Saturday, October 21, 2006

New York Times "Strongly Endorses" Murphy

Today, the New York Times endorsed Chris Murphy for Congress. The endorsement marks the first time in the last two decades that the Times has not endorsed Nancy Johnson. Additionally, this stands as the earliest date in the last two decades that the Times has declared its endorsement of a candidate. Read the full endorsement for yourself below:
Nancy Johnson is running for her 13th term in Congress this year against Chris Murphy, a Democratic state senator. Ms. Johnson was once a reliable Republican moderate, waging a lonely battle to control Congressional spending in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Her attention to legislative details remains impressive, and she can claim some worthy achievements on issues like the environment.

Yet as she has risen in seniority and power within the Republican House Caucus, Ms. Johnson has receded as a critic of her party's far right leadership. Now Ms. Johnson is in the odd position of defending her party's assault on basic civil liberties and its freespending ways. A Republican Congress and the Bush White House have produced budgets that have paid for an unpopular war along with big tax breaks for the wealthy, resulting in the biggest deficits in history.

In the race, Ms. Johnson has used fearmongering commercials that try to paint Mr. Murphy as soft on terrorism and, most curiously of all, a big spender. It is unconvincing. Ms. Johnson is the senior member of an important committee. She has served longer in the House than any other Connecticut representative. Yet she has not been able to change significantly the House GOP leaders' reckless fiscal policy or its radical agenda.

Mr. Murphy, a lawyer, is impressive. He has spent eight years in the Connecticut House and Senate. He pushed for the state to adopt a system of campaign finance reform when he first entered the House, long before this was considered an important issue. He helped pass legislation that made it easier for uninsured to obtain health insurance. He wants to work on the same issue in Congress.

Mr. Murphy believes the war in Iraq has forced America into a false choice between war and civil liberties and has made us more vulnerable to terrorism. He advocates a timetable for withdrawal. Ms. Johnson has supported the war and has voted to continue the current open-ended commitment.

We've supported Ms. Johnson in the past, but are disenchanted with her support of her leadership's radical agenda. Mr. Murphy would be a strong candidate in any race, and even against a seasoned incumbent, is impressive. He would make a superb addition to Congress. We strongly endorse his candidacy.

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