March 22, 2010 |
As the office phones buzzed, party leaders hectored and protesters outside roared, several undecided House Democrats this weekend faced an unpleasant and all-too-realistic prospect: that voting for the healthcare overhaul could doom their careers. Some bit their lips and went ahead, perhaps saying a silent prayer along the way. But others begged off, declining to support the bill for a number of reasons, including its effect on state Medicaid budgets and concerns about its effect on seniors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2010 |
As Republicans and Democrats gear up across the country to fight this fall over seats in the House of Representatives, much of the focus in California is on the June 8 primaries. Especially in the two districts with open seats, the races will provide relatively rare change in the state's 53-member delegation. Two veteran representatives are retiring, Democrat Diane Watson of Los Angeles, first elected to Congress in 2001, and Republican George Radanovich of the Central Valley, who initially won the office in 1994.
February 2, 2010 |
Joseph Cao -- the most politically endangered member of Congress, the one and only Republican who voted for President Obama's healthcare plan, a target of Democrats and a source of frustration to many in his own party -- is facing a hometown crowd. "Oftentimes I'm pretty sure that decisions I make might not be the decisions you would make," the lawmaker tells about 125 people lured by free beer and jambalaya to a smoky tavern near downtown. "You might want to scream and bang your head against the wall" or "reach out and strangle me," he continues, but one constant, his one guiding principle, is "a focus on service . . . how I could better serve the people of my district."
January 26, 2010 |
In another blow to the Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, announced Monday that he would not seek to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by his father. Adding to the party's woes, Democratic Rep. Marion Berry of Arkansas said he would retire, putting his seat up for grabs in an election year that looks increasingly favorable for the GOP. Biden, Delaware's attorney general, had been considered an obvious choice to fill the seat for that state. His announcement came as Democrats reel from last week's special-election loss in Massachusetts for the seat that had been held for decades by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
January 23, 2010 |
Republican candidates for Congress are latching onto Scott Brown's bolt-from-the-blue win this week in the Massachusetts Senate race, with political outsiders and longtime office-holders alike casting themselves in a similar mold -- or seeing him in their image. Brown was a fairly obscure state senator who shocked the Democratic favorite, Martha Coakley, in the race to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) by employing a tightly focused, populist, anti-Washington message.
January 21, 2010 |
The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to wipe out most campaign spending limits, coming on top of the Massachusetts Senate race upset, could prove to be a major blow to Democrats and a boost to Republicans in the November midterm elections. The Massachusetts vote -- which ended the Democrats' filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate -- is already reverberating through business-oriented interest groups and lobbyists. Some are rethinking their willingness to cooperate with President Obama on such contentious issues as healthcare and the environment.