RI-SEN: Matt Brown's Implosion Continues

Democratic Senate candidate Matt Brown announced that he is staying in the race despite a crippling campaign finance scandal, only $35,000 in the bank to spend in the Sept. 12th primary and the firing of three key campaign staff and his media consultants. After Brown followed-up weeks of avoiding the media around the campaign finance scandal, he was also caught at home at 4:00pm (as the current Secretary of State, many wondered why he wasn't at work) and refused to answer his door. Top Rhode Island political columnist Charlie Bakst hit the nail on its head with his most recent column on Brown:

If a boxer is staggering, bleeding, clearly beaten, the referee mercifully stops the fight.

A ref should call an end to Secretary of State Matt Brown's running-on-empty bid for the Democratic nod for U.S. Senate.

He's done.

This is not an endorsement but an observation: The Democratic nominee for the seat held by Republican Linc Chafee will be former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse, who still faces token primary opposition from Carl Sheeler.

Years from now, experts will still marvel at his raising and burning through more than a million dollars, leaving a legacy of vaporized visibility, a trail of staff departures, no message and zero momentum.

Currently, the 3rd Democrat in the race - Carl Sheeler - has $210,000 to spend in the primary while favorite Sheldon Whitehouse has $1.37 million.

The news of Brown's implosion bodes well for incumbent Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, who is engaged in a viscious primary battle with conservative Steve Laffey. If the lustre of the Democratic Primary fizzles, then a great majority of the 48% of Rhode Island's independent voters (who can vote in either primary) may vote in the Republican Primary for Chafee. If the independents vote in the Democratic Primary, odds are that Laffey wins because of his strong support in Rhode Island Republican circles.

RI-SEN: Survey Results are in!!!

In an exclusive survey of the Democratic candidates for US Senate, the results are in!

The RI Future blog polled Matt Brown, Carl Sheeler and Sheldon Whitehouse on 25 important questions such as their positions on the Iraq War, prescription drugs, global warming, abortion, the criminal justice system, corruption, gay marriage, legalization of immigrants, living wages, universal health care, eminent domain, a casino in RI, school vouchers, the right to organize a union, censuring President Bush, free trade, elections reform, their favorite Oscar nominated movie and the 5 CDs in their stereo right now.

The results may surprise you.

Best of all we limited their responses to 50 words so that you can get the heart of their positions on the issues.

Click here to see where Matt Brown, Carl Sheeler and Sheldon Whitehouse stand on the issues.

(Unsurprisingly, Steve Laffey and Lincoln Chafee did not return the survey. If they decide that they have the courage to announce their positions to Rhode Island voters, their responses too will be posted.)

A progressive for Lt. Governor in Rhode Island

This is my first diary, and I want to thank everyone who reads this.  To disclose, I am a volunteer on Elizabeth Roberts' campaign for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor but am posting on my own accord.

I am posting because today, we found out that there will be a Democratic primary for the open Lieutenant Governor's seat in Rhode Island.  State Senator Elizabeth Roberts (www.elizabethroberts.org)has been running for Lt. Governor for the past year and a half after serving for 10 years in the state Senate.  In the state Senate, Senator Roberts has been a champion for affordable quality health care, women's rights, and civil rights for all Rhode Islanders.  She wants to run for Lt. Governor to use the statewide platform to advocate for health care reform, the environment and economic development.

Read more by clicking "Extended Entry" and please visit my ActBlue page and donate to Elizabeth Roberts to keep a progressive voice as Lt. Governor in RI - http://www.actblue.com/page/robertsforlt gov or http://www.elizabethroberts.org/pages/co ntribute.htm

There's more...

Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Election

In case you need any more convincing that 2006 is a change election, outsider Senate candidate Matt Brown in Rhode Island gained 24 points on establishment candidate and Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.  And he did it with a $100K ad buy introducing himself and his stances to the voters.  His issues are reform and a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.  

And Whitehouse?  Well his consultants are Joe Hansen, direct mail racketeer, and Mike Donilon, of famous Shrum, Devine & Donilon heritage.  Man do those guys know how to blow a lead.

A 24 point swing is just amazing, and shows that outsider progressive candidates are quite viable in this environment.  In case you are wondering, yes, this does have strong implications for Connecticut.

UPDATE: I just noticed that the same dynamic is at work in MA, with progressive Deval Patrick closing a 31 point gap in a few months over Reilly in the gubernatorial primary.

There's more...

Paul Pillar and Pre-war Intelligence

Perhaps the saddest thing about these new allegations is that they're not new at all. Over and over again, we've seen mounting evidence that the Bush administration looked to politics, not the facts, in making the decision to take our country to war. Indeed Seymour Hersh's book argues that the Bush administration compromised the intelligence analysis process to let flawed intelligence through that would support the case for war. The women and men of Rhode Island serving in uniform, their families, and all of us, deserve better than spin and half-truths. You deserve a U.S. Senator who will stand up for you, hold this administration's feet to the fire, and ask the tough questions to ensure that this country never again goes to war without knowing why.

There's more...


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