Monday, October 09, 2006



Only the most tone-deaf, clueless and completely desperate of candidates-- someone like Don "The Choker" Sherwood in PA-10, down by 10 points in recent polls-- are doing election events with Speaker Dennis Hastert. Since it has come to everyone's attention that he covered up the Foley-page scandal for narrow partisan purposes, his toxicity level among the faithful has gone off the scale.

No one is talking about Hastert's improper real estate deals now. And no one, except his Democratic opponent John Laesch, is mentioning much about the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legalized bribes he accepted to push a Big Business agenda that has been devastating to his middle class constituents, bringing them-- and us-- higher gas prices, higher drug prices, a devastated educational system, endless wars, polluted water and air... the whole panoply of what the Bush Regime is all about. Instead, people are asking why Hastert conspired to cover up Foley's predatory behavior towards young male pages for whose safety he was ultimately responsible.

Depending on which poll you look at, between 43 and 68% of Americans think Hastert should resign from Congress-- not just from the Speakership, from Congress! No matter what happens at the polls nationally in 4 weeks, Hastert will not be Speaker in January. His constituents in IL-14 should take that into consideration when they vote. Republican candidates certainly have.

Today the Prince of Darkness writes in his Chicago Sun-Times column that the Republican Party is in a bit of a pickle this week because of Hastert. The Party which is never embarrassed about anything, is embarrassed about what to do about the one-eyed elephant on the rocking chair. Or, as Novak puts it: "The survival of J. Dennis Hastert as speaker of the House of Representatives will produce an uncomfortable scene Thursday at the Hilton Chicago. President Bush is the principal attraction at a reception to fund congressional candidates in two suburban Chicago districts-- once thought safely Republican but where Democrats now lead. In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, Hastert's presence at the reception will be an embarrassing distraction. 'We look on this as a Bush event, not a Hastert event,' an aide to one of the Republican candidates told this column. But the invitation to the $1,000-a-ticket Chicago fund-raiser lists Hastert, in large type, as its principal host. The speaker seems certain, unwittingly, to take attention away from the congressional candidates. As the most prominent Republican officeholder in Illinois, Hastert could not be removed from this event, as he has been from five congressional campaigns as of this writing."

Among the endangered Republican candidates who canceled Hastert appearances in their districts, petrified to be associated with someone who covered up a child sex scandal, are radical right Congressman Mike Sodrel (IN), Congressman Ron Lewis (KY), another right wing loon, Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA), who was extremely close to Foley and accepted $5,000 from him, as well as two very flawed Republican challengers-- the kook trying to replace Ney in Ohio and the hack in Texas who wants to be the new Tom DeLay.

"'Foley should have been tossed out years ago,' said a Republican congressman who is a close ally of Hastert. 'It's sickening.' The broader question asked by thoughtful Republican House members is whether the sloppy treatment of Foley's conduct reflected the same leadership problems in failing to make tax cuts permanent or even to address the coming crisis in Social Security. Nor has Hastert supported spending reform. While he is not one of the Appropriations Committee 'Cardinals' who pile up earmarks to the dismay of conservative voters, he and his staff are earmarkers. Four months ago, it was revealed that Hastert earned nearly $2 million in a 2005 land deal that might have been made possible by a $207 million highway earmark by the speaker." Nice of Novak to inform his readers of a few of the specifics about why Hastert belongs in prison instead of the House.

So while Republicans dicker over whether "Planet Denny" Hastert should be tossed overboard or not-- yesterday's Manchester Union Leader giving Hastert a big thumbs down and clearly not buying his bizarre "victimization-of-Denny" nonsense, and religionist right extremists doing their best to confuse their easily confused flocks into buying the it's-all-the-satanic-Democrats-fault, the Republican coalition is in a tailspin. Even Shimkus and Hastert are at each other's throats and the GOP's most realistic congressmen are consumed with gloom and doom.

Although polling data is still trickling in on the effects of the Foley-Hastert scandal, a few races outside even House campaigns, are already starting to feel it. Today Rasmussen reports that Minnesota incumbent Governor Tim Pawlenty's 10-point lead over Democratic challenger Mike Hatch is now a 2% deficit, with all the momentum belonging to Hatch. Similarly, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, once considered a Republican target, is absolutely burying her GOP opponent, some nutty rightist named Bouchard, 56% to 39%.

Ominously, the Prince of Darkness was back today with more bad news for the Party of Darkness. Foley actually wanted out, like a werewolf who doesn't want to bite a victim and knows the full moon is anon. New York Congressman Tom Reynolds, Chairman of the RNCC-- who was totally aware that Foley was a sexual predator making advances towards the young pages-- talked him into staying because he was a good fundraiser! Polling in Reynolds' district shows he has little chance to be re-elected.

Reynolds should lose his seat, but no one deserves to be rejected by the electorate more than Planet Denny himself. Your help towards John Laesch's campaign could go a long way towards starting the process of cleaning up the horrible mess the Bush Regime is leaving us to contend with.


Like a gigantic, punctured hot air balloon "Planet Denny" Hastert is dragging down the entire GOP with him. Party operatives are bracing for the loss of as many as 30 House seats. They may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Tomorrow's USA Today indicates it could be worse. "A Capitol Hill sex scandal has reinforced public doubts about Republican leadership and pushed Democrats to a huge lead in the race for control of Congress four weeks before Election Day, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. Democrats had a 23-point lead over Republicans in every group of people questioned — likely voters, registered voters and adults — on which party's House candidate would get their vote. That's double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994 and the Democrats' largest advantage among registered voters since 1978. Nearly three in 10 registered voters said their representative doesn't deserve re-election — the highest level since 1994. President Bush's approval rating was 37% in the new poll, down from 44% in a Sept. 15-17 poll. And for the first time since the question was asked in 2002, Democrats did better than Republicans on who would best handle terrorism, 46%-41%."

If the polls stay like this, it will be very embarrassing for the Bush Regime if they steal the election electronically.


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