Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Sunday, September 10, 2006

The power of the Netroots

The most hated man in the GOP, Republican
candidate, Steve Laffey

To Hold Senate, G.O.P. Bolsters Its Most Liberal

Published: September 10, 2006

WARWICK, R.I., Sept. 9 — With a barrage of television advertisements and the mobilization of its get-out-the-vote machine, the national Republican Party has lined up in Rhode Island to beat back a conservative primary challenge to the most liberal Republican in the Senate, Lincoln Chafee. The outcome on Tuesday could help determine whether Democrats have a shot at taking back the Senate.

In an extraordinary pre-emptive announcement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has said it will concede Rhode Island to the Democrats should Stephen Laffey, the mayor of Cranston, defeat Mr. Chafee in the primary. Citing poll data, Republican leaders said they saw no way someone as conservative as Mr. Laffey could win in a state as Democratic as this; as it is, they are increasingly worried about Mr. Chafee’s hopes in a general election.

The result has been the striking sight of the national Republican Party, dominated by conservatives, using resources to save the seat of a Republican who said he voted against Mr. Bush in 2004. He chose instead to write in the name of the first President Bush.

Mr. Chafee has opposed many centerpiece Republican policies, from the war in Iraq to tax cuts to most restrictions on abortion. This week, he helped force a delay on the confirmation of John R. Bolton as the United States ambassador to the United Nations.

For all that, Republicans said they expected to spend more than $1.2 million on advertisements attacking Mr. Laffey, saturating the television stations of this state, the nation’s smallest. One advertisement lifts a line Republicans have used in countless attacks against Democrats, mocking the mayor as “tax-and-spend Steve Laffey.”

Mr. Laffey’s supporters, led by the Club for Growth, an organization advocating tax and spending cuts, have countered energetically with advertisements that have hammered the senator as a Washington insider and a Republican reprobate.

The Republican National Committee has rolled out its 72-hour get-out-the-vote program — used to great effect in 2002 and 2004 — against one of its own this year. More than a dozen trained party turnout specialists are encamped at a local motel.

“If Laffey won, on Day 1 of the general election, it would be over for us,” said Brian Nick, the communications director for the Republican Senate campaign committee. Asked if his committee, run by Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, would then concede Rhode Island to the Democrats, Mr. Nick responded:

“No question about it. Would you play somewhere where you were down by 30 and you couldn’t move the numbers?”

The fight has laid bare the ideological divisions in the Republican Party as well as the difficult road it faces in the fall . The Senate seat, which Mr. Chafee took over from his father, John H. Chafee, after he died in 1999, has been held by Republicans since 1976.

Mr. Laffey, standing on his front lawn before a Saturday morning of door-to-door campaigning, said Washington Republicans were coming after him because they viewed him as a threat to their power.

“It is really incredible to watch,” he said. “Senator Elizabeth Dole and Karl Rove, and all those people down in Washington, they are just about power. The last thing anybody wants down in Washington — whether it is the Democratic National Party or the Republican National Party — is somebody there asking questions.”

The contest in Rhode Island, where fewer than 15 percent of registered voters are Republicans, is one of several primaries on Tuesday that will begin to set the final cast for the fall elections. It comes as President Bush has sought to shape the midterm campaigns with a new emphasis on national security.

To win the Senate, Democrats need to capture six seats, and Rhode Island is high on their target list. Both sides see Democrats as having a better shot at winning the 15 seats they need to seize the House.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he was confident that the Democratic challenger in Rhode Island — it is likely to be Sheldon Whitehouse, a former state attorney general — could defeat whoever wins the Republican primary.

“We have the inverse of what is usually true,” Mr. Schumer said. “The Republicans are beating each other up in the primary, and our Democratic candidate has had two months to get to know the voters.”

If you wonder why Chuck Schumer didn't try this against Ned Lamont, you're the reason. He would have been dogged from DC to his Sunday press conference. We would have never stood for it. Yet, all Wal Mart Mike and the boys at Red State can do is whine.

My bet is that this backfires because this looks like bullying. It's a bad use of resources, but one we're happy to see. Millions going to Chaffee in a primary. Good

posted by Steve @ 12:26:00 AM

12:26:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans