One would think the Democratic opponent to veteran incumbent Congressman John Carter would be far too busy with the ins-and-outs of her upcoming Hollywood motion picture to worry about an uphill campaign for Congress.
Front and center to MJ Hegar‘s Hollywood-style campaign ads for the solid-R Central Texas Congressional district is her story of earning a Purple Heart as a military rescue copter pilot in Afghanistan. Her paper-based memoir, “Shoot Like a Girl,” is slated for the big screen, to be produced by “Maze Runner” series and “Spiderwick Chronicles” producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, highlighting Hegar’s notable heroics and later activism in pushing for women in military front-line combat roles.
Hegar’s frequent campaign ads on Austin-area television appear to double as publicity for her upcoming movie and have gained national notoriety. The arrangement is also a lucrative campaign cash vehicle for the 42-year-old challenger to the five-term Congressman.
Where else would we learn this but within the pages of Hollywood’s own chronicle of the movie-making biz, Variety?
Over the summer, according to Variety, Hegar was feted by Goldsmith-Vein and husband Jon Vein, a former CEO of MarketShare — part of a “deluge” of liberals seeking the blessings of Hollywood producers to flip red districts blue.
“Los Angeles is a routine stop for candidates across the country, but the difference this year is the sheer numbers of contenders enlisting progressive activists, donors, or any connections to host events,” the Variety article stated.
Hegar’s airstrike tactic may be selling books and promoting the upcoming movie well, but Carter maintains a strong lead at 53 percent according to the New York Times’ recent ambitious poll of 32,000 likely voters, and higher in other polling.
The polling data may represent a shave off Carter’s usual lead, which is all Texas Democrats can hope for this cycle (in a state which favors Gov. Greg Abbott by nearly 20 percent in a recent poll and other statewide candidates by double-digits). Rep. Carter has won general elections by anywhere from 58-61 percent in previous election years. For similar reasons, other front-and-center Democrat campaigns are not being run as centrist appeals in a strongly conservative state. Instead, they are hitting the usual far-left Democrat talking points in order to identify new voters and build databases for text messaging. It stands to reason campaigns such as Hegar’s are expecting a loss while banking on other goals (e.g. campaign data gathering, name recognition, a future run for another office, or in Hegar’s case a big opening weekend).
In addition to Hegar’s non-Texan patronage (a quick look through campaign finance reports shows around 230 California-based donations), her email communications also apparently hail from an outside source. An email communique from before the Texas Primaries inadvertently contained information from another Texas Democratic campaign (oops).
We can expect Hegar’s show business strategies to continue throughout the election. On Thursday Hegar and other Central Texas liberal campaigns received a visit from Natalie Portman. And just last week Hegar’s campaign launched an ad comparing John Carter to the title character from the Disney movie adaptation of “John Carter of Mars,” attempting to paint the incumbent as an invading space creature from Washington D.C.
With the outside cash, show business-level productions, and campaign collusion, voters have every reason to ask who the real alien influences are in the 31st Congressional District of Texas.