Another moderate House Democrat will retire in 2014, deepening Democrats’ struggle to win back the chamber in the next election, and further weakening the declining moderate Democratic brand in the House.
North Carolina’s Mike McIntyre will not run for reelection in 2014, he announced on Wednesday. (Politico first reported the news.) He and Utah’s Jim Matheson, who is also retiring, are two of just 15 Blue Dog moderate Democrats left in the House. Two terms back, the Blue Dogs comprised an influential bloc of 54 members. As measured by National Journal‘s 2012 vote ratings, McIntyre and Matheson are the two most conservative Democrats left in the House, and Matheson’s retirement also left Democrats with very little chance of retaining his seat.
Four moderate Republicans from swing districts have also retired recently; Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., became the latest on Monday. That and former Florida Rep. Bill Young’s death in October have left five of the 30 most Democratic-leaning districts held by Republicans open in 2014. Matheson and McIntyre represented two of House Democrats’ three most Republican-leaning seats.
The departure of leading aisle-crossing lawmakers makes it even harder for bipartisan legislation in this incoming Congress. After 2014, both parties will have even fewer members with an incentive to appeal to moderate, independent-minded voters.
McIntyre, a nine-term conservative Democrat, won reelection by fewer than 700 votes in 2012 after his 7th District was redrawn to be more Republican, while Mitt Romney won nearly 60 percent of the district’s votes in the presidential race. Republicans grudgingly praised McIntyre’s cultivation of a conservative image that year, and without him to defend the seat, the GOP is much more likely to win it in November.
2012 GOP candidate David Rouzer has been running again for months, and one county commissioner from either side of the aisle is also eyeing the seat. But others — especially ambitious Republicans — may take a second look at the 7th District now that McIntyre is out of the way.
Democrats need to net 17 districts to take back control of the House of Representatives, but McIntyre and Matheson’s retirements steepen that path.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., who is receiving treatment for lung cancer, will also retire, she said Wednesday. But her Long Island district is more safely Democratic: McCarthy won by 30 percentage points in 2012, when President Obama carried the district by 13 points.
What We're Following See More »
Investigations are never far from the Clintons, and here's another: At the behest of "dozens" of Republican lawmakers, the IRS is opening a fraud investigation into the Clinton Foundation."The move signals a shift from the IRS's announcement last year that it would not look into allegations of financial irregularities at the well-connected charity."
"Bickering commissioners, ineffective managers and lousy internal communication rank among the top reasons why the Federal Election Commission" has some of the worst morale in the federal government. That's the conclusion of an inspector general's report, which put "the most blame on the FEC’s six commissioners: three Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees who have regularly criticized one another and frequently (but not exclusively) deadlocked on high-profile political issues before them."
On Tuesday, Dennis Williams, the president of the United Auto Workers, said that Hillary Clinton has told him that she will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement if elected president. Trade deals, especially NAFTA, have played a prominent role in the campaign, with Clinton receiving heat both from her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and GOP nominee Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign did not comment on Williams's comments, though that didn't stop the Trump campaign from weighing in. Hillary Clinton "will never renegotiate Bill Clinton's NAFTA," said Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser to Trump.
"The Labor Department announced Tuesday that federal contractors had shorted 674 Senate cafeteria workers to the tune of $1 million. Two companies, Restaurant Associates and its subcontractor, Personnel Plus, violated the law by misclassifying workers into lower-paying positions and having them work off the clock, the agency said." The department is looking into whether to renew the contracts.
"American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have 'high confidence' that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence. But intelligence agencies have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee's computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage—of the kind the United States also conducts around the world—or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election." WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange "has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency."