You didn't think some bad poll numbers were going to make Joe Manchin roll over and play dead in the WVa Senate race, did you?
Today Politico has a post on the enormous wealth of his GOP opponent John Raese, which pictures his Florida mansion (at top) and the pink marble driveway he had paved in 2008. Some of the tidbits in the story come from Manchin's supporters in labor.
Some are taking a fresh look at the Greer Industries heir who, as labor officials noted with glee today in a clip they sent around, has often joked about earning his money through inheritance, including in a radio interview yesterday.
Raese leads a lavish lifestyle that's included over 15 cars, boats and motorcycles, a home in Florida where his family lives full-time and where, records show, he paved the driveway with marble in 2008 as the economy was nosediving.
The fact of Raese's family living in another state fulltime almost certain to come up on the campaign trail.
Elizabeth and John Raese have a nearly 7,000 square-foot home, one where in 2008 - shortly after the first of the TARP package was being allocated - the Raeses put in permits to repave their marble driveway with fresh pink stone. They've also claimed homeowners' exemptions, which are only available to Florida state residents, including a $25,000 one this year, according to Palm Beach County property records, because of his wife's residence.
Raese campaign manager Jim Dornan said that while his family lives in Florida, the candidate lives and votes in West Virginia and insisted one thing has nothing to do with the other. On the trail, Raese has had some swank accomodations, flying around on a private jet of his own, which, according to press accounts, he's used to head to Florida at least five times in the past three months. He's owned properties in Florida for well over a decade, and his kids went to school there - a fact, he's said, that comes from his desire to have them attend a system he "believes in."
Raese's campaign pushed back hard, with Dornan saying, "They trot that out every time he runs. If I was Manchin and I had to defend my relationship with (President) Obama, I'd be trotting that crap out too."
He added, "To tell you the truth if i had to defend a guy who's been successful versus a guy who's held office most of the last 20 years, I'd rather go with the business. The climate out there on boh sides is anti-politician, and they ought to be (worried)."