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527 Group Slams Republican in CO-5

Colorado is the wild west when it comes to money and politics.

Over the last several election cycles, groups of wealthy individuals have banded together to spend millions in hopes of influencing state legislative and congressional races as well as a variety of ballot initiatives.

During this time, four particular individuals have dominated the giving landscape: Tim Gill, Pat Stryker, Jared Polis, and Rutt Bridges. The four have funded a number of outside 527 groups that support Democratic causes. They are given considerable credit for the gains made by Colorado Democrats in the 2004 election cycle, which included a Senate seat pickup and gains in the state legislature. The group also funded approximately $1 million worth of ads against Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) in the 4th district, turning her re-election race into a closer than expected contest.

In 2006 the foursome is back.

Gill and Stryker have already put $180,000 into a 527 known as "Too Extreme for Colorado" that has run ads hitting Republican Rick O'Donnell in his race for the open 7th congressional seat. O'Donnell is considered a major underdog in the suburban Denver seat that continues to tilt toward Democrats demographically.

And now another 527 group calling itself "Honor and Freedom" is up with an ad in the open 5th district, where Rep. Joel Hefley's (R) retirement has set off a surprisingly competitive race between state Sen. Doug Lamborn (R) and retired Air Force officer Jay Fawcett (D). While "Honor and Freedom" has not yet filed any paperwork detailing its donors, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette it shares the same treasurer as "Too Extreme for Colorado" -- suggesting possible connection with the other group and its backers. "Honor and Freedom" just filed as a 527 on October 18. We will know more about the group in coming days when it files required reports with the IRS and the Federal Election Commission.

The ad, which has been running in the district for the past week, takes Lamborn to task for allegedly "sleazy" campaign tactics. While images of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) flash across the screen, a narrator says: "Honor and integrity. Washington could use a lot more of both. So could Doug Lamborn."

The ad also notes that Hefley has refused to endorse Lamborn in the general election and called the primary campaign the latter ran as "dishonest." The ad closes with Lamborn telling an audience member during a debate earlier this month to "keep your mouth shut."

Depending on how much money the financial backers of "Honor and Freedom" are willing to commit to this race, the group could have a significant impact on the outcome. At the end of September, Lamborn and Fawcett both had roughly $90,000 left to spend on the contest. The Gazette reported that "Honor and Freedom" is already committed to spending at least $200,000 on ads hitting Lamborn -- making the organization the largest financial player in the district.

Despite Lamborn's problems and the presence of "Honor and Freedom", this is still a seat where Republicans are favored. Hefley has held the seat since 1986 and in 2004 President Bush carried it by 33 points -- his best showing in any of the state's seven congressional districts.

Still, with "Honor and Freedom" spending heavily to knock Lamborn, this is one to keep an eye on as a potential election night surprise.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 26, 2006; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Vilsack Making First '08 Move?

Comments


These races are over...The best the GOP slime machine has to offer has come and gone. STICK a Fork in it.

NY: Acuri wins
NY: Reynolds LOSES
NY: Sue Kelly LOSES
NY: Peter King LOSES

PA: Melissa Hart (R) Loses
PA: Don Sherwood (R) LOses
PA: Curt Weldon (R)LOSES
PA: Lois Murphy (D) WINS Philly suburb race

OH: Deb Pryce (R) loses
OH: Mean Jean Schmidt (R) loses
OH: Zach Space (D) (Bob Ney seat) wins
OH: Chabot (R) loses

IN: Hosteller (R) loses
IN: Sodrel (R) loses
IN: Baron Hill (D) WINS

KY: Northup (R) LOSES
KY: Lucas (D) WINS beats incumbant Davis

FL: Klein (D) beat Shaw (R)
FL: Foley seat goes DEM
FL: Harris seat goes DEM
FL: UPSET SPECIAL Ric Keller (R) of Orlando area loses close race to DEM

AZ: Kolbe seat goes DEM
AZ: UPSET Special JD Hayworth loses

NM: Heather Wilson (R) loses to Madrid

CO: Permulatter (sp?) Dem wins Beupre seat

NC: Shuler (D) beats Taylor (R)
NC: Hayes (R) loses

TX: Lampson (D) wins

CT: Shays, Johnson, and Simmons all lose.

Total house seats picked up 31 for Dems. GOP none.

Posted by: Stick A Fork In IT | October 26, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I just got it. A person can't afford a new efficient car, so that person doesn't get the tax break. Sorry I was slow there.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 26, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Dan, You lost me. Higher taxes becasue you can't afford a car?If your income is in the range where a car purchase is a stretch, then you should be a democrat.

I am pro regulation. The fact that americans used the same amount of electricity (per capita) in '95 as '75 shows the power of standards. My argument was directed at drindl's suggestion that we should do away with incentives. They are different tools of government with different benefits and problems. When I rule the world, I will use a judicious mixture of the two.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 26, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Adam Hammond: There is nothing wrong with reasonable regulation (lets not fight today over the word reasonable). Regulation is different from incentives.

Increasing the cost of a new car because the auto manufacturer needs to create a better engine to meet higher standards is not the same thing as charging me higher taxes because I can't afford that more expensive car.

Posted by: Dan W | October 26, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think that tax incentives are an important tool of government. I am not saying that I agree with all of the ones in place, but lets look at the environment, an issue that I care about. Government can legislate environmental responsibility to an extent - efficiency standards, emmisions standards, new home building standards, etc. Such regulations are strongly criticized for impinging on freedoms and the free market. Lets face it, they do. So what can we do as a nation if the majority want to improve some environmental consideration, but a minority can easily prevent that? Well ... incentives can work. Yes, it is "engineering" behaviors, but isn't regulation just a blunter way to do that?

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 26, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned the other day that Linc Chaffee had become a "one note" candidate with a "Why didn't you investigate corruption?" attack theme.

Whitehouse ads now counter with "Lincoln Chaffee supports the Congressional leadreship who refuse to investigate Bush, Cheney and Haliburton on Iraq!"

Some Chaffee strategist had better be re-thinking their advice now.

To steal a line - Stick a fork in it! Sorry, Linc.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 26, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This goes for both parties here:

If your misplace somthing you LOSE it. If you date a harlot, she is LOOSE.

Here is an example:

"Republicans will probably LOSE the House on November 7th, shaking Nancy Pelosi's last screw LOOSE."

Posted by: Professor Spells-a-lot | October 26, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - "we had...respect for peoople who actually worked for lving with their blood, sweat and tears.

"Those who inherited money and lived off the roulette of stock investment were considered lazy and unproductive -- as they should be."

How do you differentiate the dollars earned by the hard working people who invested wisely and those who clip coupons? Also, how do you differentiate the dollars earned by those who inherited, legitimately worked hard anyway, and substantially increased their assets?

Sounds like a case for the, Estate Tax!

There are trillions of dollars passing from the Depression/WWII to the Baby Boom generation already. Many of those are inheriting as they retire, and investing to eventually pass the assets on to their kids. Are those Boomers lazy?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 26, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The problem is, even dems were suckered by Diebold. It's a shame, but true. Diebold has lobbyists everywhere. You can't audit or control the e-voting machines -- the technology is private amd proprietary.

This is one of my huge problems with Dems in officie -- naive and too trusting. They should have thrown a huge fit when they discovered that all the voting machines are owned by republican-run companies. That's why I'm interested in getting a lot of lazy incumbents out and more fighters in.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Heard the MD Senate debate on C-SPAN radio this afternoon, which makes a difference. My take was mostly Cardin and Steele talking over each other, with the 3rd party candidate sort pushed off to the side.

Cardin knew enough about the Washington suburbs. He was Speaker of the Maryland House for five or six years. It was just Steele trying to sandbag him. It didn't work; Cardin knew what he was talking about.

TG - You're right about Virginia Democrats and "the conspiracy." There could be a conspiracy, but the Virginia Democrats have been in a position to effect internal controls and audits to ensure that everything was correct. If things are not corrected by 11/07, they take blame for failing to exercise proper oversight.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 26, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The truth is, capital gains used to be taxed at a much higher rate than wages and called 'unearned income' -- that was when we as a country had some respect for peoople who actually worked for lving with their blood, sweat and tears.

Those who inherited money and lived off the roulette of stock investment were considered lazy and unproductive -- as they should be.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Just getting back form the gym to work out that frustration.

First to KING - I deal in facts which I can see with my own eyes - I did not say Venezuela oil is being curtailed in production I said in US consumption - 7-11 and Cirlce K the former main distributors of Citgo gas (owned by Venezuela) have both dropped Citgo in the last weeks - you can no longer buy Citgo Gas in Texas - for now at least - you must buy Valero Gas which is from the middle east-

I no longer shop at Circle K for anything -I will take a name calling bully like Chavez over an islamo-fascist who uses their money to kill our soldiers any day

As to Dan W. - part of fair share includes who has he most to loose - now I am not like some who think 200k a year makes you wealthy - I would repeal the tax cuts only for everyone who earns over a million -

for the record - the poor do pay taxes - I know of no state law which says that because you are poor you do not pay sales taxes, property taxes (directly or through your rent) - income tax is not the only income tax - further the poor do buy things - the things they buy give money to the people who make the profits -

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 26, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So why didn't anyone answer drindl's response about counting capital gains as income? You people have created an uber-supply-side nightmare that we, unfortunately, all have to live with, all while we pile up a huge mound of debt based on dubious propositions. If it was just bhoomer and KOZ's kids and grandkids suffering, I'd have no problem with it, frankly, but unfortunately, my kid is going to suffer because of the binge you all went on.

The shortsightedness is mindboggling.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

'But that is the tip of the government till iceburg. If government has proven anything its ineffectiveness. Look at the Big Dig, look at the medicare prescription drug program that a lawyer couldn't make heads or tale of, look at the reconstruction of new orleans and the fleecing of funds. This is not a republican/democrat issue. This is a government issue.'

Except almost everything you mention is a republican program. Iraq is HUGE -- $500 hundred billion. The big Dig is a mess, but what do you want to do, stop building roads? Oversight and accountability are the answers and government can do that quite well, IF competent people are in office.

Please don't tell me private business does a better job. The reason the Medicare Part D program is a swamp is precisely because it is privatized. There is too much incentive for greed with a profit motive. And as far as efficiency is concerned, corporations are ridiculous. I worked for several over 25 years and I can tell you the amount of lavish parties, 'offsites', country club outings, golf tournaments, unnecessary travel, bar bills and perks [one place I worked had a masseuse in every two weeks] is staggering. Not even bringing up CEO salaries, thievery and stock rewards.

But a program like Medicare, with only 3% in administrative costs is a dream of efficiency in comparison. If Part D were treated as the rest of it, and allowed to use its bargaining power on the cost of drugs, it would be very efficient. the problem is, of course, is that is exactly what the right doesn't want. What they want is profits -- and that's all. Screw the rest of us.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Star11: NOW is the time to talk about taxes. How did your representative vote on tax issues? How does his opponent propose to address tax issues? If you are ignoring these questions now you will find that once you elected the wrong choice, it is too late to do anything about it.

Wanting to have moral representatives is great but please remember that a moral representative can waste your money just as quickly as an immorl one.

Posted by: Dan W | October 26, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Whoops - meant Kojo had Steele on - am having a hard time typing on this computer - the keyboard is so much smaller than what I am used to. . .

Posted by: star11 | October 26, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Thanks for the Wetterling update - RMill, too.

How did this dissolve into a discussion on taxes? Can't we save that until after the election?

Was listening to NPR today - Kijo had Steele on - Steele is a fabulous speaker (already knew this - comes across well in his ads) and it is a little frightening to think about him winning - but it is looking like it more and more every day. Cardin was a weak candidate - surely there was someone better the Dems could have chosen. They KNEW who the Republican would be - I think we Dems took it for granted that we would keep this seat. I HOPE that I am wrong but I will go out on a limb and say don't be surprised when Steele wins - I saw it from the first ad that he ran after the primary.

Posted by: star11 | October 26, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

MikeB--yeah he does look like a weasel, doesn't he? I used to think chimp, but either works. All the tics and grimaces and genuinely weird twitches don't help either. Wonder if he's on meds or just a twitchy character.

Adam, yes I understand. The idea of a flat tax is compelling but implementation would be hugely difficult. But no more so than privatizing social security, which would cause tremendous dislocation and loss, especially for people already middle-aged who don't have time to adjust.Abd the price tag would be incredible, impossible. But bush intends to do it anyway.

As far as deductions for encouraigng behaviors, I don't relly believe in that. .. too much like social engineering. I actuall y do believe in small government. I don't think people who choose to breed like rabbits and have 8 kids should be subsidized, either.

kavalr, you have an interesting viewpoint. thanks for the book suggestion...

Posted by: drndl | October 26, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I am all for a full and fair tax system. The current system holds everyone down - maybe not the ultra rich as I will grant you but the system does a poor job of identifying who those persons are. The rhetoric focuses on the ultra rich but the top bracket is implicated where - $450k. That is not ultra rich. Not with school debt, college tuition for kids, out of site housing prices. The rich vs. poor argument I think skirts the issue completely. The rich are not being pitted against the poor, the government is robbing all of us with their waste etc. There is zero accountability out there. Let me preempt the Iraq costs x billion etc. I understand this. But that is the tip of the government till iceburg. If government has proven anything its ineffectiveness. Look at the Big Dig, look at the medicare prescription drug program that a lawyer couldn't make heads or tale of, look at the reconstruction of new orleans and the fleecing of funds. This is not a republican/democrat issue. This is a government issue.

Time to choke the revenue out of government. That is the only way it will become efficient.

Posted by: TG | October 26, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

the standard deduction and exemption amounts are the 2005 figures, the IRS website does not have 2006 numbers posted yet

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 26, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

One other point about poor people and taxes - the poor all pay Social Security taxes. That tax is 7.65% on every dollar of income up to $94,200. The prototypical family of four would only start paying income tax on income above $22,800 - ($10,000 standard deduction and $3,200 exemption for each dependent).

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 26, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Adam Hammond says
"the states that kept social programs would have to look after the poor from other states."

That is one of the right-wing talking points these days here in MN. They like to claim that our 'generous' social programs attract criminals from Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit that are responsible for the recent uptick in violent crime. Of course, they also claim that our 'burdensom' tax structure squelches business growth and costs us jobs, yet we have the most stable economy in the midwest & the lowest unemployment. Someone will have to show me the math.

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

RMill- thanks for posting the MN 6 numbers. It'll be interesting to see if Bachmann is actually regaining ground, or the SurveyUSA poll is an outlier.

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to ask Michael Steele what he thinks about gay marriage. It will be another issue he'll refuse to discuss.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | October 26, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Soros ain't got nothing on creepy Richard Mellon Scaife.

Posted by: Will | October 26, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

CO 5
Mason Dixon 10/7
Fawcett(D)37%-Lamborn(R)37%
Survey USA 10/18
Fawcett(D)38%-Lamborn(R)51%

Oct. avg Lamborn(R) +6.5%

Very disparate polling thus far. Hard to ascertain a trend.

Posted by: RMill | October 26, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

RE: MD

VC Research is a Republican firm who posted the Cardin 41%-Steele 39% poll.

If you want to use slanted polling, include Garin Hart Yang, a Democratic firm with the race at Cardin 52%-Steele 40%.

Average them out and its Cardin +7%, which is about right.

RE: MN 6
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
Wetterling(D)43%Bachmann(R)46%
Survey USA 10/6
Wetterling(D)44%Bachmann(R)47%
RT Strategies/CD 10/10
Wetterling(D)50%Bachmann(R)45%
Star Tribune 10/12
Wetterling(D)48%Bachmann(R)40%
Survey USA 10/24
Wetterling(D)43%Bachmann(R)49%
Oct. Avg.
Weeterling(D)45.6% Bachmann(R)45.4%

Posted by: RMill | October 26, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I love this tax discussion! It is interesting to have it on a post about 527s (defined by the tax code).

I believe that the problem with enacting the flat-rate tax code is that the tax burden of a significant number of people (and companies) would change drastically. Whether you think it was good or bad the government (both parties) has used breaks, rebates, and loopholes to encourage certain behaviors, like home ownership. As a result, real people have made important financial decisions based on these incentives. We can't just pull the rug out.

The problem with going to a state by state tax system is variation. A state that gave huge tax and deregulation (i.e. environmental) handouts could effectively compete for business, while the states that kept social programs would have to look after the poor from other states.

I hate to be only negative about ideas. It is always the problem of being pragmatic.

By the way, the poor who get to escape federal taxes, are not living well and do not get to escape state taxes - especially sales tax.

Finally, a benefit of taxes that the wealthy never seem to appreciate is the moral benefit. I don't want to step over dying people to get to work. It would be hard to stay proud of our country if we actually let our infirm, unlucky, and mentally ill citizens free-fall. Choosing to live in a place where you can't see them will only work for a while.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 26, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Hi, nice discussion about taxes and economy.

if someone is interested in a bit outside opinion.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,k-6997,00.html

Interesting series of Essays.
Its from a book called "World War for Wealth"

Posted by: Kavalor | October 26, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

JEP,

"I was talking about Chris, not you, but if the shoe fits, chew on it."

My you are the witty one today.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Boys and Girls.

Didn't I tell everyone right here on this blog, numerous times, that the RNC would be particularly dirty in its ads and that Diebold will have the final word on the elections.

BTW what is the status of the voting machine programming CDs that turned up the other day sent by a whistleblower. They apparently were designed to allow vote total manipulation?

And in Virginia, where are the voters rights groups as far as going to court to demand a paper trail ballot be used in light of the Webb name ommissions?

No wonder Karl Rove was smiling and insisting to NPR that the Republicans will keep both houses.

The game is rigged.

Posted by: zippy | October 26, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Cilizza--if you don't do a column on the much wealther R 527s, we will all know you are a republican."

Or at least that you are shirking your ethical duty to fair and balanced punditry...

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I woundn't mind seeing a norquistian tax plan, at least for 5 years. Let people in wyoming discover that they put in far less than they take out of the federal kitty. I wouldn't mind paying less taxes and also no longer being called 'stupid' for paying such high taxes that go off to subsidize red states. Let the states raise taxes. That way when my state gets to use it's money on 'latte-drinking, volvo-driving liberal ideas', red staters can't complain, because it isn't their tax dollars. And when they have no money and their roads go downhill, thier colleges go downhill, their infrastructure, etc. we'll see what they have to say about unfair taxation then. We'll see how they feel about taxing corporations and the top 1% then.

Posted by: Will | October 26, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey drindl, how about a close up of Bush's face and have him morph into a ferret with a voice over saying "No more lies, no more incompetence, no more propping up this weasel of a president". And, for the remaining two years of his term (or, until we impeach the SOB, try him for treason and imprison him and Rove and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and all of the rest of them), we could all refer to "W" as the weasel. And, he reeally does look like a weasel, too, doesn't he? Kind of gives me the creeps.

Posted by: MikeB | October 26, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

sturmgrenadier

"some of our more subtle Steele advocates"

"but thanks for labelling folks that ask questions/request other people's opinion (and in a sense, concede their ignorance)."

I was talking about Chris, not you, but if the shoe fits, chew on it.

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, puh-leeze...enough with the Soros nonsense. There's one billionaire for the Democrats, but Bush and the Republicans have dozens of them for every one who supports the Democrats. And that's a fact: just look at the lists of "Pioneers" and "Rangers" who gave and raised millions for Bush/Cheney 2004. The "elite" are not at the WaPo, NYT, or Harvard. The real elite in terms of money and power reside in the executive suites and board rooms of Corporate America, which is why Bush rewarded them with huge tax cuts.

Posted by: Progressive | October 26, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

'Our leadership on all sides in this country is abysmal. We should all be looking for collective priorities and middleground. Third party anyone?'

Well I agree with you on that. When I speak of republicans, I mainly mean the leadership, by the way. I have friends [next door neighbors, even] who are R's and good people. Not voting this year, in fact.

But I have also met quite a few rank and file, some of whom have threatend my kid's life, mostly online but still. What kind of person would do that?

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

'Steele can't shake his Washington Republican connections, no matter how the media or our some of our more subtle Steele advocates spin these recent debates.'

I personally wouldn't vote for Steele, but thanks for labelling folks that ask questions/request other people's opinion (and in a sense, concede their ignorance). I very clearly stated that I had not seen the debate and that the Washington Post column expressed the opinion that Cardin did very poorly (got demolished) in a vital, heavily populous region of the state. IF THIS IS ACCURATE, I was (and still am) interested in knowing what folks (particularly Marylanders) think the effect will be, but sorry for the bother.

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

Chris Cilizza--if you don't do a column on the much wealther R 527s, we will all know you are a republican.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

'Actually, the tax burden on the wealthiest has risen and the lower earners are now paying less percentage of the total. you can look it up.'

No, how about you look it up? You are always shrieking about documentation and yet, strangely, you are never able to provide any.

Fair tax policy would be a flat percentage of income -- all income, including capital gains. No one will stop investing--what are billionaires going to do, stuff it in their mattresses? All income. No exceptions, no loopholes, no exemptions, no shelters.

It is the ONLY fair policy.

oh, i see 'sunshine' is so sunny he doesn't believe racism exists... go back to the board from yesterday, we already had this discussion.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

JEP and Drindl,

Since you both are so knowledgeable on taxes and how to grow businesses not to mention all the other areas you both have expertise. What type of tax policy would you propose (i.e., taxation on income groups) and would you have deductions knowing those evil fifthly rich R might benefit.

Posted by: Tax Payer | October 26, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

KoZ says "I bet you can't provide one shred of actual evidence to support this claim."

If you're lucky, JEP won't go to the Congressional Budget Office where the data supports his allegations. If you were to go there, you'd find that the only economic group benefitting from this 'stellar' economy is the set of households earning more than $100K per year. If you restrict to the top 1% of earners, you'll find they own the vast majority of wealth in this country, to a degree unseen since 20s & 30s.

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

star11- The latest SurveyUSA poll has Bachmann at 49%, Wetterling at 43%. Coverage available at electoral-vote.com and startribune.com. Divisive bickering - like here, but a smaller crowd - available at startribune.com/blogs/bigquestion/

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

the rich-get-richer because the poor-get-poorer

I bet you can't provide one shred of actual evidence to support this claim. go back to chanting editorials from the NYT and WaPo. At least you won't be burdened with any facts to get in the way of your beliefs.

sounds like your strategy is "more lies and louder". Next you will type in ALL CAPS for emphasis.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

JEP: Just out of curiosity, how do you define "Fair Share"?

I define it as everyone pays the same percentage..."

There's nothing wrong with a flat tax formula, as long as there aren't any loopholes for wealthy individuals or corporations...

"zero loopholes" is the only way a flat tax can work, and that is an unlikely scenario, considering the power corporations have in Washington these days.

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"TN is full of racist hillbillies who'll "get" the message and not vote for Ford.."

That is a bit simplistic, think a bit deeper here...

This is not a vote-changing ad, it is a desperation tactic, appealing to the basest of the base.

They aren't trying to get Ford voters to switch, they are just trying to get some of those rednecks who were staying home this time around to get mad and vote.

There was never an intention here to get votes from Ford, it was to get votes from the base that are inherently already against Ford.

And when a Republican in this part of the country is still wooing his own base so close to the election, you know the evidence is pretty clear.

Big trouble for the Republicans, right here in River City.

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Venezuela
1,530 1,540 1,387 1,364 1,548 1,515

barrels for years 2000-2005

It is so easy to refute all these silly false claims with the Internet. you shgouold avoid repeating things you read in WaPo and NYT to avoid embarrasing yourself in the future.

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_neti_a_ep00_IMN_mbblpd_a.htm

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

JEP: Just out of curiosity, how do you define "Fair Share"?

I define it as everyone pays the same percentage...

Posted by: Dan W | October 26, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

And all Rs are closet gays - according to Drindl. She is full of love but you may have missed this by reading her screed.

bobby - can you please provide any evidence of your claim that Ven. oil has been curtailed. It sounds like you really prefer to deal with this playful dicatator regardless of the consequences. Please explain why he warrants your trust? He sounds pretty nasty to me.

From EIA:
Rank Country of Origin Thousand Barrels/day
1 Canada 1,616
2 Mexico 1,598
3 Saudi Arabia 1,495
4 Venezuela 1,297
5 Nigeria 1,078
6 Iraq 655
7 Angola 306
8 Kuwait 241

this does not appear to be almost nothing to me. More invented facts from Dems. I am not surprised.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

'My point is the wealthy in this country are the biggest welfare receipients - they refuse to pay their fair share...
Taxes should be based on the benefit of the bargain -"

I agree, wholeheartedly, but again suggest that by using the tax codes to encourage expansion of the middle class, we can eliminate the poverty class.

NOT ONLY WOULD IT REDUCE THE CRIME RATE, it would also serve to eliminate a big part of the financial burden the current inefficient welfare system places on our total economic picture.

But until the wealthy are willing to pay that fair share, the rich-get-richer because the poor-get-poorer system will remain co-dependantly, mutually self-perpetuating.

When will the rich finally figure out, they don't need a poor-and-suffering poverty class to justify thier abundance?

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Cardin at 41%, Steele at 39%

tic tock, tic tock

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Bobby: I won't dispute that the wealthy receive the benefit of government services, but I dispute that they are the biggest benefactors of government services.

And if they are, why wouldn't they expect to get what they pay for?

Take 2 people: 1 who pays $100,000 in taxes and one who pays a net $-100 in taxes. Why should the person who paid a hundred grand expect to receive less benefit than the person who not only didn't pay taxes but who received cash back from the government?

Posted by: Dan W | October 26, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

drindl-

The Ford ad was somehow implicitly racist because it had a white playboy bunny type hinting that Ford give her a call? Bit of a stretch, no? Or is the assumption that TN is full of racist hillbillies who'll "get" the message and not vote for Ford (which makes them pretty lazy racists if they were going to vote for him before the ad).

Can't win with people who see "racism" everywhere they look...well, at least when they look at Republicans.

I bet playing a game of pool must be agonizing for you.

Posted by: sunshine | October 26, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Minnesota CD-6: Bachman(R) 49%, Wetterling(DFL) 43%, Binkowski(I) 5%

slipping away.......

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Bobby - those Marxist ideas sound great in theory but you wish to strangle the golden goose. Who will work to make all that income for redistribution when you remove the incentive. this idea has been declared officially dead by now along with all those Keynesian big government notions. we have now moved onto Monetary policy and the question as to whether manipulating the money supply can realistically control inflation. Take a look at who won the Nobel prize for Economics this year and why.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Okay -mon taxes - fairness has always been the benefit of the bargain - the wealthy in this country do not pay taxes based on the benefit of the bargain- they want our military to protect their interests - our politics to protect their interest but then they yell foul when they are asked to pay for the protection of their interests.

The press true to form has looked blindly at how Bush manipulated the increased dependency on middle eastern oil while nearly stopping the importation of Venezuelan oil -

So that the wealthy can punish Venezuela for the actions of Hugo Chavez (December election may see Chavez without a job)- namely Venezuela demanding a greater interest in the profits made from THEIR oil - we the people have now become more dependent on the oil of the people funding the war against our young men and women in Iraq-

My point is the wealthy in this country are the biggest welfare receipients - they refuse to pay their fair share while demanding the government provide them protection and create policies such in Venezuela which protects their interests over the interests of our men and women in Iraq.

Taxes should be based on the benefit of the bargain -

Bobby WIghtman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 26, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Also,

I should point out on the conspiracy voting machine post. Last time I checked, Virginia has had a democratic governor for the last 5 years at least and the two out of the three cities cited as problems, Alexandria and Falls church are pretty heavily controlled by democrats. I just am not connecting the dots on this conspiracy.

Posted by: TG | October 26, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Progressive, you are living in a world of fiction. the overwhelming doner to the Dems is large scale doners like Soros who want to buy an election. Rs are typically private individuals who contribute up to $2000. I established this long ago on this website by examining the donor records available at the FEC. how did you come about your proclamation? Just invented it out of thin air? Or maybe you read it in the NYT. you should know better by now.

how about you Libs try to offer some facts for your wild-eyed claims for a change. We are all pretty tired of the lies and insults which fly around here with no basis in reality. Maybe you could win an election eventually if you face your demons and admit your policies and submit them to the voters for consideration.

Wanting to lose a war and stifle an economy is not working for you. Maybe your stealth policies should be reconsidered.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Drindl,

You are the master of overgeneralization. By calling Republicans evil (among other things), you consistently stoke the political divide and divisiveness that you also rail against. I am a registered republican that thinks the leadership has strayed far from the roots of fiscal responsibility and rights to privacy that should equate to first principles of conservatism. However, if I am looking for alternatives, all I seem to get from the dems is the incessant drum banging of ideological spew that sounds more in a hatred of the right than any tangible agenda for this country.

Tolerance and equality are your mantra but they are concepts that apply only to what you consider to be your enlightened view of the world. If you want to have the high moral ground, a little consistency and respect from the pedastal you are perched upon is all I am asking for.

Our leadership on all sides in this country is abysmal. We should all be looking for collective priorities and middleground. Third party anyone?

Posted by: TG | October 26, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"maybe if Dems would get a back bone and tell the people the truth about why we need taxes"

Now that's a new spin...

Blaming the Dems for not raising taxes just defers the real responsibility.

It isn't Dems who need to figure out that the cost of a civilized society can't be deferred, it is the wealthy Republicans who would most benefit from a middle-class economy. But they will have to trade higher taxes for this stability.

When the economic beneficiaries of our society are willing to become its benefactors, a new and much more stable economic cycle will prevail, one that grows for everyone, not just the upper class.

With prudent tax reform that pushes more wealth into the consumer classes, the American middle class could literally absorb and eliminate the poverty class in this country.

Particularly if the wealthy weren't so intent on loaning it to the public with interest, rather than paying it to them as higher wages.

And those wealthy taxpayers would surely benefit by a healthy, growing middle-class economy, while thier taxes would be higher, their profits and outlook would become much more stable.

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

My my, dissension in the ranks today. what happened to the agreement that you all would just get along and only insult Conservatives. (the mutual admiration society is breaking down). you think its bad now, wait until the finger pointing after the election loss for Dems begins. you can start with the 527 media whcih has tried fruitlessly to hand this election to the Dems. Not a single thinking person beleives anything they read in the WaPo or NYT anymore.

Drindl those are very interesting figures and I thank you for providing some actual facts from an independant source for a change. but that analysis misses one very important point which you have ommitted. how much of the total tax burden do those people pay? It is misleading to quote just the savings. almost half of americans pay little or no Federal tax, do you think they should have received a tax rebate?

In other words, if I pay 90% of the total taxes now, when a reduction comes along, I should expect about 90% of the reduction. Actually, the tax burden on the wealthiest has risen and the lower earners are now paying less percentage of the total. you can look it up.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 26, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Bobby: I'm willing to pay a fair share of taxes but only if EVERYONE is willing to pay their fair share. My definition of fair share is same tax rate with NO deductions. NO tax credits.

Straight percentage of income from all sources.

Come up with a reasonable rate and then limit the amount congress is allowed to spend to that amount.

Posted by: Dan W | October 26, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The Republican/conservative 527s have a lot more money, but reporters like Chris Cillizza seem FIXated on the Democratic/progressive groups. Face it, folks, the wealthy and powerful in this country are mostly Republican supporters. But the mainstream media constantly reinforce the right-wing myth that the "liberal elite" control the national agenda, when in fact there's ample evidence to the contrary ("Swiftboat Veterans" etc.). If only the media were not so lazy and would refrain from repeating the Republican talking points. They are giving us so much nonsense, it's just endlessly frustrating.

Posted by: Progressive | October 26, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Sure Dems can be on the take -- but their entire goal is not to be on the take. Their platform is not to be on the take, but the republican's is. That is their goal--look at the K Street Project. Look at the fraud and enormous theft in Iraq. There's nothing to distinguish it from organized crime.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

bsimon:

What is the latest that you have seen on the Wetterling-Bachman race? I have been looking around this morning a little and don't see a very recent poll. As someone who is originally from MN - I would like to see Wetterling moving into an office on Capitol Hill in Jan.

Posted by: star11 | October 26, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"And I believe their goal IS anarchy..."

You think this is over the top?

Grover Norquist is whole-heartedly dedicated to economic anarchy.

In his own words, he has called for the destruction of our government, quite specifically to free corporations from the burden of oversight of any sort, particularly environmental oversight.

So if this sounds a bit over the top to anyone, just listen to Grover for a few minuutes, you will realize it is actually a very accurate assessment of the neo-conservative movement.

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

As someone who lives in a place where nearly every Democrat is on the take, I find Drindl's comments to be less then honest - both sides are capable of hatred and stupidity - HRC should have, but did not, fire her staff memeber who questioned John McCain's conduct while a POW -

South Texas Democrats - Sheriff sitting in jail 24 years (drug lord) numerous state judges - suicide after indictment, resigns after indictment, forced out by Commission on Judicial COnduct after indictment - so please drindle - learn the truth and stop being a lap dog for the Dems.

"C'mon people. Who's gonna build roads for free? How are you gonna pay the cops? You can't keep cutting taxes forever, unless your goal is anarchy."

This is what it is all about - so well said - I wish the Dems would just stand up and have the courage to tell the people the truth - tax dollars are needed to pay our military, veterans, roads, airports - maybe if Dems would get a back bone and tell the people the truth about why we need taxes - taxes would no longer be a 4 letter word.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 26, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

According to theTax Policy Institute:

45.8% of the benefits from a reduction in capital gains and dividends went to people with incomes over $1 million. There were 284,000 taxpayers in this income group.

This is .19% of all taxpayers.

An additional 10.8% of the benefits went to people with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million. There were 593,000 taxpayers in this income group.

This is .40% of all taxpayers.

17.4% of the benefits went to people with incomes between $200,000 and $500,000. There were 3,588,000 taxpayers in this income group.

This is 2.46% of all taxpayers.

14.3% of the benefits went to people with incomes of $100,000 to $200,000. There were 14,039,000 taxpayers in this income group.

This is 9.66% of all taxpayers.


--88.3% of the total benefits from Bush tax cuts went to people with incomes over $100,000. In addition, the total number of taxpayers who got a vast majority of the benefits represent only 12.71% of all taxpayers.

--and don't forget anyone with a income over a million isn't getting taxed as wages, but as capital gains, which has been cut to 15%. In fact, most people with an income over a million pay an average of 2% of their income in taxation, owing to shelters and the like.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Steele can't shake his Washington Republican connections, no matter how the media or our some of our more subtle Steele advocates spin these recent debates.

This "no-more-mister-nice-guy" strategy is going to prevail across the board, and for every sleazy R ad, there's going to be a 527 foil that jabs right back at the accusers. You might not see the candidates do it themselves, but thier support groups will fill that gap.

And be sure and watch for the R's to cry out loud, as if we should all just take it for granted that THEY are allowed to trash the system with sleaze ads, but the Dems and thier advocates aren't.

When the R's sling that old Tennessee mud, its "old fashioned hardball politics" but when the Dems do it in Colorado, its "wahwahwah, mommy-mommy-mommy, those mean old Democrats are picking on us again.."

HYPOCRITES!

Posted by: JEP | October 26, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The news comes after the Santorum has released a controversial television ad that shows a photo of Democratic challenger Bob Casey's face next to a mushroom cloud. It accuses him of supporting policies that hurt national security.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think it's over the top? Certainly I agree it's about selfishness -- I'd say greed --- but that has consequences. Cutting taxes on the very wealthiest and undeserving only is evil in any case.. but it has other results--money that can't be spent not just on bridges and roads and cops but also on healthcare for children and the elderly and the disabled. For scholarships so deserving kids can go to college. For a world of things that produce a just and decent society.

But they really don't care about that at all. And I believe their goal IS anarchy -- already you have the administration breaking laws constantly -- and bragging about it. The culture has really broken down.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of GOP campaign ads, can we use that to describe the president's 'news conference' yesterday?

Unfortunately for the GOP, Bush has managed to once again make Iraq the front-and-center issue. Oops. Not too smart.

For those who missed it, I link to the full transcript and provide commentary of the highlights (or low points, take your pick)

http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2006/10/bush-news-conference-gop-propaganda.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | October 26, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

hey anonymous, if you're going to insult me, don't hide like a coward.

I don't hate 'people' I hate the viciousness of what republicans do. Their policies are cruel and inhuman and cause a lot of suffering in this country and around the world.

They know it and they don't care -- they only care about greed and power. And that makes them evil.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

drindl says "I'll tell you what -- the so-called conservate movement is an ideology of hatred and violence and viciousness."

Now, that's a little over the top. I'd call it an ideology of selfishness. Around here at least, they're banging pretty hard on the "Cut taxes" drum. C'mon people. Who's gonna build roads for free? How are you gonna pay the cops? You can't keep cutting taxes forever, unless your goal is anarchy.

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

drindl,

I think you rank pretty close to the R when it comes to hatred of people.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Here's a perfect example of how the media acts like battered wives. Howard Kurtz talks about all the vile tactics this campaign, but he can't find any democratic examples, so he has to use this ridiculous Kerry remark -- to lefty bloggers, for chrissake -- to 'prove' that he's not, god forbid, a liberal.

'Let's review the rather low state of this campaign season:

A GOP ad against Senate candidate Harold Ford -- featuring a white seductress who says she met the black lawmaker at a Playboy party and that he should call her -- is so odious and racially tinged that Ford's Republican opponent, Bob Corker, denounces it.

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Republican Wyoming congresswoman Barbara Cubin tells a wheelchair-bound Libertarian candidate after a debate: "If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you in the face."

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Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

MN needs one of these "too extreme for Minnesota" 527s. There are candidates on both sides that deserve a little more exposure of their out-there policies...

Posted by: bsimon | October 26, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I have never seen military people treated so shabbily in this country as they are by republicans now. The filthy tactics they are willing to use against vets.

What has happened to this country that people are not repelled when a quadraplegic vet like max cleland is slimed by lies?

I'll tell you what -- the so-called conservate movement is an ideology of hatred and violence and viciousness.

Posted by: drindl | October 26, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Cardin had better brush up on his Washington suburb stuff before Sunday's Meet the Press 'debate.' I watched some of yesterday's debate online (I live out of the market) and he did look pretty bad, particularly when it came to DC suburb issues, but there were other times that I cringed. I think Steele has a real shot at this (unfortunately). Don't if Sunday's debate will matter much as I am not sure how many will actually see it. He wasn't my choice as a candidate but he is what we have to work with so he needs to be a lot better on Sunday.

Posted by: star11 | October 26, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I was disappointed not to see 'THe fix' post a thread/write-up on the Steele-Cardin debate, since it is of particular importance to readers in the metro area. From today's Washington Post column, it sounds like Cardin got demolished and in a debate boradcast in a critical demographic area (I don't live in the region and didn't see it). Just what percentage of the black vote will Steele get? Thoughts anyone?

Posted by: sturmgrenadier | October 26, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I was disappointed not to see 'THe fix' post a thread/write-up on the Steele-Cardin debate, since it is of particular importance to readers in the metro area. From today's Washington Post column, it sounds like Cardin got demolished and in a debate boradcast in a critical demographic area (I don't live in the region and didn't see it). Just what percentage of the black vote will Steele get? Thoughts anyone?

Posted by: sturmgrenadier | October 26, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It angered me when the White House gave Republican talk radio its day at the White House - it angers me when money becomes how we win elections (Colorado - Dems) - both sides cheapen our democracy - the voice of the people seems to matter so little.

A perfect example is the Border Fence - the Border Patrol Officers in Brownsville oppose the fence because it will leave them trapped like birds in a cage while the Mexican drug gangs shoot them down one at a time like a firing squad -

My point is - the Border Patrol who will have to live with this wall seem to not have a valid opinion in the matter - it is money, the politics of fear - you name it.

The people of Colorado need to look past the money - American Conservatives need to look past Republican talk radio- Americans need to look to the facts and demand that the news media give us all of the facts and leave their opinions in the loo with their morning coffee and newspaper.

BObby WIghtman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 26, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse


THE '06 ELECTION FIX!!

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
www.onlinejournal.com

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1358.shtml

Electronic voting machines "hack" off Democrat Jim Webb's name from November ballot

By Frank J. Ranelli

Oct 26, 2006, 00:48

Hacks, hackers and hacking off! How the right-wing machine and its "machines of voter mayhem" intend to steal your vote again by hacking off the Democratic candidate's last name from the ballot!

As being reported by the AP wire service, Jim Webb, Democratic challenger for U.S. Senator in Virginia to Republican incumbent, George "Macaca" Allen, has had his (Webb's) last name chopped off or "hacked" off by electronic voting touch-screen machines.

What is being called a "glitch" by Hart InterCivic spokespersons, three cities in Virginia -- Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville -- will not properly display Jim Webb's name on the November ballot summary screen. Voters will only see 'James H. "Jim"' on the ballot, instead of James H. "Jim" Webb.

To make matters worse, the candidates will have "their party affiliations . . . cut off" even after navigating through the summary screen nearly blind. To put some perspective and clarity to this, in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville, Virginia, voters will not be able to recognize Jim Webb by his full name OR by his party's affiliation!

The AP is also reporting, "Jean Jensen, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, pledged to have the issue fixed by the 2007 statewide elections." How generous of her, to have the "issue" fixed by next year! In the meantime, unsuspecting voters, in these three cities, will show up on Election Day and not even find the name "Webb" on the ballot summary screen or be able to find Jim Webb's party affiliation -- Democrat -- once they do find Mr. Webb's full name.

That is correct; the vote stealing "black boxes" of 2004 are back with a new trick! Not only are the people designing and operating these machines "hacks," not only do they allow their machines to be "hacked" into for political gain, now they program these dubious devices to "hack off" candidates names and party affiliations. Somehow, we are all supposed to believe -- after all the deception in 2004 -- that it is just another coincidence that it happened to a Democrat -- again!

Whether it's just another "oversight" by the Republican-owned and controlled electronic voting machine companies, or further proof of the malicious attempts by the GOP to suppress voter information and perpetrate election fraud, it is another glaring example of why these machines must be banned immediately.

That pungent odor now filling the air is some good ol' hometown, Republican-cooked "thuggery" that is being dished up right under our noses. The same kind of mob-like voter suppression, disenfranchisement and strong-arm tactics used in 2004 by the rapid Grand Old Party and their pack of hyenas in Ohio to deliver the vote to George W. Bush.

Besides the rancid smell of foul play, that sound you hear is a crunching noise; the crunching on the bones of Virginian Democratic voters by these hounds from hell hoping to chew up and spit out a win for Allen and his radical right agenda!

If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, then we should all write-off the failed experiment of neoconservative government, demand paper and pencil to vote and etch a valuable lesson into the consciousness of the American public -- never underestimate your opponent, especially Republican ones!
Frank J. Ranelli is a freelance political writer, researcher and author. In addition, he is an activist and advocate for the progression of peace and the advancement of the Democratic Party. He currently focuses his journalism on educating people of the dangers of the Bush administration, election reform issues, how the war in Iraq is immoral and why the impeachment of President George W. Bush is necessary to restore our democracy. His writing has been well received and widely published in a variety of news outlets and across the Internet. His "smartly-written and imagery invoking" articles have earned him such praise as, "Written with directness, strength, passion . . . It's great when it smacks, glares, grabs one!" -Ms. Joyce Benedict, Park Guide for FDR Historic Site.

Posted by: CHE | October 26, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

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