Reading the Kuhl Tea Leaves

Since the details of the bailout bill are not yet finalized, we don't know Randy Kuhl's position on the bailout plan. After reading his statement yesterday, which emphasized taxpayer protection and no golden parachutes, I concluded that Kuhl might well support the final bailout bill.

Today's Buffalo News story on the bailout reaches this conclusion:

In saying private companies will have to carry the financial burden of any bailout, Kuhl sided with the renegade Republicans who refused to agree with the tentative compromise leaders of both parties agreed to Thursday.

I don't think that's true. From what I've read, there are three groups of thought on this.

First, Paulson, whose plan didn't include taxpayer equity or pay caps. His plan is DOA.

The second group is a small number of Democrats and a large number of Republicans who just think the whole thing stinks. The Republicans have put out some talking points, which, as this article explains really don't make a lot of sense.

The third, and largest, group is the compromisers in both parties, who see the importance of the bailout but want to couple it with taxpayer equity in return, some form of pay caps, and tight oversight. These people are laboring to get something that's strict enough to include the nay-sayers, while still giving Paulson what he says he needs.

My guess is that Kuhl will end up in this group. I don't think he's a dead-ender. He's not a member of the Republican Study Committee, which is the 100 or so most conservative House members who have been most steadfast in their opposition to the bailout.


Speaking of tea-leaves: Anybody have a sense of how the rock-em/sock-em Sheriff's November race, over in Steuben, is playing out? Or if anyone else thinks it could play a small but conceivably important role in outcome of Randy's own numbers in Steuben?

No idea.

But I guess it increases turnout if you have two "Republicans" facing off and getting their supporters out. That's just a generic observation and doesn't take into consideration what's actually going on in this race.

Leads to another question, maybe more interesting - how does the state senate races effect the NY29 race? Even the races that have opposition but aren't really likely to flip from R to D. Does this help increase turn out? Who does that help? What about the Monroe races?

The State Senate race down this way pits the young Mayor of Elmira running as a sacrificial lamb--but a very impressive and able candidate--against the Republican incumbent, George Winner. I imagine the only spot, no small matter, where that could affect turnout is in Chemung. The voters there are quite sophisticated about ticket-splitting, though the county usually ends up going Republican.