As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dropping Like Flies, Republican Edition

Jim Ramstad is retiring.

In another blow to House Republicans, Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) is expected to announce his retirement this afternoon, according to Republican sources and media reports in Minnesota.

Almost all of the retirements in the House and Senate have come from Republicans, and the two in the House that have come from Democrats are only because Tom Allen and Mark Udall are running for higher office. Ramstad's seat is very much a swing district, giving the Dems another pickup opportunity. There are going to be a lot of them in the House.

In the Senate, Jeanne Shaheen is in the race for John Sununu's seat, and considering she already polls 20 points higher than Sununu without doing one bit of campaigning, that puts Democrats in a strong position. And then there's the continuing saga of Ted Stevens.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney James Wendt, representing former state Rep. Pete Kott, Allen acknowledged that the more than $400,000 he admitted spending in the bribery charge was for other legislators - and including for work done at the Girdwood, Alaska, home of Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate.

"I gave Ted some old furniture," Allen said. "I don't think there was a lot of material, There was some labor."

The workers were VECO employees, probably one to four at a time, Allen said. He said the work on the home lasted for "probably a couple of months." Later, he said it might have been as much as six months.

That's an admission to bribery. I don't know how Stevens keeps from being indicted now, honestly. I don't care how many low-energy light bulb bills he signs on to.

UPDATE: Also, a Navy hero is going to run against the Congress' version of Billy Zabka, Patrick McHenry. I might personally go work in that race.

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