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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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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( rare news this cycle a democratic retirement , although in a safe Chicago Illinois district )


· 1 hour ago

Illinois Rep. Gutierrez, longtime advocate for immigration reform, announces retirement

Barnini Chakraborty By Barnini Chakraborty | Fox News

Report: Rep. Luis Gutierrez will not seek re-election

The immigration advocate did not cite a reason.

One day after filing paperwork for re-election, Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez - a longtime immigration advocate - announced he will retire from Congress.

“Today I’m announcing I won’t be seeking re-election,” Gutierrez said Tuesday afternoon, but added he wasn’t “retiring” from his efforts to reform immigration.

He also shot down speculation that he would run for governor of Puerto Rico, where his family is from, and said he would not make a mayoral bid for Chicago.

Gutierrez made a name for himself advocating for comprehensive immigration reform and has openly criticized the Trump administration, most recently over its handling of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The 63-year-old congressman has served his Chicago district since 1993 and is a senior member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Gutierrez also was among the harshest critics of former President Barack Obama, whom he called the “deporter in chief” for ordering immigration agencies to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

He disagreed with Obama’s then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s decision to push for healthcare reform instead of focusing on immigration-related issues.

Gutierrez endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to take his seat in the solidly Democratic district. Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a former Gutierrez staffer, is also planning to run for the seat.

Gutierrez’s decision to retire gives potential replacements less than a week to collect the 1,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot in Illinois.

Gutierrez has privately hinted to colleagues for the past several years that he wanted to retire.

Earlier this year, he signaled that he felt comfortable doing so now that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has more than 30 members, including several younger, more ambitious colleagues in safe districts who are likely to be in Congress for several years to come.

Also leaving next year is Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the most senior Hispanic female Republican in Congress.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( another retirement in congress )

Rep. Joe Barton: I will not seek re-election

Filed under Politics at 15 hrs ago

Like Dallas News' Facebook Page

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with comment from Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Joe Barton, whose private life came under national scrutiny after sexual images he shared in an extramarital relationship were made public, won’t seek re-election.

The Ennis Republican announced his retirement in an interview Thursday with The Dallas Morning News, three weeks after saying he would seek an 18th term.

"I’ve always listened to people in Texas and worked for them in Washington, and I’ve been listening to a lot of people the last week in Texas," he said. "...There are enough people who lost faith in me that it’s time to step aside and let there be a new voice for the 6th district in Washington, so I am not going to run for re-election."

The about-face ends a congressional career that spans more than three decades and — until last week — was most noted for his contentious relationship with environmentalists as former chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

He’s faced crushing pressure in recent days after lewd images and suggestive messages he swapped during extramarital relationships surfaced online, an event that prompted a number of women with whom he was involved to speak publicly about their exchanges with Barton.

But unlike other high-profile men who’ve seen their careers crumble recently in politics, Hollywood and the news media, none of Barton’s accusers have said he engaged in sexual harassment or abuse of power.

Barton publicly apologized for what he described as consensual sexual relationships with multiple women while married to his former wife. That marriage — Barton’s second — ended in 2015.

On Thursday, Barton reiterated that the relationships were consensual. "I am not guilty of sexual harassment," he said.

Barton said he believes he still has the support of much of his district, and could win, if he ran. “But it would be a nasty campaign, a difficult campaign for my family,” he said.

Barton said he made up his mind on Wednesday, but not just because a growing number of Republicans have called for him to step aside.

His 12-year-old son Jack asked him not to run, he told The News. When he asked why, Jack told him: “Well, you’ve done a lot of good. You have a good record, and you don’t need to keep running to prove that,” he said.

First elected to Congress in 1984, Barton is the longest-serving member of the Texas delegation.

National reckoning

A month ago, Barton wasn’t ready to call it quits, despite the exodus of lawmakers in a raucous political climate under President Donald Trump. A half-dozen Texans in the U.S. House have already announced their departure at the end of this term, including two committee chairmen.

But Barton is facing pressure to leave amid a national reckoning over sexual misconduct and harassment, momentum that has led to the ouster of such high-profile men as Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, veteran journalist Charlie Rose and, more recently, Today show staple Matt Lauer.

Congress has also been rocked with allegations of misconduct, leading both the House and Senate to mandate sexual harassment training.

In recent weeks, lawmakers including Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and Michigan Rep. John Conyers, both Democrats, have been accused of groping and other inappropriate behavior.

In Alabama, Senate hopeful Roy Moore, a Republican, has denied allegations he pursued sexual relationships with teens while in his 30s and rejected calls to exit the race.

Barton, 68, hasn’t been accused of abusive behavior. Nor is he known as a religious crusader, though he’s supported legislation that would ban same-sex marriage.

Barton owned up last week to being the man in a salacious image bouncing around social media. The photo showed him nude, with genitals obscured, apparently a screen shot from a video of him masturbating. That video would later be posted on a conspiracy theory website.

Barton, who is engaged to be married a third time, said he long ago told his fiancee about past transgressions. "These activities, as unsavory as they may be, were from the past, not the present, and I'm never going to do them again," he said.

Considered the dean of the Texas delegation, Barton broke the retirement news to his GOP colleagues at a weekly luncheon on Thursday.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn later told reporters he respects Barton's decision, and said: "He's been a friend and somebody who has always kept what is in the best interests of Texas at the forefront."

Mounting pressure

Still, his decision to share lewd messages, even if in a consensual context, drew rebukes from Republicans in his own district — with many of them already offering up potential replacements while warning that, if he remained on the ballot, he would hurt other GOP candidates.

Pressure grew Wednesday when state Sen. Konni Burton of Tarrant County, a tea party conservative, joined other local leaders in saying he should drop his 2018 plans. Meanwhile, an Arlington Republican woman came forward with suggestive messages Barton sent at some point during a two year correspondence, something the congressman acknowledged.

Barton rejected suggestions his candidacy could affect others down ballot, but said he respects and understands their disappointment.

"I’m at peace with it," he said of his decision. "I’m not happy about what’s gone on. But I did do the things and I’ve always been truthful ... You have to be accountable for your actions, and I'm trying to do that."

Others have said that, no matter his decision, Barton is a victim of a cruel misdeed.

It’s still uncertain how the person who initially released the images on Twitter obtained them. She has declined interview requests from The News.

On Thursday, Barton said he does believe he's a victim of "revenge porn" and that an investigation is underway. He declined to give specifics, but said he does not believe he knows the person who released the images through an obscure Twitter account.

“I have no clue as to the motive of who did this," he said.

Texas law prohibits the malicious release of sexually explicit images or material without the depicted person’s permission.

This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress announced plans for legislation that would make it a federal offense. Barton said he'd vote in favor of the bill.

Legislative career

Long before the sexting revelation threatened to overshadow Barton’s decades-long congressional career, the former natural gas consultant was best known as a powerful ally of Texas’ oil and gas industry.

It was as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a role he held from 2004 to 2007, that Barton first rose to national prominence.

He sponsored the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was subsequently signed into law by former President George W. Bush. The policy banned the federal government from requiring companies to disclose chemicals they used, unless states required it — a decision cheered by the energy industry but abhorred by environmentalists.

He's also frustrated Democrats and environmental advocates with his denial of human-caused climate change.

Ten years ago, during a committee hearing on climate change, he famously told former Vice President Al Gore “you’re not just a little off, you’re totally wrong” on the role of carbon dioxide emissions in global warming.

He made headlines again in 2010 for apologizing to the head of oil giant BP for what he called a “$20 billion shakedown” by the Obama White House over its requirement that the company establish a relief fund for those affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill.

He later apologized for using the term “shakedown” and retracted his apology to BP.

Barton earned the nickname “Smokey Joe” in a 2003 Dallas Morning News editorial for his attempts to protect Ellis County and its Midlothian cement plants from environmental regulators.

“Congressman Barton has a reputation of being one of the more anti-environmental members of Congress,” said Craig Auster, partnerships director for the League of Conservation Voters, which gives Barton a zero percent rating for his environmental voting record in 2016. “Anytime we see someone who is so pro-polluter decide to leave Congress is a good day.”

Barton, now the vice chairman of the energy committee, is overseeing the re-authorization of the Department of Energy and helping lead a task force dedicated to getting federal aid for Harvey recovery -- though he’s voted against a number of relief bills over concerns it would raise the national debt.

He also led a successful effort to lift a 40-year ban on crude oil exports in 2015, a move that has led to a rise in demand for U.S. product.

Though he's a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Barton has drawn some criticism from within his own party for his stance on immigration.

He's the sole Lone Star Republican to sign on to the latest DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill that would protect from deportation children brought to the country illegally. He's called for a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers, whose fates are uncertain as President Donald Trump phases out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Earlier this week, a new Republican candidate for his district — retired U.S. Navy pilot Jake Ellzey — cited Barton’s support for Dreamers as a reason some voters are unhappy with him back home.

But on Thursday, Barton warned that Republicans must expand efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters.

"The Texas Democrats are coming back and we, as Republicans, if we don't deal with the immigration issues, the DACA issue and reach out to Hispanics, the Democratic party in Texas is going to make a surge very quickly," he said.

Texas Democrats cheered his retirement news. A handful had announced plans to run for Barton’s seat even before the sexting issue.

“Texans are right to believe that public servants (on both sides of the aisle) should be held to the highest moral and ethical standard,” Texas Democrats executive director Crystal Perkins said.

Barton said he's inclined to vote for Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright, his former chief of staff and district director, who announced plans to run late Thursday.

Asked if he'd endorse him, Barton joked: "Given my current status, I'm not sure if anybody would want my endorsement, so I might come out against somebody if that helps them.”

Baseball shooting

Barton was on the field last June when a lone gunman opened fire on the GOP congressional baseball team, gravely wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Barton, the team’s longtime manager, sought cover with two of his sons: Brad, from his first marriage, and youngest son, Jack, from his second.

Afterward, he broke down in front of reporters when discussing the ordeal, praising the U.S. Capitol Police officers who stopped the shooter.

Barton would go on to introduce the "Wounded Officers Recovery Act" with Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, who manages the Democratic baseball team.

The bill allows donations to a fund for Capitol Police injured in the line of duty. It was signed into law in August.

Future plans

Unlike other Texas lawmakers who have carefully plotted their retirement news, Barton said he isn't sure what will happen when he leaves office.

"I'm going to have to do something. I'm not a wealthy man," he said, noting that his youngest son has a college education ahead. "I have no idea what I'll be doing a year and a half from now."

The sexting revelation has held a place in Barton's Wikipedia page for days. Asked how he'd prefer for people to think of him, he quipped: "I don't know that too many people are going to want to think about Joe Barton very much longer."

He then paused to collect himself. "I want my family to know that I love them," he said. "And I want the people of the 6th District to know that I have, in my official capacity, never violated my oath of office. My private life hasn’t been exemplary, but my public life has been ... I’ve always voted what I thought was the right vote.”


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you wonder if blackmail was involved?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Democrat Sandy Levin retiring from House, won't seek 19th term in 2018

Joseph Weber By Joseph Weber | Fox News

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., announced Saturday that he will not seek a 19th term in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., announced Saturday that he will not seek a 19th term in the House of Representatives. (AP)

Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin, Michigan, announced Saturday that he will not seek a 19th term in 2018.

“I have been incredibly honored to serve the people of Michigan in Congress and to work on so many issues important to our communities, our state and our nation,” Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in announcing his retirement. “I have tried to live up to the trust given to me by my constituents by following the values of my parents and family.”

The 86-year-old Levin said he will join University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the end of this term.

Levin listed among his accomplishments during his 35 years in Congress his votes to help pass the Affordable Care Act and “preserving America’s automobile industry,” which has for decades been an essential part of his Detroit-area congressional district and the entire state economy.

“Since his days as a student activist, Congressman Levin has been a fearless and dedicated voice for justice and progress,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said after Levin’s announcement. “In his 35 years in the Congress, he has fought tirelessly on behalf of families in Michigan and across the country to expand quality, affordable health care, secure the dignity of a good retirement and promote fair trade that leaves no worker behind.”

Fox News’ Jason Donner and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( another retirement although effective immediately according to reports and may lead to a special election in a very heavily democratic district )

Conyers to retire amid sexual misconduct accusations, endorses son to replace him

U.S. congressman will likely continue to be investigated by House ethics committee

The Associated Press Posted: Dec 05, 2017 10:59 AM ET| Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017 11:12 AM ET

U.S. Representative John Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election last year in Michigan's heavily Democratic 13th District. But following the mounting allegations of sexual harassment, he has faced growing calls to resign from colleagues in the House, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Rep. John Conyers, who has been battling sexual harassment allegations by former female staffers, says he is retiring and won't seek re-election next year.

Conyers told The Mildred Gaddis Show on WPZR-FM Tuesday that this will be his final two-year term. The 88-year-old Democrat says he is endorsing his son, also named John Conyers, to take his seat in Congress.

Earlier reports quoted Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers, a grandson of John Conyers' brother, as saying he also plans to run for the 13th District congressional seat.

The eldest Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election last year in the heavily Democratic 13th District, west of Detroit surrounding the city of Dearborn.

The House ethics committee has been reviewing multiple harassment allegations against Conyers.

Among Conyers' accusers, Marion Brown says he repeatedly propositioned her for sex during more than a decade working for him. Elisa Grubbs, another former staffer, says he slid his hand up her skirt in church.

The ethics committee will likely continue to investigate Conyers, even though the veteran Democrat has announced plans to retire.

The ethics panel retains jurisdiction over Conyers as long as the 27-term Democrat remains in Congress, and a senior legislative aide says the normal course would be for the ethics inquiry to continue.

Trump Immigration
Pelosi, right, accompanied by Conyers, speaks during a House Democratic forum in Washington Feb. 2. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

The aide spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the individual wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly.

Lisa Bloom, an attorney for one of Conyers's accusers, says her client, Marion Brown, "is ready, willing and able to testify as to her sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Conyers."

Brown reached a confidential settlement with Conyers over sexual harassment allegations, but broke the confidentiality agreement to speak publicly last week.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of deal is that?

At 88, he shouldn't even be there. And. at 88, what kind of sexual crime can he commit? Is this another one of those "assault" things that rests upon the assumption that words are a form of sexual assault?

And to give us the trifecta of system-milking moves, Conyers is putting his son up for his seat.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Less than a year to midterms and the Senate races (while early) that are considered "Toss ups" by at least one of the talking heads are:

Arizona (R)
Florida (D)
Missouri (D)
Nevada (R)
North Dakota (D)
West Virginia (D)

With Montana (D) and Wisconsin (D) moving to Tilt D

For the Democrats to take the Senate they would need to retain all their seats along with winning Nevada and Arizona along with winning the Alabama Special Election.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Six female Democratic senators on Wednesday called for Sen. Al Franken to resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct complaints made against the Minnesota lawmaker.

Sens. Claire McCaskill, Maggie Hassan, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patty Murray, Mazie K. Hirono and Kamala Harris all called for Franken to step down.

The women did not mince words.

“Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down,” Harris, D-Calif., said.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Less than a year to midterms and the Senate races (while early) that are considered "Toss ups" by at least one of the talking heads are:

Arizona (R)
Florida (D)
Missouri (D)
Nevada (R)
North Dakota (D)
West Virginia (D)

With Montana (D) and Wisconsin (D) moving to Tilt D

For the Democrats to take the Senate they would need to retain all their seats along with winning Nevada and Arizona along with winning the Alabama Special Election.

the democrats had been worried about this senate election year for some time due to the fact they have many more seats up for re election than the republicans , lately they've gotten more optimistic

but realistically when you look at the map its hard to see how the republicans could only win 6 senate seats this fall and democrats win the other 25 or so seats , that would be a massive blow out not seen that often .

10 of the incumbent democrats are in states Trump won ( Montana , North Dakota , Wisconsin , Michigan , Indiana , Ohio , Missouri , Pennsylvania , Florida , West Virginia ) its not that favourable of a map and the democrats though they were going to win senate races in 2016 in some of the same states ( Wisconsin , Indiana , Pennsylvania ) as examples only for them to stay republican
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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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