Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


February 9, 2006

"I think Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr., if there is to be any anger from above looking down at that event, it would be from them," Rush Limbaugh said. "For a former president [Jimmy Carter], no less, to take these cheap partisan shots, makes the Democrats look like the angry people that they really are ... mean-spirited, discourteous and wrong."

"It's clear that Hillary Clinton does not understand that anger is not an agenda," said Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz. "While the junior senator from New York is busy attacking our commander-in-chief, the president is focused on taking the fight to the terrorists. ... It's a pre-9/11 world view."

all Democrats are asking is that "we don't turn this country into a country like Iran, where the president of Iran can do everything he wants at any time," Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said.

"If I thought that running for Senate would bring our young people home more quickly I would do it in a minute, but I am not convinced that that would do so," Cindy Sheehan said.

"I'm particularly pleased to be sharing this panel with my pen pal, John McCain," Obama (D-IL) said at a Senate hearing. "And I look forward to working with him on this very important work."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Where are the Democrats?

In further proof that the Democrats are not keen on national defense, a group of forty Democrat veterans took to the Capitol steps. However, the National Democrat Party was not present, according to the Boston Globe:

But the candidates, many of whom are political neophytes, also declared their independence from the national party establishment.

Several candidates complained that they have received only lukewarm support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party's apparatus to recruit and promote promising House candidates. The veterans said the DCCC has embraced only those candidates taking on obviously vulnerable incumbents. They complained that the national party isn't capitalizing on their military credentials.

The Republican response was:

The National Republican Campaign Committee dismissed yesterday's events as theatrics and said they underscored how desperate Democrats are to convince voters they can protect the nation.

NRCC spokesman Ed Patru said that 38 Republican congressional challengers have served in uniform, but ''we don't broadcast that because we don't have a credibility gap in terms of security issues."

Patru said the Democrats ''have a problem on the most important policy of the day. The public just doesn't trust Democrats to keep America safe."

Reid caught lying

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has consistently stated that no Democrat was involved in the lobbyist Jack Abramoff scandal. However, the Associated Press is reporting that Reid provided important help to the Abramoff lobbying team:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.

One of Reidís legislative counsels -- Edward Ayoob -- was helpful to the Abramoff lobbying team in assisting with the firmís foreign account of the Marinas. Ayoob was not the only member of Reidís staff to be helpful to Abramoff --  Reid's chief of staff Susan McCue was also very helpful, according to the AP story:

In January 2002, McCue took a free trip, valued at $7,000, to Malaysia with several other congressional aides. The trip, cleared by Senate ethics officials, was underwritten by the U.S. Malaysia Exchange Association, a group trying to foster better relations between the United States and Malaysia.

The trips were part of a broader lobbying strategy by Malaysia, which consulted with Abramoff and paid $300,000 to a company connected to him, according to documents released by Senate investigators. The arrangements included a trip by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his wife to Malaysia in October 2001.

Reidís personal involvement was also extensive according to the AP:

On Nov. 8, 2002, the Nevada Democrat signed a letter with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein urging Interior Secretary Gale Norton to reject a proposal by the Cuyapaipe Band of Mission Indians to convert land for a health clinic into a casino in southern California.

The casino would have competed with the Palm Springs gambling establishment run by the Agua Caliente, one of Abramoff's tribes.

Two weeks later, Reid went to the Senate floor to oppose fellow Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow's effort to win congressional approval for a Michigan casino for the Bay Mills Indians, which would have rivaled one already operating by the Saginaw Chippewa represented by Abramoff.

"The legislation is fundamentally flawed," Reid argued, successfully leading the opposition to Stabenow's proposal.

The next month, Reid joined six other Democratic senators in asking President Bush in mid-December 2002 to spend an additional $30 million for Indian school construction. Several Abramoff tribes, including the Saginaw and the Mississippi Choctaw, were seeking federal money for school building.

2008 Caucus/Primary Schedule

The Union Leader writes about the upcoming Democrat meeting to decide the fate of the 2008 presidential selection process:

The DNCís Rules and ByLaws Committee will take up the fate of the New Hampshire primary on March 11 in Washington.

The rules committee will act on the Dec. 5 recommendation of the DNCís calendar commission to place one or two caucuses between the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, plus one or two caucuses after New Hampshire but before all other states can hold events.

It is expected to back the report but will probably decide whether one or two events will be held between Iowa and New Hampshire, which could be a key factor in determining how New Hampshire officials react.

The rules committeeís proposed rule will then be passed to the full DNC, which is expected to vote on it in April.

Harkin staff deface Wikipedia

Staff of Senator Tom Harkin altered the online viewer encyclopedia known as Wikipedia.

Wikipedia said staffers of Senator Tom Harkin had removed a paragraph relating to Harkin's having falsely claimed to have flown combat missions over North Vietnam, and his subsequent recantation. Harkin never received the Vietnam combat medal but is a Vietnam era veteran.



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