A couple of weeks ago, RTP asked the question: “Who the heck is Grant Starrett?” Now, thanks to his first campaign filing, we have a clearer picture – and the picture ain’t pretty.
We polled everyone on the crew of RTP, and each of us polled several more old political hands and the answer was pretty much the same: Rarely – if ever – have we seen someone amass as much campaign cash as did Starrett, but do so almost exclusive of the state and district in which he seeks to serve.
Starrett, the Californian-recent-transplant-to-TN running in the 4th Congressional District against Rep. Scott DesJarlais rolled up $731,000 in just one quarter of reporting. Impressive, right? But a simple look at the numbers reveals a very disturbing pattern that should worry anyone in the Volunteer state who holds the quaint notion that Tennessee should be represented by Tennesseans.
71% of Starrett’s itemized contributions came from California — 71%! There are California congressmen who do not get 71% of their contributions from California, but young Grant has done it while running 2,500 miles away in Tennessee. And the overwhelming majority those contributors came from West Los Angeles.
Only 1 (count ‘em – one) person in the 4th District has given Starrett a contribution. You read that right – out of over 300 individual contributors, Starrett managed to find only one yahoo inside the district to give him a contribution. There is also a husband and wife from Signal Mountain who gave him a contribution, but it is not clear whether they live in the 4th District.
With or without the couple from Signal Mountain, over 99% of Starrett’s listed contributions came from OUTSIDE of the district he wants to represent. Look at it this way: What would people in a New York City congressional district think about a candidate in their Upper East Side neighborhood who received most of his money from Murfreesboro or Shelbyville?
“So,” you say, “Surely Starrett got a lot more contributions inside of Tennessee, but outside of the 4th District.” Nope. He got only 28 contributions elsewhere in Tennessee. That means 97% of his contributions are from OUTSIDE the volunteer state. Starrett got almost as much money from Texas or New York as he did from Tennessee.
What’s going on here? Is this a freakin’ joke? Where the hell does Starrett get off thinking he can waltz into our state after only living here a couple of years, tap into his trust fund and his Daddy’s Hollywood friends and purchase a congressional seat populated with hard-working people — nearly every man, woman and child of whom have lived in the 4th District longer than Starrett?
It doesn’t matter whether you like DesJarlais or not —
This is wrong.