Wednesday, August 29, 2007

States to be Penalized for Holding Early Primaries

The Republican National Committee announced that any state that holds a primary prior to February 5, 2008 will be penalized by losing half of its convention delegates.

From the New York Times: "'The rules are clear,' said Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. 'Any state that holds their primary outside of the window shall be penalized delegates.' States are not allowed to hold primaries before Feb. 5."

This statement means that New Hampshire, Florida, South Carolina, Wyoming and Michigan will be penalized for holding early primaries. Two other states, Nevada and Iowa, do not fall under these guidelines because those states hold non-binding caucuses, not primaries.

There is still time for these states to adjust their primary dates to comply with RNC rules and therefore be allowed all of their delegates at the convention. However, Michigan and Florida officials believe that they will not, and should not, be penalized for holding early primaries. New Hampshire GOP Chair Fergus Cullen said the state is willing to lose half its delegates in order to maintain their status of being the state to hold the nation's first primary.

This announcement by the RNC, and subsequent actions by the states, could truly reshape the campaign season. Candidates have focused much of their attention in these states; it is typical in presidential elections that the candidate who wins in the first few states will go on to win the nomination. However, if these five states comply with RNC rules and move back to the February 5th date, candidates will have to expand their focus to emcompass approximately 20 states who will hold February 5th primaries.

Click here for a full article.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Romney's Interview on Abortion

In what has become seemingly a weekly story for Gov. Mitt Romney, he has once again confused the American public on his true stance on the issue of abortion. In an interview Tuesday in Nevada, Romney stated that he supports letting states make their own decisions regarding laws on abortion. He stated:
"My view is that the Supreme Court has made an error in saying at the national
level one size fits all for the whole nation... Instead, I would let states
make their choices."

Earlier in August, Romney stated his support for legislation that would ensure that the protections of the 14th amendment applied to the unborn, essentially making it impossible for Nevadans to hold onto their state's right to legal abortion.

John Ralston, who interviewed Romney Tuesday, commented following the interview. According to this article in the Washington Post, Ralston said:
"I thought that was a perfect example of Mitt Romney trying to thread a needle
that's very difficult to thread...I don't see how you can be antiabortion, be in
favor of a constitutional amendment and be in favor of states' rights. . . . I
don't see how you do it."

Romney has further proved his willingness to abandon his own "principles" to fit the mold of the people he addresses at any one time. His consistent flip-flopping on this one issue should translate into mistrust of his positions on other issues.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Michigan, Arizona Change Primary Dates

Arizona Govenor Janet Napolitano confirmed Tuesday that the state will officially move its presidential primary date to February 5, 2008 joining roughly 20 other states. This move gives Arizona, a state moving further left, more clout in the election battle. This is also the home state of Senator John McCain, who trails largely in nationwide polls against Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson. Thompson has not officially declared himself a candidate.

In addition, Michigan may decide this week to move its primary to as early as January 8th or 15th. Republicans and Democrats have agreed to work together and make a unanimous decision on their primary date. Because New Hampshire state law says that the state must hold its primary seven days before a similar contest, New Hampshire could hold its primary in the opening days of the year, thereby forcing Iowa to hold its caucuses in December.

Stay tuned to for update on these developing stories.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Congresswoman Pryce Will Not Seek Re-Election

Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is expected to announce today that she will not seek re-election in 2008. Her announcement comes after several other Republicans announced, or are expected to announce, that they will retire from Congress as well. Those members include Dennis Hastert of Illinois (who will make a statement Friday) and Rep. Ray LaHood whose statement was made in July.

Congresswoman Pryce was the 4th highest-ranking Republican prior to the Party losing its majority status in the 2006 midterm elections and herself faced a difficult election battle against Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. Pryce won by a small margin after a recount took place. Kilroy is already planning another run in 2008.

Rep. Pryce has been a strong moderate Republican throughout her tenure in Congress and her voice will be missed by real Republicans across the nation.

For a full story, click here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Results of the Iowa Straw Poll

Former MA Governor Mitt Romney finished first in this weekend's straw poll in Iowa-- an expected victory. Romney, who received 32% of the vote, was trailed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who got 18% and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas with 15%. Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo came in fourth with 14% and former WI Governor Tommy Thompson came in with 7%. Thompson later dropped out of the presidential race; he had said earlier that he would do so if he did not finish in the top two.

Notably missing from the fray were Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain, who both opted to not participate in the straw poll and instead have chosen to focus their efforts on the early primary states. The results of the straw poll are not binding, meaning essentially that they count only as a measure of public opinion. Each ticket to "vote" in the poll costs $35-- a pricey expense that campaigns and candidates are able to pay for and distribute to their supporters. Governor Romney has spent the most of any other candidate in the state of Iowa, including funds of advertising and getting supporters to participate in Saturday's poll. He is currently leading in polls in Iowa but trails Giuliani and Fred Thompson on the national scale and in polls specified to other early primary states, such as South Carolina and California.

Click here for a complete story.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Race to be First

In the race to hold the first presidential primary/caucus in the nation in the 2008 election, South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson announced today that he has moved his state's primary up to January 19th. Previously, the primary was scheduled for January 29th. Dawson made the announcement in New Hampshire, traditionally the site of the nation's first primary, following the Iowa caucuses.

In response to this, Iowa Governor Chet Culver recommitted his state to being first in tha nation, which means the caucuses could be held in Iowa in late December. In a statement, Culver said:

“All I can tell you is that as governor, I’ll do everything in my power to
make sure Iowa has the first caucus in the nation. I’m confident that we
will... We will do whatever we have to do to protect Iowa,” Culver said. I
don’t think as long as we give appropriate notice and timing that the date
matters a whole lot. We just need to get it set.”

Many political analysts note that if Iowa does move its causcus to December, it will lose some of its impact as the media story following it will not be as strong. With each of the candidates polling differently in each of these states, the date of each primary and caucus truly will have a huge impact on the nominating process.

Stay tuned to for more on this developing story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pander Alert!


72% of Republicans Believe in a Woman’s Right to Choose

Washington, D.C. – Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wriggled his way through Sunday’s debate in a transparent display of pandering to the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party. When questioned on his record as a pro-choice Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney did all he could to deny his past and portray himself as an opponent of choice. This comes from a man who can be seen in a 1994 Senatorial debate on YouTube burnishing his pro-choice credentials, and whose past campaign literature lauded him as “a strong supporter of a women’s rights” who “has promised to protect a woman’s right to choose.” It seems that Mr. Romney has flip-flopped on the issue of choice under the assumption that the majority of Republicans want the issue of the right to choose to be a central focus point of the GOP. This assumption is wrong. Real Republicans are far more socially tolerant that Mr. Romney believes. Recent polling from a renowned Republican polling agency suggests that his anti-choice rhetoric does not speak to the real Republican majority; rather, it is geared toward a small, vocal minority, the “super-moralists.” Here are some noteworthy findings from the poll:

• 72% of Republicans asserted the government should not play a role in controlling choices for women, believing instead that the decision to have an abortion should lie with women, their doctors, and their families.

• 53% of the Party believed that the GOP has spent too much time focusing on moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

• Within the 24% of Republicans who comprise the “moralist” wing of the Party, more than one-third of those could support a candidate who differed with them on the issue of abortion if they agreed on other issues. Thus, only 15% of the GOP is comprised of the “super-moralists”-- narrowly-focused, single issue voters for whom opposition to abortion is the primary issue driving their vote.

• An overwhelming 71% of Republicans ranked issues such as national security, balancing the budget, Social Security and education as top GOP priorities.
(Fabrizio/McLaughlin poll, June 2007)

Mr. Romney needs to wake up and smell the poll numbers. Candidates who wish to lead the country and lead in Congress must appeal to the broadest spectrum of voters, and not twist their positions and the facts to fit the mold of the far right’s obstinate ideal. Real Republicans seek to bring people together and forge common sense solutions. Real Republicans value privacy, responsibility, small government and individual liberty. Most importantly real Republicans understand that our country is at a crossroad and we need true leadership and a focus on urgent issues like the war on terror, solutions to the crisis in Iraq and reigning in government waste and spending. Now is the time for real Republicans to remember our roots, our history and our record for success in this country.

The time for pandering is over.

Monday, August 6, 2007

GOP Candidates Debate in Des Moines

Nine GOP presidential candidates gathered Sunday morning in Des Moines, IA, the site of the nation's first presidential caucus in 2008. This was the fourth debate of the election cycle for the Republican candidates, and like in past debates, the candidates for the most part stayed away from attacking one another and instead attacked both the Democratic candidates as well as some of President Bush's policies, particularly that of the Iraq war.

One of the more notable exchanges came in the opening moments on the issue of abortion. In recent weeks Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas issued attack ads against former MA Governor Mitt Romney for flip-flopping on abortion. Romney accused Brownback of sending out false information on his record; Brownback defended the attack as being entirely truthful.

For a complete synopsis of the debate click here.