July 2005 Archive:

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Whippin' Boy Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

There is still no word from the Jean Schmidt campaign on whether Joe Braun will last as Campaign Manager through the election.


Posted at 11:07 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Noe Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

Everyone seems to be linking to this.

Posted at 10:55 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Open Thread

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks for everyone for joining in the conversations on Swing State Project. Any good gossip on the race?

Posted at 07:28 PM in Ohio | Comments (16) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal Leads Evening News

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hmmm, imagine that. When you lie to reporters, the scandal leads the evening news.

Jean Schmidt Corruption Scandal

Posted at 06:34 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Hot, Happy, Haste

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Paul Hackett campaign headquarters is hotter than a Laker/Celtic championship at Boston Garden. Hot and humid.

Fingers are dialing faster with each call. There is a real sense of urgency, the volunteers understand the dynamics of an August election. The local Party leaders are shocked at how fired up people are, people realize that a top-notch GOTV can put Hackett over the top.

And people are having fun, cementing friendships and working as a team. A lot is moving fast, today's press conference was one of the most successful rapid response efforts I've ever seen.

But it is all going to come down to GOTV. Get down here, you're needed. Call the HQ for more information at 513-735-4310.

Posted at 06:05 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Credibility on Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

The analysis of the the Jean Schmidt/Tom Noe scandal is pretty simple, when a politician claims never even to have heard of the man at the center of the biggest scandal in the history of Ohio, people are going to question her credibility. As Scott McClellan will be the first to tell you, the press hates it when politicians lie to the press.

Thanks to the blogosphere, this story is moving at the speed of light.

Americablog on Jean Schmidt
American Street on Jean Schmidt
Annatopia on Jean Schmidt
Atrios on Jean Schmidt
Crooks and Liars on Jean Schmidt
Daily Kos frontpage on Jean Schmidt
Left Coaster's Steve Soto on Jean Schmidt
Seeing the Forrest's Dave Johnson on Jean Schmidt
Huffington Post's Stephen Burt on Jean Schmidt
Left in the West on Jean Schmidt
Majikthise on Jean Schmidt
MyDD's Chris Bowers on Jean Schmidt
Norwegianity on Jean Schmidt
Ohio 2nd on Jean Schmidt
Political Forecast on Jean Schmidt
Sisyphus Shrugged on Jean Schmidt
Stirling Newberry on Jean Schmidt
The Broad View on Jean Schmidt
The News Blog on Jean Schmidt
The Stakeholder on Jean Schmidt

Posted at 03:11 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

OH-02: GOP Threatens Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Washington Post:

"He called the commander in chief a son-of-a-[expletive]," said NRCC spokesman Carl Forti. "We decided to bury him."

Hackett, hoping to capitalize on the widespread disarray in the scandal-plagued Ohio GOP, remains unapologetic about his characterization of the president. "I said it. I meant it. I stand by it," he said in a phone interview. "In this district, we need more straight-talking, straight-shooting politicians."

People respect Hackett because he does tell it straight, something rare for a politician.

His campaign has drawn support from Democrats across the country. Liberal blogs have defended him from GOP attacks. Former Ohio senator John Glenn, another former Marine, sent a message to online supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asking them to pitch in financially. Democracy for America, the organization founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, says it has raised $80,000 for Hackett.

But unlike Kerry, when Hackett was Swift Boated, he fought back. Straight talk, standing proud for what he believes. No wonder so many people are inspired by Paul Hackett.

Posted at 08:42 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ever since Joe Braun was exposed and threatened to sue me, there have been quite a few jokes being made about him. The local press is following the blogs and "Spankin' Joe Braun" has become infamous online. In fact, he's so popular that General Christian sent a letter to Joe Braun. I really have a hard time seeing how anyone takes him seriously.

Posted at 08:05 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Saturday, July 30, 2005

OH-02: Hackett Inspires Blogosphere

Posted by Bob Brigham

Stunning. Thank you everyone!

Posted at 07:14 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: When You Reach the Summit

Posted by Bob Brigham

Successful politics means doing the right thing at the right time. Power is nothing without timing. When it comes to the progression of campaigns, this is peaking.

Too many losses have been explained away by people wondering, "If we'd only had another week." Inversely, look how many frontrunners have self-destructed during the home stretch.

The curve in Paul Hackett's campaign is perfect. It would have been nice if the line would have started off higher in the beginning, but losers in DC looked at the numbers in the district and took a wait and see approach.

Luckily for Paul Hackett, most Democrats aren't as scared of fighting as some of the so-called leaders who have run away from fighting and relevance. Take the netroots, instead of focusing on the past, the netroots were inspired by Paul Hackett to look to the future. The netroots knew the odds sucked, but they stepped up when others ducked.

Every day, Paul Hackett is receiving more and more support from the netroots. Because Paul Hackett is a fighter.

And fighting Democrats are rewarding his fighting spirit. This is providing perfect peaking for the campaign. You can feel the buzz in the air, people are drawing upon the energy of others which is compounding into a frenzy of activity. The Hackett campaign has an avalanche of momentum and it scheduled for a huge climax on Tuesday. Join other fighting Democrats.

Posted at 06:37 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Bird Costs Schmidt 4 Votes

Posted by Bob Brigham

The volunteers have been returning to HQ after a long day of door-knocking. As one couple was turning in their lists, they told a great story. All four voters in their home are voting against Schmidt because she flipped them off in road rage incident.

To be perfectly fair, Schmidt has a twin sister who could have been responsible. But still, four more votes for Hackett. And considering the rumors of Schmidt using her "double" to campaign as her, I have no problem relaying the story.

But I wouldn't be surprised to hear it was Jean Schmidt herself. You don't get the nickname "Mean Jean" by having respect for others. Testy, testy. Some might say she's crazy. Some have even said she's batshit crazy.

Posted at 05:38 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Paul Hackett Mobilization

Posted by Bob Brigham

Five minutes ago, a crowd of 500 to 600 fired up volunteers finished cheering the Paul Hackett at a campaign rally with John Glenn, Max Clelland -- both Democratic candidates for Governor of Ohio -- and dozens of local elected officials.

I'm sitting on a fire escape looking down upon the mobilization that followed the rally. As I write this, people are being rapidly trained and deployed for a day of door walking. They're targeting Democrats and Kerry supporters which provides a very large universe for an election that will be decided by a small pool of voters who actually turn out.

The campaign is effectively organizing the large crowd, pairing up locals with those who have travelled from all over (I caught a ride to the rally from a Kossack from Florida...another Kossack, Cory Kates, just introduced himself to me. He recognized me from Daily Kos -- he decided that if I had come from California he would drive down from Cleveland).

This is only one of many mobilizations going on right now, all across the district. The locals are smelling an upset and are doing everything they can during the final stretch to seize this opportunity.

I have video of the event, and will be hitting other events across southern Ohio today...more to come.

UPDATE: Via my cellular card, I'm now posting live from the Hackett motorcade. The candidate is leading in his hybrid and followed by a half dozen cars. There are rumors the Blogfather himself might be coming down today.

UPDATE: We've arrived in a residential area. The candidate, a couple of his marines who have come out to join the campaign, and Max Cleland are now canvessing together, followed by some press. Staffers all have cell phones to their ears and one of the marines has pulled out his digital camera to take photos of what he's participating in. At the first door, Hackett knocked and the person on the other side asked who it was. Hackett announced (loud enough for me to hear in a car across the street), "Paul Hackett, I'm running for congress." Indeed.

UPDATE: Susan Turnbull, Vice Chair of the DNC, just came over to where I've planted myself on the sidewalk. She's very passionate about this race, she worked this district right out of college. She's also a big fan of the blogs.

UPDATE: Here is today's 12:33 PM fundraising update (yesterday's numbers):

Main List: $368,425.56 from 6999 wonderful people
Eschaton: $25,006.59 from 635 great people

If you can't make it down to volunteer, consider making a donation to help the campaign take care of the volunteers and cover GOTV expenses. While Hackett has received overwhelming support from the netroots, he's getting an even better response from voters at the doors. He's far more inspiration in person than I could ever hope to convey in a post...

UPDATE: The motorcade is rolling, we're going to to grab the candidate's motorcycle!

UPDATE: I'm in the Hackett Family living room, watching the wicked witch on Hardball video from Crooks and Liars.

UPDATE: Lots of energy in the Hackett Living room. Max Clelland and John Glenn are talking with the staff, lots of cell-phone action...pulling together the last minute details. It was funny watching everyone crowded around my laptop to watch video from Crooks and Liars. People are grabbing a quick bite to eat and then hitting the trail again. Right now, over 800 volunteers are walking door-to-door. But we need more people, so come on down!

UPDATE: Max Clelland loved the live-blogging. I know a whole bunch of people would have loved to be in that living room with the first man in space John Glenn; American hero Max Clelland; Congressman Ted Strickland; DNC Vice-Chair Susie Turnbull and of course, Paul Hackett. I've much more on this later...

Posted at 11:30 AM in Ohio | Comments (9) | Technorati

OH-02: Channel 12 Online Poll

Posted by Bob Brigham

Right now, Paul Hackett is winning the online poll.

Posted at 09:11 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, July 29, 2005

OH-02: MSNBC on Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham


A special election next week in Ohio will fill the congressional seat vacated by current U.S. Trade representative Rob Portman. One Marine reservist wants to succeed him as the first Iraq War veteran in Congress.

Paul Hackett’s journey from the war zone to the political battlefield marks the first time a veteran of the Iraq war has run for Congress. This Democrat is fighting for every vote in a deeply red Ohio district, and grabbing the attention of local Republicans by placing his war record front and center in his campaign ads.

“In the military, we were taught maneuver warfare, and we make the best out of what we’re given,” says Hackett.

Again, what a great story.

Posted at 09:32 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: There's Nothing Like Being There

Posted by Bob Brigham

For the last 12 hours, I've been embedded with the Hackett for Congress Campaign during the final stretch of the special election campaign.

The staff is young and aggressive -- which compliments Hackett's go-for-broke campaign. Everyone here has been told time and time again that Hackett doesn't have a chance, but those comments aren't coming from those in the district.

The campaign really is getting by with whatever they can pull together. Since Hackett lacked early institutional support (thanks to the losers in DC), the campaign is now lacking space, phone lines, and power. The floor of HQ is a tangled web of power-strips plugged into other power-strips -- with every available outlet filled. The office is jammed packed, it is very crowded and very hot. But it isn't slowing anyone down.

Least of not the candidate. It has been fun spending time with Paul Hackett -- which is a bold statement when you're talking about a candidate.

But Hackett isn't a politician. Sure he's running for office, but he isn't a politician.

I think that is one of the reasons why Hackett is receiving so much support from Republicans. He doesn't talk like a politician. He doesn't hide behind nuance. He tells you what is on his mind and earns respect even from those who disagree with him.

Instead of following the DLC playbook and trying not to offend people, Hackett knows he can only win if he inspires people. From my one day on the ground, it appears that he inspires practically everyone he meets.

If he wins, it will be on his own terms. He's not selling-out or compromising or watering down -- he's taking bold action.

And it is working.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. Right now, the campaign is preparing for a huge mobilization. Try to make it -- it will be worth it!

Posted at 09:02 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: A Candidate for Everyone

Posted by Bob Brigham

So here I am, sitting out back at Hackett HQ with the candidate and Meghan Gaffney. An older gentleman walked across the yard to shake Hackett's hand. He announced that he was a lifelong Republican, but would be voting for Hackett. Meghan and I both smiled, knowing that he isn't alone. It is time to send an Iraq War Veteran to Congress.

Posted at 06:21 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Get Out The Vote Weekend

Posted by Bob Brigham

Email from Paul Hacket's Campaign:

GOTV Weekend is Here!

Special Volunteer Event:

What: Canvass Kick-off Rally with special guests Former US Senator John Glenn, Former US Senator Max Cleland, Congressman Ted Strickland, Mayor Michael Coleman, State Representative Tyrone Yates, and the next Congressman from the 2nd District, Paul Hackett

Where: Old Kerry HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206

When: Saturday, July 30th 10AM

Canvass or make phone calls for Paul Hackett this weekend!

Canvass Locations:

Adams County - Sat. 10am, 1 Courthouse Square at Roy Gabbert’s Law Office

Brown County - Sat. 10am, 707 Mt. Orab Pike, Bail Bonds Office (Cut-N-Up Barber Shop)

Clermont County - Sat. 10am, Sun. 2pm, Clermont County Democratic Party North 2nd Street, Batavia OH (next to Hackett’s HQ)

Hamilton County - Sat. 10am, Sun. 2pm, Old Kerry Headquarters Parking Lot, 1523 Madison Rd., 45206

Pike County - –Sat. 10am, Boilermakers Hall on US 23 in Piketon, OH and parking lot of Waverly Police Dept., 202 S. Market St.

Scioto County -– Sat. 10am, New Boston Community Center, 3980 Rhodes Ave., New Boston 45662

Warren County -– Sat. 10am, 6775 Park Lake Dr, Mason 45040, in Village Lakes subdivision AND 228 S. Mechanic St, Lebanon 45036

Phone Bank Locations:

-Hamilton County Democratic Party HQ, 615 Main St., Downtown Cincinnati Sun. 12-8

-Hackett HQ, 27 N. Second St., Batavia Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Crowley HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Warren County Democratic Party HQ. 8 East 5th St., Franklin Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

-Zimmeran CPA, 1080 Nimitzview Dr., Suite 400, Anderson, Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8

Out-of-District Volunteers

If you are interested in coming from out of town or even out of state to help with the campaign please feel free to come to any of the above events. If you need a place to stay or plan on coming Monday and/or Tuesday please send us an email at ohioinvasion@gmail.com.

Thanks for the overwhelming support,


Phone: 513-735-4310

E-mail: info@hackettforcongress.com

Website: www.hackettforcongress.com

Posted at 06:05 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Culture of Corruption Surrounds Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Ann Driscoll's MyDD diary:

Accusations surfaced against Schmidt's campaign managers Brett Buerck and Kyle Sisk and Larry Householder, the disgraced former House speaker. Ignoring the preference for officeholders to remain neutral during primaries, Householder actively raised funds for Schmidt and worked in conjunction with Buerck and Sisk, who were his top aids at the time. The three Republican politicos were accused of threatening lobbyists, engaging in unscrupulous negotiations, and running baseless smear television ads through a purportedly neutral PAC during the Schmidt campaign.

Threatening Lobbyists

The allegations began when Schmidt's opponent, Tom Niehaus publicly acknowledged a call that he had received from an apologetic lobbyist. The lobbyist told Niehaus that Householder had contacted him and threatened his lobby with unfavorable legislation if he did not contribute to the Schmidt campaign. About six other lobbyists informed Niehaus of similar threats made by Householder or his chief of staff, Brett Buerck.

Kenneth Blackwell, who launched an investigation into the campaign, stated that there is "a direct correlation" between campaign contributions and legislation in the House. But Blackwell, the official that many blame for Ohio voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential election, may have motivations of his own. Around the same time, a 109-page report written by Buerck, Sisk, and Householder's spokesman David Crum surfaced that detailed a scheme to destroy Blackwell's political career.

Smear Ads

The non-profit PAC Ohio Taxpayers Association spent $120,000 running smear television commercials against Niehaus, claiming that he was "anti-tax payer" and that Schmidt was "pro-tax payer." The ads attacked Niehaus for voting "to raise sales, income, gas and cigarette taxes." But voting records show that Schmidt voted identically on those exact same taxes. The Enquirer acknowledged in their endorsement for Schmidt in the District 2 primary that the ads "distorted the two candidates' records on taxes." Scott Pullins, the head of the Ohio Taxpayers Association admitted that Householder and Sisk raised money for the group and that at least some of that money was used to produce the ads.

I'm sure some google monkeys might have fun searching on this.

Posted at 04:55 PM in Ohio, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: BREAKING - Joe Braun Has Not Resigned in Shame

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comA quick update on Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun. All indications are that he has yet to resign in shame. Considering every Washington Republican woke up and read the Hotline piece about Braun's leadership resulting in utter failure, I kind of expected he would resign today. If not for his poor leadership, then for this.

Posted at 04:49 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: A Field Guy Blogs

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs some of you know, I'm an old field guy. I play the blogs because that's where politics is at, but my mind is filled with lists and maps. The Paul Hackett campaign has only days to position before Election Day and I'll be here following the whole thing. I didn't check any luggage on the way to Cincinnati, but I had my full bag of tricks (laptop, video camera, microphone, and enough different cables to get your toaster talking to your VCR). I also have a cellular card for my laptop, which means I can post for anywhere. But my mind is thinking lists and maps.

This is a special election in August, who knows who will show up. Conservatives are telling Republicans not to show up. It all comes down to field, to who turns out. This ain't my first rodeo and I'll be devoting a lot of space to examining the battle in the field. If you can get down here to volunteer, do so.

I'll be posting as often as necessary and will hopefully tell the story in a way that will let everyone follow their investment in OH-02.

I'm up-beat because I know we've already won. Last year in OH-02 we let Portman coast to an easy re-election. The Democratic nominee in the second district had $16K for the entire race. We gave up and let Portman spend the year raising money for other Republicans.

This year things are different. Democrats are fighting in every district in every state. The losers in D.C. said this wasn't a competitive seat – so they gave up. Fuck them. Seriously, if you aren't fighting in a Special Election then you are irrelevant. Get out of the way.

While the DLC was busy having a stich-n-bitch about those lefty bloggers, the netroots were busy adopting Paul Hackett. He's now a contender.

Kos says:

The netroots have made this race, not the DCCC or any other Democratic Party organ. This race is giving lie to the notion that we can't compete everywhere. This is the most Republican district in Ohio, and we're competitive. And it didn't take that much money to make it competitive.

Democrats aren't judging success by whether we win or lose on Election Day, but by whether we win or lose today. If we start winning every day, the wins will come. As for me, I have a couple of days to keep you as informed as if you were sitting here next to me.

I landed early this morning and rushed a couple of quick posts from the airport. I made it to HQ around 9 AM and the phones were already buzzing. Dozens of volunteers, making asks, coordinating, pulling people together. Across the street at the GOP HQ, the sign said "Open" but nobody was home.

There are people from all over – literally all over. Strangers are bonding quickly and new friends are working like a well oiled machine.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comHackett has had media after media after media. This place looks like a tripod convention. The national press can smell this story all the way in New York and they've come to Ohio to tell the tale.

Hackett is fired up, but surprising relaxed. He seems really comfortable, he knows what needs to be done and he's doing it.

He just left for some county fairs, his schedule is effectively crammed. Things are moving fast, really fast.

Hackett has the mo' – come on down and join this.

Posted at 01:49 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Paul Hackett Receiving Support to Compete

Posted by Bob Brigham

The lede in today's Hotline (subscription only):

What's The Matter With Ohio

Believe it or not, it seems that many folks on vacation next week may actually finding themselves wondering about the OH 02 special Tuesday night between GOPer Jean Schmidt and Dem Paul Hackett.
-- As of deadline, both the NRCC and DCCC are now in with last minute six figure mail and TV buys. It's hard to imagine that a CD which voted for Bush over Kerry 64-36 is really in play. But there are a number of factors. First, the OH GOP is in shambles as we've highlighted for months with GOP Gov. Bob Taft sporting the worst approval ratings of any GOV in the country.
-- Second, Hackett's a unique candidate who has used his Iraq war veteran status to raise a decent amount of blogosphere money. The NRCC didn't want to see Schmidt caught off guard (apparently the campaign's been slow to respond to Hackett's negatives). The DCCC didn't want to go in too soon prompting an earlier entry by the NRCC. It's hard to fathom how the GOP loses. Still, it's a special in August and crazy things can happen.

NETROOT$ 96 Hours Ago 72 Hours Ago 48 Hours Ago24 Hours Ago RIGHT NOW
Investors 2,960 3,525 4,347 5,200 6,332
TOTAL $147,350.59 $175,669.59 $228,231.58 $274,688.22 $335,075.27

And Eschaton is at $21751.55 from 558 people (up from $16,451.51 from 420 people yesterday).

Posted at 12:33 PM in Netroots, Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Culture of Corruption and Jean Schmidt

Posted by Bob Brigham

"There is a clear difference between my opponent and myself on moral issues." -Republican Jean Schmidt

Toledo Blade:

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. Ms. Schmidt is currently running for Congress against Paul Hackett, a Democrat who served in the Iraq War.

The race has attracted national attention.

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

"The documents indicate that she is lobbying the governor on behalf of Roger Ach," said her opponent, Mr. Hackett. "After doing their bidding, she takes a $1,000 donation. That is the culture of corruption - documented."

Indeed, there is a very clear difference. Paul Hackett needs your help, please volunteer and contribute. The Republican Culture of Corruption must end.

Posted at 11:27 AM in Ohio, Scandals | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Turn On Your Answering Machine

Posted by Bob Brigham

Atrios has joined Laddy in an important request.

Posted at 11:24 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Sorry About That, Folks

Posted by DavidNYC

Sorry for the temporary outage. We went to bed last night with just 3 days left in the month but 13% of our bandwidth quota remaining. Shoulda been fine, right? Well, 24,000 visitors in one day can change that equation right quick. It was our second-biggest single day ever, after election day 2004. Thanks for bearing with us!

Also, you'll notice we've made a bit of a change to our site design. We've replaced our long column of category and date archive links (which used to be on the left, below our main ad strip) with drop-down menus that are now accessible at the top of the screen. Things may look a little wonky as we work out the kinks, so please leave a comment here or shoot us an e-mail if you notice a problem.

Speaking of which, Bob & Tim have been on fire of late, and what you see on the front page is only a small sampling of what they've been pouring out. Some good places to start would be the "July 2005" archive, and if you're here looking for news about the Ohio special election, try the "Ohio" category.

Posted at 10:52 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Endorsement Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

To date, Paul Hackett has been winning the endorsement battle:

* Cincinnati Post

* Dayton Daily News

The military endorsement game has also been a blowout for Hackett -- until today. Hackett has secured endorsements from General Wesley Clark, Max Cleland, John Glenn, and Vet PAC.

But today Jean Schmidt received a major endorsement, from General J.C. Christian, Patriot:

I usually don't endorse political candidates, but Jean Schmidt's conservative credentials are just too good to pass up. It's not often that we're blessed with a congressional candidate who so fervently believes:

- in fighting a war in which only the working class is expected to make sacrifices;

- that serving in the military constitutes an abandonment of your community;

- that elected officials are duty-bound by the principles of free-market capitalism to accept gifts from lobbyists in return for legislative favors; and

- that unwatched balls are very dangerous.

My endorsement comes at a key point in this race. Iraq war vet Paul Hackett's campaign is gaining momentum. French bloggers, excited by Hackett's opposition to the Glorious Global Struggle to Resubjugate Brown People and his support for traditional Democratic economic values, have poured hundreds of thousands of Francs into his campaign. For the first time in decades, polling shows a Democrat within a few points of taking a lead away from an OH-2 Republican.

Posted at 10:50 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Blogosphere Surge Forces GOP Splurge

Posted by Bob Brigham

Be part of history, contribute today!

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In a sign that the 2nd Congressional District race might be tight, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped more than $500,000 into a TV ad campaign attacking Democrat Paul Hackett.

The ad buy was estimated at $265,000 in the Cincinnati media market, along with another $250,000 on Huntington, W.Va., stations that cover the eastern end of the seven-county district.

Jean Schmidt's campaign is being dragged down by the Culture of Corruption in the Republican Party. Schmidt was Governor Taft's rubber stamp and is campaigning to be Tom DeLay's rubber stamp.

Democrats, though, believe the TV ad blitz is the result of Hackett's success in raising his own campaign funds through online contributions.

Hackett has benefited from a surge of online support in the last week that has brought in, as of Thursday, an estimated $303,000 from more than 5,000 small campaign contributors through a Democratic group called ActBlue.com.

The online buzz for Hackett started last week when Democracy for America, the group founded by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean endorsed Hackett's campaign in an e-mail to supporters, calling on them to contribute.

Several other liberal-leaning political Web logs, called blogs, urged their readers to contribute to Hackett on July 19, in honor or Blogosphere Day. On that date in 2004, online campaign contributions for Ginny Schrader, a Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, raised $25,000.

Hackett's online contributions, which increase each minute, surpassed the money raised for Schrader in the first day and continue to grow.

"This has never been done for a congressional candidate before at this level," said Tim Tagaris, a blogger who writes for Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown's GrowOhio.org blog and, separately, SwingStateProject.com, one of the Web sites that urged online readers to support Hackett.

Hackett's on-line contributions have enabled him to spend far more money than any Democratic candidate in the historically Republican district.

Here is the worst. spin. ever.

But Braun said the help is significant. In the Huntington media market, Braun said, the $250,000 TV ad buy "is incredible. It's like one out of every three commercials that air."

Braun said the committee campaign is not an indication that Schmidt is in trouble, but "the first shot in the 2008 (presidential) battle."

No Joe, the Washington Republicans aren't buying one out of every three ads to fire people up for 2008. They're doing this because Schmidt's campaign blew a huge lead in an easy district. This buy was motivated by nothing other than The Fear.

Posted at 07:48 AM in Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: John Glenn Endorses Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Hackett might not have the endorsement of a president popular in the 2nd District, but he does have the most popular Democrat in Ohio political history helping his candidacy.

Former senator and astronaut John Glenn will appear with Hackett Saturday morning at a Cincinnati campaign event, as will former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who campaigned for Hackett in Blue Ash and Georgetown last week.

Glenn, who served four six-year terms in Senate, was a Democrat who routinely won the votes of Ohio's conservative Republican voters. Saturday, after an event with Glenn and Cleland, Hackett will depart on his Harley for a day-long motorcycle tour of the district.

Huge news!

Posted at 07:45 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

A couple quick points on the whole ordeal of Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun going around threatening legal action:

Top prize goes to Joe Braun today. He threatened to sue bloggers (for something about this). Good work Joe, you're a full blown scandal celebrity in the blogosphere.

What Joe Braun is missing is that he has bigger problems on his hands. Instead of worrying about what the bloggers say, he should worry about what the Washington Republicans say. Because they're talking some serious shit about how Jean Schmidt went from walk-in-the-park to FUBAR under Joe Braun's leadership.

Little secret Joe, the Big Guys in D.C. aren't writing checks with that many zeros because they think you're doing a good job.

Anyway, I have a plane to catch -- I'll be in OH-02 before most of you wake up.

Posted at 01:52 AM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Emphatic Denial from Joe Braun

Posted by DavidNYC

Editor's note: We have received the following emphatic denial from Joe Braun of the Schmidt campaign. At present, we are removing the materials in question. We will keep you apprised of any further developments in this story. We are printing Mr. Braun's denial in full.

I have reviewed the materials posted on your blog site that make outrageous and libelous allegations about me. I emphatically deny these allegations are true and demand that you remove them immediately from your website now that I have placed you on notice of their false nature. As you are aware, I am not a public official and you do not enjoy any type of qualified privilege to place patently untrue and malicious statements about me on your blog. I am an attorney who regularly lectures on libel and slander at a local school and am very aware of the current state of both Ohio and federal law in this area. If you will not remove these outrageous statements and retract them as unfounded I will pursue all legal avenues available, including but not limited to, an injunction in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio seeking to have them removed and holding you libel for damages associated therewith.

Please be guided accordingly.

I would appreciate an immediate response.


Joe Braun

UPDATE: (Bob) Steve Gilliard disagreed with the post in question:

Now, I disagree with Bob, there is nothing perverted about BDSM. It's perfectly acceptable, as private behavior. It isn't my taste, but neither is yogurt.

Posted at 06:43 PM in Site News | Comments (16) | Technorati

OH-02: Paul Hackett National Press

Posted by Bob Brigham

Let's face it, it is a great story. An Iraq War Veteran, running for Congress against all odds. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq. But his straight talk and fresh approach have made the race a nail-biter going into the final days. From Reuters:

WEST UNION, Ohio (Reuters) - Five months after leaving the battle zones of Iraq, Democrat Paul Hackett is waging an uphill fight to make political history in a special election for the U.S. Congress next week.

Hackett, a major in the Marine reserves who served in hot spots like Ramadi and Fallujah, hopes to become the first Iraq war veteran in Congress and the first Democrat to win the heavily Republican 2nd House of Representatives District in southwestern Ohio in more than 30 years.

He is up against tough odds, however, in Tuesday's election to replace Republican Rob Portman, who resigned to become U.S. trade representative. Hackett faces a well-known former state legislator, Jean Schmidt, in a conservative district where Portman regularly rolled up more than 70 percent of the vote.

But his military experience and tough attacks on President Bush's conduct of the war have energized a short seven-week campaign that otherwise would have been a sleepwalk.

Hackett has criticized Bush's decision to invade Iraq and backs intensified training for Iraqi security forces by pairing them with U.S. troops. He condemns Bush's failure to ask Americans at home to share the burdens of war, complaining about politicians who "use the war to wrap themselves in the American flag."

"You can't fight three wars, support the troops and have a tax cut. It's irrational," he said in an interview, calling the administration's approach "patriotism light." Prolonged engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans have strained the economy and military, he said, and "the only people sacrificing are the ones over there."

Damn straight. Hackett doesn't sugar coat it, he doesn't use some lame "stand by Bush" argument, he tells it like it is...and lays out a plan of action. People are supporting this straight talk, you should too. Contribute RIGHT NOW!

Posted at 06:36 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: One Swift Boater Backs Down

Posted by Bob Brigham

After days of smearing, at least one of Jean Schmidt's Swift Boaters is backing down.

Posted at 03:36 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Solidarity Rally

Posted by Bob Brigham

From OH-02:

Steelworkers Local 14340 will be hosting a Solidarity Rally this Saturday, July 30th, at Hartwell Recreation Center from 11AM-5PM. Please bring your family members and friends.


2nd Congressional District Candidate - Paul Hackett
Former Senator - John Glenn
State Representative - Ted Strickland
Max Cleland

Hot Dogs, Brats, Mets, Hamburgers, and Soft Drinks will be provided. Volleyball, playground, horse shoes, corn hole, ball field, kiddy games, etc.

This is an event you don’t want to miss!!!

And the beat goes on!

Posted at 03:35 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign in Turmoil

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: Joe Braun says he's still campaign manager.

Big news in the Special Election. The Jean Schmidt campaign has been 100% taken over by Washington Republicans hell-bent orchestrating the worst smear campaign that Ohio has ever seen (quite a bold statement).

OH-02 has two sources on this.

It appears that Campaign Manager Joe Braun -- who had vowed NOT to go negative -- was forced out after Schmidt insisted on letting the D.C. hacks do their nastiest.

There is also word that the RNC is dumping $750,000 in smear ads into the district.

If any of this is true, it shows that the Schmidt campaign is desperately trying to hold onto a slim lead. The polls are moving for Hackett, the netroots are providing the resources to compete, and all the Schmidt campaign has left are dirty tricks.

Posted at 01:51 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Republicans Boycott Tuesday Vote

Posted by Bob Brigham

Cincinnati Blog:

In a press release today we get this treat:

The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes announced today that it is launching a radio campaign urging Republicans, conservatives and advocates of limited government to stay at home on Tuesday and cautioning voters not to vote for Republican Jean Schmidt. COAST charged that Schmidt has been posing in the campaign as an advocate of limited government and lower taxes, when the truth is the exact opposite. The script for the radio spot is attached.

"During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Jean Schmidt voted in favor of every single one of Bob Taft's tax increases, and for good measure, proposed more of her own," said COAST Chairman Jim Urling. "In her recent literature she says that she supports 'limited government and lower taxes.' Indeed, her voting record decidedly shows her beliefs are in bigger government and in higher taxes. She simply is a big-government advocate. Any statement by her to the contrary is a lie."

"COAST encourages its members and all those believing in limited government and lower taxes to stay home on Tuesday, election day," implored Urling. "Another primary and general election will be held in 2006 and we will elect a good representative at that time. Please do not cast a vote for Jean Schmidt -- it will be wasted."

That has to smart a bit. They are buying radio ads with the same message.

Wow, they full on called her a liar. And they're going on the air with it?

Hat-tip to OH-02.

Posted at 01:20 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: John Glenn Calls for Hackett Volunteers to Report for Duty

Posted by Bob Brigham

From OH-02 Blog:

Decades ago, you gave me the chance, as a veteran and an astronaut, to become a citizen soldier again serving our state. I look at Paul and I see someone who wants to serve our state with every fiber of his character. I hope you’ll help give him the chance you gave me- but it won’t be easy.

In this tightly-contested special election, the Hackett campaign is relying on an all-volunteer get-out-the-vote operation to pull this extraordinary American through to victory.

We’re still short of the number of volunteers we need to fully deploy the Hackett campaign’s field organization. You can fill the gap by volunteering now.

Volunteer for Paul Hackett in the next 5 days

Please volunteer a few moments of your time to help the Hackett for Congress campaign step up its vital voter turnout efforts in these critical closing days. We don’t have a moment to lose.

I'll be there in the morning. Anyone with me?

Posted at 01:15 PM in Activism, Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Surge for Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham
$$$72 Hours Ago48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $16,451.51 from 420 people (up from $12,294.44 from 308 people yesterday).

If you haven't yet contributed, please do so.

Posted at 12:33 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

DLC Loses CAFTA Vote

Posted by Bob Brigham

CAFTA passed by one vote meaning that the following DLC members cast the deciding vote for Bush: Melissa Bean (IL), Greg Meeks (NY), Dennis Moore (KS), Jim Moran (VA), Vic Snyder (AR).

Part of me is glad the DLC isn't helping Paul Hackett. The DLC has been worthless in every battle this year. In fact, Hunter points out:

My grievances with the DLC wing of the Democratic party have little to do with policy (aside from their infuriatingly self-serving corporatist-lite preenings, of course), and more to do with the fundamental fact that everything they've touched, since the Chosen One from Arkansas, has turned to crap. They've gone through the last three election cycles dispensing advice that has been poisonous to those who accept it. [...]

What we see, in both the DLC and among other Democratic pundits and strategists, is a modern Democratic leadership so focused on triangulation and exposition, so obsessed with precise and intentionally puddle-shallow framing, that it is categorically unable to react to the changing circumstances of actual campaigns, much less of leadership. Whether it be the presidential bids of Kerry or Gore, the stream of scandals coming from the GOP, the Iraq War, the blistering legislative and polemical Republican attacks on the seventy percent of America that does not represent their hardcore base, or the seemingly unstoppable mudslide of corporatist giveaways and right-wing sops flowing in an unbroken stream down the steps of Capitol Hill, what is remarkable about "centrist" Democratic leadership in the last dozen years is that it is so precisely tuned not to offend, not to divide, and not to enlighten that it lacks any compelling message whatsoever. The goal of the DLC is nearly uniformly defensive, never offensive.

As has been clear to everyone, the Hackett campaign is all about offense. The blog support has been 100% offense. Billmon says:

The significant thing, though, isn't that the DLC house organ is firing disinformation at the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, but Range's particular choice of targets: Left Blogostan.

Like the Rovians, the dinos attack what they fear. And while lefty activist bloggers like Kos aren't exactly ten feet tall, they are beginning to have an impact, inside as well as outside the Democratic Party. The corporate media is paying attention. Money is being raised -- not quite serious money, not yet, but also cash that doesn't come with booze stains or shreds of tobacco on it. Those furry little critters in the underbrush may not amount to much now, the DLC dinosaurs fret, but they're definitely multiplying. Where will it end?

That's why Range's little slam at the size of Left Blogostan's audience is so silly:

These musings in the left-wing blogosphere may be read regularly by only a few thousand people, but they seep into the intellectual bloodstream of the Democratic Party.

Seep into the intellectual bloodstream? The blogosphere now is the intellectual bloodstream of the Democratic Party -- unless Range is talking about the fatty, cholesterol-clogged arteries of the D.C. lobbyist culture. These once fed oxygen (the long green variety) to the DLC's brand of corporate centrism. But those veins have nearly all been ripped out and reattached to Tom DeLay's mechanical heart.

Steve says it is, "Like using the Vince Lombardi playbook in the Bill Walsh era"

The blogs are throwing the ball, we are the West Coast Offense.

And the thing the DLC presidential candidates don't realize is that they don't want the DLC support. With the internet, a campaign can build it's own top-knotch organization instead of renting the DLC's third-rate apparatus.

It isn't left vs. right, it is about moving forward or clinging to the past.

Online, we're fighting ever day in every district. Even OH-02.

Posted at 11:45 AM in Democrats | Technorati


Posted by DavidNYC

We interrupt your regularly scheduled campaign and election news with this announcement: The Swing State Project has just passed one million lifetime visitors. Like everyone else who starts a small blog and one day winds up in this position, I never could have imagined this would happen.

But wow - 1,000,000. All I can say is, that's pretty cool. And thanks - thanks to Markos at DailyKos for inspiring me to blog and giving me the tools to get started (via the diaries), to Chris Bowers for providing such excellent content with his General Election Cattle Call, to the several guest-posters who contributed during last year's election campaign, to our webmaster Ben, for his technical wizardry, to BlogAds and all of our advertisers, and these days, of course, to Tim and Bob, for their non-stop, super-enthusiastic and incredibly well-informed coverage of campaigns and elections throughout the country. They, far more than I, are now responsible for the great site that is the Swing State Project.

But one thing is for sure - you don't reach 1,000,000 visitors without a whole bunch of loyal readers. You guys, above all, are what makes this site tick. The conversations in the comment threads here are almost always illuminating, and I can't tell you how much I've learned just be reading what you, the users, have to say. So, to all the people who ever stopped by this site - and especially those who took the time to leave a thoughtful comment - you have my deepest thanks.

To the next million!

Posted at 11:30 AM in Site News | Technorati

OH-2: The Pivot

Posted by Tim Tagaris


I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I am going home today to Chicago for the weekend (a wedding I must attend on Sunday). I will be back on Monday to take everyone down the stretch.

The good news is, Bob Brigham will be flying into SW Ohio tonight to pick up where I leave off. Swing State Project will not miss a beat on this at all. And as you all know, Bob is the best around when it comes to getting a story out there--so I am sure an even wider audience will be reading about Paul Hackett by the time I return.

Also: Contributing is great, there is a mechanism in place so the money won't get here too late to make a difference.

But what they need now is volunteers on Saturday/Tuesday (Election Day). So, if you can make it down, housing is available.


Posted at 11:11 AM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Congress Needs an Iraq Veteran

Posted by Bob Brigham

Stars and Stripes, which wrote a piece on Paul Hackett's bid to be the first Iraq War veteran to serve in congress, has a very interesting factoid:

According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 141 current members of Congress are veterans and 35 served in active war zones, most during the Vietnam War.

Yes, only 35 members have been in an active war zone and none have on-the-ground experience in Iraq.

[Hackett] said he was drawn to the race because he felt Congress has too many “career politicians,” and that his experience as a businessman and Marine has given him a better perspective on how to serve the district.

Yes, congress has exceeded its career politician quota.

“The big draw was the chance to serve my country. That’s what drew me to the Marines in the first place,” he said. “I thought the country might need my help.”

He arrived in Iraq in August, and took over convoy commander duties and helped organize the payroll of Ramadi-area government workers. In November, he volunteered to help secure the eastern entry into Fallujah while coalition forces swept through the city.

“I certainly did not do the heaviest of the lifting,” he said. “But on the convoy, we were ambushed on more than one occasion.”

Congress doesn't need another partisan hack like Jean Schmidt. Congress needs at least one voice who has experience in Iraq. Bush screwed up and is staying the course, this places more responsibility upon congress. That's why we need Paul Hackett.

In other military news, Hackett landed the VET PAC endorsement:

“We support Paul for his intelligence, courage and commitment to public service.” Said Fred Allingham, VETPAC field director. “Despite his disagreement with the Iraq war, he volunteered for activation from the Marine Corps reserve and served a dangerous tour in Iraq. Major Hackett felt that his duty as a professional demanded that he share the burden and the risks of service with his Marine Corps brethren.”

Allingham also cited Hackett’s reputation for independence and his commitment to his family and community. “We need more veterans in Congress who understand the sacrifices being made by our troops in Iraq and will fully fund veterans health care and other benefits that they and all veterans have earned by their service. Paul will honor the American values for which he fought and serve the interests of his community. He will not simply be another clone in Tom DeLay's army.”

Posted at 09:23 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-2: Look What I Found

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Literally found this in the trash, Jean Schmidt's phone-bank script:

"Hello, this is _________ and I am a local volunteer calling on behalf of Jean Schmidt for Congress. May I speak to _____________?

"There is a special election for Congress on Tuesday August 2nd and Republican Jean Schmidt needs your vote. Jean Schmidt is a conservaitve Republican who will work for a strong economy, lower taxes and safer neighborhoods. [...]

TERMINATION SCRIPT: "Thanks for your time. This call was paid for by Jean Schmidt for Congress."

Point being, her volunteer base is so weak, her campaign must resort to paying people to phone bank, hence the "paid for by," otherwise that's not necessary. It's also why I am hearing that she has contacted her primary opponents asking for their volunteer list.

UPDATE: I got an email saying this doesn't mean Schmidt is paying people to phone bank, but paying for the phone lines. It doesn't make sense to me that a phone bank would have to give a disclaimer because they are paying for the lines, but I wanted to toss it out there.

Posted at 02:31 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

OH-2: Cincinnati CBS Covers "Swift Boating"

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Here's the first television news piece on it--what do you think?


Posted at 11:00 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-2: Five Points & $285,000

Posted by Tim Tagaris

2004: 72% to 28%
2002: 74% to 26%
2000: 74% to 23%
1998: 76% to 24%

In fact, only one Democrat has received more than 30% of the vote in over 20 years. With less than one week to go, this race is within 5 points. And not only is it within five points, but Jean Schmidt is tanking. And no, I am not sitting in my hotel room with a .pdf file in-front of me. Here is what I am hearing, so take it fwiw...

The NRCC conducted a poll earlier this week (there is another poll in the field, but no idea by who), that showed the poor numbers. The numbers were leaked by a Republican who is part of a group that doesn't see eye to eye with Schmidt on certain issues.

In response, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has just dumped $285,000 into an astounding 1800+ point ad buy that will start running Friday through Tuesday. This is public record.

Now Jean Schmidt is scurrying to round up to volunteers from her primary opposition in a last ditch effort to counter Paul Hackett's overwhelming advantage on-the-ground. To the shock of the GOP, Hackett is also going toe-to-toe on television as well in terms of dollars. The free press because of Paul's service has been huge as well. I overheard the campaign manager (I believe) of Schmidt's campaign say to a Hackett staffer, "I have no idea how the hell you guys are raising this much money." They are worried.

I don't know what to say, other than this is a grassroots takeover. Whatever Paul Hackett accomplishes in this race will be because of us. The work done on the blogs, the volunteer and fundraising support of DFA, and Howard Dean's pledge to fight it out in all 50 states; if MoveOn were to jump in, the future of the Democratic Party will be completely represented in overcoming the most insurmountable of odds. When the ballots were cast on November 2nd, this is the moment we all looked towards. When Howard Dean was elected DNC Chair, this was the moment we all looked towards. In the first federal election since the fiasco in 2004, the grassroots of the party banding together, taking on the most dauting of tasks, and winning. Who would have thought we had such an opportunity, so soon.

While Jean Schmidt and her allies run a slash-and-burn campaign, attempting to "Swift Boat" Paul Hackett, the message is simple, if we can win here, we can win anywhere.

Down the stretch we go.

Paul Hackett's ActBlue Page

Voluteer: volunteer@hackettforcongress.com -- they have housing available

Call Cincinnati Talk Radio All Week (LINK - Scroll Down)

UPDATE: Some guy has been walking down the street outside Hackett HQ a few hours ago, taking down everyones license plates and making phones calls while walking in and out of Republican HQ across the street.

Posted at 08:48 PM in Ohio | Comments (8) | Technorati

FLASHBACK: Friday, March 18th, 2005

Posted by Bob Brigham

In honor of Swing State Project hitting one million page views, I thought I'd remind everyone of DavidNYC's: OH-02: Let's Take This Open Seat on a Trial Run on DailyKos - Friday, March 18, 2005:

But I don't think this is only bad news, and I don't think we should write this seat off. Rather, I think an off-year special election (which will likely take place either in August or November) for a seat we have little chance of capturing is the perfect time to get creative and try out new ideas.

As Atrios is fond of observing, being in the opposition can be fun. Similarly, it can also be freeing. I'd love to see local, grassroots/netroots-type Dems get behind a candidate willing to be bold - to do things like Jeff Seemann's highly successful "Campaign Manager for a Day" and whatever daring ideas lie beyond. We can use this race to experiment - to see what works and what doesn't - in plenty of time for the midterm elections next year.

I know there is at least one relatively local DFA group based in Cincinnati, and another not too far away in Dayton. Since this race will probably not attact too many eager "big name" Dems, DFA-types (or folks belonging to any other similarly reform-minded group) might well be able to recruit and nominate one of their own. So how about it, guys?

Update [2005-3-19 0:38:3 by DavidNYC]: Again in the comments, several people have argued that our eventual candidate here should push the ethics issue hard. I agree - this is the perfect venue in which to try out the "DeLay/corruption/ethics" line of attack (which I first saw elucidated by Chris Bowers) and see if it resonates. We should also hammer on Social Security while the iron is still hot.

In the comments, Zoweee said:

But my personal reservations notwithstanding: you people have HUGE nutsack. Just enormous. The thought of trying to lone-wolf an off-season congressional seat that God knows the national party will ignore because it is so Republican... man, I am impressed. This is the kind of grass-roots awesome the democrats need. I'm not an Ohioan myself, but my checkbook is open when the time comes. Go put some piss in the race, boys.

And here is the first SSP post:

In 2004, the Democrats surrendered Portman's second congressional district (even though it was in OHIO). Charles Sanders spent $15K and -- act surprised -- Portman coasted to re-election. This left Portman free to raise money for his cohorts, which he did.

I'm sure Tim will have more.

And he did.

Posted at 08:02 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Gets No Respect

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tough day for Jean Schmidt. The morning newspaper had her denying that she is a rubber stamp followed by the "batshit crazy" video. And now this, under the headline, Handsome Former Marine Runs Against Skinny Banker's Daughter for Ohio Seat:

Still, Hackett faces stiff competition in the heavily Republican area, especially when one considers his opponent: Ms. Jean Schmidt, the daughter of a famous local banker who owned Indianapolis race car teams as a hobby. Financing much of her campaign with her own money, Schmidt just seems to ooze annoying-me-ality. She is "small, wiry and intense, she exudes seriousness and is given to long pauses before answering questions." Though skin-deep and integrity-wise, Hackett beats Schmidt in every possible and conceivable way, the marathon-running pro-lifer is not giving up. She's stated that although voters respect Hackett's military service, it will not be the issue that decides the race. Furthermore, Schmidt still has a few tricks crammed up her sleeves. The New York Times reports that at the Warren County fair, Ms. Schmidt "bought a 230-pound pig from a 9-year-old girl." That is a huge pig, folks. I hope you can appreciate how big that is, and what this means for her campaign.

Posted at 06:52 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: 5 Days and 50,000 Doors

Posted by Bob Brigham

DFA to the rescue!

Next Tuesday, roughly 40,000 Ohioans will choose the next United States Representative for Ohio's 2nd District. Though this is a predominately Republican region—we have a real chance to elect the first Iraq War veteran to Congress and send Paul Hackett to Washington.

Can you help? We need to contact every single Democratic and Independent voter in this district between now and Tuesday. Face to face contact is the best way to persuade voters and make sure that they turn out on Election Day.

This is a tremendous opportunity and a critical first step toward taking back Congress in 2006. The special election will be Tuesday, August 2. This is an election we can win, but Paul needs your help to do it:

When: Saturday, 10:00 am
            Sunday, 2:00 pm

Where: 1523 Madison Rd

            Cincinnati, OH 45208

            (Behind the old Kerry HQ)

RSVP: hackett@democracyforamerica.com

Let's seize this opportunity to score a victory. If we win, it will send shockwaves across the political landscape. A win will show that Ohio voters are tired of the corruption and failed policies of the Republican Party—and will build the momentum we need to take back Congress in 2006.

And the ball bounces along.

Posted at 05:25 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

1,000,000 Strong for SSP: Way To Go David!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I just wanted to take a moment in the midst of all the excitement coming out of OH-2 to thank DavidNYC for the enjoyment I have had reading Swing State Project since it's creation.

We are inches away from 1 million hits at the site, and I am proud to be a part of the milestone along with David, Bob, Chris, Ricky, Seamus and Fester. I think I speak for everyone in especially thanking the people that come back every day to SSP.


Posted at 04:56 PM in Site News | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-2: Dayton Daily News Endorses Hackett

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From the paper that endorsed Mike Turner (R) in Ohio's 2004 race for Congress in the 3rd District, comes this gem in the 2nd today:

Candidates often tell voters that they should send a new kind of face to Washington, not just another politician. Trouble is, such candidates seldom offer much evidence that they could contribute more than somebody who has governmental experience.

After all, Jean Schmidt would be a respectable member of Congress. She's an energetic person with some background.

However, for a voter looking for something beyond a conventional political background, Paul Hackett is a welcome alternative. In an era when partisan fervor is a national scourge, a candidate who is likely to show some independence looks especially good. And he has generally sound positions on the issues.

He is the better choice for the 2nd District.

And the ball bounces along.

Posted at 04:14 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Cracks in Debate

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jean Schmidt After watching this video, I can think of few words that describe Jean Schmidt better than batshit crazy.

She lost her last her last election by 22 votes and it appears that the Fear has taken ahold of her. She's cracking, maybe she's already cracked. Who knows what type of crazed hallucinations have overcome her, but the Fear has taken it's toll.

It ended up in the local press and now the video is online.

Some people are good under fire, some crack up.

Posted at 02:54 PM in Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

Ice the Champagne: SSP Closing in on 1 Million Visits

Posted by Bob Brigham

DavidNYC started Swing State Project in October of 2003. Since then, SSP has received almost 1 million visits. Thanks to everyone who reads. Double thanks to those who read and contribute. Recommend us to some of your friends and help us cross 1 million!

Posted at 02:03 PM in Site News | Technorati

OH-2: Swift Boating of Hackett Into High Gear

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Eric Minameyer, an advisor to Jean Schmidt, was just the beginning of the "swift boating" of Paul Hackett in what appears to be a coordinated effort by her campaign. Upon arriving at Hackett HQ this morning to take some photos and videos, I was shocked to hear that the deplorable tactics have been taken to a new level in the past 24 hours.

1.) A local conservaitve radio host started by questioning Paul Hackett's service to country. Scott Sloan of WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati went off on some insane rant about the real level Paul's patriotism regarding the war in Iraq and claimed Hackett was using his service for "political purposes."

Over the past two days, Republicans have been calling into talk radio across the district saying things like, "Paul wasn't really a Marine Corps Major in Iraq." It's a coordinated effort, as I am hearing from people that similar lines are being repeated and repeated by radio callers in and out of the district.

2.) The "swift boating" is picking up steam, and we have to fight back. I sat no less than five feet away from a reporter from a cable news outlet that asked, "Some say that this was all a plan on your part. To go to Iraq and come back with this great story while running for congress."

Less than 30 minutes ago, a reporter from CBS asked about Eric Minameyer's question, and yes, questioned Paul's service to his country.

3.) A few days ago, an Amry Private First Class was burried in Fairfield, Ohio. Within 24 hours, a number of flags were burned and tossed into a pile infront of his mother and father-in law's home. As you can imagine, this incident has led to a lot of press and sadness for the family.

The same host above, Scott Sloan, attempted to tie Paul Hackett to the flag burning incident. He said that it was people like Paul Hackett that allow things like this to happen.

3.) Last night, a number of people in the district began receiving robo-calls talking shit (for lack of a better word) about Paul Hackett. Of course, they hit on the standard themes, choice, equal rights, and yes, Iraq.

4.) Earlier today, the police had to be called at campaign HQ as a strange individual pulled up to the office, kept the car in park, and started plugging away at a lap-top. When people walked out of HQ to investigate, the car pulled off quickly. The police have been notified.

One local said, "this really reminds me of what was happening last October. It got real ugly down here before the election.

Sound familiar...

Action Items in the extended entry:

1.) Contribute to Paul Hackett

2.) Write or Call

--We'll steal from the Ohio GOP Website on this one.

1.) Link for letters

2.) Link for Call-In

3.) Zip Code: 445202

Specific Shows:

55KRC - Cincy
Morning Show with Jerry Thomas and Craig Kopp
5am-9am 513 749 5800

700 AM (We need these flooded Now till Election Day--All Hackett, all the time)


Jim Scott - Weekdays, 5 - 9AM
Mike Mconnell - Weekdays, 9AM - Noon
Bill Cunningham - Weekdays 12:20 - 3PM
Gary Burbank - Weekdays 3:00 - 6PM
Scott Sloan - Weeknights 9PM-Midnight

Talking Points

1.) How dare Jean Schmidt's campaign and her surrogates question Paul Hackett's service to this country.

2.) Jean Schmidt is using deplorable tactics to change the subject from her close association with Gov. Bob Taft's "culture of corruption." She is, after all, the subject of an ethics investigation for accepting unreported gifts by a pharmaceutical lobbyist. Gifts she failed to report.

3.) As you all know, this area has been deeply affected by the war in Iraq, how can Jean Schmidt and her friends claim to support the troops while attacking them at the same time?

I don't have any polling numbers, but I gotta imagine they do and the race is a lot closer than they had hoped over at Schmidt HQ. Last night at the debate, it was "terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, gay marriage, gay marriage, pro-life, pro-life, pro-life," which I now regard as, "The Alamo," or last line of defense for faltering Republicans.

A large hat-tip to OH-2 Blog as well.

Posted at 02:02 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

OH-02: Netroots Investment Yielding Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project Paul Hackett Tim Tagaris and Swing State Project made CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The segment focused on the overwhelming momentum Paul Hackett is receiving from the netroots. Here at Swing State Project we've followed his success -- and it has been startling. Netroot Democrats want to see Hackett have the recources to compete in the face of the Swift Boat smears coming from the Schmidt campaign. Here is a netroots investment update:

$$$48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $12,294.44 from 308 people. That is a quick $55K in the last 24 hours...the beat goes on!

Go contribute!

Posted at 12:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

Dems 2008: DLC Scandal Dogs HRC in WaPo

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hillary clinton al from dlc democratic leadership council Right now, there is amazing organizing going on in OH-02, preparation for Tuesday's Special Election. But the Democratic Leadership Council has been suspiciously absent. They met just 2 hours away and people asked and asked for DLC'ers to come and help -- but they were to busy with their cocktail coronations.

This is an important lesson for politicians. The DLC is fundamentally unable to deliver in a post McCain-Feingold world -- they are too lazy to walk and too few create a scalable fundraising system. Yet look what you can do by staying true and raising money $50 a head online. And choosing the DLC over the netroots comes with a price, like this Washington Post story:

The most pointed critique of Clinton came in one of the most influential blogs on the left, Daily Kos out of Berkeley, Calif., which called Clinton's speech "truly disappointing" and said she should not provide cover for an organization that often has instigated conflict within the party.

"If she wanted to give a speech to a centrist organization truly interested in bringing the various factions of the party together, she could've worked with NDN," the blog said in a reference to the New Democrat Network, with which Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas is associated. "Instead, she plans on working with the DLC to come up with some common party message yadda yadda yadda. Well, that effort is dead on arrival. The DLC is not a credible vehicle for such an effort. Period."

Anyone who supports the DLC is fair game, even Hillary. And Hillary fucked up big time with Democrats:

Roger Hickey, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America's Future, said Clinton had badly miscalculated the current politics inside the Democratic Party and argued that she could pay a price for her DLC association if she runs for president in 2008.

"There has been an activist resurgence in the Democratic Party in recent years, and Hillary risks ensuring that there's a candidate to her left appealing to those activists who don't much like the DLC," he said.

Not only is Hillary losing netroots and grassroots support by aligning herself with Al From and the DLC, but she is failing to change the dynamics.

If there were a text-book, Hillary Clinton would be breaking every rule.

Oh wait, there is a text-book. By cognitive scientist George Lakoff, and yes, Hillary is doing everything wrong. Total FUBAR.

Don't think of Al From:

Fallacy: Progressives can gain more voters by moving to the Right.

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1. Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2. It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

Moral: Voters are not on a left-to-right line. Stick with your ideals, frame what you believe effectively, and say what you believe. Say it well, strongly, and with moral conviction.

Did you get that, the DLC model is what cognitive scientists call a fallacy.

Clinton is getting really bad advice from Al From and her handlers. One week ago she was a Senator and the beloved former First Lady. Now she is just another member of the Democratic Losers Club trying desperately not to offend anyone on the right.

Clinton's DLC membership is sinking her potential. It is sad to watch.

Steve Gilliard has more on the Hillary's political insticts failing her.

Posted at 10:57 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Denies Being Rubber Stamp

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big Paul Hackett win in the debate . My favorite Jean Schmidt line, "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us." That's right, in Jean Schmidt's world we keep our eye on the ball because we are scared of the ball. In Paul Hackett's world we keep our eye on the ball so we can smack it out of the park.

Schmidt's running scared, she's bungled an easy win, and her strategy of buying the race through overwhelming resources was stopped by the massive netroots support for Paul Hackett. Hackett has the momentum and every Democratic activist in Ohio is heading to the 2nd congressional district to put him over the top in this super-low turnout, August special election.

Tagaris is going to have some video, but here's the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In their last head-to-head debate before Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election, Democrat Paul Hackett accused his opponent, former Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt, of being a "rubber stamp" for the "failed policies" of the Taft administration, and said she can be expected to do the same for President Bush in Washington.

Schmidt insisted she will be an independent voice.

"I am not a rubber stamp," said Schmidt, who served in the Ohio House from 2001 to 2005.

Next Tuesday Paul Hackett finds out whether he is going to Congress or back to Iraq -- he's quite literally campaigning like his life depends upon it, and his message is getting through:

Nonetheless, Hackett mentioned Taft's name in the same sentence with Schmidt no fewer than 12 times, and used the term "rubber stamp" seven times.

His populist message is breaking through:

"The question is if you are better off today than you were five years ago," Hackett told the audience of a little over 100 at the school, just west of the Adams County seat of West Union. "Under the administration of Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt, Ohio lost 160,000 manufacturing jobs."

And Hackett's Iraq experience provides great contrast:

"I support the president in his mission to make sure the enemies of freedom stay on their shores and not on ours,"' Schmidt said. "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Schmidt said the Bush polices on Iraq are succeeding, saying, "The seeds of democracy have been planted. Democracy is on the march."

Hackett, who served seven months with a Marine civil affairs unit, said the reality on the ground is not what the Bush administration paints it to be.

"It's not pretty over there, it's not Hollywood, and we are not spreading democracy," Hackett said.

Candidate George W. Bush said in the 2000 presidential campaign that he would not engage America in nation-building, Hackett said.

"Guess what, folks?" he said. "We're nation-building."

Remember: "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

OH-02: General Wesley Clark for Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

Here is the email from General Clark on Paul Hackett:

I am writing to ask you to support a tremendous public servant and fellow veteran Paul Hackett in Tuesday's special election for the 2nd Congressional District of Ohio.

Paul Hackett is exactly the kind of strong leader we need in these challenging times. He is a former Marine and a veteran of the Fallujah campaign in Iraq. He understands what it will take to fight -- and win -- the war on terror and keep America safe.

He also understands that our nation's greatest strength is found in the talent and diversity of our people. That is why Paul believes it is so important to invest in health care and in our schools, and to use our tax dollars responsibly by ending corporate welfare and supporting small businesses.

Above all, Paul offers the kind of fresh, pragmatic leadership that we desperately need in Washington. For all of their bravado, the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress seem fresh out of ideas about how to win the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. As a Civil Affairs officer in Iraq, Paul helped to rebuild Iraq and reach out to the Iraqi people. His experience and judgment are exactly what we need to finish the job we started in Iraq.

Paul Hackett is running in a special election that will take place on August 2nd. Because turnout for special elections is often low, it is absolutely critical to do everything we can to help Paul's supporters get to the polls next Tuesday.

In a close election like this one, every person can make a difference. With just one week until election day, here are two things you can do to help Paul win on Tuesday:

1. If you can get to Cincinnati, please volunteer to help Paul’s campaign by making phone calls or knocking on doors. Help his team get out the vote on August 2nd.

2. Donate to his campaign. Make sure Paul and his campaign have the resources he needs to reach out to each and every single voter.

Today, the Cincinnati Post endorsed Paul, calling him "a gust of fresh air." Clearly, momentum is on our side. We can win this race, but to do it we need your help. Paul Hackett has the experience and good judgment we need in Congress. Please do what you can to help Paul win Ohio's 2nd Congressional District next Tuesday.

Thank you.


Wes Clark

Posted at 09:00 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-2: Liveblogging INSIDE the Hackett Debate

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The marvels of modern technology. I am literally sitting in the debate room, ready to live-blog the Hackett v. Schmidt debate. Please let everyone know and check back for live updates often. I will probably be able to upload photos as we go, and will have video later tonight or tomorrow.


Opening Statements: Paul Hackett begins. "I want to serve as your next Congressman in Washington. I grew up the son of a traveling salesmen... I've been blessed, and to whom much is given, much is expected... I didn't get a call from the government, I called them. It was the best way I knew how to support the troops.

Jean Schmidt: "I am the REPUBLICAN nominee for congress... I've done a lot of walking, and more importantly a lot of listening." Urgh! She just played the London & Egypt terrorism card. "THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM ARE STILL ON THE MARCH!!!" (Grab your duct tape.

Flat Tax! She wants a "real discussion on a flat tax." Wow. More soon....

Paul: While Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt should have been worried about... they were worried about investing money in rare coins."

I gotta be honest, I am losing connectivity by the second, so this is getting very frustrating (I will keep trying).

UPDATE 2: Education

Paul: “We need strong leaders willing to stand up to one party rule in Columbus and Washington, D.C. that got us into this place.

Schmidt: NCLB is the first step to creating an educated workplace. We have 50 states with 50 different attitudes towards education.


Schmidt: We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The person who uses the most foreign oil generally gets to sit down with the cartel and decide what the prices are going to be. We are about to lose that seat.

She goes on to ethanol.

Paul: "We need to spend on our money on scientific research and education, and do it wisely. He talked about China as well. "In the first 2 years when this energy bill takes effect, it will allow for $40 billion dollars worth of sugar-based ethanol will decimate the farming communities in Southern Ohio.


Health Care:

Jean - Expand the health care savings account, and look at tort reform to reduce the cost overall and look at that as a solution to reduce it.

Social Security:

The moderator asked directly if they supported privatization.

Paul: No.

1.) The government shouldn't spend Soc. Sec. money on anything else.

2.) Raise the income level. Increase the income level to $150,000. "If freedom isn't free, the wealthiest have to pay their share too."


I've repeatedly stated what I am for or against with Social Security.

I won't cut benefits, I'm opposed to raising the cap and the retirement age, and I am opposed to privatization.

"Raising the cap won't solve the problem. You only push the problem another few years out."

In other words, she literally has no solution, at all. I'd be curious to see how her stance on privatization has changed if anyone can dig that up.


She just said it, she is "for personal savings account." And she did it all drawn out like, like it was something different than privatization.


UPDATE: (Bob) We now have some debate press coverage and analysis.

Posted at 05:44 PM in Ohio | Comments (6) | Technorati

Dems 2008: Netroots Love or DLC Baggage

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hillary clinton al from dlc democratic leadership council If you've been within earshot of the liberal blogosphere, you've probably heard of the collective eye-rolling that followed the fact that Evan Bayh, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mark Warner and Tom Vilsack all groveled before Al From at this week's DLC meeting.

Regular Swing State Project readers know of the Brigham Corollary to the 11th Commandment: If you're in the DLC you're fair game.

In the last 24 hours we've seen a huge shift in positioning for 2008 -- Hillary is no longer off limits. When she chooses the DLC over the grassroots, people will call her on it:

The DLC has always been at the forefront of intra-party mud-slinging. They're just finally being called on it, and suddenly it's time for peace? If she wanted to give a speech to a centrist organization truly interested in bringing the various factions of the party together, she could've worked with NDN.

Instead, she plans on working with the DLC to come up with some common party message yadda yadda yadda. Well, that effort is dead on arrival. The DLC is not a credible vehicle for such an effort. Period. [...]

It's truly disappointing that this is the crap Hillary has signed on to. More of the failed corporatist bullshit that has cost our party so dearly the last decade and a half.

Kos lays out the choice for 2008 Democratic candidates:

Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party. It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.

It's those Democrats who are afraid of who or what they stand for that seem most drawn to the DLC. It's a shame that Hillary has thrown in with that lot, but it's clear that she's looking for the perfect positioning. She's not confident she can win on who she is and what she stands for, so she's what, looking for cover to the charges that she's "too liberal"? Is she looking to the DLC to help define that "vital center"?

Steve Gilliard on the Democratic Leadership Council:

Mark my words. She will never make it out of the primaries if she runs.

Hillary Clinton's instincts suck. They are horrible.

Her enemies will ALWAYS paint her as a liberal, regardless of her real stands. Her name is a byword for liberalism and corruption among the right. They will fight her to their last breath. The DLC wants to use the same failed playbook it has always used, run down the middle of the road and lose to the GOP.

At the same time, all this does is alienate liberal supporters who are perplexed by her insane and pointless manuvering. Video games, abortion, all these issues do not help her. They just make her look weak and vaciliating.

John Kerry ran to the left and lost by 110K votes. He didn't hide from being a liberal and he came close enough to winning that Bush was sweating out election day. So what lesson does Clinton take from that: run to the middle. Despite every poll, every focus group that wants a strong, active Democratic party, the Democratic Loser Council wants to stay in the middle. [...]

If Hillary Clinton wants to lose with the DLC, that's her business. But lose she will.
(emphasis mine)

David Sirota on the Democratic Leadership Council:

More food for thought about the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and the future of the Democratic Party...Can you imagine if an organization existed that purported to speak for Republicans, yet whose entire premise undermining the conservative base of the Republican Party? Do you think GOP presidential candidates would be flocking to address that organization's meetings? The answer, of course, is no, they wouldn't - and you can bet the GOP leadership would crush that organization before it ever got off the ground. But on the Democratic side, the story is far different.

Democratic presidential contenders go suck up to the DLC, an organization whose for the last two decades has done everything it can to undermine the Democratic Party - even going to great lengths to attack Democratic presidential candidates it doesn't like. Then, hilariously, these same Democratic politicians who genuflect to the DLC claim to be shocked - shocked! - that the public has no idea what the Democratic Party stands for anymore.

Digby on the Democratic Leadership Council:

Being lectured all the time by effete DC Democrats on "patriotism" because I don't back their reflexively hawkish foreign policy is not only insulting it's dumb. It plays into stereotypes that only serve the Republicans by turning this into a dick measuring contest when we should be turning the conversation into who can get the job done.

Ezra Klein on the Democratic Leadership Council:

...it's that their rhetorical devices for getting there tend to include 1) a lot of sniffing and despairing at all those hopelessly irresponsible liberals followed by a 2) high-minded promise to stroll into whatever trap the Republicans have set for them or 3) set one themselves if the right's been remiss.

DavidNYC on the Democratic Leadership Council:

I'm keeping an open mind about 2008 - I definitely do not have a favorite candidate, or even a group of favorites. I recognize that different candidates will try to position themselves differently, and I am not demanding fealty to the netroots. (I know as well as anyone that the blogosphere is not the be all, end all of politics.) But if and when Hillary Clinton tries to reach out to us, it's going to be hard for me to forget that she's aligned herself with Al From and the DLC.

News Blog on the Democratic Leadership Council:

Why the DLC sucks monkey balls.

Larry Johnson, professional spook, lifelong Republican, was just smeared in the Weekly Standard.

Paul Hackett, lawyer, Marine Reservist, Iraq War vet, was just smeared today, accused of lying about his military record.

So what are we supposed to do, imitate that little coward Peter Beinart and be PNAC's bitch?

I think not.

Sirota on the Democratic Leadership Council:

But that doesn't fit the DLC's goals, which are to undermine the Democratic Party. Instead of working to debunk these right-wing stereotypes, these insulated Beltway snobs seem to only feel relevant if they reinforce the right-wing stereotypes parroted by Fox News and the Republican Party. It just shows that for Democrats who want to win - and not just preserve their status on the Washington cocktail party circuit - the DLC is really part of the problem, not the solution.

Let's be clear - the DLC has done masterfully in selling its snake oil by always claiming that Democrats need a coherent "positive" agenda. No one argues with that. The problem is that the DLC offers neither a coherent agenda, or anything positive.

Indeed. Candidates have a choice, people or corporations -- grassroots or DLC. It is an either/or question.

If a candidate is still on the DLC List of Shame -- they will NOT get my support. Primary. General. None. Even HRC.

UPDATE: (Bob) Sirota has more on the DLC at the Huffington Post.

Two words:




Posted at 04:27 PM in 2008 President - Democrats | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Thanks Bloggers (Video)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I have the video over at Grow Ohio.

I had the occassion to talk with him for a few minutes today, and I really don't think I can capture the humility he felt by the outpouring of support that has transpired online in the past 3 weeks. As an added bonus, he used the words, "blogosphere day" in a sentence.

Posted at 03:27 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH-2: LiveBlogging--Literally

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I am sitting maybe five feet away from the candidate as he prepares for and interview with MSNBC. Right now a camera man is setting up lights as the interviewer is asking the candidate questions about going to service in Iraq, not surprisingly. This is the pre-interview, I will update as the interview goes along and have video later (image from 5 minutes ago).

The Interview: Paul just said he made the decision to run with his wife while they were still at the airport upon his return from Iraq. He was "blown away that the government came to a halt during Terri Schiavo." ... "This is ridiculous, and there needs to be more citizen legislators willing to serve in politics."

"The fact I am not a professional politician is frankly a good thing. If I am not elected, next year I will probably go back to serve with my Marines in Iraq."

"I remind everybody that the last time we had a balanced budget was with a Democratic president... Barry Goldwater is spinning in his grave given the fiscal irresponsibility in Columbus and D.C."

"Government trying to make decisions for us is frankly what is unamerican."

Posted at 12:53 PM in Ohio | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Earns Cincinnati Post Endorsement

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The beat goes on. From the Cincinnati Post ENDORSEMENT of Paul Hackett:

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.

Big Mo'

UPDATE (Bob) 12:33 PM Exactly 24 hours ago I reported Paul Hackett's ActBlue page stood at $147,350.59 from 2960 people. Since then, Markos chipped in $100 and he was not alone.

The current total: $175,669.59 from 3,525 members of the netroots. And Eschaton's ActBlue is at $9,244.39 from 230 members of the netroots. And Hackett's on Majority Report's ActBlue page. And the beat goes on...

UPDATE: (Bob) Tim is live-blogging with Hackett RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE (Tim): I got video of Paul Hackett thanking the netroots for "blogosphere day."

Posted at 12:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Calls out Chickenhawks

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From Salon:

"Schmidt commends Hackett for his service, but believes Hackett should "stand with the president" by 'supporting the Iraqi war effort and our troops that are over there,' her campaign manager Joe Braun said. (Through Braun, Schmidt declined to speak with Salon.) When asked to answer that charge, Hackett is blunt: 'The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there.' He doesn't hesitate to criticize Schmidt's support of the war: "All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."
This is what happens when the GOP faces opposition like it hasn't seen in over 30 years.

UPDATE: (Bob): Tim Tagaris is inside tonight's debate and live-blogging

Posted at 11:18 AM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

MD-Sen: Michael Steele and Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

michael steele - karl rove - corruption While Karl Rove's schedule is jammed back with political retribution and lessons on walking in shackles with a coat over his head, he is also busy playing bagman for politicians willing to continue the Republicans' Carnival of Corruption in Washington. Karl Rove's man in Maryland, Lt. Governor Michael Steele, has shown incredibly poor judgement by not cancelling a fundraiser with somebody who betrayed a CIA agent.


Join Rove and his man in Maryland tonight from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Ronald Reagan Center, 425 2nd Street NE.

Posted at 10:40 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Maryland, Plamegate | Technorati

OH-2: Jean Schmidt Advisor Smears Hackett Service

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The question is, does Jean Schmidt's advisor on Iraq, Eric Minameyer, speak for the campaign in his smear campaign against Paul Hackett's service?

OH-2 Blog breaks the story early today

Kos Diary Follows Up

Atrios Breaks Out the Purple Band-Aid

Swing State Project Checks In

Kos Adds to the Debate and Contributes Himself

Hackett's ActBlue page is flying again tonight.

Democrats are proving tonight that we will support our troops while Republicans continue to slash their benefits and bash their service.

Posted at 12:27 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Monday, July 25, 2005

MT-Sen: Jeff Ament on Air America on Jon Tester

Posted by Bob Brigham

Let's face it, backing Jon Tester's senate bid in Montana is the cool thing to do. Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament is on Majority Report. He's talking about The Concert and Jon Tester.

Posted at 08:08 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Montana | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett on Air America While Schmidt Takes the Low Road

Posted by Bob Brigham

Paul Hackett is on Air America tonight. When asked why he was running, he replied that he believed it to be a natural extension of his service in Iraq. He also mentioned that he thought politics was going down the wrong path.

In other news, Jean Schmidt's campaign is swifting-boating Hackett's record.

Atrios captures the moment.

Posted at 07:55 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

12 Hour Gap: White House Cover-up of Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

During the last two media cycles, the press has begun devoting more attention to the sketchy 12 hour gap. There is the appropriate speculation that the Bush White House may have ramped up their cover-up efforts during the 12 hour gap. Speculation that there may have been a Midnight Massacre of evidence. Frank Rich says:

As White House counsel, [Alberto Gonzales] was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson’s wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must “preserve all materials” relevant to the investigation.

Think Progress relays:

On CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer noted that this time gap would have “give[n] people time to shred documents and do any number of things.” Gonzales argued that he asked for and received permission from the Justice Department to wait until the next morning to order White House staff to preserve all documents regarding their contacts with journalists about Valerie Plame.

Given that the Bush White House is now stonewalling the AP when asked "whether Card passed that information to top Bush aide Karl Rove or anyone else", I think it is safe to assume that the Bush White House took full advantage of a 12 hour window before they would officially be told to preserve the evidence.

So how much information could have been shredding in a Midnight Massacre? Well, it depends upon the shredding equipment. Swing State Project has compared four different shredders to estimate the volume of information that could have been destroyed during the 12 hour gap.

shredders-innodesk.jpg InnoDesk Paper Shredder

This light-weight, battery-powered personal shredder is a compact and even features a strap.

While this shredder is the "perfect size to shred receipts or other personal items at home or when traveling" – it does not offer a cross-cut so it probably lacks the security necessary to work in the White House (where everyone but the senior Bush Administration staff takes security very seriously).

shredders-ativa1800X.jpgAtiva X1800

This is a solid shredder with extra heavy-duty features that allow the Ativa X1800 to even shred CDs. For added security, it shreds paper into confetti-style bits with its cross-cut mechanism.

It can hold 18 sheets per pass and shred 7 feet per minute, making it suitable for minor cover-ups but it is probably not of the quality necessary for a Republican Administration.

shredders-fellowes480C.jpgFellows 480C

This is the type of high capacity business shredder you would expect to see in a place such as the White House. It shreds 24 sheets at a time and is powerful enough to shred staples and even paper clips.

For users engaging in a conspiracy to destroy evidence, it offers a "continuous-duty motor" which can shred 30 feet a minute. The specs on the Fellows480C say it can shred 10,000 pages per day, or at least 5,000 pages during the 12 hour gap.

shredders-GPC6060X.jpgGBC 606X

This is the type of shredder you expect a guy like Karl Rove to own. The GPC6060X boasts a 43-gallon collection bin, a 16" throat and "shreds up to 20,000 pages per day" on continuous duty.

A single GBC 6060X could have shredded 20 reams of paper during the 12 hour gap due to the 25' per minute shredding speed. For all-nighters, it features an "exclusive in-cabinet basket jog-foot pedal" which compacts shreds to allow for longer shredding time between bag changes. Again, a single GBC 6060X could have shredded 10,000 pages that night.

I think it is safe to assume that there is more than one shredder in the White House, which would multiple the volume accordingly. This looks bad, really bad. And the White House stonewall makes it look as bad as Nixon's 18 minute gap. But remember, this is "worse than Watergate"!

Posted at 05:10 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

OH-2: Hackett Approaching Milestone

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As of this moment, Paul Hackett has 2986 individual contributors to his ActBlue page, 14 shy of 3000. He is also on the cusp of reaching the magical $150,000 mark raised through ActBlue. This makes Hackett's ActBlue page the second highest in terms of money raised through the site ever (behind the kos dozen page).


Posted at 04:35 PM in Ohio | Technorati

Karl Rove Scandal: The Big Question Finally Asked

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Big victory for the folks at DailyKos who have asked the question each day for the past two weeks: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

Headline from the Washington Post: "What Did the President Know?"

But now Fitzgerald's investigation appears to have turned its focus to discrepancies in the testimony of White House senior adviser Karl Rove and vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Fitzgerald may be trying to determine whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges.

And that raises the issue of what -- if anything -- Rove and Libby told Bush and Cheney about their roles.

So does that mean Fitzgerald might call Bush and Cheney to testify before the grand jury -- under oath? Might he even have done so already? We have no idea, of course, because the White House isn't saying anything at all about the investigation anymore.

Can't wait to find out the answer on this one.

Posted at 04:15 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

IL-8: Melissa Bean Dissapoints...Again

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The final straw? I wonder if there is anyone from my hometown willing to mount a challenge to Congresswoman Bean in a Democratic Primary. I think it's safe to say the online money she received in 2004 isn't funding she can count on in 2006 (From the National Journal).

Separately, freshman Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., late Friday became the sixth Democrat to publicly embrace CAFTA.
I just called her office and will have more later as they are sending me information on why she had decided to support a bill so deeply flawed. Every single vote counts on this one, and to see Bean side with corporate interests over the people, again, is pretty tough for me to swallow.

Posted at 04:01 PM in Illinois | Comments (6) | Technorati

TN-Sen: DFA Rises up Against Harold Ford

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Let me just start out by saying upfront that I really don't know all that much about the details of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. I do, however, know enough that this story piqued my interest about a potential grassroots uprising against the presumed nomination of Harold Ford in his primary challenge against lesser-known Rosalind Kurita. It looks like a band of disaffected Kerry volunteers and DFA members ralled to overthrow the Shelby County Democratic Chairman; a chairman that supported Harold Ford for Senate, and had the support of Congressman Ford in the election for Chair.

The former group, the self-described “Coalition,” was one in fact as well as name. It was made up basically of two organizations – Mid-South Democrats in Action, a group of volunteers who’d been active for party nominee John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign and had felt short-shrifted by the established party leadership; and Democracy for Memphis, a local tributary of the reformist movement set in motion by erstwhile presidential hopeful Howard Dean, now national Democratic chairman. [...]

* Dissatisfaction with Ford’s increasingly conservative voting record and rightward-tilting campaign strategy. The two groups making up the Coalition are, in the long-accepted vernacular, “yellow-dog” Democrats, convinced that the chief cause of the party’s electoral reverses in recent years has been the accommodationist politics of over-cautious Democrats.

We are winning battles each and every day across the country. Like I said, I know next to nothing about Shelby County Tennessee, but when it comes down to it, I trust DFA members. This is what it's all about.

Posted at 02:46 PM in Tennessee | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Corrupted By Big Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg The Culture of Corruption in the Ohio Republican Party is disgusting. The Coingate Scandal shows how Republicans stole from the people to funnel money to dirty politicians.

Jean Schmidt, the Republican candidate in the August 2nd Special Election, is funding her campaign in a manner that shows her place in the corrupt Republican Party. She's funding her campaign with PACs and dirty money from Tom DeLay. Jean Schmidt was also busted for hiding gifts from fat-cat lobbyists. And now Jean Schmidt is trying to buy the race herself?

WASHINGTON - Republican Jean Schmidt kicked another $20,000 of her own money into the 2nd Congressional District race while raising more than $300,000 from other donors in recent weeks, according to a campaign-finance report filed Thursday. [...]

Schmidt's fund raising before the 11-way GOP primary June 14 consisted mostly of loans she made to herself.

Meanwhile, Paul Hackett is raising money a little at a time from a whole lot of people. Right now, his ActBlue page stands at $147350.59 from 2960 people.

Overwhelming support from ordinary people has allowed Hackett to cancel the advantage Schmidt's dirty money could have provided (Tim has more on how it happened).

Posted at 12:33 PM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Karl Rove Talking Points

Posted by Bob Brigham

Talking Points:

As the days go on, more is learned about White House involvement in the Valerie Plame CIA scandal. It was recently revealed that when the Department of Justice first notified Alberto Gonzales (then the White House counsel) that they were launching a criminal investigation into the leak of Plame’s identity, he was instructed to notify the White House staff to preserve all documents related to the case. But Gonzales didn't comply with the request immediately – instead he gave a heads up to Chief of Staff Andrew Card, letting him know that all White House staff would be told to preserve all documents related to the case the next morning. Gonzales’ call to Card gave him a 12-hour window to alert other White House staff, presumably giving them time to destroy or hide evidence. As speculation grows around the White House and this breach of our national security, Bush administration officials are remaining conspicuously silent.

* Gonzales’ reasoning for not immediately complying with the investigation doesn’t hold water. Gonzales defended his giving the White House a 12-hour head start, saying that he contacted the Department of Justice and it gave him the OK, effectively giving White House employees 12 hours to shred and destroy incriminating evidence. What Gonzales doesn’t say is that the DOJ and the investigation were both run by former Attorney General John Ashcroft, whom Karl Rove worked for over the course of two decades. Ashcroft had so many conflicts of interest in the Plame scandal that in December, 2003, he recused himself from the case.

* What was White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card’s role in the scandal? In addition to getting that 12-hour heads up from Alberto Gonzales, Andrew Card has been involved in the CIA leak scandal from the beginning. He was aboard Air Force One when the top secret State Department document that contained the identity of Valerie Wilson was also on board. Card also shares the blame with President Bush for allowing Karl Rove to stay on staff after it is evident that he lied to the American people about being involved in the Plame scandal.

* If Gonzales can answer questions about an ongoing investigation, why can’t Scott McClellan? Ever since Karl Rove’s involvement in the leak was revealed, both President Bush and White House press Secretary Scott McClellan have refused to answer any questions, citing “an ongoing criminal investigation.” However, on Fox News Sunday yesterday, Alberto Gonzales clearly commented on the investigation and answered questions about the leak, stating “I had no information regarding Ms. Plame and her role at the CIA.” Why can’t Scott McClellan or Karl Rove answer any questions?

From the DNC (via email release):


Gonzales Notified Card of Pending Justice Department Investigation Hours Before President and White House Staff. Attorney General and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez appeared on Fox News this weekend and admitted to having advance notice of the Justice Department's investigation into the Valerie Plame leak. On September 29, 2003 Gonzales, in his capacity as White House Councel, was notified of the investigation, Gonzales immediately contacted White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card but waited to notify Bush and the White House staff until the next morning. [Bloomberg, 7/25/05]


Who did Card speak to in the time between Gonzalez's notification and the official notification of the staff? Who did he call? Who did he email? The White House should release Card's phone records and his schedule from the time in question.

Posted at 11:55 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

John Bolton is Toast

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Buzzflash check Ragged Thots:

Then, as Josh Marshall points out, as part of her confirmation hearings for a State Department public relations position, Karen Hughes was, by law, obligated to answer a questionnaire, that among other things, asked whether there were any legal proceedings to which she might be a be part of: She admitted that she had testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury. Marshall points out, Bolton answered "no" on the questionnaire -- though, it turns out he also testified before the grand jury on the contents of the Plame memo.

If Bolton intentionally misled the Senate in his questionnaire, he's toast. End of story. [...]

The key is revealed in Clemons' latest post: He asserts that Bolton was a major source for NYT's Judith Miller, currently incarcerated for refusing to surrender a source's name to the Fitzgerald grand jury. Now, one has to toss in a couple of caveats here: Steve, of course, has to depend on an anonymous source that somehow "knows" that Bolton was an anonymous source for many of Miller's stories.

Still, bringing it all together: DC now has two major players potentially facing legal peril, a reporter in jail -- and the most contentious confirmation process ever for a nominee to the United Nations. But the link of Bolton to Miller -- and thus to the Plame-Rove story -- is what can turn a confusing, "silly summer season" story into Washington nuclear pyrotechnics.

Remember, Bolton has yet to be confirmed because the Bush White House is stonewalling the U.S. Senate.

Posted at 11:37 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

OH-2: Schmidt Calls on PACs to Ward Off Bloggers

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's time to ramp up the pressure on Jean Schmidt. Her latest FEC report and recent articles in the Cincinnati Enquirer paint a picture of a campaign facing a challenge that caught them completely off-guard. From Jean Schmidt's Recent FEC Reports:

Cash on Hand at Close of Reporting Period: $156,567
Debts and Obligations Owed BY the Committee: $213,150

That's a lot of debt for a candidate that has only raised about $350,000 in total as of the last major reporting period. Of course, the blogosphere nearly split that total in half for Paul Hackett in one day, shattering any expectations and catching the political pundit class completely by surprise. Jean Schmidt was left with no response other than to call on her friends at Political Action Committees across the country.

Since blogosphere day, Schmidt has raised $25,000 from a grand total of 14 PACs. By contrast the Hackett campaign's ActBlue page shows a diverse set of donors carrying the load.

Paul Hackett: 2873 contributors for $147,025.59 = $51.17 average
Jean Schmidt: 14 PAC contributions since b-day for $25,000 = $1,785 average

It's the people vs. the powerful, again. You can visit Paul Hackett's ActBlue page, or email info at hackettforcongress.com to volunteer (they have housing for all) .

Posted at 10:59 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Cover-up of John Roberts' Partisan Hack History

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) According to the AP, Roberts has now clammed up:

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts declined Monday to explain why he was listed in a Federalist Society leadership directory when the White House says he doesn't recall being a member of the conservative legal organization.

Scott McClellan lied to the entire press corps, even mocked them with the word "ridiculous" during the coordinated cover-up of the Karl Rove scandal. Well guess what jounalists, the White House is still playing you:

Several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported immediately after his nomination that Roberts had been a member of the Federalist Society. The AP and others printed corrections after the White House said later that Roberts doesn't recall ever belonging to the group.

The Washington Post reported Monday that it had obtained from a liberal group a 1997-98 Federalist Society leadership directory listing Roberts, then a partner in a private law firm, as being a steering committee member in the group's Washington chapter.

Who is misleading, the White House or Partisan Hack John Roberts?


John Roberts worked for two Republican administrations, offering private legal assessments that have yet to be opened to historians or the public. Now that Roberts is President Bush's choice to join the Supreme Court, some Senate Democrats want to see the documents he produced — all of them.

No, responded one White House representative. We'll see, said another.

Well? Which is it?

Atrios says:

Roberts is a made man whether or not he ever was part of the Federalist Society. Now we know he was an active member once but he just can't remember.

When they feel the need to lie about the little things (besides, wouldn't "Yeah, I was with them briefly but I didn't really fit in" been more effective?) we know they have no problem lying about the big ones...

Why is Roberts lying forgetting that he was a in a leadership role of a fringe political organization?

Chris Bowers says:

I wonder what else he has forgotten. Perhaps he has forgotten that he served a purely political position in the solicitor's general's office. Perhaps he has forgotten that he helped develop the strategy to circumvent the 2000 recount and allow the Florida legislature to give its electoral votes to Bush no matter what the recount found.

These seem to be things that even fellow Democrats are forgetting. This guy is not another David Souter. He is a partisan conservative, and he has been duly rewarded for his service to the Bush family.

He forgot--wtf? This is pretty damning. No wonder the Bush administration is blocking the release of some documents he has written.

Yes, John Roberts is just another partisan hack. But he's also a corporate shill, from David Sirota:

Not surprisingly, the Los Angeles Times today reports that Roberts is Corporate America's golden boy, handpicked by - you guessed it - the Chamber of Commerce. "He was the go-to lawyer for the business community. They are very comfortable with him," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who signed a letter in 2002 supporting Roberts' nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "He definitely is a friend of the chamber. Of all the candidates, he is the one they knew best."

Posted at 09:30 AM in Supreme Court | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, July 24, 2005

VA-Gov: Dead Heat

Posted by DavidNYC

Mason-Dixon has a new poll out in the Virginia Governor's race (likely voters, no trendlines):

Timothy Kaine (D): 38
Jerry Kilgore (R): 37
Russell Potts (I): 9
Undecided: 16
(MoE: ±4%)

Mason-Dixon did poll this race once before, but the poll is so old (Sept. 2004) that I don't think you can properly call it a trendline (plus it didn't include Potts). But for your edification, it showed Kilgore on top, 40-35, with 25% undecided at the time.

Russell Potts is a Republican-turned-independent who is pissed at the wingnut's seizure of his own party. He's clearly biting into Kilgore's support. However, this is the first poll I've seen which shows the race this tight, and also the first in which Potts has really shown up on the radar. That's not to say it's wrong - just that it's an outlier and bears close watching.

For example, SUSA had the race at 49-39-5 (Kilgore-Kaine-Potts) at the end of June. And Rasmussen had it at 47-41-4 (Kilgore-Kaine-Other) just ten days ago. As always, you can't directly compare polls from different outfits, given that every firm uses a different methodology and asks different questions. However, two out of three recent polls show Kilgore with a decent-to-sizable lead - as lawyers would say, this fact goes to the weight of the evidence.

Posted at 05:39 PM in Virginia | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-2: Live From My Hotel Room

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Since I arrived in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District to support Paul Hackett, I have been doing a lot of writing on the race. Unfortunately, much of it has been cross-posted here, there, and many other places to get as much traffic and as many volunteers and contributions as possible directed to the Hackett campaign. In the shuffle, Swing State Project readers have been deprived of the exclusive reporting you deserve when a co-author from the site is on-the-ground. So, for you, exclusively, here is my take after two days in SW Ohio.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and had no idea of what to expect. When I walked into Hackett for Congress Campgaign HQ, I was introduced to people, most in the office knew about Swing State Project and some of the work Bob, David, and I have done for the campaign, but I am not sure they many have made the connection to the huge role "Blogosphere Day" played in mobilizing contributions to the campaign. The campaign manager and the candidate do understand, for what its worth, and asked me to thank you (SSP readers & Bloggers at large) specifically for your hard work and contributions that day.

Clermont County Democratic Headquarters and Hackett for Congress Campaign HQ are right next to eachother. It's in the mid 90's right now, but neither of the offices have air conditioning that works consistently. That has not stopped both of them from being filled on a daily basis. For 72 hours straight, the offices have been staffed, even through the night, by people from inside the district and others who have come in to help from different organizations--primarily D.C. Across the street is Republican Party Headquarters, staring each other down on a daily basis.

One of my first in-depth discussions was with the Campaign Manager, David Woodruff. The first question he asked me was, "How did blogosphere day happen? Why did it happen?" We talked for about 15 minutes about the convergence of events that played off eachother to squeeze out every ounce of support the campaign received that day. The DFA email, the grassroots produced commercial, and the work of bloggers spreading the word all worked together synergistically to provide what can be termed (for lack of a better word), "A Perfect Storm" online.

On Friday night, a few of the people from Ohio and outside the state all went out to share a meal together at around 9 P.M. Back at headquarters, walk-lists were being spit out of a printer for the next days canvass. When we were done talking about this campaign, and other many of us had worked on, we headed back to campaign headquarters. I polished off a blog entry, and left with a member of the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) to check into the hotel room we are sharing for the week. Then, we enjoyed a few hours out at a local pub while sharing stories about Ohio politics, the upcoming canvass, and the impact blogs have had on the political process and how the Internet can be used effectively by the ODP (This will Earl happy, we had a long discussion about Orchid Suites).

I shook out the cobwebs at around 7 A.M. the next morning to get ready for the canvass. As you have no doubt read by now, it was a tremendous success. People at campaign headquarters were beaming all afternoon about the success of the first full-scale, district-wide, canvass that covered all seven counties in the district. I spent much of the day getting photos uploaded onto my computer and writing the piece that I put out yesterday. I also had an opportunity to have some lunch with Chris Baker of The OH-2 blog; that's the one that really started it all as far as online knowledge distribution goes for the special election. For the rest of the day/night, I had some serious problems uploading the video from the event, but late last night at around midnight, and I finally got it to work and posted them on the web this afternoon.

In about an hour, I am going to head out into some of the smaller counties to take photos for Grow Ohio. The photo I am most excited about is an abandonded manufacturing plant with a huge sign infront of it that says, "Wal-Mart coming soon." If that doesn't say it all...

In short, I didn't know if I would be able to honestly tell the readers of Swing State Project and others around the blogosphere that this candidate actually had a shot. To be sure, it will be an uphill battle where pretty much everything must go right. Will it? I don't know. But what I do know for sure is that everything that has had to happen, is happening. If we can keep this up for another week and continue to improve upon our efforts, we just might see one of the biggest upsets in Ohio Congressional history unfold on August 2nd.

Posted at 02:21 PM in Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

Bush Administration Lied to American People

Posted by Bob Brigham

They spoke to Rove:

Scott McClellan at a briefing Sept. 29, 2003.

Q. All right, let me just follow up. You said this morning, quote, "The president knows that Karl Rove wasn't involved." How does he know that?

A. Well, I've made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. I saw some comments this morning from the person who made that suggestion backing away from that. And I said it is simply not true. So - I mean, it's public knowledge I've said that it's not true.

Q. Well, how …

A. And I have spoken with Karl Rove. I'm not going to get into conversations that the president has with advisers or staff, or anything of that nature. That's not my practice.

Q. But the president has a factual basis for knowing that Karl Rove …

A. Well, I said it publicly. I said that - and so, I've made it very clear.

Q. I'm not asking what you said, I'm asking if the president has a factual basis for saying - for your statement that he knows Karl Rove …

A. He's aware of what I said, that there is simply no truth to that suggestion. And I have - I have spoken with Karl about it.…

McClellan mocked the press corps by calling Rove's involvement "ridiculous" -- AND BUSH CLEARED IT. Either Bush and McClellan lied or Rove lied. Whoever lied has got to go, we impeach people over lying to the American people. Somebody has got to go.

Posted at 12:30 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

OH-02: Saturday with Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg Major Paul Hackett wants be the first veteran from the current Iraq War to also serve in Congress. This change of duty came a step closer yesterday when the Hackett camp had a successful day of organizing, both Tagaris and Crazy Catwoman were there, she says, "I will definitely do it again next Saturday." When she does, she'll be joined by Toledo Councilman Frank Szollosi among many others.

But today, I want to talk about the odds. From Chris Baker's OH-02:

In the closing days of the campaign you are going to hear more and more from the cynics and Beltway loser mentality liberals about how Hackett can’t win this race because it is such a solid Republican district. None of them have watched Republicans talk to Paul Hackett. None of it means anything.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game poker is what they call pot odds.

The typical Beltway Democrat will look at a race and if there isn’t a high chance of winning say forget it and save their money.[...]

What are the pot odds for the Democrats in the Ohio 2nd? The return for the Republicans is minimal. They aren’t going to win much of anything if Jean Schmidt wins. But for the Democrats the pot odds are massive. This is Bush’s home turf. This is the reddest district in the state that handed Bush the presidency. If the Democrats win here they will have punched open a breach in the heart of the Republican defenses. Suddenly all of the momentum will have shifted. Suddenly everyone will be listening to what Paul Hackett has to say and using his tactics to win other races.

Any poker player could tell you that the pot odds in this race are so good that you would be a fool not to bet on it. So in the coming days as you read more and more about what a hopeless race this is, do as Paul Hackett does and quote to them Thomas Paine: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Tim Tagaris is on the ground, he'll be posting here and on Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:06 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Saturday, July 23, 2005

OH-2: On-the-Ground Exclusive

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As Bob noted, I am in Ohio's Second Congressional District for the special election between Paul Hackett and Jean Schmidt. I will have much more later, but I want to say two things in the interim.

1.) I met two SSP readers today, and that was quite a pleasure and completely unexpected.

2.) This is a tale of two campaigns, as the photos below illustrate. For more information, please check-in at Grow Ohio, where I will be posting more frequently.

Democratic HQ @ 2 P.M.
Republican HQ @ 2 P.M.

Posted at 02:10 PM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Mobilizing his Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today is a big day in the OH-02 Special Election. This is the second to last Saturday before the election and the last focused on persuading and ID'ing voters.

Tim Tagaris is somewhere in Ohio's second congressional right now. He'll have move throughout the day, but for now go check out the HQ locations.

I'm going to be up on a mountain today, but Tim's on the ground. If you haven't, go make a donation.

Posted at 11:00 AM in Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

We Write Letters

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dear Friend,

I'm supporting Chris Bowers for Committeeperson, Ward 27, Division 2 because I think Chris has the right stance on issues affecting our community. That's why I think Chris should receive Democracy for America's endorsement. Democracy for America (DFA) supports fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates all over the country. One of DFA's main criteria is grassroots support. You can help Chris Bowers receive DFA's endorsement by recommending Chris on Democracy for America's website:



Bob Brigham

More here after starting here.

Posted at 10:07 PM in Netroots | Technorati

PA-06: Atrios Endorses Lois Murphy

Posted by Bob Brigham

NOTE: Swing State Project will report on bloggers' ActBlue lists. Here is the Swing State Project Candidate List


It feels like November 2006 is a long time from now, but it's amazing how time flies. I'm certainly not going to do the hard sell on fundraising for candidates any time soon (the Paul Hackett special election on August 2 was of course an exception). And, my default position is to stay out of any seriously contested primaries, though that isn't necessarily an unbreakable rule. On the other hand helping to finance candidates early gives them more free time to press the flesh and as they have to spend less time in the coldcall fundraising dungeon.

I've added Lois Murphy to my list of candidates, which you can find in the link to the left. Murphy's running in PA 6 against the odious Jim Gerlach. Gerlach just had a fundraiser with Karl Rove so you know he puts his personal political concerns over the national security of this country. Murphy only lost by about 7,000 votes in '04, with at least one local network affiliate calling the race (incorrectly) for her.

Last year, Atrios moved so much coin people called him Mr. Noe. This is good news for Murphy. Since we love SEPA and competitive races, Swing State Project will be closely following the race.

Posted at 06:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Pennsylvania | Technorati

OH-02: Tim Tagaris In-District

Posted by Bob Brigham

Tim Tagaris has arrived in Ohio's second congressional district. Of course, he has the normal toolkit of laptop, cell phone, and AV.

He'll have on the ground updates of the OH-02 Special Election.

Posted at 04:04 PM in Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

MoveOn: Tell the media: Don't forget Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove scandal that has engulfed the entire past and present Senior Staff at the Bush White House is "bigger than Watergate" and demands attention.

MoveOn has been very disciplined in focusing attention on the scandal. Now, they have a campaign to organize netroots activists to write letters-to-the-editor. I would suggest that you take 5 minutes to let your community and local press know more about the importance of the scandal by writing a letter.

We are still waiting to see who history will remember as the Woodward and Beinstein in the leak scandal. Encourage the press to get to the bottom of the scandal -- we deserve it. Full email in extended entry.

Like a roller coaster, the news out of Washington this week has been an up and down ride. On Monday, the entire country was focused on Karl Rove's leak of the identity of an undercover CIA operative to the media. Then President Bush announced his nominee for the Supreme Court on primetime TV—nearly pushing the Rove story out of the news. The timing was intentional, a top Republican told Reuters: "It helps take Rove off the front pages for a week.”1 Monday, there were 1,043 news stories mentioning "Karl Rove" on top TV stations—yesterday there were 128.2

But last night, Bloomberg broke a major new part of the story: Rove’s explanation to the grand jury of how he learned Valerie Plame’s identity differs sharply from the explanations journalists gave.3 That could mean Rove lied to the grand jury—a felony. We need to make sure the media get back on the case. One easy way to do that is on the Letters-to-the-Editor page of newspapers. We've set up an online tool that makes submitting a letter easy. You write your letter, choose where you want it to go, and click to send. Will you write a letter to the editor? Click below to get started.


An effective letter-to-the-editor is short, just a couple of paragraphs. The goal is to show your local media, your neighbors, and even our elected leaders that people are upset about the Rove leak scandal.

Your letter will be very timely. Now, there are new revelations about a memo that made it clear to White House officials that CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity was a secret. The memo is evidence that there are probably multiple people involved in this CIA leak scandal.4

The Rove leak is scandalous because everybody agrees White House officials shouldn't blow the cover of our undercover CIA agents. An ABC News poll shows that a solid majority of Americans—some 75 percent—support firing Rove for what he did. This is true even among 71 percent of Republicans.5 But, so far, Republicans in Washington are ignoring the facts. It is important that the media hears that people are angry about the Rove leak so they keep reporting on developments in the case.

The outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame is more outrageous because Karl Rove and the other White House leakers clearly had a political, not a patriotic, agenda. Ambassador Joe Wilson was refuting the bogus claims by the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Revealing the undercover identity of Wilson’s CIA agent wife was an attempt to discredit Ambassador Wilson and silence critics of the Iraq war. The lies that Wilson exposed were central to the rationale for war the Bush administration sold the American people.

Your letter can send a signal to the media that people don't want officials in important government positions who put their political agenda ahead of their patriotism. We can insist on media coverage of the White House leak. Please write a letter today.


There is also good news from Congress—the Democrats are standing up and working hard to make sure there is accountability. Today, Senate and House Democrats will hold their own hearings on the national security implications of the leak. They’ll hear from former CIA agents including a former classmate of Valerie Plame. The hearings will be chaired by Senator Byron Dorgan and Congressman Henry Waxman.

Together, we pushed stories like the Downing Street Memos into the news. Let's jumpstart the Karl Rove story.

Thanks for all you do.

–Tom, Carrie, Wes, James and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Friday, July 22nd, 2005

P.S. Our TV ad exposes the White House cover-up of Karl Rove's CIA leak. We beat our goal of $100,000—will you help us meet our new goal of $150,000 and keep the ads on another week?


1. Bush believed to be close to Supreme Court decision, Reuters. July 19, 2005

2. Analysis by MoveOn.org Political Action staff of monitoring from www.tveyes.com

3. Rove, Libby Accounts in CIA Case Differ With Those of Reporters. Bloomberg. July 22, 2005

4. Plame’s Identity Marked as Secret. The Washington Post, July 21, 2005

5. ABC News Poll, July 18, 2005.

Posted at 02:23 PM in Netroots | Technorati

DLC and the Political 11th Commandment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment was, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Reagan understood that it was counter-productive to triangulate against members of one's own Party.

This cap is lifted when a Democrat triangulates against fellow Democrats. Associating with the DLC, lifts the cap. The DLC is only relevant to the extent they attack Democrats, water-down message, and break solidarity. Smart politicians are fleeing the DLC but those who remain are fair game.

Kos says:

Three presidential contenders are trekking to the DLC's annual conference in Ohio, giving the organization a boost of legitimacy at a time when it faces increasing irrelevance in the political scene.

Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, and Tom Vilsack are all dutifully trecking to Ohio to worship at the altar of the "vital center" -- that elusive moving target that has conspired to rob Democrats of all conviction. Every time you hear a Democrat talk about how Democrats don't stand for anything? That's the DLC, as they urge Democrats to chase after a "center" that gets constantly redefined rightward by an ideologically principled Republican party.

As we strive to find our core convictions, and define who we are and what we stand for as a party, the DLC is one of the roadblocks -- a divisive, fundamentalist organization willing to sell any and all progressive ideals to the altar of big business. And anything that threatens their dominance has met with their ire -- be it Howard Dean, the netroots, or regular people suddenly interested in transforming and reforming the Democratic Party.

Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party.
(emphasis mine)

Remember what wrote last month...

The DLC is in debt for the hatchet job against (now DNC Chairman) Howard Dean and in 2007 the bill will come due. Under the turnabout is fair play rule this is certainly valid and the score will not only be settled, but settled with interest. Bayh, Vilsack, Clinton...it doesn't really matter who, for the result is the same when one lies down with dogs.

As Kos continues:

It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.

The choice seems clear.

Posted at 01:48 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Karen Hughes and Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via email, I received an important DNC Press Release on Karen Huges: Queen of the Spin-Doctors and Captain of the White House Smear Campaign. Full post in extended entry.

Karen Hughes, Queen of the Spin-Doctors
and Captain of the White House Smear Campaign

President Bush has nominated his closest adviser, Karen Hughes, to be Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. In this new position, Hughes will be responsible for kick-starting America’s diplomatic marketing effort in the Muslim world. However, Hughes’ involvement in the Bush Administration’s manipulation of pre-war intelligence, her leadership role in the White House smear campaigns against Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke, and her potential involvement with the Plame leak, makes her an unlikely candidate for this position.

Hughes Involved in Pre-War Manipulation of Intelligence...Hughes Part of Iraq Working Group, Which Set Strategy for Marketing War in Iraq. Despite formally leaving the White House in July of 2002, Hughes was one of the regular participants in the White House Iraq Group which set the strategy for going to war in Iraq. The “internal working group”, which was began its formal coordination in August of 2002, was responsible for marketing the war in Iraq and involved other political strategists such as Mary Matalin, Karl Rove, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and Andy Card. Card hinted at the WHIG’s mission to the New York Times saying “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” [Washington Post, 8/10/03; KTVT, 7/8/02]

Escalation of False Rhetoric Regarding Iraqi Threat Came After Formation of White House Iraq Group. The Washington Post reported that the “escalation of nuclear rhetoric” during the pre-war stage, “ including the introduction of the term ‘mushroom cloud’ into the debate, coincided with the formation of a White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a task force assigned to ‘educate the public’ about the threat from Hussein, as a participant put it.” [Washington Post, 8/10/03]

Hughes Was Intimately Involved In Preparation Of Discredited 2003 State Of The Union. The Houston Chronicle reported that Hughes “was involved in drafting the speech.” Hughes said that convincing Americans of the dangers of Iraq was a primary goal of the speech. Hughes: “What people want to hear is the comprehensive logic: Why is Saddam Hussein's continued defiance a threat to our country and to peace in the world?” [Houston Chronicle, 1/27/03; NBC Today, 1/28/03]

…And Led White House Smear Campaigns to Cover Up the Lies


Hughes Claimed She Would Not Engage In Anonymous Attacks And Wanted To “Elevate Political Dialogue.” “I worry that Christians, myself included, give Christianity a bad name because we so often fail to model the love and humility displayed by the life of Jesus Christ,” she writes [in her new book “Ten Minutes from Normal”]. Hughes, in what she called an effort to elevate political dialogue, vowed that she will no longer provide quotes to reporters without attaching her name to them. “I admit in the book: In the past, I’ve done it myself,” she said. “You tend to be harsher and meaner when you can make those charges anonymously.” [Washington Post, 3/29/04]


Hughes Led Attempts To Smear Richard Clarke. The New York Times reported, “Ms. Hughes was an advocate of the howitzer treatment of Mr. Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief who was attacked by the White House as politically motivated and dishonest. She was also a sounding board for Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, who reached out to Ms. Hughes this week for advice on how to present her case against the criticisms of Mr. Clarke, who said she had ignored his dire warnings about terrorism.” [New York Times, 3/28/04]

Hughes Admitted To Being Involved In Attempts To Smear Clarke. When asked by Barbara Walters on 20/20 whether she was involved in the White House’s response to Richard Clarke’s allegations, Hughes said, “I'm involved in White House discussions about those issues, and I try to help… I think, from personal knowledge, that many of the things he said are not true.” [ABC’s 20/20, 3/29/04]

Hughes Constructed Strategy To Defend Against Criticisms Of Bush’s Use Of False Evidence In The State of the Union, Focusing On Discrediting Democrats. After the Niger/uranium scandal escalated, the White House struggled to confront the charges. Hughes helped to devise a communications plan. As reported by USA Today, the plan was to: “Most important: Question the motives of Democrats who supported the war but now are criticizing the president.” [USA Today, 7/24/03]


White House Iraq Group Subpoenaed In Leak Probe. In March 2004, the investigation of who leaked the identity of undercover CIA operative to the media subpoenaed all White House records pertaining to the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) from July 6 through July 30, 2003. Hughes was a member of the WHIG. [Newsday, 3/6/03]

Hughes Defended Rove In Leak Charge. Hughes said that the public disclosure of a CIA operative's name was a disservice to the president and “very disruptive to democracy.” Hughes “said she was confident that her fellow Texan and sometime rival, Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, didn't leak the name to a syndicated columnist because ‘Karl has said that he was not involved.’” [Houston Chronicle, 10/2/03]


GAO Said Administration Failing To Develop A Strategy To Improve US Image Abroad. The GAO criticized the administration in April 2005 for failing to develop a strategy to improve the image of the United States as "recent polling data show that anti-Americanism is spreading and deepening around the world." The report warned that anti-American sentiments could increase support for terrorism. [Washington Post, 4/18/05]

Despite Administration Failures, Hughes Delayed Reporting to State Department. Hughes isn't slated to arrive in Washington, where she still faces a confirmation vote, until the fall. The frustration of some diplomats has prompted quiet criticism of Hughes for waiting so long after her March nomination to join the team. "She should have joined immediately," said one diplomat. [The White House Bulletin, 6/23/05]

Arab Leaders Worried About Hughes Appointment. James Zogby, director of the Arab-American Institute, who has advised several administrations on both policy and public diplomacy in the Arab world, worries that Hughes will adopt "what seems to be in vogue today - the explanation that (the Arabs) don't really dislike us, they dislike their own governments, so if we advocate freedom, we'll win" as the main message for Washington to crank out to the region. [Inter-Press Service, 3/15/05]

Muslim Community Skeptical of Hughes Appointment. Muslims are skeptical of Hughes’s appointment, saying that Bush administration policies, chiefly the war in Iraq, remain sources of animosity and distrust in the Muslim world. "We can reduce anti-Americanism, but it is difficult to salvage anti-Bushism," said Muqtedar Khan, director of international studies at Adrian (Mich.) College. If Hughes makes it her task to defend the Bush administration, her appointment will prove to be "a waste of time and money," Khan said. [Religion News Service, 3/16/05]


Hughes Defended Politicizing 9-11 In Campaign Ads. In March 2004, during the early stages of the presidential campaign, the Bush campaign released an ad showing the charred shell of the World Trade Center, and another showing firefighters removing shrouded remains from ground zero. A firefighters union and relatives of victims objected to the politicization of 9-11. Discussing the campaign on CNN, Ms. Hughes said of the ads: ''I think it's very tasteful.” [NYT, 3/5/04]

Hughes Linked Pro-Choice Supporters to Terrorists. “Wolf Blitzer asked the Bush adviser whether abortion would be an issue in this election. ‘Well, Wolf, it’s always an issue,’ she answered. ‘And I frankly think it’s changing somewhat. I think after September 11th the American people are valuing life more and realizing that we need policies to value the dignity and worth of every life.’ Just in case anyone didn’t get it, she added that ‘the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life.’” [Goodman, Washington Post Writers Group, 4/30/04, accessed on workingforchange.com]

For more information on the scandal, visit our Karl Rove Blog.

Posted at 01:25 PM in DNC Chair, Plamegate, Republicans | Technorati

How to Talk to Bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Following yesterday's Washington Post article on the Democratic Blogger Swarm, it appears that it is time once again to visit the ongoing discussion on politics and the blogosphere.

Last week, Tim Tagaris looked at candidates joining the discussion which picked up where he left off with the famous ATM post. Today, John Aravosis posted Online Etiquette 2.0. It is a great post -- read it (Atrios says, "Good Advice"). I would like to add one item:

10. Format appropriately.

As we saw with yesterday's posting of GOP internal memo on John Roberts, bloggers like to get good stuff and many of us will liberally dump content in extended entries. So don't send bloggers PDF's of text documents. If you're really smart, you can send it as a text email with simple HTML formatting (bold, links, italic). Next best is send an HTML email. Remember that many bloggers won't open attached documents. So if you have a pic, the best way is to send a link.

Posted at 12:46 PM in Netroots | Technorati

NDN: A Commitment to Hope and Progress

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via the NDN Blog, the re-release of the NDN Agenda: A Commitment to Hope and Progress. Full copy in extended.

A Commitment to Hope and Progress
NDN's Agenda for the First Decade of the 21st Century

1. Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century Global Economy: Enact a 21st century economic strategy that will help all Americans succeed in the global economy and create broad-based prosperity and opportunity; restore fiscal responsibility and genuine progressivity in the tax code; champion free and fair trade; ensure the integrity and vitality of America’s capital markets and the U.S. dollar; promote entrepreneurship, innovation and broad access to capital; update national telecommunications policy to foster universal broadband; enact a new national energy strategy that will encourage energy independence in part by increasing production here at home; and protect and promote the retirement security of all Americans.

2. Assert Responsible Global Leadership: Win the war on terrorism and end international conflicts that threaten our interests and values; foster security and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan; ensure that America's military is the strongest, most agile, and best equipped in the world and our nation honors the service of our veterans; combat AIDS and other pandemics that threaten global stability; and work together with our allies and international organizations to advance democracy, human rights, liberty, free markets, opportunities for women, and rising standards of living across the world.

3. Protect the Homeland: Implement a comprehensive homeland security strategy; improve our nation's counter terrorism intelligence capabilities and performance; ensure that those on the frontlines have the very best tools, training and support to protect our communities; secure our nation's borders and ports without impeding the free flow of goods and people; and fight to protect the civil liberties for all Americans that have long been the envy of the world.

4. Strengthen Families and Communities: Put families, children and communities at the very center of our agenda by improving the nation's schools through higher standards, greater accountability, more choices for parents, quality teachers, and promised additional resources; fostering family friendly policies that help parents succeed at work and at home; expanding college opportunities; promoting safe neighborhoods, home ownership, and personal responsibility; keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare; embracing immigrants seeking a better life in America; and striving towards equal opportunity for all.

5. Modernize Our Health Care System: Increase access to quality and affordable healthcare; address the rapid rise of healthcare costs; ensure the solvency and effectiveness of Medicare and Medicaid; and invest in and encourage the extraordinary promise of the knowledge revolution in science and medical care.

6. Respect Our Natural Heritage and Move Towards Energy Independence: Fight for clean air, land, and water; combat global warming; strive for energy independence through improved efficiency, greater production here at home, and investment in renewable energy sources; and preserve our national resources so that they are available not only for the recreational uses so important to our quality of life, but also for those future generations of Americans to whom we owe our greatest responsibility.

7. Encourage Civic Participation: Foster engagement in our democracy and civic life by making it easier to register and vote, ensuring all can have a voice in the national debate, and promoting civic education along with an ethic of political participation and national service.

Posted at 12:39 PM in Democrats | Technorati

OH-02: Max Cleland: Send a Marine to Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) Via Chris Bowers, Paul Hackett is doing Al Franken today. Tune in.

Democrats are fired up for Paul Hackett. The midnight scoop by Tim Tagaris (Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt, rec'd on Daily Kos) has compounded the momentum.

The coingate scandal is reminding everyone about Jean Schmidt and her deeping scandals.

While Schmidt sinks, Democrats are coming together to send a marine to Congress. Mayor Paul Hackett received a major show of support from Max Cleland. Over at MyDD, Ann Driscoll covers a Hackett Veterans' Event with Max Cleland.

Also, the DNC sent a few million netroots Democrats an email from Cleland. Full copy in the extended entry.

Marine Major and Democrat Paul Hackett could be a first for our country -- the first veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be elected to Congress. He fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel.

Paul Hackett knows what's really happening in Iraq. And, he's ready to take his experience to Washington. He's running in the August 2nd special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District stretching from just outside Cincinnati eastward along the Ohio River.

Paul's campaign has a tough fight against some of the most entrenched special interests in Ohio. His opponent, Jean Schmidt, is a favorite of the corrupt and ever-present Republican establishment -- one that never misses an opportunity to smear and cheat.

Take a look at a day in the life of the two candidates. On the night of October 25, 2004, Jean Schmidt had dinner at an expensive restaurant and partied at a Bengals game in Cincinnati. Her trip, sponsored by a global bio-tech lobbyist, yielded yet another ethics scandal for Ohio Republicans.

That same evening, Paul and his men were keeping insurgents' supplies from entering war-torn Falluja. They ate the standard-issue MRE and fought to defend Iraqi civilians and their fellow troops.

At the end of the day, the choice for voters couldn't be clearer. In Jean Schmidt, they have the hand-picked choice of the backslapping insiders who sell the process to the highest-bidding right-wing group or corporate interest.

In Paul Hackett, voters have someone with first-hand experience in uniform and the drive to solve problems and put us on the right track. He proudly served his country in Iraq, and he's ready to serve in Washington.

So, take a moment and read the article about Paul Hackett below. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about what's happening in Ohio's 2nd District because it's a preview of what's to come next year -- real leaders stepping up to serve at a time of abuse of power and corruption in government.


Thank you,

Senator Max Cleland

If you haven't, go donate to Hackett. The current total stands at $137,024.02 from 2,728 online Democrats.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

Sen. Democratic Policy Committee and House Gov. Reform Committee Hearing on Leak

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watch live on C-SPAN 3. I'll use this thread for updates. Here is the background on today's committee investigation

UPDATE: (Bob) Check out the c-span live blog at Mahablog and Republic of T.

UPDATE: (Bob) DC Media Girl has Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony (full remarks posted in extended entry)

UPDATE: (Bob) Good Americans are talking about the hearings over at AmericaBlog.

UPDATE: (Bob) Great moments in mainstream media asking great questions and getting proportional responses:

Carl, and then I'll go to Bob.

Q Scott, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, lead by Byron Dorgan, along with the Democrats of the House Government Reform Committee, are going to hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the leaking of classified information and the damage that it could cause. Do you think that that investigation that they're conducting on -- just Democrats is helpful?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that it's helpful for all of us to make sure we're doing our part to allow the people overseeing the investigation to do their job. And that's what we've been doing from this White House. And I really don't have anything to add beyond that.

UPDATE: (Bob) Building is NOT being evacuated.

UPDATE: (Bob) Daily Kos has Live Open Thread.

UPDATE: (Bob) If you have surround sound, put your settings to "Hall" (or equivalent)...if you're looking for something to read, browse our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Via DC Media Girl, Larry Johnson's prepared opening testimony:

Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats.


by Larry C. Johnson I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 as a member of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch had written a letter of recommendation on my behalf and I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA. From the first day all members of my training class were undercover. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife. Most of us were given official cover, which means that on paper we worked for some other U.S. Government Agency. People with official cover enjoy the benefits of an official passport, usually a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card. It accords the bearer the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. At the time I only knew her as Valerie P. Even though all of us in the training class held Top Secret Clearances, we were asked to limit our knowledge of our other classmates to the first initial of their last name. So, Larry J. knew Val P. rather than Valerie Plame. Her name did not become a part of my consciousness until her cover was betrayed by the Government officials who gave columnist Robert Novak her true name.

Although Val started off with official cover, she later joined a select group of intelligence officers a few years later when she became a NOC, i.e. a Non-Official Cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. She was using cover, which we now know because of the leak to Robert Novak, of the consulting firm Brewster-Jennings. When she traveled overseas she did not use or have an official passport. If she had been caught engaged in espionage activities while traveling overseas without the black passport she could have been executed.

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department. Some reports, such as one in the Washington Times that Valerie Plame’s supervisor at the CIA, Fred Rustman, said she told friends and family she worked at the CIA and that her cover was light. These claims are not true. Rustman, who supervised Val in one of her earliest assignments, left the CIA in 1990 and did not stay in social contact with Valerie. His knowledge of Val’s cover is dated. He does not know what she has done during the past 15 years.

Val only told those with a need to know about her status in order to safeguard her cover, not compromise it. Val has never been a flamboyant, insecure person who felt the need to tell people what her “real” job was. She was content with being known as an energy consultant married to Joe Wilson and the mother of twins. Despite the repeated claims of representatives for the Republican National Committee, the Wilson’s neighbors did not know where Valerie really worked until Novak’s op-ed appeared.

I would note that not a single member of our training class has come forward to denounce Valerie or question her bona fides. To the contrary, those we have talked to have endorsed what those of us who have left the CIA are doing to defend her reputation and honor.

As noted in the joint letter submitted to Congressional leaders earlier this week, the RNC is repeating the lie that Valerie was nothing more than a glorified desk jockey and could not possibly have any cover worth protecting. To those such as Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, P. J. O’Rourke, and Representative Roy Blunt I can only say one thing—you are wrong. I am stunned that some political leaders have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak’s compromise of Valerie caused even more damage. It subsequently led to scrutiny of her cover company. This not only compromised her “cover” company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

Another false claim is that Valerie sent her husband on the mission to Niger. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report issued in July 2004, it is clear that the Vice President himself requested that the CIA provide its views on a Defense Intelligence Agency report that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. The Vice President’s request was relayed through the CIA bureaucracy to the Director of the Counter Proliferation Division at the CIA. Valerie worked for a branch in that Division.

The Senate Intelligence Report is frequently cited by Republican partisans as “proof” that Valerie sent her husband to Niger because she sent a memo describing her husband’s qualifications to the Deputy Division Chief. Several news personalities, such as Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly continue to repeat this nonsense as proof. What the Senate Intelligence Committee does not include in the report is the fact that Valerie’s boss had asked her to write a memo outlining her husband’s qualifications for the job. She did what any good employee does; she gave her boss what he asked for.

The decision to send Joe Wilson on the mission to Niger was made by Valerie’s bosses. She did not have the authority to sign travel vouchers, issue travel orders, or expend one dime of U.S. taxpayer dollars on her own. Yet, she has been singled out by the Republican National Committee and its partisans as a legitimate target of attack. It was Karl Rove who told Chris Matthews, “Wilson’s wife is fair game”.

What makes the unjustified and inappropriate attacks on Valerie Plame and her reputation so unfair is that there was no Administration policy position stipulating that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium in February 2002. That issue was still up in the air and, as noted by SSCI, Vice President Cheney himself asked for more information.

At the end of the day we are left with these facts. We went to war in Iraq on the premise that Saddam was reacquiring weapons of mass destruction. Joe Wilson was sent on a mission to Niger in response to a request initiated by the Vice President. Joe Wilson supplied information to the CIA that supported other reports debunking the claim that Saddam was trying to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger. When Joe went public with his information, which had been corroborated by the CIA in April 2003, the response from the White House was to call him a liar and spread the name of his wife around.

We sit here more than two years later and the storm of invective and smear against Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie, continues. I voted for George Bush in November of 2000 because I wanted a President who knew what the meaning of “is” was. I was tired of political operatives who spent endless hours on cable news channels parsing words. I was promised a President who would bring a new tone and new ethical standards to Washington.

So where are we? The President has flip flopped and backed away from his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are implicated in these leaks. Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson. This is wrong.

Without firm action by President Bush to return to those principles he promised to follow when he came to Washington, I fear our political debate in this country will degenerate into an argument about what the meaning of “leak” is. We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot expend its efforts attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

You can find more in our backfiles on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

OH-2: Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Paul Hackett just filed his most recent FEC report (pre-special) and it looks like Blogosphere Day doubled up his Cash on Hand (CoH) -- and in what was previously unthinkable, propelled him into a fundraising lead over Jean Schmidt down the stretch.

As you will read, Schmidt is responding. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pour through Schmidt's FEC reports and find as many untoward contributions from questionable characters and forward it to me. I will make sure the press in SW Ohio gets it, perpetuating the meme of another ethically challenged Republican (my email address is to the right).

Paul Hackett -- Period: 05/26/2005 Through 07/13/2005
Total Raised: 166299.69
Raised this reporting period: 154624.69
Cash on Hand: 62025.83

Total Take on & since Blogosphere Day (post-reporting period): At least $120,000 from small donors

By contrast, Jean Schmidt's proven ability to raise money hand-over-fist from lobbyists and ethically challenged Congressmen hasn't been enough to completely outdistance herself financially.

Jean Schmidt -- Period: 05/26/2005 Through 07/13/2005
Total Raised: $354648.45
Raised this reporting period: $308951.00
Cash on Hand: $156567.00

It also looks like the Schmidt Campaign is in full panic mode after Blogosphere Day. Candidates are required to report, within 48 hours, any contributions given to them, and Schmidt's big-dollar backers have countered (Report 1 & Report 2).

Since Blogosphere Day:
Report 1: $10,500
Report 2: $11,200
Total: $21,700 (14 contributors)

July 16 - 19: $32,700

Hackett has also filed a number of 48 hour reports, boosting his total and propelling him into the lead.

Schmidt total CoH (assuming she hasn't spent any): $210,967
Hackett total CoH (assuming he hasn't spent any): $230,725

Posted at 12:04 AM in Ohio | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Weekend Political Weather Report

Posted by Bob Brigham

Political Heat Wave Special Report… It is looking like an unbearably hot weekend, but first we have a report that the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority joint committee will be meeting at 10AM Eastern tomorrow. The hearing will be investigating the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer. This should be a media circus, it is going to make for great stories. But more importantly, this will mark a significant escalation of congressional action to address the Karl Rove Scandal. The weather is expected to be stuffy and unseasonably hot.

It will hit the papers on Saturday -- the forecast calls for dry and windy. I recommend grabbing a cold beverage and reading up on John Roberts (also enjoy the GOP internal memo).

Sunday could see record highs. Skip the talking heads, it will be boring (each time a Democrat is asked about John Roberts you're going to hear an answer talking about the Karl Rove scandal). The opinion pages will be combustible. When it gets this hot and the wind begins to whip, it doesn't take much start a wild fire.

Next week, the heatwave will continue with no end in sight.

UPDATE EMERGENCY WARNING - The Damn is about to Break:

Operation Save Rove's Ass is about to be dealt another serious blow, as their flanking attack with Roberts was at best a minor diversion. Roberts proved to lack in the, what would you call it, "Ann Coulter factor". Democrats took a look at him, saw a conservative but not the worst kind, and said, "we'll get to him in September". Not much for the press to dig into, really.

The Rovians didn't count on another fact -- that most news organizations have more than one reporter. So they could assign one to cover Roberts, and a second to continue digging on the Rove affair. And Roberts or no Roberts, the Plame Affair is still one juicy story.

If Olberman and Raw Story are right, the real fireworks are about to begin.

Posted at 09:08 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Scandal in the White House

Posted by Bob Brigham

ap lauren shay karl rove bob novak

A couple of updates on the Karl Rove Scandal.

* It has been 741 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

* New website: www.IsItTreason.com

* Congressman Henry Waxman's first Kos Diary

* The June 2003 AP photo by Lauren Shay has been getting lots of attention in the last 24 hours, Rove's button says, "'I'm a source, not a target."

* Tune in to C-SPAN (hopefully) for coverage of the 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, 2005 U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority joint committee to investigate the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer:


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority will conduct a joint hearing at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, in Room 138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, to examine the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer. The hearing will be co-chaired by Senate DPC Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Committee.

The panel of witnesses will include former intelligence officers and analysts who will discuss the impact of such disclosures, based on decades of experience and service to our country on intelligence and national security matters.

The hearing comes only days after the witnesses who will appear at the hearing, along with other former intelligence officers and analysts, delivered to the House and Senate leadership a letter expressing deep concern over both the disclosure of the identity of a covert intelligence officer and the continuing partisan attacks on that officer. The letter said that public statements questioning her status and the significance of disclosing her identity "reveal an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover."

Details on Monday's hearing follow:

WHO: Members of Congress: U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), and other members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Witnesses: Larry Johnson, former CIA analyst; Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA

case officer; David McMichael, former CIA case officer; Mel Goodman, former

senior CIA analyst.

WHAT: Oversight hearing on the impact of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer

WHEN: 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, 2005

WHERE: Room 138 - Dirksen Senate Office Building, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.

WHY: To examine the national security consequences of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer.

And the scandal is not going away:

  • We now know that Karl Rove disclosed Plame's status to at least two reporters, contradicting two year old White House denials that Karl Rove had "no involvement" in the leak. We know that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer read a classified State Department memorandum which revealed information about Plame's CIA status in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a day before Karl Rove confirmed this information to the columnist Robert Novak. We know that the Vice President's Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, confirmed Plame's status to at least one reporter. We know that the CIA classified Valerie Plame's identity as covert and she wasn't, as Rove's defenders say, just a desk jockey at Langley. We know that President Bush promised to fire "those involved" in the leak and is now backing away from that promise.
  • And we learned in today's Washington Post, that the State Department's own investigations "already had disproved the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger" in February 2002 -- nearly a year before President Bush tried to terrify the American people by including that claim in his State of the Union speech. In the end, this matter all comes back to Iraq. The White House got into this trouble through its concerted and coordinated effort to smear anyone questioning its erroneous intelligence about WMD in Iraq [USA Today 7/24/03]. Continuing to stonewall and smear opponents will not get them out of it.
  • Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will determine if the White House officials' leaks violated the law. But it is undeniable that the White House has violated the public's trust. President Bush should put an end to the stonewalling and explain to the American people the facts about his White House's role in this grave matter.

Posted at 07:05 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

OH-2: Jean Schmidt Scandal(s) Deepen

Posted by Tim Tagaris

From the OH-2 Blog:

Public Campaign Action Fund has revealed on their blog The Daily Delay that Jean Schmidt has recently received $10,000 from Tom Delay’s ARMPAC. Tom Delay and his fundraising committees are currently being investigated in Washington and in Texas for violations of ethics and campaign finance laws.
Apparently Schmidt not only learned from The Mother of All Ethics Violators, but accepts money from him as well. On October 25, 2004 Jean Schmidt accepted gifts from a pharmaceutical company while her opponent, Paul Hackett, was flying into Fallujah as a United States Marine Corps Major. Schmidt is now the subject of an Ohio Ethics Investigation.

Posted at 04:57 PM in Ohio | Technorati

OH-02: Iraq War Vet Runs for Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

My inbox has had a solid stream of good news for Major Paul Hackett's bid for Ohio's 2nd Congressional. The August 2nd Election is less than two weeks away. I'm told Hackett's satellite offices are humming with scores of phone lines. The campaign is doing a major mobilization this weekend to run up the ID'd voters list so that the large GOTV program has more targets.

Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt is bogged down in a late breaking scandal (see the ad). Schmidt's ethics scandal is invoking the "culture of corruption" meme against the Ohio Republican Party.

Last time I updated you on the ACTBlue page (38 hours ago), the total was $100,504.47. Now it is up to $129,805.92. If you haven't deployed a few bucks for this special election, please consider investing.

From the AP:

SEAMAN, Ohio - A few months ago, Paul Hackett was flushing out insurgents and avoiding ambushes in Fallujah, Ramadi and other hotspots in theIraq War. Today, the Marine is trying to round up votes in small southern Ohio towns like this one.

Hackett, a Democrat, is running in a special election Aug. 2 in a bid to become the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress.

The stakes couldn't be higher, either Hackett goes to Washington or back to Iraq.

The 43-year-old lawyer, former Milford city councilman and Marine Reserve major is hoping his battlefield experience will help him become the first Democrat to get elected in Ohio's conservative 2nd District in three decades. [...]

That Hackett is on television at all is remarkable in deep-red southwestern Ohio, which helped tilt Ohio's crucial 20 electoral votes to Bush last year. Seven-term Republican Rob Portman regularly won with more than 70 percent of the vote before leaving Congress to becoming Bush's U.S. trade representative this year.

Army Lt. Paul Worley, 23, of Peebles, said he likes the idea of a congressman veteran as he prepares for Iraq duty later this year: "You can't substitute anything for leadership by example, somebody who's been there and seen it."

We need Major Hackett in Washington. Go check out the Paul Hackett website.

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is are some action items from histopresto's Kos diary:

1. Look on our website for a link to contribute and volunteer to the Hackett campaign.  Or you can find more information about Paul Hackett on his website and contact him directly

2.  Hamilton County: We are going to have a volunteer rally and canvass kick off on Saturday the 23rd at 10 AM at 1523 Madison in Cincinnati. We need to have everyone there. Please RSVP intern@hamiltoncountydems.org <snip> Bring your comfortable shoes and a car, if possible.  We'll be meeting rain or shine - bring a cell phone (free weekends!) to phone bank if the weather isn't great. If you cannot canvass but would like to help us on our phone banks, please let us know at intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

3. (Ohio residents) Check with your local County Democratic Party to see how they will be helping the 2nd congressional race. You can find your local county party contact information at our [website www.ohiodems.org]  Many local democratic county parties statewide have committed to send volunteers down to the Second Congressional race to help with Getting Out the Vote efforts the last weekend of the election by passing out literature door to door, making phone calls and helping on Election Day August 2nd


Or you can contact the Democratic Parties in the 2nd congressional district directly from their contact information on our website.

Adams County  

Brown County

Clermont County

Eastern Hamilton County

Pike County: Harold Cooper  740-493-2402

Scioto County

Southern Warren County


4. Hamilton County: Our Get Out The Vote project will have a huge canvass push the weekend before the election, on Saturday the 30th at 10 AM at the same location.  We need you there! Please RSVP to let us know that you will be there. intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

Posted at 04:30 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

1000 Words: Why Karl Rove is Toast

Posted by Bob Brigham

Game, Set, Match

Posted at 02:08 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

GOP Talking Points on John Roberts

Posted by Bob Brigham

Novak has his sources (Rove & Libby) and I have mine. In the extended entry you'll find the GOP background and talking points on Roberts. This is Karl Rove's justice and it is clear he's another Partisan Hack.


            John Roberts has enjoyed a distinguished career in government service, private practice and, most recently, as a federal judge.   He is a graduate, summa cum laude, of Harvard College and also Harvard Law School (magna cum laude).  After law school, he clerked for Judge Henry Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then-Associate Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court.  

            Roberts has had a distinguished career as a public servant.  He served in several positions in the Reagan administration, including Associate White House Counsel.  He also served, from 1989-93, as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General, the government’s second highest ranking lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court.  

            After leaving government, Roberts became known as one of the top Supreme Court advocates in the country as a partner at Hogan & Hartson in D.C.   In his government and private career, he has argued 39 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and has been described in the media as “one of [the Supreme Court’s] finest practitioners,” (Mauro, American Lawyer, Sept. 1, 2004), “one of the top appellate lawyers of his generation,” (Groner, Legal Times, Feb. 3, 2003), and “viewed by many as the best Supreme Court advocate in private law firm practice,” (Legal Times, Oct. 30, 2000).

            To the extent his record as an advocate can tell anything about Roberts, his arguments often speak to judicial restraint.  He co-authored the government’s successful brief in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, which re-invigorated the doctrine of standing to sue in Article III Courts.  At the same time, he has represented criminal defendants, environmental interests, and the State of Hawaii in a dispute over legislation favoring Native Hawaiians as a group.

            Since his confirmation to the DC Circuit, Judge Roberts has authored about 40 opinions, but only three of his opinions have drawn any dissent.[1] Two of those cases involved rather arcane issues of statutory interpretation (e.g., availability of attorneys’ fees and interpretation of the False Claims Act), and in one case, Roberts (joined by D.H. Ginsburg) was criticized by Judge Henderson for being too lenient on a sentencing issue.  Similarly, though he has sat on numerous other three-judge or en banc panels, he has written dissenting opinions in only two cases.[2]  

Critics of Roberts’ nominations will seek to isolate particular positions espoused by advocate Roberts or adopted by Judge Roberts and argue that those positions are opposed to various political interest groups.  Most significantly, he co-authored a brief for the George H.W. Bush Administration in Rust v. Sullivan that sought to overturn Roe v. Wade.  That brief, however, restated a position that had previously been taken by the Bush Administration and the Reagan Administration before it.   The brief’s discussion of Roe took up only a few sentences in the brief and says nothing about the author’s (or co-author’s) personal views

            Similarly, critics may point to a dissent from denial of en banc rehearing he authored in the Rancho Viejo case, where Roberts cited recent Commerce Clause decisions in suggesting that the federal government might not have the power to regulate a non-migratory local species of toad, as evidence of an anti-environmental record.   Roberts’ opinion, however, simply followed recent decisions by the Supreme Court in Morrison and Lopez.  Any anti-environmental rhetoric is also belied by Roberts successful representation, while in private practice, of environmentalists fighting development around Lake Tahoe in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.  Thus, his environmental record is hardly well-defined. 

            The battle is likely to occur over Robert’s position in Roe and the Democrats are likely to request all memoranda that Roberts wrote while he was in government service. 

Judge John G. Roberts

Circuit Judge, D.C. Circuit

3832 E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse

333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20001-2866

1.      Personal Background

Biographical Information

§         John Glover Roberts, Jr.

§         Born: January 27, 1955, Buffalo, New York

§         Married to Jane Marie Sullivan, July 27, 1996.  Jane Sullivan Roberts is currently a partner at Shaw Pittman in Washington, D.C.

§         Two children, both adopted

§         Religion: Catholic


§         Harvard College, A.B., summa cum laude, 1976;

§         Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1979.


§         Reported as “excellent” in March 2001 (Judge Roberts turned 50 years old in January 2005).


§         Roberts’ financial statement published during his confirmation hearing indicated a net worth of $3,782,275.  The only liability listed is the mortgage on his home, $270,272.  Assets are cash, securities, and real estate.

2.      Professional career

§         Clerkships: Law Clerk, Hon. Henry Friendly, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1979-1980; Law Clerk, Associate Justice William Rehnquist, Supreme Court of the United States, 1980-1981.

§         Private Practice: Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C., 1986-1989, 1993-2003.

§         Government Positions: Special Assistant to the Attorney General William French Smith, United States Department of Justice, 1981-1982; Associate Counsel to the President, White House Counsel’s Office, 1982-1986; Principal Deputy Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice, 1989-1993; United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 2003-present (confirmed May 8, 2003; sworn in June 2, 2003).

§         Professional Associations: District of Columbia Bar; American Law Institute; American Academy of Appellate Lawyers; Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court; Supreme Court Historical Society.

§         Honors.  Named to Top Ten Civil Litigators by National Law Journal in 1999.   Described in the media as “one of [the Supreme Court’s] finest practitioners,” (Mauro, American Lawyer, Sept. 1, 2004), “one of the top appellate lawyers of his generation,” (Groner, Legal Times, Feb. 3, 2003), “viewed by many as the best Supreme Court advocate in private law firm practice,” (Legal Times, Oct. 30, 2000).

§         Supreme Court Experience.  Has argued 39 cases to the Supreme Court.  Argued more cases than any other private practitioner during 10 years leading up to appointment to D.C. Circuit.

3.      RECORD

            The most pertinent aspects of Judge Roberts’ record essentially fit into three categories:  (1) service in the Office of Solicitor General; (2) private practice at Hogan & Hartson; and (3) service as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 

The most notable materials concerning Roberts’ service in the Office of Solicitor General were:  (1) the government’s brief in the Rust v. Sullivan  abortion case (see below), co-written by Roberts, which argued not only that regulations prohibiting Title X funding recipients from counseling patients on abortion did not violate Title X or the First or Fifth Amendments, but also restated the Bush Administration’s position that that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and (2) the government’s briefs in Lujan (see below), upon which Robert’s was attacked during his circuit court confirmation hearings.

While in private practice at Hogan & Hartson, Roberts, for the most part, did not handle many highly politically sensitive cases.  While Roberts tended to represent corporate clients, he often . . . . ..  However, it is during this period of his career that Roberts earned the respect of people on both sides of the aisle.  Roberts also authored articles which necessarily contain some editorializing and his personal opinions. 

During his brief tenure on the D.C. Circuit,  Roberts’ written opinions evidence a record of judicial restraint.  Roberts’ two dissents from the denials of en banc review have attracted more attention than any of his written opinions.  Roberts dissented from denial of en banc review in the Rancho Viejo case -- a case upholding the Department of the Interior’s suppression of real estate development to protect an endangered species -- the southwestern arroyo toad.  Roberts’ dissent invoked recent changes in the Supreme Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence recognizing that the federal government’s legislative authority is not unlimited.   He questioned whether, as a result of that jurisprudence, the federal government had any interest in regulating the movement of a non-migratory, purely local species of frog.  

Roberts also dissented from the denial of en banc review in the Administration’s Energy Task Force case, which provoked claims that Roberts unduly supported Administration secrecy.  His position in that case was eventually affirmed by the Supreme Court on a 7-2 vote and subsequently by the en banc D.C. Circuit on remand by an 8-0 vote. 


            Roberts’ D.C. Circuit confirmation hearings will likely provide the roadmap for opponents’ attack strategies.  The criticisms brought by liberal groups and echoed in the Senate hearings, along with the best responses to those criticisms, updated to include references to Roberts’ recent D.C. Circuit Court opinions where relevant, are summarized below.

            During his relatively short tenure on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts’ judicial opinions, not surprisingly, concern principally technical administrative law issues and have not yet touched on many hot-button social or political issues.  Consequently, his decisions to date are not particularly revealing.  They nonetheless appear consistent with his reputation as a principled conservative jurist who favors judicial restraint and respects the separation of powers embodied in the Constitution, as someone who is impartial in his application of the law, and as one who exercises appropriate judicial temperament, rarely, if ever, resorting to strident or inflammatory rhetoric or argument.  It is a strong record that speaks of stellar legal qualifications and respect for the limited role of the courts.  It leaves a relatively small target for opponents, but also leaves some room for doubt as to Roberts position on many issues. 

Summary of Attacks Raised During Previous Confirmation Process and Best Responses (including references to relevant D.C. Circuit opinions):

Attack: Roberts is pro-life

Opponents will undoubtedly argue that Roberts is hostile to abortion rights based on a pair of briefs on which Roberts appeared while Deputy SG (a) Rust v. Sullivan and Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263 (1993).   Roberts’ opponents have argued that Roberts unnecessarily called for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in Rust, a case challenging federal regulations which prohibited certain receipients of federal funds from counseling patients on abortion.  Critics argue that the case could have been argued solely on the basis of statutory construction of the provisions at issue.   Critics also point to Roberts’ co-authoring the government’s amicus brief in Bray, a private suit brought against Operation Rescue, which argued that Operation Rescue was not engaged in a conspiracy to deprive women of equal protection rights.  The unspoken undercurrent of these charges, and the likely basis for a whispering campaign against Roberts, is that he is a practicing Catholic and therefore predisposed to advancing the social policies of the Catholic Church through judicial opinions.


        In both cases, Roberts, as one of several attorneys on the brief for the government, was simply arguing the position of the United States, his client.

        The Rust argument, which has been a focal point of criticism of Roberts by PFAW and other abortion interest groups, is easily rebutted.  The SG’s office was simply restating the position that the Reagan and Bush Administrations had already taken in several other cases.  Indeed, while the focus of the government’s Rust argument was statutory, the reference to Roe in the Rust brief was minimal:   “Petitioners argue that the Secretary’s regulations impermissibly burden the qualified right discerned in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), to choose to have an abortion. . . . We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled.  As more fully explained in our briefs, filed as amicus curiae, in Hodgson v. Minnesota, 110 S. Ct. 2926 (1990); Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 109 S. Ct. 3040 (1989); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986); and City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983), the Court’s conclusions in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.”   Judge Roberts has not decided any cases involving abortion, and it would be irresponsible to speculate on how he might rule in such a case. 

        At bottom, critics who attack Roberts’ unstated views on abortion are simply attempting to impose a religious litmus test on nominees, i.e., practicing religious (especially Christians) need not apply.  This is the same scurrilous attack on several of the President’s lower court nominees, such as Bill Pryor, and has no place in modern politics.

Attack from People for the American Way: Dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc in Rancho Viejo v. Norton.

            The People for the American Way have sought to brand Roberts as both a right-wing extremist and anti-environmentalist as a result of his dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc in Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, 334 F.3d 1158 (D.C. Cir. 2003).  In Rancho Viejo, a real estate development company challenged the Department of Interior’s application of the Endangered Species Act to stop a project that “was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the arroyo southwestern toad.”  The case principally involved an attack on Congress’ power to regulate what appeared to be completely intra-state activity.   The left’s attack focuses on how Roberts’ view of Commerce Clause jurisprudence would have prevented the arroyo southwestern toad’s protection from these particular developers.  (Judge David B. Sentelle also authored a separate dissent to the denial of en banc review).

Response:  Mission Viejo involved a Fish and Wildlife Service order to a developer to move a fence from its own property in order to accommodate the movement of southwest arroyo toads, a non-migratory species.  Roberts’ dissent, like Judge David Sentelle’s separate dissent, questioned whether, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions scaling back what was once viewed as Congress’ unlimited power over interstate commerce, the federal government really had any authority to regulate such non-commercial activities as the movement of a toad.   His position recognized the common sense view that the government should not regulate every aspect of every transaction in commerce that does not have an interstate component, arguing that it made little sense to conclude that “regulating the taking of a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California constitutes regulating "Commerce ... among the several States.”  While the position did not prevail, it was reasonable and well within the mainstream of conservative legal thought, given recent trends in Supreme Court decisions (Lopez and Morrison).  

 Roberts’ dissent, , suggests that the circuit should attempt to resolve what appeared to be a intra-circuit split given the opinions in Rancho Viejo and National Assoc. of Home Builders v. Babbitt, 130 F.3d 1041 (D.C. Cir. 1997), and an intra-circuit split with a Fifth Circuit case (See GDF Realty Inv., Ltd. v. Norton, 326 F.3d 622, 634-35 (5th Cir.2003)) that followed the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Morrison and United States v. Lopez, two major Commerce Clause decisions that substantially curtailed the federal government’s authority.   The decision should not be portrayed as anti-environment, but one that sought to reconcile seemingly conflicting circuit law in light of subsequent direction from the Supreme Court.

Attack: Roberts is anti-environment

            Opponents will again state that Roberts’ successful argument on behalf of the government in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 112 S. Ct. 2130 (1992), indicates a callous disregard for the environment.  They will cite as support his recent decision, writing for a unanimous panel, which included Judges Henderson and, significantly, Tatel, in Sierra Club v. EPA, 353 F.3d 976 (D.C. Cir. 2004), holding that the EPA’s actions in using particulate matter as a substitute for hazardous air pollutants in regulating emissions from copper smelters were reasonable, despite being arguably different than regulations applied to a different industry. 

Response:  Characterization of a ruling regarding the jurisdiction of Courts as anti-environment or pro-environment is irresponsible and misrepresents the issues before the Court.   The government’s position in Lujan demonstrated a healthy respect for the proper division of power between the Courts and Congress, and in adopting that position, the Court helped curtail judicial overreaching in cases better left to the political process.   The standing doctrine advocated by the Government in Lujan has kept the Court out of numerous disputes where a party that has suffered no injury seeks to use the Courts to make a political point.  Roberts’ consistent refrain regarding Lujan  has been that, far from being the wholesale revision to the law its opponents claim, it upheld precedential standing doctrines by requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate an injury-in-fact that was not apparent in the record before the Court. 

     Judge Roberts’ decision for the Court in Sierra Club v. EPA is notable for a couple of reasons.  First, it was joined by Judge David Tatel, a Clinton appointee and one of the more liberal jurists on the D.C. Circuit.  Second, it merely deferred to the Executive Branches interpretation of federal law, indicating a proper respect for the limited role of the Courts in our government.  

     In any event, in private practice Roberts successfully represented environmentalists fighting development around Lake Tahoe in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, in which the Court adopted Roberts’ position against those of the developers and property owners, over the dissent of Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas.   As in Lujan, Tahoe-Sierra demonstrates nothing more than Robert’s excellent advocacy on behalf of his clients, and cannot be read to suggest he is either pro-environmentalist or anti-property rights.  

Attack: Roberts is hostile to civil rights and affirmative actions. 

            During his confirmation to the D.C. Circuit, left-wing activist groups accused Roberts of being hostile to civil rights and affirmative action, citing the following cases in which Roberts co-authored briefs while in the Solicitor General’s office:  (a) Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell, 498 U.S. 237 (1991) (this brief, according to the Alliance for Justice, “sought to weaken the standard and limit the timeline for court-enforced desegregation decrees in the nation’s schools”), and (b) Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U.S. 467 (1992) (according to the Alliance for Justice, this brief successfully argued “to lower the bar for the proof that school systems that had previously engaged in de jure discrimination had to show in order to obtain the court’s revocation of a desegregation decree.”).  Opponents may also cite: (a) Roberts’ opinion (for a unanimous panel of Roberts, Henderson and, again, Tatel) in Sioux Valley Rural Television, Inc. v. FCC, 349 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2003), in which the court rejected petitioners’ claim that the FCC’s new bidding rules revoking minority and women-owned business credits while at the same time extending credits for all successful small businesses did not have a discriminatory intent and were not arbitrary and capricious when applied retroactively; (b) Roberts’ opinion (panel included Henderson and Williams) in Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 2004 WL 2381320 (Oct. 26, 2004), in which he held that a 12 year old girl’s arrest for eating a french fry in a rail transit station did not violate her civil rights under the Equal Protection Clause or the Fourth Amendment; and (c) Roberts’ decision (for a unanimous panel including Roberts, Randolph, and Williams) in Stewart v. Evans, 351 F.3d 1239 (D.C. Cir. 2003), holding that a female employee did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to certain personal notes she had taken regarding a male co-worker’s inappropriate behavior because she turned them over to a FOIA representative with the understanding that they might be further disclosed, even though the FOIA rep agreed not to reveal them within the Department and maintained them in a locked safe.

Response: Roberts’ record as a Supreme Court advocate cannot be easily characterized as either pro- or anti-civil rights.   As a private practitioner, he represented the Governor of Hawaii in defending the State’s preferential treatment of Native Hawaiians in Rice v. Cayetano.   He co-authored government’s brief in U.S. v. Mabus, 1991 WL 527603, arguing that Mississippi continued to propagate a “dual system” of racially segregated public universities in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   His record as an advocate is quite balanced in this area, and simply reflects the fact that he represented a wide array of clients with a broad set of interests. 

     His judicial decisions do not reflect any hostility to civil rights, but merely the reality that not every individual who seeks relief in court is entitled to it.  Hedgepeth, for instance, upheld the decision of a liberal Clinton-appointed district court judge, Judge Emmet Sullivan, and reflects an appropriate deference to the legislature, even when a court might find a law otherwise distasteful.  The case is replete with references to the fact that the judges thought the enforcement of the zero-tolerance rule heavy-handed and wrong, but that they were obliged not to impose their personal preference on an otherwise valid law.  It was decided squarely on the basis of existing precedent finding that age-based laws are subject only to rational basis review, and deference to the officers making the arrest where the underlying policy did not permit discretion. 

Attack: Roberts is hostile to the rights of criminal defendants. 

            In his confirmation hearings, opponents argued that Roberts’ participation on behalf on the government in two amicus briefs indicates a desire to limit the rights of criminal defendants.  See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992) (amicus brief arguing that the Ninth Circuit test to permit a court to dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint only if it could take judicial notice that the facts alleged did not occur was too stringent); Burns v. U.S., 501 U.S. 129 (1991) (amicus brief arguing that no advance notice to defendant was required for an upward departure from sentencing guidelines).  In further support of this attack, opponents might note two D.C. Circuit decisions authored by Roberts for a unanimous panel: (a) U.S. v. Holmes, 385 F.3d 786 (D.C. Cir. 2004), holding that the search of a passenger compartment of defendant’s car did not exceed the scope of search incident to his arrest for assaulting an officer; and (b) U.S. v. Tucker, 2004 WL 2381324 (D.C. Cir., Oct. 26, 2004), holding that the lower court’s substantial downward departure from sentencing guidelines was not justified for the reason stated by the lower court, namely, that the sentencing guidelines are unjust.  (Tucker, of course, involved a tirade by Judge Jackson who indicated that because he thought the guidelines-mandated sentence too harsh, he would grant a downward departure without making the necessary findings and admittedly invite appellate reversal.  The D.C. Circuit scolded Jackson, and reversed and remanded to give the district court an opportunity to make appropriate factual findings for the departure.)

     Response: Again, Roberts’ record on criminal rights is much more balanced than his critics suggest.  (a) Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel (Randolph, Williams, Roberts) in Warren v. District of Columbia, 353 F.3d 36 (D.C. Cir. 2004), holding that a pro se prisoner had stated a § 1983 claim for relief, based in large part on the fact that “pro se prisoner complaints should be ‘liberally construed’”; (b) Roberts represented many criminal defendants on a pro bono basis while in private practice, including his pro bono representation of the defendant in U.S. v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435 (1989), in which he argued successfully that the Double Jeopardy Clause barred imposition of civil penalties under federal law against an individual who had already been convicted and punished under federal criminal law for the same conduct. 

Attack: Roberts is hostile to the First Amendment’s Establishment and Freedom of

Speech Clauses.  

            Opponents have argued that Roberts supports an expanded role of religion in schools, citing two briefs he co-authored while with the Solicitor General’s office:  Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992) (arguing that public high schools should be allowed to conduct religious ceremonies as part of a graduation program); Mergens v. Westside Community School District, 496 U.S. 226 (1990) (arguing that barring a religious group from meeting on school grounds violates the Equal Access Act, while granting access does not violate the Establishment Clause).  In addition, opponents have cited Roberts’ brief in U.S. v. Eichman, U.S. v. Haggerty, 496 U.S. 310 (1990), arguing that the 1989 Flag Act, which prohibited burning the U.S. flag, did not violate the First Amendment.  The Court subsequently held 5-4 that the Flag Act was unconstitutional. 

Response:  Again, Roberts’ briefs in the SG’s office should not be used against him as he is taking his client’s position.  His position in the flag burning case, for instance, merely involved the defense of a federal statute, a role that the Justice Department is obligated to undertake so long as there is a good faith defense available.  The positions espoused in these cases are well within the mainstream of legal thought. 

Attack: Roberts is an “extremist” in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. 

            This is likely to be the most pervasive attack against Roberts, along with his religion, and is the underlying political subtext for all issue-based attacks (see, e.g., Statement of Senator Edward Kennedy on Confirmation of John G. Roberts, Wednesday, April 30, 2003).  Support for this allegation will be found in every decision or writing that can reasonably be construed as restraintist or strict constructionist in flavor, or that has Roberts agreeing with Scalia or Thomas, regardless of the reasoning. 

     Response:  See discussion of Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency above, where the Court adopted Roberts’ client’s position against the rights of property owners and over the dissent by Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas.  In addition, many of Roberts’ briefs written while in private practice appear to defend federal preemption (see, e.g., State of California et al. v. Dillingham Construction, Inc. et al., 1996 WL 335322 (arguing in favor of federal ERISA preemption); Medtronic Inc. v. Lora Lohr and Michael Lohr, 1996 WL 109618 (arguing in favor of broad federal preemption of states’ product liability laws).  But see Jefferson v. City of Tarrant, Alabama, 1997 WL 401190 (arguing against federal common law replacing state law on remedies for deceased or survivors in wrongful death cases).

Attack: Roberts Consistently Sides with Corporations over Unions and Workers’          Rights

            Opponents may focus on Roberts’ private practice client base, which had him representing many corporations in various matters, often against labor unions. 

            Response: Roberts has represented all manner of clients, including environmental groups (see Tahoe-Sierra case cited above), criminal defendants (on a pro bono basis), and the government.  His representation of corporations in union disputes is not unusual for a seasoned appellate advocate.  Moreover, he has authored briefs that sought to expand the rights of employees.  In EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co., 1990 WL 511330 (Nov. 15, 1990), Roberts’ brief for the government argued the Title VII prohibits employment discrimination outside the United States by an American corporation against an American citizen working abroad. 

Attack:  Roberts supports the Bush Administration’s unparalleled secrecy.

            Roberts voted in favor of the D.C. Circuit’s en banc review of the decision in Sierra Club and Judicial Watch v. Cheney – the National Energy Policy Development Group case where interest groups sought to obtain communications and internal deliberations of the Vice President’s group that was constituted to advise the President on national energy policy.  En banc review was denied and Sentelle, Randolph, and Roberts submitted a dissent to the denial.  The en banc vote could also be used by interest groups to state that Roberts’ is willing to protect the Administration’s “secret’ communications with energy companies over the public’s “right to know” and environmental interests.  (In addition, this case generated controversy regarding Justice Scalia’s now-infamous hunting trip with the Vice President).

Response:  In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court granted review and vacated the district court’s decision giving the interests groups access to the Vice President’s records.  The case was remanded for further proceedings in the D.C. Circuit, which affirmed the Vice President’s position and dismissed the case by an 8-0 vote.  Therefore, Roberts’ view in his en banc dissent was ultimately vindicated.
D. C. Circuit Panel Decisions

      In general, Roberts’ written opinions reflect a pattern of judicial restraint and deference to agencies.  The panel decisions in which Roberts participated but did not write the opinion were relatively non-controversial.  The following cases are highlighted because they touch on issues of political interest:

Criminal Issues

§         United States v. Stanfield, 360 F.3d 1346 (D.C. Cir. 2004).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel (including Edwards and Garland), upholding various procedural rulings made by the district court in a criminal case.  Specifically, the court held that (a) allowing counsel only nine minutes to review several inches worth of Jencks Act material was not an abuse of discretion; (b) limiting defendant’s cross of the probation officer to 20 minutes (because that was the length of time on direct) did not violate the right to confront witness; and (c) certain hearsay statements were admissible because, although clearly hearsay, they were sufficiently reliable.

§         United States v. Holmes, 385 F.3d 786 (Oct. 19, 2004).  Roberts held for a unanimous panel that the search of a passenger compartment of defendant’s car did not exceed scope of search incident to his arrest for assaulting an officer during the traffic stop, and affirmed the Judge Kennedy’s decision below denying defendant’s motion to suppress. 

§         United States v. Tucker, 2004 WL 2381324 (Oct. 26, 2004).  Roberts, writing for a unanimous panel, held that the lower court’s substantial downward departure from sentencing guidelines was not warranted on the basis provided by the lower court—that the sentencing guidelines were unjust—and vacated the sentencing decision and remanded the case.  The court’s position refused to adopt the results-oriented decision by judge Jackson in light of clear Supreme Court authority requiring specific findings for a downward departure.

§         United States v. Thomas, 361 F.3d 653 (D.C. Cir. 2004).  A unanimous panel (Ginsburg, Garland, Roberts) evaluated two issues regarding the Sentencing Guidelines.  The Court held that: (a) escape constitutes a “crime of violence” under the Guidelines; and (b) it was “plain error” for the district court to rely on a defendant’s arrest record in denying downward departures.  (NOT WRITING)

Civil Issues

(1) Administrative Law

§         Sierra Club v. Environmental Protection Agency, 353 F.3d 976 (D.C. Cir. 2004).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel (including Henderson and Tatel) denying the Sierra Club’s petition for review of EPA’s regulations concerning certain pollutants released in the process of smelting copper.  The opinion is fairly technical, but, in short, the Court held that EPA’s actions were “reasonable,” notwithstanding the fact that the regulations were arguably different (and less stringent) than those applied to a different industry.

§         Non-deferral cases.  Roberts wrote for the panel in two agency cases in which the Court granted petitions for review on the ground that the agency had failed adequately to explain why its decision was consistent with its own precedent.  See Lemoyne-Owen College v. NLRB, 357 F.3d 55 (D.C. Cir. 2004) and Ramaprakash v. Federal Aviation Administration, 346 F.3d 1121 (D.C. Cir. 2003).

§         Independent Equipment Dealers Association v. EPA, 372 F.3d 420 (June 25, 2004).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel that the EPA had not engaged in any reviewable action or create new policy when it sent a letter interpreting emissions regulations for nonroad engines.  Although opponents could potentially use the decision to demonstrate that Roberts is willing to bow to the administration’s wishes on environmental policy, the court appropriately did not frame the issue in terms of defending a new policy, but rather held that the EPA was merely reiterating long-standing policy and had engaged in reviewable final agency action.

§         National Council of Resistance of Iran v. Department of State, 373 F.3d 152 (July 9, 2004).  Roberts, writing for a unanimous panel, held that an organization’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) based on determination that it was an alias of another organization designated as an FTO, had substantial support in the record and was consistent with the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

§         Williams Gas Processing – Gulf Coast Company, L.P. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 373 F.3d 1335 (July 13, 2004).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel that a decision of FERC regarding gas gathering activities of pipeline company was arbitrary and capricious.  Although the decision could be used to show that Roberts supports oil and gas companies over environmental interests, it actually stands for nothing more than the proposition that agencies should be consistent in their application of regulations and not arbitrary in deciding cases.  See, e.g., Ramaprakash v. Federal Aviation Administration, 346 F.3d 1121 (Oct. 21, 2003) (Roberts finding that National Transportation Safety Board had failed to explain adequately its departures from its own established precedent in no fewer than three respects); Duchek v. National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration, 364 F.3d 311 (April 20, 2004) (Roberts holding that FAA could not revoke an airman’s license based on his failure to respond to notice because a notice from a designated representative was not the equivalent of “direction by the employer”); but see Midwest ISO Transmission Owners v. FERC, 373 F.3d 1361 (July 16, 2004) (Roberts holding for unanimous panel that FERC’s orders applying tariff were not arbitrary and capricious).  Overall, these cases taken together demonstrate that Roberts expects administrative agencies to apply their own procedures and policies in a fair, reasonable, and consistent manner – a position consistent with a philosophy of judicial restraint.

§         PDK Labs. Inc. v. United States Drug Enforcement Admin., 362 F.3d 786 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (concurring opinion).  The concurrence here argues for judicial restraint.  The majority held that the plaintiff had standing to seek review of DEA’s suspension order and then went on to attempt to interpret or clarify the statute authorizing the DEA to forbid importation if “the chemical may be diverted to the clandestine manufacture of a controlled substance.”  Id. at 789 (citing 21 U.S.C. § 971(c)(1)).  In his concurring opinion, Roberts chides the majority for going beyond what was necessary to remand the case.  He argues that once the standing question was resolved, the case should have been vacated and remanded without further discussion, citing the “cardinal principle of judicial restraint -- if it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more.”  Id. at 799.  He further noted that imposing its interpretation on the DEA violated the Chevron doctrine, because it did not give the DEA an opportunity to rule on the interpretation issue first.

§         S.A. Storer & Sons Co. v. Sec. of Labor, 360 F.3d 1363 (D.C. Cir. 2004).  Unanimous panel (Henderson, Tatel, Roberts) vacated and remanded decision by the Secretary of Labor that company had violated OSHA regulations concerning the safety of scaffolding.  But, appears to be a “mixed” decision from the labor perspective, because although the Court held that one regulation had been improperly interpreted, the Court also held that the employer had not appropriately protected worker safety in another aspect.  (NOT WRITING)

(2) Constitutional/Employment/Other

§         Sioux Valley Rural Television, Inc. v. Fed. Communications Comm’n, 349 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2003).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel (including Henderson and Tatel) in a reverse-race/sex discrimination case regarding FCC’s bidding rules.  Petitioners alleged that the FCC’s decision to revoke minority- and women-owned business credits, while at the same time extending credits for all successful small businesses, was unfair to non-minority- and non-women-owned businesses.  The court rejected the claim, noting that the FCC had no discriminatory intent in adopting the change, and that it was not arbitrary or capricious for the agency to make the new bidding rules retroactive.

§         Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 2004 WL 2381320 (Oct. 26, 2004).  Roberts wrote for a unanimous panel, affirming the decision by Judge Sullivan below, that a young girl who was arrested for eating a french fry in rail transit station could not state a claim for violations of her Equal Protection or Fourth Amendment rights, and the court could not inquire into reasonableness of decision to arrest since the District of Columbia’s Code specifically prohibited conduct in question and there was probable cause to arrest.  While admitting that the result was harsh and acknowledging that the policy was subsequently changed, Roberts’ decision reflected judicial restraint, deferring to the police.

§         United States ex rel. Totten v. Bombardier Corporation, 380 F. 3d 488 (D. C. Cir. Aug. 27, 2004).  This is one of Roberts’ opinions that resulted in a dissent.  The case involved a qui tam action against a contractor under the False Claims Act for allegedly submitting false claims to Amtrak in order to obtain payment for allegedly defective railroad cars.  Roberts’ panel decision with Judge Rogers determined that a payment to Amtrak was not a payment to the government subject to the False Claims Act.  Judge Garland’s dissent disagrees with Roberts’ literal statutory interpretation.  It does not appear that there is a significant basis to attack the opinion, although Sens. Grassley and Leahy may very well question him about it given their strong support for an expansive reading of the False Claims Act.     

§         Lohrenz v. Donnelly, 350 F.3d 1272 (D.C. Cir. 2003).  Unanimous panel (Rogers, Silberman, Roberts) concluded that plaintiff, one of the first female combat pilots in the Navy, was a “public figure” for purposes of establishing defamation under NYT v. Sullivan, and that she had failed to prove “actual malice.”  This arguably could be characterized as an anti-female opinion, since the appellee was an interest group opposed to allowing women to serve in combat positions in the military. (NOT WRITING)

§         Warren v. District of Columbia, 353 F.3d 36 (D.C. Cir. 2004).  Unanimous panel (Randolph, Williams, Roberts) held that a pro se prisoner had stated a § 1983 claim for relief -- based in large part on the fact that “pro se prisoner complaints should be ‘liberally construed.’”  Id. at 37.  (NOT WRITING)

§         In Acree v. Republic of Iraq, Roberts wrote a concurring opinion that argued for the result (which was the dismissal of a case involving American POWs from the 1991 Gulf War who had sued the Republic of Iraq and its president) citing the plain meaning of the governing statute’s language rather than a more extended argument adopted by the majority.  See Acree v. Republic of Iraq, 370 F. 3d 41 (D. C. Cir. June 4, 2004, reh’g en banc denied Aug. 19, 2004).   Roberts’ opinion indicates that he has respect for Congress’ authority and attempts to be faithful to the express language of a statute wherever possible.  (NOT WRITING)


§         Rust v. Sullivan, 1990 WL 505725 (Sept. 7, 1990).  The government’s brief here, co-written by Roberts, arguably went beyond what was required by the case’s merits to state the broader policy of the administration -- that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.  The most controversial portion of the brief is the following quote: 

Petitioners argue that the Secretary’s regulations impermissibly burden the qualified right discerned in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), to choose to have an abortion. . . . We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled.  As more fully explained in our briefs, filed as amicus curiae, in Hodgson v. Minnesota, 110 S. Ct. 2926 (1990); Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 109 S. Ct. 3040 (1989); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986); and City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983), the Court’s conclusions in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.  If Roe is overturned, petitioners’ contention that the Title X regulations burden the right announced in Roe falls with it.  But even under Roe’s strictures, the Title X regulations at issue do not violate due process.  This Court has repeatedly recognized that ‘the Due Process Clauses generally confer no affirmative right to governmental aid, even where such aid may be necessary to secure life, liberty, or property interests of which the government itself may not deprive the individual.” (citations omitted).   Thus, while under Roe the government may not prohibit a woman, during the first trimester, from choosing to have an abortion, the government is not obligated to provide the means to exercise any such right. . . . (citations omitted). 

This will be a significant, if not the primary, point of attack on Roberts.  Although Roberts, as the principal deputy SG, was a co-author along with several others (Starr as Solicitor General, Gerson as Asst. Attorney General-Civil, and Jeffrey P. Minear, Assistant SG, and others), and did not direct policy for the Dept. of Justice under President George H. W. Bush, this was the focus of much of the opposition to Roberts’ nomination to the D.C. Circuit, and will no doubt be the focus again.  

§         Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation et al., 1990 WL 505743 (April 6, 1990).  While in the SG’s office, Roberts co-authored the government’s brief.  As noted in his article defending Lujan, Roberts argues that the decision applied established standing jurisprudence—proof of an injury in fact.  Roberts frames the issues as “whether a federal court may effectively supply the requisite proof of standing by ‘presuming’ facts that the parties did not—and perhaps cannot—allege on their own.”  This will undoubtedly be raised again, both because of its charged environmental background, and because Scalia wrote the opinion for the majority adopting Roberts’ argument. 

§         EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co., 1990 WL 511330 (Nov. 15, 1990).  Roberts’ brief for the government argued the Title VII prohibits employment discrimination outside the United States by an American corporation against an American citizen working abroad.  This brief might be useful in deflecting criticism of Roberts’ record on civil rights claims.

§         Burns v. United States, 1990 WL 505508 (Sept. 12, 1990).  Roberts argued here that Due Process does not require a district court to notify a defendant in advance of its intent to depart upward in the sentence prescribed by the Sentencing Guidelines.  This brief might be used in support of criticism of Roberts’ civil rights record and perceived hostility to “due process.”  Because the case relates to procedural, rather than substantive, due process rights, however, the case should raise few problems. 

§         Houston Lawyers Ass’n v. The Attorney General of Texas v. League of United Latin American Citizens, 1991 WL 11007899 (March 4, 1991).  Roberts argued in favor of applying the “results” test of the Voting Rights Act to the election of state court judges and to the election of offices that can be held by only one person.  This case could potentially be used to show that Roberts’ represented his government client in an expansive reading of the Voting Rights Act. 

§         United States v. Mabus, 1991 WL 527603.  Roberts also represented the government, arguing that Mississippi continued to propagate a “dual system” of racially segregated public universities in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  As previously discussed, this brief can be used to rebut claims that he is anti-civil rights.

§         Astoria Fed. Savings & Loan Ass’n v. Solimino, 1991 WL 11007849.  Roberts was on the amicus brief filed on behalf of the U.S. and the E.E.O.C.  The question presented was whether, in a federal court proceeding under the ADEA, state agency findings of fact that have not been judicially reviewed have preclusive effect.  The brief argues that while state agency findings should be accorded substantial weight, they should not have preclusive effect.

§         United States and FCC v. Edge Broadcasting Company, 1993 WL 289152.  Respondent radio/licensee mounted an attack on Congress’ power to regulate the advertisement of state lotteries over radio airwaves.  The brief argued in support of Congress’ power to regulate gambling and that there was no First Amendment violation with the regulation of this commercial speech.

§         United States v. A Parcel of Land, Buildings, Appurtenances . . . 92 Buena Vista Ave., Rumson NJ, 1993 WL 445385.  Brief argues in support of a tough approach to the enforcement of a civil forfeiture statute for property purchased with the proceeds from a drug transaction(s).  The government’s position was that even when a person (here, a girlfriend) receives a gift of money derived from drug sales and purchases property with that gift, that person cannot assert a valid “innocent owner” defense. 

§         Jerome B. Grubardt, Inc. v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, 1994 WL 249174.  Roberts represented the Respondent.  This suit concerned the unique application of admiralty principles in federal court. 

§         First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan, et al., 1995 WL 71517. Roberts represented Respondent Kaplan.  Roberts argued that the question of whether parties agreed to arbitrate is a question for the courts, not arbitrators, under the Federal Arbitration Act.  Generally, a pro-business approach is one that would argue for the arbitrators, not the courts, deciding the scope of the arbitration clause.  Here, however, he was merely representing his particular client’s interests.

§         International Union, et al. v. Bagwell, Clinchfield Coal Co., et al., 1993 WL 417634 Roberts represented the Respondent coal companies against the unions -- seeking to uphold the state court’s method for sanctioning the unions’ violent activities against, among other arguments, due process clause considerations. 

§         Digital Equipment Corp. v. Desktop Direct, Inc., 1993 WL 657281.  Roberts represented Petitioner in this case dealing with federal appellate jurisdiction. The arguments were confined to the scope of the “collateral order” doctrine for interlocutory appeals.

§         Holly Farms, Tyson Foods, Inc. v. NLRB, 1995 WL 756167.  Roberts represented Amicus Curiae National Broiler Council in supporting Petitioners.  This brief merely argued statutory interpretation principles regarding the National Labor Relations Act in a way more favorable to the chicken industry.

§         Brown v. Pro Football, Inc., d/b/a Washington Redskins, et al., 1996 WL 72349 (AMICUS).  Roberts represented Amicus Curiae Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. supporting Respondents.  This amicus brief supports not imposing antitrust liability on the multi-employer bargaining process in dealing with collective bargaining agreements.  The amicus comments on the effect on industries, other than football, if the court accepted the labor position.  

§         Medtronic Inc. v. Lora Lohr and Michael Lohr, 1996 WL 109618 (AMICUS).  Roberts represented Amicus Curiae Center for Patient Advocacy and the Calif. Health Care Institute in su

Posted at 01:16 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

IL-8: Dear Congresswoman Melissa Bean

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Dear Congresswoman Melissa Bean,

You will undoubtedly be facing a tough election in 2006 after slipping past long-time Republican incumbent Phil Crane. There was a lot of support in the blogosphere for you last time around and among progressives--one might even conclude it was that support that put you over the top. Though I recently moved to Ohio, I must admit that when I look at the address on my drivers license (your district), I cringe to think about how dissapointing your first term in the House has been thus far. Atrios has you on his "List of 31 losers" that supported the bankruptcy bill. Chris Bowers of MyDD outlines just how often you stray from the caucus on meaningful votes.

And now you are listed as "undecided" on the CAFTA vote by Congress Daily.

I supported you in 2004, as did many others in the netroots. I can say with confidence that, for me, this CAFTA vote is the last straw. Please do not stray from the working men and women of IL-8, and America. I would like to be able to support you again, in good conscience, during your re-election bid.

Posted at 12:47 PM in Illinois | Technorati

Swing State Project in Washington Post

Posted by Bob Brigham

Washington Post:

One strength of the blogosphere -- its real-time ability to vacuum up thousands of facts -- has been on display with the Roberts nomination. SwingStateProject.com posted excerpts of a 1997 court ruling in which Roberts, representing a pork producer in a clean water case, was accused of making a misleading argument, according to the Web site.

Here is the post mentioned on John Roberts.

Posted at 11:52 AM in Site News, Supreme Court | Technorati

Rove to Roberts and Back to Terrorism

Posted by Bob Brigham

John Roberts had his day in the sun. The expectations game was won because Bush's nominee isn't yet FUBAR -- quite an accomplishment for a Lame Duck President whose partisan hacks are under investigation for high crimes against national security.

And now we have this:

1440 It is now becoming clear that there were three attempted bombings today - at Oval station, at Warren Street station, and on a 26 bus in Hackney. Speculation suggests the detonators on these devices went off, but the bombs themselves did not. Should this be the case, there are clearly going to be huge risks in disarming the devices. But in the bombs there is the potential for clues as to who, exactly, is behind this.

1431 Sir Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police commissioner, says there are four scenes of explosions, or attempts at explosions. He says "casualty numbers are very low" and the devices are smaller than last time. The tube is closed down "for a short while", although mainline trains are running normally. The Cobra committee is about to meet.

1430 Newsblog reader Robert Andrews notes possibly the first moblogged pictures and video from one of the scenes.

Remember, the UK blogs will be a great source for the coverage. But the blogs in America are going to stay focused on Karl Rove.

Posted at 10:28 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

Valerie Plame Secret Agent

Posted by Bob Brigham

Washington Post:

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Watch freeper heads explode.

Posted at 12:30 AM in Plamegate | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

MoveOn: Gather to Protect Our Rights

Posted by Bob Brigham

And the armies take to the battlefield. An email from MoveOn:

Last night President Bush nominated the right wing corporate lawyer John Roberts for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

The next 48 hours are probably the most important in this whole campaign. The media and our senators are looking around to gauge the public's response. A strong reaction now could change the way everything else is covered and how far our leaders are willing to go to protect our rights.

That's why tomorrow, Thursday the 21st, thousands of MoveOn members will be gathering all across the country to spread the word and collect signatures to petition our senators. We'll gather in public areas and work in teams for an hour or two. Local media outlets have been alerted, and getting those stories on TV and in hometown papers is one of the most powerful things we can do.

Can you join us? You can find an event in your area, or start your own. We'll give you everything you need to make it easy. Just go to:


Here are what MoveOn members have said recently about similar events:

"It went well. I was thrilled to find several like minded people who live near me who will help out in future events!"
–Jean Yarborough, Judicial Canvassing Team Leader, North Richland Hills, TX

"I brought my dog which attracted positive attention. Next time I am making a sign for him to carry. He is a sheepdog, and so the sign will say, 'Don't let yourself be herded about, work to save Democracy!' May sound a bit silly, but when people stopped to pet him, we could then ask them if they wanted to sign the petition."
–Barbara Wust, People Speak Rally Host, Richmond, VA

We hope you can join us tomorrow:


Why is it so important to oppose Roberts? Because his short two years as a judge, his extensive history as a partisan, and his record as a corporate lawyer show a consistent pattern of putting right-wing ideology and corporate power over individuals' rights.

Here are some of the areas of greatest concern from Roberts' record:

As a partisan lawyer for the Bush Sr. and Reagan administrations, Roberts threatened:

Civil rights by asking the Supreme Court to severely limit the ability of district courts to desegregate public schools1, and working to ensure the Voting Rights Act could not be used to remedy many cases of actual discrimination against minority votes.2

Women's rights by fighting for a law barring doctors from even discussing reproductive options in many cases,3 and arguing that Roe. vs. Wade should be "overruled."4

Free speech by arguing to the Supreme Court that political speech that some considered offensive did not deserve First Amendment protections. The Court rejected his claim.5

Religious liberty by arguing to the Supreme Court that public schools could force religious speech on students. Again, the Court rejected the argument.6

As a corporate lawyer, Roberts threatened:
Community and environmental rights by working to strike down new clean-air rules and filing a brief for the National Mining Association, arguing that federal courts could not stop mountaintop-removal mining in West Virginia, even as it devastated local communities.7

Workers' rights by helping Toyota to successfully evade the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire workers for disabilities they suffered over time because of the requirements of their jobs.8

Public interest regulations by helping Fox News challenge FCC rules that prevented the creation of news media monopolies.9

In his short two years as a judge, Roberts has threatened:

Individual rights by rejecting the civil rights claims brought on behalf of a 12-year-old girl who had been handcuffed, arrested and taken away by the police for eating a single french fry in the D.C. Metro.10

Environmental protections when the dissent he wrote on an Endangered Species Act case, had it been in the majority, would have struck the Act down as unconstitutional in many cases, and would have threatened a wide swath of workplace, public safety and civil rights protections.11

Human Rights by voting to strike down the Geneva Conventions as applied to prisoners that the Bush administration chose to exempt from international law.12

Roberts' confirmation is not inevitable. As Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, "The President has made his choice. Now the Senate will do its job of deciding whether to confirm John Roberts to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court."

Now it's time for us all to do our job of telling our senators that our rights are not negotiable, and John Roberts does not belong on the Supreme Court.

We hope to see you tomorrow.


Thanks for all that you do,

–Ben, James, Micayla, Wes and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Wednesday July 20th, 2005


1. Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell

2. Alliance for Justice, Nominee Profile

3. Alliance for Justice, Nominee Profile

4. "Same Appeal; Different Styles," Washington Postm July 17, 2005

5. United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990)

6. Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992)

7. "The Making of the Corporate Judiciary" Mother Jones, November/December 2003

8. Toyota Motor Mfg., Kentucky v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002)

9. Alliance for Justice

10. Hedgepeth v. Wash. Metro. Area Transit Auth., 386 F.3d 1148 (D.C. Cir. 2004)

11. Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, 334 F.3d 1158 (D.C. Cir. 2003 cert. denied)

12. Court: U.S. May Resume Detainee Tribunals, Associated Press, July 16th 2005

Posted at 06:36 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Fuck Al From

Posted by Bob Brigham

Do you want some solid strategic advice? Ask Al From what Democrats should do and then do the exact opposite. When Al From says not to fight, fight harder. When Al From tells Democrats to compromise, stand firmer in resolve. When Al From tells Democrats to sell out, be true.

You see, in addition to be a total fucking waste of a human being, Al From is also the tool of big business. We've had a number of very important battles this year -- and every single time the DLC has been worthless at best and often counterproductive. Now that the DLC wants Democrats to let Rove off easy.

With that, back to Karl Rove, one of the few people who does more for the radical right than Al Fuckin' From.

Posted at 06:19 PM in Democrats | Technorati

Maryscott O'Connor's My Left Wing Blog

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a MyDD Diary:

Did you know that Maryscott OConnor has a new blog? It's called "My Left Wing", not to be confused with My  Left Foot, which was a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I only mention this because Maryscott O'Connor was recently lamenting the fact that My  Left Wing is not showing up in her searches yet. Bummer, huh? Maryscott O'Connor puts all sorts of time, energy, and animated gifs into rolling out her new blog, My Left Wing, and My Left Wing doesn't even show up on search engines yet. Oh, the humanity!

Posted at 05:45 PM in Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

PA-18: Hafer Running

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A handful of Pennsylvanians in the 18th Congressional District will get a chance to do something many wished they could have done in Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate...Vote for Barbara Hafer. PoliticsPA breaks the news.

PoliticsPA has learned from multiple sources that former Republican Treasurer-turned Democrat Barbara Hafer has decided to enter the 17th (sic) Congressional District primary. Most analysts expect a relatively easy primary win for Hafer, who will have the support of most Democratic leaders in Harrisburg and Washington, DC. Her challenge to Congressman Tim Murphy will be his toughest race yet.
PoliticsPA expects a formal announcement to come around Labor Day. This development has been speculated for months since her abrupt "self-removal" from the U.S. Senate race literally moments after Bob Casey Jr. declared his intentions for Rick Santorum's seat.

Posted at 03:08 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati

Bush Rushed to Pick Partisan Hack to Save Partisan Hack

Posted by Bob Brigham

"Republicans familiar with administration strategy" are telling the press that Bush rushed to appoint John Roberts to distract from the Karl Rove Scandal.

So me see if I have this straight. The (worse than Watergate) Rove Scandal is threatening to take down the entire Bush Administration senior staff. Bush is in this scandal because of the actions of his partisan hacks. So Bush needs to rush to judgement in deciding a nominee. So who can he trust? Another partisan hack.

From Bloomberg;

Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy.

Bush originally had planned to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 26 or 27, just before his planned July 28 departure for a month-long vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, said two administration officials, who spoke on the condition they not be named.

The officials said those plans changed because Rove has become a focus of Fitzgerald's interest and of news accounts about the matter.

Posted at 02:11 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

White House Scandal Day 10

Posted by Bob Brigham

What Did the President Know and When Did He Know It?

Posted at 11:43 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

Media Distracted by Partisan Hack Shuffle

Posted by Bob Brigham

AmericaBlog points out:

Question for the MSM Today
Can the MSM walk and chew gum at the same time? Can they do something as complicated as cover two, yes two, stories at once? Or will they let Roberts completely overtake the Rove scandal?

Doesn't look good so far. Pete Williams from NBC led his piece on the Today Show telling us Roberts loves golf and is ambidextrous when he plays squash. Wow, Pete. Great reporting.

Bob Franken: "Speaking of the Karl Rove matter, of course, that is news that is considered at the moment so yesterday. We've moved on."

Dana Milbank: "...This is going to dominate the news up until the court begins in Oct 1; that's not to say the Karl Rove story won't make its cameo appearance somewhat-of course it will and it's likely to go on somewhat after this nomination ends, but this is clearly going to be the main game in town now..."

The treason scandal is "worse than Watergate" and yet some members of the press are too lazy to learn to walk and chew gum? I'm still waiting to see who history will remember as the Woodward and Bernstein of the Rove Scandal.

Posted at 11:07 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

Stop the Cover-up

Posted by Bob Brigham

The DSCC has a new website: www.StopTheCoverup.com:

The media is swarming with reports that Karl Rove may have illegally leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent to a reporter, but you wouldn't know it by listening to the "no comments" coming out of the White House.

Congressional Republicans, instead of tending to the people's business, have been distracted by the need to go into "defense mode." Instead of wasting time defending Karl Rove, Congressional Republicans ought to be standing up for what's right and demanding answers.

George Bush promised to fire anyone in his administration responsible for the leak. Now that new information suggests Rove had something to do with it, the White House has refused to answer any questions about the case. No one will even say whether the president is sticking to his promise to fire those responsible.

This is the worst kind of cover-up. It's up to us to show George Bush that the American people want answers. Sign the new DSCC petition and tell the White House to stop the cover-up today.

I don't normally sign petitions, but I signed this one because the cover-up needs to stop. Liberal Oasis reminds us that, It has been 740 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”.

740 days of covering up for the partisan hacks in the Bush White House.

Posted at 10:45 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

John Roberts: Partisan Hack Wont Stop Rove Flak

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It doesn't take a genius to recognize today's "sudden" Supreme Court announcement was little more than a diversionary tactic by an embattled White House in the midst of its last stand. That's fine.

This is going to be a long process, and there are many questions to be answered about John Roberts fitness for the Supreme Court. After all, it was only five years ago John Roberts was working for Bush/Cheney 2000 in the Florida recount--for twenty years, Roberts has been more of a Republican political operative. And tonight, one political hack was sent forward to the U.S. Senate to cover for another political hack feeling heat from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

A lifetime appointment the highest court in the land deserves no less than a thorough examination of the potential jurist. It was only 2003, two years ago, when John Roberts was confirmed by a voice vote to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His thin resume doesn't give us much to go on when measuring his fitness for the High Court. So, in the coming days, weeks, and possibly months, while everyone is thinking of questions that John Roberts' thin resume obliges him to answer in the Judiciary Committee, there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered for Karl Rove; let's hope that no one forgets that.

Posted at 02:24 AM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Karl Rove's Last Stand

Posted by Bob Brigham

Bush White House #2 Man and Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove is in a pile of shit. It is up to his second chin.


Billmon's Rove's Last Stand -- an instant legend.

Fitzgerald is honing in and Rove's days are limited. Scott McClellan is now completely worthless as a Press Secretary -- he was busted lying to the American press to cover-up the sins of Karl Rove. Scooter Libby is also in trouble, along with Ken Mehlman and Ari Fleisher.

So when Bush nominates a partisan hack to distract attention I'm not going to let the arrogance of the Washington Republicans distract me from the White House Scandal.

John Roberts is nothing but a partisan hack, he won the spot for his partisanship, not his judicial record. I mean, the guy is a fucking lobbyist. And the Radical Right will spend millions on lobbyists to try to get a lobbyist on the bench.

But back to the Karl Rove scandal...

Play the West Wing game, the entire senior staff may have liability on this scandal:

Chief of Staff1mcgarry.jpgLeo McGarry2card.jpgAndy Card
Chief of Staff
1lyman.jpgJosh Lyman2rove.jpgKarl Rove
1ziegler.jpgToby Ziegler2bartlett.jpgDan Bartlett
1cregg.jpg C.J. Cregg2fleisher-mcclellan.gifAri Fleisher
Scott McClellan
Chief of Staff
1bailey.jpg Will Bailey2libby.jpg Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Play along. If Will Bailey and Josh Lyman were busted leaking the identity of an undercover CIA operative to Danny, who else would be involved. Let's say C.J. was caught on tape lying about Lyman. Who else? My guess is another Bush partisan hack.

Either Rove lied to the President or Bush lied to the American People.

What did the President know and when did he know it?

Why hasn't the White House followed protocol and initiated investigation into Rove's violation of his nondisclosure agreement.

Did Rove lie and committ perjury under oath?

Fire Karl Rove.

Posted at 12:01 AM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals, Supreme Court | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Crosses 100K on ActBlue

Posted by Bob Brigham

Wow: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 12:00 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Blogosphere Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

[EDITOR's NOTE] This will remain at the top till midnight. Scroll down for the latest on "John Roberts"

A long time ago, even though it happened one year ago today, there was an event that proved to the whole world the united blogosphere's ability to deploy resources immediately into a single congressional district. July 19th is Blogosphere Day.

As was announced in October of 2004 and covered by the National Journal last week.

Today is Blogosphere Day and it needs to happen again.

Two weeks from today, there is a special election in Ohio's second congressional district. The Republican is caught in a late-breaking scandal that has made irrelevant all assumptions about the race.

The election will be a big day for Paul Hackett. If he wins, he goes to Washington. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq.

Understandly, Hackett is campaigning as if his life depended upon it...with only two weeks to go.

Just like last year, we need the one-two punch of the blogs, email, and ActBlue. Go make a contribution and then come back and read some of the history behind blogosphere day. Then post and email and let's see how much we can raise.

I gave $50, special elections are important. All day, we'll be rolling out posts on the race.

------ Go Donate


Thanks for donating. Now let me tell you a story about Blogosphere Day -- a national holiday and show of unity by the liberal blogosphere.

It was one year ago today that it all began. I'll let Salon set the moment:

On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

"I would suggest that we get involved ASAP," Yellin, who goes by the handle MrLiberal on Daily Kos, wrote. Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democrat running for the open seat, "supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act," he noted approvingly. But she was woefully low on cash -- as of June 30, Schrader had only $7,000 in the bank. Yellin implored Daily Kos' politically obsessed readers to change that situation: "This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup," he wrote. "Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?"

What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected. Hundreds of people began pitching in, documenting their small donations in the comments threads of Daily Kos and other blogs: "$25.01 coming from me." "$30.01 from me too." "Yeah, this liberal kicked in $20.01." (Daily Kos readers add in the extra penny as a kind of signature for the site, letting a campaign know where the money's coming from.) The tide came in for at least two full days, and when it was over, Ginny Schrader, a candidate who was recently unknown to even the most obsessive campaign watchers, found herself flush with more than $30,000. She was suddenly a political force to contend with. (emphasis mine)

Yes, it was a very magical day. Here at Swing State Project, DavidNYC wrote:

We can make a huge difference overnight if we chip in to help her out - and we can also scare off any Republicans who might consider entering this race now. Imagine the headlines tomorrow or the next day if the blogosphere rapid-response network can toss Ginny some serious coin.

Kos noted, " I just spoke with Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, and the news is spectacular. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, her campaign has raised $14K online. Some from Daily Kos, some from other sources. This is a blogosphere-wide phenomenon."

Once again, we need to leverage our numbers and quickly deploy resources – people and money – to a single congressional district. Here's what Stephen Yellin says:

Paul Hackett's a genuinely good and decent human being, and one that can make a big difference if elected. Jean Schmidt's another GOP hack in a long line of such politicians, and would be just another face in the crowd if elected. No to mention that electing a Democrat in this district would send a clarion message to the Republicans in Washington: Your days in power are numbered. This threat would not be ignored, especially if Congressman Paul Hackett is there to give it to them. The Republicans will be shell-shocked (we saw how concerned they were when Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth won specials in 2004), and we will have scored a major victory for our party, for our ideology, for America.

So, how do we make the most of our moment? Go to Paul's website, http://www.hackettforcongress.com and help them out, first off. If the Hackett campaign is going to take advantage of this GOP donnybrook, they'll need to have enough money to run a few TV ads so people know who they ought to vote for instead of "same-old, same-old." They need volunteers-if you live near the district or if you want to fly over there to help, Cincinnati is not far away at all from Hackett's HQ.

Go Donate -- a little money from a whole lot of people can make a huge difference in a low-turnout special election with a late breaking scandal. Thank you for your solidarity and...

Happy Blogosphere Day!

You can follow the success here.

UPDATE (Bob): Wow. At the end of the night: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

SCOTUS: Ethically Challenged John Roberts (Another Partisan Hack)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

An ethically challenged lawyer appointed by an ethically challenged "win-at-all-cost" administration.

U.S. v. Smithfield Foods - Roberts representing a pork processing company against Clean Water Act violations. This is what the court had to say about Roberts the litigator:

"The mischaracterization and distortion of this Memorandum is frustrating to the court. Quotes are being taken out of context, and it appears that words are being conveniently deleted or added for purposes of argument." "A totally misleading argument presented to this court."

I am not sure the amount of cases he has argued is very compelling if that is the way that he argues them.

UPDATE: Roberts on Roe v. Wade -- Brief field in Rust v. Sullivan

"We continue to believe that Roe was wrongfully decided and should be overturned." "[T]he Court's conclusions i Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

UPDATE (Bob) John Aravosis has info from NARAL Pro-Choice America on John Roberts and the huge oppo file from Alliance for Justice on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Tim) Aravosis has more, including Roberts' weak resume, and militant crusade to erode a woman's right to privacy, choice, and apparently right to live free from violence.

UPDATE (Tim) Jeralyn already debunks the Right's first talking point, that he was approved by the Senate to the Appeals Court overhwlemingly.

UPDATE (Bob) Here is PFAW on John Roberts (PDF)

UPDATE (Bob) Update the dkosopedia page on John Roberts and the Wikipedia page on John Roberts.

UPDATE (Bob) The John G. Robert's 2003 Confirmation Hearings

UPDATE (Bob Chris Bowers is right, John Roberts is a Partisan Hack:

The Bush administration has clearly stepped up the nomination of John Roberts in order to deflect attention from Karl Rove. Really, it makes sense. One partisan hack is deflecting attention from another.

Karl Rove is a lifetime Republican operative. John Roberts has been filing briefs and providing legal support for recounts (Roberts worked for Bush-Cheney 2000 in Florida) on behalf of Republicans for two decades. John Roberts is a partisan hack taking the heat for another partisan hack. He has only been a judge for two years. He has been a partisan Republican hack for twenty years.

The Bush administration was elected by the Supreme Court, and now it is electing a member of its campaign team to the Supreme Court in order to deflect attention away from ethics violations by the head of its campaign team, Karl Rove. The is partisan hackery at its best. The Bush administration has decided to treat the Supreme Court as an ambassadorship.

And so the fight is enjoined--the Bush administration wants to nominate a partisan hack who helped elect Bush to the Supreme Court, which elected Bush, in order to deflect attention from possible the possibly treasonous activates of another partisan hack who led the Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004. And so this is our fight--the Supreme Court is not the Northern Mariana Islands. The Supreme Court is not a way to reward those who helped get you elected. The Supreme Court is not a way to help deflect attention from the ethics violations of those who helped elect you. The Supreme Court is not a place for partisan hacks, but the Bush administration thinks it is. And so this is our fight--country over partisanship. And so it begins.

Howard Dean (from a press release):

Washington - Faced with a growing scandal surrounding the involvement of Deputy White House chief of Staff Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby in the leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative, President Bush announced his nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court late this evening. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement on the nomination:

"It is disappointing that when President Bush had the chance to bring the country together, he instead turned to a nominee who may have impressive legal credentials, but also has sharp partisan credentials that cannot be ignored.

"Democrats take very seriously the responsibility to protect the individual rights of all Americans and are committed to ensuring that ideological judicial activists are not appointed to the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will now have the opportunity to see if Judge Roberts can put his partisanship aside, and live up to a Supreme Court Justice's duty to uphold the rights and freedoms of every American and the promise of equal justice for all."

Posted at 08:02 PM in Activism, DNC Chair, General, Netroots, Nuclear Option, Plamegate, Scandals, Supreme Court | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

Happy Blogosphere Day!


UPDATESupportersTotal Raised
10:20 Central321$33,967.96
12:20 Central475$41,367.96
1:20 Central638$47,813.22
2:20 Central897$61,819.29
3:20 Central1106$70,698.14
4:20 Central1317$78,764.55
5:20 Central1397$85,244.59
6:20 Central11484$89,310.60

UPDATE (Tim): Of course, if you are from Ohio, you can volunteer for the campaign by going to Paul Hackett's volunteer page.

You can also view the grassroots produced video that draws a nice distinction between the two candidates running at Grow Ohio.

UPDATE (Bob & Tim): Atrios has a page for the Eschaton community ($740.00, $1055.01 $1651.80 $2,201.81) and Democracy for America is driving mad people to the main actblue page.

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

OH-2: Grassroots Produced Commercial

Posted by Tim Tagaris

oh02 paul hackett

Earlier this week, I wrote an entry entitled "10/25/2004: What a Difference a Day Makes" over at Grow Ohio. The piece was received well across the blogs, with offers to turn it into a literature piece and television commercial.

You can imagine my excitement when I received an email last night from a video producer/editor from Las Vegas with a high-quality spot based upon the entry. Here is a link to the 30 second commercial.

So, take a look at the video, and be sure to contribute to Paul Hackett. This is the start of something special today in the Netroots. More coming soon.

Posted at 12:14 PM in Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

OH-02: Email from Hackett Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Two weeks from today, the voters go to the polls in Ohio's second congressional district. Spread the word, Paul Hackett needs our help. The online fundraising stands at $33967.96 from 321 people. Here's an email I just received from the campaign.

On Tuesday, August 2, the voters of the 2nd Congressional District can make a national statement by electing Paul Hackett. We'll tell the entrenched powers in Ohio and in Washington, DC that we are tired of corruption and abuse of power, and we want our country back on track.

And for the first time, we'll have a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom representing us in Congress -- a war veteran who knows first hand what it means to fight for his country.

Because this race is the only special election of the summer, the national spotlight will be on Paul Hackett and our campaign. That means we need people from all over Ohio -- and even from neighboring states -- to come help us win this important race. Every one of our phone banks must be filled. We need more people knocking on doors than ever before.

The entire state of Ohio -- and the country -- will be watching this race. Don’t let this special opportunity to make a bold statement pass us by!

Here are 5 ways you can help out:

1. Come To The Volunteer Meeting -- we'll rally volunteers and talk about our plan for victory for the last two weeks of the election.

Location: Paxton Ramsey Park, 6265 Price Rd., Loveland, OH
Time: Wednesday, July 20, 7 p.m.

2. Phone Bank -- get the word out and make the case about why our troops needs a voice in Congress.
- Hamilton County Democratic Party HQ, 615 Main St., Downtown Cincinnati
- Hackett HQ, 27 N. Second St., Batavia
- Crowley HQ, 1523 Madison Rd., East Walnut Hills
- Warren County Democratic Party HQ. 8 East 5th St., Franklin
Times: Tuesday July 19 - Thursday, July 21, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.

3. Join Us for a Major Canvass This Weekend -- This Saturday we are going to storm the 2nd District with a flurry of volunteers delivering Paul Hackett’s message to voters at their doorstep. (Hackett T-shirts, walk lists, maps, instructions and a brief training will be provided!)
- Old Kerry Headquarters Parking Lot, 1523 Madison Rd., 45206
- Steelworkers Hall, 11672 Gallia Pike, Wheelersburg, OH 45694
Time: Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m.

4. Take Election Day Off to Volunteer -- We still need volunteers to help with vital get-out-the-vote efforts. If you can help on election day let us know now so we can begin building a schedule for volunteers. Ask the boss now for a vacation say August 2nd!

5. Put Up a Yard Sign -- We just got another shipment of signs in. Pick one up at our campaign HQ or at any of the volunteer opportunities above.

For more information, call the campaign at 513-735-4310 or email us at hackettforcongress @ yahoo.com

Thank you so much,

Patrick Foster

P.S. -- Even if you can’t show up, please pass this message to someone who you think can, and consider making a last-minute donation to help us get people to the polls: http://www.actblue.com/list/hackett

We'll have more throughout the day...

Posted at 11:24 AM in Special Elections | Technorati

Monday, July 18, 2005

PA-06: Radioactive Rove Headlining Gerlach Fundraiser

Posted by DavidNYC

Jim Gerlach is the embattled Republican incumbent in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District. I say "embattled" because he won by barely 2% in 2004 against an excellent candidate, Lois Murphy, who is poised to take him on again - and because he's making a highly toxic mistake:

Rove to Headline Gerlach Fundraiser

71% of Republicans Think Rove Should be Fired if he Leaked Classified Info

My political geiger counter tells me that Rove is approaching Chernobyl levels. Gerlach's is obviously busted. Good - I love it when Republicans screw up.

Posted at 10:37 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati

Bush's Watergate: Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watergate scandal's John Dean (10-3-2003):

I thought I had seen political dirty tricks as foul as they could get, but I was wrong. In blowing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame to take political revenge on her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for telling the truth, Bush's people have out-Nixoned Nixon's people. And my former colleagues were not amateurs by any means.

Then Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillipsie:

Hardball (MSNBC - 9/30/03):

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate, when you think about it?

RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

GILLESPIE: It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics. [via mediawhores]

Yeah, this is worse than Watergate. But it is also very similiar...check out the Ron Ziegler video Crooks and Liars dug up.

Posted at 06:22 PM in Plamegate, Republicans | Technorati

New Poll: Karl Rove Should be Fired

Posted by Bob Brigham

New ABC News Poll (July 13-17, 2005, 1,008 adults, ± 3%):

Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began. And three-quarters say that if presidential adviser Karl Rove was responsible for leaking classified information, it should cost him his job.

Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.

The public understand that The White House lied to the American people. The Bush Administration has lost credibility with all but the most die-hard Republicans.

But the People agree, Karl Rove should be fired:

This view is highly partisan; barely over a tenth of Democrats and just a quarter of independents think the White House is fully cooperating. That grows to 47 percent of Republicans — much higher, but still under half in the president's own party. And doubt about the administration's cooperation has grown as much among Republicans — by 22 points since September 2003 — as it has among others.

There's less division on consequences: 75 percent say Rove should lose his job if the investigation finds he leaked classified information. That includes sizable majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats alike — 71, 74 and 83 percent, respectively.

Should Karl Rove Be Fired If He Leaked Classified Information?


Pay attention, this is a serious scandal:

The leak investigation is seen as a meaningful issue: About three-quarters call it a serious matter, and just over four in 10 see it as "very" serious. These are down slightly, however, by five and six points respectively, from their level in September 2003.

Fifty-three percent are following the issue closely — a fairly broad level of attention. Those paying close attention (who include about as many Republicans as Democrats) are more likely than others to call it very serious, to say the White House is not cooperating, to say Rove should be fired if he leaked, and to say Miller is doing the right thing.

People are not buying the White House lies. People are paying attention and the more they pay attention the more they are hating the corrupt arrogance of the Bush White House.

Posted at 04:54 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

GOP Smear Machine History

Posted by Bob Brigham

Watching the White House Scandal unfold, it has become clear that the GOP is smearing anyone and everyone not hyping RNC talking points. This isn't anything new, in fact, this is part of a very clear pattern.

A DNC press release:


Republicans follow a tried and true tactic of attacking, smearing, and sliming anyone who might get in their way or threaten their political survival. Their ongoing effort to discredit Joe Wilson and their destruction of his wife's career is just the latest in a long line of questionable tactics that the Bush Administration, Karl Rove, and Ken Mehlman consistently use to protect themselves and ensure their continued political power.


Shinseki Punished For Honest Assessment Of Troop Levels Needed In Iraq; Retribution Intimidated Commanders. Then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress in 2003 that the occupation of Iraq would require 'several hundred thousand' troops. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called that estimate 'wildly off the mark.' The Pentagon leaked the name of Shinseki's replacement months before his scheduled retirement, rendering him a lame duck. The Washington Times reported that some officers said privately that the rebuke intimidated commanders in Iraq. [UPI, 4/12/04; Washington Times, 4/10/04]


Richard Clarke Smeared After Talking About White House Lackadaisical Attitude Towards Al-Qaeda. The Bush White House worked hard to discredit its counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, after he wrote a book suggesting the President let down his guard on al-Qaeda because of an obsession with Iraq. After Clarke testified to White House inadequacies, the White House assailed Clarke's motives. "In an interview evening, Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, dismissed Mr. Clarke's charges as 'politically motivated,' 'reckless' and 'baseless.'" [ New York Times, 3/22/04; AP, 11/16/04]

  • White House Tried To Paint Picture of Disgruntled Former Employee. After claiming that Clarke is linked to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said "Mr. Clarke has been out there talking about what title he had...He wanted to be the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department after it was created. The fact of the matter is, just a few months after that, he left the Administration. He did not get that position. Someone else was appointed to it." [White House Briefing, 3/22/04]
  • Cheney Claimed That Counterterrorism Chief Was Not "In the Loop." Cheney: "[Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff...It was as though he clearly missed a lot of what was going on." [Cheney to Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04]
  • White House Asked the CIA to Declassify Select Material to Highlight "Contradictions." In response to Richard Clarke's call on "Meet the Press" for "all" of his testimony to be classified, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported, "NBC News has learned, at the request of the White House, the CIA is already going through Clarke's testimony to Congress to see what could be declassified, supposedly to show contradictions. All part of an unrelenting White House counteroffensive." [NBC Nightly News, 3/29/04]
  • Frist Called Clarke Apology to 9-11 Families Arrogant and Manipulative. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said "In his appearance before the 9/11 commission, Mr. Clarke's theatrical apology on behalf of the nation was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility. In my view it was not an act of humility, but an act of supreme arrogance and manipulation." [Frist Statement, 3/26/04]

O'Neill Fired For Expressing Misgivings Over Bush's Additional Tax Cuts. Paul O'Neill, his first treasury secretary, was fired after expressing misgivings about the need for additional tax cuts proposed by the president. [AP, 11/16/04]

Administration Launched Investigation After O'Neill Wrote A Book. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called O'Neill twice after hearing he was writing a book on the Bush Administration. Rumsfeld called it a "sour grapes" book. Soon after the book was published the Treasury department launched an investigation into whether O'Neill shared secret documents with 60 Minutes. Ron Suskind, the author of the book, who was given access by Mr. O'Neill to 19,000 documents that were turned over to him by the department after his departure, said the document that was shown on "60 Minutes" was the cover sheet for a February 2001 briefing paper on planning for a post-war Iraq. But he said Mr. O'Neill was not provided with the briefing paper itself. [NYTimes, 1/13/04; NYTimes, 1/14/04]


Lindsey Forced to Resign After Citing Large Cost of Iraq War. White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey annoyed the White House in September 2002 when he suggested that war with Iraq would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, an estimate Administration officials insisted was too high. In December 2002, the White House requested Lindsey resign from his post. "While I think this economic team has clearly had problems working together, I think the criticisms of Larry Lindsey have often been inconsistent and unfair for someone who was loyally carrying out the president's agenda, however much I disagreed with it," said Gene Sperling, Mr. Lindsey's immediate predecessor under Mr. Clinton. [NYTimes, 12/8/02; Houston Chronicle, 12/7/02]


Army Corps Director Fired For Comments On Bush Budget. "Mike Parker, director of the Army Corps of Engineers and a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, testified on the Hill that Bush budget cuts would have a 'negative impact' on the Corps and that he had no 'warm and fuzzy' feelings toward the Administration. A furious (Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell) Daniels sent a transcript of Parker's comments to the White House. Soon after, he was given 30 minutes to resign or be fired." [ Christian Science Monitor, 12/17/02; USA Today, 3/14/02]


Park Police Chief Fired For Comments On Bush Policy. U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers was suspended from her job when she said her "understaffed department had to curtail critical patrols in Park Service jurisdictions beyond the Mall, such as major parkways and crime-ridden U.S. parkland in neighborhoods, because of Interior Department orders requiring more officers to guard downtown national shrines... For responding with the truth to questions from The Washington Post and other news outlets about staffing in her department, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers has been placed on leave and notified that superiors in the National Park Service and Interior want her fired." [Washington Post, Editorial, 12/24/03]

Department of Interior Threatened Lawsuit Against Chambers; Turns Down Gag Deal. The Department of Interior's Park Service announced that it wanted to fire Chambers in December and was considering pressing charges related to release of sensitive information, lobbying, insubordination and breaking the chain of command. Chambers rejected an offer from the National Park Service that would have resulted in all charges against her being dropped in exchange for her agreeing to receive permission before speaking to Congress or the media. [Greenwire, 1/21/04]


ABC News Reporter Smeared By Bush Administration For Documenting Low Troop Morale. After ABC News reporter Jeffrey Kofman did a story on "World News Tonight" detailing low morale among the troops serving in Iraq, the Bush Administration sought to discredit the messenger rather than refute the message. The internet's Drudge Report published a headline that read: "ABC News correspondent who filed troop complaints story is openly gay, Canadian." Site publisher Matt Drudge later told the Washington Post that "someone in the White House communications shop tipped me" to the ABC correspondent's piece and the Advocate profile. [Chicago Tribune, 7/23/03; Washington Post, 7/18/03]


INS Agents Demoted for Discussing Lax Security On Canadian Border. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Agents Mark Hall and Robert Linderman were demoted from their positions after they told reporters that United States security at Canadian borders was lax. The demotions were later over-ruled by INS Commissioner James W. Ziglar after a report by the INS Office of Special Council found that Hall and Linderman were not aware of rules against INS agents speaking with the media. [Washington Post, 4/6/02]

Posted at 04:37 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

NC-11: Heath Shuler (D) vs. Rep. Charles Taylor

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the A.P.

Former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler is mounting a challenge for the U.S. House seat held by Republican Charles Taylor of Brevard.

Shuler, a Democrat who lives in Waynesville, said in a statement Monday that he has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission that clear the way for him to run next year in the 11th Congressional District.

Taylor, an eight-term incumbent, has been targeted by the state Democratic Party in recent months. The party has released a series of statements attacking Taylor's ethics and under the leadership of new party chair Jerry Meek has created a task force aimed at shoring up Democratic prospects in the western mountains.

In 2004, Patricia Keever held Taylor to 55%.

"Far too many families in western North Carolina are struggling to earn a decent living, educate their children, and pay for health care," Shuler said. "Congress is spending too much time playing partisan politics, instead of working to find solutions to the real problems facing our families." [...]

Shuler played football at Swain County High School, where he ranked among North Carolina's all-time passing leaders and led his team to three straight state championships. At the University of Tennessee, he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Drafted in the first round by the NFL's Washington Redskins in 1994, Shuler's pro career never took off. In four-plus NFL seasons with the Redskins and New Orleans Saints, Shuler started just 22 games, throwing for only 15 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.

Since retiring from football, Shuler and his brother Benjie have run Heath Shuler Real Estate, a firm with 250 employees. Shuler and his wife Nikol have a son and a daughter.

It looks like Congressman Taylor's re-election is in trouble:

"That doesn't mean that we don't see the 11th as a great pickup possibility," Johnson said Monday. "Charles Taylor is ripe for the picking. ... From all we've gathered, Heath Shuler will be a very formidable candidate."

Democrats have long blamed Taylor for the loss of thousands of blue-collar jobs in the 11th District. And he has been dogged by ethics controversies, including an extended run-in with the Jackson County tax collector over unpaid taxes on a tree farm Taylor owns, and a criminal trial at which longtime political associates testified that Taylor knew about fraudulent loans made by the Asheville-based bank he chairs, Blue Ridge Savings.

Here are some stats.

Posted at 04:15 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Carolina | Comments (2) | Technorati

Karl Rove Losing His Religion

Posted by Bob Brigham

Karl Rove:

"I've already said too much."


The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour I’m
Choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed

I'm sure this is now stuck in your head. While you hum along, go read the latest scandal news.

Posted at 02:56 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Karl Rove Scandal: Credibility Gap

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Break out the sirens, Drudge. Just 1/4 of the American public thinks the White House is cooperating with the Karl Rove/White House investigation into the deliberate leaking of an undercover agent.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, July 18, 2005
Many Doubt White House Cooperation

With Federal Investigation of CIA Leak

Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began.

I've already said too much, Atrios has the rest.

Posted at 02:56 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Dean: Bush Must Keep His Word

Posted by Bob Brigham

A press release from the DNC:

Dean: Bush Must Keep His Word

Washington - This weekend, newspapers from around the country, responding to the scandal surrounding the White House, called on President Bush to keep his word with the American people and put our national security interests above his personal politics. Now that it's clear that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney's top aides, Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, spoke to reporters as payback against a political opponent, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean reiterated his call for President Bush to keep his earlier promise to fire any aide who improperly disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA operative.

"Faced with a question about whether or not he will keep his promise to fire those involved in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent while we are at war, President Bush backed away from his initial pledge and lowered the ethics bar," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "With several sources now citing Rove and Libby as two sources of the leaks, Bush should be prepared to keep his word, and to enforce a high standard of ethics in the White House as he promised from the beginning of his administration."

Newspaper Editorials From Across the Country: Scandal Erodes White House Credibility and Bush Must Keep His Word

Associated Press: Rove Episode A "Disgrace." "The whole episode is a disgrace. It's also a sad reminder of how this administration plays fast and loose with truth." [AP, 7/12/05]

Costa Times: Scandal "Does Not Look Good for [Rove]...Bush." "On Wednesday, Bush did not defend Rove. That does not look good for the president's deputy chief of staff, nor does it look good for Bush, who either knew or should have known about high-level leaks in the White House. [Contra Costa Times, 7/14/05]

San Francisco Chronicle: "Rove Should Be Put On Leave." "The official silence from the White House on Monday was quite disturbing...At a minimum, Rove should be put on leave while the evidence that he may have used top-secret information for political purposes is being sorted out." [The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/12/05]

Denver Post: Rove Should "Come Clean About His Role." "It's time for Bush administration power broker Karl Rove - and others in the White House - to come clean about his role in the 2003 outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame...Rove's hairsplitting is an inadequate explanation for us." [Denver Post, 7/12/05]

St. Petersburg Times: Rove's Involvement "Erodes the Bush Administration's Credibility." "The revelation that the White House aide was indeed involved with the outing of a CIA operative further erodes the Bush administration's credibility." [St. Petersburg Times, 7/14/05]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: White House Statements "Look Like Lies." "The White House and Rove have denied for two years that he played any role whatsoever in Plame's exposure as an undercover agent. Even under the most friendly of interpretations, those statements now look like lies." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/13/05]

The Record (Bergen County, NJ): Rove "Attempted to Destroy Credibility of 2 National Security Veterans." Observed an editorial in The Record (a Bergen County newspaper), "If you can't shoot the messenger, take aim at his wife. That clearly was the intent of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. To try to conceal the fact that the president had lied to the American public about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, Rove attempted to destroy the credibility of two national security veterans and send an intimidating message to any other government officials preparing to publicly tell the truth... Yet what the emerging Rove scandal demonstrates is the ease with which a wily top White House official can subvert the Bill of Rights' protection of the free press to serve the tawdriest of political ends." [ The Record, 7/14/05]

Herald News (New Jersey): Administration "Owes the American People Answers." "It is ridiculous that an administration willing to let a reporter go to jail for not breaking her pledge of confidentiality to a source is stonewalling the American public on what it knew about the leak. Rove is one of the most influential advisers to the president. Whether Rove identified Plame by name or merely suggested that she could be behind Wilson's trip to Niger, Rove's hands are not clean... Bush, McClellan and Rove owe the American people answers." [Herald News, 7/14/05]

Albuquerque Journal: Affair Puts Administration's "Credibility...Squarely at Issue." "All legal questions aside, this puts the Bush administration's credibility on this question squarely at issue... The president earlier vowed to fire anyone in his administration found guilty of leaking Plame's name. If prosecutors indict Rove, Bush will have little choice but to follow through." [Albuquerque Journal, 7/14/05]

Charlotte Observer: President Should "Get the Facts." According to a Charlotte Observer editorial, "...in September 2003 a White House spokesman said Mr. Rove had not been involved in disclosing Ms. Plame's name. The Time e-mail shows he did disclose her CIA connection... The president has the power to get the facts and tell the public the truth. He should use it." [Charlotte Observer, 7/13/05]

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Bush "Choosing to Stonewall" "The Bush administration, like many of its predecessors, when finally faced with questions of confidence and honor, apparently is choosing to stonewall the questioners - exactly the worst thing it can do." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/13/05]

Philadelphia Inquirer: President Engaged in "Goofy Posturing." "Either presidential adviser Karl Rove wasn't telling the truth to President Bush about his role in revealing the identity of a CIA officer. Or Bush wasn't telling the truth to the public about Rove's involvement. Neither option is defensible...to contend that [Rove] had no role in revealing her identity is to engage in goofy posturing worthy of the old TV spy series Get Smart." [ Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/13/05]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rove "Betraying the Country." "The White House operative who blew CIA Agent Valerie Plame's cover to journalists Matt Cooper and Judith Miller was betraying the country, pure and simple." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/28/05]

Intelligence Journal: "Rove Deserves to be Fired." "The petty and vengeful disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame...contrasts sharply with an administration that likes to highlight its discipline and talk about its values... The president promised to fire leakers in the Plame affair. If Coopers notes are correct, Rove deserves to be fired." [Intelligence Journal, 7/13/05]

Philadelphia Daily News: Rove "Can't Be Trusted...Must Go." "It's now clear that Rove, President Bush's chief political street fighter, can't be trusted with the nation's secrets. Not when a cheap political attack can be made... There is no easy way to explain this away. And the White House shouldn't even try. Rove must go." [Philadelphia Daily News, 7/12/05]

The Herald: Rove "Lied to President...Might Have Compromised National Security." "Rove apparently lied to the president. He publicly identified a CIA agent. He engaged in an active effort to discredit and intimidate Wilson simply because he was critical of the president. He did not volunteer information about his role in this affair to federal investigators for two years. And he might have compromised national security." [The Herald, 7/14/05]

The Jackson Sun: President in "No-Win Situation." "Of course, the question that should be answered first deals with Bush's own knowledge of Rove's activities. This is a no-win situation for the president. If he admits prior knowledge of Rove's conversations with Cooper, that suggests that he approved of his actions. If he continues to claim ignorance, that suggests something far worse: that Rove was acting on his own, without presidential authority." [ The Jackson Sun, 7/1305]

Roanoke Times & World News: "Apparent Violation of Public Trust" "The Roanoke Times Rove can stick to the story that he did not actually name Plame, and hope Bush's conservative base will overwhelm critics with howls about a media witch hunt. But a public disgusted by one president's arguments over the legal meaning of the word 'is' likely will not be buying. And in this case, the apparent violation of the public trust involves matters much more serious than presidential peccadilloes. It deals with national security and war - specifically, selling the American public on the war in Iraq." [Roanoke Times & World News, 7/13/05]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: President Must Live Up To Earlier Promise. "The President must live up to his early promises about dealing severely with the abusive leak of Plame's identity. On Oct. 6, 2003, Bush told reporters, 'This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it very seriously.' Unless the plain meaning of those words is not their true meaning, Bush was saying that he and other top advisers were outraged at the leak and had nothing to do with it. Now, it turns out that Rove, indeed, did have something to do with using Plame's CIA activities to attack Wilson." [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/12/05]

Sarasota Herald Tribune: "Americans...Are Baffled By the Changing Story." "Americans who are baffled by the changing story and troubled by the partisan defenses and attacks can only hope that Fitzgerald sets the record straight." [Sarasota Herald Tribune, 7/17/05]

Miami Herald: "Rove Violated the Spirit of the Law." "Mr. Rove violated the spirit of the law and engaged in behavior unworthy a senior administration official...Is this how President Bush wants the White House to conduct business?" [Miami Herald, 7/15/05]

Capital Times: Aggravated about Rove's avoidance of accountability. "There is no longer any question about the fact that Rove was Cooper's source. So is Rove going to jail? That's far from certain. Rove's a master manipulator, and he has a long record of avoiding accountability for wrongdoing." [Capital Times, 7/14/05]

This is why Bush has a credibility problem.

Posted at 02:08 PM in DNC Chair, Plamegate | Technorati

Blogs on Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at Seeing the Forest, Dave Johnson has a great wrap-up piece on the Karl Rove Scandal.

Also, Salon's Peter Daou has started new page tracking the blogs on the scandal. Readers familiar with the layout know Peter puts liberal links on the left, and convervative on the right. He's expanded on the thought with the headline, "A selection of key blog posts on Karl Rove and the Valerie Plame case".

The conservatives can try all they want, but this scandal isn't about Valerie Plame or Joe Wilson, it is about the Bush White House. The American Prospect put this on the cover. Repeat after me: Karl Rove Scandal.

Posted at 01:45 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Karl Rove Scandal Mementos

Posted by Bob Brigham

Nothing like a t-shirt vendor to compliment the festival-like atmosphere as we watch the Bush Administration attempt to cover-up treason. Either Karl Rove lied and should be fired or Bush lied to us all. So enjoy the entertainment and get your Karl Rove Scandal T-Shirt.

Posted at 12:55 PM in Activism, General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

SF 312 - Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Liberal Oasis on SF 312 - Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement

The whole point of Russert bringing up SF 312 was under that nondisclosure agreement, it doesn’t matter where Rove got the info. He was obligated to make sure it wasn’t classified.

He was, at the barest minimum, being negligent in his handling of sensitive national security information, which is a violation of SF 312.

Now “remedial action” can mean a lot of things.

But common sense would dictate that a careless handling of classified info warrants a revoking of one’s security clearance.

And using classified info for political payback warrants dismissal.

Why hasn’t the White House begun its own investigation to determine if Rove or others violated SF 312 and deserve remedial action, as is required?

Ken Mehlman can’t answer that question.

Which means: keep asking.

Indeed. Regardless of the criminal investigation, the Bush White House has a Duty to follow protocol with an investigation into the nondisclosure agreement.

Posted at 10:55 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Howard Dean: American People "Deserve Answers"

Posted by Bob Brigham

The DNC issued a great press release on the abuse of power scandal. I've included the whole thing postjump.


"Despite his best efforts to cloud the facts, not even Ken Mehlman and the Republican spin machine can change the fact that the Bush Administration's credibility problem is only getting worse. The list of unanswered questions surrounding the Rove scandal and its impact on our national security continue to grow," said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. "The American people deserve answers to these questions. And they deserve to know whether the President is a man of his word. Mr. President, keep your word."

See below for a new document from DNC Research:


Until recently, Karl Rove had denied even knowing Valerie Plame’s name. Then, after the release of emails from Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper revealing the name of the White House source, Rove’s lawyer confirmed that Rove did speak with reporters about the case. Now, previously secret Time emails demonstrate that Rove did indeed leak to Cooper information about “Wilson’s wife” -- Valerie Plame, and lawyers revealed that Rove confirmed Valerie Plame’s identity for Bob Novak. That means that Karl Rove spoke with both of the journalists who published original accounts about Plame, and places him squarely in the center of this scandal.

“If left unpunished, this cowardly act will not only hinder our efforts to recruit qualified individuals into the clandestine service, but it will have a far-reaching, deleterious effect on our ability to recruit foreign intelligence assets overseas.”

— Larry Johnson, former CIA Analyst [Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, 10/24/03]


McClellan Said Rove Never Told Reporters that Plame Worked for CIA. White House Press Secretary Scott McCllelan was asked whether Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams or Lewis Libby told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?” McClellan responded by denying that Rove or the others had leaked any classified information. “Those individuals — I talked — I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that’s where it stands.” [WH Briefing, 10/10/03]


We know Rove’s initial public statements and his statements to Scott McClellan were false. And we know that after testifying once in front of the grand jury, they called him back. Did he knowingly lie to Scott McClellan? Did McClellan knowingly mislead the press? Did Rove change his answers to the grand jury? Did Rove commit perjury in front of the grand jury? Regardless of where Rove heard about Plame, wasn’t it a violation of national security policy for him to confirm her identity to Novak?


Rove Told Cooper That It Was “Wilson’s Wife” Who Worked on WMDs for the CIA. Rove had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper on July 11, 2003. Cooper wrote an email about the conversation to his Time bureau chief, describing how Rove gave him a “big warning” that Wilson’s assertions might not be entirely accurate and that it was not the director of the CIA or the vice president who sent Wilson on his trip. Rather, “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd who authorized the trip.” Wilson’s wife is Valerie Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]

Rove Confirmed Plame’s Identity for Bob Novak. Rove indirectly confirmed the CIA affiliation of Joe Wilson’s wife for Robert Novak the week before he named her and revealed her position. “Novak said he had learned that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA…"I heard that, too," Rove replied.” [Washington Post, 7/15/05]


Now that we know that Rove told Cooper about “Wilson’s wife,” who told Rove? Who was Bob Novak’s original source? If Rove really didn’t have first-hand knowledge of Plame’s work as an operative, why did he lead Matt Cooper to believe he did? Why did Novak use the name Valerie Plame when Cooper used the name Valerie Wilson?


Rove Gave Cooper Permission to Testify—Allowing Cooper to Avoid Jail Time—But Miller Chose to Go to Jail. Rove’s lawyer confirmed that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper’s lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify. Cooper avoided jail time last week by agreeing to testify before the grand jury about conversations with his sources, while New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for refusing to discuss her confidential sources. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]


Rove has “released” Cooper from confidentiality. If Rove were Miller’s source, wouldn’t he do the same for her? So who was Miller talking to? If everyone is cooperating with this investigation, why hasn’t Miller’s source released her from her promise of confidentiality? If everyone is cooperating with investigators, why hasn’t Bush fired those that have refused to sign waivers of confidentiality?


Rove Had Previously Denied Any Involvement: In August 2004, Rove Claimed He Did Not Know Who Plame Was. In August of 2004, facing questions of his role in the Plame leak scandal, Rove denied his involvement, saying that he did not even know who Plame was at the time of the leak. “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name.” [CNN, 7/4/05]

Rove Spoke With Novak Five Days Before Plame’s Name Became Public. Novak telephoned Rove in the week before the publication of the July 2003 column. Rove confirmed Plame’s identity for Novak, saying that he too had heard that she was a CIA operative. [Washington Post, 7/15/05]

Rove Spoke to Cooper Three Days Before Plame’s Name Became Public. To be considered a violation of the law, a disclosure by a government official must have been deliberate, the discloser must have known that the CIA officer was a covert agent, and he or she must have known that the government was actively concealing the covert agent’s identity. Although Cooper’s email does not prove that Rove knew Plame was a covert operative, “… it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak’s column appeared; in other words, [three days] before Plame’s identity had been published.” [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]

In Rove’s Defense, His Lawyer Claims that Rove Did Not Identify Plame by Name—But Who Else Could “Wilson’s Wife” Be? According to the Washington Post, “Rove’s lawyer said yesterday that his client did not identify her by name.” Yet, the substance of the email from Cooper to Time editors states that it was “Wilson’s wife.” Since there is as yet no evidence that Wilson was a bigamist, just who else “Wilson’s wife” could be besides Plame is unclear. [Washington Post, 7/11/05]


If Rove is innocent, then why would he claim that he didn’t know who Plame was? Why was he so careful, saying that “I didn’t know her name and didn’t leak her name”? Even though Cooper’s email does not indicate that Rove knew what Plame’s job was, couldn’t this fact simply mean that Rove did not reveal any more than he needed to Cooper?

Get the latest scandal news.

Posted at 07:35 PM in DNC Chair, Democrats, General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Bring on the Blogosphere

Posted by Bob Brigham

A huge INDEED to Kid Oakland.

Posted at 03:40 PM in Activism | Technorati

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Welcome to the Netroots, Senator Biden

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Senator Joe Biden jumped in with both feet over at MyDD earlier today, and was greated with a good mix of hostility and acceptance. This gives me a good opportunity to get a few things off my chest about candidates and electeds entering the blogosphere with increasing frequency.

1.) Your star power is dwindling. At first, diaries at Kos, MyDD, and guest columns at places like Swing State Project were great opportunities to be seen by thousands in the grassroots and greeted with thankfulness for what was almost always a fundraising attempt. They almost always shot up to the top of the recommended list in record time. That doesn't happen any longer. I have seen diaries by Nick Lampson (TX-22) drift away into obscurity. There is a higher standard in the netroots now-a-days.

2.) Recognize that the the Internet an opportunity to have a discussion with the grassroots, and yes, ask things of us, but it is quickly becoming a vehicle to hold our representatives to account, as witnessed on Senator Biden's MyDD thread. So, if you have recently pulled some B.S. on the campaign trail or in the House or Senate--people remember and will call you on it.

3.) If you are going to post, then post. Don't have your communications staff posting under your name, pretending your effort at outreach is anything more than some screed that you approved (maybe) over a cup of coffee earlier in the morning. Now I'm not saying that Senator Biden's post on MyDD wasn't written and posted by him, but I know that we aren't always talking to the candidates when we think we are.

Most people understand you have work to do, so if you want to write something up yourself, and have it posted under your name by a staffer, cool. At the end of the entry, just be upfront with us was placed on Kos or MyDD by a staffer. We understand. But if you have a staffer that is running around and perpetrating like they are the Congressman/Woman/Senator/Presidential candidate, your "brand" and credibility online will be shot when it is uncovered.

3.) Stick around and reply to comments. Set aside a good half-hour or so after your entry. Come back later in the night and reply. Check in early the next morning. Just make sure you reply.

It may be "socially" acceptable now to drop a "flaming bag of dog poop" (aka post-and-run), but the ones who in the future will receive the rewards candidates are looking are the ones that actually engage the netroots in the comments section in their own diaries. Or hell, even diaries that aren't your own. Set aside an hour or two a week just like you would for fundraising calls.

4.) Do more than just ask us for money. I cringe when I see "candidates" running for Congress on places like DailyKos who do nothing but write diaries with the sole purpose being the fundraising link at the bottom of the entry. It drives me crazy, and I suspect that many others are starting to see right through it as well. We are not solely an ATM Machine.

5.) Do not just copy and paste press releases. We know it when we see them.

This is not to pick on Senator Biden, because a lot of the points I listed above did not happen in his entry. In fact, during the filibuster battle, I called his office for a copy of a floor speech he gave, and had one emailed to me within 5 minutes. For that I was grateful, for sure. This is for the increasing number of candidates who have decided they want to "reach-out" to the netroots. What worked in 2004 might work a bit in 2006, but I can promise you, it won't work nearly as well in 2006 to 2008.

Posted at 01:27 AM in Netroots | Comments (6) | Technorati

Friday, July 15, 2005

Scott McClellan Cancelling Daily Press Briefings

Posted by Bob Brigham

scott-mcclellan-tour.jpg For the second day in a row, Bush Administration Press Secretary Scott McClellan has cancelled the daily press briefings. This is highly irregular, in fact the last time this happened it was because Bush was at the Pope's funeral.

The reason why? Scott McClellan can't end the daily press briefings. The White House website has a video tour of the Press Briefing Room. In the tour, McClellan explains the importance of having daily briefings, but he also notes:

It is a tradtion here at The White House that the briefing does not end until the senior wire correspondent -- here in the front row -- says, "Thank you."

Right now, the press corps has nothing to thank McClellan for. In fact, it would make sense for the senior correspondent not to end the next briefing until McClellan levels with the press and the American people. Could this be why McClellan has taken the highly unusual step of cancelling the daily press briefing? Is he worried that once he starts a briefing, it won't end?

Posted at 04:58 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

DCCC: Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Fire Karl Rove

The The Stakeholder has a ton of information on Rove, including a new video (click on image), letters and fact sheets.

Jesse Lee is fired up, calling it a "blitz" and judging by the amount of action by Democrats in Congress, this is scandal is going to get even bigger next week.

I'm glad to see the DCCC throwing the anvil.

"Is the President going to stand by his word...or stand by his man?"

The DCCC smells blood, this is going to be an elections issue. Bush lied on Iraq, Bush tried to privatize Social Security, Bush over-reached on Schiavo, and now Bush is covering up for a traitor.

Posted at 04:32 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Plamegate | Comments (1) | Technorati

PLAN: Sirota Leads the Charge

Posted by Tim Tagaris

A major weakness in the progressive movement is our inability to rapidly and effectively deploy best practices laterally. If Oregon Democrats have a great idea, we need to give Florida Democrats the tools to turn the idea into reality. There's a new think tank created to do just that, with blogger David Sirota serving as a co-chair and lots of big names a joining the effort. Press release and kickoff agenda after the jump.

PLAN Announces Co-Sponsors & Details of Seattle Kickoff Event

Conference to be supported by, among others, Moveon.org, SEIU, and the United Steelworkers of America

Helena, MT – The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) today released the full details of its upcoming kickoff event in Seattle on August 16th entitled Planning Progress 2005: Defining a Positive Progressive Agenda for the States. The event is being co-sponsored by, among others, Moveon.org, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Steelworkers, and progressive philanthropists Andy and Deborah Rappaport. The event will feature, among others, Former Vice Presidential nominee and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, former California House Speaker Willie Brown, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, and state legislators from across America. For more on the event, see the attached detailed agenda and go to www.progressivestates.org.

"The response to PLAN's creation has been nothing short of tremendous," said PLAN co-chairperson Steve Doherty, the former Montana State Senate Minority Leader. "The strong support of grassroots organizations, philanthropists and the progressive community as a whole shows that our side is ready to take the fight to every state legislature in America."

Moveon.org founder Wes Boyd, who has agreed to be a founding member of PLAN's governing board, said the time is now for progressives to focus not only on Washington, D.C., but also on what's happening outside the Beltway in America's heartland.

"The opportunities to create real and lasting change at the state level are endless," Boyd said. "That's why Moveon.org is proud to be partnering with PLAN: because we understand how important it is to start supporting state legislators who want to aggressively push a progressive agenda that starts making government stand up for individual freedom and America's working families."

In recent weeks, PLAN's co-chairpersons, Sen. Doherty and David Sirota, have been meeting with potential funders, board members and supporters from all over the country, and all different parts of the progressive community.

"The goal is to bring as diverse a coalition together as possible so that our side has a cohesive agenda in the states," Sirota said. "For too long, conservatives have been able to use huge sums of money to push the most radical right-wing policies through state legislatures. PLAN is committed to putting together the necessary resources and necessary coalitions to help progressive legislators stop this unchecked extremism, and start passing legislation that makes state governments work for ordinary citizens, not just monied special interests."

The Progressive Legislative Action Network will have a 501c(3) and 501c(4) component. PLAN's mission is to support progressives at the state level and pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America's state legislatures. By providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state lawmakers, PLAN will advance policies that protect individual freedom and strengthen America's working families.


Planning Progress 2005:

A conference to launch the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) and to define a positive progressive agenda for the states

Tuesday, August 16

Bell Harbor Conference Center

Pier 66

Seattle, Washington

12 Noon - Kickoff Luncheon

Welcome by Master of Ceremonies Willie L. Brown, Jr.

former Speaker of the California Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco

What is the PLAN? David Sirota and Steve Doherty, Co-Chairmen

- Introduction of the Progressive Legislative Action Network and its founding members

Speaker: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer

Keynote Speaker: Senator John Edwards

1:30 - Strategy Session I

Jobs, Wages & Growth: A Progressive Legislative Agenda

- Moderator: John Podesta, Center for American Progress

- Panelist: Andy Grossman, Exec. Dir., Walmart Watch

- Panelist: Maryland Del. Adrienne Jones

- Panelist: Joel Rogers, U. of Wisconsin/Apollo Project

3:00 - Break

3:15 - Strategy Session II

Strategies to Increase Voter Participation

- Moderator: Bernie Horn, Center for Policy Alternatives

- Panelist: New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat

- Panelist: Anthony Thigpenn, SCOPE

- Panelist: TBD

4:45 - Wrap Up

5:00 - Cocktail Reception

Posted at 04:00 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Editorial: Scott McClellan Should Resign Immediately

Posted by Bob Brigham

San Francisco Chronicle Editorial:

The person who should step down immediately is White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Every White House correspondent knows that a press secretary's job involves a good deal of "spin" and administration-friendly interpretations of the facts. But it can't involve what now seem like outright falsehoods. And that is the trap in which McClellan now finds himself.

He insisted on several occasions that Rove played no role in the Plame incident. He ridiculed those who even suggested it. "Totally ridiculous" and "not true," he said. "There is simply no truth to that suggestion," McClellan said on Sept. 29, 2003, in a typical statement. "And I have spoken with Karl about it."

Now McClellan is squirming and stonewalling by saying he won't comment because of the "ongoing investigation" into the mess -- further infuriating a press corps that feels it was had.

Yes, McClellan lied to the press corps and played them for fools. In fact, Bush operatives have used this approach since they first started campaigning for President. They used it in Texas. And only know is the press corp finally waking up -- and demanding McClellan's scalp.

His credibility is shot.

McClellan is not the source of this mess at the White House, but his obfuscation about the abrupt U-turn in the official story line is unacceptable.

He should resign.

I think Scott McClellan should be fired. He lied to the American people in a cover-up. He should be fired immediately.

Posted at 03:53 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Chi-Mayor: Daley 2007 Re-Election in Trouble

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the AP:

CHICAGO - City Hall is shaking from a series of corruption scandals, and Mayor Richard Daley's approval ratings are at historic lows. Add to that a possible mayoral hopeful — congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. — who won't let those scandals die, and the city that has been ruled by a Daley for 37 of the past 50 years has the potential for picking another name come 2007. [...]

Over the Independence Day weekend, at an event at his father's Rainbow/PUSH headquarters to launch a huge voter registration drive, Jackson turned the heat up several notches.

"For the last six months, we've read and seen nothing but corruption and greed and malfeasance throughout much of city government ... While the corruption has not directly touched the mayor, it's all around him."

"As a result, we've seen a defensive and angry Mayor Richard M. Daley, but we haven't seen a responsible and accountable Mayor Daley," Jackson said at the event, where some wore "Jr." buttons on shirts and jackets. "Instead of a mayor who says, `The buck stops here,' we've seen a mayor who passes the buck."

If it comes down to a competitive race, expect the blogosphere to remind often how Daley stabbed Durbin in the back.

Posted at 03:00 PM in Illinois | Technorati

New Rock the Vote Flash Video

Posted by Bob Brigham


From a Rock the Vote press release:

WASHINGTON – One million young people will receive a new flash video from Rock the Vote in their email inboxes this morning urging them to “get the facts and don’t get played” when it comes to Social Security. Rock the Vote, the non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to building political power for young people, emailed an internet-based issue ad out to its one million members and supporters, designed to educate young people about the future of Social Security.

The ad, called “DON’T GET PLAYED”, is available at Rock the Vote’s website. It was designed as part of Rock the Vote’s member-supported campaign to speak out against the massive up-front government debt, cuts in Social Security benefits, and increases in risk that accompany most private accounts proposals.

Rock the Vote’s campaign is presently focused on reaching outside the beltway and educating young people directly, seeking an impact more in the polls than in the halls of Congress. Already polls are showing that young people who are paying more attention to the Social Security debate are most opposed to privatization.

“Millions of young people think Social Security won’t be there for them,” said Rock the Vote’s Washington Director, Hans Riemer. “In fact, even with no changes, Social Security can pay larger benefits to young people than seniors get today. Changes are needed to strengthen the fund, but if you think Social Security is going to disappear you are getting played.”

Posted at 02:43 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Is Ken Mehlman Lying About Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Sidney Blumenthal

"At one point, on CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked Mehlman if he had attended meetings at the White House on how to deal with Wilson. Suddenly, the voluble Mehlman constricted. "I don't recall those meetings occurring," he said. Has the prosecutor inquired about such meetings and their participants?"

Left Coaster

In that exchange, anyone who has ever confronted a liar -- and that includes every parent whose child has fibbed, every teacher who's had a pupil turn in a late assignment, every staffer who's worked for a politician, and every prosecutor who's asked a suspect for an alibi -- can see the wheels turning and the tongue forking.

That is why Rove and McClellan aren't going to be the only ones to fall. There Administration is engaging in a cover-up, a cover-up of treason. The Left Coaster suggests:

Accordingly, I propose that no White House spokesman or GOP talking head should be allowed to spout off to any newspaper reporter or TV personality on any subject without first answering these simple questions:

* When were the White House meetings?
* Who attended?
* What was said?
* Who said it?

If no reporter or talk show host or screaming-heads TV personality is enterprising enough to get answers to these few simple questions, the American media may as well be pronounced D.O.A.

Posted at 02:37 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

Rove Scandal: Scott McClellan Mocked

Posted by Bob Brigham

Scott McClellan as Ron Ziegler

Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove. He went out to the podium and opened his "voice of the Bush White House" mouth -- and lied to the press corps. He lied to the American people. I understand why he's scared, the entire press thinks he's full of it. McClellan looked them in the eyes and lied.

McClellan's time as Bush's Press Secretary is coming to an end, because there is nothing he can do to regain credibility. He lied to the press, trying to cover-up a gross abuse of power. One word that is really driving the press backlash is the word, 'ridiculous' -- which McClellan used to attack journalists for even asking if Rove might have had a role in the scandal.

From the New York Times:

After saying in 2003 that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Mr. Rove had any role in the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's name, Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, has refused in recent days to discuss any specifics of the case. But he has suggested that President Bush continues to support Mr. Rove. [...]

The Rove-Novak exchange also leaves Mr. McClellan, the White House spokesman, in an increasingly awkward situation. Two years ago he repeatedly assured reporters that neither Mr. Rove nor several other administration officials were responsible for the leak.

The press aren't the only ones mocking McClellan, check out this release from the DNC:

McClellan Recuperating From Shark Attack?

Washington - After a week of refusing to answer numerous legitimate questions about White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove’s involvement in the potentially illegal outing of a CIA agent, and jokingly comparing those briefings to a shark attack, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has not held a public briefing in two days.

“After three days swimming in the shark-infested waters of the White House briefing room earlier this week, it looks like McClellan is ‘once bitten, twice shy,’” said Democratic National Committee spokesperson Josh Earnest. “Given his attempts to keep his head above water this week, it’s no surprise he’s unwilling to take a proverbial dip in the White House traveling press ‘pool.’”

The last time the White House went two weekdays in a row without a gaggle or briefing was more than 3 months ago - while President Bush was in Rome attending the Pope's funeral.

Posted at 11:36 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

Rove Confirmed Plame Operative

Posted by Bob Brigham

Rove's troubles grow and grow.

Armando asks:

Did the President know that Rove leaked AND confirmed Plame's identity as a CIA operative and when did he know it?

Posted at 09:32 AM in Plamegate | Technorati

OH-Gov: GOP Looks to Fox for Good News

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Since Republicans have three tainted candidates running for Governor in Ohio, all vulnerable to the "pay-to-play" tactics that gave life to the "coingate" scandal, it shouldn't surprise anyone they are tuning into Fox News looking for a bit of good news lately. Many hope they have found it, and are urging anchor John Kasich to run for Governor.

Former Congressman John R. Kasich is being urged by some influential Republicans to run as a reform candidate for governor next year because he is untainted by Statehouse scandals. [...]

The source put the chances of a Kasich bid at "25 to 30 percent," adding that Kasich would have to give up lucrative private-sector jobs to run for the $131,000-a-year post.

The article shows the extreme panic that has set in at Republican HQ in Colubmus. The Dispatch reports that Kasich has told he will only run if the GOP promises to end its penchant for pay-to-play politics, and that he would have no problem running against Ken Blackwell whose fiscal proposals he views as "irresponsible."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party by their next best hope. Democrats have two solid candidates currently running for the post, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and Congressman Ted Strickland. Although, that number may dwindle down to one in the coming weeks.

Posted at 09:28 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Paging Former Secretary Tom Ridge

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's time for Tom Ridge to talk about the increased terror alert the week of the Democratic National Convention. From the USA Today, 5.10-2005.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled. [..]

"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge told reporters. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?' "

If this terror alert before the Democratic National Convention was raised for political reasons (and it's awfully fishy timing), this administration may very well be responsible for the attacks that happened in London last week.

Posted at 01:01 AM in General, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bush Responsible for London Bombings?

Posted by Bob Brigham

Did Bush tip off the bombers?

AmericaBlog is following the story.

Posted at 11:15 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Harry Reid on Rove Scandal: Cover-Up...Abuse of Power

Posted by Bob Brigham


Democrats stirred the pot Thursday in the case of powerful presidential aide Karl Rove and the news leak that unmasked a CIA agent. They triggered a partisan clash in the Senate, sought a House investigation and brought the husband of the undercover operative to the Capitol, where he accused the White House of a "smear campaign." [...]

Speaking in favor of his legislation to strip Rove of his clearance for classified information, Reid said the president should already have done so. Instead, Reid said, the administration has attacked its critics. "This is what is known as a cover-up. This is an abuse of power," Reid said.


But here's the best quote:

"I made my bones confronting Saddam Hussein. ... Karl Rove made his bones by dirty political tricks," said Joseph Wilson, who was the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War.

At a news conference hosted by Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat who heads his party's Senate campaign organization, Wilson said he has been targeted by a "smear campaign launched from the West Wing of the White House."

A smear campaign against somebody who disagrees with the Bush White House?

Senate Republicans countered with legislation — swiftly sidetracked — put together largely to embarrass Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and his deputy. [...]

In rebuttal, the Republican National Committee distributed a document entitled "Joe Wilson's Top Ten Worst Inaccuracies and Misstatements."

Senate Democrats attempt to defend National Security against a White House leaker and the GOP tries to embarrass Democrats. Joe Wilson, who like his wife has dedicated his entire career to America, is smeared as a liar by the RNC.

The GOP is beyond belief in their efforts to cover-up for a traitor.

Posted at 11:01 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Will Patrick Fitzgerald Hear Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dave Johnson:

Here is what I think the Rove thing will come down to: Is Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois, the special prosecutor investigating the Plame leak, able to withstand the kind of intense pressure and character assassination that will be applied to him?

If Karl Rove is known for anything, it is what happens to people who go against him. Remember the Rove quote, "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"

Can Fitzgerald hear Rove? Rove's trying, turn on any tv and watch the Republican lies.

Posted at 10:58 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Convention Wisdom: Bush Fucked Up

Posted by Bob Brigham


There is a confluence of events right now with the bad news on the ground in Iraq, the Downing Street memos, the London bombings and Rovegate flaring up that are beginning to filter into the body politic. A new conventional wisdom is being written. I think that people are putting these things together which is why you are seeing the preciputous dip in the president's approval ratings. It's not that people know, or even want to know, the details. Only junkies like me (and you) get this into it. But the ground has shifted and people are understanding that something went terribly wrong.

The president's right hand man exposing a covert CIA agent for political puposes perfectly symbolizes the entire fetid mess.

The backlash is building. Rove failed Bush. They wanted that war so bad they would do anything for the adventure. But they lied and got caught, people have heard about the Downing Street Memos and the Rove Scandal. People get it, Bush fucked up. He forced a war for no reason and is now losing.

Posted at 10:45 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Rove Scandal: W Ain't No H.W.

Posted by Bob Brigham

There was a time when self-respecting Republicans didn't take shit from anybody – least of not Karl Rove. President George H.W. Bush fired Karl Rove for leaking (to Bob Novak).

President George W. Bush is covering for Karl Rove's leaks – and this time the leaks the leaks are worse. (link via Dave after heard on Randi.) Wayne Madsen Report:

Another source reported that at least one Brewster Jennings NOC operating in a hostile intelligence environment was executed by counter-intelligence agents as a result of the White House disclosure.


Other B&JA assets were forced to abandon their ongoing operations to identify networks involved in weapons of mass destruction proliferation. The CIA has been working on a damage assessment report on the Plame/B&JA disclosures. If no indictments of White House officials result from the Fitzgerald investigation, look for parts of that highly classified report to be leaked and then look for more imprisonments of journalists who refuse to divulge the source(s) of those leaks. Word from intelligence sources is that the damage assessment report is "devastating."

The L.A. Times remembers how Daddy did it:

During George H.W. Bush’s second presidential campaign, Rove was fired from the campaign team because of suspicions that he had leaked information to columnist Robert Novak — the same columnist who first reported Plame’s CIA role in 2003, citing anonymous administration sources.

Rove own's Bush's ass. Rove will go when W. goes. Fire Karl Rove!

Posted at 10:39 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

SCOTUS: Rehnquist Not Going Anywhere

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The two-week head fake ended today, as Chief Justice Rehnquist announced he was staying put.

"I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement," Rehnquist, 80, said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. "I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits."
He put the statement out right before he was released from the hostpital.

Posted at 09:08 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Bush Botching to Blame for Bombing???

Posted by Bob Brigham

Americablog has the details:

ABC News just reported that the British authorities say they have evidence that the London attacks last week were an operation planned by Al Qaeda for the last two years. This was an operation the Brits thought they caught and stopped in time, but they were wrong. The piece of the puzzle ABC missed is that this is an operation the Bush administration helped botch last year.

1. The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.

2. Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop, they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the west."

3. ABC reports that names in the computer matched a suspected cell of Britain's of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the town of Luton, England. According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year. Obviously, they hadn't.

4. Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic Convention. Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of Khan's name, his Al Qaeda contacts found out he was co-opted, and they fled. The Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of them as they fled, and, according to press reports, the Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.

Again, these were guys involved with the plot to blow up the London subway last week. Some may have escaped because of Bush administration negligence.

I'm sure John Aravosis will have more...

Posted at 08:15 PM in International, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

CA-50: Cunningham Announcement Not Good Enough - Must Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Raw Story, Dukester not running for re-election:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., who is under investigation for his dealings with a defense contractor, will not seek re-election.

The eight-term lawmaker announced his decision at California State University at San Marcos on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.

But, that's not good enough:

Washington, DC – "Given the ever-lengthening list of Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham’s unethical and potentially criminal acts, it is not sufficient for the Congressman to do nothing more than announce that he will not seek another term," Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said today. "Rep. Cunningham’s conduct is so beyond the pale as to require nothing less than his immediate resignation. His constituents deserve a Member of Congress who can concentrate on the district’s issues, rather than one who will be spending his time focusing on his criminal defense."

Sloan also expressed skepticism about Rep. Cunningham's decision to donate some of the proceeds of the sale of his house to charity, "as a former prosecutor, I can't help but think that the reason Rep. Cunningham is selling his mansion and donating part of the profits to charity is to make himself more sympathetic before a potential sentencing judge."

"Today’s announcement should have no effect on the pending Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Defense investigations into Rep. Cunningham and a member of the House of Representatives should file an ethics complaint against him with the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct."

CREW is preparing an ethics complaint against Cunningham, which will be released Friday morning.

More to come...

Posted at 07:21 PM in California | Technorati

Stop the Cover-Up: Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Moveon protest


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The husband of a CIA agent whose identity was exposed during the fierce debate over the Iraq war accused the White House on Thursday of being involved in a giant "cover-up" involving top aide Karl Rove. [...]

"What this thing has been for the past two years has been a cover-up, a cover-up of the ... web of lies that underpin the justification for going to war in Iraq," said Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, a career foreign service officer who served in the Clinton White House.

"And to a certain extent, this cover-up is becoming unraveled. That's why you see the White House stonewalling," Wilson told NBC's "Today" show. [...]

About 100 protesters picketed outside the White House later, chanting "Hey, hey, ho ho, Karl Rove has got to go." They were organized by the liberal group MoveOn.org, which provided signs that read: "Stop the Cover-up: Fire Karl Rove."

More pics from the MoveOn Political Action rally after the jump:

white house protest

fire karl rove

More from Reuters:

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed the percentage of Americans who believed Bush was "honest and straightforward" fell to 41 percent from 50 percent in January, and those who said they doubted his veracity climbed to 45 percent from 36 percent.

Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean said he thought the president was losing credibility over Rove.

Bush lied -- he needs to keep his word and FIRE KARL ROVE.

Posted at 07:04 PM in Plamegate | Technorati

NJ-GOV: Lautenberg Says: Give Back the Blood Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

As was to be expected, the Karl Rove Scandal is now turning into an elections issue.

Check out the email Senator Frank Lautenberg sent today:

Last month, Doug Forrester and the New Jersey Republican Party held a fundraiser with Karl Rove as the star attraction. We don't know what Rove said, because the event was closed to the press and public. But we can guess, because the day after the Forrester fundraiser Karl Rove tore into progressives, saying "liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." What did Forrester have to say about this baseless partisan attack? Nothing.

Now according to his own lawyer, Karl Rove is involved in leaking the identity of a CIA undercover agent working to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet Forrester is still silent, apparently believing that it's more important to protect the patronage of the national Republican Party leadership than the safety of our country.

Sign the petition demanding Forrester repudiate Karl Rove's despicable behavior and return the blood money Karl Rove raised at the Forrester fundraiser:

Damaging national security for partisan revenge threatens the safety of all Americans. And having it come from inside the White House threatens the stability of our political system. Early last week, I called for Karl Rove's security clearance to be revoked. But we must ask for more than this. We must ensure that anyone who profits politically by the divisive and possibly illegal activity of high level operatives like Karl Rove be held to account for their implicit endorsement of such behavior. Add your voice to those demanding Forrester repudiate Rove's support: http://www.corzineforgovernor.com/rove

It's not yet known how much damage Karl Rove has done to this country by compromising CIA assets. I hope and pray that this White House recommits itself to protecting Americans instead of playing partisan games.

Until then, we can only ask Republicans and Democrats of good conscience to demand that this behavior stop, and that those who compromise national security be brought to justice.

Thanks for your help, and if you have a moment, please forward this petition to your friends and family.

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Posted at 06:42 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal Beltway Blogroll:

Voters in Ohio's 2nd District will choose a replacement for Republican Rob Portman in an Aug. 2 special election, and The Stakeholder, the blog of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is billing it as "a campaign that could cement the blogosphere's reputation as leaders in the Democratic Party."

Portman left the seat to become U.S. trade representative, and with Portman having won 72 percent of the vote in the district last fall and President Bush netting 63 percent, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt seemed to be a sure bet for victory. But that was before the Ohio Republican Party was rocked by a scandal involving state investments in rare coins.

Now the DCCC sees an opportunity to trim the Republican House majority, and it is calling on bloggers to help the cause by supporting Democratic candidate Paul Hackett. "Can we raise $25,000 in two weeks to get Paul Hackett elected?" Stephen Yellin wrote at The Stakeholder. "We did it in 2004 with Ginny Schrader in a week, and this race is no less important. And when I threw the first pebble into Ginny's wave of money, I knew that her race mattered. So does Paul Hackett's."

By way of reminder, Schrader was dubbed "the candidate of the netroots" by Daily Kos, which also created "Blogosphere Day" (July 19, in case you're wondering) to recognize how bloggers rallied around her campaign in Pennsylvania's 8th District.

I forgot about Blogosphere Day -- set your calendars. An appropriate tribute would be to support Paul Hackett.

Posted at 06:31 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

CA-50: Open Seat, Cunningham Craps Out

Posted by Bob Brigham


As regular readers know, California's 50th Congressional District has been rocked by the Randy "Duke" Cunningham Scandal. Now there are rumors, maybe on CNN that Congressman Cunningham won't be running for re-election.

Posted at 06:07 PM in Scandals | Technorati

Senate Democrats Stand Up for National Security

Posted by Bob Brigham

Check out CSPAN 2 right now, the Senate Democrats are sticking it to the GOP on national security.

Reid's statement in extended entry.

All caps from rush transcript...











Posted at 05:50 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

YDA Action Caucus

Posted by Bob Brigham

Are you a reformer, under 35 and living in the Bay Area? If so, help Reform the Young Democrats:

[...] The Republican Party is very, very adept at cultivating a vanguard among its young partisans, and seeding the world with it. We're not. Unless progressives start taking youth organizations like the YDA much more seriously, the next generation of Democratic leaders is going to be another bumper crop of party hacks. What we need is leaders, not professional insiders, and for that it's going to take a sustained effort to change the culture of the YDA, both from the inside and from the outside.

The YDA has a lot of promise. There are some exceptional people in its ranks, at the local, state and national levels of leadership. But much of their work is wasted within an institutional culture that rewards connections and favor trading and does little to encourage activism. Let's help those leaders turn the YDA around.

If you're in the Bay Area, attend the kickoff party of the YDA Action Caucus:

Thursday, July 21, 7-9pm
Café du Nord (it's a bar, not a café)
15th and Market (by the Church Street Muni station)

Posted at 04:59 PM in Activism | Technorati

Security Clearance Amendment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Reid will offer the following amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (on the floor right now) on behalf of Senator Levin:

No federal employee who discloses or has disclosed classified information, including the identity of a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, to a person not authorized to receive such information shall be entitled to hold a security clearance for access to such information.

Reid is being joined by (at least) Levin, Rockefeller, Biden and Durbin. A vote is expected today.

Posted at 02:25 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Scandal in the West Wing

Posted by Bob Brigham

With all of the lies and stonewalling and covering up the Bush Administration is doing in the Plame scandal, I think it might be helpful to think of The West Wing when trying to understand who is being investigated and why. Here's how the fictional characters in the Bartlet Administration match up with their real world counterparts in the Bush Administration.

Chief of Staff1mcgarry.jpgLeo McGarry2card.jpgAndy Card
Chief of Staff
1lyman.jpgJosh Lyman2rove.jpgKarl Rove
1ziegler.jpgToby Ziegler2bartlett.jpgDan Bartlett
1cregg.jpg C.J. Cregg2fleisher-mcclellan.gifAri Fleisher
Scott McClellan
Chief of Staff
1bailey.jpg Will Bailey2libby.jpg Lewis "Scooter" Libby

So play this out. Let's say there's an episode of The West Wing where Josh is accused of treason for outing an undercover CIA agent. In such an episode, we know some scenes that would be included. There would be the scene where Leo yells, "Get Josh in here" to find out why Josh got caught in such a petty political smear. There would be the scene with Tody prepping C.J. for the White House press briefing. There would be the scene where President Bartlett asks Leo what is going on. Will Bailey would be in the thick of things in the episode.

We know for a fact that at least one other senior Administration official is involved in the leak. Instead of asking which additional senior administration official is involved, I think we need to be asking if any officials are not involved.

When Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove, it wasn't one man lying to the press corps – it was the White House, the Bush Administration, lying to the American people. Which senior administration officials were involved in the outing? which senior administration officials were involved in the cover-up? What did the President know and when did he know it?

This wasn't just Rove or McClellan, this was The White House.

Posted at 02:03 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Republicans for Treason: Doing Our Oppo For Us

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The Republican National Committee handed us a gift today in the form of a press release that details quotes from a list of Republicans supporting Karl Rove. It's a ready made oppo research piece presented to us by the opposition. We will gladly hang these quotes around the necks of the following Republicans up for re-election in 2006.

Rick Santorum (R-VA/PA):

"I Don’t See Any Evidence Out There That He Violated The Law."
Deborah Pryce (OH-15):
"I Think What The Democrats Are Doing With Karl Rove Is Just Another Politically Motivated Part Of Their Agenda."
Tom DeLay (TX-22):
"This Is Typical Of The Democrats. They Smell Blood And They Act Like Sharks. Karl Rove Is A Good Man. He Was Doing His Job."

Thank you. Much more fun on the actual release. I will keep this one handy.

Posted at 12:38 PM in 2006 Elections, Plamegate | Comments (2) | Technorati

Ari Fleischer and the Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

What is former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher's role in the Karl Rove scandal over outing undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame? We know that Fleisher's former deputy and now successor Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove. And there is a good deal of discussion about whether Fleisher was the second source, why he is being questioned, and which names he might be naming.


People familiar with the inquiry say Fitzgerald also is reviewing testimony by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, though it is not clear whether the prosecutor is focusing on him or seeking information about higher-ups. Fleischer last night refused to comment.

Chris Bowers says:

As Anna noted in the comments, Fleischer actually resigned the day Novak's column first appeared. Even though Fleischer had announced his resignation nearly two months earlier, stepping down the day Novak's column appears means that he would have been able to avoid questions on the matter, and thus compile a public record of statements on the matter.

In addition to reminding us that Fleischer was one of the first Bush officials on record criticizing Wilson, Nico also provides the opportunity:

Details are still uncertain, but news reports suggest one theory for what might have occurred. In the days after Wilson’s NYT column was published but before Novak’s article appeared, Ari Fleischer was among the White House officials aboard Air Force One on a presidential trip to Africa, where he might have had access to the classified State Department document brought aboard by Secretary of State Colin Powell that likely tipped administration officials off to Plame’s true identity.

Talk Left says:

We know that Fitzgeral subpoenaed the complete transcript of his July 12, 2003 press gaggle conducted at a hospital in Nigeria. We know that he subpoenaed telephone records for Air Force One during a portion of the trip. We also know that he subpoenaed the July 6 to July 30, 2003 records of the White House Iraq Group, a public relations kind of task force formed by Cheney's staff to promote the Administrations' view of the war.
We also know that the White House won't release the names of those who accompanied President Bush on the trip, although we know that Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and Andrew Card were with him.
Why would Fitzgerald want these documents? I don't think it's to get Ari Fleischer. I think it's to catch Lewis Libby and others on Vice President Cheney's staff, and/or Karl Rove, who attended almost all the White House Iraq Group meetings, in a lie. Ari Fleischer's statements may lead Fitzgerald to the lie - and establish a conspiracy to out a covert agent or obstruct justice - or perjury or false statements to federal investigators by these White House officials.

At the very least I would think the Special Prosecutor would use the questioning of Ari Fleischer to delve into the process used by the Bush White House to prepare the Press Secretary for gaggle's and press conferences. Particularly, which senior administration officials participated in the daily prep. Or more likely, if there were any senior administration officials who were not involved.

Posted at 12:33 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Rove Scandal: Senior White House Officials

Posted by Bob Brigham

Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Karl Rove is in deep shit. Indictments are rumored to be imminent. At this point, the question is not if Rove will be indicted, the question is whether one of his defense lawyers will have the common decency to throw a coat over Rove's fat head during the perp walk and shield the American people from the look in Rove's eyes.

Like a jonsing political junkie, Rove has played fast and loose with his very unique style of politics. Bush has never told Rove to stop and with each smear Rove has become emboldened and more addicted to the thrill of the smear.

But this scandal isn't just treason, it is treason and a cover-up. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove.

The great thing about the popularity of The West Wing is that it has demonstrated to a helluva lot of people what goes on before a Press Secretary takes the podium. Americans know the Press Secretary doesn't go out before the cameras and wing it.

Senior White House staff keep the Press Secretary is on message by ensuring that the proper Administration line is ready and rehearsed in response to any potential question. They knew McClellan would be asked about Rove – they decided to lie. They prepared (prep'd) their flack. Senior White House staff.

So this is where it gets real interesting – who else was involved in the cover-up. Rove is looking at indictment, McClellan can no longer function in his role as the entire press corps despise him for lying to their faces. Who else will fall?

Andy Card? Dan Bartlett? Ari Fleischer? Lewis "Scooter" Libby? Adam Levine? Vice President Dick Cheney?

What did the President know and when did he know it?

Posted at 11:36 AM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Today: 2:30 PM - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Posted by Bob Brigham

Go to today's MoveOn's Protest.

2:30 TODAY
The White House
Stop the Cover-Up and Fire Karl Rove

Posted at 09:32 AM in Activism, Plamegate | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Karl Rove's Security Clearance

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Atrios we have big news from David Sirota:

Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D) just announced that all Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today sent a letter to President Bush demanding that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's security clearance be revoked in the wake of revelations that he was involved in the leak of a covert CIA operative's name.


Do what needs to be done to get down to the White House at 2:30 PM -- tomorrow!

Posted at 07:36 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

NJ-Gov: College Republicans Complete Losers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Now we all know that the ranks of College Republicans and Young Republicans are populated with kids too chicken to enlist in the armed forces. In New Jersey, not even the career Republicans can stand them, for good reason (link goes to email thread that is very funny).

Posted at 07:07 PM in New Jersey | Technorati

Chief Justice William Rehnquist Hospitalized

Posted by Bob Brigham

With the Chief Justice in the hospital, it looks like the Radical Right's push to stack the Court with extremists is in full swing. Stay tuned.

Posted at 06:42 PM in Supreme Court | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, Swing State Project Senior Elections Analyst Tim Tagaris also has a day job working for Grow Ohio. Today, he's putting on a demonstration on how to turn some breaking news into a shitstorm of a scandal online.

First, he wrote a great post and then spread the word. Over at DailyKos, DavidNYC put it on the front page. At MyDD, Chris Bower put it on the front page. It's on the Stateholder. And OH-02.

This is a huge day in the Special Election for Ohio's second congressional district. Go check out the Jean Schmidt scandal.

Posted at 03:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

MT-Sen: Post-Broadcast Campaigning

Posted by Bob Brigham

We've all been there. You're out with some political hacks, drinking accordingly…it is way late and the conversation is focused on campaign strategy. Then some wiseguy says something like, "Instead of locking the candidate in a room for call time, we don't we get him out campaigning and throw a giant concert to raise the money." At this point, you'll know who is the most "experienced" campaigner in the room: the first to slap the wiseguy upside the head. You'll know it is time for bed if the wiseguy responds, "But wait, we could rent the largest venue in the state, get Pearl Jam, fill it with 10,000 people all paying $50 and raise enough money in one night to finance the entire primary campaign."

In the post-broadcast era, the internet allows campaigns the ability to quickly build a movement – from scratch. Instead of wasting the candidates time calling people who were inspired to write a big check for somebody else, a campaign can go out and inspire people. Throwing a Pearl Jam fundraiser actually makes far more sense than dialing for dollars.

Forget what you've been taught, 10,000 people investing fifty bucks is what you need, not 500 people maxing out. The latter will give a campaign twice as much cash, but the former will give a movement an army.

For the life of me, I do not understand why a candidate would settle for running a campaign when they could just as easily organize a movement. Maybe it is habit, or ignorance, or cowardice, but I think it probably has more to do with a lack of imagination of how campaigns are evolving.

We're seeing this play out in Montana's senate primary, with John Morrison's campaign focusing on doing the same-ol' stuff – but better, and Jon Tester's movement focused on inspiring and leveraging at a grand scale. While Morrison works to be the fastest Pony Express rider, Tester is an engineer and the train is leaving the station.

Morrison is going to waste a ton of money, but he can't compete with Tester because Morrison can't scale. By Labor Day, Morrison's dialing discipline will allow him to get money out of a bunch of out-of-state donors. But when Tester gets on stage with Pearl Jam, 7,500 people will be chanting his name. And each will be invested with a $46 donation. For most, it will be their first political donation. Many will register to vote for the first time. And with 9 months until the primary, the leverage will kick in as people go back to their towns after the concert. Mark my words, they're going to come from all over Montana (when I lived in Bozeman, it was commonplace to travel 400 miles round trip to Missoula for a concert).

Morrison's big money can't gloss over the contrast. Morrison's another lawyer, another politician. Montana's Governor Brian Schwietzer says, "Don't dress like a lawyer. Don't talk like a lawyer." Hmmmmm.

Populism is possible. The internet allows candidates to have people-powered campaigns – of the people, for the people. There is no need to settle for "not as bad" candidates when it is possible for "real deal" candidates like Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester to win.

Jon Tester
Big Ideas in Big Sky Country – Jon Tester's Campaign

Jon Tester (MT-Sen) $

Posted at 03:06 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana | Comments (3) | Technorati

EMERGENCY D.C. MOBILIZATION: Stop the Cover-Up and Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

If you live near DC, do whatever you have to do to get down to it. From a MoveOn Political Action press release:

Stop the Cover-Up and Fire Karl Rove

Citizens to Protest and Picket in Front of White House

Citizens from across the country will join MoveOn Political Action members tomorrow at a protest in front of the White House to demand that President Bush fire his top political advisor, Karl Rove, for outing Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative.

Currently the President has refused to take action against Mr. Rove, his close friend and top political advisor. On September 29, 2003, Scott McClellan stated in a White House press briefing: “If anyone in this Administration was involved in it, [theValeriePlameleak] they would no longer be in this Administration.”

MoveOn Political Action, formerly known as MoveOn PAC, demands the administration stay true to its word and fire those responsible for the leak.

Protest details:

Who: Citizens from across the country and MoveOn members
Where:1600 Pennsylvania Ave., in front of White House
When:Thursday, July 14, 2005, 2:30 PM EST

Full email invite:

Dear MoveOn member,

You're invited to come speak out against Karl Rove's abuse of power and demand that President Bush fire Rove. Join other MoveOn members and members of the community at a peaceful protest and picket, Thursday July 14, at 2:30 PM on Pennsylvania Avenue outside The White House.

Rove betrayed the identity of an undercover CIA operative forcing her to end a decade of important national security work. He did it to protect the Bush political agenda. Now, the White House is covering up this betrayal of our national security. The media is ready to report on public outrage about Rove. Will you show up and speak out?

Please join us tomorrow and let Bush, the media and Congress know that Americans are angry about Rove.

What: Protest and Picket to Demand Bush Fire Karl Rove

Where: The White House, Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC (Metro: Farragut West or McPherson Square)

When: 2:30 PM :: Thursday, July 14, 2005 (rain or shine)

Signs will be provided.

I'll see you there. Thanks for all you do.

-Tom Matzzie
MoveOn PAC
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

P.S. If you want to come dressed up in costume as a spy and protest the media will love that. Think: trench coat, sunglasses and a little nametag that says, "Spy."

Posted at 01:50 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

OH15 - Mark Losey For Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a Kos Diary:

My name is Mark Losey and I'm running for US Congress in Ohio's 15th District. No, that last name is not a typo and yes, I probably already heard that one. The last name is pronounced "LOW sea" and, once you get the obvious name jokes out of the way, it has good slogan potential (think "I Love Losey").

Unlike the incumbent, I'm not a career politician. Until now, I never posted to a blog or created a podcast. But I have been following blogs for awhile now, at least long enough to know that "Internet" is a singular noun. I'll begin by introducing our district.

Great intro...

The 15th district is in the heart of Central Ohio. It includes Union and Madison counties as well as the western half of Franklin County. Our district is all-American. It's an almost perfect slice of all of America, rural and urban, black and white, Asian and Latino, traditional and modern, poor and affluent, white-collar and blue-collar and everything in between. Our district faces the same challenges that Americans all over face.

This race will be a tough one. The incumbent is Deborah Pryce, the House's number four Republican and Republican Conference Chair. This race will share a piece of the national stage.

We can win this race in 2006. Despite the GOP's gerrymandering, our district refuses to go quietly. John Kerry carried our district in 2004, and Ms. Pryce's share of the vote keeps shrinking despite the lack of any serious opposition (from 67% in 2002 to 60% in 2004),

The reason we'll win is plain and simple: It's the right time for a new voice. It's true for the U.S. Congress and it's particularly true in Ohio, where over a decade of one-party rule has left decay, incompetence and corruption in its wake.

There's more in the diary, and more yet at http://www.LoseyForCongress.com

Posted at 01:18 PM in Ohio | Technorati

We're back up

Posted by Bob Brigham

Sorry, we were down for a little bit (exceeded disk space, instead of our normal shutdown for exceeding bandwidth). Thanks to those who emailed offering to pitch to cover the costs of getting us back online. And thanks to the advertisers who are actually providing enough revenue to cover costs.

Posted at 01:09 PM in Site News | Technorati

MT-Sen: Pearl Jam Concert News

Posted by Bob Brigham

The rumors are confirmed, Pearl Jam will be playing a fundraising concert for Jon Tester, Democrat for US Senate in Montana. Not only that, but the Tester campaign has made a bold decision and is hosting the event at the Adams Center (holds 7,500 people -- 1/8th of the entire county's population over 18). It is a very big room, but it will be full.

Pearl Jam – Jeff Ament
Peal Jam's Jeff Ament at Jon Tester's Kickoff in Missoula, MT

Via Big Sky Democrats, Courtney "scoop" Lowery has the scoop at New West:

Rocker Jeff Ament and U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester have a lot in common. They're both Big Sandy, Mont. boys who want Jon Tester in Washington D.C.

And Ament is ready to help. He and his buddies (who you may know as the multi-national rock band Pearl Jam) are playing a benefit concert in Missoula on August 29 to help finance Tester, who is currently president of the Montana state senate and aims to take on Sen. Conrad Burns next year. Tickets go on sale June 23 and are available through ticketswest.com or locally at Rockin' Rudy's. Regular tickets will be $46 and require concert-goers to sign a disclaimer acknowledging they are making a campaign contribution. There will also be some more expensive special tickets up for grabs that include a reception afterward with Tester and the band.

Ah yes, the smell of a thousands getting together to fund a grassroots candidate.

Ament told us in May that Pearl Jam was trying to scrape something together to show support for Tester because "we have to keep rural Montana alive." Jon Tester, he said, is the man for the job. Tester and Ament go way back. In fact, Jeff's dad, George, gave Tester his very first signature flattop haircut.

(check out Tester website for pics of the famous haircut.

The announcement is not only exciting for Missoula, which has been waiting for two years to see Pearl Jam live again, but it also may just be the money fillip Tester needs to first fight a rough primary battle against long-time politician and State Auditor John Morrison, and then to challenge a large and in charge incumbent like Burns. A farmer from the hi-line, Tester has admitted that keeping up financially could be a struggle.

Morrison has already raised $400,000 - and with his strong political pedigree, solid performance as state auditor, and good reputation among the state's intelligentsia, he's a formidable candidate. But Tester has something that Morrison can't match, and may be crucial in mounting a credible challenge to Burns: he's a plain-spoken working man from rural Montana, and voters in this state tend to respond to that. For national Democrats who salivate at the prospect of taking down a right-wing incumbent in a red state, Tester may ultimately be the more appealing candidate.

If you can't fly to Montana for the concert (which you should), you can join Swing State Project in supporting Tester now with a contribution

Posted at 09:44 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana | Comments (3) | Technorati

PA-Sen: Casey Still Leads Santorum Climbs

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Quinnipiac released another poll today on the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. Bob Casey still holds a commanding lead, but Rick Santorum's numbers are on the rise slightly. There were quite a few questions missing from the release, and I put in a call to see if they had asked about Chuck Pennacchio. I'll update when I hear back.

From July 6 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,639 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

If the 2006 election for Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bob Casey Jr. the Democrat and Rick Santorum the Republican for whom would you vote?

Casey (D): 50%
Santorum (R): 39%
Don't Know: 11%

Looking ahead to the 2006 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Rick Santorum deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?

Deserves to be re-elected: 45%
Does not deserve re-election: 38%
DK/NA: 17%

Much more data to comb through here.

Posted at 09:42 AM in Pennsylvania | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Progressive Frontier

Posted by Bob Brigham

Our friend Matt Singer of Left in the West has the In These Times cover story. It is an important piece -- go read it.

Posted at 04:31 PM in Democrats | Technorati

Rove is Busted

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove / Scott McClellan Lies have become a scandal. From the New York Times:

Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter.

Scott McClellan played the press corps like a $2 fiddle -- and they played for all they were worth. Which is crap.

Posted at 01:09 AM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Carol Darr Should be Shitcanned

Posted by Bob Brigham

Carol Darr is a disgrace to the Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University. She needs to go.

Call GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at 202-994-6500, for the good of IPDI, Carol Darr should move on.

Posted at 12:36 AM in Netroots | Technorati

Monday, July 11, 2005

Dems 2008: Brian Schweitzer

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the (subscription only) Roll Call:

It’s forest fire season in the Mountain West.

But if disaster were to strike in drought-stricken Montana, many of the people who would be expected to fight the fires are half a world away.

Fully half of Montana’s National Guard — and most of its helicopters — are deployed in Iraq. And Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is fired up about it.

Schweitzer wants to start a dialogue about the way the military has changed its ratio of active-duty to Reserve and Guard forces — a policy in place long before the war in Iraq but one whose full impact is only now being felt.

“One of the things they didn’t consider in this policy,” said Schweitzer, “is that there are governors who are commanders-in-chief of the Guard and they have important missions for them at home.”

It is this willingness to criticize Republican policymakers in plainspoken ways that has some Democratic activists touting Schweitzer as a dark-horse candidate for president in 2008.

“I’m still waiting to see if the Democrats will get behind a pro-choice, red-state governor, who says what he means and means what he says,” wrote Bob Brigham, co-creator of the Swing State Project, a Web log affiliated with a political action committee for Democratic bloggers. “Bonus points for a western candidate, double bonus points for speaking Arabic. Triple bonus points for a dog named Jag.”

Schweitzer’s supporters think the governor, a rancher and farmer who picked a Republican state Senator to run with him as lieutenant governor last year, has a knack for critiquing GOP policies in a way that sounds more populist than partisan.

Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is also backing Schweitzer, whom he called “a genuine version of Bush’s fake ranch.”

Because Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is seen as the overwhelming early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and because so many better-known politicians are gearing up for 2008, the idea of Schweitzer running for president may seem preposterous. Brigham doesn’t think so.

“What do the insiders know?” he asked. (emphasis mine)

I'm glad reporters are realizing you can quote posts just like you quote on the phone...

But, Swing State Project is not affiliated with any polical action committee, this is just another online magazine. And I'm not a co-creator, I'm just a dude. But I'm a dude who wishes Montana had all of the tools necessary to fight this year's fires.

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane doesn’t think anyone can be elected president in 2008 who is not seen as strong on national security. But the former spokesman to then-Vice President Al Gore does not think Schweitzer is at risk of looking weak.

“The way he communicates, the way he looks, the way he talks — he obviously is a hunter,” Lehane said. “His whole character and personality profile make it clear that he is no softie.”

And on domestic issues:

Schweitzer also has taken issue with the Bush administration’s domestic priorities.

When the nation’s governors gathered at the White House in February, Schweitzer likened the president’s pitch, which emphasized Social Security over Medicaid, to a livestock auction that fails to tempt buyers. The headline in the next day’s Los Angeles Times read: “Montana Governor Isn’t Cowed by Bush.”

The governor’s populist touch also on display last year when he brought hunters and fishermen into his camp by exploiting GOP vulnerabilities on field and stream access. On the same day that President Bush was trouncing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by 20 points in Montana, Schweitzer managed a 4-point win.

Schweitzer counts prescription drug subsidies for seniors, purchasing pools to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and a college scholarship program among his first-year achievements.

Money quote:

Another potential problem for Schweitzer would be time on the ground in the states that host the early contests. Warner will be out of office starting in 2006. Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), another Democrat hoping to upend the Clinton train, is already out of office.

But in a party with a history of nominating heretofore obscure governors, nobody is writing Schweitzer off just yet.

“It’s a huge leap to go from being the governor of Montana to a presidential campaign in a couple of years,” Lehane said. “On the other hand, the guy seems to be a huge talent. He could be the Jimmy Carter of 2008.”

UPDATE: (Bob): Sirota has more at the Huffington Post.

Posted at 11:22 PM in 2008 President - Democrats, Montana, Site News | Technorati

Scott McClellan Should Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

White House flak Scott McClellan was busted lying to the press corps. His job is not to lie for the Republican Administration, but to provide facts for the press corps. McClellan failed and since our tax dollars pay his salary, we need to pay attention. Tax dollars are financing his lying to the American people. If Scott McClellan doesn't resign, he should be fired.

Posted at 06:48 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Scott McClellan Lies about Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Thanks to Billmon, we have a full history of Scott McClellan's statements on Karl Rove. Thanks to Raw Story, we have a Rush transcript of McClellan on Karl Rove today. Thanks to Crooks and Liars, we have today's video. Comparing, we see that Scott McClellan lied about Karl Rove, right up until he was busted.

Scott McClellan


QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.


QUESTION: Has the President either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .

McCLELLAN: I don't think he needs that. I think I've spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I've just said there's no truth to it.

QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this . . .

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.



QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.


QUESTION: Weeks ago, when you were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I've known Karl for a long time, and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson's wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

McCLELLAN: I don't know whether or not -- I mean, I'm sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

McCLELLAN: We're going down a lot of different roads here. I've made it very clear that he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.



MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott...


... because after the investigation began -- after the criminal investigation was under way -- you said, October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this," from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

MCCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization. And I think you are well aware of that.

We know each other very well. And it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation.

And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this. Because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.


McCLELLAN: Let me make it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that's been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: The President doesn't condone the activity that you're suggesting, absolutely he does not.



QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

MCCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you've heard my response on this.

QUESTION: So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?

MCCLELLAN: You're asking this question in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I would not read anything into it other then I'm simply going to comment on an ongoing investigation.


QUESTION: Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

QUESTION: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

In today's gaggle, a report commented, "You're in a bad spot here, Scott." I agree. Conspiracy to cover up treason is a serious affair.

Posted at 04:05 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Suspend Karl Rove's Security Clearance

Posted by Bob Brigham

I've been saying this for some time, but now I'm not the only one. From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

CREW sends letter to President Bush: suspend Karl Rove's security clearance pending outcome of Plame investigation

As reported today in Newsweek, Karl Rove was a confidential source for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on the identification of a covert CIA agent. Rove disclosed that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Iraq to investigate charges that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was authorized by Mr. Wilson’s wife, a CIA employee working on issues related to weapons of mass destruction. At that time, Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson’s wife, was a covert operative with the CIA whose identity as such had not yet been publicly revealed.

Under federal law, it is a crime to “intentionally disclose[] any information identifying” a covert agent “to any individual not authorized to received classified information.” 50 U.S.C. §421(a). Thus, by disclosing to Matt Cooper Ms. Plame’s relationship with the CIA and thereby identifying her as a covert agent, Mr. Rove appears to have committed an illegal act.

“Considering that it is a federal crime to identify covert agents, and that President Bush signed executive orders identifying the vital role the President plays in protecting national security secrets from unauthorized disclosure, it is appropriate for the President to suspend Mr. Rove’s clearance pending the investigation’s outcome,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today.

“The evidence uncovered so far raises serious questions about Mr. Rove’s conduct and his ability to safeguard highly sensitive classified information. Until those questions are resolved, CREW believes it is not appropriate for Mr. Rove to have continued access to classified information. Anything short of suspension raises an unacceptable risk to our nation’s security,” Sloan wrote to the President today.

Posted at 02:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Scott McClellan on Karl Rove Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

One thing we all know, is that the White House Press Secretary knows what he is going to say before the question is asked. Senior White House officials work together to figure out these answers, so that they can be fine-tuned before the cameras are on. So when Scott McClellan misleads the press corps about Karl Rove, it isn't just McClellan, but probably points towards a concerted effort at a cover up.

And it is clear that McClellan repeated mislead the press about Rove's involvement in the Plame outing scandal. Which means this isn't just a case of the Deputy White House Chief of Staff outing an undercover CIA agent (treason), but also a case of the Republican White House working to cover-up the treason.

If there are any doubts, the historical record should put those to rest. Billmon stayed up late researching, I've included the entire results in the extended entry to make it easier for reporters researching the scandal to find:

Vouching for Karl
QUESTION: The Robert Novak column last week . . . has now given rise to accusations that the administration deliberatively blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative, and in so doing, violated a federal law that prohibits revealing the identity of undercover CIA operatives. Can you respond to that?

McCLELLAN: Thank you for bringing that up. That is not the way this President or this White House operates. And there is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House would have given authority to take such a step.
Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 22, 2003


QUESTION: Scott, has there ever been an attempt or effort on the part of anyone here at the White House to discredit the reputations or reporting of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, his wife, or ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman?

McCLELLAN: John, I think I answered that yesterday. That is not the way that this White House operates. That's not the way the President operates . . . No one would be authorized to do that within this White House. That is simply not the way we operate, and that's simply not the way the President operates.

QUESTION: In all of those cases?

McCLELLAN: Well, go down -- which two?

QUESTION: Joe Wilson and his wife?

McCLELLAN: No. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 23, 2003

QUESTION: Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove . . . Did Karl Rove tell that . . .

McCLELLAN: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

QUESTION: But did Karl Rove do it?

McCLELLAN: I said, it's totally ridiculous. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 16, 2003

This morning, ABC News producer Andrea Owen happened to find herself near Karl Rove (who was walking to his car), and an ABC camera.

Owen: "Did you have any knowledge or did you leak the name of the CIA agent to the press?"

Rove: "No."

At which point, Mr. Rove shut his car door as Ms. Owen asked, "What is your response to the fact that Justice is looking into the matter?" ABC News
The Note
September 29, 2003
(courtesy of Think Progress)

QUESTION: Has the President either asked Karl Rove to assure him that he had nothing to do with this; or did Karl Rove go to the President to assure him that he . . .

McCLELLAN: I don't think he needs that. I think I've spoken clearly to this publicly . . . I've just said there's no truth to it.

QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this . . .

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.

QUESTION: How does he know that?

McCLELLAN: The President knows. Scott McClellan
Press Gaggle
September 29, 2003

QUESTION: Weeks ago, when you were first asked whether Mr. Rove had the conversation with Robert Novak that produced the column, you dismissed it as ridiculous. And I wanted just to make sure, at that time, had you talked to Karl?

McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear, from the beginning, that it is totally ridiculous. I've known Karl for a long time, and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is, and he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.

QUESTION: Can you say for the record whether Mr. Rove possessed the information about Mr. Wilson's wife, but merely did not talk to anybody about it?

McCLELLAN: I don't know whether or not -- I mean, I'm sure he probably saw the same media reports everybody else in this room has.

QUESTION: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, did you ever have this information?

McCLELLAN: We're going down a lot of different roads here. I've made it very clear that he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 29, 2003

QUESTION: Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it. . .


QUESTION: Have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
September 30, 2003

McCLELLAN: Let me make it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that's been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: The President doesn't condone the activity that you're suggesting, absolutely he does not. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 1, 2003

QUESTION: Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers . . . Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them?

McCLELLAN: They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.

QUESTION: So you're saying -- you're saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: That's correct. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 7, 2003

QUESTION: Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

QUESTION: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this. Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 10, 2003

Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column. The American Prospect
Plugging Leaks
March 8, 2004
I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name. Karl Rove
CNN Interview
August 31, 2004
"Karl did nothing wrong. Karl didn't disclose Valerie Plame's identity to Mr. Cooper or anybody else . . . Who outed this woman? . . . It wasn't Karl." Luskin said Rove "certainly did not disclose to Matt Cooper or anybody else any confidential information."Rove attorney Robert Luskin
CNN Interview
July 4, 2005
Luskin confirmed that Rove and Cooper had spoken prior to the publication of the original Time article, but said that Rove “did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA” nor did he “knowingly disclose classified information.” Newsweek
Turning Up the Heat
July 6, 2005
Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division . . . Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published. Newsweek
Matt Cooper's Source
July 10, 2005


As Atrios says:

Free research for the taking, reporters.

Posted at 01:38 PM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Blogs Revolutionizing Supreme Court Nomination Battle

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Political groups preparing to battle over the first U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 11 years have a powerful new tool -- Internet blogs -- to spread information quickly and influence decision makers without relying on traditional media.

Web logs likely numbering in the dozens provide a way for the thoughtful and the passionate to publish their views. Politicians are taking notice as they prepare for the first high court nomination fight since the Internet became common in American households.

First of all, blogs "numbering in the dozens" shows this reporter doesn't grasp the scale of what is coming. But more importantly, the key isn't going to be blogs ability to "spread information" but the Open Source Oppo Research that will occur at a level that has never before been seen. There is one quote in the story that gets at this:

Steve Clemons, who publishes a political blog http:/www.thewashingtonnote.com, says that once Bush names someone "you are going to see the blogs go crazy" digging up information and in many cases "outrunning" mainstream media.

In the Supreme Court battle, the role of bloggers won't just be to cut and paste the stuff coming from the players in DC. The key will be that any google-monkey can be a player. This is the post-broadcast era, it isn't about spreading information. The best dirt isn't sitting in some DC Oppo Research file cabinet, it is yet to be found.

Posted at 12:28 PM in Supreme Court | Comments (1) | Technorati

Rove Either Guilty as Traitor or Complete Idiot

Posted by Bob Brigham

I think this week will be a huge week as the Karl Rove Traitorgate scandal unfolds. It appears that Rove might be positioning for a legal defense that he didn't "knowingly" commit treason by outing and undercover CIA agent. As a Swing State Project reader pointed out in an email, "knowingly" is irrelevant, "he was either malicious or an idiot. in either case it was a treasonous act. our government officials are supposed to be smart and certain or silent."

I was thinking about that word -- 'knowingly' -- as I was reading Talking Points Memo's take on Rove's mob defense lawyer:

One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin took up his case on appeal.

Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?

Luskin insisted that he "never have, and never would, knowingly accept a fee that was the proceeds of illegal activities."

But when federal prosecutors finally got a chance to depose Luskin and Saccoccia's other lawyers, they found that their lawyers' fees had come in forms "such as gold bars, cash that was dropped off at hotels and trunks of cars, and money transfers from Swiss bank accounts."

Eventually, in 1998, Luskin came to a settlement with the government in which he agreed to cough up $245,000 of the money he'd gotten from Saccoccia.

Uh, yeah, probably should have known better. Rove is "Bush's Brain" so the "I didn't know" defense would be a clear indication he's guilty as hell. But whether he claims he knowingly did it or not is irrelevant, he played fast and loose with classified information and an act of treason occured. Rove has got to go. If he doesn't resign, Bush should relieve him.

Posted at 12:04 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

MI-Gov: Ted Nugent Running for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Even though he lives in Crawford, Texas, Ted Nugent is looking to run for Governor of Michigan. Via Political Wire, we have his platform:

``To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em.''

It looks like he's running on the Nancy Grace platform.

Posted at 11:40 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Michigan | Technorati

MoveOn PAC: Rove Should Resign

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Karl Rove Treasongate scandal is really taking off. From a MoveOn PAC press release:

MoveOn PAC Calls for Rove’s Resignation
Questions President’s Failure to Act

Michael Isikoff reports in the July 18 issue of Newsweek that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove revealed to Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper that Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, worked for the CIA.

Statement by Tom Matzzie, Washington Director, MoveOn PAC:

“This report makes two things clear:

First, in revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent, Rove either knowingly broke the law, or committed an act of gross negligence. In either case he should resign or the President should fire him.
Second, the President failed to act upon learning that his chief political adviser blew the cover of a CIA agent.

These facts raise several questions to which the President owes the American people answers: What did he know? When did he know it? And why did he fail to act?

Clearly Rove sought to retaliate against Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, for correctly refuting Administration claims that Saddam Hussein sought to acquire ‘yellowcake’ uranium in Africa, part of the case the President was attempting to make for invading Iraq. Clearly, Rove put the protection of President Bush's political agenda ahead of national security when he disclosed Plame’s identity. He jeopardized the safety of an under cover intelligence agent who was working to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Clearly Rove’s and the President's willingness to remain silent about this until the very last minute caused significant pain and anguish to two journalists, one of whom is now in jail, for refusing to reveal Rove as their source.”

Posted at 11:06 AM in Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rove Fingered as Traitor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Newsweek confirms what you knew was probably true. Rove should have his security clearance revoked and be placed on leave while we wait for the indictments. Rove has zero business working in the White House.

Posted at 12:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Senate 2006: Democrats' Candidate Recruitment Woes

Posted by Bob Brigham

Well into the season for candidate recruitment, it appears that the DSCC under Sen. Chuck Schumer's leadership is doing a miserable job. Failing.

So here's the first Senate Recruitment Cattle Call:

OHIO: Calling Ohio critical is an understatement. Senator Mike DeWine's son was spanked in the OH-02 Special Election -- suggesting the DeWine brand isn't even good for much in GOP circles. This is one of two states Bush won, but now has an approval under 40%. Weak incumbent, state trending hard away from Republicans, CoinGate scandal -- yet no candidate. If Sherrod Brown runs, he'll be a strong challenger, but to-date, the DSCC has failed to get him in the race.

NEVADA: This is the other state Bush won yet now has an approval rating under 40%. Of all of the states in the union, Nevada is the state with the most potential for backlash against the GOP over-reach. People move to Nevada to get away from the theocons telling them what they can and can't do. This state is primed for an easy pick-up, yet we don't have a candidate and the party bosses have decided John Ensign will get a free pass in 2006. I am not making this up. Apparently, the mob gambling bosses have decided they are happy with a senator in each caucus, so there is no need for an election. The people of Nevada aren't as happy as the mob gambling bosses, in fact less than half approve of Ensign. By not running a candidate in Nevada, there is no way Schumer's leadership of the DSCC can be considered a success, no matter what happens people will (correctly) wonder what if...

INDIANA: Yesterday's news that Tim Roemer is not running pretty much takes this state out of play. Roemer is so ambitious that we was running to lead the whole party just six months ago, but the DSCC couldn't even convince him to run in his own state.

MAINE: A startling 56% disapprove of Bush. If you look at the crosstabs on Olympia Snowe, her support comes from the left of her party label. People like her, but realize her Republican Party is a disaster in the majority. Huge opening in a BLUE STATE, yet no candidate.

VIRGINIA: George Allen's approval is under 50, Bush is under 50 and the DSCC has failed to get Governor Mark Warner into the race.

MISSOURI: Weak incumbent, critical state, and announcements from Democrats have been of the "I'm not running" variety.

PENNSYLVANIA: Rick Santorum is an anti-women theocon. The party bosses cleared the field for anti-women theocon Bob Casey, Jr. To date, the DSCC has failed to recruit a non-theocon for the race.

In Montana, Democrats have a dream candidate in Jon Tester. But we're looking very weak everywhere else. And Nevada, what the fuck is up with that? Watching the DSCC flail and fail at candidate recruitment, I think it is clear that the top-down, Washington based days of candidate recruitment are over. It is time for the grassroots to run candidates, let the voters decide instead of the bosses, and get some movement. Once, the party committees were the only game in town, now they are one of many committees. Their relevance has been sinking for years and refusing to recruit and/or doing a piss-poor job is only reminding everyone they aren't as relevant as they were and not as useful as they could be. It is still early, so maybe Schumer can turn it around. But in the first half of 2005, it is clear to all he has failed.

[UPDATE: Tim] jkfp--I deleted your comment by accident. Mine posted three times in a row and I went in to delete it and consumed yours as well. Please re-post. I figured it was at odds with mine and didn't want you to think I was just deleting comments because I disagree.

Posted at 11:28 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate | Comments (9) | Technorati

Friday, July 08, 2005

SCOTUS: Rehnquist Announcement...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's 4:47 right now, and word is that the Rehnquist announcement is coming within minutes soon. Everyone expected it earlier today, myself included. No idea if this is bunk information or not, but turn on CNN or MSNBC to see if it comes to fruition.

Atrios has it from earlier.

Red State discusses the impending decision as well.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall wonders if the Chief Justice's letter of resignation has already been submitted. At least that's the word among the D.C. press.

Posted at 04:47 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

IN-Sen: Tim Roemer is Not Running

Posted by Bob Brigham

Indianapolis Star:

Former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind., said Thursday he would not run in 2006 for the Senate against veteran U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

Roemer said there were many issues that needed to be dealt with, but he has four young children and should be running after them on soccer fields, not running for the Senate, he said.

Anyone, anyone?

Posted at 12:38 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Indiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

Bloggers have Sources

Posted by Bob Brigham

On the front page of Swing State Project, we keep info on how to contact us. We do this NOT so you can put us on your blast email list (which is far from endearing). We do this so you can contact us.

As of late, I've tried to post something anytime some good liberals start a good website. SSP has damn fine search engine optimization, so even if it doesn't fark the servers it will make it a little easier for people to find it. Many of these sites I know of because people chose to contact me.

We also have a healthy club of Swing State Project regulars who correct us in the comments and help us stay on top of the action in the states. Some things are better in an email than in the comments and the regulars use both.

Finally, because Tim and I both work in politics professionally (and DavidNYC occassionally lives in DC where he can ply sources with alcohol) we also get stuff that "falls off of a truck" or whatever. There's been a lot of this as of late...Kos with poll numbers "from a trusted source", Josh Marshall mentioning that a "a legal memo fell into my hands from the sky".

This is something that I think we'll see more regularly -- especially during the Supreme Court nomination battle (I've been reading over lengthy oppo files for a week now). So feel free to contact us, but don't expect anything from us.

Posted at 10:41 AM in Site News | Comments (1) | Technorati

FL-Gov: Bush Lies (Jeb)

Posted by Bob Brigham

You might remember the leading role Jeb Bush played during the Schiavo revival. If you do remember, you'll recall Jeb was a real asshole. Now he's flipped, via the Washington Post:

Florida's state attorney said there was no evidence Terri Schiavo's collapse 15 years ago involved criminal activity, and Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday declared an end to the state's inquiry.

Bush had asked State Attorney Bernie McCabe to investigate Schiavo's case after her autopsy last month. He said he now considers the state's involvement finished.

"Based on your conclusions, I will follow your recommendation that the inquiry by the state be closed," Bush said in a two-sentence letter.

I don't know what scares me more, the Governor of Florida listening to bat-shit crazy radicals or the fact he doesn't really care for the views of the bat-shit cray Radical Right. While the Bush brothers fucked with Schiavo, people died in London. More here.

Posted at 02:32 AM in Republicans | Technorati

Anonymity to Push Administration Lies is a Crime

Posted by Bob Brigham

Atrios is going to push this, so I don't mind piling on. Today, the Washington Post looks like shit. Total shit. Why this wins an award, here.

Posted at 02:14 AM in General | Technorati

OH-02: Special Election Debate Tonight

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Unfortunately, the Fox News channel in Cincinnati has "exclusive rights" to the debate and decided that not only would they not show it live, but it will never see the light of day in it's entirety, not even on tape delay. What a travesty:

There is, of course, coverage on the blogs of the debate between Paul Hackett (D) and Jean Schmidt (R):

Kos Diary by RedStateWoes who was in attendance.

Coverage coming soon at the OH-02 Blog (He was there too).

Images from the debate on Flickr.

Posted at 12:26 AM in Ohio | Technorati

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hotline's Blogometer

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Political Wire, we learn that the Hotline Blogometer has moved outside the subscription wall (beta version). This comes soon after the launch of the Beltway Blogroll. Props to the National Journal for the direction they have chosen. They've always been the smartest kid in the class, now that they are joining the conversation, I'm sure we'll all benefit.

Posted at 10:32 PM in Netroots | Technorati

Frontier PAC Has Dean's Back

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Frequent Swing State Project user Patton Price started a Political Action Committee called Frontier PAC (you may have seen his ad here). His organization focuses on winning elections out West as the future of the Democratic Party. He is also a staunch defender of Governor/Chairman Howard Dean. So like many of us, when Democratic leadership questioned Dean's strategy of focus on the Republican Party's "culture of corruption," Patton was dissapointed.

Frontier PAC has Dean's Back (petition).

You'll notice on their homepage, the message is about "Integrity, Independence, Reform," so this is right up their alley. I am a big fan of what they trying to accomplish, and the manner at which they are attempting it; I also and agree with the Westward march--that's one of the reasons Swing State Project adopted Jon Tester as our first endorsed candidate for 2006.

Posted at 10:00 PM in DNC Chair | Technorati

CA-Gov: Teachers "Kicking Arnold's Butt"

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse at the Pepsi Co. Governor's Mansion, there is more polling data out on Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Wells Fargo).

San Jose State University survey. June 27-July 1, 2005. N=928 adults statewide. (MoE ± 3.2)

Approve: 34%
Disapprove: 55%
Unsure/DK: 11%

In a head to head, the man who vowed to "kick the butt" of teachers, nurses, and other special interests is getting his ass kicked:

San Jose State University survey. June 27-July 1, 2005. N=686 voters statewide. (MoE ± 3.7)

"If there’s a battle over school funding in the upcoming special election in November between Governor Schwarzenegger on one side, and teachers and school administrators on the other side, who are you more likely to support?"

Teachers: 60%
Governor: 31%

These numbers are absolutely horrible. Terrible. Abysmal. The only question remaining is how close a poll would be questioning who people are more likely to support, Arnold, or a ham sandwich.

Posted at 09:38 PM in California | Technorati

Bloggers for Accountability - London Edition

Posted by Bob Brigham

Today many progressive bloggers responded to the London attacks like angry shareholders. The angst level was visible, the people were pissed -- why is Bush failing America in the War on Terror?

Today, many a blogger focused on accountability, here is a sampling:

Steve Soto:

[A]s Tony Blair oversees the carnage and anger in his country, he may want to ask his good buddy George W. Bush why his administration crippled Blair’s domestic anti-terror efforts to track down and stop Al Qaeda cells inside Great Britain by exposing a known Al Qaeda asset at a time when the Brits were very close to nailing a ring of Al Qaeda cells inside the country? With today's tragedy in front of them, don't you think that British intelligence would have wanted to finish their work last fall in smashing London's Al Qaeda cells before the Bush Administration blew a covert operation just so Bush could be reelected?

But as the Plame case shows, the Bush Administration has never let national security here or abroad get in the way of their Number One priority anyway, have they?


Bush's latest rationale for maintaining the course in Iraq adventure has been the "flypaper strategy" -- it's better to fight the terrorists over there than at home. Nevermind that the Iraqis never asked to have their country turned into a dangerous den of terrorism, insurgency, violence and death. For war supporters looking for an excuse, any excuse, to justify the continued disastrous American presence in Iraq, the flypaper rationale was as good as any.

Except that it's not working. The war isn't making the West any safer. In fact, it's creating a whole new class of terrorists. Today it was London. Next time it could easily be the United States. And waging the war in Iraq, rather than make us safer, is further motivating Islamic terrorists to strike at the West. [...]

But Bush (and Blair) took their eyes off the prize -- neglected to finish the job in Afghanistan, let Al Qaida off the hook to rebuild and reorganize, and helped swell its ranks with an unecessary and inept campaign in Iraq.

There are consequences to the mess in Iraq. And today, we're seeing one of them. Unfortunately, it won't be the last.

Steve Gilliard:

George Bush decided to place a significant number of this country's resources and effort into Iraq. Every Delta Force member, every CIA paramilitary and officer in Iraq, is one which is not hunting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Central and South Asia. In the two years we have been bringing democracy training terrorists in Iraq, Al Qaeda has attacked our allies in Iraq at home, first the Spanish, now the British. This is no surprise, since it has been expected for years that the British would be attacked in some way. [...]

And of course, our ineffectual right wing, who, like teenage girls, like the fashion of the moment, will call for something ot be done, but because Iraq hangs around our neck like a massive security albatross, Al Qaeda has freedom of movement and there is little to do. If Osama had a couple of divisions chasing his ass, this wouldn't be happening. Or at least we wouldn't be seeing him on video in the next few weeks gloating.

What will we do? Arrest a few naive, angry young men, toss them in jail, and have American idiots blather about "Islamofascism" and puff their chests up, while keeping their kids safe at home. AQ knows the content of the character and it is that they will fight for nothing, do nothing, except talk. They blather and whine, and America's real enemies see this and understand this. When these cowards talk of the right to their opinion while not serving, people see that, they understand that, and they see how willing we are to leave Afghanistan to molder.

AmericaBlog's Michael in New York:

Bush's failure to make our country safer is a sign of weakness and incompetence.

It's been 4 years since 9-11 and we STILL don't have a combined list of terrorists that can be checked against people coming into our country by plane, car or boat. It was crazy we didn't have this before 9-11. It's criminal that we don't have it now.

It's been 4 years and Bush has failed to strengthen security around our highly vulnerable chemical and nuclear energy plants. Why? Because big business doesn't want to pay for increased security and Bush is putting their concerns ahead of the safety of America.

It's been 4 years and Bush is delaying the strengthening of our coastlines and ports to two and a half DECADES. Any reasonable person would speed up the strengthening of our coastlines and ports. Why isn't Bush?

It's been 4 years and Bush has failed to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden.

It's been 4 years and Bush can't even ferret out a felon in the White House.

What else has Bush failed to do in this country to make our nation safer?

The American people aren't worried they'll lose the war on terror. They're worried that Bush is too weak to win it.

Talking Points Memo:

The threat of terrorism is very real, especially in major cities. But with respect to the folks who want to lasso this into a pillar of support for a disastrous policy in Iraq, frankly, we already knew terrorism was real. Most people are sick to death of our bumbling in Iraq because it's distracted us from actually defending ourselves.

The immediate answer to this is to hunt down the people immediately responsible, root out the primarily-non-state terror networks that support, plan and make these attacks possible and start getting about serious homeland defense -- port security, rail security, nuclear power plant security.

On that last count, what we've accomplished in the US over the last few years has been painfully inadequate, largely because of our focus on nation-states that have only a tenuous connection to this threat -- a lot of lies, mumbojumbo, and scurrilous and dark motives by the usual suspects notwithstanding.

David Sirota:

The idea that, because our troops are in Iraq, terrorists will only attack us there and not "in the streets of our own cities" is, first and foremost, an insult to our troops because it treats them as if their entire mission is to serve as bait for terrorists. That's not what our troops – or America – was told this was all about.

Secondly, are we really supposed to believe the same terrorists who masterminded the 9/11 attack can't walk and chew gum at the same time? I mean, maybe George W. Bush and the dolts around him are so intellectually impaired they can't do two things at once – but Al Qaeda sure can, and any sentiment to the contrary is idiotic.

But the fact that this line of reasoning insults our intelligence shouldn't be the biggest concern with it. The fact that this rationale has justified spending billions on a war in Iraq while shortchanging basic homeland security is what's really troubling. For years now, experts have begged the Bush administration to adequately fund key homeland security priorities - but they have been rejected at almost every turn.

Instea, the White House has knowingly left our ports, our borders and yes – our transit systems – totally vulnerable to terrorist attacks because they have refused to spend adequate resources, even as they have insisted on cutting taxes for the wealthy and plunging us into a war in Iraq. When Democrats have tried to reduce those tax cuts to pay for critical homeland security needs, they have been voted down. Meanwhile, GOP leaders in Congress have gone along: for instance, just a few weeks ago they gutted funding for transit security.

James Wolcott:

Whoever carried out these attacks managed with a minimum of expense and a modest amount of planning and ruthless execution to upstage the G8 Summit, instantly deflate London's euphoria over winning the Olympic nod for 2012, and wipe the smile off of Tony Blair's face--Blair, for whom the G8 summit was to be his big comeback stage and an opportunity to get out from under his poodle image by taking the high moral ground over Bush on the issues of global warming and African relief. It's been over three years since 3000 Americans died on 9/11, Bin Laden is still at large, Iraq is turning into quicksand, oil has crested $60 a barrel, and yet the Steadfast and Resolute politicians and pundits still insist on underestimating the strategic and tactical intelligence of Al Qaeda. Why, I don't know.

Quantifiably, the numbers prove Bush and the Radical Right are losing the War on Terror. We are losing because Bush values the Radical Right more than winning the War on Terror.

Today, my train ride was better than normal. This morning, there were bomb dogs when I got on (yet not this afternoon). But the entire security system on this critical rail line -- the commuter line through Silicon Valley -- is a mess. There is no security system, today's security was provided by an officer from AmTrak and by the Sheriff's Department (of the next county over). It was an emergency show of force, it wasn't adequate, and regular commuters will tell you it was not the norm (in fact, the TV camera suggested that covering one stop of the rail through Silicon Valley was newsworthy). The only reason it happened was based on a formula put in place when the Terror Level was raised for cities with mass transit. Yesterday, this critical artery of the new economy, was completely unsecured.

In the days following 9/11, we all knew we need to secure America -- Bush has failed.

After Madrid, we all knew we had more to do to secure our transportation infrasture -- yet Bush failed.

Now that we've seen this attack on BOTH of the major countries who invaded Iraq, how can we question whether we should stop wasting time and money in the War on Itaq when we need to focus our energy in the War on Terror.

Bush fucked up and Bin Laden reigns free. Democracy requires accountability. I'm proud to see bloggers carrying the responsibility of the press, but it would be nice if the press could at least do their jobs when lives are being lost.

Most bloggers, but not Kevin Drum:

A WISH....If I could have one small wish for today, it would be for the blogosphere on both left and right to refrain from political point scoring over the London attacks. Just for a day. Isn't tomorrow soon enough to return to our usual arguments?

I have a giant fucking problem with people who wish for politeness instead of justice. People are dying and Drum's one wish is to refrain from accountability? This premium on getting along instead of getting it write right is a major reason why Washington Democrats are so fucked up.

My wish is for reporters to focus upon accountability as well as most bloggers have been doing today.

Posted at 06:01 PM in International, Scandals | Technorati

Fox News Delighted by Terror Attacks

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Atrios, we have reason #200,507,070,005 why I'm glad Media Matters watches Fox News so I don't have to:

The following exchange between Fox News host Brian Kilmeade and Fox News business contributor and substitute host Stuart Varney occurred during breaking news coverage of the attacks on London subways and buses on the July 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: And he [British Prime Minister Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.

VARNEY: It puts the Number 1 issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner. It sticks terrorism and the fight on the war on terror, right up front all over again.


I'm glad that Fox is there to remind us that 40 people dying in London is more important than millions in Africa. The right is downright giddy at the prospect of using the London terrorist attacks as an excuse to push the radical right agenda -- the same way they lied to the America people and used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq.

When you are a propaganda machine Fox News, the thought this "works" to an advantage makes all the sense in the world.

Posted at 02:57 PM in Republicans | Technorati

Radical Clerics Making Americans Stoopider

Posted by Bob Brigham

Our homegrown Taliban -- the radical right clerics -- are achieving success in dumbing down Americans. Just check out the new Harris Interactive poll (1,000 U.S. adults, June 17-21):

A majority of U.S. adults (54%) do not think human beings developed from earlier species, up from 46 percent in 1994.

Who makes up the flat earth society science rejectionists?

In general, older adults (those 55 years of age and older), adults without a college degree, Republicans, conservatives, and Southerners are more likely to embrace the creationism positions in the questions asked.

Obviously, our schools suck. But he said/she said "journalism" also deserves scorn. When Dobson lies, the press needs to call bullshit, not follow it with an opposing quote...the earth is not the center of the universe, the earth is not flat, the earth isn't 3,000 years old and treating facts like differences of opinion hurts society as a whole.

Posted at 02:26 PM in Republicans | Technorati

GOP - Karl Rove Indictment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lots of chatter that Rove will be indicted – soon. As we learn via SusanG, the blogs are driving this story:

I am glad to play a small role. In my America, when companies get big and lazy, competion arises. That is what is happening with the blogs. The press MSM) has gotten fat and lazy. The blogs are now driving the stories.

Arianna Huffington points out:

From the way they’ve acted so far, the mainstream media would rather this scandal just go away (bloggers take note).

Digby says:

It is, therefore, a good time for the blogs to keep pushing. I believe that we were part of the reason that the DSMs finally gained some traction --- enough to make the administration nervous anyway --- and I think we can have an effect on this story as well. Nobody should ever forget that Drudge was fed quite a bit of his information during the Clinton scandals by journalists who were trying to find a way to get the story into the ether so they could say "it's out there."

Steve Gilliard looks one step further:

You want a not lazy media, you need to give us the tools to challenge the MSM. Money, support, spreading the word. Joe Wilson isn't just being nice. Bush tore his life and ruined his wife's career. This ain't a story to him. As we raise money, I'd consider what he said seriously. Because it's serious to him, and to us.

(Go support Steve during his fund drive)

Billmon has a must read piece on the marketplace of ideas and "thought contagion" in the pundit class. Understanding this dynamic is why it is critical that the blogs continue to lead on this scandal involving a traitor in the Republican White House.

More to come…

Posted at 01:59 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

OH-Sen: New Poll Shows DeWine in Trouble

Posted by Bob Brigham

Regular Swing State Project readers know that I go by the old rule of thumb when it comes to senators seeking re-election: if the re-elect number is under 40, then the incumbent is in trouble. Ohio Senator Mike DeWine's re-elect stands at 31%, which means his support is zip to nil and nil is leaning towards undecided.

This new poll is very bad news considering yesterday's launch of Congressman Sherrod Brown's state-wide effort.

Kos says:

Bottom line is that DeWine is clearly vulnerable. And if Brown enters the race, it may suddenly catapult to a top tier race. The Coingate scandal in Ohio won't do DeWine or the rest of the state's Republicans any favors, nor will the economy or the war.
If Brown ever had any thought of a promotion to the Senate, now seems to be the perfect time to do so.

Indeed. Kos also has the results (Feldman Group (D) for the DSCC. 6/27. 1,209 respondents):
If the election for United States Senate were held today and the candidates were (ROTATE) Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Mike DeWine, for whom would you vote?
Mike DeWine (R) 42
Sharrod Brown (D) 36

Overall, do you think Mike DeWine deserves reelection as United States Senator, or do you think that someone else should be given a chance?  
Deserves Reelection 31
Someone Else 42

Now, generally speaking, do you think things in this country are going in the right direction, or do you feel things are pretty seriously off on the wrong track?
Right Direction 32
Wrong Direction 57

Not only is DeWine weak, but Brown's name ID gives him room to grow:

DeWine has a 94 percent name ID, while Brown is at 77 percent.
These numbers don't bode well for DeWine, but Brown is about the only candidate left that can make a run for it. Will he run? No one knows. […]

This poll indicates that maybe he is flirting with it. Or at the very least, that the DSCC is trying to entice him into the race. More proof that he might take the plunge this time -- the recent launch (yesterday?) of the new statewide political site Grow Ohio.org where he promises to help rebuild the Ohio Democratic Party from the "ground up".
Someone interested in running for reelection in his own congressional district wouldn't exactly be launching this sort of site, would he?

Probably not.

Here's to Congressman Sherrod Brown running for U.S. Senate in 2006 – he's a great lawmaker and would make Ohio proud.

Posted at 01:50 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Ohio | Technorati

RI-Sen: Looks Like We Got a Race

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse, absolutely crushed incumbent Lincoln Chafee in second quarter fundraising, by almost a margin of 2 to 1. I hate that strength of a candidacy is measured by dollars raised, but that's just the way it is right now, and Whitehouse's $775,000 raised in three months vs. Chafee's $400,000 sends a strong message. The other Democratic candidate, Matt Brown, did not report his figures, forcing us to wait until the 15th to find out how successful he was. In the first quarter, Brown raised about $500,000.

This comes on the heels of recent polling that shows the race tightening.

Chafee: 41%
Whitehouse: 36%

Chafee: 44%
Brown: 29%

Personally, I tend to support Matt Brown (I have an affinity for the non-establishment Dems). But either way, this another great opportunity for another U.S. Senate pickup. Day by day, I grow more and more optimistic about our chances of taking a significant chunk out of the Republican majority.

Posted at 12:47 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Rhode Island | Technorati

CA-48: Bob Dornan and the American Independent Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

The special election in California's 48th Congression District could get very interesting. Toss out convention wisdom about Orange County, if this race goes three way with a big name, it could be very favorable for Democrats. From the LA Times:

Former U.S. Rep. Robert K. Dornan, a rabble-rousing Republican and notorious conservative who represented Orange County from 1985 through 1996, is eyeing another run for Congress, despite defeats in 1996, 1998 and 2004.

This time, Dornan, 72, is weighing whether to abandon the GOP and run as a candidate for the American Independent Party. He is hoping to gain a strategic advantage in a bid for the plum coastal congressional seat held by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach).

It gets weirder, and it appears Dornan will quickly go negative on Republican candidates (state Senator John Campbell and former Assemblywoman Marilyn C. Brewer).

Campbell and Brewer are too moderate and unreliable on such issues as abortion, said Dornan, who lives in Virginia but is registered to vote in Sunset Beach.

"This time, I'm not going to see a safe conservative seat go to someone like Marilyn Brewer," he said by telephone. He said social liberals, who he predicted would back both Campbell and Brewer, "are a metastasizing cancer on the Republican party to turn us into Democrats."

"metastasizing cancer"

Here's how it would go:

Running as an independent candidate has appeal, Dornan said Wednesday, because he would not have to change parties to appear on the ballot — as long as at least 40 registered American Independent Party voters signed his nomination papers.

All candidates would appear on the same ballot in the special election, with the top vote-getters from each party in a runoff if there is no clear majority. [...]

The American Independent Party has about 29,000 registered voters in Orange County, with 7,620 voters in Cox's 48th Congressional District. Republicans have 202,793 voters in the district; Democrats have 109,514.

The independent platform includes ending foreign aid and debt financing by state and federal governments, ending the federal income tax and international trade pacts, reducing immigration and ending subsidies to illegal immigrants. The group opposes abortion and claims it's the only party to support a state's right to recognize God and the Ten Commandments.

Here's some polling and the Seaborn strategy.

Posted at 10:58 AM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, California, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

GOP: Bad Day for London Commuters and Neocons

Posted by Bob Brigham

Gotta love the way the people riding public transit pay the ultimate price for the oily neocons' decision to focus on Iraq instead of Bin Laden. Any discussion of the London terrorist attacks must include the simple fact that it has been 1,395 days since 9/11 -- yet Bin Laden is still at-large.

Bush and Blair failed by invading Iraq and the Down Street Memo clearly shows that the people were mislead for the Radical Right's crusade adventure in Iraq.

We're losing the war in Iraq. We're losing the war on terror.

Instead of capturing Bin Laden and breaking al Qaeda, we invaded Iraq. And every dollar wasted in the quagmire is one less dollar spent securing America.

I'm going to hop on a train not that different from the tubes in London. This train is the main artery through the Silicon Valley. This train is NOT secure. You want some terror, freak out the geeks who run the economy (imagine what happens when Google workers are scared to go to work).

It didn't have to be this way. In the days following 9/11, there was more good will towards the United States than we may ever see again. But Bush didn't rise to the occassion. He didn't enlist the American people in defending America, he used 9/11 as an excuse to push a radical foreign policy. It didn't have to be this way.

Now, 1,395 days after 9/11, it is time for Bush to make capturing Bin Laden a priority. Go sign the petition:

Dear President Bush:

Four years after the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans, Osama bin Laden remains free to plan further attacks on our nation. Your failure to make his capture your top priority endangers American lives -- and is an insult to everyone who lost a loved one on September 11.

Just six months after the attacks, you told America, "I truly am not that concerned about him." It's time for you to get concerned. Capturing Osama bin Laden should be your top priority.

Your CIA chief recently told TIME that he has an "excellent idea" where bin Laden is hiding. If your administration knows his whereabouts, than there is no possible excuse for allowing him to remain free.

I demand that you change your priorities immediately and get Osama bin Laden.

Posted at 10:37 AM in International | Technorati

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown Goes Statewide

Posted by Bob Brigham

Don't let the headline mislead you, Congressman Sherrod Brown has not (yet) announced that he'll be challenging Mike DeWine for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat. But, he has announced a new statewide effort:


The website looks great and has amazing localization tools. And Swing State Project's Tim Tagaris is involved, which means Congressman Brown can nationalize online as well as localize. Together, this dynamic could prove impressive if Sherrod Brown were to run for U.S. Senate in 2006.

When it comes to the obvious question, here's what Tim is saying:

"Does this mean that Congressman Brown is going to run for U.S. Senate? The answer I’ll be giving all day is that the site was built to help build infrastructure, both online and offline, and elect Ohio Democrats in 2005 and 2006. Everyone will just have to stay tuned when it comes to talk of the U.S. Senate run."

Pretty coy Damn professional quote.

Whatever happens with the Senate campaign, it is clear the Rep. Sherrod Brown is putting the pieces in place to lead statewide. Even his re-election website, www.SherrodBrown.com seems focused beyond the borders of Ohio's 13th Congressional District.

So go check it out: Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:02 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Democrats, General, Ohio | Technorati

2008: Western Democratic Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Our friends at Western Democrat have spent a good deal of blog-inches talking about a potential 2008 Western Democratic Primary. In the late 90's, there was a similiar push geared towards the 2000 election (since it would be an open seat), but it flopped. Eight years later, we are in a similiar situation, yet further away from the goal. That needs to change, people need to get the job done. Now that Dan Kemmis is writing about this in the western papers, hopefully it will get some traction. From David Sirota:

Few argue that the Democratic Party needs a shakeup - and former Montana House Speaker Dan Kemmis says there's no better idea than staging a Western Democratic presidential primary in 2008. It's time for some of the states in this region to play a pivotal role in shaping the party, and being a critical part of the presidential primary is just the trick.

Kari Chrisholm reminds us of the score:

Since 1960, the convention has been in California twice (SF 1984, LA 2000) but otherwise never west of Chicago.

Kemmis in the Denver Post:

The Democratic National Committee has created a commission to see if changes in the primary calendar can help Democrats choose presidential candidates with greater nationwide appeal. At a meeting in Chicago in May, the commission heard three proposals to accomplish that, all involving the regional clustering of primaries.

The most compelling of these proposals came from a group called Democrats for the West. They backed a plan that had been endorsed last year by the bipartisan Western Governors' Association, calling for a simultaneous primary or caucus in the eight Mountain West states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Kemmis has quite a case:

Partisan motivations will naturally be at work in all of this. Western Democrats believe a Western primary could help generate some electoral votes in the region. As Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., wrote to the Democratic National Committee's commission, "In presidential elections, we are often viewed by party leaders, national political pundits and other national 'experts' as a 'Republican Red Sea' impossible to cross, like a great desert more to be endured than embraced."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set the record straight, reminding the commission that "Democrats can win in Western states as evidenced by the recent ballot victories in Montana, Colorado and Nevada." Jerry Brady, an announced Democratic candidate for governor of Idaho, told the commission, "Our request for an early, regionwide primary and caucus season is ... based on the conviction that the time is right to capitalize on rapid gains already made."

Indeed, the timing is perfect. Sirota reminds us of the challenge and the benefits:

Sure, this will threaten the consulting class in Washington that has made a career out of running the same tired campaigns in the same primary states. And sure, it might make the usual suspects who are mentioned as candidates in 2008 nervous - but that's the point. It's time for some new blood, and for some other states to make their mark on the Democratic Party.

Posted at 10:18 AM in 2008 President - Democrats | Technorati

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

PA-Sen: Santorum Exposed

Posted by Bob Brigham

New website: www.SantorumExposed.com;

We believe that Rick Santorum has failed to use his position as a U.S. Senator improve the lives of most Americans, and our mission here is simple: To shine a light on the facts about Rick Santorum's extreme positions, failed policies and hypocritical statements -- and let the facts speak for themselves.

Santorum Exposed has a blog, lots of video and oppo files on:

Social Security
Tax dollars
Minimum Wage

Posted at 02:23 PM in Pennsylvania | Comments (2) | Technorati

DLC Worthless in Supreme Court Fight

Posted by Bob Brigham

As Democrats attempt to preserve independent courts, it appears the DLC is again worthless as an ally, from Bull Moose:

A polarizing fight on the Court will likely accelerate the separation between Washington and the rest of the country. As activist groups fight one another, most Americans will feel divorced from the fracas. Their concerns about health care, jobs, gas prices will go ignored as the two armies bloody themselves on the cultural war battlefield.

Note the phrasing, the DLC is not on Democrats' side.

What has the DLC done so far in 2005?

* When Joe Leiberman looked like he might sell out on Social Security, the DLC provided cover

* When the Radical Right tried to get rid of the filibuster with their Nuclear Option, Democratic posture and positioning was hurt by the DLC. During this "nuclear" showdown, the DLC was worthless at best and probably counter-productive.

Now the DLC is hitting the trifecta, the third battle major battle of the year and again the DLC is of zero help. With friends like these...

Posted at 01:40 PM in Democrats, Supreme Court | Comments (3) | Technorati

MT-Gov: Schweitzer up at 5:30 AM Eastern

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Helena Independent Record:

Montana's new governor has a strong personality. He walks into a newspaper's board room without minders and without notes and talks nonstop, displaying an energy that, he said, got him up at 3:30 that morning.

Two time zones away, Schweitzer still gets up earlier in the morning than most of the D.C. insiders...and it shows.

Posted at 01:18 PM in Montana | Technorati

CA-50: Randy "Duke" Cunningham Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Few things have given me such pleasure as of late as watching Josh Marshall spin the tale of Randy "Duke" Cunningham and the scandal that keeps going and going and going -- with no end in sight. As usual, Marshall has focused attention by asking all of the right questions while letting the story tell itself. As the Washington Post reports, we now have a second boat. To keep everything clear, I've provided the following chart:

scandal watchNumber 1Number 2
BAGMANMitchell J. WadeThomas T. Kontogiannis
BUSINESSDefense ContractorDeveloper
PRIORSunknownIn 2002, plead guilty in connection with alleged bribes involving a school superintendent and $6 million contracts
YACHTDuke-StirKelly C
YACHT $Cunningham stayed rent-free on this 42-foot namesakeCunningham bought it in 1997, for a reported $200,000.00, in 2002, appraised at $1.2 million and sold to Kontogiannis for $600,000.00 (but kept in Cunningham's name while Kontogiannis spent $100,000 on refurbishments), as of a month ago, Cunningham was planning to take boat back to D.C.
MANSIONDel MarRancho Santa Fe
MANSION $Cunningham sold to Wade for $1.675 million, Wade then sold for a $700,000 lossCunningham has Kontogiannis finance mortage (at wholesale rate) on $2.55 million home, then Kontogiannis pays off second mortage and writes receives from Cunningham a $70,000 check to pay off debt on Kelly C
SCOREWade banked tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contractsunknown
MONEY QUOTECunningham lawyer K. Lee Blalack said he couldn't talk about the case because he "hadn't gotten his hands dirty on this thing yet."Kontogiannis: "Why would I do that? I don't need the man"

And let's not forget the Top Gun scandal:

Cunningham's troubles may have extended this week to a company he owns, Top Gun Enterprises Inc. He started that company in 1987, primarily as a means of marketing a book he wrote about his experiences as a Navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War.

A Web site for the company sold the book and other items, including a $595 Buck knife that featured an imprint of Cunningham in his flight suit and what the site said was the Seal of Congress.

Use of that seal on commercial products is prohibited without specific approval from Congress, which Cunningham does not appear to have secured. On Thursday, the Web site had removed the knife and all the products it had been offering and put up a note saying only that the site was under construction.

So I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest the California's 50th Congressional District could be competitive in 2006.

UPDATE: (Bob) While we're doing charts, what about this chart on Randy Cunningham:

1Voting percentage with DeLay:
calculated through: www.cq.com
2Vote to weaken ethics rules:
H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05
3Vote to weaken ethics rules:
H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05
4Vote to table Democratic solution:
H. Res. 153, Roll Call #70, 3/15/05
5Closed door indictment rule vote:
6Donations to DeLay's Legal Defense Fund:
www.citizen.org, www.tray.com

Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Republican Congress!

Posted at 10:10 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - House, California, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (6) | Technorati

Monday, July 04, 2005

Indpendence Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Armando, our values:


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Happy Independence Day.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

--John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Posted at 12:27 PM in General | Technorati

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fire Karl Rove

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via AmericaBlog, we have a stunning reminder of the stakes in the TreasonGate scandal. From cnn (September 29, 2003):

McClellan said that if anyone at the White House leaked Plame's identity, he should be fired, and pursued to the "fullest extent."

"No one was authorized to do this. That is simply not the way this White House operates and if someone leaked classified information it is a very serious matter," he said.

Totally ridiculous, I agree it is very serious, he should be fired. Luckily, I know of a Fire Karl Rove Petition. It talks about some different reasons, but feel free to sign it for whatever reasons cause you to organize to shitcan his ass.

Posted at 06:44 PM in Plamegate, Scandals | Technorati

Karl Rove: It's Not the Lying, It's the Treason

Posted by Bob Brigham

Updated with more on TreasonGate.

The blogosphere is a buzzing with news that Karl Rove has been exposed as the source of the Plame leak. In the next week, we're going to hear a great deal about the timeline and the two-person rule, the former centering on the federal crime of outing an undercover agent and the later necessary to establish the bonus charge of perjury.

Over at the Huffington Post, Lawrence O'Donnell hints that Rove may be in trouble on both counts.

I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's emails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. [...]

Since I revealed the big scoop, I have had it reconfirmed by yet another highly authoritative source. Too many people know this. It should break wide open this week. I know Newsweek is working on an 'It's Rove!' story and will probably break it tomorrow.

If Rove is the traitor and if he lied about it before the Grand Jury -- then he could achieve rare political status of having the cover-up not as bad as the crime -- for him at least. But cover-ups usually involve more than a single man, and this could turn into one giant shitburger considering who "Bush's Brain" spends time with in the West Wing (where he now serves as both Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Deputy White House Chief of Staff).

Last week, the story was about the move to fire Karl Rove. This week, at a minimum, Rove should have his security clearance yanked while this is investigated. From AmericaBlog:

And now that this allegation is out there, of Karl Rove being a TRAITOR who divulged national security information putting our lives and the lives of CIA agents and their contacts at risk around the world, is this suspected threat to national security still AT the White House at this moment? Is he in the proximity of the president of the United States? What does the Secret Service have to say about that? Simply because of this allegation, a very serious public allegation by a credible on-the-record source, this man's security clearances should be revoked immediately, albeit temporarily, until this matter can be resolved.

Is the Secret Service REALLY going to let a man facing these accusations have access to the president of the United States in a time of war?

Come on MSM, ask the White House NOW if Karl Rove is still in the building, or if his clearances have been temporarily revoked.

Now remember, the idea that Rove is responsible for this is nothing new, yet the Secret Service has done nothing to-date to secure the President and the White House from whoever is guilty. For more on Rove as the source, check out the "historical briefings" here, here, here, here, here, and here,

Also, a full investigation of Rove and the media, will of course come back to Jeff Gannon. Somebody in the inner-circle of the White House planted Jeff Gannon and with Jeff Gannon's relationship to the Plame Affair, we're going to see a lot more on this. Which could potentially even move the scandal into something beyond lying about treason. When I searched my computer for "Rove + Source" I found the following transcript from an appearance I had on Air America earlier this year. The transcript is from this MP3, about a 102 minutes in (from 02/03/2005):

Sam Seder: Just go back to the Gannon thing for a little bit, where do you think the investigation is going to come from?

Bob Brigham: I think that Congress, in one way or anot her, is going to have to start investigating. If this continues to be a blog-driven investigation, it's a worse case scenario for a lot of Republicans, specifically Republicans who might have hypocrisy liability on a gay prostitute story and it will actually defuse the story somewhat by there being an investigation, just because then it won't be just constantly the blogosphere outing more and more Republican hypocrites.

Sam Seder: So Bob, let me read between the lines here. What you're saying is that there may be information out there, that there are some gentleman involved in the White House, who have taken some positions that would be inconsistent with perhaps some of their sexual dalliances.

Bob Brigham: You know, the Republican Party has more perverts than a whorehouse on Saturday night.

Sam Seder: Sweet Bob

Janeane Garofalo: Nice one.

Bob Brigham: We saw this in the nineties with Clinton. And the hypocrisy there when that come to light was very telling in the true moral character of the Republican Party.

Sam Seder: That's right. Henry Hyde had like three girlfriends or something like that.

Bob Brigham: Livingston was taken down, was Speaker for what, a week? And now that that the Republican Party has spent two years bashing gays, that is going to catch up with the Republican Party also. The fact that they are now bashing the AARP on gay marriage, they're seniors, they aren't having gay sex, they aren't having any sex. It's seniors. It just shows how ridiculous the entire smearing people as homosexual, conduct has become in the Republican Party and they're going to pay a price for their hubris.

Sam Seder: So you're saying that there's going to be perhaps a couple of Ed Shrockian moments coming up?

Bob Brigham: I think definitly. I think that is going to be a very interesting swing of the penjelum.

Janeane Garofalo: May I throw my two cents in Bob, because you've be unbelievably polite about this. Here's exactly is going to happen. Here is what the Gannon/Guckert sexual hypocrisy, whatever the scandal is, beyond the scandal we all know about. My gut feeling is that Karl Rove is either bisexual or gay, Scott McClellan, either bisexual or gay and either one of those two men – I tend to think it is Karl Rove – has had an affair with Ganon/Guckert.


Janeane Garofalo: Oh, don't be so silenced.

Bob Brigham: Oh, well that is a very interesting theory.

Sam Seder: Well it remains to be seen. It remains to be seen.

Janeane Garofalo: I'm telling you that Rove and McClellan, I mean, Ken Mehlman is at least up front about being gay, is he not?

Sam Seder: I don't know.

Janeane Garofalo: He at least admits to being gay, doesn't he?

Sam Seder: I don't think so.

Bob Brigham: He refuses to claim that he's straight in public.

Janeane Garofalo: Well I mean at least's he's, I don't think he's as closeted. He unfortunately supports a homophobic, bigoted, hypocritical agenda and that's the problem, not his gayness. And who cares if Gannon/Guckert is gay or bi and who cares if Rove or McClellan are gay except for their hypocrisy and their gay-unfriendly agenda. But I'm telling you McClellan, Rove, Ralph Reed, these guys are the gay mafia, they are gay as French horns as they say. I don't know why French horns are gay, but I think that the Gannon/Guckert scandal is, that the source of it is that Rove is his lover.

Discovering where this leads is going to be great fun, hubris is expensive and the bill is now past-due. Sure you're saying that would be totally ridiculous. Let me remind you of this White House exchange with Scott McClellan (via slate):

Q: On the Robert Novak-Joseph Wilson situation, Novak reported earlier this year quoting "anonymous government sources" telling him that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative. Now, this is apparently a federal offense, to burn the cover [of] a CIA operative. Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove. He's quoted from a speech last month as saying, "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." Did Karl Rove tell that—

A: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

Q: But did Karl Rove do it?

A: I said, it's totally ridiculous.

Hubris is costly.

UPDATE: (Bob): This is getting good, from Newsweek (via Atrios):

The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House. Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment. But in an interview with NEWSWEEK, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove.

But this is very interesting:

Novak appears to have made some kind of arrangement with the special prosecutor, and other journalists who reported on the Plame story have talked to prosecutors with the permission of their sources. Cooper agreed to discuss his contact with Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, after Libby gave him permission to do so. But Cooper drew the line when special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald asked about other sources.

It appears that unlike Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, Karl Rove did not give Cooper permission to discuss the scandal with the Special Prosecutor. Which is odd, given that Rove serves at the pleasure of the United States of America (via AmericaBlog):

Q Mr. President, on another issue, the CIA leak-gate. What is your confidence level in the results of the DOJ investigation about any of your staffers not being found guilty or being found guilty? And what do you say to critics of the administration who say that this administration retaliates against naysayers?

PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I'm glad you brought that question up. This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it seriously. As members of the press corps here know, I have, at times, complained about leaks of security information, whether the leaks be in the legislative branch or in the executive branch. And I take those leaks very seriously.

And, therefore, we will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. I've got all the confidence in the world the Justice Department will do a good, thorough job. And that's exactly what I want them to do, is a good, thorough job. I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker.

I have told my staff, I want full cooperation with the Justice Department. And when they ask for information, we expect the information to be delivered on a timely basis. I expect it to be delivered on a timely basis. I want there to be full participation, because, April, I am most interested in finding out the truth.

And, you know, there's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it. And if this helps stop leaks of -- this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked -- and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth.

Actually, I doubt Bush is looking forward to anything that is remotely related to the Truth when it comes to this TreasonGate.

UPDATE (Bob): We all knew that more and more people are going to be sucked into the TreasonGate Scandal, Digby gets the following tip:

Wilson indicates that the work up on him beginning March, 2003, turned up the information on Valerie -- which was then shared with Karl Rove who then circulated it through Administration and neo-Conservative circles. He cites conservative journalists who claimed to have had the information before the Novak column.

So the question is -- in the work-up process beginning about March 2003, who had the information re: Plame?

I think it was John Bolton. At the time he was State Department Deputy Secretary with the portfolio in WMD and Nuclear Proliferation. Assuming that Valerie Plame's identity was that of a NOC (No Official Cover) the information about her would have been highly classified, compartmentalized, and only those with a need to know would know. Bolton's Job probably gave him that status. However to receive it he would have to sign off on the classification -- that is he would have to agree to retain the security the CIA had established.

At the time, Bolton had two assistants who also worked in the White House in Cheney's office, David Wurmser and John Hannah. Their names have been around as the potential leakers -- Hannah if you remember is the guy who kept putting the Yellow Cake back in Bush's speeches even though Tenet had demanded it be removed.

So -- I think we have a game of catch going on here -- or maybe some version of baseball, and the scoring is Bolton to Wurmser and Hannah, to Cheney (and/or Libby) to Rove.

more to come...

Posted at 01:59 PM in General, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (5) | Technorati

Blogs and Supreme Court Nomination Process

Posted by Bob Brigham

Jeralyn Merritt was on MSNBC yesterday, you can (of course) find something at Talk Left and the video at Dem Bloggers, here's a rough transcript:

JERALYN MERRITT: I think the way it is stacking up on the blogs is we feel like the ball is in President Bush's court right now. He can choose to provide us with us consensus nominee, he can choose to discuss it with the Senate, or he can go with the Radical Right and present a Radical Right nominee. If he does the latter, we're going to gear up, we're going into battle. If he does the former, then we're going to be OK with it.

Also how are the blogs going to help revolution the process of publicly vetting a nominee?

RON REAGAN: How are all of these new media outlets and elements going to play into this process, do you suppose?

JERALYN MERRITT: I think it's going to play in in a big way Ron, now we have citizen journalists, now everybody wants to have a voice. And when you have the three cable news networks and you have everyone tuned into the internet, what happens is we, the bloggers, have become like the internet on speed. We're like the difference between skiing and snowboarding. We bring information to people – as it's happening – 24/7 and we don't have editors so we don't have to wait to get things approved. Plus, because we let people comment, everybody gets a voice. It's like a community and there are millions of us.

Millions. And when a choice is made, millions will make their voices heard online. Additionally, quite a few people will be offering new information in the comments, and the Open Source research will thrive as the blogosphere shifts through an overwhelming amount of new information, raising the best info to a wide audience – in real time.

Posted at 01:45 PM in Netroots, Supreme Court | Technorati


Posted by Tim Tagaris

For anyone that would like to, you can watch the video stream of Live8, from any venue you wish, right here.

Chris Bowers of MyDD is a credentialed blogger and you can read his updates here.

Another blogger, lesser known, but an enjoyable mix of commentary and excellent photography, Albert Yee from Philadelphia also received credentials. His blog is Dragonballyee, but he will be live-blogging the event at Philly Future.

Posted at 11:43 AM in General | Comments (1) | Technorati

GOP: Rove Fingered for Outing Plame

Posted by Bob Brigham

Oh boy, we're talking federal crime. Via Americablog, the transcript shows up on DailyKos:

"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's emails-within Time Magazine, uh, are handed over to the grand jury is the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is. And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of-for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time Magazine's going to do with the grand jury."

More at Catch and discussion on Eschaton.

UPDATE: (B0b): From Editor and Publisher:

Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

Here is the transcript of O'Donnell's remarks:

"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is.

"And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."

Other panelists then joined in discussing whether, if true, this would suggest a perjury rap for Rove, if he told the grand jury he did not leak to Cooper.

On top of the federal crime of outing a covert operative, it now looks like perjury bonus points would pile on.

Posted at 12:45 AM in Plamegate, Republicans | Technorati

Friday, July 01, 2005

PA-Sen: SCOTUS Vacancy to Play Role

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It was bound to be a problem for Bob Casey Jr, whoever stepped down first from the Supreme Court, and it will continue to be a problem when Chief Justice Rehnquist steps down as well. Without hesitation, major news outlets began talking about one case (arguably, in jeopardy, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. While lesser known than Roe v. Wade, the case preserved a woman's right to chose, but gave more flexibility to the states to impose certain limitations. A quick Google News search of the case "Planned Parenthood v. Casey" shows over 2,000 articles mentioning the case today alone.

Since announcing his bid for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Jr. has taken part in a difficult balancing act; on one hand, the hope is that his staunch anti-choice stance will take the issue of abortion off-the-table with conservatives in Pennsylvania's "T" region. On the other hand, he tries not to talk about it too much for fear of alienating a base that never quite turned out to contribute, volunteer, or even vote for anti-choice Democrat Ron Klink against Rick Santorum in 2000. From a piece by the Philadelphia Inquierer entitled, "Casey walks fine line between views on abortion and party support."

In the final years of his career, Gov. Robert P. Casey attacked abortion with the zeal of an Old Testament prophet, declaring that the Democratic Party had "lost its soul" on the issue. Don't expect the same from his son, Robert P. Casey Jr. [...]

The difference is that Casey Jr. would much rather talk about something else. Anything else.

He wants to talk about anything else because, believe it or not, in Pennsylvania, most people don't know that Bob Casey Jr. is pro-life for fear of suffering a fate similar to Klink in 2000. Two questions from a recent Quinnipiac poll:
On the issue of abortion, do you happen to know whether Bob Casey Jr. is pro-life or pro-choice?

Pro-Choice: 17%
Pro-Life: 9%
Don't Know: 74%

Two questions later (Question #22), they identify Bob Casey and Rick Santorum as pro-life, and ask the question where the real problem might lie for Bob Casey Jr.
If there were an independent candidate on the ballot who was pro-choice on the issue of abortion, how likely would you be to vote for that pro-choice candidate instead of (Casey/Santorum) -- very likely, somewhatlikely, not very likely or not likely at all?

Among Democrats:

Very Likely: 19%
Somewhat Likely: 29%
Don't Know: 8%

I am not saying that this will be an issue in the Democratic Primary; that decision can and will be made by groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood. At this point, Chuck Pennacchio doesn't have the financial firepower to make it one. But as more and more people find out about Casey's stance on choice, we will begin to see the impact of question #22 on Pennsylvania's electorate--begging the question, what will the impact be among progressives and pro-choice advocates across Pennsylvania in the run-up to the election and ultimately on Novemeber 6, 2006 should Casey get the nomination.

Posted at 10:03 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Pennsylvania, Supreme Court | Technorati

Supreme Court Action Items

Posted by Bob Brigham

From DavidNYC:

Whatever happens with the Supreme Court nomination battle that is about to ensue, it's going to happen fast. Here are some things you can do right now:

• If you have a cell phone, sign up for People at the American Way's Mass Immediate Response site. This way, you'll be able to receive text message action items instantly as events break. (If you signed up during the nuclear option fight, you'll need to re-sign up.)

• Also sign up with the Save the Court, another PFAW website devoted specifically to this issue.

• Recruit friends and family members to the cause.

Write to the President, telling him he should choose a consensus candidate to replace O'Connor.

Contact your Senators to tell them the same thing. [...]

• Sign MoveOn's "Protect Our Rights" petition.

• Contact members of the media and tell them you think Bush should nominate a consensus candidate. PLEASE be polite, be brief (200 words or less), and don't do copy-and-paste jobs - put things in your own words.

Posted at 09:00 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Blogging the Supreme Court Nomination

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project will be closely following the battle. It looks like we won't be the only ones...

Knight Ridder:

O'Connor's resignation creates the first Supreme Court vacancy in 11 years, and the confirmation process will play out in the relatively new world of 24-hour news, Internet interest groups, ideologically driven bloggers and polarized politics.

USA Today:

Adding to the heat: the insatiable appetite for news and opinion on the 24-hour cable networks and the expected intense interest of some bloggers and others on the Internet, which barely existed during the Thomas and Bork debates.

Another Knight Ridder:

Finally, the contest is the first since the opinion-a-minute world of bloggers and the Internet have joined cable TV and talk radio in stirring the passions of both right and left. It's a political echo chamber that demands confrontation, not compromise, to keep people tuning in or contributing money.

"It will not be pretty," said Dennis Goldford, a political scientist at Drake University in Iowa and author of a recent book on the ways courts interpret the Constitution.

Interesting to see how the press is viewing blog involvement. No mention of Open Source research and what is anticipated to be the fastest, most thorough vetting in the history of politics.

That is why Bush needs to consult with the Senate. Americans want Bush to nominate somebody everyone can agree upon, somebody who will protect our fundamental rights.

Posted at 08:48 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Why Doesn't Your Politician Blog

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal (but outside the subscription wall) blog, Beltway Blogroll:

Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Louise Slaughter of New York, each of whom also has a personal blog, are the most prolific participants. Conyers has posted comments fairly regularly at Daily Kos and The Huffington Post, while Slaughter has engaged readers at Daily Kos, The Huffington Post and MyDD.

Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey also has posted once each at Daily Kos and The Huffington Post, and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has addressed campaign-finance rules for the Internet at Daily Kos and MyDD. Corzine's gubernatorial campaign also has a blog called Corzine Connection.

Other Democratic lawmakers who have contributed to blogs at least once this year include: Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Barbara Boxer of California; and Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois and Ed Markey of Massachusetts. In addition, former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolinian who ran for president and vice president last year, was a guest blogger at TPMCafe a few weeks ago.

...the water's fine.

Posted at 08:35 PM in Netroots | Technorati

David Brock to Fox: Drop Gray as Supreme Court analyst

Posted by Bob Brigham

Media Matters:

Dear Mr. Ailes:

I am writing to demand that Fox News Channel remove C. Boyden Gray from his position as a Supreme Court analyst. Gray's involvement as a leading player in the coming Supreme Court nomination battle makes him an inappropriate choice to serve as an analyst for Fox News, and Fox's failure to disclose Gray's conflict of interest to its viewers only compounds the problem.

In its initial coverage of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Fox News featured extended commentary by Gray, identifying him only as a "Fox Supreme Court Analyst." But this does not fully inform Fox News viewers of Gray's involvement in the Supreme Court fight.

Gray is founder and chairman of the Committee for Justice, a group formed to advance the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees. In a May 24 profile of Gray, The Washington Post reported: "Every Monday morning for months, veteran Washington lawyer C. Boyden Gray has plotted strategy via a conference call with the heads of groups that want to ease the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees. He has also spent many hours raising millions of dollars for the cause." The Committee for Justice has stated its intention to shape the way the media cover the nomination of a new justice. "Our goal is to not let their analysis or spin become defining, and put them on the defensive," group spokesman Sean Rushton told the Post in a June 29 article.

Given the Committee for Justice's position and its stated intent of influencing the Supreme Court confirmation process and news coverage of the nominee, allowing Gray to appear unidentified as a commentator on the subject makes a mockery of Fox's claim to provide "fair and balanced" news.

In order to rectify this situation, Fox News should immediately cease using C. Boyden Gray as a "Supreme Court Analyst."

Yours truly,

David Brock
President and CEO
Media Matters for America

Immediately indeed.

Posted at 04:30 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

MoveOn PAC: Protect Our Rights

Posted by Bob Brigham

Moveon PAC has a new Protect Our Rights campaign.

Sign up, more reasons why in the announcement email after the jump.

Early this morning Sandra Day O'Connor stepped down from the Supreme Court, leaving the first open seat in more than 10 years. As a moderate Justice, she helped protect our rights for decades. With Bush likely to nominate a replacement in a matter of hours or days, our most basic rights and freedoms are suddenly very much up for grabs.

This is the time to act.

Its rumored that Bush will nominate a replacement as quickly as this Tuesday. In the next few days Bush, the Senate and the media will all be will be listening very carefully—gauging the public reaction to this vacancy and deciding how far they can go.

That's why we've launched an emergency petition calling on our Senators to do what it takes in the crucial weeks ahead to protect our rights. We're aiming to deliver 250,000 signatures and comments by Tuesday. Please add your voice today:


From the Patriot Act to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, in the last four years the Republican leadership has exploited every opportunity to attack the basic American right to keep our private choices private, and to make personal decisions without government intrusion.

This vacancy could represent the biggest threat yet.

The only clear indication from Bush about who he might nominate is that he intends to follow the example of his two "model" judges—Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.1 These two have weighed in from the far-right fringe for decades, and another judge in their mold could shift the balance on the Court significantly.

Below are just a few examples of landmark cases where Scalia or Thomas voted against O'Connor to try to strike down core rights and freedoms. In many cases if they had one more vote they would have succeeded.2

Worker's Rights: Nevada Dep't of Human Resources v. Hibbs, which protected the right of workers to care for newborn children or gravely ill family members.

Women's Rights: United States v. Virginia, which allowed women to attend all publicly funded schools. (C'Connor was not on the Court at the time of Roe v. Wade, but has opposed Scalia and Thomas on reproductive freedom issues in such landmark cases as Planned Parenthood v. Casey)

Church and State: Locke v. Davey, which ensured that states could not be required to fund religious training.

Envrionmental Rights: Friends of the Earth , Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services (TOC), Inc., which protected citizens' rights under the Clean Water Act to sue against the illegal dumping of mercury and other toxins.

Civil Rights: * Dickerson v. U.S., which upheld the "Miranda" guarantee that people accused of crimes are read their rights. * United States v. Fordice, which protected the rights of those still suffering from the effects of state-enforced racial segregation. * Grutter v Bollinger, affirmed the right of state colleges and universities to use affirmative action in their admissions policies.

Civil Liberties: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, which blocked the government from indefinitely detaining American citizens without charges, an attorney, or any basic rights.

On Capitol Hill, today's resignation unleashed a swarm of right-wing fringe groups and corporate lobbyists pushing for a nominee who will favor narrow prejudice and greed over the rights of the American people.

If we can deliver 250,000 signatrures and comments by Tuesday, we can make sure the voice of ordinary Americans can compete with this swarm and tell our senators to stand up for our rights.

Please sign today.


Thanks for all that you do.

Ben, Joan, Justin, Eli and the MoveOn PAC Team
Friday, July 1st, 2005

Ben, Joan, Justin, Eli and the MoveOn PAC Team
Friday, July 1st, 2005

P.S. As soon as we heard about the resignation, we put an ad on the air calling for Bush and the Senate to protect our rights and not nominate an extremist. You can check it out at: http://www.moveonpac.org

If you like it, help us keep it on the air by donating at: www.moveonpac.org/protectourrights

1 NBC's Meet the Press, November 21, 1999
2 Case history courtesy of People for the American Way — http://www.pfaw.org

Posted at 02:42 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

CNN & Fox Blow Initial Reaction

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Atrios, we have a fact-check by Media Matters:

In their initial coverage of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, both CNN and Fox News presented commentary from a host of conservative and Republican voices but no commentary from progressives or Democrats.

Between 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. ET, the guests on Fox News discussing O'Connor's retirement included:

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
Robert Bork, former District of Columbia Circuit Court judge
William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard
Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard
C. Boyden Gray, former White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush

Over the same time period, CNN's guests included:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Edwin Meese, former attorney general for President Ronald Reagan


Posted at 01:33 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Sen. Feingold on Sandra Day O'Connor

Posted by Bob Brigham

I have great respect for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor for the pioneering role that she played as the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She has made a significant impact on the country in the past two decades, emerging as a thoughtful voice on many issues, and playing a key role in moderating some of the most extreme conservative tendencies of some members of the Court.

This is the first Supreme Court vacancy in more than a decade, and Justice O’Connor’s replacement will greatly influence the future of our country. President Bush once claimed to be “a uniter, not a divider.” It is now his call whether he wants to launch a huge, divisive political battle with his choice or seek consensus and bring the nation together. I call on the President to work with members of Congress from both parties to select a nominee behind whom the entire country can unite.

Posted at 12:00 PM in Supreme Court | Technorati

New MoveOn Ad: Terri Schiavo and Supreme Ct. Vacancy

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a Press Release:

New TV Ad Cites Schiavo Case, Raises Fear that Supreme Court Nominee Will Threaten Rights of Individuals

Opposes an Extremist Justice Who Would Allow Government Interference in Private Family Decisions

MoveOn PAC unveiled a new TV ad today aimed at discouraging President Bush from picking an extremist judge to replace outgoing Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He should honor O’Connor and appoint a moderate justice.

The message: Don’t nominate and extremist who will undermine the rights of individuals and families as the President did in the Terri Schiavo case several months ago. Protect our rights.

The almost $280,000 ad by will air on CNN in ME, NE, SC and VA, and on CNN and FOX in NY and DC as part of MoveOn PAC’s grassroots mobilization to empower Americans and persuade the Senate to protect our basic rights by rejecting an extremist nominee.

“Our message to the President as he considers nominees to the Supreme Court is ‘Protect Our Rights.’ Our message to the Senate when it considers the President’s nominee is ‘Protect Our Rights’,” said Ben Brandzel, Advocacy Director for MoveOn PAC.

“The President should honor O’Connor and appoint a moderate Supreme Court justice. We’re very concerned because we all saw the President undermine individual rights and invade a family’s privacy in the Terri Schiavo case a few months ago. If President Bush nominates an extremist, it will be up to Senators to say no, and the American people will make sure that they do just that,” he added.

Posted at 11:40 AM in Supreme Court | Technorati

O'Connor Replacement Action Items

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project will be focused heavily on radical right plot to seize independent courts...they are the Bush White House and the Republican Congress they're going to gamble for a trifecta by attacking the independence of the judiciary. This is about absolute power for the powerful over ordinary Americans. Time to gear up for the battle, DavidNYC has the Action Items.

Posted at 11:31 AM in Supreme Court | Comments (1) | Technorati

Justice O'Connor Retiring

Posted by Bob Brigham

I just added a new Supreme Court category. We'll have tons of coverage. From a People for the American Way email:

We've been waiting and preparing for a Supreme Court retirement for the last 5 years and so has President Bush. He finally has the opportunity he's been waiting for: the chance to reward his right-wing base with a far-right appointment to the Supreme Court.

Constitutional rights and freedoms will be affected for decades based on what we as a people do in the coming months. Our very national identity hangs in the balance and progressives must be loud and clear. You must step up now.

We don't need to tell you what kind of jurist President Bush might nominate; you already know he cites Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as his models for Supreme Court nominees - justices far to the right of moderately conservative O'Connor. Given his divisive lower court appointments - and the fact that right-wing groups have already pledged $20 million to back that kind of nominee - we can probably take him at his word here.

With Justice O'Connor providing the swing vote on critical 5-4 decisions regarding privacy, reproductive rights, affirmative action, government neutrality toward religion, and more, we cannot overstate the profound impact her replacement could have on the direction of American law and society.

We've called on President Bush to select a consensus nominee, but given his track record the odds are good that you and PFAW will have to mount a tireless campaign this summer to stop the confirmation of a bad nominee to the Supreme Court.

Because we don't know who the nominee will be, we are now asking for two universally essential needs: money and activists.

Please give us $10 and help us recruit 10 activists

The requested donation is low because we want as many of you as possible to invest in this campaign - even if you've never donated to a political cause before. We want tens of thousands of people to say with pride, "I helped make this possible."

Recruiting 10 activists is not so easy, but it is free. Please work hard to do this even if you can't give the $10. The more people talking at water coolers, writing their Senators, calling radio stations and emailing their friends, the harder it will be for Bush to slip a right-wing extremist onto the Supreme Court. You know better than we who out there will help, if asked. Be a salesperson for judicial independence and get your friends and family involved. They will thank you later.

With your help, we will pull out all the stops to saturate the media and mobilize people in the public square with three key messages:

1. President Bush MUST take seriously the Constitution's "advise and consent" requirement and nominate a consensus candidate with broad bipartisan support.
2. The Senate leadership MUST provide ample time for hearings and review of any nominee.
3. And, the eventual nominee MUST fully disclose - and justify - his or her judicial philosophy, especially on key constitutional issues.

These are not radical ideas; they are common sense.

PFAW has been at the forefront of battles against extreme judicial nominees - including nominees to the Supreme Court. Our expert staff has broad and deep experience working with and within the Senate; researching nominees; disseminating facts and analysis; and organizing people across the nation to weigh in on Congressional votes - especially confirmation votes.

We know that helping us generate funds and recruit activists is less exciting than writing a letter of outrage, calling an elected official, going to a rally, monitoring an election poll, hosting a house party, attending a meeting in your Senator's office, and all the other things you have done with us. Actions like these are coming - and soon - but right now we need to build our network of activists and lay the groundwork for the coming months.

Please give us $10 or 10 activists, or both. It's important, and no one knows that better than you.

- Your Allies at People For the American Way

More to come...

Posted at 10:56 AM in Supreme Court | Technorati

Carol Darr Embarrasses IPDI in Press

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, I wrote about Carol Darr. Really, how could I not with Darr being the guest of honor at the first ever online magazine celebration (now a blogosphere magosphere holiday). Now the George Washington University scandal has hit the newspapers with it looking like the head of the GWU's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet knows abso-fockin-lutely nothing about the Internet and democracy:

Carol Darr, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, says that if the FEC considers every blogger a journalist, wealthy individuals and organizations will exploit that definition to evade the campaign-finance law.

In an interview, Darr sketched out this scenario of how such a move could destroy the fabric of McCain-Feingold:

Suppose Halliburton, a corporation with close ties to the Bush-Cheney ticket, set up a blog to help their ticket win. If the blogger had journalistic status, there would be no limit on what the corporation could pay the blogger or spend bankrolling the blog's activities. There would be no restriction on coordination between the blog and the Bush-Cheney campaign.

The blog could solicit campaign contributions, steer traffic to the Bush-Cheney campaign website, amplify an attack strategy against their opponents, and directly advocate a vote for or against. The blog also would not have to disclose where it was getting its funding and would not have to publish any disclaimer alerting readers that it was a virtual extension of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

As technology evolved, maybe the Halliburton-sponsored Bush blog would make and circulate videos that could be posted on the blog, and e-mailed to millions of voters, with all the costs paid by the corporation and with no restrictions as to content, disclosure or disclaimers, Darr said. But in their testimony, bloggers said one sure way the FEC could undermine the democratizing potential of the Internet is to imagine abuses that have not occurred and to impose regulations that would require every blogger to hire a lawyer and an accountant for fear of violations.

Under the headline, Halliblog, Atrios notes:

Look, the basic issue is that no one has figured out the grand "if only I had 10 million bucks to spend I could have the most trafficked site on the internet" issue. If that were true, it would happen. It doesn't. Who the hell would read a Halliburton blog or website? If they had 10 million to spend on it, what would they spend it on?

Many of the most popular websites are low tech and require little money or bandwidth (aside from the bandwidth which inevitably results from having a lot of traffic). Think Drudge. Aside from the proliferation of intrusive pop-ups, that dude's site hasn't changed in 8 years. As I told the FEC, aside from maintaining a computer, paying for my basic broadband connection, etc... I've probably had about $150 in direct expenses to keep this site running.

Call GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at 202-994-6500, for the good of IPDI, Carol Darr should move on.

Posted at 10:42 AM in Netroots | Technorati

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