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Sunday, November 06, 2005

CA-50: Indictments Coming Soon for the Dukestir?

Posted by DavidNYC

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R) - embroiled in so many scandals to the point that Tom DeLay is starting to get jealous - has already said he won't run for re-election next fall. But the man is worse than damaged goods, and it looks like he may be just the next Republican to get indicted, joining The Bugman, Scooter Libby, practically everyone who works for Ernie Fletcher, Jack Abramoff, Tom Noe... man, I'm running out of breath here. Check this out:

There are rumblings in Washington that the [grand jury] investigation could be coming to a head. A source close to the investigation contends that prosecutors are "ready to go."

The source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, has been involved in the case since it began, predicted indictments could be coming soon.

Now, DeLay has decided to hold on to his seat despite his indictment, but some of his fellow Republicans are allegedly incensed by that decision, and I don't blame `em - who wants that kind of albatross for a necklace? But while DeLay can probably sink his nails in and cling to life, Cunningham doesn't have a friend in the world. If he has any brains, he'll resign if he's indicted - why would he want to be criminally indicted lame-duck Congressman for a year?

So, question: If the Dukestir does step down, is there enough time for a special election in CA-50? Or will they just keep the seat open until Nov. 2006? It's a matter of state law, but my guess is the former - most states are content to have special elections just months before a general election (see Stephanie Herseth in June, 2004, for example).

Though the Duke won re-election by 58-37 last year, the district is closer than that. Bush carried it by only a 55-44 margin (sub. req.) over Kerry, which actually makes California's sixth-most competitive district. With a big Dem tide, that gap can easily be overcome by even a halfway-decent Democrat.

Right now, we're looking at a reprise by Cunningham's 2004 challenger, Francine Busby. If indictments do indeed get handed down soon, she may be facing an election much sooner than she anticipated. I plan to keep my eye on this one.

P.S. I got my "President Vote by Congressional District" from Dave Leip's absolutely invaluable Atlas of US Presidential Elections. He provides much of his information for free, but certain things (like the by-CD info) require a paid membership so that he can sustain his site. It's only $25/year (or $15 if you're a student, like myself), so I heartily recommend it if you are a serious political junkie.

(Indictment story via anisozet.)

Posted at 07:01 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California | Technorati

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» One Down from Transparent Grid
“Duke” Cunningham - a now convicted bribe taker - has resigned. He could receive up to 10 years in prison following his sentencing in February. He also agreed to forfeit to the government his Rancho Santa Fe home, more than $1.8 million ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 28, 2005 05:39 PM

» Is The House Corrupt? The Investigation Fires Up from The English Guy
Is Congress’ collective clock about to be cleaned? The Abramoff vitriol is being resurrected and it seems that the DeLay indictment was just the tip of the iceberg… Now we have Randy “Duke” Cunningham pleading guilty to briber... [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2005 10:43 AM


Those who want to see how CA congressional districts went in the Presidential election of 2004, see this page (Excel or PDF) on the California Secretary of State's website.

Posted by: Matt Lockshin [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 6, 2005 08:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matt, thanks alot for the link. I'm a voting statistics buff who really enjoyed seeing the district-by-district breakdown. I'm guessing that Duke's San Diego area district has a pretty large share of Hispanics...and if Bush only won by 11 points in the district last year when the Hispanic vote was so soft for Kerry, I definitely think the Dem candidate should have a more favorable environment next year.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 6, 2005 08:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It is a real race to see if the grand jury will hand down an indictment of the Duke before the end of the year. That would trigger a "special election" and that would be a huge advantage to Busby.

The good news, in the case of a regular election, is that the clowns running for the Republican nomination are among the most odious and pathetic of Republican extremists.

See http://whpsocal.blogspot.com/2005/11/cunningham-praying-for-more-scandals.html

Posted by: Words Have Power [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2005 11:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment