Friday, May 30, 2008

Smearing the DFH

Iowa's 3rd District has a primary contest between 6 term incumbent Blue Dog Leonard Boswell and progressive Ed Fallon next week, June 3rd.

I call the incumbent Our Boswell for good reason - if you need an enabler, he's your man. Boswell voted for the Iraq War, and is solid pro-defense vote for just about anything brought up by the predominantly center-right political apparatus. He's a free-trade supporter while at the same time sucking up to the unions. He sucks up sop much that his union record is an amazing 85%, despite his trade positions. Boswell also voted for the draconian bankruptcy reform bill that passed last year, where the Blue Dogs aligned themselves the Republicans to pass that miserable piece of low-income indenturement. In short, Bos is always there with a vote if you need a deal made.

Predictably, the state party is unofficially supporting Bos. For a time in the late 90's and through the 2000's, Boswell was the only Democrat in the Congressional delegation and the state party was scared as hell of losing his seat. In the infamous post-2000 redistricting, which was manipulated by Republicans nationwide, Bos was moved from his conservative populist south-west district to Des Moines in an attempt to make him more vulnerable. In 2004, Boswell was out for almost half of the Congressional session with a life-threatening case of gastro-intestinal problems. Amazingly, he held on both times.

The state party also has no love lost for Fallon. He supported Nader in 2000, which is still dragged out by his critics. The party is scared to death of a liberal populist that is vocal, unafraid of the press, and sticks to his principles. And it is scared of Boswell, period. Despite an early partnering with Act Blue last year, Fallon has only raised $1600 and 14 supporters from the organization. Democracy for America endorsed Fallon in February.

MyDD has a good summary of Boswell's flaws and the campaign so far - much better than mine.

The local McPaper, The Register, has issued a mixed bag of opinion the last few days. They've sublimated or completely ignored the primary race up to this point, but they couldn't ignore it forever. The Editorial board endorsed Fallon this last week, which was amazing considering the DMR's propensity to back incumbents. Apparently between Boswell blowing the board's interview, a debate Boswell refused to participate in, and the political winds changing, Fallon surprisingly came out with the endorsement. Political moderate columnist David Yepsen then spent his next column sliming Fallon in reaction to the endorsement. The better political commentator, Marc Hansen, covered the empty-seat debate and acknowledged the realities of the situation.

Give if you have a few pennies.

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