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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:46 PM
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Democrats strapping up to boot targeted McCotter out of seat
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How this assclown survived Election Day '08 is beyond me.

May 31, 2009

Democrats strapping up to boot targeted McCotter out of seat

But success could swing on finding right candidate


WASHINGTON -- Emboldened by success in 2008 in two Michigan districts previously held by Republicans, Democratic strategists are taking aim at U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter next year, considering him as vulnerable as just about any GOP member of Congress.

Here's why: McCotter spent more than $1 million to win a fourth term representing the district that covers northwestern Wayne County and stretches into southwestern Oakland but got just 51% of the vote. His Democratic opponent, lawyer Joe Larkin, got 45% of the vote spending less than $30,000.

Add to that the fact that McCotter's Livonia-based district favored then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama by 9 points in the fall, and it becomes clear why it's a prime target for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, as the next election cycle comes into view.

"The Republicans are going backwards, they're getting worse," said Bill Ballenger, who runs the Lansing newsletter Inside Michigan Politics. And McCotter, he said, "is in exactly the same position as Walberg and Knollenberg were."

He referred to former U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, the Republican freshman who lost his seat to Democrat Mark Schauer in November, and former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, an eight-term incumbent who lost to Democrat Gary Peters in November. Both districts had been seen as safe Republican territory when they were carved out after the 2000 census. Both, however, were helped by the big turnout in Michigan for Obama, who won't be on the ballot to help in 2010.

McCotter has been the target of the DCCC for awhile. Earlier this year, he and 11 others were the subjects of a phone call campaign to voters in their districts pointing out votes against the $787-billion stimulus bill. And it's clear Democrats intend to ride that vote -- and his position in GOP leadership as Republican Policy chair in the House -- to their full advantage.

"We think the people in this district clearly sent a signal that they're looking for change," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who heads the DCCC.

But beating McCotter won't be easy.

The congressman, who lives in Livonia, declined to be interviewed -- a change for McCotter, who typically is accessible to the news media.

A strict believer in cutting taxes and reducing the size of government, McCotter -- like most Michigan members of Congress, regardless of their party persuasion -- is an advocate for a strong manufacturing base in America, meaning automobiles.

But he voted against the stimulus -- and with it, billions of dollars in aid for Michigan -- saying the cost was too high and that its focus on government spending and new technology branded it a "post-American manufacturing bill."

History is running against the Democrats, however: In the last 19 midterm elections, dating to 1934, the party in power has lost seats in the House all but twice.

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