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Shaking Up The Fix's House Line

The Fix loves dessert before dinner and opening presents on Christmas Eve instead of waiting for Christmas morning. Embracing this impatient spirit, here is the Friday Line a day early. With most people hitting the road tomorrow for their holiday destinations, The Fix wants to give you something to think -- and argue -- about on that long drive over the river and through the woods...

The last time the Friday Line focused on House races, just three of the ten races that made the cut were open-seat contests.  As one wise party strategist noted recently, almost all the turnovers in recent elections have come in seats where the incumbent was either retiring or running for higher office. Take a look at the House incumbent reelection rates over the past few cycles (courtesy of Rhodes Cook's terrific site on elections past):

1998: 98.3%
2000: 97.8%
2002: 96%
2004: 97.8%

Sufficiently chastened by these overwhelming numbers, this month's House line was overhauled to reflect the recent history of turnovers in open seats. Half of the seats on this line has no incumbent running, including the top four. Of the five incumbents included here, three are Republicans, two are Democrats. The seats on this list are all in play, with the No. 1 race being the one most likely to switch parties next fall.

Please offer your additions and subtractions to the Line in the comments section below.

10) Vermont's At-Large district - OPEN: This race makes its debut on the Line thanks to a cast of intriguing characters seeking to replace one of the House's true personalities -- Rep. Bernie Sanders (I), the self-proclaimed "democratic-socialist" who is making a run for the Senate. Martha Rainville, the head of Vermont's National Guard, is the likely GOP nominee; she was courted by both parties to run for the seat but announced in May that she is a Republican. State Sen. Peter Welch seems to be the consensus Democratic choice.  The X-factor in the race is state Rep. David Zuckerman, who is contemplating a race for the seat under the Progressive Party banner.  Progressives are a major political force in Vermont, and if Zuckerman runs a real race he could split the Democratic vote.  Even with that kind of splintering, Welch could still have enough votes to win the seat. John Kerry won the state by 20 points in 2004. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9) New Mexico's 1st District: Rep. Heather Wilson (R) is a perennial target for Democrats because of the swing nature of her Albuquerque-based seat, which Kerry won by three points in 2004. Democrats are convinced that this time they have found the winning formula in the figure of state Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D). Madrid was repeatedly courted to run in the past but always took a pass. Wilson has shown a knack for winning close elections thanks to her considerable fundraising chops, but this will be her toughest race since she claimed the seat in a 1998 special election. (Previous ranking: N/A)

8) Georgia's 8th District: Republicans continue to crow about the candidacy of former Rep. Mac Collins every chance they get. All signs indicate that he has learned the right lessons from his woeful 2004 Senate campaign, but that may not be enough to unseat incumbent Jim Marshall (D) given the current political atmospherics, which favor Democrats.  Marshall begins the race with an edge, but Republicans seem committed to going all out for Collins. (Previous ranking: 7)

7) Pennsylvania's 6th District: Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) faces a rematch of his narrow 2004 victory against attorney Lois Murphy (D). Murphy is off to a much earlier start than in the last cycle, and Democrats believe that a slight tilt their way in the political climate will reverse the '04 results. Republicans counter that Gerlach won in 2004 despite Kerry winning the district by three points.  The jury remains out. (Previous ranking: 2)

6) Indiana's 9th District: Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) was one of the surprise winners in the 2004 cycle, ousting three-term Rep. Baron Hill (D) by 1,425 votes. Hill is back for a rematch, and the district's long Democratic lineage -- this is Lee Hamilton's former seat, which the party had held the seat for four decades prior to Sodrel's win -- makes this a tough hold.  President Bush carried this southern Indiana district with 59 percent of the vote in 2004; can Sodrel win without a big Bush victory at the top of the ticket? (Previous ranking: N/A)

5) Illinois's 8th District: In her first year in Congress, Rep. Melissa Bean (D) has given Republicans few opportunities to attack her. She has raised huge amounts of money ($1.1 million on hand at the end of September) and voted in line with this Republican-leaning district where President Bush won with a 12-point margin in 2004. Even so, six Republicans filed to challenge her earlier this month, including several with significant personal wealth. The GOP frontrunner appears to be investment banker David McSweeney. (Previous ranking: 3)

4) Arizona's 8th District - OPEN:, Rep. Jim Kolbe's (R) decision in November to retire from this southern Arizona district gives Democrats a real chance at a pick-up. The moderate Kolbe has easily held the district since 1984, but it is somewhat competitive on the presidential level as Bush carried it with just 53 percent in 2004. Democrats got their top-choice candidate when state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords announced her intention to run and resigned from the legislature. Establishment Republicans continue to wait on U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who is expected to make a decision on the race early in 2006. Conservative former state Rep. Randy Graf, who took 43 percent in a primary challenge to Kolbe last cycle, is already in the race. Kolbe has said that Graf can't win a general election -- a quote sure to be recycled by Democrats if the former state legislator wins the GOP nod. (Previous ranking: N/A)

3) Ohio's 6th District - OPEN: Rep. Ted Strickland (D) is running for governor, and Republicans are extremely optimistic about their chances for winning this southeastern Ohio district. Much of that optimism is based on the candidate match-up: State Rep. Chuck Blasdel is the likely GOP nominee, state Sen. Charlie Wilson the Democratic standard bearer. Republicans crow that they have more than enough opposition research to sink Wilson. Democrats retort that Ohio will be ground zero for voter dissatisfaction with GOP leadership, providing Wilson with sufficient momentum to carry this swing district. (Previous ranking: 5)

2) Iowa's 1st District - OPEN: Rep. Jim Nussle (R) is running for governor. Thanks to the district's strong Democratic tilt (Kerry won the eastern Iowa seat by seven points), this race is a must-win for Democrats if they hope to make major inroads in the GOP majority.  Both parties are playing host to competitive primaries, but after voting for Nussle in the past seven elections, the district's voters seem likely to revert to their Democratic roots. Still, Nussle is the odds-on GOP gubernatorial nominee and will work hard to turn out votes in his political base, which should benefit the eventual GOP nominee for the 1st District seat. (Previous ranking: 4)

1) Colorado's 7th District - OPEN: This suburban Denver seat retains the top spot for the third straight line. Rep. Bob Beauprez (R), who is giving up the seat to run for governor, was widely seen by national Republicans as perhaps the only GOPer who could win and hold the 7th. The party's 2002 nominee for the seat, Rick O'Donnell, is running a strong campaign, but the demographics of the district are working against him. Former state Rep. Peggy Lamm's (D) candidacy got a major boost when she secured the endorsement of EMILY's List, though former state Sen. Ed Perlmutter still looks like the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. (Previous ranking: 1)

-- Chris Cillizza

* Here's The Fix's last ranking of top House races.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 22, 2005; 9:38 AM ET
Categories:  House , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: N.Y. Senate: Hillary Coasting to Reelection
Next: CA-50: Special Election Date Is Set

Comments

The 6th Congressional race in Illinois keeps getting more interesting. Cegelis fired her campaign manager and other staff. Scott has twice the available money she has for this final stretch of the race. It seems that Duckworth told the unions she would have voted against CAFTA, but backtracked when she spoke to the Chicago Tribune. .

Posted by: NancyZ | February 3, 2006 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Re: OH-18:

Early on, it seemed as if Joe Sulzer was the only viable candidate, but Zack Space, the candidate from Dover, OH, is picking up some momentum.
Space is the candidate who has the integrity, honesty, and values that citizens of the 18th District have been sorely missing during these years of Bob Ney's arrogant "rein". The "Mayor", as he likes to call himself is willing to ride the possible forthcoming indictment to the bitter end, only further proving his narcissitc nature to the dismay of his contituents.
Space is the energetic go-getter that will never allow his committment to honesty and integrity be characterized as "idealist".

Posted by: OH-18: Dems will win it | January 12, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Kinky Friedman. The Kinkster wants to be Gov. of Texas in 2006.

Kinky is a mystery writer of some note these days and earlier fronted a rock band known as The Texas Jewboys back during the summer of love.

Regards, love your blog!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

A general comment about re-election rates in the House: the number of members in the House of Representatives needs to be increased starting with the 2010 census. Smaller (and more respresentative) districts would make House races more "local" and thereby give challengers a chance against entrenched incumbents.

Posted by: Gene Arbogast | January 2, 2006 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Bill Gluba is the least likely nominee for IA-1; right now he has less cash on hand than outstanding debt (although that debt is all to himself). Bruce Braley has most of the union endorsements (including AFSCME, which is huge in Iowa) and about seven times as much cash on hand. Gluba has a name rec advantage from previous campaigns, but I'll eat my hat if Braley doesn't get the nomination.

Posted by: Drew Miller | December 30, 2005 6:52 PM | Report abuse

On Ga 8th, it sounds like a rerun of an Lee Atwater-Karl Rove show. Paint your opponent as a liberal even if he is not. IF he is a Democrat, then he is a liberal. This is such a tired old propoganda tool of the GOP. Voters are tiring of it including those in GA's 8th district. This tactic was rolled out this year in VA by the GOP's Kilgore against the DEM. Kaine. It didn't work. American will not be fooled by this anymore. Why, because they are know what is behind door number 2: A right wing zealot that wants to impose their religious beliefs and way of life onto you and shove it down your throats as someone said on this blog. Independent voters have had enough of this. Social Conservatives are a minoroty, less than 25% of the American electorate yet they are attempting to make the other 75% live their way of life. Hell Saddam did it in Irag, why not here in the good ole USA.

It is a long way to election day, but I sincerely hope people remember which legislatures voted to intrude in the Terry Schivo case. I hope they look to see who voted to take away AMericans rights to privacy, and I hope they look at the potential candidates, regardless if DEM or REP. and send a clear message, that our country has a constitution that has a guarantee of rights to privacy as well as a separation of church and state. May all Americans wake up and realize their righs are gradually being eroded by the current GOP majority. We do not need a theocracy, we are a democracy. We dont need a King (George) we have a President and we dont spy or eavesdrop on americans without proper judicial oversight. So vote your conscious, but find out where your candidate really stands on your constitutional rights issues. Avoid being mislead by labels, look at their positions on real issues.

Posted by: DB | December 29, 2005 11:46 PM | Report abuse

It's so funny to go look at the actual votes cast by Jim Marshall and see him voting the same as Collins on most of them.

Posted by: max vs jim | December 26, 2005 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mac Collins votes based on a moral code not what is popular with the Democratic Left.

Posted by: John Frazier | December 26, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Why should a states' rights Congressman from Georgia be voting to ban the people of Washington, DC from allowing gay people to adopt children?? Do you guys only believe in states' rights when they do what you want? Just like Bob Barr forcing Democratic Arlington, VA to rename National Airport and its associated Metro station after Ronald Reagan. Or John Ashcroft thwarting the will of the people of Oregon who TWICE voted to allow physician-assisted suicide.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 25, 2005 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post

Posted by: John Frazier | December 25, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Mac Collins and Jim Marshall in the Georgia 8:

Jim Marshall has a clear liberal voting record in a Conservative District. This will spell his end come the general election. He is now working hard to cover his tracks by making conservative votes on issues of foreign policy but this seems like to little to late. His overall voting record links his votes with Nancy Pelosi about 70% of the time. He has also publicly supported her in his self serving commentaries. Quote from Marshall:

?No question our presence in Iraq fuels the insurgency.?

?When Rep. Pelosi's requested investigations eventually occur, most members of Congress expect they will produce additional bad news for the administration, which is another reason for the "rest of the story" to wait awhile, politics be damned.?

?The Iraq war has predictably evolved into a guerrilla conflict similar to Vietnam.?

The new Georgia 8 is a highly Republican district and the best way to view both Congressmen?s chances are to compare their voting record. Jim Marshall is a domestic liberal while Mac Collins is a conservative.


2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Social Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on social policy issues than 47 percent of the Representatives.
2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Economic Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on economic policy issues than 57 percent of the Representatives.
2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Foreign Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on foreign policy issues than 53 percent of the Representatives.
2003 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Foreign Policy's calculations, in 2003, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on foreign policy issues than 57 percent of the Representatives. Representative Marshall voted more liberal on economic policy issues than 58 percent of the Representatives.

Mac Collins:

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother?s life. (Oct 2003)
Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
Voted YES on banning human cloning, including medical research. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on restricting bankruptcy rules. (Jan 2004)
Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)
Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)
Voted YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit burning the US flag. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
Voted YES on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks. (Jun 2004)
Voted YES on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment. (Mar 2001)
Rated 97% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
Voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals. (Mar 1996)
Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
Voted NO on replacing death penalty with life imprisonment. (Apr 1994)
Rated 10% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism. (Sep 2001)
Voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC. (Oct 1999)
Voted NO on subjecting federal employees to random drug tests. (Sep 1998)
Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror. (Nov 2001)
Voted YES on requiring states to test students. (May 2001)
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted NO on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Voted YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer. (Mar 1994)
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer. (Jan 2001)
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer. (May 1997)
Voted YES on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
Voted YES on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)
Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids. (Apr 2003)
Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
Rated 92% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
Use tax code to reinforce families. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored. (May 2001)
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)
Voted NO on $15.2 billion for foreign operations. (Nov 1999)
Voted YES on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. (Oct 2004)
Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns. (Jul 2002)
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)
No US troops under UN command; more defense spending. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)
Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules. (May 2001)
Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
Rated 100% by FAIR, indicating a voting record restricting immigration. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)
Voted YES on permanently eliminating the so-called marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)
Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on $99.5B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on Tax Cut Package of $958B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax. (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the "marriage penalty". (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on repealing the estate tax ("death tax"). (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
Abolish IRS--replace income tax with national sales tax. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops. (Mar 2004)
Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
Voted NO on disallowing the invasion of Kosovo. (May 1999)
Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on promoting work and marriage among TANF recipients. (Feb 2003)
Voted YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001)
Voted NO on responsible fatherhood via faith-based organizations. (Nov 1999)
Limit welfare to 2 years & cut welfare spending. (Sep 1994)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on banning partial-birth abortions: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning human cloning, including medical research: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes: Opposes topic 1
YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother?s life: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions: Opposes topic 2
YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.: Opposes topic 3
YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage: Strongly Opposes topic 3
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment: Favors topic 4
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer: Favors topic 4
Rated 92% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record: Strongly Favors topic 4
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration: Favors topic 4
YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration: Favors topic 4
YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance: Favors topic 4

Posted by: John Frazier | December 25, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Mac Collins and Jim Marshall in the Georgia 8:

Jim Marshall has a clear liberal voting record in a Conservative District. This will spell his end come the general election. He is now working hard to cover his tracks by making conservative votes on issues of foreign policy but this seems like to little to late. His overall voting record links his votes with Nancy Pelosi about 70% of the time. He has also publicly supported her in his self serving commentaries. Quote from Marshall:

“No question our presence in Iraq fuels the insurgency.”

“When Rep. Pelosi's requested investigations eventually occur, most members of Congress expect they will produce additional bad news for the administration, which is another reason for the "rest of the story" to wait awhile, politics be damned.”

“The Iraq war has predictably evolved into a guerrilla conflict similar to Vietnam.”

The new Georgia 8 is a highly Republican district and the best way to view both Congressmen’s chances are to compare their voting record. Jim Marshall is a domestic liberal while Mac Collins is a conservative.


2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Social Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on social policy issues than 47 percent of the Representatives.
2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Economic Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on economic policy issues than 57 percent of the Representatives.
2004 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Foreign Policy's calculations, in 2004, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on foreign policy issues than 53 percent of the Representatives.
2003 According to the National Journal - Liberal on Foreign Policy's calculations, in 2003, Representative Marshall voted more liberal on foreign policy issues than 57 percent of the Representatives. Representative Marshall voted more liberal on economic policy issues than 58 percent of the Representatives.

Mac Collins:

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)
Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
Voted YES on banning human cloning, including medical research. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on restricting bankruptcy rules. (Jan 2004)
Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)
Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)
Voted YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit burning the US flag. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
Voted YES on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks. (Jun 2004)
Voted YES on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment. (Mar 2001)
Rated 97% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
Voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals. (Mar 1996)
Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
Voted NO on replacing death penalty with life imprisonment. (Apr 1994)
Rated 10% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism. (Sep 2001)
Voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC. (Oct 1999)
Voted NO on subjecting federal employees to random drug tests. (Sep 1998)
Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror. (Nov 2001)
Voted YES on requiring states to test students. (May 2001)
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted NO on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Voted YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer. (Mar 1994)
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer. (Jan 2001)
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer. (May 1997)
Voted YES on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
Voted YES on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)
Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids. (Apr 2003)
Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
Rated 92% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
Use tax code to reinforce families. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored. (May 2001)
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)
Voted NO on $15.2 billion for foreign operations. (Nov 1999)
Voted YES on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. (Oct 2004)
Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns. (Jul 2002)
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)
No US troops under UN command; more defense spending. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)
Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules. (May 2001)
Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
Rated 100% by FAIR, indicating a voting record restricting immigration. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)
Voted YES on permanently eliminating the so-called marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)
Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on $99.5B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on Tax Cut Package of $958B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax. (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the "marriage penalty". (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on repealing the estate tax ("death tax"). (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
Abolish IRS--replace income tax with national sales tax. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops. (Mar 2004)
Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
Voted NO on disallowing the invasion of Kosovo. (May 1999)
Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on promoting work and marriage among TANF recipients. (Feb 2003)
Voted YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001)
Voted NO on responsible fatherhood via faith-based organizations. (Nov 1999)
Limit welfare to 2 years & cut welfare spending. (Sep 1994)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on banning partial-birth abortions: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning human cloning, including medical research: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes: Opposes topic 1
YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info: Opposes topic 1
YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life: Strongly Opposes topic 1
YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions: Opposes topic 2
YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.: Opposes topic 3
YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage: Strongly Opposes topic 3
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment: Favors topic 4
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer: Favors topic 4
Rated 92% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record: Strongly Favors topic 4
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration: Favors topic 4
YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror: Strongly Favors topic 4
YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration: Favors topic 4
YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance: Favors topic 4

Posted by: John Frazier | December 25, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

here in louisville, ky - the local activists are extremely energized by Lt. Col. Andrew Horne, who the DCCC expects will defeat Anne Northup next November...

Posted by: ky | December 24, 2005 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, OH-18 (Bob Ney's district) is certainly a possible gain for the Dems. His opponent right now seems to be the mayor of Chillicothe, Joe Sulzer. At the moment this race probably leans Republican, but it's certainly one to keep an eye on.

Drew: You make some good points. But you also missed a couple. In 2004, Colorado gave control of both houses of its state legislature to Democrats for the first time since 1976. It replaced Sen. Ben Campbell (R) with Ken Salazar (D) that same day. CO-3, a conservative rural district, elected Ken's brother John Salazar (D). The Denver area passed a huge amount of funding to build a regional mass transit system. This year, Colorado voted to turn back some of its 1992 Taxpayer Bill of Rights provisions so the state could invest in public services instead. CO has no Senate race next year, but it does have a Gov. race which seems like about as much of a tossup as Iowa's.

Both CO-7 and IA-1 are very close contests, and reasonable minds could certainly disagree on which should be #1 or #2. Ultimately that doesn't matter. (Again, I remind folks that there are 435 House seats and races next year.) The point is both are very competitive and feature good possibilities for Democrats to pick up Republican seats. Chris made a decent point about the most competitive House races being the ones where the seat is open. If you look at the seats that are open so far, there are more being vacated by Republicans than Democrats. That alone, before low approval ratings of Bush, the economy, and Iraq, means Democrats start the House playing field with a little head start.

It sounds like Jeff Latas' campaign and maybe a group in IL-6 got a bunch of people to comment here. Don't waste your time; go raise money.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 24, 2005 12:33 AM | Report abuse

You guys need to check out Jeff Latas issues page...very progressive indeed! Go Jeff Latas!
http://www.jefflatas.com/platform.htm

Posted by: Mave | December 23, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

No I don't think anyone in Georgia will be kept from voting. It will however prevent voter fraud. If you want to vote then you show an ID.

Posted by: CC | December 23, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

To Mr. Cillizza, Washington Post.
I hope you will retract your statement about top contenders for Arizona's CD8. We have several fine Democratic contenders, but you ommitted the name of the finest!
Jeff Latas is by far the most acknowledged contender for Mr. Kolbe's vacant seat. He announced his candidacy last November, long before anyone else announced, and long before Kolbe announced his retirement.
Jeff is a retired Air Force officer who has flown combat missions in all of the recent military conflicts including Iraq. He has also served four years in the Pentagon as a weapons develpoment expert, and his son recently returned from serving in Iraq. Mrs. Latas is also retired from the military. Jeff Latas will be our next congressman!! You can quote me.

Posted by: John Stair | December 23, 2005 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Arizona's District 8 Congressional seat, you'd better do your homework, Chris. Widely considered as the top Democratic contender is Jeff Latas. Jeff has been in the race since BEFORE Jim Kolbe announced his decision to retire. Why don't you check out Jeff's web site at www.jefflatas.com? And for reliable local perspective, read the recent article by Southern Arizona radio host and columnist, Emil Franzi, a conservative who believes that Jeff has a real shot at the seat. The article can be found at http://www.explorernews.com/articles/2005/12/21/opinion/emil_franzi%27s_inside_track/inside_track.txt.

Posted by: Mary Peters | December 23, 2005 12:26 PM | Report abuse

CC, you are obviously clueless about the fraud that will disproportionatetly disenfranchise the minority, black and poor voters of the State of Georgia because of this new photo ID law.

Posted by: Marve | December 23, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

In the Illinois 6th there is an interesting 3-way race shaping up: Christine Cegelis, Wheaton College Professor Lindy Scott, and Iraqi war veteran Tammy Duckworth. Scott just might win this race. He brings together the evangelicals and Catholics, Latinos and other immigrants and a big following among university students. Although Duckworth has Rahm's backing, she lives outside the district and doesn't seem to have strong convictions on any issues. Cegelis ran a good race against Hyde, but seems to be ebbing. My bet is on Scott.

Posted by: Nancy Z | December 23, 2005 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Cathy Cox running against Georgia's Governor Perdue (a man who has so completely reversed years of corruption in the Georgia State House that he is loved by Republicans and Democrats) will bring out every Republican in the state to vote.

In addition if Georgia's new requirement that voters be required to show identification while at the polls passes its challenge in the courts; then, the state's long history of Democratic voter fraud will be come to an end.

The effects of both these factors on the new Georgia 8th will spell an end to the political career of Congressman Jim Marshall who is simply a by product of Georgia's history of voter fraud. (Look at his first election, as he really won the second).

Posted by: CC | December 23, 2005 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Let me add my voice to the chorus pointing out that you have completely missed the boat in your analysis of the AZCD8 contest.
You never mentioned Jeff Latas:
*Only Latas was willing to challenge Kolbe.
*He announced his candidacy on Veteran's Day, before Congressman Jim Kolbe decided to not seek reelection. The others are either not running, or else waited until there was an open field.
*Jeff Latas is the only candidate listed with the DCCC and ActBlue.
*He has huge appeal not only to progressives, but to moderates and independents.
Do a little reporting next time and find out who's really running and who really has a chance in CD8.

Posted by: andrew weede | December 23, 2005 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Please do a little more research before acting like an expert on Arizona's CD 8! There are numerous candidates running, the most notable of whom is Jeff Latas (D), a decorated war veteran and the first to declare. He has enormous appeal to a variety of voters, including the military, anti-war anti-war advocates, environmentalists, and will attract those elusive swing-independent voters. He declared before Kolbe dropped out and is a highly viable candidate.

Posted by: Barbara Tellman | December 23, 2005 7:34 AM | Report abuse

IA-1 might seem competitive except for the fact that the Dems do not have a strong candidate.
The most likely Dem candidate is Bill Gluba, who has lost twice and is pro-life, meaning many Dem big shots will refuse to support him.
The Reps have 3 strong candidates, I do not know who will win their primary, but any of them will be the stronger candidate.

Posted by: Mark | December 23, 2005 6:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad you've moved Iowa 1 up to #2, but there is really no reason it shouldn't be #1. Consider:

Kerry won IA-1 by 7 points, CO-7 by 3.

CO-7 has an obvious Republican choice, whereas IA-1 has a primary that has gone very negative more than six months out.

IA-1 has a very elderly population. Older Americans are the demographic most strongly turning against Bush right now. I haven't seen anything similar for suburban voters.

The Iowa Democratic Party has generally been very effective in off year elections. The Democrats control the Governorship (and lieutenant, which is a combined slate), AG, SOS, Ag Secretary, and Treasurer. Republicans have only the state auditor.

While both parties had success in state legislative races in 2004, the CO Dems purged their party of some of the people responsible for their success.

Posted by: Drew Miller | December 23, 2005 1:33 AM | Report abuse

re: AZ CD8 "Democrats got their top-choice candidate". Did you talk to each of the several hundred thousand registered Democrats? How about the 25% of voters who are independent and can choose to vote in the Democratic primary? How about the Democratic state legislative district and county organizations and dozens of Democratic clubs? Did you even do a poll, or did you just talk to DLC members inside the beltway?
Jeff Latas was the only Democratic candidate to file with the FEC BEFORE Congressman Jim Kolbe decided to not seek reelection. Complete biographical and position information has been available at www.jefflatas.com since August, when Jeff Latas formed his exploratory committee.
No wonder your column is titled "The Fix".
We'll "fix" you on September 12, 2006. For the uninformed, that's the day Democrats get their top-choice candidate. It's called the primary election.

Posted by: T. Stephen Cody | December 23, 2005 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Its nice that you folks have already decided the AZ CD8 primary for us. If you think Gabrielle Giffords is going to inherit her congressional seat the same way she inherited her tire fortune, then I think you do not understand the AZ playing field. The only credible candidate is Jeff Latas, who was not afraid to come out against Kolbe before he announced his re"tire"ment. Also, he was not afraid to come out against the war in Iraq. If you think the 06 election is going to be ruled by the same mamby-pamby middle-of-the-road crap that we have seen before, then you misjudge the electorate.

Posted by: Robin | December 23, 2005 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Its nice that you folks have already decided the AZ CD8 primary for us. If you think Gabrielle Giffords is going to inherit her congressional seat the same way she inherited her tire fortune, then I think you do not understand the AZ playing field. The only credible candidate is Jeff Latas, who was not afraid to come out against Kolbe before he announced his re"tire"ment. Also, he was not afraid to come out against the war in Iraq. If you think the 06 election is going to be ruled by the same mamby-pamby middle-of-the-road crap that we have seen before, then you misjudge the electorate.

Posted by: Robin | December 23, 2005 12:31 AM | Report abuse

You do realize that Jeff Latas announced his intentions to replace Kolbe before Kolbe even announced his retirement? He was the first candidate in District 8 to announce. But you spend your time to trump up Gabrielle Giffords, who is the DLC's choice, and ignore Jeff Latas! Poor reporting. Very, very shoddy research!

Posted by: Shoddy reporting on your blog. | December 23, 2005 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Oops, I said one out of every 5 voters is in a union, what I meant was that one out of every 5 people in the district. It is the district with the most union members and has nearly twice the average.

Posted by: WNY Dem | December 22, 2005 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Swingvoter, I suggest you do a little fact checking. Jackie Quinn is NOT gearing up to run against Brian Higgins. Brian Higgins is a congressman for life because of his inpenetrable labor support in a district where one in every 5 voters is in a union. Assemblykid Jackie Quinn did not almost run in 2004, he won his first election to the Assembly in 2004.

Posted by: WNY Dem | December 22, 2005 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Any bet that Ohio's district held by Ney will go to a Dem?

Posted by: DB | December 22, 2005 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The Illinois 6th Congressional race is now a three way race: Cegelis, Duckworth, and Wheaton College professor Lindy Scott. Scott just might pull an upset because he can draw a large Latino, Catholic and Evangelical vote.

Posted by: n | December 22, 2005 9:01 PM | Report abuse

The Orwellian Doublespeak used by Marshall to explain his recent vote against Rep. Nancy Pelosi's legislation for "a thorough investigation of abuses relating to the Iraq war" is little more than a political propaganda produced by Marshall's PR machine and was clearly designed to distracted attention away from the liberal Democratic agenda he has supported while a member of Congress.

Let us not forget that Jim Marshall's campaign was in part funded by Hilary Clinton's liberal Political Action Committee or that he voted against repealing the Estate Tax which affects every family farmer in Georgia. Even in his editorial where he claims to oppose Rep. Pelosi's action Marshall makes it clear that he feels that such legislation would not be necessary if Republican Party "control [had not] lessened the quantity and quality of congressional oversight". With these words he acknowledges his actual support for Rep. Pelosi's legislation and makes it clear that his vote was simply politically motivated.

Posted by: houstoncounty | December 22, 2005 8:58 PM | Report abuse

A few liberal words in the newspaper do not make Marshall a liberal. He has turned his back on the Democratic Party.

The fact is that Democrats won't go out to vote for this man. Unless we can find another candidate other than Marshall, Mac Collins will sweep this election.

The time has come for a good Democratic Primary in the Georgia 8th.

You go Sarah. I'd rather not vote than vote for Jim Marshall. He has sold his soul to Bush and thinks that will win him the election. He doesn't have a chance in hell. Good luck.

Posted by: GerogiaDem | December 22, 2005 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Marshall is a true democrat who will receive the support of all the Democrats of the new Georgia 8. Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee Member Sarah E. Todd knows not of what she speaks.

Congressman Marshall is a true liberal who also happens to support the war, as do I. Calling into question Congressman Marshall's liberal standing is just wrong. You can be pro-America and still be a good liberal.

Marshall quotes from Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Macon Telegraph:

"No question our presence in Iraq fuels the insurgency. For that reason, we should expect that Iraq's leadership will direct that we modify our operations or withdraw just as soon as Iraqis have the institutional capacity to internally secure their country. Americans simply haven't the perspective to make that call.

Putting off for now the legitimate issues raised by Rep. Pelosi is frustrating at best, particularly for those who have consistently questioned the administration's rationale for and conduct of this war. But delaying further investigation and debate on these issues is the right strategic choice at this stage of the conflict.

A sad truth is, however, that this delay occurred simply because the presidency and congressional leadership rest in the same party. Otherwise Washington's intense polarization would already have produced the very investigations Rep. Pelosi now seeks. Just recall the rampant, vocal dissension in Congress over our effort in Kosovo.

A sadder truth is that the alignment of Washington political control in one party has lessened the quantity and quality of congressional oversight. Blame for poor decisions on this and other matters, both past and present, must be shared by a congressional majority excessively deferential to the administration.

When Rep. Pelosi's requested investigations eventually occur, most members of Congress expect they will produce additional bad news for the administration, which is another reason for the "rest of the story" to wait awhile, politics be damned."

_ Congressman Jim Marshall

Posted by: liberalandproud | December 22, 2005 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's see we take a two term Yankee Congressman like Jim Marshall (born in Hilary adopted state of New York) with a proven liberal track record on domestic issues and he runs against the former Congressman Mac Collins with a 12 year record of truly conservative voting. To the best of my knowledge the GA-8 is in the heart of the pro-military, pro-Bush, pro-Perdue, conservative Bible belt. I wonder who will win the guy from the Sierra Club or Mac Collins.

Posted by: Mary | December 22, 2005 8:13 PM | Report abuse

What about the open seat in Idaho Butch Otter is vacating to run for Governor?? You mean to say that race isn't competitive?? :P

Part of why Democrats have been so antsy to knock off Heather Wilson is that she took the seat from a Democrat (Bill Richardson, when he was appointed Energy Secretary), and that Wilson won largely because of a strong Green Party showing in the special election. The Green candidate took 15% in that race, more than enough to throw the seat to the Republican. NM-1 is closely divided, but ultimately should be Democratic.

How strong will Cathy Cox's Governor campaign against Sonny Perdue be, and how will that affect the race in the 8th district? The inheritance tax hardly forces the sale of any family farms at all. That's simply a myth concocted by Republican strategists like Frank Luntz and their allies. The Republicans' Freedom to Fail Act in 1996 did far more to hurt family farmers than the inheritance tax does. I wonder if the people whining that family farms are disappearing because of a tax that only falls on people with millions of dollars in assets are the same ones constantly mocking our policy of subsidizing farming because it simply isn't profitable (and hasn't been for over 100 years). Somehow the natural economic loss of farming jobs terrorizes these people, while "free trade" expediting the export of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs seems not to register as a problem on their radar screens. This isn't about helping family farmers or having a free market; it's simply about cutting taxes and cutting spending so corporations can run our lives more easily.

If we're going to build a wall along the length of our borderS (I think Canada should be included if we're going to do Mexico), I think Berlin has some used scraps we could get cheaply. Then Angela Merkel can go to Niagra Falls and say, "Mr. Bush, tear down this wall!".

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 22, 2005 8:00 PM | Report abuse

What about New York's 27th District? The seat currently held by Brian Higgins was in Republican hands (Jack Quinn) for 12 years prior to Higgins' win in 2004. Rumor has it that Congressman Quinn's son, a popular State Assemblyman, is gearing up to challenge first term Rep. Brian Higgins. Assemblyman Quinn almost ran in 2004 against Higgins and Higgins only won his seat by approximately 2,000 votes. Could be an interesting race.

Posted by: Swing Vote | December 22, 2005 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Georgia likes its Democrats conservative and the people of the new Georgia 8th can see right through a politician like Marshall. Recently he has been trying to paint himself in the mold of a Zell Miller or Sam Nunn.

A quick look at Jim Marshall's FEC filing reveals a very different story and shows who the money men are behind his office. Marshall has taken money from HillPac (Hilary Clinton), Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and the corrupt Summit Pac. These are facts that will insult then sensibilities of both Georgia's Democrats and Republicans. This man is unelectable against a real conservative like Mac Collins.

Posted by: bibbcountyvoter | December 22, 2005 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Just how many big agribusinesses (a/k/a "factory farmers")with substantial assets (in excess of $10 million) don't incorporate. My guess would be none. However maybe we should ask Jim Marshall since they are one of his primary sources of funding. He is protecting these incorporated factory farms; while, destroying family farms. This allows them to buy up what remains. It is a sick cycle.

Posted by: dcwonk | December 22, 2005 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris-
Do you do your research? AZ-8 will be one of the most closely watched Congressional races in the country next year! The least you can do is mention all candidates, especially the only one listed on the DCCC website.
Democrat Jeff Latas was born to represent Arizona's eigth district. Check out his site to see for yourself: jefflatas.com
See you on the campaign trail!

Posted by: David | December 22, 2005 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Marshall's vote against the estate tax IS a vote in favor of family farmers. The primary beneficiaries of estate tax repeal are big agribusinesses (a/k/a "factory farmers")with substantial assets (in excess of $10 million) who don't want to incorporate. Smaller farmers generally would be hurt by estate tax repeal, as GOP proposals eliminate the stepped-up basis available under existing law that values land and other assets as of the decedent's date of death. That is why the National Farmers' Union opposes estate tax repeal.
Don't buy the snake oil being peddled by the GOP-- ask your Republican representatives to explain to you how any family farmer would benefit from their proposed legislation on estate tax repeal.

Posted by: skye | December 22, 2005 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Patricia Madrid's campaign website is:

http://www.madridforcongress.com/

Posted by: Madrid for Congress | December 22, 2005 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Here is what my local paper had to say about Jim Marshall. I think this is a clear example that the voters of the new 8th district here in Georgia are not ready to trade Jack Kingston from Jim Marshall. Mac Collins will destroy Marshall in the election:

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Houston Home Journal
Warner Robins, Georgia
10/29/2005

I am perpetually astounded by the Southern Democrats that we send to Washington who paint themselves as conservatives while stabbing their hapless constituents in the back upon arrival. These wolves in sheep's clothing are more then happy to support their constituents on visible issues such as the War on Terror and abortion. Yet, when voters aren't looking, they are out there casting ballots like drunken Yankee liberals at a DNC rally.


Houston County hasn't had to worry much about this type of louse thanks to the exceptional representation of Republican Congressman Jack Kingston. Kingston, during his time in Congress, has faithfully represented the interests of the people who sent him there. For example, Kingston is currently working to eliminate the income tax, lessen our dependence on foreign oil and defending the American farmer. Now, however, thanks to redistricting, Houston County will be losing the powerful Kingston who is the influential Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference. In his place, we will be gifted with a light weight Democrat by the name of Jim Marshall. The only good news is that Houston County will have one year before we have to deal with him.


Evidently, someone forgot to tell Marshall, that Georgia is part of our nation's agricultural heartland and that our economy is highly dependant on the success of family farms. There are over 40,000 farms in Georgia which make up 29% of the state's landmass. Thanks to tax-loving politicos like Marshall, Georgia's family farms could soon become a thing of the past. Marshall voted against repealing the Federal Death Tax, a piece of legislation that has been killing off small family farms and businesses for generations. The Federal Death Tax affects Houston County's farmers more than most landowners because they are normally land rich and cash poor. According to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, "Farmers spend a lifetime re-investing their money into the land and unknowingly force their family to pay the estate tax. As a result, this tax is causing families to sell their farms to developers, sometimes prematurely, denying future generations the opportunity to farm the land. Thus, the federal estate tax is ending family legacies, and eliminating open space throughout our country." Support of such cynical and obnoxious social engineering should, in and of itself, spell the end of Marshall's career.


By voting against repealing the Death Tax, Marshall has demonstrated a total distain for Georgia's farmers and has revealed what lies beneath his veneer of false conservatism. The death tax results in the failure of 70% of family businesses when they pass to the second generation. As a result of Marshall's beloved Death Tax, the children of Houston County's farmers and small business owners can be forced to turn over up to 55% of their parent's property to the federal government. Jack Kingston, Mac Collins, and Johnny Isakson have all fought to repeal this tax; while, Marshall stood by his party boss Nancy Pelosi, and her liberal comrades, rather then the people of Georgia. In fact, good old boy Johnny votes along with San Francisco's uber-liberal Pelosi 73% of the time and then turns around and calls himself a conservative.


If this isn't enough to sink the idea of allowing Marshall to represent the people of Houston County, then consider his recent vote against the Gasoline for America's Security Act. This common sense bill, which passed without Marshall's support, is designed to allow the United States to diminish its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The bill authorizes the President to designate Federal land for construction of new oil refineries and prohibits gasoline suppliers from overcharging consumers. Considering what a negative impact that the gas crisis has had on our economy, national security and pocket books it was down right un-American for Marshall to, once again, abandon his faux conservative values and vote with his liberal pals in Washington. But he did.


During his two terms in congress, Marshall has not only attempted to harm the American farmer, our national security, and take money from our pockets by supporting noxious energy and economic policy but he has also opposed much-needed tort reform, and voted against banning tax dollars to international organizations that allow abortion. Jim Marshall's views, and votes, do not reflect the people of Houston County. If the good voters of this district want to attain the type of true conservatism and honest representation that they deserve then, come next November, it is essential that we just say "no" to Marshall's unwelcome invasion into our community.

Posted by: PerryGop | December 22, 2005 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party is getting stronger by the day in Georgia. Attempts by the Republican Party of Georgia to require voters to show drivers licenses when casting a ballot has galvanized the entire Democratic Party to take action. This is just another attempt by the Republicans to disenfranchise the black man.

One man who has been silent on this issue is Jim Marshall because he cares more about winning the Republican vote and is taking us Democrats for granted. Marshall's worry isn't Mac Collins but which Democrat will stand up to challenge him in the primary. He can forget about winning the new Georgia 8th district because he won't get the nomination. I salute Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee Member Sarah E. Todd who wrote the following open letter to Marshall:

Honorable Jim Marshall
United States House of Representatives
515 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


Representative Marshall,

"Dean's take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa: Both are uninformed and unhelpful," said Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.),

Sir, with all due respect, Governor Dean, the clear leader of my party, has been proven correct time and time again when everyone in the GOP owned so-called "liberal" media tried to paint him as a raving lunatic. For you to even bring up the "Dean Scream" of Iowa that has been exposed as a trick of sound coming from the microphones used that evening in a filled beyond capacity room full of screaming fans is beyond the pale. You should be more than ashamed of yourself and you owe Governor Dean and all Democrats in this nation an apology.

As for your ridiculous pro-war stance, I realize you are in danger of losing your seat because of the GOP drawn redistricting this year, but kowtowing to Republicans when even they are sick of watching their loved ones being shipped off to die for a lie is, for lack of a better word, stupid.

I am a member of the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia. I volunteer all over this state to help get Democrats elected and you sir have just insured that I will work vigorously to see you retired at the end of your term.

And just so you know what honest to goodness Democrats all over this state are thinking (because I'm not one of the liberal elites of Atlanta), we don't think Governor Dean's comments yesterday concerning the unwinnable situation in Iraq are "uninformed and unhelpful" (as you said in article that I read on MSNBC.com), we think his comments were spot on. His comments don't reinforce the popular perception that the party is weak on military matters. The party is weak because supposed Democrats like you refuse to look reality in the face. I'm shocked that with your service in Vietnam, which I thank you for, you can't see that the United States' presence in Iraq causes more harm than good. I've talked to numerous men and women who've come home from serving there and every single one of them tells the same story. It's so bad over there that we cannot imagine it and it gets worse every day.

The only problem the Democratic Party has is it is far too lenient with members like you who are so worried about losing their seats that they lose sight of the real issue - protecting the lives of the men and women of our armed services and protecting America from all enemies, both foreign and domestic - for that's what the pro-war Republicans are: enemies who are weakening America from within. Get out of bed with them while you still can.

Sarah E. Todd
Covington, GA

Posted by: Dem4Life | December 22, 2005 6:51 PM | Report abuse

What about Tom Delays' seat in Teas?
I thought I heard he was behind by a big margin to "other".
That would be sweet for the hammer to fall.

ricky from omaha

Posted by: ricky | December 22, 2005 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

It sounds to me like you need to come down to the new 8th district in Georgia. There is no love for Democrats in these counties. Jim Marshall is in a no win situation. He has been trying to save himself by voting with the President and the end result has been angering Democratic Voters. The Republicans who are almost a 70% majority in the new district already know Jim Marshall as a big tax liberal, and will never forget his betrayal of Georgia's family farmer when he voted against repealing the death tax.

People up north may be trending in some areas towards Democrats but that is not the case in Georgia's 8th district.

John Frazier
Macon, Georgia

Posted by: John Frazier | December 22, 2005 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"All Politics is Local"

Kids in Iraq from your district is local. Vietnam was local. Ergo seats in play in Ohio, PA, etc. Ohio corruption scandals are local.

Tax cuts, tax increases, partial birth abortion, stem cell research - not local...

Posted by: NY | December 22, 2005 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't count out the race in Nevada's 2nd District. Incumbent Jim Gibbons is running for the open Governor's seat. There are three Republicans thrashing about, with a well-liked State University trustee -- Jill Derby -- the Democrat front-runner. Derby has strong rural connections (the district is basically everything outside Las Vegas) and is well-liked by the state's moderate Republicans and independents.

With national staff and money already in the race for the Dems, this is a seat that is up for grabs like never before. Kerry won the City of Reno, but lost badly in rural Nevada. If Derby can win the rurals, keep Reno, and leverage the large influx of California Dems to her advantage, it's a win.

Posted by: MATTinRENO | December 22, 2005 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Do not forget the shake-up that may occur if the recent Texas redistricting plan is tossed. A number of seats will be up for grabs, even if the "Democrats" that run are rather conservative.

Posted by: LawyerTom | December 22, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

bbb

Posted by: dan | December 22, 2005 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Tip O'Neill was a marvellous guy and a marvellous politician but I'm not sure even he would agree that the adage attributed to him -- "All Politics is local" -- still applies to House races. Over the years surveys have shown that a startling number of voters, particularly from metropolitan areas, don't know who their congressman is. They vote party, and the party they choose is based on their take on national politics. They rarely see local issues that they care about that have been influenced one way or the other by their representative.

Posted by: Dan | December 22, 2005 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Tip O'Neill was a marvellous guy and a marvellous politician but I'm not sure even he would agree that the adage attributed to him -- "All Politics is local" -- still applies to House races. Over the years surveys have shown that a startling number of voters, particularly from metropolitan areas, don't know who their congressman is. They vote party, and the party they choose is based on their take on national politics. They rarely see local issues that they care about that have been influenced one way or the other by their representative.

Posted by: Dan | December 22, 2005 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Re: AZ 8th

Yeah, Graff couldn't get elected in a one way race. All moderate Republicans consider him so far to the right as to make McCarthy look like a communist. It's the people like him who ran against Gov Napolatino and Att General Goddard and lost because the Moderate and Liberal and Gay Republicans would have none of their brand of hate.

Also, now, with George W. out of the closet so to speak (i.e. shown to be a lier and less compassionate and more evangelical) any Republican will be heavily scrutinized for evangelical tendancies. (And They will find it difficiult to lie their way out of it.)

Additionally, remember that Retired Mayor Tom Volgy (a liberal political scientest) took 49% of the vote against Kolbe in 2002, so even with Bush's minions heaving supporting Graff or some other evangelical the odds on favorite would be on a competent well known moderate republican or democrat to take the seat.

I would bet on the Democrat if the trend towards corruption continues in Congress. Would a fence to protect us from the alien invasion help?

Maybe. But nobody really believes a fence will help anyways. It SOUNDs good though.

Posted by: Kurt | December 22, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The race in Minnesota's 1st district is also in contention, and was mentioned as such by Roll Call a few weeks ago. Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht is too conservative for the district, which is continuing to become more liberal. Retired National Guardsman and high school teacher Tim Walz has been impressing Democratic audiences.

Posted by: JK | December 22, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the IL 6th? Duckworth and Cegelis battling to fight for Hyde's open seat?

Posted by: CJ | December 22, 2005 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think you're right on the CO 7th district; the GOP stranglehold on CO is slowly ebbing as the population grows. That said, Rick O'Donnell is all hat and no cattle, but he is tenacious and will fight hard and dirty. Ms. Lamm (or Mr. Perlmutter) has her work cut out for her.

Posted by: ex-coloradan | December 22, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

An interesting change in philosophy, but what about the numbers for 1994? Is there any realistic chance that 2006 could be like 1994? Also, how does the fact that this is the President's second term midterms impact the President's party?

Posted by: Joe | December 22, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Living near Rep. David Drier's district in CA, I hope the Democrats try to get him out. His district is a swing-type district and his chairmanship of the Rules Committe and resultant ties to House Leadership including Rep. Delay don't play well in that district. I think the Democrats have let him through because he has such a "nice" persona, but now is the time to "Take Back the People's House". Go Dems!

Posted by: Jason | December 22, 2005 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Give Connecticut 4th Cong. District a good look. Chris Shays is facing the same candidate as last election, and she made it a good contest. Shays has always had tepid Republican support and strong Democrat support, this time his Republican support is still tepid but his Democrat support has weakened due to his stance on the war and the fact his opponent showed last election that she can be a formidable candidate. Thanks.

Posted by: Dave | December 22, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey AR, what is the GOP "true strategy"? what is the GOP "vision"? Now THAT is the amusing question. Or, well, it would be amusing if it didnt mean war, death, torture, nation-building and degredation of civil liberties.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | December 22, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

AR: I'll be the first to acknowledge that Speaker O'Neill has been spinning in his grave for three staright cycles now, but as The Fix pointed out yesterday, Congressional approval ratings remain at rock bottom, and since most polls are taken only once a month, "over the past month" is hardly a trend of any kind.

Chris: I know that Blogs are an informal means of news delivery and communication, but the typos are getting pretty serious. This isn't some guy in basement, it's The Washington Post. Thanks for another informative and insightful Friday Line.

Posted by: MAttinDC | December 22, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

What is perhaps most amusing to me is the lack of true strategy or vision on behalf of the Democratic Party. They seem to be placing all of their hopes on "public unrest with the GOP." That theory may sound great on a national level, but they are forgetting the advice of their own Tip O'Neill.

Bush's poll numbers have been steadily rising over the past month, as have Congressional Republicans. If they continue to rise at this pace, we will be having a very different discussion by the time Spring 2006 rolls around.

Posted by: AR | December 22, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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