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Arlen Specter just switched to the Democratic Party

 
 
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:19 am
Republican Arlen Specter just switched to the Democratic Party. Fed up with Republican Party and---thinks he has a better chance of winning his relection as a democrate.

BBB

Specter To Switch Parties

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter's decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken's victory in the state Supreme Court.)

"I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary," said Specter in a statement. "I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election."

He added: "Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

Specter as a Democrat would also fundamentally alter the 2010 calculus in Pennsylvania as he was expected to face a difficult primary challenge next year from former Rep. Pat Toomey. The only announced Democrat in the race is former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella although several other candidates are looking at the race.

The precariousness of Specter's political position -- a Republican in a Democratic-leaning state -- was on display earlier this year when he was one of three GOP Senators to back President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. That vote was strongly condemned by conservative Republicans and Toomey used that vote as the launching pad for his candidacy.

Because of the shrinking Republican vote in the state, Specter was seen as a dead man walking politically in the primary with polling showing him trailing Toomey by ten or more points. The bar for Specter to run as an independent was also extremely high due to the rules governing such a third party candidacy.

That left a Democratic candidacy as Specter's best option if he wanted to remain in the Senate beyond 2010.
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:26 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Specter the Defector!

Wonder how he will vote on EFCA...

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:26 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
April 28, 2009, 12:13 pm
Specter To Switch Parties
By Carl Hulse
New York Times

Senator Arlen Specter faced a tough primary race against former Representative Pat Toomey.Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said he would switch to the Democratic party Tuesday, potentially presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration’s new agenda.

Congressional aides and others close to the long-time Republican party maverick said Mr. Specter, who faced a difficult re-election next year, was going to announce he would become a Democrat.

If Al Franken prevails in his ongoing court case in Minnesota and Mr. Specter begins caucusing with Democrats, Democrats would have 60 votes and the ability to deny Republicans the chance to stall legislation. Mr. Specter was one of only three Republicans to support President Obama’s economic recovery legislation.

Democrat leaders expressed their enthusiasm. President Obama was handed a note from an aide at 10:25 a.m. on Tuesday during his daily economic briefing. The note, according to a senior administration official, said: “Specter is announcing he is changing parties.”

Seven minutes later, Mr. Obama reached Mr. Specter by telephone. In a brief conversation, the president said: “You have my full support,” according to the official who heard the phone call. The president added that we are, “thrilled to have you.”

“We will welcome him with open arms,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:30 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Washington Wire - Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2009
Sen. Specter To Switch Parties, Democrats Near 60 Vote Majority

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties, handing Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama a powerful 60 vote super-majority in the U.S. Senate if Minnesota Democrat Al Franken is eventually seated in his long-running battle with Republican Norm Coleman. Here is Specter’s full statement:

Statement by Senator Arlen Specter:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania’s economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:34 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I never would have expected that but they have certainly done their best to drive him out of the party.

If only the conservatives could get rid of the rest of the RINOs in Congress, the democrats will have 75% plus majorities.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:34 am
I'm beginning to think Arlen Specter switched party affiliation and is now a democrat.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:47 am
@dyslexia,
Waiting...waiting for Rush Limbrain to comment.

BBB
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:50 am
@dyslexia,
I wouldn't believe it dys until Farmer comes on and tells you he just went to a bean feed with Specter.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:53 am
I really hate that our representatives are allowed to do this. It should be that if someone no longer wishes to be a part of the party that elected them then they should be forced to resign. In this case Specter should have to resign, and face an immediate new election should he want to stand.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 11:26 am
Good move. Specter and the Democrats will both be better off for it.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 01:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

I really hate that our representatives are allowed to do this. It should be that if someone no longer wishes to be a part of the party that elected them then they should be forced to resign. In this case Specter should have to resign, and face an immediate new election should he want to stand.

But don't we all "vote for the man, not the party?"
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 01:36 pm
Most of the complainers were happy to see Lieberman leave the Democratic party for essentially the same reason.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 01:42 pm
@engineer,
hawkeye10 wrote:
It should be that if someone no longer wishes to be a part of the party that elected them then they should be forced to resign.

Forced by whom? Certainly not by the US constitution, which clearly states that the people's vote is for a person, not a party. If it's a problem for the Republican party that moderate incumbents desert it, maybe it should try to make itself more attractive to moderates again.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 02:06 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Forced by whom? Certainly not by the US constitution, which clearly states that the people's vote is for a person, not a party. If it's a problem for the Republican party that moderate incumbents desert it, maybe it should try to make itself more attractive to moderates again.


It is worse than that I think, it was not long ago that I was reading that conservative republican operatives planned to work hard to defeat Specter in the 2010 cycle Primary. I don't question the wisdom of Specter deciding not to stay where he is not welcome, but I hate this switching of parties by sitting representatives of the people.
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 02:36 pm
Good for him. Always liked him.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 02:41 pm
Quote:
Specter has long been considered by die-hard Republicans a RINO (Republican in Name Only). In 1996, he ran for president on a pro-choice platform, which didn't get him very far. This year, he was one of three GOP senators to back Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

Former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, who ran against Specter once before and almost beat him, used that vote as the launching pad for his candidacy. The Republican Party has lost a lot of voters over the last years, and polling showed Toomey up by 10 points in a GOP primary. Specter was considered a political dead man walking. There's not yet any reliable polling with Specter as a Democrat, but at least now the two-time cancer survivor has a fighting chance to reach the general election.


http://www.slate.com/id/2217142/

Quote:
I am still unsure what the Democrats get out out of this. Specter would have lost to Toomey, and Toomey would have lost the general, and the Dems would have picked up another solid vote in the Senate. If Specter moves left, then it was a great pick-up, but already he is saying he will not support the EFCA. Will he vote for cloture on cap and trade and health care reform that includes a government run plan? If he won’t, the Democrats picked up nothing and the liberal agenda is pushed back a notch in the long term, while the moderate wing, the ones who cut stimulus spending, are empowered. We might still need to pass health care legislation through the budget reconciliation process. The unions need to threaten to put up a primary candidate to force Specter to at least pay attention to his new Democratic constituents.


http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/the-specter-of-republican-marginalization/

Interesting point....
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:12 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye10 parties was never part of the plan for our government by our founding fathers they just came to be as an add on.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:31 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Hawkeye10 parties was never part of the plan for our government by our founding fathers they just came to be as an add on.


Is it then your position that a law that those who renounce the party that elected them must be tossed out of Congress would be Constitutional? Congress can bounce members for ethics violations, I don't see why what these people do this can't be bounced on the same grounds.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:36 pm
@Thomas,
What's Specter like? (I keep thinking these posts are asbout Phil Spector, or some kind of spectre!)
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 04:39 pm
@hawkeye10,
Parties have nothing to do with the constitution and in no place in it does it address the subject.

Most of the founding fathers was unhappy when the first parties was created.
 

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