Politics: May 2009 Archives

Jim Geraghty notes an interesting omission in the resume of Merrick Alpert, a Democratic primary challenger to U. S. Sen. Chris "Countrywide" Dodd. From the resume:

In 1993, he went to work for the National Health Care Campaign, organizing the State of Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma, he was hired as a policy advisor to the governor of that state.

Why not mention the Gov. by name? Geraghty finds a reason for the omission in the Wikipedia entry for David Walters:

...Walters term was controversial as numerous former campaign aides testified to illegal activities in his campaign organization. While in office he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor election violation as opposed to felony charges. He did not run for re-election in 1994.

As I reported last September, David Walters had sufficiently rehabilitated his reputation within the party to be appointed co-chair of the Democratic National Convention rules committee, so I'm surprised that a Democratic primary candidate in the northeast would feel the need to obscure a connection to him.

NotOneRedCentBlogAdLarge.jpgConservative Republican activists have long been wary of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a political organization controlled by the Republican caucus in the U. S. Senate. The NRSC's official purpose is to help the Republican Party gain and maintain a majority in the Senate.

In Pennsylvania in 2004 and in Rhode Island in 2006, the NRSC invested resources to prop up liberal Republicans against conservative challengers. U. S. Rep Pat Toomey lost the 2004 Pennsylvania Republican primary to incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter by less than 2% of the vote. While Specter won re-election, he switched parties a few weeks ago and will be running for re-election this year as a Democrat. Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee won renomination in 2006 over Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey by a 53-47 margin. Chafee lost the general and left the Republican Party. (Laffey has written a book about the experience: Primary Mistake.)

You could make a case for the NRSC supporting incumbent Republicans, although it's a weak case if those incumbents oppose conservative Republican stances on nearly every issue.

But now the NRSC has gone one step beyond: The NRSC has endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a moderate, against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a conservative, in an open primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. No one has a problem with Crist entering the race, but the NRSC ought to let Florida Republicans make the decision rather than intervening on behalf of one candidate, and the least conservative of the two at that. Crist recently signed an anti-tax pledge as a Senate candidate, just as he's getting ready to break his pledge to Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes as governor.

Leading conservative voices in the blogosphere have responded vigorously. Erick Erickson of RedState has launched a Facebook group: Not one penny to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Robert Stacy McCain has set up a special blog to track the NRSC boycott called Not One Red Cent.

The only thing these committees understand is money. If the money dries up, they'll have some incentive to change their ways.

UPDATE: Erickson says he's getting pressured to shut down the "Not one penny" group.

From homeschooling mom's Susie Dutcher's testimony to the U. S. Senate Finance Committee in 1999:

I would love to put more dollars into our retirement account, for example, but I'm forced to put them into your Social Security trust fund, which I don't trust. I'd like to buy more books for Lincoln, Elizabeth, and Mary Margaret, and put more money in their college fund, but you've already seen fit to use that money funding closed-captioning for the Jerry Springer show. I'd love to get ballet lessons for Elizabeth, but my money is tied up buying food stamps for the deceased. I'd love to give more money to support our church's missionary in Albania, or the free medical clinic in Oklahoma City, but instead I'm forced to fund fish farming in Arkansas and Social Security disability payments for escaped convicts. Call us greedy, but my husband and I would like for the most part to make our own choices concerning the fruit of our labor. But naturally, under threat of imprisonment, we defer to your choices.

It's worth reading the whole thing.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from May 2009.

Politics: April 2009 is the previous archive.

Politics: July 2009 is the next archive.

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