It’s sad when a sitting US Congressman loses his ability to remember the basic details of the shenanigans he went through to bring in the cash. Via Boot Berry, this classic moment of what we call a Kinsley gaffe:
To those without video: it’s of Berry first confidently denying that he personally gets farm subsidies (in 2007), then (yesterday) momentarily forgetting that he denies personally getting farm subsidies, cheerfully admitting that he personally gets farm subsidies, then visibly stopping and going to himself Wait a second. I’m supposed to pretend that I don’t personally get farm subsidies. It’s the stop-and-wait-and-visible-oops moment that makes this video: by all means, watch it.
And then check out his opponent Rick Crawford. Because if Berry can’t even keep up on this, him returning to private life seems best for all concerned.
Months ago, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), chairman of the Blue Dogs’ health care task force, told House leaders and chairmen they’d better include Blue Dogs in the writing of their health care bill. But that didn’t happen.
Now, Ross has become the rallying point for a massive revolt against the leadership health care plan and may be the biggest obstacle to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) oft-stated desire to pass it by the August recess.
This is, of course, nonsense. Mike Ross voted for the obscene debt bill masquerading as a stimulus package; and he’s used up his free pass by getting to vote against cap-and-trade. He’ll break on health care; there are a bunch of other fake ‘conservative’ Democrats who’ll need the cover, and one mustn’t be greedy, right? More to the point, Ross and his ilk like to pretend that they don’t know that the reason why there are so many tax-and-spend Democrats in positions of authority is because the Blue Dogs signed off on putting them there. This is all pure theater, in other words; and it’s theater as performed by actors who have a very low opinion of their target audience’s intelligence. I note all of this solely so that nobody is surprised when Ross comes out of a meeting with a fake grin, an agreement on a trigger mechanism for imposing state-run health care, and a breezy assurance that rationing old people’s medical treatment is the best way forward for fiscal conservatism.
And I can’t wait to see the person we run against him in AR-04 next year.
Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) appears to have understated by hundreds of thousands of dollars the value of his Capitol Hill rowhouse on his annual financial disclosure forms.
In May, Berry filed a financial disclosure form reporting the value of the house at between $250,000 and $500,000, the same value that he has listed on his disclosure forms each year.
But according to District of Columbia tax records, the current assessed value of the house is $947,080, and the proposed 2010 assessment value is $864,970, reflecting the drop in Capitol Hill property values.
Starting with the background: AR-01 is one of those districts that is… interesting. It is currently rated as R +8 in the Cook Political Report, but is held by a soi-disant ‘Blue Dog Democrat’: in this case, Marion Berry. Berry has been in that seat since 1997: he won the 2006 election with 69% of the vote; and he was unopposed in 2008.
However, he will not be unopposed this term. Rick Crawford is going to be challenging him; it’s reported that the NRCC is looking at him as part of their planned campaign against selected ‘Blue Dogs’ that did not get challenged in the last election cycle. Rick is a business owner (AG Watch, a radio agricultural network) and military veteran (Army, bomb disposal) with strong roots in the area; he’s pro-life, pro-Tea Party, ready to run on an agricultural platform and is just as exceptionally happy to see the back of Arlen Specter as most of the people reading this, particularly after what Specter did to Kemp’s memory.
The NRCC is taking a challenge to this district seriously, and it’s no surprise why: while Barry has been comfortably winning elections lately – and didn’t have a challenger last cycle – the district itself has shifted on the national level (Gore in ’00, Bush in ’04, McCain in ’08). Plus there’s the entire agricultural subsidy thing, which Berry is notorious for (and, apparently, has set up an arrangement to allow himself to continue to benefit from personally). Then there’s the ongoing neutering of the Blue Dogs in general; as this NRCC radio ad (H/T: ARRA News Service) points out, Barry’s voting for what Pelosi’s proposing.
As noted above, Rick’s website is here, this is his current donation link, and here’s his Facebook page. We will no doubt see more campaign-related items as time goes on.