On the campaign trail: Midterm mayhem

On the campaign trail: Midterm mayhem

March 3rd, 2014 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

With the congressional midterm elections bearing down on the country in November, it's always interesting to see what's under the rocks along the campaign trail:

Oh, Is He in Town?

President Barack Obama, who has seen his popularity fall over the past several months with the Affordable Care Act rollout among other problems, may not be everybody's favorite pal on the campaign trail this year. Vulnerable Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu opted not to join the president last fall for an event at the New Orleans port; Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke did not join him recently when he came to her state and vulnerable North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan stayed in Washington last month when Obama gave a speech at North Carolina State University. The latest was Kentucky senatorial hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes, who'd like to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Grimes stated openly she didn't need Obama or any political surrogate to speak for her but happily welcomed former President Bill Clinton to the state to support her last week.

Sink-ing in the Sand

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink made her case for immigration reform last week and in so doing put illegal immigrants in what she evidently believes is their place. "Immigration reform is important in our country," she said. "We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers, and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? We don't need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers." So let's see if we've got this straight. According to Sink, the country should make all illegal immigrants legal so they can get to work on cleaning our rooms and keeping our gardens weeded.

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

At his inauguration earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe pledged to ask his state legislature to enact the strongest possible new ethics rules for all state elected officials. The Democrat hasn't said whether there's an exception for his Commerce Secretary Maurice Jones, who, it was recently concluded, had lobbied Congress while a member of the Obama administration. A months-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's office of inspector general concluded Jones and four others at HUD, where Jones was a deputy secretary, appear to have violated anti-lobbying laws when he emailed more than 1,000 recipients asking them to contact senators to "defend against efforts by some Republicans" to prevent a housing bill from coming up for a vote and to tell them to vote "no" on another amendment. The investigation also concluded that Jones violated internal HUD policy on lobbying by federal employees.

Another Dingell in the House?

Debbie Dingell was just a toddler when her husband, Rep. John Dingell Jr., D-Mich., 87, was first elected to Congress in 1955. Now the longest-serving member of Congress in history would like to see his wife succeed him. The congressman, who succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr., who served from 1933 to 1955, knows his wife, 60, would be the prohibitive favorite in the overwhelmingly Democratic 12th District. "If she runs -- the lovely Deborah -- I will vote for her," he said. There was no word on whether they plan on adopting a child who might eventually take her place.

Everyone Knows She's Windy

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator now running for governor, has made something of a name for herself by touting a story of being a teenage single mother who pulled herself up by her bootstraps. Turns out, that's not quite true. She was separated at age 19 but wasn't divorced until age 21, the Dallas Morning News uncovered last month. And that pulling herself up by her bootstraps story? Well, according the newspaper investigation, Davis' second husband took care of her children while she attended Harvard Law School and cashed in his 401(k) to pay for it. And he claims she walked out on him the day he made the final payment on her student loan. In the subsequent divorce papers, she was accused of adultery. And even though the newspaper report was nearly a month ago, Davis' teenage mother reference is still on the Texas state senator's webpage.

You can look it up (http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist10/dist10.htm).