Spirotetramat. STATUS: Referred to Committee 4/25/2012 – no further action.
Cleaver has sponsored 69 bills since his election in 2004 and taking office in 2005. Only 3 bills have come to a vote on the floor of the house, and only 1 has become law. One (1) piece of legislation in 8 years in congress is not a great legislative record of bringing money back to Kansas City, providing jobs, and giving the city of Kansas City the best chance to provide jobs for its citizens. What was that piece of Legislation, what value did Cleaver bring back to those who voted for him?
H.R. 3572: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4320 Blue Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri, as the “Wallace S. Hartsfield Post Office Building”.
The only other thing I can find that Cleaver has brought to Kansas City are a couple (and I mean two (2)) earmarks.
- $500,000,000 to Jackson County for a regional transit system
- $ 24,000,000 to Mid-America Regional Council for the acquisition of the Rock Island Corridor.
Cleaver has shown over the years in office that he is willing to spend our tax money freely and without regard to the harm it is doing to the Budget Deficit of the United States. In his 8 years Cleaver has spent money like the U.S. Treasury had it: It doesn’t. We are over $15 Trillion dollars in debt.
The problem is that unlike the $1.1 million tax-payer SBA backed loan that Cleaver defaulted on, the United States cannot default on its borrowing. Remember the problems in 2010 when the Congress talked about not increasing the debt limit? Back then we were $12 Trillion in the hole, now we’re $15 Trillion, and if Cleaver continues to spend money without regard, we’ll be $18 Trillion in the hole next time he comes up for election.
The key to winning the November 6th Election in the 5th District in Missouri is reaching the inner city, reaching out to the portion of Jackson County, Ray County, Saline County and Lafayette County and bring out the independent votes and the moderate votes all consolidated for one candidate.
The demographics of the 5th District have it at 63% Democrat, and 37% Republican. Cleaver can win simply getting his base to show up in proportion. Turk must simultaneously give Democrats a reason to stay home, and he must mobilize the Conservative, Moderate and Independent votes to his side.
In looking at the trends, Turk is in the best position he has ever been. Cleaver had to spend more than 2:1 over Turk to win last time, this time he may have to spend far more than that, and I’m not sure that’s going to be enough for him.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative