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Tags: David Wu

Mother Jones Bugs a Lot of People.



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From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Mother Jones Bugs a Lot of People.

Don’t read the Morning Jolt out loud, because for all we know, David Corn and Mother Jones could be listening to us right now.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused opponents Tuesday of bugging his headquarters and asked for an FBI investigation after a recording from an internal campaign meeting surfaced in a magazine report.

The 12-minute audiotape released by Mother Jones magazine reveals McConnell and his campaign staff at a Feb. 2 meeting lampooning actress Ashley Judd — then a potential Senate candidate — and comparing her to “a haystack of needles” because of her potential political liabilities. Judd has since decided not to run.

“We’ve always said the left will stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Nixonian tactics to bug campaign headquarters is above and beyond,” campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement.

An FBI spokesman confirmed that the agency was investigating the incident following a report filed by McConnell’s office.

First of all, I had better audio quality holding up my cassette recorder to our home stereo to make mix tapes. In fact, I’m pretty sure Billy Joel is singing in the background.

I mean, right there on the tape, you can hear McConnell make really incriminating, scandalous statements, like, “Mmmrrrhg mmm rhgmmm rghmmm brmmm crm” and “mmmrgh hrrgnm mrrgh hrgmm rghghgrmm.”

David Corn posted this; he and Mother Jones posted the secretly-recorded video of Mitt Romney making his “47 percent” comment. Boy, he sure got past his Bush-era qualms about secret wiretapping, huh? Jeff Dunitz lays out Corn’s shock and horror at the violation of privacy presented by the government attempting to listen in on the conversations of terrorists… privacy that is apparently utterly irrelevant if you’re just some lawmaker that Mother Jones opposes speaking in a private meeting. Perhaps Corn resents the competition from the National Security Agency, or maybe he’s just jealous that they have better equipment. 

Of course, Mother Jones was particularly shocked and horrified that some unidentified presenter declared about Ashley Judd:

“She is emotionally unbalanced. I mean it’s been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she’s suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the ’90s.”

I’m sorry, is the argument from the shocked-and-horrified Mother Jones crowd that if a candidate had a mental breakdown, that was none of the electorate’s business?

Obvious joke: “Of course, it’s Congress, perhaps no one would notice.” Hey, a candidate’s mental illness never affects their ability to perform their duties, right? Just ask former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Congressman David Wu, do you have any thoughts on this?

“ROAR!”

Thank you, Congressman.

Kevin Williamson writes, “One sympathizes with people who suffer from mental illness. If you have ever been around somebody with psychological problems of the sort that necessitate hospitalization, you appreciate what a grim business that is. And if you breathe oxygen and possess a dozen or more functioning neurons, you also know that if Sarah Palin had spent a month and a half in a mental hospital, Mother Jones — which took a notably indulgent attitude toward Trig trutherism — would have led the chorus of jeers rather than write oh-so-sensitive headlines about the awfulness of using somebody’s mental health as “political ammo.” And as for the legitimacy of using somebody’s religious beliefs as a campaign issue, maybe we should ask Rick Santorum about that.”

But Judd isn’t running, so her mental health history and nuttier statements are all moot. Let’s hope she has a long, happy, and mentally healthy life, and that she and Morgan Freeman will finally uncover the conspiracy.

Our Dan Foster wonders what Mother Jones expected to hear at a strategy session, and puts the shoe on the other foot.

Where did Mother Jones get the tape? They’ll only say, “we were recently provided with the tape by a source who wishes to remain anonymous. We published the article on the tape due to its obvious newsworthiness. We were not involved in the making of the tape, but it is our understanding that the tape was not the product of any kind of bugging operation.”

My guess is that it was delivered to them by a woman named Lucy Ramirez,  who directed Bill Burkett to get them from a mysterious unidentified man at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Tags: Ashley Judd , David Wu , Mitch McConnell

Robert Colbert — Er, Cornilles — for Oregon’s 1st District!



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Meanwhile, away from Florida:

Voters in northwest Oregon will learn who will represent them in Congress as a special election wraps up Tuesday, more than a year after the first public sign of trouble for a congressman who would eventually resign in a sex scandal. Ballots are due by 8 p.m., in county-run drop boxes, and election officials say they’ll release the first results at that time.

The Republican candidate for the seat, Rob Cornilles, often hears that he resembles comedian Stephen Colbert. So he’s now embracing it in a funny video to close the campaign:

See, that intentionally makes you laugh. Until recently, this district was represented by . . . well, you remember him.

Tags: David Wu , Rob Cornilles

Oregon’s Special House Election Enters Its Final Week



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In Oregon, they vote entirely by mail, and ballots are due Tuesday, January 31, in their special election. Republican Rob Cornilles is on the air with this ad:

Oregon’s 1st congressional district was, until recently, represented by Democrat David Wu. You remember him.

Tags: David Wu , Rob Cornilles

A GOP Upset Brewing in Oregon?



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One of the races easily lost in the hubbub of the presidential race is the special election in Oregon’s 1st congressional district, which was, until recently, represented by Democrat David Wu. You remember him.

The pride of Oregon's 2st Congressional District, David Wu.

A new poll, commissioned by the campaign of Republican Rob Cornilles, shows the GOP nominee within striking distance of Democrat Suzanne Bonamici in a fairly heavily Democratic-leaning district.

The pollster, Moore Information, reports:

The campaign to replace David Wu in Oregon’s First Congressional District is going right down to the wire. In a Moore Information poll of 300 likely voters in the district, conducted January 11-12, Cornilles was supported by 42%, Bonamici by 46%, while 10% were undecided and 2% said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate. Not surprisingly, Bonamici led in the Multnomah County portion of the district, but the race was tied elsewhere.

As ballots begin arriving in voters’ mailboxes, Cornilles appears to be surging. This surge is likely the primary reason the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee has continued their aggressive spending and also helps explain the recent purchase of more than $200,000 in the Portland media market by the Democrat controlled House Majority Fund Super PAC.

Cornilles is benefiting from a political environment that is more negative for Democrats than it was during the 2010 election. Currently, more than six-in-ten district voters believe things in the country are off on the wrong track and just 48% approve of Barack Obama’s performance as president, while 48% disapprove. By contrast in October 2010, Obama’s performance was 53/44% approve.

Both Cornilles and Bonamici still enjoy positive images. Despite nearly a million dollars spent in negative advertising against him, Cornilles is rated favorably by 42%, unfavorably by 36%, while the remaining 22% have no opinion or have never heard of the Republican. Bonamici’s image is 48% favorable, 33% unfavorable and 19% no opinion/never heard.

The telephone poll used live interviewers, January 11-12, 2012, among a representative sample of 300 likely voters in the district. Cellphone-only households were included as part of the sample. Forty-eight percent of the sample are registered Democrats, 35 percent Republicans, and the remainder are non-affiliated/independent/others. The potential sampling error is plus or minus 6 percent.

(Republican chances in an open-seat race are helped slightly by redistricting; as the Cook Political Report noted, “Redistricting made this district about two points more Republican, as it gave up some of its Multnomah County (Portland) precincts to the urban 3rd CD.” (It has just been pointed out to me that I’ve made a glaring error; this race will be the last under the lines that have been in effect since 2002. I suppose one could see this as a dress rehearsal for a potential rematch under the new lines in November.))

The ghost of Wu appears to be haunting the Democrats in this special election; Bonamici recently told an interviewer, “It’s been pretty clear for quite a long time that this district hasn’t had effective representation.” Of course, she donated $250 to him in 2010, his last bid for reelection.

This is a seat the Democrats have held since 1974, and Cornilles is being outspent by a wide margin. He still faces a steep uphill climb, but the fact that Democrats are spending so much suggests they worry about an echo of their debacle in the special election in Anthony Weiner’s district last year, where Republican Bob Turner pulled off the upset.

Tags: David Wu , Rob Cornilles , Suzanne Bonamici

Wu Resigns, Setting Up Special Election in Oregon



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Yesterday I took a look at the GOP’s chances in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District in an open seat race, in response to the news that Rep. David Wu, Democrat and supremely creepy fellow, would not seek reelection.

It appears we’ll have another special House election sometime in the coming months, as Wu is resigning Congress.

It remains a pretty heavily Democratic district (probably D+6 under the new lines), and a likely Democrat nominee, state labor commissioner Brad Avakian, has a headstart in that he was already planning a primary challenge to Wu. But it is easier to pull off an upset in a low-turnout special election (ask Charles Djou or Joseph Cao) and the Republican challenger can rightfully ask how many local Democrats turned a blind eye to Wu’s odd and disturbing behavior in recent years.

Tags: David Wu

Woe Is Wu; Can Oregon’s 1st District Shift From Democrat Blue?



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Rep. David Wu (D., Ore.) ended his 2010 reelection bid with some serious problems, despite winning another term:

On Oct. 27, he gave a speech so negative and loud that a Washington County Democratic Party member complained formally to his office. The outburst was followed two days later by an episode at Portland International Airport, where Wu used his influence as a member of Congress to enter a restricted area and campaign for votes from off-loading passengers. One passenger filed a complaint, and a Transportation Security Administration employee was later required to be retrained for his lapse in letting Wu past security.

Then he held no public events the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before Election Day. Then almost all of Wu’s longtime staffers resigned, telling the press about the increasingly odd behavior that had prompted them to discuss checking Wu into a psychiatric hospital.

Republican Rob Cornilles gave him his toughest challenge in years. And then . . .

Defiant and dug in, Rep. David Wu said late Sunday that he would not resign, declaring instead that he will complete his term and then retire from Congress in 2012. The surprising decision came one day after senior Democratic leaders urged the seven-term Democrat to resign quickly after reports that he was accused of an unwanted and aggressive sexual encounter with a young woman last November.

So how are the Republican chances in an open-seat race? As the Cook Political Report noted, “Redistricting made this district about two points more Republican, as it gave up some of its Multnomah County (Portland) precincts to the urban 3rd CD.” They also note, “An early march SurveyUSA poll found that 46 percent of voters thought he should resign, compared to just 42 percent who thought he should stay in office. Furthermore, the poll found voters would back Cornilles in a hypothetical rematch, 41 percent to 33 percent.”

Wu already had a Democratic primary challenger, state labor commissioner Brad Avakian.

In addition to Cornilles, there’s another intriguing GOP option in this district: Rob Miller, a Portland businessman who heads a Gresham-based food manufacturer.

The NRCC has no comment on Wu’s current troubles.

Tags: Brad Avakian , David Miller , David Wu , Rob Cornilles

A Shift in Oregon



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Last year, The Oregonian newspaper endorsed President Obama and in the state’s 1st Congressional District, they endorsed, “David Wu, Democrat. He has had a solid term of accomplishment for the district and provided an urgently needed vote this month for the federal bailout of the lending industry.”

This year, the editors write, “Rep. David Wu of Portland has represented Oregon’s 1st District for six terms, partly due to his own tenacity, partly due to an uneven series of Republican challengers. During this time, the Democrat’s own impact in the House of Representatives has also been uneven, raising issues about the district’s voice in Washington that his GOP opponents have failed to seize. his year, Tualatin small-businessman Rob Cornilles is mounting the most serious challenge to Wu in memory. Northwest Oregon voters seeking a new, more-consistent presence in Congress should choose Cornilles, and let him work to build a firmer connection from Washington County to Washington, D.C.” 

They sound tired of what they have been getting: “Especially during his current term, Wu can point to some achievements in Congress; he was a part of the regional effort that improved Medicare formulas in favor of Oregon and similar states, and he has worked to raise the profile of community colleges. But voters can legitimately wonder whether 12 years in the House should have produced a more prominent force in the Capitol.” 

Tags: David Wu , Rob Cornilles

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