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SSP Daily Digest: 8/20 (Morning Edition)

by: DavidNYC

Fri Aug 20, 2010 at 8:12 AM EDT

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.
  • DavidNYC :: SSP Daily Digest: 8/20 (Morning Edition)
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    CQ Politics
    The CQ thing is pretty neat, but also buggy.  I noticed HI-01 was "Likely D" and I voted tossup, and then it said

    Thanks for voting! You may vote again tomorrow, or you can vote on another race.
    You chose Likely Democrat

    Oops.  Like the Simpsons when Homer voted for Obama and it said "Thank you...You selected John McCain."

    if the problems are that bad
    you must warn... president McCain

    Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

    [ Parent ]
    After voting 6 times...
    "Hey! I only meant one of those votes for Likely Democrat!"

    [ Parent ]
    "This does not happen in America.  Maybe Ohio, but not America."

    In case you are not aware of this Simpsons clip, knock yourself out:

    23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

    [ Parent ]
    There is also a clip
     On how George W. Bush won Florida in 2004.

    for more election analysis, visit  http://frogandturtle.blogspot....

    17, CA-06,  

    [ Parent ]
    Bob Dole cuts a check for Charlie Crist?
    That's pretty awesome. I always respected that man. Hopefully the rumors of him in poor health are untrue.

    23, Male, PA-05 (summer) PA-12 (winter)

    I miss Dole
    I still remembe rthe 1996 presidential debates.  Possibly the last of the civil presidential debates we'll ever talk about again.  Dole actually gave creidt to Clinton at times and seemed to run on a similar platform with Republican tilts.  He offered substantive differences even at a time when his party wasn't nearly as cordial and professional.

    Those were the days.

    [ Parent ]
    Forgive me
    I was born the year before his presidential run. What's the deal with "Bob dole!"?

    [ Parent ]
    Its an old Simpsons reference
    From the halloween episode in 1996 as well as some other clips of the Simpsons through the years whenever they go to "Republican headquarters".

    Bob Dole used to talk about himself in the 3rd person, which made for funny jokes aplenty.

    [ Parent ]
    ah, the good old days
    "Bob Dole will cut your taxes 15%! 15%! 15%! 15%! 15%!"

    41, Ind, CA-05

    [ Parent ]
    Bob Dole and Family Guy
    Family Guy also did a Bob Dole spoof when Peter was lobbying for Big Tobacco.  Bob Dole talked in the third person and eventually fell asleep repeating Bob Dole.

    23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

    [ Parent ]
    His wife may have played a filthy political game (for my money, she was more conservative too), but I've always admired Bob Dole. You have to credit him for not completely pandering to the Pat Buchanan crowd in '96, plus he had some kind things to say about Obama's health care proposals.

    For daily political commentary, visit me at and

    [ Parent ]
    And like so many before
    Who paraphrase that the GOP of today wouldn't nominate Reagan, I'd imagine the same is true of Dole.  Sad really.

    [ Parent ]
    PA - legal fees
    It's at the discretion of the court, and I've only seen it assessed in the Nader litigation given the massive nature of the fraudulent signature gathering.  I sought such fees in 2008 in knocking off an incumbent state reps' petitions and was denied -- only court costs (stenographer, etc) were assessed.

    I'm still blown away by yesterday's Des Moines Register story on Zaun, which you linked to in the SSP afternoon roundup. If the 2001 incident with his ex-girlfriend becomes widely known, that is going to be a huge red flag with women voters.

    That's not even the only bad news of the week for Zaun. Boswell is up with a radio ad comparing the candidates' stands on biofuels (during the primary campaign Zaun said he was against ethanol subsidies). Zaun's probably not going to be able to go on the air soon, because he is at a huge cash on hand disadvantage (probably even more so since Bill Clinton came to Des Moines to raise money for Boswell three weeks ago).

    The NRCC left out IA-03 when it reserved ad time in 40 House districts. I don't think the week's developments will help Zaun convince them to spend a lot of money here.

    Totally agree....
    This is why I've started to feel better about Boswell's chances.  

    [ Parent ]
    I dont know....
    Maybe its because I'm from NY and we got State Senators caught on video abusing their girlfriends and accused rapist running for US Congress that I dont see the Zaun story as too big of a deal.

    He was never arrested or even accused of domestic violence or anything. The worst the story says about him is that he got drunk and called his ex-grilfriend a few too many times on the phone 10 years ago.

    To me it's really a non issue and typical of the kind of personal baggage stuff that comes out in campaigns. I dont think this story is anything close to a game changer for this race.

    Fight global warming & help disaster relief efforts by raising money for Music for Relief when you search the web! Click here for more info:

    [ Parent ]
    Iowans might be a bit more conservative in this regard, IMHO

    [ Parent ]
    Not a game-changer, but not nothing. And a small thing can balloon if mishandled......
    Mark Kirk's first blush with dishonesty in his military resume seemed like much ado about nothing to me.  But he's losing to an unpopular Democrat in an anti-Democratic year because he's been so awful in dealing with it, and it spiraled out of control.

    Who knows what Zaun will do, but this is definitely a bad distraction for him.  It's not something Boswell or the state party or the DCCC can use against Zaun explicitly, but it's something voters will give more than a shrug.

    Anytime the police are called, it matters.  It doesn't matter if no charges were filed, this is the sort of incident that touches all voters' nerves on some level since almost all of us have been in romantic relationships.  Some women and even a few men will pause before voting for this guy.  They might still vote for him, but this at least causes a pause, and costs at least a tiny handful of votes at a minimum.

    43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

    [ Parent ]
    Move to MN
    Entenza (recent loser from the DFL gov primary) hired someone for opposition research against the sitting DFL AG who he planned to run against in 2006.  He was forced to quit the race when this all came out later on and as you can tell, his political career is now dead.

    [ Parent ]
    reserving ad time in Kentucky ($1.3 mill) and Missouri ($4 mill).


    19, Male, Independent, CA-12

    Wish they reallocated some of that money to Kentucky
    Jack Conway is more likeable, running a better campaign, and running against a horrible candidate. I'd rather invest that in a more winnable campaign with a better candidate.

    19, male, Dem, CT-04 (home) PA-02 (college and registered)

    [ Parent ]
    It says they're putting 1.3 million into KY. That's not a small amount.

    Are you comparing Conway with Carnahan on likability and running a better campaign?

    It's no secret that I'm not impressed with Conway, though he's certainly better than Paul.

    [ Parent ]
    The Blunt bailout ad from the Carnahan campaign
    Makes me think she'll do fine.  Maybe not win, but Id be shocked if she by more than 5.

    [ Parent ]
    Scotty Rasmussen can't help himself
    Raise your hand if you think Blanche Lincoln is actually trailing 65-27? Anybody? No? Come on guys, don't you know that Rasmussen has SUCH a good track record?

    21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
    please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

    *raises hand*

    26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

    [ Parent ]
    Going from +12 to -38...
    has got to be the record for biggest swing between elections for an incumbent. Any other incumbents who performed 50 points worse between elections? :P

    21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
    please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

    [ Parent ]
    You've got to remember, Lincoln is not well liked on here, and most posters thought she'd lose terrible in the Primary.

    I hope she wins. Either way I actually think it'll be much closer than some of the numbers thrown around. I'm thinking within 5 points.

    [ Parent ]
    She's going to lose, but she should at least break 30, probably even 40.

    Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

    [ Parent ]
    Does not raise hand.
    No way. She's trailing, but not by that much.  

    [ Parent ]
    Does not raise hand. That is truly absurd. Even if she gets blown out, she'll
    ...more likely than not break 40, and easily break 35.

    43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

    [ Parent ]
    *raises hand*
    I'm feeling mid-60s for Boozman (sp?) and the rest for Lincoln.

    [ Parent ]
    Partially Raise Hand
    Plausible.  I doubt Lincoln breaks 40 percent.

    23, male, center-right cynical Republican, PA-7

    [ Parent ]
    I could
    believe that. Lincoln could crack 30 percent on election night. She's not a smart politician, she tries to play both sides and does it really badly.  

    19, Male, Independent, CA-12

    [ Parent ]
    OH-13 Macro vs. Micro
    There really is an interesting dynamic going on this year between the Macro-environment (which, as those who went on the depressing thread to StephenCLE's House picks in the past few days know, is trending hard against Team Blue), and the continuing troubles Republicans are having with their candidates. This OH-13 is a perfect example - this kind of talk cannot help Ganley in such a moderate district (although it won't guarantee that he will lose either). Also the devleopments in MI-01, which there's seems to be some evidence the third-party candidate will follow through with his well-funded right wing independent campaign that could hand the seat to the Democrat.

    This statement is a cliche on this site, but sometimes I do think (repeat after me): This year may not be as bad as people think.  

    This year is not as bad as people think
    The people here don't want to hear it.

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    [ Parent ]
    Hey, I've been pretty polly-annaish all year
    Even when it looked the worst, I still saw a loss of 25 House seats at most.  I think it's probably twenty now, with a net loss of probably two Senate seats (three if Crist does something stupid after winning with big Dem support).

    30, male, Democratic, CO-01

    [ Parent ]
    We don't know yet how bad this year will be
    Ask me on election night :-)

    [ Parent ]
    Well, right, of course...
    It's all speculation until then (although on this site, it's informed speculation).  

    [ Parent ]
    I don't think its informed speculation.  Most people cite polls like it was bible scripture.  The polling is so awful I have no idea how anyone can tell what's going on.

    The only real "informed" speculation is in our respective local races.  Everything else is just us opining about things that we can;t possibly really know about.  

    I live in PA but have no idea how PA-12 will play out.  How can anyone.  We won it it may pretty decisively but all polls point to us losing.  What did Critz do since then?  And that's just one of about 100 examples of races I simply cannot get a hnadle on.

    [ Parent ]
    Ganley's a terrible candidate with great name rec and oodles of cash which makes him competitive in a district the GOP probably wouldn't bother with in the best of environments (which this is turning out to be).

    Sutton's a great Rep though with fantastic constituent services. I just hope she's planning to go on the airwaves to trumpet her accomplishments loudly to counter the blitz of Ganley political ads and Ganley car ads that are going to be hammering the Ganley name every 90 seconds post-Labor day.  

    33, male, Dem, OH-13

    [ Parent ]
    Why is Ganley a terrible candidate?
    From what I understand of this race he turned a safe Dem seat into a competive election. As you said he has super high name ID, a great personal story (the whole busting the mafia thing) and TONS of cash.

    Ganley is probably the only GOP candidate who could even come close to winning this race (even in the "wave year") and yes he will probably have to run a perfect campaign to do it.

    As for his so-called gafe I really dont think its a big deal. Seems to me he was basically trying to say it's not of his business what religion Obama is but his words came out all wrong.

    Stuff like that happens on campaigns. I dont think that makes Ganley one of the "nutters".

    Fight global warming & help disaster relief efforts by raising money for Music for Relief when you search the web! Click here for more info:

    [ Parent ]
    I guess it depends on how you define "terrible"
    I see a guy who runs a car dealership, which is not exactly the most beloved profession. A guy who ran to Portman's right in the OH-Sen primary now trying to win over a D+5 district in which the incumbent wrote a significant piece of legislation that he profited handsomely from.

    I'll give you that Name ID + self-funding = strength and it may be enough in a year like 2010, but when people see his true stripes, he'll be happy to do better than "some dude"  

    33, male, Dem, OH-13

    [ Parent ]
    Sorta off topic
    With so many Senate seats in play (relatively), I looke dto see about current US Senate Seniority.  We all know that Inouye is most senior, but what of seniority lower down the ladded.

    With recent Sentae turnover due to deaths, retirements, lost elections and Cabinet appointments, its actually quite fascinating.  The class of 2006 (Casey, Webb, McCaskils and the rest) already have seniority over 15-20 other Senators.

    Ben Cardin from MD, based on his house service, has seniority over 27 other Senators, even though he has only been in the Senate 3.5 years.

    Heck, after the upcoming election, even Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed in 2009, will have seniority over possibly 10 Senators.

    I don't know, I just found that fascinating fro some reason.

    Here you go. I left out lame ducks.

    Rank Name

    1 Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
    2 Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
    3 Richard Lugar (R-IN)
    4 Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
    5 Max Baucus (D-MT)
    6 Thad Cochran (R-MS)
    7 Carl Levin (D-MI)
    8 Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
    9 Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
    10 John Kerry (D-MA)
    11 Tom Harkin (D-IA)
    12 Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    13 Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
    14 Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
    15 Richard Shelby (R-AL)
    16 John McCain (R-AZ)
    17# Harry Reid (D-NV)
    18 Kent Conrad (D-ND)
    19 Herb Kohl (D-WI)
    20 Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)
    21 Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
    22 Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
    23# Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
    24# Russ Feingold (D-WI)
    25# Patty Murray (D-WA)
    26 Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
    27 Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
    28 Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
    29 Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
    30 Ron Wyden (D-OR)
    31 Pat Roberts (R-KS)
    32 Richard Durbin (D-IL)
    33 Tim Johnson (D-SD)
    34 Jack Reed (D-RI)
    35 Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
    36 Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
    37 Susan Collins (R-ME)
    38 Mike Enzi (R-WY)
    39 Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
    40 Mike Crapo (R-ID)
    41# Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
    42 Bill Nelson (D-FL)
    43 Tom Carper (D-DE)
    44 Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
    45 John Ensign (R-NV)
    46 Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
    47 Ben Nelson (D-NE)
    48 Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
    49 Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    50 Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
    51 Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
    52 Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    53 John Cornyn (R-TX)
    54 Mark Pryor (D-AR)
    55 Richard Burr (R-NC)
    56 Jim DeMint (R-SC)
    57 Tom Coburn (R-OK)
    58 John Thune (R-SD)
    59 Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
    60 David Vitter (R-LA)
    61 Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
    62 Ben Cardin (D-MD)
    63 Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    64 Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
    65 Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
    66 Jim Webb (D-VA)
    67 Bob Corker (R-TN)
    68 Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
    69 Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    70 Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
    71 Jon Tester (D-MT)
    72 John Barrasso (R-WY)
    73 Roger Wicker (R-MS)  
    74 Mark Udall (D-CO)
    75 Tom Udall (D-NM)
    76 Mike Johanns (R-NE)
    77 Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
    78 Mark Warner (D-VA)
    79 Jim Risch (R-ID)
    80 Kay Hagan (D-NC)
    81 Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
    82 Mark Begich (D-AK)
    83# Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    84# Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    85 Al Franken (D-MN)
    86 Scott Brown (R-MA)

    [ Parent ]
    Norm Coleman
    may have really cost Minnesota something, assuming Al Franken gets re-elected in 2014. Franken should be ahead of Merkley (if he'd been sworn in on time), but he's behind Merkley, Begich, Bennet and Gillibrand. That could mean the difference between chairing a committee and not six or eight years from now.

    [ Parent ]
    at the same time
    It helped establish Klobuchar and made a competitive race in 2012 pretty much out of the question for her.  Before her taking on being the sole Senator for six months, it was always said, probably not, but weirder things have certainly happened.  She had one great week of press about being the only Senator for six months and her approval rating went up like 10% overnight.

    You're from Iowa, you know how that type of good government stuff turns us Upper Midwesterners on.

    None of this is to say she couldnt have done this otherwise.  I firmly believe there are only two other women in front of her in the line for first woman to be in the WH for either Pres or VP and that's Hillary and Sink.  And Sink may not win and Hillary may not run again.

    [ Parent ]
    good point
    I guess I wasn't ever worried about her getting re-elected, but maybe you're right.

    [ Parent ]
    When seniority is decided by days
    I'm guessing they just meet in a room and decide how to divide the world so to speak.  I'm sure each will get their pick of committees and doubt the overlpa will cause an huge ego issues or battles for committee chairs.

    [ Parent ]
    Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.
    I feel the same way. I usually wake up sometimes aroung 6:30 AM and I always feel when 8-8:15 AM comes (depends on the minute you post the digest)the political day are begun.

    22, Male, Democrat, PA-18.

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