Former President Bill Clinton headed to New Haven, Connecticut over the weekend to campaign for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Clinton's classmate at Yale Law School. Clinton's trying to lend some firepower to candidates around the country, and Blumenthal is locked in a close race for US Senate with Republican Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.
In 2008, New Jersey Democrats scored a big win when they captured the 3rd Congressional District House seat after decades of Republican control Now, they are having to fight to hold on to the seat held by freshman Congressman John Adler.
Everyone says they'll tackle corruption - even within their own party. Enter Vito Lopez. He's the Brooklyn Democratic County Leader whose well-funded, sprawling network of non-profits seems to be testing that notion.
Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable Politics Bites clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are in bold.
On the Leonard Lopate Show, Gail Collins of the New York Times talked with Miles O'Brien about Delaware candidate Christine O'Donnell, whose past dabbles in witchcraft came back to haunt her this week. Gail thinks the voters of Delaware have a right to know if she's "crazy." Crazy is exactly what it takes to run for Governor of California, says Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Candidates may be crazy, but it's anger that Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks is driving this election. He appeared at an event alongside Rick Lazio, endorsing the candidate in his race against Carl Paladino. That race took a surprising turn earlier this week when a Quinnipiac poll showed only a six point lead for Lazio, something that Quinnipiac polling Director Maurice Carroll thought might be due to mistaken perceptions. The close polling drew larger attention to the race, and Newt Gingrich even weighed in with an official Paladino endorsement on the Brian Lehrer Show. But two subsequent polls, explained Siena's Steve Greenberg, showed a much larger lead for Cuomo. That said, Carl Paladino continued to hammer away at his economic plan throughout the week, trying to close the gap. Finally, an It's A Free Country palette cleanser: listener John from Ridgefield Park, NJ the Brian Lehrer Show, urging us to find some common ground.
The full transcript of Brian's conversation with Newt Gingrich on September 24.
When you have millionaires at war with fundraisers in an election season, with just a little scratching, money starts to come out of the woodwork. WNYC's been covering a gaping loophole in New York's campaign finance regulations--Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs.
Almost sixteen years ago to the day, Republicans laid out their midterm platform in their Contract with America. It preceded a sweeping victory for the GOP in Washington, as they took control of the House of Representatives and Newt Gingrich took the Speaker's gavel.
Now, they are laying out a new vision in a Pledge to America (thanks for posting, Politico!).
How much difference does 16 years make? What stands out to you in the two platforms? Give us your read - and tell us whether you're a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.
-Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee, on The Leonard Lopate Show.
Traveling through America, I cannot help but look at America in military metaphors, as a soldier who has served a tour of duty and cannot help but wonder if rotations to the field will continue indefinitely. The battles are economic, on one level. Jobs and the economy remain the top issues. Neighborhoods rocked by foreclosures are sometimes finding a new equilibrium - even if that equilibrium means learning to live with one or two abandoned houses on a once-full block. America has survived the dizzying economic crash of 2008, but we remain ready to fight for an American Dream that sometimes we can't even define.
In its first poll of likely general election voters, the Quinnipiac Poll found Republican nominee Carl Paladino narrowly trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 43-49 percent.
The National Bureau of Economic Research may have declared the great recession over, but the road ahead is still quite rocky for the New York City budget.
-New York Times columnist Gail Collins on The Leonard Lopate Show.
-John, a caller from Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, on The Brian Lehrer Show
As Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert prepare to take Washington, we certainly should appreciate the satire, the cynicism even, as healthy for our democracy. After all, Stewart's viewers are engaged on some level. They are not completely disengaged from the political process. The same can be said of Glenn Beck's followers. And if Lady Gaga’s fans pick up the phone and call their senators, whatever their motivation, at least they are dialing into the process. The question is whether we are engaged enough.
-Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business on The Brian Lehrer Show
Candidates have been describing the problems facing New Yorkers and Americans, but they have not done a very good job of communicating how they will do something about these problems. Just like in a job interview New Yorkers now want candidates to demonstrate ability. It's time to focus and give some answers.