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Rangel, Maloney, Lazio facing 'throw the bums out' environment

By Paul Kane

NEW YORK -- If Reps. Charles B. Rangel and Carolyn Maloney get swept out in Tuesday's primary despite 58 years of combined incumbency, it will be the latest sign of an angry anti-incumbency movement wanting to throw out the bums. And here in Gotham, voters were urged to do literally just that by the nation's leading tabloid newspapers.

Trying to tap that political zeitgiest, The New York Daily News led Tuesday's paper with "THROW THE BUMS OUT! Today's primary is your chance to change things -- don't blow it."

And its competitor, the New York Post, went with a simpler: "BUMS AWAY Vote today to boot the scoundrels."

The message was mostly directed at the state legislature in Albany, where the scandal-plagued Paterson administration has also been mired in legislative corruption allegations while the state capital has been paralyzed by largely leaderless gridlock. The message, however, has the sort of potency that could spill over into the congressional races and other statewide races, such as the Republican gubernatorial race in which conservative firebrand Carl Paladino is threatening to upset former U.S. representative Rick Lazio.

Here's how The News framed its thoughts on the state's political environment: "Today is the day when New Yorkers can start to force major change on Albany at the ballot box. Let's take the opportunity and run with it whole hog."

The paper then went on to endorse a slate of challengers to incumbent state senators and assembly members, and it also threw its weight behind the candidacy of a political novice with strong backing from the financial sector who is running her first campaign, against nine-term Rep. Maloney: "Reshma Saujani, 34, is seeking to represent Manhattan's East Side and part of western Queens in Washington. She would bring a jolt of energy to a lockstep congressional delegation."

While the paper did not endorse any of Rangel's challengers in his primary, the message in the Saujani-Maloney primary is about "energy." That has been an underlying theme of Rangel's challengers, along with questions about his ethics amid allegations he broke 13 congressional rules related to his personal finances and fundraising for a college wing named in his honor.

In his final day of campaigning, state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, 48, suggested that Rangel's time had passed and a new generation needed to take charge: "He's 80 years old and everyone, from Barack Obama on down, has asked him to step down with some kind of dignity."

The New York Times, the city's largest paper, backed Judy Johnson, a community activist, in Rangel's 15th Congressional District primary but did stick with Maloney in her primary.

Three sitting senators have been knocked out during this year's primary season, the most since the volatile 1980 election season, and four House incumbents were also ousted in primaries. There's been a bit more anti-establishment anger in Republican primaries, where in addition to tossing out two senators and two representatives, GOP voters have handed defeat to a handful of establishment-backed candidates for Senate races.

Democrats have had their share of anti-incumbent anger. In his stunning upset win in a January special election, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) also tapped an angry electorate environment that was just as much directed at the state legislature -- where a slew of indictments of lawmakers had dominated the news -- as it was with Washington.

If Rangel or Maloney loses, each incumbent will have a long list of reasons for the end to their careers on Capitol. But both lawmakers are now swept up in an environment that is, generally speaking, hostile to those who've been in charge and can rightly or wrongly be portrayed as "bums" in need of being "thrown out."

By Paul Kane  | September 14, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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They are bums. And criminals to boot. Reid should and Pelosi also need to go. Traitors like them usually get hung.

Posted by: cburbank | September 14, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

well, the NY Post is owned by News Corp, which this year donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, so it doesn't surprise me in the least to find them advocating republican positions on their front page...

Posted by: lestro | September 14, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse more like throw out the democrats who voted for all these horrendously destructive policies. Call me when Obama is finished water boarding the economy. Cheers

Posted by: MPNangle | September 14, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse


Various reports from Capitol Hill indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for a floor vote on the DREAM Act (Amnesty) over the next several weeks. The Senate reconvened from its summer recess on Monday and is in session through the first week of October before adjourning again for the mid-term elections.

Univision is reporting that Sen. Reid is contacting both Democratic and Republican Senators trying to get the 60 votes needed to pass the bill. Reports indicate that the DREAM Act could be offered as an amendment to the Department of Defense spending bill.

YOUR Phone calls and faxes are needed immediately to your Senators to counter a gigantic nationwide Amnesty push that began a few hours ago.

The Senate is being bombarded with demands today that it pass the DREAM Act Amnesty during the next three weeks before Congress adjourns for final campaigning.

It now is possible that there could be an Amnesty vote as early as next week!

Posted by: AJAX2 | September 14, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

So, just to keep reality from getting shouted out of the room as usual with you clowns, THE FACTS, not speculation by you or 'experts', or other media pundits, or pollsters want to sell to the public on your made up story of \"Incumbents getting thrown out in bundles\"... It's a great narrative if you believe you can sell it - but IT'S A LIE! ALL FICTION.. ALL MADE UP.. ALL A LIE.

Let's just take a look at some of the 'facts' that have happened so far this primary season...

NJ-13 incumbents on ballot - all won; CA-52 incumbents on ballot-ALL won; VA 11 incumbents on ballot-ALL won; IA-7 incumbents on ballot-ALL won; AR-3 incumbents on ballot-ALL won, same with SD, Maine, MT AND ND - all incumbents on ballot won.. SO thru end of July, the FACTS say 99 incumbents on ballots - 92 WON - 7 LOST....


Posted by: rbaldwin2 | September 14, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Throw Out the Bums is another GOP mantra..

Getting the Tea Party to replace pathetic Politicians with equally pathetic and clueless understanding of the world around them.

Basically fooling their own..


Posted by: vettesport | September 14, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Throw out the bums" is an integral part of the near perpetual two party lock on American governance.

Lazy, stupid voters, who can't be bothered or are incapable of thinking through their own interests beyond campaign and media sloganeering, keep throwing their weight (or their absence from the voting booths) regularly from the establishment "in" party to the establishment "out" party regardless party policies, because -- always a shock to the ignorant -- neither the left nor the right ever brings mana raining down from heaven.

Our "Throw out the bums," blanket anti-incumbent sentiment almost assures that nothing much different ever need come out of Washington. It is what precludes an electoral coup de grâce from finishing off a thoroughly discredited rump party and thereby clearing the way for something genuinely new to emerge.

Posted by: washpost29 | September 14, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Yep...elect a slew of Republicans because with them you KNOW they'll steal everything that's not locked down but they'll find new and novel ways to blame Democrats.

Posted by: Jerryvov | September 14, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Take heed now.

Get rid of Rep Gerry Connolly.

We need independent thought. Not tail coat electors.

We also do not need arrogance.

The voters said NO to Health Care. Gerry said YES.

Get rid of him.

Posted by: JustSomeThoughts | September 14, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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