Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 12:53 PM
Subject: Blue Dogs Howl in Victory: Coalition Will Grow to 44 Members Stro ng in 110th Congress
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Contact: Eric Wortman 202-226-4571
BLUE DOGS HOWL IN VICTORY
Coalition Will Grow to 44 Members Strong in 110th Congress
WASHINGTON, DC – Nine new members-elect are set to join the Blue Dog Coalition, including FL-16 Tim Mahoney, IN-02 Joe Donnelly, IN-08 Brad Ellsworth, IN-09 Baron Hill, NC-11 Heath Shuler, NY-20 Kirsten Gillibrand, NY-24 Michael Arcuri, OH-06 Charlie Wilson, and PA-08 Patrick Murphy.
By electing Blue Dogs to Congress, the country has sent a strong message to Washington in support of fiscal responsibility and the bipartisan ideals that the Blue Dogs were founded upon. The Blue Dog Coalition is dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics with a particular focus on the financial stability and national security of the United States. Blue Dogs represent the center of the House of Representatives and appeal to the mainstream values of the American public.
In the 110th Congress, the members-elect will join the Blue Dogs in their fight for fiscal responsibility and greater government accountability. As moderates and fiscal hawks, the Blue Dogs have made a determined effort to reach across the aisle to engage in a real debate on fiscal responsibility – including the adoption of pay-as-you-go, a core Blue Dog value that government should not spend more than it has.
All 35 Blue Dogs who ran for re-election to the House will return to the Coalition in the 110th Congress. Those members include: Joe Baca (CA-43), John Barrow (GA-12), Melissa Bean (IL-08), Marion Berry (AR-01), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Dan Boren (OK-02), Leonard Boswell (IA-03), Allen Boyd (FL-02), Dennis Cardoza (CA-18), Ben Chandler (KY-06), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jim Costa (CA-20), Robert E. “Bud Cramer (AL-05), Lincoln Davis (TN-04), Jane Harman (CA-36), Stephanie Herseth (SD), Tim Holden (PA-17), Steve Israel (NY-02), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Jim Marshall (GA-08), Jim Matheson (UT-02), Charlie Melancon (LA-03), Mike Michaud (ME-02), Dennis Moore (KS-03), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Mike Ross (AR-04), John Salazar (CO-03), Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Adam Schiff (CA-29), David Scott (GA-13), John Tanner (TN-08), Ellen Tauscher (CA-10), Gene Taylor (MS-04), and Mike Thompson (CA-01).
The returning members have built the Coalition into a serious player in the policy arena, promoting positions which bridge the gap between ideological extremes. Many of the group’s proposals have been praised as fair, responsible, and positive additions to a Congressional environment too often marked as partisan and antagonistic.
The Blue Dog Coalition was formed following the 1994 election debacle for Democrats. The founding members chose the name Blue Dog Coalition because they literally felt “choked blue by the extremes in both parties”. Over the past 12 years, the Blue Dog Coalition has grown from a small organizing group to a 44 strong member organization when the 110th Congress convenes.
* DEMOCRATS MAKE PROGRESS IN CLOSING THE "GOD GAP"
Steven Waldman has an interesting column on the faith-based website Beliefnet.com about how Democratic gains with religious voters in this year's election. Waldman points out that Democrats fielded several strongly pro-life Congressional candidates and increased support among those who attend church on a weekly basis. A majority of Roman Catholics voted Democratic this year in U.S. House elections and the party attracted greater support from evangelical Christians as well. See link to full article at http://tinyurl.com/ykxydd Waldman describes the increase in support for Democrats among the faithful especailly Catholics and evangelical Christians.
"The "God Gap" -- One of the most important factors in recent years has been the development of a religiosity gap in which the most church-going Americans voted Republican and the least devout voted Democratic. This gap closed a bit in this election.""People who attended church weekly voted 58 percent to 41 percent for Bush in 2004. This year, they voted 51 percent for Republicans to 48 percentfor Democrats."
"Catholics -- With all the attention on evangelicals, we shouldn't lose sight of another significant result: In this election, Democrats won back the Catholic vote. In 2004, President Bush beat John Kerry among Catholics 52 percent-47 percent. The exit polls for the House races show Catholics going 57 percent-42 percent for the Democrats. Democrats gained ground among white Catholics and Hispanics.""Pro-Life Democrats – Several seats were snatched away from Republicans by pro-life Democrats. Several incumbent Republicans in the House and the Senate were unseated by pro-life Democrats. Robert Casey, Jr., who is anti-abortion, defeated Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Brad Ellsworth, who defeated Indiana incumbent Congressman John Hostettler, also opposes abortion, as does former pro-football quarterback Heath Shuler, who defeated North Carolina Republican Congressman Charles Taylor."
"Evangelical Democrats – While it wasn't exactly an evangelical stampede, Democrats did make noticeable improvements among white evangelical Christians. In 2004, John Kerry got 21 percent of "white evangelical/born-again" Christians. This year, the Democrats got 29 percent.""In all likelihood, these were not conservative "religious right" voters but more moderate evangelical voters who had trended Republican in recent years but supported Democratic approaches to the environment and poverty."
If the Democratic Party can recruit more candidates with a commitment to economic fairness and traditional values, our party will have a strong appeal to people of faith.