GOP trying to pressure 17 House Dems to retire

The Iowa blogger John Deeth brought this piece by Hotline's Reid Wilson to my attention.

An informal list of 17 members the NRCC believes can be convinced to step down, privately called the "Dem Retirement Assault List," makes clear the party needs Dem incumbents to step aside if they have hopes of taking back the majority. The NRCC has taken pains to attack those lawmakers in recent weeks.

The list includes 14 members whose districts voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in '08. McCain won districts held by Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Bart Gordon (D-TN) with more than 60% of the vote, and districts held by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Marion Berry (D-AR), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Mike Ross (D-AR) with more than 55%.

McCain narrowly won seats held by Reps. John Spratt (D-SC), Allen Boyd (D-FL), Vic Snyder (D-AR), Baron Hill (D-IN), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Tim Holden (D-PA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

The NRCC has also begun targeting Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Leonard Boswell (D-IA), three members who already have credible opponents but who occupy seats Pres. Obama won in '08.

Here in IA-03, Boswell has three declared Republican opponents. Two of them are likely to be well-funded: Brad Zaun, who has a decent chunk of the Iowa GOP establishment backing him, and former Iowa State university wrestling coach Jim Gibbons. Gibbons has already launched a couple of misleading attacks on Boswell, claiming he's not working hard enough and that the estate tax fix will hurt farmers and small business owners.

2008 would have been a perfect time for Boswell to retire. Tons of voters in IA-03 registered as Democrats in order to participate in the Iowa caucuses, and any number of candidates could have held this seat easily.

I don't know anyone who expects Boswell to step down next year, but if he did, this might be a tough hold, since Democratic turnout tends to be lower in off-year elections. On the other hand, much would depend on the Democratic nominee. One possible candidate is former First Lady Christie Vilsack, who seemed to leave the door open for a future campaign when she ruled out running against Senator Chuck Grassley.

Final note: in that Hotline piece, Wilson writes that

members frequently use the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks as the time to decide whether to retire, filling Dec. and Jan. with announcements about their future. Already, rumors are flying that various members have decided not to run again.

I hope we don't hear about more than a few additional retirements this winter. Who do you think are the most likely suspects?

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Progressive Democrat Issue 221

This week I am focusing on coal. Coal is among the most polluting sources of energy and in a warming world makes little sense. Additionally, the mining of coal is also hugely destructive and polluting (remember the recent massive coal ash spill in Tennessee). America needs energy, but we need to focus on reducing energy use through energy efficiency (this saves money as well as energy) and replacing pollutiing energy sources with clean energy sources. That is why I emphasize biodiesel and other biofuels, wind and solar as well as energy efficiency. I also emphasize, as I do in this issue, fighting to stop new coal-burning plants and new coal mining projects.

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CA-47: Battleground in My Backyard?

(This is the start of my multi-part series on emerging Western Congressional races in 2010. Also posted at C4O Democrats and OC Progressive.)

If we're to believe the local newsreports, Democrats may actually lose a Congressional seat in Southern California. Central Orange County Assembly Member/Local GOP Power Broker Van Tran has announced he will challenge seven-term Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez next year. Already, Republicans are cheering victory and preparing to dance on Loretta's political grave... But are they celebrating too early?

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LAST CALL for Q2: Help Obama & Democrats Finish Strong!

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

Hey, everyone! We have just over 24 hours left to make a HUGE impact in this election by making sure our Democrats have enough resources to kick some Rethug behind this fall. So what can we all do to help Obama win the White House and Democrats win more seats in Congress?

Follow me after the flip for more...

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Will You Please Help Me Help Barack & Hillary?

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

OK, I need to ask you all for help. I'm in need of major help now. You see, I have some friends that need some help so that they can make a HUGE difference in our country very soon. Will you please help me help them?

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