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Robert Torricelli: Mawkish American Political Dishonesty At Its Best

October 3, 2002

Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat, New Jersey The mid-term Congressional elections in the United States have become an intriguing contest with just four weeks till polling day. The Democratic Party has 51 seats, compared to 49 for the Republican Party, a majority the arose courtesy of the defection of a Republican, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, to the Democrats. Thirty-three of the 100 Senate seats are up for election next month and there is an unusually large number of close races.

One of the most interesting battles is taking place in the state of New Jersey where the Democratic Party Senator Robert Torricelli has withdrawn from the race following allegations over campaign fundraising and influence peddling. The Democrats have nominated a former New Jersey senator, Frank Lautenberg, aged 78, to take Torricelli's place. As usual, the process of replacing the party's candidate has ended up before the courts, but it appears Lautenberg will be able to contest the election.

Torricelli's press conference on September 30, announcing his decision to "fold" his campaign is a classic example of a political style that most Australians would laugh at. Click here to listen to Torricelli's announcement. I particularly liked the line where he plaintively asks "when did we become such an unforgiving people?"

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