Archive for 12 May 2010

The referendum on Obama has begun. Fire the bastards!

GOP: WV congressman’s ouster referendum on Obama

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia congressional seat that’s been held by a Democrat for generations is now up for grabs after 14-term incumbent Rep. Alan Mollohan was swept out of office on a wave of voter unrest that an opponent called a referendum on President Barack Obama.

The congressman is the first U.S. House incumbent to be ousted this spring primary season amid widespread anti-incumbent sentiment. The same unrest helped end the 17-year career of Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, who lost a GOP convention on Saturday.

State Sen. Michael Oliverio carried 56 percent of the vote to Mollohan’s 44 percent Tuesday night after an aggressive campaign that questioned the incumbent’s ethics and support for issues including federal health care reform.

The defeat sets up a general election battle this fall in which both Oliverio and Republican primary winner, former state GOP chairman David McKinley, will try to position themselves as fiscal conservatives and foes of big government. Both had made federal spending a key issue in the primary.

“We announced our campaign 100 days ago, and in 100 days’ time our country has fallen one-third of a trillion dollars further into debt,” Oliverio said. “We have to get the country’s financial house in order, and that’s what we’re committed to doing.”

But McKinley, also a former state legislator, said Mollohan’s ouster is about more than spending.

“People just didn’t like what was happening in Washington,” he said. The outcome is a referendum on Obama’s policies, from bailouts of banks and takeovers of car companies to health care reform.