Daniel Schulman

Senior Editor

Based in DC, Dan covers politics and national security. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. He is the author of the new Koch brothers biography, Sons of Wichita (Grand Central Publishing). Email him at dschulman (at) motherjones.com.

Get my RSS |

Lincoln Chafee: Leaving the GOP?

| Fri Nov. 10, 2006 11:04 AM EST

Lincoln Chafee, the moderate Republican Senator from Rhode Island who was unseated by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in Tuesday's election, hinted at a news conference yesterday that he may exit the GOP. "I haven't made any decisions," he said. "I just haven't even thought about where my place is." But, according to the AP:

When pressed on whether his comments indicated he might leave the GOP, he replied: "That's fair."

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Steny Hoyer's K Street Project

| Thu Nov. 9, 2006 5:37 PM EST

Now that the Democrats have taken back Congress, members are jockeying for leadership positions. Among them is Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who announced he would seek the number two job in the House leadership, Majority Leader, the morning after the election. By all accounts the Maryland Democrat has been paving the way for this post for some time. As Zach Roth points out in a recent profile of Hoyer in Washington Monthly, the Democrat, if successful in securing the job, will have something in common with one of his Republican predecessors -- Tom DeLay. Like DeLay, Hoyer has made it his business to cultivate close ties to K Street, which, Roth notes, may not make him the best choice for Majority Leader, particularly since the Democrats have taken pains to distance themselves from the lobbying scandals that ensnared top Republicans:

...There is no doubt he has worked hard to curry favor on K Street. Over the last year and a half, he has ramped up an effort—begun soon after taking over the whip's job—to raise money for Democrats from Washington business lobbyists. Starting in late 2004, Hoyer and three close allies—Reps. Crowley, Tauscher, and John Tanner (D-Tenn.)—launched an energetic K-Street-outreach program, with a goal of raising $250,000 for vulnerable Democratic incumbents by June 2006. Later, they would switch the focus to raising money for promising Democratic challengers, increasingly basing their pitch on the growing likelihood that Democrats would retake the House this fall, and thus be in a position to pass legislation. Hoyer's particular political gifts—his persuasiveness, his talent for negotiation, and his willingness to see all sides of an issue—appear to have made him well suited to the task. "We find mutual interests, mutual ways to help each other," says [Bill] Cable, [Hoyer's] chief of staff.

But the outreach has at times complicated Democrats' efforts to capitalize on the slew of Republican influence-buying scandals—from Abramoff to DeLay to Cunningham to Safavian to Ney—that has come to light over the last year and a half. After Hoyer's office posted on its website a news story describing the fundraising project, Republicans were quick to call Hoyer a hypocrite for attacking the GOP over Abramoff while at the same time touting his relationships with lobbyists. Hoyer's staff quickly took the story down.

...More problematic than the fundraising program has been Hoyer's stance on lobbying reform, in which he has consistently stood in the way of Democratic efforts to unite behind a far-reaching approach. Hoyer's opposition to reform appears to be of long standing, and well known on both sides of the aisle. Back in October 1994, Congress had been considering a lobbying reform bill that many lawmakers privately considered too restrictive. According to Roll Call, DeLay and Hoyer were walking down the Capitol steps shortly before leaving for the October recess in advance of the midterms that would bring the GOP to power, when the Texan "cupped his hands around his mouth and chuckled to Hoyer, 'But lobbying reform is dead!'" DeLay, it seems, understood even then that he and Hoyer were of one mind on the issue.

AP: Dems Take Senate

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 10:01 PM EST

The AP reports:

An adviser to Allen, speaking on condition of anonymity because his boss had not formally decided to end the campaign, said the senator wanted to wait until most of canvassing was completed before announcing his decision, possibly as early as Thursday evening.

The adviser said that Allen was disinclined to request a recount if the final vote spread was similar to that of election night.

The victory puts Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in line to become Senate majority leader. He has led the Democrats since Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was defeated two years ago.

An Update on Washington's Shadiest Shoo-Ins

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 6:45 PM EST

In the latest issue of the magazine, Josh Harkinson and I detailed the 5 shadiest members of Congress, who, despite their ethically-challenged ways, were bound to be reelected. Well, last night the people spoke and reelected all five, all by more than 60 percent of the vote. Due to last night's shake-up, the Republicans on our list will lose some measure of clout and (hopefully) some of their ability to game the system. Not so the lone Dem on our list, whose power will only grow.

Here's where things stand now:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the former oilman and climate change denier, is reportedly jockeying for a post in the House minority leadership. He'll no longer be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, though.

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) will soon lose his chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, where, most recently, he axed 60 investigators "charged with closely monitoring defense contracting and intelligence spending," according to OMBWatch.

Come January Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) will no longer serve as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and thus will no longer be able to shut down hearings when he doesn't like the topic of conversation.

Rep. Roy (the "midnight rider") Blunt (R-Mo.), currently the House Majority Whip, will reportedly seek another term as the second most powerful House Republican.

The "prince of pork," Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), will ascend to the chairmanship of the House Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies, a position he will likely use to take his earmarking bonanza to new and outrageous levels.

GOP Strategy in Maryland: Pretend You're a Dem

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:28 PM EST

Now this is truly bizarre. In Maryland, where I spent most of the day reporting on technical snafus with the state's electronic voting system, the GOP was handing out campaign literature that listed Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, who's running for reelection, and Lt. Governor Michael Steele, who's running against Ben Cardin for an open Senate seat, as Democrats. "The intent could not be clearer: to confuse those looking to vote a straight Democratic ticket," the Washington Monthly reports. It gets stranger from here:

I talked to the man who handed me the pamphlet. A thirty-something African-American who wouldn't give his name, he told me that, starting last Friday, some people had come to the Philadelphia homeless shelter where he said he volunteers, and had begun to recruit residents. Eventually, he said that 300 people filled five buses. He said he was paid $100 for the day's work.

And this just in from the AP:

Governor Ehrlich's campaign is acknowledging that it paid for fliers handed out on Election Day, suggesting Ehrlich and Michael Steele are Democrats.

I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

UPDATE: As Clara notes below, it looks like Steele's Senate bid was unsuccessful.

Wed Jan. 11, 2012 12:49 AM EST
Sun Jan. 8, 2012 11:56 AM EST
Sat Jan. 7, 2012 11:22 AM EST
Tue Jul. 12, 2011 8:45 AM EDT
Tue May. 17, 2011 11:33 AM EDT
Tue Oct. 19, 2010 11:22 AM EDT
Fri Sep. 10, 2010 10:55 AM EDT
Fri Aug. 13, 2010 7:36 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 5, 2010 8:02 AM EDT
Mon Jul. 26, 2010 5:05 PM EDT
Wed Jun. 23, 2010 11:46 AM EDT
Tue Jun. 22, 2010 10:16 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 18, 2010 12:53 PM EDT
Fri Jun. 18, 2010 6:00 AM EDT
Wed Jun. 16, 2010 8:00 AM EDT
Tue Jun. 15, 2010 10:58 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 14, 2010 12:51 PM EDT
Wed Jun. 9, 2010 3:13 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 8, 2010 1:49 PM EDT
Wed May. 26, 2010 3:18 PM EDT
Fri May. 14, 2010 12:25 PM EDT
Fri May. 14, 2010 6:15 AM EDT
Thu May. 6, 2010 4:47 PM EDT
Wed May. 5, 2010 2:00 PM EDT
Wed Apr. 21, 2010 11:07 AM EDT
Sat Apr. 10, 2010 9:23 AM EDT
Fri Apr. 9, 2010 10:33 AM EDT
Thu Apr. 8, 2010 1:57 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 1, 2010 12:44 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 1, 2010 10:15 AM EDT
Fri Mar. 26, 2010 11:42 AM EDT
Thu Mar. 25, 2010 12:29 PM EDT
Tue Mar. 23, 2010 4:47 PM EDT
Tue Mar. 23, 2010 11:58 AM EDT
Wed Mar. 10, 2010 8:31 AM EST
Thu Mar. 4, 2010 12:18 PM EST
Wed Mar. 3, 2010 5:38 PM EST
Wed Mar. 3, 2010 10:45 AM EST
Thu Feb. 25, 2010 3:00 PM EST
Thu Feb. 25, 2010 2:28 PM EST
Wed Feb. 24, 2010 6:10 PM EST