Buffalo, We Have a Problem

Posted: October 9, 2006 in 2006 Elections, Beltway Drama

Last week, I wrote that the Foley scandal was radioactive to anyone it touched. Tom Reynolds, the congressman most directly responsible for maintaining the GOP’s majority in the House of Representatives, is in serious political trouble.

How serious?

Serious enough that Reynolds felt it necessary to address the scandal in a new campaign ad running in a $200,000 buy in his district. I can’t find the ad on YouTube or Reynolds’ campaign website right now, but will update this post to include it if I find it later. But apologies may not be enough.

A weekend poll of residents of New York’s 26th district commmissioned by the Buffalo News now has Reynolds 15 points behind his Democratic challenger. The same poll says that 57 percent of respondents disapproved his handling of the Foley scandal.

Reynolds is now Exhibit A of what the Foley Effect might bring to incumbent Republicans who are entangled in the scandal. If Jim Kolbe weren’t already retiring from Congress, he would probably be facing a similar backlash from constituents based on today’s story in the Washington Post.

If Bob Novak’s reporting in his column today is accurate, this will not endear the now-embattled Reynolds with his constituents.

Disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley had two excellent job offers in the private sector this year when Rep. Tom Reynolds, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, talked him into seeking a seventh term.

Although Reynolds says Foley was merely deciding whether to run again, the talk in Republican circles on Capitol Hill was that he was ready to leave Congress. His inappropriate e-mails to a former page were known to the Republican leadership late last year. The 16th Congressional District was considered so safely Republican that any GOP candidate could carry it but now likely will be lost with Foley still on the ballot.

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