Warren's Wall Street Problem? Says Who?

This morning the Ballot Box blog of DC's The Hill ran a piece that made the rounds (and was repeated tonight practically verbatim by Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC's Last Word) about the tough dilemma facing Elizabeth Warren if she runs for US Senate: because of her tough, anti-Wall Street credentials -- most recently as the "mastermind of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" -- Warren will likely be unable to raise money from "high-rolling donors" at hedge funds and financial firms, and will be forced to rely on small-dollar contributions from her "ardent grassroots following" to fund her uphill battle against the man dubbed by Forbes "Wall Street's favorite Senator," Scott Brown.

Says who? Well, nobody.

No really, go back and re-read it. Nobody.

This could be a new record for most claims in a single article beneficial to one candidate put forward without any basis or attribution whatsoever.

The "Wall Street's favorite Senator" claim, incidentally, is absolutely bogus; Brown was the 6th (not 1st) Senator on that Forbes list of congressmen having received the most in Wall Street contributions from January 2009 through June 2010. Brown's special election was in January 2010; almost nobody else in Congress had an election during that stretch. During that period, I'd bet Brown was in the top 10 for contributions by people whose names begin with S, too, and people with a '7' in their ZIP Code.

Also, I'm not sure how Brown's campaign committee contributions from Fidelity go back to 2007. And Democratic candidates in Masaschusetts do not get the bulk of their money from hedge funds and financial firms. (Law firms are a much bigger source.) And, while her listening tour is going well, I haven't seen any polling or evidence that at this point her grassroots juggernaut in Massachusetts is bigger or more ardent than Alan Khazei's or Bob Massie's (let alone pols that anybody has actually heard of). Which reminds me: contrary to the impression given, there is actually a Democratic primary.

[Update: Please see this post for an apology regarding the remainder of this post.]

Quoted in the article is Boston's Mary Anne Marsh, who happens to be principal at the political consulting firm Dewey Square Group, where she used to work with Guy Cecil, the current executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the person most Massachusetts Democrats believe has been the primary DC driver behind Warren's candidacy. Just saying. (Marsh also started the Warren pre-listening-tour buzz by hinting at that upcoming announcement on Boston television.)

But whoever got it in The Hill, be it Marsh, Cecil, or whoever, I applaud you. One of the great propaganda pitch jobs I've ever seen. F-IN' BRILLIANT!!!

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