Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday Rundown

  • If Larry Craig does decide to stick it out and not resign, Mitch McConnell is going to emphatically jack up the pressure:

    Worried that the disgraced lawmaker intends to remain in the Senate indefinitely, they are threatening to notch up the public humiliation by seeking an open ethics hearing on the restroom scandal that enveloped Craig last month.
    Whoa! An open ethics hearing? This is an option now? Really? So, if Senate leadership wanted to call for an open ethics hearing on David Vitter's past solicitation of prostitutes or Ted Stevens' possibly taking bribes for getting earmarks placed or Lisa Murkowski's sweetheart land deal or Pete Domenici's inappropriate contact with former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias or Susan Collins' possibly inappropriate use of taxpayer-funded Senate resources for political campaign purposes, they could do that? In that case, open ethics hearings for all!

  • Alaska: Speaking of Stevens, apparently Uncle Ted "Tubes" Stevens once tried to funnel $3 million in earmarked funds directly to the pocket of one of his key supporters via e-mail:

    The Anchorage Daily News reports that in 2004, state officials were puzzled by a line buried in an appropriations bill: "$2 million is for the Kenai River; $1 million for the Russian River."

    When state officials asked Stevens to clarify, his office replied with a simple email: "The $2 million for the Kenai River; and $1 million for the Russian River go to Bob Penny [sic]." Then it listed the phone number of a company founded by developer Bob Penney. That's $3 million in taxpayers' money. ...

    It shouldn't come as a surprise that Penney got such special treatment. Penney, you may recall, brought Stevens in on a Utah land deal that turned a $15,000 investment into $125,000 in just twelve months -- the same year the $3 million earmark appeared.
    I suppose it wouldn't be subtle enough for Stevens to place earmarks specifically naming the supporters he's trying to funnel money to into appropriations bills. Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report offers its recap of Stevens' political predicament.

  • Virginia: Could the VA-GOP, unhappy with their options of Tom Davis and Jim Gilmore, turn to General Peter Pace as a Senate candidate? If there is any way to make Bush's mismanagement in Iraq a more prominent issue, this would be it.

  • Minnesota: The Star Tribune puts Norm Coleman's approve-disapprove at 45-37. Another outlet pegging Coleman below 50%.

  • Georgia: Shameless Saxby Chambliss will have a Libertarian Party challenger, Allen Buckley, who received over 2% in his 2004 Senate bid and over 3% in his 2006 Lieutenant Gubernatorial bid. Buckley's website is up.

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee Chair, Tom Cole, is taking shots at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair, John Ensign:

    He added that Republicans have a better chance of winning a House majority in 2008 than they do of capturing the Senate or the White House. Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, chairman of the GOP senatorial committee, offered no response.
    Ensign "offered no response." Wow, nothing. Not a "we're two seats from reclaiming a majority" or even a "we're working hard." Nothing. No response. Way to rally that base, Ensign!


    Blogger Josh said...

    The only thing shameless in Georgia politics is the attacks of Democrats. Clearly they have no message of their own.

    2:33 PM, October 01, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Funny how you didn't mention that Norm Coleman's favorables were over 50%, or that Al Franken's unfavorables were higher than his favs.

    2:35 PM, October 01, 2007  
    Blogger keyth66 said...

    Chambliss has done a horrible job representing Georgia since he's been in washington. He supported bush's cuts to agriculture & farm subsidies. When he won in 2002 he won without presenting his vision for georgia. He only represents lobbyist & special interest interest groups not the people of Georgia. His only concern are the country clubs, corporate, & washington & it's time for him to go. I hope David Poythress does run for the senate. In a state that has a lot of military veterans he can appeal to them & their families. Plus he has political experience serving as secretary of state & labor comissioner as well running for governor in 1998 so i'm familiar with him. If no republican wants to challenge chambliss in the primaries then I will vote for the democrats nominee which I hope is Lt. General David Poythress. And this is coming from a republican voter who is fed up with chambliss' horrible voting record. David Poythress for senate 2008! It's a no brainer.

    2:46 PM, October 01, 2007  
    Blogger Taniel said...

    Just updated my Senate rankings. You can check them out here, at

    7:14 PM, October 01, 2007  
    Blogger GeorgiaValues said...

    Saxby has done a great job in Washington, supporing our troops, pushing for fiscal responsibility, and working to secure our borders.

    Mr. Poythress was defeated as an incumbant by Max Cleland many years ago, and placed third in the primary during his failed gubernatorial bid. He is not the electoral powerhouse some desperate democrats are trying to make him out to be.

    I suggest that the democrats be happy with the candidates they have already in the race and admit that they are an accurate representation of the health of the Democratic party in Georgia.

    Saxby will be reelected regardless of who they throw up against him because he has done a great job and his conservative values are in line with this Red State.

    9:46 AM, October 02, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    Saxby Chambliss could have a plan to end world poverty, but linking a former war hero with Osama bin Laden is heartless and classless.

    4:29 PM, October 02, 2007  

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