Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Karl Rove, White House Worried About 7th District

(Thanks to lpackard for bringing this to my attention... You're a very valuable resource for progressives in Michigan!)

One of the times Tim Walberg defended his comments comparing Iraq and Detroit, he did so while introducing a guest speaker at the Jackson County Republicans' Lincoln Day dinner. That guest was Karl Rove, the infamous political advisor of President George W. Bush. Now, Jackson may be the birthplace of the Republican Party, but could there have been a bigger reason for Rove's visit? Could it be that Bush's top advisor might be worried about holding the 7th District in 2008?

That's all pure speculation on my part. But now there's a little more evidence that perhaps the national GOP-- or, at least, the White House Office of Political Affairs-- is worried about Congressman Tim Walberg's ability to hold the seat for the Republicans.

But first, the back story. Thanks in advance to DownWithTyranny for some good blogging.

Wikipedia describes the General Services Administration (GSA) with this:
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops governmentwide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks. Its stated mission is to "help federal agencies better serve the public by offering, at best value, superior workplaces, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies."
Basically, they help make our federal government operate more efficiently and smoothly by organizing resources. It sounds like a great idea. And it's supposed to be nonpartisan, too, based on the 1939 Hatch Act, which sets limitations on what political roles federal employees and agencies may play.

So, suppose there's an event held for the GSA described as a "teambuilding" event, and a slideshow produced by the White House Office of Political Affairs is presented. It seems a little suspicious, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Now, suppose that slide show reviews the data from the 2006 elections, with historical comparisons. Kind of an odd thing for "teambuilding," I guess...

Then, suppose the slide show proceeded to include slides titled things like "2008 House Targets: Top 20" (oddly enough, featuring only Democrats) and "2008 House GOP Defense". Are you starting to get suspicious?

Are you even more suspicious if the head of the GSA, Lurita Doan, is quoted as saying, "How can we use different GSA projects, building opening and the like, to further aid other Republicans?" or "How can we use GSA to help our candidates in the next election?"

Nah, there's nothing about that at all which could be seen as improper or unethical.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been looking at that, and there's an excellent 10-minute video from it here. It's a little scandal that might not get noticed with everything else going on, but you should know about it. You can see the slide show for yourself here (.pdf).

But we're straying from the focus of this blog, and I apologize for that. Where does Congressman Walberg come in to this?

Walberg's name is on the slide titled "2008 House GOP Defense" (page 10 of the slide show pdf), under the column "Secondary Defense".

Let's see if we can make them bump him up to "Priority Defense" by the time November 2008 comes around.

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(For those curious, two more Michigan Republicans-- Vern Ehlers, MI-03, and Joe Knollenberg, MI-09, are also listed, with asteriks suggesting they might retire.)

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Give me a break!

If the White House is truly concerned about the 7th, why, oh why, did they work to elect Walberg and why did they work so hard to defeat Schwarz?

Rove is still bitter about McCain winning Michigan in 2000 and took it out on Schwarz. He probably now realizes what a baffoon Walberg is and what a huge tactical error they made.

The White House, realistically, couldn't care less about the 7th. It's just another seat they are going to forfeit in 2008 and they realize it.

It will be a very interesting race in 08. We owe it to ourselves to put anyone but Walberg in office, be it Republican, Democrat or Independent.

With the BS from both sides of the aisle, I'm leaning toward the independent.

You said, "If the White House is truly concerned about the 7th, why, oh why, did they work to elect Walberg and why did they work so hard to defeat Schwarz?"

I'm sorry to be blunt, but you don't know what you are talking about. The President endorsed Schwarz and Joe made a big deal about it, remember he was proud to have voted 80 to 85% of the time with Bush. So did most of the Republicans in Congress.

To all you Schwarz fans, Joe lost for two reasons. One, he ran an awful campaign. Two, the republicans who vote in the primary are too far to the right to elect Joe.

Forget about Joe. He can not win this district again as a Rep. a Dem or as an independent. Time to get off his wagon and support the Dem who will take Tim out.
Doug, you give us two reasons why Schwarz lost. A horrible campaign and a hopeless fight. If it were truly hopeless, how can you deny that he could conceivably win as a D or an independant?

I am upset that, if what you say is true, honest life-long public servants like Joe Schwarz are unelectable in this district. I do not like the thought of that and if I got the chance, I'd vote for Joe against anyone to prove that thinking wrong.
Anonymous said, "honest life-long public servants like Joe Schwarz are unelectable in this district".

Honest servants can be elected in the 7th just not a Republican. Joe's problem is that he is a Republican who is not in the main stream of his party that votes in the district.

We have Walberg because decent voters in the District did not understand that Joe was going to loose and that only a strong Democrat could take out Tim. It is time for Independents and Republicans who do not agree with Walberg to realize that the Republican Party is not what you thought it was. It is time to come home, back home for some, to the Democrats.
We have Walberg because Schwarz's geographic base was napping on primary day. Moderate GOP voters were caught with their pants down around their ankles. Now, before you laugh too hard, I want to offer one bit of evidence that it is even more true of the dems. Walberg was the GOP nominee in 06, but Renier has won the past 2 dem primaries. I have said this many times before--Renier is as much of a radical, fringe democrat as Walberg is a radical, fringe republican. Why do you believe the democrat party is any better than the GOP? By your logic, the list of people not in the mainstream of the dem party voters include Wilson, Walker, Strack, Ream and Campbell. Wassup?
Napping with the money that was spent and 4 to 5 fliers in my mail box each day from Joe and Tim, I don't think so. The only reason Joe won in 04 was the right wing vote got split many times.

You are correct about Sharon. The problem with the Dems is that very few thought we could win this district. That has changed because the district is changing. With a strong well funded candidate a Dem will win this district.
"That has changed because the district is changing."

I don't know that the district is changing all that much. I think the national mood on election day '06 was anti-GOP. I still don't believe it can be attributed, especially in our district, to a pro-Dem feeling.

But, if the district is just starting to change, wouldn't the next step along the partisan scale be more electable (moderate republican) than even a moderate dem or radical dem?
Where is the evidence for that? Why didn't that mean a win for Joe in the primary?

On the other hand, Eaton County Commission has a dem majority for the first time ever. In Calhoun Dems have a 5-2 majority. Granholm and Stabenow both won in the district.

Like the nation the 7th is trending Dem.
Joe didn't win the GOP primary because only because a few very motivated minority blocks showed up in force for Walberg. I don't know the ins and outs of the dem party so well, but I'd guess Renier's success in 04 and 06 have something to do with her turning out some of the dem party's fringe elements. I personally thought Strack was clearly the best candidate this year and Walker in 04, but neither of them seemed to be able to muster much in the way of support (financial or in the ballot box.)

To say the 06 election signals a Dem trend might be short-sighted. I still think there was some serious anti-GOP sentiment which swept out a ton of GOP officials on many levels. Not so much that the dems did anything right, but more of a "throw the bums out" protest.
Renier won because no one had any money, very few knew any of them, voters got in the voting booth and remembered her name from 04 and she was the only women. No evidence there was any fringe vote in fact if there was it most likely went to Ream.
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