Points By Drew Pritt


A Modern-Day Gracie Pfost – DEBBIE HOLMES
May 28, 2008, 11:35 pm
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http://actblue.com/page/debbieholmes

The American West has been the home to some wonderful women in elective office. In Idaho, in the 2nd Congressional District, there was an Arkansan who moved to Idaho who made a lasting impact.  Gracie Pfost moved to Idaho in 1911 and attended college there. After graduation, Pfost took up work as a chemist for a milk company. She entered politics in Canyon County and held several positions in county government between 1929 and 1951, including deputy county clerk, auditor, recorder of deeds and county treasurer. She also served as an Idaho delegate to all Democratic National Conventions between 1944 and 1960.

In 1950, Pfost ran for Congress, and lost, but in 1952, she ran again, defeating former Congressman Compton I. White, Sr. in the Democratic primary and incumbent Congressman John Wood who bested her 2 yrs. earlier. Pfost was reelected in 1954, 1956, 1958 and 1960. In 1962, Pfost was the Democratic nominee in a special Senate election to replace the late Senator Henry Dworshak, but was narrowly defeated by the appointed Republican incumbent, former Governor Len Jordan 51%-49%. After leaving the House in 1963, Pfost worked in the Federal Housing Administration as a special assistant on housing for the elderly, until her death at Johns Hopkins Hospital two years later the age of 59.

Pfost supported stabilization of farm products, improved labor legislation, and the conservation of our minerals, timber, and other lands. Favoring broader Social Security coverage and reduced taxes, her platform also included support for humanitarian legislation. Of greater significance and one which marked her congressional career, she opposed private interests and championed the federal construction of a high, multi-purpose dam at Hells Canyon on the Idaho-Oregon border. Later, in her first speech before the House of Representatives on April 16, 1953, she introduced the bill to allow the federal government the right to construct a dam on the Snake River. Her vigorous support of the project earned her the sobriquet: “Hell’s Belle.” Throughout her career in the House, Pfost continued to support legislation protecting Idaho’s interests first and foremost. Described as a “unique and forceful political personality,” Pfost diligently promoted the mining, timber and agricultural interests of Idaho’s northern counties.

Now in 2008, Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District deserves a new “unique and forceful political personality.” Enter Debbie Holmes, a working mother, who is attempting to pick up where Gracie Pfost left off. Debbie Holmes is definitely the quintessential first-time candidate, but she has gone out of her way to make up for it by taking her campaign directly to the people she wishes to represent. She won 69% in defeating a much better-financed primary opponent.  Debbie Holmes, unlike current Congressman Mike Simpson, has been focusing on the financial crisis, coupled with the healthcare crisis in this nation. As a realtor and a working mother, she knows firsthand the struggle of many working Idahoans, and more so of Americans. Throwing money at a problem will not solve the crisis. In the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis, Holmes believes government should step in and help homeowners renegotiate the value of their property instead of using taxpayer dollars to bail out banks. Thats why Debbie Holmes is fiscally responsible. Also, she recognizes one of those other looming crisises is Iraq and thats why she favors a responsible plan to remove our forces from Iraq so that nation can stabilize.

Holmes, like Gracie Pfost before her, holds an advanced degree in chemistry. Not to mention, like Pfost, as the member of the majority party in Congress, Debbie Holmes can provide better representation and get more federal funding for projects than the current Congressman, Mike Simpson.

Simpson, who has amassed a war chest of $300,000 has served the interests of the Republican Party. Moreover, when U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R) was caught in a Minneapolis Airport bathroom, soliciting an undercover male police officer for homosexual activity, what did the devout and pious Mormon that Mike Simpson do???

 

He issued the following statement :

“My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Craig family. Like most Idahoans, I was shocked by the allegations against Larry and by his guilty plea. However, I tend to judge people by the totality of their career and Senator Craig has been a dedicated public servant who has been an asset for Idaho for almost 30 years. At this time, I will not pass judgment on this matter.”

Wow! Mike Simpson passed judgement on President Bill Clinton (D) when he first ran for Congress in 1998. He ran about “values” and featured his wife. I guess to Simpson, values only matter, when you can use them as a campaign tool to manipulate voters, to pull at their heart strings, to get votes.

Debbie Holmes won’t do that. She wants to serve all of Idaho like Gracie Pfost once did. Donate some money to her and give her the chance to prove Idaho deserves A GREAT CONGRESSWOMAN.

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The Future of the Democratic Party – Chris Matthews (PA.)
May 28, 2008, 1:19 pm
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When Bob Novak surmized earlier this week that Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) was gearing up for a Senate run in 2010, I found that highly suspect. You never say never in American Politics, but Rendell as my friend and colleague Ron Gunzburger at Politics1.com pointed out already said in August 2006, “This is my 14th Election….Enough is Enough.”But there is someone who is emerging on the horizon in Pennsylvania who is headed towards a bright future. A candidate who could challenge Arlen Specter (R) in 2010 and put together a winning coalition to win….CHRIS MATTHEWS (D). Matthews is an Irish-Catholic Democrat native to Pennsylvania. He attended La Salle College High School. He is a 1967 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, the same alma mater as the late Governor Bob Casey, Sr., who prior to his stunning win in 1986 for Governor, had lost in 1966, 1974, and 1978 for Governor and was known as the “Three Time Loss From Holy Cross.”

Matthews is married to Kathleen Matthews, who anchored News 7 on WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C before accepting a position as an Executive Vice President with J.W. Marriott. The couple has three children: Michael, Thomas and Caroline. His brother Jim Matthews is a County Commissioner in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania who ran for Lt. Governor in 2006 as a Republican.

Matthews is famous as the anchor for HARDBALL on MSNBC, but he got his start working for former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil. Matthews is like O’Neil’s godchild in that he learned many of the traits that made O’Neil popular and successful. One widely respected political consultant, Neil Oxman, rates Matthews’s chances high—arguing that his name recognition, ability to raise money, and ethnic (Irish Catholic) roots would allow him to do well among blue collar voters, while his outspoken liberalism would earn him support in the Philadelphia suburbs.

I think Matthews has what it takes to pull this off. Specter is vulnerable and if challenged by the conservative Republicans like last time with a primary challenge, he has threatened to run as a third party. The Democrats would be wise to unite early now and encourage Matthews and support him. There are other Democrats I would love to see in that Senate seat, U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz I am looking at you! But we need a Democrat who can put it together. In fact the first Democrat for this seat since Joe Clark in 1968 put it together and Chris Matthews is the ticket!



Happy 60th Birthday – ISRAEL
May 28, 2008, 4:02 am
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It has become politically fashionable to talk about the poor Palestinian people.

First of all, a Happy Belated 60th Birthday, ISRAEL. This video always brings a tear to my eye as does the song itself.

Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and everyone else seems to bemoan the fate of the “Palestinian people.” Okay, first of all, Israel as a sovreign nation has the right to do whatever they need to (with reason) to protect their nation. Its not that much different between what they face now and what we faced in the American Civil War. 1948, 1967, and 1973 they were attacked by multiple Arab nations. After getting their butts whooped, some Arabs have made peace (Egypt & Jordan), while others have supported the fundamentalist jihadists who constantly bomb and attack innocent Israelis daily.

There is no occupation. There is no Palestine thats being occipied by Israel. There never was a Palestine, except thats the name various occupiers from the Romans, to the Ottomans, to the British gave the region. But, since May 16, 1948, There is ISRAEL. Israel has a right to defend itself from attackers and they have every right to do that. Considering the fact that for the past 60 years Israel has been the one constantly defending itself from attack  I’d get sick of playing defense in my own land after that long. The best option is for the jihadists to either lay down their arms or to be paid back tenfold for the bloodshed they cause.

Happy Birthday Israel – 60 times 60 more years may you be and ever after!

 



The Face(s) of a Democratic Senate.
May 28, 2008, 2:53 am
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Not since 1958 have the Democrats had this many Democrats who appear headed to the U.S. Senate. However, If Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the DSCC and current independent polling is correct, then at least 9 new fresh faces will be gracing the halls of the U.S. Senate.

Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Udall (Colorado), Bruce Lunsford (Ky.), Al Franken (Minnesota), Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), Tom Udall (New Mexico), Kay Hagan (North Carolina), and Mark Warner (Virginia) currently lead or are tied in the polls with Republican incumbents. In addition, these candidates have the financial resources and the infastructure to capture these Republican seats. Also, U.S. Congressman Rob Andrews (New Jersey) seems to have the momentum behind him in his primary bid for U.S. Senate. He will start out as the favorite against U.S. Congressman Dick Zimmer (R) if that happens.

         

What passes for the “2nd Tier” is really a number of “top tier” candidates who are waiting for primaries, fundraising, and polling to fall into place. But these candidates still have an incredible opportunity to put it together and come into the top tier or pull upsets.

They include former legislator Jim Martin (Georgia), former Congressman Larry LaRocco (Idaho), former Congressman Jim Slattery (Kansas), Congressman Tom Allen (Maine), former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (Mississippi), rancher Scott Kleeb (Nebraska), State Senator Andrew Rice (Oklahoma), Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley (Oregon), former Party Chair Bob Tuke (Tennessee), and State Representative Rick Noriega (Texas).

If two more of these “2nd Tier” break into the top, then that means there is enough candidates for a veto-proof Senate, which could affect either a McCain or Obama Administration. Its more likely 3 or 4 need to breakout and have the other nine win, just in case a Senate incumbent Democrat, like Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) lose.

Still, want a group of exciting and progressive new faces for the U.S. Senate.



Ted Kennedy sailing into history.
May 27, 2008, 4:07 am
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Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., left, guides a sailboat up to ...

Its almost symbolic as Ted Kennedy enters into the greatest fight of his life, he took time off to go sailing off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But Kennedy is already sailing into history because so much of the progress of this nation is largely due to Ted Kennedy’s fabled career since 1962. When modern day pols and future historians look at Ted Kennedy, the highlights seem to be his 1962 Senate bid (as the brother of an incumbent President), his tragic car accident at Chappaquidick, and his failed but exciting 1980 primary bid against Jimmy Carter for President.

The other day, a self-hating and loathing conservative, who hates Ted Kennedy because he is a Kennedy brought up Chappaquidick and challenged me saying, What has Ted Kennedy done for America?” Well let me tell you what the Ted Kennedy legacy of what he has done for America includes :

* Co-sponsored the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which provides health insurance coverage to children.

* Introduced and co-sponsored with Senator Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibiting discrimination against any qualified individual with a disability in job application procedures, hiring or discharge, compensation, advancement or training.

* Advocated effectively and worked to see that minimum wage, including the most recent raise, would take the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 by 2009.

* Sponsored legislation authorizing the spending of $50 billion over the next five years to combat health crises posed by AIDS and other diseases in Africa and around the world.

* Championed lowering the voting age to 18.

* Has OPPOSED the Iraqi War since it’s inception and spoken out when others tried to play it safe.

* Sponsored legislation that since 1962 has created over 750,000 good paying jobs with good benefits around the nation.

Now Ted Kennedy is sailing into a fight with cancer. I know the odds, but Ted Kennedy is a fighter and a survivor. He’s beaten the odds before. I hope he beats them again!



After 6 Ballots – Barr is nominee for Libertarians
May 25, 2008, 10:04 pm
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Thanks to the Last Free Voice blog, as we know now that Bob Barr, a conservative right-wing former U.S. Congressman from Georgia, is now the Libertarian nominee for President. One thing Barr has done is help the Democrats as he will take votes from McCain and put Georgia into play in the fall. Who would think the party that is all about less government and less government intrusion into our daily lives would nominate “Mr. Defense of Marriage Act, Mr. Patriot Act, Mr. Drug Warrior, MR. FAIRTAX” as their nominee???

Well I still say it was Barbara Billingsley and the tea & cookies reception that did it.



About the potential Jesse Ventura Senate Bid
May 25, 2008, 8:41 pm
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Senator Norm Coleman (R-Mn.) has to be asking himself these days, “WTF, did I ever do to Jesse Ventura ???”

Journey with me if you will back to October 1998. At that point, both Coleman and then-Attorney General Hubert H. “SKIP” Humphrey III (DFL), scion of a famous political family and son of a former Vice President and Democratic Party Legend, thought the Governor’s race in the fall was supposed to be a traditional 2-party affair. However, Ventura, a former wrestler and professional bodybuilder had snuck up from behind and was closing in on both Coleman and Humphrey. The poll had Humphrey at 35%, Coleman at 34%, and Ventura was at 21%, with 10% undecided. The more ominous sign is that Humphrey was dropping, Coleman was dropping more, and Ventura was rising. Long story short, Ventura squeezed past them both with about 37% to Coleman’s 35% and a sad 28% ended the Humphrey legacy. A good portion of Ventura’s gun-owning, anti-choice, “traditional values” voters would have been likely supporters for Coleman. As we know, Coleman ran four years later for U.S. Senate, the incumbent Paul Wellstone died once more in October tragically in a plane crash, and Coleman narrowly defeated another former Vice President, Walter F. Mondale, narrowly, while Ventura’s party nominee, Jim Moore, took 2% away from Coleman.

Now flash forward a decade since his stunning Gubernatorial Victory and once more Ventura reappears. As Coleman is seeking a reelection against a strong challenge from comedian Al Franken, the former Governor says he may run for Senate. Appearing on Minnesota Public Radio, Ventura insists he is seriously considering a bid. Franken has been having trouble lately because he supposedly didn’t pay all his taxes. But now it comes out that Coleman accepted money from lobbyists for the government of Myanmar. These are the same Generals of Myanmar who murdered Bhuddist monks by the thousands, forced their citizens to vote instead of giving them aid after a cyclone killed over 200,000 people, and the same Myanmar Generals who dynamited a building and murdered 5,000 students and monks who had been protesting for a bothersome issue of FREE SPEECH.

Editor’s NoteSenator Norm Coleman you have no business serving in the Senate from Minnesota if you don’t return that money. You can preach about “traditional values” and say anything you want, but you are a hypocrite. Even more so, for the seat that once housed Paul Wellstone and prior to that Walter Mondale & Hubert H. Humphrey to now be held by you is an insult to every Minnesotan who came to expect good government and quality representation under them.

So the potential for a Ventura Senate bid endures. If Ventura doesn’t run, former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley (I-Mn.) who Ventura appointed to succeed Wellstone until Coleman was elected and sworn-in, and who was Ventura’s campaign manager, has said he’ll run. For Ventura, the local prognistcators seem to think Ventura’s bid will hurt Coleman. As one blogger from Minnesota wrote, “a pro-military, libertarian, fiscally conservative, small government figure with no ties to Bush II would drain Sen. Coleman’s pool quicker than a toddler who shook loose of his swim dipe.”

So we will have to see what develops. I am finding it hillarious. Ventura basically has pointed at Coleman like Babe Ruth at the plate and sees Coleman like a baseball he is fixing to launch out of here. Coleman meanwhile smiles, nervously, while Al Franken seems to be having fun.

Last year, I was a campaign manager for Jim Cohen, and early in the primary I was trying to help Cohen turn that race around. I subsequently ended ties to the campaign and left Minnesota. Mainly because Cohen had a female supporter who wanted to be campaign manager. When Jim hired me this spiteful woman searched the internet for two days with another female staffer to find EVERY negative thing she could find about me and proceeded to destroy the campaign and my relation with the staff. Jim supported me but I ended up leaving after a week because it was such a bad situation. Jim is a great man who would make a great candidate but he didn’t have the money that Franken had and thats the ballgame. Franken for his part I got to see Franken up close and listen to him. He is a good man and he would make a great Senator who I believe would wake everyday looking for ways to improve the lives of the working families of Minnesota.

This Senate race is already a marquee race but if Ventura enters, I hope win or lose, he does the one task that must be done – Defeat Norm Coleman!