House races

House races

Rep. Rahall campaigns on his ability to bring home earmarks

PRINCETON, W.Va. -- Here's a pitch not too many incumbent lawmakers are making this election season -- send me back to Washington so I can deliver you more earmarks.   

In a year where incumbency is a dirty word in most competitive House races, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va) is embracing it, telling voters he brings home the bacon for West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District and that he intends to continue doing it.

"What's wrong with earmarking funds when it's such a small part of the overall budget?" Rahall asked a room full of West Virginia Democrats Thursday. "I happen to support that process. My opponent doesn't."

Rahall is locked in the fight of his political life against Republican Eliot "Spike" Maynard, who has called Rahall an enabler of runaway federal spending in Washington.

The Republican has hit Rahall's votes in favor of the stimulus and healthcare, both of which the Democrat has defended. Rahall calls the healthcare bill less than perfect, while Maynard wants it repealed.

Rahall, who's in his 17th term in Congress, said voters would be foolish to throw away his seniority, telling supporters Thursday that even if the GOP were to retake control of the House next week, he would retain his top spots on the House Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

"If West Virginia throws away my seniority, I truly believe we'd only be digging a deeper hole for ourselves," Rahall told voters.  


Dem Rep. Nye doesn't want Obama to campaign for him

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) said he didn’t want President Obama to campaign for him in the 2nd district.

“I wanted the president to come down, but I wanted to talk to the president about our aircraft carrier and about Joint Forces Command,” Nye told The Ballot Box. “I have a disagreement with his secretary of Defense on the jobs at Joint Forces Command, and I’ve stood up pretty tough to the secretary of Defense on this issue.”

One of the aircraft carriers based in the 2nd district is slated to move to Mayport, Fla., which would mean a tremendous loss of economic activity for the region. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he wants to close the Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, which Nye has fought against because a closure could cost his district some 3,000 jobs.

“If the president comes, I would welcome him, but I want to talk about the military as it affects the people, not about the election,” Nye said. “I’m not concerned about whether it creates tension with the administration.”

Obama is in southern Virginia on Friday, but he’s campaigning for freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), not Nye.


In campaign ad, Dem touts proof he's not Pelosi

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) is not Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — and he's got proof. 

In his latest television ad, Marshall holds his driver’s license to prove to viewers that he is not the Speaker, as he claims his challenger, Austin Scott (R), says he is.
“I’m Jim Marshall, and here’s my driver’s license to prove it,” Marshall says. “Austin Scott seems to think I’m Nancy Pelosi.”
Marshall is one of many Democrats running against Pelosi this cycle.
The ad continues with Marshall saying, “But I voted against Nancy Pelosi’s trillion-dollar healthcare bill … that’s one reason why I won’t support her for Speaker.”
The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll shows Marshall trailing Scott by 13 points, 37 percent to 50.



Embattled Rep. Hill's (D-Ind.) fate is likely to be decided by a narrow margin Tuesday, with the third-party candidate key.


Garrison Keillor passes fundraising hat for Bachmann's House challenger

Radio personality Garrison Keillor may be best known for his work on "A Prairie Home Companion," but he went political on Thursday with a fundraising appeal for Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) Democratic challenger, Tarryl Clark.

In the letter, he called Clark a "hard worker in the Amy Klobuchar tradition" and emphasized her "honesty about the challenges we face." 

"Her well-financed opponent is from the new breed of politicians who get caught again and again making wildly false statements — and never say they're sorry," Keillor wrote. "That's why Bachmann holds the 'All False/Pants-on-Fire' record from the Pulitzer Prize award-winning fact-checking organization PolitiFact.

"[Bachmann] is not a witch, but she does something which we were all brought up not to do." 

Keillor went on to invoke Lake Wobegon, the fictional, idiosyncratic town he made famous on "A Prairie Home Companion." 

"I take a personal interest in the 6th district since Lake Wobegon is there and I think the good people of the 6th deserve able and honest representation," he said.

The race is the House's most expensive this election cycle, with Bachmann and Clark, a state senator, raising a total of $15 million between them.

Polling from the summer has Clark trailing Bachmann by nine points.


Rep. Perriello appears on 'Colbert,' billed as 'rare-breed' Dem

Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) braved an interview Wednesday night with comedian Stephen Colbert.

"You're a rare breed, you're actually campaigning on the Democrats' record," Colbert said introducing Perriello, who appeared on the "Colbert Report" remotely from the 5th district. "Why are you trying to hurt yourself like this?"

Perriello gamely defended his party's record.

"I think people are smart enough out there to understand that results take time," he said. 

Looking to get Perriello off his talking points, Colbert asked the Democrat for his position on legalizing medical marijuana. "I'm not supportive," Perriello said, chuckling.

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