June 4, 2006


In California, Democrats Try First Step to Win Back House (CARL HULSE, 6/03/06, NY Times)

In the first major Congressional race of what could be a politically volatile year, the contest to fill the seat of a jailed Republican is testing whether Democrats can capitalize on Republican unrest in the battle for the House.

Fractures among conservatives in the affluent coastal communities extending north of San Diego — coupled with dissatisfaction with President Bush — have put Democrats within striking distance of capturing a safe Republican seat that was thrown open when Representative Randy Cunningham resigned after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

Though Mr. Bush carried the district, the oceanfront 50th, by 10 points in 2004 and Republicans have a 44 percent to 29 percent edge in voter registration, polls show Brian P. Bilbray, a Republican, and Francine Busby, a Democrat, essentially tied going into Tuesday's special election, which each party is desperate to win. [...]

Ms. Busby is not Mr. Bilbray's only obstacle in the race, which has featured a barrage of negative television commercials by both parties. He is also under fire from a fellow Republican, Bill Hauf, a wealthy real estate investor who is challenging Mr. Bilbray in a separate but simultaneous primary race for a spot on the November ballot to fill the 50th District seat for a full term.

Mr. Hauf has poured some of his money into mailings to Republicans questioning Mr. Bilbray's conservative commitment, an effort that has infuriated local Republican leaders who say the feud could sap critical support from Mr. Bilbray. [...]

Complicating matters further, Mr. Bilbray is also opposed in the race to fill the seat through the end of the year by William Griffith, an independent who received the endorsement of prominent local anti-immigration leaders, potentially undermining him on his central issue.

Hoping to exacerbate that split, Ms. Busby's campaign on Friday took the unusual step of broadcasting advertisements on conservative radio stations highlighting Mr. Griffith's endorsements — in effect running an advertisement for an opponent in an effort to weaken Mr. Bilbray. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee mailed similar material on Mr. Griffith to Republicans.

Election in California a Cliffhanger (Chris Cillizza, 6/03/06, Washington Post)
Ellen Malcolm, the president of Emily's List, a group that financially backs female candidates -- including Busby -- who support abortion rights, was one of the few willing to predict the outcome. "This is a rock-solid Republican seat which I think they are going to lose," she said.

Busby on defense, says she misspoke (Dani Dodge, June 3, 2006, San Diego Union-Tribune)
If an election can turn on a sentence, this could be the one: “You don't need papers for voting.”

On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido when she uttered those words. She said yesterday she simply misspoke.

But someone taped it and a recording began circulating yesterday. After she made that statement at the meeting, Busby immediately said: “You don't need to be a registered voter to help (the campaign).”

It seems safe to say that Tom Tancredo wouldn't be happy with the immigration bill that a Speaker Pelosi handed to the President.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 4, 2006 12:00 AM

Republicans planning to stay home on election day ponder this: If Republicans lose the house, Nancy Pelosi would be third in line for the presidency after the vice-president.

Posted by: erp at June 4, 2006 9:05 AM

Even worse... if the Democratic majority were to impeach and remove Cheney from office first, they could then block any VP appointment Bush might make while they impeach and remove him from office, and "poof" she becomes President Pelosi.

Posted by: Dave W at June 4, 2006 3:20 PM

You conspiracy mongers seem to forget that removal from office requires two-thirds of the Senate. The Stupid Party, even in a minority position, may be compliant, but they aren't that compliant. And there's no way the Dems will hold 67 seats any time soon.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 4, 2006 4:55 PM

And I don't get the Tancredo referece. Has he become the all purpose boogey-man that the anti-anti-illegal imigrationists trot out every time their side does something stupid, like state Dem policy so clearly?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 4, 2006 4:57 PM

He's the chief spokesman for evil.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 5:01 PM

He's the chief spokesman for the "Do it my way or I'll take my ball and go home"-cons.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 4, 2006 5:59 PM

I am not conspiracy mongering here Raoul, I'm simply giving voice (with laughter and an appropriate amount of pity mixed in) to the hate filled, kool-aid induced desire of our moon-bat fellow Americans.

Posted by: Dave W at June 4, 2006 7:57 PM

I am not conspiracy mongering here Raoul, I'm simply giving voice (with laughter and an appropriate amount of pity mixed in) to the hate filled, kool-aid induced desire of our moon-bat fellow Americans.

Posted by: Dave W at June 4, 2006 7:58 PM

oj. Is it sun spots or what? Posts going poof, double posts?

Posted by: erp at June 4, 2006 10:08 PM