In the wake of the Mark Foley page scandal, Democrats are targeting the personal lives of Republicans in numerous key House races as part of a campaign to capitalize on voter disgust with the messy personal lives and alleged character defects among elected officials.
Although Democrats' internal polling shows that the Foley scandal is resonating deeply only in half a dozen races, party operatives are calculating that GOP candidates are now unusually vulnerable to personal attacks, several candidates and strategists said.
VandeHie doesn't mention Rep. Carson's unproven accusation that her Republican opponent beat up his wife 15 years ago, but it would fit right into what's happening in races across the country. Here's a sampling of the issues Democrats think voters should consider:
- In New Jersey, Democratic candidate Linda Stender this week sent voters a two-page brochure accusing Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) of improperly preying on young women in a fashionable D.C. nightclub.
- Democratic candidate Chris Carney is running an ad accusing Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) of "repeatedly choking" and "attempting to strangle" a young mistress.
- Democratic candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on GOP Rep. John E. Sweeney in Upstate New York to explain a drunken driving arrest 30 years ago and a more recent car accident.
Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo can't stop talking about Sen. George Allen's pecadilloes. Today, he's waving around a 32-year-old arrest record. He can't say what it's for because it's a mere one-line entry in a court ledger, but that hasn't stopped him from speculating what could be nothing more than a traffic arrest is something more serious such as assault and battery. He doesn't even know if it's Sen. Allen. Give me a break. Here in Indiana's 9th District race, Baron Hill (D) is running an ad suggesting that Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) is personally responsible for the Foley scandal. How?