Wednesday, February 27, 2008



Many of the most extreme right wing fanatics who set the tone of the GOP conversation, blame the fact that Republican finances are in disarray on what they call Bush's and McCain's "shamnesty" legislation. The GOP has a real problem with immigration that cleaves their party in two. On the one hand, the Greed and Selfishness wing wants cheap labor and clout over unions. On the other hand, the party's Hatred and Bigotry base have been swimming in the pool of racism and xenophobia for so long that they would rather be Know Nothings than Republicans. Neither camp is giving much to the GOP this year.

Meanwhile, House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner isn't relishing predictions that his ability to obstruct progressive legislation could be seriously impaired by a loss of several dozen seats in November. Boehner, who rose to power in the caucus by little tactics like handing out checks to Republican legislators on the floor of the House on behalf of Big Tobacco lobbyists, isn't blaming the Greed and Selfishness wing nor the Hatred and Bigotry wing. He's blaming Republican congressmen's "dead asses."
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) challenged Republicans on Tuesday to get off their “dead asses” and start raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee... [at] a closed-door session at the Capitol Hill Club.

... According to numbers read during the Tuesday morning meeting, only 15 Republicans have met their pledged fundraising goal for the dinner. Among them are Texas Reps. Mike Conaway and Pete Sessions and South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, a source familiar with the fundraising totals said. Another 42 have set a pledged target but failed to contribute the bulk of that money. And an astonishing 142 members-- almost three-fourths of the Republicans in the House-- have failed even to set a fundraising target.

...The NRCC was starting to turn things around at the end of 2007, closing the year with more cash than debt for the first time since the crippling 2006 election. But 2008 began with a fresh crop of retirements and revelations that a former NRCC bookkeeper allegedly forged an internal audit sent to the committee’s principal lender.

Then last Friday, federal prosecutors indicted Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi on 35 criminal counts that include conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and official extortion stemming from a land swap with a former business partner. Shortly afterward, Boehner called on the Arizona Republican, who had already announced his plans not to seek reelection, to “seriously consider” stepping down early. But Renzi has since issued a statement that he has no plans to resign, putting increased pressure on GOP leaders to force his ouster.

Meanwhile today's Hill is reporting that defeated Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchest (R-MD) is blaming his defeat at the hands of an extreme right wing loon on the fringe of polite society, Andy Harris, on the NRCC. Gilchest's campaign manager, a top dog GOP insider, Tony Caligiuri, claims the NRCC kept crucial polling data they had out of the hands of the campaign. He suggests that Tom Cole is running the NRCC in a way that is detrimental to mainstream incumbents. Cole says he "can’t afford to save members from primaries and won’t get financially involved in them," a very different stance from the DCCC, which tried (unsuccessfully) to bolster the sagging fortunes of Al Wynn, defeated by a much larger margin than Gilchrest on the same day in the same state.

Gilchrest has been telling people he might endorse the Democrat against the extremist who defeated him. He says he's unlikely to get involved with GOP politics again. "Caligiuri left open the possibility that Gilchrest might endorse Kratovil in the general election after a nasty primary battle with Harris. Harris defeated Gilchrest 43-33, bringing an end to the centrist incumbent’s 18-year House career. Gilchrest has regularly won two-thirds of the general election vote, making his endorsement potentially key to an uphill battle for Kratovil."

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At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boner's a little cranky. He has a slipped disc so has been ordered to his tanning bed for the duration...


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