THe LuLac Edition #22, June 4th, 2006
Democratic Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s, Al Gore’s veep in 2000, has hawkish views on defense and foreign policy , especially his strong support for the war in Iraq, putting him in a strange position: He has stronger job approval ratings from the GOP than the Democrats in his home state of Connecticut.
The GOP waited until late April, just a little more than six months until Election Day and Lieberman’s bid for a fourth to announce that six-term state representative Alan Schlesinger will oppose the winning Democrat. Lieberman faces businessman Ned Lamont, whose campaign is founded on his opposition to the Iraq war. The Primary is on August 8th.
Schlesinger, a former mayor of the town of Derby, appears the front-runner over two Republican primary opponents: anti-immigration activist Paul Streitz and frequent candidate Herschel Collins.
While Lieberman has been the most outspoken Senate Democrat in support of President Bush’s Iraq policy, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee votes with his own party on almost all other issues.
And most Democrats interviewed in an April 6 poll by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University are sticking with Lieberman. Though not as high as his 72 percent approval rating among Republicans Lieberman’s score among Democrats was still a solid 66 percent. When asked if Lieberman deserves another term, 65 percent of Democratic respondents said yes while only 26 percent said no.
Yet despite his upper hand, Lieberman created a stir on political websites recently when he suggested he would not rule out running as an independent if he lost the primary to Lamont.
That scenario is not unprecedented in statewide politics. Senator Lowell Weicker threatened to run as an independent when running for reelection to his three terms in the Senate and actually became Governor of the state by running as an independent.
Lieberman ran for President in 2004, was beaten in the early round of the primaries, attracted attention for his strong support of the President Iraq war effort and turned down numerous appointments to join the Bush administration, all of which causing the ire of the national and statewide Democratic party.
NEWS OF THE DAY………..No recount. That’s the word from 118th Legislative Republican candidate Art Bobbouine. The deputy Luzerne County Sherriff will not ask for a recount in the race he lost by 11 votes and support Maureen Tatu, a Regiastered Nurse in her bid against Democrat Mike Carroll. Carroll was endorsed by outgoing representative Tom Tigue who served the district since 1980.
In response to Lynn Swann’s tax plan, Governor Ed Rendell has proposed using some of the state surplus for tax cuts. The proposed cuts are worth over 90 million dollars but a majority of the money will be used as a surplus to back up the prescription drug program for seniors, filling state trooper vacancies and taking a hard look at the state prison salary system. The Governor also has a 26 million dollar plan to fight high gas prices. It would double rebates for hybrid vehicles as well as offering sales tax holidays for people purchasing energy efficient appliances.
Senator Santorum showed up in Dunmore this week with majority leader Bill Frist. The Senators talked about the medical malpractice crisis in the state. This is the same crisis that President Bush talked about at the start of the 2004 Presidential race, also in Lackawanna County. Santorum contends that the crisis is chasing medical specialists like obstetricians and gynecologists out of the state.
Far away in Colorado, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman became the first statewide candidate in this election to air media spots. The commercial features Holtzman touting his plan for a $1.2 Billion dollar tax cut—his main economic policy message. This would be the largest tax cut in Colorado history. Holtzman also echoes his intention to end taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens in Colorado. In addition to this news, Holtzman says he’s not leaving the race for Governor. Reportedly the state GOP chair asked Holtzman to pull out in favor of U.S. Congressman Bob Beauprez in the interest of party unity and a clear ride in the November general elections.
Holtzman began his political career at the age of 16 working in the Presidential bid of Ronald Reagan. At the age of 26, he ran against then one term Congressman Paul Kanjorski in the 1986 elections and was trounced despite bringing in GOP luminaries like Gerald Ford, Jack Kemp, Edwin Meese, and a TV commercial from President Reagan himself. Since that election, Kanjorski has had virtually no opposition in his re-election bids. The Congressman is running for his 12th term with no opposition.