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July 15th, 2006 - Sisyphus Shrugged
Lasciate ogni speranza and put your feet up.
now that the work week has passed

Remember KT McFarland, our just-plain-challenged Republican candidate for Hillary's seat? When last we saw her, she was in damage-control mode because the press had gotten hold of a letter she wrote to her parents talking about childhood abuse she says she suffered at the hands (and feet and belt) of her father, and why she refused contact with her gay brother, who later died of AIDS. She claims to have recovered the repressed memories of the abuse in therapy, and now believes that it was responsible for her brother's homosexuality.

For the record, her father (who threatened to beat up a reporter) says he's willing to take a lie detector test, and her surviving brother says she's evil and that her accusations of incest were an attempt to kill her father.

Mrs. McFarland's partisans, including campaign manager Ed Rollins (still not available in New Jersey) see the fell hand of Rupert Murdoch behind the whole thing.

Mr. Rollins has some reason to want Ms. McFarland's meltdown to be the work of dark forces, as he's responsible for a fair portion of it. Most recently, Mr. Minarik of the NYSGOP demanded that he be fired for suggesting that Mr. Spencer's medals and promotions in Vietnam were no big deal, because so many people died over there that pretty much anyone left standing could get a promotion and a medal. Earlier he accused Spencer of bigamy (actually, it was adultery, but Rollins has a bad habit of inflating the accusations a bit, since he mostly runs against Democrats). Minarik has tried to get rid of Rollins before.

Mr. Minarik does not have a good relationship with McFarland. He thinks it was irresponsible for someone with her "baggage" to get into the race, that including not just the abuse mess but her resume inflation, the black helicopter fiasco, a certain lack of support from her colleagues in the Reagan administration (her most recent job in government), her history of not voting/voting in multiple locations, and a really spectacular lack of deftness with the press. He endorsed her opponent (Mr. Spencer is the darling of family values crusader Mike Long of the Conservative Party, whose day job is owning bars) and has suggested that she leave the race, in which Mr. Long concurs (and also demands that she dump Rollins).

McFarland chose to interpret Minarik's comments as an attack on abuse victims.

McFarland's lead over Spencer has been evaporating (both are still way, way behind HIllary), but Rollins has a plan for that too: the McFarland campaign has announced plans to Lieberman the race if she doesn't win the primary (and she almost certainly won't. Between Minarik and Long pretty much all the election day footsoldiers are tied up already, and she's damn near out of money).

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the nascent Jobs and Security party, for fiscal conservative pro-choice hawks who don't like gay people but just can't bring themselves to vote Republican.

In New York.

This probably isn't about this race either. If her new party gets only 50,000 votes in November, Mr. Rollins gets a ballot line in the next election to play with and becomes a power broker.

I really, really wish I was good enough to make this all up.

Mr. Minarik, on the other hand, has other problems. He supported the relatively moderate Mr. Weld of Massachusetts to replace the retiring governor in the face of strong opposition from former Senator and Republican panjandrum Mr. D'Amato (who basically invented the retiring governor). The conservative party, as well as a strong faction of NY Republicans who really, really don't like the retiring governor, rejected Mr. Weld and gave Mr. Faso, a far more conservative fellow, the vote at the party convention, at which point Minarik decided it would be best for Mr. Weld to leave.

Mr. Faso, who is far behind Mr. Spitzer in the polls (these two elections really aren't about beating Hillary and Spitzer - they're about who's going to fill the power vacuum left by Mr. Pataki, who never really bothered to build a bench here since his primary interest, as it were, is in using the job to lay the groundwork for a presidential race) who's not happy with the amount of support he's getting from the state party, has floated the ouster of Mr. Minarik, although his interest was thought to be less in getting rid of Mr. Minarik, who is likely to leave the job by the end of the year anyway,* but in controlling a state party chair who can get his hands on the stash of reelection money Mr. Pataki isn't using to campaign in New York (but reportedly does want to use to campaign in Iowa).

Minarik and Pataki immediately announced fundraisers for Faso.

Meanwhile, in other Ed Rollins-related news, the candidate whose campaign he ran out on (leaving him with time, and McFarland, on his hands), Rep. Harris of Florida, is once again bleeding unhappy campaign staff. That's not a good thing for Rep. Harris, because Rep. Harris appears to have some less-than-charming habits which her former staff no longer feels the need not to discuss.

One of those habits appears to be making indiscreet phone calls.

In other Harris-related news, the company she used to purge legal voters from the Florida rolls has given quite a bit to Sen. Lieberman's campaign.

In other Lieberman-related news, digby points out that CT Democratic voters lost their feeling for the Senator when he told them it was unpatriotic to say bad stuff about a president who is conducting a war, although when it was Mr. Clinton fighting al Qaeda (who actually, you know, attacked us) he felt differently

In news unrelated to any of the above, Tim is teh funny.

Also, what WalMart thinks their employees should have to do for their very small paychecks.





*Minarik would probably already be gone if Democrats weren't demanding that he leave after some intemperate comments of his own which Pataki can't afford to piss off the national base by opposing in any meaningful way
ahhhs. -- hmmm?