Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republicans

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.

Tags: House 2006 (all tags)



Re: Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republic

I'm also very interested in the state elections. I've drawn up slates for each state's legislative elections this year and will be following closely, not only on a macro level but on a race-by-race level to see where and how Democrats are making gains (which I also assume will happen).

by asf6 2006-10-13 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: State Campaigns

I'm working for Gwyn Green in Colorado in a State Representative Race.  This Democratic incumbant has been subjected to 17 mailings, robocalls and TV attacks from the Republican Trailhead Group funded by Oil and Beer Barons and the big Pharma lobby.  We certainly have a powerful Republican attack machine running on a state level here.

The good news is that we will probably prevail -- with lots of hard work and effort.

by NeoLeftist 2006-10-13 07:23AM | 0 recs
"And the winner is...."

Hate crime committed with a severed deer's head vs. attempted homocide of a marriage-violating mistress.   It's a tough call who gets the prize for best campaign-issue-as-made-for-TV-drama.

But there does seem to be this overwhelming force in the Dems this time around that the Repubs just don't have.

Is it too simplistic to credit YouTube, and the Dem's being a quick study on using it?  

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-10-13 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republic

I just hope the party draws a very clear line somewhere.  Evidence that someone committed a hate crime, stalked minors, or abused a mistress is certainly fair to bring up.

But this sort of personal focus could easily turn political campaigns into "X had an abortion," "Y smoked a joint," "Z declared bankruptcy," and so on - where the goal simply becomes humiliating your opponent.

It may not backfire against either party, but too much scrutiny on the personal lives of candidates will deter a lot of otherwise-outstanding people from running for public office in the future.

by Apt604 2006-10-13 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republic

Oh please. Give me a break.

Haven't you been paying attention for the last twenty years?

by Joe Gabriel 2006-10-13 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republic

It's been happening for the past 200 years, and then some.  Of course I've been paying attention.

My point was that the parties can make it better or worse - and that there are costs to the personal attack strategy that go far beyond this election.

by Apt604 2006-10-13 01:07PM | 0 recs
Kissell (NC-08) doing what it takes

Larry's new campaign ad hits back at the republican smear tactic...and does it with class!

by working for change 2006-10-13 07:10AM | 0 recs

Mixed metaphors and eternal optimism...

Jerome must be back!


by NCDem 2006-10-13 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats doing what it takes to beat Republic

balks Republicans don't have infrastructure at the state legislature level?  News to me.  Our township is run entirely by Republicans, from Mayor to city council to school board to dog catcher.  The candidate I've been volunteering for is against a 26-year incumbent with a warchest of about 200 grand, while our guy has maybe 4 or 5.  Plus, a city official was just busted stealing our guy's lawn signs.  Cause, y'know, the deck wasn't stacked against us enough...

by themann1086 2006-10-13 07:23AM | 0 recs
It's About F$$(@)( Time!!!!!!!!!!!

The Republicans have been doing this stuff for years.  The Dems are finally catching on!!!!


by Bonddad 2006-10-13 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats doing what it takes

Thank God the Dems are starting to get tough.

It's been so long in coming.

Complaining about dirty campaigning, ala Dukakis, just sounds like sour grapes anyway.

As Hunter Thompson wrote:

Presidential politics is a vicious business, even for rich white men, and anybody who gets into it should be prepared to grapple with the meanest of the mean. The White House has never been seized by timid warriors. There are no rules, and the roadside is littered with wreckage. That is why they call it the passing lane. Just ask any candidate who ever ran against George Bush -- Al Gore, Ann Richards, John McCain -- all of them ambushed and vanquished by lies and dirty tricks. And all of them still whining about it.

by Bush Bites 2006-10-13 10:06AM | 0 recs
Politics was always about the slime

As I recall (not from personal experience!), back in the first pretty much popular presidential election in 1828, the followers of John Quincy Adams claimed that Andrew Jackson was the bastard son of a whore and a mulatto, while Jacksonites claimed JQA (once US ambassador to Russia) had procured his own son's nurse for the carnal pleasure of the Tsar!

The worst - or, if your mind runs that way, best - was during the 1950 US Senate Dem primary in NC which pitted the liberal Frank Graham against the - not - Willis Smith.

According to Samuel Lubell, one of Graham's campaign people got a call in the middle of the night and asked How would you like a little stewed nigger for breakfast?

Smith's campaign was managed by Jesse Helms, though I doubt whether the offer of hospitality came from him! (Not directly, at least.)

by skeptic06 2006-10-13 10:35AM | 0 recs

Tessa Hafen (D NV-03, challenger) is totally on the defensive against Bush yes-man Jon Porter (R).

Here's her latest ad, which uses Foley pretty effectively. A_TH06_107.wmv

and the polls:

400 RV, MOE 5, 9/19-21/06   

Hafen 37   
Porter 47

and I believe it's much closer than that... here's an internal poll taken a week ago:

Internal Dem, MOE 4.9, 10/04/06
Hafen 37
Porter 41

by mbcarl 2006-10-13 01:10PM | 0 recs


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