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Romney Spends Freely, With an Eye on 2008

It's no secret that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is -- smartly -- using his perch as chairman of the Republican Governors Association to spread campaign cash to states that will play a pivotal role in deciding the identity of the 2008 presidential nominee.

Kerry Healey
Kerry Healey speaks during a news conference with public safety and law enforcement officials in Boston. With Gov. Mitt Romney's help, can she succeed in keeping Massachusetts's governor's office in GOP hands?(AP Photo)

Romney's RGA has already donated $1 million to the state Republican Parties in Florida and Michigan. Iowa's Republican Party got $750,000. Iowa will host the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in 2008. Michigan is also primed to vote early in 2008. Florida is home to any number of influential donors and activists who are shopping for a 2008 candidate.

Need more evidence? The RGA -- through its independent expenditure arm -- is spending nearly $900,000 on ads touting Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) -- ads that indirectly seek to shore up Romney's legacy in the state. The governor's image is all over the ads as a narrator casts the successes of the "Romney-Healey team," including a balanced budget, job creation and health insurance for all. "Why would we want to turn back?" asks the narrator at the ad's conclusion.

The expenditure of such a large lump of cash on this race is intriguing for several reasons. First, Healey, like businessman and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, has considerable personal wealth. She has pledged to spend as much as $15 million on the race, a promise that makes the RGA's spending all the more peculiar. Second, polling shows former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick with a comfortable lead over Healey.

So why would the RGA throw money at a race that looks to be a lost cause?

That same poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the Boston Globe, provides a clue. In it, just 40 percent of voters view Romney favorably while 48 percent saw him in an unfavorable light. Nearly half of those polled (45 percent) said the fact that Healey is Romney's lieutenant governor made them less likely to support her, while just 26 percent said that association made them more likely to vote for her.

Romney has moved to the ideological right as he winds up his term as governor and prepares for a presidential bid, forcing Healey to distance herself more and more from the positions he has taken. But, it's not in Romney's best interests to see his legacy tarnished on the verge of a run for president. A blowout loss by Healey would do just that. And don't forget that Massachusetts television (and news coverage) reaches into southern New Hampshire -- site of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Speaking of New Hampshire, the RGA recently registered a political action committee in the Granite State with the intent of backing candidates on the "state and local level," according to the filing with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

If the RGA spends money in New Hampshire it would be even more evidence of Romney looking out for his 2008 interests. The latest independent poll in the race showed Gov. John Lynch (D) with a 69 percent to 16 percent edge over Republican Jim Coburn.

Romney is already working hard to earn New Hampshire support for his presidential bid. On Wednesday his Commonwealth PAC released a steering committee of 58 activists in the state. That group is headed by Bruce Keough, the party's 2002 gubernatorial nominee, and Tom Rath, a longtime party activist and strategist.

Don't underestimate Romney when it comes to organization muscle. Aside from Arizona Sen. John McCain no Republican eyeing the 2008 race has spread as much money around in key states and recruited the depth of staff talent. Romney has used the last year to position himself as the McCain alternative in the field and barring some sort of major misstep he will start 2007 in great shape to make a run at the nomination.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 5, 2006; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

The world is made of green cheese. Do you like cheese as much as I do?

Posted by: Hello World | October 12, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Bob likes candy. But I don't like candy. Don't you?

Posted by: Bob | October 11, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Anonymous | October 11, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Anonymous | October 11, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Yep, a lot can change in two years. We elders remember a serious suggestion in mid-1991 that the Democrats save their money and not mount a campaign against GHW Bush in '92. Then Ross Perot and a flagging economy elected Clinton.

Posted by: Amazed in MD | October 9, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree that polls now about an election in 2008 seem somewhat pointless. Too much can change in 2 years.

Posted by: M | October 8, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Slim Girl in Pearls:

"Did you all see this? It includes Hillary and Condi, as setting the pace for the 2008 race. Someone mentioned no one knows anything about Rudy or Condi. With so much media coverage about these leaders, along with books and interviews, no one has an excuse not to do a bit of research."

This is 2006, polls really don't mean all that much right now. Organization, money and buzz mean alot right now. When we look at those 3 factors, we see somewhat of a stronger picture.

Organization: I think Mitt Romney and John Edwards have advantages. Romney has done a great job in this effort. He has kept a high profile, including his CEO role in the Big Dig, and has used his role in the governor's association to really organize teams in many key states. He's doing an excellent job. Edwards has stayed positive in his "brighter America" attitude, did alot of chariatable work and traveled key states to organize his team. For organization right now, I think Romney and Edwards have advantages.

Money: In fundraising, Clinton and Guiliani have both shown incredible abilities to raise money. George Pataki and Mark Warner have also shown great potential in fund raising. But Clinton has raised the most money, by far. Romney, again, has used his position in the RGA to spend money promoting himself without spending. Also, delivering checks to gubernatorial candidates is building organization and creating a bit of buzz for himself as well. But Guiliani is a great fund raiser, the best in Republican field, propably. Clinton and Guiliani have the cash advantages b/c of their abilities to raise large amts. of money.

Buzz: George Allen/John McCAin and Hillary Clinton find ways to create buzz on themselves. McCain bucks his party, works across lines with democrats to find solutions to issues and is always in the news either way. The media seems to love McCain. George Allen now has more buzz than he can handle with his "macaca" comments. He is in the news and everyone is learning about him, nationwide. The big focus for Allen now though, is winning re-election in Va. If he wins, he will do so in part by casting these allegations as partisan character assassination and winning on his conservative record on the issues. If he does that, it's possible that he becomes the front runner to the nomination over night. Clinton stays in the news whether Bill is doing an interview or whether she is shoving a bill or whatever, the media likes Hillary, too.

That's what I see for now...but 2008 is a long, long ways away!

Posted by: reason | October 8, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Did you all see this? It includes Hillary and Condi, as setting the pace for the 2008 race. Someone mentioned no one knows anything about Rudy or Condi. With so much media coverage about these leaders, along with books and interviews, no one has an excuse not to do a bit of research.

Please go to the Wash post website to read this entire piece. It is very informative
********************************
A Political Opportunity for Women....By Anushka Asthana Saturday, October 7, 2006

Geraldine A. Ferraro made history in 1984 as the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket. .. she looked ...at a room packed with more than 600 people, young and old, at the University of Virginia last month.

The glass ceiling in presidential politics will not be broken in her lifetime, she predicted to reporters before taking the stage. But she was there to persuade a new generation of women to continue the fight."We have to keep reminding them what it was like before, so they recognize that the only way they are going to make it better for the future -- for their future and their children's future -- is by becoming involved politically," she said.

Dennis Simon, a professor at Southern Methodist University and co-author of "Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling." ....Simon said female candidates are often seen as more liberal than they actually are -- as in the case of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). But her possible presidential candidacy, and the speculation that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might be a presidential candidate in 2008 or later, has shifted perceptions about the plausibility of a female president.

Having Rice and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright in top national security jobs "made it normal to see women as leaders," said Marie Wilson, president and founder of the White House Project, which aims to advance female leadership and is training hundreds of women to run for office. "If we have three or four women in '08, it would have to be agenda," rather than sex, that separates them, she added.......
.... "The American electorate is accustomed to expect certain types of experience from candidates for national office," she said. "It doesn't hurt to be a governor of a large state, to be vice president or a senator of long experience."

Posted by: Slim Girl in Pearls | October 7, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Tina Tina Tina, Polls about about 2008 mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHIING right now. THe only factor is name recognition. WHy do u think Condi and Giulinani lead in the polls over McCain? BECAUSE people dont know anything about them other than who they are. Seriously, Rudy is a good guy but the religious right will hate him. Everyone already has already formed opinions of McCain. Most people dont know why they should like or dislike Condi or how she stands on well ANYTHING. Perhaps people will still like her in 2008, but right now your fancy polls DONT MEAN JACK.

Posted by: Moderates Unite | October 6, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read all of the comments above--but remember that Romney has said in the past that some of the money distributed by the RGA has gone back per requests of large donors to their own states. Romney said this of Michigan a couple of weeks ago. I assume the same is true of Massachusetts. Romney's the RGA main fundraiser and of course he's good at getting money in Michigan and Mass where he's well-connected. That some of the money he's raised is going back there is not unexpected.

To look for the "political opportunism" of Romney in these distrubutions is a bit unfair and even childish.

Posted by: Jeff | October 6, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, sorry about the multiple comments. Sure looked to me like the first one was lost. Oh well...

Posted by: TGG | October 6, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read all of the comments above--but remember that Romney has said in the past that some of the money distributed by the RGA has gone back per requests of large donors to their own states. Romney said this of Michigan a couple of weeks ago. I assume the same is true of Massachusetts. Romney's the RGA main fundraiser and of course he's good at getting money in Michigan and Mass where he's well-connected. That some of the money he's raised is going back there is not unexpected.

To look for the "political opportunism" of Romney in these distrubutions is a bit unfair and even childish.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The difference between Healy and DeVos is that Healy is not a frightening scam artist/cult leader (hello, Amway). This matters.

I don't support Republicans as a rule, but if I had to choose one, it would be Healy. DeVos is not just extreme-right, he's incompetent extreme-right. We've had enough of that lately.

Posted by: TGG | October 6, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Unlike DeVos, Healy isn't a frightening Dominionist scam artist/cult leader (hello, Amway).

I do not support Republicans as a general rule, but between Healy and DeVos, I'd rather be governed by the former.

Posted by: TGG | October 6, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Tina: You're spinning again.

The question asked was: "Generally speaking, do you think Americans are ready to elect a/an [see below] as president, or not?"

Saying that the country would "accept" is significantly differ from "support." Support implies pro-activeness; that was not in the question.

This poll simply indicates that the barriers are lowering.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Romney is in a great position in terms of cash and establishment rooting for him. His experience in business turning around troubled companies to make them profitable, his turn-around of the Olympic Games in Utah and balancing the budget in Mass. all helps. However, appealing to the National Republican base is a tough go for a Mormon. Sorry, but it is. I think if George Allen overcomes the allegations of race and wins re-election, he will certainly be in the top 3 for the Republican 08 Presidential nomination. I believe this will happen, when all is said and done. McCain has done alot to cater to the right, and it appears to be working. Romney has built great organization in key primary states already and has lots of money to spend, not to mention having more Bush 04' Rangers than anyone else running. However, my guess is that people are waiting until the end of the 06' season to see what happens with Allen. If he beats the allegations and turns it into an attempt to demonize him as a person, he will win re-election in Va. and be the 3rd member of this primary race. I hear Ed Rollins is waiting for him and trying to keep the field ready. Right now, though, John McCain is in the best position and is certainly the front-runner for the Presidential nomination.

Posted by: reason | October 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I give the national polls more credibility than a group of Net chatters.

So take a look at this data
Marist has Rudy at 23%, Condi at 20%, McCain at 15%, Newt at 7%.

That is the mood the people across the nation, so it NOT just me.

Likewise, Gallup reports 60% support a woman president and 58% support an African-American president. So that SHOUTS louder than us here in Wash Post chatroom.

Whether Condi runs or not, it is amazing to see how many people WANT HER to run. Her NAME ID is high, her job approval ratings are over 60%, and she still has one more year before she would need to announce her OFFICAL candidacy. Now consider this, if Condi was at 7% like Newt, or at the lower level, I would not be in here promoting her. But the people in Iowa, S Carolina, and California have state polls showing Condi is also in the top level of choice as their candidate for 2008. The more Condi comes out on strong foreign policy, the more people will see her as up to the job as president or even as VP.

Posted by: Tina | October 6, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If George Allen did not have all the missteps that he has taken in his race against Jim Webb where there is a good possibility he might lose. Well if he did not have those than he would have won the Republican nomination. He would have been the perfect fit for the Republican base ideology and character would have fit them too.

In reality, George Allen is done. It will come down to Romney, and McCain except maybe an outside candidate that we do not know about yet. Romney needs to play up the many times John McCain has bucked from the Republican base. Really play on those anger points and hammer them home. Romney can win and he is in a very good position.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | October 5, 2006 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, did Foley give any money to Allen's campaign? Seems likely."

Don't know. But the article has links to a page with lists of major donors to both candidates. One of the major donors to Allen's campaign is Cassidy & Associates; which contracted with Jack Abramoff in 2004 to send lobbying business their way.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 5, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The Pretender of Zouk has many slly comments today, but i have to go home so i'll just mention 2. 1 - he seems to feel that the Democrats - who didn't know about this, last i heard - are somehow responsible for Big Gay Foley and Denny H's lack of a sense of urgency about pursuing the matter. wha? and 2)that the typical Democratic solution involves throwing money at a problem. might i remind His Ineffable Zoukiness that it has been the GOP-controlled Congress which has broken the bank over the past five years. But, Your Majesty will whine, they haven't raised taxes. true - and the national debt has soared. how is that a record of good fiscal sense?

to the barricades, men of Zouk!

Posted by: proletarian | October 5, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

No question that Allen still has a definite edge on Webb. The polls have some significant differences, but they all give Allen the lead.

But, now it appears that Webb will actually have some resouces (money) with which to work. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100401760.html

A Stuart Rothenberg observation in the article is noteworthy: "...even without money from the national party, Rothenberg said, Webb may already have what he needs to battle Allen on the airwaves...

"Does he have enough?...Webb doesn't have to fund an eight-month effort. We are talking about four weeks."

At least it stands to be competitive resourcewise. Which is more than many people thought it would be two months ago.

Webb is already running ads on Fox News, and Allen is running ads which actually talk about specific issues. Lastly, while the Allen people are touting Hillary Clinton's appearance for Webb as a bad thing, it means more money for Webb and probably acceptance among disappointed Harris Miller supporters, whom he'll need if he's going to win.

This could be a very interesting four weeks in Virginia.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 5, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did Foley give any money to Allen's campaign? Seems likely.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

....such as Rasmussen's polling data stating that "Representative Harold Ford (D) has taken a 48% to 43% lead over Mayor Bob Corker (R) in Tennessee's increasingly competitive race for U.S. Senate (see crosstabs)."

and
"Ohio Senate: Brown by 8
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of Ohio's U.S. Senate race shows that Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown has added a couple more points to a growing lead over Republican Senator Mike DeWine. He now bests the incumbent 49% to 41%.

Our previous poll showed Brown leading 47% to 41%. The Democratic challenger has gained support among voters in each of the last four polls. He has been ahead in all four and, for the second survey in a row, that lead is greater than five points."

Check your dates, bhoomes, and try harder to keep up, 'kay?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

KOZ

You left out a few

Zogby/Reuters
9/25-10/2
MD
Cardin (D)45%
Steele (R)37%

MT
Tester (D) 46%
Burns (R)* 42%

NJ
Menendez (D)* 45%
Kean Jr. (R) 35%

PA
Casey Jr. (D) 48%
Santorum (R)* 36%

RI
Whitehouse (D) 45%
Chafee (R)* 41%

Plus Corker had a lead that has disintegrated to a tie (or worse in other recent polls).

Posted by: RMill | October 5, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Colin: Actually I never left. Im a solid lurker on the board.

I only weigh in when its something I have some knowledge of. But thanks. Its nice to be noticed. Makes a person feel appreciated. :o)

And whenever you want to hijack to discuss limiting the role of government, you know I'll be there.

'The problem with the modern national GOP is that they try to argue that we don't have to make ANY choices'. Which is why I am no longer a republican.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Dan W -- glad to see you commenting again. Not surprisingly, I disagree with you on the health care plan in Mass, but it's a pleasure to see someone actually address their concerns in an intellectually honest manner. Reasonable people certainly can disagree regarding the optimum amount of government - but the debate really should be about choosing what government should and shouldn't do. The problem with the modern national GOP is that they try to argue that we don't have to make ANY choices. Anyway, glad to hear you weigh in again.

KOZ -- this administration has expanded government more than any other since LBJ. It has created the most intrusive education bill in our history and the largest entitlement program expansion since the original medicare was passed. Just b/c the party embraces MASSIVE deficit spending in order to pay for all that does NOT mean that today's GOP is the party of limited government.

Truth be told, NEITHER party is very good at limiting spending but at least Dems are willing to tie Congress' hands by passing Pay Go rules.

Posted by: Colin | October 5, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Why was this story first broken by ABC news and not by a law enforcement agency. answer - Dems care more about politics than the "children". this is an examnple of the ultimate hypocrisy, Dems preaching morality. a historical moment."

This statement doesn't even make sense. I seriously think that during all of KOZ's frothing that he's had a stroke.

Posted by: Will | October 5, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Healy's strength is beyond the 128 beltway. Patrick's strength is within the beltway, from Newton, east"

Let's see a citation for this.

Sunday's Boston Globe noted the fact that the suburbs between 128 and 495 have been crucial for Romney and his predecessors, but now lean heavily for Patrick. Patrick swept the primaries across the state, from the Cape to Western Mass., and only lost Watertown by 100 votes (where Tom Reilly has rented an apartment for decades).

Simply put, unless the relentlessly negative campaign that Healey is running somehow causes the electorate to turn on Patrick, her gubernatorial hopes are dead in the water. It seems people do not like Kerry Healey (42% negatives).

But today's revelations about cop killers working on parole at the State House certainly blow a huge hole in Healey's latest assault on Patrick. And the GOP hammerlock on the Mass. governorship goes down in flames.

Posted by: Venicemenace | October 5, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Jim Talent, holds an ever-so-slight lead of 43% to 39%

Harold Ford and Republican Bob Corker are tied at 40% each

Mike DeWine has moved back into a 41%-41% tie

Joe Lieberman has rebuilt a big lead over Ned Lamont

-all from the same poll above. the more people pay attention to facts and not slime and lies, the better the Rs do.


none of this is good news for you Libs. sinking fast.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

KoZ says "Bachmann stomping all over her opponent after disgraceful lies. I told you the Dems would overplay their hand."

Huh? Latest poll has Bachmann-Wetterling a toss-up. In other words, Bachmann is losing support, while Wetterling is gaining. As more info about Bachmann's fruitcake positions come out, she'll continue to lose support. Local alt-weekly City Pages has a long investigative piece on her background that will likely have a negative impact on her support. Given the overall opinion of the GOP this year, this seat could be another once-safe GOP district changing sides.

Posted by: bsimon | October 5, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The latest Reuters/Zogby telephone poll shows Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.) with an 11-point lead in his race against Democrat James Webb.

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1177

sinking fast. After all the BS blows over, the issues will return and the Dems will show how weak they are on important topics, like how to keep us all safe.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is so weird.. CBS [which has now gone into the toilet with katie couric--pathetic. she's like a wind-up kewpie doll] --had a wingnut segment where they suggested that a 'cabal' of gay republican staffers [who knew there were so many] had been protecting foley and that the straight republicans were 'afraid' of them. Man, rrepublican men are whipped, ain't they? Wussies.

' CBS News has learned that several other top Republican staffers who handled the Foley matter are also gay. Their role in this controversy has caused a firestorm among Republican conservatives who charge that a group of high-level gay Republican staffers were protecting a gay Republican congressman.

TONY PERKINS: Was the leadership afraid to stand up to that network?'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Who's in Denial #2; from MediaMatters:
"On October 5, numerous media outlets -- including CNN, NBC, and the Associated Press -- uncritically reported House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) recent claims that Democratic operatives knew "all along" of Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) alleged behavior toward underage congressional pages and have orchestrated the ongoing scandal. But these outlets ignored a new report in The Hill that a House Republican aide provided Foley's alleged emails to the media. And they overlooked a recent statement by ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross that the sources for his initial Foley report -- to the extent they had partisan affiliations -- were Republicans."

Again, KOZ, your element is unchanging history when pure opinions can be advanced as facts in a Calvin&Hobbes way. Current events don't lend themselves well to this MO.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: "But the republicans will never go for it, because no one makes a profit, and that's all they care about."

Actually, lots of republicans go for it...perhaps not the minority of hypersensitive libertarians, but Romney's plan has been meeting cautious optimism from A LOT of folks in GOP circles.

And perhaps the most important republican in all of this is the one who might be the 2008 nominee...HE certainly cares. Doesn't that thought just get you all misty-eyed?

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

An examnple of the ultimate hypocrisy, Republicans preaching morality'

Posted by: thought hurts my brain | October 5, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - "...Why was this story first broken by ABC news and not by a law enforcement agency..." Now that's a curious spin. Heard it on Limbaugh, did you? The "story" was made public by an on-line web site covering risks to abused and expoited children. A former page had gone to that site and posted some of the emails he received from Rep. Foley. THAT is where ABC news picked it up. In fact, in investigating the story, ABC news was able to verify that there had been a concerted coverup effort of Mr. Foley's activities on the part of the Republican leadership of the House AND THE WHITEHOUSE. So, the Democrats didn't know, should have know, and would have known if the current crop of swine passing themselves off as conservatives hadn't kept them in the dark.

Posted by: MikeB | October 5, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You know it's funny, but the FBI knew about the emails and reports of harassment a year ago, but chose not to do anything. First they said they didn't have enough info, then they changed their story to say they didn't think it was 'serious' enough to investigate. Why would they investigate a republican anyway? Might make their party look bad.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise, the Dems want to expand a giant, expensive, bloated government program into an even bigger waste of resources. the efficient and economical avenue, private methods, is unjustly labeled as some rich person making a profit. Profits as you know are the devils reward. this is why you lose elections again and again. go wait in line in Canada for medical care. Try to find any decent research in this field outside private US firms. I won't hold my breath for any responses.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Who's in denial #1
From Rasmussen
"Republican Senator George Allen is clinging to a narrow edge over Democrat James Webb, the former Secretary of the Navy. Allen now leads 49% to 43% (see crosstabs).
That's virtually unchanged from previous poll, conducted in early September. In our Senate Balance of Power summary, Virginia continues to "lean Republican.""

Nope, it's not a double-digit lead.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

.He did not, though, name former FBI director Louis Freeh to head an independent investigation of the page system, as expected.

He wanted to have the Dem basher Freeh investigate? LOL. What a joke.

Now where's that can of whitewash?

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why was this story first broken by ABC news and not by a law enforcement agency. answer - Dems care more about politics than the "children". this is an examnple of the ultimate hypocrisy, Dems preaching morality. a historical moment.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Tthank you Judge and Nor'easter... funny. In a sad way. But so predictable.

'At the end of the day, giving people early medical attention is more COST EFFECTIVE than wheeling them into the ER a few months or years down the road.'

I agree with you on that one, murphy. Give people very basic health services through Medicare, leave anything cosmetic or not medically necessary out of it, fund it through medicare.

It's a sound idea, fiscally responsible, and in the public interest... basic health care helps prevent epidemics and such--an ounce of prevention and all.

But the republicans will never go for it, because no one makes a profit, and that's all they care about.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Not in denial - JEFFERSON?? Mollahan??? the list goes on as I have pointed out all week. but you seem to be in denial after all.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Allen now has double digit lead over "cut and run" Webb. Bachmann stomping all over her opponent after disgraceful lies. I told you the Dems would overplay their hand.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 5, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Judge - "Did I leave anything out?" Yeah,

We ARE NOT in DENIAL!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 5, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

And the latter is also confidence-inspiring:
"It also was under Hastert's watch that former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California pleaded guilty to accepting millions of dollars in bribes. Another congressman, Robert Ney of Ohio, has pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, yet remains a member of the House. In both cases, the courts took action, not Congress."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 -- The House Ethics Committee, after meeting behind closed doors on Mark Foley and the sexually explicit messages he sent to teenage pages, voted today to set up a subcommittee to investigate improper conduct between lawmakers and pages. Leaders said the inquiry would take "weeks, not months." "

Skipping ahead to their 'official' findings: "nobody but that nasty Mark Foley. Nope, nope, we weren't asked to look into charges of a cover-up so we didn't. Why, yes, we are composed of more Republicans than Democrats but golly our investigation was fair, impartial and thorough anyway. Oh, look, we're passing a graveyard let's start whistling."

Did I leave anything out?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So Hastert says that "we" accept responsibility. He's a physically big guy, but I think that he is still only one person. So who's the "we" he keeps talking about?

Posted by: HaHa Hastert | October 5, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: My Liberterian views tell me Healey is teh lesser of teh evils. Frankly I am doing my research on Milhos to see if his views are more in tune with mine.

Understand that when the state returns that billion dollar surplus by lowering taxes, I have no problem with the local governments raising property taxes to raise the revenues they need. I have more say in my local government than in state government.

Lowest Level of Competent Control

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on, give Foley a break. He's doing the best he can to change. Why, he even said that he's hoping to turn over a new page!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Dan,
You said "Healey has made a decision to honor the voters wishes and roll back the tax rate as they were promised. She agreed to fund the mass health program. She further refused to deficit spend on programs.
To do that, funds were taken away from local communities. There is only so much money available. Choices need to be made about how its spent"

And obviously you feel that it is a legitimate choice to take money away from struggling local communities. Hurting public education and raising property taxes. The thing is that if you beleive what you are saying then you should vote for someone that will actually CUT spending. Healey and Romney didn't do that, they just shifted the burden to the towns.

Also you don't grow your own food. Neither does your town. Hell neither does our state. Individual towns cannot run without the State. Now if the State of Mass was in a financial crisis then the towns should feel that too (which happened in 2002). But that is not the situation anymore. The State is doing great to a tune of 1 billion in surplus. However, the towns are seriously lagging behind. It is time to prop them back up so that the Whole state can move forward not just the rich towns.
Also I recognize that we fundamentally disagree in the role of government, but I can't see how someone with such Libertarian views would vote for Healey.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you're changing the issue. You first made the claim that you shouldn't pay for services not given to your area. That's a different question from whether such services are being provided at all. The only question for the first issue is at what level is the money best allocated to deal with whatever problem you have, and this question will have many answers depending on the situation.

Posted by: Zathras | October 5, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

So now Hastert is blaming the Democrats for the page scandal. Without any proof, I might add, especially since a Republican was the source of information for ABC.

Posted by: HaHa Hastert | October 5, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Zathras: 'So why don't we organize neighborhood by neighborhood, and say that each neighborhood should be self-sufficient? Or household? By doing it on a town level, there will still be some of my money going to parts of town I never go to.'

Isnt that why we have local government? If the local government is not going to do these services then we need to get rid of them.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Let me finish some of Denny's lines for him...

"We have a story to tell.."
...that Karl made up for us, all about scaring the voters into submission, and boy-oh-boy, is Karl ever PO'd that this Foley thing is keeping us off-message.

Sound more accurate than the official version?

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Dan: "Why should people have to pay for services in areas where they don't live."

So why don't we organize neighborhood by neighborhood, and say that each neighborhood should be self-sufficient? Or household? By doing it on a town level, there will still be some of my money going to parts of town I never go to.

What you're putting forth as a categorical viewpoint is purely a question of scale. There are some problems which mandate a larger-scale solution than others, and some have a smaller-scale. Taking something to a state level or nationwide level is just asking whether that is the appropriate scale to deal with the problems.

Posted by: Zathras | October 5, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Murphy: Then I guess we are preaching to each others choirs. I actually dont care how the money is spent as long as it is limited. Let me keep my money.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"I bet you call the number and someone immediately rushes over to beat the crap out of you..."

...probably some of those bullies dressed like the Blues Brothers they sent to Ohio to intimidate ethnic voters in those long polling lines.

I've seen clips from "secret" movies some people made in Ohio during that last election, these guys look dangerous.

And they were paid by some rich Texan to do that dirty-work.

Well, least SOME of them got paid.

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Dan W,

"Expanding the program by raising the threshold means more money to go into the program..."

It would not be an expansion of the program in terms of its overhead costs, just a change of the numbers. Such a change more subsidization of "almost-poor" people absolutely would require money, I'm not suggesting otherwise.

My point is that whether Sally-some-lady with two kids and a morgage pays $80 or $50 a month is a detail only dependent upon how much money goes into the program. That detail is less important than the major concepts of the program on the whole: insurance for everyone, and greater individual responsibility.

At the end of the day, giving people early medical attention is more COST EFFECTIVE than wheeling them into the ER a few months or years down the road. That cost effectiveness is a separate issue from the degree of subsidizing.

By the way, I'm 100% on board with you in terms of realizing there's only so much money to go around. Those choices are up to MA.

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Yockel;

I once worked for a congressional candidate back in 2003-4 in California, Gabe Castillo in the 3rd District
(now held by Lungren(R)).

Gabe proposed the same plan you mention, that Medicare should be extended to cover all Americans currently not insured, covering just the most basic preventative and emergency services, with a special program for catastrophic illness.

But the idea would be to leave all elective and cosmetic surgery and drugs to the free-market system we now have.

Don't include drugs like viagra and botox in the public medicine, keep them in the private sector, along with facelifts, lipo-suctions, and other vanity procedures.

Think of the burden it would take off of employers if they did not have to worry about health insurance for their employees.

And think about worker's comp, it would bring the cost down dramatically, which is even better than a tax break. Worker's compensation insurance costs, especially in some states (CA), can put a small business out of business, or force them to walk that fine line between legal and illegal, just to survive.

Consider all the jobs that extra money could create for these businesses, and the sense of security the public would have, knowing they were covered.

But, they don't want the public to feel secure, now would they.

That would ruin everything.

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh wait, it does spell "866 fit-0-it-1" which could generate a variety of unintended meanings.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I bet you call the number and someone immediately rushes over to beat the crap out of you...

Posted by: dridl | October 5, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Hastert announced that a tip line had been activated for people to call if they have information on Foley or any problems with the page program. The number is 866-348-0481."

Too bad this doesn't spell out "1 800 BURY TRUTH" or some other appropriate description.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

'Drindl: they're also mad because it's 2006 and abortion is still legal.'

And birth control. A lot of cons are furious that women are still being allowed to make choices about whether to have children. Like all good authoritarians, they think government should have that power.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Murphy: Expanding the program by raising the threshold means more money to go into the program. That means more money that is not going to Andy Rs schools and local services. Government is about setting priorities and deciding which programs get teh funds.

Healey has made a decision to honor the voters wishes and roll back the tax rate as they were promised. She agreed to fund the mass health program. She further refused to deficit spend on programs.
To do that, funds were taken away from local communities. There is only so much money available. Choices need to be made about how its spent.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

murphy: your words "And there's a slight difference in talking about the sexual depravity between reps and dems. When reps have these scandals break, they resign and the party leadership comes under fire from their constituency" don't include the phrase "in general" so I think you'll understand why I wonder who's now doing the spinning. Presumably "Democrats receive yawns" also is considered to occur "in general?"

Drindl: they're also mad because it's 2006 and abortion is still legal. And it'll still be legal in 2008. Quite a few of them are single issue voters (stupidly, of course, because they can be played like a fiddle by the unscrupulous) and for many abortion is that issue.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The best way to solve the health insurance problem is to extend Medicare to everyone. That way everyone contributes but since it is a share of one's income, everyone can afford it.

By the way, that would reduce overhead tremendously. Right now, twenty percent of health care expenditure goes to administrative costs and profits. Medicare overhead expenses are only 3%.

Posted by: Yockel | October 5, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"We Democarts have some wonderful people, some who would make as good a leader as Mr. Powell, but no one has the universal appeal that he has."

maybe Powell will get smart and lose that "R" rating.

Powell has been honest with us, since he was boosted from the cabinet.

Interesting observation, along with Powell, Edwards is the only other admitted victim of the big lie, they have both acknowledged they were wrong and that they were misled about Iraq. Both have apologized for thier mistakes.

Their public contrition makes them two of the most honest, real and human characters currently being touted for the job of President.

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone here know that the rightwing blogs are publlishing the names and addresses of some of the kids who were Foley's victims, so their deranged readers can harass and intimidate them, to keep from testifying? One kid, at least, reports death threats.

What is WRONG with 'conservatives"? Just how sick are these people?


Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Correction. Before someone else makes me an offender for a word, I did not explicitly say the words "in general", but I was speaking generally.

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater,

I never said a whole bunch of republicans resigned this Friday, you know that. I said "in general". Foley is one example. There are previous republican examples of resignations when scandals break. Nice try spinning my words though.

On a side note, it would be great if any congressmen would resign of their own accord. But, failing in that, atleast republicans receive flak from their base. Democrats receive yawns.

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: Why should people have to pay for services in areas where they don't live.

Yes I realize its a fundamental diffence of opinion.

Local communities should be self sufficient for local needs. They have a responsibility to provide certain services. Those that provide the services attract business, and therefore residents. Those that don't see their populations move to areas where they can get the services.


Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Tina, Some right wing Republican's might like Ms/ Rice, but I assure you, the vast majority of the voters wouldn't even consider voting for her. She is, and I believe rightly, assumed to be a right wing nut job. If you want a black Republican, nominate Colin Powell. I'm a Democrat and I'd likely vote for him and so would virtually everyone else I can think of. Colin Powell is another Dwight Eisenhower and god only knows, I can't think of anyone else who would rally the country like him. We Democarts have some wonderful people, some who would make as good a leader as Mr. Powell, but no one has the universal appeal that he has.

Posted by: MikeB | October 5, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"B20 used Romney as a segway to talking about pedophiles."

That Foleygate "R" rating is going to stick, especially to anyone running for office with an "R" behind their name.

Rove's getting his Madison Avenue "gross generalization" tactics tossed back at him. If Romney wants to lose the "R" rating he'll have to change parties.

No matter how squeaky clean Romney gets, he's still a member of the political party with the contemporaty corruption label.

Note the word "contemporary," it is inserted to save us from any more ancient history references. Probably a fuitle gesture, but worth a try.

Try as they might to link the current Republican culture of corruption to Democrats from decades and even centuries past, our apologists can't turn the scrutiny away from their own ongoing misdeeds, which seem to be popping up into the media spotlight every few days, just as if someone planned it.

Is Rove working for the Dems?

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Prepare for the Slime Deluge:
The Foley Scandal is a missile aimed at the heart of the GOP's most important base constituency: evangelical, Bible-believing Christians, who were already upset with the administration on a host of issues-including spending and immigration.

It's going to get uglier from here. The GOP will respond by unearthing old stories of sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill. I know that the search is on for complaints, however old, about unnamed Democrats who might have come on too strong to male or female pages.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Andy R,

What you describe is exactly what is happening to school systems in towns across the country. People move from big cities because the schools are bad, and because these people move, the tax base goes down and the school's get worse.

It's a very dangerous spiral. And it effects more than schools. Look at Detroit, which has an absolutely unsustainable tax base because of the massive flight to the suburbs which has occurred for over 50 years now. This decay of the big cities has been going on too long and has been ignored for too long. It is by definition a problem which is too big for individual towns. It needs to be dealt with on a much bigger scale.

Posted by: Zathras | October 5, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

1. I haven't forgotten about people who don't have insurance. In fact, I remember them every time I wonder why my premiums are so high.
2. To use an example, a 30-year old mother making $26,000 can get family insurance for around $80-$100 a month (link below). Your complaint seems to be that the rates should be lower for upper-lower class folks, right? That's a simple matter of pumping more money into the program and changing thresholds. The structure of the program itself is still a great idea.

It's not a perfect plan, but it's much better than having people self-medicate for years with aspirin and develop serious health problems. The details (like what constitutes "poor") can still be worked on.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/10/01/mass_to_start_signing_up_poorest_residents_for_health_care/?page=2

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) approached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said yesterday.

The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday from his job with another senior lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert's staff reportedly became aware of Foley's questionable behavior concerning teenagers working on Capitol Hill.

It raised new questions about Hastert's assertions that senior GOP leaders were aware only of "over-friendly" e-mails from 2005 that they say did not raise alarm bells when they came to light this year.

"The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges, I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives, asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior," said Fordham, who was Foley's chief of staff for 10 years.

Posted by: lia | October 5, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Fordham said one staffer he spoke with remains employed by a senior House Republican leader, but he declined to identify the person.

"Rather than trying to shift the blame on me, those who are employed by these House leaders should acknowledge what they know about their action or inaction in response to the information they knew about Mr. Foley prior to 2005," Fordham said."

According to murphy ("When reps have these scandals break, they resign") a whole bunch of Republicans resigned this past Friday when the scandal broke. Golly, the newspapers only showed one that day. Who's wrong, reality or murphy?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 5, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Dan,
My problem with just letting local areas raise their own money is that richer towns will have a much larger tax base to pull from. So a town like Hingham can have great schools and lots of cops and good roads. where as a town like Lynn is stuck with trying to get by with much less cash. This creates a divide where rich people move to rich towns because the schools and safety are better. thereby raising the housing costs and in turn increasing tax revenue. The poor people or even lower middle class folks are forced to live in worse areas, where there kids can't get a good education and therefore don't get into good colleges. It is a cycle that can only be broken with more equal distribution of money which must come from the state.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I realize that the Mass. system is not a socialized medicine or anything like that. All I know is that because of a governmental initiative more people will be insured. And that's a good thing. I only care about the end result, without reference to ideology.

Posted by: Zathras | October 5, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

lia,

I know what hyperbole is. And anytime I want a huge sampling of hyperbole, I know exactly where to find it. My point, which you dodged, was that B20 used Romney as a segway to talking about pedophiles.

On a side note, I'll say that this pedophile thing may HELP Romney, since he is the most squeaky clean family man candidate who ever ran for president since...well...EVER. People are fed up (rightly so) with the level of depravity in Washington, and that will manifest itself in the GOP primary.

And there's a slight difference in talking about the sexual depravity between reps and dems. When reps have these scandals break, they resign and the party leadership comes under fire from their constituency. When dems have these scandals break, they remain popular (Clinton) and in one case publicly declare their love for underage boys and continue to win reelection (Studds).

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Romney is a clear alternative to McCain. Ralph Reed said the other day that Christians would support Romney over McCain in the primary. True, Ralph Reed screwed himself over, as evidenced by his loss in the GA Lt.Gov. race, but he is the voter that Romney will have to have to beat McCain in the South. Expect DeMint to endorse Romney along with other Southern senators like Richard Shelby (AL). Romney was the speaker at the AL Lincoln-Reagan dinner honoring Senator Shelby and did nothing but impress everyone in the crowd. He will seperate himself from the Guiliani and Bloomberg crowd early in 2007. Only McCain stands in his way. As for his approval rating, a dislike of Romney from liberal Mass. voters can only help his chances of winning the Republican nomination.

Posted by: Southern Progressive | October 5, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Most national journalists have been far more aggressive and diligent in reporting this Foley scandal than they have been with almost any other political story over the past six years, with one glaring exception -- Howard Kurtz, the media critic for both CNN and The Washington Post. On Monday, Kurtz reported that someone whom he described as "a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley" and "Foley's former chief of staff" had attempted, on behalf of Foley, to negotiate a deal with ABC, whereby ABC would agree to conceal the content of the IMs in exchange for an exclusive interview with Foley. This is how Kurtz "reported" the incident:

On Friday afternoon, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to cut a deal with ABC's Brian Ross. The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican.

Foley's former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.

There was no reference whatsoever to the key fact in that story -- that the person negotiating the deal for Foley was actually Tom Reynolds' current Chief of Staff, Kirk Fordham. Kurtz not only omitted that fact, but in its place included (whether deliberately or not) a grossly misleading description. By describing Fordham in the way he did, it completely obscured the fact that he was the top aide to Tom Reynolds, the Chairman of the NRCC.

Posted by: lia | October 5, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

murphy: All well and good but you are missing the people who:

1) Dont currently have insurance.
2) are not considered "poor" by the state. and therefore are not entitled to subsidized healthcare. These are the ones I worry about. To add insult to injury, they are going to be fined for breaking the law (requiring health coverage).


Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Cities/towns need to raise money to cover the costs of the services they provide. It isn't the job of the state to provide revenue to the towns for basic services."

If states and the feds would subsidize communities to create their own local bio-fuel-based energy production facilities, they could take those corporate grid profits and turn them into cheaper utility rates for their community. And use the profits to provide the commmunity's civic functions, without charging taxes, just a fair utility rate.

This would also create local engineering jobs and income for local farmers as the rqaw material providers, who spend their money in town, not building a $20 billion theme park in Dubai.

Sorta off-thread, but worth a posting...

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

'Above all else, let me thank you for actually bringing up an issue to talk about instead of the typical tin-foil hat talk around here.'

that's what repugs always say when they come here. why don't you go away, then?

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

B20, yeah I have relatives like that in Missouri and Oklahoma. That's why I think Allen is now toast. His base loved him when he had a noose in his office. Are they really going to back him when he wants to give black farmers money for discrimination compensation? I don't think so...

'The bill Allen is sponsoring would give black farmers another chance at compensation under the settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against the Agriculture Department. A similar measure is pending in the House.

The department agreed seven years ago to pay farmers who could show they were discriminated against, providing payments of $50,000 in most cases and unlimited payments in extreme cases.'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Mass. suffers from its demographics and distances. Everything that "counts" is
inside the 128 beltway. As you get further west, towards Worcester, you get a more suburban/rural independant attitude. When you get the the Connecticut River valley, Amherst, Northampton, Springfield, you might as well be in New York. Healy's strength is beyond the 128 beltway. Patrick's strength is within the beltway, from Newton, east.

Romney is an attractive candidate who scared the hell out of the Kennedys in the last contested "Ted fest" for Senate, in (I believe) '94. He also is credited with salvaging the Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City. He will play well nationally. Healey will lose the state, to Patrick, but Romney will get a good run despite that outcome. He will end up on a Republican ticket, though probably not at the top.

Posted by: L.Sterling | October 5, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: Yes, property taxes went up and worse, the tax assessors artificially increased the value of the homes as well resulting in even more raises.

Cities/towns need to raise money to cover the costs of the services they provide. It isn't the job of the state to provide revenue to the towns for basic services.

You want to argue the state tax rate should be lowered even more to allow for the rise in property taxes? No problem. I can agree with that proposal.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Gawd, murphy.. it was hyperbole... get it? As far as B20's comment -- the leadership of YOUR PARTY enabled a pedophile -- for years, as it turned out. And there are allegedly at least two more. And if you believe that Bill Clinton reflected badly on his party for Monica, why can't you get that your party's soft on pedophilia stance might affect romney, or any other repug?

So I have a suggestion for you -- get hold of the facts.

Posted by: lia | October 5, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Dan W,

Above all else, let me thank you for actually bringing up an issue to talk about instead of the typical tin-foil hat talk around here.

"...what about the people who are too wealthy to get health care from teh state and too poor to afford private insurance? these people are going to be fined for not having health care."

You don't have this quite right. Some clarifications:

1. For people who currently have insurance, Romney's plan doesn't change anything.
2. Wealthy people can opt-out of the mandate if they can prove that they have enough money to essentially self-insure.
3. Poor people who can't afford insurance will be subsidized by the state. These funds will be drawn from the funds currently used to pay for uninsured people showing up at the ER with preventable illnesses.

Again, this is not state provided insurance. It's the same privatized insurance as before with more people insured (lower premiums) and preventative care replacing ER visits or self-medication (lower premiums).

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Tina -

While I have to agree with you that the press has an, uh, unnatural fondness for Mr. McCain (and Ms. Clinton) in spite of all data to the contrary, I also have to caution you on getting too excited about Condi's prospects. Two reasons, mainly.

The first is that there is no way she's going to take part in a political campaign for herself (even if she is "drafted" and needs to do nothing before Dec. '07 say) while serving as Sec. of State. Can you imagine how unseemly it would be if, while people are being slaughtered in Darfur, Iraq is imploding (thanks to her participation in selling this bill of goods to the American people), and all the other delicate situations around the globe - she is seen riding a whistlestop around the country singing "Happy Days are Here Again"?

The second is that, trust me, the Racist American wing of your party (which is still sadly huge) will not countenance it. I went home to Ohio over labor day and chatted with my relatives at a family reunion. They're nice folks from a small town, but they are still encumbered by those wonderful "small town white values" we are so often encouraged by the GOP to treasure.

We got to talking about politics, and to my surprise I was hearing these lifelong Republicans railing against Mr. Bush in a way that would have had my "Bush bashing" self of 2002 fairly flush with sympathy for the man. But then it got really curious. They also told me they may NEVER vote Republican again. The Republicans, you see, were running that *Black* guy for governor! The Black, you know. For a moment I listened in confused but suspicious anticipation of what they were trying to say. Soon it was apparent that no, they weren't just struggling to come up with the name of Kenneth Blackwell (Bush's lackey who was in charge of the Ohio electoral process in 2004). They were talking about what an outrage it was that they were being asked to vote for a man of color. I was speechless for the rest of dinner. But there's your base. And you wonder why we can't stand your party. It's the 21st century for crissake. Come on. Grow.

Posted by: B2O | October 5, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

PS Since when was a 25 point lead "comfortable?" C'mon Chris, use something like "nearly insurmountable," such as you would probably do if the parties were reversed.

"Comfortable" is 12-15 points, especially this close to election day.

25 points is a mountain in October.

I know that Republican campaign money is your publisher's gravy, but sometimes the media coddling of these crybabies gets a bit stale.

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: "Course that meant if an orphanage caught fire, it would just be allowed to burn. But I'm sure that's just fine with these folks."

B20: "Speaking of fundamentalist GOP politicians (Romney), is anyone else as impressed as I am that even though they couldn't find time in three years to stop their members from sexually harrassing underage boys..."

Drindl insuates that Romney is pro-burning-orphanages, and B20 mentions Romney in connection with pedophiles. WHAT PLANET ARE YOU GUYS FROM?

A little suggestion. Get a hold of the facts. Sitting around here lobbing verbal bombs on people may be fun, but you're not doing your party any favors. I'm honestly not in favor of a one-party state, but some democrats really hand it to the GOP on a silver platter.

Posted by: murphy | October 5, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The problem with your argument Dan is that when you cut local funding as the Romeny-Healey administration did it causes an increase in property taxes. This is Exactly what happened when Romney 'balanced the budget'. Healey's plan would just continue the same problem. Mass has seen it property taxes sky rocket to record levels in the past four years, not to mention the close to billion dollars in fee increases, at things like the UMAss system, they used to cover up the defecit.
Saying we are going to cut taxes sounds great on a commercial, but when large towns in your state are going Bankrupt (see Springfield Mass) due to the loss in State funding, shows that it isn't working. Patrick simplifies it well by pointing out it is a "shell game" of moving taxes from one category (income tax) to another (property and fees).

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This race is surely one to watch, it will guage whether or not all those Republican corporate $ and that legendary Evangelical "get-out-the-voter" base can take back a race that is trailing so severely in reliable polls.

If those polls turn around, it will show the money makes the difference. Just how much difference, only election day will finally tell, but this is the race to watch to see if the Republican's scandals are outpacing the Republican's deep pockets. Its a real horserace.

The Republican's money advantages are obviously coming from some very questionable sources, I still contend that advantage represents mostly tainted money. All that cash Foley gave Reynolds and the RNCC is included in that supposition.

Who gave it to Foley?

Curious, how that money advantage is being devoured by their all-round corruption legacy, like some sort of political instant-karma.

They will spend their war-chest fighting pedophilia, its cover-up, and general Delay/Abramoff related corruption accusations, instead of trying to frighten the voters with their Rove-inspired terror-management campaigns.

History is in the making this week.

Between now and November, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Posted by: JEP | October 5, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Problem is, the Mass health is not reform. It is simply requiring that people have medical insurance. It says it will provide it up to a point but what about the people who are too wealthy to get health care from teh state and too poor to afford private insurance? these people are going to be fined for not having health care.

Thats not a valid answer. And when the state has so many people on the roles that it can't afford the service any longer? then what?

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Keough was not the 2002 NH Gubernatorial nominee. But he will be it for '08.

Posted by: NH | October 5, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The state is not responsible for such services. Local communities are responsible for such services.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd take Romney over much of what else the GOP would offer in 2008. At least he has shown he can work with the other party--look what he did with the legislature on health care. It's similar to what Huckabee did in Arkansas with the minimum wage. Both of them have talked about their faith as motivation for social change. This is the kind of public Christianity I can really support, not the hate-mongering that Robertson and Falwell get into. And by doing so, they are tapping into a century-old root of American politics. William Jennings Bryan gets made fun of today for the Snopes trial, but he was at the forefront of economic progressivism. What I'd really like to see is more of this blending of Christianity with economic progressivism, since both parties seem to me to be only listening to 1/2 a song, with each side listening to different halves.

Posted by: Zathras | October 5, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Republicans love Condi and that is what scares McCain and his people.

Here is the Gallup poll I mentioned:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003190389

The voters will decide who they want. They are not bought and paid for regardless of what you think. Romney and McCain and Rudy can't buy loyalty. They are just taking the money for now, to help their candidate win, just like Democrats do. The Hillary visits to Virginia are being reported as firing up the GOP base and she might be the match that burned up Webb's hope of a Senate win. We shall see in a few weeks.

After the November election, the focus on 2008 will be at WARP SPEED. But if Condi maintains her top tier status in polls, she will be able to announce as late as October 2007.

The Democrats just do not want Condi to take away the media spotlight from Hillary. We all know the Dems will try to smear Condi and use the Woodword rumors to smack her. Hmmmm, just plain ol' dirty politics but I think Condi will rise above it.

Posted by: Tina | October 5, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

One factual error in the entry: Bruce Keough was NOT the Republican nominee in 2002; Craig Benson was: http://www.sos.nh.gov/stateprimary2002/rgovsum.htm

Posted by: JAK | October 5, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Dan W. is a good example. Cut those community services. Let people put fires out for themselves!

Posted by: lia | October 5, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Pablo,

You are forgetting the most important aspect of Healeys promise to lower taxes in the Bay state: Public referedum. A few years ago (apologies on not having the year) we voted on a referendum to lower the tax rate back to 5% as promised when it was raised. The original increase by Dukasis was supposed to be TEMPORARY. By lowering the tax to 5% she is telling the voters she is listening to them.

Cutting aid to local communities is a requirement for a balanced budget. Choose where you want the money to go. There is only so much to go around.

Personally I think the health care plan enacted by the state is a mistake but that is for a different thread.

And no, I am not a Romney supporter. I'll be voting against him in 08 if he is on the ticket. This is the election for a strong independent candidate.

Yes I support Healey. Promising to lower taxes sits very well with me. If services need to be cut in order for that to happen then services need to be cut. There is WAY too much mismanagement of revenue in this country and the only way for it to stop is to cut off the flow of the revenue and force people to make hard decisions about what services to cut and what services to finance.

Posted by: Dan W | October 5, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: wiccan | October 5, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Forget it, Tina -- the repug base hates Condi.

'Fox News reports on Condi's diplomatic failures - US objectives not achieved, failure to achieve Israeli objectives, failure to defend the free world from the dangerous double standard which allows terrorists to operate with impunity, failure to secure Lebanon's future free of Hezbollah terrorists.

[...] Rice telephoned Olmert to plead with him to stop an expanded ground offensive he ordered moments before as France and the United States announced they reached an agreement on a cease-fire resolution that would be presented to the Security Council at 3 p.m. EST.

[...] In her call to Olmert, Rice asked if there was any room left for diplomacy and he indicated he'd be willing to call off the offensive if Israel's basic demands are met, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the private conversation'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Forget it, Tina -- the repug base hates Condi.

'Fox News reports on Condi's diplomatic failures - US objectives not achieved, failure to achieve Israeli objectives, failure to defend the free world from the dangerous double standard which allows terrorists to operate with impunity, failure to secure Lebanon's future free of Hezbollah terrorists.

[...] Rice telephoned Olmert to plead with him to stop an expanded ground offensive he ordered moments before as France and the United States announced they reached an agreement on a cease-fire resolution that would be presented to the Security Council at 3 p.m. EST.

[...] In her call to Olmert, Rice asked if there was any room left for diplomacy and he indicated he'd be willing to call off the offensive if Israel's basic demands are met, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the private conversation'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

She's baaaack! Please Tina, read Woodward's book. Rumsfeld wouldn't even return her calls until her husb.... er president Bush stepped in.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 5, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of fundamentalist GOP politicians (Romney), is anyone else as impressed as I am that even though they couldn't find time in three years to stop their members from sexually harrassing underage boys, they DID take the time recently to deny 23 million Americans of their right to play online poker With the Senate following suit, our evangelical president is expected to sign this into law.

Apparently they are keeping God's commandments, 1800's vintage. Stamp out that evil gambling -- but gee, don't those kids look good in their bloomers... What on earth are we letting this country deteriorate into??? The terrorists have already won guys. We are implementing Taliban rule here.

Posted by: B2O | October 5, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It's waaaaay too early to think about front runners for 2008. As we have just seen with Foley-gate, things can change in a hurry.

In the next two years Bush will surely embroil us in another war, the Chinese may call in their paper or we may just be a part of one big North American union... which in case you haven't been paying attention is going ahead full steam, the "framework" will be in place by 2007.

But from our current sheltered point-of-view, if it is just about buying the presidency, then Romney is certainly amongst the highest bidders.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 5, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The topic is 2008, and if you have seen the latest Gallup poll, you know the people are over 60% for a woman president, and about 58% for an African American president. This data is a HUGE news item, and if you have not heard about it before,
you can go to www.race42008.com to find it.

Also, the latest Marist poll show Rudy and Condi are ahead of McCain. So much for the frontrunner status the talking heads on TV claim about McCain.

As I have stated time and time again on this site, when the polls include the name of Condi Rice as a possible contender for 2008, then her top level status is clearly shown.

Look, she is doing her job right now handling foreign policy and her strong determination got the UN to deal with the Hezbollah "thuggery" in Lebanon. So far, the European nations have sent troops to help the government troops mainstain a ceasefire and bring stabiity to the Southern Region. She is in the Middle East now trying to get leaders to come to the table for talks in order to help their nations live in peace.

This is an example of Woodrow Wilson diplomacy and Teddy Roosevelt "big stick" policy. Riots in the streets only shows that the people what to show their holliganism on TV. No one in the world supports murdering women and children to win any war or hijack any civilization.

Now before you all start whining and complaining about Iraq, I need to remind you that Peter Beinart of the New Republic want US Troops to go into Darfur and take military action to stop the genocide. It seems to me that thugs in Iraq would take over if we moved our forces out now. We have seen the Rwanda genocide and the UN failed to handle it for years. So as long as we have turmoil in Iraq, we are staying.

Some of the Democrats need to be reminded that US forces were in charge of Germany for 5 years before we handed over the government to the people. And that also included 2 years of mass murder by the Nazi supporters who refused to abide by the surrender in Germany.

Foreign policy and national defense will be key factors for 2008. and so far, no one has the foreign policy experience of Condi. She is in IRAQ right now, and helping the leaders settle their problems without more bloodshed. Cutting off heads in order to take over a government will not be tolerated or accepted.

Posted by: Tina | October 5, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Romney and the rest of the 'small government' repugs want to go back to the 'gold old days' when there was no local gov and everything was privatized. So if you wanted fire protection, you had to pay for it directly. Course that meant if an orphanage caught fire, it would just be allowed to burn. But I'm sure that's just fine with these folks.

WASHINGTON Sep 29, 2006 (AP)-- Dogged by allegations of racial insensitivity, Sen. George Allen on Thursday introduced a bill to help black farmers.

I wonder if this will cause Allen's racist base to stay home on election day?

'Allen, R-Va., has spent weeks rebutting accusations that he used racist language and liked Confederate symbols.

An acquaintance from college has said he used a common slur for blacks. Stories have been revived about Allen keeping a Confederate flag at home and a hangman's noose in his law office.

The furor began Aug. 11, when the senator called a volunteer for his opponent "macaca," considered by some to be a racial slur, during a political rally.

Allen had been favored for re-election over Democrat Jim Webb, who served as Navy secretary under President Reagan. A former governor, Allen had also been considered a contender for president in 2008.

The bill Allen is sponsoring would give black farmers another chance at compensation under the settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against the Agriculture Department. A similar measure is pending in the House.

The department agreed seven years ago to pay farmers who could show they were discriminated against, providing payments of $50,000 in most cases and unlimited payments in extreme cases.'

Posted by: dridl | October 5, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Drindl,
The craziness and anger in the political realm is why folks like Deval Patrick need to get elected. He has built his campaign on talking about issues, and generally being a pleasant person. That being said he will also hit back when Healey and the GOP trash him. There are still few real statesmen out there who generally want to change things for the better. I am thinking Feingold, Obama, Specter, Leahy, Chafee, etc.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Healey's negative ads on Patrick being soft on crime runs away from the horrible Romney-Healey record. Ten days after taking office, Romney-Healey announced their plan to cut local aid by 20%. With Proposition 2 1/2 limiting the ability to raise revenues on the local level, the result was a loss of 500-700 cops on the streets throughout the state. Local aid was not restored, but now Healey claims a surplus and wants a tax cut. Sunday night, a woman in Gloucester, who lives down the street from a firehouse closed due to local aid/budget cuts, was killed in a fire. The fire response time was in excess of 10 minutes.

Romney represents the worst aspects of the Republican agenda. He is clearly intent on hobbling local government. Romney is Grover Norquist's dream come true!

Posted by: Pablo | October 5, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I think the founders intended a democracy.. not a race to see who could sell the country to the highest bidder the fastest. That coupled with the din of rightwing propaganda coming from every direction has transformed the country into a magnet for corruptionn and malfeasance.

You can't hear what anyone is saying with all the hysterical howling and shreiking on the right...

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

If I were a Republican then I would be troubled by Romney's misappropriations.

With respect to the presidential primary, right now Romney is ideally positioned. Not only is he a frontrunner but he also enjoys the ideal opponent: John McCain.

Romney's achilles heal is the dislike that conservative Christians have for Mormons. On the other hand, Pat Robertson has made it clear that John McCain's campaign finance agenda threatens the evangelical political infrastructure. I am betting that Robertson will back Romney if that Romney might stop McCain.

Romney would not be able to appeal to evangelical and charismatic Christian voters were it not for their loathing of McCain.

Things could not be better for Romney.

Posted by: Yockel | October 5, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I think the days of politicians having actual ideas on either side of the aisle are lonnnggg gone..Now it's all about money, and who can outspend who..There idea of debate now is to cover there ears and see who can scream the loudest..Was this the way our founding fathers intended democracy to be some two hundred or so years ago??

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | October 5, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

While Denny Hastert is blowing smoke and conspiracy theories about where Foley's emails originally came from [I swear to god, he blames Bill Clinton]--he's as much of a rightwing nutjob as the posters from drudges site--the original material came from a repubican.

"The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley's [R-FL] suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide....

"The same source, who acted as an intermediary between the aide-turned-whistleblower and several news outlets, says the person who shared the documents is no longer employed in the House.

"But the whistleblower was a paid GOP staffer when the documents were first given to the media....

"These revelations mean that Republicans who are calling for probes to discover what Democratic leaders and staff knew about Foley's improper exchanges with under-age pages will likely be unable to show that the opposition party orchestrated the scandal now roiling the GOP just a month away from the midterm elections." (The Hill)

Posted by: dridl | October 5, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I see Joe Lieberman went on Imus to make jokes about torture. Funny guy, huh?

'I have particularly appreciated your interrogation of some of the other Democratic elected officials. And I'm very comforted to know that your interrogation is not covered by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Heh-heh-heh.'

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The repug 'leadership' seems a little preoccupied the last few days...

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Venice and Drindl summed it up pretty well. Patrick is going to crush Healey, and there is nothing Romney can do about it.
I wonder how the rest of the Republican governors feel about Romney spending their money on his personal ambitions. For example why aren't they putting that 900k in Maine, RI, Minnesota, Alaska, Nevada, etc where republicans might have a chance of winning.
I guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth but you really wonder about who is overseeing these GOP guys....Oh that's right nobody.

Posted by: Andy R | October 5, 2006 9:13 AM | Report abuse

In every COUNTY that is. It is really surprising to see Patrick signs everywhere from Springfield to the Cape, in all kinds of communities.

Posted by: Venicemenace | October 5, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Healey has been all-out negative campaigning since before the Democrats even picked a nominee. According to her campaign, if Patrick is elected governor, sex offenders and cop killers will roam free across the land, raping and pillaging.

Meanwhile, Patrick signs are in yards all over the state, in every country and especially in the wealthy suburbs that have been key for every Republican governor over the last two decades.

I don't understand why she thinks that her nasty, vicious, misleading smear campaign against Patrick is going to lower her negatives or make people dislike the Romney-Healey administration less...

Posted by: Venicemenace | October 5, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis has canceled a fundraiser next week with U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, citing the growing scandal over former Florida Rep. Mark Foley.

Posted by: jana | October 5, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

25 POINTS IS A PRETTY BIG SPREAD, CHRIS -- DEVAL PATRICK IS AHEAD BY 25 POINTS

Patrick has a big lead in new poll
Healey trails by 25 points

Democrat Deval L. Patrick holds a commanding lead over Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey in the race for governor, even though a majority of voters oppose his positions on immigration, income taxes, and crime, a new Boston Globe/CBS4 poll indicates.

Fifty-five percent of voters surveyed supported Patrick, while Healey, the Republican nominee, was backed by 30 percent. Independent Christy Mihos received 7 percent, and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross got 1 percent. Six percent said they were undecided.
Healey's battle to close the gap between her and Patrick will be made difficult by her low personal popularity with the voters. Forty-two percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable opinion, while 40 percent viewed her favorably . By comparison, Patrick, fresh off his huge primary win on Sept. 19, received a rating of 63 percent favorable, 16 percent unfavorable .

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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