Although a majority of Senators support restoring habeas corpus rights, Republican obstructionism won out as the majority of Senators couldn't cross the 60-vote threshold to overcome the Republican filibuster. Among those voting against habeas corpus rights were: Lamar Alexander, John Barrasso, Thad Cochran, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Elizabeth Dole, Pete Domenici, Mike Enzi, Lindsey Graham, Jim Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, and Ted Stevens. These Republicans spat on the Constitution, the rule of law, and the right to due process. (The most notable name on the list, to me, is Susan Collins. It's just another example of how much further to the right Collins is compared to Olympia Snowe. Also, blue-stater Norm Coleman won't escape scrutiny for this vote.)
Nebraska: Former Gov. Mike Johanns is resigning his post as Secretary of Agriculture to join the crowded 2008 Republican Senate primary that also features state Attorney General Jon Bruning, former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, and businessman Pat Flynn, and could soon include businessman Tony Raimondo. Meanwhile, in anticipation of former Senator Bob Kerrey's potential entry into the race, the NRSC has already begun preparing a sleazy attack website. The NRSC musn't think too highly of those who work in the educational field because they will ostensibly be attacking the former Nebraska Governor and Senator for spending a few years out of state running the New School University in New York. It's coincidental that Republicans would focus on Kerrey's address, as a passage in the Lincoln Journal Star today stood out for me:
Johanns and his wife, Stephanie, went house-hunting over the weekend when he was in Lincoln to attend a Saturday event at which he was honored by the Nebraska Republican Party.I suppose Johanns did not keep a residence in Nebraska while he worked in Washington D.C. as Secretary of Agriculture. I certainly won't slam Johanns for leaving the state for a while to engage in public service elsewhere - it's perfectly legitimate and defensible - but I would argue that Kerrey's situation isn't much different. If the NRSC wants to make a sleazy attack out of Kerrey's out-of-state job working at a college, they ought to be prepared to discuss Johanns' own "house-hunting."
Maine: The Bangor Daily News gets half-credit for their article on Susan Collins breaking her own term-limits pledge, while other Republican Senators who made similar pledges at the same time Collins did, including Colorado's Wayne Allard and Nebraska's Chuck Hagel, are honoring their pledges. Why only half credit? Because the headline reads: "Democrats say Collins broke two-term pledge." This isn't a political attack that Democrats are waging. It is a fact. Susan Collins made a two-term pledge to the voters of Maine and now she is breaking it. It's not a matter of conjecture. It would be nice if the Bangor Daily News appropriately reported this as fact, not simply as a Democratic line. Collins Watch shares my frustration. What is doubly frustrating is that, while Collins has been accused of using Senate resources and personnel for political campaign purposes, Collins flaunts it by having this political campaign question responded to not by a campaign official but by her taxpayer-funded Senate spokeswoman [emphasis added by me]:
"This attack is a sign that despite all the money raised and spent more than a year before the election, the Allen campaign is floundering," Collins spokeswoman Jen Burita said.Ms. Burita is not on Collins' campaign staff; she is on Collins' Senate staff. So why is she fielding political campaign questions? Further, Jen, this isn't an "attack." Collins made a promise to voters and is now happily breaking her promise. And we wonder why voters are cynical.
Idaho & Louisiana: Larry Craig made his return to his Senate duties in Washington D.C. this week for the first time since his scandal broke. Headlines included: "GOP Supporters Are Hard to Find on Craig's List" and "Craig shunned on return to Senate." Quite a stark contrast from the "thunderous applause" David Vitter received when he made his return to the Senate Republican cloakroom following his scandal. Why the different reactions do you think? Hmmmm...
Idaho: Speaking of Idaho, GOP Gov. Butch Otter has interviewed "about 19 people," mostly by telephone, for the Senate appointment, should scandal-embattled Larry Craig resign at the end of the month as planned. Otter has met in person with Lt. Gov. Jim Risch and state AG Lawrence Wasden. Otter has not announced a date by which he expects to have a decision made. Otter, however, has ruled out naming a place-holder, instead intending to name an appointee who will run for Senate next year, citing the need to build up seniority. With Otter wanting to build up seniority, it may give a leg up to the 49-year-old Wasden over the 64-year-old Risch.
New Hampshire: StopSununu.com has officially launched! Meanwhile, even Sununu's Republican predecessor, former Senator Bob Smith, says popular former Governor and current Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen "is in a strong position to be the next senator from New Hampshire."
North Carolina: Public Policy Polling catches Elizabeth Dole further embarrassing herself over her hilariously questionable poll numbers.
Tennessee: Former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell will be teaching next Spring, i.e. not running for Senate. Businessman and gubernatorial son Mike McWherter remains the most likely Democrat. (HT: KnoxViews)