Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Quote for the Day: "Prejudging people on the basis of their type or group is unfair, absurd, at times cruel, and just plain stupid.” (Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, Economist and Faculty Member at Grove City College)

WALL STREET JOURNAL EXPOSES MURTHA. Here's the link to the WSJ article on Murtha's deal-making to solicit government handouts: www.nrcc.org/news/view_article.asp?id=774

Johnstown publisher hits Murtha. See Chris Voccio's column on Murtha's spending of your tax dollars to ensure his election: http://www.pennrepublican.com/

I'd like to thank the many people who have come here in the last 48 hours. Please bookmark this site and return often. Your comments are always welcome. The campaign of Lt. Col. William Russell against John Murtha is going to be one of the most important in the nation.

You can learn more about how to support William Russell by going to his web site at: http://williamrussellforcongress.com/. If you'd like to make a small contribution (or a large one!), you can do so at his web site. He's also asking for volunteers to help in his campaign.

A week ago, I wrote about Christy Whitman's low-budget (but high-octane) campaign against Senator Bill Bradley nearly two decades ago. I mentioned how Christy relied mainly on (low-cost) radio ads rather than Bradley's (high-cost) TV ads.

What did Christy say? She said, in essence, "I'm one of YOU and he's one of THEM." By them, she meant Bill Bradley was one of the Beltway-Gang, someone so immersed in Washington politics that he'd lost touch with his constituents.

Sarah Palin took a similar approach in her uphill battle (that she won) in the race for Governor of Alaska. In her polite way, Sarah said, "I'm honest, and they're not." She beat an incumbent Republican governor and a former Democratic governor like they were a couple of rented mules.

Bradley spent $11 million and Christy Whitman spent less than one-tenth as much. He won by a whisper, much to the amazement of pundits..

I hope Lt. Col. William Trower Russell takes the same approach with Moneybags Murtha. I believe he will. Swat him like a fly.

You can find out how to support William Russell by going to his web site at:
www.williamrussellforcongress.com. If you want to know how to "support our soldiers," a good way to start is by backing candidate Russell.

The race is taking place in the 12th congressional district, which is east and south of Pittsburgh, PA. It's NOT a depressed area, but it hasn't truly shared in the economic growth of the rest of Pennsylvania or the country.

In 2006, Diana Lynn Irey, the first serious Republican candidate in many years, garnered approximately 80,000 votes against Murtha's approximately 120,000. What Diana achieved in her intense campaign was to build a foundation for future candidates, such as William Russell.

Some self-described experts think the 12th District is not winnable by a Republican, but they're wrong. The 12th has a big Democratic edge in registered voters. However, the same is true of my own district, the 4th (including all of Beaver County, and segments of Allegheny, Butler, and Lawrence counties, which are west and north of Pittsburgh).

In the 4th, Melissa Hart, who is running to regain the seat she lost in the Democratic Tsunami of 2006, won the seat three times. In short, she was the kind of candidate who campaigned well enough to overcome the Democratic advantage in registered voters.

In the 12th District race for the presidency in 2004, George W. Bush (not exactly the most popular politician in Pennsylvania) split the vote with John Kerry 50-50. Even though the 12th has a lot more Democrats than Republicans, it's a district where no Party has a lock on voters.

The key for William Russell is to target -- and win the votes -- of Democrats who have little in common with John Murtha. Recently, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly noted that 19% of the Democrats nationally wanted the U.S. to lose in Iraq. From all his statements in the past several years, John Murtha is one of those Democrats.

When Murtha called the Haditha Marines "cold-blooded killers," he stereotyped brave soldiers who had not been accused, let alone convicted, of any crime. Murtha made the accusations for his personal political gain, and he provided aid and comfort to sworn enemies of the U.S. As Jack Kelly suggested, people who like Benedict Arnold are going to love Jack Murtha.

In other words, William needs to appeal to the 80%-plus of Democrats who have a lot more in common with him on national security than they do with John Murtha. I've recommended to William that he introduce himself in this way: "I'm William Trower Russell. I'm a veteran of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and I would very much appreciate your support in my campaign for Congress."

In fact, the people of the 12th District overwhelmingly support our troops, and the best way they can show that is by backing William.

There are literally million of Republican, Independents, and -- yes -- Democrats who can't stand John Murtha. If even a relatively small percentage of these people strongly support Willam Russell, he can win in 2008.

On 9/11/2001, Lt. Col. Russell and his wife were in the Pentagon when suicide bombers struck it. Where was Jack Murtha on 9/11? He was in his usual place, "Murtha's Corner," in Congress. He was doing what Jack Murtha does -- not defending America, but rather cutting political deals with a handful of congressmen who share his cynicism about public service. Which of these men do you want in Congress?

I hope you're one of those people. Go right now to his web site at: http://williamrussellforcongress.com/.

In 2006, Diana Irey got contributions from 7,000 people across the country. If William can get contributions from 10,000 Americans, he will win . . . in one of the most important races in the history of this country.



Thanks to the LARGE NUMBER of visitors from http://thepinkflamingo,blogharbor.com/blog and from http://freerepublic.com/, as well as many other sites. You're always welcome here -- as are your comments. One important thing you can do for William Russell is send an email to Josh Schultz at the National Republican Congressional Committee and ask the national party to provide some "seed money" for William's campaign. Like most national committees, the NRCC has a tendency to funnel money to Representatives who have been in Congress long enough that they should be able to raise their own money. Please send your request to: jshultz@NRCC.org. Tell him (nicely) that you'll be a lot more likely to contribute to the NRCC if they give EARLY support to people like Lt. Col. William Russell. Since Russell is going to get a great deal of national publicity (it's already starting) because of the nature of his opponent (Moneybags Murtha), he will help Republican candidates across the nation. You can find William's campaign site by clicking on the link on your right (at the top).

Note: See Chris Voccio's fine piece today on Murtha and his "earmarks." I have a long comment on Chris's site: www.pennrepublican.com. Anyone interested in the Russell-Murtha campaign will want to subscribe to Chris's new, Johnstown-based monthly publication.

In the last 12 hours -- from midnight to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30 -- I've had more than 100 visitors to this blog, putting me on pace for a record day. William T. Russell, who is running against the odious John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district, is getting tremendous traffic on his web site.

Frankly, Murtha has been willing to sell American soldiers down the river for his personal political gain, and he has no business being in Congress. He raises millions of dollars from DC lobbyists, but as a Congressman, he isn't worth a plug nickel.

By soliciting support from the extreme left-wing of his Party, symbolized by his political ally Nancy Pelosi, Murtha has put personal gain ahead of his country's security.

Many people are making modest contributions to Lt. Col. Russell's campaign and volunteering to support him in other ways. Everyone who is supportive of Russell, a Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom veteran, has my heartfelt thanks -- and his.

Please take a glance at the several columns below (scroll down) that I've written regarding William and some other terrific candidates. Some individuals have promised to ask leading Republican presidential candidates to publicly back William's campaign. Senator McCain, Mayor Giuliani, Senator Thompson, Governor Romney, and Governor Huckabee should do precisely that.

If you want to support William in any way, please go to his web site at:
http://williamrussellforcongress.com or e-mail his campaign manager, former Marine Larry Stiles at lstiless@yahoo.com. William, Larry, and all who are supporting him are frankly helping write a new chapter in American history.

If you know anyone in the 12th District of PA (including towns like Johnstown, Monongahela, Washington, and Canonsburg and Greene County) please ask them to support William's candidacy. If you can make a small cash contribution, please do so. This campaign is just beginning, but it's building momentum very quickly.

As you'll note in the column below, I'm asking Governor Sarah Heath Palin of Alaska, the country's most popular elected official, to look into her heart and offer public support for William. Governor Palin's 18-year-old son, Track, is training now in GA for the U.S. Army infantry. There's no better way to "support our troops" than to offer your backing for William T. (Trower) Russell.

If you want to know more about William -- who, with his wife, was in the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 -- please read my columns and visit his web site at: On our right, you'll see a link for William's site. Please go there and bookmark it.
Thanks to all of you. (More to come)

NOTE: I am an independent blogger and receive no financial aid or direction from any candidate supported on this blog. The candidates this blog is supporting include: Sarah Palin (for vice-president of the US), William Russell, Melissa Hart (4th Congressional District, PA), and Heather Wilson (U.S. Senate, NM). Bobby Jindal (D, LA) has already won his race for Governor. After doing some more research, I'm going to support as many as four other candidates.


Critically Important News from U.S. Rep. Heather A. Wilson, 1st District (Albuquerque)

Dear Friends, I bet you didn't hear this on the evening news last week: "In Al Anbar province, last week we had no casualties, killed or wounded in action."

That's what Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock, Director of Operational Planning on Joint Chiefs of Staff said in the regular Defense Department briefing on October 24.

Al Anbar is the predominently Sunni part of Iraq where al Qaeda in Iraq was wreaking havoc about a year ago. I went there last December. It is a province of about 1.2 million people, most of whom live along the fertile river valleys. It is vital to America that Iraq not become a safe haven for al Qaeda Al Anbar is ground zero for that fight.

Late last year, the Marines in Anbar changed their strategy and they got more American forces to help implement it this spring.

The Marines partnered with the Sunni tribes who were willing to reject al Qaeda. The Chiefs told their young men to join the police -- and they did. With U.S. help, they started rooting out the foreign fighters in their midst and cutting the rat lines bringing suicide bombers in from Syria.

We should have no illusions about the opportunism and self-intrest of the al Anbar tribes. But their willingness to oppose al Qaeda and its brand of Islamic extremism is sufficient for our purposes.

We don't need to build a Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq. We need to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda. The counter-insurgency strategy in al Anbar appears to be working.That's why you didn't hear about it last week.

Heather A. Wilson, Candidate for U.S. Senate from New Mexico. Heather is the first female veteran (Air Force) ever elected to Congress. She's a candidate who deserves and needs your support! I'm hoping she will come to PA and speak on behalf of her fellow veteran -- and candidate for the U.S. House -- William Trower Russell.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sarah Palin. Track Palin, Heather Wilson, & William Russell: Brothers and Sisters Under the Skin


On September 11, 2001, Lt. Col. William Trower Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when the structure was attacked by fanatical terrorists. On September 11, 2007, Track Palin, 18-year-old son of Alaska Governor Sarah Heath Palin, enlisted in the U.S. Army -- and is now (along with his friend John Bates) training for the infantry. Throughout the 21st century, Rep. Heather Wilson has been one of the strongest supporters of the U.S. military in its War on Terrorism.

Sarah is in Alaska's capital of Juneau, Alaska. Track is at Ft. Benning, Georgia. William Russell is in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he's preparing to run against -- and to defeat -- 17-term congressman John Murtha. Congresswoman Heather Wilson -- an Air Force veteran and Rhodes Scholar -- from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is serving her constituents and country in Washington, DC.

Geographically, these people are far apart, but spiritually they're very close together, "brothers and sisters under the skin." Track Palin is one of very few offspring of high-ranking governmnet officials who's in the military. Heather Wilson is the first female veteran elected to Congress. William Russell is one of the first veterans of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom to run for Congress.

These are the kind of tough, courageous, patriotic people this country absolutely needs to represent us at the state and federal levels. When Sarah Palin's son enlisted in the Army, she said to him and his enlistee friend that their friends and their families "had their backs.'

It's time for all of us who love this country to "have the backs of these candidates." Sarah Palin has a chance to become -- in 2012 or 2016 -- the first female President of the United States. Heather Wilson is the favorite to become the first female U.S. Senator from New Mexico -- and is herself a potential vice-president or President of this nation. William Russell is a candidate who might end the long -- and thoroughly dismal -- reign of John Murtha, "The Prince of Pork."

In Russell's case, he knows that the lobbyists Murtha has served -- and enriched -- will pour millions of dollars into his political coffers. But William also knows that, in politics, sometimes enough is enough. "Murtha's millionaires" have a lot of money, but very few of them are people who live in the 12th Congressional District. Instead, they reside mainly in mansions in suburban Maryland and Virginia.

In a previous column, I cited an exchange Sarah Palin had with the Anchorage Daily News:

ADN: "But I think you are also talking about the activities in the gray area -- the business relationships with, you know, a senator or congressman or a state legislator. Between someone with interests in the public process and the people running the public process." [Note: The ADN is asking if it isn't somehow okay to cut moral corners]

SARAH PALIN: "Right. Well, that's why I think we need more real and normal and hardworking and blue-collar Alaskans to want to run for office and serve in these positions that are making decisions. Again, I will personalize this. I am not from that other world. My dad as a school teacher wasn't a mover and shaker developer making big bucks in the state of Alaska off of property development. My husband [a commercial fisherman and oil field worker] isn't that way. I am not raising my kids to be that way.... If you want to be in public service, it is being willing to serve Alaskans for the right reasons. It is having to have a servant's heart when you come into these positions. It's not to get rich."

In fact, those "normal and hardworking and blue-collar" people include Sarah herself, Heather Wilson, and William Russell. (Note: also included among them is staunchly pro-military Melissa Hart of PA's 4th congressional district.)

As Americans, we all need to decide who we want representing us. If we want deal-makers whose votes basically go the highest-bidder, we'll select people like John Murtha. If we want people who, in Sarah's words, "have a servant's heart," then we'll support -- with our votes, our public advocacy, and our contributions -- individuals like Sarah, Heather, and William.

In politics, we get the representation we deserve. Clearly, we deserve better than a consummate deal-maker like John Murtha. In fact, Murtha is a symbol of everything that's wrong with America -- and William and his family of everything that's right. The best way to support our troops is to back Lt. Col. William Trower Russell

William T Russell
PO BOX 630
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15907
http://www.williamrussellforcongress.com/ (Web site, please visit)
william.russell@williamrussellforcongress.com (E-mail)
(814) 248-3435

NOTE TO SARAH HEATH PALIN: I appeal directly to you to do the following: (1) Bring William Russell's candidacy to the attention of your supporters (especially your contributors); (2) Let the members of the Republican Governor's Association know that William is running against John Murtha, and that he intends to win. As you're aware, the early stages of a campaign are the most important. William Russell intends to do to Murtha exactly what you did to Murkowski and Knowles. (For those who aren't fully aware of Sarah's history, she defeated in the primary incumbent Republican Governor Frank Murkowski and in the general election won against former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Republicans: How to Win Elections by "Walking Around"

Note: Please take a look at the previous columns regarding William Russell's important race against John Murtha.

One-sentence summary of today's column: The candidate should find people who know "everybody" (figuratively) in a town or small city, gain their confidence, and have them introduce him or her to all influential people in the immediate area.

Because I live with a disabled spouse and a disabled stepdaughter, I don’t get out as much as I should. Consequently, I spend a whole lot of time on the Internet, doing work for a couple of companies (including one in Illinois and one in Michigan) and conducting my political activity in support of several Republican candidates.

The Internet can be a great tool, especially for political candidates who aren’t exactly swimming in money (like William Russell, who’s running against John Murtha). However, it’s not enough by itself.

A successful political candidate – and I’ll do all in my power to see that William wins his race – has to make contact with the right people. Yes, because you can’t run a campaign with money, some of those “right people” will be those who regularly help raises funds for Republican candidates. I’m hoping people in the 12th District – and adjoining areas – will help William raise funds.

Two of those people are Diana Irey, who ran against Murtha in 2006 and raised nearly $900,000, and Republican Mark DeSantis, who’s running a remarkable campaign for Mayor of Pittsburgh – and reportedly might raise about $300,000.

But there are other “right people” who are equally important. They’re the individuals Malcolm Gladwell (in his book The Tipping Point) calls connectors, mavens, and salesmen.

Connectors are individuals whose “hobby” is . . . meeting other people. As Gladwell says, “They are the kinds of people who know everyone.” Some connectors literally know a thousand or more men and women. Yes, they’re rare, but they exist in just about town with more than two stop lights.

A candidate like William should never be alone. When he finds a connector – a police officer, a mail deliverer, or an insurance agent – he should walk around with them and get introduced to some of the people they know. There are connectors in Johnstown, Monongahela, Washington, Greensburg, and the other towns in the 12th District. They aren’t too hard to find, and if you quiz them, they’ll tell you who the other connectors are.

The connectors probably can tell someone like William who the mavens are. They’re individuals who know a lot about various matters. Mavens are the ones we all go to for advice on a variety of subjects.

Often, they’re the kind of people who read Consumer Reports cover-to-cover. Mavens know who the best real estate agent is – and which kind of cars have the best warranties. Political mavens – Adam Brickley who found the “Draft Sarah Palin” effort is one and I’m another – are the experts on candidates.

The salesmen (or saleswomen) excel at getting people to buy things – from products to candidates. They’re very good at persuading people. Often, they head up a small business that’s so successful it’s becoming a large business. Nicole Cavoti, a sorority sister in college of Melissa Hart, is one such people, and she just sold me and my wife an IRA plan.

One of the most important things a political candidate can do is to find the connectors, mavens, and salesmen. He or she must also ask for their support and work as closely with them as he can.

Many years ago – I believe Nixon was still President – I met two African-American men who did public relations work for the Republican Party. I asked them how Republicans could get more Black votes.

They told me: “Go to the beauty parlor operators and haircut people, the ministers, and the small businesspeople. They all vote – unlike the people standing around on street corners – and they know everybody else who votes.” Bingo!

The two public relations men were talking – without using the terms – about connectors, mavens, and salesmen. Win enough of them, and the candidate wins the election.

There are African-Americans – two of them are my neighbors – who know just about every Black person who’s a “likely voter” in Ambridge, PA, where I live. Get my neighbors on your side, and it could translate into a lot of votes. To meet small businessmen in Ambridge, the person to see is John Dunn, who spent more than 30 years as an insurance agent.

As you can see, I’m somewhat “old school.” I don’t believe in spending hundreds of thousands – or millions – on TV advertising. People are becoming immune (as Malcolm Gladwell noted recently) to political ads. Apparently, however, they aren’t becoming immune to a real candidate’s VOICE on radio ads.

Radio is relatively cheap, and TV is expensive (no relatively about it). When all else is equal, go for the cheaper alternative.

A campaign that emphasizes winning the right people is the right approach for a candidate like William Russell.

(Note: I’ll write more in the future about a low-cost, high-impact campaign. The Malcolm Gladwell book has excellent material on how Mayor Giuliani and Police Chief Bratton brought about a massive decrease in crime in New York City in the 1990s.)

Afterthought: If I were William Russell, one place I’d look for money and support is in Democratic congressman Mike Doyle’s City of Pittsburgh district. Doyle raises a lot of money, but he generally runs unopposed.

But there are tens of thousands of Republicans – although not enough to win the Doyle seat – in Pittsburgh. A candidate like William might seek contributions from Republicans in the Doyle district and perhaps pick up several campaign volunteers. It would be a shame merely to ignore the Republicans there. Call it the “Adopt a Candidate” approach.

William T Russell
PO BOX 630
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15907
(814) 248-3435

Friday, October 26, 2007



Later today (Sunday), I'll post a column about how to run for Congress effectively -- without spending a fortune. In the 2008 race, John Murtha may raise as much as $4 million, most of the money coming as "paybacks" by wealthy lobbyists Murtha has helped to enrich. So, there's no way a candidate of modest means -- say, Iraq War veteran William Russell -- can outspend Murtha. A really good candidate (e.g., William) might be able to win the race by spending $250,000 -- or perhaps less than that. Don't get me wrong: William is going to need money, and now is the time to contribute, to make an investment in our country. If the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) will invest $5,000 NOW in William, it will pay great dividends.

His address is: P.O. Box 630 Johnstown, PA 15907

About Sarah Palin, I believe she would appeal to young professionals, mothers of several children, ethics in government advocates, wives of workingmen, and military familes. Why? Because she and her family are all these things. As for Hillary Clinton, she's basically none of those things.

Rudy, John, Mitt, and Fred, are you listening?

I'm getting enquiries about the campaign of William Russell against John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District (Johnstown, Monongahela, Washington, Greene County, and other locations).

You can help William, an Iraq War veteran and a fine human being, get his campaign off to a good start by making a small contribution (or a large one if you wish!) to him by sending it to:

William Russell for Congress
P.O. Box 630
Johnstown, PA 15907
Phone: 814-248-3435
His Web Site is: http://www.williamrussellforcongress.com/
His E-mail Address is: william.russell@williamrussellforcongress.com

If you can't make a cash contribution right now, volunteer to help in other ways, such as by contacting neighbors, working at his campaign locations, or putting up a yard sign.

In 2004, President Bush, not the most popular figure in Pennsylvania, and Senator Kerry basically split the vote in the 12th District by 50-50. In other words, this district is winnable by a strong candidate, and Russell can be that candidate. If the national candidates (for President and Vice-President) are strong ones, William Russell may amaze the political world by dethroning John Murtha, known widely as "The Prince of Pork."

William is already running hard against Murtha, who's a thoroughly disreputable individual, someone that's made a career of trading his votes and influence for campaign cash. People who provide financial support to Murtha have zero interest in anything approximating good government.

William needs your help. As a veteran, he would very much appreciate getting strong support from veterans, active-duty soldiers and Guardsmen, and military families. If you can make a small contribution, please do so. Also, please start mentioning his campaign to your family, friends, and neighbors.

There's no way William can out-spend Murtha, but he can and will out-work him. To win, he needs your support.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

Note: If you go to http://www.opensecrets.org/, you can find out what groups contributed huge sums of money to Murtha's campaign in 2006. (If you have any trouble finding the information, let me know at TalkTop65@aol.com, and I'll walk you through the process.)

You'll notice, for example, that Murtha got approximately $150,000 from wealthy doctors and administrators at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which is supposedly a non-profit health empire. In the last fiscal year, this "non-profit" made a "surplus" (i.e., profit) of nearly $500,000,000.00 As long as the Murthas of the world are in Congress, such outrages will continue. (You can find out why UPMC fat cats love Murtha by "googling" Windber + John Murtha + UPMC.)

If you're interested in finding out exactly who the money-bags groups contributing to Murtha are -- and why they're doing so -- please contact me and I'll let you know. Hint: They aren't exactly individuals or groups who are living paycheck to paycheck.

(Additional column this weekend about who the people are who truly exert great influence in political campaign -- Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. See the previous column for definitions. The terms come from Malcolm Gladwell's wonderful book called The Tipping Point.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How Republicans Can Win: The Cases of Christy Whitman, William Russell, and Melissa Hart

"Money is the mother's milk of politics" (Thomas "Tip" O'Neill)
"In politics, money isn't everything" (Steve Maloney)

Bulletin at end of column: FOX Poll Shows Giuliani Surging, Thompson & Romney Failing

This afternoon (Thursday, October 25) I'll be writing about ways that Republican candidates with limited resources can run effective campaigns against well-funded Democrats. I'll be thinking specifically about William Russell, an Iraq War veteran, who is running against Jack Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district.

(In 2006, Murtha raised $3.5 million, one of the highest totals of any congressional candidate in the U.S. In 2008, Russell may raise at most a few hundred thousand dollars. Always the optimist, I believe Russell can win the race against Murtha, although he'll have to conduct an extremely smart, low-cost campaign to do so.)

Look at it this way: in 2006, Murtha got about 120,000 votes and spent almost $300 per vote. Diana Lynn Irey, Murtha's opponent, got almost 80,000 votes, which meant she spent $110 per vote. Diana's campaign expenditures were just under $900,000 -- about $2.6 million less than Murtha. On election day, he got roughly six-out-of-ten votes, and she got four-out-of-ten

One race contemporary Republicans with modest campaign funds can learn from is the campaign in 1990 by Republican Christine Todd Whitman (who eventually became governor of New Jersey of New Jersey) against Senator Bill Bradley. In the race, Whitman spent approximately $900,000. Bradley spent more than $11 MILLION.

Bradley won, but by a razor-thin margin, 50% to 48%. Christy Whitman did just about everything right -- relying mainly on inexpensive radio ads rather than costly TV spots -- and Bradley did most things wrong. In terms of campaign funding, Bradley spent moer than $10 for every vote he received. Whitman spent about 90 cents per vote. Yes, if she'd had more money, she could have won, but she nearly did so anyway -- and she built a foundation for a very successful political career.

Whitman was twice elected Governor of New Jersey and later served as head of the EPA in the Bush Administration. She's known as a champion of the environment in a state that has more than its share of pollution problems. She's a moderate Republican who has argued that the Party needs to include more individuals, including pro-choice women and gays, who have tended to vote mainly Democratic.

New Jersey was then, as it is now, a "Blue" state. Specifically, in modern times, it's always had a large Democratic majority in registration -- a situation similar to the one Russell will face in Pennsylvania. The Whitman-Bradley race also has implications for people like Melissa Hart, who will be running for Congress in the PA 4th District against Jason Altmire.

Like Christy Whitman, I'm not a great fan of candidates' spending huge amounts of money on TV advertising. Even a relatively modest TV effort, like the one conducted by Diana Irey in 2006, can cost hundreds of thousands. In Rick Santorum's U.S. Senate campaign in 2006, he spent at least $10 million on ads. Apparently, they didn't win him more than a few percent of votes, if that.

If Christy Whitman had relied on TV advertising against Bradley in 1990, she wouldn't have had any money left to buy stamps or pay phone bills. On the other hand, she was extremely effective on radio, especially the all-news station in New York City, WCBS. That station (like others she used) had many New Jersey listeners, especially during drive-time programming. She portrayed herself as someone deeply committed to New Jersey, while Bradley -- she said -- was a "Beltway-type." Obviously, the approach worked, as her vote totals surprised all the so-called "experts."

Where do I think someone like William Russell should spend his money? It shouldn't be on TV, where he won't be able to finance a "saturation" campaign. Instead, he should spend it on PEOPLE. He needs to pay modest sums to students, veterans, and Republican activists who will lead a strong word-of-mouth campaign, make phone calls, and go door-to-door.

If William could get a dedicated corps of 1,000 people -- or even a number approaching that -- they could contact as many as 100,000 people (100 contacts for each supporter). Compared to TV ads, talk -- in support of the Russell candidacy -- truly is cheap.

Let's ask a basic political question: How do you get people to support your candidacy? A very simple answer is: You (or your representatives) ask them for it. Russell is a dynamic young man who happens to be a military veteran. He should have strong appeal to young people, especially high-school and college students, as well as veterans, active duty soldiers, AND THEIR FAMILIES.

There are thousands of active military and veterans in the 12th congressional district, and they have families totaling tens of thousands of people. Russell needs to ask all of them, directly or indirectly, for their support. He also needs to ask them for small contributions, which in the case of a few individuals, will turn into very large contributions.

He need to remain active constantly. If he goes to the drug store in Johnstown (his home-town), he needs to ask everybody there, including the pharmacist and the cashier, for their support. Also, he needs to go to college campuses, such as the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown and Washington and Jefferson College (Washington, PA), and ask the student and faculty for their support.

Russell should emphasize three points: (1) He, unlike Murtha, supports General Petraeus and the troops on the ground; (2) he, unlike Murtha, is honest and committed to representing the real values of people in the 12th District; (3) most of Murtha's contributions come from lobbyists in Maryland and Virginia, not from people in the District. He should say these things over and over again, making them in essence his mantras.

(The second part of this column will appear tomorrow, Friday. It will emphasize three types of individuals -- connectors, mavens, and salesmen -- that Russell needs to bring into his camp.

Connectors are individuals who know a lot of other people, both as friends and acquaintances. Mavens are people who are experts on a variety of things -- from who's the best candidate to who's the best plumber in town -- and who are willing to share their knowledge with others who come to them for advice. Salesmen are people -- like Adam Brickely of http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/ -- who are very good at selling ideas, products, and candidates.

All these concepts are from Malcolm Gladwell's superb book, The Tipping Point. Any candidate who can line up as supporters many of the Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen in a particular district is well on his (or her) way to winning.

Note: I wrote the following comment to Cindy at her wonderful ThePinkFlamingo blog site (see my blogroll).

Cindy, I love your columns, especially the comments about "Dickie" Scaife, who funds many conservative causes and is still a thoroughly evil man. Here are a few Dickie stories: (1) he regularly has lunch with John Murtha, and his newspaper (the Tribune-Review) didn't even bother to interview Diana Irey before it came out (surprise) for the Prince of Pork; (2) one of his political writers (a female) got mad at me for writing an e-mail containing a four-letter word referring to doo-doo. She told me that her editor (Colin McNickel, I think), a Scaife devotee, read EVERY e-mail that came to her. So much for protecting one's sources! I made a deal with her -- she would never write an e-mail to me and I would never write one to her. On gay people: I know quite a few and some of them are devoted Republicans. My deal with gays is that I will let them live as they wish, as long as they do the same for me. By the way, George W. Bush got tens of thousands of votes in Florida in 2000 from gays. Gee, it sounds as if the gay vote was crucial to his becoming President of the U.S. Imagine that! -- Steve


Watch: Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll2 hours ago in race42008.com

Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll 10-25-07 GOP Nomination (trends since Oct. 10 poll) Rudy Giuliani 31% (+2) Fred Thompson 17% (+1) John McCain 12% (even) Mitt Romney 7% (-4) Mike Huckabee 5% (even) Duncan Hunter 3% (+2) Tom Tancredo 2% (even) Ron Paul 1% (-1).

Second Choice for Republican Nominee Rudy Giuliani 22% John McCain 20% Fred Thompson 14% Mitt Romney 11% Mike Huckabee 4% Ron Paul 3% Duncan Hunter 3% Tom Tancredo 2%.

If the United States were suddenly in an extremely serious crisis, which presidential candidate would you want to be president at that moment? (Republicans Only) Rudy Giuliani 39% John McCain 12% Fred Thompson 11% Mitt Romney 3% Mike Huckabee 2% Ron Paul 1%.

Among Independents (Only included Republican candidates) John McCain 17% Rudy Giuliani 12% Fred Thompson 3% Mike Huckabee 2% Ron Paul 1% Mitt Romney 0% Polling was conducted by telephone October 23-24, 2007, in the evenings.

The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted. LV = likely voters Republicans n=303.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beating Democrats: The Case of Heather Wilson & Melissa Hart

"Plunge the Verbal Dagger in his heart . . ."

Five years ago, Congresswoman Heather A. Wilson, of Albuquerque's First District, ran against a Democrat named Richard Romero. Because Romero was heavily financed by national Democrats and was a Hispanic running in a district with a heavy Hispanic flavor, he had many things going for him.

Then, Romero mentioned in a debate that he was opposed to capital punishment.

Within days, Heather Wilson had a commercial out that said, "For child molesters who murder their victims, Richard Romero opposes the death penalty." At that point, down went the Romero candidacy.

She took the verbal dagger and plunged it into his political heart.

Heather Wilson's commercial was accurate, and she had every right to run it. Romero deserved to lose because on a critical issue he was out-of-step with his constituents.

In 2008, Heather Wilson almost certainly will the Republican candidate for the New Mexico U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici. Her opponent might be Bill Richardson, current governor of the state and a second-tier candidate for the presidential nomination. He would be a tough opponent, but no one is betting against Mrs. Wilson, an Air Force veteran and a Rhodes Scholar.

I hope people like Melissa Hart, who is running to get back the congressional seat in Pennsylvania's 4th district, will follow Heather Wilson's example. In 2006, Melissa lost her seat to Jason Altmire, a supposedly moderate Democrat, who beat Congresswoman Hart about the head and shoulders with various charges -- including accusations that she was a stooge for President Bush and weak on veteran's issues.

Melissa Hart is a "turn the other cheek" Christian, which certainly isn't a bad thing to be. However, when running against a pit bull like Altmire, the kinder and gentler approach doesn't work. To get her seat back, she will need to attack Altmire, who makes the task easier for her by talking out of both sides of his mouth.

For example, in the campaign against Hart, Altmire (unaffectionately known as "The Fat Boy") said he was against setting a "timetable" for retreat from Iraq. He said he would rely on the "commanders on the ground." Then, when he got into Congress, he listened to the man he'd called his "campaign manager," John Murtha, and voted for a timetable.

He also talked about how bad President Bush's Medicare Plan D (insurance for seniors) was, implying that it was somehow harmful to seniors. In fact, my wife and I are both on Plan D, and it has saved us more than $1,000 each every year.

Altmire also talked in the campaign about how he is "pro-life." However, in Congress, he joined with Murtha and Pelosi to vote for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Since that would destroy embryos that are potentially viable, it's hard to see how it qualifies as "pro-life."

The Pennsylvania 4th is an unusual district. About two weeks ago, Melissa Hart told me, "You know how it is. You live there." In fact, she's 100% right; I do live in the 4th.

There's a belief that Jason Altmire would like to spread -- that he was the underdog and his 2006 victory was a total surprise. In fact, Democrats have a 50,000 voter edge in the 4th. At the same time, this is a conservative area, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-military.

To win her seat back, Melissa Hart must hammer away at Altmire. She won't need an extensive vocabulary, although she clearly has one. She needs to emphasize the issues I've noted, pointing out that Altmire is out-of-step with the 4th District. She needs to paint him -- accurately -- as a tool of people like Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, and "Pete" Stark. She must highlight how he is voting for measures, such as the timetable, that are harmful to American soldiers.

If someone like Jason Altmire wants to root for the enemy and against Gen. Petraeus and our soldiers, that's his right under the Constitution. But he shouldn't ask the voters of the 4th District to send him back to Congress. He could always go back to his old job of being a lobbyist for one of the nation's sleaziest health care empires.

For Republicans to win back the Congress -- and it's not unimaginable that they could -- they have to expose the Democrats for what they are: weak on national security and on other issues of real concern to voters. I'm sure there's a picture of Jason with Nancy Pelosi, and I'd recommend that Melissa display it on every possible occasion.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I'll be writing over the next month -- generally on Mondays and Tuesdays -- about how Republican candidates and activists should frame arguments in seeking support. Republicans often fail to make statements that are meaningful and memorable, while Democrats are somewhat better at doing so. A column on the subject will appear tomorrow (Tuesday), and I urge you to read and comment. Thanks.

Here's my response to Christopher(see comments) regarding the column below: Christopher: The endless talk about what a "jerk" (supposedly) GWB is regarding Iraq is an exercise in pettiness and demagoguery. The War on Terror is going to cost many American lives, and there's nothing we can do about it other than transform ourselves into ostriches.

One problem is that the Dems (and too many Republicans) have no understanding of who our soldiers are and what motivates them (including courage and love of country). I realize that the American people are disturbed by the signs of casualties they see regularly on TV, but the alternative is to let al Qaeda train and mobilize in the Middle East so they can attack American "interests" (including the civilian population of the U.S.).

They've been here before, and they want nothing more than to kill people here again. Certainly, al Qaeda is not the only group causing problems in Iraq, but the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq, which is very possible, would be a major blow to terrorists worldwide. We need to get across to voters that a vote for the Democrats is an exercise in denial that will not stand up to reality.

If we don't eradicate al Qaeda and other groups like them, they will eventually get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, and the results would be catastrophic. Anyone who "supports our troops" had better start supporting their efforts to kill or capture followers of bin Laden.

steve maloney, ambridge, pa

Monday, 3:50 p.m.: Octavia Nasser, a CNN Arab affairs expert, has listened to bin Laden's new audio tape, and she interprets it as a "sign of weakness" on the al Qaeda leader's part. She adds that he appears to see al Qaeda's effort in Iraq as "a failing proposition." Steve Maloney

Note: The following column is dedicated to former Army Captain Albert C. Labriola, a professor at Duquesne University, who was awarded the Silver Star for valor in Viet Nam and to Pvt. Track Palin, now at Ft. Benning and a fine representative of a family that symbolizes everything good about America.

Why did Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards say they couldn't "guarantee" U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by January, 2013 (that's four-and-a-quarter years from now)? One reason may be that it's finally dawned on them that the Petraeus Strategy is working -- and the U.S. is winning in Iraq.

The next word we hear from those three, also known as "See no evil . . . Hear no evil . . . and Evil," many be that they've really been For the War right from the start. We may yet see Hillary Clinton on Halloween outfitted in a military uniform.

Of course, the MSM "spin" on Iraq has been that everything is a mess -- and probably getting worse. As the War increasingly goes in the U.S.'s favor, the media is increasingly silent on the situation. The theme seems to be: "If you don't have anything bad to say, don't say anything at all."

For a sane view of the War -- and how America is winning big-time -- check out Jack Kelly's column in today's (Sunday, October 21) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Forum." You can find it at: http://post-gazette.com/forum. Gp there and scroll down to Jack's column and read both this week's and last week's pieces on Iraq.

Of course, some in the media, unable to find bad news, will make some up. Kelly quotes Qasim Zein of the McClatchey Newspapers, who says last week: "A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery [in Najaf] by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses, or selling burial shrouds."

Maybe Moveon.org might take up the sad case of the burial workers? Or perhaps the people pushing the big hike in funding for SCHIP might advocate covering them under an enhanced health care plan?

Jack Kelly says the Washington Post and New York Times might consider publishing articles and Op Eds by people who actually know something about how the War is going. He says, "If the goal of the Washington Post were to inform its readers of the situation in Iraq now, one would think its editors would make more an effort to publish the views of soldiers and Marines who are serving in Iraq now." Don't hold your breath, Jack.

In fact, Kelly cites a Marine sergeant writing from Fallujah (!!!) to the milblogger "Blackfive": "Peace is breaking out all over the place, and no one knows what to do. I spent the day with [the regimental commander]. We rode straight through Fallujah without incident and down to Amiriyah to check on a police transition team. The TTs [transition teams] are quickly becoming the main effort."

If this kind of information comes as surprising news to you -- well, you've been derelict in your duty to read people like the on-scene milbloggers and Jack Kelly.

Check out the reports from a Baghdad from a once fiercely-contest neighborhood: "Once abandoned streets are now filled with families and entrepreneurs who continue to open new small businesses every week." Those are the words of battalion commander James Crider, speaking to super-milblogger (and former Special Forces solider) Michael Yon.

The political implications of the rapidly improving situation in Iraq are huge. We might even see the political version of a resurrection from the dead by President George W. Bush. Clearly, really good news from Iraq is not good news for the Democrats, including their presidential candidates.

If you truly want to know what's going on in Iraq, turn off CNN and CBS -- and ditch the Post and the Times. Then, go read Jack Kelly, Michael Yon, and David Petraeus. Also, because you still might be able to get good odds, bet the Republican canidate for President.

(And remember that one candidate for vice-president, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has an 18-year-old son (Track Palin) training at Ft. Benning for service in the infantry.)

Sarah Palin Information: Last Wednesday, Adam Brickley, who founded the Draft Palin Movement was on Political Pistachio radio, a popular Internet-based program. Adam did an absolutely superb job of explaining why Sarah is the best possible candidate for the vice-presidency. If you go to Adam's site: http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/ you can get a link to his "Pistachio" appearance.

Friday, October 19, 2007



A financial and social disaster that will occur in your lifetime . . .

Policy Percentage Change

Increase Federal Income Taxes +69%
Increase Payroll Taxes +95%
Cut federal purchases -100%
Cut Social Security & Medicare -56%

These numbers are from 2004 – three years ago – in Niall Ferguson’s Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, pages 270-271. The numbers are from a study done by Jagadeesh Gokhale, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and Kent Smetters, the former deputy assistant secretary of economic policy at the U.S. Treasury..

The numbers above represent Gokhale’s and Smetters’ assessment of how much taxes would have to be raised, or expenditures cut – immediately and permanently, to pay off future expenditure commitments, including interest on the national debt.

The difference between expenditure commitments and expected revenues is based on 2004 numbers and added up to $45 trillion – an amount roughly four times the nation’s total output (GDP). It’s also an amount 12 times the nation’s official debt in 2004 – a number that’s significantly higher now.

This is the portrait of a disaster that's now underway, with the retirements of the first Baby Boomers, people who will also be on Medicare in another three years. It demonstrates a huge liability that will be borne largely by the children and grandchildren of Baby Boomers -- or perhaps not borne by them if they believe they're being shafted, which they will be.
Yes, it does mean what it says: that to meet future liabilities income taxes would have to rise by more than two-third, or, alternative payroll taxes (for Social Security and Medicare) would have to increase by 95%, or federal discretionary spending go down to zero, or Social Security and Medicare payments by cut by 56%.
Republicans don't like to talk about these emerging financial realities. Democrats never talk about them -- perhaps believing that, when the fiscal tsunami hits, they'll be safely dead. Lucky them.
So, how do you explain this situation to ordinary mortals?
You ask an audience how many of them pay approximately $10,000, give or take a few thousand dollars? Then, you tell them that to even out tax revenues and expenditures, their tax would increase to roughly $16,9000. That is, they'd have nearly $7,000 a year LESS than they do now.
What if the government used payroll taxes (for Social Security and Medicare) instead of taxes. Then, if your payroll taxes added up now to $4,000, then the increase would go up 96%, nearly doubling to approximately $7,840 per year.
Or, if you're on Social Security and Medicare, the government could check your check -- and the amount provided through Medicare by 56%. Thus, if you and your spouse get combined Social Security payments of $24,000 annually ($2,000 per month), the yearly amount you receive would be reduced to $10,660 (or to $880 per month).
If you're used to getting by on $24,000 a year, chances are you wouldn't appreciate having to get by on $10,680 per year. Also, you're not going to like having Medicare pay for far less than half your medical expenses.
Of course, the number of politicians recommending such tax increases or expenditure reduction is roughly zero.
However, elected officials haven't exactly been rushing forward with alternatives.
Of course, there is yet another alternative: having your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren pay much higher income taxes and payroll taxes. They might not be exactly enthusiastic about that prospect. They just may start asking hard questions about why we believed it was their responsibility to pay huge sums to guarantee us an extremly comfortable retirement. They'll have a point.
Does anyone deny the situation I've outlined is coming to pass? Not any experts that I've heard about. Of course, some voters are in a state of permanent denial -- they're generally known as "Democrats."
When Republicans explain this depressing situation, they're not going to make a great number of new friends. That's the challenge.


Giuliani picks up backing of a Bush [Jeb, JR.] in Florida

Wednesday, Mitt Romney added Congressman Connie Mack to his stable of support in Florida.

Today, Republican rival Rudy Giuliani came back with a Bush -- Jeb Bush Jr., to be precise.

Bush, the youngest son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and President Bush's nephew, will be chairman of Florida Young Professionals for Rudy and will focus on recruiting professionals to the campaign and on grassroots efforts in South Florida.

"As someone who grew up around politics and candidates, I know that Rudy has the leadership qualities and unmatched experience to be the next president of the United States. I'm honored to join his campaign and look forward to working with the many young professionals throughout Florida supporting the mayor," Bush said in a statement provided by the Giuliani campaign.

The former New York mayor is counting on Florida as a key part of his nomination strategy. Republicans there moved up their primary to Jan. 29, so that it occupies a key perch in between the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and the quasi-national primary on Feb. 5, when about 20 states are scheduled to vote.

Note from Steve: The Florida primary will be absolutely crucial, because it will be the prelude to "Tsunami Tuesday" (Feb. 5, 2009) when 20-plus states will hold primaries. If Rudy Giuliani has a big win in Florida, it should lead to other major wins in New York, New Jersey, California, and elsewhere on Feb. 5. There may very well be only "one candidate standing" on Feb. 6.

Right now, Rudy obviously needs to concentrate on winning the nomination. However, it's not too early for him and his advisers to begin making initial contacts with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who would be an outstanding choice for the vice-presidency. She will have great appeal to the young professionals whose support is crucial to Rudy Giuliani, both in the primaries and the general election.


Here's an excerpt from Sturm's column about Fred Thompson and Sarah Palin

"And just think of the contrast between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton! Here's a woman who won public office through her own hard work and merit, without need for a former president husband to pave the way for her. And Gov. Palin doesn't need to explain so many potentially embarassing things as does Sen. Clinton. She has hired no Sandy Bergers, supported no Black Panthers and played no hide and seek with Rose Law Firm documents. Palin doesn't want to take things away from us "for the common good," believes it takes families - not villages - to raise children and instead of treating military aides with contempt is the proud mother of a son serving in the U.S. Army."

Note: Comments are always welcome!


This week I've been discussing taxes -- what people believe is the case versus what's really true. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (May 19-May 21) I'll talk about how to present issues in such a way that candidates and activists can win votes.

As some of you know, I do summaries (7500 words) of books on business marketing (most of which are about 90,000 words, or 250 pages). The one I'm working on now is outstanding. It's called Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, and the authors are brother Chip and Dan Heath. "Sticky" ideas are ones that get and retain people's attention.

How should candidates and other frame their ideas in order to make them stick? They should emphasize:

  • Simplicity -- stripping ideas to their core without making them silly;
  • Unexpectedness -- avoiding cliches and predictable statements;
  • Concreteness -- helping people understand and remember ideas;
  • Credibility -- doing what's necessary to get people to believe your ideas;
  • Emotion -- ensuring that people care about your ideas; and,
  • Stories -- getting people to act on ideas.

Political leaders need to avoid the usual abstractions and cliches. Instead they need to offer their ideas in ways that are concise, clear, and credible.

Recently, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention was responding to criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His rationale was a model of simplicity and power. He said, "When people are conducting a war against you, you'd better be conducting war against them."

In politics, the fewer words the better. It's a situation where less is more, where addition paradoxically leads to subtraction. A few good sentences -- think back to Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy -- generally are preferable to a 30-minute speech.

As for Republicans, if we present our ideas cogently and memorably, we'll win. If we don't, we'll lose.

For an example, let's look to a Democrat, who was one of the great communicators of the past century: John F. Kennedy. He knew how to capture people's attention -- and nearly 44 years after his death, many of his words refrain fresh and memorable.

JFK valued statements that were simple and concrete.

Consider his comments about the goal of a trip to the moon. He might have told the nation: “Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives.”

JFK realized that kind of language puts people to sleep. He knew that trying to capture people’s attention with abstract, pompous verbiage is like trying to land a fish with string lacking a hook.

What he actually delivered was a national challenge to do the following: “[P]ut a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.”

The idea of a "man on the moon" brings an element of drama -- and danger -- to the statement. A man going to the moon and returning humanizes what is otherwise an engineering and aeronautical enterprise.

That message was one of such simplicity and specificity ("by the end of the decade") that it captured the nation’s attention. Kennedy expressed the goal in language – all of it one- or two-syllables -- that everyone could understand AND REMEMBER.

Right now, the Democrats do a slightly better job than the Republicans in delivering messages that stick. We need to regain the lead with statements that are simple and compelling.

For instance, we've recently been debating the issue of SCHIPS, the state program for children's health. We've called it (correctly) an effort at "socialized medicine."

Frankly, abstract terms like "socialized medicine" don't register with most voters. We need to emphasize who -- specifically -- is going to be hurt by a massive increase in SCHIP funding and who is going to be helped. We need to be very clear on which children need state or federal assistance and which don't.

Stephen R. Maloney


Here's my response to comments from John, "avgayjoe," thanking me for writing about how SOME evangelicals drive away gay and lesbian (GL) voters (who total about 7 million in presidential elections, not to mention their families and friends). My comments are followed by yet another comment by John (in italics).

John, thanks for your comments. I have a column called "National Mind Your Own Business Day" (scroll down) that deals with similar subjects.

There's a battle going on in the "evangelical community" about what constitutes a decent (i.e., Christian) response to alternative ways of life. I regard myself as a (relatively mild-mannered evangelical -- Roman Catholic -- who has known many GL people and regard them as very much like everyone else. Some gays and some straights engage in very risky behavior, but it's very hard to generalize about either group.

The evangelicals who get quoted most (people like Dr. Dobson, Laurence White, and the now-disgraced Ted Haggard of Colorado) are of course the extremists. They do great harm to the Republican Party and to the country. The affirm their Christianity but seem not to be good at practicing it.

There is poll data that more evangelicals favor Giuliani, relatively liberal on GL issues, than do the candidates inclined (key word) toward homophobic statements. I believe Mike Huckabee, who is a decent man, would like to make more moderate statements, but he fears losing his political base. The "bad" evangelicals are about 10-15% of the category. They are very loud but not extremely numerous.

One reason I support Giuliani is that I believe he will treat GLs in a Christian way -- and will seek out their votes, which could be crucial in states like NJ, FL, and PA.

Following is Joe's comment:

My biggest fear is that they will enable Hillary to enter the White House next year because they've taken their marbles and gone home in a huff after only getting most -- but not all -- of what they want. I'm willing to compromise even though they are not, but only so far. If Hillary does get in they have no idea what she is going to do that the GOP will not be able to undo if they regain power. For one thing, if Hillary wins I seriously doubt she lose in 2012 like they think. Her husband lasted 8 yrs and I bet she will too.