Local New Hampshire blogger James Pindell behaved like a smug jerk during last night’s Senate debate between incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D) and GOP challenger Scott Brown. In an exchange many liberals are describing as a “gaffe,” Pindell tried to make Brown look ignorant of state geography. “Sullivan county is west of Concord, not north of Concord,” Pindell said smugly after interrupting Brown mid-sentence. (Sullivan county is actually west AND north of Concord.)
Unlike John Fogerty, Tilden Hagan is a Senator’s son, and, shockingly, things have worked out pretty well for him. By sheer coincidence, after his mom voted for the 2009 stimulus package, a company Tilden Hagan co-owned with his future brother-in-law was awarded a taxpayer-funded contract to install solar panels. The company overseeing the project, JDC Manufacturing, was, by sheer coincidence, owned by Tilden’s dad. The deal appears to have violated JDC’s own conflict-of-interest policy. Oh well.
Becoming a U.S. senator can be great way to increase your personal wealth. Just ask Kay Hagan, whose net worth has increased almost 40 percent since getting elected.
According to CQ Roll Call, which tracks the wealth of members of Congress on an annual basis, Hagan’s minimum net worth (figures are provided in broad ranges on financial disclosure forms) was $6.67 million when she took office in 2009. As of this year, Hagan had a minimum net worth of $9.12 million, which amounts to a 37 percent over her Senate career.
An incumbent senator voted for a massive taxpayer stimulus that just happened to benefit businesses owned by that senator’s immediate family members. That same senator later recommended someone to lead a government agency that is currently stonewalling journalist requests to obtain documents related to that stimulus funding. Some would call that cronyism. Either way, it looks pretty bad for Senate Kay Hagan (D., N.C.).
Hagan has come under fire in recent weeks amid reports that businesses owned by her husband, son, and son-in-law directly benefited from the federal stimulus package Hagan voted for in 2009. The Carolina Journal has been all over the story, but encountered a roadblock recently while trying to obtain documents related to the stimulus award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) on Friday announced her support for a temporary travel ban on non-U.S. citizens from West African countries affected by the Ebola virus. She claims to have supported such a ban “for weeks,” and while she has said in the past that a travel ban might be “one part” of a solution to the Ebola crisis, Hagan never fully embraced the idea, and just days ago dismissed a travel ban as something that “is not going to help solve this problem.” Now she’s calling it “a prudent step the President can take to protect the American people.” So, which is it?
Senate Majority Leader (for now) Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has led a rambling crusade against right-leaning philanthropy barons Charles and David Koch. Over the last several months, Reid has called the Koch brothers “un-American” and suggested they were the “main cause” of climate change, among many other incoherent tirades. Democrats running in close races across the country have followed suit, and tried to attack their Republican opponents by linking them to the Kochs.
Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) could be the Democratic Party’s last best hope to win a competitive Senate race this cycle, even though her lead in the polls is fading. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation (an irrelevant left-wing magazine best known for its unflagging defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine), thinks Hagan may win thanks to the “populist mobilization” of North Carolina voters against her Republican opponent, Thom Tillis: