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Click for the full list of 2007 House incumbents
This week we add coverage of the voting records of the incumbents in the U.S. House for major votes that took place in late 2007. Click on the House page for any incumbent member of the House to see how they voted on each of the issues below.
Click for the full list of 2007 Senate incumbents
This week we add coverage of the voting records of the incumbents in the U.S. Senate for major votes that took place in late 2007. Click on the House page for any incumbent member of the Senate to see how they voted on each of the issues below.
OnTheIssues.org has added a batch of new "group ratings" to the website. They will first appear on the presidential candidate pages today, and will filter into the House and Senate incumbents' pages over the next week:
Declares victory on making immigration a central issue
Tom Tancredo has backed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for President. "At this point in time, (Romney) is the best hope for our cause," Tancredo said during a news conference in downtown Des Moines. The cause that vaulted the Colorado congressman into the race [was] illegal immigration.
One pundit said Tancredo's exit and endorsement of Romney could shake up the volatile Republican field. "Tancredo throwing his support behind Romney comes at a key time when Romney is trying to fight off the surge of Mike Huckabee," she said. "For Romney, it probably couldn?t have come at a better time." Several polls show Romney and Huckabee in a tight race for frontrunner status in Iowa leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses.
Tancredo and Romney met for about an hour today prior to the announcements, Tancredo said. He opted to support Romney after he was reassured that he had clarified his position on immigration. Tancredo has questioned Romney's sincerity on the issue in the past, but said Thursday he's convinced Romney would secure the border, prosecute employers of illegal immigrants, and make those who are here illegally return to their native countries. Tancredo said he is not certain what role he will play in Romney's campaign.
Click for complete Tom Tancredo's or Mitt Romney's issue stances.
Former Democratic House member announces with Green Party
I am proud to say that the Green Party is my new political home.
The Democrats do not speak for us. The Democrats are no different than their Republican counterparts. The Democrats eat out of the hands of corrupt lobbyists and feed at the same corporate trough.
The Republicans have deceived us. The Democrats have failed us. But we cannot deceive ourselves and we must not fail in our struggle for peace because the world still looks to America for leadership. Now, we must be those leaders.
It is time for peace. It is time to break the vicious cycle where the poor go to war and veterans come home wounded and ignored.
Come home to the Green Party.
Click for complete Cynthia McKinney issue stances.
Declares victory on making immigration a central issue
[Excerpts from open letter on campaign website]:
It is with my heart full of gratitude and a touch of sadness that I write today to tell you of my intention to end my campaign for the presidency. As a loyal friend and supporter it is important to me that you understand why I am doing this, even though you may disagree.
For the past ten years I have dedicated my public life to the critical issue of illegal immigration. I believed then –as I do now—that massive uncontrolled illegal immigration threatens our survival as a nation. I could not stand by and let open border politicians and corporate lobbyists sell our country out to the highest bidder.
Then earlier this year when I feared that the issue would not be championed by any of the top candidates I threw my hat in the ring. It was the only way I could be certain that the candidates would be forced to take a stand.
Thanks to your incredible support look what we have accomplished: Our campaign forced the issue of immigration to the center of the national stage and—more importantly—forced every presidential candidate to commit themselves to an immigration plan that calls for securing the borders, opposing amnesty and enforcing the law.
So with so much success why drop out of the race now, you are probably asking. For one reason and one reason alone: I believe the cause demands I do so.
The presidential campaign has come down to less than a handful of viable candidates. Unfortunately several of them have abysmal records on immigration and can’t be trusted to do what is needed to preserve this country if they’re elected. My fear is that if I were to stay in this race my votes could be the factor in handing victory to a pro-amnesty politician.
Click for complete Tom Tancredo's issue stances.
Cross-party endorsement hints at V.P. interest
Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat who ran as an independent last election after losing his primary re-election, endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday. The two had just traveled together, once again, to Iraq for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to a Lieberman aide, "Lieberman just thought McCain was clearly the most qualified candidate (of the entire '08 line-up) to be commander in chief from day one so rather than just observe from the sidelines, the senator now hopes to actually influence the process."
The aide said Lieberman was not courted by anyone else in the race. "I think McCain is the only one who asked for the senator's endorsement," he added. McCain also held a news conference where he was endorsed by over 100 retired admirals.
In a pre-emptive comment against the questions that will inevitably come and that have swirled around the senator since his own contentious 2006 re-election, when he was knocked out of the Democratic primary by a political neophyte because of his pro-Iraq position, Lieberman is not switching parties. "This is in no way an endorsement of the (Republican) Party, just the man," the aide said, adding that McCain did not ask Lieberman to join his ticket in the vice presidential slot.
The McCain-Lieberman relationship is decades old. The two worked closely together on Kosovo and the Balkans issues in the early 1990s. Both men also pushed legislation, against the Bush administration's wishes, that eventually led to the establishment of the Sept. 11 commission.
Click for complete John McCain's or Joe Lieberman's issue stances.
"Money Bomb" Accomplished entirely by grassroots volunteers
Rep. Ron Paul raised an astounding $6 million and change Sunday, almost certainly guaranteeing he'll outraise his rivals for the Republican nomination in the fourth quarter and likely will be able to fund a presence in many of the states that vote Feb. 5. Paul's campaign spokesman late Sunday announced the campaign had eclipsed the $5.7 million that John Kerry raised the day after he locked up the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination--arguably the largest single-day fundraising haul in U.S. political history.
Paul, whose campaign has been embraced by a zealous community of online supporters, raised eyebrows when donors acting independently of the campaign dropped $4.2 million into his campaign coffers Nov. 5, [corresponding with Guy Fawkes Day]. The current fundraising effort was timed for the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, a day meant to resonant with the Libertarian sensibilities of his supporters.
The man who engineered it--a 37-year-old music promoter named Trevor Lyman--has no official ties to the campaign and had no political experience to speak of before he engineered the innovative model for the Nov. 5 fundraising haul. He set up a website that solicited pledges for contributions to be made directly to the Paul campaign on that day--a technique that became known as a "money bomb," which he used again to such great effect Sunday.
Click for complete Ron Paul's issue stances.
Last Democratic debate before Iowa caucus
Click for complete debate coverage or DMR's resulting endorsee, Hillary Clinton.
Last Republican debate before Iowa caucus
Click for complete debate coverage or DMR's resulting endorsee, John McCain.
Scrutiny as Iowa frontrunner for anti-gay rhetoric
Click for complete Mike Huckabee's issue stances.
Click for full debate coverage
Click for issue stances of Wes Clark or Hillary Clinton
Following is the script for the ad released today in Iowa featuring General Wesley Clark:
Clinton: I’m Hillary Clinton and I approved this message.
Clark: I see that Hillary’s opponents have started attacking her. That’s politics. What this country needs is leadership.
Clark: I’m Wes Clark; I commanded our forces in Europe when we won the fight to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
Clark: I’ve known Hillary Clinton for twenty-four years. I know she has what it takes to end the war in Iraq, avert war with Iran, and restore our country’s standing in the world.
Clark: These are tough times and Hillary Clinton is the right choice for America.
Complete excerpts: hosted by Iowa Public Radio
Complete excerpts: hosted by CNN
Click for full debate coverage
Complete excerpts: hosted by CNN
"The best pro-life candidate to beat Hillary Clinton"
Sam Brownback went back to the Iowa presidential hustings Wednesday, this time to back another GOP senator — John McCain. “The best pro-life candidate to beat Hillary Clinton,” proclaimed Brownback in Dubuque.
But his announcement wasn’t the hottest endorsement of the day. Televangelist Pat Robertson gave his nod to Rudy Giuliani. “America’s Mayor,” Robertson said, is “a proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead.”
Click for complete Sam Brownback's or John McCain's issue stances.
Complete excerpts: hosted by MSNBC
Hosted by Fox News
"Yellow Brick Road just came up short"
An emotional Brownback on Friday formally ended his bid at a statehouse news conference, saying his “Yellow Brick Road just came up short of the White House this time.”
Asked about running for governor in 2010, the Kansas Republican was explaining that he hadn’t thought of any other political races when his wife, Mary, piped up. “The yard needs mowing first,” she said.
Despite a solid conservative record, he said, he never gained traction with national media. And “We’re out of money.”
Brownback didn’t rule out an endorsement of a rival, although former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is not a likely recipient. The party, he predicted, will nominate an anti-abortion candidate. “I don’t see him winning the nomination,” he said. Analysts said Brownback’s supporters in Iowa could move to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and push Giuliani to third there. Brownback wouldn’t comment, either, on becoming a vice-presidential candidate. Some in Kansas dismiss that possibility because Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius could then pick his replacement.
Click for complete Sam Brownback issue stances.
Sen. Sam Brownback's last debate
Blames McCain/Feingold law
Q: Just last week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he felt a responsibility to run for president and his supporters were all set to launch a $30 million fund-raising drive tomorrow to make it possible. But late yesterday, Gingrich announced that 2008 would not be his year. Any second thoughts overnight?
A: No. The McCain/Feingold Act criminalizes politics. We learned yesterday morning that this was the decisive moment. I had taken leave from Fox. We had a website set up to launch on Monday and we were informed yesterday morning that if I had any communication with American Solutions after I became a candidate it was a criminal offense.
Q: Explain what American Solutions is and why that would be illegal.
A: American Solutions is technically a 527, which is a form of fund-raising, which allows us to develop ideas. We've said publicly that any polling data we released we're releasing to both parties. We launched a workshop Thursday night and all day Saturday. And I'm very proud of it, and we've had about a year of work going into it. And I thought there was a way that you could continue the momentum of those ideas while I began to prepare a presidential campaign. What we learned yesterday morning was, I mean, it's literally a go to jail criminal activity.
Q: How much did feasibility factor in here? You know, the money wasn't there not at all?
A: None. Without having even set the website up, our estimate was we had several million dollars in pledges, I think we would clearly have been competitive financially within three weeks.
Click for complete Newt Gingrich issue stances.
Will run for Nebraska Senate seat
President Bush and Mike Johanns covered each other in praise Thursday as Johanns stepped down from the top job at the USDA, and both men made clear the former Nebraska governor would run for the U.S. Senate. Johanns, 57, also telegraphed that his campaign for the Republican nomination will not criticize Bush policies. Johanns left the governor’s office to become Secretary of Agriculture in 2005 after being elected to a second term.
Political observers made Johanns, 57, the early, strong favorite. The continuing and most important question now: Will former Nebraska governor, and two-term U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, 64, accept the Democratic nomination?
Senator Chuck Hagel announced on Sept. 10 that he will not ask Nebraskans for a third term. Hagel tsaid he would not seek any office in 2008. He had considered a bid for the presidency. A decorated, twice-wounded veteran of the Vietnam war, Hagel has been the foremost critic of the way President Bush has managed the war in Iraq.
Click for complete Mike Johanns issue stances.
Former UN Ambassador and candidate for IL Senate in 2004
Alan Keyes is back. The socially conservative Republican, who has twice run for president in the past, has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to give it one more shot.
According to a statement posted at RenewAmerica, an activist group he chairs, Keyes has been "unmoved" by the other candidates' lack of moral courage. "The one thing I've always been called to do is to raise the standard . . . of our allegiance to God and His authority that has been the foundation stone of our nation's life," he said.
Keyes ran for the highest office in the land in 1996 and 2000, in between a trio of failed Senate runs in Maryland and Illinois. (The latter came against Barack Obama, whom he said Jesus Christ would not vote for.) He was State Department official under Ronald Reagan and has been a prominent media commentator, going back to his 1990s radio show "The Alan Keyes Show: America's Wake-Up Call."
It is unlikely, given the current political landscape, that Keyes will overtake the frontrunners in the crowded Republican field, storm to the GOP nomination, and take out the Democrat in the general election, something Keyes surely realizes. So what is his latest political foray all about? Perhaps it's as simple as name recognition and the opportunities it provides: After all, Mike Gravel wasn't exactly a household name this time last year, and now he's getting to expound on the Bush administration on national television.
If nothing else, Keyes' run could spice things up a bit: Like some other long-shot candidates, among them Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, Keyes is an excellent, sometimes-confrontational debater who is unafraid to make comments that might alienate certain members of the audience. He may or may not get much chance to use those skills, since it's far from a sure thing that Keyes will be invited to share the debate stage with the Republican frontrunners. But he is scheduled to participate in a debate with other long-shots tonight in Florida. So if you've been skipping the presidential debates because they're too boring for your tastes, this may be the night to tune in.
Click for complete Alan Keyes issue stances.
Hosted by Univision (Spanish TV)
Republicans hosted by Fox News, plus ad announcing Fred Thompson's candidacy
Announces on Jay leno show, opposite the GOP debate
Fred Thompson officially entered a wide-open Republican presidential race Thursday, vowing to invigorate a dispirited GOP and promising to thwart another Clinton from capturing the presidency.
The former Tennessee senator harkened to the GOP glory days of 1994 when he and other Republicans seized control of Congress and established an equal counterpoint to Democrat Bill Clinton in the White House. Now an official candidate for the Republican nomination, Thompson promised to return the party to better times.
"In 1992, we were down after a Clinton victory," Thompson said in a 15-minute Webcast that laid out the rationale for the candidacy he also declared on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
"In 1994, our conservative principles led us to a comeback and majority control of the Congress. Now, you don't want to have to come back from another Clinton victory. Our country needs us to win next year, and I am ready to lead that effort," he said.
Thompson, 65, enters an extraordinarily fluid race four months before voting begins. While Giuliani leads in national polls, Romney maintains an edge in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Overall, Republican voters have expressed less satisfaction with their choices than Democrats, and Thompson, who ranks strongly in GOP surveys, is maneuvering to become the favorite of a GOP base that is searching for someone with right-flank bona fides who can win in a general election. His quest won't be easy.
Click for complete Fred Thompson issue stances.
Arrested on June 11 for misdemeanor sexual misconduct charge; insists "I am not gay"
Long dogged by rumors about his sexuality, the married and conservative three-term senator is expected to address the June 11 incident at Minneapolis Airport in which an undercover officer arrested him on charges of lewd conduct in a men's room.
Craig, who has voted against gay marriage and opposes extending special protections to gay and lesbian crime victims, might step down, some of his longtime allies have denounced his behavior and called for his resignation. "If the accusations are true, then we think that he needs to resign," Bryan Fischer, the executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, told ABCNews.com. "We believe that character is an important qualification for public service and we believe if these accounts are true, then the senator conduct has fallen short of what we should expect from public officials." Fischer, who is thankful for the senator's anti-abortion policy and his opposition to gay marriage, said that many of his fellow Idahoans were not surprised to hear about the arrest. "I don't think people were shocked because these rumors had circulated for years. But people in Idaho feel tremendous disappointment. You know that they feel they have been let down by another public figure. I've heard from some in our alliance, virtually everyone was aware that the rumors had circulated and they're disappointed that there might have been some fire behind that smoke."
A political science professor in Idaho said Craig's political future was in jeopardy. And a spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, Hannah August, said Craig's guilty plea "has given Americans another reason not to vote Republican" next year. Earlier Tuesday, liberal action group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against Craig with the Senate ethics committee, asking the panel to investigate whether the lawmaker violated the Senate Rules of Conduct by pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. "If pleading guilty to charges stemming from an attempt to solicit an undercover officer in a public restroom is not conduct that reflects poorly upon the Senate, what is?" asked CREW's executive director Melanie Sloan.
Click for complete Larry Craig issue stances.
Resigns after months-long uproar
The resignation of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday ended a storybook rise that began in an impoverished neighborhood in the Houston suburbs, reached into the political power centers of Austin and Washington and then unraveled with his stewardship as the nation’s top cop.
Gonzales, the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general and one of George W. Bush’s closest advisers, resigned after enduring a months-long uproar over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and disclosures that the FBI overstepped the Patriot Act to intrude into the lives of U.S. citizens.
Throughout his political and professional ascent, which also included service as a Texas Supreme Court justice, Gonzales broke through social and cultural barriers and earned the admiration of thousands of Hispanics. After Bush became president in 2001, Gonzales appeared on track to be nominated as the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
But the accolades were all but forgotten after Gonzales confronted accusations that he had politicized the Justice Department and had veered away from his pledge to be bound only "by the rule of law." For months, Democrats and a growing number of Republicans clamored for his resignation. He was also never able to put to rest Democratic criticism over his performance as White House counsel in Bush’s first term, where he participated in administration policies that critics say contributed to torture of detainees and the prison abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Text of Attorney General's resignation:
Click for complete Alberto Gonzales issue stances.
Eight Democrats hosted by George Stephanopoulos
"I have no regrets about running"
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said Sunday he is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination after finishing sixth in an Iowa straw poll.
"I have no regrets about running," he said in a statement released Sunday evening by his campaign. "I felt my record as governor of Wisconsin and secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as president, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America."
The statement said Thompson, 65, intends to take some time off before returning to the private sector and his nonprofit work.
He had said before the Iowa event that he would drop out of the race unless he finished first or second. The statement didn't say whether he would endorse another candidate.
Click for complete Tommy Thompson issue stances.
|Mitt Romney wins Iowa Straw Poll: Aug. 12, 2007|
|1||Gov.Mitt Romney||4,516 votes||31.6 %|
|2||Gov.Mike Huckabee||2,587 votes||18.1 %|
|3||Sen.Sam Brownback||2,192 votes||15.3 %|
|4||Rep.Tom Tancredo||1,961 votes||13.7 %|
|5||Rep.Ron Paul||1,305 votes||9.1 %|
|6||Gov.Tommy Thompson||1,039 votes||7.3 %|
|7||Sen.Fred Thompson||203 votes||1.4 %|
|8||Mayor Rudy Guiliani||183 votes||1.3 %|
|9||Rep.Duncan Hunter||174 votes||1.2 %|
|10||Sen.John McCain||101 votes||0.7 %|
|11||Chmn.John Cox||41 votes||0.1 %|
|HRC/LOGO primary debate: Aug. 9, 2007|
|AFL-CIO Democratic primary debate: Aug. 7, 2007|
|Republican primary debate: Aug. 5, 2007|
|Alberto Gonzales faces impeachment inquiry: Aug 3, 2007|
Democratic House members, including several former prosecutors, have introduced a measure directing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., a co-sponsor of the measure, said the investigation is warranted given the questions about whether Gonzales misled Congress in testimony about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and about a secret government eavesdropping program. “The resolution isn’t for impeachment, it’s an inquiry,” Moore said. “If the investigation concludes that he mislead Congress and gave false information or otherwise, I would certainly look into whether further action is necessary.”
Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., who was a prosecutor in Washington state in the late 1970s and 1980s, is the lead sponsor of the measure. Other sponsors are Democratic Reps. Xavier Becerra of California, Michael Arcuri of New York, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, Bruce Braley of Iowa and Tom Udall of New Mexico.
Lawmakers from both parties have questioned Gonzales’ truthfulness. Democrats and some Republicans have openly accused him of helping Bush exploit executive power at the expense of civil liberties and possibly beyond the law on an array of matters including secretive surveillance. A spokesman for Gonzales said it was “unfortunate that confusion exists, but not surprising since such discussions in a public forum involve complicated classified activities, where the greatest care must be used not to compromise sensitive intelligence operations.”
Text of the resolution:
Resolved, that the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
|Sen. Ted Stevens' home raided by FBI: Aug. 1, 2007|
FBI and IRS agents snapped photos and trained video cameras on the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens during a search related to a public corruption investigation. Stevens is under a federal investigation for his relationship with Bill Allen, an oil field services contractor who was convicted this year of bribing state lawmakers. A 2000 renovation project more than doubling the size of Stevens' home in the ski resort community of Girdwood was overseen by Allen, who is founder of VECO Corp. The Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.
The Justice Department's probe into Allen's relationships has led to charges against state lawmakers and contractors. Last year, FBI raids on the offices of several Alaska lawmakers included Stevens' son, former Alaska Senate President Ben Stevens. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers.
In Alaska, where an airport is named after him, hStevens has doubled the state's take of federal money to more than $8 billion in the last decade. He's known far and wide as "Uncle Ted." In Washington, Stevens, 83, the longest-serving Republican member of the world's most exclusive club, is more often called the "King of Pork" than Uncle Anything. Though admired for his shameless mining of the public trough, he's generally more feared than loved. One year, Alaska got more homeland security dollars than New York. "I am guilty of asking the Senate for pork, and proud of the Senate for giving it to me," he once said.
|Romney & Giuliani drop out of GOP YouTube debate: July 30, 2007|
Republican Mitt Romney isn't sure yet whether he'll participate in the CNN/YouTube.com Republican debate in September, but he's no fan of the format. "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," he said in an interview yesterday.
Last Monday's CNN/YouTube debate was widely panned by the right, so it came as little surprise when Gov. Mitt Romney expressed his hesitance at potentially addressing questions from talking snowmen during the proposed GOP YouTube debate set for September 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Rudy Giuliani avoided criticizing the format but said he would likely be unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts. With the two frontrunners slinking away and only two confirmed participants, the status of the debate was suddenly up in the air.
Since then, however, prominent elements of the right-wing blogosphere have rallied in support of the debate insisting that avoiding the debate would demonstrate a lack of fortitude and continue to present the picture that Republicans are out of touch with the internet and young people.
The candidates appear to have been listening. Gov. Tommy Thompson announced he would be participating in the debates, and the St. Petersburg Times reported that Gov. Mike Huckabee was tentatively scheduled to attend. Gov. Romney also altered his position as spokesman Kevin Madden told the New York Times that it's "not a question of format, it's a question of our travel schedule." With Giuliani and Romney now pinning their inability to make it on what they said was an extremely busy part of the fundraising cycle, Think Progress reported that CNN was shifting the debate to a later date. Ron Paul seemed to confirm this move when his campaign blog announced the debate had been moved to December.
|Democratic primary debate: July 23, 2007|
|Senate votes for 1st half of 2007 recorded: July 22, 2007|
|Jim Gilmore (R, VA) withdraws from presidential race: July 14, 2007|
I am today withdrawing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. It has been a positive and rewarding experience for me, for my family, and for my supporters.
It has become apparent to me that the combination of my late start, and the front loaded nature of the primary schedule, have made it impractical to continue to pursue this path towards further public service.
I am proud of the fact that my campaign focused on the issues, worked hard to block amnesty for illegal immigrants, brought attention to the need to protect private property rights, and called for a new path in Iraq that would provide our valiant military men and women with a more clearly defined and achievable mission.
However, I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation's future to successfully compete for the Presidency. I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February.
In the coming weeks and months, I intend to remain active in the Republican Party and in the public debate. I will be forming a state political action committee to assist Republican candidates in the Virginia General Assembly races. Additionally, I will be actively looking for other opportunities to continue in public service in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
|Democratic primary debate: June 28, 2007|
|John Barrasso (R, WY) takes seat in US Senate: June 26 & July 2, 2007|
The spirit of Wyoming filled the U.S. Senate chamber on Monday as friends, family and political leaders from the state gathered to watch incoming Sen. John Barrasso raise his right hand and promise to well and faithfully carry out his new duties. "It was just fantastic, and humbling," Barrasso said.
Vice President Dick Cheney, a former Wyoming congressman, administered the oath. Current and former Wyoming GOP Sens. Mike Enzi and Malcolm Wallop stood behind Barrasso for the ceremony. And unlike a typical swearing-in day, when supporters of numerous newly elected senators must share limited seats, Wyomingites packed the gallery.
The bittersweet day also brought memories of the late Sen. Craig Thomas, who died June 4 during treatment for leukemia and whose seat Barrasso filled.
* * *
Thomas's passing kicked into gear a bizarre selection process for his seat (thanks to the Wyoming State Constitution), in which the majority party in the state legislature (in this case the Republicans) submits three names to the governor (in this case Democrat David Freudenthal), who chooses one to hold the seat until the end of the current Congress. The seat will be contested in November 2008 (when Wyoming's entire three-seat congressional delegation will be up for grabs). And, of course, the governor would pick the name thought to be most beatable by a Democrat.
Rather than bore the reader with the details of a two-week-long convoluted process that involved a 71-member state GOP central committee (Wyoming's secular smoke-filled-room version of the College of Cardinals) casting multiple rounds of votes in a process of elimination involving 31 declared candidates (many themselves members of the central committee), suffice it to say that Governor Freudenthal ultimately chose John A. Barrasso, MD, 54, Casper orthopedic surgeon and citizen legislator of five years standing.
|Michael Bloomberg (I, NYC) changes registration: June 19, 2007|
With an increasingly cacophonous buzz that he's contemplating an independent run for president despite public pleas to the contrary, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a clear step toward that third-party bid on Tuesday by changing his party registration from Republican to unaffiliated. "I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City," Bloomberg said in a statement, referring to how the one-time Democrat famously changed his party registration once before to run for mayor as a Republican. "A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York,"
Asked about a possible Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger ticket -- as their mutual friend, billionaire investor Warren Buffet has urged -- Bloomberg said that "the governor and I never have had that conversation." Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, is prohibited from ever serving as president, though the prohibition on someone not born in America serving as vice president is less definitive.
How credible a Bloomberg candidacy would be is another matter. A former partner at Salomon Brothers and self-made media maven, Bloomberg, 65, spent $73 million of his own money in his race for mayor in 2001. Worth more than $5 billion, he could spend less than a quarter of his net worth and be more than able to compete financially. But if Bloomberg runs, he doesn't want to make a point, as did fellow billionaire Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996. He wants to win. Whether or not he ultimately thinks he can will make all the difference in the world.
|2007 House coverage - incumbent voting records : June 15, 2007|
This week we add coverage of the voting records of the incumbents in the U.S. House for major votes that took place from late 2006 through May 2007. Click on the House page for any incumbent member of the House to see how they voted on each of the issues below.
|OnTheIssues Category||Major House vote on...|
|All Quotations by Issue|
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