Archive for the ‘Accomack Dem Committee’ category


December 5, 2011

Santorum’s Ineffective Campaign

Ben Smith highlights the “saddest statistic” from Des Moines Register poll which asked, “Which of the candidates have you seen in person before the caucuses?”

“Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum got 12%. Santorum has run a traditional, all-in Iowa campaign, practically moving to the state and visiting each of its counties. Romney has been there four times this year.”


Being Chelsea Clinton

The New York Times runs an interesting profile of Chelsea Clinton and how she has stopped “pretending she was not Chelsea Clinton.”

“It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.”


Bonus Quote of the Day

“Don’t ever get involved in politics if you require winning an election to pay your mortgage or if your kids are young — you don’t want money to shape your views, and you don’t want your kids’ heads turned by the attention politicians sometimes receive.”

— Mitt Romney, in an interview with Parade, on advice given to him by his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney.


Gingrich Storms Ahead in Iowa

A new NBC News/Marist Poll in Iowa finds Newt Gingrich jumping into the lead of the Republican presidential pack with 26%, followed by Mitt Romney at 18%, Ron Paul at 17%, Herman Cain at 9%, Rick Perry at 9%, Michele Bachmann at 5%, Rick Santorum at 5% and Jon Huntsman at 2%.

With Herman Cain not in the race, it’s Gingrich at 28% followed by Paul and Romney with 19%.

Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “As the roller coaster picks up speed in the month leading up to the Iowa caucus, Newt Gingrich has moved into the lead car. Hold on tight for any further twists and turns.”


Romney Keeps Lead in New Hampshire

A new NBC News-Marist Poll in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney with a large lead in the GOP presidential race with 39%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 23%, Ron Paul at 16% and Jon Huntsman at 9%. No other candidate received more than 3% support.

Notes pollster Lee Miringoff: “Romney is down, Cain has collapsed, and the undecided have dropped since October. In the meantime, Gingrich has emerged as a serious threat to Romney’s must-win, first-in-the-nation primary.”


Quote of the Day

“I’ve been watching some of these Republican debates and they’re just terrible. Terrible. It’s embarrassing for me as a Republican to watch this stuff.”

— Former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO), in an interview with KTRS.


Reconsidering Perry and Huntsman

George Will: “Obama is running as Harry Truman did in 1948, against Congress, but Republicans need not supply the real key to Truman’s success — Tom Dewey. Confident that Truman was unelectable, Republicans nominated New York’s chilly governor, whose virtues of experience and steadiness were vitiated by one fact: Voters disliked him. Before settling for Romney, conservatives should reconsider two candidates who stumbled early on.”

His alternatives: Rick Perry, whose “political assets remain his Texas record and Southwestern zest for disliking Washington and Wall Street simultaneously and equally,” and Jon Huntsman, who “inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative.”


Romney Builds for Long Nomination Fight

With Newt Gingrich fortifying his position in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, theWashington Post reports Mitt Romney’s campaign “has been announcing volunteer networks in such places as Delaware, Indiana and Montana, where contests occur months after the trio of early states.

“The Romney campaign believes organization will be particularly critical because of changes in the nominating process. In the past, the winner of a state — or, in some cases, the top vote-getter in each congressional district — won all the delegates. But in 2012, most of the 30 states that hold contests before April 1 will award delegates proportionally. The ones that will come after will still be winner-takes-all.”

“That means a candidate could lose a number of states but still remain competitive in the race to gain the majority of the 2,427 delegates at stake.”


Barbour Says Perry Still Has a Chance

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) tells the New York Times that it’s not clear Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.

Said Barbour: “I don’t think it’s clear. I think people make the mistake of writing off Rick Perry and believe he can’t come back. He’s got a mountain to get over, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Both Newt and Romney have a lot of support, but I don’t think it’s a two-man race. I think Perry could get back in it with Gingrich and Romney. I can’t look you in the eye and say nobody else can come up. You’ve got to learn your lesson this year not to say that about anybody.”

He added: “I haven’t decided who is the best nominee for the party. I can see how either one of them could be the best nominee. But I think it is premature to write off Perry. He is a very successful governor. This is very unpredictable. I’ve never seen a nomination on our side like this.”


Huntsman Urged to Make Third Party Bid

Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman (R), who is leading a group to draft a third-party presidential candidate, is encouraging Jon Huntsman to make an independent bid for the White House, Politico reports.

Said Whitman: “I would hope he would do it, frankly. He’s someone that I would support.”

In an interview earlier this week, Huntsman would not rule out an independent bid.


Huntsman Hits Romney

Jon Huntsman put out a brutal video highlighting Mitt Romney’s flip-flops.

See more…


It’s a Reality Show

Donald Trump is teaming up with Newsmax to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa on December 27, the New York Times reports.

The debate will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television and “is sure to be one of the more memorable moments in a primary season that has already delivered its fair share of circus-like spectacle.”

Dan Amira: “This actually seems like a pickle for the serious candidates in the GOP field. Do you attend and risk tainting your gravitas among moderates by answering insane questions from a birther reality TV star? Or do you beg off but risk alienating the GOP base, which reads Newsmax and for some reason doesn’t realize how much of a joke Trump has become?”


Nelson Leads Mack in Florida

Though several recent polls have shown a close race in Florida for U.S. Senate, the latestPublic Policy Polling survey shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leading likely challenger Connie Mack (R) by double-digits, 46% to 35%.

Key findings: “Nelson has two big things going for him in a match against Mack. One is that he wins 14% of the Republican vote, an unusual amount of crossover support for a Democrat. The other is that he has a 42/33 advantage with independent voters. 22% of Republicans are undecided compared to only 13% of Democrats so this race will likely tighten up once the GOP unites around a candidate, but for now Nelson has a healthy lead.”


How Gingrich Got Wealthy

A must-read piece in Roll Call:

“Fifteen years after coming to Congress, Gingrich was earning more than 60 times the income he reported in the year before his swearing-in. After he left the House, Gingrich leveraged his status as a former Speaker and leading Republican thinker to rise to the ranks of the truly wealthy.”


Newt Gingrich’s Favorite Word

Dan Amira: “By now, we’ve all become familiar with Newt Gingrich’s habit of using a few choice adverbs to make the things he says sound just a bit more intelligent to his listeners. Profoundly. Deeply. Frankly. But none of them are as vital to the Gingrich lexicon as fundamentally (along with its cousin, the adjective fundamental). While this appears to be Gingrich’s favorite word in the English language, you could also argue that he uses the word so often, and so reflexively, that it’s become virtually meaningless to him. In a single 2008 address to the American Enterprise Institute, he used the words fundamentally or fundamental a total of eighteen times.”


Insiders Not Buying Gingrich Surge

The latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll finds that despite Newt Gingrich’s recent surge to the front of the GOP presidential race, 86% of Democratic insiders and 83% of Republican insiders still say Mitt Romney has the better shot at beating President Obama in 2012.



November 17, 2011

Gingrich is the Leader of the Pack

A new Fox News poll shows Newt Gingrich leading the GOP presidential field nationally with 23%, followed by Mitt Romney at 22% and Herman Cain at 15%.

The rest of the pack: Ron Paul at 8%, Rick Perry at 7%, Michele Bachmann at 6%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Rick Santorum at 2%.


CIA Won’t Give Ex-Agent Book He Wrote

Gawker reports that Anthony Shaffer “is suing the Pentagon and the CIA over their extraordinary attempts to censor Operation Dark Heart, the book he wrote recounting his days as a military spy in Afghanistan and elsewhere. One problem he’s run into: The government has the original unredacted manuscript he wrote. And it won’t give him a copy. Because it’s classified.”

But he can buy it on eBay.

When the Pentagon discovered the book contained sensitive information, it had already been printed and dozens of review copies sent out. So even though the government bought all 10,000 copies of the book directly from the publisher and destroyed them,  there are still copies floating around.


Cabinet Raises Money for Reelection Campaign

Obama administration Cabinet members and senior aides “are fanning out across the country in an aggressive fundraising drive, taking advantage of porous campaign finance laws that allow them to appear as marquee speakers and raise substantial money for the president’s reelection effort,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“For $5,000, a donor can get a kind of season pass to see officials when they come to town — a bargain compared with the $35,800 typically charged for dinner with President Obama… None of this is illegal, although the appearances must be carefully choreographed to avoid running afoul of the federal Hatch Act, which regulates political activity by government employees but allows ample wiggle room.”


Iowa Governor Warns Romney

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) mocked Mitt Romney’s Iowa expectation-setting and warned him that he “would meet the same fate as Rudy Giuliani four years ago if he didn’t get serious about the caucuses,” Politico reports.

Said Branstad: “I think he’s making a big mistake…by not coming here and spending more time. I mean Romney is dropping in the polls and I think he thinks that he wants to keep down expectations, you know. Well, his expectations may get really bad if he doesn’t get a little more serious.”

He added: “Iowans don’t like being ignored, they don’t like being ignored!”

Nate Silver: “Romney certainly does not need to win Iowa to win the nomination. But unless he builds up more of a cushion in the national polls before the voting there, a loss for his campaign in the caucuses would at least make for an exciting January.”


Why Obama Must Target Mobile Phone Users

A new SurveyUSA poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally, 46% to 44%.

However, if the survey only includes landline respondents (72% of registered voters), Romney leads by 6 points. Among those who only use mobile phones (28% of registered voters), Obama leads by 22 points.


Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out.”

— Herman Cain, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, still reeling from his inability to answer a question about U.S. policy towards Libya.


GOP Freshman See Fundraising Fall

Two-thirds of the House Republican freshmen — 43 of 65 — saw their fundraising dip in the past quarter, USA Today reports.

“In addition, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took in nearly twice as much campaign cash as House Republicans in September — a sign Democratic donors are energized, despite low poll rankings for Congress and President Obama.”


Voters Split on Congress

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows that just 37% of voters think that Republicans were an upgrade from when the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, while 41% think they’ve been worse.

Nonetheless, the generic congressional ballot is a tie — with 45% favoring a Democratic candidate and 45% going for a Republican — because Democrats are almost as unpopular as their GOP counterparts.


Another Candidate Enters the Race

With the way the GOP presidential race is going, he just might win.

See more…


Cabinet Secretary Backs Gay Marriage

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told Metro Weekly that he ”absolutely” supports the legalization of same sex marriage in New York.

Said Donovan: ”It made me proud to be a New Yorker — not enough to get me to move back. We’ve got more work to do in the Obama administration in a second term.”

Asked if that included marriage equality, Donovan confirmed it did, saying, “Like marriage equality.”


Is the Gingrich Bubble Already Popping?

Joe Klein says news of Newt Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac threatens to halt his recent recent rise in the polls.

“You must understand: to Republican stalwarts, a relationship with Freddie Mac is the moral equivalent of satanism. Gingrich was a paid helper — and, believe me, he didn’t get paid $1.6 million to lecture the organization on the failures of government intervention in the market — in a ‘socialist’ effort to make home-buying easier for people who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford houses, an effort that famously went off the rails when the government began supporting sub-prime and other highly questionable mortgages.”

“In other words, Gingrich was supporting — the best guess was that Gingrich was hired to win some Republican support for Freddie — the very sort of program that he routinely excoriates. This sort of hypocrisy is astounding but, sadly, not unknown to Newt. After all, this was the guy who led the Republican Impeachment of Bill Clinton while having an extra-marital affair of his own.”


Quote of the Day

“Hang him from the highest tree. I’ll bring the rope.”

— Sarah Palin, quoted by USA Today, on former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been accused of sexually assaulting children.


Gingrich’s Hiatus Would Make Presidential History

Smart Politics finds that if Newt Gingrich were to win the presidency in 2012, his 13+ year hiatus from political office at the time of his inauguration would be the largest among all presidents who previously held political office.


Republican Gaffes Pile Up

Michael Shear notes that despite a steady stream of “gaffes, misstatements, puzzled looks and long, awkward pauses” the Republican presidential candidates “have turned the cringe-inducing moments to their advantage, asserting that they demonstrate an authenticity different from the slick professionalism of politicians in Washington.”

“But the embarrassing moments are piling up, and some veteran Republicans are beginning to wonder whether the cumulative effect weakens the party brand, especially in foreign policy and national security, where Republicans have typically dominated Democrats.”

Notes former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein: “It is an Animal House. It’s a food fight. Honestly, the Republican debates have become a reality show. People have to be perceived as being capable of governing this country, of being the leader of the free world.


White House Braces for Supercommittee Failure

Obama administration officials “are quietly bracing for supercommittee failure, with advisers privately saying they are pessimistic that the 12-member Congressional panel will find a way to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit as required,” the Washington Post reports.

“Perhaps mindful of the long odds of success, Obama has largely left the negotiations alone, after issuing his blueprint in September for more than $3 trillion in savings… At the same time, several Democrats said, any greater involvement by Obama at this stage could have a toxic effect as Democrats and Republicans try to find middle ground. If the president were more deeply engaged, it could force Republicans into a reactionary role.”

A new CNN/Opinion Research survey shows 78% of Americans think it is “somewhat or very unlikely” the committee will develop a plan to significantly reduce the federal budget deficit by the November 23 deadline.


Romney Holds Big Lead in New Hampshire

A new Bloomberg poll in New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney way ahead of his GOP presidential rivals with 40%, followed by Ron Paul at 17% and Newt Gingrich at 10%. All the other candidates are below 10%.

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “You just don’t have any volatility in these numbers. He’s liked and widely liked.”


Gingrich’s Character

John Dickerson: “No candidate spans the rheostat more than Gingrich, who can go from sweet to sour in seconds. As the Gingrich candidacy gains traction in the polls, the key questions are going to be about temperament, discipline, and character. Those are important with any candidate — but with Gingrich they are especially so… But now Gingrich will face the pressures of being a front-runner, which means reliving that period during the 1990s when his disapproval rating was in the high 70s. He will face a lot of questions about his temperament and discipline, most of which he’ll undoubtedly think are stupid. Whether he says so will tell us something about his temperament this time around.”


Republicans Prepare to Accept New Tax Revenues

With exactly one week remaining until the supercommittee on deficit reduction is due to present its recommendations, House Republican leaders have begun preparing their full conference for a deal that includes new tax revenues, according to The Hill.

“The GOP co-chairman of the deficit supercommittee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), briefed the House Republican Conference on the details of multiple offers that GOP members of the panel have made to their Democratic counterparts… Some conservatives have said they are concerned with the GOP’s offer, especially considering the pledge most of them signed to oppose any net tax increase… Hensarling made no direct reference to Grover Norquist, the author of the anti-tax pledge, but he brought up pledges in general, and said that ‘his pledge is to the people of his district.'”

However, Politico notes rank-and-file Republicans are suspicious and “there seems to be a growing civil war on the right over the idea of tax revenues.”


Gingrich Paid Much More by Freddie Mac

Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees with mortgage company Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reports.

The amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate last week.


January 19, 2011

While America Sleeps

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has signed a book deal with Crown Publishers to write, While America Sleeps, his take on America’s foreign policy missteps since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Senators Most Likely to Retire

With retirement announcements from Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jon Karl looks at the other senators most likely to retire rather than face re-election in 2012.

1. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
2. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)
3. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
4. Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
5. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
6. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
7. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)

A New Way to Pay Rent?

Despite a federal investigation into her campaign spending, former Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) is launching ChristinePAC to raise unlimited funds from donors to spend in races across the country.

Sunlight Foundation: “The most glaring issue is that, like O’Donnell’s campaign, ChristinePAC’s office address is O’Donnell’s home address… One of the central aspects of the federal investigation is that O’Donnell used approximately $20,000 of her campaign funds to pay her home rent, on which she was behind at the time.”

How Long Will the Author be Anonymous?

In the mail: O: A Presidential Novel by Anonymous.

From a press release: “Primary Colors was a portrait of a presidential campaign that had already occurred. O is about events in the immediate future — and the lengths to which the Obama campaign and the Republican opposition will go in order to prevail. This is an intricately conceived story of how crucial events can turn on the smallest details, and what our leaders are really thinking when their careers are on the line.”

So who is going to do the first computer analysis of the writing style to see who really wrote this book?


Bonus Quote of the Day

“I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor of New Jersey and seven years as the United States Attorney that I am ready to be President of the United States, so I’m not gonna run.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), in an interview with Fox News.

Lieberman to Announce Plans

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will announce whether he’s running for re-election to the U.S. Senate tomorrow at 12:30 pm in Stamford, CT.

UpdateKevin Rennie reports Lieberman will announce his retirement.

Hartford Courant: “A couple of active Democrats said they think the timing of the event, and the tone of the behind-the-scenes conversations, indicate that Lieberman wants to announce that he’s not running while there’s still speculation that he could still win if he chose to run. In other words, they said, he can pull out of the 2012 race now — before being battered by continual announcements of polls that show him sinking ever farther in his prospects.”

Frist Urges GOP to Stop Health Care Repeal

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) advised Republicans in Congress to drop their bid to repeal the health-care reform law and instead make changes to it and build on it, the Huffington Post reports.

Said Frist: “It is not the bill that [Republicans] would have written. It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.”

He noted the law “has many strong elements. And those elements, whatever happens, need to be preserved, need to be cuddled, need to be snuggled, need to be promoted and need to be implemented.”

Who is Roger Ailes?

Must-read profile at Esquire:

“Today, here at Esquire — and only at Esquire, because only Esquire has the guts to tell you this story — we’re going to tell you about a man you need to know a little better, maybe a lot better: a man named Roger Ailes. Maybe you’ve heard of Mr. Ailes. As the chairman and CEO of a well financed and admittedly antigovernment organization called Fox News, he made a reported $23 million in 2009, which, to do the math, was not just more money than you earned, it was more money than everyone related to you earned, combined, even if you count the sudden windfall that came your aunt Ida’s way after she got five out of six in Powerball. Nice work if you can get it, Mr. Ailes — especially when that “work” consisted of nothing but advancing your own agenda at the expense of the president of the United States of America during a time of war.”

Obama Gets a Primary Challenge

Pro-life leader Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, will announce later this week that he will challenge President Obama for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination, Sunshine State News reports.

Said Terry: “Will I defeat Mr. Obama? I’m not delusional. But while I may not defeat him, I can expose the genocide Obama promotes in America and around the world.”

White House Looks to Avoid Gaffes During Chinese Visit

President Obama welcomes China President Hu Jintao at the White House tonight and the New York Times notes that everyone “will be crossing his fingers that things go better than the last time the Chinese leader was here.”

Among the things that went wrong four years ago: A Falun Gong protester acquired press credentials and disrupted a press conference, an announcer mistakenly confused the official names of China and Taiwan, and President Bush grabbed the Chinese president by his suit to prevent him from walking down the wrong stairs.

President Hu is scheduled to have “an unusual, very intimate dinner” with President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon tonight. The official state dinner will take place Wednesday night

Palin’s Favorability Plunges

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Sarah Palin’s favorable rating has dropped to 38%, her lowest since just after bursting onto the national scene as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008. In the wake of controversy over her response to the Tucson shooting, her unfavorable rating hit a new high at 53%.

Quote of the Day

“It’s been the same in every single race I’ve ever run. People underestimate me. Can’t say it’s ever bothered me, though.”

— Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), in an interview with The Hill, on being an underdog if he runs for president in 2012.

Americans See Economy Improving

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans, by a 54% to 43% margin, feel the economy is beginning to recover.

They also think, 46% to 28%, that President Obama’s policies will help rather than hurt the economy.

Conrad Will Not Run for Re-Election

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) will announce his retirement today, according to The Fix, “creating a potentially prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in a GOP-leaning state.”

Gingrich Says Palin Needs to “Be More Careful”

In an interview with ABC News, Newt Gingrich said Sarah Palin’s recent statements indicate she needs to “be more careful and think through what she’s saying and how she’s saying it.”

Said Gingrich: “There’s no question that she has become more controversial.”

Bysiewicz Will Run for U.S. Senate

Susan Bysiewicz (D) will announce a bid today for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the CT Mirror reports.

“Her first challenge will be to convince Democratic activists she was not permanently damaged last year by a string of missteps, beginning when she exited the governor’s race in January as the early front-runner, tempted by a seemingly easier campaign for attorney general. Instead, Bysiewicz was knocked from the race in stunning fashion: Just days before the Democratic nominating convention, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that she lacked the requisite experience to be attorney general.”

Lieberman has not yet declared his intentions to run for re-election but said he could win as an independent candidate.

Arizona Law Doesn’t Apply to Giffords’ Seat

Any attempt to declare the congressional seat of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to be vacant based on state law would probably violate the U.S. Constitution, theTucson Sentinel reports.

Though Arizona statutes say public offices may be declared vacant if their holders fail to discharge their duties for 90 days, it pertains only to state and local officials.

Washington Post: “The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress and makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications. Courts have consistently held that states cannot add qualifications to those in the Constitution and have rejected efforts to remove members of Congress, even through term limits and recalls.”

The Reagan-Obama Comparison

Though Nate Silver notes midterm approval rates show little correlation to a president’s re-election, it’s interesting to note that at this point in Ronald Reagan’s first term, the unemployment rate was 10.4% and his approval rate was 37%.

In contrast, the unemployment rate today is 9.4% and President Obama’s approval rate is either 53% or 54% according to two polls released today.

Pence Decision Looms

With an independent campaign to draw him into the 2012 presidential race, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said he was nearing a decision on his political future, theIndianapolis Star reports.

A run for Indiana governor is also a possibility.

Said Pence: “We’ve been trying to listen first to Hoosiers and then to other voices around the country about where they think we might best serve in the years ahead. We’ll be making a decision before the end of this month.”

Hatch Not Favored Among Utah Republicans

A new UtahPolicy/Exoro poll finds Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) leading Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) in a possible U.S. Senate race.

However, Hatch is not the first choice of Utah Republicans with just 26% picking him in a hypothetical three way race, while 33% would prefer Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and 40% would choose U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr., the state’s former governor.

Bentley Says Only Christians are his Brothers and Sisters

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said “he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren’t ‘saved’ Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters,” the Birmingham News reports.

Said Bentley: “I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor… I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind.”

He added: “Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

Obama Approval on the Rise

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds President Obama’s approval rating at 54%, the highest it’s been in more than a year.

By an 18-point margin, 58% to 40%, Americans say Obama “understands the problems of people like you.” That’s up from a mere 2-point split, 50% to 48% in September.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds Obama’s approval rating is up five points to 53% “as a growing number of Americans consider him a strong leader who is tough enough to handle a crisis.”

Interestingly, the president’s approval rating among Democrats and Republicans is essentially unchanged since December, but among independents it has surged 15 points since last month.

Cheney Says Obama is a One-Termer

In an interview with NBC News, former Vice President Dick Cheney predicted President Obama will be defeated for re-election in 2012.

Said Cheney: “His overall approach to expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit, and giving more and more authority and power to the government over the private sector. Those are all weaknesses, as I look at Barack Obama. And I think he’ll be a one term President.”

Obama Plans Regulatory Review

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, President Obama announced a government-wide review of federal regulations to “make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation,” focusing on rules that “stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”


October 8, 2007

Senate hopefuls at odds on abuser fees


Ralph Northam wants to the scrap system while State Sen. Nick Rerras says it should be tweaked.

By HUGH LESSIG hlessig | 804-225-7345

October 7, 2007


The wrath of voters came down on state lawmakers this year after passage of expensive penalties aimed at Virginia drivers who break the law, but not out-of-state tourists who blow past everyone on their way to the beach.

As the 6th Senate District race heats up in Hampton Roads, the two candidates are at odds over what to do about them.

The challenger, Democrat Ralph Northam, wants to scrap the abuser fee system, part of a much larger transportation funding plan, and replace it with a 1.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax.

As he calculates it, the average driver —traveling 20,000 miles a year and averaging 25 miles to the gallon — would pay $12 more a year. “It’s really just a common-sense approach to collecting revenue that’s fair to everyone who uses our transportation system,” said Northam, a 48-year-old pediatric neurologist.

Sen. Nick Rerras, R-Norfolk, is the two-term incumbent. He wants the fees to stay but says the state should apply them to all drivers, not just Virginians, and he would remove the less serious offenses from the list.

That parallels the position of Republican leaders in the General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

Rerras said higher gas prices are the last thing Hampton Roads motorists need.

“I don’t agree with the additional increases,” he said.

The question of real estate taxes has also sparked a sharp disagreement.

Rerras is pounding home his support for a measure that would cap real estate tax increases at 5 percent. 

He says voters are feeling squeezed by rising assessments and have told him that time and time again.

Northam calls the proposal “an election year stunt” that the legislature has already rejected and that would handicap localities that face growing school populations and increasing demand for services.

These are among the clearest lines in the sand between two men fighting to represent voters in the 6th District, which includes about half of Norfolk and a small area of Virginia Beach, then stretches up to include the entire Eastern Shore and Mathews County.

The district is trending Democratic. Kaine won 51 percent of the vote in 2005 compared to 46 percent for Republican Jerry Kilgore. In last year’s U.S. Senate race, Democratic challenger Jim Webb won 50 percent compared to 48 percent for Republican incumbent George Allen.

That’s partly why Rerras is vulnerable, said Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University.

Democrats have discussed retaking the Senate, where the GOP holds a four-seat edge, and the 6th is one of the districts they hope to take.

Plus, said Kidd, “There seems to be an anti-General Assembly sentiment that hits Republicans more than Democrats.”

The campaign has intensified in recent days. The candidates have sparred over debate appearances and traded barbs from a distance. 

Northam has accused Rerras of not trying hard enough to address problems in the region, from transportation to cleaning up the environment. 

“It’s not what he’s done,” Northam said. “It’s what he hasn’t done.”

Besides the difference over abuser fees, Northam says Rerras hasn’t pushed hard enough for cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. He also criticized the incumbent for voting against a bill that changed how the government could seize private property through eminent domain. The bill later became law.

In an interview, Northam also pointed to two instances where comments from Rerras — or at least reported comments — have grabbed headlines.

A few months ago, a woman who wanted to be a Norfolk judge said Rerras used the term “feminazi” — used often by Rush Limbaugh — during her interview. Some also have said that Rerras has linked some mental illnesses to demonic possession.

On the judgeship question, Rerras said he has apologized “for anything I’ve said that is wrong” and added, “we have excellent judges who are doing a good job.” As for the comment on mental health, he bristles at the idea that he doesn’t understand the challenges of the mental health system.

“He’s resorting to character assassination,” Rerras said. “Here’s what I say: Mental illness is a brain disorder that can be cured with medication and therapy.”

On the eminent domain bill, Rerras’ vote — he was one of two dissenters in the Senate — appeared to be in line with Norfolk officials who feared the legislation would hinder efforts to fix up blighted neighborhoods.

Rerras said the General Assembly had made record investments in environmental cleanup in recent years.

Northam supports more funding for the bay, but stops short of endorsing a new revenue source, such as a flush tax. “I hope it can be done within the confines of the budget,” Northam said. “We need to sit down at the table and prioritize.”



March 21, 2007

Noooo, it’s not Maureen Dowd I’m referring to. Our “professional protester”, Martin Freed has been previously interviewed and quoted in the Washington Post. Now our “diminutive demonstrator”, Maureen Dooley, has appeared in the Post. In this past Sunday’s edition, in a front page article about Saturday’s protest, Post staff writers Steve Vogel and Michael Alison Chandler, included the following in their article:

Among those marching on a day of cold, whipping wind was Maureen Dooley of Melfa, Va., who first marched on the Pentagon when she was 18; now she’s 58. “I came, as I did today, to be quietly counted among the people opposed to this war,” she said.

Dooley said she wished she could “apologize for my generation” for the way the antiwar movement treated Vietnam veterans on their return home. “This time we’re with our young men and women,” she said.

February Accomack DemCom Meeting

February 26, 2007

The regular monthly meeting of the Accomack County Democratic Committee is Monday, February 26, at 7:00pm at the Enterprise Building, 23372 Front Street, Accomac (Across from the new Courthouse Building).  All are welcome to attend.

Delegate Lynwood Lewis will provide a recap of the General Assembly Session.

Hello world!

February 25, 2007

Welcome to the new Accomack County Democrats Blog.  This is a companion to the Accomack Democrats website, and is the place to find updates on local, state, and federal issues of interest to local Democrats.