Supporters of mayoral candidate Leo Alexander have been badgering journalists about why their candidate isn't receiving more ink and airtime compared to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.
Although it can be maddening for candidates, reporters and media outlets often focus on candidates who are widely viewed as having the best chance to prevail in the election. And, unfortunately, two of the best indicators of a candidate's electoral strength are poll numbers and campaign finance data.
In a Washington Post poll conducted in January, Alexander drew less than 5 percent of the vote. On the money front, it's taken a bit longer to evaluate Alexander's fundraising skills because his June 10 finance report was only recently uploaded to the Office of Campaign Finance Web site.
But the report is now in. And Alexander reports he has. . . a grand total of $701.00 in the bank. (By comparison, Gray had about $371,000 in the bank and Fenty about $3.3 million).
For the reporting period, which ran from March 11 through June 10, Alexander actually spent more money than he raised. According to the report he raised $3,960, including about $2,000 from himself. But he reported $4,730 in expenditures.
Despite running as a Democrat, one of Alexander's larger campaign donations came from a political action committee with long ties to Republican candidates.
The Eagle Forum, founded by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, gave Alexander $200 in late April.
The Eagle Forum, whose motto is "leading the pro-family movement since 1972," has endorsed Alexander, allowing him to join the ranks of Texas Gov. Rick Perry ( R), U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn) and U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Ok,) in winning support from Schlafly's PAC. In winning the endorsement, Alexander also has something in common with U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), known to many Washingtonians as the congressman who is trying to block the District's same-sex marriage law and pending medical marijuana initiative.
So what makes Alexander so appealing to an organization whose mission includes exposing "radical feminists" and supporting the "American identity?"
No one answered the phone at Alexander's campaign headquarters, but on the campaign trail he often speaks out against illegal immigration, arguing illegal immigrants are taking away jobs from native Washingtonians. Alexander also supports a referendum on whether same-sex marriage should be legal.
But much of Alexander's campaign centers on a populist message of creating more jobs and firing Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
The Eagle Forum wasn't the only high-profile name to appear on Alexander's finance report. He also received a $25 contribution from Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, a former girlfriend of Council member Marion Barry.