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  For House Democrats, Politics Trumps Loyalty
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ContributorEddie 
Last EditedEddie  Oct 17, 2010 08:58pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorJulie Hirshfeld Davis
News DateMonday, October 18, 2010 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON — Grasping to keep control of Congress, Democratic leaders are turning their backs on some of their staunchest supporters in the House and propping up stronger candidates who have routinely defied them on health care, climate change and other major issues.

Raw politics — the drive to win a House-majority 218 seats, no matter how — is increasingly trumping policy and loyalty in these decisions, as Democrats shift money and attention in the closing days of the campaign toward races they can win and pull back from those seemingly lost.

The Democrats are shelling out $40 million in 59 congressional districts in the last three weeks of the campaign for TV advertising. Republicans, boosted by well-funded outside groups, are working to expand the political battleground by pouring money into 82 races next week alone.

Feelings are being hurt along the way.

In a fundraising video in Ohio this week, Rep. Steve Driehaus lashed out at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for "walking away" from his race after he "had the guts" to cast tough votes for key measures.

The House campaign arm has in recent days canceled millions of dollars worth of advertising it had planned for Driehaus and other endangered Democrats including his fellow Ohioan Mary Jo Kilroy, Suzanne Kosmas in Florida, Betsy Markey in Colorado and Steve Kagen in Wisconsin. All of them voted for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and for legislation to curb carbon emissions — only to be savaged by Republicans on the campaign trail for doing so.

The list of Democratic candidates being lavished with national party help in the final days of the race includes many of the defectors on those marquee votes: Reps. Michael Arcuri in New York, Bobby Bright in Alabama, Travis Childers in Mississippi, Larry Kissell in North Carolina, Jim Marshall in Georgia and Glenn Nye in Virginia, among others.

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