View Full Version : WSJ print article on Paul and Peden

02-21-2008, 11:26 PM
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120364487659384883-V6ua29cOYO_J_kQ_X_vD15fLe1Y_20080322.html?mod=tff_ main_tff_top

Long Shots Could Pay High Price
Paul, Kucinich
In Fights to Keep
Their House Seats
February 22, 2008; Page A7

ALVIN, Texas -- Two congressmen gambled on quixotic 2008 presidential campaigns in a bet that won't put either of them in the White House and may ultimately cost them their House seats as well.

Reps. Ron Paul (R., Texas) and Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) now face a common problem: primary challenges built largely around the notion that their long-shot presidential bids and celebrity status have put them out of touch with voters back home. For both, the showdown will be March 4, when Texas and Ohio hold primaries.
[Dennis Kucinich]

Mr. Kucinich conceded his House seat was in trouble when he abandoned his presidential bid in late January, telling his hometown paper, "I want to continue to serve in Congress."

His top opponent is Joe Cimperman, a Cleveland councilman endorsed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. Mr. Cimperman defines Mr. Kucinich as an absentee congressman who has failed to pass any major legislative initiatives in his 12-year House career. In an interview, he said he was tired of Mr. Kucinich and Cleveland being joke fodder for late-night talk-show hosts. "It's time for him to go," he says.

Mr. Kucinich also ran for president in 2004 and stayed in the race all the way to the Democratic convention without trouble back home. This time, the coverage of his campaign rarely reached beyond his quest to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, his marriage to a woman 31 years his junior, and a public acknowledgment that he saw a UFO in 1982 during a stay at actress Shirley MacLaine's home in Washington state.

The Ohio lawmaker is also trailing in the money race. Mr. Cimperman had $205,000 cash on hand at the end of the year, compared with $13,000 for Mr. Kucinich, according to the most recent reports filed with the Federal Election Committee. In addition to Mr. Cimperman, three other Democrats also will appear on the primary ballot.

Another sign of vulnerability: Mr. Kucinich agreed to debate his four opponents on Tuesday -- a rare concession for a safe incumbent. "When all is said and done, people know they can count on me," Mr. Kucinich told the crowd, according to the Associated Press.

While Mr. Kucinich opted to drop his presidential bid, Mr. Paul has committed to staying in the Republican race though he recently scaled back his national campaigning to focus more on his House re-election campaign.
[Ron Paul]

Mr. Paul hasn't won any contests to date, but his campaign has attracted national attention as he broke Internet fund-raising records and stood alone on the Republican stage as an opponent of the Iraq war and much of President Bush's foreign policy.

He expresses confidence he will dispatch his primary opponent, Chris Peden, a certified public accountant and city councilman from Friendswood, about 20 miles south of Houston. Mr. Peden says that while Mr. Paul may be a celebrity candidate with a zealous following, he hasn't been an effective legislator.

Mr. Peden's candidacy has irked many of Mr. Paul's ardent supporters. Mr. Peden says his family has been harassed in phone calls, emails, and in person at their home to a point where the Pedens have filed complaints with local police and sent their two youngest children to stay with his parents until the primary is over.

Mr. Peden said he doesn't believe Mr. Paul or his campaign had anything to do with the harassment; Paul campaign manager Mark Elam confirms that, calling the actions of some supporters "unfortunate."

Mr. Peden is positioning himself as a more buttoned-down mainstream conservative, unlike Mr. Paul who is known for his libertarian streak and advocacy of policies that aren't widely embraced by fellow Republicans, such as eliminating the Federal Reserve.

Simply put, Mr. Peden doesn't think Mr. Paul does his day job well. "The more I've learned about him, the more I realized the 351 bills he's authored to date since 1997 when he was re-elected none -- zero -- have ever been passed into law," he says in an interview at his campaign headquarters in Alvin. Mr. Paul's antiwar rhetoric, he says, puts him at odds with a solidly conservative district that re-elected President Bush with nearly 70% of the vote in 2004.

Still, Mr. Peden faces an uphill fight with little financial support outside of a $150,000 loan he made himself.

Mr. Elam said the legislative attack was misleading, arguing that many of Mr. Paul's proposals have been incorporated in other bills, and he cited his successful effort to establish a U.S. Gold Commission more than two decades ago as an example. "I think Ron Paul is recognized as one of the nation's leading conservatives," Mr. Elam countered. "Most people, if you look at their legislative product it consists of more taxes and more spending and that's not Congressman Paul's desire."

Mr. Elam, a friend of Mr. Paul's and his campaign manager dating back 30 years, was sanguine about the race in an interview at his Sugarland, Texas, home.

The campaign is certainly ahead in fund-raising. Drawing largely on the same network of online donors that fund his presidential bid, Mr. Paul's congressional campaign raised more than $1 million in the past month. This week, it made a $250,000 television ad buy in the Houston media market, and is conducting regular internal polling. "We take every race seriously," Mr. Elam said.

He acknowledged that Mr. Paul expressed concern when another antiwar Republican, moderate Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, was ousted in a primary challenge last week. "I said, 'Yeah, but he was beat by a conservative,' " Mr. Elam assured his boss.

If he is unsuccessful this time around, Mr. Peden said he'll return to his accounting practice through April 15 -- it is tax season after all. "Then we'll start gearing up for 2010," he said.

02-21-2008, 11:39 PM
tax season. OK.

02-21-2008, 11:43 PM
Good read.. Thanks for the text!

02-21-2008, 11:51 PM
Peden as city councilman has gotten no bills passed himself. He introduced very few. One was to have English be the official language of the small cities paperwork.

That failed.

Ok maybe Ron Paul is not a legislation machine. Is that really a Congress persons job? To pass lots of laws written by themselves?

Or to represent their constituents by debating and voting?

02-22-2008, 08:55 AM
I'm tempted to buy a few personal ads in TX-14's newspapers, thanking the district voters for electing him over the years, and telling them they must be the smartest district in the nation.

Without them, the conservative revolution that Paul and his presidential run started would never have happened.

02-22-2008, 09:36 AM
I'm tempted to buy a few personal ads in TX-14's newspapers, thanking the district voters for electing him over the years, and telling them they must be the smartest district in the nation.

Without them, the conservative revolution that Paul and his presidential run started would never have happened.

Inexpensive yet effective idea!

Canvass, canvass, canvass. Or call, call, call. Money to the congressional campaign is great, but talking to people individually can be more effective than TV ads.

02-22-2008, 10:10 AM

02-22-2008, 07:25 PM
I thought Peden had funding from the neocons... He has nothing but a loan to himself. This should be a walk in the park.