Winning in '06

Garance Franke-Ruta at the American Prospect Online offers some analysis about the Democrats' prospects next November.

Just how many of the 435 House seats will be competitive in 2006 is a matter of debate. Charlie Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report, puts the number at only 28, including 11 Democratic seats and 17 Republicans ones. Stuart Rothenberg, political analyst for Roll Call, pushes the number to 37, which is also the figure accepted by National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds. To win back control of the House, Democrats would have to keep all 11 of their contested seats and win 15 of the Republican ones, for a virtually impossible 96-percent win rate under the Cook scenario (Republicans retook the House in 1994 with a 75-percent win rate). Yet the political environment has also changed so radically over the summer and fall that Cook says he now thinks that there are “literally dozens of Republican-held seats, that, based on presidential voting patterns, credible Democratic candidates in a pro-Democratic year might win.”

American Prospect Online - ViewPrint

North Carolina's Un-American Representatives

A fundamental tenet of American tort law is that when someone injures you—whether through negligence or on purpose—they should pay to put you right. It is up to the injured person to decide who to sue, and it's up to the judge and jury to decide whether the defendant pays. If you get hit by a truck, you may be angry enough to sue everybody: the driver, the driver's employer, the truck manufacturer, the truck's mechanic, and the guy who first came up with the idea of trucks. Americans have believed for more than 200 years (and the British since long before that) that the best way to get to the bottom of who's really at fault is a jury. Not the richest among us; not the most powerful; but twelve honest people working to find the truth.

Robin Hayes Sings A Little Song, Dances A Little Dance

Republican Congressman Robin Hayes (NC-8) has introduced a bit of legislation that sounds pretty good as far as it goes: he wants to cut House members' pay by 5%. Leaving aside the odds against this bill going anywhere, what you won't hear Hayes mention is that the money this bill would save in a year wouldn't pay for a single day in Iraq. Maybe Hayes should be using his vote to figure out a way out of that mess.

So don't let anyone tell you that Hayes suffers from a twinge of fiscal responsibility. As one paper puts it,

Charles Taylor's Banking Problems

It seems that Robin Hayes isn't the only NC Representative with ethical . . . difficulties.

Charles Taylor [11th NC District] owns a bank—the Blue Ridge Savings Bank—in which the top official, bank president Hayes Martin, who was also Taylor’s campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering for making illegal loans. The beneficiary of the illegal $1.3 million loan was Charles Cagle, 11th District Republican Chair and a Taylor friend and campaign contributor. Cagle also pleaded guilty. Their sworn court testimony showed that Taylor micromanages all operations at the bank and was in full knowledge of the illegal loans. Yet Taylor successfully thwarted any investigation of himself. Jackson County was even forced to garnish Taylor’s congressional wages in order to collect back taxes. And this was for one of the wealthiest Members of Congress!

Great News

The 3rd quarter FEC filings are out and there is some very good news from NC's 11th district. Heath Shuler (D), the former NFL QB and real estate developer, far out paced ethically charged incumbent Charles Taylor (R) in fundraising.

Real Values: Good News From NC-11

It's early to start calling races, but I have very high hopes for both Shuler in the 11th and Dunn in the 8th. Even if the Dems can't take back the house all at once, I won't complain about a mostly-blue NC delegation.

Robin Hayes One of America's Top 10 Representatives!

Really!

We've just updated The DeLay Rankings with the most recent FEC information. Check it out and see how close your representative in Congress is to indicted former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Then come back here and let us know what you think by posting on the blog. Those of you in Alabama and Colorado should have plenty to say!

Here's the top 10 to whet your appetite...now go find your Rep.

1. Bob Beauprez (CO-7)
1. Mike Rogers (AL-3)
1. Jim Ryun (KS-2)
4. Robin Hayes (NC-8)
5. Robert Alderholt (AL-4)
5. Henry Bonilla (TX-23)
7. Tom Tancredo (CO-6)
8. Jon Porter (NV-3)
8. Mark Green (WI-8)
10. Jim Gerlach (PA-6)

THE DAILY DELAY: NEW DELAY RANKINGS: Is your Rep. too close for comfort?

Tim Dunn Knows Iraq Inside and Out

The Charlotte Observer (free registration required) profiled Tim Dunn, "an Iraq war veteran and lawyer who helped mount a case against Saddam Hussein," who will challenge 8th District incumbent Congressman Robin Hayes in 2006. Here's Dunn on Iraq:

A lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves, Dunn spent eight months in Iraq in 2004. He advised a special tribunal prosecuting the former Iraqi leader and officials of his government.

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