Not much to be happy about here:

It’s been a long time coming but the uncounted ballots cast by delegates at last year’s Republican state convention in Reno were finally counted on Oct. 30. The ballots had been locked in a safe at the site of the convention.

The reason? If the powers that be in the Nevada GOP didn’t shut down the vote the three delegates (which received far more votes then anyone else) going to the national convention would have been Ron Paul supporters.

Pat Kerby – Pahrump would have announced the vote and while the National GOP told the delegates that they had to vote for McCain Kerby said, “I wouldn’t have done it,” who planned to say, in part: “The great state of Nevada casts all of its 34 votes for the Thomas Jefferson of our time and a president we can be proud of for a change, Dr. Ron Paul.”

It makes me wonder which other states might have been close to voting for Ron Paul if it wasn’t for these tricks.
Read the story here.

UPDATE: Coleman has conceded. Classy. He could have gone on to SCOTUS.

Yikes

In case you didn’t know, the Minnesota Supreme Court selected, Al Franken, of SNL Stewart Smalley fame, to the US Senate today. What this now means is that the Democrats have a filibuster proof Senate. God help us all.

It’s been a while, but I’m finally slipping back into the water here at PD, to either the delight or chagrin of many of you to be sure.

So what’s been going on?

It’s been an eventful month since the longest Presidential campaign in history ended. We’ve elected the first African-American (and according to some the most liberal) President in history.

My home, the City of Philadelphia, saw the end to it’s 25 year sports championship drout with my beloved Phillies winning the World Series.

My lovely girlfriend accepted my proposal of marriage, something nearly as historic and unexpected as the last two items if you were to have asked friends of mine just a year or so ago.

And now comes the latest: there are reports that former President Bill Clinton’s name is being bandied about as a potential replacement for his wife Hillary, who was introduced today as Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State.

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Al Franken, in his effort to steal the Minnesota senate seat from Norm Coleman is challenging the ballot seen here:

coleman.jpg

Is it a scribble? Was it crossed out? Maybe it’s a chad. Hanging chad anybody? I’ve got it! It’s a pregnant bubble!
The nightmare continues.

Read the report in the StarTribune.

Hillary Clinton thinks the US Senate could use some comic relief. She has thus flown to Minnesota to add her voice to that of the one and only legend in his own mind Al “Cheap Shot” Franken. All Al had to do was tell her she was “good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone-it people like you”.

Her former inevitableness was effusive in her praise of Cheap Shot Al, declaring bravely:

Al Franken was taking on the vast right-wing conspiracy before other people even admitted it existed.

There she goes again. That Vast Right Wing Conspiracy bent on bringing her down and her husband’s sorry excuse for an administration along with her. Is she ever going to give that shtick up? Get over it, Hillary! That “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” was made up of the American people who didn’t want you running their lives.

But enough about Hillary. She’s so July 2008.

You might wonder why I have bestowed upon Al Franken the moniker “Cheap Shot”. That, dear reader, is due to the fact that Al is nothing like his Saturday Night Live Stuart Smalley persona. Al is, in fact, dangerously unstable – especially when confronted with people who don’t share his agenda.
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Stop the revolt?

By

Filed Under Races 2008 on Sep 26 

Barney Frank, that long-standing beacon of legislative power and insight is now telling us that the Republican members of Congress need to “drop the revolt” against the Bush bail out plan. Really? Drop the revolt? How about listen to what the other side has to say Mr. Frank. The GOP legislators are only responding to the American people, their constituents, the people they are supposed to represent and care about. Frank also was shocked at the “level of divisiveness” that surfaced in Thursday’s talks on the plan. I don’t know how Mr. Frank can be surprised, unless he is living under a rock, or not looking out his window, or on the internet, or the poll numbers or any news broadcast. Americans all over the country, from all political persuasions, are frustrated, and mad about this bail out, and they are letting their frustrations be known. I’m glad that some in Congress are standing up, and saying NO to the blank check plan offered by Hank Paulson and George Bush, and agreed to by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

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From Gallup.com:

A shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters’ “generic ballot” preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent double-digit Democratic leads seen on this measure over the past year.

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Congress is back in session. I know you feel as excited about this as I do, no really, I know you do. The question is what will those crazy kids do for the three weeks of hard work on behalf of he American public, they’ve scheduled for themselves? The possibilities are limitless!

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Most of you know I live in Virginia, home to what was once thought to be a “hotly contested” race to replace retiring Senator John Warner. But from the day Mark Warner announced his candidacy I knew this race was 99% over. Then republicans in the Commonwealth nominated a pro-choice moderate (Gilmore), fresh off his hugely successful presidential run, to run against another pro-choice moderate, Warner who had the wisdom to stay out of the white house race for now.

Race fans, this thing is done. Unless Warner gets caught at a Best Western with a crack smoking circus midget (or “little person”, for my PC readers), he can stop campaigning and coast to victory. Anyone disagree?

New numbers from Rasmussen:

Warner Still Way Ahead in Virginia’s Senate Race
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Former Democratic Governor Mark Warner’s lead continues to grow over former Republican Governor Jim Gilmore in Virginia’s race for the United States Senate. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Warner on top 59% to 33%. Last month, Warner enjoyed a 57% to 34% lead.

When “leaners” are included, the Democrat now leads 61% to 35%.

Warner is viewed favorably by 68%, up slightly from 66% in July.

Read the rest.

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, long a powerful and influential figure in the Senate, is facing political extinction after his indictment on charges of making false statements involving his acceptance of inappropriate gifts. The National Review Online has gone so far as to call for his immediate resignation.

Stevens’ dilemma only worsens a potential disaster in the 2008 election in the Senate, where at the moment, the Republicans are in danger of losing a lot of ground. Currently, GOP seats are in serious danger in Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Here’s one rather interesting point the NRO made about Stevens:

One of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’s most memorable moments of the last few years came during the Senate fight over the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” In 2005, when Sen. Tom Coburn introduced a measure that would have redirected the money Stevens had earmarked for the bridge to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, Stevens gave an apoplectic speech on the Senate floor in which he threatened to resign if the Senate passed the measure. It was the nation’s loss that the Senate voted the measure down, simultaneously missing two opportunities.

Classy Ted. Real classy. Why don’t you take some poor kid’s lollipop while you’re at it?

It has come to pass quickly, as many anticipated when the news broke Monday, that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer will step down early next week.

This likely has little impact on the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, but opens up some interesting dynamics for New York politics. Lt. Governor David Patterson takes over and may wind up naming someone to the Senate seat some predicted he would sit in if Hillary Clinton were to win the Democratic Presidential nomination. There had been talk of Spitzer naming Patterson to fill out Clinton’s term, before Spitzer was felled by the prostitution scandal.

What a Charlie Foxtrot in the Empire State.

There’s a moral to this Spitzer story here that the presidential contenders should take heed of: if you don’t want to get busted due to involvement in a prostitution ring, don’t get involved in a prostitution ring!

That is all.

A story is breaking that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has revealed to senior staff that he has some involvement in a prostitution ring.

What this will do, if anything, to the current Presidential race is unclear, but it is a startling story.

*Update – There are reports that Spitzer will resign, he’s due to speak any minute now.

**Update – Spitzer spoke briefly, taking no questions, apologized to his family and said that he needed some time to decide what he will do next. No resignation or admission of guilt.

As I am sure anyone who reads here often knows, I’m a sports junkie just as much as I am a political junkie.

Well tonight, as I watched SportsCenter on ESPN, those worlds came together in a way I found quite funny.

Pennsylvania Arlen Specter, a “Republican” who is often cited as one of the most liberal GOP Senators, has been digging into the New England Patriots’ alleged cheating via taping their opponents signals to gain an advantage.

Well during a long portion of a segment I watched on SportsCenter, they referred to Spector as “Arlen Spector, D-PA”.

Based on his record, I think a lot of Republicans would appreciate the irony of that mistake by ESPN.

I know I got a nice chuckle out of it.

A woman has come forward to confirm that the prostitution service frequented by Senator David Vitter did in fact, involve prostitution. Wow, and I really thought Vitter’s claim that it was just an “escort” service was gonna fly.

So? Do Republican leaders still stand by Vitter after throwing Larry Craig under the bus? Of course they do.

However, it has nothing to do with gay vs. straight. Senate Republicans will stand by Vitter because he serves in a state with a Democratic governor, who would appoint a Democratic replacement if they forced Vitter out of the Senate.

Craig, conversely, serves in a state with a Republican governor, so getting rid of him had zero consequences for Mitch McConnell and Company. If the governor of Idaho were a Democrat, Republicans would let Larry Craig get all the BJs he wanted before they forced him to resign.

But here’s a scenario: Vitter holds on for a few months, and in November, Republican Bobby Jindal wins the governor’s race down there (it looks like he has a good shot). If the Vitter scandal flares up again, this time with a Republican in the Louisiana Governor’s mansion, then we might start hearing a different tune from the family values party.

It’s hypocrisy, folks. But it’s not about sex, it’s about power.

Probably not, but according to the AP, Senator Craig’s spokesman says his boss is reconsidering:

Craig Reconsiders Decision to Resign
Sep 4 08:39 PM US/Eastern
By JOHN MILLER
Associated Press Writer

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat, his spokesman said Tuesday evening.

“It’s not such a foregone conclusion anymore, that the only thing he could do was resign,” said Sidney Smith, Craig’s spokesman in Idaho’s capital.

“We’re still preparing as if Senator Craig will resign Sept. 30, but the outcome of the legal case in Minnesota and the ethics investigation will have an impact on whether we’re able to stay in the fight—and stay in the Senate.”

Should he reverse course and fight for his seat? Stay tuned and comment below…

Moderate GOP senator Arlen Specter said on FoxNews Sunday that conservative GOP senator Larry Craig should withdraw his resignation and fight.

GOP Senator: Craig should withdraw resignation

(CNN)–The ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee says Idaho Senator Larry Craig should seek to withdraw his guilty plea, and possibly his resignation from the Senate.

“I’d like to see Larry Craig go back to court, seek to withdraw his guilty plea and fight the case,” Senator Arlen Specter said on ‘Fox News Sunday’. Drawing on his earlier experience as District Attorney of Philadelphia, Specter said, “On the evidence Senator Craig wouldn’t be convicted of anything. And he’s got his life on the line and 27 years in the House and Senate, and I’d like to see him fight the case because I think he could be vindicated.”

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve agreed with Specter, but this is one of them. Having listened to the interrogation of Senator Craig, this is as close to textbook entrapment as you can get without having your name and glamour shot appear in a law journal.

The facts:

1. Larry Craig may be gay, but he wasn’t charged with being gay.

2. Larry Craig failed Crisis Management 101 by letting this sit – discoverable by scandal-hungered reporters – in court documents for several months.

3. Larry Craig should not have pled guilty in an effort to make this go away.

4. The “evidence” against him is almost laughable, and as Specter said on FNC, he’s extremely likely to win a court battle.

None of this means Larry Craig should lose his senate seat.

This isn’t just a double standard, (think Vitter, David) this is political arson. A career set aflame by national GOP leaders and 2008 presidential candidates who happen to know the governor of Idaho is a republican who will absolutely, without question, appoint a republican to replace him. As long as the next man or woman has an “R” after their name, who cares?

Would those who called for Craig’s head have thrown him under the bus if he was from Louisiana, or any other state with a democrat in the governor’s mansion? (Don’t answer, that’s rhetorical, we know the answer already.)

Larry Craig should hold a press conference Tuesday and withdraw his resignation, withdraw his guilty plea, apologize for handling it so poorly in the first place, recite a list of others who’ve kept their jobs in far more scandalous circumstances, and go to court.

Then he should fight for votes and make his case that Idahoans should determine whether he keeps his job or not, not the media.

And for Pete’s sake, Senator, whatever you do, narrow that stance.

John Warner will (thankfully) not seek reelection to the Senate. This opens the door for what could be an epic Mark Warner vs. George Allen showdown. Will the macaca come out of hibernation or is he buried for good? Sound off in comments below.

UPDATE: Rep. Tom Davis is going to jump in the race. It should be interesting to see how this moderate fairs in the battle for nomination. He’s a good fit for northern VA, but isn’t nearly conservative enough for most of Virginia’s GOPers.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Rep. Tom Davis appears to be the first person to throw his hat into the ring in the battle to succeed retiring Sen. John Warner of Virginia. A congressional source close to Davis told CNN Radio’s Lisa Goddard that, “Tom’s running. He didn’t want to say more today because it’s the senator’s day.”

The source reached out to CNN just one hour after Warner announced that he won’t run for re-election in 2008. Davis, a moderate Republican from Northern Virginia, has long eyed succeeding Warner. But Davis could most likely face serious competition from a more conservative candidate. One possibility is former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who gave up his bid for the White House last month.

Recently, I wrote about the lack of Republicans lining up to join the Senate this election cycle. Apparently, the GOP is in even worse shape than it seemed, as the Wyoming branch of the Party is seeking to replace deceased Sen. Craig Thomas through an online application process.

So if you can claim residency in Wyoming and have strong internship experience, apply now.

Or maybe you already missed your shot. The Politico reports none other than Lynne Cheney is being floated as a possible applicant. Apparently, she has somewhat of an in.

The Democrats got their first top-tier Senate challenger Tuesday when Rep. Tom Allen officially declared he will challenge Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

In a typical year, the popular centrist Collins would cruise to victory. But if ’08 is anything like ’06, voters will be looking for any way to show their displeasure with Bush and the Iraq War. For his part, Allen is happy to make the race all about Iraq, calling it “the worst foreign policy mistake in our nation’s history.”

On CNN yesterday, Collins echoed the recent sentiments of John Boehner and Trent Lott, sending a message to the President that they need to see progress in Iraq by this fall, to save their hides next fall.

Collins: And I do believe that there comes a point in September where if it’s evident that the new strategy is not successful and it’s not going to succeed, that we do have to change course. And that means looking at all the options, including a plan for withdrawing.

For any Republican incumbent facing a tough challenge, distancing oneself from Bush isn’t good enough (see: Lincoln Chafee). As more credible challengers like Allen jump in, expect to see more GOPers pressuring the White House to start bringing troops home.