US House

Virgil's Back: A Call to Arms

Cross-posted at New Dominion Project and Dem Bones

That old bigot has some kick left after all. Virgil Goode filed papers to run for the Fifth District in 2010. We all knew it was coming, but now it's official. Last year Tom was the hunter, now he's the hunted. Gear up to defend our boy.

Gerry Connolly Already At Work On Committees

With the House of Representatives having 435 members, the committee and subcommittee assignments that a Member of Congress receives are extremely important because they represent the best opportunity a Member has to impact legislation. It also means that Congressional leaders should make an effort to match members with committees that relate to their personal backgrounds and deal with issues important to their home districts. With that in mind, Rep. Gerry Connolly is serving on three House committees (Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform, and Budget) and four subcommittees that deal with issues affecting Northern Virginia, the local and national economy, and world affairs.

more below the fold. Also note, this was crossposted on Left of the Hill

Support for Dems OK, Red Team Not So Much

Source: Research 2000, Daily Kos

cross-posted at Star City Harbinger

Finally some new DATA I can cozy up to. I have really been missing the 2008 polling data dives.

You wouldn't know it from the major media jibber jabber, but new national polling data is showing that Americans remain generally supportive of President Obama, and strongly favor the efforts of the Democratic-controlled Congress over the folks across the aisle.

House Democrats pass stimulus while Republicans play games

John BoehnerIn another example of the remarkable leadership of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Republicans in the US House of Representatives pushed for concessions from the Democratic majority and President Barack Obama. In response to this push, compromises were made in an effort to build bipartisan support for the economic recovery bill.

These compromises included cutting infrastructure investment by 10%, increasing tax cuts to $300 billion, as well as the now infamous contraceptive funding supported by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

What's so remarkable about Boehner's leadership isn't that these compromises were reached. House Republicans knew that President Obama was striving to bring both parties together to put together a bill that would be of best benefit the nation. Boehner had that card to play. The remarkable thing is how Republicans voted. In an incredible show of solidarity and "principle", Boehner and every member of his party effectively told President Obama, and the American people, that they can take their bipartisanship and shove it. Not one Republican voted in favor of the bill. The final vote tally was 244 in support, and 188 in opposition. One representative was unable to attend the vote, and eleven Democrats voted against the bill.

US Rep Rick Boucher to Head Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet

Around the Ninth CD, indeed around the US, US Rep. Rick Boucher is viewed as an expert in telecommunications, intellectual property and the Internet. He is a co-founder and co-chair of the Internet Caucus in the House of Representatives. So it's no surprise that Rick has taken the helm of the important Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

Connolly Makes a Good Start

Close to 700 people showed up for US Congressman Gerry Connolly's open house, including Senator Jim Webb, Congressman Jim Moran, and a host of other members of Congress. Congressman Connolly had the largest open house of all 435 members of congress. The House administration asked that his reception be moved to a House committee room from his office because of the crowd. A highly unusual request for a freshman. Congressman Connolly also spoke eloquently on the House floor this morning on the bill mandating equal pay for women. All in all a good start from another red to blue pick up in Virginia.

First Committee Assignments for Connolly, Nye, Perriello

From Speaker Pelosi's office:

Speaker Pelosi announced today that the House Democratic Steering Committee has nominated appointments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Financial Services Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Armed Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, Education and Labor Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Homeland Security Committee, and Natural Resources Committee saying, “with the talent and intellect of this distinguished group of Members, the 111th Congress will take America in a New Direction that restores our economic security, creates jobs, and invests in America’s future. The full Democratic Caucus must still approve the assignments and is expected to do so soon.

These 3 names stood out to me for some reason:

Armed Services: Congressman Glenn Nye of Virginia

Foreign Affairs: Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia (the only freshman named to this committee)

Transportation & Infrastructure: Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia

Click here for the complete list.

UPDATE: Connolly also scored seats on the Oversight & Government Reform and Budget Committees.

Markey to Replace Boucher on Key Subcommittee

Congressman Ed Markey may take over the gavel of the key Energy and Air
Quality subcommittee from Virginia Representative Rick Boucher when the new
Congress convenes on Tuesday, January 6.  Energy & Air Quality is a sub
committee on Energy and Commerce, recently taken over from long time chairman
John Dingell by Henry Waxman of California. Waxman's ascension to the top
committee post signaled an immediate shift toward more aggressive action on
global warming. Likewise, Markey's likely taking over the sub committee

Goode Urged to Run Again

I'm not sure what to make of this. The Martinsville Bulletin reported today that some of Virgil Goode's die-hards held a dinner for him Monday night, where some urged him to run again in 2010. As with similar speculation that has arisen recently, Goode is taking a 'neither confirm nor deny' sort of approach.

This is probably nothing more than kind words from long-time supporters, but just for fun, here are a few of my first-blush reactions to the possibility of Goode 2010:

Tom Perriello is all class; Virgil Goode, not so much

Out of nowhere, Virgil Goode issued a statement today saying that he intends to ask that all late arriving military absentee ballots be counted in the "razor thin" race in the 5th CD, adding: "Today, I am calling on Mr. Perriello to join me in asking the Recount Court to count these military votes."

Now, two things about that ridiculous statement. First, the race in the 5th CD is not "razor thin." It is close. there is a big difference. In fact, the Judge who ruled last week that Virginia was late in getting these ballots out to the military also ruled he would not order Virginia officials to count them, because there was no evidence to suggest they would change the outcome of the race.

Second, Mr. Goode's statement is too cute by half. By calling on Tom to join him, he insinuates that Tom has opposed counting these ballots. That is categorically false.

As full of class as he has been throughout this race, Tom's campaign quickly addressed this nonsense:

Congressman-elect Tom Perriello has released the following statement regarding the inclusion of late-arriving military ballots in the 5th district Congressional recount.

"Our brave troops serving overseas absolutely deserve to have their voices heard and their votes counted in this election and all elections as they fight for our Democracy. That is why I strongly believe that those military ballots in question that arrived late and were held aside should be included in the vote count of Virginia's 5th District. I have consistently and fervently expressed my support for our troops, whether through my work as a national security analyst in advocating better strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan, or by my early support of Senator Jim Webb's 21st Century GI Bill."

More on the flip

+1 for Dems in OH

After a down day yesterday, count the Dems up 1 today. Mary Jo Kilroy was finally declared the winner in the OH 15th, beating Steve Stivers by just 2311 votes - just enough to prevent an automatic recount.

More at Politico.

-2 for Dems in LA

Dems lost two US House seats in run-offs in the Louisiana 2nd and 4th yesterday. In the LA 2nd, Republican Joseph Cao defeated infamous Dem House member William Jefferson (cash in the freezer) becoming the first Vietnamese-American Representative. In the LA 4th (open due to the retirment of Jim McCrery), the race was tight, swinging to Republican John Fleming by 356 votes with the very last prcincts reporting. Democrat Paul Carmouche has yet to concede, but in Louisiana, recounts are never automatic and must be paid for by the candidate.

More details at Politico.