Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Now, that's good press!

Look who got first mention in a little piece on Bloomberg today: Republican Unity Frays as Lawmakers Brace for Election Fights

"Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- When Republican U.S. Representative John Sweeney ran for re-election in 2004, President George W. Bush was on his way to winning a second term and Sweeney enjoyed a huge money edge over his Democratic opponent, raising $1.39 million to her $22,823. As he looks to 2006, the New York lawmaker can't breathe so easily. Bush's record-low approval ratings, along with mounting questions about the war in Iraq, have bolstered the Democrats' hopes of regaining control of the House next November. Sweeney faces a challenger, attorney Kirsten Gillibrand, who has raised $120,000 so far, more than the combined total of his three previous opponents. ``For the first time since he was elected, he has a race that he has to pay attention to,'' said Amy Walter, House editor of the Washington-based Cook Political Report, which analyzes congressional races. Political analysts and activists say Sweeney is among about a dozen Republicans, mostly from states that went Democratic in 2004, who may face closer races next year than they have in the past. Those elections are a key reason that House Republican leaders are having a tougher time holding their party together. Sweeney joined 13 other Republican lawmakers last week to vote against a deficit-reduction measure backed by Bush that cuts $50 billion from Medicaid and other benefits programs. It barely squeaked by on a 217-215 vote. Hours earlier, 22 Republicans helped defeat a $142.5 billion spending plan for the departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. The legislation, rejected on a 224-209 vote, would have cut $1.4 billion from last year's funding level and stripped about $1 billion in pet projects that benefit lawmakers' districts.


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