Competitive House Races

Everyone should be excited about recent changes in the Cook Political Report's"Competitive House Race Chart" dated 29 June 2006.  Charlie Cook, however, is not the only pollster who handicaps House races.  Other charts can be located at CQ Politics and at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.  While I disagree with all three pollsters on specific races, I believe all of them offer useful information for those of us who try to prognosticate the outcome of the 2006 midterm elections while simultaneously engaging in the impossible task of assessing our present political state of affairs.    

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Focus on the Family's New Advertisements

Focus on the Family will air advertisements in 13 states in an attempt to pressure Senators who have opposed or have expressed opposition to the federal Marriage Protection Amendment.  Here is Focus on the Family's list of advertisements and the Senators they plan to target:

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Politicians Who Cavort in the Lobby

Public Citizen has released a comprehensive report on lobbyists and the politicians they court, providing data on lobbyists' contributions since 1998.  The entire report, which can be accessed here in pdf format, is quite interesting, and I recommend you read it in its entirety.  But I thought I should provide some of the more interesting details of the report to those who may not have to time to peruse the entire document.

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DLC Membership and the Ideas DLC Members Endorse

I thought I should educate myself and others with the following information culled from the DLC and the Democratic Underground.

Let us begin with Congressional Membership.

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Barack Obama Is Out of Touch

Cross-posted at Soapblox Chicago.

This is a short diary, and the content is relatively direct.  Barack Obama has once again betrayed his constituents.  Voting to end debate today on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the DC Circuit court, he endorsed an attorney who is responsible for Bush's aggressive ability to secure approval of his controversial judicial nominees, particularly Patricia Owen and Miguel Estrada.  Kavanaugh also was involved in the scandal surrounding Republican aides who managed to hack into Senate Democrats' computers and view their opinions on and strategies for Bush's judicial nominations.  Dick Durbin of Illinois was one of the Senators whose privacy was violated. Ted Kennedy's computer was also accessed.

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LA-02 Update: Potential Candidates

Congressional Quarterly just published a summary of the political dynamics surrounding the scandal plaguing Bill Jefferson.  According to the article, two Democrats are poised to file for the race if Jefferson is indicted.  One Republican is already prepared to run, and a few other names have been circulated.

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Louisiana Needs Us NOW

BENAWU has noted again and again that four Republican Congressional seats remain unchallenged in Louisiana.  And bloggers in Louisiana are literally crying for our help.  Read this post by Mike Stagg at the blog maintained by the Lafayette Democrats.

I quote the following from Stagg's impassioned letter to the DNC:

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Jindal, Nagin, the Landrieus, Democrats, Democracy

The following is a summary of weeks of research on the Orleans Parish races during the past three months.  I wrote it with this audience in mind, as I know many have not paid attention to the political dynamics of these races.

Ray Nagin, who was just reelected to the position of Mayor of New Orleans with 52% of the vote in a very exciting runoff, endorsed Republican Bobby Jindal when he ran for Governor of Louisiana in 2003.  This was a controversial endorsement: not only did Nagin upset Louisiana Democrats by endorsing a conservative Republican; he also alienated what would later become his base after Hurricane Katrina, or the New Orleans African-American community.

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Interesting Campaign Commercial

Everyone should view this hilarious campaign commercial.  Shelley Midura Stephenson, a Democrat, is in a run-off for the New Orleans City Council District A seat with incumbent Jay Batt, a Republican.  Midura received 28% of the vote in the open primary, while Batt only garnered 40% in a field of eight candidates.  Internal polls claim she can win in this Republican Council district, which is in Louisiana's first Congressional district (R-Jindal), not in Louisiana's second Congressional district (D-Jefferson). The latter comprises portions of Jefferson parish and most of Orleans parish, or the City of New Orleans.

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The Sane Sixteen

I recommend everyone read Jeff Session's racist amendment to the Immigration Reform Bill, S.Amdt. 3979 to S.2611.  The full text of the amendment can be accessed here, and the summary of the amendment is printed as follows:

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