Monday, May 15, 2006

Bryant Takes Hilleary's Deal To Gang Up On Corker; Bryant Blogger Calls Deal "Goofy and Insincere"

On Friday of last week, Van Hilleary sent a letter to Ed Bryant calling for a "conservative truce" against Bob Corker.

In his letter, Hilleary wrote, "You and I are the only two candidates in this primary who have the conservative credentials and core beliefs we must have in our next U.S. Senator. Bob Corker's record proves he is not a conservative - despite what he says in his ads.

The fact is Bob increased taxes on Tennesseans by millions of dollars; Bob refused to oppose a state income tax; Bob supported Democrats; Bob previously ran for the U.S. Senate as a pro-abortion rights candidate; and Bob is currently supported by liberal labor union bosses, Democrats, Don Sundquist and the pro-income tax wing of the Republican Party.

Bob Corker is not a conservative, but he plays one on TV!"

Some pretty harsh Republican on Republican rhetoric if you ask me.

Later Friday afternoon after Van had made his letter public and before Ed Bryant himself could comment on the letter, pro-Bryant blogger Jay Bush said the following of the proposed idea:

"This is sort of goofy and insincere."

"I have an idea. How about we call a "conservative truce" on August 4th after Tennessee's Republican primary voters have actually had an opportunity to vote? Then we can all sit around the campfire together and sing "Kumbayah." Until then, there's nothing wrong with running a good spirited primary campaign."

I guess we know where the Bryant campaign stands on the idea of a "conservative truce," right?
Not hardly, because on Saturday morning Ed Bryant released his own letter written to Van Hilleary in which he agreed to the truce.

In his letter to Hilleary, Bryant writes:

"I too am disturbed by the millions of dollars Bob Corker is spending on TV ads designed to deceive voters into believing he's a conservative in spite of his record of raising existing taxes and fees, creating new taxes, increasing government spending and taxpayer-financed debt, and support of abortion rights. I would, however, encourage you to follow my lead in making certain that all critical analysis of Mayor Corker's record is done in a straight forward, factual and well-documented manner.

I understand, appreciate, and share your concern for the need of conservatives to remain united in our effort to defeat Bob Corker, particularly after Bob's already signaled his intention to attack you for what his campaign manager described as your "strong ties to Jack Abramoff."

Now I find two aspects of this whole situation very fascinating.

First, is the whole idea of two candidates ganging up on another candidate. This is the first time I have ever really saw this done publicly in this manner. To me this truce indicates that both Bryant and Hilleary are not comfortable with where their campaigns are right now.

Corker has out raised them by a long shot, is now running television ads, and according to a poll issued last week, he is the only candidate out of the three to make any significant ground from the last poll. (Bob is also getting alot of help from K Street)

This "conservative pact" sends up a red flag to me.

Second, why would Jay Bush come out and comment on something like this before his candidate hasn't even had a chance to put forth his stance?

Bush coming out in advance of Bryant and calling this agreement "goofy and insincere" less than 24 hours before Bryant himself agreed to the truce, just makes Bush look foolish and the Bryant campaign unorganized and totally undoes any damage to Corker that they hoped the move would do.

My tip to Bush: go back to Political Blogging 101. (Also, check out Political Blogging for Dummies)

This situation is sure to get more interesting as the week progresses.

Stay tuned.....

Related: Read Forward With Ford's take on this crazy situation!

131 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!