Category “Democrats”

WI-06">Initial Ratings in from WI-06

With the retire­ment of Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), nat­u­rally comes the horse race aspects of the new real­ity.  Long has the race been marked either “Safe Repub­li­can” or “Solid Repub­li­can” when Petri was there.  That is no longer the case, but it hardly the “great oppor­tu­nity” many out-of-state lib­er­als believe it to be.

Here’s Cook:

Mov­ing the race from “Solid Repub­li­can” to “Likely Repub­li­can.”  All-in-all, a drop of one level, but about a 75 per­cent chance the GOP is hang­ing on to the seat.

Here’s Sabato:

As men­tioned, Rep. Petri’s (R, WI-6) retire­ment opens up his mar­gin­ally com­pet­i­tive dis­trict, but this is prob­a­bly not the right year for Democ­rats to flip it. Obama won about 46% in this dis­trict in 2012 (after very nar­rowly win­ning it in 2008), and there are only five cur­rently Demo­c­ra­tic House dis­tricts where Obama did worse. So this doesn’t really fit the pro­file of a dis­trict the Democ­rats could win in 2014. Petri’s dis­trict is very sim­i­lar to that of another retir­ing Repub­li­can, the afore­men­tioned Rep. Camp (R, MI-4). In fact, Obama’s 2012 per­for­mance in the dis­tricts was almost iden­ti­cal: He got 45.5% in Camp’s dis­trict and 45.8% in Petri’s. So it’s rea­son­able to make the same rat­ings change we did when Camp retired: WI-6 goes from Safe Repub­li­can to LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

And finally, Rothen­berg:

After explain­ing who the likely can­di­dates are on both sides of the aisle, they come to this conclusion.

For now, we’re main­tain­ing our Rothen­berg Polit­i­cal Report/Roll Call rat­ing of the race as Cur­rently Safe for Repub­li­cans.

Nat­u­rally, this could all change.  Lib­er­als seem to be hop­ing and pray­ing that Glenn Groth­man wins the GOP Pri­mary, see­ing his ten­dency to make gaffes their only chance of get­ting a win here.  As I’ve said before, I don’t believe Glenn will win this primary.

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Rangel Didn’t Pay Rent in Harlem Office, Got Taxpayers to Bailout Back Rent

Can some­one please explain to me how Chuck Rangel keeps get­ting re-elected to Con­gress?  This is down­right embar­rass­ing Harlem.

New York City’s longest-serving con­gress­man won’t pay his rent.

State tax­pay­ers were stiffed out of at least $87,000 when Rep. Charles Rangel stopped pay­ing for the dis­trict office he rents in Harlem’s Adam Clay­ton Pow­ell Jr. State Office Build­ing, records ­obtained by The Post show.

His staffers’ excuse? They lost the lease, accord­ing to state Office of Gen­eral Ser­vices correspondence.

I finally heard back from Con­gress­man Rangel’s office and it seems we haven’t got­ten the signed lease back because they lost it!” OGS real-estate spe­cial­ist Syd­ney Allen wrote in a July 30, 2013, e-mail to a col­league that was ­obtained by The Post.

Rangel paid $7,253 in monthly rent on the 125th Street office he has rented since 2000, expense reports from 2012 show. But the pay­ments stopped for all of 2013.

Incred­i­bly, instead of demand­ing pay­ment of the back rent and late fees from its dead­beat leg­isla­tive ten­ant, the state cut him a huge rent break.

The state says it allowed Rangel in March 2013 to enter into a new sweet­heart deal in which he could post­pone pay­ing six months of rent. That “abate­ment” money has still not been paid, nor has the other six months of missed rent from 2013, a OGS offi­cial said.

The state comp­trol­ler approved a $101,000 lease between Rangel and OGS on Dec. 26, 2013, retroac­tively cov­er­ing the period back to April 2013 and future months through Decem­ber 2014, records show. The 21-month deal resulted in a deeply reduced rent of $4,809 a month.

When The Post last week inquired about the year of miss­ing rent, Rangel’s office and OGS blamed fed­eral seques­tra­tion, not the lost lease ref­er­enced in agency correspondence.

Insert your “The Rent is Too Damn High” joke here.

 

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Florida Liberals Also Behave Badly

It’s never good when a wife has to get a restrain­ing order against her husband.

It’s news when the hus­band is a congressman.

A judge has granted a tem­po­rary pro­tec­tive injunc­tion against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson after his wife filed paper­work accus­ing the Orlando con­gress­man of shov­ing and injur­ing her dur­ing an inci­dent this past weekend.

Lolita Grayson’s peti­tion for the injunc­tion, dated Mon­day, says her hus­band pushed her against a door, caus­ing her to fall to the ground, dur­ing a con­fronta­tion Sat­ur­day at their home on Oak Park Road near Windermere.

In a state­ment, Alan Grayson’s press sec­re­tary, Lau­ren Doney, wrote that the alle­ga­tions “are absolutely false, com­pletely unfounded, and clearly designed to vil­ify and harm Con­gress­man Grayson.”

Con­gress­man Grayson firmly denies Ms. Grayson’s friv­o­lous accu­sa­tions,” the state­ment said.

The inci­dent comes just less than two months after Lolita Grayson filed a divorce peti­tion stat­ing that their mar­riage of nearly 24 years was “irre­triev­ably broken.”

Asked about the inci­dent, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Angelo Nieves said in a writ­ten response that the agency “is cur­rently con­duct­ing a Domes­tic Vio­lence inves­ti­ga­tion which is open and active at this point.”

A heav­ily redacted Sheriff’s Office doc­u­ment released Tues­day iden­ti­fied Lolita Grayson as the vic­tim in the inci­dent and listed the offense under inves­ti­ga­tion as domestic-violence battery.

Grayson was not arrested in the inci­dent and is not cur­rently fac­ing any crim­i­nal charges.

Lolita Grayson is also reported to be peti­tion­ing for joint, but pri­mary, cus­tody of the couple’s children.

Grayson is some­thing of an icon to the hard­core lib­eral elite and online Left.  He also is fac­ing a tough re-election fight (as he did — and lost — in 2010) after reclaim­ing his House seat in 2012.

He seems to only be able to win it on the years of presidential-level turnout.

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H-1B Visa Reform Would Have At Least Made Sense

Let me pref­ace this post by say­ing: “I’m not for amnesty, just san­ity.”

While largely dead for the rest of the 2013–14 con­gres­sional cal­en­dar, there were some things I per­son­ally would have liked to have seen touched in an immi­gra­tion pack­age or sep­a­rate bill.  (You know, that piece­meal approach talked about, but appar­ently not going to be tried.)

At the top of that list is “H-1B Visa Reform.”

H-1B” is, like most visas issued by the State Depart­ment, one of a vari­ety of work visas granted to immi­grants who are tem­po­rary work­ers inside the United States.  H-1B’s are a spe­cialty type of visa which only are avail­able to the fol­low­ing qualifications:

  1. You must be a for­eign national.
  2. You must have already earned a col­lege degree.
  3. Said degree must be in a career related to what are called “STEM” (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, Engi­neer­ing & Math) fields.

The visas last for three years and can be renewed for another three for a total of six years; and with their employ­ers spon­sor­ship, they can gain cit­ize That stay can be up to ten years, only if you are work­ing for a defense con­trac­tor.  They are highly-coveted by tech­nol­ogy firms in Sil­i­con Val­ley such as Google, IBM, Face­book and Oracle.

Annu­ally, 65,000 new H-1Bs are issued, with an addi­tional 20,000 to eli­gi­ble immi­grants already in the coun­try who get­ting their col­lege degrees. Esti­ma­tions are that since the pro­gram began around 2,000, over 850,000 H-1Bs have been issued.

So why reform them and what to do?  The com­mon answer — accepted on both sides — has been to lift the annual quota.  Why? Because the world is a com­pet­i­tive work­place, and despite con­stant inter­est in com­puter sci­ences and IT, Amer­ica isn’t gen­er­at­ing enough of them fast enough.  Also, other nations also have sub­stan­tial tech­nol­ogy sec­tors them­selves and will grab up these wouldbe employees.

In the most recent pod­cast episode for the center-right web­site Ric­o­chet, renowned polit­i­cal ana­lyst Michael Barone told a story of how a Cana­dian diplo­mat prayed that Amer­ica didn’t change its immi­gra­tion pol­icy towards high-skilled work­ers (the ones sought through the H-1B pro­gram) because then all these folks could come to Van­cou­ver, Cal­gary and Toronto.  British Colum­bia is well-known to be the high-tech hub match­ing its neigh­bors south of the bor­der in Wash­ing­ton State and Sil­i­con Valley.

It is this exact thing which makes the immi­gra­tion debate as a whole so frus­trat­ing.  While we’re fight­ing over what is clearly a hor­rific Sen­ate bill, both sides need to take a moment, fig­ure out where there is actual con­sen­sus on immi­gra­tion — like visa reform, which has noth­ing to do with amnesty much if at all — and craft a bill.

Any­one who still demands a full, “com­pre­hen­sive approach” (Chuck Schumer, I’m look­ing at you.) should be barred from the room.  Ham­mer out some­thing that works, not just for those get­ting the H-1Bs’, but for the U.S. econ­omy as well.

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Waxman to Retire

In what is likely the clear­est indi­ca­tion Democ­rats real­ize they have no shot of win­ning the House this Novem­ber, 40-year vet­eran and for­mer chair­man of the mul­ti­ple House com­mit­tees, Henry Wax­man (D-Hollywood) is retiring.

Vet­eran Cal­i­for­nia Demo­c­rat Henry Wax­man, whose leg­isla­tive and polit­i­cal savvy helped remake the Amer­i­can health care sys­tem, reveal tobacco’s dan­gers and expose steroids in base­ball, will retire at the end of the 113th Congress.

I will have com­pleted 40 years in Con­gress by the end of this year,” Wax­man said in an inter­view with POLITICO in his Capi­tol Hill office this week. “I think it’s time to let some­body else come in and take on some of these fights.”

Since arriv­ing in the Capi­tol dur­ing the Watergate-era, Waxman’s reach has extended nation­ally. As the top Demo­c­rat on the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Reform Com­mit­tee dur­ing the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion, he was a pugna­cious par­ti­san who sought to hold the White House account­able. When Pres­i­dent Barack Obama was elected, Wax­man came out on top of a bit­ter brawl within the Demo­c­ra­tic Cau­cus when he knocked off Michi­gan Rep. John Din­gell to chair the House Energy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, where he helped craft Oba­macare, as well as leg­is­la­tion that sought to dras­ti­cally slash on car­bon emissions.

I leave with a lot of sat­is­fac­tion for the accom­plish­ments that I’ve had in my con­gres­sional career,” Wax­man said in the inter­view. “And I think it’s time for me to move on to the next chap­ter of my life.”

Waxman’s retire­ment is the lat­est blow to House Democ­rats, who’ve endured a string of high-profile retire­ment announce­ments in recent weeks. Waxman’s seat will likely remain in Demo­c­ra­tic con­trol, but taken all together, the depar­tures sug­gest that party vet­er­ans don’t believe their party will take back the House in the fall.

By “high-profile retire­ment announce­ments,” Politico is imply­ing Cal­i­for­nia Demo­c­rat (and Pelosi con­fi­dante) George Miller and Virginia’s Jim Moran.  These are high-ranking gen­er­als for the minor­ity leader.

Which now raises a ques­tion that should be asked:  Dems are now look­ing at their third elec­tion in which they’ve lost sig­nif­i­cantly under Pelosi.  For­get talk about a coup against Boehner, how long does she hang onto power?

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