Campaign 2010

Aug 31, 2010

House Republican Candidates in Disarray Across the Country

While House Republican Leaders in Washington have spent the past month measuring the drapes, Republican candidates across the county were facing tough stories on everything from coming out in favor of privatizing Social Security. . . failure to pay taxes… ethics problems… arrest warrants… to even a candidate lying about their role in driving a truck off the road because it was carrying negative mail pieces from a rival campaign…

Here is a sample of August’s local coverage of Republicans’ problems:

Michele Rollins (DE-AL) – Michele Rollins owned a Venezuelan state oil bond that was controlled by Hugo Chavez

Rollins owned a bond worth over a quarter of a million dollars in an oil company Chavez uses to fund his agenda.  “Chavez, who has increased the oil entity's power, has not been the strongest of American allies — in 2009, he called America the greatest terrorist in world history.” [Politico, 8/16/10]

David Rivera (FL-25) - CBS 4 Miami discredited David Rivera’s account of what took place in a traffic accident where a truck carrying literature from a rival campaign was driven off the road.  The station reported that police reports contradicted Rivera’s story about his role in the 2002 accident.  In the incident, a truck carrying flyers from a rival campaign, detailing the alleged domestic violence charges, en route to a post office was driven off the road by David Rivera.   [CBS 4 Miami, 8/17/10]

David Rivera (FL-25) - In an investigative report, the Miami Herald discredited Rivera story surrounding past domestic violence allegations. 
The paper discovered that David Rivera did in fact have ties with the domestic violence victim in question despite his denials. [Miami Herald, 8/19/10]

Jim Renacci (OH-16) – Jim Renacci cheated on his income taxes

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s PolitiFact found that Republican candidate Jim Renacci did in fact fail to pay his income taxes. The Ohio Department of Taxation found, “ [that] Renacci [had] about $1.4 million in back taxes, interest and penalties for misreporting his income in 2000. Renacci and his wife, Tina, filed a state tax return for that year that claimed they had a loss of $247,336, but an audit found they actually made $13,730,440. The couple filed a tax appeal when the state dinged them for $954,650 in back taxes, $146,938 in interest and $293,876 in penalties.” [The Plain Dealer, 8/27/10]

Kristi Noem (SD-AL) – Noem: Received 20 speeding tickets, six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrents.

“KELOLAND News checked the records for all five candidates for U.S. House and Governor; Noem has the longest list of violations, including 20 speeding tickets, three stop sign violations, two seat belt violations, and no driver's license. Noem also has six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrants.” [Keloland, 8/26/10]

Brad Zaun (IA-03) – Congressional candidate Brad Zaun told to stay away from former girlfriend

“Republican congressional candidate Brad Zaun had to be told by West Des Moines police in 2001 to stay away from a former girlfriend who had accused him of harassing her, a police report shows…Zaun, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell in Iowa's 3rd District, acknowledged in an interview Wednesday that the incident took place when he was Urbandale's mayor.” [Des Moines Register, 8/18/10]

Rick Crawford (AR–01)  - Rick Crawford refuses to say whether he paid bankruptcy bills

“Crawford refuses to say whether he paid the bill this summer after questions were raised and after he had insisted that he had long ago repaid his debts. A campaign aide of the candidate said that was all he was ever going to say about the matter.” The Arkansas Leader concludes, “If you cannot trust a man to be honest about so trivial an affair in his own life, how can you vouchsafe any faith in what he says about matters that are truly grave?” [Arkansas Leader, 8/17/10]

Representative Dan Lungren (CA–03) - Former California Attorney General spiked his state pension just before leaving office

“In addition to his federal pay as a United States Congressman, in his last year as California Attorney General, Rep. Dan Lungren, expected a 25% a spike which increased the amount that he was able to except in his pension by over $11,000… In his final months as attorney general, his salary jumped to more than $140,000. upping his retirement pay by more than $11,000 per year.” [KOVR-TV, 8/22/10] [Sacramento Bee, 8/19/10]

Ben Quayle (AZ-03) – Republican candidate Ben Quayle tied to ‘The Dirty’ since 2005

“Ben Quayle now admits that in 2007 he used a pseudonym to contribute to the voyeuristic website,, which later became, after first denying any affiliation with the site… Quayle’s ties to the founder of the site go back more than five years when the two were introduced during a celebrity golf tournament at a country club in Lake Tahoe, Nev.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 8/12/10]

Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski (MI-09) – Raczkowski is off to a rocky start

“Should we pity the elected official who tries to tailor his message to his audience, gets caught saying different things at different places and tries to recover by straddling the mixed messages? Or should we laugh, considering that the antics of politicians should never be taken too seriously?... Raczkowski can't seem to stop slipping on the banana peel.” [Macomb Daily, 8/14/10]

Francisco Canseco (TX-23) – Traffic Ticket led to arrest warrant for Francisco Conseco

“According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, Quico Canseco was pulled over in April 2004. An arrest warrant was issued after he failed to the pay the ticket, though it was eventually paid in full — plus an additional $50 fine — about 10 months later in January 2005.” [AP, 7/3010]

Tom “Casino” Marino’s (PA-10) ties to disgraced businessman Louis Denaples continue to haunt his candidacy

WILK wrote that “Tom Marino’s integrity is crumbling,” and that “Law-abiding citizens are wondering if Marino’s word is any good.” [WILK AM, 8/25/10]

David Rivera (FL-25) - Rivera previously lied about foreclosure proceedings on a home he co-owns with Marco Rubio.  Rivera “denied that a bank began foreclosure proceedings on a house he owned with former House Speaker Marco Rubio even though property and foreclosure records clearly showed he did co-own the home.” [CBS 4 Miami, 8/17/10]

David Rivera (FL-25) - Rivera also lied about his personal ties to a controversial businessman.  As CBS 4 Miami reported, Rivera “denied to the Miami Herald being friends with a principal of a group that advises companies on how to trade with Cuba despite several prominent witnesses who said the two men were close.” [CBS 4 Miami, 8/17/10]

Matt Doheny (NY-23) - came under fire after he called Social Security a bad investment.

Doheny told the Watertown Daily Times that "Social Security unfortunately is probably — as somebody who knows a little bit about finances — the worst, worst, worst investment you can ever make,” comments that should send shivers down the spines of North Country seniors. [Watertown Daily Times, 8/26/10]

Allen West (FL-22) - Under fire for his tax liens

Allen West has been hit with thousands worth of liens because of his unpaid taxes, including a single $11,000 lien by the IRS. [Miami Herald, 8/27/10]

Lou Barletta (PA-11) - Opposes bringing new jobs to the district

“In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, with unemployment rates at their highest levels in a long time, with jobs a big issue in his contest with incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, [Lou Barletta] just went on record as opposed to a proposal that could bring 1,000 jobs to the region.” [Times Tribune, 8/26/10]

Tom Marino (PA-10) – He wants to cut Social Security

Marino was attacked because of comments he made advocating for the “elimination or reduction of Social Security benefits for future generations. [Times Leader, 8/25/10]

Michael Grimm (NY–13) – Michael Grimm breaks Marine Corps and FBI rules again

The FBI and Marine Corp are unhappy with Republican congressional candidate Michael Grimm because in his two new television ads by using Marine and FBI snapshots in the ads. Marine Corps Capt. Brian Block said, “The Web ad is not OK” and FBI spokesman Stephen Kodak said, “ ‘We would definitely consider that an inappropriate use …we’re an apolitical agency,” he added.“That’s giving the impression that the FBI endorses him, or he represents the FBI, and that’s not the case,” Kodak said. [NY Daily News, 8/6/10]

Matt Doheny (NY–23)  - Matt Doheny has two ‘boating under the influence’ charges against him
Matt Doheny has been charged twice for ‘boating under the influence.’ On July 10, Cost Guard officials boarded Matt Doheny’s boat. Coast Guard member, Adam Moss said he “‘noticed the subject to be stumbling and slurring his speech.’ He also described Doheny as uncooperative and yelling.’ As a result, Doheny was handcuffed.” On July 24th, Matt Dohney was reluctant to take a sobriety test two times before only taking the test when the Coast Guard threatened to send NY State police for his lack of cooperation. Doug Hoffman, his Republican opponent, called Doheny's conduct during the first stop 'disturbing.'” [WWNY TV 7, 8/6/10]

Anne Marie Buerkle (NY-25) - Called out for her false and misleading rhetoric

In an Aug 10 letter to her supporters, Anne Marie Buerkle claimed: “the Obama Health and Human Services Department is planning to compile a federal health record on all U.S. citizens by 2014, and will include information on each individual’s Body Mass Index in the files.” PolitiFact said, “So will an intrusive government will have access to your private medical information? The short answer is: No.. As a result, we rate the claim False.” [PolitiFact, 8/30/10]

Zack Space (OH-18), Jason Altmire (PA-04), and Walt Minnick (ID-01) –  NRCC admits Reps. Space, Altmire, and Minnick are no longer top targets The New York Times reported that Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Zack Space (Ohio) “are among the Democrats no longer seen by Republicans as easy targets.” The line was part of a larger story regarding Democratic incumbents running in districts won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.” [CQ Politics, 8/12/10]

Stephen Fincher (TN-08) – Stephen Fincher may have hidden several loans he received

J. Houston Gordon, a well-known Covington attorney and former state Democratic Party chairman, sent a letter to the U.S. attorney in Memphis this week that says Fincher may be in violation of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 by not listing several loans he received in the last two years or showing assets other than his income from his farm. [The Jackson Sun, 8/28/10]

Andy Barr (KY-06) – Disgraced Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s “a voice of compliance” tied to missing public documents

GOP challenger Andy Barr is struggling to distance himself from his former boss, unpopular ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher.  That’s becoming even harder as reports surface about 2007 rulings that said the Fletcher administration, where Barr worked as a top legal aide, was bad at maintaining open records requests.  [CQ Politics, 7/29/10]

Robert Hurt (VA–05) – Republican candidate Robert Hurt attended Tea Party meetings that were closed to the press and the public

Republican candidate Robert Hurt attended a Lynchburg Tea Party meeting that was closed to the press and public. Many of the Tea Party members have been some of Hurt’s fiercest critics. “For Hurt to meet with a group of potentially hostile Fifth District voters behind closed doors and without recording devices denies the public a chance to see how Hurt responds when the heat is on.” [Danville Register & Bee, 8/4/10]

Eric Cantor (VA-07) – Cantor criticized for accepting donations from financial center

“Republican leader Eric Cantor of Richmond received $460,000 in donations from the financial sector in Quarter 2, a haul that has opened him up to criticism from watchdog groups after he led opposition to Wall Street Reform.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/30/10]

Steve Stivers (OH-15) – Steve Stivers flip-flops on stem cell research

“Stivers, a Republican, has said he favors stem-cell research but, as a state senator, he voted against allowing state bond funds to be spent on that purpose. Stivers explained his vote as a procedural tactic to allow an economic-development package to proceed through the legislative process.” [The Columbus Dispatch, 8/25/10]

Representative Mike Pence (IN–06) – Rep. Mike Pence hosted job fair with Employers that received stimulus funding

On August 10, 2010 Representative Mike Pence hosted a job fair in his district with 65 businesses attending. 16 of the businesses invited received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which he voted against. [CBS News, 8/11/10]

Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski (MI-09) - Republican Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski questions President Obama’s citizenship

In a Politico interview Republican candidate Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski said that he would “love” to see President Obama’s birth certificate and also, in appearances has openly questioned whether the President was born in the United States. [Politico, 8/6/10]

Bob Gibbs (OH-18) – Bob Gibbs forced to file an amended campaign finance report

“The campaign of 18th Congressional District candidate Bob Gibbs filed an amended campaign finance report Monday morning, shortly after his opponent accused him of accepting illegal contributions. Gibbs, a Republican state senator from Lakeville, misreported some contributions for his primary campaign as general election donations, said campaign spokeswoman Emily Pettigrew.” [Zanesville Times Recorder, 8/31/10]

Representative Dave Reichert (WA-08) – The Seattle Times recommends Suzan DelBene and Tim Dillon for the 8th Congressional District

The Seattle Times endorsed Suzan DelBene and Tim Dillon for Washington’s 8th congressional district. The Seattle Times declared, “On issues ranging from the wars to the economy, three-term Republican incumbent Reichert is unstudied and comes up short. After six years in office, this is unacceptable.” [The Seattle Times, 8/5/10]

Joe Heck (NV-03) –  Joe Heck’s pay check comes from taxpayer money

“Republican House candidate Joe Heck has said that it’s not government’s job to create jobs. But for more than a decade, Heck’s paychecks have come from government entities… Heck’s income is primarily from government entities via his business, Specialized Medical Operations, which provides training and consulting to security companies, law enforcement and the military. Since 1993, Specialized Medical Operations has held 11 consulting contracts, worth up to $944,550, with the Southern Nevada Health District. The most recent contract pays Specialized Medical Operations $100 an hour. Heck’s company also landed at least two contracts with Metro Police, worth up to $216,000.” [Las Vegas Sun, 8/13/10]

Scott Bruun (OR-05) – Scott Bruun and the Politics of Social Security

The Democrats noted that Scott Bruun said on KGW's "Straight Talk" that, "I do not support privatizing Social Security."  Yet, in March of this year, Bruun told a group in Salem that he believed "we have to have a private element of Social Security to make it work." [Oregonian, 8/9/10]