Democrats may reclaim congress

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system At the same time, Democrats said unexpected opportunities for gains keep coming their way – including House races in Minnesota, Idaho and Nevada – and they have the money needed to battle Republicans to the end. “We have enough to play defense in the blue states and offense in the red states,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who heads the Democratic senatorial committee. Spending freely After months of stockpiling their millions, candidates and the parties are spending freely in the final days before Election Day. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $3 million to hold the seat of Ohio Rep. Bob Ney. Ney, who recently pleaded guilty to corruption charges, has yet to resign and is not seeking a new term. WASHINGTON – Democrats hold solid leads for four of the six Republican seats they need to capture the Senate and about 10 of 15 required to win the House, according to officials in both parties. Numerous additional races remain highly competitive. After two weeks of adverse publicity linked to the Mark Foley scandal, public and private polling suggested partial recovery for some endangered Republican incumbents, and senior party officials made a concerted effort to project confidence. “By many measures, there are strong indications of a right-of-center base that is engaged and committed,” party chairman Ken Mehlman said Friday in a memo written for public consumption. The assertion was a response to independent polls that show disapproval of President George W. Bush’s policies, including on the Iraq war, and discontent with Congress have made Democrats more eager to vote on Nov. 7 than Republicans. The GOP has invested more than $8 million into the Philadelphia suburbs and a northeast Pennsylvania district, where Republican Reps. Michael Fitzpatrick, Curt Weldon, Jim Gerlach and Don Sherwood face strong challenges. Democrats have put in nearly $7 million. In Connecticut, GOP Reps. Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons face difficult challenges, although Republicans hope that Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s independent candidacy will help them. By contrast, Republicans have few opportunities to take away House or Senate seats belonging to Democrats. Georgia, where the GOP is aiming at two House seats, is one such case. In the battle for the Senate, public and private polling shows Democratic challengers leading incumbents in Pennsylvania, Montana and Rhode Island as well as in Ohio, where the entire GOP ticket is struggling. Officials who discussed the private surveys did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to speak publicly. Eager to offset likely losses, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has aired television commercials in New Jersey, hoping that Tom Kean Jr. can defeat Sen. Bob Menendez. Democrats countered quickly, with four times as much money. Republicans apparently have not abandoned all hope in Michigan, either. Bush is scheduled to campaign for challenger Mike Bouchard on Thursday. A party-financed television advertising campaign is possible, as well, aimed at toppling Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Biggest surprise Increasingly, though, officials in both parties said the battle for Senate control probably will come down to close races in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. All three are Republican-held seats where Democratic challengers have exceeded precampaign expectations. Under most scenarios, Democrats would have to win two of the three to gain a majority. In Tennessee, Republicans concede that Rep. Harold Ford has proved to be the most adept of the Democratic challengers this year. Democrats say Republican Bob Corker’s campaign has been sharper and more effective since a staff shake-up this month. Democrats in Missouri hope challenger Claire McCaskill will benefit from support for statewide initiatives on stem cell research and a higher minimum wage. She is running against Sen. Jim Talent. Foley scandal The closeness of the Virginia race, where Jim Webb is taking on Sen. George Allen, is the biggest surprise of the campaign season. Like other Republicans, Allen has begun edging away from Bush’s war policy. “The situation there is one that needs adjustments, that needs changes in tactics,” he said Friday. Many Republicans turned pessimistic about their party’s chances of holding the House when the Foley scandal broke. The Florida congressman abruptly resigned Sept. 29 after he was confronted with sexually explicit Internet messages he had written teenage male pages. The House Ethics Committee is investigating, and Republicans are working to shift the campaign spotlight elsewhere. “National security, border security and the economy: These are the issues that matter most to the American people as we confront challenges domestically and abroad,” House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, advised fellow Republicans. Despite Mehlman’s efforts at reassurance, some candidates remain concerned. “The Republicans are a bit disillusioned,” said Rep. Chris Chocola, struggling in his bid for a third term in Indiana. The House Republicans in greatest danger of defeat include Reps. Charles Taylor of North Carolina and John Hostettler of Indiana, and Sherwood and Weldon of Pennsylvania, according to private polls. Of those incumbents, only Hostettler is not campaigning against a backdrop of scandal, either personal or political. In addition, Democrats lead for open seats currently in Republican hands in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Texas. The situation in Foley’s former district is unpredictable.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

BCCI, COA in tussle over Saba Karim’s visit to England

first_imgA new chapter was added in the ongoing back-and-forth battle between the BCCI office bearers and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) when acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry questioned GM (Cricket Operations) Syed Saba Karim’s proposed nine-day visit to the United Kingdom on Monday.In an e-mail sent to the CoA, a copy of which is in possession with the India Today, Chaudhry questioned proposal of a dearness allowance of USD 4050 for a period of nine days (amounting to over Rs 30,000 per day) to Karim which does not include the hotel tariff.He also reminded CoA that they had recently forbid acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary to travel to the UK for the T20 series involving India and England while reasoning that they didn’t see any “value addition” in his trip.”I have received an e-mail for signing a letter for the release of foreign exchange to Mr. Syed Saba Karim for his DA of an amount equal to USD 4,050/- for his proposed visit to the United Kingdom for a period of 9 days,” Chaudhry wrote in his e-mail to the CoA. Screengrab of BCCI treasurer Anirud Chaudhary’s mail. (Photo courtesy: Ateet Sharma)Chaudhry wrote that even though directions from the Committee “forbids” him from “asking the staff for any details/bills”, he would like to request for the following information regarding Karims UK visit:1. The supporting documents that show the purpose of his visit to the United Kingdom and the decision making process thereof and any invitation from ECB or any communication to the ECB prior to the approval regarding the same.advertisement2. The supporting documents showing that the approvals are in place.3. Information as to whether any other staff has visited the United Kingdom recently.4. The possibility that if there was any such travel recently, could such staff person travelling not have done the work that Mr. Karim may be travelling for?When India Today tried to get in touch with CoA chief Vinod Rai, he didn’t respond to calls and messages.Meanwhile, Chaudhry also reminded Rai and Diana Edulji about not clearing Secretary Amitabh Choudhary’s visit to the UK recently.”I do not wish to be misunderstood here Sir and Madam and therefore I refer to the email from the Committee of Administrators dated 18.06.2018 to Mr. Amitabh Choudhary wherein the Honble Committee, while forbidding the Acting Secretary to travel to England, had stated, From the contents of your email, the Committee of Administrators does not see any value addition to the BCCI in your merely watching the three T20 India-England games to be played in England.Therefore, though I am not aware of the reasons for the 9-day tour of Mr. Karim and no paper, document or communication other than the letter for me to affix my signature has been sent to me, in addition to wanting to satisfy my curiosity, I also wanted to be cautious to ensure that no one was attempting to circumvent the letter and spirit of the decision of the CoA for which I may be questioned by the CoA or any other forum/authority since my signatures are required to be affixed on the said letter and the same requires us to abide by the rules framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the provisions thereof.”last_img read more