With Bush staying away from the KY6 special election (his appearances apparently help Democrat Chandler's numbers), Republican Alice Forgy Kerr had to settle for a visit from House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Hastert, carrying his standard GOP playbook, tried to help Kerr the only way he knows how -- by threatening the district.
U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pledged for the first time yesterday that he would push a tobacco buyout plan to the House floor -- but only if Republican Alice Forgy Kerr is elected to Congress.
Tobacco growers attending the $50-a-head Kerr-sponsored event in Lexington applauded Hastert's remarks. A Kentucky Farm Bureau representative was more reserved, saying the group was encouraged but would fight for a buyout regardless of who wins the Feb. 17 special election for Gov. Ernie Fletcher's vacant 6th District seat [...]
Jason Sauer, spokesman for Chandler's campaign, said he could not comment on Hastert's specific words.
"But if it's a political condition being put on something as important to farmers across Kentucky and the country, then that's unfortunate," he said. "That's playing politics with the farmers of America. And that seems beneath the office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives."
Beneath the office of the Speaker? Nah, given that the Speaker is a Republican, it's more of the same ol'. Have we forgotten this
Texas Rep. Ralph Hall switched parties Friday night, filing for re-election as a Republican after nearly a quarter-century as one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress.
"I've always said that if being a Democrat hurt my district I would switch or I would resign," Hall said in an interview with The Associated Press. He said GOP leaders had recently refused to place money for his district in a spending bill and "the only reason I was given was I was a Democrat."
Problem is, people don't generally like to be threatened. And it can't help a Kerr campaign that -- while it's outspending the Democrats -- is running behind Democrat Chandler -- 10 points according to a recent SurveyUSA poll
(PDF). (Campaign internals allegedly show similar numbers).
In a particularly ironic twist, Hastert has also blasted Chandler's claims that he'll be an independent voice in Congress.
Chandler, meanwhile, stresses that he would be an "independent voice" in Congress, free of special interest influence and partisan pressures.
Hastert yesterday challenged that argument, saying that if Chandler disagrees with his party's leadership too often, he risks losing positions on committees or support for bills.
"You don't get a chance to be independent. You're isolated," he said.
In the Republican caucus, that much is true. And in that regard, Kerr is Hastert's dream date.
Indeed, as a state senator, Kerr voted with Senate President David Williams 99.5 percent of the time. She is the perfect GOoPer automaton. There isn't a single self-thinking bone in her body. She lives to take orders.
So think about that if you're mulling the possibility of dropping a a bit of coin into the race.
Yeah, it'd be great to win back a seat in a red state. Yeah, it would be great to pick up some mo' and give Bush a black eye early. Yeah it would be great to add to the GOP's growing malaise, as the chickens start coming home to roost. And yeah, it would be nice for the Dems to finally pick up a special election House seat (the first since 1991, if you can believe it).
Those are all great reasons to help give Chandler the help he needs to close out this race. But the best reason?
Kerr would be attached to DeLay's hip. We're talking clone. 99.5 percent. And anything that helps prevent that is worth $20.01.