27 April, 2006

Dems, GOP Clash Over Gas Prices; Each Offer Plans To Ease Pain; NJ's Menendez Leads Dem Proposal

One thing about politicians. They have good ears. They have heard Americans' angry protestations over high gas prices and, now that yet another of their many vacations has ended, they are getting right to work to pacify the angry mob.

The Republicans are offering a $100 rebate to taxpayers to offset the spike in energy costs to consumers. You should be able to fill up your SUV once or even twice if you go back before the needle slips below 1/4 full, under this "bold package," as it was called by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Of course the "bold package" comes with a string. The Senate GOP proposal would also allow drilling in Alaska's wildlife refuge.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Mendendez, a Democrat, has a plan of his own. He's calling for for a 60-day suspension of the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax and the 24-cent a gallon diesel tax. He said it would provide immediate relief of $100 million a day for motorists.

So on that trip to the Jersey shore, even if you add in an extra 2 gallons for sitting in traffic, you'll save about $1.50

The AP has details on the plans and the politics.


MENENDEZ AHEAD IN LATEST Q-POLL

Quinnipiac University released its latest New Jersey poll today and it shows Menendez with a 6 percentage point lead over his Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. That's up from a 4 point lead in the last Q Poll. The two have been trading the lead in various recent polls.

GAS PAINS AFFLICTING LOCAL CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, reports the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has chosen 22 Democratic challengers to be part of the DCCC's Red-to-Blue campaign.

The list of 22 candidates includes Kirsten Gillibrand, who is challenging Republican Rep. John Sweeney for his seat in New York's 20th District.

Those chosen will be given campaign funding by the committee because their candidicies are seen as promising.

The DCCC is also helping Gillibrand by highlighting her opponent on its Web site GOPAuctionHouse, which calls attention to GOP lobbying activity. The DCCC named Sweeney the GOP Crony of the Week and highlighted his contributions from "big oil."

Sue Kelly, the Republican incumbent from the 19th District did not go unnoticed by the DCCC's Web site. Kelly faces several Democratic challengers this fall, none of which made the DCCC's Red-to-Blue list.

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