Thursday, November 09, 2006


Yesterday, I4J noted a television interview on Election Night when Congressman Adam H. Putnam (R - Bartow) stated that he wanted to seek the chairmanship of the Republican House Caucus Committee. He expanded on his intentions while talking with Lakeland Ledger political reporter Bill Rufty Wednesday.

In January, Putnam was elected chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, which according to it's Web site is considered "the principal forum for the consideration of forward-looking legislative initiatives, the enunciation of official party policies, and the resolution of inter-jurisdictional policy disputes". The committee chairmanship is considered to be the fifth highest position among the GOP leadership.

The Republican House Caucus Committee is currently lead by Congresswoman Deborah Pryce of Ohio, who announced that she would not seek reelection to the post after news of Putnam's intentions had begun spreading among GOP members. The chairperson presides over weekly meetings of Republican congressional representatives, and is responsible for communication among them. It would be a significant promotion for Putnam if he is elected, as the Caucus Chairperson is considered number three among the leadership hierachy. The caucus will be even more important to Republican members now that they will be the minority party, having lost 29 seats in Tuesday's midterm election.

Putnam has already begun contacting House collegues seeking their support for the election, scheduled for next Wednesday. He told Rufty that he plans to stay and run his leadership campaign from his Bartow home through the weekend, noting that there are fewer distractions here than in Washington.

Congress reconvenes for what will be a lame duck session Monday.

As for Tuesday's apparant vote for change, Putnam was quoted as saying that it was not the fact that Republicans lost control of the House that was surprising, it was the scale on which they did so.

"It was the magnitude of the loss that caught me off guard."

It shouldn't have caught anyone off guard. After six years of incompetence, crookedness, and nearly three thousand American lives lost (and many thousands more injured and maimed) in an occupation which we entered based on lies and misrepresentations...and after six years of an ever increasing gap between the working and upper class among us, people are angry and want change now. Once again, this shows how off the mark Putnam and his GOP collegues in Washington are from the real world.

The campaign for 2008 has begun.


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