Thursday Quick Hits
Larry Sabato offers his latest look at the 2008 Senate races, and makes the very safe judgment that seven seats will be "probably competitive contests": CO, ME, MN,NH, and OR for the GOP, and LA and SD for the Dems. Yawn. At least Sabato notes retirement possibilities among Stevens, Craig, Cochran, Hagel, and Warner, as well as references Stevens' and Domenici's scandals and Dole's "shaky" footing.
Maine: Back in 2002, Susan Collins loved George W. Bush and the politics of Iraq. Susan, what's changed? Aren't you going to have George W. Bush come to Maine and stump for you and discuss how well things are going in Iraq? To answer that, all Collins can sputter is, "I don't anticipate ... well, who knows?" Fortunately, Democratic Congressman Tom Allen provides Mainers with a clear choice and the opportunity for real leadership. And it doesn't hurt that Allen was right all along while Collins was more than content to vote the way Bush wanted her to.
Oregon: Want to spread the word about Gordon Smith's real record to Oregonians? Then download a handy flyer here with key Smith details:
* Gordon Smith votes with President Bush 90 percent of the time. That's the real Gordon Smith record.
* Gordon Smith has a 15 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
* Gordon Smith has a 14 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters.
* Gordon Smith has voted more than 20 times to fund and authorize the Iraq War
Colorado: In a demonstration of solid journalism, CBS-4 Denver calls the NRSC on its hackneyed ad against Congressman Mark Udall for being full of lies and half-truths. Excerpts include (emphasis added by me):
AD: HAVING UDALL IN CONGRESS IS TAXING IN 1999 HE VOTED FOR HIGHER TAXES BY 792 BILLION DOLLARSI know, I know. You're as shocked as I am that the NRSC would stoop to misleading voters on Democrats' voting records. But it happens. Kudos to CBS-4 Denver for their diligence.
Reality Check Begins
The claim is false. He didn't vote to raise taxes, he voted against a tax cut passed by a Republican Congress and vetoed by President Clinton. While critics say Udall's vote had the same effect as supporting higher taxes, the fact remains, Udall voted to maintain the status quo, which is not the same as voting for a tax hike. ...
The ad also fails to mention that Udall voted for two modest tax cut measures offered by Democrats as an alternative to the Republican bill. ...
AD: OVER 1.3 TRILLION IN 2001 AND 350 BILLION IN 2003 HIGHER TAXES ON MORE THAN 1.7 MILLION COLORADANS
The claim that Udall voted against those tax relief measures is true. Udall thought it was too much tax relief going to the wealthy. But he did agree with some of it, and voted for a democratically sponsored amendment that offered a much more scaled back tax cut.
Rhode Island: The Providence Journal declares that "Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed is probably in the best position to win reelection in 2008 of almost any incumbent senator." With the possible exception of Wyoming Republican Mike Enzi, I'd agree with ProJo's assessment. Speaking of, expect an updated list of Senators up for re-election in 2008 ranked by vulnerability coming from the Guru soon.
Idaho: I've said it before and I'll say it again: Larry Craig really is an idiot. He seems bored; perhaps he should retire from the Senate.