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  1. #1
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    ALIPAC Endorsement of Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn in news

    Old foes renew battle for House

    By Mark Ginocchio
    Staff Writer

    Published October 31 2006


    In a 4th Congressional District rematch, voters will decide between a call for change and a candidate's plea to trust his record and political experience.

    When Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Democrat Diane Farrell squared off two years ago, the war in Iraq and the Republican control of the House, Senate and White House were the central issues.

    Two years later, the issues haven't changed, serving as a rallying cry for Farrell and Democrats. The state has been targeted by the national party as a battleground to regain control of the House.

    Shays' campaign has focused on his record of independence. Though he's backed the Bush administration's war in Iraq, tax cuts and No Child Left Behind education policy, he has defied them on social issues by supporting stem-cell research and a more comprehensive energy policy that opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Farrell, Westport's former first selectwoman, has countered by asking whether Shays' work with the Republican majority has been good for the country and whether it has made a difference when he has strayed from the party line.

    She has punctuated her argument by saying that if Shays were re-elected, the first vote he casts would be to reaffirm the current Republican leadership, despite his self-described independence.

    "We have to add checks and balances back in Washington by having a two-party system," Farrell has said.

    Added to the mix is Libertarian candidate Phil Maymin, a Greenwich hedge-fund founder. After petitioning his way onto the ballot in July, Maymin launched a mostly self-financed campaign aimed at painting both candidates as virtually the same -- supporting war, taxes and the elimination of people's liberties.

    A Green Party candidate, Stamford resident Richard Duffee petitioned his way onto the ballot, but dropped out this month to help support Farrell.

    The public's waning support for the war in Iraq has served as the linchpin for both of Shays' opponents. Farrell's campaign Web site hosts a counter of how many billions of dollars have been spent on the war.

    In the first of 11 debates earlier this month, Farrell took less than a minute to tie a question about the Republican leadership's handling of the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., to the party's failures with the Iraq war.

    Days after officially announcing his candidacy, Maymin held a forum in Greenwich to discuss his exit strategy from Iraq -- a July 4 deadline. Maymin has criticized both major party candidates for not having a date-certain exit plan.

    Farrell has said she would call for a cease-fire in Iraq and try to work on a diplomatic solution by getting the opposing Iraqi sects to negotiate. There would be benchmarks for troop withdrawals, triggered by progress being made by the opposing sects to ensure some stability in the country after the U.S. military leaves.

    But Shays, a longtime supporter for the war who has said "we should have gone in sooner but not for weapons of mass destruction," surprised many when he announced his renewed strategy for Iraq.

    After his 14th visit to the country in August, Shays, chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on national security, emerging threats and international relations, said he would call for a timeline for troop withdrawal if the opposing sects do not start making progress. Shays had previously said he would oppose a timeline.

    Farrell called Shays' announcement politically expedient. It came on the heels of the Democratic Senate primary in which incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman was beaten by anti-war Democrat Ned Lamont.

    Shays said he has letters written to Bush administration officials confirming his call for a timeline before that primary, but Farrell has not stopped pointing to the timing of his late-August news conference to announce his shift.

    The climate surrounding the war and Connecticut's status as a battleground state has created a contentious campaign atmosphere. Campaign funds have been pouring in, with Shays raising more than $3.2 million and Farrell $2.5 million.

    National political figures have stumped for both candidates, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of the party's campaign committee, for Farrell.

    Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former first lady Barbara Bush, House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have campaigned for Shays.

    President Bush's visit to Greenwich in September helped raise more than $600,000 for state congressional Republicans, including Shays.

    Shays and Farrell have accused the other of smear tactics. Shays compared Farrell's supporters in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other political action groups to the terrorist group Hezbollah after a series of anti-Shays telephone calls started flooding the district earlier this year.

    Farrell blasted Shays for a series of ads financed by the National Republican Congressional Committee saying the Democrat was soft on terrorism. Shays had said in debates that he was tired of "partisan politics," and he wouldn't launch a negative campaign. Shays denounced the committee's ads, though Farrell continued to criticize him for the attacks.

    Groups endorsing Shays include the Connecticut Laborers' Political League, League of Conservation Voters, the Human Rights Campaign, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the Americans for Legal Immigration.

    Farrell has been endorsed by Connecticut AFL-CIO, National Education Association National Women's Political Caucus, and various unions, including Communications Workers of America Local 1298, United Food and Commercial Workers, Machinists Union and the Transit Workers Union.

    Farrell has not made it a secret that she is a key to helping the Democrats get the 15 seats needed to regain control of the House. She has said the Republicans, including Shays, have written a "blank check" for the Bush administration.

    If elected, Farrell said she would focus on transportation issues by serving on the Transportation Committee. She has criticized Shays for not bringing back more money to the district to help alleviate traffic and protect the rails, roads and ports.

    Shays said he stands by his record. He has taunted Farrell for not having experience and for having "no clout" if she is elected but the Democrats fail to gain a majority. In his campaign ads, Shays attacks her tax and spending record as Westport First Selectman, when the town's debt load tripled, spending increased 70 percent and residents had the highest per capita property taxes in the state.

    "I don't think either party has earned the right to be re-elected and be the majority," Shays recently said. "You need to evaluate the individual."

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  2. #2
    Senior Member dman1200's Avatar
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    He went from an F- to an A- on amnesties. At least he's listening to his constituents.
    <-----------------------------------Please Impeach Me Congress!

  3. #3
    MW
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    Farrell has said she would call for a cease-fire in Iraq and try to work on a diplomatic solution by getting the opposing Iraqi sects to negotiate.


    I do believe Ms. Farrell is living in a fantasy land if she seriously thinks any worthwhile negotiations between the sects is possible.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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