Thursday, April 10, 2008

A ROMP With Tim Walberg

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a program called "Red to Blue," in which they pick districts with strong Democratic candidates or weak Republicans (or both) and provide additional attention. This is purely offense, seeking to, well, turn "red" districts "blue" and elect more Democrats. (The incumbent protection program is called "Frontline.")

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Schauer, a Democratic candidate in the Michigan 7th, was selected for the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program for 2008.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the DCCC's counterpart, doesn't exactly have the same sort of thing that they publicize. However, Daily Kos front-page blogger brownsox brings us this:

It’s not uncommon for congressional leaders to steer fundraising assistance to party candidates who are in difficult races and in need of extra campaign cash. One such effort is the House Republicans’ “ROMP,” an acronym for Regain Our Majority Program, which has released its latest list of Republican candidates who will benefit from additional aid because they are politically vulnerable and/or have been targeted by the Democrats for defeat.

“ROMP 2008,” presently overseen by the political operation of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio, was recently established in papers filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). These records identify the 10 newest recipients of the program’s assistance.

These candidates make up the first batch of ROMP candidates named this year, and the third since the current election cycle began in the 2007-08 cycle. The new recipients’ election contests are outlined below.

(Emphasis added.)

In his post, brownsox is kind enough to give both the list and a startling observation:

Rep. Michelle Bachmann, MN-06
Rep. Vito Fossella, NY-13
Rep. Sam Graves, MO-06
Rep. Ric Keller, FL-08
Anne Northup, KY-03
Erik Paulsen, MN-03
Rep. Bill Sali, ID-01
Rep. Jean Schmidt, OH-02
Rep. Tim Walberg, MI-07
Darren White, NM-01

Notice that this ROMP program, ostensibly focused on regaining the Republican majority, seems disproportionately tilted towards protecting incumbent Republican Reps. In fact, out of these 10 districts where the elephants hope to ROMP, exactly one is currently held by a Democrat, John Yarmuth of Kentucky's 3rd District.

I find this to be a novel and fascinating method of Regaining Their Majority; by not targeting Democratic-held seats. I wish them the best of luck with this; I'm sure it's going to work out just splendidly. Keep avoiding the Dem-held seats, and they oughta have that ol' majority back in no time flat.

Hmm... In addition to having only $5 million cash-on-hand, while the DCCC has $38 million cash-on-hand, things don't look great for House Republicans in terms of regaining that majority.

And, in case you didn't notice it, our very own Congressman Tim Walberg made it to the ROMP list. This is a district which George W. Bush carried with 54 percent (2004), Joe Schwarz carried with 58 percent (2004), and Nick Smith carried with almost 60 percent (2002). And House Republicans think Tim Walberg has a good chance of losing it.

Hey, 7th District Republicans! I hear that Clark Bisbee is interested in running! Are you sure you want to stick with Walberg?

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Clark Bisbee is not going to run. No one is dumb enough to put themselves up against Walberg in a republican primary.

Walberg has shown he will go to the deepest depths of the gutter to destroy opponents and why would any sane person subject themselves to that treatment.

Our only hope of removing him is Schauer. Schauer has proven he will do whatever it takes to win this seat. He locked Renier out of the party the past two cycles and has pushed all the other good candidates out of this election (Berryman and Nacht.) Schauer has the tenacity to take on Walberg. The party is behind him. His chances are slim, but he is our best shot. It will be a classic case of two partisan hacks fighting for our vote. Both will have difficulty attracting moderates and both will get support from their home bases. I predict Eaton and Washtenaw will be the hot battle groud areas. If Schauer can distance himself from the governor and the idiots in Washington, he could win. If Walberg can hitch on to McCain, he could cruise to re-election. I don't think either of them are that smart so it will probably be Walberg in another squeaker.

Lucky us...
Walberg may have an issue hitching up to the McCain campaign in case you've forgotten about his campaign against McCain's buddy Joe Schwarz...
Walberg and McCain need each other... It is one of the sickest stories playing out in politics and we have a front row seat. Walberg's base are the hard core Christian funtamentalists who are loyal to no party. He pulls together a rag-tag group of radicals to the right of most republicans for the primary, then squeaks out a November win by, through no cause of his own, running against radical liberals and relying on the majority of the district being just right of center. McCain is having tons of trouble with the hard core right wing, but does well especially in Michigan with the middle of the road crowd.

Both are smart and both are vulnerable. I'd bet multiple body parts that you will see McCain and Walberg campaigning together this year.
Oh, and I forgot the major policy issue they are lock step on.


McCain understands the military and has a plan. He lived the military. He has spent his life surrounding himself with the military. He knows what we are capable of and seems to know what we have done wrong and what we need to do to make it right. (Whether you agree or not with him, you have to admit he is coming from some position of authority.)

And Walberg, he is a lemming when it comes to a republican president and his war policy. (To spend any more time on Walberg's war stance is an insult to people who have actually thought out their war stances.)
"Both are smart and both are vulnerable. I'd bet multiple body parts that you will see McCain and Walberg campaigning together this year."

I seriously doubt McCain will ever do anything for Walberg beyond meaningless party platitudes.

He knows too much about what happened here in 06 and he has little respect for him IMHO.

How can you call Walberg smart? He's a pawn of the worst people in Washington today. Schauer will win and I think the GOP has pretty much recognized and accepted that. The 7th will be irrelevant for to the GOP. I think they will me much more concerned with other races around the nation and will write this off.
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