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A New GOP Player in the Soft Money World

Amid the doom and gloom of the last few weeks for congressional Republicans, a ray of light poked through in the form of the American Future Fund.

The group, whose existence was first reported last week by Fix friend Stu Rothenberg, began running ads in Minnesota touting Sen. Norm Coleman's (R) record in his first six years in the Senate.

Here's the ad:

The ad is running in the Minneapolis and Mankato markets for several weeks and is being cast by those familiar with the group's plan as the first in a series of forays into states between now and November.

The American Future Fund is based in Iowa and organized as a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning it is a nonprofit that can engage in some political activity and is not required to disclose its donors, all of whom can give unlimited sums to the effort.

It cannot directly advocate for or against a candidate and its pitch must be issue-centered. Given those strictures, it's important to pay attention to the language used in the first ad in Minnesota.

The narrator of the spot praises Coleman as "an independent voice for Minnesota" before adding: "Call Norm Coleman and thank him for his agenda for Minnesota."

The American Future Fund raised initial money to fund Minnesota and a few other projects -- including soon-to-be-conducted surveys in several other states -- and is continuing to solicit cash, according to those familiar with its operations.

While the American Future Fund doesn't disclose its donors, its roster of consultants read like a who's who of Republican operatives. Larry McCarthy of McCarthy Marcus Hennings is AFF's media consultant, and Jan van Lohuizen is its pollster. Ben Ginsberg (of Patton Boggs) is the group's legal counsel, and Ed Tobin, a former executive director of the Republican Governors Association, is serving as a senior adviser. (McCarthy, van Lohuizen and Ginsberg were all senior strategists in former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's unsuccessful presidential bid.)

Judging by the consultant firepower, it appears as though AFF is well funded and is likely to be a major player in Senate races this coming November.

Its rise could be a saving grace for Senate Republicans, who find themselves badly outraised at the moment and facing a decidedly difficult landscape.

At the end of February, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had $33 million to spend over the next eight months while the National Republican Senatorial Committee had less than half that sum ($15 million).

On top of the fiscal realities, Republicans face a nightmare class with 23 GOP seats up this November compared with just 12 Democratic seats -- a landscape made all the more dire by the retirements of five senior Republican senators.

With such a fundraising and seat disparity, Senate Republicans must find ways to pull out wins in places like Minnesota, New Hampshire, Colorado, Maine and Oregon to keep Democrats from gaining a hefty majority somewhere north of 55 seats.

The American Future Fund -- and other groups like it -- could well be the equalizer in at least a few of these races that Senate Republican so badly need. (For his part, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen has been warning about the potential peril for his party from these groups for months.)

Watch the soft-money landscape over the coming weeks (and months) for the emergence of groups like AFF aimed at a single state or several states with key races in the fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 24, 2008; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: For Clinton, It's All About the Superdelegates

Comments

Here is a textbook example of how Republicans are using 501(c)(4)s:

In late October of 2006, the Progressive Policy Council sent out a campaign mailer to Pennsylvania voters that listed the similarities between Rick Santorum's views on social issues like gay marriage with those of his opponent, Bob Casey.

At the time, Jason Torchinsky of Holtzman Vogel was identified as having registered the Progressive Policy Council in June 2006 but no one could find any more information about the Progressive Policy Council.

I recently reviewed the Council's 2006 990 and surprise! Two of Roger Stone's partners in Ikon Public Affairs were Council board members, Craig Snyder and Corrin Merritt.

More here:

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/04/progressive-policy-council-tex.php

Posted by: mrspanstreppon | April 10, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

According to an FEC complaint filed by the Minnesota Dems, Nicole Schlinger, Republican fundraiser, is the American Future Fund president. Schlinger is the president of Capitol Resources dba Campaign headquarters, located in Brooklyn Iowa.

But the p.o. box number for American Future Fund is that of Nick Ryan, long time campaign manager for former Rep. Jim Nussle. Ryan also managed Nussle's failed 2006 gubernatorial camapign.

Ryan is a registered Iowan lobbyist whose sole client was Bruce Rastetter.

According to FEC records, Nick Ryan is now an executive with Bruce Rastetter's firm, Summit Capital Group.

Holtzman Vogel registered American Future Fund and Iowa Future Fund on 8/7/07 in Iowa. According to another filed document, Eric Peterson is Iowa Future Fund president.

Eric Peterson in all likelihood is Eric Peterson, Summit Farms business manager. Summit Farms is also owned by Bruce Rastetter.

Bruce Rastetter is a major player in the ethanol industry and he is on the board of the Renewable Fuels Association.

The question is whether the ethanol industry has made a substantial commitment to American Future Fund.

American Future Fund doesn't look very much like a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

More here:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/4/3/134856/5744/609/489579

Posted by: mrs panstreppon | April 9, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

More on American Future Fund, Iowa Future Fund, Holtzman Vogel and Bruce Rastetter in my TPM Cafe post.

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/04/american-future-fund-iowa-futu.php

Posted by: mrspanstreppon | April 5, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I traced American Future Fund to Holtzmann Vogel PLLC. The Iowa registration lists the incorporator as Jessica Young at 98 Alexandria Pike, Ste 53, Warrenton, VA which is the Holtzmann Vogel address.

Alex N. Vogel, of course, is a very well-known Republican operative last in the news in connection with the American Center For Voting Rights and the Free Enterprise Coalition. Mark "Thor" Hearne was one of Vogel's associates at the ACVR.

Jill Holtzman Vogel, another Republican operative and Alex Vogel's wife, won a VA state senate seat last year. 25% of the $1.7 million raised by Holtzman Vogel came from businessman, David Rensin.

The Vogels are very good at raising money from secret sources.

Posted by: mrspanstreppon | April 1, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON --
Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

OBAM YOU'RE NO JFK --

"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

"GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

THE SPEECH --

The Apologia has arrived and once again the self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, promises to heal the wounds of the world. The speech is the rude awakening of mass messianism of his campaign. Apologetically, Obama the MUSLIM double-cross X-boX-BorraX has an astonishingly empty two-prawn echelon explanation of his misjudgment.
In the first prawn: with regard to his connection to separatist-racist Rev. Wright; Obama summons voodoo and juju to express slavery as beginning and ending with the Rev. Wright.
In the second prawn: Obama's speech takes credit for Ashley's dream. A dream of unity Martin Luther King, Jr. borrowed from Ashley for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech. In Obama's speech, the connective bond Ashley, the elderly black man and Obama's grandmother share; represents Obama's self-indicting rise to the Harvard Yard. For Obama, the grand flag of language is the semi-fore of words, bestowed upon our nation by the messiah-alumni from Harvard. Obama's Swoon-Song Apologia to the nation represents a failed hymn -- a hymn that fails to heal the nation, repair the world, or make this time different than all the rest. Obama's speech is a brilliant failure.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Posted by: jreno20 | March 24, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
lol - I think, I need to update my copy, too.
(Maybe I can find one on eBay...)

leswilson,
To be fair, I think, you should also enclose a link to a petition for supporting the rules, that all of the candidates (Hillary included) pledged to uphold, which included not allowing delegates from states, that broke the rules.

I'm one of these weirdos, that don't like to participate in competitions, where they change the rules halfway through the game. Call me old fashioned.

Posted by: wolfi101 | March 24, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Only to have fun with you, it's fun to poke you with the stick.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 24, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Don't pay him no mind. He doesn't have any".

so your Grandma's sister had you pegged long ago?

so let em get this straight, you stopped reading my crap but respond to it and then reply again.

did you Libs fail all your math and logic classes along the way?

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Zouk I stopped reading your GOP crap a long time ago, so don't get your panties up in a knot, I was just pointing out to Simon that as my GrandMa's sister always said, "Don't pay him no mind. He doesn't have any". Now go back to your foaming at the mouth you tool.

By the way, if you think this is angry, wait until you see the GOP loose the White House along with their lost Congress.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 24, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

More liberal lies exposed:

The redacted version of "Saddam and Terrorism" is the most definitive public assessment to date from the Harmony program, the trove of "exploitable" documents, audio and video records, and computer files captured in Iraq. On the basis of about 600,000 items, the report lays out Saddam's willingness to use terrorism against American and other international targets, as well as his larger state sponsorship of terror, which included harboring, training and equipping jihadis throughout the Middle East.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120631495290958169.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Illinois senator is taking a break from campaigning for a brief family vacation , spending some down time in the U.S. Virgin Islands at the island paradise of St Thomas.

Hopefully, for the Senator, the Obama Family vacation isn't anything like the Griswold's.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 24, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing this story out. It's much more important that the public be told of relatively small amounts of money that Republicans are putting into the election rather than the massive efforts that the like of George Soros and President Gore http://www.atimelikethis.us/ are investing into trying to get as many carbon credits as they can.
-Trevor Wynne
Washington, DC

Posted by: trevorwynnewhitehouse | March 24, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Dems are in quite a dilemma: they have to choose if they will vote for the nut with two boobs or the boob with two nuts.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

In the past, the DCCC and DSCC have been hamstrung by being far outspent by their Republican counterparts. Even with outside groups weighing in, the numbers should be in the D's favor this fall, even if by less than what Van Hollen and Schumer dream of. So: advantage Dems.

Also, especially in a place like Minnesota that will have competitive and well-funded races from the national to this Senate race to a few House races, all of the ads from all of the campaigns tend to blend together, and only the really memorable will get much attention or do much swaying. Does anyone really think 527 ads are anywhere near as effective as direct campaign ads? I'm skeptical.

Posted by: novamatt | March 24, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Patrick, I know you are a disgruntled loony Lib, but the typical angry response does not do justice to your complete ignorance.

congress had a choice to assign elections to the legislature, as they did with governors, or allow the people to vote for the President. If you had considered the question or read the text before shooting your mouth off, you wouldn't have appeared so foolish.

I thought you Libs beleived the Constitution to be a living, breathing document and hence - already out of date.

the pack of jackels is underwhelming today without the main moonbat drindl to lead them.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Our Framers designed the Constitution to prevent just this from happening."

Huh? My copy of the Constitution fails to address the subject of political parties, much less their methods for selecting nominees for election. Is my copy out of date?
Posted by: bsimon | March 24, 2008 01:30 PM
------------------------
No he's just an idiot.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 24, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"The National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing homes rose by 2.9 percent in February. It was the biggest increase in a year and caught economists by surprise"

"Still, despite the slight uptick in sales prices on homes sold fell sharply. The national median existing-home price for all housing types, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, was $195,900 in February, down 8.2% from a year earlier when the median was $213,500." (Forbes.com)

Posted by: bsimon | March 24, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"An increasing number of Iraqi detainees are refusing to leave detention centres despite being eligible for release because they want to complete studies begun behind bars...".

I hope they are not studying flight manuals.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 24, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly In February The National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing homes rose by 2.9 percent in February. It was the biggest increase in a year and caught economists by surprise

As soon as the threat of a Lib president subsided, look what happened. Happy Days are here again!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

More torture please:

Iraqi Detainees Refusing To Go Home An increasing number of Iraqi detainees are refusing to leave detention centres despite being eligible for release because they want to complete studies begun behind bars, a US general said on Sunday

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Liberalism kills:

Study Negative U.S. Media Linked To Increased Insurgent Attacks Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable "emboldenment effect" on insurgents there. Washington Times

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

And bringing peace to Ireland.

smirk, smirk.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

THE VOTES OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN

COUNT THE VOTES OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN

The petition

Please sign the petition so the voices of all 50 states are heard. Michigan and Florida have been disenfranchised by the DNC. The voter's should not be held responsible for the flawed leadership of the DNC.

The UNITED STATES consists of 50 states and all voices from every state should count.

South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire held primaries earlier then they were suppose to and the DNC did not penalize them.

A double standard seems to be the DNC's practice.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED -- sign the petition so we can nominate a candidate that reflects the voices of all the people of the United States.
Sign the petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/countFLoridaandMichigan

Posted by: leswilson | March 24, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"SEIU spent CAW CAW hundreds of thousands in Ohio and Texas and 527s are ready to remind male voters CAW CAW CAW in Ohio, Michigan, Fla and Pa of the Wright inflammatory language CAW CAW CAW."

And yet Obama won the most Texas delegates, and 527s are wasting money in Ohio because the voting has already gone down, and there won't be any more voting in Florida or Michigan.

If you're going to lie and spin, at least get some mud that is fresh. The Wright Spin Cycle ended last week - haven't Wolfosn & Penn told you today's talking point, that Hillary single-handedly (well, with Sinbad and Sheryl Corw's help) saved the Balkans after coming under sniper fire?

Posted by: bondjedi | March 24, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse


COUNTS THE VOTES OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN

The petition

Please sign the petition so the voices of all 50 states are heard. Michigan and Florida have been disenfranchised by the DNC. The voter's should not be held responsible for the flawed leadership of the DNC.

The UNITED STATES consists of 50 states and all voices from every state should count.

South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire held primaries earlier then they were suppose to and the DNC did not penalize them.

A double standard seems to be the DNC's practice.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED -- sign the petition so we can nominate a candidate that reflects the voices of all the people of the United States.
Sign the petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/countFLoridaandMichigan

Posted by: leswilson | March 24, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy."

For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder.


"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity - as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population - as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state - as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
"The roots of liberalism - and its associated madness - can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56494

It's official - Liberals are nuts.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

ALl weekend I reasd comments here like Game Ovee with Richsrdson. Heaed those exact comments when Kerry and Kennedy promised to deliver Ca
You refused to address Richardson s hypocrosy

SEIU spent hundreds of thousands in Ohio and Texas and 527s are ready to remind male voters in Ohio, Michigan, Fla and Pa of the Wright inflammatory language.

Posted by: leichtman | March 24, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

DETROIT (March 24) -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit's youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.


Dems seem to have a difficult time lately doing the people's work. What next, the hip-hop president?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 24, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

zouk writes
"Improved security has brought with it a renewed sense of economic confidence and stability... Good news for US is bad news for Libs."

How so? Libs want us out of Iraq. Improved security coupled with economic confidence and stability mean we can start to leave Iraq.

Doesn't it?

Posted by: bsimon | March 24, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This is pescisely why Bill Richardson never received over 10% of any state's primary voters. He has very little credibility or name id with anyone other then MSNBC, the 24 hour Obama News Network:

Richardson on Superdelegates Last Month: Vote the Way Your State Votes (Oops)
March 21, 2008 2:54 PM

Superdelegate and new Obama-backer Gov. Bill Richardson told the New York Times
in February that a superdelegate's vote "should reflect the vote of my state, it should represent the vote of my constituency. It shouldn't be because you're a fund-raiser or a big-shot delegate. Superdelegates should reflect their state or constituency. If superdelegates decide this nomination, it's going to look like big-shot politicians and fat-cats decided who should be president."

Oh really Governor?

Posted by: leichtman | March 24, 2008 12:59 PM

***************************
and this has what to do with the subject at hand? Other than give you another board to whine about Obama? Hey, there's a station for you, the Clinton News Network -Wolfie Blizter loves to spin for her whenever he is on.

Posted by: LABC | March 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Our Framers designed the Constitution to prevent just this from happening."

Huh? My copy of the Constitution fails to address the subject of political parties, much less their methods for selecting nominees for election. Is my copy out of date?

Posted by: bsimon | March 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Improved security has brought with it a renewed sense of economic confidence and stability. More than 30,000 private-sector companies have been registered in Iraq since 2003, with an almost 10 percent increase in new business registration in 2007 compared to the year before. Inflation has fallen from 65 percent in 2007 to just under 5 percent in 2008, and the Iraqi government's budget has doubled in the past three years, rising from $20 billion to $41 billion. Crude oil production now exceeds pre-war levels at 2.4 million barrels a day, with oil exports averaging 1.9 million barrels a day, helping to spur economic growth of 7 percent for 2008.[3]

Even the BBC's latest poll[4] reports that more than half of Iraqis believe that life is "good" in Iraq, with over 60 percent declaring that security in their neighborhood is "very good" or "quite good." A striking 49 percent of Iraqis surveyed support the view that the decision taken by America and its allies to invade Iraq in spring 2003 was "absolutely right" or "somewhat right." Just 38 percent of Iraqis polled support an immediate withdrawal of Coalition forces, and a total of 59 percent believe that the Coalition should remain until "security is restored," until "the Iraqi government is stronger," or "until the Iraqi security forces can operate independently."

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Iraq/wm1860.cfm

Good news for US is bad news for Libs.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

That the 2008 Democratic nominee for president will be chosen by individuals no one voted for in the primaries flew for too long under the commentariat's radar. This from the party that litigated to "make every vote count" in the 2000 Florida recount, reviled the institution of the Electoral College for letting the loser of the national popular election win the presidency, and has called the Bush administration illegitimate ever since.

Our Framers designed the Constitution to prevent just this from happening. The Democrats have created an electoral system that echoes failed models from the American past, and threatens to sap the presidency of its independence and authority by turning it into the handmaiden of Congress instead of the choice of the American people.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120631654451858227.html?mod=hps_us_at_glance_opinion

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

what do Libs do when they get in power?

"The House- and Senate-passed budgets would raise taxes on every American taxpayer by an average of $3,000 per household. But don't expect Congress to share in the sacrifice: The budget would hike discretionary spending by 8 percent, and not cut a single government program.

Worst of all, Congress' budget ignores the greatest economic challenge of our era: the costs of providing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits to 77 million retiring baby boomers. In the absence of reform, paying all the currently-promised benefits would eventually require either permanently raising taxes by the current equivalent of $12,072 per household or eliminating all other government programs.

The problem is well-known. Medicare's public trustees recently issued a financial warning, and Moody's has threatened to downgrade Washington's bond rating until entitlements are reformed. Yet Congress steadfastly refuses to make the tough decisions necessary to save the next generations from crippling debt. And every year of delay raises the eventual cost of reform.

Congress has voted to raise taxes for every American taxpayer, while offering no spending sacrifices themselves. President Bush should keep his veto pen handy.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25650


Posted by: kingofzouk | March 24, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

They may as well pour their money down a hole. Nothing will save the Republican party from paying the price for inflicting the Administration of GW Bush on America. Try as they may, they will be punished for the War, for the trillions in Debt, for the Polarization, the Politicization, for their mindless, kool-aid infused drumbeat of Morality and Security when they did nothing on either account.

Republicans have demonstrated that they can not govern because it is against their philosophy, against their ideology. To admit that government may have a role in anything is like getting an evangelical to admit that something in the bible isn't the literal truth. Heresy. The entire belief structure has to collapse so...keep up the Big Lie. The American people aren't buying it.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 24, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This is pescisely why Bill Richardson never received over 10% of any state's primary voters. He has very little credibility or name id with anyone other then MSNBC, the 24 hour Obama News Network:

Richardson on Superdelegates Last Month: Vote the Way Your State Votes (Oops)
March 21, 2008 2:54 PM

Superdelegate and new Obama-backer Gov. Bill Richardson told the New York Times
in February that a superdelegate's vote "should reflect the vote of my state, it should represent the vote of my constituency. It shouldn't be because you're a fund-raiser or a big-shot delegate. Superdelegates should reflect their state or constituency. If superdelegates decide this nomination, it's going to look like big-shot politicians and fat-cats decided who should be president."

Oh really Governor?

Posted by: leichtman | March 24, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

MN public radio reported on this last week. Here's a blurb from their 'polinaut' blog:

"The ad starts with images of the collapsed 35-W bridge and notes Coleman's role in securing federal funding for a new bridge. As far as we can tell it's the first time the collapse has been used in a political ad, and it's prompted a strong response from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49."

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2008/03/union_objects_t.shtml

They do note that the union has endorsed Coleman's presumed opponent, Al Franken.

Posted by: bsimon | March 24, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"The American Future Fund -- and other groups like it -- could well be the equalizer in at least a few of these races that Senate Republican so badly need."

Or not. CC's USUAL assumption is that more money always = more votes. Given the overall disparity in fundraising, this would imply that the D's will wipe the floor with the R's in MN. Unless this standard assumption is magically not applied to this race because the 501(c)(4) was pointed out to him by a bud...

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 24, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

'It cannot directly advocate for or against a candidate and its pitch must be issue-centered. Given those strictures, it's important to pay attention to the language used in the first ad in Minnesota.

The narrator of the spot praises Coleman as "an independent voice for Minnesota" before adding: "Call Norm Coleman and thank him for his agenda for Minnesota."

Tell me again how this is not illegal?

Posted by: drindl | March 24, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I love when the GOP finds new ways to flout campaign finance laws. Anything to throw an election!

Posted by: thecrisis | March 24, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

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