WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent out a fund-raising appeal for Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer and flew to Texas this weekend to raise money for the Senate Democratic political operation.
Excerpt from Durbin Giannoulias letter:
"Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, who has taken more than $1.3 million in contributions from the health care lobby, has already promised conservative voters at a closed-door fundraiser that he will "lead the effort" to repeal health care reform if he gets to the Senate. Mark Kirk appears to be more interested in opposing President Obama at every turn than in doing what is right for Illinois families.
"...Alexi is the first Senate candidate in Illinois history to refuse contributions from corporate PACs and federal lobbyists. He's building his campaign from the ground up on the support of people just like you. And that's why he needs your help today."
Click below for pool report on Durbin in Texas with Vice President Biden.
VPOTUS pool report for second Dallas fund-raiser
Dallas Morning News
The Vice President arrived at the home of Russell and Dorothy Budd at 12:18 p.m. with Sen. Dick Durbin and others.
Budd is a successful plaintiff's lawyer who supported Biden's run for president in 2008.
The home, cozy by Texas standards, was filled mostly with Dallas-area politicos, including Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, state Sen. Royce West and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
Budd spoke first, telling the crowd of just under 100 that they had raised $250,000 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. An earlier event netted $100,000, Budd said.
Budd then introduced Durbin.
Durbin gave the crowd a little background on when he met President Barack Obama.
He met the future president when Obama was an Illinois state senator.
Durbin also discussed how he introduced Obama for his historic keynote address during the 2004 National Democratic Convention.
"Remember that introduction," he joked. "Wasn't it great?"
Durbin, the majority whip, said the health care debate, as well as the Senate showdown with Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunting had given Democrats a renewed purpose. The Kentucky senator held up unemployment benefits to make a point about government spending and the deficit.
"People in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate said 'it's time we start fighting back," he said. "We are not cowering in a defensive position. We are ready to fight."
Durbin, of course, was still beaming about the passage of the health care bill.
"This is the biggest thing I've ever been involved in in my political lifetime," he said. "It's a new day. It's a new day we can't lose."
Durbin then introduced Biden.
He thanked Budd and the Democrats in the room for their support through the years.
Biden also went back in time, telling the crowd how he left a big law firm to join the public defender's office. His fist case was defending a Black Panther, he said.
The vice president essentially pounded home one message: The Democrats should not be counted out for the November mid-term elections.
"The reports of the demise of the Democratic Party in November are premature," he said.
He said the passage of health care reform, the jobs created since Obama took office (240,000 in March) and other issues would put Democrats in a good position with voters.
"Every Democratic candidate, including one person here running for Congress, will have a case to make," Biden said.
Biden said he didn't run for president to hang around for eight years.
"I didn't become vice president to stay for eight years," he said. "I came to make a difference."
He added: "We don't think this is about the next election. It's about the next generation. If we take care of the next generation, we'll win the next election."
Biden said the Bush Administration had caused the American people to be skeptical about government.
"I did not anticipate the degree of cynicism that had been reached by the American public," he said. "The greatest damage the Bush Administration did, in my view speaking for myself, more damaging then the recession, their foreign policy, was the loss of faith the American people had in their government to be able to deliver on anything."
"We inherited the most cynical public in a long time, with good reason," he said.
He blamed Bush for replacing a budget surplus with a deficit, adding that 8 million Americans lost jobs.
He added the Bush administration "lied about, at least misrepresented a war of choice" and "ignored a war of necessity."
Biden also praised Democrats for passing health care reform and said Republicans didn't debate the merits of the plan. They instead called is socialism, he said.
As he closed VPOTUS told the group "you're a big deal." He didn't curse.
Biden left the home at 1:38 p.m.
He spoke for about 15 minutes.
While waiting for Biden, assorted Democrats strolled through home, which was impressive but not overbearing.
The menu was as follows:
(Served on trays)
Sweet potato biscuits with shaved Virginia Ham and bourbon honey mustard; southern grits cake with barbecued brisket and micro herbs; Szechuan pepper seared tuna in a wonton basket with wasabi cream; Stilton, Adriatic fig spread and Granny Smith apple on seeded Lahvosh.
(Served in dining room)
Beef tenderloins with creamy horseradish and homemade rolls (mix of Hawaiian and potato rolls); truffled spinach risotto with accompaniments including sauteed wild mushrooms, bacon crumbles, tomato confit, fresh parmesan and fricco chips.
(Buffet hors d' oevres)
Vegetables in ranch dressing; and artichoke and goat cheese beignets
Jumbo gulf shrimp, crab salad, garnished with crab claws, cocktail and remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.
Mini jewel dessert assortment
Self-serve coffee station