Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Okay Okay, So I Lied

THIS is my last post before heading to Washington. Wictory Wednesday, a system of blogs used frequently during the election to raise money and spread messages during the Bush campaign, is asking today that members contribute to Sen. Santorums's reelection campaign. This past April, Sen. Mudd, as he shall henceforth be called on this blog, endorsed RINO Arlen Specter, who has already begun causing trouble as the new Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now, Specter is in a position to obstruct the President's judicial nominees, which he may well do in spite of promises to the contrary. Santorum stabbed conservatives in the back and now thinks he still has the right to pass the hat among conservatives. Especially if pro-life, pro-gun state Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. runs for this office, we have reason to dump Santorum. Republicans are in no danger of losing the Senate, and the filibuster problem will have been solved by then. If liberals want to brag about electing a conservative Dem in a blue state, then we're really in much better shape than we realize.

March for Life/Harass Your Senators

This will be my last post until the middle of next week. I'm heading down for the Inaugural and March for Life festivities. Next month, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will bring one of President Bush's filibustered judges to the Senate floor. At that point, we will need to a) get 60 votes for cloture, b) get 51 votes to support a rule change, or c) allow the minority to continue acting like the majority. The Inaugural events are all well and good, but please try to get to Washington to send a message that it is a vibrant social conservative movement that reelected President Bush and increased the Republican majorities, and that it is the social conservatives to whom they are accountable.

If you come to the March, visit your Senators' offices to give them your opinions on the judicial nominations. It's best to visit your home-state Senators, though visits to Senators in influential positions on powerful committees (read Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter) can be very helpful. Although there are longer lists, the top targets for cloture votes and votes to support the rule change are below.

1) Sen. Lincoln Chafee (supposed RINO-RI) - has voted for cloture on all nominees
2) Sen. John Warner (RINO-VA) - has voted against cloture on one nominee
3) Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) - has voted for cloture on all but one nominee
4) Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
5) Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
6) Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
7) Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Rule Change
1) Sen. Snarlin' Arlen Specter (RINO-PA or Scotland, nobody's really sure)
2) Sen. Olympia Snowe (RINO-ME)
3) Sen. Susan Collins (RINO-ME)
4) Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RINO-RI)
5) Sen. John Warner (RINO-VA)
6) Sen. John McCain (RINO-AZ)
7) Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
8) Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
8) Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Race Update: Michigan

Rep. Candice Miller has unfortunately decided not to challenge first-term Senator Debbie Stabenow. Miller was being heavily recruited by the White House and offered Republicans a far better chance of taking the seat than any other potential candidate. It's not unwinnable, but there are multiple factors working against us. Any Republicans with state-wide name recognition will probably wait for Sen. Levin to retire. This leaves us mostly with candidates who either are second-tier and think that this is their only shot, or who will simply be trying to raise their name recognition before a 2008 bid. Smart money will move to other races that are more likely to go our way, such as Florida, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Friday, January 07, 2005

McCain Folds

Congressional Quarterly this week reported that Senator John McCain has decided to oppose what may be the only way that Republicans can ensure that the Senate can fulfill its Constitutional duty of giving advise and consent on judicial nominations. McCain has previously shown contempt for the Constitution with his campaign finance proposal. While DvK has suggested that this rules out his Presidential prospects, he fails to see McCain's true goal. McCain is apparently wants to be dictator.

This is an absolute disgrace, and it's high time that Bill Frist did something about it. In the last two election cycles, conservatives have elected Jim Talent, Tom Coburn, and Jim DeMint, among others, and we did not do so only to fail to fill the judiciary just because the Senate Majority Leader has not yet shown the cajones to do his job. Frist needs to step up to the plate with some corrective measures.

Unless Frist does something, we're now facing the possible failure of the Constitutional option. Call your Senators and tell them that they can either do their jobs or you'll find someone who will do their jobs for them!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Race Profile: Montana

Sen. Conrad Burns won this seat in 1988 to become only the second Republican Senator in state history. Burns survived a scare in 2000 against now Governor-elect Brian Schweitzer. Having learned his lesson in 2000, Burns already has over $600,000 in the bank and is ready for a challenge.

Few states have a Senator who has better managed to represent it than Montana has in Conrad Burns. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Burns has brought home the bacon on education and health care by bringing investment to the state even while continuing to try to cut government waste. As Chairman of the Interior Appropriations subcommittee, he has successfully worked to preserve Montana's natural resources at a time when many Western states have struggled to do the same. Further, his support of gun rights, while viewed by the mainstream media as "extreme", fits perfectly with Second Amendment supporters in the state.
Democrats hope to recruit State Attorney General Mike McGrath for the race. His popularity within the state led to his unchallenged reeelction in 2004. McGrath's office has focused heavily on victims' rights and defending the state's environmental protection laws. He has also used his position to strengthen his relationship with native Americans, including his negotiation of an agreement with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Even so, he has yet to be forced to debate issues of national policy instead of the cream-puff, we can all get along, issues that he has dealt with as state Attorney General.

President Bush routed Senator Kerry, winning by over 20 points. At the same time, however, Democrats took the Governor's mansion and both houses of the state legislature. The state is generally libertarian. In the west, the focus on social libertarianism makes it friendly territory for Dems. The eastern part of the state, however, is more of the "from my cold dead hands" mentality that makes it difficult for Democrats to win at the federal level. On balance, gun control reigns supreme and gives Republicans an edge when all other things are equal. Further, a small state like Montana doesn't come by clout easily, and a fourth-term Majority Senator could do far more for the state than a freshman member of the left-wing minority.

This will be as much a fight between the NRA and the Sierra Club as between Burns and his opponent. If McGrath gets in, this race leans Republican. If not, Democrats will have a tough time finding a willing candidate who can seriously challenge Burns. Ambitious Democrats may also be afraid to risk jobs they have already won to challenge a Republican who will have the backing of the interest group with the greatest influence in the state.