KT McFarland: The Hillary Helper

It’s time for Kathleen "KT" McFarland to withdraw from the Senate race against Hillary Clinton. She’s being used as a shill by Hillary’s supporters to slow down John Spencer, the Conservative Party nominee and Republican Party-endorsed candidate.

The only chance to defeat Hillary is for McFarland, who has never held public office to withdraw and let a single challenger proceed. Since she probably won’t, it’s important for those who might donate to her campaign to realize that every dollar sent to KT actually helps Hillary.

Democrats and Hillary backers are flocking to McFarland to support her candidacy and keep her in the race. One example: Lionel Pincus, who has donated thousands to Hillary and tens of thousands to committees to help Hillary and hundreds of thousands to the Democratic National Committee, gave McFarland $4,200.

Twenty other McFarland donors (who’ve given her a total of $25,200) also gave more than $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee, $6,000 to Chuck Schumer’s Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, $9,900 to Howard Dean, $4,000 to John Kerry and $6,910 to Hillary Clinton.

This pattern is no coincidence. At the very least, Hillary’s supporters recognize that McFarland’s primary challenge to John Spencer, the former Yonkers mayor, handicaps his general-election challenge to the senator. At the most, there may be a concerted campaign to encourage Hillary donors to give to KT.

McFarland and Spencer competed fairly for the Republican nomination — and the GOP State Committee vote was 2 to 1 in favor of Spencer. (The Conservative Party also endorsed him.)

Can Spencer win? His campaign will get some traction from Hillary’s refusal to commit to serving a full term in the Senate. On the left, Hillary has won no plaudits from her fellow Democrats by backing Bush to the hilt on the war in Iraq. Her partisan attacks on every other aspect of the president’s policy notwithstanding, she is wearing out her welcome with her party.

Hillary Clinton has raised close to $20 million, allegedly for her bid for the Senate — but obviously for her presidential race. The more viable Spencer’s challenge is, the more money she has to spend getting re-elected.

Those who worry that Hillary would be a terrible president should donate to Spencer — and resist the temptation to split the vote by giving to McFarland.