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Battle For the House: Ney Won't Seek Reelection

Bowing to the inevitable, embattled Rep. Bob Ney (R) sent out a statement this morning announcing that he will withdraw from his bid for another term as the congressman for Ohio's 18th District.

Obviously, this is BIG news (so big that The Fix came out of vacation for it). Ney has long been at the center of the federal probe into the influence peddling of lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- an unenviable position that had irreparably damaged his political career.

Ney joins former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Georgia lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Reed as politicians brought low by the intertwining threads of Washington scandal. Others, including Montana Sen. Conrad Burns (R), are hoping to buck that trend this November.

Like DeLay, Ney is stepping aside after winning his party's nomination, which create a bit of chaos in the electoral process. Reports conflicted at press time over how Republicans will pick a replacement candidate. Most said a special GOP primary would be called, meaning that filing would be reopened and any Republican could run for the nomination.

Ney and his Ohio colleague, House Majority Leader John Boehner, have already signaled their preference for state Sen. Joy Padgett (R), who has said she will run. Attorney Zack Space remains the Democratic nominee.

There'll be much more on this story in the coming days. Feel free to use the comments section below to sound off with your own views.

Here's the statement Rep. Ney sent out this morning:

"After much consideration and thought I have decided today to no longer seek re-election in Ohio's 18th Congressional District. I am extremely proud of my 25 years serving the people of Ohio. We've accomplished many things to make this state better and I will always be grateful for the trust my constituents put in me. Ultimately this decision came down to my family. I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal."

"I am deeply grateful for all of the trust and support my family, friends and constituents have given me over the past two years. I look forward to serving out the rest of my term and serving the constituents of the 18th District."

Here is Padgett's campaign announcement:

Padgett Announces Candidacy For Ohio's 18th Congressional District

COSHOCTON, OHIO - Ohio State Senator Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) announced today that she is seeking the Republican nomination for Ohio's 18th Congressional District.

"I look forward to running in the Republican primary for the 18th District," Senator Padgett said today. "It has been my honor to serve Ohio in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and I promise to take the same work ethic and values I applied there to the United States Congress."

"I commend Bob Ney for his many years of public service both in the Ohio legislature and the U.S. Congress. I wish the very best for him and his family in the future," Padgett concluded.

Originally a teacher by degree, Joy Padgett is currently the State Senator for Ohio's 20th District - a position she's held since January 2004. Previously, she was Director for the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia from 1999 to 2003, and from 1993 to 1999 she served in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Zack Space's campaign sent the following out this morning:


NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH -- In a desperate move to stop surging congressional challenger Zack Space, Bob Ney dropped out of and pushed into the congressional race his handpicked candidate, who is also one of Bob Taft's favorites.

"Bob Ney represented the culture of corruption in Washington and Joy Padgett represents the culture of corruption in Columbus," said Joe Shafer, campaign manager for Zack Space. "Joy Padgett is tied at the hip to the most corrupt politicians in Ohio: Bob Ney, Bob Taft and Jim Petro. For Joy Padgett, being handpicked by Ney and appointed by Taft is quite an indictment."

Shafer noted that in a story today Padgett admitted that she was "flattered" that Ney asked her to run for his seat. Padgett has contributed to Ney's campaigns, received nearly $8,000 in contributions from Ney and had endorsed the corrupt congressman's candidacy even after countless instances of influence peddling were revealed. Governor Bob Taft, who was convicted of violating state ethics laws, appointed her to the state Senate.

"She was appointed by Bob Taft and now chosen by Bob Ney," Shafer said. "We need new priorities and new leadership."

"We need new leaders and fresh faces like Zack Space to represent this district. The choice will be crystal clear for voters. Joy Padgett: a leading player in the culture of corruption in Ohio; Or, Zack Space: the man who signed an ethics pledge to refuse trips, meals and gifts from lobbyists."

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 7, 2006; 8:41 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: The Fix Heads Home to Connecticut


On Lieberman: How much does his decision to run as an Independent have to do with his desire to run for President? Does he believe, as Republicans say, that the Democrats are in disarray and it is time for an Independent candidate for President?
Perhaps, Lieberman's actions will actually serve to unite Democrats! In my opinion he is truly a Spoiler! No one wants a repeat of the first Bush election due to Nader on the ballot. Gore is the best person to speak on a spoiler image of Leiberman now and kill what could be a win in Maryland for Leiberman. Thus, eliminate him in the next presidential election.

Posted by: Dora Knell | August 10, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I used to serve Space his Lattes and shook Ney's hand more than once. They both come across as aloof and far from the "gritty" that everyone uses to describe the 18 other words they are not Wal Mart shoppers and would likely show up at a Tappan Lake all night bass fishing tournament with a fly rod. They are the type to smoke Marlboro Menthol Light 100s (hey Ney, hope you also enjoyed your Corona also while out with your staffers, I wonder what was it you and that staffer where whispering out when oogling my blond friend) when every one else in the district smokes reds.

Posted by: 18th and down | August 8, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"One Republican strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said lawyers had concluded Padgett was likely covered by the so-called political sore loser's law and thus would not be eligible to run.

But Bob Bennett, the state party chairman, said he didn't believe the law applied to her, and said he would seek a formal ruling from the secretary of state."

Golly, I wonder how Ken Blackwell will rule on this? Hmmmm, that's a real puzzler. Might take a nanosecond or two to figure it out....

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 8, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember the recent race between Bilbray and Busby 6/6/06?
Let me remind you that CA-50 had a Congressman who actually RESIGNED, was convicted and sentanced to jail. None of this caused voters NOT TO Vote for Bilbray who is now the sitting Congressman. It did not help Ms Busby win.

Voters are not as stupid as Dims wish them to be. They know enough to distinguish between individuals who belong to the same party and not discredit those innocent because of others who are guilty.

99.99% of all GOP officials have nothing to do with Noe or Coingate. Taft abd Noe are not on the ballot. Padgett is not involved, neither is Blackwell, Mary Taylor, Greg HArtmann and every other GOP member of the General Assembly. They will all win depending on their respective campaigns and those of their opponents.

Looks like there will be a special primary. All the party chairs will endorse Se. Padget. She will win the primary then trounce Space-cadet in November.


Posted by: VIVABUSH04OH | August 8, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Ney is a (so far) unindicted co-conspirator named in connection with events for which others have been convicted. The GOP was right to press him to withdraw and he was right to do so.

The Democrats should have done the same to Jack Murtha years ago and should be doing the same to Jefferson now. Let's see, huh? Murtha seems to think that if the Democrats win he could be Majority Leader. I don't recall Bob Ney ever making such a claim.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Posted by: Quentin Langley | August 8, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Re: Ohio's sore loser law, it prevents people from running in the general if they do so by filing nominating petitions or by write-in petition. If Padgett is viewed as replacing Ney on the ticket, she may be able to get around that law. Given the statute's language, it doesn't appear to be an absolute bar to Padgett's candidacy.

Posted by: BuckeyeGal | August 8, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Padgett can't run because of Ohio's "sore loser" law. So all the pro-Padgett talk is moot. She'll be tied up in court, too.


Posted by: Nina Katarina | August 8, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Something that has not been pointed out yet (but was explained well in today's WP article) is that up until yesterday, Space's entire platform was based on Ney's problems. He now has to get out and define himself and his beliefs to an electorate who does not know him.

Padgett has a long record and that can help her - and possibly hurt her if D's are able to tie her successfully to Taft, et al. This is why I believe this race is a total do-over and why "culture of corruption" charges (and a possible Ney indictment) will not carry much weight. People in OH's 18 have been hit pretty hard by Ohio's poor economy and lagging schools - they want answers. The candidate best able to tap into that will win. And Padgett has been around awhile and is familiar with those issues - Space will have to come up to speed quickly. Not to be a squish - but this is why you can't say the seat is a given either way, although I think the balance tips in Padgett's favor given her legislative and campaign experience.

Posted by: BuckeyeGal | August 8, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention. On Ney getting of the ballot and De Lay stuck on it's a matter of state law. Texas state law deals with whether a candidate is eligible, or qualifies to run while Ohio state law gives an option for a candidate selected in the primary to decline and be replaced.

Posted by: b.e.s. | August 8, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I realize this is now old news, but the I do think Ney's switch is big. It definitely makes the seat more retainable for the G.O.P., but not a lock. Padgett can be linked to the Ohio political scandals (Taft, Noe, Coingate) which more Ohioans are following. Taft, who has had the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the country several times and plead no contest to several misdemeanor ethics violations on lobbyist gifts etc., could be an albatross for Padgett or any republican establishment nominee. With Ney I figured Space was almost a lock, now it's a race to watch.

Posted by: b.e.s. | August 8, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I have a question, if Bob Ney can take himself off the ballot, why can't DeLay? I mean, DeLay resigned back in June, and lives in Virginia. I also heard there will be a write-in campaign from the Republicans to get a strong GOP leader in the seat. So that is what will keep the seat for GOP. Also, what is the deal with Jefferson being black? If he is a crook, he could be green, the tape shows him taking money, and they found money in his freezer. If the Democrats stand for anti-corruption, they better dump him too.

Posted by: Sam | August 7, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Sign Zach Space's Ethics Pledge:

The Zack Space Ethics Pledge

I pledge to you, as your Congressman, I will accept:

1. No gifts from lobbyists.
2. No trips from lobbyists.
3. No meals from lobbyists.
4. I will never put corporate interests ahead of the people I represent.

Or don't and support... ummm... bribery.

Posted by: F&B | August 7, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This is the argument I think the Democrats should use in the Congressional races this Fall.
Is it, I ask, even remotely possible for any individual Republican Congressman, no matter how able, to accomplish anything during the next two years that would benefit our country as much as getting at least one House of this Congress back into Democratic hands?

The Republican leadership has party discipline on voting reminiscent of the Soviet Politburo and they absolutely will NOT--repeat, NOT--do their job and stand up to Regent Cheney and his warped pursuit of his vision of the Presidency as a dictatorship. They won't even ask this Administration hard questions.

They stand there with pathetic little smirks as the President appends "signing statements" announcing how much of the law he just signed will actually be law.

The virtues or faults of individual candidates don't matter at all against this backdrop. If your district has the best Republican in the country running against the worst Democrat in the country, you had better vote for the Democrat, while we still have a democracy. The stakes ARE that high; the danger is that real.

Posted by: LonestarJR | August 7, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the "culture of corruption" argument as a big winner, especially when the politicians proven corrupt aren't even on the ticket. I would guess Padgett has a better-than-average shot at this seat, even if Ney is indicted. I also would not be surprised to see DeLay take down Lampson after being forced to run.

The Democratic party should focus on the GOP's incompetence, rubber-stamp on the war and politicization of every single issue (Schiavo, minimum wage, flag burning, etc). People (average people) are angry with Congress not because they think the corrupt Republicans are trumping the virtuous Democrats, but because they think Congress is fiddling while Rome burns.

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 7, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Left wing pinkos? What kind of crap is that? Don't be an idiot Viva. Or at least TRY a little.

All of you pro-Padgett posters (save for wingbat Viva) have made decent points, but you have not addressed the point I made earlier. What happens when a month or two into the dogfight Ney gets indicted? You cant tell me that that will have a net-zero effect on the race in his district. Come on.

And as far as Space, I think he has the local connections to pull it off. Where the carpetbagger talk originated I do not know.

Gas is going to go thru the roof. Iraq is in the middle of civil war regardless of what Bush/Rice say. Jobs reports have been underwhelming. The scandals are taking their toll. All this is slamming "John and Mary Lunchbox" in the pocketbook. To base your entire premise that Padgett wins b/c she is a "safe bet" to conservatives is to ignore everything going on in the world. I mean, I know that ignoring reality is what the GOP is best at, but I see Space winning and possibly beating the MOE. Not a walk, but he will win imho.

And Viva, your post talks about what you felt months ago BEFORE Space was the Dem nominee, BEFORE Ney withdrew, obviously before a Ney indictment (which I am guessing will come down before Nov). Why dont you take a look around and wake up to the fact that it's August and your boy Ney was forced to withdraw because he is about to become an indicted white-collar criminal.

Here's a bit of reality for ya:

"Several members of Ney's congressional staff, including Will Heaton, the chief of staff who replaced Volz, had been subpoenaed recently. Heaton and former press secretary Brian Walsh resigned from Ney's office in June."


"The Democrat running for the seat is Zack Space, the law director for Dover, Ohio, who had outraised Ney by $190,000 during the last three months."

Posted by: F&B | August 7, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This district now looks a lot like CA-50. Scrappy inexperienced Democrat running against an experienced Republican in a district with too few Democrats and too many Republicans. If Space pulls this off, it's because we're heading to 230+ Democrats in the House and we've won many more marginal seats than this.

Posted by: Brittain33 | August 7, 2006 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I will assure all you left wing pinkos that I have NEVER predicted that Blackwell will win governor. I don't think Strickland has it won either. I will bet on Blackwell provided I get 3-1 odds, something you should jump at given all the double-digit polls you cite.

But I am predicting that Senator Joy Padgett will win big time for the reasons I cite above.

As for other races, I believe Pryce and Chabot keep their seats and Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin has a CHANCE to take Sherrod Brown's OH-13.

There it is FOR THE RECORD.


Posted by: VivaBush04OH | August 7, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse


"Conservative" is such a a 'loaded concept'

You have my point exactly. The use of the sideways reference to the Civil War was to put some context to the use of term carpetbaggers.

That is not to say that there wasn't some literary shading there. Many states actually have two states within them with very different sentiments, north and south if you will, one much more conservative than the other-Indiana,Ohio, Illinois. And then there is Kansas. Lots of historical context to each when it comes to conservative provenance.

Sad to say, I think the Blues write this one off.

Posted by: poor richard | August 7, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

War of Northern Aggression? In response to a post about a rural OH seat? What are you talking about poor richard? If you just mean that it's a generally conservative district, then I guess I get your point. Otherwise...perhaps too much Kool-aid?

Glad to hear from Viva that there is now NO CHANCE that this seat flips. Can we file that one away with how Blackwell is a LOCK to win the Governor's race, even though EVERY RECENT POLL shows him down double digits? I should really keep a list of these predictions...

Posted by: Colin | August 7, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

right on Buckeye Gal

Like zippy was getting at you have to consider the people on the ground day-to-day.

Ney's problems can be rationalized as Ney's problems. As was learned after the "War of Northern Aggression", carpetbaggers are not well recieved.

(btw that's why our politics are so polarized).

Posted by: poor richard | August 7, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

We talked about this possibility of Ney resigning and being replaced by the GOP party chairs of the 18th Dist.months ago.

We also mentioned Sen. Joy Padgett as the strongest replacement given her elective office, name recognition and running mate of Jim Petro this past primary.
Padgett is a bulldog and will chew up and spit out Space for breakfast. She is a fantastic campaigner and money-raiser.
There is no doubt that she keeps this in the GOP column.

Conversely, the DCCC will agree and start pulling the $$ from the Space-cadet campaign and send it elsewhere, possibly to use against Rep D. Pryce.
That is the only downside to this announcement.

So strike OH-18 from your Cong list of seat switches, CC and stick a fork in Space--he's done.

Posted by: VIVABUSH04OH | August 7, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with BuckeyeGal that this seat is much more likely to stay Red with Ney withdrawing. In fact, I imagine that at best the race is now a toss-up and should probably be considered lean-republican. I like Space, and think he'll run good campaign, but running against a candidate not under imminent threat of indictment he probably needs at least a medium size Dem wave to get elected. Here's hoping such a wave materializes, b/c if seats like this go Dem w/out Ney running, that's a sure sign to me that Dems will have taken over the House...

Posted by: Colin | August 7, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with earlier comments that Space will win in a walk. His campaign has been little more than a puppet for the DNC - Ohio 18 is a gritty district where politics is a door-to-door business. One of the reasons Ney was successful in that district (which was for 40 years prior to his election a Democratic district) was that he was a workhorse and really connected with locals. Space has much to prove in that area. Padgett, as a previous poster has said, is a known commodity and has worked hard in her district - including as Director of the Office of Appalachia, an important post to many citizens in the 18th. She has an uphill climb, but to call the race for Space at this point is way premature.

Posted by: BuckeyeGal | August 7, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Keep plugging away at Ney, Washington Post! That dirtball deserves everything he hopefully will get. We in Cambridge are all too familiar with the lobbyists that Bob courts, as well as the friends there who quite possibly may be hiding a thing or two for him from investigators. And by the way, Joy Padget's hands are just as filthy as his. Dig, dig, dig.

Posted by: Cookie | August 7, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Andy R and F&B

1. For most voters, the Abramoff scandal is not even on the radar screen. In local races, its effect is on the person caught with his fingers in the cookie jar. The typical John and Mary Lunchbox haven't paid that much attention to the whole thing. (John L. fell asleep on the couch the night CNN ran the story while Mary was working her second job at the 7-11. Neither one reads the New York Times. Ergo replacing Ney with a less tainted alternative works well for the Republicans.

2. Lieberman doesn't run as an independent if he loses. He become an ambassador to some rock in the South Atlantic in 2009 under President Obama. Yeh, Yeh, Yeh....a hypothetical. Concept is right. The democrats are smart enough to know they need to get the House. They buy him off. Every politician has his price.

Posted by: zippy | August 7, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Andy R, I agree totally with your assessment of OH. Anything else is just wishful thinking imho. Depressed GOP turnout plus increased Dem turnout will be the name of the game.

As for Lieberman. There's no way he runs as Indie unless the primary tally falls within the margin of error imho. But, like OH, I think the turnout factor is huge. Interesting stat for me is 35% voting for Lamont, 65% voting AGAINST Lieberman. CT Dems are motivated for change as they well should be.

Posted by: F&B | August 7, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter: I wouldn't have a problem with it if the resignation had been based on unforeseen circumstances, such as an illness, but Rep. Ney knew what was coming and still decided to seek the nomination, which implies a committment to run in the general. Ney is letting the central committee pick his successor rather than the voters in his party. This would pretty much undermine the primary system if all Congressmen just waited until after the primary to announce their resignation.

Posted by: Jeff | August 7, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, CC. I don't know about the rest of the Fix aficionados, but I definitely missed your regular postings while you were on vacation last week...

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 7, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I can't see how any of this is a plus for the GOP. I understand the points made about replacing a known loser with someone who has a chance, but don't you think that the middle of the road voters will still associate Ney's scandal with whomever runs in his place (not to mention the ties to Taft).
Take that with the strong turn out for the dems in the State wide races and I think Space wins in a walk. That doesn't even touch the fact that the Democrats are going to pour money into this race and the Republicans will probably focus on more winnable races.

Side note: What do ya'll think the chances are that Liebermann runs as an independent if he gets beat by over 20 points?

Posted by: Andy R | August 7, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Being of a more pragmatic bent, Mr. Ney stepping down was the best thing that could have happened for the Republicans. It is surprising that it did not happen sooner.

HArd core party line voters will stay home before crossing over. In Ohio, Ney's supporters would stay home if the candidate was uncomfortable.

Replacing Ney with a comfortable known quantity gives those who would rationalize that Mr Ney's stumble was personal and not a symptom of greater party woes, a reason not to cross over.

Also, it would give conservative Republicans an option so that their party maintains control over the House.

Posted by: poor richard | August 7, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Primary Primer
August 8

(R)OPEN (Beauprez running for Gov)
Dems Lamm, Perlmutter and Rubenstein face-off to challange Republican O'Donnell.

Survey USA
August 1
Lamm 31%
Perlmutter 51%
Rubenstein 10%

US Senate
This is the biggie of the Day. Does Lieberman survive?

July 20
Lieberman* 41%
Lamont 51%

Lieberman* 45%
Lamont 51%

Lieberman* 41%
Lamont 54%

Gov. Jodi Rell will also have a Dem opponent chosen to crush in Nov.

Dem Primary
DeStefano 48%
Malloy 41%

Georgia Run-off
CD 4
McKinney vs. Hank Johnson
Does McKinney's antics flush her AGAIN!

US Senate
Incumbant Stabenow gets a GOP opponent chosen between Bouchard and Butler. She is beating them both badly in the polls.

Rep Primary
Survey USA
July 10
Bouchard 51%
Butler 25%

Strategic Vision
July 27
Bouchard 43%
Butler 37%


US Senate
There are still opponents for each main candidate.

McCaskill faces Bill Young.

Talent faces a number of opponents: Babbitt, Fausnaught, Haior and Lea.

Posted by: RMill | August 7, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

With Ney not around who is going to fight for freedom (fries) in the congressional cafeteria?

Posted by: Washington DC | August 7, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Jeff - How does it "circumvent democracy" when a private political party chooses its nominee according to the statutes prescribed by the State?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 7, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

See, I disagree RMill, I think its basically admitting to being caught with you hand in the cookie jar. Padgett or not, Abramoff Disease has clearly and PUBLICLY affected the GOP.

Also, there may be some, if slight, repercussions for voters who were looking forward to standing by their guy in Ney. Those ardent Ney supporters may be less likely to turn out for Padgett especially in light of Abramoff (possible pending indictment against Ney) and a strong contender in Space.

As even CC said, this is not just big news. It is BIG news.

Posted by: F&B | August 7, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I do think this hurts the GOP more in the big picture but may save them on the local level.

Posted by: RMill | August 7, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It is bad for Dems in the sense that Padgett is not Ney and running against Ney would allow them to continually hammer away at the Abramoff ties.

Padgett is also a known quantity in a large portion of the district which overlaps the Senate district she represents and has just been on the statewide ballot (albeit in a losing GOP primary and as the second name on the ticket).

This could certainly be viewed as a plus for the GOP (compared with running Ney) if not a negative for Dems chances.

Posted by: RMill | August 7, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Slick timing by Ney. Tomorrow this story will be washed over with the tidal wave of coverage on the Lieberman/Lamont race.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 7, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

PopDem, or what they ALL are really, and that is an Abramoff Republican. They deserve a hard fall.

Posted by: F&B | August 7, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Republicans better be ready in Ohio because the Democrats are bringing the heat. Strickland is leading in polls by a wide margin and Brown is leading DeWine as well. Strickland's dominance in polls and cash advantage will boost the Democrats in local and congressional races all over Ohio. Ney is just another GOP woe and the Democrats will peg whomever is going to run in his place as a Taft Republican or even a Ney Republican.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | August 7, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

FatPearlGirl: Can you think of any other false charges to lob against Democrats"? Show me one example of ANY Democrat defending Jefferson.

You people just fabricate things out of whole cloth. You just lie and lie and lie because you can't face the truth.

Posted by: Drindl | August 7, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

What does 'originally a teacher by degree' mean? That she earned a degree in education but was never actually a teacher?

Posted by: Teacher by degree | August 7, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Slim Girl... what does it matter that Rep. William Jefferson is black? Is that a strike against him in your book?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I see that Congressman Ney learned well from the Cook County Central Committee. Like our Mr. STroger, despite running under conditions that would make ordinary mortals unelectable, he ran with support completely ignoring his circumstances, allowing the "smoke-filled backroom" sorts to pick a successor....later....once the committee sees what they are up against on the other side of the ticket.

Time-honored political techniques. Quite an honor for our sainted Richard J. Daley.

It smells of desperation at work in Ohio. That usually leads to what we in Chicago call creative poll management of the "River Wards". Practice for 2008 in Ohio one would guess.

Speaking of our noble representatives experiencing first hand the benefits and wisdom of the American legal system, Mr. Fitzgerald has been very quiet of late. One also must wonder if his Boss is planning an October Surprise for the democrats.

Posted by: zippy | August 7, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Is William Jefferson, the black Democrat, still running? Look at the evidence, taking $100,000 in marked dollars with some of it ending up in his FREEZER. COLD CASH?
Until the Dems deal with their own crooks, including Mollohan in W Virg, they just look like hypocrites. The Dems who come in here and scream corruption, but don't respond to these guys in their own party are also hypocrites.

Posted by: Slim Girl in Pearls | August 7, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm actually disappointed about this. I won't write this seat off yet, but I think it just got a lOT harder for Dems to pick this one up. I'm glad Ney will be gone - but I would have preferred for that to happen in November with his name on the ballot. Oh well...

Posted by: Colin | August 7, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Let's see how the DC pundits try to spin this -- I can hardly wait. Wonder how they will try to make this 'bad for the Democrats'?

Here's the Wapo's own Hack of Conventional Wisdom, Dan Balz, on how Leiberman's likely loss if 'bad for the Democrats'.

'The Connecticut race may be seen as an intensification of the partisan, polarized politics of the Bush era. Lieberman is paying a price for being an advocate of bipartisanship.'

I mean, seriously, can you believe this? Leiberman's not 'bipartisian' --he's a frigging republican! Can these pundits try to get out of the bubble, just once in a while?

Posted by: Drindl | August 7, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The only surprise here is that Ney waited this long.

State Sen. Joy Padgett was recently on the Ohio ballot as runningf mate to Att. Gen. Jim Petor's failed bid for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Posted by: RMill | August 7, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much of this really had to do with Ney spending more money then he took in last quarter. I think the best thing is that this puts the scandal back on the front pages for another week.

Posted by: Andy R | August 7, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

WOW Chris the Abramoff "kiss of death"is better than Bush and Joe's--Ney--Delay--and Reed--do I dare hope for more??--Keep your eyes on Kansas--the Republicans are turning Democrat--it's like a Dem virus--and I love it!!God I hope this is a forecast for things to come--keep up the great work and love you on Hardball--

Posted by: Virginia Johnston | August 7, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Not a lawyer, but a quick glance at the Ohio Revised Code would appear to allow the Party Central Committees in the district to pick a replacement, not a special primary. Anyone see anything different?

See ORC 3513.31: "If a person nominated in a primary election as a party candidate for election at the next general election, whose candidacy is to be submitted to the electors of a district comprised of more than one county but less than all of the counties of the state, withdraws as that candidate or is disqualified as that candidate under section 3513.052 [3513.05.2] of the Revised Code, the vacancy in the party nomination so created may be filled by a district committee of the major political party that made the nomination at the primary election..."

Which of course would allow them to circumvent democracy and pick Padgett, who compared hostage Terry Anderson to Bin Laden.

Posted by: Jeff | August 7, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Congress obviously can't clean its own house and so the voters will do it for them. Three cheers for democracy. Is Burns next? Jefferson? That'd constitute several "learning opportunities" for those in Congress.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 7, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Any legal complications, such as the residency quastion that landed Delay and Texas GOP in court, that could affect Ney's withdrawal and nomination of a new candidate?

Posted by: allbetsareoff | August 7, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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