ACORN: It isn't what it seems

Or maybe it is...depending on how you look at it. I don't know if this diary is going to be popular here, or maybe it will be and all it'll do is resurrect the PUMAs, but hey, here it goes.

I agree with Glenn Greenwald, and I usually don't, that there's a double standard here and Blackwater, Halliburton should also be looked at under the same microscope as ACORN, but that doesn't excuse the fact that they really stepped in it.

and I agree with Glenn Beck that this organization has a lot of problems.  

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Primary Night: Lautenberg Wins, Pearce Leads Narrowly

Here are the results out of the New Jersey Democratic Senate primary look like this:

√ Sen. Frank Lautenberg: 181,467 votes (60 percent)
Cong. Rob Andrews: 101,514 votes 34 percent)

91 percent reporting

And here are the results out of the New Mexico Republican Senate primary:

Cong. Steve Pearce: 41,461 votes (52 percent)
Cong. Heather Wilson: 39,041 (48 percent)

72 percent reporting

This, and much more, over at Swing State Project...

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BruinKid's Senate race rankings

So with less than half a year to go, it's time for another look at all the 2008 Senate races.  There are 35 seats up for election because of a scenario in Wyoming and Mississippi where both seats are up, due to the passing of Craig Thomas and the resignation of Trent Lott, respectively.  Now obviously, quite a few of the races are considered "safe" for the incumbent.  So I'll rank these in terms of tiers.  The top tier will be the races where the party holding the seat has a real shot of switching.  The second tier are races that could become top tier races, but are not at this point.  Tier III are ones where a major event would need to happen for the seat to come into play.  And the safe seats?  Well, Mike Gravel has a better shot at winning the presidency than those incumbents have of losing their races.

Follow me below the fold for all the races.  This is meant to be a primer for both newcomers and political junkies alike, so some of the information may seem repetitive for you junkies out there.  Also see my previous March diary to see what things have changed since my last update.

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BruinKid's Senate race rankings

So with less than half a year to go, it's time for another look at all the 2008 Senate races.  There are 35 seats up for election because of a scenario in Wyoming and Mississippi where both seats are up, due to the passing of Craig Thomas and the resignation of Trent Lott, respectively.  Now obviously, quite a few of the races are considered "safe" for the incumbent.  So I'll rank these in terms of tiers.  The top tier will be the races where the party holding the seat has a real shot of switching.  The second tier are races that could become top tier races, but are not at this point.  Tier III are ones where a major event would need to happen for the seat to come into play.  And the safe seats?  Well, Mike Gravel has a better shot at winning the presidency than those incumbents have of losing their races.

Follow me below the fold for all the races.  This is meant to be a primer for both newcomers and political junkies alike, so some of the information may seem repetitive for you junkies out there.  Also see my previous March diary to see what things have changed since my last update.

There's more...

NJ-Sen: A Replay of 2006's Akaka-Case Primary?

Back in 2006, we saw an interesting development in the state of Hawaii: A centrist Democratic Congressman decided to challenge a longstanding more progressive Democratic Senator in the party primary. In that case, the then 82-year old Daniel Akaka defeated the significantly younger and more conservative Ed Case by about 9 points, 54.2 percent to 45 percent. Now are we seeing the same situation again? Take a gander at this news:

Rob Andrews, a ten-term Congressman from Camden County, will challenge incumbent Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Andrews, 50, said on Monday that he was considering a campaign against the 84-year-old four-term Senator.

A race between Lautenberg and Andrews is one that presents some real differences about what it means to be a Democrat, a choice between someone unafraid to stand up for the progressive ideal and someone who can be goaded by the right into making some questionable decisions. For instance, take a look at this picture:

To the far right, you'll notice Andrews standing with George W. Bush upon the signing the the authorization of military force against Iraq. At the time, Andrews wrote, "Yesterday, I joined with President Bush and a bipartisan coalition of Senators and House members to announce that we have approved the final text of the Iraq Resolution... I am honored to have worked closely with the President to develop this bipartisan proposal because I believe that Saddam Hussein poses a very clear and present threat to the entire world."

In the time since that vote, Andrews has voted for other whoppers as well. For instance, he twice voted with the President to continue the Iraq War (Roll Call 425, 2007; Roll Call 220, 2005); voted against prescription drug reimportation (Roll Call 806, 2007); voted in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts (Roll Call 308, 2007); and voted for a constitutional amendment banning flag burning (Roll Call 296 2005). More recently, just in February, Andrews voted President Bush's position on FISA, opposing an extension (Roll Call 54, 2008).

In contrast to all of this "centrism" from Andrews, Lautenberg comes in with the highest Progressive Punch score of any Senator this Congress. Although it's an apples to oranges comparison (because votes in the House are different from those in the Senate), Lautenberg comes in with a 93.29 lifetime score compared with Andrews' 80.69 lifetime score. (Blue Jersey has even more of a comparison of their votes, if you're interested.)

So with all of this in mind, will the voters in New Jersey do what the voters in Hawaii did two years ago: Say no to a challenge to an older more progressive Senator by a younger more centrist Congressman? We'll have to wait to see how everything plays out. But if you were to believe early polling on the race from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, it looks like New Jersey Democrats are more than happy to stay with Lautenberg rather than move to Andrews -- to the tune of 57 percent to 22 percent, to be exact.

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