Monday, July 31, 2006

Vote for Chris Murphy Today!

Can't wait until November to vote for Chris Murphy? Well you're in luck, as you can vote for Chris today. Senator John Edwards is conducting an online poll to gauge support for Democratic House candidates. The top two vote-getters will receive a visit from Edwards for a campaign fundraiser. With John Edwards comes both national attention and lots of money, so winning this contest would be a huge boost to any campaign. Edwards' help would go a long way in helping to close the fundraising gap with Nancy Johnson and her special interest money. Plus, who wouldn't love the chance to see John Edwards in Connecticut? Help bring John to the fifth district by voting as many times as you can in the online poll. It's easy and will only take a couple seconds of your time. You can also forward the link to the site to anyone in your address book and let them know to vote for Chris too. Vote now here!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Update: Watch Chris Murphy's New Ad!

Murphy Releases First TV Ad

Well I must have psychic powers...Yesterday I posted about Nancy Johnson's attack ad on Chris Murphy, complaining about how sick I am of attack ads and how it would be nice to see politicians run on their own positive message rather than smear their opponent. So what did I see when I went home and turned on the TV? The TV ad debut from the Murphy campaign, which actually offered a positive message rather than the same old tired attack ads. I tell you, I really like how this Chris Murphy guy thinks!

In the ad, (which I'll post as soon as it's available) Murphy turns off a TV playing Johnson's attack ad and then says how he's going to run a positive campaign by getting out and actually listening to the voters' concerns. Murphy ends the ad by telling the viewer that they'll be hearing more from him, but until then they should hang on to their remote to tune out Nancy's smear campaign. It was quite refreshing to see a candidate who after being attacked by his opponent chose to respond in a postive way and let the voters know that his campaign will be different from the usual ones we have come to expect. Most campaigns choose to respond to an attack ad by going negative themselves, but the Murphy campaign is showing that they really are different.

(Shameless solicitation alert):
We've got to keep the momentum that Chris Murphy has built going. As I said before, I have set up an ActBlue account for this blog that allows you to contribute directly to the Murphy campaign. Let's make sure that Murphy has the money needed to keep his positive message up on air and not allow Nancy Johnson's attacks to go unanswered. Contribute here!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Nancy Gets Nasty....In July

By now most of you have probably seen Nancy Johnson's latest attack ad. If not, just imagine the typical political attack ad full of the usual distortions, scary announcer, and grim music. Johnson's ad also features the usual Republican rhetoric on how Chris Murphy is out to raise everyone's taxes...even on our seniors! Uh, sorry Nancy but you're going to have to do better than that if you really want to scare me.

So the question is, why is Nancy Johnson already running attack ads in July? The only possible answer is that her people have some very bad poll numbers, and they see smearing her opponent as the only way to improve them. The people of Connecticut deserve better from a twenty-four year incumbent, but this is what we should come to expect from Nancy Johnson. You would think that after serving twenty-four years as an elected official, Johnson would have plenty of examples of positive legislation she has passed which she could tout to her constituents. Given her record, however, Nancy Johnson is forced to resort to scare tactics and smear her opponent. But again, this should all come as no surprise to the people of the fifth district who see everyday the out of touch, Washington politician that Nancy Johnson has become. Johnson is hoping she can scare the people of Connecticut into electing her to another term. I think she has underestimated our intelligence.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Action Alert!

Nancy Johnson will be interviewed on Connecticut Public Radio Monday morning from 9-10. We need people to call in and ask the tough questions that Nancy won't want to answer. This is a great chance to confront Nancy about her record and the awful decisions she has made in Washington. There's just so many topics to choose from: healthcare and the Medicare Part D disaster, the war in Iraq, her vote to strip the Voting Rights Act, her political posturing on the minimum wage increase....I could go on and on. You can call in at (860) 275-7266, or email questions in advance to wherewelive@wnpr.org. If you don't have access to a radio you can listen to the broadcast online here. Please be sure to call in and give Nancy a piece of your mind!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Murphy Unveils Energy Plan

Chris Murphy held a press conference this week to unveil his new energy plan. For the specifics of the plan, check out MikeCT's post over on My Left Nutmeg. You can also watch the entire press conference here.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Murphy Fifth Best Fundraiser Nationally

Chris Murphy once again put up some terrific fundraising totals for the second quarter. Murphy's campaign reported having over $1 million cash-on-hand at the June 30th FEC filing deadline. Murphy's cash-on-hand total ranks fifth among all House challengers nationally. This impressive feat is just another reflection of the solid campaign that Chris Murphy is putting together. National observers are taking notice too. Congressional Quarterly cited Murphy as one of the "Democratic challengers thriving in [the] money race." Murphy's strong showing should enable his campaign to continue to receive the attention and resources of the national party.

While Chris Murphy's fundraising numbers are quite impressive for any House challenger, the fact remains that he will never be able to outspend a 24-year incumbent. Nancy Johnson has a blank check from her Washington special interests, and reported having $2.6 million cash-on-hand for the quarter. In a clear display of how beholden Johnson is to special interests, more than half of the money she raised came directly from PACs. Whenever Nancy Johnson needs money all she has to do is pick up the phone and make a call to one of her many lobbyist friends and a check is sent in the mail. By opening her office to special interests, Nancy Johnson has effectively sold her vote to the highest bidder and left the people of Connecticut behind.

In order to compete with Nancy Johnson's warchest, Chris Murphy will have to rely on the generosity of average folks like us. Murphy has already created a strong grassroots fundraising effort, with 76% of his campaign contributions coming from individual donors. The need for money will be very high as Johnson will no doubt use her warchest to smear her opponent with negative attacks. With the proper financial resources, however, Murphy's campaign will be able to respond to any attack Johnson makes. To do my part, I have created an ActBlue account for this site. You can contribute directly to Chris Murphy's campaign by simply filling in the box on the right side of this page. I encourage everyone to give whatever they can to the Murphy campaign. Money is the most critical aspect of any campaign. Without our help, Nancy Johnson's special interest money will go unmatched. So please give whatever you can to help ensure that Chris Murphy has the needed resources to defeat Nancy Johnson once and for all in November!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Pledge To Do Nothing

I don't know about you, but I'll certainly sleep a lot easier tonight. Why you ask? Because Nancy Johnson and her friends in Congress passed legislation Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from those horrible "activist judges." The House bill bans federal courts from hearing cases pertaining to the constitutionality of the Pledge and particularly its "under God" phrase. So you can all breathe a sigh of relief now. No longer will we have to live in fear of our court system destroying the Pledge of Allegiance and along with it the very existence of the United States of America.

Please excuse my sarcasm.

The fact that Congress is debating such a meaningless and inconsequential measure at a time when both the nation and world face serious troubles is appalling. In the midst of a Middle East crisis that sees more violence everyday, a war in Iraq that has no end in sight, soaring gas prices, and a record deficit, Congress chose to debate the Pledge of Allegiance. Rather than working to solve the problems that Americans are facing each day, Nancy Johnson and Congressional Republicans looked instead to score political points with the right-wing of their party by exploiting a social wedge issue.

Enough is enough! This is the epitome of a "Do Nothing Congress." America and the world are facing real problems that require real leaders. Men and women are dying everyday in Iraq and the Middle East. Families are unable to afford adequate healthcare. And yet we cannot even get our elected officials to have a serious debate in Washington. Each day that passes, is another in which Nancy Johnson shows how out of touch she is with the concerns of Connecticut men and women. Johnson once again chose to pander to the right-wing of her party, instead of working to improve the lives of those she represents. Instead of listening to the concerns of her constituents and working hard to address those issues, Nancy Johnson has taken a pledge to do nothing.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Poll Shows Murphy Leading Johnson

A new poll released Tuesday shows Democratic state senator Chris Murphy leading Republican incumbent Nancy Johnson. Of 600 likely voters surveyed, Murphy leads Johnson 38%-35%, with 28% undecided. The poll was conducted by the Working Families Party, which has officially endorsed Chris Murphy.

This poll represents some of the first numbers we have seen from this race. The results only confirm what was already expected; Nancy Johnson is in serious danger of losing her bid for a 13th term. It is quite amazing for a 24-year incumbent to be trailing a challenger at such an early stage in the race. Despite already spending over $1 million and smearing her opponent with negative attack ads, Johnson remarkably still finds herself behind Murphy, who has yet to air a single TV ad. Clearly, Connecticut voters simply aren't buying Johnson's same-old Washington rhetoric. People are ready for a change and want someone who will actually listen to the residents of this state, instead of Washington lobbyists and special interests. Connecticut has seen enough of Nancy Johnson, and voters are letting their collective voices be heard.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Washington Post Foresees "Democratic Tidal Wave"

Thomas Mann of the Washington Post wrote an insightful article about the Democratic Party's chances of regaining the House in November. In Mann's analysis, a Democratic takeover of the House is not merely possible, but probable. As evidence he cites the dismal approval ratings of President Bush and the Republican Congress as well as an increasingly unhappy electorate. Mann concludes, "Energized voters can hold their government accountable and throw the rascals out. Chances are good that, this fall, they will avail themselves of the opportunity."

Here's to hoping a Category 5 storm hits and carries Nancy Johnson out with it.

(Below are some excerpts from the article. To read the entire story click on the link above.)

If history is any guide, we're heading into a major political storm. And that means we could see a national tide in November that will sweep the Democrats back into the majority.

Virtually every public opinion measure points to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane gathering. Bush's job-approval rating is below 40 percent, and congressional job approval is more than 10 percentage points lower. Only a quarter of the electorate thinks the country is moving in the right direction, and voters are unhappy with the economy under Bush. Finally, Democrats hold a double-digit lead as the party the public trusts to do a better job of tackling the nation's problems and the party it would like to see controlling Congress.



But my own reading is that the odds favor a Democratic takeover of the House. The 15 seats that the party needs for a bare majority is well below the range of minority-party gains in past tidal-wave elections. The national winds blowing against the GOP are strong and have not diminished over the past nine months. Credible progress on the ground in Iraq before November is implausible. The public's harsh evaluation of the president's performance on the economy is unlikely to be reversed by Election Day. Prospects for significant legislative achievements in the remaining months of this Congress are remote. Enough seats will be in play (including some that Republicans carried in 2004 with more than 60 percent of the vote) to allow Democrats to gain majority status in the House.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Johnson Push Polling?

Reports have been circling around the blogosphere from 5th District residents who received phone calls on Saturday from individuals conducting blatant push polls. Although the individuals did not identify themselves, it was clear from the questions they asked that they supported Nancy Johnson and were attempting to smear her opponent, Chris Murphy. For those not familiar with push polls, they are phone calls in which the caller uses the guise of conducting a poll in order to slander an opponent, usually by making completely untrue attacks against the person. Push polls are not at all interested in obtaining any actual information from the voter, but rather are an attempt to influence the voter's opinion by creating a negative image of the opponent. You may recall the infamous example that occurred in South Carolina during the 2000 Republican Presidential Primary. Bush campaign strategists developed a push poll to smear John McCain which asked voters if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew that he had fathered an illegitimate black child. Obviously this was not true, but that does not matter to the pollster, who is simply looking to plant seeds of doubt in the voter's mind.

While there is no way of knowing for sure if Saturday's push polls were created by the Johnson campaign, I certainly wouldn't put it past them. Time after time Republicans have demonstrated a win at any cost mentality. The GOP has shown that they are more than willing to play dirty, and push polls are just one means of doing so. Push polling is completely unethical and tarnishes the entire electoral process. The only positive of this is that it shows just how scared the Johnson people are. For them to be conducting push polls so early in the election must mean that they have received some very bad internal poll numbers. This can only be interpreted as a sign of desperation, and that the Johnson campaign is realizing just how vulnerable they are. The Johnson campaign is likely to only get nastier as we move closer to November. No matter what dirty tricks Nancy Johnson attempts to use in this campaign, she will not be able to run from her record. Connecticut voters are seeing Johnson for the out of touch Washington politician that she is, and will not be fooled into supporting her once again.

(To see more about this push poll from someone who actually received one of the phone calls, check out inkadu's post over on My Left Nutmeg)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Book on Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson continues to come under heavy criticism for her vote this week to strip the Voting Rights Act. Johnson, the only member of the entire Connecticut delegation to support the measure, continued to show how out of touch she is in her response to the public outcry, telling the Hartford Courant:
"I've never had a minority person say, `I can't read Nancy Johnson.'"
Actually, Nancy might be right. While I can't speak for Connecticut's "minority persons," national interest groups certainly seem to have a good read on Nancy Johnson. In their most recent legislative report cards, Johnson received the following grades:
NAACP: 39%

League of United Latin American Citizens: 35%

Arab American Institute: 33%

National Council of La Raza: 50%

(Source: Project Vote Smart)
When it comes to voting on issues important to minorities, failing grades have been the norm for Nancy Johnson. So yes, Nancy, you're right; I'm sure whenever a "minority person" reads your name they know exactly what it means.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Johnson Supports Radical Voting Rights Amendment

On Thursday, Congress approved a long overdue extension of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. Extending the landmark civil rights legislation was originally expected to be a simple procedure, however, the bill quickly became highjacked by the right-wing of the Republican Party. A bloc of primarily Southern Republicans proposed multiple amendments aimed at stripping away several key sections of the bill, but each amendment was overwhelmingly defeated with opposition coming from both Democrats and Republicans who recognized the clear attempts to weaken voter protections. Of the failed amendments, one sought to strip the act of provisions that require certain jurisdictions to provide voting ballots in a second language if the local community contains a certain percentage of Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Native Alaskans.

With the ongoing immigration debate, many people have come to automatically associate English as a second language with illegal immigrants. It's important to remember, however, that the people this amendment is referring to are all American citizens. Only legal, American citizens can vote. These particular citizens just happen to be from a cultural background where English is a second language. The proposed amendment would have therefore made it much more difficult for these Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Republican James Sensenbrenner (WI) blasted the amendment saying:
"This is a poison-pill amendment. We're dealing here with United States citizens. Certainly we ought to give these people assistance."
Fortunately, a large number of Republicans united with Democrats in their opposition to the amendment and it was overwhelmingly defeated. Nancy Johnson, however, aligned herself with the right-wing of the GOP and supported the measure. In fact, Johnson was the only member of the entire Connecticut delegation to support the amendment. Rather than defending the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, Nancy Johnson joined the fringe of her party in supporting this repressive amendment. Johnson's voting record once again dispels the myth of her "moderate" image and reveals her as the right-wing Republican she truly is.

New Race Update from Larry Sabato

Political prognosticator, Larry Sabato, updated his review of the Murphy-Johnson race today. Sabato seems quite impressed with the challenge Chris Murphy is putting forth and takes notice of his strong fundraising ability and history of success. Sabato goes as far as to call Murphy one of the Democratic Party's "best hopes." None of this can be good news for the Johnson camp.

Although it is hard to believe that this district was on very few pundits' radar screens only half a year ago, it's plain to see now that Democratic state Sen. Chris Murphy of Cheshire has emerged as one of the out-of-power party's best hopes for defeating a well-entrenched House GOP moderate. The last time Murphy was this actively engaged in a race for Congress was ten years ago, when he was in his early twenties and served as campaign manager for Democratic challenger Charlotte Koskoff, who capitalized on a 1996 Democratic surge in the then-6th District to almost pull off a stunning upset against GOP Rep. Nancy Johnson.

Although it is unlikely Murphy will ever match the fundraising powerhouse Johnson dollar-for-dollar here, Murphy is holding his own, and will post a second quarter report pegging his total dollars raised for the cycle at over $1 million. Murphy's camp finds further encouragement in a Democratic survey taken for his campaign this week showing him leading Johnson 46%-44%, within the poll's margin of error. The Crystal Ball views those numbers with skepticism and believes Johnson is narrowly ahead, but this race is certainly well on its way to the Dirty Thirty.

Chris Murphy Gets More National Attention

Nancy Johnson's political vulnerability continues to be recognized by national pundits. Walter Shapiro of Salon magazine singled out Chris Murphy's bid to unseat Johnson as key to Democratic hopes of reclaiming the House majority:
Reliably blue state Connecticut is also center-stage for Democratic hopes of winning the House, since all three GOP incumbents in the state are in tight races. Our canary-in-the-mine-shaft race here is the generational battle in the 5th District in the Northwest corner of the state between 71-one-year-old GOP incumbent Nancy Johnson and 32-year-old Chris Murphy, a state senator.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Doing the Bare Minimum on Minimum Wage

If the House Republicans' refusal to increase the minimum wage wasn't bad enough, their actions Wednesday added insult to injury. In a purely symbolic and utterly disingenuous act, GOP leadership paid lip service to the issue. In passing a non-binding "motion to instruct" procedure, Republicans attempted to quiet the public outcry over the issue while doing nothing to actually help American workers. Nancy Johnson was one of the Republicans who quickly signed on to the meaningless motion in another attempt to play up her "moderate" image. Johnson's political manuvers are insulting to the intelligence of the people of Connecticut.

Minimum wage has not been increased in nearly ten years and currently stands at $5.15 an hour. Since its last increase, Congress has voted to increase its own pay more than $31,000 to a current level of $165,200 a year. That's about to go up again though, as Congress is set to up its own pay $3,300 this year. So while its too much to ask for the nation's poorest workers to receive a mere $7.25 an hour, Congress doesn't hesitate to give itself an extra $3,300.

Throughout the minimum wage debate, Nancy Johnson has remained remarkably silent. She has done nothing to pass a bill of any substance, and seems perfectly content to resign herself to political posturing. While Johnson is quick to laud her twenty-four years of experience and the clout that she claims will land her the Ways & Means chairmanship, she shows no willingness to use any of this supposed pull to positively influence legislation. Johnson is more concerned about her own political aspirations in Washington than the lives of those struggling to make ends meet. Nancy Johnson's silence on a minimum wage increase once again exhibits how out of touch she is with the people of Connecticut.

Introducing No More Nancy!

Welcome to No More Nancy, a new blog devoted to exposing the record of Connecticut Congresswoman Nancy Johnson. Twenty-four years in Washington have left Nancy Johnson completely out of touch with the people of Connecticut's fifth district. Beholden to Washington special interests and lobbyists, Nancy Johnson has neglected the people she was elected to represent. Despite her attempts to portray herself as a moderate, Johnson's voting history reveals the record of a right-wing Republican. Whether it be on issues pertaining to the war in Iraq, healthcare, energy policy, or the enviroment Nancy Johnson has continually supported the failed policies of George W. Bush and the Republican Congress.

It is my hope that this blog will serve as a means exposing the myth of Nancy Johnson's "moderate" image and reveal the truth about her record. Discussion is strongly encouraged as I hope for this to become a forum for all. We are more than due for a change in Connecticut and together we can bring about that change in November.