Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republicans
by Jerome Armstrong, Fri Oct 13, 2006 at 06:15:09 AM EDT
I get the sense, reading through today's WaPost story, that Dems are actually giving the Republicans a taste of their own attack ad prescription:In New Jersey, Democratic candidate Linda Stender this week sent voters a two-page brochure accusing Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) of improperly preying on young women in a fashionable D.C. nightclub. Stender, who is shown by polls to be within striking distance of Ferguson, said the Foley affair "opened the door to talk about the ethical challenge of my opponent." Ferguson has denied the allegations, and a spokeswoman last night called the attacks "pathetic and desperate."
Democratic candidate Chris Carney is running an ad accusing Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) of "repeatedly choking" and "attempting to strangle" a young mistress. Foley and Sherwood share "the arrogance of power," said Carney. "They're willing to cover up these types of things to retain power."
Sherwood has apologized for the affair but said in a television ad that the "allegation of abuse was never true."
Democratic candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on GOP Rep. John E. Sweeney in Upstate New York to explain a drunken driving arrest 30 years ago and a more recent car accident. "Your decision to release any and all records related to your arrests and other incidents with law enforcement will send an important signal about your willingness to come clean with voters," Gillibrand said in a letter to Sweeney this week.
The Sweeney campaign has said that the details of both incidents are out in public and that the congressman has nothing to hide. The lawmaker fired back yesterday by calling on Gillibrand to release her tax records, suggesting that she has her own secrets...
So far, there is general agreement that about half a dozen GOP candidates are suffering as a direct result of the controversy. Topping that list are NRCC Chairman Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who was told of Foley's questionable behavior and said he reported it to his superiors, and Sherwood, whose former mistress, in a lawsuit, accused him of choking her.
Many Republicans also said it will be virtually impossible for the newly designated Republican candidate in Foley's district to win, because Foley's name remains on the ballot.
The most common Democratic attacks have been the sort used against Republicans such as Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), a member of the House GOP leadership team who has said she knew nothing of the allegations against her friend and colleague Foley. Nonetheless, Democrats are criticizing her for not catching warning signs and for being part of a team that they say averted its gaze from Foley's problems.
A big part of the Democratic strategy in Pryce's district and elsewhere is to suppress turnout among Christian conservatives, a pillar of the GOP coalition.
But there have also been attempts to take advantage of the Foley episode to highlight corruption issues more broadly.
For the Ohio seat to be vacated by indicted Rep. Robert W. Ney (R), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is blanketing the district with mail saying GOP candidate Joy Padgett, a state senator, is too "dirty" to clean up Congress. "You can't clean up Congress if you are covered in mud," the mailings say, drawing links between Padgett and Ney. The DCCC is also running television ads questioning her personal business dealings. The offensive coincides with Ney's expected guilty plea on Friday in the money-for-favors scandal involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.This is going to be one hell of a bloody finish. I'm interested in taking a look at how the Dems are doing at the State Legislative level, where there is no infrasture for the Republicans to manufacture their hold on power, as they do at the federal level. I get the sense that the Democratic flood that Krugman (the best guess is that the permanent Republican majority will end in a little over three weeks) talks about today could really manifest at that level.