Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Let's Keep An Eye On The Democratic Freshmen and Sophomores


I hope you're following the updated, fast-moving developments at the DWT Tweet site or at our newly installed mini-tweeter on the right (below the bookstore; see it?)

Democrats captured the House from the GOP in 2006 by winning thirty Republican seats. They expanded their majority in 2008 by capturing another 21 seats, boosting them to a 257-178 majority. However, of the 257 Democrats, 40 spent 2009-10 voting more frequently with the GOP on tightly contested, substantive issues, than with their own party, mostly, but certainly not exclusively, Blue Dogs. The dozen worst offenders-- from bad to worse-- are: Zack Space (Blue Dog-OH), Artur Davis (AL, who was soundly rejected when he ran for governor, including by his own constituents), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC), Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA), Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA), Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA), Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ), Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID), Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK), Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS), Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS), and, worst of all, Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL) who accurately bragged in his own advertising-- at least in the white areas of his district-- that he voted 80% of the time with John Boehner.

The DCCC spent most of its money in this cycle on these 40 Democrats, the ones who voted most frequently against the party's agenda. In all, the DCCC deployed $65,103,409.58 on Independent Expenditures in around 80 races this year, some of which was spent on the successful special elections for Mark Critz (PA), Scott Murphy (NY) and Bill Owens (NY). Another chunk was spent on open seats (i.e., no incumbents). But when you look at incumbents only, the bulk of the money was spent in support of Bobby Bright ($1,411,243.95), Ann Kirkpatrick ($1,056,844.12), Harry Mitchell ($1,089,932.74), Bill Foster ($1,303,014.50), Baron Hill ($1,376,746.34), Joe Donnelly ($770,760.74), Frank Kratovil ($1,514,468.48), Travis Childers ($966,806.38), Gene Taylor ($156,326.93). Heath Shuler ($231,112.63), Mike McIntyre ($270,224.62), John Adler ($653,865.44), Harry Teague ($488,497.50), Scott Murphy ($686,418.54), Bill Owens ($946,672.85), Mike Arcuri ($1,008,038.47), John Boccieri ($1,449,104.74), Zack Space ($1,512,696.39), Kathy Dahlkemper ($236,852.45), Chris Carney ($606,070.20), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin ($402,595.77), Lincoln Davis ($402,595.77), Glenn Nye ($788,447.63), and Tom Perriello ($593,713.37), all Democrats who voted more frequently with the GOP on the important issues than with the Democrats.

Now, let's look at the Democrats who won seats from Republicans in 2006 and 2008. The bolded names are Members who voted against the health care reform bill. First the class of 2006:

Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ)
Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ)
Jerry McNerney (CA)
Ed Perlmutter (CO)
Joe Courtney (CT)
Chris Murphy (CT)
Tim Mahoney (FL- lost in 2008)
Ron Klein (FL)
Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN)
Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN)
Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN)
Bruce Braley (IA)
Dave Loebsack (IA)
Nancy Boyda (KS- lost in 2008)
John Yarmuth (KY)
Tim Walz (MN)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH)
Paul Hodes (NH)
John Hall (NY)
Kirsten Gillibrand (Blue Dog-NY- appointed to the Senate)
Mike Arcuri (Blue Dog-NY)
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)
Zack Space (Blue Dog-OH)
Jason Altmire (Blue Dog-PA)
Joe Sestak (PA)
Patrick Murphy (Blue Dog-PA)
Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA)
Nick Lampson (Blue Dog-TC, lost in 2008)
Ciro Rodriguez (TX)
Steve Kagan (WI)

Even the Blue Dogs of the list, except Shuler, a C Street cultist, stuck with the Democrats on healthcare. Now the 2008 pickups:

Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Betsy Markey (Blue Dog-CO)
Jim Himes (CT)
Alan Grayson (FL)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL)
Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID)
Debbie Halvorson (IL)
Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD)
Mark Schauer (MI)
Gary Peters (MI)
Travis Childers (MS)
Larry Kissell (NC)
John Adler (NJ)
Martin Heinrich (NM)
Harry Teague (NM)
Dina Titus (NV)
Michael McMahon (NY)
Dan Maffei (NY)
Eric Massa (NY, since resigned)
Mary Jo Kilroy (OH)
John Boccieri (OH)
Steve Driehaus (OH)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Blue Dog-PA)
Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA)
Tom Perriello (VA)
Gerald Connolly (VA)

Neither of these lists accounts for Democrats who won seats held by other Democrats who left them, like Betty Sutton and Charles Wilson, both of Ohio, who replaced, respectively, Senator Sherrod Brown and Governor Ted Strickland. And Democrats have since elected Scott Murphy (NY), Bill Owens (NY) and Mark Critz (PA).

As of now AP has called Blue Dog Brad Ellsworth's hope for a primary-free Senate seat against him and he's out of a job. AP has called the race for progressive John Yarmuth (as well as for moderate Blue Dog Ben Chandler in Kentucky. No changes in Kentucky.) Meanwhile Indiana Blue Dog-- and one of the worst of 'em-- Joe Donnelly, is struggling in early returns, barely ahead of Jackie Walorski with 55% reporting. The first incumbent to lose a House seat was the well-deserved defeat of corporate shill and K Street troll Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), one of the worst freshmen anywhere. And the fake practitioner of "conviction politics," Tom Perriello, looks like he's losing his seat to GOP nutcase Robert Hurt. I might remind you that Perriello, who's buddy buddy with the Beltway liberal set and blackberry boys swore during his Blue America interview-- on tape-- that he would never harm a woman's right to Choice and then voted for the Stupak Amendment, then begged me to swear I wouldn't release the tape, then ran as "the candidate of conviction politics." And like I've pointed out he's one of 40 conservative Democrats who voted more frequently with the GOP in the past 2 years than with the Democrats on the contested, substantive issues that were voted on in the House. Buh-bye! Maybe he can do some conviction politics for Third Way. Deserving defeat even more than Perriello was Blue Dog and ultra-conservative (except on gay issues) Glenn Nye, who went down to defeat after one miserable aisle-crossing term.

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