David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

I have to say these are the first national Democratic Party ads I've seen that strike me as sufficiently tough and hard-hitting. Not perfect. The Kyl ad is paced too slowly (is anyone under the age of 40 producing Democratic campaign ads these days?), and the Allen ad, while powerful, ends with a weak visual image. But overall this is much better than most of the earlier stuff.

So Ted Haggard has stepped aside temporarily as pastor of his mega-church and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals. The Rocky Mountain News reports, "Some community leaders in the Colorado Springs had scheduled a rally this afternoon in support of Haggard but canceled the gathering at the request of the church."

So here we have an exploding (gay) sex scandal reminiscent of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, yet no mention of it on Drudge. If an angel falls in the conservative forest and Drudge doesn't link to it, did it really happen?

Late update: Drudge relents. Provides 2 links on Haggard story. Nearly 24 hours after the story first broke.

Paul Kiel has more on the NRCC's efforts to help Mark Foley with damage control after ABC approached Foley about the overfriendly emails to pages.

One of the first female soldiers to die in Iraq committed suicide, after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners (via War and Piece).

A Colorado TV station reported last night that Rev. Ted Haggard, a major figure in the evangelical movement who has not hesitated to cross over into the arena of secular politics, allegedly had an ongoing sexual relationship with a gay former male escort.

Haggard denies it.

Haggard, the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, is one of the country's most prominent evangelical religious leaders, in part because of the very active role he has taken in national politics. Haggard is not as recognizable as James Dobson, who is also based in Colorado Springs, but Haggard is arguably just as influential within evangelical and conservative political circles, talking to President Bush or his advisers every Monday.

Last year Harper's ran a lengthy article featuring Haggard, and the magazine has helpfully posted the piece on its website today.

First Mark Foley, now Ted Haggard? It's hard to conjure up anything else that could further depress the turnout of conservative evangelicals.

Late Update: No mention of the Haggard story on Drudge. I thought sex and politics was Drudge's lifeblood. Maybe he's pretending not to notice this one. After all, you wouldn't want to demoralize the true believers at this late stage of the campaign.

Later update: I'm not the only one to notice a studied silence from our conservative brethren.

Election Central screens the latest political ads. Ned Lamont as Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a little spooky.

NRCC drops another $6 million nationwide, and some of it went to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), despite reports that the national GOP had given up on that race.