Thursday, December 13, 2007

A List of House Seats To Target


The 20 freshman members of Congress who had the most special-interest spending, or "earmarks," in the House and Senate spending bills. This includes only spending items with a single sponsor, not multiple sponsors.

Member, party, state, (district)

Total earmarks

Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa. (10th)


Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa.


Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa. (4th)


Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa. (8th)


Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa. (7th)


Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.


Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa (1st)


Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis. (8th)


Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky. (3rd)


Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas (22nd)


Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind. (8th)


Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. (11th)


Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. (5th)


Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind. (9th)


Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. (2nd)


Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. (11th)


Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H. (2nd)


Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. (at-large)


Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio (6th)


Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y. (24th)


Source: USA TODAY analysis based on data from Taxpayers for Common Sense

Nine of these twenty are member of the Blue Dog Coalition bloc of the democratic Party. They claim to be the true fiscal conservatives in the Congress who never vote to spend taxpayer dollars that aren't paid for and essential for the country.

Seventeen of the eighteen defeated an incumbent Republican or seat that was last held by a Republican. They won by demonizing the Republicans for getting pork through the House for their lobbyist pals. Now they are doing the very same thing they accused their opponent of doing.

The only two that can't be targeted in '08 from this list are Senator Webb and Senator Casey. We will have to wait until 2012 to kick them out.

Michael Barone wrote an interesting article about off year elections for the House.
A snippet
The minority party often does well in special elections; a voter knows that his vote will not determine which party controls the House. The fact that Democrat Nikki Tsongas won by only 51 to 45 percent in the very seriously contested race in October in Massachusetts 5 (a 57-to-41 John Kerry district in 2004) was bad news for Democrats. This week's results were not bad news for Republicans. Yes, Latta ran 4 points behind Bush's 2004 percentage, but that's not as much as the 6 points Tsongas ran behind Kerry's 2004 percentage. To me this suggests that the low job approval rating for Congress poses more problems for Democrats than for Republicans in 2008.

Michael Barone is a living breathing almanac of American politics. I respect his analysis more than any other pol, pundit or pollster bar none.

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