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."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.
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.
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!