Friday, October 31, 2008

The Daily Blue America Report-- #8


They should all retire together

Finally some good news for Ted Stevens! On returning home from his trial in Washington Stevens was told that Alaska law permits felons to run for federal office. In fact, as long as he isn't sentenced before Tuesday, he can even vote for himself! And he'll need every vote he can muster. "Like most people, I'm not perfect," Stevens told a throng of adoring recipients of wealth from the Lower 48 spread around through Stevens' earmarks.

Stevens has been kicked to the curb by both friend and for. McCain, who has always hated his guts, called on him to resign before the last juror had a chance to nod. He then forced Palin do the same, breaking with the Alaska Republican Party, which is still urging the faithful to vote for Uncle Ted. Many of the crooked Republicans who have been taking bribes from Big Oil funneled through Stevens' PAC-- particularly Republican senators in jeopardy of losing their seats Tuesday, like Mitch McConnell R-KY), Norm Coleman (R-MN), who is having his own spiraling out-of-control ethics scandal, Gordon Smith (R-OR) and John Sununu (R-NH)-- have hypocritically demanded their old partner in crime resign... immediately. Who's name is missing from this list? Well, check out which members of the Senate got the really big pay-outs from Stevens' money-laundering operation, The Northern Lights PAC and you will find Maine's most corrupt political hack, Susan Collins ($10,000 this year and $10,000 last time she ran). Maine's other senator, the honest, moderate one, Olympia Snowe, has joined her colleagues urging Stevens to resign. But not Collins, whose own PAC funneled $10,000 to Stevens, a kind of semi-legalistic way for politicians to avoid campaign finance laws.

And while Susan Collins is pledging her undying fealty to convicted felon Ted Stevens, her opponent, Tom Allen, one of the finest-- and most tested and proven-- public servants running for the Senate from anywhere, is being supported by Bill Clinton. President Clinton and Congressman Allen are old friends from the days they were both Rhodes Scholars at Oxford. Tens of thousands of Mainers were surprised when they picked up their phones tonight-- praying it wouldn't be another hysterical robocall from another of the far right GOP front groups flooding the state with negativity on behalf of Collins-- to find President Clinton's comforting voice urging them to vote for Tom.
"Hello this is President Clinton and I'm calling to urge you to support Tom Allen for United States Senate.  Barack Obama needs Democrats like Tom Allen in Washington in order implement his agenda of change to turn this economy around.

"Congressman Tom Allen opposes Bush's failed economy policy and is fighting for change: a new economic policy that focuses on the middle class, creates jobs in Maine, and supports small businesses. For Real Change support Tom Allen for US Senate on November 4."

That was especially refreshing after a day of dire warnings from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party that they intend to control Obama's agenda and the Democratic Party after Tuesday.
Conservative Democrats who've been a thorn in the side of liberal party leaders could grow into a major obstacle to Barack Obama's agenda if he is elected president.

Majority Democrats are positioned for big gains in next week's congressional election. But many of the new faces would join a growing chorus of "Blue Dogs" who often part from the party base on big issues like taxes and increasing federal spending.

That could set up a roadblock for Obama, who has promised to broaden health insurance coverage, start a new round of public works projects and improve early childhood education, among other things-- all initiatives that would require substantial government spending at a time of soaring deficits.

Ironically, it was Obama's radio ad for one of the worst of the Blue Dogs, John Barrow, a nominal Democrat from Georgia, that saved him from being defeated in a primary by state Senator Regina Thomas, who is an exemplary progressive. On substantive matters, Barrow has voted with the GOP 65% of the time and with the Democrats 35% of the time. And Barrow is only one of 16 nominal Democrats who have voted with the Repugs more frequently than with their own party. The others, from bad to worse, are: Zach Space (OH), Baron Hill (IN), Gene Taylor (MS), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Jim Matheson (UT), Chris Carney (PA), Heath Shuler (NC), Jason Altmire (PA), Dan Boren (OK), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Travis Childers (MS), Don Cazayoux (LA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Jim Marshall (GA) and Nick Lampson (TX).

Lately we've been mentioning how the DCCC is spending far more money on Independent Expenditures for conservative and corporate candidates than for grassroots and progressive candidates. Today I saw quite a few weighty endorsements come over the transom-- mostly for conservatives. Many of the best candidates across the country-- the hope of the progressive movement, have been snubbed by the Establishment Democrats over and over, as though they actually hope they lose. Today conservative business shill Mark Warner warmly endorsed fellow conservative Glenn Nye, while ignoring progressive candidates Judy Feder and Tom Perriello. Simultaneously Jim Webb sent out a last minute plea for 4 Democratic candidates for the Senate-- pointedly leaving out progressives-- and pleading for cash from a right-wing corporate shill like Bruce Lunsford (KY) and for right-of-center bad-news-Dems Kay Hagan (NC) and Ronnie Musgrove (MS) plus moderate Jim Martin (GA). Not a word about struggling progressives like Jeff Merkley (OR), Rick Noriega (TX), Andrew Rice (OK), or Tom Allen (ME).

Connecticut-04- On the other hand, Jim Himes did get a little help that should go a long way in the form of a radio ad by Barack Obama.

New York-25- Yesterday's NY Times reported that the Republican Party has given up on all but two of the congressional races in New York State, the others being hopelessly out of their reach. Dan Maffei is sure to win a seat he just missed out on in 2006. The only Blue America candidate in New York now facing a challenge is Eric Massa, who is leading in a tight rematch with Bush rubber stamp Randy Kuhl.
National Republican officials have decided to withhold financial support from all but two closely contested Congressional races in New York, as the party braces for the possibility that it could lose several more House seats in the state.

The decision to abandon much of the state came after internal party polls showed Republican candidates in at least three once-promising races falling behind their Democratic opponents, a party official briefed on the internal deliberations said.

As a result, Republican leaders are diverting money to candidates in other races in which party officials believe they have a greater chance of success, the official said.

The decision by national Republicans to focus on a smaller group of races underscores the degree to which the party is on the defensive not only in New York but also in New Jersey, Connecticut and many other states. The national party is short on cash and is being forced into the difficult position of deciding where to continue to fight-- and where to effectively surrender-- as the election enters the final days of campaigning.

“Tough decisions have to be made,” said Representative Peter T. King, a Republican from Long Island, who conceded that the party was seeking to minimize its losses. “You have to decide who comes off life support and who gets a massive infusion.”

Two of the races effectively being written off in New York are in districts currently held by Republican incumbents who are retiring at the end of the year-- the 25th Congressional District in the Syracuse region, now held by James T. Walsh; and the 13th District on Staten Island, where Vito J. Fossella is stepping down. Representative Fossella was found guilty in a Virginia court this month on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

VIRGINIA-05- In a stunning and precedent-shattering move, the Danville Register & Bee has ended its career-long support for corrupt Bush rubber stamp Virgil Goode and urged voters to trade him in for Tom Perriello.
This newspaper hasn’t endorsed a Democrat for Congress since Virgil Goode was a Democrat. Since Goode’s first campaign for Congress in 1996, we have backed him in every election, defended him from what we thought was unfair criticism by challengers and wished for him a long career in Washington.

But today, the Danville Register & Bee endorses Tom Perriello for the 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We haven’t left Virgil Goode. Virgil Goode has left us.

...We expect to receive great criticism for endorsing Perriello over Goode.

But our decision was born out of frustration with a career politician who has already told us he expects to be ineffective as Democrats gain more power in Congress. Just this year, Goode has voted against the tax rebate checks that people throughout the 5th District received this year and he voted against a financial rescue plan that even his own Republicans believed was necessary to stave off more serious economic problems.

If we send Goode back to Washington, how many more times will he vote against our interests? We can’t take that chance.

On Tuesday, it’s time to elect a young man of integrity, energy, faith and hard work. It’s time to send Tom Perriello to Congress.

Texas-10- Cook upgraded Larry Joe Doherty's chance of unseating Bush rubber stamp Michael McCaul... for the second time. McCaul, one of the least knowledgeable hacks in the whole Congress has refused to debate Doherty and over the past couple of months the district went from "safe Republican" to "likely Republican" to "leans Republican." McCaul has no get ground game and Doherty has been building one all year. The latest polling shows a virtual tie. A victory Tuesday for Larry Joe will be reason to celebrate-- for Texans and for all Americans. Watch him on local TV news yesterday explaining his ideas about bailing out big corporations.

California-04- Last night we talked about the soft-core porn robocalls Republican congressional candidate Zane Starkewolf has been using (illegally) in CA-01. Mike Thompson, the incumbent from that district was campaigning with Charlie Brown yesterday in CA-04. And Little Zane's buddy, Tom McClintock was also employing more illegal robocalls, which most people in Northern California refer to as nuisance calls. (McClintock, who lives in the L.A. suburbs doesn't know anything about northern California, so he isn't aware people don't like them-- or that they're illegal.) A couple weeks ago Charlie Brown called on McClintock to join him in swearing them off. "Robo-Dial phone calls are a nuisance and a deceptive campaign tactic typical of negative campaigns that would rather attack a person’s character than offer detailed solutions. I am calling on Tom McClintock to join me in a bi-partisan effort to conduct an above board campaign based on direct contact with voters-- not deceptive and annoying robo-calls." McClintock refused and instead launched another barrage of the calls, illegal because they violated laws requiring that they include a disclaimer identifying who paid for and authorized the campaign communication.

Another great SEIU TV spot-- this one on behalf of progressives in Ohio. Let's hope it rubs off on Vic Wulsin, the best candidate in the entire state and the one who is being pummeled the hardest by the GOP smear machine.

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At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Warner has campaigned a couple times this week with Perriello and cut a radio ad for him. Thanks, Gov!

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They should all retire together"

Something wrong with jail for the lot of them?

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Placebo said...

As a voter disenchanted with both political parties I find it amusing that you hold up President Clinton's campaigning on behalf of Maine senate candidate Tom Allen as a stamp of virtue. It is very inconsistent to show contempt for Ted Stevens while giving Clinton a free pass in the same article. Apparently it's not corruption that bothers you ....... it's only non-Democratic corruption.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Here's the radio ad that Warner finally cut for Tom Perriello. It took long enough to get it out of him but let's hope it isn't too late.


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