— RI Congress '06 —

November 6, 2006

One for the Underdog�

Carroll Andrew Morse

According to a campaign press release, Repulbican Jon Scott has received the endorsement from the Newport Daily News for Rhode Island's first-district Congressional seat (original item not available online)...

The newspaper's Editorial Board met with all of the candidates in early October and put them through an interview process which focused on Aquidneck Island issues, though the questions ranged from personal reasons for political involvement to the war on terror. In selecting Mr. Scott, the editors wrote, "While Scott is a huge long shot, given Kennedy's famous name, well financed campaign, and years of experience, he is a breath of fresh air on the Rhode Island political scene, and we hope voters will support him"....

Scott is running against Patrick Kennedy, son of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who has served 6 terms in the US House. "We wonder how effective he can continue to be, despite his political connections", the Daily News mused about the Congressman and stated that "we considered giving him another chance -- but after reviewing past endorsements, we realized we have given him plenty of chances."

Today and tomorrow, Mr. Scott will be making a final tour of all 19 first district cities and towns...
Scott will spend forty five minutes in each of the 19 municipalities as he attempts to pull off the upset and unseat the heir to America's most entrenched political family. Monday will find the Republican candidate in the northern part of the district. He will shake hands with voters and answer questions in Burrillville, Woonsocket, North Smithfield, Smithfield, Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Falls, North Providence, Providence, and Pawtucket; the site of Scott's campaign Headquarters.

On Tuesday, he will follow up with visits to the polls in East Providence, Barrington, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport and Jamestown

November 3, 2006

Kennedy versus Scott: Let's go to the Tape...

Carroll Andrew Morse

Take incumbency, a famous family name, and better hair out of the equation. Then, based on the arguments they make and the positions they present, decide which of these two gentlemen you would rather have representing you when it counts...

October 9, 2006

Patrick Ducks Debates…

Carroll Andrew Morse

…you pick the last name.

Edward Fitzpatrick of the Projo reports on Attorney General Patrick Lynch’s last minute bail-out from a debate with challenger Bill Harsch scheduled for WLNE-TV (ABC 6)…

[Bill Harsch] last week accused Lynch of backing out of what would have been their first on-air debate — on a Channel 6 (WLNE) news program, ABC6 on the Record, hosted by Jim Hummel. The program was taped Thursday, with only Harsch present, and was set to air Sunday morning, Harsch campaign coordinator Tom Shevlin said…

Lynch’s campaign manager, Andrea Iannazzi, responded by saying, “Attorney General Lynch will absolutely be debating his opponent. We are not dodging anything.”

She said Lynch has received more requests than he can accommodate, but his campaign will review those requests and schedule debates soon.

Iannazzi said Lynch did not back out of the Channel 6 appearance. “Unfortunately, the attorney general had a prior commitment,” she said, adding that Lynch attended a ceremony paying tribute to police officers killed in the line of duty.

Shevlin said Lynch was offered the option of taping the program Thursday or Friday.

Given what the public saw in the Attorney General’s handling of the Derderian trial, maybe the Lynch campaign is telling the truth when they say “we’re not dodging debates; we’re just too disorganized to prepare for one!”

Meanwhile, Patrick Kennedy has still agreed to only a single PBS debate, and not responded to challenger Jon Scott’s suggestion that Congressman Kennedy’s traditional public-access cable debates be moved to a more high-profile venue. Congressman Kennedy (quite rationally) is employing a “the less people see of me, the more likely I am to win” strategy.

Ducking debates, however, leaves the Congressman free from having to explain how he and his party’s plan to raise taxes and spending as soon as they get into office. This is from John E. Mulligan in today’s Projo

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy would expect some share in the power to set legislative priorities in the next Congress, pushing his signature health-care issues onto the House ``to do'' list.

Democrats collectively would launch investigations into the war in Iraq, stifle the Republican campaign for tax cuts, and press for freer spending on an array of domestic programs.

Note 1: Since much of the near-term fiscal is debate about renewing temporary tax cuts enacted over the past five years, support for “stifling the Republican campaign for tax cuts” is support for tax-increases.

Note 2: If you don’t like the description of the Democratic agenda as campaign for “freer spending”, send your complaints to Mr. Mulligan, not me. And if Congressman Kennedy is not a supporter of freer spending, the best way for him to clarify that position is to make some unscripted appearances, i.e. debates, where he can explain his position on fiscal issues. (Of course, since the Congressman voted against earmark transparency and is a close ally of the Virginia Congressman who stated that he wants to earmark the sh** out of appropriations bills, it is possible that Congressman Kennedy would prefer not to face any unscripted scrutiny on the subject of free spending).

September 20, 2006

Patrick Kennedy Ducks Debates

Carroll Andrew Morse

All too unsurprisingly, Congressman Patrick Kennedy is looking to limit any serious discussion of the issues in his re-election campaign to the least-visible format possible -- a format arguably even less visible than blogs, if such a thing is possible! This is from a Jon Scott campaign press release...

Jonathan Scott, Republican challenger for the RI First District Congressional seat currently held by Patrick Kennedy, won his primary on September 12, 2006 and immediately called for a series of debates with the incumbent. That challenge was met today with an offer to appear on the cable access "Glen Medeiros Show", a show hosted by a close personal friend of the Congressman.

Mr. Scott has turned down this offer, as he does not feel that it is the proper venue for such an important debate and further exemplifies Mr. Kennedy's history of rewarding his friends and ignoring those who do not afford him favorable treatment.

During the 2004 race, Mr. Kennedy agreed to do a pair of debates on the "Glen Medeiros Show" with then challenger, David Rogers. The host did not allow Mr. Rogers to voice his views without interruption in the first of the series and the challenger then chose not to appear on the second. In lieu of a fair debate, Medeiros placed an empty chair on the set and he and Kennedy, in bizarre fashion, would ask the empty chair to answer questions. Neither show demonstrated that the host wished to even appear neutral.

Mr. Scott has this to say about the less-than-good-faith offer…
It is ridiculous to think that the Congressman can make the time to appear on a limited viewership cable access show, hosted by a personal friend, but he can't use that same time to tape a debate hosted by a neutral party from a network news service. I believe that we need a series of debates in a forum that allows the broadest audience possible to get a look at their candidates and our views on the issues.

Glen Medeiros may as well be on Patrick's staff. The debates in '04 should have carried a paid for by friends of Patrick Kennedy line, or at least he should have had to report it as an in-kind donation

The Kennedy and Scott campaigns have agreed, so far, to a single debate, to be held on October 27, 2006, arranged by the League of Women Voters. However, the Kennedy camapaign has not indicated any intention to use the time allocated for the cable-access debates for any higher profile or more neutral events. Mr. Scott is disappointed by the decision of an elected representative to hide from public view…
While I am happy that Mr. Kennedy has agreed to a debate in a suitable venue, I do not believe that October 27 gives voters the best opportunity to completely explore both candidacies. It's very late and close to Election Day. I hope to meet the Congressman in debate much sooner and with one of the network news services hosting. Giving the public more information can only be better for the political process.
Clearly, Congressman Kennedy and his supporters have decided that the less people see of the Congressman, the better his chances of re-election are.

September 19, 2006

What the Heck...Even More Poll Numbers!

Marc Comtois

(Heads Up--or Nota Bene for the cultured sort--Andrew and I were obviously working the same story and posted them within 1 minute of each other. This proves we Anchor Rising Contributors don't collude!!!! I kept my post up because of the wonderfully witty and pithy observations....but I did truncate most of it to the "extended" section.)

As noted in the comments to my earlier "poll post" {and Andrew's new post--MAC} a new Brown poll (Darrell West) is out, with some encouraging numbers for both Governor Carcieri and Senator Chafee.

Continue reading "What the Heck...Even More Poll Numbers!"

September 15, 2006

Patrick Kennedy Won't Fight For You

Carroll Andrew Morse

Congressman Patrick Kennedy ends his first TV ad saying that he "will never stop fighting for you". But here are two areas where he has already stopped, or perhaps never started, fighting for his constituents. They are both related to votes taken just yesterday...

  1. Congressman Kennedy will not fight for America's border security. The Congressman voted against a House bill authorizing (but not funding) 700 miles of physical fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border. Border fencing is not controversial to reasonable people at this stage of the immigration debate. Earlier this year, Senators Jack Reed and Lincoln Chafee, Senators with very liberal positions on immigration reform, both voted in favor of funding 370 miles of triple-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico. The House overwhelmingly favored building a border fence, 283-138, with Congressman James Langevin, as well as Congressman Kennedy, in the minority who opposed the bill.
  2. Congressman Kennedy will not fight to make information on Congressional spending public. He prefers that Congress' spending pratices be kept shrouded in secrecy, away from the view of average citizens. The Congressman, along with a majority of his party, voted against a change in House rules that would require "earmarks" in appropriations legislation to include simple information like the identity of the Congressman that requested the earmark, the identity of the earmark recipient, and the amount of the earmark. Amazingly, just 1 of 29 Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted to make the earmark process transparent (though Republicans appropriators did only a little better, 12 of 35 voting in favor). When it came time to decide between making government open to public oversight, or protecting arcane privileges, Congressman Kennedy and his committee-mates chose to protect their privileges.

    The earmark reform rules passed by a vote of 245-171. Congressman Langevin was one of just 45 Democrats who broke party ranks to vote in favor of earmark transparency.

Remember, this is all from just yesterday! Keep in mind that you have an alternative to Congressman Kennedy you can choose to vote for in November.

Finally, there's an interesting sidebar regarding the earmark reform vote. In June, Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia publicly promised a group of his constituents that he would "earmark the sh**" out of bills if the Democrats regain control of Congress and he becomes chair of an appropriations subcommittee. Yet Congressman Moran voted against the simple disclosure rules -- rules that would help him take credit for the earmarks he so dearly craves. If Congressman Moran is so proud of the earmarked money that he spends, why doesn't he want it to become an easily-accessed part of the public record? Could it be because the earmarks he requests don't benefit as many of his constituents as he would have you believe?

Jon Scott's Open Letter to the Blogosphere

Carroll Andrew Morse

Jon Scott, Patrick Kennedy's Republican challenger in Rhode Island's first district, sent Anchor Rising "an open letter to the blogosphere" this morning, eloquently asking for your support...

Jon Scott: I have been following recent posts with great interest and, although I am not very knowledgeable about blogs, I know enough to understand that we need to be out here among you all in order to win in November. That desire to be part of the debate is what brings me out today.

I am fully aware that I am in an uphill battle. It is no great secret that my opponent is well funded and hails from a political machine so powerful that his uncle's picture sits below only a portrait of Jesus in a large number of New England living rooms. I know that I have chosen a fight many deem un-winnable, but I have always subscribed to the belief that goals easily achieved are not part of a journey worth taking. I am in this fight because I have chosen to be and because I want to be.

I appreciate what seems to be a common sentiment of support among the posting faithful and am honored that, at least here, my candidacy is recognized, because the worst thing that you can do to a politician is ignore him (as has been the case in much of the mainstream media). I am fully aware that the great Senate race of 2006 is the large planet around which all attention will orbit this season, but I expected that we would garner some notice. It has not happened as of yet.

First I need to assure you that there is a candidate with a populist small government message left on the RI scene. We all may not agree on everything all of the time, but the chances are great that our interests intersect in great percentages. We need to base our activity on common bonds not on single differences.

One statement that has stuck with me during my time in this race was made by Richard Engle, President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies during their annual Board of Directors meeting here in RI this summer. "Liberals", he said, "are very good at perseverance. They stay together through their losses and stay focused. When conservatives taste defeat, quite often we give up. We take our ball and go home". I am worried that a bit of that attitude is gripping us here in the bluest of blue states. We can not afford fracture in our party. There are two few of us to populate one Republican Party, let alone multiples.

Like Mr. Katz, I must say that I have not been impressed with the level of support that our state gets from the Republican leadership. I was recently in DC to meet with my Field Rep from the NRCC. What I found out amazed me. We are such an afterthought that RI is simply tacked on to the Midwest rep's caseload. Not only do they believe that we can't take the Ocean State to red, they are under the impression that we can't even turn it purple. I am offended by that attitude and it needs to change.

I also want to speak to those who have deemed my candidacy a tilt at windmills: This race is winnable. It is imperative that we fire on all cylinders, though, and Patches must falter if we are ever to reach the Promised Land. We can only control one half of that equation, however. Much like a football team that needs to win but also needs someone else to lose in order to gain the final playoff berth, we must take care of what we can and let the fates affect the rest. We only fire on all cylinders when everyone is behind my candidacy 100%. I ask for that support.

We believe that Kennedy is weak on the issues. Further, we believe that everyone knows about his personal problems and we are not going to hammer him on that. We will, however, bring up all of the inconsistencies in his policies and illuminate his record while representing the people in DC - because that is the element that the public needs to be educated on. I look forward to the debates.

You may disagree, but I believe that the personal is not fair game. We will never go personal first. It is part of my moral code.

Finally, I want to tell you that we appreciate the support on primary day. We had the largest margin among the Republican statewide candidates and I am grateful to all who believed that I was the man with the better chance to unseat the incumbent. We were confident when we started our tour of the precincts and 12 hours and 12 polling places later we were still certain of our standing but had no idea that the margin would be what it was. I thank you all for getting behind me.

I will need the effort ten times again in order to get it done on November 7.

Do us a favor. Keep us informed. If you know of an event, let us in on it. If you know someone in the media, get them interested. At the very least, get five friends on board and then ask each of them to get five friends behind me, as well. If you've put a great deal of effort into Mayor Laffey's candidacy and find yourself without a campaign home, contact me. We'd welcome the help. We NEED the help.

I look forward to interacting with Anchor Rising a great deal during my campaign and to meeting many of you on the campaign trail.

Thanks and God Bless.

Jon Scott