NPR reports, "In a presidential race that seems to include every possible political strategy ... [t]here have been no high-impact independent groups along the lines of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that played a prominent role in attacking John Kerry four years ago. ... After the Dow Jones industrial average's record 777-point plunge last month, wealthy donors didn't have so much wealth.
"Barack and socialism? No, our country deserves better," implored Mark Williams.
It was only a few minutes into the October 22 rally staged by Our Country Deserves Better, a political action committee (PAC) formed to oppose the Democratic presidential candidate. But Williams, a conservative talk radio host from California, was just getting warmed up.
"Barack Obama represents people who are ashamed of this great country, who believe that this great country is the evil in the world and that, in their revisionist history, they cast us as the villain," Williams claimed. "And if we dare question them ... like Joe the Plumber: 'Mr. Obama, what are you going to do to my taxes?' That was enough for the dogs who support the ideological left to go after Joe the Plumber and shred him. ... There's no such thing as sacred, among the unholy left. They vilify this nation, and they vilify those of us who support it. ... [It's] the same kind of thuggery of the left that's used by totalitarian regimes around the world to silence opposition."
Towards the end of the rally, Williams invoked a long-discredited smear against Obama that seems designed to play on fears of his "otherness": that he's not really a U.S. citizen. "We all know that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States, beyond being above the age of 35 and probably an American citizen," said Williams, emphasizing the word "probably." He laughed and then repeated: "Probably. Even money."
Unlike his hypothetical conservatives cowed by leftist thugs, Williams will not be silenced.
Get ready for an uptick in nasty "issue advocacy" advertisements in battleground states. The New York Times notes that wealthy right-wing activist Howard Rich recently mailed menacing letters to liberal contributors that read, "We are monitoring all reports of a wide variety of leftist organizations. ...
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's meteoric rise to prominence on the national political scene after only 21 months in office came about with the help of a media relations and marketing consulting firm hired to draw national attention to the state's proposed natural gas pipeline project.
The second debate between the major party U.S. presidential candidates didn't address immigration policy.
(For a full list of candidates, see the Louisiana portal.)
By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas
Louisiana finally held their primaries on Saturday, which had been delayed from their original September 6th date by Hurricane Gustav. Under Louisiana's system, only congressional candidates who win 50.1% in the primary move on to the general election. In the 2nd and 4th congressional districts, no one reached that threshold and a run-off primary will be held for their candidates on Election Day, November 4th, with the general election following on December 6th.
The 2nd district is home to Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who only won 25% of the vote on Saturday and will now face TV anchorwoman Helena Moreno in the Democratic runoff on November 4. The winner will be up against Republican nominee Anh Cao on December 6th. That may be inconvenient for Jefferson, however, because he is scheduled to head to trial on federal corruption charges on December 2nd (full details here).
In the 4th congressional district, where Rep. Jim McCrery is retiring, two runoffs are required. Republicans John Fleming Jr. and Chris D. Gorman survived the primary, as did Democrats Willie Banks Jr. and Paul Carmouche. Both parties will have runoffs on November 4, with the winners squaring off in December.
In the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th districts, the parties' nominees gained a majority of the vote and citizens will choose their representative when they cast presidential ballots on November 4.
Also, one of the country’s most closely-watched Senate races is playing out in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is fighting to retain her seat. However, recent trendlines show her pulling ahead with a double-digit lead over Republican nominee and state treasurer John Kennedy (R), once considered the GOP’s best chance for flipping a Senate seat this cycle.
As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)