The Note: Thumbs on Both Sides of the Scale

Democrats are targeting Rep. Ferguson because they say he "voted against the final passage of a bill to loosen restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research" in May 2005.

The Web video attacks Rep. Ferguson specifically, but also goes after what Democrats call "other extremist Republicans" like the Rev. Pat Roberson and Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Over the next week, Democrats are planning press events in seven districts around the country. The districts and intended Republican targets of these events are: NJ-7 (Ferguson), WA-8 (Reichert), WI-8 (Reichert), IL-6 (Roskam), PA-8 (Fitzpatrick), CA-11 (Pombo), and CO-7 (O'Donnell). Democrats are planning on releasing six additional Web videos (targeting the other GOPers) later this week.

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman has Rep. Emanuel saying that the stem cell issue "allows Democrats to appeal to women and to talk about their bigger message - that Republicans represent the status quo and are beholden to special interests, especially the religious right, while Democrats represent change and progress." LINK

Democrats like this issue because stem cell research has received the backing of high-profile Republicans like Nancy Reagan, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Sen. Specter.

Asked how House Republicans will respond to the DCCC's stem cell push, the NRCC's Carl Forti told ABC News: "Why would we respond to something that is a waste of DCCC time and effort? We will do what we have been and continue to attack Democrats on local issues!"

With regards to the specific districts being targeted by the DCCC, Forti says the Democrats running in NJ-7 and WA-8 are not yet on the radar screen. In Wisconsin's 8th district, the NRCC is waiting until the primary is over. As for Tammy Duckworth (the Democratic Iraq war vet running against Roskam in IL-6), Forti says she "doesn't live in the district and she raised less than two percent of her money in the district." As for Patrick Murphy, the Democratic Iraq war veteran running in PA-8, Forti questioned how a "vet candidate who can't articulate a position on the war" can be relied on to "take a position on anything else?" Forti's comments are in reference to Murphy dodging a question about whether he would authorize the Iraq war resolution when he appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews. (More recently, Murphy told ABC News that he would have voted against the Iraq war resolution.) As for CA-11, Forti says: the Democrat running against Pombo is not a top-tier candidate "until he shows he can raise money and gather support." As for CO-7, Forti says the NRCC is waiting until after the Democratic primary. "They're doing a great job of beating each other up."

2006: House:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told Time that his party has "so bungled the job of governing that the best campaign slogan for Democrats today could be boiled down to just two words: 'Had enough?'" LINK

Gingrich's reference to Time about people having had "enough" reminded us of comments Gingrich made to Maureen Dowd which the New York Times printed on November 10, 1994.

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