# 2006 Midterm Election Results

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Worst Congressmen Update: Dick Pombo Ousted
http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?cat=17
Dick Pombo, the anti-environmentalist zealot, a man who worked to dismantle the endangered species act, sell off national parks, and crusaded to open ANWR to drilling, has been replaced by wind-energy consultant Jerry McNerny.

We touched on Curt “We Found the WMD” Weldon’s fate last night. This conspiracy spouting nutjob, under federal investigation for corruption as well, has been replaced by Joe Sestak, a man whom if the Democrats have the sense god gave geese will give a national platform.

“Dollar” Bill Jefferson is imperiled — headed toward a runnoff in Louisiana.

The others, alas, have escaped the cleansing waters of the wave: Marilyn Musgrave was made to sweat. Denny Hastert looked awfully relieved to be returning to the House. But the others we profiled cruised to reelection. Though they’ve escaped the voters’ wrath, here’s hoping several of them are not so lucky with their Grand Juries.
Mike Taibbi has an article "Time to Go! Worst Congress" in Rolling Stone, November 2, 2006 - Issue No. 1012
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/worst_congress_ever [Broken]
These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.

To be sure, Congress has always been a kind of muddy ideological cemetery, a place where good ideas go to die in a maelstrom of bureaucratic hedging and rank favor-trading. Its whole history is one long love letter to sleaze, idiocy and pigheaded, glacial conservatism. That Congress exists mainly to misspend our money and snore its way through even the direst political crises is something we Americans understand instinctively. "There is no native criminal class except Congress," Mark Twain said -- a joke that still provokes a laugh of recognition a hundred years later.

But the 109th Congress is no mild departure from the norm, no slight deviation in an already-underwhelming history. No, this is nothing less than a historic shift in how our democracy is run. The Republicans who control this Congress are revolutionaries, and they have brought their revolutionary vision for the House and Senate quite unpleasantly to fruition. In the past six years they have castrated the political minority, abdicated their oversight responsibilities mandated by the Constitution, enacted a conscious policy of massive borrowing and unrestrained spending, and installed a host of semipermanent mechanisms for transferring legislative power to commercial interests. They aimed far lower than any other Congress has ever aimed, and they nailed their target.
Hastert voted for a bill that provided about $200 million for a highway that passed right by some property he own! He sold some of the property to a developer for a profit of about$2 million!

The 'debate' on Iraq last a couple of hours during with the actual questioning of the Rumsfeld and Pentagon lasted several minutes. The members of congress then spent time chatting with each other or discussing pet projects ('parochial interests') in their home districts.

Warner (I would have expected better) seemed more concerned about spending on ship contruction at the Norfolk Naval Yard, than he did on cost of Iraq and the plan to ensure democracy. When congress had a chance to ask about post-war planning in Iraq - they didn't. No oversight!

Bills were 'debated' in closed sessions and the democrats were locked out! That is not democracy!

The level of corruption and the lack of governing by the Republicans controlling the 109th congress is astounding! America is very fortunate to have made the change. I just hope the Pelosi and the Democrats do better.

Bonus - The 10 Worst Congresspersons :yuck:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12054520/the_10_worst_congressmen

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Skyhunter
McGyver said:
For the past 18 months, I have listened, prayed, written, and advocated for progress and stability on global matters. With new blood now in Washington and in many states, it appears it may be near. A toast to you all!
I woke up Wednesday feeling like America had taken a step back from the brink.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Well Hastert and Reynolds were re-elected. Makes one wonder about the electorate in those districts.

Washington has been a one-party Republican town for almost the entire six years Mr. Bush has been president. Tuesday’s election ended any talk about Republicans establishing a permanent majority in the capital and upset a power structure that extended from Congress and the White House through the network of lobbyists, interest groups and donors who have supported Republicans and their agenda for years.

“We’re going to take a two-year hiatus,” Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told reporters at a morning news briefing. Of Ms. Pelosi, he said: “My goal and job will be to make sure she never sets the record that Denny Hastert set.”
Hopefully, Pelosi won't engage in obstruction and corruption that Hastert has. But then I don't think that is what Reynolds had in mind.

Mr. Bush, meanwhile, was asked at his news conference how he could have been so hopeful of Republican victory in the face of polls predicting such serious losses.

“I thought when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security,” the president said. “But the people have spoken, and now it’s time for us to move on.”
Well, clearly Bush still doesn't get. The American people do care about taxes and security, and this is why the Republicans got thumbed. Moreso, many people a feeling the burdens of everday life and it doesn't help to have corrupt officials in Washington feeding themselves and their political supporters (aka lobbyists, cronies, . . .) and undermining the future of the country (the economy and Constitution) let alone the immediate and long-term security.

The House rules need to be changed to make the process 'open' and both parties need to discuss and debate. The Federal Government needs to live within its means, and it needs to ensure the integrity of the system, not undermine it.

Just a reminder -

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Now that is a very Liberal idea!

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Allen just conceded - there will be no recount in Virginia.

THE DEMS HAVE THE SENATE!

turbo
Gold Member
Gokul43201 said:
Allen just conceded - there will be no recount in Virginia.

THE DEMS HAVE THE SENATE!
It's about time. There are reports that in the day or two before the election, people were calling Webb supporters and telling them that they were from the Web campaign, then directing them to wrong or non-existent polling places. More "prevent the vote" tactics by Republicans, who also overwhelmingly challenge the right to vote of ethnic minorities and poor people. It may be time to declare a national holiday on election day and make voting mandatory for all mentally-competent citizens over 18. Then, this behavior would rise from "dirty tricks" to the level of a felony. If a person is required to vote by law, preventing him from voting should carry very serious consequences.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Interestingly, NPR's site has 49 D, 49 R and 2 Ind in the Senate, which I like. We do need a third independent group, IMO. Two parties just doesn't work.

http://www.npr.org/news/specials/election2006/results/

There are still 10 House races left to resolve. The votes are very close, and there is the runoff for Jefferson (D) in LA. I think he ought to be disqualified based on the evidence of corruption.

Office_Shredder
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Astronuc said:
Interestingly, NPR's site has 49 D, 49 R and 2 Ind in the Senate, which I like. We do need a third independent group, IMO. Two parties just doesn't work.

http://www.npr.org/news/specials/election2006/results/
One of the independents is Lieberman. Real independent.

On the other hand, we have the socialist from vermont. He IS a real independent, but will be voting with the democrats on everything economic based, and most social stuff too. So the democrats have an effective majority.

But I seem to recall reading somewhere that this is the first time an independent was elected for the past 50 years or something... can someone verify if that's true?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
That maybe true at the Federal level, i.e. in congress. There have been several Independent or third party candidates for president the past few decades - but obviously, they didn't win.

In the 86th Congress (1959-1961) - Thomas Dale Alford (Indep D-AR) elected in 1958. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/86th_United_States_Congress

Supposedly there was another independent in the 1972 congressional elections, but I didn't find details.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_elections,_1972

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_(politician)#United_States
Representative Bernie Sanders has been elected as an independent member of the United States House of Representatives for Vermont-at-large since 1991. He is one of two independent representatives to sit on that legislative body. The other representative is Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who ran on the Independent ticket this election after losing the Connecticut primary to Ned Lamont. Though both representatives are technically Independent politicians, both have historically voted Democratically in the past, and have acknowledged they will continue to do so.
Interesting data if anyone interested - http://clerk.house.gov/members/electionInfo/1992/92Stat.htm
The independents keep trying.

For the hardcore political person, like Gokul perhaps - http://clerk.house.gov/members/electionInfo/elections.html

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus

One priority of the incoming Democratic Congress will be to repeal tax breaks given to Big Oil in last year's Energy Act — and they may investigate the controversial task force behind the legislation while they're at it. Sarah Gardner reports.

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: President Bush is making nice with newly empowered Democratic leaders this week. It was lunch with Nancy Pelosi, the incoming Speaker of the House today. The two said they had a fine time. But her party clearly has the knives out for some of President Bush's allies in the oil and gas industry.

The Democrats say one of their priorities will be repealing some of the tax breaks Big Oil got in last year's Energy bill. There could also be investigations into the controversial task force that engineered that particular piece of legislation. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SARAH GARDNERS: This controversy dates back to early 2001, before the terrorists attacks of 9/11. Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force had started drafting a White House energy policy. But the meetings were held in secret. Environmentalists complained they were shut out in favor of industry bigwigs. Sharon Buccino is with the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council.

SHARON BUCCINO: There were a couple of symbolic meetings that occurred with environmentalists, but the people who had access to the decision makers at the highest level were the oil and gas companies.
Critics feared the fossil-fuels industry was writing the nation's energy policy. A congressional watchdog agency demanded that the administration disclose exactly who met with the task force. The White House refused. Then-White House press secretary Ari Fleisher.

ARI FLEISHER: "A good government is a government that is allowed to have a certain level of deliberations in private. They're allowed to have a certain level of meetings that take place so that ideas can be developed, that thoughts can be given, ideas can be shared."

Lawsuits followed. The controversy landed in the Supreme Court where the Vice President prevailed. Democrat Henry Waxman will likely chair the House Government Reform Committee in the new Congress. He complains the resulting legislation gave short shrift to conservation and alternative fuels.
I think I hear Henry Waxman chomping at the bit and stamping the ground.

New guy on government reform

California Congressman Henry Waxman is in line to head the Government Reform Committee now that Democrats have won control of the House. Kai Ryssdal asks him what kinds of oversight we can expect.

KAI RYSSDAL: Democrats taking over in the House means a whole new slate of committee chairmen. Senior lawmakers who've been waiting a dozen years for their chance at the gavel. One of them is Henry Waxman of California. He's in line to head the House Government Reform Committee. Congressman, good to have you with us.

HENRY WAXMAN: Thank you. Pleased to be with you.

RYSSDAL: I'd like to start with the news from this morning, if I might, that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's gonna step down. You've been one of the most vocal critics of the Secretary and the way the war's been conducted. Everything from troop support, using private contractors, to how much the Pentagon's spending. Anything in today's news that makes you change your mind?

WAXMAN: I think Secretary Rumsfeld should have stepped down a long time ago. To me it's so amazing that no one in the Bush Administration is ever criticized, no one's accountable. They don't even admit they've ever made mistakes. They've made a lot of mistakes and we're seeing it everyday in Iraq. And I think you have to hold the man who's failed to do the work that needed to be done to plan the occupation and the deliverance of the country back to the Iraqi people. And that's the secretary of defense.

RYSSDAL: So we can expect oversight hearings from your committee on things like Pentagon contractors and the cost of the war.

WAXMAN: The Government Reform Committee is the major oversight and investigative committee in the House. We have jurisdiction over any issue that we choose to pursue. That doesn't mean that there aren't other committees like Intelligence or the Armed Services Committee that may also pursue some of the issues as well. But we have, as the minority, taken our investigation of some of the contracting in Iraq and the billions of dollars that can't be accounted for. I think the most important thing we could do is to pursue waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers' money wherever it may be coming from. We have examples of contracts that have been put out where we just never got our money's worth. And I think if we didn't get our money's worth, we shouldn't be paying the contractors. We should ask them to pay it back.
Come Jan 3, 2007, things will get interesting.

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BobG
Homework Helper
Office_Shredder said:
One of the independents is Lieberman. Real independent.

On the other hand, we have the socialist from vermont. He IS a real independent, but will be voting with the democrats on everything economic based, and most social stuff too. So the democrats have an effective majority.

But I seem to recall reading somewhere that this is the first time an independent was elected for the past 50 years or something... can someone verify if that's true?
I think it is true of the Senate given the key word "elected". Jim Jeffords won election to the Senate as a Republican in 1988, 1994, and 2000, but became an independent in 2001. He's caucused with the Democrats ever since then. He's retiring this year, so he's never ran for office as an independent.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Women Bring New Power, Perspective to Congress
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6465473
by Linda Wertheimer

Morning Edition, November 10, 2006 · Record numbers of women will be serving in the 110th Congress, and the U.S. House of Representatives will be led by a woman speaker for the first time in history. Nine governors will be women. There will be 16 female senators, including two new ones, and at least 70 women will be in the House.

The most important win for women is the speakership of the House of Representatives. Next year, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be the first woman to lead the Congress.

Robin Gerber is a historian and author of Leadership, the Eleanor Roosevelt Way. She says Pelosi's position of power is important for all women.

"The power of the mirror is huge. What we see, we believe we can become," Gerber says. "And so that’s why Nancy Pelosi's sitting in that speaker's chair is huge. For women, that is definitely the most significant thing that happened.”

On the night of the election, preparing to step into her new role, Nancy Pelosi spoke about the role of clean government.

"The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington D.C.," she said. "And the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history."

Cleaning the house; the domestic image is almost irresistible.

Gerber says that raising a family is the kind of leadership that women like Pelosi bring to elective office, and men often do not.

"She had five children before she came into politics. And that old 'four cookies, five children' problem is a similar problem that she’s going to have to solve as speaker," Gerber says.

But does this change things?

. . . .
Well, we'll see.

Rural Voters Helped Put Democrats in Charge
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6466892
by Howard Berkes
Morning Edition, November 10, 2006 · In key House races across the country, rural voters played a critical role in the Democrats' election success. They've been reliably Republican voters in past elections. But the issues of Iraq and the economy pushed them toward the Democrats.

Some of the nation's smallest places had the biggest impact election day. According to television network exit polls, Democratic congressional candidates won far more support from rural voters Tuesday than they did four years ago in the last mid-term election. In 2002, Republican congressional candidates had a 12-point margin over Democrats. But in 2006, that margin shrank to three points.

The surge in rural support for Democrats helps explain losses for Republican incumbents in 18 House districts with significant rural populations. Rural voters usually give Republicans big margins, which help overcome deficits in urban areas and tighter races in the suburbs. This election, the wide rural gap narrowed, denying Republican congressional candidates the boost rural votes usually provide.

One of the ousted Republicans is Mike Sodrel of Indiana's 9th Congressional District. The southeastern Indiana district is close to 48 percent rural. Sodrel had counted on rural "moral values" voters to help him eke out a win two years ago, when he beat incumbent Democrat Baron Hill. Monday night, on the eve of the election, Sodrel stood in the midst of a Republican phone bank as volunteers phoned voters.
. . . .
I think a lot of people who didn't participate in 2004, decided to get involved in 2006.

Complementary to this discussion -

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Wow, the Democrats are not wasting time -

League of Conservation Voters call Congressman John Dingell (D, MI-15), soon to be chair of the House Energy Committee, an environmental champion:

Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA-30) will soon led the House Government Reform Committee:

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will lead the Senate Environment Committee
bottom of page -
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00045&segmentID=1

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
In a surprising turn of events, Iraq has brought regime change to Washington.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Another benefit from last Tuesday's elections -

Arabs Get In-Depth Coverage, Seem Impressed with U.S. Democracy
http://abcnews.go.com/International/Vote2006/story?id=2646843&page=1
Nov. 11, 2006 — You might think living 6,000 miles from Washington would be too far to follow the U.S. midterm elections. But if you lived anywhere in the Arab world, you would have found coverage nearly as complete and detailed as it was in America.

Marc Lynch, who monitors the Arab media for his blog AbuAardvark.com and who teaches at Williams College, says this year's reporting in the Middle East reached new levels of sophistication.

The mainstream Arab media, including al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, "were covering it down to the detail of individual congressional races, and they were looking at the implications for specific committees."

The focus was on how the elections would affect Arab issues, especially Iraq. But it also reflected, Lynch says, the growing degree to which people in the Arab world see American politics as part of their own.

. . .

But as the election results came in Tuesday night, Lynch says many Arabs were both surprised and delighted. A guarded optimism is growing in the region, although it's tempered with real concerns. He says the Democratic victory has given Arabs hope for a "more rational foreign policy and maybe a chance to really start dealing with Iraq in a more serious fashion."

Arabs also marveled at the election of the first Muslim to the U.S. Congress — Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, who will be sworn into the House of Representatives with his hand on a Koran.

"That a Muslim could be elected in America," Lynch says, "at a time when bin Laden, and many more than bin Laden, are spreading the idea that this war on terror is a crusader war of Christianity against Islam is really very powerful." . . . .
The rest of the world takes notice about what happens in the US - so we better set a good example. And, Americans ought to take interest in what is happening in the rest of the world - it does affect us.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Astronuc said:
The rest of the {world?} takes notice about what happens in the US - so we better set a good example. And, Americans ought to take interest in what is happening in the rest of the world - it does affect us.
"We are as a city set upon a hill." From a speech by Pilgrim governor Bradford.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
For Governor of Texas

R Perry(Incumbent) 1,714,618 39%
D Bell 1,309,774 30%
I Strayhorn 789,432 18%
I Friedman 553,327 12%

Independents got 30% of the vote in Texas. Friedman got a respectable 12%.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Apparently Pelosi is supporting John Murtha as next Speaker of the House.

Pelosi backs Murtha as House Democratic leader

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nancy Pelosi, who unified fellow Democrats to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives last week, stirred division on Monday by backing John Murtha, a key foe of the Iraq War, as House majority leader over her current deputy.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, now the No. 2 Democrat in the House, brushed off the surprise endorsement by Pelosi, who is in line to be elected by the full House in January as speaker, the chamber's top job that helps set its legislative agenda.

Hoyer said he had the votes to be elected majority leader when his Democratic colleagues cast secret ballots on Thursday. The majority leader is one of the party's most influential positions, and serves as the spokesman during House debate as well as the party's chief negotiator with the Republicans.

"I look forward to working with Speaker Pelosi," said Hoyer, a Maryland moderate.

Andrew Koneschusky, a Murtha spokesman, replied: "He (Hoyer) likes to say the House election is in the bag. We'll see Thursday."

A public advocacy group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, blasted Pelosi, a California liberal, for backing Murtha, who it denounced as "one of the most unethical members in Congress."

The group charged Murtha has opposed ethics reform. It also said he abused his position on a defense appropriations subcommittee to benefit the clients of his brother, Robert Murtha, a registered lobbyist.
So Murtha is controversial.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Sen. Craig Thomas hospitalized since Monday with pneumonia, has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia, his spokesman said Thursday.

The Wyoming Republican, who was easily elected to a third term while in the hospital, issued a statement saying he will undergo treatment and plans to return to Congress in January.

Thomas fell ill in church in Casper on Sunday and was taken by ambulance to Wyoming Medical Center. He and his wife, Susan, flew back to Washington later in the day.

Thomas, 73, canceled campaign events Monday and was admitted to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., that evening, his spokesman Cameron Hardy said Thursday.

While hospitalized, doctors noticed a low white blood cell count and a bone marrow biopsy revealed leukemia, cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Thomas was to immediately begin a four- to six-week course of chemotherapy and will remain at the hospital to reduce his risk of infection, his office said in a press release Thursday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061109/ap_on_go_ot/thomas_leukemia [Broken]

I wish him well and a speedy recovery. My youngest brother had a similar experience. He was admitted to hospital because he was severely ill, and a test revealed a compromised immune system. Unfortunately, he had the most aggressive form of AML (Type 5) and he only lived 11 months after the diagnosis. I hope Senator Thomas fares better.

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BobG
Homework Helper
S. Dakota's Sen. Johnson has possible stroke

If he has to resign, that will put the Senate back at 50-50 with Cheney the tie-breaking vote.

On the other hand, the article gives two examples where Senators refused to leave office, even though incapacitated or at least unable to actually do their job in the Senate.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Also today, the Texas 23rd run-off concluded with long-time incumbent, and DeLay buddy, Bonilla(R) beaten by Rodriguez(D). This was quite unexpected!

All that's left is FL-13.

Skyhunter
All that's left is FL-13.
Hopefully they will have a new election in that district.