Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.
FL-Sen: Great catch by CQ's Greg Giroux, who always has some of the tastiest FEC tidbits. None other than Bob Dole (Bob Dole!) has cut a $1,000 check to Charlie Crist's senate campaign. It feels great to be writing about Bob Dole again! Bob Dole!
PA-Sen, PA-Gov, PA-08: Like some Green and teabagger candidates before them, the Libertarians have all been kicked off the statewide ballots in PA. That's because of a punitive Pennsylvania law which requires that a party which loses a challenge to its ballot status to pay the legal fees of the winner. Unsurprisingly, many minor party candidates tend to bail rather than risk a huge debt. In the same vein, indy Tom Lingenfelter also quit the race in PA-08, under intense courtroom pressure from Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign.
KY-Gov: This seems like a good get for Dem Gov. Steve Beshear: Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent next month in Jefferson County. This is a big deal because Pence is not only a Republican, but he served as LG for the man that Beshear beat, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. (Pence didn't seek re-election in 2007, and in fact had a pretty serious falling-out with Fletcher.)
AZ-08: Not something you see every day: Teabagger Jesse Kelly, hanging on in an uphill fight against establishment fave Jonathan Paton, is attacking none other than Sarah Palin, saying that the ur-Mama Grizz has been endorsing lots of front-runners (like Carly Fiorina) out of pure political calculation, and that she "needs to rehab" her image to woo independents. Paton fell all over himself trying to proclaim his Rich Lowry-like love for Palin, who in point of fact hasn't actually endorsed him. In an interesting aside, Paton's once-hot fundraising has fallen off a cliff, and Kelly actually outraised him in the pre-primary period.
OH-13: Remember how yesterday I was saying that despite the GOP's great recruitment efforts, they still have to deal with a serious structural problem - the stark raving insanity of their entire movement? Well, even prize recruit Tom Ganley is not immune. Here you have a multi-millionaire who is willing to self-fund, an extremely successful car dealer whose name is all over town, a guy who even helped police investigate the mob... and yet he pops off with statements like this: "I don't have a position on whether he's a Muslim." You can guess who he's talking about. A little while later, Ganley put out a statement trying to backtrack, but really, he's still a fucking nutter.
OH-15/16/18: Another shadowy right-wing group, a 501(c)4 with the Nixonian name "The Committee for Truth in Politics," is up to some dirty tricks, launching ads against Reps. Zack Space ($190K worth) and John Boccieri ($130K). CQ also says that a further $62K buy looks like it will be targeted against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The one odd thing about this writeup is that it says the anti-Space ad buy is going up in Cleveland, but if you compare a media market map with a map of Space's district, you'll see that his CD mostly falls in a bunch of other markets, principally Columbus. I wonder what gives.
Meanwhile, also in OH-16, Republican Jim Renacci (and soon-to-be DavidNYC opponent in the race for NYC Zoning Board) has filed a lawsuit against AFSCME, which is spending $750K on an ad buy against him. Renacci is alleging the ad, which accuses him of "cheating on his income taxes," is defamatory. It's more typical to threaten the TV stations running the ad, though, as they generally are pretty pliant when it comes to removing potentially questionable third-party ads from the air. Maybe he'll try that as well.
ND-AL: Republican Rick Berg is up with his first ad of the general election campaign, which you can view here. NWOTSOTB. Rep. Earl Pomeroy already has three different ads airing.
NY-13: Wingers disgruntled with the state Conservative Party have formed a new ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. (The name reminds me a little bit of George Pataki's vanity line in 1994, the Tax Cut Now Party.) Anyhow, Michael Allegretti, himself spurned by the Conservatives, is probably the TP's biggest name so far, having just filed 5,000 signatures to get on their line. This constitutes at least some bottom-shelf cat fud, since Allegretti would stay on the line even if he loses the GOP primary. Meanwhile, if rival Mike Grimm loses the Republican nod, he'll have the Conservative line no matter what. What did I say about the Republicans never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?
TN-03: Am I sniffing some cat fud on the horizon? Crazy Lady Robin Smith lost the GOP primary in this uber-red district by a 30-28 margin to self-funder Chuck Fleischmann, and already she's talking about running again in 2012. Smith hasn't endorsed Fleischmann, and for his part, Fleischmann says he hasn't responded to Smith's request for a reconciliation tête-à-tête. Since the only advice I like to give to Republicans is bad advice, nobody tell Fleischmann he should probably reconsider, as 30% doesn't exactly constitute a mandate. (Remember what happened to another Tennessean who barely won his primary in 2006?) Anyhow, Smith is also hoping that the district will get redrawn with a more southerly configuration, as Fleischmann did better in the northern counties. Could be messy!
Race Ratings: CQ has a cool new feature which, I admit, I'm quite envious of. A couple of years ago, James and I dreamed of creating a system which would allow SSP users to rate races as they saw fit, and then generate an "aggregate" rating across the site. Unfortunately, as a purely volunteer outfit with extremely minimal ad revenues, we simply didn't have the money for this project. But now, CQ has gone and created something very close to the tool we were hoping to build. The interface could use some improvement (right now, you have to drill down to a separate page for each race individually, and you can also only rate races that are already on their list), but it still looks pretty promising.