Sequester politics in Florida, part two: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee takes on Bill Young

More than 600,000 civilian employees at defense bases across the country (and 3,500 civilian employees at MacDill Air Force Base) are being directly affected by the furloughs.

On the conference call Israel singled out Republicans who the DCCC are apparently targeting for 2014, mentioning Congressmen Charlie Dent (PA-15); Scott Garrett (NJ-05); Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02); Scott Rigell (VA-02); Jon Runyan (NJ-03); Mike Turner (OH-10); Frank Wolf (VA-10); Kevin Yoder (KS-03); and Young.

When Israel was asked if he thinks Young — who has been elected to 22 terms of Congress as a representative for Pinellas County — will be vulnerable in 2014, the chairman sounded like he was reading off a script, "I think the likelihood is strong that people in Tampa ... want to elect somebody who's going to be a problem solver. Somebody who is going to compromise, somebody who is going to put solutions ahead of ideology."

Of course, the big city Young represents in Washington is St. Petersburg, not Tampa.

Young soundly defeated attorney Jessica Ehrlich last fall, but some Democrats took solace in that it was actually the second closest margin of victory for the 82-year-old Republican since being elected in 1970, for whatever that's worth. Young took 57.6 percent of the vote and Ehrlich took 42.4 percent. She has already announced her intention to challenge him again in 2014.

  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel

Last night we reported about how Gov. Rick Scott co-signed a letter with two other Gulf state Republican governors calling on President Obama to do something about the federal sequester. The sequester has been in effect since March but is just now, and for the next six weeks, affecting the National Guard in a number of states.

Today the Democrats officially fired back, with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel blasting Pinellas County Congressman Bill Young (and other GOP members of the House) for voting against alternatives to the sequester that Democrats floated earlier this year.

"We can turn off the furloughs, by turning on some compromise," Israel said, referring to previous Congressional attempts — that Republicans didn't find common ground with — by Democrats to turn off the sequester.

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