Hospitals & Asylums
2006 Congressional Elections HA-7-11-06
by Tony Sanders
1. The USA is the best of nations and the worst of nations. This uncontroversial duality explains the anxiety of the public and parties who
agree that CHANGE is needed but are fearful of the worst that the upcoming elections have to offer on Tuesday 7 November 2006.
According to the Election Data Services consulting firm about 172 million Americans are so far registered to vote; 175 million registered for
the 2004 presidential election. A smaller share will cast ballots, in 183,000 voting precincts. Between every registered voter and the voting
booth is “The List”, if you're not on it, you might not be able to cast a ballot. One of the biggest changes wrought by the Help America Vote
Act (HAVA) (PL 107-252) of 2002 is the mandate that every state must have a voter registration database up and working by the Nov. 7
general election. But a dozen states missed the Jan. 1 deadline for finishing their databases, which produce lists of registered voters for every
precinct who must now produce a valid government ID. HAVA establishes a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card
voting systems, to establish the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections and to otherwise provide
assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws and programs, to establish minimum election administration standards for
States and units of local government with responsibility for the administration of Federal elections, and for other purposes. The 2006
federal elections are interesting because the Democrats are favored to defeat the Republican majority that controlled the House since 1995
and Senate since 2003.
2. The Inter-American Democratic Charter ratified (9/11/2001) reaffirms the principle of representative democracy for good governance. The effective exercise of representative democracy is the basis for the rule of law and of the constitutional regimes. Representative democracy is strengthened and deepened by permanent, ethical, and responsible participation of the citizenry within a legal framework conforming to the respective constitutional order. The peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it. In Reynolds v. Sims 377 U.S. 533 (1964) the Supreme Court held that “the right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government.” The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Pub. L. 89-110), was unanimously extended by Congress in the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, And Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization And Amendments Act Of 2006, it prohibits any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, from: (1) failing or refusing to permit any qualified person from voting in state or federal elections; (2) refusing to count the vote of a qualified person; or (3) intimidating any one attempting to vote or any one who is assisting a person in voting.
3. Senate election will be held on November 7, 2006, with 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested as well as 36 state governorships. Senators are elected for six-year terms with one third of the Senate seats up for a vote every two years. The term of office for those elected in 2006 will be from January 3, 2007 until January 3, 2013. Those Senators who were elected in 2000 are seeking reelection or retiring in 2006. The Senate is currently composed of 55 Republicans, who have been in the majority since 2003, 44 Democrats, and one Democratic-leaning Independent (former Republican Jim Jeffords of Vermont). To control 51 seats, a majority in the Senate, Democrats would need a net gain of six seats (as long as independent candidate Bernie Sanders wins Jeffords' seat in Vermont and continues to caucus with the Democrats as he does in the House). Republicans need to hold only 50 seats after the election to have a majority because the Vice President (currently Republican Dick Cheney) breaks all tie votes in his role as President of the Senate. There are 17 Democratic and 15 Republican incumbents contesting their seats.
4. House elections for the United States House of Representatives will be held on November 7, 2006, with all of the 435 seats up for election. Since Representatives are elected for two-year terms, those elected will serve in the 110th United States Congress from January 3, 2007 until January 3, 2009. The House is currently composed of 230 Republicans, 201 Democrats and 1 Independent (who caucuses with the Democrats). There are three vacancies: New Jersey's 13th congressional district, Texas's 22nd congressional district and Florida's 16th congressional district. Republicans currently hold a 28 seat advantage, and Democrats would need to pick up 15 seats to take control of the House, which has had a Republican majority since 1995. Predictions based on historical trends suggest that there is a meaningful chance of such a swing and every political analysis favors the Democrats to seize control of the majority of seats.
5. A Reuters poll reported that more than half of Americans, 55 percent, would like to see Democrats take control of Congress, according to a poll by Newsweek magazine released on Saturday. The poll of 1,000 likely voters found that 55 percent would choose a Democrat to represent their district if the vote were held now, and 37 percent said they would vote Republican. The poll found that 57 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Bush's job performance and just 35 percent approve. And it found that 67 percent are dissatisfied with the direction in which things are moving in the United States. Of those sampled, 282 identified themselves as Republicans, 349 as Democrats and 330 as Independents.
6. An NBC Wall Street Journal poll of 1,006 registered voters was taken from October 13-16 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were less in favor of keeping Republicans in control of Congress, compared to 14 percent who were more in favor of maintaining the current congressional makeup, according to the poll. Only 16 percent of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest level since 1992, NBC said. In October 1994, when Democrats held congressional majorities, Congress had a 24 percent job approval, NBC said. Democrats lost 52 House and 8 Senate seats in the 1994 midterm elections. Bush had a job approval rating of 38 percent, down 1 percentage point. The 15 percent difference was the highest disparity ever in the poll and up from a 9-point difference a month ago
7. The Democrats' Senate campaign organization raised $13.6 million in September, outpacing the Republican National Committee and setting the stage for an expensive and brawling finish to the 2006 campaign. Overall, Republicans still hold a financial advantage going into the final days of the campaign. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reported $23.1 million in hand, compared with $26 million reported by the RNC. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $5.15 million in September and had $12 million on hand. On the House side, the National Republican Congressional Committee reported raising $12 million in September, with $39.2 million cash on hand. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had not yet made its numbers public. Democrats have been much more successful in receiving corporate contributions this year than in previous years. Although the pro-rich Republican party continues to make more money than Democrats the gap is closing to within the limits of what can be considered fair.
8. The major Congressional campaign issues are the economy and the war in Iraq. Economic matters are expected to influence voters' choices when they go to the polls. President George W. Bush's approval rating on the economy is at 40 percent, among all adults surveyed in an AP-Ipsos poll. That remains near his lowest ratings. The people surveyed trusted Democrats more than Republicans to handle the economy. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says if Republican candidates want to succeed on Election Day, they should turn their focus away from the Iraq war. "The challenge is to get Americans to focus on pocketbook issues, and not on the Iraq and terror issue." One in five Americans believes the United States is winning the war in Iraq, according to a poll. The number has dropped by half since December. About the same number -- 18 percent -- believe insurgents are winning. But the majority, 60 percent, say no one is winning in Iraq. The poll of 1,013 adult Americans interviewed by telephone found two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of those polled oppose the war in Iraq. A majority, 57 percent, want the United States to announce it will pull all troops by a certain date. Opinion Research Corp. poll also found increased pessimism for the "war on terrorism." Sixty percent are dissatisfied with the way things are going for the United States in that effort, up from 53 percent in September.
9. Neither political party has devised a comprehensive policy regarding the economy nor are either telling the truth regarding the federal budget. The Republican’s constantly shirk the federal responsibility to balance the budget and hope to bribe wealthy voters with theoretical promises of economic success as the result of tax relief but seems more like corruption for free. The Democrats, on the other hand, tend to want to repressively increase taxes and refuse to recognize the real budget surpluses in the Defense and OASI social security appropriations the laundering of which is wreaking havoc in corporations and the federal bond market respectively. The third quarter's 1.6 percent growth rate was the weakest since the first quarter of 2003, when the economy grew at a 1.2 percent annual rate. The latest performance underscores just how much speed the economy has lost this year. In the opening quarter, the economy grew at a brisk 5.6 percent pace, the strongest growth spurt in 2 1/2 years. But growth slowed to a 2.6 percent pace in the second quarter as consumers and businesses tightened the belt in response to the toll of rising energy prices and the impact of two-plus years of rising borrowing costs. In the third quarter, consumers spending rose to 3.1 percent, up from a 2.6 percent pace in the second quarter. While the Republican party is increasing the division between rich and poor by fostering corruption the Democratic party also refuses to admit the truth regarding the budget and threatens to increase taxes to throw more money on the problem of two agency surpluses and a Balanced Account Deficit (BAD).
10. The Democrats are the only party that has devised a plan for concluding the peace with Iraq as explained in §437 of HA Chapter 10 Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). Bush rhetoric fails to make any sense whereas since the Government has reconstituted there are no more legitimate goals to winning the war and there are no military objectives to achieve that can be construed as victory. Security Council Resolution 1637 (2005) was distributed on 11 November 2005, Armistice Day, that looked forward to the completion of the political transition process as well as to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in their country, thus allowing the completion of the multinational force mandate. In Annex I of the Resolution a letter dated 27 October 2005 from the Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim Aleshaiker Al-Jaafari requested the Security Council to extend, for a period of 12 months starting 31 December 2005, the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF). The Council shall review that mandate upon being so requested by the Government of Iraq or at the end of a period of eight months from the date of the resolution and declare, in the extension, that it will terminate the mandate before the expiry of that period should the Government of Iraq so request. Although the UN grants to Iraq the decision to send the MNF home the US retains the right to withdraw their troops on their own and Representative Lynn Woolsley’s House Continuing Resolution 35 to replace them with linguistically competent Arab League troops makes sense whereas the vast majority of Americans want to end the US occupation of Iraq as they are sick of dying like 100 troops did this October as of the 30th.
11. The 2006 elections will decide whether or not Congress has a Democratic or Republican majority. Besides some minor ideological differences where the Democrats come out a little ahead without solving anything the major issue at stake involves establishing a system of checks and balances on the power between the President and the legislative branch. Do the voters want to continue rubber-stamping Bush proposals or would they like a legislature that makes laws independent of the White House? The Democratic party has a problem with leadership. Although most Democrats are progressive honest representatives concerned about the welfare of the people their leaders seem specially selected to “compete” with the President on the same issues of war and slavery that cause most of the electorate to want change. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the prime example whereas her repressive leadership with a focus on “intelligence” has permitted the judiciary to scare 3% of the population away from San Francisco. Senator John Kerry is another example where the Democrats found a war hero even more bloodthirsty than the President to the disgust of the electorate. The Republicans on the other hand cannot justify holding onto the majority whereas the legislature has failed to reign in agency overspending to balance the budget and make peace with Iraq and the people don’t trust Bush and seem to want a separation of power in this election. Neither party effectively censures the campaigns of their candidates to ensure that the local opinions they advocate are within their civil and political rights. It seems likely that Democrats will win the House and they have a good chance of taking the Senate. It remains to be seen whether or not the Democrats can win the 15 seats they need to seize the majority of the House or the six seats needed to control the Senate.
1. AP. Frist Tells GOP Not to Stress on Iraq. 25 October 2006
2. Aversa, Jane. AP. Economy Slows to 1.6% Pace. 27 October 2006
3. Constitution of Hospitals & Asylums Non Government Ethics (CHANGE)
4. Conyers, John. Constitution in Crisis: House Judiciary Committee HA-3-3-06
5. CNN. Most Americans say No one is winning in Iraq. 24 October 2006
6. Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, And Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization And Amendments Act Of 2006
7. Hastings, Deborah. Election Database Woes May Foil Voters. 26 October 2006
8. Help America Vote Act (HAVA) (PL 107-252) of 2002
9. Inter-American Democratic Charter ratified (9/11/2001)
10. Kunhenn, Jim. Democrats Close Money Gap with Republicans. 19 October 2006
11. Mikkelsen, Randall. Reuters. Problems Loom in US Elections Voting. 25 October 2006
12. Morarjee, Rachel. Is NATO losing the Real Battle in Afghanistan? 26 October 2006.
13. Reuters. Most Want Democrats to Control Congress. 22 Octover 2006
14. Reuters. Approval of Republicans at all Time Law. 10 October 2006
15. Reynolds v. Sims 377 U.S. 533 (1964)
16. Sanders, Tony J. Hospitals & Asylums. Balanced Account Deficit (BAD)
17. Sanders, Tony J. Hospitals & Asylums. Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH)
18. Santi, Angela Delli. AP. Record Number of Women Seek State Office. 24 October 2006
19. Multi National Forces Mandate in Iraq. Security Council Resolution 1637 (2005)
20. Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Pub. L. 89-110)
21. Wikipedia. House elections
22. Wikipedia. Senate election