Campbell isn’t some upstart: he has extensive experience in politics and government, having been elected to Congress five times starting in the late ’80s and having ran against Dianne Feinstein in 2000. He seems to be a contender in the race. So I was interested to hear his take on how things have changed and how he might translate electoral victory into governing power.
Gov. Crist is talking about “less taxes, less government, and more freedom,” but his actions have not demonstrated much passion for those principles. In early 2009, he energetically campaigned with Obama for the ineffective, wasteful “stimulus” that received no Republican votes in the US House, and only 3 Republican votes in the US Senate (with one of those “Republicans” being now-Democrat Arlen Specter of Pennyslvania).
In late May 2009, Crist broke a no-new-tax pledge that he had made in 2006, prior to becoming governor…
The Crist endorsement is not the only sign of disconnect within the NRSC. Cornyn failed to predict Arlen Specter’s April 28 defection to the Democratic party. Former conservative Congressman Pat Toomey had announced a challenge to Specter in the 2010 GOP Senate primary. In early-to-mid April, Cornyn said, “”My job as head of the NRSC is to guide the GOP back to a majority in the Senate. I can’t do that without Arlen Specter.” Just weeks later, Specter was a Democrat, and Cornyn was writing a $5,000 check to Toomey’s campaign.
And even after Specter had left the Republican party, long-time Utah Senator and NRSC Vice Chairman Orrin Hatch (also apparently unaware of Specter’s intentions to switch parties) was still talking down Toomey’s chances of winning the general election.
On the Fourth of July, Sen. John Cornyn, who supported the TARP bank bailout program, returned to Texas’ Capital City of Austin for a tea party, and was “was booed at the start and close of his remarks.”
“You’re the problem,” someone yelled…
It’s almost certain that the winner of the 2010 Republican Senate primary between Congressman Jerry Moran and Congressman Todd Tiahrt will then go on to win the general election. In 2011, one of them will be voting on the leadership at the NRSC.
This week, we will forward this editorial to the respective campaigns of Moran and Tiahrt, and ask them what their feelings are with regard to the current performance of the NRSC under John Cornyn. In particular: should the NRSC remain neutral in the Florida primary race between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio?
Moran for Senate campaign: We spoke on the phone with Jerry Moran’s campaign manager Aaron Trost, who said that First District Congressman Moran will not be getting involved in issues or campaigns that aren’t directly related to his Senate campaign. For another example of Moran remaining neutral, Trost said that Moran has not yet endorsed (and we presume he won’t endorse) in the very competitive Republican primary race in the First District.
Tiahrt for Senate campaign: Not only is Tiahrt not commenting, but the Tiahrt campaign, so far, is not returning any attempts at communication. After two Emails to a Tiahrt field director — one on July 4 and another on July 7 — and one phone message with a live answerer at Tiahrt’s Wichita campaign location last Thursday, July 16, we’ve heard nothing back from Tiahrt.
In the state of Florida, there is a national battle over the future of the Republican party.
Yesterday, The Washington Times wrote this about the primary race between Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio: “Florida a bellwether for rebranding.”
The Florida seat is an open one, with no incumbent. Current Sen. Mel Martinez is retiring. While Crist would like to pretend to be the incumbent, he is not.
In the Florida primary, it’s all about spending and taxing, issues that are not typically considered to be “controversial” issues with the Republican party of the past 25 years. But, since about 1998, DC Republicans have gradually lost their way, so much so that party elites now consider higher taxes and wasteful spending to be mainstream; reformers are considered to be “too conservative.” Governor Crist represents the modern party only in the sense that modern party leaders are out of touch with the voters and have led Republicans into an unnecessarily small minority status in Washington. (more…)
I can’t see Smith gaining much traction in this race. Aside from the fact that he faces a highly popular governor and a young, dynamic, rock-ribbed conservative loved by the party base, one has to wonder where Smith expects to find donors to his campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has rolled out a succession of endorsements from national Republicans since announcing his entrance into the 2010 Senate race.
Now his Republican primary rival, former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, has a national endorsement of his own from a conservative heavyweight: Mike Huckabee.
The former Arkansas governor will formally endorse Rubio in about two weeks, according to a Florida Republican familiar with the plans. The details of where the endorsement will take place have not been decided.
Rubio endorsed Huckabee’s presidential bid in late 2007.
Yet Burris says he’s still considering running in 2010, confounding his colleagues in the Senate and Democrats in his home state. His strategy, at the moment, is to point out the value he’s created by simply showing up to work every day the past four months and voting for the agenda of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Word out of Washington is that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the political wise-guys from the Obama administration plan on “visiting with” Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak. Their objective? A clear message: Get off of the stage and out of a possible primary race against “incumbent” Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter. (more…)
At present, Democrats control the governorship and the legislature in 17 states, while Republicans have complete control in 10 states (22 states have divided party control, and one, Nebraska, has a nonpartisan legislature). If Janet Napolitano is confirmed as US Secretary of Homeland Security [note: this subsequently occurred], Republicans will gain complete control in AZ as well. (more…)
By switching from the Republican Party to the Democrats — after many times saying he wouldn’t — the longtime incumbent has raised the issues of credibility and trust, Mr. Toomey told the Pennsylvania Press Club today.
“He’s introduced a huge question about whether he can be trusted,” the former three-term congressman from the Lehigh Valley said. “He crisscrossed the commonwealth repeatedly insisting he was not going to leave the Republican Party, that he would stay in the party to the end.
“(He said) that it was vitally important that Republicans retain 41 votes (in the Senate) to provide a check on unlimited Democratic control. Then he took one look at a poll, saw that he probably couldn’t win (the GOP primary in 2010) and broke his word. I think that Democratic voters will ask themselves — if Republicans couldn’t trust him, why can we?”
Mr. Toomey, 47, former head of a conservative group called the Club For Growth, said he’d expected “to beat Arlen Specter soundly in the Republican primary, but I had no idea I would drive him clear out of the party.”
the level of organization and the quality of the candidates is very impressive. For example, one Republican currently preparing to run against Rep. Debbie Halvorson is Illinois ANG member Adam Kinzinger who was recently profiled by our own Warner Todd Huston here. Kinzinger is an American hero, and seems well-prepared for the race.
One last point that cannot be overlooked: the degree to which Speaker Pelosi is becoming well-known nationwide, and is becoming a drag on Democrat candidates is significant. In one seat held by a targeted Democrat incumbent, Pelosi’s name is recognized by 80 percent of voters – and nearly 60 percent have a negative impression of her. And this poll was taken before she went to war with the CIA. Pelosi seems likely to become a significant drag on Democrat candidates next year. At best, she’ll be forced to stay out of districts where she might otherwise help; at worst, she may be the anchor that brings Democrat candidates down.
Gov. Charlie Crist, now a U.S. Senate candidate, said Tuesday he would have made the “pragmatic” decision to vote for the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, differentiating himself from fellow-Republican opponent Marco Rubio and the man he is trying to replace – Mel Martinez.
Speaking to a politically mixed crowd in Daytona Beach, Crist emphasized his support for the bill as practical and pragmatic, though it would have meant crossing party lines. Only three Republican senators backed the stimulus bill, and Martinez wasn’t one of them.
Now Florida stands to get about $15 billion over the next two years through different stimulus grants.
“A lot of that $15 billion dollars you sent to Washington, D.C., and my view is we ought to get it back,” Crist told his audience. “Florida deserves her fair share.”
Kaw and Border’s recent article covers a recent column by Steve Rose, with the free, now-delivered-by-mail Johnson County Sun. First-time readers of Rose should note:
One of the funnier points made by Kaw and Border is that Steve Rose is so out of touch with Kansas politics that he was unaware that RINO-turned-Democrat Mark Parkinson — like Brownback — would ALSO sign the “coal plant legislation.”
I agree with Mr. Rose that Thornburgh faces an uphill climb, but that’s no reason to throw up his hands and quit. With this attitude Barack Obama would now be teaching at the University of Chicago instead of nominating a Supreme Court justice.
By the way, I have yet to hear any compelling reasons from either Brownback, or the only interested candidate on the D side, Chris Steineger for why they want to be governor, other than they just do.
And from a political standpoint, I don’t believe Sen. Brownback to be the inevitable winner – at least not anymore. He has a track record of changing his mind on important issues, a fact that was brought back into the spotlight with his recent back-and-forth on the nomination of Gov. Sebelius to be HHS Secretary. And, interestingly enough, he also has a record of attacking others for doing the same thing.
In contrast, here is Minnesota Congressman John Kline:
Rep. John Kline knows the earmark process is broken. That’s why he has sworn off earmarks completely instead of accepting them and trotting out the vacant excuse that he has to because “everyone else is doing it.”
Unfortunately, he’s under pressure back home from people who want their pork. But in response, Kline is courageously holding firm. I love this quote:
“We’re on the side of the angels,” said Troy Young, the congressman’s spokesman.
And what’s even better is that Kline has the perfect explanation down pat to those who are hungry for pork. Excerpt:
[Kline] said the problem is that some 30,000 earmark requests are submitted each year, making them impossible to scrutinize. House members abide by an unwritten rule, Kline said, not to attack each other’s submissions. The result looks a lot like silent vote trading and back scratching, and both parties are guilty of it.
“It’s very arbitrary,” Kline said. “They just allocate money to members of Congress, sometimes based on political reasons, like are you vulnerable in the next election or not, or are you a committee chair.”
Well said. With a message like that spread broadly, earmarks can be a thing of the past.
Social conservatives tolerated John McCain as the party’s nominee, but never trusted him, and he now appears to be facing a serious primary from the right in Arizona next year.
Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a prominent figure in the movement to clamp down on illegal immigration, will be announcing tomorrow at an event on the Mexican border that he’s resigned from the group to run in the 2010 Senate primary.
From a forthcoming release:
“John McCain has failed miserably in his duty to secure this nation’s borders and protect the people of Arizona from the escalating violence and lawlessness,” Simcox said. “He has fought real efforts over the years at every turn, opting to hold our nation’s border security hostage to his amnesty schemes. Coupled with his votes for reckless bailout spending and big government solutions to our nation’s problems, John McCain is out of touch with everyday Arizonans. Enough is enough.”
Today he sent a letter today to Toomey, who heads the fiscally-conservative Club for Growth, demanding details about all the organization’s contributors.
Dear Mr. Toomey,
I understand from numerous press reports that you are soon to leave the Presidency of the Club for Growth to run for the U.S. Senate.
In recent weeks as you have shifted your attention from a long-planned run for Governor to another Senate campaign, you have criticized the TARP bill I voted for last fall. Given the Wall Street background of your members, it seems clear that many of them would have received TARP monies.
Please gather a list of the contributors to the Club for Growth by contributor name, date, amount and whether they received TARP money and if so, how much and when
This comes one day after Specter aired a television ad across the state attacking Toomey for his background as a former investment banker dealing in “risky derivatives called credit default swaps”.
Five minutes after George Bush won re-election in 2004 and began talking about Social Security reform, the pundits lined up those Senate Republicans they expected to be in trouble in the 2006 midterm election.
Some things never change.
Five minutes after Barack Obama took the oath in January and began signing executive orders and expanding government, those same pundits began lining up the Senate Democrats they expect to be in trouble in 2010, Obama’s first midterm.
Historically, a president’s party loses seats in Congress in midterm elections, so in theory, 2010 should favor the GOP. Yet it is hard to imagine the GOP making significant gains because most seats held by Democrats facing re-election are in states that “went Obama” in 2008.
Colorado is one state showing signs of a possible GOP pickup. Democrat Michael Bennet, appointed to replace former Sen. Ken Salazar when he became Interior secretary, has little name recognition.
The last several weeks have not been kind to two senators — one Democrat, one Republican — who came to Congress together nearly three decades ago.
The Democrat is Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) who found himself caught up in the furor over bonuses granted to AIG executives, the latest in a string of negative stories for Dodd — Countrywide, the Irish cottage — that have badly imperiled his chances at reelection. And, Republicans have recruited a top-tier candidate to challenge Dodd in former Connecticut Rep. Rob Simmons.
The Republican is Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) who, as recently as a month ago, appeared to be headed to his easiest reelection race in recent memory. But, that was before his vote for the $787 billion economic stimulus bill drove former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) into a near-certain primary challenge. Specter, who narrowly defeated Toomey six years ago, quickly moved to shore up his ideological right flank — flip flopping to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. Should Specter win the primary — and that is very much up in the air — his change of position on EFCA could hurt his general election appeal in a state as labor-heavy as Pennsylvania.
The playing field looks promising for Toomey. Polls have Specter’s reelect number among Republicans at 25 percent – stunningly low.
That’s not the worst of it. Specter beat Toomey by 17,000 votes in 2004 largely by winning Southeastern Pennsylvania by 42,000. But since then, more than 83,000 Specter-supporting Republicans in the region have left the party.
Pennsylvania’s political Houdini has escaped similar predicaments in the past by burnishing his conservative credentials in the run-up to the primary – hence the announcement on card check this week. So, too, his potentially crucial vote against Solicitor General Ellen Kagan, which conservatives are touting as a death knell for her chances of being named to the Supreme Court.
Specter is also fighting President Obama’s bid for more government-run health care. The senator’s conference room still features his famous Rube Goldberg chart, which contributed to the collapse of Clinton-care in 1994.
The argument that Specter has the best chances in a general election will become more persuasive next year, when the GOP faithful face the harsh reality that they are more than a million registered voters behind the Democrats. However, thanks to the prospect of facing Specter, whoever wins the primary will not face an A-list Democratic opponent.
In 2004, President Bush and a Senate colleague from Western Pennsylvania made the difference for Specter. Those dogs don’t hunt anymore. This year, his help may come from Peg Luksic, Larry Murphy, and anyone else who helps split up the vote next spring – anyone other than Pat Toomey, that is.
It will be fun to watch. And watch I will.