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  Kerry's November Gift To Republicans?October 31, 2006 16:05 John Kerry needs to pipe down and stay out of the limelight. He's a terrible representative of Democrats and should not be putting himself back as the center of negative Republican attention.

For weeks, Republicans on the campaign trail have been looking for something — anything — to talk about other than the record of the Republican Congress and the way the Bush administration has conducted the war in Iraq.

Monday, they got their wish. While stumping for local Democrats in California, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., addressed students at Pasadena City College and made a comment about the education level of the soldiers in Iraq.

"You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," he said.

It was a rhetorical gift for the embattled Republican Party which is eager to run against Kerry again. The White House unusually notified the media ahead of time that the president would address the issue in remarks at today's campaign rally in Georgia.

  Republican Mudslinging On An Industrial ScaleOctober 30, 2006 22:04 First the numbers.Spending by the two party committees tells part of the story. According to the Federal Election Commission, so far in this election cycle the NRCC has spent $41.9 million attacking Democratic opponents and $5 million supporting its own candidates, roughly an 8:1 negative-to-positive ratio. The DCCC has spent $18 million and $3.1 million, respectively, for a 5:1 ratio. Most of that money on both sides is spent on television advertising.

We zoomed in for a closer look, reviewing all ads by the DCCC and NRCC that appeared since Labor Day in any of the top 101 television markets, which reach 87 per cent of American TV viewers. Copies of the ads were supplied to us by the Campaign Media Analysis Group . Of the 115 NRCC ads, we judged 91 per cent to be purely negative. The DCCC's 104 ads included 81 per cent we found to be purely negative.We found very few on either side that were all positive, but the DCCC's contained more mixed or "comparative" ads –a mix of positive statements about the supported candidate and negative statements about the opponent.

What stood out in the NRCC's ads was a pronounced tendency to be petty and personal, and sometimes careless with the facts. We found 29 of the NRCC's ads to be assaults of a personal nature on a candidate's character or private professional dealings, rather than critiques of his or her views or votes while in federal, state or local office. Applying the same screen to the DCCC, we came up with 15 such ads, and several of those were comparative, rather than purely negative. We'd note, and leave for our readers to judge its relevance, that since there are more GOP incumbents than Democratic ones, the Republicans' opponents may be individuals who don't have voting records to attack.

We first noticed the NRCC's proclivity for hitting below the belt even before the fall campaign season kicked off, in the special election for convicted Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's open seat in California last spring. Multiple NRCC attacks on Democrat Francine Busby included a mailer that likened her to "dangerous" and "irresponsible" teenage drunk drivers. She lost by 5 points in the June 6 special election and is currently the Democratic candidate in the Nov. 7 general election.
  America Loses If Democrats Win, President SaysOctober 30, 2006 22:01 Too late, Mr. Bush... America already lost because you won the last couple of times!

Using the war in Iraq as a backdrop to launch some of his toughest campaign attacks yet, President Bush said today that Democrats were more concerned with pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq than with winning the war.

On a day that illustrated the challenges the Republicans face as they try to retain House and Senate majorities one week from Tuesday, the president went to the heart of the issues that have helped him and his party come out on top in the two previous national elections: the war, conservative social causes and taxes.

Citing Democratic votes opposing him on key anti-terrorism measures, Bush said that when it came to eavesdropping on suspected terrorists, detaining or trying them, the Democrats "just say no." "So, when the Democrats ask for your vote, what's your answer?" Bush said at a rally at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

"Just say no!" the crowd roared.

The office of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), responded tersely: "Contrary to the president's intentions, Americans are just saying 'no' to his administration's no plan, no end approach to Iraq."

At least 5,000 people, who by last Friday morning had scooped up their tickets from Republican Party campaigns, filled the arena at the first of two rallies that Bush addressed today. From Georgia, he flew to Houston, delivering another round of rough-edged attacks based on his primary mission this week: Getting core Republican voters riled up and headed to the polls.
  Sorry, Liberals: These Aren't Your Grandfathers' DemocratsOctober 30, 2006 11:35 National Review Editor Rich Lowry recently noted an explosion of "precriminations" among Republicans looking to assign blame for GOP losses in advance of Election Day. Blogger Glenn Reynolds offered a "pre-mortem" along similar lines. And the media have already started "pre-celebrating" the Democratic victory they expect Nov. 7. In the same spirit, let me offer a "pre-bunking" of the liberal gloating should the Democrats win big.

Liberal elites will be eager to cast Democratic gains as vindication of blue-state sanity over red-state religious radicalism. They will proclaim a new mandate for everything from fast withdrawal from Iraq to embryonic stem-cell research to gay marriage. Ironically, the only way Democrats can actually win is by sounding an awful lot like President Bush. But the truth is that if they take back the Congress, they will have exhausted their mandate simply by being "not Bush."

For example, conventional wisdom holds that Democrats are energized by opposition to the Iraq war. And though most Democratic leaders — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. John Murtha, Sen. John Kerry et al. — back a rapid pullout, a Washington Post survey of the 59 most competitive races in August found that a majority of Democratic congressional and senatorial candidates sided with the president and opposed the "get out now" wing of the party.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is the most glaring example of this dynamic. The fire-breathing purists succeeded in denying the pro-war Democrat his party's nomination. But now that Lieberman is running as an independent, Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee, is bound for a drubbing and Lieberman's "Joementum" might even have Republican coattails.

Even many Democrats running against the war are not your typical McGovernites. Tammy Duckworth's congressional campaign in Illinois is based almost entirely on her service in the Iraq war (in which she lost both legs). On virtually every other issue, however, she tries not to say anything that sounds too liberal.
  Contribute to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign CommitteeOctober 30, 2006 09:37 I just contributed a small amount to the DSCC because they are doubling your contribution today. Contribute now to help turn the political tide in the US.
  Limbaugh Mocks Michael J. Fox Political AdOctober 25, 2006 10:24 Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, appears in a TV ad for a Senate candidate who supports stem-cell research, and the severe shaking and stiffness associated with the disease are evident in his movements. But conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has accused the actor of exaggerating his symptoms for the camera.

Commenting on Fox's commercial for Missouri Senate challenger Claire McCaskill, Limbaugh said on his syndicated radio program Tuesday, "He is moving around and shaking, and it is purely an act."

Limbaugh later said on the show, "If this was not an act, then I apologize." He also went on to say, however, that Fox is allowing his illness to be exploited.

Fox's rep, John Rogers, called Limbaugh's remarks "shameful," USA Today reports. "It's an appalling, sad statement. Anybody who understands Parkinson's disease knows it's because of the medicine that one experiences" involuntary movements like those Fox shows in the commercial.
  Ohio Less Friendly To Republicans NowOctober 25, 2006 09:01 Articles like this are somewhat misleading. The Republicans still control the House, Senate, and White House, after all.

It's tough being a Republican in Ohio these days.

The state that sealed the re-election of President Bush in 2004 used to be a shining example of how the Republican Party could dominate even though voters in the state, like voters nationwide, tended to support both Republicans and Democrats more or less equally.

Two weeks before the mid-term election, the climate for Republicans in Ohio is so bad incumbents can't escape criticism even from the party faithful. National leaders are desperately hoping Ohio will not set a trend for the country in November 7's national election for control of Congress.

"The party is definitely in a shameful place," James Hagedorn, the Republican chief executive of lawn and garden product supplier Scott's Miracle-Gro, told fellow executives at a breakfast honoring the pro-business policies of imperiled Republican Rep. Deb Pryce.

Voter opposition to the Iraq war, a wave of political scandals in Washington and plummeting approval ratings for the Republican-led Congress have taken a toll on Republicans nationwide. A struggling economy adds to woes in Ohio.

Pryce won 60 percent of the vote in her Columbus-area district two years ago but is now in the fight of her 14-year career against Democratic challenger Mary Jo Kilroy.
  Candidate Says He Won'T Quit If ChargedOctober 24, 2006 23:22 A Republican congressional candidate whose campaign was linked to an intimidating letter sent to Hispanic voters said Tuesday he would not quit the race if he is charged with a crime.

"If you're innocent and somebody charges you, would you give up? No, you've got to fight," said Tan Nguyen, who is seeking to unseat five-term Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez in California's 47th Congressional District.

"Innocent people can be persecuted," he told The Associated Press.

The state Department of Justice has opened a voting rights investigation into the letter sent to certain Democratic voters in Orange County.

  Republican Candidate Reportedly Bought Voter List For Controversial LetterOctober 24, 2006 23:20 Congressional candidate Tan Nguyen personally bought the list of voters to whom a racially charged letter was mailed, warning that immigrants could be jailed or deported for voting, according to the president of the company that sold the list and sources familiar with the still-unfolding investigation.

Nguyen requested information on registered Democrats in the central Orange County Congressional district with Spanish surnames who were born outside the United States, according to people familiar with a state investigation into the letter. Nguyen, a Republican, is running an underdog campaign against Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez.

ADVERTISEMENT"The only thing I can really say is, the candidate purchased the data, which he had a legal right to do, and if he went and did something illegal with it, he's going to have to answer for it," said Jim Hayes, president of Burbank-based Political Data Inc., the largest voter information broker in the state. Hayes met with investigators and provided them with the same information last week, sources said.

Nguyen, who has drawn national scorn for his campaign's role in the mailing, maintains that he had nothing to do with the letter's production or distribution, saying a campaign office manager misappropriated the list. Nguyen fired the worker last week but said Sunday that he had offered to rehire her because he came to believe that the letter was accurate and did not violate the law.

Separately, sources have told The Times that a Los Angeles Police Department officer who is close to Nguyen used an alias to order the letter produced and then paid $4,000 for it on his credit card.
  Republican Terror Strategy No Longer FoolproofOctober 20, 2006 21:34 Republicans skillfully parlayed the threat of terrorism into victories in back-to-back elections. The strategy may not be fail-safe this year.

The GOP's upper-hand as the party voters trust more to protect the country has vanished. That's left Democrats maneuvering for the advantage on national security in the campaign homestretch and Republicans seeking to regain footing on what is supposed to be their most salient issue.

"An enemy still plots and plans to attack the American people," President Bush says, warning voters on the campaign trail. "If we were to follow the Democrats' prescriptions and withdraw from Iraq, we would be fulfilling Osama bin Laden's highest aspirations."

With such dire talk that Democrats dismiss as fearmongering, Republicans again are trying to make the case that Democrats would endanger the country if they assumed control of the House and Senate after a dozen years of the GOP in power.

  Local GOP Blasts State AttackOctober 19, 2006 18:27 Kent County Republican leaders are calling on state party Chairman Saul Anuzis to apologize for continued "insulting" attacks on the character of the Rev. Robert Dean, a Grand Rapids Democrat seeking a state House seat.

The state party has mailed at least four fliers targeting Dean's character and integrity -- including information about two arrests in the past 30 years -- during his run against Republican candidate Tim Doyle, an assistant Kent County prosecutor.

In a letter to The Press and in a conversation with Anuzis, the chairman of the party's Third District said party supporters and voters do not appreciate negative campaigning. That letter appears today on page A15. A Public Pulse letter criticizing the campaign fliers appears on A14.
  GOP Worker Fired For Role In Latino Voter IntimidationOctober 19, 2006 18:25 Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen acknowledged today that an employee in his campaign was involved in sending out a letter intended to suppress Latino voter turnout in Orange County in next month's election, but said he had no knowledge of it and that the employee has been fired.

The disclosure came one day after the state attorney general's office began focusing on Nguyen's campaign as the source of the letter. At the same time, Republican officials today distanced themselves from Nguyen, with several calling for him to bow out of his underdog campaign to unseat Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove.

Nguyen has hired a lawyer and said that he expected to meet with investigators from the state attorney general's office today.

Addressing questions about the letter for the first time, Nguyen said his office manager "took it upon herself to allow our database to be used to send out the letter."

"It was disseminated without my authorization or approval," he said.
  Weldon's Ties To Serbian Businessman Part Of ProbeOctober 18, 2006 09:17 Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade were surprised three years ago to be invited to a luncheon in honor of visiting Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), hosted by Bogoljub Karic, a wealthy Serbian businessman who had been barred from visiting or trading with the United States because of his close ties to former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Weldon "was visiting solely because of Karic," whom he was trying to get off the U.S. blacklist, a former senior embassy official familiar with the visit concluded. "It seemed odd" at the time, because Karic had no obvious tie to Weldon's district outside Philadelphia, and Weldon should have known the embassy was shunning contacts with him, the official said.

What the embassy apparently did not know is that the Karic family that year signed a contract with Weldon's daughter, Karen, and a business partner that called for monthly payments of $20,000 for "management, government and public relations," according to a copy of the March 2003 contract. In all, the family paid Karen Weldon's firm $133,858 that year for efforts she undertook to set up a foundation for it.
  Sponsor Of Page Questioned By House Ethics Committee - Iht,America,Us Congress ScandalOctober 18, 2006 09:14 The sex scandal that has hurt Republicans in the polls expanded on two fronts Wednesday, as the ethics committee continued its investigation and the congressman at the center of the scandal planned to reveal the name of a clergyman he says molested him as a teenager.

Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned last month after he was confronted with sexually explicit electronic communications he had sent to male teenage congressional assistants, called pages. The ethics panel in the House of Representatives is investigating his actions and questions about how the Republican leadership handled the matter.

Recent polls show that both issues have contributed to a decline in Republican popularity just three weeks before the Nov. 7 elections, when all 435 House seats are up for a vote and Democrats hope to regain control of Congress.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, Foley's attorney, Gerald Richman, said Tuesday that the former congressman would reveal to the Archdiocese of Miami the name of the Roman Catholic priest he says abused him.

  Angie Paccione For CongressOctober 17, 2006 15:48
File[Angie Paccione for Colorado District 4]
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Angie Paccione for Colorado District 4
We definitely endorse Angie Paccione for Colorado Congressional District 4. Even if Marilyn Musgrave wasn't all out lying in her attack ads directed at Paccione, we agree with her committment to 'fully fund' education. It's about time.
  Musgrave's Campaign Rails Against Paccione's Hair Salon BillsOctober 17, 2006 09:33 Musgrave must be in trouble if she's going after the hair...

They've been going at each other in televised attack ads for weeks, now there's a new battleground in the race for Colorado's Fourth Congressional district: The hair salon.

Republican Representative Marilyn Musgrave's campaign says it will file a complaint over Democratic rival Angie Paccione's trips to the hair salon before appearances at a fundraiser and a news conference.

Musgrave's campaign manager, Shaun Kenney, says the $424 expense for salon services violates federal election rules barring campaign expenditures on personal use.
  Calif. Democrat Keeps His Sights AheadOctober 17, 2006 09:15 Despite trailing in fundraising and public opinion polls, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides said Monday that this year's race has been dominated by his ideas not those of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"I mean, thank God I'm in this race. It's the only reason we've gotten three months of any kind of action from this governor that makes sense for Californians," Angelides told The Associated Press.

In an interview, Angelides fought the notion that his campaign has been too reactive, saying many of the governor's accomplishments on typically Democratic issues in this election year were originally his ideas.

He said he was first to propose doubling the number of school counselors an idea the governor adopted within weeks. He said he was first to propose lowering college tuition and fees; the governor froze fees this year for the University of California and California State University and lowered them for community colleges.

  Swallowing The Blue Pill: Frank Talk On Race And Fascism In The USOctober 17, 2006 09:08 As the US veers on a radical course toward fascism, the Democrats, who are riding high on a national wave of revulsion against the Bush regime, breathe not a word about reversing the legalization of torture or restoring habeas corpus; they say nothing about reversing the Patriot Act, nothing about averting war in Iran, and nothing of substance about pulling out of Iraq.

Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi speaks coyly about not knowing where investigations of Republican abuses might lead, but has no intention whatsoever of “endangering” Democrat’s chances of winning the White House in 2008 with a move, like impeachment, that might appear “radical” to swing voters.

That’s the excuse, at least. The reality is that Pelosi knows the simple truth: to indict Bush is to indict the entire US government before the eyes of the world – including the Democrats, who are up to their throats in complicity in the Iraq war and in fascistic legislation like the Patriot Act. Besides, to indict Bush over Iraq would mean the Democrats would undercut their own plans to blow the bloody hell out of Iran.

With the leadership – or the stalemate - of the empire “safely” in Democrat hands, white left-liberals may well revert to the guilty stupor they embraced during the Clinton years, at least until war is unleashed against Iran.
  Number, Cost Of Government Workers Growing Fast, Study SaysOctober 16, 2006 12:54 Interesting article on the growth of the government workforce. Curiously, the time period selected does not reflect much of the Clinton reduction in the size of the government after the end of the Cold War.
  Capitol Power Shift Would Also Be Felt Along Wall StreetOctober 16, 2006 12:13 For those of you in Canada or outside the United States, I think it's important to review what's at stake with the U.S. fall elections. We're just a few weeks away from the first Tuesday in November and this is when the fun really starts.

Let's begin with a few basics, as I doubt most foreigners, or Americans for that matter, understand how this messy process works. For medium-term investors, changes in government policy, especially on capital gains and dividends, can mean everything.

A little civics lesson first. Article 1, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states, "All Legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." It's the very first section, very first article and charges Congress with making law.

The United States has federal elections for Congress every two years. Every two years, the entire U.S. House of Representatives is up for election. Every two years, the U.S. Senate has a third of its members up for election. Therefore, a U.S. House member or Congressman has a term of two years, but a U.S. Senator has a term of six years.

  Contracostatimes.Com | 10/15/2006 | Authors Describe Shambles Of Congressional SystemOctober 15, 2006 20:28 Even before the Mark Foley scandal broke, the 109th Congress was suffering from intense partisanship, legislative impasses and near-record-low public approval ratings. Incumbents are scrambling for re-election in the Nov. 7 general election, in which the Republican majorities in both houses are at risk. Regardless of the outcome, few lawmakers expect to rack up enough triumphs in the Nov. 13 lame-duck session to send the 109th Congress into the history books with high marks.

Two of the most knowledgeable congressional scholars are Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. Their new book is "The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track." They recently answered questions about their findings and views.
  Another Blow To The Republicans?October 14, 2006 18:42 The guilty plea and planned resignation of Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney is more of a symbolic blow to the GOP and its hopes for maintaining control of Congress than a substantive one.

Ney pleaded guilty in a Washington courtroom today to conspiracy and making false statements.

He got caught up in the wide-ranging federal investigation into corruption that involved the once-powerful Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff faces jail time stemming from his efforts to defraud his clients and curry favor with lawmakers.

Democrats for months have tried to make corruption part of their overall call for change as part of a rhetorical attack on the party that has dominated Washington for most of the last six years.
  Defining Terms Like `Cut And Run'October 13, 2006 10:03 I read with interest the Sept. 30 letter about the short memory of the cut and run crowd. Imagine leaving Iraq before the mission is accomplished and where will the world be if the Islamo-fascist terrorists succeed in Iraq.

Funny, but I thought the mission was accomplished when George Bush, in one of his grandest photo-op moments, landed a jet fighter on the deck of an aircraft carrier, flight suit and all, and proclaimed mission accomplished.

It also seems that a couple years ago, the former head of Halliburton and current VP Dick Cheney said the insurgency was in its final throes. Seems to me, and to people investigating these matters, that not only are things getting worse but they can only continue to grow worse through the rest of this year and far into 2007 and beyond.

You see, doing the right job and doing the job right are two separate issues. A few questions need to be answered by our current administration. It had the backing of everyone in this country and almost every country in the world after 9-11. Why does Bush think this has all changed?

  Republican Pleads Guilty to Bribery in OHOctober 13, 2006 09:59 Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty Friday to bribery charges stemming from the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation.

Ney confessed his wrongdoing before U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in a federal courthouse a few blocks distant from the Capitol, where until recently he wielded a chairman‘s gavel.

Inside the courtroom, Huvelle spent nearly a half-hour asking the sandy-haired, red-faced congressman a series of questions about whether he understood the charges and agreed that he had taken money, gifts and favors in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff and his clients.

Asked how he pleaded to the count of false statements, he replied, "I plead guilty, your honor."

  Disgraced GOP Pol Foley Again Mislabeled As A DemocratOctober 12, 2006 14:06 It looks like another conservative media outlet has mislabeled disgraced Republican Mark Foley as a Democrat., a conservative Web site with content that includes syndicated columns, posted a Foley piece by Ronald Kessler yesterday that initially called the former Florida Congressman a Democrat. The error was eventually fixed but no formal correction made, according to
This was similar to what happened last week on the Fox News show hosted by conservative Bill O'Reilly, who also writes a column for Creators Syndicate. "The O'Reilly Factor" showed a photo of Foley mislabeling him a Democrat, removed the erroneous identification in re-broadcasts, but didn't air a formal correction the next day. The show did accurately label Foley a Republican in subsequent mentions.
  Democrat Warner Will Not Seek White HouseOctober 12, 2006 09:38 Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, considered a prime contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, will announce on Thursday he will not seek the White House, sources close to his campaign said.

Warner plans an announcement in Richmond, Virginia, later in the morning, the sources said.

"He has just decided this is not the right time of life," one source said. "He has been running 1,000 miles an hour for 10 years."

Warner, a moderate Democrat who enjoyed high approval ratings in the southern state of Virginia during his stint as governor, was considered a strong potential alternative to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton if she gets in the race.
  Blackwell Denies Politicizing Election RoleOctober 11, 2006 13:43 Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell defended himself against Democratic charges that he has been too political in his role as Ohio's chief election officer in a meeting Tuesday with The Enquirer's editorial board.

And the Ohio secretary of state said he doesn't believe a report in investigative reporter Bob Woodward's new book quoting President Bush as calling him "a nut."

Some Democrats were critical of Blackwell after the 2004 presidential election, saying he tried to suppress voter turnout, which they say cost John Kerry the presidential election.

"I'm an independent operator when it comes to doing my job," Blackwell told the editorial board. "I've ticked off people on both sides."

Democratic complaints about his acting as Bush's 2004 campaign chairman in Ohio while acting as chief elections officer are unfounded, Blackwell said, saying that three of his predecessors as secretary of state - Republican Bob Taft and Democrats Anthony Celebrezze and Sherrod Brown - also took leadership roles in presidential campaigns.
  A Special Comment About LyingOctober 10, 2006 17:06 Keith Olbermann on the difference between terrorists and critics.
  In Americans' Opinion, Congress Morally DriftsOctober 10, 2006 10:45 Americans say that Republican congressional leaders put their political interests ahead of protecting the safety of teenage pages and that House leaders knew of Mark Foley's sexually charged messages to pages well before he was forced to quit Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

The poll, completed before North Korea announced that it had detonated a nuclear test device, also found that the war in Iraq was continuing to take a toll on President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, and that the White House was having difficulty retaining its edge in handling terrorism.

The number of Americans who approve of Bush's handling of the campaign against terrorism dropped to 46 percent from 54 percent over the past two weeks, suggesting that he failed to gain any political lift from an orchestrated set of ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, the poll shows that Americans are now evenly divided over which party they think can better handle terrorism, despite a concerted White House effort to seize the advantage on the issue this month.

With four weeks left before Election Day, the poll indicates that the scandal involving Foley, a former congressman from Florida, is alienating Americans from Congress and weakening a Republican Party that was already struggling to keep control of the House and Senate.

By overwhelming numbers, including majorities of Republicans, Americans said that most members of Congress did not follow the same rules of behavior as average Americans and that most members of Congress considered themselves above the law.
  Democrats Poised For US Senate GainsOctober 06, 2006 10:16 Democrats are poised for U.S. Senate gains in the Nov. 7 election, but face an uphill battle to pick up the six seats they need for control, according to Reuters/Zogby polls released on Thursday.

Democrats lead in five of 10 crucial Senate battlegrounds, including three Republican-held seats in Pennsylvania, Montana and Rhode Island and in Democratic-held Maryland and New Jersey.

But Republican incumbents lead in Virginia and Missouri, and Senate contests in Republican-held Ohio and Tennessee are deadlocked, the polls showed.

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, running as an independent, has a big lead over Democrat Ned Lamont.

To gain a Senate majority, Democrats must hold their own vulnerable seats and sweep six of the seven at-risk Republican seats, including knocking off five Republican incumbents -- a tough but not impossible task.

  Chronology Of Events In Foley CaseOctober 05, 2006 10:07 Important dates involving the messages that ex-Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., reportedly sent to then-current or former House pages.
  Tracy Press - Bush Helps Pombo Raise $400KOctober 04, 2006 12:47 For the record, Richard Pombo is more about fighting the Endangered Species Act than about fighting terrorists.

President George W. Bush told about 600 well-heeled supporters Tuesday to vote for seven-term Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, if they want to hold onto tax cuts, win the war in Iraq, and end the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

“We will fight in Iraq and we will win in Iraq,” said Bush to loud cheers at the breakfast fundraiser at the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium.

Bush was in town to raise money for Pombo, who’s in a competitive race for the 11th Congressional District seat with Democrat Jerry McNerney, a Pleasanton wind-energy engineer.

The fundraiser generated about $400,000, said Pombo campaign manager Carl Fogliani. Pombo has already been helped to at least a $2 million fundraising lead over McNerney, in part by local fundraisers featuring the vice president, speaker of the house and senate majority leader.

In a 20-minute speech, Bush praised the congressman and urged support for his anti-terror campaign and the war in Iraq, and slammed Democrats as people who will raise taxes.

“If you don’t want terrorists to attack the U.S. again, I urge you to send Richard Pombo back to the U.S. Congress,” Bush said.
  Congress Has Little To Show As It AdjournsOctober 03, 2006 11:36 Members of Congress recessed early Saturday, then dashed out of Washington, D.C., to leap into their re-election campaigns.

They left behind a staggering record of unfinished work, including immigration reform, Social Security reform and fixes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
It is not a record that members of Congress should be proud citing in their re-election bids. Two nonpartisan analysts say this Congress has set a modern-day record for brevity and nonachievement.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. In November 2004, President Bush was re-elected and Republicans widened their margins of control in both houses of Congress.
In his first speech of 2005, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., outlined a sweeping vision of action, predicting that "big plans will stir men's blood."


During the past two years, Bush and Congress gave up or scaled back much on the initiatives they had promised to deliver.

There was no remake of Social Security, though all agree the trust fund is headed for disaster unless changes are made.
Rep. Jim Kolbe, an Arizona Republican who is leaving after 22 years in Washington, tried to steer through a Social Security reform plan but found little interest among his colleagues.
  Voter Reaction May Hand Majority To DemocratsOctober 03, 2006 11:27 Republican strategists said Monday that public revulsion over the sexually graphic e-mails between former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and former House pages could compound the party's problems enough to tip the House to the Democrats in November and jeopardizes the party's hold on the Senate as well.

As House GOP leaders defended their role in handling revelations that forced Foley on Friday to give up his House seat, party strategists said the scandal threatens to depress turnout among Christian conservatives and could hamper efforts to convince undecided and swing voters that Republicans deserve to remain in the majority.

Among social conservative activists in Washington on Monday, there was intense anger and calls for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to resign.

Republican operatives closely following the battle for the House and Senate said they are virtually ready to concede nearly one-third of the 15 seats the Democrats need to recapture control of the House, and that they will spend the next five weeks trying to shelter other vulnerable incumbents from the fallout of the Foley scandal in hopes of salvaging a slender majority.

Districts where Republicans have effectively walked off the field include Foley's own district in West Palm Beach. House Majority Leader John Boehner said in a radio interview with conservative commentator Sean Hannity that the party's replacement candidate is virtually doomed: Because of ballot procedures in Florida, ``to vote for this candidate, you have to vote for Mark Foley. How many people are going to hold their nose to do that?''
  Foley's Office Tried To Cut A Deal With ABC To Supress IM'sOctober 02, 2006 20:25 The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley's former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.

"I said we're not making any deals," Ross recalls. He says the Internet made the story possible, because on Thursday he posted a story on his ABC Web page, the Blotter, after obtaining one milder e-mail that Foley had sent a 16-year-old page, asking for a picture. Within two hours, former pages had e-mailed Ross and provided the salacious messages. The only question then, says Ross, was "whether this could be authenticated."
  Fallout From The Foley AffairOctober 02, 2006 15:48 As Republicans try to calculate the political damage the party could suffer from the sexual scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley and congressional pages, the White House has said, in effect, everyone should chill out and make sure of the facts.

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said a lot of people — presumably he was referring to Democrats — were "trying to figure out, 'OK, can I get political advantage out of this?'"

Snow said, "Let's take it one step at a time. There will always be time for people to call for investigations and so on. Frankly, I think we just need to get to the facts."

The president's spokesman acknowledged that "it's a terrible story, and I think people deserve to figure out what went on."

Republicans are among those calling for a sweeping look into how their leaders handled the Foley affair after they learned that he had sent what they call "over-friendly" e-mails to a 16-year-old boy from Louisiana.

New York Rep. Thomas Reynolds, who is leading his party's re-election effort in the House, said he told House Speaker Denis Hastert months ago about the e-mails.