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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the GOP does face a number of retirements to deal with as another congressmen joins the growing list not seeking re election )


· 6 mins ago

Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announces retirement

Fox News

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a longtime Virginia Republican congressman and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday he planned to retire from Congress. “It’s time to step aside,” Goodlatte tweeted. “I’ve decided I will not seek re-election.”


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's 65, and has served 11 terms.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retirements pose challenge as Republicans fight to keep congressional majorities

Fox News

Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona have all announced plans to retire at the end of this Congress.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona have all announced plans to retire at the end of this Congress.

The exodus of veteran Republican lawmakers from Congress could complicate efforts by the GOP to keep majorities in both the House and Senate as the 2018 midterm elections approach.

A stream of Republicans have recently announced plans to call it quits, including longtime Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who said this week he would not run for re-election.

So far this cycle, 12 Republicans in the House and two in the Senate have announced plans to retire – and others are likely to follow suit. And these numbers do not include the 13 other Republicans who have left Congress to resign, take new positions in government or run for other offices.


•Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee
•Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona
•Rep. Dave Trott, Michigan
•Rep. Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania
•Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida
•Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas
•Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas
•Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., Tennessee
•Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas
•Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey
•Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Kansas
•Rep. Dave Reichert, Washington
•Rep. Ted Poe, Texas
•Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia

The GOP retirements surpasses those of Democrats, who have seen just two retirements in the House and zero in the Senate so far this cycle. It also outpaces the number of retirements at this stage in past election cycles.

Democrats – who need to flip 24 seats to win back the House and three seats to win back the Senate – are arguing the recent GOP retirements improves their chances at flipping seats.

“In general, eliminating the power of incumbency creates a great deal of advantage for House Democratic challengers,” Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wrote in a memo this week.


But Republicans point out the number of GOP lawmakers not running for re-election still falls below the historical average for retirements in an election cycle. They also say many of the retirees represent strong Republican districts.

“This is another pipedream from the same party that’s notorious for underperforming,” said Jesse Hunt, the National Republican Congressional Committee national press secretary. “We already have a host of quality Republican candidates declared in many of these seats and we’re confident they’ll remain in our column.”

FILE - In this July 10, 2013, file photo House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte,R-Va., speaks with reporters after House Republicans worked on an approach to immigration reform in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol in Washington. A central question is whether the 11 million immigrants already in the US illegally should get a path to citizenship. "We think a legal status in the United States, but not a special pathway to citizenship, might be appropriate," says Goodlatte. He has said that after attaining legal status, immigrants could potentially use the existing avenues toward naturalization, such as family or employment ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said this week he would not run for re-election to his House seat. (Associated Press)

Goodlatte’s announcement this week follows the retirements of other influential Republican lawmakers, including Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent.

Other Republicans have said the toxic political environment has contributed to their decision to leave Congress.

The two Republican senators who are retiring -- Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake – have both had high-profile spots with President Trump.

“People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation," New Jersey Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo said as he announced his retirement this week. "Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions.”


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( there is another special election looming in rural PA in march )

Republicans chose state Rep. Rick Saccone as nominee for March 13 contest

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo

Chris Potter

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


1:06 PM

Nov 11, 2017

One half of the ballot in the special election to replace Congressman Tim Murphy in the 18th District is set: After two rounds of voting, Republicans chose state Rep. Rick Saccone of Elizabeth as their nominee for the March 13 contest.

“We got to rile up the base” to support President Donald Trump’s agenda, Mr. Saccone told over 200 “conferees” gathered Saturday morning at the Southpointe Golf Club.

Afterward, he told reporters that advancing Mr. Trump’s agenda -- on issues like increasing military investment, lowering taxes, thwarting gun regulations, and ending abortion -- was a top priority. “People expect us to fight for it and defend it, and I will,” he said.

Mr. Saccone, 59, is a strident pro-gun conservative. Since being elected to the state House in 2010, he has proposed bills to expand gun rights, limit abortion, and to advance a culturally conservative agenda that includes posting “In God we Trust” at public schools.

He triumphed over a field that, at the start of the day, featured three other Republicans: state Rep. Jason Ortitay, of Bridgeville, Allegheny County state Senator Guy Reschenthaler, of Jefferson Hills, and Westmoreland County state Senator Kim Ward of Hempfield. The district itself ranges across four counties: Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Mr. Saccone attributed his success partly to his military service -- he served as an Air Force flight mechanic and later worked in counterintelligence -- as well his experience overseas, particularly in Korea. He spent a year in North Korea as part of an effort to prevent the regime there from developing nuclear weapons, and spent 12 years in South Korea.

“One of the things people told me they were concerned about [is] national security and terrorism,” he said. “They’re worried about our country.”

But geographical considerations and personal rivalries also apparently played a role in Saturday’s outcome.

Some 215 conferees were chosen by county leaders, in proportion to the votes cast for Mr. Trump in each county last year. Winning the nomination required winning an outright majority of those votes: If no candidate cleared that bar, the candidate with the lowest number of votes was removed for the next round of voting.

Mr. Ortitay withdrew prior to balloting. On the first round of voting, Mr. Reschenthaler led with 75 votes to Mr. Saccone’s 74. Ms. Ward had 66 votes and was removed from the contest. Most of her votes evidently migrated to Mr. Saccone, who won a second ballot by a count of 123-91.

The elevation of Mr. Saccone, who boasted of having no campaign staff and had been running for Senate until Mr. Murphy resigned from the 18th District last month, stunned supporters of Mr. Reschenthaler. Many observers assumed he was the frontrunner. But there is little love lost between he and Ms. Ward, and insiders said that after losing, Ms. Ward urged her supporters in Westmoreland County to back Mr. Saccone.

Ms. Ward would only say that “I talked to them privately, but that’s going to stay private. … I think we have two really good candidates.” But she did allow that Mr. Saccone had considerable support in Westmoreland, which she described as a conservative county. “He is a very fiery guy,” she said.

As for Mr. Reschenthaler, she called him a “very nice young man.”

Mr. Reschenthaler, who called for the conferees to endorse Mr. Saccone by universal acclamation, declined to address what he called “procedural questions.”

Mr. Saccone’s selection comes days after a general election in which Republican setbacks in Virginia and elsewhere were seen as a referendum on Mr. Trump’s sagging popularity. But Val DiGiorgio, who chairs the state Republican Party, said, “In this part of the state, the president is very popular.” Mr. Saccone, he said, “has the right message for southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Kim Stolfer, the president of Second Amendment advocacy group Firearm Owners Against Crime, hailed the selection. Mr. Saccone has championed a number of pro-gun bill. “Our nation needs quality leaders with impeccable credentials,” Mr. Stolfer said. “He fits the bill in spades.”

Brandon Cwalina, press secretary of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party said in a statement, "It seems like just yesterday State Representative Rick Saccone was trying to convince Pennsylvania he should be their next US Senator. Desperate to get to D.C. and implement draconian policies on behalf of President Trump, like giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of teachers and first responders, Saccone now wants to run for Congress."

Democratic committee members will gather to recommend their own nominee next Sunday in a caucus to be held in Washington, Pa.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a normal rate of retirement for congress representatives and Senators.

I think it'd be interesting to know what percentage of these retirees are 'surprise' retirees, retiring because they see a huge struggle against the odds in primary battles? In other words, how many are casualties of the rise of Trump and the threat of Bannon?

Are Corker and Flake just a part of a larger change? Probably. But how big is the 'wave'?

Increasingly, seeing this as just a battle between the two party machines misses half the action. On the Democrats side, they are sitting on bombshells, any one of which could sink them for a generation. Their great dilemma, at this point, is that their 'right wing' is the Clinton supporters, and that wing of the party is being revealed as mind-bogglingly corrupt. (h/t Mark Steyn.) It looks like the party will fall into the hands of one of Elizabeth Warren or the aged Bernie. Both will be old enough in 2020.

It's ripe for a new face that would pull all the left-wing of the Democrats into power in the party. The thought makes me think of checking the price of gold.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting article that examines Pennsylvania for signs of the electoral future.

It's really a more valid place to start. Virginia is, after all, across the river from Washington DC. Its voters are more likely to be swamp-creatures themselves than mainstream Americans.

I have boldened what I see as the highlights.

Pennsylvania's elections tell us how worried Republicans nationwide should be
by Salena Zito | Nov 12, 2017, 12:01 AM

Pennsylvania's off-year election results are worth examining in order to take the voters' temperature one year out from Donald Trump's historic win here that few predicted, and one year away from the 2018 midterm elections. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

YORK, Pa. — A convicted felon-turned-environmental activist registered as a Democrat but running as a Republican defeated the black female Democratic incumbent in York's mayoral race on Election Day last week.

And he did it with a local coalition of Bernie Sanders and Republican supporters and a breakdown of trust in the leadership of the incumbent mayor.

This was perhaps the Keystone State's most eye-catching result, but more broadly, Pennsylvania's off-year election results are worth examining in order to take the voters' temperature one year out from Donald Trump’s historic win here that few predicted, and one year away from the 2018 midterm elections.

Why is Pennsylvania important? Well, because what is brewing here serves as a microcosm of what is brewing across the country. If Republican House candidates, who hold a 13-5 majority in the congressional delegation, are starting to lose favor with voters here, nationally the Democrats are on their way to a celebratory election night one year from now. In short, the path to the House majority in Congress runs straight across Pennsylvania.

But this is also a place where indicators of how state legislative bodies across the country — those key down ballot seats that Republicans have been winning for nearly a decade — will hold up. As well as the Trump coalition.

Democrats won some key local races in the environs of Philadelphia and its suburbs — some of which broke historic records. Those wins were affected by local issues like building a new school in Lancaster, but Republicans nonetheless found themselves on the wrong side of voter sentiment.

Wisdom dictates to a political party’s psyche that you never dismiss local election results having a direct impact on larger races; if you aren’t in touch on the most local level, that's going to affect state House and Senate seats as well as congressional races.

Truth be told, if a wave is coming, you are still going to get swept away by it if your party nationally has lost favor, even if you do everything else right.

Statewide, Democrats suffered a marquee loss here in the Supreme Court race when former Pittsburgh Steeler Dwayne Woodruff lost to Republican Sallie Mundy.

They were also in spirit on the losing side of a statewide referendum on whether local taxing authorities should be able to exempt residents from paying property taxes on their homes. That anti-tax sentiment is a good sign for Republicans.

Where Democrats were really energized was in local races in the Philadelphia collar counties, where candidates ran solid campaigns with good local messaging — a move that was very reflective of the gains that Republicans made in 2009 with a similar local emphasis.

Simply put, when candidates focus on policies that impact localities and accomplishments, and not culture wars, they win elections.
One place Democrats did use an anti-Trump sentiment to win was in a Delaware County Council election, where for the first time in history they won two seats. Campaign signs reading read, “Vote Nov 7th Against Trump” and “Vote Nov 7th: Bring Sanity Back” littered the leafy suburban neighborhoods ahead of the race.

But that is really not very much of an indicator that this was a breakdown of the Trump coalition; Delaware County went strong for Hillary Clinton in 2016 giving her nearly 60 percent of their support and those two county council races were razor thin.

So, is it time for the GOP to panic? Have the big Republicans local majorities in Pennsylvania overstayed their welcome? Become complacent? Damaged by Trump? Angered that the Republican Congress ha gotten nothing done?

All of those things are very possible but should also not be overstated. The Philly suburbs may just be continuing their Blue trend. And historically, the party who holds the White House tends to do poorly in the midterms.

Democrats did much better than predicted in local elections like the school board election in Manheim Township in Lancaster, where turnout on the issue of whether the community should build a new middle school or not drove up the turnout to nearly 45 percent in the city (across the state the average turnout was under 25 percent). That makes it really hard to say Democrats were motivated to make an anti-Trump statement.

What that tells you right now is that for Democrats to be successful in down-ballot races across the state is that they need to run candidates who are keyed in locally and focus on an economic message — an anti-Trump campaign will not win them back working-class voters.

They also need to gin up turnout in Eastern Pennsylvania to offset the redder West.

Most importantly, they need to offer a tangible economic benefit that outweighs Trump's successes on the economy — so forget the free stuff and the higher minimum wage and show the voters you have a way to increase wages through job growth and competition.

Democrats also have some serious image problems in this state. They are still fractured between the progressives and the more moderate voices in the party. They also keep electing people who have serious legal problems, such as Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who won a fourth term in last Tuesday’s election despite facing a 54-count federal indictment for corruption.

Republicans here should take a deep breath. No, there wasn’t a big anti-Trump backlash here, but the shenanigans in the state capitol where they hold a supermajority in the Senate and a comfortable majority in the state House is wearing on voters.

The same goes for the GOP congressional delegation; it is easy to imagine congressional seats in Bucks, Chester, and the Lehigh Valley becoming very vulnerable in six months if Congress doesn't accomplish something.

And if there are signs that is happening here, then it’s also happening in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. As goes those state delegations, so goes the country.

Salena Zito is a columnist for the Washington Examiner.

This is a thoughtful article, and I thought the point of about the good local, non-culture wars campaigns can win for the Democrats! The obverse is also probably true ... stirring the culture war wins for Repubicans? Just a thought, but not unlikely. I thought of the email I got from Hillary ... requoting from before, I remind you this is from Hillary's campaign.

With the support of Onward Together, 40% of the candidates that Run for Something endorsed and supported won their races in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and more -- compared to the 10% rate at which first-time candidates usually win. 86 women trained by Emerge America won last night, including nine of the seats flipped in Virginia. Color of Change PAC was instrumental in winning the district attorney race in Philadelphia. And Indivisible groups made more than 600,000 calls into Virginia to help pull out a win for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring.

This is one of Hillary's strengths. She's taking credit for the gains.

What this says to me is that it's up in the air, not so much for Trump as for the two parties, as organizational machines, as different as they are, and as different the impact is in the two ... Trump's turn will come. But if Congress doesn't get it done ... it will be a political knife-fight. I mean, health care has to come down somewhere stable, and a big improvement in the public's eyes. And the jobs have to start appearing. Which, at this point, are only starting to materialize.

We may be looking at an economic miracle. Maybe the other guys are right about the way it works. But based on statistics and patterns, and all that jazz ... we're at the bad end of a business cycle that has given Americans ... how to say? ... perhaps the shittiest 'economic recovery' in living memory. Never mind the stock market. In the US, Industry was getting out of town. That's what Pat Buchanan had been about, that's what Ross Parot had been about, and it was all put down, rather than accommodated. And now, we're here.

And I find it hard to believe in miracles.

There are some hard changes on the horizon. We are far from immune. But back to the US. If the article is as perceptive as I think it is, it shows us that Congress is on the bubble. There's a lot of power on the loose, and the success of the reformers depends on whoever can first harness it.
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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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