Pat Toomey

Sestak-Toomey Senate race in Pa. shaping up as critical test for J Street

Want to know just how well the fierce campaign by pro-Israel hawks to delegitimze J Street is working? Then pay close attention to the Senate race in Pennsylvania.

This week J Street, the pro-peace process, pro-Israel (don't bother sending nasty emails, I know your arguments) political action committee and lobby, endorsed Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrat who unseated Sen. Arlen Specter, most recently a Democrat as well, in last week's primary.

Jews in Trouble on Capitol Hill

In the Jewish-legislators-in-trouble department, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) could face his stiffest challenge yet, if current polls are accurate.

According to a survey conducted for Wisconsin Public Radio, Feingold, who is in his third term, trails former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican who hasn't even announced his candidacy yet, by 12 points.

Here's a link to the survey.

Specter's Defection: Unbridled Ambition, Not Ideology

04/29/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

1980 was a golden year for Jewish Republicans. That November Ronald Reagan won nearly 40 percent of the Jewish vote for the presidency, a modern record for the GOP and a mark that they have never come close to achieving since then.

And Then Were None: Jewish GOP Caucus Down to One

Specter party switch leaves Senate with no Jewish Republicans

04/29/2009
Washington Correspondent

The Jewish Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate evaporated into thin air on Tuesday with Sen. Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is switching parties because “the Republican Party has moved far to the right.”
That represents a huge boost for Senate Democrats, who were two votes short of a 60-vote “super majority” that would make it easier to end GOP filibusters, and for an Obama administration with an aggressive legislative agenda that has been slowed by Senate Republicans.

Jewish Democrats, Republicans spin Specter switch

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Twenty four hours after Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection from the Republicans to the Democrats, you can see the spin machines on both sides of the aisle grinding out what they hope will become the central narratives of this political game changer.  Yesterday the leading Jewish Democrats and Republicans offered the Jewish Week what  turned out to be perfect distillations of their respective parties’ Specter spins.

Specter’s bombshell

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 You can’t blame Jewish Democrats for being jubilant; not only has Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to their side of the aisle dealt a major blow to Republican efforts to slow down President Obama’s legislative agenda, but it represented another symbolic swipe at a Republican PR effort that continues to insist the party is making big inroads with Jewish voters.
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