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BLOG ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 16-31, 2006

TUESDAY: POLITICS1 ELECTION FORECAST - PART 1.

Over the next several days, in lieu of the normal news postings, I'll be making these state-by-state election forecasts that have been a regular feature on Politics1 since the site's launch during the 1998 election cycle. Some years I was highly accurate in calling these federal and gubernatorial contests (2000 and 2004, in particular). Then again, I've been way off the mark once in a while, too (2002). Also important to note: these are predictions based upon a combination of analyzing all the data on the various contests, and then mixing in a healthy dose of my political gut instincts gained from having worked as a professional campaign consultant on over 130 races since the mid-1980s. They are not, however, endorsements -- nor are they my hopes as to who I would like to see win these races.

ALABAMA:
GOVERNOR: If a week can be a lifetime in politics, then Governor Bob Riley (R) is very fortunate that his abysmal approval ratings of a 1-2 years ago are now ancient history. Riley earned the high negatives after his unsuccessful attempt to push through the highest tax hike in state history. Ousted State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy "The Ten Commandments Judge" Moore -- a hero to the most hardcore of Religious Right activists -- challenged Riley in the primary. After what initially looked to be a tough primary, Riley rebounded strongly and defeated Moore by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D) cruised to an equally strong primary win over former Governor Don Siegelman. Although the Riley-Baxley matchup once looked competitive, Riley has held a solid lead in the polls for months. Don't look for any upset here, as Riley will score a comfortable victory.
US HOUSE: Democrats have credible challengers who are running spirited campaigns in CD-1 and CD-3, but I don't see any House incumbents losing in Alabama.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA:
GOVERNOR: Unpopular Governor Frank Murkowski (R) -- with the second lowest approval ratings in the nation -- was routed in his primary. Embarrassingly, Murkowski placed a distant third in the vote. Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin (R), who lost a 2002 race for Lieutenant Governor, scored an impressive primary victory. Palin is running as a political outsider, and has had considerable momentum since the primary. The Democratic nominee is former two-term Governor Tony Knowles, who lost a 2004 race for US Senator. Knowles was clearly the strongest possible candidate the Dems could have placed into the race, and he's steadily narrowed the gap over the past month. Former Republican State Representative Andrew Halcro is running as an Independent, and touting himself as the only real conservative in the race. Both Palin and Knowles are political centrists. The final numbers will be fairly close, due to Halcro drawing votes that normally go to the GOP. However, Palin is a fresh, attractive candidate who will ride into office on the crest of the same anti-Murkowski wave that also helped her win the primary. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: Congressman Don Young (R) is safe and will get two more years to continue pushing his costly "bridge to nowhere" boondoggle. RESULT: NO CHANGE.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

ARIZONA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Janet Napolitano (D) will cruise to a landslide victory over Religious Right activist and attorney Len Munsil (R). RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) has held the lead in the polls from the start. Wealthy businessman and former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) has run an aggressive campaign. From time to time, Pederson has even narrowed his deficit to the 6-10 point range. Conventional wisdom dictates that Kyl wins -- and I agree he will, too, but by a very thin margin. However, it would not surprise me if the national wave is strong enough to give Pederson an upset win. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: The Democrats will register a surprisingly strong showing in the Arizona congressional races. CD-1: Congressman Rick Renzi (R) was hit in the closing month with news reports he is the subject of at least two preliminary federal corruption investigations. Wealthy attorney Ellen Simon is running an energetic campaign and is lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. The combination of the national wave, along with Renzi's own ethics problems, will help Simon score a very unexpected victory. CD-5: Conservative firebrand Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R) is being challenged by State Senator and former Democratic State Chair Harry Mitchell (D). Hayworth is another one of the Republican incumbents hit with extensive bad press due to his ties to disgraced former lobbyist and felon Jack Abramoff. Polls regularly show this contest as close. Mitchell will score an upset win. CD-8: Former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords (D) will score a third Dem gain in this open seat race. Former State Representative Randy Graf (R) is far too conservative for this swing district -- so much so that even retiring Congressman Jim Kolbe (R) declined to endorse Graf after he won the crowded primary. Graf is an avowed acolyte of radical anti-immigration Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO). Giffords will win big. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 3 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

ARKANSAS:
GOVERNOR: Governor Mike Huckabee (R) -- gearing up for a 2008 Presidential run -- is term-limited. Republicans initially had high hopes for Lieutenant Governor Win Rockefeller holding the seat. Sadly, Rockefeller became ill, withdrew from the race in late 2005 and died earlier this year. By default, that left Rockefeller's primary opponent -- former Congressman and former Drug Enforcement Administration head Asa Hutchinson -- as the only real candidate for the GOP nomination. From the start, Hutchinson has trailed Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) in the polls by wide margins. Several independent polls have even placed the gap in the 20+ point range. I think Hutchinson's deficit is less, probably in the 10-15 point range. Beebe has has run a safe campaign and will win by a comfortable margin. Democrats also appear poised here to sweep all of the other statewide offices this year. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: The most competitive House race is the CD-2 contest between Congressman Vic Snyder (D). and former State Economic Development Department official Andy Mayberry (R) -- and Snyder will still win by a double-digit margin. All the other incumbents are safe, too. RESULTS: NO CHANGE.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

CALIFORNIA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has yet again transformed himself politically. Gone is the conservative, union-bashing "Governator" of 2005. Now he has retooled himself back into the moderate, socially liberal, consensus-builder Arnold of 2003. State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) depleted his campaign dollars in his costly primary against State Controller Steve Westly, allowed the incumbent to be on the air with TV spots from months with virtually no response. The resourceful Schwarzenegger will defeat the hapless Angelides, despite the big advantage Democrats traditionally hold in California. The only question is who will be Governor next year: Arnold the moderate or Arnold the conservative? RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: Republicans failed to recruit a first-tier candidate to challenge US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) this year. She'll easily defeat former State Senator Dick Mountjoy (R) by a landslide margin. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: Only a handful of the state's 53 congressional districts appear to merit any attention. CD-4: Congressman John Dooliittle (R) is one of the top targets of federal prosecutors in the Abramoff corruption case that already resulted in several felony indictments against others on Capitol Hill. Democrats have a strong candidate in retired Air Force office Charlie Brown. He has done everything right and hammered home the Abramoff/corruption message for months. Unfortunately, the district is so heavily Republican that it would be nearly impossible for any Democrat to even come close here. Brown will come close -- which is a big achievement -- but I don't think it will be close enough to oust Doolittle. CD-11: Congressman Dick Pombo (R) is also under an ethics cloud, giving Dems hope for an upset here. Wind turbine manufacturer Jerry McNerney unexpectedly won the Democratic primary, defeating a highly touted military veteran who was recruited into the race by the DCCC. McNerney's win dampened the DCCC's enthusiasm, but McNerney remains feisty and undeterred. Like CD-4, this is another heavily Republican district that make a Dem win rather unlikely. Pombo will win another term. CD-22: State Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy (R) -- retiring Congressman Bill Thomas' hand-picked heir -- will keep this seat in the GOP column. CD-50: A late October poll, coupled with news reports of ethics problems for Congressman Brian Bilbray (R), placed this seat back into play. Congressman Duke Cunningham (R) pled guilty to bribery and other corruption charges and resigned in 2005, setting up the special election Bilbray won in June. College professor Francine Busby (D) is making her third run for this seat within the past two years. However, if the "culture of corruption" message didn't carry Busby to victory when the Cunningham scandal was fresher a few months ago, don't look for it to produce a different result this time. RESULTS: NO CHANGE.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

COLORADO:
GOVERNOR: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) has run a very strong campaign for this open seat. By contrast, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) has run a largely inept campaign to succeed term-limited Governor Bill Owens (R). This is an easy call: Ritter will handily win. In fact, Ritter may have strong enough coattails to help some of his Dem runningmates score pickups with other statewide offices. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: Several hot races in the Rocky Mountain State. CD-4: Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R) is facing a hard-charging challenge from State Representative Angie Paccione (D). Complicating the race -- and hurting Musgrave -- is the candidacy of Eric Eidsness (Reform), a former top-ranking EPA official during the Reagan Administration. Eidsness, a lifelong Republican, believes Musgrave's nearly single-issue focus in Congress (sponsoring a series of anti-gay rights legislation) has embarrassed and financially hurt the district. Polls have shown the race to be close, but I believe Musgrave will survive yet another close call (and I'd like to be wrong on this one). CD-5: State Senator Doug Lamborn -- the most conservative of the hopefuls -- won the crowded GOP primary for this open seat after a nasty primary contest. In so doing, Lamborn defeated the hand-picked heir of retiring Congressman Joel Hefley (R). Hefley, in turn, publicly announced he was so disgusted with Lamborn's primary campaign that he would not endorse Lamborn and urged Republicans who felt likewise to consider abstaining in this race. Dems were hopeful that Hefley's comments would help the candidacy of retired USAF office Jay Fawcett (D). It may, but not nearly enough for Fawcett to win. Lamborn will win this race by at least several points. CD-7: This is a swing district, so highly competitive races here are not uncommon. With Congressman Beauprez giving up this seat to run for Governor, expect it to be especially competitive. Former State Senator Ed Perlmutter (D) has held an advantage over former State Higher Education Commission Chair Rick O'Donnell (R) for months. O'Donnell -- after some early stumbles -- has gained ground on Perlmutter in the final weeks by sharply distancing himself from President Bush and questioning the need for the US to remain in Iraq. Perlmutter, however, will still win this seat and score a Democratic pickup. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT:
GOVERNOR: Governor Jodi Rell (R) is immensely popular, holding one of the strongest approval races of any governor in the nation. She will cruise to a big victory over New Haven Mayor John DeStefano (D). RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Joe Lieberman may not have been a team player when he decided to stay in his race for re-election as an Independent after narrowly losing the Democratic primary to businessman and anti-war activist Ned Lamont. However, it was an astute move for Lieberman. Former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) has only been a nominal factor in the race, as the GOP and the White House seem generally aligned with Lieberman. While Lieberman is a social liberal and repeatedly vowed to caucus with the Dems if reelected, he is also a staunch supporter of the Iraq War (thus explaining the Bush Administration's support for him). Lamont, by contrast, has had trouble solidifying the Democratic base after the primary -- as the blue collar Dems have remained fairly loyal to Lieberman. Look for Lieberman to win a fourth term. RESULT: INDY/DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
Three GOP centrist incumbents in swing districts are facing very aggressive Democratic challengers, all of whom are running on anti-war platforms. All of the embattled GOP incumbents are running campaigns stressing their purported political "independence." CD-2: Congressman Rob Simmons (R) has significant clout in the House on the Iraq War and other similar foreign policy matters because of his experience as a former CIA officer. Simmons is a supporter of the Iraq War. Former State Representative Joe Courtney (D) -- who lost to Simmons in 2002 -- is making a second run for the seat. The change in the national political climate makes the rematch much more competitive than the original race of four years ago. This race will be very close, but look for Simmons to narrowly win a fourth term. CD-4: The CD-4 race is also another rematch. Ten-term Congressman Chris Shays (R) is another supporter of the Iraq War, although he recently seems to be waffling on his stance. Former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell (D), the '04 nominee, is making a second run after a narrow defeat last time. She got a boost from some recent Shays gaffes and from the withdrawal of the Green nominee from the contest. Shays had a very long run in a very Democratic district, but I think his time is up. Farrell will defeat Shays. CD-5: Twelve-term Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R) for months looked well-positioned to hold her swing seat. Unfortunately for Johnson, State Senator Chris Murphy (D) seems to be building momentum and peaking at just the right time. Like Shays, Johnson will come close -- but not close enough -- to win again. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 2 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

DELAWARE:
US SENATE: US Senator Tom Carper (D) will score a landslide re-election victory over law professor and former INS Assistant Commissioner Jan Ting (R). RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
Despite recent medical problems (two minor strokes), Congressman Mike Castle (R) will win big in his race for an eighth term. RESULTS: NO CHANGE.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.06 | Permalink |

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Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Teton County School Board Chair and Internet executive Gary Trauner, Democrat for Congress in Wyoming.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
FLORIDA: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 56%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 30%. (St. Petersburg Times).
MAINE: US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - 74%, progressive activist Jean Hay Bright (D) - 14%, peace activist Bill Slavick (Independent) - 6%. (Critical Insights).
MARYLAND: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 54%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 43%. (Washington Post).
MARYLAND: Cardin (D) - 50%, Steele (R) - 45%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MASSACHUSETTS: US Senator Ted Kennedy (D) - 66%, language school owner Ken Chase (R) - 25%. (Boston Globe).
MICHIGAN: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 50%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 38%, UAW local president David Sole (Green) - 1%. (Detroit News/WOOD-TV/EPIC-MRA).
MINNESOTA: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) - 54%, Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MISSOURI: US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 47%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 47%, businessman Frank Gilmour (Libertarian) - 2%. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Research 2000).
MONTANA: State Senate President Jon Tester (D) - 51%, US Senate Conrad Burns (R) - 48%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 48%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 42%. (Bergen Record/Research 2000).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 54%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 43%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 54%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 38%. (Philadelphia Inquirer/Temple University).
PENNSYLVANIA: Casey (D) - 55%, Santorum (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
RHODE ISLAND: Former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 43%, US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - 33%. (Rhode Island College).
TEXAS: US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) - 60%, attorney Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D) - 34%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 54%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 42%.(Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
CALIFORNIA: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 53%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
COLORADO: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) - 50%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 38%, Three Others - 5%. (Denver Post/Mason-Dixon).
FLORIDA: Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) - 48%, Congressman Jim Davis (D) - 42%. (St. Petersburg Times).
FLORIDA: Crist (R) - 52%, Davis (D) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
IDAHO: Congressman Butch Otter (R) - 44%, newspaper publisher Jerry Brady (D) - 43%, Ted Dunlap (Libertarian) - 1%. (Idaho Statesman/Mason-Dixon).
ILLINOIS: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) - 47%, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) - 38%, attorney Rich Whitney (Green) - 11%. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Research 2000).
MAINE: Governor John Baldacci (D) - 42%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 25%, State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent) - 11%, radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) - 7%. (Critical Insights).
MARYLAND: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 55%, Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 45%. (Washington Post).
MARYLAND: O'Malley (D) - 50%, Ehrlich (R) - 47%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MASSACHUSETTS: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 54%, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) - 29%, businessman Christy Mihos (Independent) - 8%, affordable housing activist Grace Ross (Green) - 2%. (Boston Globe).
MICHIGAN:
Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 44%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 37%, engineer Doug Campbell (Green) - 1%, hospital worker Greg Creswell (Libertarian) - 1%. (Detroit News/WOOD-TV/EPIC-MRA).
MINNESOTA: Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) - 45%, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEVADA: Congressman Jim Gibbons (R) - 47%, State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) - 41%, Others - 2%, None Of The Above - 4%. (Reno Gazette-Journal/Research 2000).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 58%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 36%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OREGON: Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) - 51%, former Portland School Board Member Ron Saxton (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 56%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
RHODE ISLAND: Governor Don Carcieri (R) - 49%, Lieutenant Governor Charlie Fogarty (D) - 35%. (Rhode Island College).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Governor Mark Sanford (R) - 58%, State Senator Tommy Moore (D) - 31%. (Clemson University).
TEXAS: Governor Rick Perry (R) - 38%, former Congressman Chris Bell (D) - 22%, State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Independent) - 21%, musician Kinky Friedman (Independent) - 11%, software sales analyst James Werner (Libertarian) - 1%. (Houston Chronicle/Zogby).
VERMONT:
Governor Jim Douglas (R) - 51%, former State Democratic Chair Scudder Parker (D) - 41%. (WCAX-TV/Research 2000).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
ARIZONA - CD-1: Congressman Rick Renzi (R) - 45%, attorney Ellen Simon (D) - 32%. (Northern Arizona University).
ARIZONA - CD-8: Former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords (D) - 48%, former State Representative Randy Graf (R) - 38%, Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan (Libertarian) - 2%, architectural metal shop owner Jay Quick (Independent) - 2%. (Arizona Daily Star/KVOA-TV/Zimmerman).
IDAHO - CD-1: State Representative Bill Sali (R) - 39%, businessman Larry Grant (D) - 37%, USAF veteran Dave Olson (Independent) - 2%, advertising executive Andy Hedden-Nicely (Natural Law/United) - 1%. (Idaho Statesman/Mason-Dixon).
MAINE - CD-1: Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 62%, State Representative Darlene Curley (R) - 18%, peace activist Dexter Kamilewicz (Independent) - 6%. (Critical Insights).
MAINE - CD-2: Congressman Mike Michaud (D) - 62%, former Lisbon Falls Town Selectman Scott D'Ambroise (R) - 25%. (Critical Insights).
PENNSYLVANIA - CD-8: Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R) - 48%, Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy (D) - 39%. (Philadelphia Inquirer/Keystone Poll/Franklin & Marshall Univ).
SOUTH CAROLINA - CD-5: Congressman John Spratt (D) - 61%, State Representative Ralph Norman (R) - 28%. (Clemson University).
VERMONT - CD-AL: Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch (D) - 51%, former State Adjutant General Martha Rainville (R) - 41%. (WCAX-TV/Research 2000).

WYOMING - CD-AL: Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) - 44%, Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner (D) - 40%, substance abuse counsellor Thom Rankin (Libertarian) - 5%. (Wyoming Tribune-Eagle/Aspen Media).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

P2008: HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIR TO ANNOUNCE WHITE HOUSE RUN.
Nobody inside the Beltway -- and possibly nobody outside of the candidate's own staff -- saw this one coming. In a surprise move, House Armed Services Committee Chair Duncan Hunter (R-CA) plans to announce Monday he is forming an exploratory committee to seek the Republican nomination for President in 2008.
Hunter, a Vietnam War veteran and the father of an Iraq War veteran, is a solid conservative. During his 13 terms in Congress, Hunter has supported significant increases in the military, including increased spending, an increased role in stopping illegal immigration into the US, and an increased position to influence the intelligence-gathering agencies. An attorney, Hunter was first swept into Congress when he defeated an 18-year Democratic incumbent on the coattails of the 1980 Reagan landslide. Despite his clout in the House and political strength within his district, Hunter is little-known elsewhere to most Republican primary voters and will need to struggle just to get noticed in the crowded pack of "second tier" GOP hopefuls. The timing of Hunter's announcement also seems curious. However, it could possibly be attributed to wanting to be described as the "Armed Services Chair" -- instead of "Ranking Minority Member" -- in the news coverage, if Hunter is worried his party will lose majority status in the House in next week's elections.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

PA-18: DAILY SCANDAL-RAMA VISITS CONGRESSMAN MURPHY.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) may have violated House ethics rules by using taxpayer-funded congressional staff and interns for campaign work. Several congressional staff told the newspaper in interviews that Murphy may have acted unethically, but they have not filed a formal complaint. The staffers, some anonymous, claimed that Murphy used his congressional office and its equipment for campaign purpose; congressional interns were instructed to canvas neighborhoods and distribute campaign literature during the summer; and congressional staff members devoted time last December to mailing Christmas cards to campaign donors. Staffers said that they were highly pressured, though not forced, to engage in these campaign activities. However, the newspaper noted such allegations are difficult to prove "because workers are permitted to perform campaign tasks when on voluntary personal time, and there is no clock they punch to switch time. But it's clear that multiple staff members believed that what they were instructed to do crossed an ethical line." Voters in Murphy's suburban Pittsburgh district could be somewhat concerned about these type of allegations, as a local state representative went to prison earlier this year for similar violations related to state law. However, despite the districtís large Democratic registration edge, Murphy is heavily favored to defeat telecommunications executive Chad Kluko (D).
Writer: David Jimenez - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Your thread for everything else that's going on today in politics.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Attorney and Navy veteran Rich Sexton, Democrat for Congress in New Jersey's CD-3.

WANNA TRADE?
I'm interested in building up my collection of Canadian campaign buttons. If you've got Canadian political buttons
to trade, I'm interesting in swapping with you for some great US pins. Please drop me a note!

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WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Your weekend open thread.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.29.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
CALIFORNIA: US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) - 59%, former State Senator Dick Mountjoy (R) - 33%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
MASSACHUSETTS: US Senator Ted Kennedy (D) - 60%, language school owner Ken Chase (R) - 26%. (WHDH-TV/Suffolk University).
MISSOURI:
US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 50%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 48%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 40%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 39%. (New York Times/CBS News).
NEW JERSEY: Menendez (D) - 45%, Kean (R) - 45%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 57%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 37%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA: US Senator George Allen (R) - 49%, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 48%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ALASKA: Former Governor Tony Knowles (D) - 43%, former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin (R) - 43%. (Alaska Newspapers Inc./Craciun).
ARKANSAS: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 58%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 38%, former State Representative Jim Lendall (Green) - 2%, musician Rod Bryan (Independent) - 1%. (KTHV-TV/SurveyUSA).
ARKANSAS: Beebe (D) - 51%, Hutchinson (R) - 38%, Others - 1%. (University of Arkansas).
CALIFORNIA: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 55%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 37%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
CALIFORNIA: Schwarzenegger (R) - 48%, Angelides (D) - 30%. (Public Policy Institute of California).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 62%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 32%, newspaper editor Bob Fitrakis (Green) - 1%, retired college professor Bill Peirce (Libertarian) - 1%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
OREGON: Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) - 47%, former Portland School Board Member Ron Saxton (R) - 36%. (Riley Research).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
ALASKA - CD-AL: Congressman Don Young (R) - 52%, Alaska Native Activist Diane Benson (D) - 36%. (Alaska Newspapers Inc./Craciun).
NEW YORK - CD-26: Congressman Tom Reynolds (R) - 50%, manufacturer Jack Davis (D) - 45%. (WGRZ-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA - CD-2: Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R) - 46%, Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam (D) - 44%. (Virginian-Pilot/Mason-Dixon).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: RNC CONFIRMS THEY PULLED THE PLUG ON DeWINE.
Remember just a week ago when the New York Times reported that the Republican National Committee cancelled millions of dollars in ad buys on behalf of US Senator Mike DeWine (R) because they purportedly wanted "to reduce [national party] financial support for his race and divert party money to other embattled Republican Senators." The angry denials from GOP leaders came swiftly, as the party claimed it would pour millions of money into Ohio to support DeWine and the embattled Ohio Repubican ticket. It turns out those denials were false. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, RNC Spokesman Aaron McLear on Thursday said the party will continue "on-the-ground" efforts in support of DeWine -- but he also confirmed the national party "will not be on the air in the final week of Mike DeWine's campaign, canceling its [TV] ad reservations throughout Ohio." In other related news, it appears the NRSC and the RNC have also largely given up on US Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) -- as The Missoulian newspaper reported a few days ago that the national party has not spent a dime on TV or radio spots on behalf of Burns since August 7.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

VIGUERIE SAYS REAGAN CONSERVATIVES BETRAYED BY DUBYA, GOP CONGRESS.
Vegteran conservative political consultant Richard Viguerie -- an early Ronald Reagan political ally -- is credited with being the father of the sophisticated direct mail campaigns for both political fundraising and persuasion. He is also credited with being an influential pioneer in the modern American conservative movement that came to power in the 1970s and 1980s. That's why Viguerie's latest message is so unexpected. Viguerie is now out with a new book, Conservatives Betrayed, blasting President Bush and the current Republican congressional leadership. "The big-spending, high-deficit, morally-deficient Republican Party hasnít anything to offer conservatives except Halloween scare tactics about the Democrats. But since the GOP majority in Congress has engaged in an unprecedented spending spree, conservatives know that Democrats cannot be any worse and that divided government may lead to less spending ... Trying to frighten conservatives by yelling ‘Nancy Pelosi’ and ‘Harry Reid’ won’t work this time," explains Viguerie. He touts the need for a platform anchored by support for a balanced budget amendment, the banning of budget earmarks, further tax cuts, and the "appointment of many more Reagan-type conservatives, rather than big-business establishment Republicans." Viguerie isn't becoming soft on the Dems, but he thinks the current GOP leadership is risking the destruction of all the conservative gains won by the "Reagan Revolution."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The US-backed special criminal tribunal in Baghdad recently moved up the announcement date for the verdict and sentence from the first trial of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to November 5. The US midterm elections are just two days later. Coincidence? Does the White House really think a death sentence for Saddam will win them more votes in key swing districts? Hmmm.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: State Senate President and farmer Jon Tester, Democrat for US Senate in Montana.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
ARIZONA: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) - 47%, former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) - 41%. (Arizona State University).
FLORIDA: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 64%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 29%. (Quinnipiac University).
MICHIGAN: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 51%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 44%, UAW local president David Sole (Green) - 1%, attorney Leonard Schwartz (Libertarian) - 1%, retired automotive engineer Dennis FitzSimons (US Taxpayers) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MISSOURI: US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 48%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 45%. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 45%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 41%, Others - 2%. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 47%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 39%. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg).
TENNESSEE: Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) - 49%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 44%, Others - 3%. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg).

TENNESSEE: Corker (R) - 48%, Ford (D) - 48%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA: US Senator George Allen (R) - 49%, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 46%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Indep. Green) - 2%. (WUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA: Webb (D) - 47%, Allen (R) - 44%, Other - 3%. (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.26.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ARIZONA: Governor Janet Napolitano (D) - 67%, Religious Right activist Len Munsil (R) - 24%, businessman Barry Hess (Libertarian) - 1%. (Arizona State University).
MASSACHUSETTS: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 53%, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) - 26%, businessman Christy Mihos (Independent) - 9%, affordable housing activist Grace Ross (Green) - 2%. (WHDH-TV/Suffolk University).
MICHIGAN:
Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 52%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 45%, engineer Doug Campbell (Green) - 1%, hospital worker Greg Creswell (Libertarian) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: Granholm (D) - 53%, DeVos (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
TENNESSEE: Governor Phil Bredesen (D) - 66%, State Senator Jim Bryson (R) - 29%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.26.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
INDIANA - CD-8: Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) - 50%, Congressman John Hostettler (R) - 43%. (WISH-TV/Research 2000).
INDIANA - CD-9: Former Congressman Baron Hill (D) - 47%, Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) - 45%. (WISH-TV/Research 2000).
MINNESOTA - CD-6: State Senator Michele Bachmann (R) - 49%, child safety activist Patty Wetterling (D) - 43%, college student John Binkowski (Independence) - 5%. (WHAS-TV/SurveyUSA).
PENNSYLVANIA - CD-4: Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R) - 46%, former Congressional aide Jason Altmire (D) - 42%. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/Susquehanna Polling).
PENNSYLVANIA - CD-10: Naval Reserve officer Chris Carney (D) - 48%, Congressman Don Sherwood (R) - 39%. (Philadelphia Inquirer/Keystone Poll/Franklin & Marshall Univ).
WASHINGTON - CD-2: Congressman Rick Larsen (D) - 62%, businessman Doug Roulstone (R) - 33%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.26.06 | Permalink |

POLITICS: DAILY SCANDAL-RAMA.
Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) is apparently the target of two preliminary federal corruption investigations, according to the Arizona Republic and various other news sources. Renzi has hired former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods to represent him in the matter. The Republic wrote that the US Attorney's Office and the FBI "have opened a preliminary investigation into whether [Renzi] twice pressured landowners to buy a 480-acre parcel owned by his former business partner, a major backer of Renzi's political campaign." Renzi's friend earned a $3 million profit from the deal. "One of the officials said the inquiry is at a preliminary stage. No subpoenas have been issued, and public developments are not likely before the midterm elections," the Republic wrote. The New York Times reported Renzi is also under investigation by the same agencies for having "introduced legislation that benefited a military contractor that employs his father." Renzi's attorney said all the allegation are politically motivated. Renzi is facing a competitive race against attorney Ellen Simon (D) ... In New York, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi (D) is facing ethics problems for purported mis-use of state employees. The State Ethics Commission found probable cause that Hevesi "knowingly and intentionally used his position as New York state comptroller to secure unwarranted privileges for himself and his wife, and in doing so, pursued a course of conduct that raises suspicion among the public that he likely engaged in acts that violated the public trust." Among the allegations are that Hevesi used his office to secure privileges for himself and his disabled wife when he assigned a government employee to act as her chauffeur from 2003-06. "I made a mistake. I am deeply sorry. I offer no excuses. I will continue to cooperate fully with any inquiry," said Hevesi. By state law, the findings will be referred to the State Legislature for further proceedings. Saratoga County Treasurer Chris Callaghan -- Hevesi's GOP opponent -- publicly called Hevesi a "thief" and demanded that he immediately resign ... US House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds (R-NY) each spent several hours before the House Ethics Committee this week in the ongoing investigation of the Mark Foley page scandal. Likewise for some of the Hastert and Reynolds staffers ... Congressman Jim Gibbons (R) has criticized his Democratic opponent Dina Titus in the Nevada gubernatorial race for being soft on illegal immigration. However, according to KLAS-TV news reports, Gibbons and his wife knowingly employed an illegal alien to work in their household for several years and then "tried to cover it up" ... Arizona State Treasurer David Petersen (R) reached a plea bargain in which he will resign and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report $4,200 in commissions for selling character-education materials to state schools, said with the Attorney General Terry Goddard. The investigation found no evidence Petersen stole or misused public money, though the official report said "numerous issues pertaining to [Peterson]'s performance of his duties and management of his office were found to be outside the scope of a criminal investigation." Peterson did not seek re-election this year, so the interim Treasurer will only serve until the end of his term in January ... Just an aside, but isn't it pretty sad that I am able to find so much material each day to fill this (almost) daily scandal-rama topic.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.26.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the state legislature within 180 days to either redraw the state marriage laws to allow same-sex marriages, or alternatively adopt a civil union law which bestows the same legal rights on same-sex couples.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.26.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Educator and businesswoman Sharon Beery, Democrat for Congress in California's CD-22. Also, a big thanks to Mike Waller of Tigereye Design's DemocraticStuff.com for the giant box of buttons he sent representing lots of Dem campaigns from around the nation!

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FLORIDA: NEWSPAPER SEEMINGLY OUTS CRIST AND NAMES NAMES.
Everyone saw this story coming in the Florida Governor's race -- especially in the wake of the Foley page scandal and Attorney General Charlie Crist's recent use of targeted anti-gay rights messages aimed at GOP voters -- but it is finally in print. In fact, even Crist told the reporter it was "fair" for the media to ask questions about his sexuality in light of issues raised in the campaign. Crist even goes so far as to answer that he has "never" had sex with a man. Now, before I give you the link, what is odd about the entire story are the wildly inconsistent denials from everyone involved (and who they are) which seem to make the story all the more credible. Click here to read the New Times story and decide for yourself whether or not you believe Crist is telling the truth or lying in his denial of being gay. Before you shrug this story and source off as insignificant, you should note reporter Bob Norman -- who wrote this controversial article -- was the same New Times reporter who in 2003 first outed Mark Foley and prompted Foley's prompt exit from the 2004 US Senate race (after, of course, an enraged Foley bashed Norman's article at a press conference). Give this story a few more days to reach the mainstream media and gain some traction, but these New Times allegations will likely become an issue that Crist will soon be forced to deal with on a daily basis. Meanwhile, in related news, Reform gubernatorial nominee Max Linn -- who gay-baited Crist on radio shows in recent weeks with "Charlie, come out, come out from wherever you are" -- was barred from the gubernatorial debate by a state appellate court order issued just two hours before the first televised debate started. Just yesterday Linn won the right through a lawsuit to participate in the debate.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
FLORIDA: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 58%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 35%. (Strategic Vision-R).
MINNESOTA: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) - 55%, Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) - 39%, former public access TV organization executive director Robert Fitzgerald (Independence) - 3%, Two Others - 2%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
MISSOURI: US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 48%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 45%, Frank Gilmour (Libertarian) - 2%. (KDKA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MISSOURI: McCaskill (D) - 46%, Talent (R) - 43%, Gilmour (Libertarian) - 2%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
MONTANA: State Senate President Jon Tester (D) - 46%, US Senate Conrad Burns (R) - 43%, business consultant Stan Jones (Libertarian) - 2%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 45%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 42%, Others - 3%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 48%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 40%, Other - 3%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
PENNSYLVANIA: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 51%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 39%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
RHODE ISLAND: Former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 48%, US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - 43%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
RHODE ISLAND: Whitehouse (D) - 52%, Chafee (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
TENNESSEE: Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) - 45%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 43%, Others - 2%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
TENNESSEE: Corker (R) - 49%, Ford (D) - 47%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 52%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 37%, Others - 3%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ARKANSAS: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 49%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
COLORADO: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) - 56%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 38%, Three Others - 3%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
COLORADO: Ritter (D) - 51%, Beauprez (R) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
FLORIDA: Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) - 51%, Congressman Jim Davis (D) - 42%, businessman Max Linn (Reform) - 2%. (Strategic Vision-R).
GEORGIA: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 51%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 32%, computer consultant Garrett Hayes (Libertarian) - 9%. (Strategic Vision-R).
KANSAS: Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) - 56%, State Senator Jim Bennett (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MASSACHUSETTS: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 56%, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) - 31%, businessman Christy Mihos (Independent) - 8%, affordable housing activist Grace Ross (Green) - 2%. (WBZ-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN:
Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 53%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MINNESOTA: Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) - 45%, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) - 44%, former State Finance Commissioner Peter Hutchinson (Independence) - 7%, Three Others - 2%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 54%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 34%, Others - 1%.
(MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
OKLAHOMA: Governor Brad Henry (D) - 64%, Congressman Ernest Istook (R) - 32%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 56%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 35%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
RHODE ISLAND: Governor Don Carcieri (R) - 49%, Lieutenant Governor Charlie Fogarty (D) - 39%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
RHODE ISLAND: Carcieri (R) - 51%, Fogarty (D) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Governor Mark Sanford (R) - 57%, State Senator Tommy Moore (D) - 34%. (Rasmussen Reports).
TENNESSEE: Governor Phil Bredesen (D) - 62%, State Senator Jim Bryson (R) - 27%, Others - 1%. (MSNBC/McClatchy Newspapers/Mason-Dixon).
TEXAS: Governor Rick Perry (R) - 36%, former Congressman Chris Bell (D) - 26%, State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Independent) - 19%, musician Kinky Friedman (Independent) - 16%, software sales analyst James Werner (Libertarian) - 1%. (KEYE-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
CALIFORNIA - CD-4: Congressman John Doolittle (R) - 51%, retired USAF veteran Charlie Brown (D) - 41%, mountain park rescue director Dan Warren (Libertarian) - 5%. (KXTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
CONNECTICUT - CD-4: Congressman Chris Shays (R) - 43%, former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell (D) - 43%. (Hartford Courant/University of Connecitcut).
FLORIDA - CD-22: Congressman Clay Shaw (R) - 42%, State Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein (D) - 41%. (Insider Advantage).
KENTUCKY - CD-4: Congressman Geoff Davis (R) - 46%, former Congressman Ken Lucas (D) - 44%, financial consultant Brian Houillion (Libertarian) - 4%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The New Jersey Supreme Court will issue a ruling Wednesday in a case determining if the state constitution requires New Jersey to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: US Senator Joe Lieberman, Independent candidate for re-election in Connecticut.

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
MICHIGAN: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 49%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 49%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
VIRGINIA: US Senator George Allen (R) - 47%, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 43%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Indep. Green) - 2%. (Virginian-Pilot/Mason-Dixon).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
FLORIDA: Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) - 46%, Congressman Jim Davis (D) - 44%, Others - 1%. (Quinnipiac University).
FLORIDA: Crist (R) - 49%, Davis (D) - 38%. (Florida Chamber of Commerce/Cromer Group).
ILLINOIS: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) - 44%, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) - 34%, attorney Rich Whitney (Green) - 14%. (KSDK-TV/SurveyUSA).
IOWA: Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) - 49%, Congressman Jim Nussle (R) - 45%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MAINE: Governor John Baldacci (D) - 42%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 34%, State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent) - 12%, radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) - 9%, retiree Phillip NaPier (Independent) - 1%. (WCSH-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 47%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 43%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 57%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 37%. (Strategic Vision-R).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
INDIANA - CD-7: Congresswoman Julia Carson (D) - 48%, auto dealer Eric Dickerson (R) - 43%. (WISH-TV/Research 2000).
INDIANA - CD-9: Former Congressman Baron Hill (D) - 47%, Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) - 43%, college professor Eric Schansberg (Libertarian) - 5%. (WCSH-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW MEXICO - CD-1: Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) - 45%, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) - 42%. (Albuquerque Journal).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: GREEN NOMINEE QUITS CD-4 RACE, ENDORSES DEM.
Attorney and former law professor Richard Durfee (Green) quit the race against Congressman Chris Shays (R) on Monday, just one day before the state deadline for candidates to remove their names from the ballot. Durfee readily admits he withdrew to help the candidacy of Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell (D). "[The Greens] are not spoilers. We want to let the press and the country know that we are modern 21st century politicians. We're way beyond egos. We're about issues and getting them done," explained Durfee's spokesman to the AP. Farrell supports setting a withdrawal deadline for US troops in Iraq and has called on President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld. By contrast, Shays was an unwavering supporter of the Iraq War until recent weeks. As polling shows the Shays-Farrell race as neck-and-neck, Durfee explained he timely withdrew so as to not siphon any anti-war votes away from the Democrat. "Our decision is a vote of confidence in Diane Farrell's seriousness about putting some brakes on Bush's imperial presidency and at least returning us to the rule of law," said Durfee, in a press conference endorsing Farrell. Farrell's campaign acknowledged it quietly approached Durfee three weeks ago to convince him to exit the race. The reaction from the Shays campaign: "The 4th District deserves better than a candidate who supposedly makes concessions at a secret meeting and accepts the endorsement of an extreme left organization." Investment executive Phil Maymin (Libertarian) is also running.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: STATE JUDGE ORDERS REFORM NOMINEE INTO TV GOV DEBATE.
Wealthy businessman and term-limits activist Max Linn (Reform) won a very unexpected victory in Florida Circuit Court on Monday evening, as judge ordered Linn to be included in Tuesday night's televised gubernatorial debate. With the help of flamboyant trial attorney Ellis Rubin, Linn sued to win a spot in the debate. Rubin argued a 1998 US Supreme Court ruling held that candidate debates sponsored by public television stations cannot exclude candidates with a "substantial" campaign. Linn noted he has a professional campaign manager who has run winning statewide races, has a campaign headquarters and paid staff, and has run several hundred thousand dollars of TV spots. The debate sponsors said they set a neutral threshold of scoring 10% in an independent polls to earn a debate spot, and that Linn has remained in the 1-2% range. The judge Monday ruled the 10% requirement was "arbitrary" and not in the public interest. "Because the voters' rights are at stake in this case, it clearly rose to the highest level of constitutional importance. Our arguments in favor of voter rights were vindicated in a breathtaking decision. The judge utterly rejected all arguments that including a third party candidate in the debate would harm the conduct of the debate in any way," said Rubin. Unless an appellate court overturns the ruling within the ruling -- and with less than a day to go until the debate -- Linn could turn an otherwise predictable encounter into a wild event. Linn -- who has known GOP nominee Charlie Crist for over two decades -- has recently been openly challenging Crist to admit he is gay or bisexual. Linn says Crist told him this info first-hand in the mid-1980s. Crist denies he is gay. Crist's sexuality, however, seems relevant as he just last week started to make his newly declared anti-gay views part of his GOTV strategy. "I support a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriages, and I oppose adoption by gay couples," says Crist in a round of newly recorded robo-calls to targeted Republican voters. You better believe Crist's campaign will do anything it can to keep Linn off the stage at Tuesday's debate against Congressman Jim Davis (D).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
With the Democrats surging in key contests in unlikely places like Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska, Howard Dean's once ridiculed "50-State strategy" looks like a pretty brilliant strategy these days. Let me be the first to say: Told 'ya so!

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Congressional aide Phil Hare, Democrat for Congress in Illinois' CD-17.

WANNA TRADE?
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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
CONNECTICUT: US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 52%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 35%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 6%. (Quinnipiac University).
CONNECTICUT: Lieberman (Independent) - 49%, Lamont (D) - 37%, Schlesinger (R) - 8%, Others - 1%. (American Research Group).
NEBRASKA: US Senator Ben Nelson (D) - 54%, investment executive Pete Ricketts (R) - 34%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 48%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 39%. (Gannett/Monmouth University).
NEW YORK: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 67%, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (R) - 30%. (Marist College).
RHODE ISLAND: Former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 46%, US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - 42%. (WPRI-TV/Fleming & Assoc.).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 51%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
CONNECTICUT: Governor Jodi Rell (R) - 59%, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano (D) - 33%. (Quinnipiac University).
NEBRASKA: Governor Dave Heineman (R) - 70%, businessman David Hahn (D) - 22%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 70%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 22%. (Marist College).
WISCONSIN: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 48%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports)
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
CONNECTICUT - CD-2: Congressman Rob Simmons (R) - 46%, former State Representative Joe Courtney (D) - 44%. (Hartford Courant/University of Connecitcut).
FLORIDA - CD-2: Congressman Clay Shaw (R) - 48%, State Senate Minority Leader Ron Klein (D) - 43%. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Research 2000).
ILLINOIS - CD-6: State Senator Peter Roskam (R) - 43%, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) - 39%. (Chicago Tribune).
ILLINOIS - CD-8: Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D) - 50%, investment banker David McSweeney (D) - 31%, attorney Bill Scheurer (Independent) - 4%. (Chicago Tribune).
INDIANA - CD-7: Auto dealer Eric Dickerson (R) - 45%, Congresswoman Julia Carson (D) - 42%. (WTHR-TV/Selzer).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

POLITICS: DAILY SCANDAL-RAMA UPDATE.
A former aide to Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV) has accused his former boss of engaging in illegal conduct. According to the Las Vegas Sun, former congressional aide Jim Shepard said Porter "made dozens of illegal fund-raising calls last spring from his congressional and district offices." Shepard said he personnaly witnessed this on several occasions. Making political calls from federal offices is a federal felony. A spokesman for Porter denied the charges and described Shepard as "a disgruntled former staffer." Porter is locked in a unexpectedly close race for re-election against Tessa Hafen (D), a former top aide to US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) ... In California, GOP congressional nominee Tan Nguyen denied he was in any way responsible for threatening letters last week mailed to 14,000 voters in CD-47. The letters, written in Spanish, falsely said "You are advised that if ... you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time." Immigrants who become naturalized citizens may vote in US elections. Nguyen said an unidentified campaign staffer was responsible for the mailing, and was sent without his authorization. Engaging in this type of voter supression activities -- if proven -- is a felony. State law enforcement agents raided Nguyen's campaign office, his home, and the home of an campaign aide to secure evidence. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) denounced Nguyen's actions, as did the local leaders of Nguyen's own party. The Orange County GOP Chair told reporters he saw proof Nguyen was directly responsible for the letters, and demanded Nguyen quit the race. "I'm not going to quit this race. I'm going to win this race," said Nguyen. Congressman Loretta Sanchez (D) is a safe bet to defeat Nguyen next month.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: DEM NOMINEE SUES GOP CONGRESSMAN OVER NEGATIVE ADS
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported retired educator and author Steve Porter (D-PA) filed a lawsuit in state court against the campaign of Congressman Phill English (R) for television and radio ads that claim Porter wants to legalize prostitution and supports the sterilization of people who have drug/alcoholic problems and parents who have special needs children. Porter says English's ads are misrepresenting a self-published book -- The Ethics of Democracy -- he wrote nearly a decade ago in which he presented several philosophical arguments about civil liberties. "At no time do I say the state has the right to sterilize anyone by force," Porter said. English's campaign denounced the lawsuit: "This is a clear sign of a desperate campaign that is losing handily. Mr. Porter is continuing to embarrass himself, the Democratic Party, and the political process." English defeated Porter in 2004 by a 20-point margin, and is expected to win big again this year.
Writers: David Jimenez and Mike Baker - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Anything else going on?

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Author, screenwriter & progressive activist Malachy McCourt, Green for New York Governor.

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The daily open thread. I'll post some more polls, etc., over the weekend.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.21.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
FLORIDA: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 57%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 31%, Others - 2%. (Orlando Sentinel/Mason-Dixon).
MONTANA: State Senate President Jon Tester (D) - 49%, US Senate Conrad Burns (R) - 46%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEVADA: US Senator John Ensign (R) - 52%, businessman Jack Carter (D) - 43%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 65%, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (R) - 30%. (Quinnipiac University).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 53%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
FLORIDA: Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) - 50%, Congressman Jim Davis (D) - 39%, Others - 2%. (Orlando Sentinel/Mason-Dixon).
FLORIDA: Crist (R) - 46%, Davis (D) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
IOWA: Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) - 49%, Congressman Jim Nussle (R) - 44%. (KCCI-TV/Research 2000).
NEVADA: Congressman Jim Gibbons (R) - 51%, State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) - 43%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WISCONSIN: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 51%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 38%, community activist Nelson Eisman (Green) - 1%. (Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
ARKANSAS - CD-2: Congressman Vic Snyder (D) - 57%, former State Economic Development official Andy Mayberry (R) - 41%. (KTHV-TV/SurveyUSA).
COLORADO - CD-5: State Senator Doug Lamborn (R) - 51%, retired USAF officer Jay Fawcett (D) - 38%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA - CD-9: State Representative Gus Bilirakis (R) - 57%, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky (D) - 36%. (WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA).
INDIANA - CD-2: Attorney Joe Donnelly (D) - 50%, Congressman Chris Chocola (R) - 45%. (South Bend Tribune/Research 2000).
KENTUCKY - CD-3: Former newspaper publisher John Yarmuth (D) - 48%, Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) - 47%, state party chair Donna Mancini (Libertarian) - 2%, state party chair Ed Parker (Constitution) - 1%. (WHAS-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW YORK - CD-20: Congressman John Sweeney (R) - 53%, attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) - 39%. (Siena College).
NEW YORK - CD-26: Congressman Tom Reynolds (R) - 49%, businessman Jack Davis (D) - 46%. (WGRZ-TV/SurveyUSA).
OHIO - CD-6: State Senator Charlie Wilson (D) - 64%, State House Speaker Pro Tem Chuck Blasdel (R) - 32%. (WYTV-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.06 | Permalink |

NEVADA: DAILY SCANDAL-RAMA UPDATE.
Congressman Jim Gibbons -- the GOP nominee for Nevada Governor -- was apparently involved in an alcohol-related altercation with a female last week. According to the Las Vegas Sun, single-mom Chrissy Mazzeo called 9-1-1 three-times in quick succession and "told police that Gibbons grabbed her arms and tried to force himself on her late Friday in a parking garage near a restaurant where she had been drinking with a friend, the Congressman and his top adviser." Both Mazzeo and Gibbons told police they had been drinking. An independent witness -- a waitress in the restaurant -- said Gibbons and his guests were "flirty." Mazzeo said Gibbons began "playing footsie" with her under the table and put his hand on her leg. Gibbons also denied that allegation, telling the police: "At some point I am sure my leg bumped hers. But it was not flirtatious." Mazzeo also accused Gibbons of trying to sexually force himself on her in the parking lot. According to Gibbons, he was walking Mazzeo to her car when he "helped her catch her balance after she tripped." The Sun reported "Mazzeo dropped the complaint the next day and told police she did not want to start a media circus. She did not recant the allegations or say she lied. She also told police she was not pressured to withdraw the complaint. When asked about her change of mind, she said it was 'because of who he is. I just don't want to go up against that'" A spokesman for the Las Vegas Police Department said the matter was dropped because it was a he-said/shesaid situation with no independent witnesses or other evidence to show what really happened. Gibbons has been married for 20 years to State Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, who lost the GOP primary this year for her husband's congressional seat.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
I was a panelist on blogs at a Thursday evening event sponsored by the South Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. One of my fellow panelists -- blogger Bob Norman of New Times
-- gave a great answer to one question about the so-called "need for balance" in news stories. "Balance is bullshit," Bob loudly exclaimed, saying his only concerns were "reporting the truth" and "being fair." Amen!
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Executive recruiter and community activist Brian Moore, Independent for US Senate in Florida.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
ARIZONA: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) - 51%, former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MAINE: US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - 70%, farmer Jean Hay Bright (D) - 24%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 46%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 46%, progressive activist Kevin Zeese (Green) - 3%. (WMAR-TV/SurveyUSA).
MONTANA: State Senate President Jon Tester (D) - 46%, US Senate Conrad Burns (R) - 35%. (Montana State University).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ALABAMA: Governor Bob Riley (R) - 57%, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D) - 36%. (WKRG-TV/SurveyUSA).
ARIZONA: Governor Janet Napolitano (D) - 58%, Religious Right activist Len Munsil (R) - 25%, businessman Barry Hess (Libertarian) - 3%. (Northern Arizona University).

ARIZONA: Napolitano (D) - 58%, Munsil (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).

MAINE: Governor John Baldacci (D) - 46%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 49%, Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 43%, peace activist Ed Boyd (Green) - 3%, state party chair Chris Driscoll (Populist) - 1%. (WMAR-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW YORK: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 71%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 22%. (Quinnipiac University).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 59%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 32%. (Quinnipiac University).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
COLORADO - CD-4: Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R) - 48%, State Representative Angie Paccione (D) - 38%, former Reagan Administration EPA official Eric Eidsness (Reform) - 10%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
WASHINGTON - CD-8: Congressman Dave Reichert (R) - 50%, former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D) - 47%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: COURT BLOCKS GOP PLAN TO PROMOTE FOLEY REPLACEMENT.
Florida Democrats
won a key battle in state court on Wednesday, blocking GOP plans to help promote the Congressional candidacy of State Representative Joe Negron (R) for disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley's open CD-16 seat. "Our legal team won a big victory in Court today, obtaining an injunction enforcing Florida law, and prohibiting the Supervisors of Elections who cover Congressional District 16 from posting notices in the precincts that effectively state 'a vote for Foley is a vote for Negron,'" explained attorney Chuck Lichtman. Unless Republicans are able to overturn the ruling on appeal -- and time is running out -- voters will see no information in the polling places telling them that Mark Foley is no longer the GOP nominee. The Democrats successfully argued the GOP's proposed signs were "unlawful electioneering" inside polling places and that Republicans must entirely bear the burden of promoting the "vote-for-Foley-to-vote-for-Negron" message independent of any governmental help.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

NORTH CAROLINA: THINGS ARE ALWAYS STRANGER ON PLANET ROBINSON.
Former Winston-Salem City Councilman Vernon Robinson (R-NC) likes to describe himself
as "the black Jesse Helms." Over the years Robinson has lost two bids for State Superintendent of Public Instruction and a run for Congress two years ago in a different district. The one constant through all of Robinson's campaigns is his penchant for outrageous conduct. His current run against CD-13 Congressman Brad Miller (D) is no exception. The two men debated this week and Robinson was true to form. Spending much of the debate talking about sex, Robinson charged that Miller "wants to import homosexuals" into the state and supported studies "that would pay teenage girls" to watch porn. Miller refused to take Robinson seriously, spending much of the debate clearly enjoying the absurdity of Robinson's comments and chuckling aloud.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

EDITORIAL: REPEAL D.O.M.A.
In 1996, the Congress adopted the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and President Clinton signed the odious bill into law.
With federal imprimatur, gay couples were denied any recognition as couples by the federal government. Out gay Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) voted against DOMA in 1996, and in 2004 married his partner Dean Hara in Massachusetts. This past weekend, Studds died at age 69. Because of DOMA, his surviving spouse will not be allowed to collect the congressional pension normally allocated to surviving spouses. Likewise, Dana and I were married in Canada earlier this year. Despite the marriage and our 19 years together, we cannot legally file our federal tax return as "Married, filing jointly" with the IRS, Dana cannot be the surviving spouse on my state pension if I die before him because of the state version of DOMA adopted here in Florida, etc. The cause of equal rights -- not "special rights" -- demands that gay couples be accorded the same respect, dignity and rights of other committed couples under the law. Churches don't have to recognize these same-sex relationships, but the governments supported by our gay tax dollars should be required to do so. Like it or not.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
"I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate; I'm confident we're going to keep the House,"
said Bush Administration political strategic Karl Rove to the Washington Times. Wanna place a bet with me on that one, Karl?
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.19.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Governor Ed Rendell, Democrat for re-election in Pennsylvania.

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

CONGRESS: DAILY SCANDAL-RAMA UPDATE.
Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) on Tuesday oddly blamed the DCCC for inspiring the FBI raids on six locations this week, in which Weldon is apparently the central corruption target. Weldon later conceded to reporter that the Republicans control the US Justice Department, but insisted "the bureaucracy" there dislikes him ... Meanwhile, Congressman John Doolittle's (R-CA) office confirmed Tuesday the Congressman's attorney is engaged in "discussions" with the Justice Department over Doolittle's relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff ... US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) amended his previous financial disclosure forms to add key information he previously omitted about some rather profitable land deals ... Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI) said the House Ethics Committee investigation related to former Congressman Mark Foley's (R-FL) page sex scandal is now focusing on allegedly improper actions by a second House member -- rumored to be retiring Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ). MSNBC's Keith Olberman reported word on the street in DC is that a third Congressman -- still unnamed -- is rumored to be implicated in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female page ... Radical gay activist/ blogger Mike Rogers outed anti-gay rights US Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) on Tuesday, announcing on a national radio show he had met with at least three men with whom Craig has had sex. Rogers said Craig even engaged in sex acts with one of the men in the public restrooms in Union Station, near the Capitol. Craig quickly denied all the allegations. Gay rumors have quietly haunted Craig ever since his bizarre pre-emptive press conference during the 1982 page sex scandal in which he denied having sex with any pages -- at a time when nobody had yet mentioned Craig as being involved. Craig does not face reelection for two more years. Rogers also hinted he has documentary proof on another closeted US House member, who Rogers said he will name "within the next few weeks." Rogers grabbed headlines in 2004 when he outed conservative Congressman Ed Schrock (R-VA) -- and then released, in response to Schrock's initial denials, explicit recorded sexual phone conversations in which the Congressman was trying to hook-up with guys for sex.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
ARIZONA: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) - 49%, former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) - 33%, former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack (Libertarian) - 2%. (Northern Arizona University).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 49%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 35%. (New York Times/CBS News).
OHIO: Brown (D) - 53%, DeWine (R) - 41%. (Quinnipiac University).
OHIO: Brown (D) - 52%, DeWine (R) - 45%. (University of Cincinnati).
PENNSYLVANIA: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 55%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
GEORGIA: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 50%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 36%. (Strategic Vision-R).
ILLINOIS: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) - 44%, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) - 36%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 50%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 38%, retired college professor Bill Peirce (Libertarian) - 3%, newspaper editor Bob Fitrakis (Green) - 2%. (University of Cincinnati).
OHIO: Strickland (D) - 54%, Blackwell (R) - 29%. (New York Times/CBS News).
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 57%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Governor Mark Sanford (R) - 56%, State Senator Tommy Moore (D) - 41%. (WCSC-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
FLORIDA - CD-5: Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R) - 55%, nurse John Russell (D) - 42%. (WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MINNESOTA - CD-6: Child safety activist Patty Wetterling (D) - 48%, State Senator Michelle Bachmann (R) - 40%, college student John Binkowski (Independence) - 4%. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
OHIO - CD-2: Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R) - 48%, physician Victoria Wells Wulsin (D) - 40%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
WYOMING - CD-AL: Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) - 44%, Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner (D) - 37%, substance abuse counsellor Thom Rankin (Libertarian) - 4%. (Casper Star-Tribune/Mason-Dixon).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: SCHLESINGER SURPRISES, EASILY WINS US SENATE DEBATE.
His own party leaders won't support him, his GOP Governor previously asked him to quit the race, stories of chronic gambling problems dog him, yet former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) came roaring back into the US Senate race in the first debate on Tuesday. News stories from throughout the state were fairly unanimous that Schlesinger's solid performance scored a win over US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) and liberal businessman Ned Lamont (D) in the face-off. Schlesinger took an aggressive tack, as his opponents largely stuck to the safe soundbites they've been using for months. The Republican emphasized a GOP voter shouldn't "waste your vote on either of these liberal Democrats." He stressed his support for a crackdown on illegal immigration and other issues, views sharply at odds with both opponents. When pressed post debate, Lieberman again emphasized he would caucus with the Democrats if he wins: "I've [already] said that 1,200 times." "Rejoice Connecticut conservatives ... because you really do have a choice in this race, even if he's a wry court jester," wrote the Hartford Courant. The New Haven Register wrote Schlesinger "put the two leading contenders on notice." For a guy who -- pre-debate -- was polling at around 5%, this performance is significant because any new votes Schlesinger is likely to attract will come almost entirely at Lieberman's expense. In related news, Lamont poured another $2 million from his pocket into his campaign. This brings Lamont's total personal contributions to $11 million.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

EDITORIAL: RESIST THE ALIEN & SEDITION ACTS OF 2006!
Americans should be mourning the loss of our Constitutional habeas corpus rights. The Military Commissions Act of 2006, signed
into law Tuesday by President Bush, allows the President or his designees to declare anyone (including US citizens!) an "enemy combatant" and hold him/her indefinitely without trial if the President simply decides the person is an enemy combatant or is gives material aid to the enemy or is "linked to" terrorist allegations. That, and the new law also allows the US to torture prisoners -- including the use of "water-boarding," extreme sleep deprivation, and forced hypothermia -- so long as it doesn't kill or seriously maim them. Thus, purportedly acting in the interests of freedom and security, we've given up some of our key constitutional freedoms to a corrupt and villainous Administration with nary a whimper of protest. This is one of the saddest days in the history of US Constitutional rights. And, except for US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), the rest of my party's 2008 crop of potential White House hopefuls sit appallingly silent on these critical issues. That shameful and spineless silence speaks loud and clear about which ones NOT to support for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
In case you missed it
, the above article is yet another reason why a decent, honest guy like Russ Feingold should be our next President.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.18.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Former York School Board President and Vietnam War veteran Phil Avillo, Democrat for Congress in Pennsylvania's CD-19; and forklift operator and UAW labor union activist Bill Panebaker, Democrat for Pennsylvania State House District 193.

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
MISSOURI: US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 43%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 59%, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (R) - 32%. (Siena College).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 46%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
VIRGINIA: US Senator George Allen (R) - 47%, former Navy Secretary Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 51%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 43%, former Black Panther activist Aaron Dixon (Green) - 1%, educator Bruce Guthrie (Libertarian) - 1%, Robin Adair (Independent) - 1%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).
WYOMING: US Senator Craig Thomas (R) - 67%, retired scientist Dale Groutage (D) - 26%. (Casper Star-Tribune/Mason-Dixon).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ARKANSAS: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 45%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 31%. (Arkansas State University).
KANSAS: Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) - 55%, State Senator Jim Barnett (R) - 42%, Carl Kramer (Libertarian) - 1%, Richard Ranzau (Reform) - 1%. (KCTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW YORK: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 68%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 22%. (Siena College).
WYOMING: Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) - 63%, attorney Ray Hunkins (R) - 30%. (Casper Star-Tribune/Mason-Dixon).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
ARIZONA - CD-5: Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R) - 48%, former State Democratic Chair Harry Mitchell (D) - 45%, businessman Warren Severin (Libertarian) - 5%. (KPNX-TV/SurveyUSA).
CALIFORNIA - CD-50: Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) - 49%, college professor Francine Busby (D) - 46%, teacher Miriam Clark (Peace & Freedom) - 3%, businessman Paul King (Libertarian) - 2%. (KGTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
INDIANA - CD-8: Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) - 55%, Congressman John Hostettler (R) - 32%. (Evansville Courier & Press/Indiana State University).
MINNESOTA - CD-2: Congressman John Kline (R) - 50%, retired FBI Agent Colleen Rowley (D) - 42%, frequent candidate Doug Williams (Independence) - 5%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW MEXICO - CD-1: Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) - 53%, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) - 45%. (KOB-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: FBI RAIDS SIX SITES IN WELDON CORRUPTION PROBE.
What a difference one day makes. Until Monday, Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) adamantly denied he was the target of any FBI corruption investigation. In fact, Weldon's staff accused the Democrats, essentially, of spreading disinformation to cripple Weldon's reelection bid. The denials vanished Monday as the FBI raided six locations in two states tied to Weldon's daughter and business associates in search of incriminating evidence. FBI agents were seen exiting the six properties carrying boxes of seized items. The probe is focusing on whether Weldon used his position in office to secure lucrative lobbying contracts for his daughter -- particularly some deals in 2002-04 to help two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to the late Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. In response to the raids, Weldon said he believes the timing was politically motivated. The FBI raids are causing us to revise our rating yet again -- just one day after the last revision -- to now declare Weldon the underdog against retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak (D). Race rating: Leans DEM.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
What else is going on?

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE \PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: State Treasurer Bob Casey, Democrat for US Senate in Pennsylvania; retired electrical engineer and college professor Patrick Naugle for Pennsylvania State House District 91.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

PENNSYLVANIA: CONGRESSMAN WELDON TARGET OF FBI CORRUPTION PROBE.
Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) was already locked in a competitive contest before the news broke this weekend he is the subject of an FBI corruption investigation. The story -- originally reported by the McClatchy Newspapers, and later confirmed by the AP -- says the "Justice Department is investigating whether Weldon traded his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter. The FBI, which opened an investigation in recent months, has formally referred the matter to the Department's Public Integrity Section for additional scrutiny. At issue are Mr. Weldon's efforts between 2002 and 2004 to aid two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to strongman Slobodan Milosevic." Weldon's spokesman said the timing of the leak is suspect -- even though the Justice Department is directed by Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Suspect or not -- and coupled with Weldon's other past problems including his long-standing ties to Messianic cult leader Sung Myung Moon's Unification Church -- this adds serious complications to Weldon's re-election fight against retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak (D). Based upon this latest news, we're changing our race rating from Lean GOP to Toss-Up.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

LOUISIANA: STATE DEMS SEEK TO DUMP BILL JEFFERSON BEFORE HE'S INDICTED.
The only question involving Congressman Bill Jefferson (D-LA) is when he will be indicted on bribery charges. It's been over a year since the FBI search warrant uncovered nearly $100,000 of cash hidden in Jefferson's home freezer. Since then, one of his top aides already pled guilty to facilitating the bribes and agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors in exchange for sentencing leniency. An FBI affidavit, made public after the search, detailed the bribery scheme. On Saturday, the Louisiana Democratic Party passed over Jefferson in his bid for a ninth term. Instead, the Democratic State Central Committee endorsed State Representative Karen Carter for the seat by a 69-53 vote for the upcoming November 7 primary. Carter said she was "humbled" by the symbolic endorsement. Jefferson, by contrast, bitterly responded that "Karen Carter -- as she has always done -- has sold out the interests of local people for those of people elsewhere in our state." In addition to Carter, eleven others -- including a few other prominent political figures -- are also in the race against Jefferson. Race rating: Safe DEM (but not necessarily Jefferson).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

NORTH CAROLINA: WALL STREET JOURNAL ACCUSES REP. TAYLOR OF CORRUPTION.
The Wall Street Journal -- a generally pro-Republican newspaper -- last Wednesday ran a front-page story alleging that wealthy Congressman Charles Taylor (R-NC) "added [federal budget] earmarks to legislation to widen two highways near property he owns, to give millions to nonprofit groups run by his business partners and supporters, and to provide $3.8 million for a park in front of a downtown Asheville bank he owns." Taylor responded on Friday by threatening the sue the newspaper for libel if it did not immediately retract the story. In response, the WSJ did not retract the story. Taylor -- who has previously faced federal scrutiny for questionable foreign and banking business deals -- is locked in a highly competitive race in North Carolina's CD-11 against former pro football player Heath Shuler (D). Race rating: Toss-Up.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
MARYLAND: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 53%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MICHIGAN: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 48%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 35%. (Detroit Free Press/Selzer).
MINNESOTA: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) - 55%, Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) - 34%, former public access TV organization executive director Robert Fitzgerald (Independence) - 3%. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
VIRGINIA: US Senator George Allen (R) - 49%, former Navy Secretary Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 47%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Ind. Green) - 2%. (Washington Post).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ARKANSAS: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 50%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
CALIFORNIA: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 49%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
GEORGIA: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 57%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 32%. (Rasmussen Reports).
ILLINOIS: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) - 43%, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) - 29%, attorney Rich Whitney (Green) - 9%. (Chicago Tribune ).
ILLINOIS: Blagojevich (D) - 49%, Topinka (R) - 43%. (Rasmussen Reports).
IOWA: Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) - 46%, Congressman Jim Nussle (R) - 39%. (Des Moines Register/Selzer).
MASSACHUSETTS: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 46%, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) - 33%, businessman Christy Mihos (Independent) - 7%, affordable housing activist Grace Ross (Green) - 1%. (Suffolk University).
MICHIGAN: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 49%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 41%. (Detroit Free Press/Selzer).
MICHIGAN: Granholm (D) - 51%, DeVos (R) - 42%. (Detroit News/EPIC-MRA).
MINNESOTA: Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) - 46%, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) - 37%, former State Finance Commissioner Peter Hutchinson (Independence) - 7%. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
FLORIDA - CD-16: Venture capitalist Tim Mahoney (D) - 48%, State Representative Joe Negron (R) - 41%. (South Florida Sun Sentinel/Research 2000). [Note: This poll was worded as a choice between Mahoney and Negron, although Mark Foley's name -- not Negron's -- will actually appear on the ballot.]
MICHIGAN - CD-7: Former State Representative Tim Walberg (R) - 43%, paralegal Sharon Renier (D) - 35%. (Glengariff Group-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: NRSC WITHDRAWS FINANCIAL SUPPORT, WRITES-OFF DeWINE SEAT.
The New York Times reported Sunday night that "senior Republican leaders have concluded that US Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, a pivotal state in this year’s fierce midterm election battles, is likely to be heading for defeat and are moving to reduce [NRSC] financial support for his race and divert party money to other embattled Republican Senators, party officials said ... The decision about Mr. DeWine’s seat came after recent internal polls showed Mr. DeWine’s Democratic challenger, Representative [Sherrod] Brown, jumping to a large lead. Mr. Brown’s surge came despite a barrage of Republican advertisements intended to portray him as weak on national security -- the very line of attack that had given party officials confidence earlier this year that Mr. DeWine would be re-elected ... Republicans are now pinning their hopes of holding the Senate on three states -- Missouri, Tennessee and, with Ohio off the table, probably Virginia -- while trying to hold on to the House by pouring money into districts where Republicans have a strong historical or registration advantage, party officials said Sunday. Republicans also said they would run advertisements in New Jersey this week to test the vulnerability of Senator Robert Menendez, one of the few Democrats who appear endangered."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: NEY ENTERS GUILTY PLEA, BUT DOESN'T SUBMIT RESIGNATION.
Congressman Bob Ney -- former House Administration Committee Chair -- pled guilty on Friday to felony corruption charges related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Ney admitted he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts and trips in exchange for helping Abramoff's clients in his official capacity. Despite the guilty plea, Ney did not submit his resignation from the House. Instead, he merely said he would resign "soon." The move angered the House Republican Leadership, who wanted Ney to be gone from Congress before the mid-term elections. The Republican Leadership issued a statement that Ney would be expelled as the first order of business upon Congress returning in November following the elections if he does not immediately resign. Even Ohio State GOP Chair Bob Bennett -- who was one of Ney's strongest defenders -- said Friday that Ney is a "cancer in the Congress who needs to be removed." Ney is believed to be holding on the his job for as long as possible because of personal financial problems in the wake of the federal charges.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: ABU GHRAIB PRISON SCANDAL DID NOT INVOLVE TORTURE, SAYS SHAYS.
Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT) has been under fire recently from challenger Diane Farrell (D) and Amnesty International for comments he made about Abu Ghraib prison during a debate last week. “Now I’ve seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture,” the Congressman said. Shays also said the abuse inflicted on prisoners at Abu Ghraib was about sex, not torture. "I saw probably 600 pictures of really gross, perverted stuff. The bottom line was it was sex ... It wasn't primarily about torture," claimed Shays. A spokesperson for Amnesty International responded it was "outrageous for a sitting Congressman who was shown pictures [of Abu Ghraib] that were not even available to the public because they were supposed to be more provocative. The photographs did not only depict humiliating and degrading treatment of prisoners. They showed prisoners who were killed." The Shays-Farrell race -- a rematch of the 2004 contest -- is rated a Toss-Up.
Writer: David Jimenez - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Yup, I made it one entire day without a Foley page sex scandal update.
Also, retired Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) -- who was censured for his role in the 1983 House page scandal -- died on Saturday at age 69. To the surprise of many, he was re-elected to six-more terms in the US House after the sex scandal. Studds was also the first out gay person to serve in Congress.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.06 | Permalink |

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