#LA05: Duck Dynasty-Endorsed Vance McAllister upsets Neil Riser in Louisiana House runoff - Alex Isenstadt
Businessman Vance McAllister has won the special runoff election for a vacant northeast Louisiana congressional seat, notching an upset win over fellow Republican Neil Riser, according to the Associated Press.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, McAllister, a political newcomer, led Riser, a state senator who had won the support of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and much of the state’s GOP congressional delegation, 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent.
McAllister will succeed former GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned in August to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration after spending more than a decade in the House.
Riser entered the runoff as the favorite, having finished more than 12 percentage points ahead of McAllister in October’s crowded primary. Riser, who has held elected office since 2008, benefited from having an existing political organization – an advantage in an expansive district that takes up a large portion of the state. He outspent McAllister by more than $200,000, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. And he had the backing of many political figures, including Alexander.
But McAllister fought back, portraying himself as an anti-establishment figure. While Riser received support from political action committees, McAllister - who made a fortune in the oil business - relied heavily on his personal wealth, contributing over $500,000 of his own money to his campaign. Much of it was spent on TV ads in which he pointed out that he wasn’t a politician.
Running in an impoverished part of the state, McAllister competed aggressively for blue-collar voters. During the closing days of the race he aired a TV ad spotlighting an endorsement from Willie Robertson, a star in the popular A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty,” which is about a family-run duck-call business. And late in the race, McAllister gambled big by tacking to the left and expressing support for certain planks of Obamacare – a move designed to win over low-income voters and Democrats, who were allowed to vote in the primary and runoff.
Willie Robertson declined to run for the seat himself.
"Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson resisted entreaties to run in a special congressional election this year, but he’s still getting involved in the race.
Robertson is out with a new 15-second ad endorsing businessman Vance McAllister (R), the underdog in the race to replace former congressman Rodney Alexander (R-La.).
McAllister faces state Sen. Neil Riser (R) in a runoff Saturday. Riser was the top vote-getter in the open primary, taking 32 percent, compared to McAllister’s 18 percent.
The 5th district is home to the Robertsons, who have the most popular cable TV reality show of all time, and they have previously appeared at events for McAllister.
Dean Young, one of nine Republicans running in a special election to replace long-time Rep. Jo Bonner (R) in Alabama’s first Congressional district, wants his fellow candidates to sign a pledge to discriminate. And the pledge he is pushing them to all sign would also require them to affirm that they belong to a church whose tenants include opposing marriage equality — a sort of “religious test” in direct conflict with the spirit of the Alabama constitution.
Young’s “Pledge to Oppose Gay Marriage” states that it is “time for men and women of faith to stand for the founding Christian values and morals that made our nation great, to defend our families and the sacred holiness of marriage.” Therefore, each signer must affirm:
1. I believe that the only marriage is between one man and one woman.
2. I believe the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality and thereby gay marriage.
3. The tenants [sic] of my church oppose gay marriage.
4. I oppose gay marriage.
5. As a member of Congress, I shall take active steps to oppose gay marriage.
6. I support the by-law change to expel any member of the Republican Executive Committee who opposes the party position by supporting gay marriage.
AL.com reported Thursday that Young circulated the pledge this week and encouraged his eight primary opponents to join him in signing it. He believes this pledge is necessary because he considers same-sex marriage “a corruption which seeks to destroy the concept of the family,” and sees no place in the Republican Party for candidates who support “homosexuals pretending like they’re married.”
Young, who pledged to introduce articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama, garnered more than 24 percent of the vote in a 2012 primary challenge to Bonner. His campaign website boasts of an endorsement from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was unanimously removed by his fellow judges during a previous term for failure to comply with a court order to remove an unconstitutional display of the Ten Commandments monument from the state’s judicial building.
Young currently leads the 2013 contenders in reported cash-on-hand thanks to more than $129,000 in self-financing. The Republican primary will be held on September 24.
#LA05: 'Redneck millionaire' and 'Duck Dynasty' star Willie Robertson eyed for La. House seat | WashingtonExaminer.com
A new political dynasty might soon be joining the Kennedys, Clintons and Bushes: Duck Dynasty, that is.
Alexander, expressing frustration with divided government, is going to work in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet. He will leave at the end of September and a special election will be held to fill the open seat.
He represents the 5th District, including Monroe, La., home to the group headed by Robertson, the game call and hunting companies Duck CommanderandBuck Commander. Alexander and his staff are also friendly with the Robertson family, especially Willie.Robertson is more famous for the TV hit Duck Dynasty on A&E about the family business, in which where he is known for being the CEO prankster. He is a self-described “redneck millionaire.”
"My boys want to run Willie Robertson for the seat," said a key outside advisor to House GOP leadership. The source said that efforts are being made to interest Robertson into running.
I like Willie as a businessman and a TV personality, but if I lived in that particular district, there is NO WAY I’d vote for him, and that is principally due to the fact that he’s a Republican. This just cements my reasoning that Willie is my least favorite of the Duckmen.
WASHINGTON — Less than a day after the polls closed, Jason Smith was sworn into Congress this afternoon after his overwhelming victory in the special election Tuesday for the vacant 8th Congressional District seat.
Smith, 32, of Salem, a Republican who was a state representative, easily defeated state Rep. Steve Hodges in the southeastern Missouri district. He replaces Jo Ann Emerson, who resigned in January to head the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
With 462 of 462 precincts reporting, Smith scored 67.1 percent of the vote and Hodges 27.4 percent.
He became a U.S. congressman at 4:26 PM St. Louis time and cast his first vote on an amendment to a Homeland Security spending bill
BREAKING: Mark Sanford returns to Congress in #SC01 Special victory over ECB
Booo!!! Mark “I Hiked The Appalachian Trail” Sanford wins SC-01, returns to Congress in Special Election to replace Tim Scott (R), who went to the Senate. Sad that Elizabeth Colbert Busch lost.
#SC01: Hoping for an ECB victory
Election Day: MAY 7th
This past weekend, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), best known for resigning his seat after lying about an affair with an Argentinian woman, ran a full-page ad in the Charleston Post & Courier to support his congressional campaign after it was revealed that he had been charged with trespassing at his ex-wife’s house. In the ad, Sanford included his personal cell phone number and told readers to call him “if you have further questions.”
After Sanford published his own cell phone number, House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, included his number in a fundraising email sent Wednesday.
Sanford responded Thursday by publishing a list of unredacted phone numbers from anybody who had called his cell phone in an attempt to publicly shame them. See a redacted version of the list below:
ThinkProgress spoke with three of the people whose numbers appeared on the list – all were surprised and upset to learn their private phone numbers had been published.
Sanford’s campaign has grown increasingly erratic as polls show him trailing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, even in the strongly-Republican district. On Wednesday, in an homage to Clint Eastwood’s infamous RNC chair speech, Sanford used a campaign stop in Charleston to debate a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
h/t: Think Progress
National Republicans are pulling the plug on Mark Sanford’s suddenly besieged congressional campaign, POLITICO has learned — a potentially fatal blow to the former South Carolina governor’s dramatic comeback bid.
Blindsided by news that Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing and concluding he has no plausible path to victory, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend more money on Sanford’s behalf ahead of the May 7 special election.
“Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election,” said Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman
Sanford is facing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a Clemson University administrator and sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, in a race that has grabbed the national spotlight.
The NRCC’s move comes hours after Tuesday night’s report by the Associated Press that Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, filed a court complaint accusing him of trespassing at her home in early February – which would be a violation of the terms of their divorce agreement.
Republicans said they were caught off guard by news of Jenny Sanford’s complaint. They worry other damaging revelations about Mark Sanford’s personal life that they aren’t aware of could come out in the coming weeks.
The NRCC has spent a nominal amount on the race on polling and other activities. But officials determined that devoting potentially millions more — which was under discussion — isn’t worth it.
“This is an unfortunate situation but this is what happens when candidates aren’t honest and withhold information,” said one GOP operative.
The district heavily favors Republicans, so a win by Colbert Busch would be a major upset.
Former South Carolina Governor and current Republican nominee for Congress Mark Sanford has his work cut out for him if he wants to win the special election on May 7th, his first attempt at staging a political comeback after being forced to resign his governorship following a very public affair. But that didn’t stop one local county party chairman from adding another: the looks of the female Democratic nominee.
Sanford is running against Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a successful South Carolinian businesswoman who easily won her Democratic Party primary last month. But rather than challenging Colbert Busch on policy or credentials, Republicans seem focused on her physical appearance:
“Everybody is really concerned because she’s not a bad-looking lady, she is a good speaker and she’s got some money,” said Jerry Hallman, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party. “In politics, those things are important.”
This is not the first time a female candidate for office has been dismissed as little more than a pretty face with a nice speaking voice, but in the case of Colbert-Busch, who is the older sister of Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert, she has been subjected to an unusual amount of sexist coverage by all corners of the media.
Whether intentional or not, every one of these headlines poses a problem: they continue to define Colbert-Busch not based on her own successes but by the successes of her famous brother. In doing so, it allows readers — and, more importantly, voters — to do the same. Which of course isn’t fair to Colbert-Busch, who has the right to be judged on her own merits.
#SC01: SC’s ex-Gov. Sanford wins GOP runoff for old House seat, 4 years after affair sidelined career | WaPo
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday cleared another hurdle in his bid for political redemption, defeating a former Charleston County council member to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he held for three terms.
“It’s been a very long journey. And in that journey I am humbled to find ourselves where we find ourselves tonight,” said Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago when, as sitting governor, he disappeared from the state only to return to acknowledge an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman.
That woman, María Belén Chapur, and Sanford are now engaged. She appeared at Sanford’s side during his victory speech, smiling and applauding the former governor, who thanked her for being long-suffering while he was campaigning. She did not address the crowd.
With all of the precincts reporting Sanford had about 57 percent of the vote in the 1st District to 43 percent for Curtis Bostic, the former county council member. The candidates were vying in the GOP runoff after they finished as the top two vote-getters in a 16-way GOP primary last month.
Sanford will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt in a May special election.
Colbert Busch released a statement late Tuesday saying “I look forward to a vigorous campaign that focuses on creating jobs, balancing our country’s budget and choosing an independent-minded leader who shares the values of the great people of South Carolina.”
Sanford, a former three-term congressman and two-term governor, said earlier Tuesday that the runoff would give a good indication whether voters have moved past his personal indiscretions.
“I’m both humbled and grateful for the response of the voters here tonight,” he said later.
Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009. Reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but the then-married governor later tearfully acknowledged he was visiting María Belén Chapur, which he told everyone at a news conference announcing his affair. He later called her his soul mate and the two were engaged earlier last year.
The opening for Sanford came after U.S. Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to fill the remaining two years of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat. DeMint resigned to head The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Mark Sanford knows the 1st District well. Elected to the seat in 1994 — Jenny Sanford managed his first campaign and was a close adviser for most of his career — he served three terms before voters elected him governor in 2002.
h/t: Washington Post
Records show Curtis Bostic who was the attorney for the Christian World Adoption Agency (CWA) was paid 466,000.00 in 2011 and 189,000.00 in 2010 for services rendered to CWA. CWA has been accused by critics of being
– a multi-million dollar Charleston, S.C.-based company which critics contend is nothing but a sophisticated human trafficking outfit.
Christian World Adoption Agency’s motto was:
God is in control of our agency and your adoption.
Well it seems that God filed for bankruptcy and those who paid CWA for children were left holding the bag when they filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in February 2013.
As a result of a CBS News investigation and the banning of adoption agencies worldwide, CWA went bankrupt in February 2013. A few months prior to the bankruptcy filing Mr. Bostic’s law firm was still being paid for services connected to the CWA — even though they were soon to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Records obtained by BU show that The Bostic Law firm was paid 26,641.07 dollars on November 7th 2012, and another 5,000.00 dollars on November 20th 2012. On December 5th 2012 Bostic’s firm was paid 5,906.86 along with another 243.25 paid December 12th 2012. The last payments to them were 5,000.00 on December 19th 2012, and 1,942.73 which was paid on January 16th 2013; less than one month prior to the filing. The total over the three month period was 44,733.91 dollars.
The video above highlights the issues involved with CWA’s practices and how they went about coercing Ethiopian families to sell their children to CWA, who then told the children that they would be going off to America to get an education where once obtained they would be allowed to come back home. Prospective parents were told a different and more compelling false narrative to tug at their heart strings and get them to pony up money for the adoption. The children were not told that they could no longer come home, nor were they under the impression that they were being adopted on a permanent basis. In the video above Curtis Bostic is seen at the end trying to explain the CWA’s position after it was revealed to be a potential scam. Bostic goes on to claim that of course people might complain about the process, but that CWA had been responsible for thousands of adoptions worldwide, and that prospective parents would probably complain later but they were not a measure of the whole of CWA’s practices. Bostic told CBS News:
“Sometimes, people are upset when they just simply misunderstand things,” Bostic told CBS.
Of course people can misunderstand things, especially when the truth comes out. It is also easy to claim that a misunderstanding happened when people are finally told the truth by the very children they adopted. Bostic also said in another interview:
It is not the job of an attorney to ascertain what the truth is. It is the job of an attorney to represent people.
Quite a statement coming from a man running for a congressional seat in South Carolina. Of course his boosters like Ali Akbar who is a convicted felon probably won’t care that Bostic was involved in the selling of Ethiopian children, or that the CWA, whom Bostic’s firm represented, was paid very well for several years to give them the best legal services money could buy. But we here at BU question whether or not Bostic is worthy of the congressional seat he is working hard to obtain. If his job is not ascertaining the truth on anything he does, then what does that say about him as a politician? It says to us at BU that the truth be damned, its really all about the dollars and the client who pays you. So if people are supporting Bostic to represent them in Congress, then it stands to reason they would want someone honest and who cares about the truth, and not some paid shill who will do or say anything to get elected. What is clear here is that Bostic doesn’t care about the truth, even when damning video shows the reality behind the Christian World Adoption Agency he represented.
H/T: Breitbart Unmasked
BREAKING: #IL02 Special: Robin Kelly wins the IL-02 Democratic Party Primary, making her (basically) your new Congresswoman.
Democracy For America officially endorses Robin Kelly for Congress! Kelly’s goals are to pass intelligent gun safety laws, and providing incentives to small businesses to create jobs. Kelly is running in Illinois’ Second.