July 25, 2005

Hayes in Hot Seat

This article does a good job of pointing out why Robin Hayes is in the electoral hot seat. I have other articles here and here that also show why we should be gunning for Hayes. The CAFTA vote will do nothing to endear him to his District voters either.

Hayes' seat a battleground again
Both parties already pouring cash, attention into 8th District race
Observer Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - A re-election bid by GOP Rep. Robin Hayes of Concord is again shaping up as one of the 20 or so House races both parties will be watching -- and trying to shape -- as they fight for control of the House in 2006.

The signs aren't hard to find:

Hayes is getting money from corporate PACs...Hayes is on both parties' lists mostly because he's a Republican representing a district with many more registered Democrats (195,452) than Republicans (118,069). Unaffiliated voters in the 8th District total 71,963...On top of the discontent with Bush, Democrats hope to use Hayes' recent votes and comments -- including his assertion on CNN that Saddam Hussein had a role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- to cast him as an out-of-the-mainstream Republican.

...Hoping to scare away any formidable Democratic opposition, national Republicans and their allies have already begun funneling money to Hayes' campaign. He is among 18 House Republicans receiving contributions from the so-called "Million Dollar Club" -- a dozen business PACs representing Wal-Mart, R.J. Reynolds, UPS, Pfizer and others.

...Those at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, meanwhile, have sent a barrage of news releases saying Hayes' votes and comments place him far to the right of even fellow Republicans.

One highlights his June vote against a measure to block the United States from transferring prisoners to foreign governments that may torture them. The amendment to an appropriations bill passed 415-8.

"A lot of these (Hayes) votes we've questioned are not Democratic or Republican issues," says Bill Burton, a DCCC spokesman. "Take the torture vote. More than 99 percent of the members disagreed with Hayes on that. ... It just shows that he's out of the mainstream."

Hayes says he's "obviously against torture," but considered the amendment -- from Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. -- a "very poor political effort to embarrass" U.S. troops.

Why did so many other Republicans -- 215 -- vote for it?

"It was the easy way to go," says Hayes. "Stay out of controversy."

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