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All Sides Scramble to Capitalize on "Baby Killer"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 23 2010

Maybe it's that after a year-long battle over health care reform that was at turns exhausting, exasperating, and thrilling for the Democratic base, there's a lack of energy on the left for fundraising over Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer's shout of "It's a baby killer" during debate on the House floor in the general direction of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). Or perhaps it's simply more difficult to message a clear fundraising request around the federal funding of abortion services in a local House race. But for whatever reason, "baby killer" doesn't seem to be turning into the 2010 version of "You lie!" that filled the coffers of both the shouter, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, and his Democratic opponent, Rob Miller. Though, as TPMDC's Christina Bellantoni reports, that's not for lack of trying:

At some point yesterday afternoon or this morning, [Andy] Wilson [Neugebauer's opponent] turned his Web site into a donation hub and responded to Neugebauer in a message to the district. He said the Republican "has departed from the West Texas values of courtesy and from representation that works toward effective legislation." An Act Blue page set up to raise money for Wilson under the banner "Stop Neugebauer" had just $100 in contributions as of this writing.

Neugeberger has attempt to raise some campaign funds off of the incident, posting, as Bellantoni notes, a web video in which he pledges to continue to speak out on abortion "with the same passion that I spoke last night -- maybe in a little bit different forum," Neugebaur says with a slight chuckle, "but still with the same intensity." The video is paired on RandyforCongress.com with a giant red "Donate Today" button. And as Bellantoni notes, the DCCC has also been attempting to capitalize on the outburst with Facebook ads against Neugeberger.

Here's something to keep an eye on on the Republican side of the ledger. During the Wilson/Miller situation, Wilson's fundraising ran through SlateCard. SlateCard was launched in 2007 as a Republican response to ActBlue, the Democratic clearinghouse for online fundraising that has raised more than $124 million since 2004. But the service isn't available for Neugebauer's use this time around. In January, SlateCard co-founder David All posted a note on the site was in suspended animation for a post-2008 cycle retooling that has "taken quite a bit longer than expected."