The Center for Individual Freedom, an Alexandria, VA-based "conservative group that focuses" on gov't spending, will begin a $2M TV "ad buy later this week in 10 districts across the country."
In addition to "vulnerable" Dems "some of whom already are being targeted in spots launched by other outside groups" and the NRCC, CFIF is "trying to stretch the playing field by going after" Dems "who have long been viewed as safer, including" Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA) and Heath Shuler (D-NC).
The rest of the list consists of already-embattled Dems -- Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Allen Boyd (D-FL), Travis Childers (D-MS), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Larry Kissell (D-NC), John Adler (D-NJ), Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) and Ben Chandler (D-KY).
CFIF exec. dir. Jeffrey Mazzella: "The electorate is ripe right now to hear our message. It's very clear: You look at poll after poll and the American people are fed up with Congress."
Mazzella "said the organization spent money in state level races in previous election cycles but is now interested in federal battles" (Isenstadt, Politico, 10/12).
So Fargo Away
RNC chair Michael Steele stopped in Bismarck and Fargo, ND 10/12 "to speak to GOP activists." Steele said ND's House and SEN races "are important to" the GOP's "efforts to regain control of Congress." Steele added that the "GOP has put more than" $250K into ND's races.
An ND Dem spokesperson said "Steele's visit won't have any effect on the elections" (AP, 10/12).
Steele will be in Minneapolis 10/13 to headline an "Elephant Club" luncheon. Tickets are $1K, "but additional funds were also solicited" (AP, 10/13).
Hey, Buddy, I Like That Museum
House Min. Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) writes, for Politico: The next GOP "Conference should immediately move" to extend the current House GOP "earmark moratorium to all House members. "I encourage" Pres. Obama and the WH "to take a similar step."
If GOPers "put forward real federal spending reductions while simultaneously returning to the old way of earmarking billions of dollars, we will rightfully forfeit the people's trust. After all, how can anyone defend reducing spending for housing programs, for example, while still earmarking for their favorite local museum?"
"The challenges confronting our country -- and our Congress -- are far too great for so much time and money to be spent on earmarks" (10/13).
Does This Tax Make My System Look Flat?
Senate Min. Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) writes, for Wall Street Journal: "We should get to work on a bipartisan, comprehensive pro-growth tax reform. ... The resulting system should collect no more than 18% to 19% of the economy in revenue for federal government operations (roughly the average level for the past 50 years), and it should free up Americans to work, save, invest and even spend as they choose."
"Our current tax system is a drag on business productivity. ... Economists agree that even well-intentioned subsidies can cause businesses to misallocate resources into less productive activities. The current fascination with 'green jobs' is but one example. Congress isn't very good at picking the next big technology, green or otherwise, and we should stop trying."
"Businesses must be willing to give up their special preferences in exchange for a corporate tax rate that is competitive with our major trading partners. Small businesses need tax rates that are low and permanent."
"Americans of all income levels and family situations would benefit from a flatter (but still progressive) rate structure that includes few preferences. ... And here's something else: Every American with an income should pay some level of taxes. Why? Not to raise additional revenue (the rate should be very low and payment simple), but because every American should have a stake in the cost and size of our government" (10/13).
He Ain't No Jon Daily
Cantor appeared on the "Daily Show" 10/12 p.m.
Cantor, on how long it will take for GOPers to be corrupted once they take control of Congress: "Look, you know it's a great question. That's what this is about. We are not going to repeat the mistakes of past."
Cantor, on voter's trusting the GOP vision: "You know we're coming to this and going to the electorate with a sufficient, what I think is a sufficient, dose of contrition. We got fired. We get it. '06 we were thrown out. '08 the country said no, not you. And now they've also had a dose of a crowd that, frankly, took the wrong message from their election" (Comedy Central, 10/12).
It Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word 'Win' Is
Washington Times' Birnbaum writes, on GOP maj. "Some analysts say" GOPers "would be better off if they did not win majorities in either the House or Senate. That's silly. Politicians win by winning, not by losing. If they need to lose to prove that the other side is incapable, they deserve to lose and remain in the minority" (10/12).
Port To Somewhere
Charleston Tea Party chair Mike Murphree "is as sympathetic as anyone" to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) "and his crusade against earmarks." But even Murphree "has split with" DeMint "on one particular earmark that many here see as vital to the region. It would advance plans to deepen the Port of Charleston ... to accommodate the mega cargo ships that will be calling once the Panama Canal is expanded" in '14.
Murphree: "If we had more time and didn't have to go through all this federal rigmarole, we'd hunker down and stop the earmarks. But we don't have that luxury."
"Securing the money" -- $400K "for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a feasibility study -- has widespread support throughout the state." DeMint "says he supports deepening the harbor, too. But he is a purist against earmarks."
"His lack of support for the earmark, requested by" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "appears to have stymied the port's plans and left" DeMint "increasingly isolated on the matter."
Graham: "I'm all for change and all for reform. But this is where the reality of governing rears its ugly head."
Officials say "the dredging is urgent ... because the expanded Panama Canal will significantly alter global shipping patterns." Without the dredging, "the port and the region could lose billions of dollars in commerce and thousands of jobs" -- 1 in 5 SC jobs "is now connected directly or indirectly to the port."
DeMint, in a letter on the project: "I'm not willing to bankrupt my country for earmarks."
Approps subcmte chair Byron Dorgan (D-ND)"said both senators needed to be on board." DeMint "has doubted this explanation, noting that" Graham "had secured financing for other earmarks that only he requested. DeMint supporters say the Democrats are playing politics, trying to box" him "into a corner and portray him as putting his state's economy at risk."
SC Ports Authority chair Bill Stern: "This is a federal channel. Why should we burden our state taxpayers with this when all other states with ports don't have to? Senator DeMint's heart is in the right place, but he's wrong on this issue" (Seelye, New York Times, 10/12).