Sunday, September 17, 2006

Republicans Caught in a Lie Against Cranley Again

Republicans are at it again. They lie against Democrats to try to make them look bad. This is from the Cincinnati Post:

Running against Pelosi

WASHINGTON -She's a stylishly dressed grandmother who can turn on the charm and, according to one report, never swears, smiles constantly and keeps a stash of Ghirardelli chocolates in her office.

But to Republicans, Nancy Pelosi is the Dragon Lady, the woman voters should fear as they head to the polls this November.

Every election has its boogeyman, the one person that party operatives try to exploit to scare the dickens out of voters. Republicans had Willie Horton a few years back. The Democrats had Newt Gingrich in '98. And this year, the GOP has Pelosi, a California congresswoman who will likely become speaker of the U.S. House if Democrats win back the majority in November.

Pelosi, a San Franciscan with an undeniably liberal voting record, has led the House Democrats for nearly four years and has been one of President Bush's most vociferous critics in Congress. Republicans shudder at the thought of what will happen to the Bush agenda if she becomes the House speaker and inherits the power that comes with the office.

"There are things in life worth fighting and dying for, and one of 'em is making sure Nancy Pelosi doesn't become the speaker,'' conservative talking head Sean Hannity declared recently during one of his rants on Fox News.

Pelosi has become a factor in some local congressional races.

The Ohio Republican Party sent out a news release this week noting that several Ohio Democrats had been invited to Washington last Wednesday "to schmooze with Pelosi and liberal special interest groups'' and thus show "their true colors.''

Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley, who is challenging Republican Congressman Steve Chabot, was mentioned by name. But Cranley's campaign says the Republicans got it wrong. Cranley never went to Washington or met with Pelosi. He spent the day back in Ohio's 1st Congressional District.

Across the river, Northern Kentucky Democrat Ken Lucas, who is trying to win back his old House seat from Republican Geoff Davis, accepted the invitation. Lucas and other candidates who traveled to Washington were given a chance to meet with the House Democratic Caucus, the staff of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other groups.

A national Republican group promptly ripped into Lucas in a news release that closely resembled the missive from the Ohio GOP.

"Ken Lucas is making it quite clear that he is ready and willing to do the bidding of Nancy Pelosi and her lengthy left-fringe record,'' said Ed Patru of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Lucas' track record would suggest that he is no fan of Pelosi or her politics. Back in 2003, Lucas was one of four conservative Democrats who refused to support Pelosi when House Democrats nominated her to become speaker. Pelosi lost that race to the incumbent, Republican Dennis Hastert.

Lucas has, however, accepted campaign contributions from Pelosi's political-action committee, including $10,000 this year. Those donations have opened him up to Republican charges that, if voters send him back to Congress, he will "flipflop'' and vote to make Pelosi the speaker if Democrats retake the House.

The GOP's efforts to link Lucas to Pelosi are ludicrous, said Lucas campaign consultant Bob Doyle. "He's his own guy, and he voted that way for (the) six years'' that he was in Congress, he said. Doyle also fired back, saying that Davis is "largely bankrolled'' by national Republicans such as Tom DeLay, the former House Republican leader who resigned this year after he was indicted in Texas. DeLay's PAC has given $30,000 to Davis' campaign.

Ludicrous or not, will the Republican scare strategy work?

History would suggest no. The GOP tried the same tactic against Lucas during his first congressional race back in 1998 and again in 2002. Republicans argued then that Lucas would be a shill for Richard Gephardt, the Democratic leader at the time. Voters didn't buy it and sent Lucas to Washington each time.

This year, "we see no indication that people have any interest in Nancy Pelosi,'' said Lucas' campaign manager, Jim Creevy.

Republicans are betting voters will be extremely interested once they understand what could happen if Pelosi runs the House.

Michael Collins is The Post's Washington bureau chief.


At 9:51 PM EDT, Anonymous RG in DC said...

The Pelosi line isnt going to work as well as the Republicans want it too. People don't know her well enough to have such a definitive opinion.


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