Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blood On Our Hands

No need for a link here, as anyone who is reading this is sufficiently news-savvy to know that Terri Schiavo has died. To all who helped the Schiavo family, with prayers, with volunteer hours, with lobbying, thanks. Much can be learned about dealing with suffering with grace and dignity from the Schindler family, including Terri. It speaks volumes about the American people that there was such a tremendous outpouring of support for a family whom most will never meet and for a woman who was a martyr for a cause for which she never volunteered.

There is much to be said about the lack of backbone shown by the Bush boys, about how they bowed to out of control courts. And we can criticize the courts themselves, as they usurped authority from both preeminent branches of government and failed to recognize the limitations on their power. And questions can be asked about the Florida Republican Party, of which nine members prevented the legislature from acting to save an innocent woman's life. And we can throw stones, deservedly so, at a husband and in-law who showed no regard for his wife or her family under the worst of circumstances.

For now, however, we must look at ourselves, as individuals, as conservatives, and as a nation. We have failed. Many began working decades before Terri Schiavo became a household name to teach the country, to change hearts, to change minds. Others of us have joined the conservative movement more recently, bringing much needed energy and ideas to the fore. Some got involved only when Terri's plight came to light. We have failed.

As a nation, we have put conveniece over life, liberty over family, expediency over principle. The crank lowering the handbasket into Hell has turned yet again. America was to be as a city on a hill. And for a long time it was. When the Founding Fathers created the republic, the principles were there if the action was not. Over time, however, these principles became a reality.

Now, however, the principles are gone. Polls show widespread support for Michael's decision to starve a woman whose only crime was a physical disability. Life is now a matter of pleasure and pain. Society considers people valuable based on some perverse notion of "contribution" to society at large, instead of by the very fact that they are persons, whose value is inherent in their very nature. High-minded, over-thought notions of "mercy" and "science" have replaced our intrinsic knowledge of right and wrong, and we have been degraded by the very science that many have claimed for years separates us from the other species.

May God forgive us for failing thus far, and may He give us the strength to continue the fight with a renewed urgency.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Patches Does the Right Thing

After Rep. Jim Langevin took a pass at the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island, Democrats tried to get Rep. Patrick Kennedy to reconsider. Today, Kennedy dashed those hopes. Saying that he could do more good for Rhode Island on the House Appropriations Committee, Kennedy dropped out for the second time. My disdain for the Kennedys is trumped only by my disdain for New York's junior Senator and Bud Selig, but I have to give Kennedy credit here. He's passing up a rare opportunity to move up in Rhode Island politics for family reasons, but to save face for his mother, he did not use them as his excuse. Even though he's a lefty, Patrick Kennedy is demonstrating family values in his personal life. It doesn't excuse his policy positions, but I applaud him for putting family ahead of career.

Kennedy's exit means that Democrats are sure to have no better than a second tier candidate. Chafee would have been vulnerable to either of the state's Congerssmen, but he's the sure favorite in a general election now. If he lasts that long.

Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey has recently been boasting the rise in Republican registration. A pro-life moderate reformer, Laffey cleaned up the City of Cranston and saved it from near bankruptcy. While he's made a number of enemies along the way, he has saved the city financial disaster by actually fighting the waste, fraud, and abuse that have become cliche in populist circles. Laffey is thought to have ambitions for higher office, but it remains to be seen what direction his career will actually take.

Rhode Island is a cradle of liberalism and is therefore tough for any non-traitorous Republican. Entry into the race by either Rep. Kennedy or Rep. Langevin might have scared Laffey off, as he would have entered the general election an underdog if he were able to knock off Chafee in the Primary. Now, Laffey has a relatively clear path to the Senate. Chafee is a consistent problem for Republicans, who live in constant, um, 'fear'(?), that Chafee will switch parties. Should he make it through what would, to be sure, be a tough primary, he would probably face the weakest Democrat that the Democrats will nominate in the state for the next few decades. Opportunities like this don't come around often, and conservative anger over Chafee siding with Democrats on the constitutional option would provide added incentive for in and out of state conservatives to oust Chafee in favor of a more conservative Republican whom we could be confident would not switch parties.

Conservatives can reasonably disagree on support for Santorum, but it is difficult to imagine that most conservatives would not jump at the opportunity to dump the missing Linc for a viable, right-of-center alternative.


In a story that surfaced a few weeks ago (sorry, missed this one), Maine State Rep. Brian Duprey announced that he is considering challenging RINO Sen. Olympia Snowe. Snowe has nearly achieved the status of "institution" in Maine, but she has also achieved the status of thorn in the side for conservatives. Unfortunately for Sen. Snowe, and fortunately for conservatives, Maine's Primary is closed.

Duprey received national media when he propsed legislation to ban abortions based on sexual preference. He has compiled a conservative voting record and will be well positioned to exploit Snowe's stated opposition to the constitutional option. His main stumbling block will be questions about his electability. His best chance of reaching the Senate is seeing major Democrats take a pass assuming that Snowe is unbeatable, and pulling off a major upset in the primary to face off against a sacrificial lamb.

The dynamics of this potential primary would be similar to those in Rhode Island, except that there will likely be stronger mobilization on both sides of the abortion issue because of Snowe's sex. It's a longshot bid, to be sure, but is a no-lose situation for conservatives. It'll be interesting to see whether Duprey can put together the organization quickly enough to be taken seriously. If so, look for Maine to get some added attention with a Toomey-like race, hopefully with a different outcome.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Happy Easter

Posting will resume Monday or Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dead Heat

After getting a bump from the speculation about and announcement of his candidacey, Bob Casey, Jr.'s numbers have come back down to earth. A new poll shows that Casey's lead is now a single point, statistically insignificant. These numbers are no big surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the race, as it has been widely expected to be a barnburner.

Three developments in the past week are an appropriate beginning of a race that can only be compared to a Duke-UNC basketball game, up-tempo, including a few runs, but never out of reach. First, the American Spectator accused Junior Casey of cutting a deal with Democratic leadership in exchange for their support. The Casey campaign promptly denied this allegation.

Then, Catholics for Faithful Citizenship endorsed Casey, saying that while Santorum sides with the bishops on abortion and gay marriage, Casey is pro-life, against gay marriage (sort of), and is allied with the Church on numerous other issues involving social programs. The endorsement is just the beginning of Sen. Mudd's Catholic problem. Even with Casey's conservative position on abortion, the issue that brought Catholics to the GOP by the millions, Mudd would've had the upperhand. Then he endorsed Specter. Whether Catholics are willing to forgive him for his transgressions may well determine the outcome of this race. (Full disclosure: I have contributed to the Casey campaign.)

Finally, in an effort to bridge this gap, little Ricky is apparently rethinking his position on capital punishment. He has said that he never really thought about the issue when he favored its use. Capital punishment is a fundamental issue and one on which I myself have problems with the Pope's statements on the issue. The Church has a history of allowing the death penalty, but the Pope and bishops have said recently that it is all but unnecessary in America today. The death penalty is a highly controversial issue that speaks volumes about our culture. Unlike abortion, reasonable people can disagree on the issue, as many who favor it argue that it can effectively deter crime and as such is the pro-life position. Others make the case that it's never licit to end life if it no longer poses a threat to society. Either way, life hangs in the balance. For a sitting Senator to say that he has supported capital punishment without really thinking about it and to then change his position when he's in cycle because of innocent people having been put on death row, years after those reports came out, is simply ludicrous.

Casey is no prize package, but Santorum's blind ambition and ignorance are at best troubling, and at worst frightening.

Feminazis Get Their Way

After screaming bloody murder (note the irony), feminazis got their way today. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced that he will not enter the Democratic Primary to challenge RINO Sen. Lincoln Chafee. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer came under heavy fire from their party's infanticide supporters for supporting Rep. Jim Langevin and Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. for the '06 Senate races in their respective states. Though Langevin is a supporter of unethical embryonic stem-cell research, he and Junior Casey identify themselves as pro-life. I can only speculate about what went on behind closed doors, but my guess is that the spear-carriers and partisans reached a deal in which Michelman & Co. agreed to keep silent on Casey in exchange for a pro-abortion candidate in Rhode Island.

The news comes in the wake of rumors that Rep. Patrick Kennedy is reconsidering entering the race. Kennedy probably didn't think he could beat his fellow Congressman in a primary and thus deferred. Now, however, only Secretary of State Matt Brown remains in the race on the Democratic side. Rather than roll the dice with Brown, the Democrats will fight institution with institution. So they think.

The Hotline reports that Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey has bragged about in recent days about the dramatic upsurge in Republican registration in his city. It's a sliding scale, to be sure, but Cranton's Republican registration rose by about 2500 while GOP registration in the rest of the state actually dropped. Think these numbers are negligible? Keep in mind that a 2002 contested Republican Gubenatorial primary was won with a mere 18,000+ votes. I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that maybe, just maybe, Laffey wasn't doing this to put to rest America's budding curiosity about Republican registration in Rhode Island.

Langevin's exit probably hurts the Democrats' chances of taking this seat, but one should never underestimate the Kennedy name in New England. There's disagreement about what the best match-up for each party would be, but the fact is that Laffey is the only real Republican running. There might be some small differences in how the potential nominees would stack up against each other, but it looks like this could well be one of the best races in the country. Oh by the way, look for Kennedy to declare very soon since he has probably gotten everything he possibly can for agreeing to give up his Appropriations seat.

Ending Judicial Tyranny

Congress should not have had to act to save Terri Schiavo's life. The Florida legislature should not have to act to save Terri Schiavo's life. Both have already instituted laws to do so, but the laws of both have been ignored by judges with an agenda.

This is not the first example of such behavior. To the contrary, judges have in recent years said that "under God" could not be included in the Pledge of Allegiance, that schools could not have a moment of silence for fear that a kid might actually pray during that time, that the Constitution provided protection for the killing of mostly born children, and that "international law", whether agreed to by the President and ratified by the Senate or not, and "world opinion" should be taken into account in their decisions. Judges have shown contempt for the very laws that they are supposed to apply and ignorance to their place in the separation of powers.

Now it is time to act. The Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration is hosting a conference in Washington, DC April 7-8 to address this growing problem. They will both discuss examples of activist judges and the corrective measures that can be taken to end this judicial tyranny, including the confirmation of better judges. To learn more about the conference or to register, please visit

Congress Does the Right Thing

Last night, the House passed a compromise bill that gave the Schindler family standing in federal court. The day before, the Senate passed the same bill by unanimous consent. Now the case has gone to federal court and met with that court's equivalent of Judge Greer. The new judge has openly spoken out about the case and said that he doubts that the result will change. Further, he has refused to order the tube reinserted while he is considering the case.

Like the state court, this brings attention to just how out of control our court system is. Judges are throwing out their responsibility to be objective, throwing out the law, and ignoring what little accountability there is. This is not about results. This is not about politics. This is about judges who are not accountable to the voters, to those who nominated them, and, most importantly, to the law. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for legislatures to begin considering corrective actions, such as impeachment, that will reign in an out of control judiciary and remind them that they must apply the law, not rewrite it.

The Democrats said during the floor debate that the Congressional oversight suggests that we are becoming a nation of men, not of laws. The difficulty is this. All actors in civil processes are men. Too many judges are inserting their personal views, or worse, "international opinion", in their judgements. They are immune neither to the pressures of the day nor to their own opinions, nor can they be. The problem, however, is that they no longer care. Judges once, and, to be fair, some judges still do, did their best to remain objective. They were not always successful, but it was a goal to which they strived. Now, however, judges strive to do as they please and write the law to fit their ends. Now it is time to refocus on the principle, but it now appears that judges will not do so themselves. It is time for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings for judges who show contempt for the very laws that they are supposed to be applying.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hope for Terri?

At the eleventh hour, it appears that the House and Senate have finally reached a compromise on legislation to reign in an out of control judge who has ignored the facts (Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state), the allegations (Terri was likely abused by her husband Michael), and the law (federal law prohibits anyone from inhibiting anyone who has been subpoened by Congress from testifying). For more information on this, check out Abortion was legalized nation-wide because seven judges were more interested in their personal views than the law. Judge Greer has violated the public trust time and time again by ignoring the law in favor of what he has thought was best.

Now, however, both houses of Congress must take up and pass the legislation in short order. Contact your Congressmen and Senators and urge them to defend Terri's constitutional rights by putting her case in federal court.

Kennedy Gets Company

Technically, Rep. Mark Kennedy already had competition for the Senate seat being opened up by Sen. Mark Dayton. Technically. Now, however, serious candidates are stepping forward. Child-safety advocate Patty Wetterling and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar took steps toward entering the race. Both have natural constituencies from their legal and child-safety backrounds and both come from the left wing of the Democratic Party. Wetterling ran a strong but losing campaign against Rep. Kennedy for his House seat this past election in a district that leans Republican. Now that she has experience running for federal office, she'll be able to hone her campaign skills, the Minnesota race could become very competitive. Klobuchar is not to be overlooked, as anti-crime Democrats are hard to come by. (Yes, I do mean that the way it sounds.) Kennedy is the strongest candidate, but the state is very close, and with pro-life candidates likely to be the Democrats' nominees in other hot races, namely Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, the money is sure to pour in for a hard left woman candidate, whichever of the two it may be.

Gary Miller is thrilled that Wetterling is in the race, but surely recognizes that her experience will lend to a better campaign. If Klobuchar beats her in the primary, it'll be a sure sign that she's a state-wide force to be reckoned with. More on this race to come as the new entries are discussed in the media, but in the meantime, I'm sure Gary will have plenty on all candidates.

With the Democrats finally getting these two lowA-list/high B-list candidates, this race now becomes much more competitive. Even so, Kennedy's experience at the federal level, both in government and in campaigns, gives him an edge. Miller has also reported on the difficulty of getting people who agree with Republicans to vote that way. This summer, Kennedy has the chance to blow this race to pieces. In mid to late April, Republicans are expected to pull the trigger on the constitutional option to resolve the constitutional crisis created by Democrats filibustering the President's nominees. For two years, Democrats have filibustered nominees precisely because of their conservative values, values that many Minnesotans share. To date, nothing has crystalized the values debate as this issue will once it is in the media spotlight. When conservative Dems see Mark Dayton, Ted Kennedy, and the junior Senator from New York filibustering judges just because they are pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-religious freedom, the bonds that have lasted longer in Minnesota than in most other places can finally be broken if, if, Kennedy can get the state to focus on this blatantly anti-Christian agenda.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Breech of Trust?

Recent Republican success has been built largely upon the migration of social conservatives from that other Party into the GOP. These successes have been so sweeping that Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress by sizeable majorities. Republicans have also had success at the state level, including the state of Florida, where likewise, Republicans control both houses of the state legislature comfortably and the Governor's mansion. Based on this information, one could safely assume that life, the core issue for many Republican voters, would be protected. Right?

Not so. To the contrary, Terri Schiavo, a woman who suffered severe brain damage, likely a result of spousal abuse, is now being starved to death. Contrary to many news reports, Schiavo is not in a persistent vegetative state. She can respond to light, family members, and music. She has no fatal disease. Doctors who wish to treat her to improve her condition have been prevented from doing so by court order. Her husband was likely abusive, and a tyrant in a robe has denied her the right to representation in court, ruled evidence such as the videos on the site linked above inadmissible, and violated federal law with a ruling today to prevent Terri from appearing before a congressional committees. Today, her feeding tube was removed, and the starvation and dehydration process has begun.

This painful death sentence of a woman who has committed no crime has taken place on the watch of two Republican legislatures and two Republican executives. Individuals involved, such as Sen. Enzi, have made attempts to save her, but in both the Florida and federal legislatures, disputes between the two houses have resulted in no legislation being passed. With the exception of terse, scattered statements, the executives' silence has been deafening as well. Whether by private bill or broader legislation, elected officials have a responsibility to act now to defend one of their citizens. If they fail to do so, one can't help but ask the question, "What good is it to have Republicans in office?" I wish them luck finding an answer that will satisfy us.

Ehrlichs Take a Pass

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich announced that he and his wife would both pass up the seat being vacated by long-term Senator Paul Sarbanes. This clears the way for Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who said that he wants to allow the state time to give due respect to the esteemed Senator. As I have said, an Ehrlich for Gov./Steele for Senate ticket is the best the GOP has to offer. Republicans now have two choices: nominate Steele or lose. This means that the pressure will be poured on. Not only will he have a real chance at winning a seat that is typically written off, but it will also give Republicans a rare opportunity to showcase a black rising star. Expect a Steele entry within the next few weeks to be immediately followed by fundraisers left and right. Black candidates starting to pass up the race also helps, as it give Kweisi Mfume, a racist, a great shot at the Democrat nod. A black Republican up against a radical left-winger may be the winning formula in this deep blue state.

Who To Believe?

On Monday, the American Spectator accused Senate candidate Bob Casey, Jr. of compromising on the core issues of abortion, stem-cell research, and the filibusters. They said that the Democrats closed ranks behind Casey because they had assurances from him that he would toe the party line on these issues. Now, the Casey camp has shot back, saying that no such conversations took place. I can't vouch for Casey, as I, quite obviously, was not present for any conversations that took place, but both sides have an agenda here.

I have never suggested that Casey is a prize package. He's certainly more liberal that Santorum on a number of issues. Even so, his positions on guns and abortion suggest that he wouldn't be nearly as bad as the left wing of the Democrat Party. He's not his father, but then few politicians are, but it is unlikely that he would compromise on these core issues. The filibusters are a question mark. Here's the thing, though. The filibuster problem should be solved by the end of April. Once solved, the issue of filibusters on judges will not arise again. If the problem has not been solved by the 2006 elections, then having a Republican majority means nothing.

If, as expected, the problem is solved, the conservatives must consider what is in the best interests of the movement. A lack of party discipline is the reason that Senate Republicans did not solve the filibuster problem during the President's first four years. Now, conservatives have the opportunity to crack the whip on Senator Mudd without any realistic chance of losing the Senate. Showing the GOP that they cannot take conservatives for granted is essential for our long-term best interests.

These thoughts are not idle musings. Pennsylvania is the perfect example of why Republicans must learn the lesson of just how important adherence to the conservative line is. The Catholic vote is the most important swing vote in national elections. Catholics are a unique group in that they tend to be socially conservative but fiscally liberal. (I myself don't fit this mold, but many do.) The Reagan Revolution was so successful because it brought Catholics into the GOP fold, and quickly. Catholics are apt to leave just as quickly if Republicans are not actively pursuing a socially conservative agenda, most importantly by reforming the courts. Sen. Mudd's transgressions, should they go unpunished, will contribute to a fatal rift between Catholics and the GOP. We simply cannot allow that rift to occur.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It's Wictory Wednesday

Rep. Mark Kennedy is one of the brightest lights of this young campaign cycle. Check out polipundit's post on this. Kennedy is a solid conservative and is second only to Gov. Hoeven of North Dakota in terms of being likely to join the Senate in 2007. Even if you can just give a few bucks, consider helping out this worthy candidate. Hopefully early money will fend off even more big name potential candidates, as some have already bowed out.

Fighting Fire with Fire

For the last two years, Senate Democrats have prevented the Senate from fulfilling its constitutional duty to give advice and consent on the President's judicial nominees. According to Manuel Miranda, Republicans now have 53 supporters of a plan to restore the Constitution, not to mention Senate tradition, by allowing the Senate to vote on the President's nominees. Getting those votes didn't come easy with a number of south paw Republicans in the Senate. Last year's gains, however, open the door.

Two obstacles remain. The first is Snarlin Arlen Specter, who has been a problem since his election to the Senate. Specter will be in the way, but he'll eventually get the nominees to the floor, even if he does so kicking and screaming. The second, however, is Majority Whip Mitch McConnell. Not only did McConnell have hesitation about restoring the Constitution on misguided principle, but he is now dragging his feat because he doesn't think that there is sufficient public support to proceed. Contact Sen. McConnell and tell him that the Democrats went nuclear when they changed the Constitution without so much as a majority. Now, it's time to fight fire with fire. Tell McConnell it's time to push the button and make the Constitution worth more than the paper it's written on.

Note to bloggers: Since this blog has fewer visitors than the Democrats have Senators, please implore your readers to do this. has a national call-in day today, so it's essential that we respond in kind!

A Word on the Blogroll

Just a few words about this site's blogroll. Regarding candidates, I will only be posting candidate websites when I have endorsed a candidate on this site and said candidate has an up-to-date website. At present, only '06 Senate candidates will be listed, though under exceptional circumstances, other candidates may be considered. The fact that a candidate has an up-to-date website and does not appear on the roll does not mean that I will not be supporting him, just that I have not yet written about the race.

Regarding race websites, this site is intended to cover major issues in the Senate and development/analysis of '06 Senate races. Generally, this is not the site to visit for breaking news. Instead, it'll include analysis of these events and action alerts, mainly because my day job prohibits partisan activity on the job. While I'll cover most major developments, other sites are dedicated to particular races. If you have particular interest in those races, I strongly encourage you to visit those individual sites to keep up with them. TBFKADVK, for example, is covering the Minnesota race. Gary Miller is doing an excellent job with it and will continue to cover developments in the race, including Rod Grams's statements. Grams will not get the Republican nomination, but could be a headache for Kennedy. This makes such comments significant for those with a particular interest in this race but far from national headlines. If you're one of the few people interested in hearing what Grams has to say, visit Miller's site. He's able to cover these developments because his site is for a single race, but it would be a second, unpaid full time job to attempt to post every time any potential Senate candidate opens his mouth.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Sarbanes Retires: Target Maryland

Sen. Paul Sarbanes announced on Friday that he will not seek reelection to the Senate. This is a rare opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat in a state that seldom offers such opportunities. I'm over two days late on this, so other sites have some good run downs on the possibilities. David Wissing offers two good articles here and here. Also, check out the analysis on the possibility of an Mfume race from this site in December.

While certainly not giving the GOP the advantage here, I'm more bullish than Wissing. Contrary to what some have suggested, Republicans would not be smart to cede the Senate race, which they would do by nominating anyone other than Gov. Bob Ehrlich or Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, and trying to just win one of the two, which would normally be considered a victory for the Party in this state, our best bet is to have Ehrlich run for reelection and Steele run for Senate. In this scenario, Ehrlich would be the slight favorite for Governor and Steele would have an uphill, but winnable, fight for the Senate seat. Ehrlich running for Senate would cede any advantage he'd have as an incumbent, as he would have to debate national instead of state issues. This would allow Democrats to tie him to national Republicans and make tip the advantage to the Democrats in both races. Further, not having a competitive nominee in the Senate race would allow the Democrat nominee's team to focus on fraud, er, "turnout" in Baltimore City. While Ehrlich would be a slight favorite in a reelection bid, the advantage of having a major candidate focus on nothing other than turnout would probably be too tough to overcome.

So, if Ehrlich runs for reelction and Steele runs for Senate, what are Steele's chances? Even though Steele is more conservative than Ehrlich on social issues like abortion, it would be much tougher for Democrats to tie him to national Republicans. The simple fact that he's a reasonable black conservative, unlike Alan Keyes, means that Democrats will have to tread carefully. It's always smart for Democrats to tie GOP candidates to the national Party in this deep blue state, but Democrats may make the mistake of calling Steele an Uncle Tom. If they do so, Steele's work on improving the inner city and working on education will get even more attention than he'll bring to it without such accusations. When that happens, Steele is likely to cut into the black vote in Baltimore City and might even depress turnout by showing him to be concerned with every day citizens. This would frustrate Democrats to no end because their whole campaign will depend upon morphing the Republican candidate into Tom DeLay. A low Baltimore City turnout coupled with big margins of victory in the rural parts of the state just might be the right formula for a Republican pick-up.

Republicans have to be realistic about this seat. It's an uphill climb, but it is possible that a conservative could actually be elected from this bastion of liberalism. Move this from "Safe Democrat" to "Leans Democrat". Depending on which candidates emerge, that's likely to change either way.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

RINO Runnin

This Thursday, Tom Kean, Jr. began raising money for a 2006 Senate bid. Sen. Jon Corzine is running for Governor and is the odds on favorite this November. Speculation abounds about whether he will seek to name someone who would likely run for a full term in November of '06 or name a caretaker, leaving the seat open.

Kean's father served as Governor of the state two decades ago as a left of center Republican. The value of the family name had depreciated as memories wore thin. Then 9/11 came, and Kean, Sr. served as Chairman of the investigating committee, something that resonates well with a state that was affected more than most by the attacks. Junior's politics are much like his dad's.

Unfortunate, New Jersey is deep blue, making it extremely difficult for a conservative to win. Even so, a few of the state's Congressmen, namely Rep. Smith, Garrett, and Ferguson, suggest that it is possible for conservatives to be competitive in the state. Still, it's highly unlikely that a good conservative will enter the race. That being the case, Kean may be the best the GOP can, or wants to, do.

Look for national Democrats to tell Corzine that his Presidential ambitions hinge upon him naming someone who is likely to hold the seat for some time. If he does so, this will be a steep uphill climb for Kean or anyone else. Put this race on the boarder between likely and leans Democrat unless something big happens to shake up the race.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Kyl in the Driver's Seat

Roll Call today reported that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) led Democrat Party Chair and likely challenger Jim Pederson 54-23 in an NRSC poll conducted March 1-5. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "once likely challenger". Kyl is well-liked in Arizona, but could have faced a strong challenge from Gov. Janet Napolitano (D). Deciding that she'd rather coast to reelection as an executive instead of taking a 50-50 chance at joining a slimming Senate Minority, Napolitino took a pass on the race. If, if, these numbers are confirmed by independent sources, Pederson could think better of it and stay out of the race.

Sen. Kyl is the none-troublemaking Senator from Arizona and is first in line to replace Sen. Specter should his cancer prevent him from finishing his term as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Any Democrat would be hard-pressed to justify dumping a powerful member of the majority for a freshman member of a dwindling minority. After some hope in 2004, Sen. Kerry bailed on the state, realizing that he was persona non grata in Barry Goldwater's home state. With Howard Dean as DNC Chair, any Democrat will have to distance himself from the establishment. As Sen. Daschle found out, though, this is easier said than done. In addition to the Senator's popularity and Dean being, well, Dean, Kyl has almost $2M in the bank. With brighter prospects of gaining seats in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, and desperate attempts to save seats in Minnesota, Nebraska, Florida, Washington, and other states, look for the Democrats to make like France and pre-emptively surrender in this bright red state.

Abortion Ground Staked Out

Today, the Senate voted on the Schumer amendment, a radical pro-abortion amendment that sought to prevent such criminals as old ladies praying the Rosary and teenagers handing brochures for crisis pregnancy centers to women who feel entirely hopeless, from declaring bankruptcy when losing lawsuits that fund such acts "violent". The vote gives some insight as to how the Senate will behave on pro-life votes. The "pro-life" Democrats, with the exception of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), caved into party pressure and voted for the amendment. This suggests that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will abuse his power as DSCC Chair to blackmail Democrats into voting his way against their principles. RINOs voting in favor of the amendment were the usual suspects, Chafee (RI), Collins (ME), snowe (ME), and Specter (PA - thanks Rick!). The big surprise vote was cast by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), who voted against the amendment. This is a sure sign that the Senator has finally lost his marbles, as he would never have opposed such an amendment when he still had some of his faculties. Hopefully the Senator will continue to forget his long-held positions and vote with the Republicans more often.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Hokey Pokey, PA Style

Ya put the right man in, ya take the wrong chick in, you get the donors involved and ya shake em all about. Ya do the hokey pokey and ya turn the race around, and that's what it's all about.

Two days after entering the race, former Treasurer Barbara Hafer has bowed out. Hafer's exit was immediately followed by Treasurer Bob Casey's entry. The Rendell Mafia maneuver is sure to anger radical feminazis who don't like any candidate who doesn't support a doctor's right to kill a child during birth. Liberal idealogues are flipping out, Democratic partisans are smiling, and Sen. Mudd looks like a deer in headlights.

With all due respect to Minnesota, this is the marquis match-up of 2006. Sen. Mudd enters the slight favorite as the incumbent, but his transgressions have his base debating whether it should back him. Conservatives are split three ways on Mudd. A majority seem willing to bite the bullet, but the rest either plan to stay home or back his opponent. (It's no secret where I come down on this, as my contribution to Casey, Jr. will show up on the next FEC report. While no tears will be shed over a Chafee loss, Casey will be the only Democrat this blogger endorses in 2006.)

Besides POed conservatives, most analysts think three groups will determine the outcome. The first of these groups is pro-life Democrats. Sen. Mudd, long considered a social conservative hero, lost much of his credibility with social conservatives with his endorsement of Specter last year. Casey's pro-life position puts him in position to capitalize on this weakness and bring pro-life Democrats, many of whom are Catholics who are more liberal on social justice issues, home to the Democratic Party. If Casey succeeds in doing this, other groups are meaningless and he wins the election.

The next group that will be crucial is the socially liberal, economically right of center Philadelphia suburbs. Some think that Casey's pro-life, pro-gun stances could be enough to have these voters, who are moving leftward, back into Mudd's camp. Assuming that Republicans, controlling both the Congress and the White House, do what they were elected to do and govern as conservatives, this scenario is unlikely. Look for Casey to fall just a few points shy of Ed Rendell in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Finally, some are concerned about Casey's positions costing him votes in Philadelphia itself. In spite of his transgressions, the left still considers Mudd far right. Philadelphia voters, dead and alive, guilty and not guilty, will turn out heavily for Rendell, and while they're there do what they can to dump Mudd.

Mudd's a very slight favorite, but that status could change very quickly.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Minnesota Takes Shape

With Evacuatin' Dayton being true to his name, the Minnesota race has become wide open... Kinda... Sorta..... Well, not really. Rep. Mark Kennedy, an Irish Catholic - on this blog, he gets points for that - decared his candidacy first and has become the instant Republican frontrunner. Former Sen. Rod Grams may challenge him for the nod, but Kennedy has already wrapped up the support of 85% of Republican state Senators, Sen. Norm Coleman, and possibly Gov. Tim Pawlenty. A Grams candidacy would be a mistake repeated. Rep. Gutknect's decision not to run all but solidifies the nomination for Kennedy. Not only has he done the legwork state-wide, but he also fended off a well-funded challenger in a suburban district where the Republican candidate will have to do well.

On the Democratic side, child advocat Patty Wetterling may go toe-to-toe with Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar. Polls show Wetterling to lead all comers, but With national Democrats attempting to recruit pro-life candidates in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, look for pro-abortion money to pour in for whichever pro-abortion woman runs. Another impact of those states on this race is that Democrats have failed to clear the field for their favored candidates in both of those races. With competitive primaries sure to soak up Democrat money next year, look for Democrats to do everything they can to clear the field for Patty Wetterling.

Dems need the seat for 50. Republicans need it for 60. If North Dakota isn't a Hoeven-Conrad match-up, this race will probably make for the most expensive votes of any '06 race. With this in mind, how about visiting and contributing a few bucks. Giving $20 now is like giving $100 later, as this could help deter potential challengers. Consider it an investment in America's future, as this Sen. Kennedy would help Sens. Coburn & Co. move the Republican caucus, and therefore the Senate, to the right.