It is not a final victory, but it is a very satisfying accomplishment.
I am very happy.
Of the Abramoff 65, 18 have been defeated, 5 are in still too close call and the rest are on notice for 2008 and beyond.
This is great! And the exit polls tell us that "corruption" was a factor in the GOP's defeat. And so do GOP shrills like Rich Lowry:
The "culture of corruption" was real. [snip]
Voters took a good whiff of the odor emanating from Washington and some of their Republican representatives, and recoiled.
The stink is still there. Some of the worst Republican scoundrels were re-elected--some by tight margins and others by 15 points or more.
It is VERY important that we keep the pressure up. We can not let the notion of Republican corruption become a mid-term election fad.
Abramoff related indictments are coming. And then there is the fall-out from the Foley Scandal, the Cunningham scandal and the many others waiting in the wings.
Join me on the jump to review our victories and what's next...
Last Tuesday's election was a milestone. Revulsion at the Republican Culture of Corruption was second only to the war in Iraq in motivating voters to fire the Republican Congress and send a message to George W. Bush.
I like to think that my Diaries and work with campaigns and reporters might have had a hand in bringing the corruption issue to the surface.
We did a great job this year and I want to THANK everybody who ran and those who worked so hard on these campaigns.
We had some victories and quite a few losses. Like many others I adopted a few races and their loss hit me pretty hard. I have a hard time accepting that both John Doolittle and Dennis Hastert are still in Congress. My only consolation is that they will not serve out their terms. The reality of their corruption will force resignations and special elections. They will not be alone.
Of the seats we lost, some were close and some were not. In any case these losses are important steps on the road to long-range victory. These campaigns have proven the importance of showing up to do battle. And all of the corrupt Republicans who made the Abramoff 65 are on notice.
We have two years to highlight and expand on their corruption.
I know is that Jack Abramoff will lead many more Republicans to defeat. I would not be surprised to have more than 65 Republicans with an Abramoff problem in 2008.
And that doesn't even count special elections (like the one after Doolittle is indicted).
Many Republican Presidential candidates will have ties to Abramoff (Gingrich and McCain easily come to mind) and then there is the GOP infrastructure, the Reeds, Roves, Armeys and Norquists of the world. We need to loudly proclaim their deep, deep connections to Abramoff and Republican corruption.
But first a review of how the Abramoff 65 made out on Tuesday. They divide into three groups:
Five Too Close to Call
They are still counting votes in these races. Some will break our way. Some will not. Any Republican who survives is a major target for 2008. Some (Barbara Cubin comes to mind) will be beset by their scandal connections over the next two years. Here are the toss-ups:
CT-02: Joe Courtney (D) [50%] is 166 votes ahead of Rob Simmons (R) [50%]
GA-12: John Barrow (D) [50.31%] is 889 votes ahead of Max Burns (R) [49.69%]
NC-08: Larry Kissell (D) [50%] is 449 votes behind Robin Hayes (R) [50%]
NM-01: Patricia Madrid (D) [50%] is 1487 votes behind Heather Wilson (R) [50%]
WY-AL: Gary Trauner (D) [48%] is 970 vote behind Barbara Cubin (R) [48%]
18 Democratic Victories
There is a lot to be happy about in these victories. Hayworth, Pombo, Burns, Taylor and Sweeney easily come to mind. And who isn't smiling about Santorum, Allen and Talent. The Culture of Corruption play a big role in electing these Democrats. Congratulations to everybody who worked so hard to elect the folks. Thank you and cheers for these wins:
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell (D) [50%] defeats the corrupt JD Hayworth (R) [46%]
CA-11: Jerry McNerney (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt Richard Pombo (R) [47%]
IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D) [54%] defeats the corrupt Jim Nussle (R) [45%]
IN-02: Joe Donnelly (D) [54%] defeats the corrupt Chris Chocola (R) [46%]
KY-03: John Yarmuth (D) [51%] defeats the corrupt Anne Northup (R) [48%]
MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt Bobby Ehrlich (R) [46%]
MN-01: Tim Walz (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt Gilbert Gutknecht (R) [47%]
MO-SEN: Claire McCaskill (D) [50%] defeats the corrupt Jim Talent (R) [47%]
MT-SEN: Jon Tester (D) [49%] defeats the corrupt Conrad Burns (R) [48%]
NC-11: Heath Shuler (D) [54%] defeats the corrupt Charles Taylor (R) [46%]
NY-20: Kirsten Gillibrand (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt John Sweeney (R) [47%]
OH-18: Zack Space (D) [62%] defeats the corrupt Ney/Padgett (R) [38%]
OK-Gov: Brad Henry (D) 67%] defeats the corrupt Ernest Istook (R) 33%]
PA-10: Chris Carney (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt Don Sherwood (R) [47%]
PA-SEN: Bob Casey (D) [59%] defeats the corrupt Rick Santorum (R) [41%]
TX-22: Nick Lampson (D) [52%] defeats the corrupt DeLay/Sekula-Gibbs (R) [42%]
VA-SEN: Jim Webb (D) [50%] defeats the corrupt George Allen (R) [49%]
WI-Gov: Jim Doyle (D) [53%] defeats the corrupt Mark Green (R) [45%]
42 Republican Targets for 2008 and beyond
It looks like two thirds of the Abramoff 65 will be re-elected. There was some heartbreak in these races, like Doolittle narrowly defeating Charlie Brown. And some of the worst supporters of Abramoff's efforts to protect a system of sweatshops, human trafficking, force prostitution and forced abortion on the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands (CNMI) won by wide margins.
To those who ran against these corrupt scoundrels: Thank you. And a big tip of my hat to all of you who fought to elect Democrats in your Republican represented districts. You have my thanks and I hope we can provide more resources and support in the coming years.
Democrats can win these seats. NOW is the time to start working to reverse these defeats:
AK-AL: Diane Benson (D) [40%] was defeated by the corrupt Don Young (R) [57%]
AL-Gov: Lucy Baxley (D) [42%] was defeated by the corrupt Bob Riley (R) [58%]
CA-04: Charlie Brown (D) [46%] was defeated by the corrupt John Doolittle (R) [49%]
CA-19: TJ Cox (D) [40%] was defeated by the corrupt George Radanovich (R) [60%]
CA-41: Louie Contreras (D) [33%] was defeated by the corrupt Jerry Lewis (R) [67%]
CA-44: Louis Vandenberg (D) [38%] was defeated by the corrupt Ken Calvert (R) [59%]
CA-46: Jim Brandt: (D) 37%] was defeated by the corrupt Dana Rohrbacher: (R) 59%]
CA-50: Francine Busby (D) [43%] was defeated by the corrupt Brian Bilbray: (R) 53%]
CA-52: John Rinaldi (D) [32%] was defeated by the corrupt Duncan Hunter (R) [65%]
CO-04: Angie Paccione (D) [43%] was defeated by the corrupt Marilyn Musgrave (R) [46%]
CO-06: Bill Winter (D) [40%] was defeated by the corrupt Tom Tancredo (R) [59%]
FL-24: Chet Culver (D) [42%] was defeated by the corrupt Tom Feeney (R) [58%]
GA-01: Jim Nelson (D) [32%] was defeated by the corrupt Jack Kingston (R) [68%]
GA-06: Steve Stinton (D) [28%] was defeated by the corrupt Tom Price (R) [72%]
IL-06: Tammy Duckworth (D) [49%] was defeated by the corrupt Peter Roskam (R) [51%]
IL-14: John Laesch (D) [40%] was defeated by the corrupt Denny Hastert (R) [60%]
IN-05: Katherine Carr (D) [32%] was defeated by the corrupt Dan Burton (R) [65%]
MI-08: Jim Marcinkowski (D) [43%] was defeated by the corrupt Mike Rogers (R) [55%]
MI-09: Nancy Skinner (D) [46%] was defeated by the corrupt Joe Knoellenberg (R) [52%]
MO-06: Sara Shettles (D) [36%] was defeated by the corrupt Sam Graves (R) [61%]
MO-07: Jack Truman (D) [30%] was defeated by the corrupt Roy Blunt (R) [67%]
MS-03: No Democratic Opponent ensured the re-election of the corrupt Chip Pickering (R) [78%]
MT-AL: Monica Lindeen (D) [39%] was defeated by the corrupt Dennis Rehberg (R) [59%]
NJ-03: Rich Sexton (D) [41%] was defeated by the corrupt Jim Saxton (R) [58%]
NJ-07: Linda Stender (D) [48%] was defeated by the corrupt Mike Ferguson (R) [49%]
NJ-11: Tom Wyka (D) [37%] was defeated by the corrupt Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) [63%]
NV-03: Tessa Hafen (D) [47%] was defeated by the corrupt Jon Porter (R) [48%]
NV-SEN: Jack Carter (D) [41%] was defeated by the corrupt John Ensign (R) [55%]
OH-14: Lewis Katz (D) [39%] was defeated by the corrupt Steven LaTourette (R) [58%]
PA-03: Steve Porter (D) [42%] was defeated by the corrupt Philip English (R) [54%]
PA-06: Lois Murphy (D) [49%] was defeated by the corrupt Jim Gerlach (R) [51%]
SC-03: Lee Ballenger (D) [37%] was defeated by the corrupt J. Gresham Barrett (R) [67%]
TN-02: John Greene (D) [22%] was defeated by the corrupt John 'Jimmy' Duncan (R) [78%]
TX-04: Glenn Melancon (D) [33%] was defeated by the corrupt Ralph Hall (R) [65%]
TX-12: John Morris (D) [31%] was defeated by the corrupt Kay Granger (R) [67%]
TX-32: Will Pryor (D) [41%] was defeated by the corrupt Pete Sessions (R) [57%]
UT-03: Christian Burridge (D) [32%] was defeated by the corrupt Chris Cannon (R) [58%]
VA-05: Al Weed (D) [40%] was defeated by the corrupt Virgil Goode (R) [59%]
VA-07: Jim Nachman (D) [34%] was defeated by the corrupt Eric Cantor (R) [64%]
VA-11: Andrew Hurst (D) [44%] was defeated by the corrupt Tom Davis (R) [55%]
WA-05: Peter Goldmark (D) [45%] was defeated by the corrupt Cathy McMorris (R) [55%]
WV-02: Mike Callaghan (D) [43%] was defeated by the corrupt Shelly Capito (R) [57%]
These are a lot of races to loose, but still the results fill me with some hope for 2008. Many of these Republicans had their closest race ever. Many of these "safe" GOP seats were below 60%. Here is where the 50 State strategy combined with a focus on Republican corruption can have an impact on 2008. More money and attention to these seats will force the GOP to compete in more places. Recruiting strong Democratic challengers will also be important. All of these Republicans should face serious well-funded opposition from now on. If we keep the pressure on, some of these folks will retire, some will be defeated and some will be indicted.
We need to start working now to ensure their defeat. It is time to plot our take-over of the 111th Congress.
With more support, we will win some of these races come 2008. If we are to win, we must share the knowledge gained in this cycle.
Many of us got involved in the 2006 election late in the game. Many campaigns faced long odds with little support from the DNC and other National organizations. All of us learned valuable things.
It is time to harness that energy and learning.
I propose that we start a "Project 111" to organize, train and fund candidates for victory in 2008 and membership in the 111th Congress.
We have a tremendous base of knowledge and experience. It is important to harness, honor and use that base of power for future victories.
Some candidates will run again. Some will not, but all campaigns and their supporters have insights into what kind of resources, training and funding will be needed to win in 2008.
Research is key to keeping the "Republican Culture of Corruption" narrative alive over the next two years. The Abramoff story is not going away. We need to be prepared to use this and other scandals as we work to govern in the 110th Congress and prepare to win more seats in 2008.
Perhaps this could be a topic for the Yearly Kos.
Still all in all, last Tuesday was a very good day. Many Republican ideas have never faced oversight of a serious testing in the marketplace of ideas. This accountability moment is long overdue.
My thanks to one and all for all the hard work that led to this new day in America.