Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What happened to John Sununu?

Among the events of this evening were two election losses of well-known incumbent Republican Senators - Elizabeth Dole and John E. Sununu. I hadn't followed their campaigns, but Dole's loss may have centered around a questionable advertisement. [MORE HERE.]

What happened to John E. Sununu? U.S. News and World Report explains:

Stung by comparisons to an unpopular president, incumbent Republican Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire was denied a second term Tuesday. Democratic ex-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen came out on top in what was a closely watched rematch of their 2002 fight.

Shaheen tore into Sununu for being in sync with George W. Bush, and Democrats reinforced the message by running TV ads depicting Bush's face morphing into Sununu's.

Ironically, Sununu is probably most famous for a major disagreement that he's had with George W. Bush for years. Here's what he wrote on May 17, 2006 about REAL ID:

When the 9/11 Commission released its report nearly two years ago, the Commissioners made several recommendations which they believed would, if implemented, make us safer. One such recommendation stated, “The federal government should set standards for the issuance of …sources of identification, such as drivers’ licenses.” The Commission made this simple proposal to decrease the likelihood of terrorists using falsely obtained forms of identification to access sensitive security areas, such as airplanes and government buildings....

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act, which was signed into law in December of 2004, addressed the issue of identification security by creating a collaborative process for developing minimum standards for drivers’ licenses, such as name, address, photo, and signature. This approach, which included governors, state legislators, and motor vehicle administrators, was supported by members of both parties in Congress, endorsed by the White House, and satisfied the Commission’s recommendations regarding identification documents. Most important, the legislation was mindful of states’ rights, and avoided the creation of a national ID, massive databases, and billions of dollars in unfunded federal mandates.

Unfortunately, in March of 2005, REAL ID Act supporters in the U.S. House of Representatives, having failed to include it in the Intelligence Reform Act three months earlier, attached their measure to an emergency spending bill to fund tsunami relief efforts and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The opposition of a handful of senators was not enough to strip REAL ID from this “must pass” bill. In fact, at the time, many elected officials both inside and outside of Congress were reluctant to join me in raising concerns for fear of being branded “soft on terrorism.” As a result, passage of the REAL ID Act eliminated a cooperative and common sense approach for improving drivers’ license security signed into law just five months earlier.

The Concord Monitor, while endorsing Shaheen, had this to say about Sununu:

To his credit, Sununu has dived into the debate over entitlement reform, although his prescription - a plan to partially privatize Social Security - remains problematic. If young workers divert part of their money to individual accounts - money that would otherwise fill the Social Security fund - how will we pay full benefits for current retirees? It's an expensive question, so far without a good answer.

Against a lesser opponent, our vote might have gone to Sununu. He has been an active, engaged senator and has sometimes taken stands that put him at odds with his party.

Sununu has stood up for civil rights: opposing both the Real ID program from the get-go and a federal marriage amendment. He was the first Republican senator to call for President Bush to fire former attorney general Alberto Gonzales. He, not Shaheen, had the right position in supporting the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. In this campaign, his views have been more sharply defined than his rival's.

But a Senate race is ultimately about the votes. Shaheen, more than Sununu, will vote consistently on the side of middle-class taxpayers, senior citizens, women, school children and the environment. She has our support.

Incidentally, I would have also quoted from the Keene Sentinel's editorial on the race, but the paper wanted to charge me $3.95 for the privilege of reading it. So I guess you won't be pondering what the Keene Sentinel had to say about this race.

Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus