Spectre of a Man

IT’S TUESDAY, May 6th, 2009!!! All you weasel watchers know what that means, right? Yup, only 1280 days until the next Presidential Election!

While we wait with baited breath for that next historic moment in American History we will have to settle for the more mundane sort of political theater; or perhaps not.

Rounding out the week with the most entertaining bit of political news is none other than Arlen Specter, that lovable, confused, self aggrandizing Democrat, turned Republican, and back to Democrat again. It seems that the Senator from Pennsylvania may have put a bit too much faith in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Believing that he would somehow maintain his seniority Specter didn’t appear to think twice before jumping from the good ship GOP for what he thought would be friendlier waters.

But not so fast… Byron York reports at the Washington Examiner that Arlen Specter will be put at the bottom of the seniority list.

There’s word tonight that Senate Democrats have denied Arlen Specter seniority on the committees on which he will now serve as a Democrat. That means Specter, who has been a senator for 28 years, will now occupy the most junior position among Senate Democrats.

A few minutes ago, I asked a GOP Senate source for his reaction. “I don’t know if it says more about [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s lack of commitment or Specter’s naiveté,” he told me. “But either way, it’s going to be hard for Specter to argue that dumping him now would cost his constituents seniority and clout — he has the same ranking on committees that his successor will have in 2011.”

Now that is funny. Almost as funny as Specter forgetting that he joined the Democratic Party when he rooted for Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman over left wing clown Al Franken.

Not so funny however is the news that Specter was the only GOP candidate that received money from the UAW PAC along with 41 other Democrats. This news should not surprise anyone here in weasel watching country.

President Obama wants to make the United Auto Workers union the 55 percent owner of Chrysler. In that light, it’s worth looking at the UAW’s political activity.

As usual, in the 2008 election cycle the United Auto Workers’ PAC gave 99% of its campaign contributions to Democrats. As I mention in my K Street column today, the PAC funded 42 Senate candidates, 41 of them Democrats. The other? Arlen Specter.

From the Center for Responsive Politics’ website OpenSecrets.org, here’s some data on the UAW’s PAC activity in 2008:

* The PAC spent $ 13.1 million, making it the #14 PAC in the country, and placing it ahead of all business PACs except for the National Association of Realtors

* $4.9 million in reported independent expenditures, all of it dedicated to helping elect Barack Obama

* More than $2 million in direct contributions to candidates, with 99% of it going to Democrats

We have a lot of work to do between now and 2012! Please support the following writers and watcher’s council members in their quest to expose the weasels of the world! Enjoy this week’s submissions. The contest results will be in on Friday. – The Watcher

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