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Rolly: Lee's tone getting more shrill, desperate

Published August 31, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah Sen. Mike's Lee's desperate attempts to be relevant and to raise money for his re-election bid in three years are slipping into such a shrill tone, one has to wonder about his grip on reality.

"Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, and even some from my own party are LYING (Not just lying, but LYING) to the American people about my plan to defund Obamacare," Lee wrote in his latest email to his "Dear Fellow Americans" on Thursday.

"They know they can't argue on Obamacare's merits, so they've invented a false narrative claiming that I'm trying to shut down the government," Lee added, ignoring the fact that Congress passed the Affordable Care Act after a debate on its merits and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it.

But Lee, according to his email that makes him sound like a latter-day Joe McCarthy, has gotten all those socialists and evil-doers in the government and the "mainstream media" so worried about his valiant quest to save us, they are all turning their attention to him, trying to get him, trying to take him away and punish him.

Lee the martyr has a way for all those fellow Americans to help him stand up for truth, justice and the American way: Give him money.

"I need your help to fight back against this campaign of dishonesty and deceit. If we let them get away with this, we really could lose this fight to defund Obamacare."

That's where he says you need to send him $25, $35, $50, $100, $250, "or whatever you can afford to my campaign right away."

He doesn't explain how donating to a campaign that will be waged for his political survival in three years will help defeat Obamacare now, unless perhaps he intends to use the money to bribe other senators with campaign contributions to vote on some manipulation to separate Obamacare from the rest of the budget and then not fund it.

The fact is, he's not even close to getting that kind of support, even from his own party. But these continued pleas for money indicate a growing paranoia about his effectiveness, his relevance and his political survival.

Lee's email was the second in three days that the junior senator from Utah sent to his "Fellow Americans" asking for campaign contributions. I have written before about his past pleas for money and using the evil Obamacare as the excuse. But now, those pleas are becoming ridiculously frequent.

On Tuesday, he sent an email that talked about all the horror stories he is getting from constituents about Obamacare as he meets with fellow Utahns during the dog days of the summer recess.

"I am crisscrossing my state for meetings and town halls, and constituents have resoundingly proclaimed their disgust for the coming train wreck of Obamacare and their disbelief that members of Congress won't stand up and protect the people," he wrote.

He didn't mention that, in his "crisscrossing" Utah with town meetings, he skipped Salt Lake County, which just happens to contain about half the state's population.

Just like the gerrymandering the Republicans in the Utah Legislature have become so adept at, where the candidates select the voters instead of the other way around, Lee has systematically selected the constituents he will hear from.

Lee's rash pleas for money and his continued barking at the moon about Obamacare might best be explained this way:

There is growing talk in Republican circles about Lee getting a serious challenge in the Republican Party when he runs for re-election in 2016.

He reportedly approached former Republican State Chairman Thomas Wright at the State GOP Convention and asked him point blank if Wright planned to run against him. Wright, reportedly, did not give him a definitive answer.

Lee, as of his last campaign finance report in June, had about $73,000 in his campaign fund and $58,000 in debts. Since 2009, his campaign has raised about $2.4 million and spent about $2.2 million.

To put that in context, Utah's other senator, Orrin Hatch, has $780,000 in his campaign account with no debt. From 2007 to 2012, he raised $11.5 million. —