April 28, 2005

Gore Speech: "Breaking the Rules to Destroy Our Courts"

Get out your constitutional theory textbook and check out Al Gore's recent speech on the GOP's potential nuclear option :

This fight is not about responding to a crisis. It is about the desire of the administration and the Senate leadership to stifle debate in order to get what they want when they want it. What is involved here is a power grab -- pure and simple.

And what makes it so dangerous for our country is their willingness to do serious damage to our American democracy in order to satisfy their lust for total one-party domination of all three branches of government. They seek nothing less than absolute power. Their grand design is an all-powerful executive using a weakened legislature to fashion a compliant judiciary in its own image. They envision a total breakdown of the separation of powers. And in its place they want to establish a system in which power is unified in the service of a narrow ideology serving a narrow set of interests.

Their coalition of supporters includes both right-wing religious extremists and exceptionally greedy economic special interests. Both groups are seeking more and more power for their own separate purposes. If they were to achieve their ambition -- and exercise the power they seek -- America would face the twin dangers of an economic blueprint that eliminated most all of the safeguards and protections established for middle class families throughout the 20th century and a complete revision of the historic insulation of the rule of law from sectarian dogma. One of the first casualties would be the civil liberties that Americans have come to take for granted.

Indeed, the first nominee they've sent to the on-deck circle has argued throughout her legal career that America's self-government is the root of all social evil. Her radical view of the Social Security system, which she believes to be unconstitutional, is that it has created a situation where, in her words: "Today's senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren."

Posted by Eric at 09:39 AM | Comments (1)

The Coming Ethics War

Though Republicans are reversing changes the House ethics rules, don't expect them to play dead - far from it. The Hill:

Some GOP legislators are upset that they were forced to back down on the ethics rules, handing House Democrats a huge political victory. Others, including Hastert, believed that keeping the rules in place would have inflicted significant, long-term damage on House Republicans.

“They’re angry about it,” Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.) said as he walked out of the meeting.

One lawmaker, citing reports of alleged ethical transgressions filed by several Democratic lawmakers and aides, predicted that the ethics panel would begin probes of them once it was allowed to organize.

Expectations that Republicans will use the ethics committee, officially called the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, to retaliate against Democrats for — as Republicans see it — politicizing the House ethics rules raises the specter that an ethics committee will result in a partisan ethics war ... Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said of the prospect of an ethics war between Republicans and Democrats: “It’s inevitable. Don’t think its not going to happen.”
A third Republican lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, agreed.

Liberal Oasis sums it up nicely:
As you can see, scrapping the new ethics rules intended to block an investigation into Tom DeLay is not a retreat.

Just a change in strategy. They’re tired of playing defense for DeLay. So now they’re gearing up to play some offense ... Now, this is very much a high-risk strategy for the GOP.

A steady stream of “everybody does it” stories can create an anti-incumbent “Throw The Bums Out” dynamic, as the House Bank scandal did in 1992 (43 congresspeople were defeated, another 52 retired.)

While the GOP margin in the House has been fairly slim for several years, Dems have never been given much change to regain control, because incumbency re-elections rates have been so high. A Throw The Bums Out dynamic, while possibly stinging some Dems, may well be the party’s best chance in 2006.

Posted by Eric at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)

Bernie Sanders for Senate

As this Vermont columnist notes (link via Sirota), Rep. Bernie Sanders should be the odds-on favorite to win the Vermont Senate seat being vacated by Jim Jeffords; remember, Vermont only has one House district, so Sanders represents the entire state.

The Democratic Party is solidly behind the iconoclastic Vermont Independent with the Brooklyn accent. Both Howard Dean and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called him to express their support. The skids are greased.

The only one who could possibly derail the Senator Sanders train is Republican Gov. Jim Douglas.

The only question is, does he have the guts to go head-to-head with Bernie?

In the 2002 election, both won handily. But Sanders polled 25,000 more votes statewide in his Congressional race than Douglas got for governor.

Certainly the Bush White House and the Republican Party will promise him the sun, moon and stars to run, but Gov. Scissorhands gets flustered when challenged, and Bernie will be challenging him -- loud and clear -- on a daily basis.

Besides, every time we try to raise the issue with Jim Barnett, Douglas' number one hit-man, he changes the subject.

Posted by Eric at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2005

GOP to Reverse Ethics Rule Blocking New DeLay Probe

Ha.

Posted by Eric at 05:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

Another DeLay Story

It pays to be a staffer in Tom DeLay's office - leave and go to K-Street, or stay and be regaled with gifts.

Posted by Eric at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

No Syrian Help on WMD; No to Nuclear Option

Two quick news notes from the Washington Post. First, the Iraq Survey Group "found no senior policy, program, or intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of such movement of WMD.":

U.S. investigators hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have found no evidence that such material was moved to Syria for safekeeping before the war, according to a final report of the investigation released yesterday ... The report, which refuted many of the administration's principal arguments for going to war in Iraq, marked the official end of a two-year weapons hunt led most recently by former U.N. weapons inspector Charles A. Duelfer. The team found that the 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent U.N. sanctions had destroyed Iraq's illicit weapons capabilities and that, for the most part, Hussein had not tried to rebuild them. Iraq's ability to produce nuclear arms, which the administration asserted was a grave and gathering threat that required an immediate military response, had "progressively decayed" since 1991. Investigators found no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the program."
Still, the administration puts a positive spin on the report:
Administration officials have emphasized that, while the survey group uncovered no banned arms, it concluded that Hussein had not given up the goal of someday acquiring them.

Hussein "retained the intent and capability and he intended to resume full-scale WMD efforts once the U.N. sanctions were lifted," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said yesterday. "Duelfer provides plenty of rationale for why this country went to war in Iraq."

And a WPost/ABC poll on the nuclear option:
But by a 2 to 1 ratio, the public rejected easing Senate rules in a way that would make it harder for Democratic senators to prevent final action on Bush's nominees. Even many Republicans were reluctant to abandon current Senate confirmation procedures: Nearly half opposed any rule changes, joining eight in 10 Democrats and seven in 10 political independents, the poll found.
Also in the poll: declining numbers for Bush's Social Security privatization.

Posted by Eric at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2005

Should DeLay Actually Stay?

Here's the argument from Jonathan Alter of Newsweek:

Some Democrats aren't buying. Sure, it would be nice to have "the Hammer" around as a bogeyman for direct-mail solicitations, they say, but he should step down. They claim that his death by a thousand cuts is, as Democratic Rep. Harold Ford puts it, "a big distraction from all that we are trying to do."

Actually, that's an argument for keeping DeLay around. We should want the 109th Congress "distracted" and kept from returning to normal business for as long as possible. Anything the Democrats are "trying to do" won't get done anyway. And what the Radical Republicans are trying to do is usually bad—from cutting taxes further amid monster deficits to immunizing polluters in the energy bill (which won't do a thing, as even proponents admit, to cut gas prices), to subjecting Social Security to the whims of the stock market. It was once conservatives who thought Congress should legislate less. Now this should be the Democratic mantra: Don't do anything. Just stand there!

This will be depicted as obstructionist by the same people who once preached against activist government, but it's the only effective response to the dictatorial way that DeLay's House does business. (Yes, I know the House Democrats could be high-handed during their long years of power, too, but that doesn't excuse the current behavior.) Democrats like Ford don't care to admit that they're utterly powerless; it makes it harder to get up every day and go to work. But their amendments are almost always rejected, and they are excluded from the conference committees that resolve House-Senate differences. So for House Democrats to be "constructive" by engaging in bipartisanship is, with a few exceptions, a sucker's game.

The case for DeLay to go.

Posted by Eric at 06:25 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2005

Republicans: We're Losing on Filibuster

That according to info obtained by the DC-based The Hill:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a leading advocate of the “nuclear option” to end the Democrats’ filibuster of judicial nominees, is privately arguing for a delay in the face of adverse internal party polls.
Details of the polling numbers remain under wraps, but Santorum and other Senate sources concede that, while a majority of Americans oppose the filibuster, the figures show that most also accept the Democratic message that Republicans are trying to destroy the tradition of debate in the Senate.

The Republicans are keeping the “nuclear” poll numbers secret, whereas they have often in the past been keen to release internal survey results that favor the party ... But GOP aides said Santorum has made known to the leadership reasons for why Republicans should not move forward on the nuclear or constitutional option.

“He was concerned that too many things are competing in the same area and you couldn’t get a clean shot at it,” a GOP aide said. The aide cited the “fallout” from congressional Republicans’ intervening in a Florida court’s decision to remove Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube and the subsequent controversy caused by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) statement that “the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”

Posted by Eric at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)

It's Not All for Show?

About the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's turn of events, where Voinovich helped postpone the vote:

"I don't know if I've ever seen, in a setting like this, a senator changing his mind as a result of what other senators said," Mr. Chafee said. "The process worked. It's kind of refreshing."
Chafee update:
Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee that is weighing the nomination, "is less likely right now" to vote to confirm Bolton, his spokesman Stephen Hourahan said in an interview. The senator, he said, "wants to get to the bottom" of new allegations about Bolton's dealings with subordinates and classified information. Until Tuesday, when committee Democrats attacked Bolton's record and won a three-week extension to investigate it, Chafee repeatedly had said he was reluctantly inclined to vote for Bolton.

Posted by Eric at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2005

Poll: Santorum in Trouble

Now 14-point lead!

Democrat Robert P. Casey Jr. holds a 14-percentage-point lead over Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in the 2006 campaign for Santorum's seat, according to an independent poll released today.

Casey, Pennsylvania's state treasurer, was favored by 49 percent of the respondents in the Quinnipiac University poll, compared to 35 percent for Santorum. Thirteen percent were undecided.

The widening of Casey's lead, from 46-41 percent in a Quinnipiac survey in February, comes on the heels of Santorum's high-profile advocacy of President Bush's Social Security overhaul plan.

Posted by Eric at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

Guess the Speaker

Who could this speaker be?

Now, the House needs new management, and that is [my edit] management. In my opinion, it will not do any good to get rid of the present Speaker or the present leadership, because what will happen is more will come in and it is the arrogance of power that we are talking about here. What is going on here is arrogance of power. We need a change in management...

The [ ] could offer us another candidate, but it just will not change the system. Only when the public and [ ] pressure becomes so great does the [ ] leadership act. We need new leadership which will act because it is right, not because they have been caught in coverups and scandals ... Mr. Speaker, I just am saddened by these kinds of issues. I believe very deeply in this institution, and I would hope that others do, too, and understand that, No. 1, the Justice Department is another branch of our Government, that we are empowered and mandated to clean our own house. Yet some in this body do not seem to understand that and would rather see mud thrown at this institution than to get to the bottom of problems in this institution.

For the answer, go here.

And for something completely unrelated, NYT: 10 Ex-G.O.P. Lawmakers Attack Changes in Ethics Rules

Posted by Eric at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2005

Why the Bolton Vote Delay?

AP: Senate Committee Delays Vote on Bolton. Steve Clemons of The Washington Note writes the delay is good for Senate Democrats, who are trying to unearth more of Bolton's misdeeds:

However, yesterday's hearings and Carl Ford's testimony have wounded Bolton's cause -- and now there is a search for more damage done by Bolton in his last position. There are interviews planned with the many people Bolton intimidated, as well as a roster of people whom Bolton had fired -- or pushed out.

There is also a roster of substantive policy questions that Senators want to pose to Bolton in written form that deal with the question of whether Bolton was consistent with Bush administration policy in many of his public statements, or working against it. Some senators want these questions answered by Bolton before voting on his nomination.

So, at the moment, a vote looks like it might occur next Tuesday -- but it could be drawn out further. Time is actually on the side of those doing the investigating -- not those trying to cover up Bolton's record.

Posted by Eric at 04:20 PM | Comments (3)

Support the New GI Bill

From Wesley Clark, in a WesPAC email:

We all may not agree with the causes of this current war in Iraq, but we all agree that the brave men and women fighting it, and their families, deserve more than we can ever give them.


Now we must focus attention on our veterans and military retirees who have seen the government cut medical benefits, close VA hospitals, double tax disability payments, and more than double prescription drug co-payments, while requiring veterans to pay an annual enrollment fee of $250 to use government health services in the 2006 budget.

All of these costs add up to a "GI Tax" on our soldiers and veterans. And it's time to end that "GI Tax" -- once and for all. I need your help!

I was proud to join House Leaders Nancy Pelosi, Ike Skelton, Lane Evans, and Jon Salazar on Capitol Hill yesterday to unveil the new GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century. From the original GI Bill, signed by Franklin Roosevelt, it's always been up to a grateful nation to stand up for veterans and their families. Now it's our turn -- so please help.

Tell your Members of Congress to end the "GI Tax" and support the new GI Bill!

Among some of the bill's provisions: "Assist homeless veterans with employment, and protect bonuses and special pay for those who are permanently and severely injured or wounded or killed in service"; "Expand military health care to provide full access to TRICARE -- the military health program -- to all members of the Guard and Reserve and their families"

Posted by Eric at 01:30 PM | Comments (1)

Senate Rejects Vet Health Provision

The bill would have "provided $1.975 billion to the VA, with $525 million earmarked for mental health programs, $610 million provided specifically for the treatment of veterans wounded in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and $840 million evenly divided between VA regions." From the Army Times:

By two 54-46 votes, the Senate blocked efforts Tuesday to add money for veterans’ health care to the 2005 supplemental appropriations bill.
Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, both members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, sought to add $1.9 billion to the $80.6 billion wartime emergency supplemental appropriations bill to cover costs of treating returning combat veterans for war-related injuries and to cover shortfalls in funding for VA programs.

The Bush administration sought no VA money as part of its supplemental funding request, and none was included in the version of the bill passed by the House in March.

Murray, however, said funding for veterans is critical because wounded service members will be seeking treatment from already underfunded facilities.

“The VA is not prepared to deal with soldiers coming home,” she said. “It is an emergency today. If we don’t deal with it, it will be a crisis tomorrow.”

Posted by Eric at 10:42 AM | Comments (1)

Hillary Reelection Numbers

A new Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll puts Senator Clinton's reelect rating at 51%, with Rudy Giuliani as the strongest challenger.

51% of New York State’s registered voters say they would definitely vote to re-elect Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Senate in 2006. 31% would definitely vote against her, and 12% want to wait and see who runs against her. 6% are unsure ... hypothetical pairings between Senator Clinton and a number of possible Republican candidates, only former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani makes her 2006 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate a competitive contest. Giuliani, with the support of 49% of New York’s voters, is closely matched with Clinton who receives 47%. 4% are undecided. Senator Clinton bests her other potential challengers by wide margins including Governor George Pataki, former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio, public relations executive Adam Brecht, Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, and the son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon, attorney Edward Cox.

Posted by Eric at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2005

More DeLay Trouble?

This time courtesy of *gasp* none other than Jack Abramoff? Oh, tell me more, Newsweek:

April 18 issue - Jack Abramoff was somber, bitter and feeling betrayed. Once a Washington superlobbyist, Abramoff is now the target of a Justice Department criminal probe of allegations that he defrauded American Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars in fees. As stories of his alleged excess dribble out—including the emergence of e-mails showing he derisively referred to his Native American clients as "monkeys" and "idiots"—some of Abramoff's old friends have abandoned him and treated him like a pariah. They claim they knew nothing of his questionable lobbying tactics. So last week, glumly sitting at his corner table at Signatures, the tony downtown restaurant he owns that remains his last redoubt, Abramoff lashed out in frustration ... It is a Washington melodrama that has played out many times before. When political figures get into trouble and their worlds collapse, they look to save themselves by fingering others higher in the food chain. Will Abramoff attempt to bargain with federal prosecutors by offering up DeLay—and does he really have the goods to do so? Abramoff has at times hinted he wanted to bargain—possibly by naming members who sought campaign cash for legislative favors, says a source familiar with the probe. But Abramoff's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, says, "There have been no negotiations with the Justice Department." Lowell cryptically acknowledges that Abramoff has been "disappointed" and "hurt" by the public statements of some former friends, but insists his client is currently "not upset or angry with Tom DeLay." Still, if Abramoff's lunch-table claims are true, he could hand DeLay his worst troubles yet.
Because the oolee computer is dead, I'm reading this now and you should too.

Here's a quote: "Democrats should save their money. Why murder someone who is committing suicide?" said a senior GOP lawmaker, on condition of anonymity.

Posted by Eric at 07:22 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2005

Tom DeLay Legal Donations Slow

Via DCCC, this from The Dallas Morning News:

Donations to Majority Leader Tom DeLay's defense fund have slowed considerably in the last few months. Some of his critics hope to cut the money flow even more with a new line of attack launched Wednesday demanding that corporate donors stop covering his legal bills.

The Tom DeLay Legal Expense Trust took in about $50,000 during the first quarter of 2005 – far below the pace that pumped in $430,000 during the second half of last year ... Aides and allies dismissed the idea that the slowdown in fund-raising for legal bills reflects slipping popularity. Rather, they said, his legal fees have simply subsided.

Posted by Eric at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Here We Go Again

Mr. Delay goes to Saipan, ABC News:

A Washington lobbyist under federal investigation for his lobbying activities arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, over the New Year's holiday in 1997.

DeLay, his wife and daughter, and several aides, stayed for free at a beachfront resort. The DeLay trip to the South Pacific island, originally reported by a "20/20" investigation, was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Abramoff, who was working for the law firm Preston Gates Ellis and Rouvelas Meeds LLP at the time, was paid $l.36 million by Saipan officials and wrote in a memo obtained by ABC News that such congressional trips were "one of the most effective ways to build permanent friends on the Hill."

Abramhoff is now under federal investigation for his lobbying activities, including Saipan, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Posted by Eric at 03:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2005

More Delay Trouble

Uhoh spaghetti-o:

A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.

DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign ... The question is: Who stood behind Chelsea, and thus ultimately financed the trip? A regular office for the firm could not be located by The Post, in Moscow or at its two listed addresses; its Bahamian registration ended in 2000, officials there said. Efforts by The Post to find the three men -- one Belgian, one British, one Russian -- named in lobbying registrations as Chelsea investors or owners in lobbying disclosures were unsuccessful.

Also, in the NYTimes: Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader

Posted by Eric at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

Think Progress: Why DeLay’s Threat Matters

Quoted from the ThinkProgress blog:

DeLay’s vague threat against judges yesterday wasn’t just offensive, it was dangerous, especially given the serious threats against judges and others involved in the Schiavo case. Florida Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer has been “under 24-hour protection by two U.S. marshals due to increased threats against his life by those unhappy with his handling of the Schiavo case.” Last Thursday, police arrested an Illinois man they said robbed a Florida gun store as part of an attempt to “rescue Terri Schiavo.” The next day, FBI officials took into custody a North Carolina man for placing a $250,000 bounty “on the head of Michael Schiavo” and another $50,000 to murder Judge Greer. And police yesterday said they had “logged several bomb threats” to the hospice where Schiavo died and “the circuit and federal courts that refused to order her feeding tube restored.”


You can read Tom DeLay’s statement here.

Posted by Eric at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2005

Delay's Response

Rather cryptic, but interesting. My emphasis ...

"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow. "

Posted by Eric at 01:31 PM | Comments (4)

March 30, 2005

The 'Nuclear Option'

Unless you're in a political science class taught by a professor who wrote a book on filibusters, you may be confused about what this 'nuclear option' is, and how it relates to that funny-sounding filibuster thing (ok, since you're surfing political blogs, you may already know a lot). But for those who don't, or just want to learn more, this MovingIdeas.org backgrounder is a good start. And the issue is important because, as the guide notes: Republicans are planning to evade Senate rules and remove the use of filibusters to block extreme judicial nominees. Their plan, called the "nuclear option," would allow them absolute power to rubber stamp judicial nominees and, potentially, eliminate filibusters in the Senate altogether

Posted by Eric at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

New Ads to Attack Delay in GOP Districts

From a PR from the Public Campaign Action Fund:

Congress to call for Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (R-Texas) resignation will begin airing Thursday as Public Campaign Action Fund's campaign to "Clean up Congress without DeLay" extends to targeted districts around the country.

The ads will air in the congressional districts of Reps. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), and Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). They can viewed at http://www.pcactionfund.org/resign/.

The organization has already collected nearly 20,000 signatures on a petition calling on DeLay to resign from Congress, with each message passed along to individual members of Congress. The petition can be found at http://www.WithoutDeLay.org.

"Tom DeLay is a walking scandal and a national embarrassment," said David Donnelly, political director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "These three members of Congress should stand up for the American people and join our call to clean up Congress, without DeLay."

The ads.

Posted by Eric at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005

Santorum Hypocrisy

From ThinkProgress:

Speaking of politicians whose personal family decisions happen to conflict with their political demagoguing on health care issues, Josh Marshall brings our attention to Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) medical malpractice hypocrisy. In 1996, Santorum testified on behalf of his wife Karen, who was seeking $500,000 in pain and suffering against Dr. David Dolberg of Virginia, because of pain from his 1996 chiropractic treatment of her.

Funny, that didn’t stop Santorum from supporting and voting for a bill in 2003 that would have capped awards for pain and suffering at $250,000.

Posted by Eric at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

WSJ Editorial Board Takes Swipe at Delay

Granted, it's a careful and calculated swipe, but for the Wall Street Journal (flashback), that's something - see the DCCC blog.

Posted by Eric at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2005

San Diego Union-Tribune Condemns Delay

Via TBogg, the conservative San Diego Union-Tribune goes after Delay in an editorial today:

Congressional Democrats probably would love to divide the GOP, undermine the conservative agenda, and turn Americans against the Republican majority. But, frankly, they don't have that kind of power. A job that big calls for the handiwork of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

Looking back on Congress' handling of the Terri Schiavo controversy – which included passing an emergency bill aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life – it's hard to decide which of DeLay's comments was more offensive.

Was it when DeLay referred to Michael Schiavo's lawyer as "the embodiment of evil"? Or when he accused those who disagreed with him of being "so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks"?

No, what took the prize was what DeLay said when he let his guard down at what he obviously thought was a private meeting of like-minded social conservatives. After insisting that Congress' intervention in the Schiavo case had nothing to do with politics, DeLay used the issue to rally the faithful at a meeting of the Family Research Council. DeLay went so far as to describe the anguishing plight of this 41-year-old woman as a gift from God and a boost to the cause of Christian conservatives.

And as this AP headline notes, "Conservatives oppose federal intervention."

Further, the front page of the Washington Post has this: Schiavo Case Tests Priorities Of GOP. Explain on, Shailagh Murray and Mike Allen:

Republican lawmakers and others engaged in the debate say an internal party dispute over the Schiavo case has ruptured, at least temporarily, the uneasy alliance between economic and social conservatives that twice helped President Bush get elected.

"Advocates of using federal power to keep this woman alive need to seriously study the polling data that's come out on this," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who has been talking to both social and economic conservatives about the fallout. "I think that a lot of conservative leaders assumed there was broader support for saying that they wanted to have the federal government save this woman's life."

Posted by Eric at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

The New House Agenda

The Poor Man.

Posted by Eric at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

Poll: Americans Oppose Filibuster Change

Newsweek poll:

Approve Disap-prove Unsure
% % %
ALL 32 57 11
Republicans 55 33 12
Democrats 15 78 7
Independents 31 60 9
Though most Americans probably don't know what a filibuster is, the Newsweek poll question prompt had this explanation of it: "U.S. Senate rules allow 41 senators to mount a filibuster -- refusing to end debate and agree to vote -- to block judicial nominees. In the past, this tactic has been used by both Democrats and Republicans to prevent certain judicial nominees from being confirmed. Senate Republican leaders -- whose party is now in the majority -- want to take away this tactic by changing the rules to require only 51 votes, instead of 60, to break a filibuster. Would you approve or disapprove of changing Senate rules to take away the filibuster and allow all of George W. Bush's judicial nominees to get voted on by the Senate?"

Posted by Eric at 09:21 AM | Comments (3)

March 17, 2005

Santorum Flip Flops on Amtrak

Everyone's favorite man-dog from Penn on Amtrak funding; before, from The Hill:

Also on “Meet the Press,” Santorum criticized President Bush’s budget for proposed cuts in Amtrak, a favorite target of many conservatives that nevertheless is important to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“It’s not acceptable to me,” Santorum said of the cuts. “I think what the president has suggested is not going to pass, number one. Number two, I think what he has been putting forward is that Amtrak has to be more efficient.”

And after, from the Patriot News of Penn:
Three weeks ago, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., vowed to fight President Bush's "unacceptable" plan to eliminate funding for Amtrak.

He changed tracks yesterday, voting with the president and against an amendment to add $1.04 billion in government assistance for the system.

Bush's budget proposes eliminating support for Amtrak, a long-time target of fiscal conservatives, and putting the rail system in bankruptcy.

"I support the current funding levels in the president's proposed budget," Santorum. said. The "amendment adds money to the budget, but does not ensure that any of that money will go to Amtrak."

Could this hurt him? Here's why it could:
Nearly 900,000 people ride Amtrak's Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia each year. Nearly 4.9 million people statewide board Amtrak annually, and more than 300,000 people ride Amtrak in Harrisburg alone.

The state spends $6.28 million to subsidize 44 of 106 Amtrak trains running east of Harrisburg weekly. But service west of Harrisburg was reduced 50 percent, to one train daily, when the state rebuffed an Amtrak request for more money.

"We simply didn't have $2.5 million to continue that train. That's why the federal role is critical in intercity rail," said Rich Kirkpatrick, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ... The issue is likely to resurface in next year's Senate race as Democrats immediately accused Santorum of breaking his promise and voting against his constituents' interests.

"He owes his constituents an apology and an explanation," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Arlen Specter voted with Democrats in their failed effort to "restore the funding for Amtrak."

Posted by Eric at 09:15 AM | Comments (2)

Some 2006 House Races to Focus on Ethics

Politicians running on ethics? Now there's something new; from today's The Hill, "Democratic House leaders are casting about for squeaky-clean congressional candidates — even if they’re long shots — to challenge prominent GOP incumbents who have been tainted by news reports of their allegedly unseemly connection to lobbyists."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) strategy, still in development, aims to make ethical charges the touchstone of those campaigns and would use several high-profile local races to create a national image of corruption in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

Several Democratic lawmakers and aides said that Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) will be the first target of this new strategy.

Explicitly borrowing from the anti-corruption planks in Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” and hoping to replicate the 1994 watershed victory that followed, the new plan suggests that Democratic leaders believe they need to weave themes of abuse of power into any successful campaign to recapture the House.

DCCC Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said questions about strategy and targeting Ney are premature, but several lawmakers and aides confirmed that Democrats are actively looking for candidates to run good-government campaigns against Ney and possibly House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

A background on "Tom DeLay, Ethics and the New Congress."

Posted by Eric at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

See, We're Not THAT Bad

In Jakarta, Indonesia:

INDONESIAN MPs traded punches when a brawl broke out in parliament as tempers flared during a debate over a controversial fuel price rise, it was reported today.

Indonesian House Speaker Agung Laksono apologised to the nation over the fracas late yesterday during which MPs tried to hit him with his own gavel, the state Antara news agency said.
Dozens of MPs ploughed into the fray with fists flying, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.

"The violence lasted for several minutes with at least two confirmed knock downs, but apparently no serious injuries," the Post said.

Laksono later said that the scuffle had broken out when several MPs tried to protest against his decision to hold a vote on what steps the legislature should take in response to the fuel price hike.

"MPs tried to hit him with his own gavel."

Posted by Eric at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2005

More Delay Corruption Evidence

Involving Delay's Americans for a Republican Majority. Houston Chronicle with the news:

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's federal leadership political fund apparently coordinated with a Texas committee to deliver $23,000 in contributions to Texas House candidates, according to documents filed in a civil lawsuit.


The documents draw DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority deeper into the ongoing controversy over whether Texans for a Republican Majority illegally used corporate money to help finance the GOP takeover of the Texas House in 2002. Republicans contend the money was spent legally.

DeLay, R-Sugar Land, and his aides have maintained that TRMPAC had nothing to do with his leadership political committee, ARMPAC, though some of his associates worked for both. But the new documents show a working relationship between the groups.

DeLay's relationship to TRMPAC was that of a loose advisory position. ARMPAC is his official leadership committee he uses to raise money for congressional candidates across the United States to help him maintain his position in the House.

The documents also raise questions about whether ARMPAC used corporate funds to raise the money delivered to the Texas candidates. Such use of corporate money for candidates has been at the core of civil lawsuits and criminal investigations into TRMPAC.

And, because I always like bringing up what an ass Tom Delay is, here's this flashback:
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

Posted by Eric at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)

March 14, 2005

Delay Scandals

Having trouble keeping up with all the dirty corruption Tom Delay's been up to? Have no fear: the thinkprogress guide is here.

Posted by Eric at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

Sarbanes to Retire

WPost:

His departure signals the unofficial start of a wide-open season in Maryland politics to succeed him, a race that could also have ramifications on next year's governor's race.

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D), both of whom have been angling to run for governor in 2006, now have another option available to them.

The race is also expected to appeal to Democratic congressmen Albert Wynn, Chris Van Hollen and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberg, who has already announced that he is starting an exploratory committee for the race.

Kweisi Mfume, a former Democratic congressman who recently stepped down from the presidency of the NAACP in January, issued a statement today praising Sarbanes and announcing he will hold a news conference Monday about his plans.

"You can expect a crowded Democratic primary," said James Gimpel, a political science professor at the University of Maryland. "You could have five candidates."

The district will likely go to a Democrat, however: "Gimpel said the seat is attractive to Democrats because it is so safe in a state where they outnumber registered Republicans roughly 2-to1"

Posted by Eric at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

More Delay Corruption

Breaking on 'the Hill,' yet another example of Tom Delay corruption:

The prominent lawyer and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is being investigated by federal authorities for his lobbying efforts of an Indian tribe and his relations with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), paid for DeLay and DeLay’s staff’s stay in an expensive London hotel in mid-2000.

National Journal has obtained a copy of an expense voucher that Abramoff filed the law firm where he was then a leading lobbyist, Stone reports.

“Among the big-ticket expenses that Abramoff listed for reimbursement was a bill for the DeLays at the Four Seasons Hotel in London in the amount of $4,285.35,” Stone writes. “The voucher shows that the total reimbursement for expenses was $13,318.50. For some reason, it shows that both Abramoff and Buckham were owed that amount.

“The voucher shows that Abramoff was accompanied by DeLay and his wife; Hirschmann and her husband; and Ed Buckham, DeLay’s former chief of staff who had also become a lobbyist,” Stone continues.

The DCCC with more.

There's a reason why Tom DeLay’s "Legal Defense Fund Hits $1 Million"

Posted by Eric at 05:51 PM | Comments (3)

January 13, 2005

Doris Matsui to Run

Like Lois Capps and Mary Bono, Doris Matsui will seek the seat of her late husband; AP:

With her family by her side just four days after burying Rep. Robert T. Matsui (news, bio, voting record), Doris Matsui said, "I am asking those who supported him to now support me."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) has set a March 8 primary election and May 3 special election to choose a new congressman for the Democratic-leaning district. The second election will be held only if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the primary vote.

In a speech at her family's Sacramento home, Matsui sounded campaign themes: opposing President Bush (news - web sites)'s plans to privatize Social Security (news - web sites), expanding health care coverage for children and increasing federal spending on stem cell research.

Matsui said stem cell research offers hope for the disease that caused her husband's death Jan. 1 — pneumonia brought on by myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare form of bone marrow disease.

"Now I have joined the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide for whom this is personal," she said, criticizing Bush's limited federal funding of stem cell experiments.

Posted by Eric at 03:34 AM | Comments (11)

January 03, 2005

Rest in Peace, Robert Matsui

Sad news from this weekend.

See the DCCC's blog for more.

Posted by Eric at 07:42 PM | Comments (12)

December 16, 2004

Shift in Death Penalty Views?

Yeah, Scott Peterson may be an ass, but let's go to the larger picture: how do Americans feel about the concept of the death penalty? Reuters reports:

This December is the first month in over a decade that no U.S. prisoner will be executed, reflecting what experts say is a gradual shift in America's views toward punishing its most violent criminals.

Broader concern about national security, court rulings questioning who should be executed and cases of convicts later found innocent have combined to slow the number of executions, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

This year's total of 59 is down 40 percent from five years ago. The all-time high since the reinstatement of the U.S. death penalty in 1976 was 98 executions in 1999. Last year there were 65 executions in the United States.

The last execution in America was on Nov. 17, DPIC statistics show, and none is set for any time this month. The last such execution-free month was July 1994.

One possible reason for this shift is cases of innocent death row prisoners:
"Those cases keep reminding people that the system is fallible," said Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Center. "We're shifting to a different approach to punishment. It still involves harsh sentences, but the death penalty may be too extreme."

The question of innocence was boosted in 2003 when former Illinois Gov. George Ryan cleared out the state's Death Row over concerns about wrongful convictions.

Now the war on terrorism, on top of dropping crime rates nationwide, has changed Americans' fears, some suggest.

Posted by Eric at 05:25 AM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2004

DCCC on Social Security and Bush

See the video online here, from the Democratic Congressional Committee.

Posted by Eric at 03:20 PM | Comments (20)

November 02, 2004

Obama Victory

Great, but expected news:

Posted by Eric at 10:54 PM | Comments (52)

Senate Notes

Looks like:

Jim DeMint in SC
Bunning in Kentucky
Coburn in OK.

All Republican wins in possible Democratic pickups, so obviously disappointing for Democrats.

Update: Pickup for Republicans in NC, re: John Edwards seat.

Posted by Eric at 10:28 PM | Comments (1)

DSCC Exit Polls

The DSCC's numbers, via Kos:

SENATE AK: Knowles 50 - Murk 47 CO Salazar 51, Coors 47 FL Castor 51, Martinez 48 KY Bunning 52, Mongiardo 48 LA Vitter may get the 50 percent that would elect him, 51 percent NC Burr 50 Bowles 48 OK Coburn 51 Carson 46 SC DeMint 50.2 - Tenenbaum 49.8SD Thune 50 Daschle 50

Posted by Eric at 07:34 PM | Comments (7)

October 29, 2004

Fitzgerald: Ryan Should Have Stayed in Race

An indirect diss from Sen. Peter Fitzgerald to Keyes; Pantagraph:

Outgoing Sen. Peter Fitzgerald believes it would have been difficult for Republican Jack Ryan to win next week's election for Fitzgerald's seat against Democrat Barack Obama -- but wishes Ryan would have stayed in the race ... "I don't think Jack had to step aside," said Fitzgerald, during a visit with The Pantagraph's editorial board. "A lifetime of good works should not be destroyed by a lapse of judgment."

Posted by Eric at 05:11 AM | Comments (12)

October 22, 2004

Bunning Out of Touch with ... Everything

If I were to make something up, it'd probably go something like this real news story:

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning said yesterday that he was unaware of reports that a unit of Army Reserve soldiers in Iraq had refused an order to deliver fuel for reasons including that their trucks were lightly armored.

"I don't know anything about that," Bunning said during a news conference after a speech he gave to the Rotary Club of Louisville.

Bunning added that Congress had approved money to upgrade body and vehicle armor. "And I believe that has all been accomplished. And I don't know about your reservists," he said. "Unfortunately, we've had some reports, but I don't know the one you're specifically talking about."

When reporters told him that the unit's refusal was a national news story and involved a soldier from Louisville, Bunning said, "Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."

Told that Fox News broadcast the report, Bunning said, "Not the times I watched it. So the fact that somebody was from Louisville, I know about that."

Wow.

Posted by Eric at 02:35 PM | Comments (14)

October 21, 2004

Condemn Alan Keyes?

Now why would they do that? From conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan:

Alan Keyes goes on the attack again, saying children of gay parents will live in families where "incest becomes inevitable." I await the outrage of Matthew Dowd, Lynne Cheney, Bill Kristol, Bill Safire, Mort Kondracke, Maureen Dowd, and on and on. Oh, wait. It's only if you say a positive thing about gay people that you're a homophobe.

Posted by Eric at 08:34 PM | Comments (22)

October 20, 2004

Bunning Skips Debate

See Kos on this.

It really warrants repeating: in this race, Bunning is outspending Mongiardo six to one. 6:1.

Posted by Eric at 06:43 PM | Comments (32)

October 19, 2004

Mongiardo Ties It Up with Bunning

The latest Garin-Hart-Yang Research poll shows the Senate race in Kentucky is all tied up; campaign PR:

new poll by Garin-Hart-Yang Research conducted October 15-17 shows Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mongiardo and Republican Senator Bunning tied at 43%-43% in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race. Only 36% of likely Kentucky voters want to re-elect Jim Bunning, while 50% rate his job performance as only fair or poor [see attached poll memo].

Mongiardo said, "It’s clear that Kentucky voters are rejecting Senator Bunning’s negative campaign of attack and distortion. Instead, Kentucky families want a Senator who will work to lower the cost of healthcare, make prescription drugs more affordable, and create jobs in Kentucky. I am going to win this race because Kentucky’s working families are struggling, and they are ready for a Senator who will fight for them."

"With Kentucky voters showing increased interest in this race, I invite Senator Bunning to stop hiding and show up for tomorrow’s statewide KET debate. Now, more than ever, Kentucky families want and deserve a chance to hear our respective plans for the future of our state. I encourage Senator Bunning to join me."

A big endorsement for Dr. Mongiardo from The Courier Journal may help him.

To learn more about the next senator from Kentucky, read this Courier-Journal article.

Posted by Eric at 01:37 AM | Comments (40)

October 16, 2004

Musgrave Continues Her Gay Bashing

Atrios has the details.

And, if you have the bank, send her opponent Stan Matsunaka a few bucks.

Posted by Eric at 02:29 PM | Comments (151)

October 15, 2004

More Problems for Coburn

Oklahoma's AG says he has no doubt Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn committed medicare fraud; AP:

Oklahoma's attorney general said Thursday he has no doubt that Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn, an obstetrician, committed Medicaid fraud 14 years ago when he didn't fully disclose medical procedures he performed on a 20-year-old woman.

Allegations from the woman, Angela Plummer, have become an issue in Coburn's race against Democratic Rep. Brad Carson.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma's top legal officer and a Democrat who supports Carson, told The Associated Press fraud arises from the fact that Coburn failed to include on a Medicaid reimbursement form the full procedure he performed on Plummer.

Posted by Eric at 08:02 AM | Comments (45)

What's Wrong with Bunning?

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky on Sen. Jim Bunning:

His latest blast is the most outlandish so far. He accused Dr. Mongiardo or a member of his campaign staff of "trying to abuse my wife" at Fancy Farm last summer. "My wife was black and blue," he said. Of course, the Mongiardo campaign denied any connection to any injury Mary Bunning may have sustained, calling the charge "sad and untrue."

And as his wild statements mount and he increasingly isolates himself, small things take on great significance. For example, Sen. Bunning broke the rules and read from a teleprompter during his so-called "debate" with Dr. Mongiardo. Was that simply because he thought he could get away with it, since he was ensconced in a remote location in Washington? Or did he need to read his opening and closing statements to avoid stumbling into another gaffe?

There is, of course, an easy way for Sen. Bunning to end what has become national speculation about his fitness. He could call press conferences throughout the state, stand before the public and say, "Here I am. Ask me questions. You'll see how fit I am."

Successful, reasonable public interaction would be far more reassuring than statements from doctors that his blood pressure and cholesterol are OK.

That, of course, is important information. This time, however, the concern isn't about physical health.

The Washington Post notes that Bunning's self-destructive behavior has made the race competitive for Democrats.

Posted by Eric at 07:57 AM | Comments (20)

October 11, 2004

GOP Candidate Warns: Rampant Lesbianism in High Schools!

Do you know who's peeing in the stall next to you?

The Republican Senate candidate in Oklahoma warns of "rampant" lesbianism in some schools in the state in a tape released Monday by his Democratic opponent.

The remark by Republican Tom Coburn drew a skeptical response from state educators.

"I don't believe that," said Keith Ballard, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He said the group's attorneys "haven't said anything to me about that."

In the tape released by the campaign of Brad Carson, the Democratic candidate, Coburn says a campaign worker from Coalgate told him that "lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?"

Joe McCulley, school superintendent in Coalgate, chuckled when asked about Coburn's remark.

"He knows something I don't know. We have not identified anything like that. We have not had to deal with any issues on that subject -- ever," McCulley said.

And yes, all across Oklahoma teenage boys are wondering, What about my school?

Donate to Brad.

Posted by Eric at 09:22 PM | Comments (45)

Possible Pickup in Kentucky?

The Mongiardo campaign (D-KY) sends along word that their candidate is making traction in their race against a Republican incumbent. From their campaign:

A new poll shows Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, within six points of Jim Bunning, trailing just 43%-37%. The poll was conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on October 6-7, surveying 506 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.4% (see attached memo).

Kim Geveden, Mongiardo’s campaign manager, said, "This poll shows that Senator Bunning is exceptionally vulnerable, and that Dr. Mongiardo is in a strong position to win this race."

Mongiardo is in striking distance of Bunning despite being outspent 4-to-1 on media. Geveden said, "While Senator Bunning is running a relentless, negative smear campaign, Dr. Mongiardo is talking about the issues Kentucky voters care about - lowering the cost of healthcare and taking care of working families."

The poll contains other encouraging numbers for Mongiardo. Among voters familiar with both candidates, Mongiardo soundly defeats Bunning 56%-38%. Among the undecided voters who will ultimately determine this election, a paltry 12% give Bunning a positive job rating.

Previously, Mongiardo had a 24-point deficit.

Posted by Eric at 03:24 PM | Comments (48)

October 09, 2004

More on Tom "The Hammer" Delay

AP: "DeLay's foes force House to vote on special counsel"

Sean Siperstein of the Brown U Democrats has a rather good post on the subject (and I bet he tests well too).

Posted by Eric at 04:43 PM | Comments (22)

October 07, 2004

DCCC Hammers The Hammer

Tom Delay is in trouble; The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seizes the issue on their blog.

Posted by Eric at 01:49 PM | Comments (21)

Email: Byrd Condemns Republican Fear Tactics

From Sen. Byrd:

They've used lies, misrepresentations, threats and fear to tear down Democrats this election season. Now, incredibly, the campaign weapon being brandished by the Republicans is the Holy Bible itself. If ever there were one book that should never be used for political gain, if ever there were one book that should never be the subject of lies and deception, it is the Bible.

Yet, that is exactly what the Republican National Committee (RNC) is doing with a mailing sent to voters in my state of West Virginia. The flyer claims that Democrats are out to ban the Bible. You heard me, the Bible. And they sent it to voters in Arkansas, too.

This flat-out, no-doubt-about-it, silly, sophomoric charge is part of a nationwide pattern in Republican National Committee politics to use any means necessary-even the Bible-to win elections. If the RNC is willing to go that far in West Virginia, imagine how far they'd go elsewhere. These smear tactics are happening in our Senate races across the nation.


What is their basis to determine which party is for the Bible and which is against, or for whom Christ would vote? It is a crass insult to people and to their faith.

Will you stand for that? Charges that Democrats would ban the Bible? I know I won't! That's why I am standing with the DSCC. They're the only ones watching every Senate race, every hour to make sure Democratic candidates across the country have the resources they need to fight back against this kind of shameless Republican smear.

Please make a contribution to the DSCC today so that we can put an end to this kind of Republican National Committee fear mongering. Click here to contribute now.

Posted by Eric at 11:53 AM | Comments (10)

October 06, 2004

Republicans Copy Answers

If I did this in school, I'd get expelled:

Copying a national Republican group's sample answers, Kentucky 4th District congressional candidate Geoff Davis and several others seeking office around the country have submitted identical answers to an AARP survey.

At least five GOP candidates offered the same responses to questions about Social Security, health-care costs and prescription drugs. The others are from California, Florida, Nebraska and Georgia.

Davis admitted yesterday through a spokesman that he copied the answers to all three questions from materials distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Posted by Eric at 11:25 AM | Comments (35)

October 04, 2004

US Senate Candidate in SC: Gays should not teach

Don't tell Tom Hanks. From The State in SC:

Gays and lesbians should not be allowed to teach in public schools, Republican Jim DeMint said Sunday in a U.S. Senate debate. The remark came late in the first debate between DeMint and Democrat Inez Tenenbaum — a testy and acrimonious hour that broke little new ground on their positions on most issues.

DeMint, a Greenville congressman, said the government should not endorse homosexuality and “folks teaching in school need to represent our values.”

Tenenbaum, the state education superintendent, called DeMint’s position “un-American.”

DeMint said after the debate that he would not require teachers to admit to being gay, but if they were “openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”

Tenenbaum later told reporters that “the private life of our teachers should stay private. I was shocked to hear him say that.”

According to a Global Strategy Group poll, in SC, the Democratic candidate in the race, Inez Tenenbaum, "has closed the gap and now leads Jim DeMint by three points with a month remaining in the race for U.S. Senate."

Posted by Eric at 11:29 AM | Comments (54)

Headline: Candidate Keyes crashes GOP dinner party

The (mis)adventures of Alan Keyes continue:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes wasn't invited to speak Sunday at a dinner sponsored by the New Trier Township Republican Organization, but he showed up anyway.

Tolbert Chisum, who heads the group, said the ultraconservative candidate didn't get a chance to be heard "because we have a full program."

Despite the apparent snub, Keyes' deputy campaign manager, Dan Proft, said Keyes was "encouraged" by his reception at the event, held at Allgauer's Restaurant at the Northbrook Hilton.

Posted by Eric at 11:24 AM | Comments (38)

Lincoln Chafee Won't Vote for W

I once met Senator Chafee when he was leaving a Capitol building, and told him that I was happy he was standing up for the environment, to which he responded: "Well, my party once was the party of the environment, you know." But anyway, NYT on Chafee's presidential vote:

For Mr. Chafee, who was a prep school buddy of the president's brother Jeb and whose father, the late Senator John Chafee, was close to the first President Bush, that day was the beginning of an estrangement with the president, whom he had worked to elect. In the months since, he has opposed Mr. Bush on everything from tax cuts to gay marriage and the war in Iraq. Now, this life-long Republican has concluded that he cannot cast his ballot for the leader of his party.

"I'll vote Republican," he said, explaining that he would choose a write-in candidate, perhaps George Bush the elder, as a symbolic act of protest. Asked if he wanted Senator John Kerry to be president, Mr. Chafee shook his head sadly, as if to say he could not entertain the question. "I've been disloyal enough," he said.

On Capitol Hill, some regard Mr. Chafee, a soft-spoken, gentle man who once shoed horses for a living, as the Republican counterpart to Senator Zell Miller, the fiery Georgia Democrat who is campaigning for Mr. Bush. But the truth is more complex. While Mr. Miller is retiring, Mr. Chafee is planning to run again in 2006. His misgivings about his party's conservative tilt have thrust him into a powerful position in Washington, where Republicans' memories are still fresh of how another moderate, Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont, defected in 2001 and became an independent, temporarily giving Democrats control of the Senate.

Mr. Chafee insists he has no intention of defecting. But it is no secret that Democrats would welcome him, and already, Mr. Jeffords is offering him counsel.

Posted by Eric at 11:20 AM | Comments (95)

September 28, 2004

Carson Leads in OK

A Democratic pickup in Oklahoma looks even closer, according to a new poll:

Democrat Brad Carson holds a slim lead over Republican Tom Coburn in the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.

The poll, commissioned by The Oklahoman and conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, showed Carson ahead of Coburn by 5 percentage points. The poll's margin of error was 4.5 percent, making Carson's lead greater than the margin for error.

"I think our message is getting out," Carson spokesman Brad Luna said. "I think people are beginning to really start to listen to the race and take hold of the message."

Last month, Coburn had a 9-point lead over Carson in a poll conducted by the Virginia-based company. Coburn's camp expects to regain that lead by the Nov. 2 election.

Posted by Eric at 09:25 AM | Comments (26)

September 22, 2004

Oklahoma Papers Call on Coburn to Step Down

Kos has the details on the increasingly controversial Tom Coburn, who is the GOP candidate against Brad Carson for a US Senate seat.

Posted by Eric at 09:51 PM | Comments (42)

Republicans Raising More Than House Dems

From the AP, this note on party fundraising:

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised twice as much as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from January 2003 through last month — $131 million for the NRCC compared to $64 million for the DCCC — but has spent heavily, according to reports the committees filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The NRCC, trying to keep its House majority in this fall's elections, spent $108 million by the start of September, including about $55 million on phone banks. The House Democratic committee spent about $44 million from January 2003 through last month, and started September with $21 million in the bank.

Each House party committee raised about $6 million in August. Republicans have majority control with 228 seats to 205 for the Democrats with one independent and one vacancy.

Meanwhile, in the Senate:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, whose members hold a slim Senate majority of 51-48 with one independent, raised at least $59 million this election cycle and spent $37 million, beginning September with $22 million in the bank.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had collected at least $55 million by the end of August and spent $45 million. It opened this month with about $11 million on hand and $149,000 in bills to pay.

Each Senate party committee raised about $4 million last month.

Posted by Eric at 08:03 AM | Comments (113)

Obama Huge Lead in Illinois

Not even a race; AP:

More than two-thirds of Illinois voters would choose Democrat Barack Obama over Republican Alan Keyes for U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.

The St. Louis Post- Dispatch/ KMOV-TV poll released Monday shows Obama leading the race with 68 percent to Keyes' 23 percent. Nine percent were undecided.

"I can't remember the last time you had a gap like this between two newcomers," said Del Ali, head of Research 2000, the Maryland-based firm that conducted the poll last week. "Usually, when you have this kind of gap, it's the popular incumbent against a sacrificial lamb.

Posted by Eric at 07:52 AM | Comments (106)

September 19, 2004

U.S. Rep. Max Burns Claims He Invented Homeland Security

Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids:

The Democratic opponent of U.S. Rep. Max Burns has taken exception to a taxpayer-funded newsletter in which the congressman is said to have "created" the Department of Homeland Security.

Burns spokesman John Stone denied that any deception was intended, but the campaign manager for John Barrow said Burns is "dishonest."

"He says anything he thinks will be beneficial," Barrow manager Roman Levit told The Savannah Morning News. "But this time he did it at taxpayers' expense. I don't think taxpayers like being lied to on their own dime."

The Burns response:
"It obviously was a horrible typo," Stone told the newspaper. "Obviously, Max Burns didn't create the Department of Homeland Security."

Stone speculated that the person who wrote the mailing meant to say Burns "helped create" the department. Reminded that Congress approved creation of the department in November 2002 - before Burns took office - Stone acknowledged that could not be the case.

Posted by Eric at 08:45 PM | Comments (112)

September 17, 2004

Woman Stands By Coburn Complaint

The GOP candidate for Senate allegedly sterilized a woman without her consent. See the the Oklahoman

Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (67)

September 07, 2004

Bill O'Reilly for Senate?

What an ego shattering run that would be; gossiper Lloyd Grove on the working man:

But I'm told that in recent days, O'Reilly, a registered independent, has confided to friends that he's seriously considering a run.

In one conversation over the past two weeks, I hear that O'Reilly even ruminated about whether he should endorse Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry - the better to position himself as a moderate Republican in a majority-Democrat state.

But a few days later, I'm told, O'Reilly rejected the idea of a Kerry endorsement, privately declaring his intention to back President Bush.

Posted by Eric at 06:32 PM | Comments (41)

September 02, 2004

Keyes: Liberals Fear My Candidacy

I know I stay awake at night worrying about Obama's impending doom. From a Newsmax.com email:

I'm writing to give you a quick update on my race for the US Senate in Illinois. After a few short weeks, things are going better than most believed was possible!

We are building up the kind of momentum that is striking fear into the heart of both Barack Obama (my Democrat opponent) and the entire Democrat Machine. In fact, they have been running scared since I stepped into the race ... So why do liberals of all party stripes fear my candidacy? Because, perhaps more than in any other Senate race this year, I embody the principles of the Republican Party Platform.

My candidacy and my campaign show that true conservatives have not given up the battle to win races, as well as battles over the language of our party's platform.

The sad thing? I think he's serious.

Posted by Eric at 03:37 PM | Comments (83)

Keyes Makes GOP Uncomfortable

A "no-duh":

Illinois Republican Chairman Judy Baar Topinka said Wednesday her party's nominee for U.S. Senate, Alan Keyes, should apologize for his "idiotic" comment vice presidential daughter Mary Cheney and all homosexuals are "selfish hedonists."

But Keyes refused to back down Wednesday, even as Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the Republican National Convention ... Illinois Republican leaders likewise have urged Keyes to move from abortion and gay marriage to economic issues.

"I told him, 'You've got to start focusing on things that unite Republicans and not on things that divide Republicans,' " said Cook County GOP Chair Gary Skoein.

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) also criticized Keyes' initial comment on Sirius OutQ satellite radio and said she, like U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), needed to know more before deciding whether she would support Keyes ... Christine Iverson, a Republican Party spokeswoman, said the former talk show host's comments were "not worthy of the dignity of a response.''

Obama, meanwhile, takes the high road:
Keyes' Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barack Obama, addressed the issue after a speech at the Illinois AFL-CIO convention in Rosemont. "I have strong disagreements with Vice President Cheney on a whole host of policy issues, but I respect the love he has for his daughter, and I think that it's never appropriate to make the sort of comments that have been made," Obama said. "I think it's going to be up to the Republican Party to figure out whether they reflect an inclusive and generous spirit, or whether they want to reflect some of the bitterness we've been hearing lately."

Posted by Eric at 09:23 AM | Comments (87)

September 01, 2004

Keyes Criticizes Cheney Daughter

Daughter, by the way, is gay; LATimes:

Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for a vacant U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, said Tuesday that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary was a "selfish hedonist" for being a lesbian.

Keyes, who twice unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in Maryland, is trailing Democratic State Sen. Barack Obama in the Illinois race. His comments came in an interview with OutQ, a satellite radio station for gays and lesbians.

Expressing support for a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage - an issue that the vice president has said is best left to the states to legislate, Keyes said: "The essence of ... family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."

Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney was "a selfish hedonist," Keyes said: "That goes by definition. Of course she is."

Keyes, apparently, also doesn't like questions from the media that inquire about where he's going to speak:
"You are acting as a media surrogate for the Democratic Party!" said Keyes to me, hissing in anger when I asked him a question. "And when you ask questions that are aimed at achieving their purposes in the political battle, I have the right to ask who you speak for and who you represent."

I thought he knew that I worked for the Tribune, since I've interviewed him, but that wasn't good enough.

All I asked, innocently, was why he hadn't yet addressed the members of the Illinois Republican delegation. The reason I asked it is that he's a Republican, he's running for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, and though the GOP convention is half over, he hadn't yet made a speech to the delegates from Illinois.

"The reason you're asking that question is because the media wants to attack the Republican Party!" he said. "You take approaches that are trying to sow the seed and impression of divisions within the party, to serve the purposes of the Democrats!"

It's no wonder that the Ill. GOP is 'lukewarm' about Keyes:
Though some might be grateful for his last-minute entry into the US Senate race against Democratic darling Barack Obama when nobody else would step up, not everyone in the Illinois Republican Party is thrilled to welcome Maryland's Alan Keyes to the Prairie State.

That much was clear at yesterday's Illinois delegation breakfast at a Times Square hotel. As the rank and file tucked into their scrambled eggs and pancakes, two press scrums formed. On one side, Keyes, the talk-show host, social conservative, and former presidential candidate, was talking about his opponent ...

On the other side of the room, State Treasurer and party chair Judy Baar Topinka, a redheaded tornado of a woman, was answering questions of her own. A moderate Republican, she is worried that social conservatives threaten to undo her party. "The party, to be successful, has to be center-right, not right-right," she was saying. Topinka's inquisitors pressed in on her, trying to get her to say whether she was directing that comment at the conservative Senate candidate.

Posted by Eric at 08:28 AM | Comments (56)

August 31, 2004

Alan Keyes: Classic Moment in TV History

Video, another fine moment for Alan Keyes. Take a shot everytime Alan Keyes says 'corrupt' (or maybe he's a fan of the rapper).

Posted by Eric at 08:53 PM | Comments (75)

Dems Hope for Congressional Pickup in Penn

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Republican and Democratic power brokers in Washington are watching this race since the surprise retirement of U.S. Rep. James C. Greenwood (R., Bucks) last month. Given the moderate leanings in the district, which includes most of Bucks County and a small part of Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, it is not certain that the seat will remain in the GOP's grip.

Schrader, 60, said "you can expect" that other Democratic powers - with the presidential race focusing on swing states such as Pennsylvania - will swoop into the region on her behalf.

"There are other people, [but] they have not been confirmed, so I really can't say their names," she said. ... Pelosi, the ranking Democrat from California, is expected to lead a parade of Democrats stumping for Schrader that most likely will include Gov. Rendell and U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel - a senatorial candidate - and possibly presidential candidate John Kerry.

Control of Congress is at stake. The GOP has the upper hand, with 228 out of 435 seats in the House, and all members up for re-election this fall.

Pollster / pundit Charlie Cook indicates the Dems have a good chance in the district:
Greenwood's retirement would give House Democrats an opportunity to expand the political playing field. The fact that Greenwood has easily carried this suburban Philadelphia district since 1992 belies its inherent competitiveness. Former Vice President Al Gore carried the district, which is centered in Bucks County, with 51 percent of the vote in 2000. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell crushed his Republican opponent in Bucks County in 2002 by almost 40,000 votes. A Greenwood exit would also present Republicans with the challenge of defending three seats in the Philadelphia suburbs (Rep. Pat Toomey's open 15 th district and freshman Rep. Jim Gerlach's 6 th CD), a region of the state that has continued to trend away from Republicans over the last decade.
Ginny Schrader has started advertising on this blog (and many others, as part of an aggressive internet campaign). You can visit her site / help her out here.

Posted by Eric at 03:34 PM | Comments (50)

Rep. Schrock Quits Amid Gay Rumors

Blogger helped trigger allegations against Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.). From DC-based The Hill:

The gossip first surfaced two weeks ago on a Washington, D.C.-based Web log, or blog, Blogactive.com. The site links to an audio recording that it claims is Schrock calling into the MegaMates/Megaphone Line, a telephone service that men can use to meet other men.

After the GOP push to ban gay marriages, Blogactive.com began "outing" political aides and has since targeted lawmakers who voted for legislation on the issue. Schrock was one of 233 lawmakers who this year supported the Marriage Protection Act, which would block federal courts from considering constitutional issues arising from gay-marriage cases.

Mike Rogers, the blogger who is promising more embarrassing revelations, said an anonymous source gave him the audiotape. "[We target] people who say they are Republicans and then use sexual orientation to stay in power."

Posted by Eric at 10:40 AM | Comments (191)

August 26, 2004

Mary Bono to Skip GOP Convention

Though she'll vote for Bush, she has a problem with one of her party's positions:

Among the reasons she gave for staying home is her disagreement with the party's support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. She said that isn't popular in her district, which includes a large gay population in the western Coachella Valley.

Bono supports a provision offered by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay group, which acknowledges that not all Republicans agree on the issue and the party should respect all viewpoints. That proposal was rejected Wednesday by party officials putting together the platform, which is essentially its official ideology.

Bono doesn't favor gay marriages. However, she was one of only 17 Republicans who voted against a marriage protection bill in the House last month. That bill would have stripped federal courts' jurisdiction over marriage cases, a step that could extend far beyond same-sex marriages, Bono said.

Posted by Eric at 03:43 PM | Comments (35)

Dems Launch ZellOut.com

From a ZELLOUT.com press release:

A team of Democrats today announced the launch of ZELLOUT.com (www.zellout.com), an online campaign that calls on Senator Zell Miller to declare himself a Republican and switch parties. Signing the online petition automatically sends an email to Sen. Miller's office. The group is urging Democrats to flood the faux Democrat with demands that he finally admit what is obvious to all -- "Democrat" Zell Miller is a Republican.

"Just think how desperate the Bush Republicans are," said Eric Carbone, founder of Zellout.com. "The Republicans are using Zell Miller to give their convention a veneer of bipartisanship, when in fact Zell Miller is as much a Democrat as George W. Bush is," says Carbone.

Here's some Zell Miller quotes:
Kerry An “Authentic Hero”: "My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders -- and a good friend. He was once a lieutenant governor -- but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984. -- U.S. Senator Zell Miller [Remarks to the Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2001]

Kerry “Strengthened Our Military”: "In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment.” -- U.S. Senator Zell Miller [Remarks to the Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2001]

The Bush campaign would probably call those 'flip-flops'

Posted by Eric at 11:55 AM | Comments (67)

August 25, 2004

Murkowski v. Knowles

In a very winnable race, popular former gov Tony Knowles will face the unpopular Lisa Murkowski in the conservative state of Alaska:

Murkowski's victory was her first test in a statewide election. She is a former state lawmaker who was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by her father, newly elected Gov. Frank Murkowski. He gave his seat to his daughter after the Legislature changed state law to allow the new governor and not the incumbent -- Knowles in this case -- the power to fill Senate vacancies.

Murkowski's challengers made nepotism an issue in the race, along with attacking her credentials as a conservative. Miller, 53, claimed that before joining the Senate, Murkowski backed gun control, abortion rights and tax increases.

Knowles, 61, and Lisa Murkowski, 47, are two of the biggest political names in Alaska.

Knowles served as mayor of Anchorage for six years in the 1980s and was governor from 1994 to 2002. Murkowski served in the Legislature for four years before being appointed to the Senate.

Help out Tony (a former Hamster advertiser) by visiting his website here.

Posted by Eric at 12:04 PM | Comments (43)

August 20, 2004

On Keyes: The Hand of God?

Stentor Danielson in Open Source Politics:

There's been some buzz recently about remarks made by now-Senate candidate Alan Keyes back in May about September 11. Keyes' theory is that the terrorist attacks were a wake-up call from a God angry about abortion. It's nice that he managed to narrow it down so well, since the last time we heard this theory, Pat Robertson was attributing the attacks to the whole suite of conservative bogeymen, from pagans to feminists.

Keyes isn't painting a terribly flattering picture of God. Being omnipotent, God is usually able to target his punishments a bit more effectively. He promised Abraham he'd let the whole city of Sodom off the hook if he could find 10 righteous people in it. And when he couldn't, he still took the time to evacuate Lot and his family. So knocking down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon sounds like a pretty ham-handed strategy. Perhaps Keyes thinks that 4,000 pro-choice WTC employees were warned to stay home on September 11.

Posted by Eric at 02:18 AM | Comments (31)

On Keyes: The Hand of God?

Stentor Danielson in Open Source Politics:

There's been some buzz recently about remarks made by now-Senate candidate Alan Keyes back in May about September 11. Keyes' theory is that the terrorist attacks were a wake-up call from a God angry about abortion. It's nice that he managed to narrow it down so well, since the last time we heard this theory, Pat Robertson was attributing the attacks to the whole suite of conservative bogeymen, from pagans to feminists.

Keyes isn't painting a terribly flattering picture of God. Being omnipotent, God is usually able to target his punishments a bit more effectively. He promised Abraham he'd let the whole city of Sodom off the hook if he could find 10 righteous people in it. And when he couldn't, he still took the time to evacuate Lot and his family. So knocking down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon sounds like a pretty ham-handed strategy. Perhaps Keyes thinks that 4,000 pro-choice WTC employees were warned to stay home on September 11.

Posted by Eric at 02:18 AM | Comments (8)

On Keyes: The Hand of God?

Stentor Danielson in Open Source Politics:

There's been some buzz recently about remarks made by now-Senate candidate Alan Keyes back in May about September 11. Keyes' theory is that the terrorist attacks were a wake-up call from a God angry about abortion. It's nice that he managed to narrow it down so well, since the last time we heard this theory, Pat Robertson was attributing the attacks to the whole suite of conservative bogeymen, from pagans to feminists.

Keyes isn't painting a terribly flattering picture of God. Being omnipotent, God is usually able to target his punishments a bit more effectively. He promised Abraham he'd let the whole city of Sodom off the hook if he could find 10 righteous people in it. And when he couldn't, he still took the time to evacuate Lot and his family. So knocking down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon sounds like a pretty ham-handed strategy. Perhaps Keyes thinks that 4,000 pro-choice WTC employees were warned to stay home on September 11.

Posted by Eric at 02:18 AM | Comments (26)

On Keyes: The Hand of God?

Stentor Danielson in Open Source Politics:

There's been some buzz recently about remarks made by now-Senate candidate Alan Keyes back in May about September 11. Keyes' theory is that the terrorist attacks were a wake-up call from a God angry about abortion. It's nice that he managed to narrow it down so well, since the last time we heard this theory, Pat Robertson was attributing the attacks to the whole suite of conservative bogeymen, from pagans to feminists.

Keyes isn't painting a terribly flattering picture of God. Being omnipotent, God is usually able to target his punishments a bit more effectively. He promised Abraham he'd let the whole city of Sodom off the hook if he could find 10 righteous people in it. And when he couldn't, he still took the time to evacuate Lot and his family. So knocking down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon sounds like a pretty ham-handed strategy. Perhaps Keyes thinks that 4,000 pro-choice WTC employees were warned to stay home on September 11.

Posted by Eric at 02:18 AM | Comments (2)

August 17, 2004

DCCC Does Open House

If you're a political junkie, this post from DCCC Executive Director Jim Bonham is rather interesting. During the past year, the DCCC has made an effort to reach out to the internet community. The D-Trip's "Open House" is part of their attempts to make the organization more accessible to the 'grassroots.' The post is about how the DCCC recruits candidates. So ...

Our Political department dispatches representatives to the district in question, typically meeting over a number of days with anywhere from 100 - 200+ political activists. These individuals generally represent virtually every significant Democratic constituency. Our purpose in meeting with such local grassroots and institutional leaders is primarily to listen. As often as not, we begin not by asking them what they know about specific people, but rather by asking them to suggest names of individuals who they think are known and respected by the community, possess leadership and organizational skills, and are capable of delivering a message that will connect with voters.

We don't normally speak directly to potential candidates on at least the first few trips, but we carefully note the names of individuals who appear to have the ability to wage credible candidacies. (As you might imagine, we pay special attention to names that are brought up repeatedly by knowledgeable area activists and political observers.)

Eventually candidates emerge, whether of their own volition, or whether we helped encourage them to enter the process.

Posted by Eric at 11:27 AM | Comments (50)

DCCC Does Open House

If you're a political junkie, this post from DCCC Executive Director Jim Bonham is rather interesting. During the past year, the DCCC has made an effort to reach out to the internet community. The D-Trip's "Open House" is part of their attempts to make the organization more accessible to the 'grassroots.' The post is about how the DCCC recruits candidates. So ...

Our Political department dispatches representatives to the district in question, typically meeting over a number of days with anywhere from 100 - 200+ political activists. These individuals generally represent virtually every significant Democratic constituency. Our purpose in meeting with such local grassroots and institutional leaders is primarily to listen. As often as not, we begin not by asking them what they know about specific people, but rather by asking them to suggest names of individuals who they think are known and respected by the community, possess leadership and organizational skills, and are capable of delivering a message that will connect with voters.

We don't normally speak directly to potential candidates on at least the first few trips, but we carefully note the names of individuals who appear to have the ability to wage credible candidacies. (As you might imagine, we pay special attention to names that are brought up repeatedly by knowledgeable area activists and political observers.)

Eventually candidates emerge, whether of their own volition, or whether we helped encourage them to enter the process.

Posted by Eric at 11:27 AM | Comments (5)

Keyes Continues Extreme Abortion Rhetoric

This time relating to terrorism:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes said Monday that women who choose to undergo abortions and the physicians who perform the procedure are essentially terrorists because "the evil is the same."

The remarks came as Keyes was explaining why three months ago he said that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were a "warning" from God to "wake up" and stop "the evil" of abortion.

"Now, you think it's a coincidence that on September 11th, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life?" Keyes said in a May 7 speech in Provo, Utah. "We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life -- I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning.

More Keyes: "Now, you think it's a coincidence that on Sept. 11th, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life? We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life -- I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a shot across the bow. I think that's a way of Providence telling us, "I love you all; I'd like to give you a chance. Wake up! Would you please wake up?"

Posted by Eric at 10:39 AM | Comments (24)

Keyes Continues Extreme Abortion Rhetoric

This time relating to terrorism:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes said Monday that women who choose to undergo abortions and the physicians who perform the procedure are essentially terrorists because "the evil is the same."

The remarks came as Keyes was explaining why three months ago he said that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were a "warning" from God to "wake up" and stop "the evil" of abortion.

"Now, you think it's a coincidence that on September 11th, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life?" Keyes said in a May 7 speech in Provo, Utah. "We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life -- I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning.

More Keyes: "Now, you think it's a coincidence that on Sept. 11th, 2001, we were struck by terrorists an evil that has at its heart the disregard of innocent human life? We who have for several decades killed not thousands but scores of millions of our own children, in disregard of the principle of innocent human life -- I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a warning. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think that's a shot across the bow. I think that's a way of Providence telling us, "I love you all; I'd like to give you a chance. Wake up! Would you please wake up?"

Posted by Eric at 10:39 AM | Comments (11)

Senate Candidate Urges Springsteen Boycott

That's not exactly the way to win votes if you're in New York. From the Toronto Star:

Upset with entertainer Bruce Springsteen's effort to oust President George W. Bush from the White House, the New York Conservative party's candidate for the U.S. Senate is launching a Boycott the Boss television commercial.
"He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote," Marilyn O'Grady says in the 30-second spot. "Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

In a statement, O'Grady said Springsteen "has a right to say what he thinks, but we have an equal right to speak. Now that he's moved onto the political stage to bash my president, it is entirely fair to respond."

Posted by Eric at 12:47 AM | Comments (25)

Senate Candidate Urges Springsteen Boycott

That's not exactly the way to win votes if you're in New York. From the Toronto Star:

Upset with entertainer Bruce Springsteen's effort to oust President George W. Bush from the White House, the New York Conservative party's candidate for the U.S. Senate is launching a Boycott the Boss television commercial.
"He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote," Marilyn O'Grady says in the 30-second spot. "Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

In a statement, O'Grady said Springsteen "has a right to say what he thinks, but we have an equal right to speak. Now that he's moved onto the political stage to bash my president, it is entirely fair to respond."

Posted by Eric at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2004

Erskine Bowles Has Wide Lead

The former Clinton Chief of Staff in North Carolina: "Bowles is favored by 47 percent, compared with 38 percent for Republican Congressman Richard Burr, according to a new statewide survey conducted for The News & Observer, WRAL-TV and WUNC radio. The survey found 15 percent of voters undecided."

Posted by Eric at 09:57 AM | Comments (35)

Erskine Bowles Has Wide Lead

The former Clinton Chief of Staff in North Carolina: "Bowles is favored by 47 percent, compared with 38 percent for Republican Congressman Richard Burr, according to a new statewide survey conducted for The News & Observer, WRAL-TV and WUNC radio. The survey found 15 percent of voters undecided."

Posted by Eric at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

AA Crowd Boos Keyes

Maybe they heard his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow; from the Chicago Tribune:

If U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes had any notions of capturing the hearts and minds of Chicago's black electorate, the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade on Saturday proved that this task will be nothing short of daunting for the Republican.

Keyes, the conservative political figure from Maryland who entered the Senate race last week after GOP nominee Jack Ryan withdrew his candidacy, made his first trip Saturday into the heart of Chicago's black community. Keyes, an African-American, was greeted with a resounding chorus of jeers and boos that bordered on outright hostility.

"Go back to Maryland!" and "Down with Keyes!" were the most common refrains.

The 75-year-old Billiken parade, which ran south along Martin Luther King Drive from Pershing Road to 55th Street, is touted as the largest African-American parade in the country and the biggest in Chicago. Besides baton twirlers, cowboys on horseback and colorful floats, politicians seeking black votes are wise not to forgo the gathering on the South Side.

By contrast, Democrat Barack Obama was treated to a king's welcome, with thousands of parade-goers hoisting blue-and-white Obama signs, wearing Obama stickers and shrieking in pure joy as his float passed by. They serenaded the Hyde Park Democrat with chants of "O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma!"

Also, Keyes continued his attacks against Obama's pro-choice position:
Before stepping off on the parade route, Keyes charged in an interview that Obama is indirectly supporting the "genocide" of African-Americans by endorsing a woman's legal right to an abortion.

"We're the first people who have ever been pushed into genocide before our babies are born," Keyes said. "So the people who are supporting that position are actually supporting the systematic extermination of black America."

Posted by Eric at 12:38 AM | Comments (46)

AA Crowd Boos Keyes

Maybe they heard his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow; from the Chicago Tribune:

If U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes had any notions of capturing the hearts and minds of Chicago's black electorate, the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade on Saturday proved that this task will be nothing short of daunting for the Republican.

Keyes, the conservative political figure from Maryland who entered the Senate race last week after GOP nominee Jack Ryan withdrew his candidacy, made his first trip Saturday into the heart of Chicago's black community. Keyes, an African-American, was greeted with a resounding chorus of jeers and boos that bordered on outright hostility.

"Go back to Maryland!" and "Down with Keyes!" were the most common refrains.

The 75-year-old Billiken parade, which ran south along Martin Luther King Drive from Pershing Road to 55th Street, is touted as the largest African-American parade in the country and the biggest in Chicago. Besides baton twirlers, cowboys on horseback and colorful floats, politicians seeking black votes are wise not to forgo the gathering on the South Side.

By contrast, Democrat Barack Obama was treated to a king's welcome, with thousands of parade-goers hoisting blue-and-white Obama signs, wearing Obama stickers and shrieking in pure joy as his float passed by. They serenaded the Hyde Park Democrat with chants of "O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma!"

Also, Keyes continued his attacks against Obama's pro-choice position:
Before stepping off on the parade route, Keyes charged in an interview that Obama is indirectly supporting the "genocide" of African-Americans by endorsing a woman's legal right to an abortion.

"We're the first people who have ever been pushed into genocide before our babies are born," Keyes said. "So the people who are supporting that position are actually supporting the systematic extermination of black America."

Posted by Eric at 12:38 AM | Comments (11)

August 14, 2004

Keyes Prefers State Legs, Not People, Deciding

From the AP, Keyes says he'd rather have U.S. senators chosen by state legislatures:

The Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, asked about past comments on the election process, said the constitutional amendment that provided for popular election of senators upset the balance between the people and the states.

"The balance is utterly destroyed when the senators are directly elected because the state government as such no longer plays any role in the deliberations at the federal level," Keyes said at a taping of WBBM Newsradio's "At Issue" program.

He said it was one of the reasons "there has been a steady deleterious erosion of the sovereign role of the states."

Keyes' Democratic rival, state Sen. Barack Obama of Chicago, issued a statement saying he supports popular election of U.S. senators.

Posted by Eric at 07:31 AM | Comments (16)

Keyes Prefers State Legs, Not People, Deciding

From the AP, Keyes says he'd rather have U.S. senators chosen by state legislatures:

The Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, asked about past comments on the election process, said the constitutional amendment that provided for popular election of senators upset the balance between the people and the states.

"The balance is utterly destroyed when the senators are directly elected because the state government as such no longer plays any role in the deliberations at the federal level," Keyes said at a taping of WBBM Newsradio's "At Issue" program.

He said it was one of the reasons "there has been a steady deleterious erosion of the sovereign role of the states."

Keyes' Democratic rival, state Sen. Barack Obama of Chicago, issued a statement saying he supports popular election of U.S. senators.

Posted by Eric at 07:31 AM | Comments (13)

August 13, 2004

Thompson Refuses to Endorse Keyes

The former Repub Gov is disappointed with the choice

Former Republican Gov. James R. Thompson said Wednesday he was disappointed that Illinois Republicans had gone out of state to find a U.S. Senate candidate.

"I find it sad that the state central committee of the Republican Party could not find a representative in Illinois to take this race on because there were a number who were willing to do so," Thompson told reporters ... Thompson, who had cut quickly off any talk of himself becoming the replacement candidate even before the party's search began, said he had not endorsed Keyes or agreed to campaign for him.

"I don't know enough about his positions to say I would be comfortable in doing that," he said.

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (6)

Thompson Refuses to Endorse Keyes

The former Repub Gov is disappointed with the choice

Former Republican Gov. James R. Thompson said Wednesday he was disappointed that Illinois Republicans had gone out of state to find a U.S. Senate candidate.

"I find it sad that the state central committee of the Republican Party could not find a representative in Illinois to take this race on because there were a number who were willing to do so," Thompson told reporters ... Thompson, who had cut quickly off any talk of himself becoming the replacement candidate even before the party's search began, said he had not endorsed Keyes or agreed to campaign for him.

"I don't know enough about his positions to say I would be comfortable in doing that," he said.

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

Help Stan Matsunaka

Atrios has chosen his third candidate: Stan Matsunaka.

Read his reasons and help out the candidate.

Posted by Eric at 10:40 AM | Comments (26)

Help Stan Matsunaka

Atrios has chosen his third candidate: Stan Matsunaka.

Read his reasons and help out the candidate.

Posted by Eric at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Obama Big Lead

Though the GOP has all but conceded defeat, here's a poll: Obama leads Keyes 67-28 in the latest Survey USA poll.

Kos has more.

Posted by Eric at 12:28 PM | Comments (32)

Obama Big Lead

Though the GOP has all but conceded defeat, here's a poll: Obama leads Keyes 67-28 in the latest Survey USA poll.

Kos has more.

Posted by Eric at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

Keyes Gets Nasty

From the AP:

Republican Alan Keyes ripped into Democratic rival Barack Obama's views on abortion Monday, calling them "the slaveholder's position," as the U.S. Senate race roared back to life in Illinois.

Up at dawn for a whirlwind round of broadcast interviews, the conservative former diplomat started his first full day of campaigning as the GOP candidate by saying Obama, a state senator from Chicago, had violated the principle that all men are created equal by voting against a bill that would have outlawed a form of late-term abortion.

Keyes said legalizing abortion deprives the unborn of their equal rights.

"I would still be picking cotton if the country's moral principles had not been shaped by the Declaration of Independence," Keyes said. He said Obama "has broken and rejected those principles-- he has taken the slaveholder's position."

Posted by Eric at 04:58 AM | Comments (42)

Keyes Gets Nasty

From the AP:

Republican Alan Keyes ripped into Democratic rival Barack Obama's views on abortion Monday, calling them "the slaveholder's position," as the U.S. Senate race roared back to life in Illinois.

Up at dawn for a whirlwind round of broadcast interviews, the conservative former diplomat started his first full day of campaigning as the GOP candidate by saying Obama, a state senator from Chicago, had violated the principle that all men are created equal by voting against a bill that would have outlawed a form of late-term abortion.

Keyes said legalizing abortion deprives the unborn of their equal rights.

"I would still be picking cotton if the country's moral principles had not been shaped by the Declaration of Independence," Keyes said. He said Obama "has broken and rejected those principles-- he has taken the slaveholder's position."

Posted by Eric at 04:58 AM | Comments (7)

August 09, 2004

His Own Worst Enemy

From a Washington Post editorial:

It's clear by now that Mr. Keyes loves the limelight and to hear himself speak, notwithstanding his rejection by voters in two U.S. Senate races in Maryland and two runs for the GOP presidential nomination. So it comes as no surprise that he would drop everything and hustle out to Illinois where he has never lived, to run for an office he can't win, and for a cause -- his own -- that deserves to lose. But that Mr. Keyes would allow himself to be drafted because of his skin color is beyond anything we would have expected, given his own long-standing vocal opposition to race-conscious decision making. Who out there believes for one second that the Illinois Republican Party would have reached halfway across the country for a candidate with Mr. Keyes's losing track record if the Democratic candidate were not African American? That Mr. Keyes succumbed to their blandishments is a sad commentary on the needs of his ego and the desperation -- or shall we say apparent defeatism -- of a Republican Party that turns to a Marylander with a track record that almost rivals that of Harold Stassen. Mr. Bush got it right. We leave you with this cogitation of Mr. Keyes in 2000: "And I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it."

Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (17)

His Own Worst Enemy

From a Washington Post editorial:

It's clear by now that Mr. Keyes loves the limelight and to hear himself speak, notwithstanding his rejection by voters in two U.S. Senate races in Maryland and two runs for the GOP presidential nomination. So it comes as no surprise that he would drop everything and hustle out to Illinois where he has never lived, to run for an office he can't win, and for a cause -- his own -- that deserves to lose. But that Mr. Keyes would allow himself to be drafted because of his skin color is beyond anything we would have expected, given his own long-standing vocal opposition to race-conscious decision making. Who out there believes for one second that the Illinois Republican Party would have reached halfway across the country for a candidate with Mr. Keyes's losing track record if the Democratic candidate were not African American? That Mr. Keyes succumbed to their blandishments is a sad commentary on the needs of his ego and the desperation -- or shall we say apparent defeatism -- of a Republican Party that turns to a Marylander with a track record that almost rivals that of Harold Stassen. Mr. Bush got it right. We leave you with this cogitation of Mr. Keyes in 2000: "And I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it."

Posted by Eric at 09:47 AM | Comments (2)

August 06, 2004

Be Proud, GOP

Eugenics supporter in Ten wins the GOP primary:

An openly racist candidate is the winner in a Tennessee congressional primary.

James Hart, a believer in the discredited, phony science of eugenics, has handily defeated write-in opponent Dennis Bertrand in the Republican primary for the Eighth Congressional District.

Most of the votes have been counted and Hart has a big lead.

The 60-year-old doesn't expect to defeat Democratic Congressman John Tanner, who's represented the district for 15 years. But he says he wants to get out his message -- that people from what he calls "less favored races" should be discouraged from reproducing or immigrating to the U-S.

His explanation of "less favored races" includes people on welfare and those from "sub-Saharan" African countries.

Hart says the Republican Party would like him to go away -- but he'll probably go to the G-O-P convention.

Posted by Eric at 01:58 PM | Comments (36)

Be Proud, GOP

Eugenics supporter in Ten wins the GOP primary:

An openly racist candidate is the winner in a Tennessee congressional primary.

James Hart, a believer in the discredited, phony science of eugenics, has handily defeated write-in opponent Dennis Bertrand in the Republican primary for the Eighth Congressional District.

Most of the votes have been counted and Hart has a big lead.

The 60-year-old doesn't expect to defeat Democratic Congressman John Tanner, who's represented the district for 15 years. But he says he wants to get out his message -- that people from what he calls "less favored races" should be discouraged from reproducing or immigrating to the U-S.

His explanation of "less favored races" includes people on welfare and those from "sub-Saharan" African countries.

Hart says the Republican Party would like him to go away -- but he'll probably go to the G-O-P convention.

Posted by Eric at 01:58 PM | Comments (6)

Keyes Accepts

Reportedly.

Posted by Eric at 01:46 PM | Comments (38)

Keyes Accepts

Reportedly.

Posted by Eric at 01:46 PM | Comments (4)

August 05, 2004

On Keyes

Chicago columnist Mary Mitchell on the GOP's selection of Alan Keyes:

Keyes would be used by the Republican Party to try to limit the number of votes Obama is expected to receive in this election. Although Keyes and others of his ilk oppose affirmative action or any other race-based initiative, he was being drafted for this contest solely because of his race. How ironic is that?

If Keyes were not black, the Republican Party wouldn't be talking about sending him a one-way ticket to Illinois.

In fact, no one was interested when Antonio Davis-Fairman, a black conservative from Washington, D.C., announced last August that he was in the contest. The only black Republican who was vying to replace Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, Davis-Fairman couldn't even get in the lineup for a debate scheduled by the state branch of the NAACP ... The average black person already suspects that the only reason a black man like Keyes is so large is because white people benefit from his opposition to affirmative action. I don't expect Keyes to woo away votes from the Democratic Party, if he runs, nor do I expect him to win over moderate Republicans.

But his presence in this race would put all of the Republican Party's cards on the table.

Posted by Eric at 09:34 AM | Comments (84)

On Keyes

Chicago columnist Mary Mitchell on the GOP's selection of Alan Keyes:

Keyes would be used by the Republican Party to try to limit the number of votes Obama is expected to receive in this election. Although Keyes and others of his ilk oppose affirmative action or any other race-based initiative, he was being drafted for this contest solely because of his race. How ironic is that?

If Keyes were not black, the Republican Party wouldn't be talking about sending him a one-way ticket to Illinois.

In fact, no one was interested when Antonio Davis-Fairman, a black conservative from Washington, D.C., announced last August that he was in the contest. The only black Republican who was vying to replace Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, Davis-Fairman couldn't even get in the lineup for a debate scheduled by the state branch of the NAACP ... The average black person already suspects that the only reason a black man like Keyes is so large is because white people benefit from his opposition to affirmative action. I don't expect Keyes to woo away votes from the Democratic Party, if he runs, nor do I expect him to win over moderate Republicans.

But his presence in this race would put all of the Republican Party's cards on the table.

Posted by Eric at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

Gov. Tony Knowles Leads Murkowski

In the Alaska Senate race, Dem Knowles leads Murkowski by a small margin:

Former Gov. Tony Knowles continues to lead with 46.1 percent of the vote over Murkowskis 43.9 percent. The other candidates in the race have 3.9 percent combined. The Green Partys Jim Sykes has 2.3 percent, Republican moderate Ray Metcalfe has 1.4 percent, and Independent Mark Millican is at two-thirds of a percent. Six percent say theyre undecided.

So a lead for Knowles, down just slightly from last months lead of 2.6 percent.

Posted by Eric at 10:09 AM | Comments (9)

Gov. Tony Knowles Leads Murkowski

In the Alaska Senate race, Dem Knowles leads Murkowski by a small margin:

Former Gov. Tony Knowles continues to lead with 46.1 percent of the vote over Murkowskis 43.9 percent. The other candidates in the race have 3.9 percent combined. The Green Partys Jim Sykes has 2.3 percent, Republican moderate Ray Metcalfe has 1.4 percent, and Independent Mark Millican is at two-thirds of a percent. Six percent say theyre undecided.

So a lead for Knowles, down just slightly from last months lead of 2.6 percent.

Posted by Eric at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

John Ramsey Loses House Bid

Detriot Free Press: "Bellaire attorney Kevin Elsenheimer won the 105th Michigan House District seat, taking 28 percent of the votes with 94 percent of the precincts reporting early this morning. He narrowly beat Ramsey and former legislative aide Craig Ryan."

Posted by Eric at 10:05 AM | Comments (11)

John Ramsey Loses House Bid

Detriot Free Press: "Bellaire attorney Kevin Elsenheimer won the 105th Michigan House District seat, taking 28 percent of the votes with 94 percent of the precincts reporting early this morning. He narrowly beat Ramsey and former legislative aide Craig Ryan."

Posted by Eric at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

Katherine Harris Speaks Nonsense?

Could it be? From the AP. Harris:

During a speech to 600 people Monday in Venice, Harris either shared a closely held secret or passed along second-hand information as fact ... She said in the speech that a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested in the plot and that explosives were found in his home in Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis.
However:
Officials in Indiana and Washington say they're dumbfounded by a statement U-S Representative Katherine Harris of Sarasota made about a terrorist plot to blow up a power grid in Indiana ...

A staff member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation's intelligence operations, said he had heard of no such plot.

And Indiana officials in the county where the power grid is located were at a loss to explain where the information originated.

Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (5)

Katherine Harris Speaks Nonsense?

Could it be? From the AP. Harris:

During a speech to 600 people Monday in Venice, Harris either shared a closely held secret or passed along second-hand information as fact ... She said in the speech that a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested in the plot and that explosives were found in his home in Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis.
However:
Officials in Indiana and Washington say they're dumbfounded by a statement U-S Representative Katherine Harris of Sarasota made about a terrorist plot to blow up a power grid in Indiana ...

A staff member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation's intelligence operations, said he had heard of no such plot.

And Indiana officials in the county where the power grid is located were at a loss to explain where the information originated.

Posted by Eric at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

GOP House Candidate Acknowledged Eugenics Supporter

A man of strong beliefs, James L Hart:

The Republican congressional candidate James L Hart has acknowledged that he is an unapologetic supporter of eugenics, the fake science that resulted in thousands of people being sterilised in an attempt to purify the white race.

He believes the country will look "like one big Detroit" - which has a large African-American population - if it doesn't eliminate welfare payments and immigration. He believes that if blacks were integrated centuries ago, the automobile would never have been invented.

Mr Hart has been said to turn up at voters' homes wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a gun, telling them that "white children deserve the same rights as everyone else".

But, despite his radical views, Mr Hart may end up winning the Republican nomination in a north-western Tennessee district because he is the only Republican candidate on the ballot in tomorrow's primary. His presence in the campaign has embarrassed Republican leaders, who were blind-sided by Mr Hart after they didn't bother fielding a candidate. John Tanner, a Democrat, has held the seat for 15 years.

Posted by Eric at 05:16 AM | Comments (11)

GOP House Candidate Acknowledged Eugenics Supporter

A man of strong beliefs, James L Hart:

The Republican congressional candidate James L Hart has acknowledged that he is an unapologetic supporter of eugenics, the fake science that resulted in thousands of people being sterilised in an attempt to purify the white race.

He believes the country will look "like one big Detroit" - which has a large African-American population - if it doesn't eliminate welfare payments and immigration. He believes that if blacks were integrated centuries ago, the automobile would never have been invented.

Mr Hart has been said to turn up at voters' homes wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a gun, telling them that "white children deserve the same rights as everyone else".

But, despite his radical views, Mr Hart may end up winning the Republican nomination in a north-western Tennessee district because he is the only Republican candidate on the ballot in tomorrow's primary. His presence in the campaign has embarrassed Republican leaders, who were blind-sided by Mr Hart after they didn't bother fielding a candidate. John Tanner, a Democrat, has held the seat for 15 years.

Posted by Eric at 05:16 AM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2004

Obama Book Set for Rerelease

Barack Obama's 1995 autobiography is set for rerelease. The description from Publisher's Weekly:

Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature?with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work?he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions?his mother is virtually absent?but still has written a resonant book.
The Chicago ST on the book:
The surge of interest in Barack Obama after his speech to the Democratic National Convention is spilling over to the book he wrote a decade ago, with a first edition copy going for $255 on eBay and pre-release orders for a new edition already putting it on best-seller lists.

The first edition of the U.S. Senate candidate's Dreams From My Father had started at $20 on eBay, but after 28 bids on the Internet auction site, it was up to $255 Monday evening.

At a campaign stop, Obama noted that a new edition is coming out Aug. 10 -- ''not a moment too soon. I don't want people spending that much for my book.''

That new edition is already making its way onto the Internet best-seller lists. Pre-release orders had pushed it into the top 50 at Amazon.com, and it was at No. 9 in the biography category at Barnesandnoble.com.

''I don't think we ever sold more than 15,000 copies when it was first published," Obama said. "I probably have about four boxes full, but I promise you I'm not the guy selling them on eBay. . . . You know, it's just a flattering thing that people are taking an interest in the book. I hope what people get out of the book is that as complex as my background is, as diverse as the various strands of my family are, there is this thing that binds us together as a people."

Order the book today.

Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (21)

Obama Book Set for Rerelease

Barack Obama's 1995 autobiography is set for rerelease. The description from Publisher's Weekly:

Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature?with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work?he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment. Obama leaves some lingering questions?his mother is virtually absent?but still has written a resonant book.
The Chicago ST on the book:
The surge of interest in Barack Obama after his speech to the Democratic National Convention is spilling over to the book he wrote a decade ago, with a first edition copy going for $255 on eBay and pre-release orders for a new edition already putting it on best-seller lists.

The first edition of the U.S. Senate candidate's Dreams From My Father had started at $20 on eBay, but after 28 bids on the Internet auction site, it was up to $255 Monday evening.

At a campaign stop, Obama noted that a new edition is coming out Aug. 10 -- ''not a moment too soon. I don't want people spending that much for my book.''

That new edition is already making its way onto the Internet best-seller lists. Pre-release orders had pushed it into the top 50 at Amazon.com, and it was at No. 9 in the biography category at Barnesandnoble.com.

''I don't think we ever sold more than 15,000 copies when it was first published," Obama said. "I probably have about four boxes full, but I promise you I'm not the guy selling them on eBay. . . . You know, it's just a flattering thing that people are taking an interest in the book. I hope what people get out of the book is that as complex as my background is, as diverse as the various strands of my family are, there is this thing that binds us together as a people."

Order the book today.

Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

Alan Keyes to Take on Obama?

Will everyone's favorite failed candidate (and talk show host) take on Obama in Illinois? From the Chicago ST:

Former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes told Illinois Republicans Monday that he is ''open to the idea'' of taking on the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race -- a move that would pit two eloquent, nationally known African Americans against one another.

''It would be a classic race of conservative vs. liberal,'' said state Sen. Dave Syverson, a member of the panel looking for a candidate to go up against Obama. ''It would put this race on the map in this country -- just for excitement.''

Syverson spoke to Keyes several times Monday and said Keyes did not commit to making the run. The former State Department official and radio and television personality was unable to fly from his home in Maryland to Chicago for a meeting the Republican State Central Committee is holding today to interview potential candidates.

''But he certainly has an interest, and he said if the group is interested in meeting with him and speaking with him about his views that he would be happy to come out and meet [later]," said Syverson, a Rockford member of the committee.

Other candidates: "Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman took herself out of the running Monday. Remaining potential candidates are radio personality Orion Samuelson, Aurora dairy owner Jim Oberweis, retired Air Force Major Gen. John Borling, Gold Coast businessman John Cox, Oak Brook entrepreneur Chirinjeev Kathuria and former deputy drug czar Andrea Grubb Barthwell."

Posted by Eric at 04:42 PM | Comments (15)

Alan Keyes to Take on Obama?

Will everyone's favorite failed candidate (and talk show host) take on Obama in Illinois? From the Chicago ST:

Former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes told Illinois Republicans Monday that he is ''open to the idea'' of taking on the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race -- a move that would pit two eloquent, nationally known African Americans against one another.

''It would be a classic race of conservative vs. liberal,'' said state Sen. Dave Syverson, a member of the panel looking for a candidate to go up against Obama. ''It would put this race on the map in this country -- just for excitement.''

Syverson spoke to Keyes several times Monday and said Keyes did not commit to making the run. The former State Department official and radio and television personality was unable to fly from his home in Maryland to Chicago for a meeting the Republican State Central Committee is holding today to interview potential candidates.

''But he certainly has an interest, and he said if the group is interested in meeting with him and speaking with him about his views that he would be happy to come out and meet [later]," said Syverson, a Rockford member of the committee.

Other candidates: "Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman took herself out of the running Monday. Remaining potential candidates are radio personality Orion Samuelson, Aurora dairy owner Jim Oberweis, retired Air Force Major Gen. John Borling, Gold Coast businessman John Cox, Oak Brook entrepreneur Chirinjeev Kathuria and former deputy drug czar Andrea Grubb Barthwell."

Posted by Eric at 04:42 PM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2004

Butterfield Wins in NC

House Democrats keep a seat in North Carolina's 1st District special election:

With 122 of 263 precincts reporting unofficial results, Butterfield had 15,763 votes, or 69 percent, to 6,628 votes, or 29 percent, for Dority, a Republican. Libertarian Tom Eisenmenger had 415 votes, or 2 percent.

Butterfield will assume Ballance's former seat immediately, and could be sworn in to the U.S. House as early as Wednesday.

Ballance dropped his re-election campaign in May and resigned his seat June 8 because of a neuromuscular disorder. He also faces a joint federal-state investigation into suspected financial irregularities of a drug and alcohol counseling program he founded.

In party primaries to see who will compete in the November general election and fill the next two-year term in the seat, Butterfield led his fellow Democrats with 18,130 votes, or 71 percent. Sam Davis was second with 3,086 votes, or 12 percent, with Christine Fitch, Don Davis and Darryl Smith trailing with 121 precincts reporting.

Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (21)

Butterfield Wins in NC

House Democrats keep a seat in North Carolina's 1st District special election:

With 122 of 263 precincts reporting unofficial results, Butterfield had 15,763 votes, or 69 percent, to 6,628 votes, or 29 percent, for Dority, a Republican. Libertarian Tom Eisenmenger had 415 votes, or 2 percent.

Butterfield will assume Ballance's former seat immediately, and could be sworn in to the U.S. House as early as Wednesday.

Ballance dropped his re-election campaign in May and resigned his seat June 8 because of a neuromuscular disorder. He also faces a joint federal-state investigation into suspected financial irregularities of a drug and alcohol counseling program he founded.

In party primaries to see who will compete in the November general election and fill the next two-year term in the seat, Butterfield led his fellow Democrats with 18,130 votes, or 71 percent. Sam Davis was second with 3,086 votes, or 12 percent, with Christine Fitch, Don Davis and Darryl Smith trailing with 121 precincts reporting.

Posted by Eric at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2004

The GOP's Hope in Oklahoma?

Great place, with nice people, that Oklahoma. Been there once. Tom Coburn, however, not a great person. The Oklahoman on Coburn:

Tom Coburn's willingness to say exactly what he believes
on issues of the day helped shape his reputation as a
maverick in the U.S. House of Representatives. Refreshing
to his supporters, off-putting to his critics, that trait is on
display again as he tries to return to Washington.

Coburn, one of four Republicans seeking the nomination
for U.S. Senate in next Tuesday's primary, recently
told The Associated Press, "I favor the death penalty for
abortionists and other people who take life."

Coburn, a physician who has delivered more than
4,000 babies, has never made a secret of his views on abortion.
He opposes it except in those rare cases when the life
of the mother is at stake, and in fact has performed two
abortions to save the lives of mothers who had heart conditions.
But the death penalty?

Posted by Eric at 02:40 PM | Comments (18)

The GOP's Hope in Oklahoma?

Great place, with nice people, that Oklahoma. Been there once. Tom Coburn, however, not a great person. The Oklahoman on Coburn:

Tom Coburn's willingness to say exactly what he believes
on issues of the day helped shape his reputation as a
maverick in the U.S. House of Representatives. Refreshing
to his supporters, off-putting to his critics, that trait is on
display again as he tries to return to Washington.

Coburn, one of four Republicans seeking the nomination
for U.S. Senate in next Tuesday's primary, recently
told The Associated Press, "I favor the death penalty for
abortionists and other people who take life."

Coburn, a physician who has delivered more than
4,000 babies, has never made a secret of his views on abortion.
He opposes it except in those rare cases when the life
of the mother is at stake, and in fact has performed two
abortions to save the lives of mothers who had heart conditions.
But the death penalty?

Posted by Eric at 02:40 PM | Comments (3)

GOP in Trouble in SC?

The DSCC, in an email to supporters, is big on its prospects in South Carolina:

Conservative South Carolina Congressman Jim DeMint (conservative is an understatement -- this guy wants to end Social Security as we know it and he wants to raise taxes on the poor so they can feel the pain of government programs) must have had a lot of explaining to do to his supporters last week when it became public that he only has $98,000 in the bank for his bid for the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, our candidate, State School Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum, posted more than $2 million in the bank last week. Hmm... $2 million, $98,000... Nice. Very nice.

Posted by Eric at 04:36 AM | Comments (5)

GOP in Trouble in SC?

The DSCC, in an email to supporters, is big on its prospects in South Carolina:

Conservative South Carolina Congressman Jim DeMint (conservative is an understatement -- this guy wants to end Social Security as we know it and he wants to raise taxes on the poor so they can feel the pain of government programs) must have had a lot of explaining to do to his supporters last week when it became public that he only has $98,000 in the bank for his bid for the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, our candidate, State School Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum, posted more than $2 million in the bank last week. Hmm... $2 million, $98,000... Nice. Very nice.

Posted by Eric at 04:36 AM | Comments (1)

July 18, 2004

Dem Bowles Leads in NC

Erskine Bowles, former Clinton chief of staff, "continues to hold the early lead over Republican Richard Burr in the North Carolina Senate race." From the WRAL poll:

According to a new WRAL poll conducted by Mason-Dixon, 48 percent of voters statewide currently support Bowles, 38 percent back Burr and 14 percent are still undecided.

This 10-point margin is the same as in May. Bowles remains ahead in every region of the state, by varying margins, except for the Greensboro/Winston-Salem Triad --Burr's home region.

Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (43)

Dem Bowles Leads in NC

Erskine Bowles, former Clinton chief of staff, "continues to hold the early lead over Republican Richard Burr in the North Carolina Senate race." From the WRAL poll:

According to a new WRAL poll conducted by Mason-Dixon, 48 percent of voters statewide currently support Bowles, 38 percent back Burr and 14 percent are still undecided.

This 10-point margin is the same as in May. Bowles remains ahead in every region of the state, by varying margins, except for the Greensboro/Winston-Salem Triad --Burr's home region.

Posted by Eric at 06:05 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2004

Trouble for Delay

From the Washington Post: DeLay's Corporate Fundraising Investigated.

In May 2001, Enron's top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

DeLay requested that the new donation come from "a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives," with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson.

The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of Houston-based Enron, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by The Washington Post that show DeLay and his associates directed money from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers in Texas in 2001 and 2002 as part of a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.

On a somewhat unrelated note, this is perhaps my favorite Tom Delay story:
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

Posted by Eric at 09:59 AM | Comments (47)

Trouble for Delay

From the Washington Post: DeLay's Corporate Fundraising Investigated.

In May 2001, Enron's top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

DeLay requested that the new donation come from "a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives," with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson.

The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of Houston-based Enron, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by The Washington Post that show DeLay and his associates directed money from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers in Texas in 2001 and 2002 as part of a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.

On a somewhat unrelated note, this is perhaps my favorite Tom Delay story:
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

Posted by Eric at 09:59 AM | Comments (4)

July 01, 2004

Gennifer Flowers to Accompany Senate Candidate

Republican Senate candidate Larry Klayman will have Gennifer Flowers campaign for him in Florida, reports the St. Petersburg Times:

Republican Senate candidate Larry Klayman, a lawyer and founder of Judicial Watch who criticizes the Clintons in stump speeches, will accompany Flowers, a former client, to a fundraising "boat tour" in Miami and stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in late July.

"Gennifer Flowers is a public figure and she's a former client of Larry's," said David E. Johnson, Klayman's spokesman. "People are aware of who she is. She's been one of the harshest critics of the Clintons."

So is Klayman, who fires up partisan Republican crowds by calling Bill and Hillary Clinton "the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics."

Johnson said Flowers, who owns a nightclub in New Orleans, also has agreed to record radio commercials for Klayman to be aired in Florida cities. He said the campaign considered but dropped the idea of having Flowers sign copies of the former president's new book, My Life.

Posted by Eric at 11:35 AM | Comments (13)

Gennifer Flowers to Accompany Senate Candidate

Republican Senate candidate Larry Klayman will have Gennifer Flowers campaign for him in Florida, reports the St. Petersburg Times:

Republican Senate candidate Larry Klayman, a lawyer and founder of Judicial Watch who criticizes the Clintons in stump speeches, will accompany Flowers, a former client, to a fundraising "boat tour" in Miami and stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in late July.

"Gennifer Flowers is a public figure and she's a former client of Larry's," said David E. Johnson, Klayman's spokesman. "People are aware of who she is. She's been one of the harshest critics of the Clintons."

So is Klayman, who fires up partisan Republican crowds by calling Bill and Hillary Clinton "the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics."

Johnson said Flowers, who owns a nightclub in New Orleans, also has agreed to record radio commercials for Klayman to be aired in Florida cities. He said the campaign considered but dropped the idea of having Flowers sign copies of the former president's new book, My Life.

Posted by Eric at 11:35 AM | Comments (8)

June 30, 2004

Klink to Endorse Specter

From Political Wire:

According to Political Wire sources, former Rep. Ron Klink (D-PA), the Democratic candidate in 2000 against Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), will endorse incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) over his challenger, Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D-PA). The endorsement will be unveiled Thursday morning at a press conference Specter is holding to announce the formation of "Democrats for Specter."

Posted by Eric at 06:31 PM | Comments (64)

Klink to Endorse Specter

From Political Wire:

According to Political Wire sources, former Rep. Ron Klink (D-PA), the Democratic candidate in 2000 against Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), will endorse incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) over his challenger, Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D-PA). The endorsement will be unveiled Thursday morning at a press conference Specter is holding to announce the formation of "Democrats for Specter."

Posted by Eric at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

The Next Dean Dozen

Howard Dean's grassroots organization, Democracy for America, has chosen 12 more candidates for support at its website.

Says Tom McMahon, Executive Director of Democracy for America: "Great grassroots candidates often have great stories to tell. This week's Dean Dozen is full of great stories. From the great-grandmother who went on the Sleepless Summer Tour and is continuing the movement, to the Marine who is making his first run for office, to the United States Senate candidate who can win back a Democratic majority. Get to know these candidates and their stories. Then, get active on their campaigns!"

Posted by Eric at 03:46 AM | Comments (19)

The Next Dean Dozen

Howard Dean's grassroots organization, Democracy for America, has chosen 12 more candidates for support at its website.

Says Tom McMahon, Executive Director of Democracy for America: "Great grassroots candidates often have great stories to tell. This week's Dean Dozen is full of great stories. From the great-grandmother who went on the Sleepless Summer Tour and is continuing the movement, to the Marine who is making his first run for office, to the United States Senate candidate who can win back a Democratic majority. Get to know these candidates and their stories. Then, get active on their campaigns!"

Posted by Eric at 03:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

Chicago Newspapers Slam Ryan

The Chicago Sun-Times says it's time for US Senate hopeful Jack Ryan to exit:

When we endorsed Ryan, we said he would "best represent the highest principles and traditions of the Republican Party." In light of his unprincipled behavior in handling this crisis -- which doesn't reflect well on how he would handle a crisis in office -- we can no longer say that. And it's safe to say that Ryan has alienated such staunch party figures as state Republican chairman Judy Baar Topinka, who is furious at Ryan for letting her think there was nothing embarrassing in the court papers -- if these revelations aren't embarrassing, what does he think is? -- and former Gov. Jim Edgar, who also was kept in the dark about the sex clubs. Ryan should now do the honorable thing, which is to step down from the nomination and let the party choose someone else to run against Democrat Barack Obama. The scandals of one Ryan, former Gov. George Ryan, have already damaged the political fortunes of the Republican Party; the GOP can do without this Ryan dragging it down further. And Illinois voters deserve a better choice in the November election for U.S. Senate.
And the Chicago Tribune writes that the allegations "raised this week go much deeper than a novice candidate's mistakes."
More troubling--and more certain than the allegations in a divorce file-- is that Ryan was not honest with Republican primary voters, nor with party leaders who asked him, before the election, if his divorce records would embarrass him or the party. He said they would not.

In a statewide automated phone message put out by the Ryan campaign just before the election he encouraged voters to "ignore these false attacks" supposedly planted by GOP opponents.

Ryan assured people that he had released everything except for documents pertaining directly to his 9-year-old son. He said he wasn't trying to hide embarrassing information. "The only thing that we've kept sealed--meaning my ex-wife and I together--are those documents involving the custody of my son," Ryan was quoted as saying in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The allegations contained in the files released Monday have nothing to do with his son.

Posted by Eric at 02:05 PM | Comments (2)

Chicago Newspapers Slam Ryan

The Chicago Sun-Times says it's time for US Senate hopeful Jack Ryan to exit:

When we endorsed Ryan, we said he would "best represent the highest principles and traditions of the Republican Party." In light of his unprincipled behavior in handling this crisis -- which doesn't reflect well on how he would handle a crisis in office -- we can no longer say that. And it's safe to say that Ryan has alienated such staunch party figures as state Republican chairman Judy Baar Topinka, who is furious at Ryan for letting her think there was nothing embarrassing in the court papers -- if these revelations aren't embarrassing, what does he think is? -- and former Gov. Jim Edgar, who also was kept in the dark about the sex clubs. Ryan should now do the honorable thing, which is to step down from the nomination and let the party choose someone else to run against Democrat Barack Obama. The scandals of one Ryan, former Gov. George Ryan, have already damaged the political fortunes of the Republican Party; the GOP can do without this Ryan dragging it down further. And Illinois voters deserve a better choice in the November election for U.S. Senate.
And the Chicago Tribune writes that the allegations "raised this week go much deeper than a novice candidate's mistakes."
More troubling--and more certain than the allegations in a divorce file-- is that Ryan was not honest with Republican primary voters, nor with party leaders who asked him, before the election, if his divorce records would embarrass him or the party. He said they would not.

In a statewide automated phone message put out by the Ryan campaign just before the election he encouraged voters to "ignore these false attacks" supposedly planted by GOP opponents.

Ryan assured people that he had released everything except for documents pertaining directly to his 9-year-old son. He said he wasn't trying to hide embarrassing information. "The only thing that we've kept sealed--meaning my ex-wife and I together--are those documents involving the custody of my son," Ryan was quoted as saying in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The allegations contained in the files released Monday have nothing to do with his son.

Posted by Eric at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Republican Pete Coors on Twins

From the Denver Post:

Pete Coors isn't sure whether the busty, blond Coors Light Twins are a liability or an asset in his race for the U.S. Senate.

"The religious right doesn't understand why we would have the twins in our advertising," Pete told me last week. "But I've had an equal number of people come up and say, 'Boy if you took the twins on the campaign trail, we'd really vote for you."'

Too bad Pete can't do that under federal campaign finance laws. But if voters want an explanation of why a conservative Republican is involved with sexually explicit advertising, Pete offers this: "We don't sell marshmallows or Popsicles. We're in the beer business."

Posted by Eric at 05:46 PM | Comments (45)

Republican Pete Coors on Twins

From the Denver Post:

Pete Coors isn't sure whether the busty, blond Coors Light Twins are a liability or an asset in his race for the U.S. Senate.

"The religious right doesn't understand why we would have the twins in our advertising," Pete told me last week. "But I've had an equal number of people come up and say, 'Boy if you took the twins on the campaign trail, we'd really vote for you."'

Too bad Pete can't do that under federal campaign finance laws. But if voters want an explanation of why a conservative Republican is involved with sexually explicit advertising, Pete offers this: "We don't sell marshmallows or Popsicles. We're in the beer business."

Posted by Eric at 05:46 PM | Comments (4)

June 21, 2004

Republican Family Values

Poor Jeri Ryan.

Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured his wife, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, to have sex in clubs while others watched, she charged in divorce documents released Monday.

The ``Boston Public'' and ``Star Trek: Voyager'' actress said she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken.

In the documents Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been ``faithful and loyal'' to his wife.

In a news conference held after the documents were released, Ryan repeatedly refused to comment on the allegations, saying his response in the court papers spoke for itself and that he would not discuss them again.

Posted by Eric at 09:57 PM | Comments (21)

Republican Family Values

Poor Jeri Ryan.

Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured his wife, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, to have sex in clubs while others watched, she charged in divorce documents released Monday.

The ``Boston Public'' and ``Star Trek: Voyager'' actress said she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken.

In the documents Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been ``faithful and loyal'' to his wife.

In a news conference held after the documents were released, Ryan repeatedly refused to comment on the allegations, saying his response in the court papers spoke for itself and that he would not discuss them again.

Posted by Eric at 09:57 PM | Comments (5)

June 16, 2004

House Conservatives Pick Races

In the DC paper The Hill, the right-wing of the GOP is pushing funds to many fiscal conservatives:

House conservatives want to focus their financial support initially on Senate races in four states: Colorado, where former House conservative Bob Schaffer is squaring off against beer scion Pete Coors in a Republican primary; South Carolina, where Rep. Jim DeMint (R), a Republican Study Committee member, is facing former Gov. David Beasley (R); Oklahoma, where former Rep. Tom Coburn (R), a one-time leading House conservative who clashed often with his leadership, is running against two Republicans; and Louisiana, where Rep. David Vitter is the only Republican in an open primary.
And many of these House conservatives aren't happy with their fellow Republicans:
More than 20 House conservatives met recently at the Hunan Dynasty on Capitol Hill to discuss how to put some conservative backbone into the Senate, among other political and legislative priorities. Many of them believe that Republican centrists in the Senate are as much to blame as Democrats for their policy frustrations.

For example, centrist GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) and John McCain (Ariz.) have infuriated many of the House conservatives by insisting that budgetary limits be applied to tax cuts, stalling progress on a joint budget resolution.

As a result of that and other factors, House conservatives have decided to start giving more financial help to fellow conservatives locked in contentious Republican primaries.

Posted by Eric at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

House Conservatives Pick Races

In the DC paper The Hill, the right-wing of the GOP is pushing funds to many fiscal conservatives:

House conservatives want to focus their financial support initially on Senate races in four states: Colorado, where former House conservative Bob Schaffer is squaring off against beer scion Pete Coors in a Republican primary; South Carolina, where Rep. Jim DeMint (R), a Republican Study Committee member, is facing former Gov. David Beasley (R); Oklahoma, where former Rep. Tom Coburn (R), a one-time leading House conservative who clashed often with his leadership, is running against two Republicans; and Louisiana, where Rep. David Vitter is the only Republican in an open primary.
And many of these House conservatives aren't happy with their fellow Republicans:
More than 20 House conservatives met recently at the Hunan Dynasty on Capitol Hill to discuss how to put some conservative backbone into the Senate, among other political and legislative priorities. Many of them believe that Republican centrists in the Senate are as much to blame as Democrats for their policy frustrations.

For example, centrist GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) and John McCain (Ariz.) have infuriated many of the House conservatives by insisting that budgetary limits be applied to tax cuts, stalling progress on a joint budget resolution.

As a result of that and other factors, House conservatives have decided to start giving more financial help to fellow conservatives locked in contentious Republican primaries.

Posted by Eric at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Claim: Delay Accepts Bacardi Bribe

U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, D-Houston has accused Rep. Tom Delay of accepting a $20,000 contribution to his PAC in exchange for favors to benefit the liquor company, reports the Houston Chronicle:

The allegation is part of a wide-ranging ethics complaint that Bell, whose congressional district borders DeLay's, filed Tuesday. As first reported in Monday's Houston Chronicle, Bell is asking the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate claims that DeLay, a Republican, engaged in extortion, bribery and abuse of power in separate incidents during the last two years.

Bell's decision to proceed against DeLay pushed a simmering Texas political feud onto center stage this week on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers for seven years have observed an unofficial truce in filing such complaints against each other.

DeLay denied all of the allegations in Bell's ethics complaint, which he described as the work of a disgruntled partisan.

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (1)

Claim: Delay Accepts Bacardi Bribe

U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, D-Houston has accused Rep. Tom Delay of accepting a $20,000 contribution to his PAC in exchange for favors to benefit the liquor company, reports the Houston Chronicle:

The allegation is part of a wide-ranging ethics complaint that Bell, whose congressional district borders DeLay's, filed Tuesday. As first reported in Monday's Houston Chronicle, Bell is asking the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate claims that DeLay, a Republican, engaged in extortion, bribery and abuse of power in separate incidents during the last two years.

Bell's decision to proceed against DeLay pushed a simmering Texas political feud onto center stage this week on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers for seven years have observed an unofficial truce in filing such complaints against each other.

DeLay denied all of the allegations in Bell's ethics complaint, which he described as the work of a disgruntled partisan.

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2004

Tom DeLay: Charitable Liar

The Houston Press takes on Tom Delay and explains how he "has used nonprofits to help himself". With pictures!

Posted by Eric at 02:52 AM | Comments (19)

Tom DeLay: Charitable Liar

The Houston Press takes on Tom Delay and explains how he "has used nonprofits to help himself". With pictures!

Posted by Eric at 02:52 AM | Comments (7)

June 02, 2004

Knowles Takes Senate Lead in Alaska

In the latest KTUU survey, Knowles has the lead:

This month, Tony has the lead back in a big way -- his largest lead of the campaign. Knowles is listed at 45.7 percent, Lisa Murkowski at 41.4 percent, Green Party candidate Jim Sykes at 1.3 percent, "other" at 4.6 percent, with 6.9 percent undecided.

Knowles' rating is 63.2 percent positive, his highest positive rating of the campaign to date, and 31.5 percent negative. That's testament to an effective start on the advertising front.

Lisa Murkowski's rating is 57.4 percent positive -- also her highest positive rating of the campaign -- and 34.1 percent negative.

But wait! Murkowski has troubles besides the popular former Gov. Knowles:
Not to be left out, Wev Shea, an Anchorage attorney and Republican Party activist, has pitched his hat into the ring to challenge Lisa Murkowski and Mike Miller for the Republican nomination, fueled by his concerns about ethics complaints against GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Now, Jerry Sanders, former Republican state House representative for Midtown, has filed to run on the Alaska Independence Party ticket. Will Sanders be the next U.S. senator for Alaska? Likely not, but he may be on the general election ballot, and could siphon votes from the Republican nominee.

Posted by Eric at 05:02 PM | Comments (7)

Knowles Takes Senate Lead in Alaska

In the latest KTUU survey, Knowles has the lead:

This month, Tony has the lead back in a big way -- his largest lead of the campaign. Knowles is listed at 45.7 percent, Lisa Murkowski at 41.4 percent, Green Party candidate Jim Sykes at 1.3 percent, "other" at 4.6 percent, with 6.9 percent undecided.

Knowles' rating is 63.2 percent positive, his highest positive rating of the campaign to date, and 31.5 percent negative. That's testament to an effective start on the advertising front.

Lisa Murkowski's rating is 57.4 percent positive -- also her highest positive rating of the campaign -- and 34.1 percent negative.

But wait! Murkowski has troubles besides the popular former Gov. Knowles:
Not to be left out, Wev Shea, an Anchorage attorney and Republican Party activist, has pitched his hat into the ring to challenge Lisa Murkowski and Mike Miller for the Republican nomination, fueled by his concerns about ethics complaints against GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Now, Jerry Sanders, former Republican state House representative for Midtown, has filed to run on the Alaska Independence Party ticket. Will Sanders be the next U.S. senator for Alaska? Likely not, but he may be on the general election ballot, and could siphon votes from the Republican nominee.

Posted by Eric at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

GOP Outreach to Hispanics

Another example, in the AP:

A radio station temporarily suspended broadcasts of a commercial for a Republican congressional candidate who rails against illegal immigration but then signs off in Spanish, including the salutation "Yo, Gringo!"

WSJS-AM said it made the decision over the holiday weekend because it was unclear if the sponsor was clearly identified in the otherwise-English ad for candidate Vernon Robinson. The ad contends the prevalence of Spanish spoken in the United States can make English-speaking Americans feel like they're in "The Twilight Zone."

Only the final line is in Spanish. After "Yo, Gringo!" - a contemptuous Spanish term for Americans - the rest translates to "This episode of 'The Twilight Zone' was paid for by Robinson for Congress."

The commercial was returned to the air Tuesday with the English translation. WSJS manager Tom Hamilton said all political ads were temporarily suspended while the problem with Robinson's ad was resolved.

And this guy has a great slogan:
In campaign mailings, Robinson has often invoked the name of one of the state's conservative icons, proclaiming: "Jesse Helms is back! And this time he's black."

Posted by Eric at 04:29 PM | Comments (11)

GOP Outreach to Hispanics

Another example, in the AP:

A radio station temporarily suspended broadcasts of a commercial for a Republican congressional candidate who rails against illegal immigration but then signs off in Spanish, including the salutation "Yo, Gringo!"

WSJS-AM said it made the decision over the holiday weekend because it was unclear if the sponsor was clearly identified in the otherwise-English ad for candidate Vernon Robinson. The ad contends the prevalence of Spanish spoken in the United States can make English-speaking Americans feel like they're in "The Twilight Zone."

Only the final line is in Spanish. After "Yo, Gringo!" - a contemptuous Spanish term for Americans - the rest translates to "This episode of 'The Twilight Zone' was paid for by Robinson for Congress."

The commercial was returned to the air Tuesday with the English translation. WSJS manager Tom Hamilton said all political ads were temporarily suspended while the problem with Robinson's ad was resolved.

And this guy has a great slogan:
In campaign mailings, Robinson has often invoked the name of one of the state's conservative icons, proclaiming: "Jesse Helms is back! And this time he's black."

Posted by Eric at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

Herseth Wins in SD

In a rather close race, Stephanie Herseth defeated Larry Diedrich for the chance to replace the disgraced Bill Janklow in Congress. From the AP:

With all but 31 precincts reporting, Herseth had 124,594 votes, or 51 percent, to 121,628 votes, or 49 percent, for Larry Diedrich, a farmer who served in the Legislature and was head of the American Soybean Association ...

Herseth now will serve out the seven months left in Janklow's term. Herseth and Diedrich will meet again in November to compete for a full two-year term. Herseth, however, will have the advantage of incumbency in holding South Dakota's lone House seat.

Her victory gave the Democrats two straight triumphs this year in special elections waged for GOP-held seats, and coincided with Democratic claims that a national tide is running their way ahead of the fall campaign. Recent polling shows support slumping for President Bush as well as for the Republican majority in the House.

Despite the gains in South Dakota and in Kentucky earlier this year, the Democrats must pick up 11 more seats in November to gain control of the House.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

Herseth Wins in SD

In a rather close race, Stephanie Herseth defeated Larry Diedrich for the chance to replace the disgraced Bill Janklow in Congress. From the AP:

With all but 31 precincts reporting, Herseth had 124,594 votes, or 51 percent, to 121,628 votes, or 49 percent, for Larry Diedrich, a farmer who served in the Legislature and was head of the American Soybean Association ...

Herseth now will serve out the seven months left in Janklow's term. Herseth and Diedrich will meet again in November to compete for a full two-year term. Herseth, however, will have the advantage of incumbency in holding South Dakota's lone House seat.

Her victory gave the Democrats two straight triumphs this year in special elections waged for GOP-held seats, and coincided with Democratic claims that a national tide is running their way ahead of the fall campaign. Recent polling shows support slumping for President Bush as well as for the Republican majority in the House.

Despite the gains in South Dakota and in Kentucky earlier this year, the Democrats must pick up 11 more seats in November to gain control of the House.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Diedrich Concedes Defeat in SD

Looks like Stephanie Herseth will take the special election in S.D. today, as her opponent, Larry Diedrich, is "effectively conceding defeat in todays South Dakota special House election before the polling booths even open." From the DC paper The Hill:

The former state senator dramatically ratcheted down expectations during an interview with The Hill at his campaign headquarters, saying he would be happy to lose to Democrat Stephanie Herseth by only five percentage points.

He has trailed her by seven or more points in recent polls, and, if he loses, it would be the GOPs second special-election defeat this year. In February, Alice Forgy Kerr (R) lost to Ben Chandler (D) in Kentuckys 6th District; it was the first time since 1991 that a Democrat won a Republican-held seat in a special election.

The battle for the House seat will continue tomorrow because the winner of the
special election must face the voters for a second time, in November. Both Diedrich and Herseth will be running in the fall election, so todays contest amounts to a precursor of their upcoming race for a full, two-year term.

Posted by Eric at 01:04 PM | Comments (6)

Diedrich Concedes Defeat in SD

Looks like Stephanie Herseth will take the special election in S.D. today, as her opponent, Larry Diedrich, is "effectively conceding defeat in todays South Dakota special House election before the polling booths even open." From the DC paper The Hill:

The former state senator dramatically ratcheted down expectations during an interview with The Hill at his campaign headquarters, saying he would be happy to lose to Democrat Stephanie Herseth by only five percentage points.

He has trailed her by seven or more points in recent polls, and, if he loses, it would be the GOPs second special-election defeat this year. In February, Alice Forgy Kerr (R) lost to Ben Chandler (D) in Kentuckys 6th District; it was the first time since 1991 that a Democrat won a Republican-held seat in a special election.

The battle for the House seat will continue tomorrow because the winner of the
special election must face the voters for a second time, in November. Both Diedrich and Herseth will be running in the fall election, so todays contest amounts to a precursor of their upcoming race for a full, two-year term.

Posted by Eric at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2004

Herseth Continues Lead in SD

According to a Zogby poll, as reported in the Rapid City Journal, Stephanie Herseth maintains her lead:

Herseth leads Diedrich 52 percent to 41 percent, according to a poll of 503 likely voters conducted May 19 and 20 by Zogby International of Utica, N.Y., for South Dakota media outlets, including the Rapid City Journal. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Seven percent remain undecided ... Herseth spokesman Russ Levsen said the poll shows that Diedrich's substantial early gains have been harder to come by in recent weeks. Diedrich rose from about 30 percent support in February, when he was largely unknown, to 41 percent in this poll. Levsen said it is much tougher for candidates to close a gap from 40 percent to get the more than 50 percent needed for victory.

"I think this race has settled in. There are very few undecideds. People are where they are, and Stephanie is enjoying solid support," Levsen said. "I think it also drives home that after some negative attacks from Larry Diedrich, South Dakotans appreciate her positive approach on the issues."

Also in South Dakota, Tom Daschle has taken his lead and doubled it.

Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (43)

Herseth Continues Lead in SD

According to a Zogby poll, as reported in the Rapid City Journal, Stephanie Herseth maintains her lead:

Herseth leads Diedrich 52 percent to 41 percent, according to a poll of 503 likely voters conducted May 19 and 20 by Zogby International of Utica, N.Y., for South Dakota media outlets, including the Rapid City Journal. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Seven percent remain undecided ... Herseth spokesman Russ Levsen said the poll shows that Diedrich's substantial early gains have been harder to come by in recent weeks. Diedrich rose from about 30 percent support in February, when he was largely unknown, to 41 percent in this poll. Levsen said it is much tougher for candidates to close a gap from 40 percent to get the more than 50 percent needed for victory.

"I think this race has settled in. There are very few undecideds. People are where they are, and Stephanie is enjoying solid support," Levsen said. "I think it also drives home that after some negative attacks from Larry Diedrich, South Dakotans appreciate her positive approach on the issues."

Also in South Dakota, Tom Daschle has taken his lead and doubled it.

Posted by Eric at 03:10 AM | Comments (7)

May 21, 2004

Erskine Bowles Takes Double Digit Lead in NC

From the Winston Salem-Journal, "Erskine Bowles holds a 10 percentage-point lead over Republican Richard Burr in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race, according to a statewide poll":

The statewide poll of 625 likely voters found that 45 percent currently support Bowles, 35 percent support Burr and 20 percent are undecided. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. found that 86 percent of voters said they recognize Bowles - a residual effect from his unsuccessful U.S. Senate race against Elizabeth Dole in 2002 -- while just 55 percent recognize Burr, who has represented the 5thDistrict in Congress since 1995.

Despite Bowles' early status as the front-runner, J. Bradford Coker, the managing director of Mason-Dixon, said that the race could be very close.

"When you have roughly a 30-point advantage in name recognition and you have only a 10-point lead, that lead isn't super-solid," Coker said. "It's a competitive race.

Would Burr be an independent-minded Senator if elected? Probably not: "And Burr is tied closely to the Bush administration, getting help with his campaign from Cheney and White House adviser Karl Rove."

Erskine's website is here.

Posted by Eric at 10:02 AM | Comments (79)

Erskine Bowles Takes Double Digit Lead in NC

From the Winston Salem-Journal, "Erskine Bowles holds a 10 percentage-point lead over Republican Richard Burr in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race, according to a statewide poll":

The statewide poll of 625 likely voters found that 45 percent currently support Bowles, 35 percent support Burr and 20 percent are undecided. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. found that 86 percent of voters said they recognize Bowles - a residual effect from his unsuccessful U.S. Senate race against Elizabeth Dole in 2002 -- while just 55 percent recognize Burr, who has represented the 5thDistrict in Congress since 1995.

Despite Bowles' early status as the front-runner, J. Bradford Coker, the managing director of Mason-Dixon, said that the race could be very close.

"When you have roughly a 30-point advantage in name recognition and you have only a 10-point lead, that lead isn't super-solid," Coker said. "It's a competitive race.

Would Burr be an independent-minded Senator if elected? Probably not: "And Burr is tied closely to the Bush administration, getting help with his campaign from Cheney and White House adviser Karl Rove."

Erskine's website is here.

Posted by Eric at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2004

Did GOP House Leaders Bribe Members for Votes?

As reported by CAP, Common Cause has released a report (pdf) that shows "improprieties" by the House GOP leadership during the fight for the Medicare bill. To note, from CAP:

Perhaps most disturbing: conservative leaders in the House held the vote on the Medicare bill open for 3 hours in the middle of the night while they pressured Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) and others to switch their votes. Normally, votes in the House are open for 15 minutes. In a 11/23/03 column on his website Rep. Smith wrote, "members and groups made extensive financial campaign supports and endorsements for my son Brad who is running for my seat. They also made threats of working against Brad if I voted no." The following month on a radio interview, Smith said "the first offer was to give [my son Brad] $100,000-plus for his campaign and endorsement by national leadership." While Smith stuck to his principles, others did not, and the bill passed by one vote.

Posted by Eric at 01:58 PM | Comments (231)

Did GOP House Leaders Bribe Members for Votes?

As reported by CAP, Common Cause has released a report (pdf) that shows "improprieties" by the House GOP leadership during the fight for the Medicare bill. To note, from CAP:

Perhaps most disturbing: conservative leaders in the House held the vote on the Medicare bill open for 3 hours in the middle of the night while they pressured Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) and others to switch their votes. Normally, votes in the House are open for 15 minutes. In a 11/23/03 column on his website Rep. Smith wrote, "members and groups made extensive financial campaign supports and endorsements for my son Brad who is running for my seat. They also made threats of working against Brad if I voted no." The following month on a radio interview, Smith said "the first offer was to give [my son Brad] $100,000-plus for his campaign and endorsement by national leadership." While Smith stuck to his principles, others did not, and the bill passed by one vote.

Posted by Eric at 01:58 PM | Comments (2)

Budget Deficit Not Addressed

Congress has once again given the issue of the deficit the boot, reports the USA Today:

Republicans who have struggled for two months to reconcile House and Senate versions of the 2005 federal budget announced an agreement Wednesday.
But the compromise includes much weaker rules against red ink than the Senate approved, making it unclear whether the deal will get the support needed for passage when both chambers vote this week.

Senate moderates said they would not vote for the compromise because it fails to curb the federal budget deficit, which is approaching a record $500 billion this year. That prompted criticism from Republican conservatives in the House of Representatives.

Posted by Eric at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

Budget Deficit Not Addressed

Congress has once again given the issue of the deficit the boot, reports the USA Today:

Republicans who have struggled for two months to reconcile House and Senate versions of the 2005 federal budget announced an agreement Wednesday.
But the compromise includes much weaker rules against red ink than the Senate approved, making it unclear whether the deal will get the support needed for passage when both chambers vote this week.

Senate moderates said they would not vote for the compromise because it fails to curb the federal budget deficit, which is approaching a record $500 billion this year. That prompted criticism from Republican conservatives in the House of Representatives.

Posted by Eric at 01:40 PM | Comments (4)

May 18, 2004

Nancy Pelosi: One Tough Democrat

The American Prospect on the Democratic House Leader:

Has Pelosi moved to the right to hold the Democrats together? In fact, Pelosi has evolved much as Democratic voters evolved during the presidential primaries: toward a politics that combines populist economics with deficit hawkishness and a heavily armed multilateralism. Nearly a year before Democratic voters figured it out, Pelosi decided that the party needed unity and electability above all else.

The art of winning politics comes naturally to Pelosi. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., had been the ward boss and councilman for Baltimore's Little Italy, then a congressman, and then, from 1947 though 1959, the city's mayor. Accounts of her girlhood home sound like something out of The Last Hurrah -- in particular, her father's daily habit of receiving constituents in his living room. Even today, married to wealth (her husband, Paul, is an investor), she is clearly at home in the world of cigar-chomping ward heelers -- so at ease that the old bulls of the Democratic Party, including such paradigmatic blue-collar Democrats as Pennsylvania's John Murtha, have always felt comfortable with her ...

Pelosi's greatest skill, however, is her ability to synthesize positions that reflect the various inclinations of her caucus and the political opportunities of the moment -- and the period. According to Obey, "She is really good at walking into a room with 15 people [who have] different opinions on subjects, [and she'll] synthesize and say with great clarity, 'Here's what I think we ought to do. She's very good ... at finding common ground. That's why she's not a liberal Democratic leader; she's a Democratic leader who happens to be liberal."

If anyone can attest to Pelosi's persuasive powers, it's Ben Chandler. Just last November, Chandler, then Kentucky's attorney general, lost a close gubernatorial election to Republican Ernie Fletcher, whose congressional seat, accordingly, was abruptly open. A special election was scheduled for February 17, and Chandler, as he told the Prospect, "had no plans to make the race. I was worn out. I was, in some respects, tired of the entire process. And that's when Nancy Pelosi stepped in."

Pelosi's website is here.

Pelosi recently asked: 'Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?'

Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (3)

Nancy Pelosi: One Tough Democrat

The American Prospect on the Democratic House Leader:

Has Pelosi moved to the right to hold the Democrats together? In fact, Pelosi has evolved much as Democratic voters evolved during the presidential primaries: toward a politics that combines populist economics with deficit hawkishness and a heavily armed multilateralism. Nearly a year before Democratic voters figured it out, Pelosi decided that the party needed unity and electability above all else.

The art of winning politics comes naturally to Pelosi. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., had been the ward boss and councilman for Baltimore's Little Italy, then a congressman, and then, from 1947 though 1959, the city's mayor. Accounts of her girlhood home sound like something out of The Last Hurrah -- in particular, her father's daily habit of receiving constituents in his living room. Even today, married to wealth (her husband, Paul, is an investor), she is clearly at home in the world of cigar-chomping ward heelers -- so at ease that the old bulls of the Democratic Party, including such paradigmatic blue-collar Democrats as Pennsylvania's John Murtha, have always felt comfortable with her ...

Pelosi's greatest skill, however, is her ability to synthesize positions that reflect the various inclinations of her caucus and the political opportunities of the moment -- and the period. According to Obey, "She is really good at walking into a room with 15 people [who have] different opinions on subjects, [and she'll] synthesize and say with great clarity, 'Here's what I think we ought to do. She's very good ... at finding common ground. That's why she's not a liberal Democratic leader; she's a Democratic leader who happens to be liberal."

If anyone can attest to Pelosi's persuasive powers, it's Ben Chandler. Just last November, Chandler, then Kentucky's attorney general, lost a close gubernatorial election to Republican Ernie Fletcher, whose congressional seat, accordingly, was abruptly open. A special election was scheduled for February 17, and Chandler, as he told the Prospect, "had no plans to make the race. I was worn out. I was, in some respects, tired of the entire process. And that's when Nancy Pelosi stepped in."

Pelosi's website is here.

Pelosi recently asked: 'Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?'

Posted by Eric at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

Obama Leads Ryan in Senate Race

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican Jack Ryan 48 percent to 40 percent in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new Daily Southtown poll of 500 likely Illinois voters.

Previous polls and Obama's internal polls had suggested a wider gap.

Ryan's campaign greeted the results as evidence Ryan is within striking distance; Obama backers expressed confidence that Obama, a state senator who pounded his opponents in the primary, would stay ahead throughout the campaign.

Obama's site.

Posted by Eric at 09:01 AM | Comments (10)

Obama Leads Ryan in Senate Race

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican Jack Ryan 48 percent to 40 percent in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new Daily Southtown poll of 500 likely Illinois voters.

Previous polls and Obama's internal polls had suggested a wider gap.

Ryan's campaign greeted the results as evidence Ryan is within striking distance; Obama backers expressed confidence that Obama, a state senator who pounded his opponents in the primary, would stay ahead throughout the campaign.

Obama's site.

Posted by Eric at 09:01 AM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2004

Democratic Senate Candidates Surging?

The press release from the DSCC:

Just this past week new polls show Democrats surging in key races across the country. Even before Tony Knowles hit the airwaves with a 60 second bio ad, he remains in a dead heat in Alaska (45% - 45%) despite his challenger's month long TV campaign. Congressman Joe Hoeffel is closing the gap on Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, a race where Specter's $14 million spent on television has only helped to increase his negative approval ratings to 55%. Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar continues to lead both Colorado GOP candidates, (Pete Coors 52% - 36%, Former congressman Bob Schaffer 48% - 37%), while in Illinois State Senator Barack Obama remains ahead of Jack Ryan by a sizable margin (44% - 28%). In Washington, Senator Patty Murray surged ahead of her second-tier challenger George Nethercutt, (54% - 31%). Two other candidates are showing movement in the polls, a new Kentucky poll clearly shows voters want someone other than Jim Bunning as their Senator as only 35% said they would vote to reelect him and a new poll in Ohio shows sitting Senator George Voinovich dipping under 50% against State Senator Eric Fingerhut (47% - 32%).


Not only are our challengers gaining ground, but our most targeted incumbent senator, Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is in a strong position to win re-election against Republican challenger John Thune, based on a recent survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The statewide survey of 506 likely voters in South Dakota, conducted May 11-12, shows Daschle leading Thune 55-42 percent. In the poll, Daschle commands the bipartisan support needed to win in this Republican-leaning state. Daschle attracts 29 percent of Republican voters, while Thune holds just 68 percent of his Republican base. Daschle also leads Thune 54-43 percent among Independent voters. And Daschle's Democratic base is solidified, as he leads 91-7 percent among Democratic voters. Daschle's standing among South Dakota voters is quite strong. He is viewed favorably by 58 percent of South Dakotans, compared to just 31 percent who view him unfavorably.

Posted by Eric at 06:19 PM | Comments (11)

Democratic Senate Candidates Surging?

The press release from the DSCC:

Just this past week new polls show Democrats surging in key races across the country. Even before Tony Knowles hit the airwaves with a 60 second bio ad, he remains in a dead heat in Alaska (45% - 45%) despite his challenger's month long TV campaign. Congressman Joe Hoeffel is closing the gap on Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, a race where Specter's $14 million spent on television has only helped to increase his negative approval ratings to 55%. Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar continues to lead both Colorado GOP candidates, (Pete Coors 52% - 36%, Former congressman Bob Schaffer 48% - 37%), while in Illinois State Senator Barack Obama remains ahead of Jack Ryan by a sizable margin (44% - 28%). In Washington, Senator Patty Murray surged ahead of her second-tier challenger George Nethercutt, (54% - 31%). Two other candidates are showing movement in the polls, a new Kentucky poll clearly shows voters want someone other than Jim Bunning as their Senator as only 35% said they would vote to reelect him and a new poll in Ohio shows sitting Senator George Voinovich dipping under 50% against State Senator Eric Fingerhut (47% - 32%).


Not only are our challengers gaining ground, but our most targeted incumbent senator, Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is in a strong position to win re-election against Republican challenger John Thune, based on a recent survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The statewide survey of 506 likely voters in South Dakota, conducted May 11-12, shows Daschle leading Thune 55-42 percent. In the poll, Daschle commands the bipartisan support needed to win in this Republican-leaning state. Daschle attracts 29 percent of Republican voters, while Thune holds just 68 percent of his Republican base. Daschle also leads Thune 54-43 percent among Independent voters. And Daschle's Democratic base is solidified, as he leads 91-7 percent among Democratic voters. Daschle's standing among South Dakota voters is quite strong. He is viewed favorably by 58 percent of South Dakotans, compared to just 31 percent who view him unfavorably.

Posted by Eric at 06:19 PM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2004

Congress - White House Divide?

According to The Hill, Congressional Republicans and the White House are having trouble getting along:

Republicans on the Hill are so frustrated with the White House that when Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) criticized the administration at a House GOP meeting last week, the caucus burst into applause ...

One GOP lawmaker at the caucus meeting said Hastert expressed outright dismay with the White House staff for the way the transportation bill had been handled. They did not give the priority necessary to the issue in resolving it as the Speaker had wanted. Its in absolute limbo. ...

The are also widespread complaints among lawmakers that the administrations message machine is out of sync. When, for example, the House passed a bill in March raising penalties for violence against pregnant woman, the White House dimished the political impact by trumping it with the announcement that it would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, even though key House leaders were not on board.

However, as The Hill notes, the House and White House historically don't always get along, e.g. Clinton and Dems in 1993-1994.

Posted by Eric at 09:25 AM | Comments (14)

Congress - White House Divide?

According to The Hill, Congressional Republicans and the White House are having trouble getting along:

Republicans on the Hill are so frustrated with the White House that when Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) criticized the administration at a House GOP meeting last week, the caucus burst into applause ...

One GOP lawmaker at the caucus meeting said Hastert expressed outright dismay with the White House staff for the way the transportation bill had been handled. They did not give the priority necessary to the issue in resolving it as the Speaker had wanted. Its in absolute limbo. ...

The are also widespread complaints among lawmakers that the administrations message machine is out of sync. When, for example, the House passed a bill in March raising penalties for violence against pregnant woman, the White House dimished the political impact by trumping it with the announcement that it would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, even though key House leaders were not on board.

However, as The Hill notes, the House and White House historically don't always get along, e.g. Clinton and Dems in 1993-1994.

Posted by Eric at 09:25 AM | Comments (8)

May 12, 2004

Tony Knowles

A lot of people complain about Democrats not standing up for what they believe in, etc, so in the conservative state of Alaska, it's refreshing to have someone like Tony Knowles. See Daily Kos for more info on Knowles and gay rights.

Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (9)

Tony Knowles

A lot of people complain about Democrats not standing up for what they believe in, etc, so in the conservative state of Alaska, it's refreshing to have someone like Tony Knowles. See Daily Kos for more info on Knowles and gay rights.

Posted by Eric at 05:49 PM | Comments (9)

May 06, 2004

Pelosi Calls on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to Resign

In a press release.

The DCCC is urging people to petition for Rummy's resignation as well.

Posted by Eric at 05:01 PM | Comments (11)

Pelosi Calls on Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to Resign

In a press release.

The DCCC is urging people to petition for Rummy's resignation as well.

Posted by Eric at 05:01 PM | Comments (5)

May 05, 2004

Salazar Ads

Ken Salazar, the Senate Democratic candidate in Colorado, airing first ads.

Salazar's ad can be found at his website.

Posted by Eric at 01:18 PM | Comments (22)

Salazar Ads

Ken Salazar, the Senate Democratic candidate in Colorado, airing first ads.

Salazar's ad can be found at his website.

Posted by Eric at 01:18 PM | Comments (1)

May 03, 2004

Murkowski Moves Choice Position?

From the DSCC:

Since her father gave her a job as a U.S. Senator, Lisa Murkowski has tried to have it both ways on a woman's right to choose. In February of last year she said, "I think at this point in time, neither side claims me." [Anchorage Daily News 2/3/03] After Alaska Right to Life endorsed her opponent primary, former State Senate President Mike Miller, (who left Gov. Murkowski's cabinet to oppose Sen. Murkowski), Murkowski declared herself pro-life, touting her vote for the partial birth abortion ban, and her opposition to government funding of abortion. [Fairbanks News-Miner 4/29/04]. Previously, Murkowski supported a sense of the Senate resolution in support of Roe v. Wade. [Anchorage Daily News 4/29/04] Unlike Murkowski, Tony Knowles has always supported women's reproductive rights and continues to do so.
The website of Tony Knowles

Posted by Eric at 03:55 PM | Comments (13)

Murkowski Moves Choice Position?

From the DSCC:

Since her father gave her a job as a U.S. Senator, Lisa Murkowski has tried to have it both ways on a woman's right to choose. In February of last year she said, "I think at this point in time, neither side claims me." [Anchorage Daily News 2/3/03] After Alaska Right to Life endorsed her opponent primary, former State Senate President Mike Miller, (who left Gov. Murkowski's cabinet to oppose Sen. Murkowski), Murkowski declared herself pro-life, touting her vote for the partial birth abortion ban, and her opposition to government funding of abortion. [Fairbanks News-Miner 4/29/04]. Previously, Murkowski supported a sense of the Senate resolution in support of Roe v. Wade. [Anchorage Daily News 4/29/04] Unlike Murkowski, Tony Knowles has always supported women's reproductive rights and continues to do so.
The website of Tony Knowles

Posted by Eric at 03:55 PM | Comments (2)

April 28, 2004

Republican Candidate for Congress: A Little Nutty

The son of Joe Paterno just won the Republican primary for Congress, and he's a real winner. As the DCCC's blog notes

Let us first congratulate you on your victory in the Republican primary for PA's 17th, you ran a swell campaign and your utter lack of experience was nobly countered by the repetition of your father's well-respected name. However, in the spirit of good will and friendly advice, let us list some things that you should leave off of your website in the future
Like what?

From HIS OWN WEBSITE:

Case 1:

In my opinion, President Clinton, at the very least, conspired to commit murder at least 56 times. In my opinion, the President has abused his power for his own political gain, betrayed the public trust and will continue to do so unless the American people wake up and see the man for what he really is.

In the last decade, primarily in the last four years, Clinton has known several people who have died "mysteriously" or "accidentally." I can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had a hand in these deaths. I am not trying to prove that he did. My goal is to present the facts that are known, look at them as a composite, rather than individual isolated events, and then ask this one crucial question: Was it in the best interests of the president for these people to be dead?

Case 2:
That is what happens to people who threaten this president. They die, they die fast and they die before they can do any damage.
Case 3:
Maybe that is why it is so hard to even consider the possibility that the president is as calculating and dangerous as I think he is. I admit, I struggled with whether any of this made sense. But then I detached myself from my expectations and looked at the facts that were available and I made my assessment. There have been several strange deaths associated with the Clinton White House that individually appear to be accidents, or tragedies, but may in fact have been connected by one theme: they all benefited the president politically. My last two columns looked at the circumstances of some of those deaths (all but a couple of which took place since 1993), and now I would like to focus on what the president was trying to hide.

Clinton has always tried to stay one step ahead of the game, always keeping his enemies in front of him and his friends afraid of him. He is most likely guilty of the following crimes: conspiracy to commit murder, accessory to murder, campaign fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, extortion, drug running, bribery, destruction of subpoenaed documents, federal witness tampering . . . the list goes on and on.

I believe that the president is a criminal. I believe this because I don't believe in massive coincidences. I believe this because I know that there is nothing the man wouldn't do to become president and stay there.

If, as we are supposed to believe, all these events are isolated occurrences, then the president is the luckiest man in the world.

Posted by Eric at 10:23 AM | Comments (32)

Republican Candidate for Congress: A Little Nutty

The son of Joe Paterno just won the Republican primary for Congress, and he's a real winner. As the DCCC's blog notes

Let us first congratulate you on your victory in the Republican primary for PA's 17th, you ran a swell campaign and your utter lack of experience was nobly countered by the repetition of your father's well-respected name. However, in the spirit of good will and friendly advice, let us list some things that you should leave off of your website in the future
Like what?

From HIS OWN WEBSITE:

Case 1:

In my opinion, President Clinton, at the very least, conspired to commit murder at least 56 times. In my opinion, the President has abused his power for his own political gain, betrayed the public trust and will continue to do so unless the American people wake up and see the man for what he really is.

In the last decade, primarily in the last four years, Clinton has known several people who have died "mysteriously" or "accidentally." I can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had a hand in these deaths. I am not trying to prove that he did. My goal is to present the facts that are known, look at them as a composite, rather than individual isolated events, and then ask this one crucial question: Was it in the best interests of the president for these people to be dead?

Case 2:
That is what happens to people who threaten this president. They die, they die fast and they die before they can do any damage.
Case 3:
Maybe that is why it is so hard to even consider the possibility that the president is as calculating and dangerous as I think he is. I admit, I struggled with whether any of this made sense. But then I detached myself from my expectations and looked at the facts that were available and I made my assessment. There have been several strange deaths associated with the Clinton White House that individually appear to be accidents, or tragedies, but may in fact have been connected by one theme: they all benefited the president politically. My last two columns looked at the circumstances of some of those deaths (all but a couple of which took place since 1993), and now I would like to focus on what the president was trying to hide.

Clinton has always tried to stay one step ahead of the game, always keeping his enemies in front of him and his friends afraid of him. He is most likely guilty of the following crimes: conspiracy to commit murder, accessory to murder, campaign fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, extortion, drug running, bribery, destruction of subpoenaed documents, federal witness tampering . . . the list goes on and on.

I believe that the president is a criminal. I believe this because I don't believe in massive coincidences. I believe this because I know that there is nothing the man wouldn't do to become president and stay there.

If, as we are supposed to believe, all these events are isolated occurrences, then the president is the luckiest man in the world.

Posted by Eric at 10:23 AM | Comments (12)

Specter Barely Wins PA

From the AP:

Specter, 74, eked out a win against Rep. Pat Toomey, 42, despite a low turnout among Pennsylvania's 3.1 million registered Republicans that had been expected to aid the challenger.

With 96% of precincts reporting, Specter had 511,769 votes, or 51%, to Toomey's 494,695 votes, or 49%.

The race, one of the GOP's most closely watched contests this year, tested the strength of the party's conservative wing. Specter's win also was a victory for President Bush, who endorsed Specter and is counting on his supporters to help him win carry a state he narrowly lost to Democrat Al Gore in 2000.

Specter, of Philadelphia, will face Democratic Rep. Joe Hoeffel in the Nov. 2 general election.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (38)

Specter Barely Wins PA

From the AP:

Specter, 74, eked out a win against Rep. Pat Toomey, 42, despite a low turnout among Pennsylvania's 3.1 million registered Republicans that had been expected to aid the challenger.

With 96% of precincts reporting, Specter had 511,769 votes, or 51%, to Toomey's 494,695 votes, or 49%.

The race, one of the GOP's most closely watched contests this year, tested the strength of the party's conservative wing. Specter's win also was a victory for President Bush, who endorsed Specter and is counting on his supporters to help him win carry a state he narrowly lost to Democrat Al Gore in 2000.

Specter, of Philadelphia, will face Democratic Rep. Joe Hoeffel in the Nov. 2 general election.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (5)

April 27, 2004

Salazar Beats GOP Opps

Rocky Mountain News/News 4 poll has the popular AG ahead of the two GOP primary battlers:

The poll of 600 registered voters conducted last week showed Salazar besting Schaffer 48-37 percent, or by 11 percentage points. He topped Coors 52-36 percent, or by 16 percentage points. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Posted by Eric at 04:10 PM | Comments (16)

Salazar Beats GOP Opps

Rocky Mountain News/News 4 poll has the popular AG ahead of the two GOP primary battlers:

The poll of 600 registered voters conducted last week showed Salazar besting Schaffer 48-37 percent, or by 11 percentage points. He topped Coors 52-36 percent, or by 16 percentage points. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Posted by Eric at 04:10 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2004

Coleman Seeks GOP Leadership Post

Someone wants to be president. AP:

Sen. Norm Coleman said Tuesday he will probably run for chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee at the end of the year, a post that would catapult him into GOP leadership ... Coleman raised about $10 million as a candidate in 2002. His Northstar Leadership PAC has pulled in about $350,000 so far, money he uses to help other Republican candidates.

"So I've developed a national fund-raising base, which I do everything I can to make available to my colleagues," he said.

I saw Coleman speak at a GW Republican talk a while back - main part of his stump speech is that he was a Democrat turned Republican. This theme goes into a whole bunch of points about how Democrats have lost their touch, he's not a partisan / ideologue etc.

Regardless, I'm sure Norm Coleman will be a 99% improvement over the previous leadership.

Posted by Eric at 11:19 AM | Comments (51)

Coleman Seeks GOP Leadership Post

Someone wants to be president. AP:

Sen. Norm Coleman said Tuesday he will probably run for chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee at the end of the year, a post that would catapult him into GOP leadership ... Coleman raised about $10 million as a candidate in 2002. His Northstar Leadership PAC has pulled in about $350,000 so far, money he uses to help other Republican candidates.

"So I've developed a national fund-raising base, which I do everything I can to make available to my colleagues," he said.

I saw Coleman speak at a GW Republican talk a while back - main part of his stump speech is that he was a Democrat turned Republican. This theme goes into a whole bunch of points about how Democrats have lost their touch, he's not a partisan / ideologue etc.

Regardless, I'm sure Norm Coleman will be a 99% improvement over the previous leadership.

Posted by Eric at 11:19 AM | Comments (15)

April 01, 2004

Herseth Leads in SD

From Daily Kos and a Zogby poll:

With two months remaining in the campaign for South Dakota's U.S. House seat, Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who ran for the same seat in 2002, has maintained a healthy lead over Republican Larry Diedrich. But Diedrich has been able to cut the gap in half - despite his "unfamiliar" rating of 48 percent - in the seven weeks since the last poll on the race was publicly released.

Herseth leads Diedrich 53.3 percent to 37.1 percent, according to a poll of 501 likely voters conducted last weekend by Zogby International of Utica, N.Y., for South Dakota media outlets, including the Rapid City Journal. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

See Kos for more of a breakdown.

Posted by Eric at 03:56 PM | Comments (12)

Herseth Leads in SD

From Daily Kos and a Zogby poll:

With two months remaining in the campaign for South Dakota's U.S. House seat, Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who ran for the same seat in 2002, has maintained a healthy lead over Republican Larry Diedrich. But Diedrich has been able to cut the gap in half - despite his "unfamiliar" rating of 48 percent - in the seven weeks since the last poll on the race was publicly released.

Herseth leads Diedrich 53.3 percent to 37.1 percent, according to a poll of 501 likely voters conducted last weekend by Zogby International of Utica, N.Y., for South Dakota media outlets, including the Rapid City Journal. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

See Kos for more of a breakdown.

Posted by Eric at 03:56 PM | Comments (6)

March 22, 2004

Potentially Racially Diverse Senate

As the DSCC notes in their Frontline email, the Democrats have strongly qualified and racially diverse candidates running for office:

Three of the Democratic candidates running this year give voters the chance to add unprecedented diversity to the U.S. Senate. Never before have an African American, a Hispanic American, and a Native American served together in the Senate; Barack Obama (IL), Ken Salazar (CO), and Brad Carson (OK) represent each of these ethnic groups respectively. To quote Donna Brazile, DNC Voting Rights Institute Chairwoman, "To be sure, these are people of outstanding accomplishment, vision, and stature who are not defined by their race, heritage or culture alone. However, the historic opportunity to increase diversity in the U.S. Senate, and thus the diversity of views, backgrounds, and cultures brought to our nation's greatest debates on the issues of the day, is an opportunity we simply cannot afford to miss."
If they do make it to the Senate (very possible, according to Kos's Senate Outlook), they would join Daniel Akaka (Native Hawaiian, Chinese) and Dan Inouye (Japanese). As you can see, historically, the US Senate has been predominately white.

Posted by Eric at 04:42 PM | Comments (38)

Potentially Racially Diverse Senate

As the DSCC notes in their Frontline email, the Democrats have strongly qualified and racially diverse candidates running for office:

Three of the Democratic candidates running this year give voters the chance to add unprecedented diversity to the U.S. Senate. Never before have an African American, a Hispanic American, and a Native American served together in the Senate; Barack Obama (IL), Ken Salazar (CO), and Brad Carson (OK) represent each of these ethnic groups respectively. To quote Donna Brazile, DNC Voting Rights Institute Chairwoman, "To be sure, these are people of outstanding accomplishment, vision, and stature who are not defined by their race, heritage or culture alone. However, the historic opportunity to increase diversity in the U.S. Senate, and thus the diversity of views, backgrounds, and cultures brought to our nation's greatest debates on the issues of the day, is an opportunity we simply cannot afford to miss."
If they do make it to the Senate (very possible, according to Kos's Senate Outlook), they would join Daniel Akaka (Native Hawaiian, Chinese) and Dan Inouye (Japanese). As you can see, historically, the US Senate has been predominately white.

Posted by Eric at 04:42 PM | Comments (2)

Future Sen. Barack Obama

The Honolulu Star Bulletin has more on Barack Obama's background, including that Obama went to the rival high school of mine.

Posted by Eric at 05:27 AM | Comments (23)

Future Sen. Barack Obama

The Honolulu Star Bulletin has more on Barack Obama's background, including that Obama went to the rival high school of mine.

Posted by Eric at 05:27 AM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2004

The Next Senator from Illinois

I was reading Barack Obama's biography on his website, and found this interesting part from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Our endorsement goes to Obama, who seems best poised to overtake Hull. Obama's background and experience can trump Hull's money. Obama has a compelling personal story. He is a man who has struggled to understand the landscape in two worlds -- one white, one black. Born to a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, reared in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama could be the man for this time and for this place.

If nominated and elected, Obama would be the first African American male in the Senate since 1978, when Edward W. Brooke, a Republican from Massachusetts, left after two terms, and only the third African American ever elected to that office in modern times. The other being Illinois' Carol Moseley Braun, who served one term until defeated by the current incumbent, retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

Partially raised in Hawaii, that gets my Hawaii-bias activism going.

But what do I know? Planned Parenthood, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Federation of Teachers, and Harold Ramis have endorsed him! Veckman! But more importantly, director of the timeless hit classic, 'Stuart Saves His Family.'

Posted by Eric at 06:23 PM | Comments (13)

The Next Senator from Illinois

I was reading Barack Obama's biography on his website, and found this interesting part from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Our endorsement goes to Obama, who seems best poised to overtake Hull. Obama's background and experience can trump Hull's money. Obama has a compelling personal story. He is a man who has struggled to understand the landscape in two worlds -- one white, one black. Born to a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, reared in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama could be the man for this time and for this place.

If nominated and elected, Obama would be the first African American male in the Senate since 1978, when Edward W. Brooke, a Republican from Massachusetts, left after two terms, and only the third African American ever elected to that office in modern times. The other being Illinois' Carol Moseley Braun, who served one term until defeated by the current incumbent, retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

Partially raised in Hawaii, that gets my Hawaii-bias activism going.

But what do I know? Planned Parenthood, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Federation of Teachers, and Harold Ramis have endorsed him! Veckman! But more importantly, director of the timeless hit classic, 'Stuart Saves His Family.'

Posted by Eric at 06:23 PM | Comments (3)

House GOP Break House Rules?

From the DCCC's blog, this from Al Kamen:

Turns out the use of government Web sites for political purposes, contrary to Monday's report on the House Resources Committee's blasts at Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), does appear to be against House rules that prohibit using official resources for campaign or political purposes. "The misuse of the funds and other resources" for members "is a very serious matter," the rules say, and "such conduct may result in not only disciplinary action by the House, but also in criminal prosecution."

Do say? Criminal prosecution? Well, that may change everyone's behavior.

To learn what was previously about, go to Josh Marsh's site.

Posted by Eric at 11:41 AM | Comments (18)

House GOP Break House Rules?

From the DCCC's blog, this from Al Kamen:

Turns out the use of government Web sites for political purposes, contrary to Monday's report on the House Resources Committee's blasts at Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), does appear to be against House rules that prohibit using official resources for campaign or political purposes. "The misuse of the funds and other resources" for members "is a very serious matter," the rules say, and "such conduct may result in not only disciplinary action by the House, but also in criminal prosecution."

Do say? Criminal prosecution? Well, that may change everyone's behavior.

To learn what was previously about, go to Josh Marsh's site.

Posted by Eric at 11:41 AM | Comments (3)

The Rising Star

Barack Obama wins the Democratic primaries for the Senate Seat in Ill.

The Democrats are estatic about their new candidate. From Senator Jon Corzine, DSCC Chair, in an email:

Obama ran an effective, energetic campaign which has captured the hearts and imagination of Illinois voters. After a hard fought primary victory, he faces a tough battle to win this highly competitive seat against Republican nominee Jack Ryan. Ryan has already pumped millions of his personal fortune into the race to win the GOP primary and we expect him to spend millions more in the general election.

A victory in Illinois is critical, in fact imperative, in our "Fight for 51" to take back the Senate. We must win in Illinois and with a multi-millionaire self funder on the Republican side, your support is more critical than ever.

Barack Obama is the type of Democrat that we need in the U.S. Senate. Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, has served Illinois' 13th district as a State Senator for seven years, and follows in the footsteps of his mentor the late Senator Paul Simon. He's fought to empower working families and the underprivileged in Illinois, during his time in the Senate. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Obama proved his ability to motivate people behind a cause, organizing one of the largest voter registration drives in Chicago history and helping Bill Clinton to be elected President ...

The Chicago Tribune said of Obama on 2/29/04: "Barack Obama has a proven record of spirited, principled and effective leadership in the legislature, and he is the only Democrat in this race who can make that claim."

His website can be found here.

Posted by Eric at 02:46 AM | Comments (43)

The Rising Star

Barack Obama wins the Democratic primaries for the Senate Seat in Ill.

The Democrats are estatic about their new candidate. From Senator Jon Corzine, DSCC Chair, in an email:

Obama ran an effective, energetic campaign which has captured the hearts and imagination of Illinois voters. After a hard fought primary victory, he faces a tough battle to win this highly competitive seat against Republican nominee Jack Ryan. Ryan has already pumped millions of his personal fortune into the race to win the GOP primary and we expect him to spend millions more in the general election.

A victory in Illinois is critical, in fact imperative, in our "Fight for 51" to take back the Senate. We must win in Illinois and with a multi-millionaire self funder on the Republican side, your support is more critical than ever.

Barack Obama is the type of Democrat that we need in the U.S. Senate. Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, has served Illinois' 13th district as a State Senator for seven years, and follows in the footsteps of his mentor the late Senator Paul Simon. He's fought to empower working families and the underprivileged in Illinois, during his time in the Senate. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Obama proved his ability to motivate people behind a cause, organizing one of the largest voter registration drives in Chicago history and helping Bill Clinton to be elected President ...

The Chicago Tribune said of Obama on 2/29/04: "Barack Obama has a proven record of spirited, principled and effective leadership in the legislature, and he is the only Democrat in this race who can make that claim."

His website can be found here.

Posted by Eric at 02:46 AM | Comments (3)

March 11, 2004

Republicans Running Away from Senate Seat

How many current politicians people turn down a chance to run for a better, open seat when their party calls? If you're in Colorado, running against the popular Attorney General Ken Salazar, that number now is two. AP:

Rep. Bob Beauprez said on Thursday he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat from Colorado being vacated by fellow Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell, leaving his party still without a strong candidate to defend a crucial seat.

Republicans hold just a one-seat majority in the 100-member Senate, and Colorado party officials began scrambling for a successor to Campbell after Republican state Gov. Bill Owens -- their first choice -- dropped out of contention on Tuesday.

Owens even mentioned Beauprez twice when he said he would not run for family reasons.

In a conference call with reporters, Beauprez said this was not the time to run for the Senate and he hoped instead to be re-elected to his House seat for a second term.

Prominent politicians run to win, and Colorado Republicans must be pessimistic about their chances to take this seat.

Posted by Eric at 05:29 PM | Comments (39)

Republicans Running Away from Senate Seat

How many current politicians people turn down a chance to run for a better, open seat when their party calls? If you're in Colorado, running against the popular Attorney General Ken Salazar, that number now is two. AP:

Rep. Bob Beauprez said on Thursday he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat from Colorado being vacated by fellow Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell, leaving his party still without a strong candidate to defend a crucial seat.

Republicans hold just a one-seat majority in the 100-member Senate, and Colorado party officials began scrambling for a successor to Campbell after Republican state Gov. Bill Owens -- their first choice -- dropped out of contention on Tuesday.

Owens even mentioned Beauprez twice when he said he would not run for family reasons.

In a conference call with reporters, Beauprez said this was not the time to run for the Senate and he hoped instead to be re-elected to his House seat for a second term.

Prominent politicians run to win, and Colorado Republicans must be pessimistic about their chances to take this seat.

Posted by Eric at 05:29 PM | Comments (9)

March 10, 2004

Democratic Unity: Primary Clears for Ken Salazar

Rep. Mark Udall and Rutt Bridges drop out of Dem primary, clearing the way for Attorney General Ken Salazar in Colorado to battle for the seat

The attorney general referred to his Hispanic heritage as he announced his bid to replace retiring Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

"Today I want to help the people of Colorado and our country achieve the same American dream that I have been able to live," Salazar said. "I will do so through my service as a United States senator for the people of Colorado."

Udall and millionaire think tank founder Rutt Bridges both bowed out of the race and threw their support to Salazar.

Udall, 53, had announced his candidacy just one day earlier. On Wednesday, he deadpanned: "I think maybe this was the shortest Senate campaign in history."

The seat could be one of the most competitive races in the country and decide who controls the Senate, where the Republicans hold a 51-48 majority.

Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman, praised the moves in a DSCC email:
Todays developments in Colorado are significant as they put us one step closer to putting Colorado in the Democratic column and taking back the majority in the U.S. Senate, Corzine said. I want to thank Rutt Bridges and Congressman Udall for their selflessness and for unifying behind an excellent public servant and candidate in Ken Salazar who we are all convinced will be the next Senator from Colorado. They are both class acts and both have bright futures ahead of them. I also want to congratulate Chris Gates, Chairman of the Democratic Party, who deserves substantial credit for the revival of the Democratic Party as a force to be reckoned with in Colorado politics.

Ken Salazars entrance into the race in Colorado, and the unity of the party behind him, puts Colorado firmly on the map as a race in which we will play to win. Ken brings a positive, upbeat approach to politics, and as a farmer, a small businessman and Attorney General he brings an unrivaled background and biography that would be a tremendous asset to the deliberations of the U.S. Senate and to Colorado families. Kens common sense approach has attracted support from Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, and we could not be more pleased to have him in the race. As a result, the race for Colorado, and thus the fight for 51 and control of the Senate, is on.

Posted by Eric at 08:18 PM | Comments (33)

Democratic Unity: Primary Clears for Ken Salazar

Rep. Mark Udall and Rutt Bridges drop out of Dem primary, clearing the way for Attorney General Ken Salazar in Colorado to battle for the seat

The attorney general referred to his Hispanic heritage as he announced his bid to replace retiring Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

"Today I want to help the people of Colorado and our country achieve the same American dream that I have been able to live," Salazar said. "I will do so through my service as a United States senator for the people of Colorado."

Udall and millionaire think tank founder Rutt Bridges both bowed out of the race and threw their support to Salazar.

Udall, 53, had announced his candidacy just one day earlier. On Wednesday, he deadpanned: "I think maybe this was the shortest Senate campaign in history."

The seat could be one of the most competitive races in the country and decide who controls the Senate, where the Republicans hold a 51-48 majority.

Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman, praised the moves in a DSCC email:
Todays developments in Colorado are significant as they put us one step closer to putting Colorado in the Democratic column and taking back the majority in the U.S. Senate, Corzine said. I want to thank Rutt Bridges and Congressman Udall for their selflessness and for unifying behind an excellent public servant and candidate in Ken Salazar who we are all convinced will be the next Senator from Colorado. They are both class acts and both have bright futures ahead of them. I also want to congratulate Chris Gates, Chairman of the Democratic Party, who deserves substantial credit for the revival of the Democratic Party as a force to be reckoned with in Colorado politics.

Ken Salazars entrance into the race in Colorado, and the unity of the party behind him, puts Colorado firmly on the map as a race in which we will play to win. Ken brings a positive, upbeat approach to politics, and as a farmer, a small businessman and Attorney General he brings an unrivaled background and biography that would be a tremendous asset to the deliberations of the U.S. Senate and to Colorado families. Kens common sense approach has attracted support from Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, and we could not be more pleased to have him in the race. As a result, the race for Colorado, and thus the fight for 51 and control of the Senate, is on.

Posted by Eric at 08:18 PM | Comments (7)

March 05, 2004

Rep. Rodney Alexander to Remain Democrat

Sources tell the AP Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana won't switch parties.

An aide in Alexander's office, who declined to give his name, said a formal announcement would be made later in the day.

Other officials also confirmed that Alexander would remain with the party.

Alexander has compiled a moderate voting record in his first term in office, backing President Bush's tax cuts as well as the war in Iraq.

He raised to possibility of a switch in a series of interviews on Thursday, but two prominent Louisiana Democrats, Sen. John Breaux and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, publicly and privately appealed to him to remain with the party.

"I'd be deeply disappointed if he walked away from the people of the party that helped get him elected," Breaux said.

Posted by Eric at 12:20 PM | Comments (8)

Rep. Rodney Alexander to Remain Democrat

Sources tell the AP Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana won't switch parties.

An aide in Alexander's office, who declined to give his name, said a formal announcement would be made later in the day.

Other officials also confirmed that Alexander would remain with the party.

Alexander has compiled a moderate voting record in his first term in office, backing President Bush's tax cuts as well as the war in Iraq.

He raised to possibility of a switch in a series of interviews on Thursday, but two prominent Louisiana Democrats, Sen. John Breaux and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, publicly and privately appealed to him to remain with the party.

"I'd be deeply disappointed if he walked away from the people of the party that helped get him elected," Breaux said.

Posted by Eric at 12:20 PM | Comments (2)

March 03, 2004

Campbell Won't Seek 3rd Term

Citing health reasons, Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) won't return to the US Senate. But is that the complete reason? Denver Post:

U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, facing failing health and an ethics investigation into an alleged kickback in his office, announced today he will not seek re-election this year.

Campbell, 70, the only Native American in the Senate, was hospitalized Tuesday night, his second visit to the hospital in as many weeks. Last week, he was diagnosed as having severe heartburn, but in his statement today announcing his retirement from the Senate, he cited his bout with prostate cancer ... His statement did not cite the ongoing ethics investigation, triggered by an accusation by former Campbell staffer Brian Thompson that the senators former chief of staff, Ginnie Kontnik, inflated his paycheck in 2002 so that Thompson could give her $2,000. Kontnik acknowledged the payment, but said it wasnt wrong because it was a reimbursement.

Kontnik said Campbell approved the reimbursement verbally though he may not have technically signed off on it. Campbell said he knew nothing about it.

So who are possible candidates for the seat? The Post names: "Republican Gov. Bill Owens, Rep. Mark Udall, D-Boulder, and Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction."

Posted by Eric at 08:53 PM | Comments (7)

Campbell Won't Seek 3rd Term

Citing health reasons, Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) won't return to the US Senate. But is that the complete reason? Denver Post:

U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, facing failing health and an ethics investigation into an alleged kickback in his office, announced today he will not seek re-election this year.

Campbell, 70, the only Native American in the Senate, was hospitalized Tuesday night, his second visit to the hospital in as many weeks. Last week, he was diagnosed as having severe heartburn, but in his statement today announcing his retirement from the Senate, he cited his bout with prostate cancer ... His statement did not cite the ongoing ethics investigation, triggered by an accusation by former Campbell staffer Brian Thompson that the senators former chief of staff, Ginnie Kontnik, inflated his paycheck in 2002 so that Thompson could give her $2,000. Kontnik acknowledged the payment, but said it wasnt wrong because it was a reimbursement.

Kontnik said Campbell approved the reimbursement verbally though he may not have technically signed off on it. Campbell said he knew nothing about it.

So who are possible candidates for the seat? The Post names: "Republican Gov. Bill Owens, Rep. Mark Udall, D-Boulder, and Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction."

Posted by Eric at 08:53 PM | Comments (2)

Herseth for Congress Ads

Stephanie Herseth, running for the very winnable South Dakota open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, has new ads up. You can see the ads here.

Posted by Eric at 11:44 AM | Comments (6)

Herseth for Congress Ads

Stephanie Herseth, running for the very winnable South Dakota open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, has new ads up. You can see the ads here.

Posted by Eric at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2004

Tony Knowles Blogs

Tony Knowles is up and blogging over at his website. Knowles is the former governor of the great state of Alaska.

am proud to be the first to welcome you here to the Knowles for U.S. Senate blog for Alaska. Blogs have become a tool in the fight for truth and individual grass roots involvement in politics. That is why I am proud to launch the first statewide campaign blog ever in Alaska.

I have been honored by the surge of grass-roots support that our campaign has already received. Thousands of Alaskans have stepped up to support me in my bid for the U.S. Senate. This blog will hopefully help bring supporters together and lend all Alaskans an avenue for informed discussion about the issues and about this campaign.

This will be a place to get the inside scoop and updates from the campaign, including endorsements, press releases and stories from the trail. This will be a great place to read the latest about the campaign and to participate in discussions with fellow Alaskans.

Posted by Eric at 06:37 PM | Comments (16)

Tony Knowles Blogs

Tony Knowles is up and blogging over at his website. Knowles is the former governor of the great state of Alaska.

am proud to be the first to welcome you here to the Knowles for U.S. Senate blog for Alaska. Blogs have become a tool in the fight for truth and individual grass roots involvement in politics. That is why I am proud to launch the first statewide campaign blog ever in Alaska.

I have been honored by the surge of grass-roots support that our campaign has already received. Thousands of Alaskans have stepped up to support me in my bid for the U.S. Senate. This blog will hopefully help bring supporters together and lend all Alaskans an avenue for informed discussion about the issues and about this campaign.

This will be a place to get the inside scoop and updates from the campaign, including endorsements, press releases and stories from the trail. This will be a great place to read the latest about the campaign and to participate in discussions with fellow Alaskans.

Posted by Eric at 06:37 PM | Comments (8)

February 17, 2004

Chandler Wins Kentucky Race

Dems take a House seat in the South. If you helped out, contributed, whatever, thanks for your work.

Chandler background from the AP.

Posted by Eric at 08:04 PM | Comments (117)

Chandler Wins Kentucky Race

Dems take a House seat in the South. If you helped out, contributed, whatever, thanks for your work.

Chandler background from the AP.

Posted by Eric at 08:04 PM | Comments (2)

Chandler - Kerr Voting Today

Ben Chandler will go to the polls against Kerr in a heavily contested race today. Check out the DCCC blog for more.

EDIT: For some reason I put 'Kerry' instead of Kerr. Thanks to those who let me know.

Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (84)

Chandler - Kerr Voting Today

Ben Chandler will go to the polls against Kerr in a heavily contested race today. Check out the DCCC blog for more.

EDIT: For some reason I put 'Kerry' instead of Kerr. Thanks to those who let me know.

Posted by Eric at 09:32 AM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2004

Environmental Lawyer Running for Congress

Doug Haines is a Democrat running to represent the citizens of the 12th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike many politicians, on the environment, Haines has actually walked the walk:

In 1992 Doug returned to Athens and founded Georgia Legal Watch, a nonprofit public-interest law firm devoted to protecting our rights to a clean environment and to open, democratic government. Dougs breakthrough at Legal Watch came in 1994, when he sued to compel the state to enforce anti-pollution laws to clean up Georgias rivers. Doug won the case, and as part of the settlement received $300,000 earmarked to help him provide Georgias communities with free legal help in environmental disputes.

Since then, Dougs work at Legal Watch has produced some of the most significant environmental protections in Georgia. His efforts have been directly responsible for the creation and enforcement of pollution limits for all of Georgias rivers and for the creation of water treatment facilities in Augusta. Dougs work has helped clean up and protect sources of drinking water for Georgia communities such as Trion. He has also worked to protect the states children by getting lead out of the drinking water in nurseries and warning communities about health hazards in their area.

Impressive, in a time when environmental regulations are being stripped away by a willing Congress. If want to learn more, or send him a few bucks, go to his site.

Haines is among four other Democrats running in the primaries to challenge Max Burns.

Posted by Eric at 04:19 PM | Comments (8)

Environmental Lawyer Running for Congress

Doug Haines is a Democrat running to represent the citizens of the 12th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike many politicians, on the environment, Haines has actually walked the walk:

In 1992 Doug returned to Athens and founded Georgia Legal Watch, a nonprofit public-interest law firm devoted to protecting our rights to a clean environment and to open, democratic government. Dougs breakthrough at Legal Watch came in 1994, when he sued to compel the state to enforce anti-pollution laws to clean up Georgias rivers. Doug won the case, and as part of the settlement received $300,000 earmarked to help him provide Georgias communities with free legal help in environmental disputes.

Since then, Dougs work at Legal Watch has produced some of the most significant environmental protections in Georgia. His efforts have been directly responsible for the creation and enforcement of pollution limits for all of Georgias rivers and for the creation of water treatment facilities in Augusta. Dougs work has helped clean up and protect sources of drinking water for Georgia communities such as Trion. He has also worked to protect the states children by getting lead out of the drinking water in nurseries and warning communities about health hazards in their area.

Impressive, in a time when environmental regulations are being stripped away by a willing Congress. If want to learn more, or send him a few bucks, go to his site.

Haines is among four other Democrats running in the primaries to challenge Max Burns.

Posted by Eric at 04:19 PM | Comments (7)

February 13, 2004

Chandler Ten Points Over Kerr

According to the latest Bluegrass Poll

In the Bluegrass Poll, published Thursday by The Courier-Journal, 49.4 percent said they supported Chandler compared with 39.6 percent for Kerr and 11 percent undecided.

The poll, which surveyed 466 self-described likely voters, has an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Thus, Chandler holds a slight lead when accounting for the error margin.

The vacancy was created in December when Republican Ernie Fletcher took office as Kentucky governor. The race has drawn state and national interest, partly because of Chandler's loss to Fletcher in the governor's race and because it is the first Democrat-Republican race of national impact in 2004.

Posted by Eric at 07:22 PM | Comments (68)

Chandler Ten Points Over Kerr

According to the latest Bluegrass Poll

In the Bluegrass Poll, published Thursday by The Courier-Journal, 49.4 percent said they supported Chandler compared with 39.6 percent for Kerr and 11 percent undecided.

The poll, which surveyed 466 self-described likely voters, has an error margin of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Thus, Chandler holds a slight lead when accounting for the error margin.

The vacancy was created in December when Republican Ernie Fletcher took office as Kentucky governor. The race has drawn state and national interest, partly because of Chandler's loss to Fletcher in the governor's race and because it is the first Democrat-Republican race of national impact in 2004.

Posted by Eric at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2004

Stephanie Herseth (D) Leads Diedrich (R) in South Dakota

IN the bid to fill U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow's seat, the Democrat is beating the Republican 58-29.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (97)

Stephanie Herseth (D) Leads Diedrich (R) in South Dakota

IN the bid to fill U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow's seat, the Democrat is beating the Republican 58-29.

Posted by Eric at 01:27 AM | Comments (2)

February 09, 2004

KY Set to Send Anti-Bush / GOP Message

From Roll Call, Ben Chandler is set to make an impact in the special election in KY, which has been framed as a referendum on Bush.

Unless voters in Kentuckys 6th district suddenly have a change of heart, the Republicans are headed for a rocky Feb. 17 special election in the Lexington-area House district. Former two-term state Attorney General Ben Chandler (D), not state Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr (R), has the advantage in the final days before the election.

But worse than the loss of a single House seat, a Republican defeat would suggest some problems for President Bush and his party.

This isn't exactly what Republicans expected to happen when the seat became open, following Republican Ernie Fletcher's election as governor in November.

GOP strategists planned to make the special election a referendum on a popular president and a contrast of ideologies in a conservative district. That way, they figured, they could elect Kerr to Congress even though the district has a Democratic registration advantage and is politically competitive.

But, instead of being an unadulterated asset, the president is proving to be more of a mixed blessing, and Kerr and the Republicans are struggling, at least so far, to convince voters that the race presents a stark choice between a liberal and a conservative.

Learn more about Chandler here.

Posted by Eric at 09:53 PM | Comments (137)

KY Set to Send Anti-Bush / GOP Message

From Roll Call, Ben Chandler is set to make an impact in the special election in KY, which has been framed as a referendum on Bush.

Unless voters in Kentuckys 6th district suddenly have a change of heart, the Republicans are headed for a rocky Feb. 17 special election in the Lexington-area House district. Former two-term state Attorney General Ben Chandler (D), not state Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr (R), has the advantage in the final days before the election.

But worse than the loss of a single House seat, a Republican defeat would suggest some problems for President Bush and his party.

This isn't exactly what Republicans expected to happen when the seat became open, following Republican Ernie Fletcher's election as governor in November.

GOP strategists planned to make the special election a referendum on a popular president and a contrast of ideologies in a conservative district. That way, they figured, they could elect Kerr to Congress even though the district has a Democratic registration advantage and is politically competitive.

But, instead of being an unadulterated asset, the president is proving to be more of a mixed blessing, and Kerr and the Republicans are struggling, at least so far, to convince voters that the race presents a stark choice between a liberal and a conservative.

Learn more about Chandler here.

Posted by Eric at 09:53 PM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2004

Big Anti-Gay Advocate to Run Against Rep. Ed Case

In Hawaii's 2nd district, Honolulu City Councilman Mike Gabbard is set to run against freshman Ed Case, who took the seat after the passing of Patsy Mink. Star Bulletin:

Freshman City Councilman Mike Gabbard has his sights set on a run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Gabbard, who represents the Waianae-to-Ewa district, told Republican supporters at the Wednesday night Lincoln Day dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that he was going to run to stress his anti-gay marriage position.

Gabbard declined to talk at length with the Star-Bulletin about his political plans after his comments at the hotel Wednesday. He said he was "discussing my plans with friends but (doesn't) intend to make anything public right now." ... GOP supporters at the fund-raiser, however, said Gabbard told them he was definitely going to run and that he asked to be introduced by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle as a congressional candidate.

Literally, Gabbard runs only on anti-gay issues. The guy is more obsessed with gays than Will and Grace.
Gabbard, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, issued a news release this week through the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values political action committee that criticized the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to permit same-sex marriages ... Reached in Washington, D.C., Case said Gabbard has been "a single-issue candidate for his whole political career."

"Clearly, Gabbard and I disagreed on same-gender issues, but it is only one of about a thousand issues facing Congress," said Case (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).

Of course, it's not only marriage that Gabbard disagrees on.
Gabbard also has been associated by some with one of the thorniest issues facing the board: whether gay students should have special protection under school rules. Mike Gabbard has come out against a rule change that would provide that specific protection.
Doubtful Gabbard will pick up many votes in a state that doesn't elect Republicans to the federal level (moderate Republican governors are a different story).

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (195)

Big Anti-Gay Advocate to Run Against Rep. Ed Case

In Hawaii's 2nd district, Honolulu City Councilman Mike Gabbard is set to run against freshman Ed Case, who took the seat after the passing of Patsy Mink. Star Bulletin:

Freshman City Councilman Mike Gabbard has his sights set on a run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Gabbard, who represents the Waianae-to-Ewa district, told Republican supporters at the Wednesday night Lincoln Day dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that he was going to run to stress his anti-gay marriage position.

Gabbard declined to talk at length with the Star-Bulletin about his political plans after his comments at the hotel Wednesday. He said he was "discussing my plans with friends but (doesn't) intend to make anything public right now." ... GOP supporters at the fund-raiser, however, said Gabbard told them he was definitely going to run and that he asked to be introduced by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle as a congressional candidate.

Literally, Gabbard runs only on anti-gay issues. The guy is more obsessed with gays than Will and Grace.
Gabbard, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, issued a news release this week through the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values political action committee that criticized the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to permit same-sex marriages ... Reached in Washington, D.C., Case said Gabbard has been "a single-issue candidate for his whole political career."

"Clearly, Gabbard and I disagreed on same-gender issues, but it is only one of about a thousand issues facing Congress," said Case (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).

Of course, it's not only marriage that Gabbard disagrees on.
Gabbard also has been associated by some with one of the thorniest issues facing the board: whether gay students should have special protection under school rules. Mike Gabbard has come out against a rule change that would provide that specific protection.
Doubtful Gabbard will pick up many votes in a state that doesn't elect Republicans to the federal level (moderate Republican governors are a different story).

Posted by Eric at 02:08 PM | Comments (22)

Alice Forgy Kerr Fundraising Adv Over Chandler

According to latest FEC reports:

Kerr raised a little more than $1 million through Jan. 28, according to a report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. In addition, Kerr raised an additional $200,000 in the past week, Kerr campaign manager Billy Piper said Friday.

Chandler's FEC report showed he raised roughly $450,000 through the end of last month. However, like Kerr, Chandler pulled in about $200,000 more since Jan. 28, when the federal filing period ended, according to Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

"The fact that we raised $200,000 in eight days tells you the direction that our fund-raising is going," Nickolas said Friday. "The sure sign of who is likely to win is whether your fund-raising is picking up or slowing down toward the end."

Of course, a lot of that was through the attention the Chandler campaign has received from blogs. Despite having big money, Kerr is losing in the polls. However, Chandler stills needs support against a Republican candidate poised to bow to the Bush / Hastert money interests.

So who is giving to Alice Forgy Kerr? Courtesy of new FEC filings, we see what organizations are donating to Alice Forgy Kerr ... some of note:

AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, 2500
AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR R, 1000
AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, 10000
AMERICANS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, 1000
ARCH COAL INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE, 2000
AUTOMOTIVE FREE INTERNATIONAL TRADE PAC, 1000
BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION, 1000
CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY POLITICA, 4000
CINERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 1000
COALPAC A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF, 2000
EAGLE FORUM PAC, 3000
EL PASO CORPORATION PAC, 1000
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTIO, 2500
FEDERAL LG&E ENERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTI, 1000
FORD MOTOR COMPANY CIVIC ACTION FUND, 2500
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOD, 500
INTERNATIONAL PAPER POLITICAL ACTION, 2500
KENTUCKY PRO-LIFE POLITICAL ACTION COMM, 1000
NATIONAL HARDWOOD LUMBER ASSOCIATION PA, 1000
NRA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND, 4950
PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
POWER PAC OF THE EDISON ELECTRIC INSTIT, 1000
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIFE, 1000
TECO ENERGY INC EMPLOYEES' PAC, 1000
WAL-MART STORES INC PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE, 2500

You'll note the many energy companies.

If you can spare it, donate today to the Chandler campaign, and if you do, add the ".04" cents to indicate it came from The Hamster.

Posted by Eric at 03:19 AM | Comments (11)

Alice Forgy Kerr Fundraising Adv Over Chandler

According to latest FEC reports:

Kerr raised a little more than $1 million through Jan. 28, according to a report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. In addition, Kerr raised an additional $200,000 in the past week, Kerr campaign manager Billy Piper said Friday.

Chandler's FEC report showed he raised roughly $450,000 through the end of last month. However, like Kerr, Chandler pulled in about $200,000 more since Jan. 28, when the federal filing period ended, according to Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

"The fact that we raised $200,000 in eight days tells you the direction that our fund-raising is going," Nickolas said Friday. "The sure sign of who is likely to win is whether your fund-raising is picking up or slowing down toward the end."

Of course, a lot of that was through the attention the Chandler campaign has received from blogs. Despite having big money, Kerr is losing in the polls. However, Chandler stills needs support against a Republican candidate poised to bow to the Bush / Hastert money interests.

So who is giving to Alice Forgy Kerr? Courtesy of new FEC filings, we see what organizations are donating to Alice Forgy Kerr ... some of note:

AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, 2500
AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR R, 1000
AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, 10000
AMERICANS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, 1000
ARCH COAL INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE, 2000
AUTOMOTIVE FREE INTERNATIONAL TRADE PAC, 1000
BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO CORPORATION, 1000
CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY POLITICA, 4000
CINERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 1000
COALPAC A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF, 2000
EAGLE FORUM PAC, 3000
EL PASO CORPORATION PAC, 1000
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTIO, 2500
FEDERAL LG&E ENERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTI, 1000
FORD MOTOR COMPANY CIVIC ACTION FUND, 2500
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOD, 500
INTERNATIONAL PAPER POLITICAL ACTION, 2500
KENTUCKY PRO-LIFE POLITICAL ACTION COMM, 1000
NATIONAL HARDWOOD LUMBER ASSOCIATION PA, 1000
NRA POLITICAL VICTORY FUND, 4950
PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL AC, 1000
POWER PAC OF THE EDISON ELECTRIC INSTIT, 1000
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIFE, 1000
TECO ENERGY INC EMPLOYEES' PAC, 1000
WAL-MART STORES INC PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE, 2500

You'll note the many energy companies.

If you can spare it, donate today to the Chandler campaign, and if you do, add the ".04" cents to indicate it came from The Hamster.

Posted by Eric at 03:19 AM | Comments (3)

February 05, 2004

Kerr and Chandler

In Kentucky's 6th district, Alice Kerr, faced with stagnant poll numbers, is airing negative ads. See this, from Hotline:

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Even bloodhounds have trouble tracking Ben Chandler's positions.

(On screen: Bloodhound paces in front of a TV showing footage of a Chandler speech)

Last fall, Ben attacked tax cuts and called the no new taxes pledge irresponsible. Now, Ben flips and supports both.

(On screen: Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/9/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/16/04; Chandler TV ad, 12/03)

BLOODHOUND: Huh?

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Chandler twice said he supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens but now says he was confused.

BLOODHOUND: Ruh-roh.

(On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03)

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: And Ben still doesn't have a position on Iraq.

(On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/13/04)

Chandler confuses hounds and voters.

Ruh roh?

Why is Kerr so negative against Chandler? Maybe it's because Chandler helped expose a plan Kerr took part in to increase her pension and pay in the state legislature, and keep it hush-hush. AP, June 13, 2000

An initiative that its sponsor said was designed to nearly double legislative pensions is so vague that it is unconstitutional, according to an opinion by the attorney general's office.

The opinion released Tuesday said General Assembly members "concealed their attempt to increase their pension benefits because they could not do so under public scrutiny."

The opinion, which is advisory only and does not carry the force of law, was sought by the legislature retirement board, which is struggling to determine the meaning of an obscure provision of a bill passed during the rush of the final hours of the 2000 legislative session.

The opinion did not answer any of the six questions posed by legislative retirement director Donna Stockton-Early about the actual application of the provision, such as whether it applied to current or future retirees and whether the cost-of-living increase was retroactive and to what year.

"We didn't feel like we needed to get to those questions," Attorney General Ben Chandler said at a news conference to accompany release of the opinion.

The eight-member retirement system board is scheduled to meet on June 20 to decide what to do about the bill. Two current legislators, Democratic Reps. Adrian Arnold of Mount Sterling and J.R. Gray of Benton, are members of the board.

The retirement enhancement was the handiwork of Sen. Albert Robinson, who has acknowledged he tried to keep the whole thing quiet. Robinson, a London Republican, also told the attorney general's office the intent of the legislature was to have lawmakers' pensions increased retroactively by the cost of living increase since 1982, effectively nearly doubling them.

Chandler has only brought up the allegations since Kerr has started airing the negative ads. Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky) December 21, 2003:
Chandler has challenged Kerr to a "positive" campaign and says he will not appear at public forums with her if she attacks him.

Kerr dodges the issue, saying only, "It has been Ben's style to always be negative and attack. I will fully expect that's how he would continue."

Chandler will not be specific about how he would respond if Kerr "goes negative." His path has only crossed hers a couple of times.

In 2000, Kerr and 31 other state senators approved a bill with a provision attached that nearly doubled legislators' pensions.

Help out Chandler's campaign, and send a message in this Bush referendum race.

Posted by Eric at 04:54 PM | Comments (11)

Kerr and Chandler

In Kentucky's 6th district, Alice Kerr, faced with stagnant poll numbers, is airing negative ads. See this, from Hotline:

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Even bloodhounds have trouble tracking Ben Chandler's positions.

(On screen: Bloodhound paces in front of a TV showing footage of a Chandler speech)

Last fall, Ben attacked tax cuts and called the no new taxes pledge irresponsible. Now, Ben flips and supports both.

(On screen: Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/9/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/16/04; Chandler TV ad, 12/03)

BLOODHOUND: Huh?

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: Chandler twice said he supports driver's licenses for illegal aliens but now says he was confused.

BLOODHOUND: Ruh-roh.

(On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03; Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/24/03)

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: And Ben still doesn't have a position on Iraq.

(On screen: Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/13/04)

Chandler confuses hounds and voters.

Ruh roh?

Why is Kerr so negative against Chandler? Maybe it's because Chandler helped expose a plan Kerr took part in to increase her pension and pay in the state legislature, and keep it hush-hush. AP, June 13, 2000

An initiative that its sponsor said was designed to nearly double legislative pensions is so vague that it is unconstitutional, according to an opinion by the attorney general's office.

The opinion released Tuesday said General Assembly members "concealed their attempt to increase their pension benefits because they could not do so under public scrutiny."

The opinion, which is advisory only and does not carry the force of law, was sought by the legislature retirement board, which is struggling to determine the meaning of an obscure provision of a bill passed during the rush of the final hours of the 2000 legislative session.

The opinion did not answer any of the six questions posed by legislative retirement director Donna Stockton-Early about the actual application of the provision, such as whether it applied to current or future retirees and whether the cost-of-living increase was retroactive and to what year.

"We didn't feel like we needed to get to those questions," Attorney General Ben Chandler said at a news conference to accompany release of the opinion.

The eight-member retirement system board is scheduled to meet on June 20 to decide what to do about the bill. Two current legislators, Democratic Reps. Adrian Arnold of Mount Sterling and J.R. Gray of Benton, are members of the board.

The retirement enhancement was the handiwork of Sen. Albert Robinson, who has acknowledged he tried to keep the whole thing quiet. Robinson, a London Republican, also told the attorney general's office the intent of the legislature was to have lawmakers' pensions increased retroactively by the cost of living increase since 1982, effectively nearly doubling them.

Chandler has only brought up the allegations since Kerr has started airing the negative ads. Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky) December 21, 2003:
Chandler has challenged Kerr to a "positive" campaign and says he will not appear at public forums with her if she attacks him.

Kerr dodges the issue, saying only, "It has been Ben's style to always be negative and attack. I will fully expect that's how he would continue."

Chandler will not be specific about how he would respond if Kerr "goes negative." His path has only crossed hers a couple of times.

In 2000, Kerr and 31 other state senators approved a bill with a provision attached that nearly doubled legislators' pensions.

Help out Chandler's campaign, and send a message in this Bush referendum race.

Posted by Eric at 04:54 PM | Comments (8)

Knowles Leads Big Oil Murkowski by 4 Points

According to latest poll from NBC affil KTUU-TV in the traditionally Republican state of Alaska

Knowles 44.6%
Murkowski 40.6%

Some green guy gets 3%

Why is Knowles winning? His support among moderates:

Moving on to political ideology, among those who say they are conservative, Murkowski leads by 47 points -- no surprise there. Among progressives, Knowles leads by 65 points -- none there, either. But among moderates, we see Knowles leading by 25 points, a political blowout by modern standards.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (49)

Knowles Leads Big Oil Murkowski by 4 Points

According to latest poll from NBC affil KTUU-TV in the traditionally Republican state of Alaska

Knowles 44.6%
Murkowski 40.6%

Some green guy gets 3%

Why is Knowles winning? His support among moderates:

Moving on to political ideology, among those who say they are conservative, Murkowski leads by 47 points -- no surprise there. Among progressives, Knowles leads by 65 points -- none there, either. But among moderates, we see Knowles leading by 25 points, a political blowout by modern standards.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (6)

February 04, 2004

Hastert, GOP, Align with Kerr; Seek Kentucky House Seat

The race between Republican Alice Kerr and Democrat Ben Chandler is being framed as a referendum on President Bush:

Now, in a special election for the House seat vacated by the gubernatorial winner, the Republican candidate is only too happy to make the Feb. 17 contest a referendum on the president, who is hugely popular in the Bluegrass State.

GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr ran a TV ad showing her with the president at the White House and portraying her as ``cut from the same cloth'' as Bush.

Kerr is up against Democrat Ben Chandler, who lost the governor's race to Republican Ernie Fletcher.

``In the governor's race that Chandler just ran, he made his opposition of Bush a centerpiece,'' said Billy Piper, Kerr's campaign manager. ``Senator Kerr is making an equally big centerpiece out of her support for the president in her campaign.''

So what would happen with a Chandler win?
A victory for Chandler would be ``a huge shot in the arm'' for state Democrats, said Dale Emmons, a Democratic consultant.

``If Chandler wins that race, Democrats from coast to coast will taunt Bush with it,'' said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Learn more about Ben Chandler and his fight for Kentucky and the Democratic Party.

Posted by Eric at 11:37 AM | Comments (68)

Hastert, GOP, Align with Kerr; Seek Kentucky House Seat

The race between Republican Alice Kerr and Democrat Ben Chandler is being framed as a referendum on President Bush:

Now, in a special election for the House seat vacated by the gubernatorial winner, the Republican candidate is only too happy to make the Feb. 17 contest a referendum on the president, who is hugely popular in the Bluegrass State.

GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr ran a TV ad showing her with the president at the White House and portraying her as ``cut from the same cloth'' as Bush.

Kerr is up against Democrat Ben Chandler, who lost the governor's race to Republican Ernie Fletcher.

``In the governor's race that Chandler just ran, he made his opposition of Bush a centerpiece,'' said Billy Piper, Kerr's campaign manager. ``Senator Kerr is making an equally big centerpiece out of her support for the president in her campaign.''

So what would happen with a Chandler win?
A victory for Chandler would be ``a huge shot in the arm'' for state Democrats, said Dale Emmons, a Democratic consultant.

``If Chandler wins that race, Democrats from coast to coast will taunt Bush with it,'' said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Learn more about Ben Chandler and his fight for Kentucky and the Democratic Party.

Posted by Eric at 11:37 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2004

Billy Tauzin (R-La.) Gets $2.5m Job Offer

From the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Previously, Billy had lobbied strongly on behalf of the group. Coooincidence?

Tauzin has received an offer to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industrys main lobbying group, which was heavily involved in the crafting of recently passed legislation to create a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. The legislation contains key provisions beneficial to the drug industry; it subsidizes private insurers to provide prescription drug coverage to seniors thereby increasing demand for drugs, bars the Medicare administrator from bargaining for lower drug prices and effectively prohibits the reimportation of lower-priced drugs from Canada.

In a letter to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Public Citizen asked officials to investigate whether Tauzin began negotiating for a job with PhRMA while crafting the legislation. If he did, he may have violated House conflict of interest rules. The job offer is rumored to be worth $2.5 million, likely the largest compensation package on record for anyone at a trade association.

"The record size of the PhRMA contract and the fact that the offer became public less than two months after the drug industry scored a major victory with this legislation raises serious questions about whether Rep. Tauzins actions were tainted," said Joan Claybrook, Public Citizens president. "While Rep. Tauzin was writing the bill, he put out the word that he was retiring from Congress and looking for new work. This doesnt pass the smell test."

To be fair, this is quite common on 'the Hill' (lookey, I use insider language) among Republicans and Democrats. What makes this interesting, however, is the amount, which Public Citizen calls "likely the largest compensation package on record for anyone at a trade association."

Posted by Eric at 10:25 PM | Comments (28)

Billy Tauzin (R-La.) Gets $2.5m Job Offer

From the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Previously, Billy had lobbied strongly on behalf of the group. Coooincidence?

Tauzin has received an offer to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industrys main lobbying group, which was heavily involved in the crafting of recently passed legislation to create a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. The legislation contains key provisions beneficial to the drug industry; it subsidizes private insurers to provide prescription drug coverage to seniors thereby increasing demand for drugs, bars the Medicare administrator from bargaining for lower drug prices and effectively prohibits the reimportation of lower-priced drugs from Canada.

In a letter to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Public Citizen asked officials to investigate whether Tauzin began negotiating for a job with PhRMA while crafting the legislation. If he did, he may have violated House conflict of interest rules. The job offer is rumored to be worth $2.5 million, likely the largest compensation package on record for anyone at a trade association.

"The record size of the PhRMA contract and the fact that the offer became public less than two months after the drug industry scored a major victory with this legislation raises serious questions about whether Rep. Tauzins actions were tainted," said Joan Claybrook, Public Citizens president. "While Rep. Tauzin was writing the bill, he put out the word that he was retiring from Congress and looking for new work. This doesnt pass the smell test."

To be fair, this is quite common on 'the Hill' (lookey, I use insider language) among Republicans and Democrats. What makes this interesting, however, is the amount, which Public Citizen calls "likely the largest compensation package on record for anyone at a trade association."

Posted by Eric at 10:25 PM | Comments (25)

January 23, 2004

David Duke to Run for Congress?

I'm sure the RNC will love that.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in federal prison after pleading guilty to mail and tax fraud, is considering a run for Congress when he is released this year, his secretary said Friday.

Roy Armstrong said Duke is considering entering the race for the seat of Republican Rep. David Vitter. In 1999, Duke finished third in the primary for that seat.

Armstrong said Duke could be released to a halfway house in mid-April, a year after he began his prison term.

"He was skeptical that he would be able to raise the money to run an effective campaign in time, but he said he would consider his options," Armstrong said in an interview with The Associated Press.

I like how David Duke has a secretary. Klansmen and their busy schedules. In the past, Duke has caused some problems for the RNC (well, duh):
Duke has been a major embarrassment to the GOP since winning a Louisiana statehouse seat in 1989. In 1990, he was the Republican Party's nominee in an unsuccessful bid to defeat then-incumbent Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.). One year later, Duke gave up his legislative seat to run against and beat Republican Gov. Buddy Roemer in the gubernatorial primary. As the GOP nominee, Duke lost the general election to Democrat Edwin W. Edwards.

These contests forced the national and state Republican parties into a defensive posture. GOP officials repudiated Duke at every turn, and many Republican leaders openly endorsed Duke's Democratic opponents. Duke has scared moderate whites away from the GOP in the South, where the party depends on large majorities among white voters to win elections.

Yesterday, the party moved quickly once again to disassociate itself from Duke. Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson declared: "There is no room in the party of Lincoln for a Klansman like David Duke."

Posted by Eric at 07:58 PM | Comments (10)

David Duke to Run for Congress?

I'm sure the RNC will love that.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in federal prison after pleading guilty to mail and tax fraud, is considering a run for Congress when he is released this year, his secretary said Friday.

Roy Armstrong said Duke is considering entering the race for the seat of Republican Rep. David Vitter. In 1999, Duke finished third in the primary for that seat.

Armstrong said Duke could be released to a halfway house in mid-April, a year after he began his prison term.

"He was skeptical that he would be able to raise the money to run an effective campaign in time, but he said he would consider his options," Armstrong said in an interview with The Associated Press.

I like how David Duke has a secretary. Klansmen and their busy schedules. In the past, Duke has caused some problems for the RNC (well, duh):
Duke has been a major embarrassment to the GOP since winning a Louisiana statehouse seat in 1989. In 1990, he was the Republican Party's nominee in an unsuccessful bid to defeat then-incumbent Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.). One year later, Duke gave up his legislative seat to run against and beat Republican Gov. Buddy Roemer in the gubernatorial primary. As the GOP nominee, Duke lost the general election to Democrat Edwin W. Edwards.

These contests forced the national and state Republican parties into a defensive posture. GOP officials repudiated Duke at every turn, and many Republican leaders openly endorsed Duke's Democratic opponents. Duke has scared moderate whites away from the GOP in the South, where the party depends on large majorities among white voters to win elections.

Yesterday, the party moved quickly once again to disassociate itself from Duke. Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson declared: "There is no room in the party of Lincoln for a Klansman like David Duke."

Posted by Eric at 07:58 PM | Comments (4)

January 16, 2004

Katherine Harris Won't Run for Senate

In a press conference today, Katherine Harris said she will not run for the seat vacated by Senator Bob Graham in Florida:

In announcing she would not run to replace Graham, Harris teased her supporters. "I am here to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate," she said, "but -- just not this year."

Harris stopped short of endorsing the White House favorite for the job, former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, but said, "I will do everything to ensure a Republican is in the United States Senate" from Florida.

Harris, flanked by supporters at a Boys and Girls Club in Sarasota County, said she was flattered by the encouragement she had gotten from her supporters and by polls that indicated that she would be the front-runner in the race.


With her swearing in on January 7, 2003 for her congressional seat, Katheirne Harris has spent the last one year as a con ---

Katherine Harris, what are you doing here?


Katherine Harris: I have recounted the number of years I have been in the US Congress and have determined it to be 22. Katherine Harris, your veteran US Rep in Congress!

Hamster: Wait, what, no. You've only been in the US Congress for one year. Why are you -

Katherine Harris: 22 years!

Hamster: No, January 2004 minus January 2003 is -


Katherine Harris: I have a sash on my neck.

Hamster: Haaaaaaarrriiiiisssss!!!

Posted by Eric at 04:35 PM | Comments (31)

Katherine Harris Won't Run for Senate

In a press conference today, Katherine Harris said she will not run for the seat vacated by Senator Bob Graham in Florida:

In announcing she would not run to replace Graham, Harris teased her supporters. "I am here to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate," she said, "but -- just not this year."

Harris stopped short of endorsing the White House favorite for the job, former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, but said, "I will do everything to ensure a Republican is in the United States Senate" from Florida.

Harris, flanked by supporters at a Boys and Girls Club in Sarasota County, said she was flattered by the encouragement she had gotten from her supporters and by polls that indicated that she would be the front-runner in the race.


With her swearing in on January 7, 2003 for her congressional seat, Katheirne Harris has spent the last one year as a con ---

Katherine Harris, what are you doing here?


Katherine Harris: I have recounted the number of years I have been in the US Congress and have determined it to be 22. Katherine Harris, your veteran US Rep in Congress!

Hamster: Wait, what, no. You've only been in the US Congress for one year. Why are you -

Katherine Harris: 22 years!

Hamster: No, January 2004 minus January 2003 is -


Katherine Harris: I have a sash on my neck.

Hamster: Haaaaaaarrriiiiisssss!!!

Posted by Eric at 04:35 PM | Comments (8)