U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, both freshman Colorado Democrats, found themselves on a list of more than a dozen potential 2010 targets for the Family Research Council’s FRC Action floated at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Dave Weigel reports at our sister site, The Washington Independent. Organizers are asking the nearly 2,000 attendees at the conservative convention to narrow the target list at the same time they cast votes in a presidential straw poll.
Markey, who unseated Values Voter favorite Marilyn Musgrave in last year’s election, is described thus on the ballot: “Radical leftist in conservative /moderate district. Beatable. Heavy pro-abortion campaign contributions in 2008.”
Bennet, facing a primary challenge announced this week by former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, gets a more tactical description that skips the values assessment: “Has never won a statewide race. Conservatives can take back this important seat.”
The Values Voter Summit is sponsored by the Family Research Council, which describes itself as a “Christian organization promoting the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian value system upon which it is built.” Co-sponsors include the group’s political arm, FRC Action, and Focus on the Family Action, the political arm of the Colorado Springs-based evangelical ministry Focus on the Family.
Here’s the whole FRC Action 2010 target list ballot, including descriptions:
Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) – Won in 2008 by only 727 votes! From conservative district.
Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) – Liberal in a moderate to conservative district.
Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) – Pro-abortion, pro-sex-ed favorite of Planned Parenthood. Barely won in historically conservative district.
Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Co.) – Radical leftist in conservative /moderate district. Beatable. Heavy pro-abortion campaign contributions in 2008.
Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Id.) – Endorsed by Planned Parenthood. In conservative/moderate district.
Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) – Liberal in more conservative district. Vulnerable.
Rep. Alice (sic) Titus (D-Nev.) – Leftist in a toss-up district. Beatable with enough funding. (Note: She goes by “Dina” Titus.)
Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) – Heavy pro-abortion backing. Won by only 2,300 votes in more conservative district. Beatable with funding.
Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio) – One of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s priority candidates. District usually votes conservative.
Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.) – Key Nancy Pelosi lieutenant. Once moderate, has swung left and is vulnerable.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) – Liberal in conservative district–beatable.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) – Lead of Obama agenda in the Senate. Victory would help change the political landscape.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.) – Has never won a statewide race. Conservatives can take back this important seat.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) – Ultra-liberal veteran. Low approval numbers. We can topple this leftist icon.
Weigel notes the group also names two Democratic U.S. Senate candidates:
Robin Carnahan in Missouri (“pro-abortionists pouring money into this race’) and Rep. Paul Hodes in New Hampshire (”homosexual ‘marriage’ supporter, vulnerable if we expose his views”)
and wants advice on which of four incumbent Republicans it should “save” from liberals:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.), and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the last of whom is running for Senate.
Bob Moore, executive editor of The Coloradoan of Fort Collins, extracts some unspoken subtext in Markey’s appearance on the list of potential targets. Reminding that Markey defeated Values Voter luminary Musgrave, Moore digs up the source of a particularly memorable Musgrave-ism:
Musgrave was a frequent speaker at FRC events. In fact, it was at the 2006 Voter Values Summit that Musgrave uttered one of the most controversial quotes of her six-year tenure in Congress. At a time when the United States was involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Musgrave said this of gay marriage: “But this battle is the most important issue that we face today, and what an honor it has been to serve in the United States Congress and carry the Marriage Amendment.”
Check out Weigel’s dispatches from the Values Voter Summit, including his on-the-scene description of a blogger being forcibly ejected from a speech by Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly.