Campaign Confidential

Fla. Congressman: Sarah Palin Should Motivate Jews to Vote Obama

By Brett Lieberman

Jewish voters unsure whether to cast their vote for Barack Obama or John McCain, might want to think about this little bit of advice U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings offered about Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate:

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” the Florida congressman said during a National Jewish Democratic Council panel.

“Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings said.

Congressman Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., later told the same group that Jesus was “a great Democrat,” according to CNN.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, which has been accused of its own share of gross distortions, is denouncing Hastings’ comments as “the worst kind of politics.”

“Hastings’ unconscionable remarks do nothing but sow seeds of fear and divide people,” said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks in a statement. “There should be no place in our country for this sort of political discourse. We can constructively disagree on the issues without denigrating others.”

He also said Cohen’s remark “inappropriate, offensive and should be repudiated.”


A Muslim Congressman Heads to the Holy Land

By Jennifer Siegel

Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota is among a congressional delegation visiting Israel this week with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The eighteen-member group, which is almost all freshmen, also includes Jewish congressmen Paul Hodes, John Yarmuth and Steve Cohen.

My colleague Nathan Guttman is in Israel now and will have a story up this week about all the politicking going on in the Holy Land.

It is particularly interesting to watch Ellison trying to balance his Jewish and Muslim constituencies. He still seems to be figuring out how to keep his foot out of his mouth.


The 2008 Money-Train

By Jennifer Siegel

Second quarter fundraising results are in, including for the Jewish freshmen in the House. Here’s the quick summary of year-to-date fundraising totals;

Ron Klein: $1.3 million
Gabrielle Giffords: $908,494
John Yarmuth: $600,000
Paul Hodes: $550,000
Steve Kagen: $420,000
Steve Cohen: $137,000

While Klein, Giffords, Yarmuth, Hodes and Kagen are part of the DCCC’s Frontline program for potentially vulnerable incumbents, Cohen isn’t getting help from the party because he’s running in the overwhelmingly Democratic district of Memphis, Tennessee. But Cohen’s leading primary rival from the last go around, Nikki Tinker, has already raised over $100 K.

If you’re looking for a mid-day mental sorbet, watch NJDC’s silly video honoring tthe Jewish women of the House.


Steve Cohen Gets Set for Racially Charged Rematch

By Jennifer Siegel

His chief opponent from 2006’s race, Nikki Tinker, just filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC, the Hill reports.



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