Posted: May 25, 2006


Cents for Spivack

Michael N. Castle brought in John McCain for his fund-raiser. Dennis Spivack had New Castle County President Paul G. Clark at his.

Castle pulled in $25,000 or $30,000. Spivack's take was $3,500 or $3,600.

Castle's event Saturday drew about 100 people to Dewey Beach at a multi-million dollar beachfront estate once owned by a du Pont. Spivack got about 50 people to Hockessin four days later at a very nice house owned by Rebecca Young, the leader of the Progressive Democrats, the Howard Dean wing of the party.

Duh, which one is the Republican congressman running for his eighth term and which is the Democratic cock-eyed optimist going against him?

Give Spivack credit. Although he is challenging someone who routinely collects upwards of $1 million and about 70 percent of the vote, Spivack appears to be running for all he is worth. (This is not entirely a figure of speech. He began his campaign by putting up $90,000 of his own money.)

Spivack says he is spending about eight hours a day on the telephone, dialing for dollars, in an effort to break out of the vicious circle that traditionally dooms challengers -- you can't get money without name recognition, and you can't get name recognition without money.

Fortunately for Spivack, he could not have a better skill set for getting people to give to him. He is a lawyer who likes to talk.

He says he raised about $30,000 two weeks ago, the most recent week for which he has a tally.

Spivack is undeterred by the odds against him. "I'm in this campaign to win. I think people are listening. I feel like there's something out there. The only thing I can equate this to is 1974, the Watergate election. I will be the beneficiary of it. I really think I'm in the right place at the right time," he said.

Lightning would have to strike, but at least Spivack is running in what is expected to be a Democratic year where there ought to be some thunderstorms. Still, it is not his best luck that Castle is a descendant of Ben Franklin, the inventor of the lightning rod.

Tribute to Tina

If John McCain is elected president, no doubt the number of people will grow who will say they were there when he showed up Saturday with Mike Castle in Seaford during a retirement banquet for state Rep. Tina Fallon.

As it was, about 350 people saw them stop by the Seaford fire hall after Castle's fund-raiser in Dewey Beach. They spent about 10 minutes at the tribute for Fallon, a mite of a Republican best known for her mighty age of 88.

Fallon is leaving the legislature after 28 years, and McCain's appearance almost certainly elevated her departure to political lore. If McCain was the man of the hour, however, the line of the day belonged to state Rep. J. Benjamin Ewing, a Bridgeville Republican who is 75 himself.

Ewing said he met Fallon at a lawn party, recalling, "We had a wonderful speaker. I can remember very clearly when Abraham Lincoln spoke that day."