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Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/12 Primary Races Round-Up

Posted by James L.

So it's primary day this Tuesday, with elections being held in AZ, DC, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, and WI. Here's a round-up of everything you should be keeping your eye on.

AZ-08 (Open, Kolbe): Boy, do I ever feel good about the Democratic chances in this district. Jim Kolbe, the district's Republican incumbent, is retiring. Kolbe, one of those elusive gay Republicans, cultivated a moderate reputation (whatever that means in the Republican Party these days), but received a slight scare in 2004 when conservative firebrand Randy Graf ran on a hard-right platform and scored 43% of the vote in the Republican primary of that year. That's a pretty impressive showing, given the traditional resource gap between a no-name challenger and an entrenched incumbent (admittedly, Graf's a state legislator, so he did start off with base of support). Now, Graf, an anti-immigration advocate, is leading the charge to clinch the Republican nomination for this open seat, and the most recent polling puts him ahead of primary opponent Steve Huffman (33-25, with 14% dispersed among three other minor candidates, and 29% undecided). However, Graf's in-your-face conservatism isn't exactly the best fit for a district that only tilts ever so slightly to the Republicans (Cook rates it as R+1.4), and the NRCC is in panic mode, spending $100k in a last-ditch effort to drag Huffman across the finish line. Clearly, we should be rooting for Graf in the primary if the NRCC is willing to spend coin to stop him. That said, even if Huffman is the winner, Hotline On Call notes that Huffman has plenty of weaknesses of his own:

But there are signs that Huffman is running a lackluster campaign. Despite a big fundraising advantage and Kolbe's endorsement, he remains down in polls. His treasurer was snooping around his challenger's ex-wife's home, prompting the Tucson Weekly to revoke their endorsement of him. And unlike ex-state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and Graf, he kept his seat in the legislature during the campaign - allowing the DCCC to hammer him for missing recent votes on border security.

Yikes. Things are looking pretty stressful for the Republicans if Huffman is the best they can come up with in this district. I can already see the negative ads in my head regarding his treasurer's bizarre antics.

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, is pitting two candidates who would either be strong or reasonably strong performers in the general election: ex-State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and local TV anchor Patty Weiss. Giffords, though, leads Weiss 46-29 in the latest polling, and looks like the likely winner on Tuesday. Giffords is also the only Democrat in the current field who leads Huffman in a hypothetical general election match-up, by 42-39. Additionally, recent generic polling suggests that the district is leaning towards pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate this cycle, by a 50-46 margin. Between the nasty Republican primary pitting the NRCC against the local conservative base, a strong Democratic candidate, and an electorate that's beginning to tilt Democratic in the most recent polls, I'm expecting good things from AZ-08 in November.

MD-Sen (Open, Sarbanes): A whopper. A late August poll put Rep. Ben Cardin ahead of former NCAAP head Kweisi Mfume by a 43-30 margin in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, although other polls have shown a tighter contest over the past several months. However, the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate would seem to hold more favorables for Mfume than Cardin, at least on the surface. Still, Cardin has outraised Mfume by a wide margin, and has been putting up a far greater amount of resources on air time in this stretch run than Mfume can afford to spend. I'd be surprised if Mfume pulled off this upset.

MD-04 (Incumbent, Wynn): 2006 has seen a series of surprising primary elections where incumbents have been knocked off their perch--Lieberman, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. Can Donna Edwards make it four by knocking off entrenched Democratic incumbent Al Wynn? Edwards has made a strong case against Wynn, who has supported the Bush administration on several crucial votes, including the Bankruptcy Bill and the Iraq War. Lemme just chime in and say this: no Democrat has any business voting for the ass-backwards Bankruptcy Bill, but this especially applies to any Democrat who represents a district that delivered 70% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004, like Wynn's. The Club For Growth, even if their choice in candidates is often extremely questionable, has the right philosophy: use primary races in districts with deep partisan favorability to their cause, and push ideological purity there. An Al Wynn-style voting record may be a lot easier to stomach for, say, a Democrat representing a white-majority district in the South, but Maryland's fourth can do a lot better than Al Wynn. Edwards has been picking up momentum in recent weeks, with the impressive achievement of securing the Washington Post's endorsement. If she can't do it this time, Edwards will be well-placed to make an earlier, more well-funded challenge to Wynn in 2008.

MN-05 (Open, Sabo): I gotta say, I know next to nothing about this hotly-contested open D seat race in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The field is huge, but the big spenders and movers have been Keith Ellison, Mike Erlandson, and Ember Reichgott Junge. I would invite our resident MN commentators to give us the lowdown in the comments.

NH-01 (Incumbent, Bradley): This race isn't quite as sexy as NH-02, but there's still a glimmer of hope here. Cook rates this district as a highly competitive R+0.1, and Bush only edged Kerry by 2% here in 2004. One of the Democratic challengers, NH House Minority Leader Jim Craig, is credible, and holds at least some name recognition in the district. But first he'll have to get through a primary with Carol Shea-Porter, who has her share of supporters as well.

NY-11 (Open, Owens): The most recent polling I've seen in this open seat shows a dead heat between the four would-be Democratic successors to retiring incumbent Major Owens in this central Brooklyn district (and my home away from home): NYC Councilmembers Yvette Clark, David Yassky, State Sen. Carl Andrews, and Owens' son, Chris Owens. Yassky's had the best fundraising, but also the most controversy, with the other candidates criticizing Yassky for running in an African-American majority district. Looks like this one will go down to the wire.

NY-19 (Incumbent, Kelly): The Democratic field to take on incumbent Republican congresswoman Sue Kelly has been annoyingly huge, but it's been whittled down to four: ex-Republican attorney Judy Aydelott, school principal Ben Schuldiner, political hack Darren Rigger, and Orleans guitarist John Hall. Aydelott had the very early mo' in this district, but Hall's fundraising has really picked up steam, and the endorsements (including one from the NY Democratic Party) followed suit. Cook rates this district R+1.5, but the locals are hoping for some serious coattails from the Spitzer-Clinton bulldozer at the top of the ticket this year, as well as changing demographics as a result of NYC residents moving into the district for more affordable housing.

RI-Sen (Incumbent, Chafee): The big one! Depending on whether you choose to believe Rhode Island College or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, this primary race is either firmly in conservative challenger Steve Laffey's hands, or will be held safely by incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee--both organizations put out wildly conflicting polls. The NRSC has made it clear that they're reading to cede the Rhode Island Senate seat to the Democrats if Laffey wins on Tuesday, so... well, you know who to root for.

RI-02 (Incumbent, Langevin): I don't have much to say about this one, but Jennifer Lawless has been running a primary challenge against Rep. Jim Langevin from the left. Langevin, in my estimation, is a pretty decent Rep, aside from his pro-life/anti-choice record. Lawless has gone so far as to say that Langevin Equals Lieberman, but given Langevin's opposition to the Iraq War, I don't think that passes the sniff test. So whatever.

WI-08 (Open, Green): No question about it: this is a Republican district. Bush scored nearly 55% of the vote against Kerry's 44% in 2004, yet Democrats are smelling an opportunity this year. Indeed, the most recent RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics poll has the generic Democrat edging the generic Republican by 48-44 in this open seat race. The DCCC has gone up on the air to soften up likely Republican nominee John Gard's numbers, while the NRCC has done the same against physician Steve Kagen, the big spender in the Democratic primary race (he's put up over $1m of his own funds into this race, the last time I checked). Kagen's primary opponents, former Brown County Executive and De Pere mayor Nancy Nusbaum and business consultant Jamie Wall, have also raised impressive amounts for a crowded field, but Kagen's deep pockets has put the local Republicans on edge. If the NRCC is committing resources to defend this seat, the 2006 field is favorable indeed for Democrats.

Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin | Technorati

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MN-05--Nobody is willing to make a call here....even the professional pundits in Minnesota. Internal polling is reportedly showing as close to a three-way tie as you can get between Ellison, Erlandson, and Junge. Ellison has the party support and would have easily seized the nomination but for a seemingly endless litany of bad press ranging from his past association with Louis Farrakahn to his unpaid parking tickets to his inability to complete candidacy applications before the filing deadline. It's been one thing after another ever since his DFL endorsement last spring. Ellison is the most progressive candidate of the three, but he'd be too hot for me to touch if I was a resident of MN-05. Still, the party apparatus supports him, which in this district could yield a pretty good bounty of votes on primary day.

Erlandson is the candidate endorsed by the departing Sabo and fully expected to get his party's backing. When that didn't happen, Erlandson decided to run in the primary anyway, even though he always requested other DFLers not do that if they failed to get the party endorsement. Still, he got the Star Tribune endorsement this past week and has reportedly aired the most TV ads, so he could still win.

Ember Reichgott Junge is the least progressive of the three, but still a pretty decent Democrat. She's a former State Senator from the inner-ring suburbs west of Minneapolis and is expected to dominate there in the primary. I'm actually expecting she could win, particularly if Ellison and Erlandson evenly split the Minneapolis vote. I have very little confidence in my prediction of a Junge win, but my gut says she'll narrowly prevail in a nailbiter.

As for AZ-08, I think the Dems are overconfident. I think it's a safe assumption that Randy Graf will win the primary based on the evidence I've seen, a scenario most Dems seem to favor. But is Graf really as crazy as we make him out to be? Immigration is the #1 issue of Arizona, and this is a district that's only 18% Latino. If Graf's anti-immigration pitch is articulately delivered, I think he's got a great chance of winning. Alot depends on how good of a campaign Democratic candidate Giffords/Weiss runs.

I have a feeling Cardin will win the MD-Sen primary, which is the softer blade of a double-edged sword in that race. I wrote off this race as a Democratic slam dunk a few months back, but Michael Steele is proving to be the real deal despite his numerous gaffes. This is our most vulnerable seat IMO.

Likewise, I had written off Steve Laffey's chances two months ago after he publicly wished death upon the "liberal Republican establishment" in Rhode Island that backed Chafee. Now, he seems to have tremendous momentum. I like Chafee more than any Republican I can think of, but gooooo Laffey!

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 01:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

MN GOV as well
Hatch versus Lourey

Posted by: Democraticavenger [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 01:53 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If Graf had a "great chance" of winning, the NRCC wouldn't be dumping money into the district in an effort to stop him. They don't mess around with things like these.

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 02:52 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm interested in Rhode Island if Laffey wins not only do we get an assured pickup but we can attempt to get the media to run the same kind of stories it ran on CT.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 11:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

On AZ-08 re: Immigration issue, all I see is that Graf is at odds with both Arizona's Sen McCain and the Bush administration on this issue and I don't see this disarray helping the gop there.
This District managed to elect a gay, albeit republican congressperson, and may not be as volitily conservative as Graf on this issue and other social issues, especially as major growth impacts to Tucson have come from heavy out of state migration to that area.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 01:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I want to comment on AZ-8. I aggree with the other posters on this subject that Randy Graf will be a formidable candidate. I live in this district and there are a lot of whites wrongheadly supporting Graft's stand on Immigration - throw them back.

I want to comment on the DCCC ad against Steve Huffman. I think it is stupid politics. This ad will not change the result of the Republican primary. It is a stupid waste of money. The republicans will choose who they want. The money would be better spend supportting the Democratic primary winner in the general election. The winner will need all the help the DCCC can provide for Nov 7.

Posted by: BobCarp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 02:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

NH-02 is sexy? God knows I'm enthusiastic about that race, and just spent an entire weekend knocking on doors urging people to vote for Paul Hodes in the primary even though he's unopposed, but I still wouldn't have chosen sexy to describe it!

Is that when I'll know I've gone over the edge into true and total election-geekdom, when I think that is a perfect description?

Posted by: MissLaura [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 10:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, you know you're in trouble when reading Taegan Goddard's Political Wire in bed is your idea of talking dirty...

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 10:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Depends upon whether or not you are "nikked" while in bed reading TGPW. ;-)

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 11:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You don't really want to get into what I wear (or don't wear) while I blog, Predictor...

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 11:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 11:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's a link about the Republican Primary hopefuls press conference in AZ-08 decrying the RNCC's ad blitz in which Candidate & former State Party Chair Mike Hellon lashes out at the RNCC for being "idiots" for their involvement:

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2006 01:18 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Another Minnesota primary contest to keep an eye on is State Senate District 13, home to DFL Majority Leader Dean Johnson, who I predicted last year was vulnerable, but might not even make it to November race due to a primary challenge that may prove stiff. Johnson presided over an ugly standoff with the Governor in the 2005 legislative district, which bruised him in his increasingly conservative central Minnesota district. Salt was poured on those wounds this year when he made some bonehead statements to a group of pastors about "Minnesota state Supreme Court justices telling him they wouldn't vote to approve gay marriage". The comments were tape recorded and Johnson was forced to admit he "sanded off the truth a bit". I like the guy, but I'd be surprised if he prevailed in November. With that said, I still hope he defeats his DFL primary challenger, a local sheriff's deputy who is little more than a Republican plant meant to further weaken Johnson's standing.

This is clearly not the way we want to kick off the Minnesota legislative races when the DFL is well-positioned to win back the House this year.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2006 01:42 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"Immigration is the #1 issue of Arizona, and this is a district that's only 18% Latino. If Graf's anti-immigration pitch is articulately delivered, I think he's got a great chance of winning."

If immigration were the only important issue in Arizona, then that Goldwater guy who suggested putting immigrants in camps (or whatever it was he suggested) would be doing better against Napolitano in polling.

Graf is far to the right on many issues, not only immigration. Just because 18% of the district is Latino does not mean the rest of the district is going to vote based on that one issue.

Unless the Democrat runs an inept campaign I think they will win if they are against far right reactionary Graf.

Posted by: James B3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2006 03:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm for ANYBODY BUT Keith Ellison. But as I type this 10 minutes before the Polls open at 7am Sept 12, I don't know who to vote for as far as Keith's challengers -- Mike Erlandson or Ember Reichgott Junge (she likes to be called just "Ember" for obvious reasons so I will. I met her and chirped at her about how I used to know how to spell her name. That went over big!)

Anyway, the Star Tribune (The Minneapolis paper) endorsed Erlandon, and I am or was leaning his way as most likely to beat Keith, but I am disturbed about his campaign piece against Ember as it strikes me as being very misleading (though I haven't really delved into it).

I don't mind the same piece against Keith Ellison as its all unvarnished truth. With one exception -- the campaign piece (and web site) says KSTP reports that Keith did not FILE federal taxes for 5 of 8 years in some recent period. But actually the KSTP report said he did not PAY some or all of his taxes in those 5 years. Big difference between not filing and not paying, vs. filing but not paying -- the latter tells me he's saying "Here is what I owe but can't pay it all". The former says: catch me if you can.

As for why I'm against Keith Ellison so much .... first note its not about the Nation Of Islam or Louis Farrakan or any of that. As far as I know his only "crime" in all of that is being part of The Million Man March and I saw nothing at all wrong with that.

Its the scoff-law stuff and letting his wife take the blame. Here goes with a piece I wrote and posted a few places:

I think it is disgusting that Keith Ellison let his wife take the blame for all the campaign finance reporting issues.

In an August 30 City Pages puff piece on Keith Ellison, it did indicate the issues many of us are disturbed about, and I am quoting it for brevity (in lieu of quoting the entire July 8 Star Tribune article):

"The new press leaks documented literally dozens of parking and speeding tickets, additional penalties for late payment of those tickets, and the fact that Ellison's license was suspended for a time this year. The candidate also failed to pay some of his income taxes in five separate years between 1992 and 2000, causing liens to be placed on his property by the IRS and the state of Minnesota. And he ignored so many warnings to comply with campaign finance reporting requirements that he ultimately was assessed an unprecedented $2,500 fine. The episodes make up a pattern of flouting the law that is so chronic and varied that it was bound to haunt his campaign."

(There were 40 late-paid parking tickets according to the Star Tribune July 8 piece -- hardly an issue of "forgetfulness").

I could quote the entire Star Tribune July 8, 2006 piece "Late filings a pattern for Ellison" http://www.startribune.com/462/story/540012.html (URL doesn't work, oh well)

but I will just quote key parts of the campaign finance filings problem (emphasis mine):

"On file with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board are DOZENS of letters, going back to his first campaign in 1998, warning Ellison and his wife, Kim, who is his campaign treasurer, about missed deadlines for routine reports on contributions and expenditures."

"Letters to Ellison from the board contain repeated threats of fines and sanctions for failing to file, correct errors or respond to previous advisories."

"Efforts to get Ellison to comply over the years have involved the attorney general's office, a collection agency and Hennepin and Ramsey county authorities."

"Ellison has paid numerous smaller penalties for late filings over the years, but his latest and largest penalty came a few days after 5th Congressional District DFLers had endorsed him to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo. He was assessed more than $2,500 in fines."

======== end quotes =============

The Star Tribune article then details, as an example in early 2000, *THREE* times that the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board sent a certified mail notice of their obligation to file a report. EACH TIME THE ELLISONS FAILED TO CLAIM THE CERTIFIED MAIL. Each time the certified mail notice was followed up by a regular mail notice. Then in early 2001 "the board notified the Ellisons by mail and by person of a summons to appear in Ramsey County District Court ... the Ellisons didn't respond."

On top of all of this, letting his wife take responsibility for all this (blaming her Multiple Sclerosis) is by far the worst offense of all! These kinds of problems with campaign finance reports have gone back to 1998, and to read the above and assume that Keith had no knowledge of the problems is so far beyond belief that only a willful idiot could possibly swallow this.

And was she responsible too for the late payments of the 40 parking tickets, and late payments of whatever number of speeding tickets (later: KSTP reports 18 moving violations, including driving while his license was suspended - his license was twice suspended), and the failure to pay some of their income taxes in several years? Meanwhile Keith was blissfully unaware of all of this until recently? Including unaware of the payment of "numerous smaller penalties for late filings over the years"?

Minnesota Progressive Events Notifications

Posted by: Progree [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2006 08:10 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Yeah, Ellison sounds like a car wreck waiting to happen and I'd have my concerns about him winning the primary there even though it should be a safe seat, but I don't think that'll happen unless his opponents end up splitting the vote so much that he sneaks in. Well, lots of races today. Have been following most of them, but found only a few obvious choices as winners, so I'll go out on a limb with the following:
Maryland Dem Primary Picks
Senate: Congressman Ben Cardin by 10
CD-1: ’04 Nominee Kostas Alexakis
CD-3: Atty & Son of Sen Paul Sarbanes, John Sarbanes
CD-4: Donna Edwards pulls off an upset
CD-6: Peace Activist Barry Kissin
Comptroller: Montgomery County Delegate Peter Franchot upsets Comptroller Donald Schafer and Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens in a close one.
Arizona Primary Picks:

CD-8 Ex state Rep.Randy Graf-R & Ex State Sen Gabrielle Giffords-D
CD-1 Ellen Simon-D
CD-2 : Sucindran Chattergee-D
CD-3 Herb Paine-D
Gov: Don Goldwater-R

New York Primary Picks:
Sen. Hillary Clinton-D & Former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer-R
Gov.: Atty Gen. Eliot Spitzer-D
Atty Gen: Andrew Cuomo-D
CD-11: Councilman David Yassky-D
CD-19: Ex Ulster County Legislator John Hall-D

Rhode Island primary Picks:
Sen: Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey-R
Secty State: Guillaume de Ramel-D
CD-2 Cong James Langevin-D
Minnesota Primary Picks:
Governor: Atty Gen Mike Hatch-D
CD 5- Mike Erlandson-D

New Hampshire Primary Picks:
CD-1: House Minority Leader Jim Craig-D

Vermont Primary Picks:
CD: Martha Rainville-R
Sen : Rich Tarrant-R

Wisconsin Primary Picks: CD-8:
Assembly Speaker John Gard-R & Dr.Steve Kagen-D

DC Mayor: Adrian Fenty-D

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2006 12:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Predictions not endorsements:

Chafee, Wynn, Erlandson, Hall, Graf, Gibbons, Cardin.

The strategist in me is rootin for Laffey, Cardin, Graf, and anyone but Ellison. Thats not how I would vote, just what the best chances to facillitate dem pick ups would be.

Come on Laffey!

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2006 07:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Predictor writes:
}} Yeah, Ellison sounds like a car wreck waiting to happen and I'd have my concerns about him winning the primary there even though it should be a safe seat, but I don't think that'll happen unless his opponents end up splitting the vote so much that he sneaks in. {{

Unfortunately, his three opponents split the vote. Final results in percentages of the vote:
41% Keith Ellison
31% Mike Erlandson
21% Ember Reichgott Junge
5% Paul Ostrow
2% Three others.

I feel robbed that there were no polls. The conventional wisdom and the reporting was that it was a 3-way race between the 3 candidates listed at the top (but I have no idea where the conventional wisdom came from -- someone pulling this out of their blank-de-blank?).

I had hoped there would be a pre-primary poll so I would know which of his two key opponents -- Erlandson or Junge, were most likely to win. Unfortunately there was no poll, and the anyone-but-Keith people such as myself had no ideas which of his two main opponents (Erlandson or Junge) was likely to win.

Admittedly its hard to say with a good poll, though, that 11% of the vote would have shifted from Junge and the lesser candidates over to Mike Erlandson so that he could win. I don't think there were that many "anybody-but-Keith" voters among the 27% that the lesser candidates -- and that were tuned in enough -- to have voted for Erlandson instead. Oh well.

Now the Repugs have targeted Ellison ferociously (though not about late filing of reports, fines, taxes, 38 parking tickets, 18 moving violations and I forget what else that I've posted about above), but about his (very indirect) association with Louis Farrakhan (Farrakhan has made innumerable anti-semitic and anti-White remarks over the years), his support by CAIR (the Council Of American Islamic Relations), his support of the convicted murderer Kathleen Soliah (Sara Jane Olson), and oh, never mind, hard to sort all this out, but his "moderate" Republican challenger, Alan Fine, has suddenly turned into a raging attack dog on all of this.

Here is what Lori Sturdevant of the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune says (9/17): "This line of attack [on Keith Ellison] should come as no surprise. It springs right out of the national GOP playbook. A nice bit of reporting by the Washington Post last Sunday [presumably 9/10] outlined the Republican strategy for midterm victory: Demonize Democrats, one by one. Fully 90 percent of the party's $50 million national war chest will be spent on advertising that attacks Democratic candidates over personal issues and local controversies."

" Painting horns on individual Democrats might not sound like a national strategy. But do it enough times in enough places, the thinking goes, and voters will start to question whether "those guys" can be trusted, even if the Democrats on their own ballots aren't the ones being attacked"

end Lori Sturdivant quote.

So there it is. I'll be glad when the elections are done with. Its gonna be mighty hot around here in the 5th District until then (it already is).

Posted by: Progree [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 04:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment