2005 Elections Archive:

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

CA-48: Campbell Wins

Posted by DavidNYC

Alas, it didn't happen. Whereas I had hoped that Gilchrist would pull votes only from Campbell, he appears to have pulled them from Young, too. The final tally, with 268 of 268 precincts reporting, looks to be:

Campbell: 45
Young: 28
Gilchrist: 25

I'll let the spinmeisters take it from here.

Posted at 01:38 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

CA-48: Poll Closing Times

Posted by DavidNYC

Polls close at 8pm Pacific time tonight (11pm Eastern). That means, as of this posting, that there's still over 3-and-a-half hours left for people to vote, including the post-work rush.

You can follow the live results here later. I won't be able to post updates tonight as I'm busy studying for finals, but just keep clicking that link and you'll be able to see what's going on.

Feel free to discuss the results in this thread.

Posted at 10:00 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CA-48: The One Number That Matters: 40

Posted by DavidNYC

Forty. That's the percentage of the vote that John Kerry won in CA-48 last year. And that's the one number that matters for Democrats in today's special election. Read on and I'll explain.

New Mexico's third CD was (and still is) heavily Democratic: In 1996, it went 52-38-6 (Clinton-Dole-Perot). In January of 1997, Bill Richardson resigned to become UN Ambassador. A special election was held in May with the following results:

Bill Redmond (R): 43
Eric Serna (D): 40
Carol Miller (Green): 17

Thanks to a strong third-party challenge from the left, the Republican Redmond pulled off an extremely unlikely upset in a Democratic bastion. Could the same thing happen in CA-48? I think so.

In CA-48, there's a strong third-party challenge, too, but with a crucial difference: Anti-immigrant Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist is taking votes almost entirely from the Republican candidate, John Campbell. This is good news for our man Steve Young. But will Gilchrist do well enough to let Young pull off an unlikely victory? Let's get back to that 40%.

In the unusual primary in this race, Gilchrist took in 15% of the vote. Because the top finisher from each of the five parties running would automatically advance regardless of his or her percentage of the vote, there was little incentive to work hard. The only thing anyone needed to worry about was keeping Campbell below 50% (otherwise he would have won immediately), which is exactly what happened.

Gilchrist has been working a lot harder this time arond, and in fact, he's been Campbell's main, if not only, target. It's a sad commentary on America, but Gilchrist's hateful message has been resonating with a sizable chunk of voters in CA-48 - enough so that the NRCC felt the need to dump a quarter-million dollars on a race they shouldn't have had to spend a penny on. On the other hand, it's great news for Steve Young. So the question is, can Gilchrist pull in just a bit over 20%?

I don't see any reason why he couldn't. Apart from seriously ramping up his campaign, there are now only five candidates in the race, as opposed to 19. And media coverage has mostly focused on the Campbell-Gilchrist matchup, raising Gilchrist's profile and name recognition. If Gilchrist can do just six points better than he did in the primary, and Young's support level holds at Kerry's 40% mark, then Young wins by sneaking in under the radar. The math is just that simple: Young at 40 and Gilchrist at 21 means Campbell can do no better than 39. If Gilchrist does even better, then that gives Steve even more of a cushion. It could definitely happen.

As it happens, the Republican who won in NM-03 in 1997 lost the very next year. But that's definitely a bridge we can worry about later. Right now, today is election day, and we've got to focus on helping Steve Young win. I know the weather is nice out there today, so call the campaign at (949) 640-4400 to help out.

And good luck, Steve!

P.S. Get live results here.

Posted at 01:35 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, December 05, 2005

CA-48: NRCC Drops Half a Mil on the Race

Posted by DavidNYC

A reader writes in:

I just came across a little over two dozen independent expenditures that the NRCC has thrown into CA-48 over the last month. It's obvious they're scared shitless if you read the timeline on the report.

First off these guys are always thorough. They drop mail and then follow it up with phone calls and then poll. They drop an initial bit of mail and phone calls, and take a poll at the same time. The poll must have sucked since for the next two weeks they drop mail, and then follow it up with phone calls, do it again, and then again. They drop another poll and then follow up with more phone calls into the district, another poll and more phone calls and mail. I know that's obvious from the report, but I pulled together all the 2004 NRCC Independent Expenditure reports and this is what they did for races where they were in trouble (with a little TV thrown in, but the LA market is probably too rich for their blood).

[I]t's going to be an expensive 2006 if the NRCC has to drop a quarter of a million dollar in ever seat that Bush won with 58%. The expenditures show that the seat was, or is at least somewhat in play if they're so desperate to build up their candidate. All of the expenditures are in support of Campbell.

Those two dozen independent expenditures have totaled an astonishing quarter-million dollars in just the last month! (You can see the raw list here.) Bush won CA-48 by an 18-point margin. That's pretty nuts for the NRCC to be so scared. They may pull this one out thanks to favorable demographics & superior firepower - John Campbell's raised about 10 times what Steve Young has. But they simply can't afford to be this generous with every Bush +20 candidate next year.

P.S. To help Steve Young, go here.

Posted at 04:55 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, December 04, 2005

CA-48: Why We Can Win

Posted by DavidNYC

Superribbie, House-race guru extraordinaire, offers this explanation of why we can win in CA-48:

This is one of 16 districts in California where Kerry did better than Gore (along with 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 23, 29, 36, and 53), losing 59-41 rather than 60-40. It is a step in the right direction and may be a sign of increasing Dem strength.

The net partisan balance is 58.5-41.5 GOP. This makes it more Dem-friendly than the seats held by the following:

TX-17 (Edwards--31.8% Dem)
UT-02 (Matheson--32.8%)
MS-04 (Taylor--33.5%)
ND-AL (Pomeroy--37%)
MO-04 (Skelton--38.5%)
SD-AL (Herseth--39.8%)

Not a long list, but a win is certainly not out of the question.

Most of all, the presence of Minutemen head and American Independent Party candidate Jim Gilchrist makes this very doable. Gilchrist took about 15% in the open primary and is well-financed and running a real campaign. There is a likelihood that he builds on that and ends up with about 20%. As a right-wing hardline anti-immigration candidate, that 20% is coming straight from GOPer John Campbell's hide.

In fact, if the same breakdown of voters shows up on Tuesday as voted in 2004 and Gilchrist takes 20%, the likely result is Young 41, Campbell 39, Gilchrist 20. Remember the special election in the heavily Dem Nem Mexico 3d in 1997 (replacing then-newly appointed Energy Secretary Bill Richardson)? The Greens did what they always do in New Mexico and the final result was 43 R, 40 D, 17 G.

Finally, the California GOP is laboring with the twin albatrosses of Bush and Schwarzenegger around their necks. The dismal performance of the ballot initiatives last month speaks to the apathy and disenchantment of the GOP. Turnout stands to work in our favor.

I personally think it's all gonna come down to Gilchrist's showing. Young can sneak by if the two right-wingers cannibalize each other. And again, click here for a complete list of ways you can help out.

Posted at 04:28 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Friday, December 02, 2005

CA-48: Call to Action - Final Weekend Push

Posted by DavidNYC

On Tuesday, California will hold another special election - this time, to fill the vacant House seat in CA's 48th CD. Our candidate is Steve Young. Here's how you can help him for the final weekend push:

Virtual phone banking. This can be done by anyone, anywhere. The campaign sends you a list of names and numbers of district residents, and you call them to help get out the vote. Fun and easy, and if you have a cell phone with free nights and weekends, it only costs you your time. To join in this effort, send an e-mail to ca48@easyco.com.

Volunteer. If you leave in or near the district, contact the campaign and help pound the pavement. You can sign up on this page, but your best bet at this point is to call the campaign directly at (949) 640-4400. You can also send an e-mail to marion@steveyoungforcongress.com with your availability. The district is in Orange County - the HQ is in Irvine. In other words, not too far for those of you in LA or San Diego to come up for a day. The weekend weather looks quite pleasant.

E-mail your California friends. Tell them about this race. Even if you aren't sure if they live in CA-48, they probably know someone who does. Word of mouth is key.

Keep an eye on BigDog04's diaries. He's our source for info straight from the campaign.

Let's do this thing!

Posted at 03:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, California | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CA-48: How You Can Help

Posted by DavidNYC

The special election in CA's 48th CD has flow a bit below the radar, but election day is just a week away - next Tuesday, December 6th. Our guy in the race is Steve Young. As Paul Hackett (and, I'd say, Stephanie Herseth and Ben Chandler) proved, anything can happen in a special election.

But as this diary points out, hope is not a strategy. If you want to help out, the campaign needs people to do "virtual" phonebanking - ie, phonebanking from home. This is an easy way to get involved, and making calls can actually even be fun. And if you have a cell phone with free evenings/weekends, it'll only cost you your time. So if you want to become a virtual phonebanker, e-mail the campaign and they'll set you up.

Of course, if you're in the area and want to help out, foot soldiers are always crucial for final get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts. The HQ is in Irvine and can be reached at (949) 640-4400.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

RON Revisited: I Want Answers

Posted by DavidNYC

Just came across this piece in Editor & Publisher about the Columbus Dispatch mail poll which I mentioned in the post just below. A syndicated columnist for the Dispatch, Robert Koehler, took the paper to task a few days ago for, allegedly, not critically investigating the mind-boggling failure of its poll regarding the RON ballot measures. Koehler seems to believe that there was nothing wrong with the poll itself but rather everything wrong with the election. Though he doesn't use the word, he's pointing a finger at fraud.

Let me say quite clearly: Without further evidence, I disagree strongly with any such conclusion. But I'm also deeply, deeply unsatisfied with the paper's lazy explanations about why their poll was so awful. The paper's Public Affairs Editor, Darrell Rowland (who was also interviewed by Koehler), only offered this to E&P:

Koehler said the Ohio paper -- which he described as "a member in good standing of the mainstream media" -- instead blamed its inaccurate poll on "the notorious volatility of statewide referendum issues."

Rowland said that may have been one reason for the inaccuracies in the Dispatch poll, which was mailed to about 12,600 Ohioans - of which about 1,900 responded. He added that the ballot issues were "incredibly confusing," and that "a lot of last-minute money" was spent to defeat four of them. "It's easier to cause people to vote no than to vote yes," Rowland said.

Two (possible) problems: First, the Dispatch poll was largely accurate on the one non-RON ballot measure (a bond issue). The poll said 53% yes; the actual results were 54% yes. The only other "yes" vote it came close on was Issue 4 (redistricting). The nays were off by enormous margins on every single issue. (Poll | Results)

Second, according to a "voting-rights activist" cited by Koehler, the pre-election ad blitz mostly came from the RON forces, not the anti-RON side. I assume Ohioans in the audience here can either confirm or dispute this.

The Dispatch wants its poll to be taken seriously. The powers that be there are probably keeping their fingers crossed that the next one will be more accurate. If it's not, then perhaps we can conclude that the entire polling methodology is flawed and needs to be re-worked. However, if the next Dispatch mail-in poll is on target, that will raise many more questions about why this one was so skewed. And if the Dispatch wants its reporting to be taken seriously, then it better start looking for answers.

Posted at 09:01 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 28, 2005

VA-AG: Republican is Declared Winner, but Recount is Coming

Posted by DavidNYC

Turns out the 2005 Virginia elections aren't quite over. From the Washington Post:

Virginia election officials Monday certified Republican Del. Robert F. McDonnell as the winner of the election for state attorney general with 323 more votes than Democratic Sen. R. Creigh Deeds out of 1.94 million cast.

McDonnell immediately claimed the mantle of attorney general-elect, but aides to Deeds said the senator will ask the courts on Tuesday to conduct a recount in what attorneys and advocates on both sides say is the closest statewide race in Virginia history.

According to the results certified by the state board of elections, McDonnell received 970,886 votes and Deeds received 970,563 in the Nov. 8 election.

The court has to grant a recount because Virginia law permits the (apparently) defeated candidate to seek one when the margin is less than 1%. Eliot Spitzer has demonstrated how important it is to have aggressive, creative attorneys general in office nationwide - AGs who aren't afraid to take on powerful entrenched interests. Republicans are at their wimpiest when it comes to that sort of thing, of course, so it would be a tremendous victory if Deeds can pull this one out.

I am reminded of Christine Gregoire's long recount in Washington state. She started off 261 votes down, but emerged with a 133-vote margin of victory. I actually think that's a pretty sizable hurdle to overcome, even though it sounds small. But with any luck, Deeds does have a chance.

Posted at 05:30 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, November 13, 2005

NJ-Gov: Forrester Blames Bush

Posted by DavidNYC

The rats are fleeing:

It's all George W. Bush's fault.

Doug Forrester, in his first postelection interview, laid the blame for his loss in the governor's race last week directly at the feet of President Bush. He said the public's growing disaffection with Bush, especially after Hurricane Katrina, made it impossible for his campaign to overcome the built-in advantage Democrats have in a blue state like New Jersey.

"If Bush's numbers were where they were a year ago, or even six months ago, I think we would have won on Tuesday," Forrester said. "Katrina was the tipping point."

Though Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) did in fact say something similar a few days ago, it's nice to see an aggrieved top-tier Republican confirm what all the circumstancial evidence has pointed to: Local GOPers are running away from Bush. (Though, for what it's worth, I think Forrester would still have lost "a year, or even six months" ago anyhow. Bush wasn't gonna earn him 10 points.) Gonna be a fun mid-term election if this keeps up.

(Via Josh Marshall.)

Posted at 08:31 PM in 2005 Elections | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, November 11, 2005

More on State Legislatures

Posted by DavidNYC

Some interesting facts from the DLCC (not to be confused with the DLC). These guys are the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the folks who help Democrats get elected to state legislatures throughout the country. Take a look:

• Dems gained 46 legislative seats nationwide in 2004, moving 10 legislatures into Democratic control, while only four became GOP-held.

• Dems gained one seat (or possibly two) in NJ and one seat in VA this year.

• As a result, Dems now have eight more legislative seats nationwide than the Republicans (3,661 vs. 3,653). Not an especially meaningful measure of legislative strength, but at least it's an indicator that Dems haven't fallen behind on the state level, even if they have on Capitol Hill.

• Don't dismiss the importance of state legislatures - they are our political farm system: 57% of congressmen and 44% of governors once served as state legislators.

• This is the big one: Twenty of the 36 states in which state legislatures control redistricting are within just four seats of switching party control. These 20 states represent 195 congressional districts.

I'd love to see a list of the states mentioned in that last point, but unfortunately, the DLCC doesn't seem to name them. I did identify 37 state legislative bodies with eight-seat margins or narrower (ie, a four-seat change would shift control, or at least create a tie). The list is in the extended. Hopefully the DLCC will elaborate soon.

Alaska Upper
Arizona Upper
Colorado Lower
Colorado Upper
Delaware Upper
Illinois Upper
Indiana Lower
Iowa Lower
Iowa Upper
Kentucky Upper
Maine Lower
Maine Upper
Michigan Lower
Michigan Upper
Minnesota Lower
Minnesota Upper
Mississippi Upper
Montana Lower
Montana Upper
Nevada Upper
New Hampshire Upper
New Jersey Upper
New Mexico Upper
New York Upper
North Carolina Lower
North Carolina Upper
Oklahoma Upper
Oregon Lower
Oregon Upper
South Carolina Upper
Tennessee Lower
Tennessee Upper
Texas Upper
Virginia Upper
Washington Upper
West Virginia Upper
Wisconsin Upper

Posted at 04:47 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Where Kaine Won

Posted by DavidNYC

I always love stuff like this. In case you aren't familiar with the concept, a cartogram is a map which tries to show both geographic location and numeric distribution. Maps of presidential elections, for example, always make the sea of red look enormous, but unfairly so, because so many Republican-voting states are so sparsely populated. Cartograms try to rectify that problem. Take a look here for some examples.

Anyhow, a Democratic consulting outfit called Strategic Telemetry has released a cartogram of the Virginia gubernatorial results, adjusted by county population. This gives you a good sense of where Tim Kaine drew his strength from, especially for folks knowledgeable about VA geography.

You can click on the image to bring you to a clearer full-size version (compressing it to fit on this page distorts the image a bit). Very interesting.

(Via Hotline On Call.)

Posted at 02:48 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Even the Right Can Read the Writing

Posted by DavidNYC

For at least a brief moment, at least some members of the wingnutosphere seem to have rejoined the reality-based community. But not so the RNC. From From the Roots:

The RNC blog has a post today proclaiming that last night's election results "are not the sign of a national trend." Maybe the RNC should take a minute to read what some of the other Republican blogs are writing about the election results today.

Captain's Quarters: “What does this mean for the midterms next year? It shows that the GOP can expect a tough time trying to hold their margins... Best of all, it should wake the Republicans to the fact that the successes of the last three cycles will not last forever."

Instapundit writes: "[I]t seems as if the GOP voters didn't turn out for Republicans the way they did in 2004, and I think that can be laid at the feet of the White House and the Republican leadership."

Michelle Malkin: "[T]he Virginia loss should trouble the GOP greatly. Turnout didn't happen, and party leaders have some 'splainin' to do.”

RedState.org: "When Republicans don't give their *own* supporters a reason to vote for them (other than "the Democrats are worse!!"), how in the world can they expect to reach swing voters? Welcome to the consequences of failing to inspire anyone.”

A tip to the RNC: When your fellow Republican bloggers aren't even buying your spin, it might be time to give up.

If you really need links to the wingers' quotes, you can grab `em via the original FTR post. The last comment from RedState is interesting, though - Dems are constantly accused of "not having a message," but at least one person on the right thinks that this problem has instead befallen the GOP.

Posted at 11:25 PM in 2005 Elections | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Signs of the Times?

Posted by DavidNYC

The CW is emerging, and so far, it's a pretty picture for Team Blue. It's one thing for Dems to crow. But when the traditional media start repeating Democratic talking points as conventional wisdom, that means we've won the battle for Wednesday as well as Tuesday. Read `em and smile:

New York Times 1:

Democrat Wins Race for Governor in Virginia

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, won the race for governor on Tuesday night, scoring a major political victory for his mentor, Gov. Mark Warner, and sending a powerful message that President Bush's political standing has fallen in this reliably Republican state.

New York Times 2:

Stinging Defeats for G.O.P. Come at a Sensitive Time

After months of sagging poll ratings, scandal and general political unrest, the Republicans badly needed some good news in Tuesday's elections for governor. What they got instead was a clear-cut loss in a red state, and an expected but still painful defeat in a blue one.

WaPo 1:

In the Suburbs, Backlash Against Republicans Hits Hard

An anti-Republican sentiment spread across Northern Virginia yesterday as voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Democrats, sweeping aside the traditional Virginia formula in which Republicans carry the outer suburbs and Democrats win the inner ones.

In winning the election for governor, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) took Loudoun and Prince William counties, something Mark R. Warner (D) couldn't accomplish when he was elected governor four years ago. Kaine also received nearly three in four votes in Arlington and seven in 10 in Alexandria.

WaPo 2:

A Triumph For Warner, And a Guide For His Party

Virginia's quadrennial search for a governor featured neither charismatic personalities nor dominant policy initiatives. But Democrat Timothy M. Kaine's resounding victory over Republican Jerry W. Kilgore nonetheless provided important political lessons for the commonwealth, and maybe the country.

The outcome marked what feels like a dramatic strengthening of Democratic appeal in Northern Virginia, the state's richest and most populous region. It showed that Republicans can no longer depend simply on the power of their party to win statewide and demonstrated the dangers of a negative campaign. It presented an intriguing campaign model for Democrats, in which religious faith plays an important role. And most of all it demonstrated the appeal of Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), for whom this could become the first stop of a presidential campaign.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Democrat Tim Kaine elected governor

Democrat Timothy M. Kaine easily defeated Republican Jerry W. Kilgore for governor last night, dealing the GOP a blow in a second consecutive gubernatorial election.

The contest for governor was also a defeat for President Bush, who put his prestige on the line Monday night by making an eleventh-hour campaign stop for Kilgore.

Wall Street Journal:

Democrats' Wins Pressure Republicans

Democrats easily held the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, while California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was heading for defeat on all four of his reform initiatives, deepening Republican anxieties about the political cost of President Bush's second-term troubles.

In New Jersey, Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine defeated Republican business executive Douglas Forrester after a bitter campaign in a state that Mr. Bush lost in both his presidential campaigns. More disappointing to the White House was Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine's win over Republican Jerry Kilgore in conservative-leaning Virginia despite a last-minute campaign appearance by the president.

USA Today:

Democrats win New Jersey, Virginia governor races

Democrats won hotly contested governor's races Tuesday in Virginia and New Jersey on an Election Day closely watched for hints of how the 2006 races might shape up.

The victory in Virginia by Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine over Republican Jerry Kilgore came despite an appearance by President Bush at a last-minute rally for Kilgore on Monday. The president had rolled up a 9-point victory in the Republican-leaning state in his re-election race last year, but his job-approval ratings there have since fallen into the low 40s.

Newark Star-Ledger:


With stunning ease, Democrat Jon Corzine was elected governor of New Jersey yesterday, defeating Republican Doug Forrester in a campaign that turned out to be the most expensive and negative the state has ever seen.

LA Times 1:

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No

In a sharp repudiation of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californians rejected all four of his ballot proposals Tuesday in an election that shattered his image as an agent of the popular will.

LA Times 2:

2 Wins Lift Hopes of Democrats

Democrats swept gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday, sending new tremors through Republicans worried that President Bush's sagging popularity may drag down the party in next year's midterm elections.

Got more to add? Post `em in comments!

Posted at 11:19 AM in 2005 Elections | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

VA-Delegates: Dems Gain a Seat

Posted by DavidNYC

One of Virginia's state legislative bodies, the House of Delegates, was up for re-election this year. (The state Senate is not up until 2007.) The Dems wound up with a net pickup of one seat, changing the makeup from 60 Republicans, 38 Democrats and 2 independents to 58-39-3. One Republican incumbent lost to a Dem, while another (probably has) lost to an independent who was backed by Mark Warner, among others. Meanwhile, the Dems beat one GOP incumbent. The Dems made their pickup because they snagged two GOP open seats, while the Republicans only won one Democratic open seat.

Not exactly a scintillating shift of power. I suppose it allows the GOP to claim that Kilgore's loss was a one-off thing, while the Dems can say they more than held their own in a red (Bush +8) state. DH says that the House of Delegates outcome is the "real" news for those looking to glean meaning from Tuesday's elections, but with such minimal movement, it's hard to draw too many conclusions.

UPDATE: Maybe I spoke too soon. A lot of Delegates races were uncontested, so the broader playing field was quite constricted. Only 49 seats actually had a race. Moreover, this continues a trend over the past two years whereby the Dems have picked up 4 seats (3 in 2003 and one in a special election in 2004). And as Kagro points out, the GOP spent a ton of money to defend their one incumbent who lost, their prime wingnut anti-abortion standard-bearer, Dick Black.

Plus, it looks like the VA results are fast becoming part of the CW. From the first paragraph of today's NYT's story on the VA races:

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, won the race for governor on Tuesday night, scoring a major political victory for his mentor, Gov. Mark Warner, and sending a powerful message that President Bush's political standing has fallen in this reliably Republican state.

Posted at 01:42 AM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

California Proposition Election Results

Posted by Bob Brigham

Results are slowly coming in. Here are the latest results.

For blow by blow, check out the California bloggers:

California: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

For those keeping score, the first six initiatives are the Schwarzenegger slate, the final two are good initiatives that ended up on the ballot because of idiots who decided a "no on everything" would be too easy for the voters to remember.

UPDATE (David): So much for that. "No" carries the day on all seven initiatives. Nice waste of time & money, Ahnuld.

Posted at 11:33 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

Democrats Win Big in 2005 Elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

Official statements:

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Howard Dean:

Washington, DC -– Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the resounding Democratic victories in elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and across the country:

“The resounding victories tonight by Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine have sent a powerful message that when Democrats stand up for what we believe in, we win. They showed that the values and priorities of the Democratic Party are the values and priorities of the American people.

“Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine were strong candidates who offered vision and leadership based on the shared values and priorities of the voters of New Jersey and Virginia. They worked hard to earn the trust and the votes of the people in their states by not taking a single vote or voter for granted.

“Also tonight, voters all across the country delivered a resounding message: Americans are tired of the politics of hate and divisiveness, and voted for strong Democratic candidates who offered true leadership for their states and communities. These candidates showed exactly what our party is going to do to stand up and win in 2006.”

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Chair Senator Chuck Schumer:

"Tonight's unexpectedly strong performance in New Jersey and Virginia not only showed that Americans are tired of the GOP's policies but that there is a real desire to give Democrats the chance to show Americans that we can do better.

The trend for the Democrats going into 2006 is strong and continuing. It's going to be a real shot in the arm for Democratic efforts to take back the House and Senate in 2006."

Tomorrow Schedule:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Democratic Governors Association Chairman Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, will hold a press conference Wednesday to discuss Democratic victories in Virginia, New Jersey, and others.

Posted at 11:05 PM in 2005 Elections | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: AP Calls it for Corzine

Posted by DavidNYC

So now we're 2 for 2 on the big 2:

The Associated Press has declared Jon Corzine the winner.

With 48 percent of precincts reporting, Corzine had 54 percent to Doug Forrester’s 43 percent.

However, Forrester was not conceding, a campaign spokeswoman said.

Come on, dude, you're down by more than 10%. Say goodnight.

Posted at 10:10 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: WaPo Calls it for Kaine

Posted by DavidNYC

Congrats Tim Kaine:

Democrat Timothy M. Kaine defeated Republican Jerry W. Kilgore in today's election for governor of Virginia, riding the popularity of outgoing Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and dissatisfaction with the Bush administration in a state that typically votes Republican in national elections.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Kaine, Virginia's lieutenant governor, held a lead of 51 percent to 46 percent over Kilgore, the former state attorney general, according to unofficial returns from the State Board of Elections. Independent candidate H. Russell Potts Jr. was running a distant third, with 2 percent.

While the results kept the governor's office in Democratic hands, Republicans were narrowly leading races for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

This is a big win. I hope we can also pull out the Lt. Gov. and AG races.

Posted at 10:02 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

St. Paul-Mayor: Democratic Traitor Stomped in Re-Election Bid

Posted by Bob Brigham

Star Tribune:

St. Paul voters punished Mayor Randy Kelly on Tuesday for standing with President Bush a year ago, denying the Democrat a second term in Minnesota's capital city.

Former City Council member Chris Coleman, also a Democrat, routed Kelly by a more than 2-to-1 margin in unofficial returns with most precincts reporting. Ahead of the election, independent polls showed voters were primed to fire Kelly, and most cited his 2004 endorsement of the Republican president as the reason.

No sitting St. Paul mayor had lost a campaign since 1974. Kelly had a personal election streak that spanned just as long, covering his quarter-century in the Legislature and first term as mayor.

"It may sound silly, but Kelly was for Bush and I'm not,'' said retiree Audrey Guith after casting her vote for Coleman.

Not silly, but exactly what Democrats should expect for standing with Bush.

Hat tip to Atrios.

Posted at 09:50 PM in 2005 Elections, Democrats, Minnesota | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Election Results

Posted by DavidNYC


Corzine (D): 47, 52.19 52.48
Forrester (R): 51, 44.80 44.53

6%, 19.8% 30.3% Reporting

Results also available here, but the WNBC link seems to have them quicker.

Posted at 08:47 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

2005 Election Night Coverage

Posted by Bob Brigham

This is the last hurrah for the 2005 Swing State Project team, so we will do everything we can to provide top-notch election night coverage. DavidNYC is in Washington, DC (ready for legal deployment to Virginia if the Tim Kaine vs. Jerry Kilgore race goes into extra innings). Tim Tagaris is on the ground in Ohio, ready to follow through on all he has done to help Reform Ohio Now. And I'm in California with front row seats for Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives. In addition to the election results, check out what the local bloggers are writing in the major states. There are now two major wires services for liberal bloggers -- state by state. Keep refreshing Swing State Project, but also visit all of the bloggers on the ground by visiting the wires:

Virginia: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

New Jersey: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

Ohio: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

California: BlogPAC wire -- Lefty Blogs

DISCLAIMER: I've ended up on BlogPAC's reports before, but all I'm trying to do here is direct you to the bloggers with the on the ground knowledge.

Posted at 07:24 PM in 2005 Elections, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Site News, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

2005 Campaign for America's Future Claims Victory

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a press release:

WASHINGTON -- Campaign for America's Future communications director Toby Chaudhuri released the following statement regarding today's elections.

“Progressive candidates are winning across the country. Reactionary initiatives are losing in Colo., Ohio and Calif. Progressive candidates are winning at the local level in Colo., Wash. and Ariz. The right-wing says this success for progressives is due to local circumstances. Republicans might just want to listen to the message voters are sending them. Americans have suffered a stunning reversal of fortune. The corrupt politics that got us into this fix are not likely to get us out. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution. For American families, right-wing policies simply makes things worse. It is hard to recall a party that is more corrupt or more out of tune with the needs of the time.”

Posted at 07:23 PM in 2005 Elections | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Poll Closing Times & Election Results

Posted by DavidNYC

Poll closing times:

• Virginia: 7pm Eastern | Results

• Ohio: 7:30pm Eastern | Results

• New Jersey: 8pm Eastern | Results

• New York: 9pm Eastern | Results

• California: 11pm Eastern | Results

P.S. There is no exit polling in NJ. In fact, Hotline says there are no exit polls anywhere.

Posted at 05:42 PM in 2005 Elections | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

More Voting Machine Problems

Posted by Bob Brigham

First Ohio, then Virginia and now California:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up to his Brentwood neighborhood polling station today to cast his ballot in the special election — and was told he had already voted. [...]

The poll worker told the governor's staff he would have to use a "provisional" ballot that allows elections workers to verify if two votes were made by the same person. McCormack said the poll worker did the correct thing.

The governor, however, was allowed to use a regular ballot.


And some more from Ohio:

They are engineered to be fast, accurate and secure, but there was a glitch Tuesday morning with some voting machines.

Paul White, a Diebold consultant, says, "We just had to rework them a little bit and they worked just fine."

Posted at 05:19 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Machine Problems?

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, you gotta hate hearing stuff like this:

News 7 has received calls from several voters in at least four different precincts who say their votes for Tim Kaine were not recorded or took several attempts to go through.

They contend the electronic touch screens repeatedly indicated they were voting for Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore instead of registering their intended vote for his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine.

Roanoke Co. Registrar Judy Stokes says she doesn't want to say the problem is operator error on the part of the voters, but she points out the touch screens are sensitive. She says anyone who is having difficulty voting should ask one of the poll workers for assistance.

I really hope it is voter error - and only a handful of voters at that. If you fuck up your vote on one of those clunking dinosaur NYC voting machines, you are totally out of luck unless you go get an order from a judge. (Yeah, right.) I can't imagine you get much sympathy if you mess up your vote elsewhere. But if the machines are fouling up, then it's a lot easier to blame voters, no?

(Via Taegan Goddard.)

Posted at 04:35 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Recount Watch

Posted by DavidNYC

Hotline tells us to be on the alert for a possible recount in Virginia. This is what VA law - which is mercifully clear - says about recounts:

When there is between any candidate apparently nominated or elected and any candidate apparently defeated a difference of not more than one percent of the total vote cast for the two such candidates as determined by the State Board or the electoral board, the defeated candidate may appeal from the determination of the State Board or the electoral board for a recount of the vote as set forth in this article. (Emphasis added.)

Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-800.B (2005). The wording here is interesting, though. It talks about the total vote cast between two candidates - the putative winner and the aggrieved challenger. It does NOT look at the entire vote cast in the election. This adds a wrinkle because of Russell Potts.

Let's say the final tally is 48.5 Kaine, 47.5 Kilgore, 4 to Potts and other candidates. The final margin is 1%, so that means Kilgore can ask for a recount, right? Not so fast. As between Kaine and Kilgore, the margin is actually 50.52 to 49.48. Ouch! Kilgore misses a chance at a recount by four-hundredths of a percent. Granted, this is a pretty unlikely scenario, and this twist is only likely to come into play if you have a serious third-party challenger pulling in double digits.

I don't think it'll come to a recount anyhow - at least, I sure as hell hope it doesn't. But if it does, I'm sure I'll wind up heading over the river into VA with a whole passel of other law students and lawyers.

Posted at 04:13 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Election Day Predictions Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

Okay, time for predictions. Here are the races we'll do:

VA-Gov - winner and final tally
NJ-Gov - winner and final tally
Reform Ohio Now (ballot issues 2-5) - win/lose only
California ballot issues (73-80) - win/lose only

My predictions:

Kaine, 52-48
Corzine, 54-46
RON: Yes on 2, 3, 5; No on 4
CA: No on 74-78; Yes on 73, 79 & 80

Predictions are free. Go for it!

Posted at 02:04 PM in 2005 Elections | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Following the Elections

Posted by DavidNYC

In addition to the ususal suspects (Kos, MyDD), here are a few sites worth checking out today to keep track of all the races taking place nationwide:

Governing Magazine's blog, which is following ten top races

Hotline's blog

PoliticsNJ, whose blogger is travelling the state today


Raising Kaine

Grow Ohio

Alliance for a Better California's blog

There's also Blogdigger's VA Dem blogs aggregator. If you know of any other good sites following today's events, please post `em in comments.

Posted at 01:47 PM in 2005 Elections | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 07, 2005

VA-Gov: SUSA Late Day Update Knocks Kaine Back to +5

Posted by DavidNYC

This is a new one by me. Earlier today, SUSA released a new poll showing Tim Kaine up 9. Seemed like quite an outlier, but there it was. (Roanoke did show him +8 a few days ago, so it wasn't completely nuts.) Anyhow, check this out (reformatted for clarity):

UNUSUAL VOLATILITY IN VA AS VOTERS GO TO BED ON ELECTION EVE: Interviews in the Virginia governor's race conducted by SurveyUSA tonight Monday 11/7 (but before President Bush appeared in Richmond) show a swing back towards Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore, causing SurveyUSA to now update its final projection in the Virginia Governor's Contest.

This morning, based on interviews conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11/4/05 through 11/6/05), SurveyUSA released data that showed Democrat Tim Kaine 9 points ahead of Kilgore. However, because of intra-day volatility in that data, SurveyUSA continued to poll throughout the afternoon and evening today Monday 11/7.

• When interviews from the most recent 3 days -- Saturday, Sunday and today Monday -- are averaged, Kaine's lead shrinks now to 5 points.

• When interviews from just the past two days -- Sunday and today Monday -- are averaged, the contest is closer yet.

• When interviews from Monday only are considered, the contest is tied, but the Margin of Sampling error from just the one day of interviewing is high enough, and the results aberrant enough, that SurveyUSA is uncomfortable reporting just Monday-only data.

For the record, SurveyUSA goes into the clubhouse with its final projection (based on Saturday, Sunday and Monday polling): Kaine 50%, Kilgore 45%. A closer outcome still is possible.

So, a little extra polling after you're done with your polling? I dunno - polling during the afternoon seems inherently suspect. Aren't many, if not most, adults at work at that point?Anyhow, I'm guessing that the whole "aberrant Monday data" stuff means that Kilgore had a rockin' day. So yeah, maybe it was aberrant, or maybe this race is just gonna be super-tight - like we've been expecting all along.

Posted at 09:48 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Republican Governor's Association Misleads for Jerry Kilgore

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE (David): An MP3 of the call is available here. (Thanks for hosting it, Markos.) The sound quality isn't exactly great, so make sure you check out the transcript while you listen.

UPDATE (David): Folks, do NOT contact VPAP (the site we link to which has the Honest Leadership/RGA information). VPAP is just a campaign info database, like Tray.com or OpenSecrets.org. They have nothing to do with this.

In the final days of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, the Republican Governor's Association is resorting to disgusting tactics in their support of Jerry Kilgore, even going so far as use robo-calls pretending to come from Tim Kaine.

These Republican Governors' Association prerecorded telephone calls are misleading and violate Federal law intended to prevent such political dirty tricks. Consider that "The Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC" is not just a front group, it is the Republican Governors Association's Virginia political committee. The "Honest" Leadership for Virginia PAC received just three contributions totaling $1,860,000 in 2005 – all from one donor, the Republican Governors Association.

RGA's Pre-Recorded Telephone call misleads recipients by implying that it is sponsored by Tim Kaine and fails to disclose the actual entity paying for the call – the Republican Governors Association. Using Tim Kaine's voice implies that he sponsored the call. Using a misleading name, like Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC, for their Virginia political committee, the RGA further misleads recipients that this entity is something other than what it is – an arm of the RGA. In fact, just check the contact info, the Treasurer's email ends in @rga.org.

Here is a transcript of the ad:

[Voice of Tim Kaine] I am running for Governor and I am not afraid to tell you where I stand.

I am conservative on issues of personal responsibility. As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage. I support restrictions on abortion: No public funding and parental consent. And I've worked to pass a state law banning partial birth abortion.

Paid for and authorized by Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.

Registration number 05-034.

Now I'm no big city lawyer, but a former Hill staffer sent me an email that lays out a convincing case against the RGA:

Federal law requires disclosure of the entity that is responsible for initiating a pre-recorded telephone call to disclose its true identify at the beginning of the message. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(1).

• The Federal regulation states: "All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(1) At the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for the call. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(1).

• Neither the RGA, nor its shadow organization, Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC, is identified at the beginning of the prerecorded message.

• RGA violated Federal Communication Commission regulations by failing to identify the entity responsible for initiating the prerecorded message.

4. Federal law requires the entity making prerecorded telephone calls to provide a telephone number in the message. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(2).

• The FCC regulation states: "All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(2) During or after the message, state clearly the telephone number (other than that of the autodialer or prerecorded message player that placed the call) of such business, other entity, or individual. The telephone number provided may not be a 900 number or any other number for which charges exceed local or long distance transmission charges. For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a don-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign. 47 CFR Sec. 64.1200(b)(2).

• No telephone number is provided in the RGA's prerecorded message for the RGA or its shadow organization, Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.

• RGA violated Federal Communication Commission regulations by failing to clearly state telephone number during or after the prerecorded message.

Lies and distortion, the Kilgore campaign is clearly desperate.

Posted at 04:45 PM in 2005 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Republicans, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (13) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

VA-Gov: SUSA Poll Due Out Today

Posted by DavidNYC

Survey USA, in conjunction with News Channel 10 out of Roanoke, will be releasing a new poll on the VA gubernatorial race today. From the article, it looks like it won't get released until the evening (late afternoon?) news at 5pm today. This will probably be the last poll on the race, so it will get some scrutiny. (Nothing like having the last word, is there?)

SUSA's last poll a few weeks ago showed Kaine up two. As I noted below, seven of ten recent polls show Kaine up. So keep your eye on the SUSA trendlines.

UPDATE: Poll came out earlier than expected. And damn, that's some freakin' mo! 52-43 for Kaine - +9, or +7 ahead of the last SUSA poll. I doubt Kaine will win by that much, but I think I could hear the sounds of multiple jaws dropping at Camp Kilgore all the way here in DC.

(Thanks to reader Raf for alerting me that the poll was available.)

Posted at 02:15 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Thoughts on Polling

Posted by DavidNYC

Chris observed just a few days ago that Doug Forrester had apparently hit a ceiling of 42% support in public opinion polls. However, three of the four most recent polls show him pushing north of that mark. Two (Marist and SUSA) put him at 44, and Quinnipiac puts him at 45 - Forrester's best showings to date.

The good news is that the Q-Poll also gives Corzine his highest mark so far, 52%, and SUSA's got him at 50 (though he's seen 51 before). Marist, which puts Corzine at +5, has also been pretty scattered. It gave him that notorious +2 a month ago, only to give him his first double-digit lead (+10) since early September two weeks later. Now they're splitting the difference. So I don't know what to make of their polling.

I still think Chris's original take is correct - that Forrester needs to do incredibly well with undecideds tomorrow to pull off an upset. A week ago, I'd have said that was almost impossible. But today, I think there's something of an outside chance.

Posted at 11:31 AM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, November 06, 2005

VA-Gov: Dirty Tricks Are a Sign of Desperation

Posted by DavidNYC

Seven of ten polls taken since October have put Tim Kaine up in the VA gov race. One of them put Kaine up 8 points - surely wrong - but must have given the Kilgore people fits anyhow. So with defeat looming, the Kilgore camp has put forth this shit:

Yep, you heard me right - this is from the Kilgore camp. To me, the biggest give-away is the fact that even when pretending to be Dems, Republicans still use the intentionally harsher-sounding word "Democrat" as an adjective instead of the proper form "Democratic."

(Inside is some crap about how "true progressives" should really be voting for independent candidate Russell Potts. Weak.)

Anyhow, this wasn't even some hack job by some anonymous dirty-tricks group from whom the campaign could distance itself. This came straight from the campaign itself:


Now Kilgore can waste the last days of the campaign answering questions about this flyer. Already the story is surfacing in the traditional media. Just like the despicable Hitler ads, this will backfire on Jerry Kilgore. Desperation moves have a way of doing that.

(Via mlk's diary.)

Posted at 02:18 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Volunteering on Election Day

Posted by DavidNYC

Tuesday is election day. If you are interested in volunteering, here are links to help you get involved with some of the top races:

New Jersey
New York

If you have volunteer links for other races throughout the country, please post `em in comments.

Posted at 02:53 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, October 30, 2005

VA-Gov: Big Mo' for Kaine in WaPo Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

I always like to wake up to news like this on a Sunday morning (or afternoon, as the case may be). The Washington Post has a new poll out on the VA Gov race, and it's good news for Tim Kaine (likely voters, early Sept. in parens):

Kaine: 47 (44)
Kilgore: 44 (51)
Potts: 4 (4)
Undecided: 5 (2)
(MoE: ±3%)

Now, on one hand, it's been a long time since the WaPo has polled this race (why so lazy, guys?). But on the other hand, this poll has a big sample size and in fact has an MoE a full point lower than the last poll. And I don't think it's an outlier, either, because the race has undoubtedly tightened a lot and a bunch of recent polls have been giving Kaine small leads of late.

The bottom line is that the WaPo shows Kilgore nose-diving a full 10 points in some six weeks. The Kilgore campaign surely must be suffering from some agita right now. A couple points, though. First is that the WaPo claims that Kilgore's obscene death penalty ads backfired on him - 65% of those surveyed said they thought the ads were unfair. However, it's impossible to know how much of an effect those ads had, because the WaPo didn't ask a simple question: "Did these ads makes you more or less likely to vote for Jerry Kilgore." I'd like to believe the ad campaign backfired, but then again, there are people who, when polled, say that litterbugs should get the death penalty. How you feel about something isn't as important as how important that thing is to you.

The other observation (not mine) is more unsettling. Unnamed Dems in VA (grr, could you really not go on record about this?) are saying that Kaine has to be up at least 5 in the polls by election day in order to win. They point out that Mark Warner was up by 10 points in many polls right before he was elected in 2001, but only won by 5. I decided to check this claim out, and it's only sorta true. Here are all the independent polls I could find in the last month of the race:

11/1 Times-Dispatch +13
10/30 Mason-Dixon +6
10/30 Roanoke +9
10/25 WaPo +10
10/17 Mason-Dixon +3

I pulled this data together from the subscriber's section of Polling Report and the National Journal, so it should be pretty comprehensive. Anyhow, there are two conclusions you can draw from this. One is that Mark Warner was hitting above his weight and somehow crashed down from 5 to 8 points by election day. The other is that Mason-Dixon was a lot more accurate than the other pollsters.

Hard to know which view is right. In 1997, Republican Jim Gilmore beat Democrat Don Beyer by a hefty 13 points. Mason-Dixon's last poll that year showed Gilmore with a nine-point lead, so they were about 50% off the final tally. However, they did seem to sense a huge late Gilmore surge - their prior poll had him at +7, and the poll before that (taken at the beginning of October) showed the race tied. All of M-D's earlier polls also showed a one-or-two point gap. (This info is all taken from the National Journal.)

On the flip-side, two of the pollsters who got the 2001 race so wrong were much more accurate in 1997. Roanoke had Gilmore at +12, as did the Times-Dispatch. The WaPo only had Gilmore at +7, which makes you wonder: If they were so off for two VA Gov races in a row, maybe we shouldn't be paying them too much attention this time around, either. (The key difference this year is that there are no outliers at all.)

So where does this leave us? We can say that Mason-Dixon was pretty much spot-on in 2001 and got things sorta-right in 1997. We can say that the Times-Dispatch and Roanoke College were good in 1997 but had an off-year in 2001. And the Wapo - well, we've already complained about them. So whom to believe?

If you were paying attention to M-D last time around, then this CW that Kaine needs a five-point buffer is bunk. M-D showed Warner up 6, he won by 5 - pretty good. But if you think M-D just got lucky, and you think Warner truly did collapse from his Roanoke/Times-Dispatch/WaPo highs, then here's one very, very salient factor for you:

Bush currently has a 41-56 approval rating in Virginia. I don't have state approval ratings for George Bush in 2001, but his nationwide approval had hit 90% right after 9/11. If any voters were going into their polling places undecided that year, Bush's utterly untarnished halo would probably have been the deciding factor.

This year, of course, no dice. Bush may have dragged Warner down 5 points last time, but there's no way he's doing the same to Kaine this time. If anything, he'll drag Kilgore down a bit. So I'm cautiously optimistic.

(Thanks to reader UVA08.)

Posted at 02:37 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Can You Say "Outlier"?

Posted by DavidNYC

Yep, I thought you could. A few weeks ago, a bunch of people started getting worried that Doug Forrester was surging - that the race for the NJ governor's mansion was really getting tight. This belief was based on exactly two polls out of many. Quinnipiac showed a four-point spread - but came back down to earth with a seven-pointer recently. The most "alarming," though, was Marist, which showed (depending upon which group of voters you looked at) things as close as one point. Another week, another poll, and boy have things changed (likely voters, early Oct. in parens):

Corzine: 50 (44)
Forrester: 40 (43)
Other: 1 (<1)
Undecided: 9 (13)
(MoE: ±5%)

There. Feel better now? Marist now joins every other independent pollster in showing a 7+ point lead for Corzine. (And four recent surveysm including this one, show 9 or 10 point leads.) Now we can all sleep better.

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

Posted at 02:25 AM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 27, 2005

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine Ad Controversy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine has found himself at the center of a scandal for bowing to right-wing racists and cancelling ads on an African American blog:

So now the Kaine campaign is in the silly position of responding to a racist while withdrawing support from an African-American. Which could have been avoided if they had talked before running scared. [...]

But what really and truly bothers me is not the ad pull. You play football, you wake up sore. But the responsiveness to the opposition.

The Kaine campaign has never been responsible for the content on this site. They just buy space. They have probably disagreed with my stands. But they respond to people who will not vote for them, want them to lose and uses anything to pressure them.

And in the end, hurts them more than if they blew it off. The campaign didn't need me to go after them, but I am, because they are cowards. [...]

Cowardice should not be rewarded.

Tim Kaine is running a cowardly campaign, from the get-go he has been running scared, trying to offend as few people as possible.

But this scandal highlights a larger misconception about blogs, blogads, and netroots support.

It is important for people to realize that advertising on a blog doesn't mean the advertiser endorses the content of the site, all it means is that a decision has been made that the advertiser is interested in individuals who may read a particular blog.

Likewise, a blog running an ad doesn't mean that the blogger(s) endorse the product being advertised.

This shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp.

For example, Tim Kaine is advertising on the Swing State Project right now, yet here I am calling him a coward. Earlier in the year, Tim Tagaris didn't hold back his thoughts on Bob Casey, Jr. when Casey advertised here. In fact, if memory serves me right, both Tim and I wrote some hard hitting posts while the ad was running.

Look at the other two ads running. One is for Steve Westly, who is running against Phil Angelides in California's Democratic gubernatorial primary. As the lone SSP writer who votes in California, I'll still be voting for Angelides and plan on devoting a good deal of posts next year to why Angelides inspires me with his campaign. As for the final ad, you all know it is a long story but we still approved the ad and it hasn't changed any of our thoughts on the issue.

When you see an ad in a newspaper, you don't assume that the editorial board supports the advertiser so don't make the same mistake with blogs. Likewise, you don't assume that advertisers support the view of the editorial page.

Politicians who think they can buy support by running ads are just as misguided as politicians who pull ads for what the blog posts.

UPDATE: (Bob) Now this is on the front page of Daily Kos. Kaine is going to lose a great deal of support and volunteers because of this fuckup. Even more, now he won't have blogosphere support for rapid response during the home stretch of the campaign. Tim Kaine's cowardice may have just cost him the election.

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (10) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NJ-Gov: Doug Forrester Loses Election Over Stem Cells

Posted by Bob Brigham

In two weeks, the armchair quarterbacks are going to look back on the New Jersey Governor's race and I predict a good deal of the talk on why Doug Forrester lost will be focused on Jon Corzine's new Stem Cell ad. The ad features Karl Riccio bodyslamming Doug Forrester.

Scott Shields has a lot more on the ad and Forrester's chickenshit attack on the young man in the ad.

Posted at 04:32 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Scandals | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Kilgore Runs Away From Bush

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah, this is fun:

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore has decided not to attend President Bush's appearance in Norfolk on Friday, saying it is not a campaign-related event and that he has other plans 11 days before the election.


The decision highlights some concerns among Virginia Republicans, who have watched nervously in recent weeks as Bush's popularity has waned and as scandals involving presidential aides and congressional leaders have dominated news coverage. Although it is unclear how the national political environment affects voters choosing who should lead their state, even small shifts are important in races that are as close as the Virginia contest.

That Diageo/Hotline poll (PDF) from ten days ago gave Bush just a 49-49 job approval rating in the state. And SUSA's poll from the same time was loads worse: 41-56. No matter whom you believe, Bush ain't popular in VA. Keep on runnin', Jerry.

Posted at 12:23 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Republicans Eating Republicans (A Continuing Series)

Posted by DavidNYC

I have a feeling that stories of Republican civil war are going to become more and more common throughout the next year, especially with many GOPers already feeling the need to run away from Bush. My favorite example so far has been the pro-stem cell ballot measure in Missouri. It's already causing serious upheaval. A thousand miles away, Blue Jersey brings us another similar tale, now picked up by Newsday:

Forrester picked up an endorsement Tuesday from the Republican Majority for Choice, a Washington-based lobbying group that backs moderates.

Not so bad, right? I mean, at least maybe this means Forrester isn't a crazy misogynistic retrograde mouth-breather when it comes to matters of healthcare privacy. But of course, you're damned if you do when you're a GOPer:

Joseph Tomanelli, a conservative activist from Bergen County who heads the New Jersey Republican Assembly, has withdrawn his endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Douglas Forrester, citing a TV commercial from former Governor Thomas Kean touting Forrester's moderate, pro-choice credentials and a letter from former Governor Christine Todd Whitman criticizing conservative extremism in the Republican Party.

I've long believed that predictions of a conservative crackup - of the "true" winger base deserting the Republican Party - are overblown and, even if they came to pass, the results would be largely inconsequential. Even today, despite a stream of failures and the stench of scandal, Bush still gets an 81% approval rating from members of his own party, which is pretty much in line with his ratings during the whole of his presidency. And in moderate New Jersey, I can't imagine the wingers add up to much.

But Doug Forrester is in dire straits, and he needs every vote he can get. The key to his victory is probably among independents, but I think any move he would have made among this group due to his abortion stance would have already taken place. I say this because former Gov. Tom Kean's ad touting Forrester's alleged pro-choice stance has been on the airwaves for a while now. Why some right-wing extremists are only now being driven away from Forrester - after this endorsement, rather than the Kean ads - is a bit of a mystery. But like I say, this doesn't help Dougy F.

UPDATE: Chris points to a new Rasmussen poll which pegs Bush's approval among Republicans at just 73%. Now that is really quite something, and definitely food for thought. Will be very interested to see if that trend holds for Rasmussen's next poll.

Posted at 12:16 AM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

CA-Ballot: SUSA Poll is Bad News for Arnie Opponents

Posted by DavidNYC

Survey USA just released polls of the "first five" CA voter initiatives that are on the ballot this fall. These have all been pushed big-time by the Governator, and the results are not encouraging for his opponents (likely voters, early Oct. in parens):

Proposition 73 requires that physicians notify the parent of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.
Yes: 60 (59)
No: 38 (39)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 74 extends the probationary period for new teachers from 2 years to 5 years, and makes it easier to dismiss teachers with unsatisfactory performance evaluations.
Yes: 53 (55)
No: 45 (44)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 75 prohibits public employee unions from using union dues for political purposes without the written consent of union members.
Yes: 56 (60)
No: 42 (37)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues.
Yes: 58 (58)
No: 41 (36)
(MoE: ±4.1%)

Proposition 77 changes the way California draws boundaries for Congressional and legislative districts. District boundaries would be drawn by a panel of retired judges and approved by voters in a statewide election.
Yes: 54 (59)
No: 41 (36)
(MoE: ±4.1%)

The balance on each question is the undecideds, which are very small across the board.

So, it looks like bad news, but SUSA offers some cautionary notes:

1) Support for all 5 measures is strongly tied to approval of Governor Schwarzenegger.

2) Interest in ballot measures intensifies as the election approaches and ad dollars are spent to influence voters. These numbers can and should be expected to fluctuate, perhaps significantly.

3) SUSA asked summary questions; other organizations have read the entire text of the ballot measures. As SUSA says, "On 11/9/05, we will know which question wording produced a more accurate pre-election poll."

So basically, #1 says that if Arnie opponents and Dems show up in force, these measures will probably get defeated. The problem is that Arnie supporters and Republicans favor these measures by much greater margins than opponents disfavor them, so we'll need big turnout to counter that effect.

Point number 2 could go either way, but since at least some of these initiatives are backed by big corporate money, that could actually be dangerous for our side.

And number 3 is a bit surprising. SUSA actually provides links to polls by other outfits (Field here and here and the Public Policy Institute of California - all links PDFs), which I'm not sure I've ever really seen any pollster do. I respect that, though, because it means that SUSA is really interested in accuracy, not just promoting its own product.

Field shows mixed results, while PPIC shows voters opposed to most of the measures. It's hard to guess which methodology might be more accurate. Do voters tend to memorize rough descriptions of each ballot measure before going into the voting booth? (That would favor SUSA's approach.) Or do they actually stand there and read the descriptions before deciding? (Field/PPIC.) Hard to say, though I imagine there must be some comparison polling out there dealing with older ballot issues.

UPDATE: Julia in comments points out that there was indeed an ealier poll on these measures, so I've added in the trendlines. It doesn't look like there's been much movement in the past two weeks, except perhaps for a little bit in our favor on 75 and 77.

Posted at 01:36 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Redistricting, Special Elections | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

VA-Gov: No Surprises in New Hotline Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

Hotline & Diageo have a new poll out on VA-Gov today, and it's pretty much as you'd expect (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kaine: 41
Kilgore: 40
Potts: 6
Undecided: 14
(MoE: ±4.7%)

Among RVs, Kaine leads 40-38. With "extremely" likely voters (a formulation I haven't seen before), Kilgore leads by 42-41.

Actually, I shouldn't speak so quickly - this poll is a bit different from others. The number of undecideds seems to be quite high. Even with the ELVs, that number is still 13% - and we're just three weeks away from election day. I don't necessarily disbelieve that figure. I think polling firms often push leaners or word questions so as to minimize "undecided" answers - it makes for "cleaner" data, but I think it comes at the expense of accuracy. Without an incumbent in this race, it's hard to say who might ultimately benefit from these undecideds, but with momentum clearly in Kaine's favor, things might tilt his way.

One detail I liked seeing: Kaine has much stronger partisan support than Kilgore. Kaine is at 86-5 among Dems, while Kilgore is just 70-13 among Republicans. Potts, incidentally, appears to be drawing almost equally from both major-party candidates - 4% of GOPers and 3% of Dems back him. But of course, it may come down to just that one percentage point.

P.S. I thought Diageo was a drinks company. What gives?

Posted at 08:56 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 17, 2005

VA-Gov: SUSA Puts Kaine at +2

Posted by DavidNYC

SUSA shows, like everyone else, a super-tight race in the Virginia gub race, which is just three weeks away (likely voters, mid-Sept. in parens):

Kaine: 47 (43)
Kilgore: 45 (46)
Potts: 4 (4)
Other: 2 (3)
Undecided: 2 (4)
(MoE: ±3.7%)
One set of trendlines doesn't tell the whole story, though. Jerome lists all five SUSA polls on the race here. Or look at it in table form:

Month Lead
Mar. Kilgore +10
June Kilgore +10
Aug. Kilgore +5
Sept. Kilgore +3
Oct. Kaine +2

That looks like some Bad News Bears for Kilgore right there. I hope this trend keeps up.

P.S. Check out this website to learn more about the real Jerry Kilgore. And here is Tim Kaine.

Posted at 07:38 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Despicable: Jerry Kilgore Trivializes the Holocaust

Posted by DavidNYC

I am angry beyond words right now:

The Republican candidate for Virginia governor is drawing fire for campaign ads that suggest his Democratic opponent is so averse to the death penalty he would have spared Adolf Hitler from execution.


A commercial featuring death penalty proponent Stanley Rosenbluth has him looking into the camera and saying: "Tim Kaine says Adolf Hitler doesn't qualify for the death penalty. This was one of the worst mass murderers in modern times."

Tim wrote about this absolutely despicable ad last week, but I didn't realize Kilgore was such a wretched human being that he'd stoop to invoking Hitler in such a grotesque way.

The Holocaust is one of the most serious, tragic and defining events in living memory, if not the most. Using it for political gains is beyond unacceptable. This isn't some freshman philosophy class where TAs toss half-baked hypotheticals at their students. This is the public arena, and we are dealing with the most sensitive parts of history. Jerry Kilgore insults the memories of millions, living and dead, when he goes on the air with trash like this.

And he certainly knows better. I'd say he should act better, too, and withdraw this ad - but someone whose judgment is so impaired that they greenlighted this ad in the first place probably would never heed such advice.

Posted at 01:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Kilgore Still Pals with Rove Despite No-Show

Posted by DavidNYC

Karl Rove was supposed to headline a fundraiser for Jerry Kilgore. Why Kilgore wanted Rove to show up in the first place is a bit mystifying: Even in Republican Virginia, Bush has a mere 40-58 approval rating. I dunno about you, but I usually don't want the top aides of guys who are 18 points in the hole anywhere near my campaigns.

So maybe Jerry Kilgore got wise, because Rove failed to show this weekend. Of course, Kilgore is claiming otherwise. He says that didn't know why Rove bailed, and he's also saying (perhaps with a metaphorical gun pointed at his head) that he wishes Rove could have been there:

Still, he said he would have had no qualms about sharing the spotlight with Rove or embracing close aides to President Bush.


Kilgore disputed the notion that the problems of the Bush administration could hurt his chances, citing Virginia's election four years ago.

Bush "has been a big help to me in this campaign," Kilgore said.

Keep on repeating that to yourself, Jerry.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Bushco demands loyalty tests - ie, you'll appear with our guys whether you like it or not. I think Kilgore escaped on a technicality - Rove probably is too embroiled with the ongoing Plame investigation to do campaign appearances. But given that Bush prizes loyalty above all other traits, I hardly think they'd permit disloyalty just because it might win the Republicans a few campaigns.

Posted at 01:41 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 13, 2005

VA-Gov: Close

Posted by DavidNYC

Rasmussen's latest in the VA gubernatorial race (likely voters, late Sept. in parens):

Kaine: 44 (45)
Kilgore: 46 (45)
Potts: 1 (5)
(MoE: ±4.5%)

I'm guessing the balance consists of undecideds. This is clearly going to come down to the wire. I'm hoping that anyone who walks into the voting booth on election day without their mind already made up thinks of Mark Warner and his 66% approval rating (sixth-best in the nation) before pulling the lever. That might be just enough to put Kaine over the top.

P.S. The Big Dog is coming to town to help Kaine raise some dough. I'm sure tickets cost $2,100 - anyone got a spare for me?

UPDATE: Heh. It's a state race, so tix are $5,000 a pop, as Fran reminds us in comments. Still lookin' for extras here. :)

Posted at 09:04 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (9) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OH-02: SSP in Mother Jones' Hackett Stories

Posted by Bob Brigham

Mother Jones posted their cover story on the OH-02 Special Election:

The Ohio Insurgency: The Democrat who Fought
Major Paul Hackett came home from Iraq to launch an assault on a GOP stronghold. Can Democrats follow his lead?
By David Goodman

They have now also posted a companion piece that provides a timeline of blog support for Paul Hackett:

The Digital Insurgency
How liberal bloggers and their readers fueled Paul Hackett's rise
By Jonathan Stein

On Election Night, I mentioned this was coming. Thoughts?

Posted at 02:13 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

NYC-Mayor: Bad News for Ferrer

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Marist puts Freddy Ferrer (D) far behind Mike Bloomberg (registered voters, late Sept. in parens):

Ferrer: 33 (37)
Bloomberg: 56 (50)
Other: 2 (2)
Undecided: 9 (11)
(MoE: ±4%)

I'm using Marist's registered voter numbers because I don't trust their likely voter screen. Their much-discussed NJ gubernatorial poll put Corzine up just 1 point with likely voters (2 with leaners) - putting it, as I've observed below - well outside the range of just about every other poll. However, their RV numbers were much more in line, giving Corzine a seven-point lead.

But either way, these numbers don't give Freddy much succor. I don't see, though, why he'd go from -13 to -23 in just a couple of weeks. I suppose Bloomberg's saturation campaign might have something to do with it - but his massive media buys have been going on so extensively for so long, I'd be surprised if they could have any serious effect right now.

And Ferrer has pretty much avoided the mis-steps that plagued him early in the primary campaign. He's even come up with a couple of politically clever maneuvers, like dinging Mayor Mike about "Pay to Pray" (ie, requiring people to feed meters on Sundays, when many are in church). But Pay to Pray, cute as it is, is really just small potatoes. I don't know how Ferrer can gain momentum in the little time he has left, especially since he's hit fundraising difficulties.

It may well be that in politics, it ain't over till it's over, but it's looking like it'll take something near-miraculous for Ferrer to pull out a victory here. Then again, this is the city that produced the Mets, who managed to win the World Series in `69 despite finishing in 9th place the year before. So I'll still keep my fingers crossed.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2005 Elections, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Absolutely Despicable

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Absolutely despicable.

That's the only way to describe the new attack ads Jerry Kilgore is running against Tim Kaine in Virginia. Set against a black back-drop, the father of a man whose son and daughter-in-law were murdered, speaks passionately about how Tim Kaine "voluntarily" defended the murderer. Forget the fact that Tim Kaine was court-appointed, forget about the fact that the two were apparently murdered in a drug deal gone bad, these type of ads represent the worst of our political process.

You can watch the ad here.

Unfortunately, I am not quite sure the Kaine campaign is up to the battle. The Kaine campaign released its response to the ad, and the piece is embarassing. You can watch it here. It almost made me throw up in my mouth.

Jerry Kilgore's campaign needs to be exposed for this, and I hope someone fights back. Whether it's the Kaine campaign, the press, or a handful of reasonable conservatives in Virginia. The Walshington Post called the ad a "smear." Well no kidding. But that editorial will ultimately ring hollow as Virginians listen to the echo of gun shots over the top of serene sounds and a somber story. I don't have to tell any of the progressive audience that reads this blog, but this is a pattern of behavior, the attacking of public servants, for their service, that must be retaliated against. And it's just another example of a poltical party that wants to govern, but has no respect at all for government. After watching Tim Kaine's rebutal, his discussion of Christian values moved me to pray tonight... pray that he scraps that terrible rebuttal ad and recognizes he can't win by bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Posted at 01:26 AM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

NJ-Gov: FDU Poll Puts Corzine up Eight

Posted by DavidNYC

Farleigh Dickinson University offers a new poll in the New Jersey gubernatorial contest (likely voters, late Sept. in parens):

Corzine: 48 (48)
Forrester: 40 (38)
Other: 3 (4)
Undecided: 9 (10)
(MoE: ±4%)

Note: This poll includes "leaners." Without leaners, it's 44-38 Corzine.

There was much gnashing of teeth just yesterday when a new Marist poll showed Corzine up just 47-45. I don't think it's wishful thinking to call that poll an outlier, however - take a look at this comprehensive list of polls. All but one poll has shown Corzine with a lead of 7 to 10 points over the past few months, with one exception (a Quinnipiac poll from a few weeks ago that showed Corzine up 48-44).

I suppose it's possible that Marist and Quinnipiac are right and that FDU, the Star-Ledger, Rasmussen, and Monmouth University are all wrong. But Marist has only polled this race once, and two prior Q-Polls both showed 10-point leads for Corzine. The weight of the evidence, as they say, seems to be with the latter group rather than the former.

I don't doubt that things could tighten up, especially since NJ is one of only two statehouses in play this fall. And NJ's had its share of close, nasty races. But it is a solidly blue state, and Doug Forrester, with 96% name recognition at this point, would need basically all of the undecideds to go his way if this poll is accurate. He can hang his hat on Marist and Quinnipiac if he wants, but I still say he's got an uphill battle.

P.S. Bush's approval rating is at an astounding 33-66 in NJ. Corzine better not let Forrester - and the citizens of New Jersey - forget it.

The happy couple - Bush & Forrester

Posted at 04:58 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 07, 2005

VA-Gov: Jerry Kilgore a Porn Star?

Posted by Bob Brigham

jerry kilgore Jerry Kilgore is running for Governor of Virginia, but looks a helluva lot like a former porn star. I'm not one who usually makes generalizations from a photo, but the Republican candidate really does look like a vintage porn star.

Anyway, I'm guessing the voters of Virginia are far more concerned about the issues then the fact the GOP nominee looks like an old-school porn star. I mean, voters decide on the issues, don't they?

If voters do decide on the issues, then Jerry Kilgore has a bigger problems then the fact he looks like a seventies porn star. Go watch the video the pic is taken from, it is Kilgore back when he ran the prisons. He is bragging about going an entire day without a prison break.

I'm not making this up, he actually brags about this. If you look at the hard numbers, prison escapes jumped 300% under Jerry Kilgore.

Now I'm not saying that somebody who looks like a third-rate porn star can't run a prison system. And I'm not saying that somebody who looks like a dirty porn star can't run an entire state. But Jerry Kilgore both looks like a pervert porn star and the way he ran the prison system suggests he would be an awful Governor.

Me, I hope the voters decide on the issues rather than the fact Jerry Kilgore sported a porn star mustache. Because somebody who is both incompetent and sets the bar that low has no business running Virginia.

Go check out the video at www.TheRealJerryKilgore.com.

Posted at 04:52 PM in 2005 Elections, Republicans, Scandals, Virginia | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OH-Sen: The Story So Far

Posted by DavidNYC

Way, way back at the start of the year, President Bush followed all second-term presidents in performing a time-honored rite: the cabinet reshuffle. We saw some dear old friends depart, like John Ashcroft and Colin Powell. We were introduced to some wonderful new faces, like Alberto Gonzalez. And some of our long-time buddies just couldn't bear to leave, like Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.

Almost lost in this misty-eyed pastoral is the tremendously important post of US Trade Representative. Whoever holds this job is responsible for travelling around the world on the government's tab to convince foreign countries to buy our goods. What an awesome job. The lucky fellow who held this job in Bush's first term was one Robert Zoellick, who became a Deputy Secretary of State at the start of Bush's second term. Ah, Bob, we hardly knew ye.

To fill this crucial gap in our nation's governing apparatus, George Bush tapped Robert Portman to fill Zoellick's big shoes. Portman, you see, was a Congressman from southwest Ohio, roughly in the neighborhood of Cincinnati. His district - Ohio's second - was one of the most conservative in Ohio, if not the nation. It had reliably sent a Republican to Congress for decades, and Democrats hadn't poked their heads above a feeble 30% or so for a long, long time.

Smart play by Mr. Bush: Tap a solid insider for your cabinet, and ensure that you don't lose any ground in the House. And the plan worked, too - but you couldn't ask for a better illustration of "be careful what you wish for." So what happened along the way?

A certain blogger - me, as it happens - noticed the Portman nomination and espied the inevitable open seat and special election that would of necessity ensue. So I wrote about it over at the seminal Democratic blog DailyKos. I didn't view the race as winnable (not at the time, at least), but I did think it would give our side a great opportunity to do some political R&D - to experiment, be bold, hold nothing back. When you've got nothing to lose, you can be as aggressive as you want.

Meanwhile, things began to unfold on the ground in Ohio. The fateful primary election took place on June 14th. The Dems emerged with a man that almost no one had heard of - but he did have an interesting resume. Major Paul Hackett had just returned from serving a tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq - a war, believe it or not, he opposed. Who could speak with more authority - both intellectual and moral - on such an important subject, than someone with a background like that?

It turns out that Paul Hackett was also the sort of blunt, plain-spoken non-politician that so many Democrats had craved for so long. He was Howard Dean in fatigues. To many, Hackett's individual positions weren't nearly as important as his willingness to speak his mind. He definitely didn't vote for anything before he voted against it.

The blogosphere began to take serious interest in the race at this point - and a huge reason was Tim Tagaris, one of the editors of this humble magazine. Tim, on the ground with Grow Ohio, served as a crucial conduit between the online world and OH-02. Reports flowed in fast and furious from southwest Ohio. The Swing State Project (along with the OH-02 Blog) quickly became a hub for anyone who wanted to know more about the race or get involved.

As online activists started tuning in, volunteers began to flood the district as well. Hackett started getting real media coverage. He also had a lot of things going for him: Distrust and anger toward Republicans in the state of Ohio had been mounting since the Coingate revelations; Bush's popularity amongst Buckeyes had been steadily dropping; and he drew an opponent, Jean Schmidt, who was as corrupt (she took piles of cash from the now-indicted Tom DeLay) as she was feckless (she was reduced to defensively declaring she wouldn't be a "rubber stamp" during debates).

In the middle of the hubbub, Tim's fellow SSP editor, Bob Brigham, also decamped for the battleground of OH-02. Traffic exploded here as Bob and Tim tag-teamed the final days of the race. Back home, I kept the front page of DailyKos updated as often as I could. A certain energy crackled and infused everything about the whole campaign.

And people began to realize that this was no long just an opportunity to do some R&D - something much more was happening here. Hackett got scads of scrilla from online donations. The GOP got spooked and poured in big money of its own - in a district that Portman had won by 40 points the last time out. The establishment Dems took notice and fired back with a further cash infusion. The race was getting seriously, seriously hot.

It looked like Hackett could conceivably, possibly, just maybe win. No one knew for sure, of course - no one had done any independent, verifiable polling. But even if Hackett didn't win, lots of people - on the ground, in the professional commentariat, across the blogosphere - realized that a strong performance would send a message.

And boy did Paul Hackett send a message. Yeah, he lost - but by a margin much narrower than anyone would have dreamed. Republicans enjoyed scoffing about Hackett's loss, but there was jubilation on the Democratic side. Hackett lost by four points. The prior Dem who ran for this seat lost by ten times that margin. Anyone who refused to believe this showing didn't mean something truly had their head in the proverbial sand.

But the race did more than just send a message. A new star was born - and it wasn't Jean Schmidt. While she limped into her seat in Congress, Paul Hackett became a new Democratic Party star. His fearlessness and ability to connect with normal people (ie, everyone in America who doesn't suffer from D.C. Beltway Brain-rot) ensured that he wouldn't soon be forgotten. Just about everyone agreed he had a bright future in politics.

It turns out that his future was now. The Ohio GOP was reeling. Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine, suffering atrocious approval ratings, was up for re-election in 2006. The Dems were looking for someone to take him on. A lot of people thought Paul Hackett would be the perfect guy to do that.

After some months of convincing, it appeared that Paul Hackett finally thought so as well, and rumors of his candidacy spread like wildfire across the Internet during the month of September. The way was clear for Hackett: Ohio Congressmen Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown both indicated that they weren't going to run against DeWine.

As October rolled around (and the third quarter ended), an official announcement from Hackett was widely expected. (No candidate for office was going to announce right in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in any event.) Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the election: Sherrod Brown, previously thought to be uninterested in the Senate race, started making noises that he would, in fact, throw his hat into the ring.

At that point, almost instantly, battle lines were drawn. Now, brother is pit against brother, more or less. Alright, so I'm making it sound like a melodramatic Civil War miniseries, only with fewer guns. But the dynamics are pretty fascinating.

Jerome Armstrong, the liberal blogfather and creator of the ur-blog MyDD, jumped on board Brown's ship. (Jerome is, in fact, working for Brown.) Jerome's greatest protege, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos, has sided with Hackett.

And over here at the Swing State Project, the situation is no less jumbled. Tim, as I mentioned above, works for Grow Ohio, which means, like Jerome, he works for Sherrod Brown. Bob, on the other hand, has just started volunteering for Hackett and, as you can see from his posts here, supports him vociferously.

Today, however, Markos seems to weigh in on Brown's side, though the bulk of his readers support Hackett. Meanwhile, Tim (rightfully) wants to focus on RON, not an internecine battle. The Hotline's Blogometer has already noted a "split" in left-blogistan, but as all this indicates, the fault lines are far from clear. Indeed, Chris Bowers, the lead author at MyDD and Jerome's fellow blogger-in-arms, hasn't yet decided whom to support.

So where does this leave me? I count myself in the Hackett camp. But I definitely don't want to see a real blogspheric civil war emerge. We just don't need another huge round of infighting, like we saw during the Democratic Presidential primaries throughout all of 2003. The tide this year is turning strongly against the Republicans. Their corruption is catching up with them. Many will lose next year - both at the ballot box and in the courtroom. It's more important than ever that we stay united to capitalize on this perfect storm.

And the Swing State Project remains committed to bringing you the best coverage possible of the race - and that means reporting on the strengths and foibles of both the guys we support and the guys we don't.

I'll be honest: I wish Brown had chosen a different course of action. But since he's apparently committed at this point, all I'm hoping for is a good clean fight. So let's do this thing!

Posted at 08:30 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CA-Ballot: The Special Election, Ballot Measures & Big Money

Posted by DavidNYC

California has a special election brewing this November (separate and apart, I believe, from the special election to fill the vacancy in CA-48). The main items on the agenda are a bunch of ballot measures, all of which are pretty much sops to big corporate interests and the GOP agenda. It's sad to see a once-noble experiment in direct government fall prey to the clutches of industry cash, but I guess this has been going on for decades in California - there's nothing new here.

Nonetheless, following the always-wise mantra "know thy enemny," the good folks at Buy Blue have the dirt on all of the ballot initiatives - and their intersection with big money. It's too much to excerpt here, but if you are a California voter, you should definitely check it out. Looks to me like anyone with any sense would be voting "no" on almost all of these.

P.S. The Alliance for a Better California - which opposes Ahnuld's redistricting trickery, aka Prop. 77 - advises voting against propostions 74-78 and for 79 and 80. Someone with more local knowledge than I've got is gonna have to confirm the wisdom of these choices. Over to you, Bob.

UPDATE: (Bob) Indeed, that is the proper way to vote.

Now that I'm back in California, I've been in some great meetings about where I fit into this fight. I think we're going to have some serious fun. As regular readers know, I'm into big bold action. So stay tuned...

Posted at 10:19 PM in 2005 Elections | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 01, 2005

VA-Gov: Katrina - Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore

Posted by Bob Brigham

We've already looked at the Katrina Contrast between Jon Tester and John Morrison (Montana Senate primary), the DLC on Katrina, and New Jersey and Katrina. So how about Virgina's gubernatorial election?

Republican Jerry Kilgore

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Democrat Tim Kaine

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Ah, contrast...

Posted at 09:15 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (6) | Technorati

CA-48: Democrats Unite for Steve Young

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big news, from a press release:

California Democratic Party Overwhelmingly Endorses Steve Young for Congress from California’s 48th District

IRVINE, Ca. – On Wednesday, August 31, 2005, Region 18 of the California Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to support Steve Young for Congress from the 48th District. The Party voted to enthusiastically endorse Young over a field of three other candidates, including John Graham, who had earned the endorsement in the previous two races for the 48th district Congressional seat.

“Tonight marks the launch of a new Democratic unity and the establishment of a new Democratic family,” said Young.

“Everyone worked together in good spirit for democracy,” said Jim Moreno, Regional Director of Region 18 of the CDP. “The proceedings went very well.”

The 54-member Region 18 caucus consists of delegates to the California Democratic Party who live in the 48th Congressional district, which falls within region 18 of the state Party. The caucus convenes each time there are candidates on the Democratic ticket vying for a local, state or federal office from region 18.

The Democrats are united, the GOP is splintered (see here to here).

Go visit Steve Young's website (warning, sound).

Posted at 09:33 AM in 2005 Elections, California, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

MT-Sen: Tester's Email Fundraising

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I got another one today. An email from a candidate asking for money. It's common knowledge that the more a campaign uses its email list to ask for money, people will open less of their emails down the road, and their list will become burned.

But the email I received today was different, and frankly I have never seen it before. I sign up for all kinds of campaign emails, and I am not sure I can remember a time a candidate, in the middle of a campaign, asked people to give their money to something else. Something of a more immediate concern. Something more important than one campaign.

As I write this, waters continue to rise in New Orleans, where entire neighborhoods have been flooded. Biloxi, Mississippi has been hit hard. More than 37,000 Americans are already seeking shelter in American Red Cross centers all along the Gulf Coast. And the director of FEMA says tens of thousands more will likely require shelter for weeks, if not months.

So why is a U.S. Senate candidate from Montana asking you to help out?

Because it’s the right thing to do. Because this campaign isn’t just about politics—it’s about all of us pulling together to bring Montana values to Washington, D.C. and to the rest of the nation.

And in Montana, we help a neighbor in need. And sometimes that neighbor is very far away.

So please do what you can by supporting the efforts of the American Red Cross to help those affected by this disaster:


Thank you for helping out.

Jon Tester
Montanans for Tester

P.S. Please forward this on to your families and friends. Lives really are at stake, and your efforts can make a difference.

What really amazes me with this appeal is that for many, this is the first email they received from Jon Tester. Given his recently online publicity on the front page of Kos and MyDD, he made decision to make his first contact with many an attempt solicit contributions for a greater good than his campaign.

It makes me even more proud that my second ever contribution to a political campaign was John Testers, and it speaks volumes about the man.

UPDATE: (Bob) I was blown away when I opened the Tester email -- Tester is the real deal. I also got an email from Jon Corzine asking for help. As we come together online, our networks have value far beyond any election. Together, we can make a difference regardless of the challenge. The internet allows us all to act neighborly.

UPDATE: (Bob) I just received an email from a source close to the Chris Bell gubernatorial campaign in Texas. It appears that Bell's campaign was in the middle of an online fundraising drive to mark the launch of his campaign earlier this month. Bell suspended it earlier today and will be sending an email solicitation for the Red Cross tomorrow in place of the fundraising email that was scheduled. The website says:

I read the news today, oh boy. The Chris Bell for Governor campaign is calling off our online fundraising drive out of respect for the hurricane victims. Please do what you can for those who can't do for themselves. Please do as much as you can, and then please do more. We're taking down our fundraising thermometer and putting up the link to the Red Cross...

UPDATE: (Bob) And Howard Dean, full email after the jump...

This week millions of Americans fled Hurricane Katrina. Across the South families abandoned their homes and businesses, not knowing what would be there when they returned.

Many stayed behind and suffered devastating loss and injuries -- nearly a hundred have died that we know of, and hundreds of thousands need our help.

America is at its best when we realize that we are one community -- that we're all in this together. That means that each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can to help the relief effort.

The Red Cross is a great place to start:


They are already moving people and resources into the region to help. Donations will provide clean water, food, and shelter for disaster victims. The Red Cross web site also has important information for victims and their relatives across the country.

Many local Red Cross chapters are organizing volunteers to travel to affected areas -- doctors and nurses to provide medical care, workers to build shelters, first responders to assist in rescue operations.

You can find your local chapter here to learn what you can do:


We are still learning the full story of the devastation, but there is no time to wait. Please do something now.

Thank you.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Posted at 07:00 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Montana, Netroots, New Jersey, Texas | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, August 29, 2005

CA-48: Special Election Turns Negative

Posted by Bob Brigham

CA-48 has Club For Growth's new negative ad:




These wounds won't heal by the runoff election. A fractured GOP, a third party nut, and Democratic West Coast Offense could all come together to give Democrats a shot in Orange County.

Posted at 12:12 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Republicans, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

CA-48: Ballot Order

Posted by Bob Brigham

Here is the ballot order for the CA-48 Special Election:

1) John Kelly, Republican
2) John Campbell, Republican
3) David Crouch, Republican
4) Bruce Cohen, Libertarian
5) Steve Young, Democrat
6) Don Udall, Republican
7) Bea Foster, Democrat
8) Scott Maccabe, Republican
9) Guy Mailly, Republican
10) Marsha Morris, Republican
11) Marilyn Brewer, Republican
12) Marshall Sanders, Republican
13) Edward Suppe, Republican
14) Tom Pallow, Democrat
15) Bea Tiritilli, Green
16) John Graham, Democrat
17) Jim Gilchrist, American Idependent

It was priceless having OH-02 during the last special election. Now we have CA-48. It is my view that we need at least one of these for every district.

Posted at 05:42 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

CA-48: Silly DCCC

Posted by Bob Brigham

In the OH-02 Special Election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was rightly criticized for extreme tardiness. You would think that the DCCC would have learned their lesson as we head into the Special Election in Orange County. You would be wrong:

A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not return a call for comment on the race.

Luckily, Allan Hoffenblum, Republican political analyst and publisher of the California Target Book, returns press calls. He nails the race dynamics:

Although the congressional district is considered conservative, a Democrat or moderate Republican could win because of the state's unusual "open" primary rules in special elections.

All candidates are on the same ballot, regardless of party, and a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win -- an unlikely event with nearly 20 candidates in the race.

If nobody wins, the top vote-getters of each party would face off in a Dec. 6 general election, and as the lone independent, Mr. Gilchrist is assured a spot.

A split among conservatives voting for Mr. Gilchrist and state Sen. John Campbell, reportedly backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, could swing the vote to a Democratic candidate, Mr. Hoffenblum said. (emphasis mine)


Hat tip to CA-48.

Posted at 02:00 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 15, 2005

CA-48: Election Date Set

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Our pal Stuart at the Political Dog Fight has the scoop on the special election dates set earlier today:

Election Dates proclaimed by Governor Muscles this morning. The General Special Election for the CA-48th will be December 6th, 2005. The Secretary of State's office determined the Primary Election shall be October 4, 2005. This has been confirmed by conversation with the Secretary of State's office and the Election Analysts.
Hopefully we can stave off a general election and win this one in the primary. With several Republicans intent on running and wingnut extraordinaire James Gilchrist of Minuteman fame weighing a run, it might be worth looking at one Democratic candidate and turning out the base like never before. But if we have more than one candidate, we might as well get eight in there to take our chances in a general election in December (not a bad time to be visiting The OC).

Posted at 06:15 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

DCCC: Leave No District Behind

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In light of the recent "bubble-up" between the DCCC vs. the netroots and supporters of the 50 state strategy, I thought this piece leading off today's House Race Hotline was interesting (Nat'l Journal Subs Only):

Too bad there's no strong Dem candidate in the CA 48 special -- then we could really see if those charges of being a "rubberstamp" for Bush that were lobbed at GOPer Jean Schmidt in OH 02, will resonate on a nat'l level. Of course, after their heavy involvement in the OH 02 race, it's a worthy question to ask -- who could recruit a candidate first in CA 48, the DCCC or the liberal blogosphere?
Ready. Set. Go!

Posted at 03:04 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Democrats, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Posted by DavidNYC

There is no doubt about it - tonight's results represent a tidal wave in Ohio (and perhaps national) politics. In 2004, the Democrat running in OH-02 lost by 44 points. Tonight, the Democrat, Paul Hackett, lost by a mere 4 points - just 4,000 votes out of over 114,000 cast. That's one-eleventh the prior margin, and that's fighting against one of the most corrupt state Republican parties in the land.

Tonight's results exceeded my wildest expectations. Don't get me wrong - I would have been overjoyed had Hackett won. But I am still thrilled, and his tremendous showing in an incredibly red district should buoy the hopes of Democrats everywhere. Tomorrow, we can begin the important task of dissecting the Hackett campaign's operations in fine detail, to figure out what contributed most to its success - to see what results this extraordinary lab experiment yielded.

But tonight, we should celebrate an amazing, against-all-odds showing by a strong, fearless Democrat. We all owe our thanks to Paul Hackett and to all the people who joined in this effort.

So, with that I say: Thank you, Maj. Hackett, and everyone who helped you reach this day.

Posted at 11:55 PM in 2005 Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Campaign Manager Joe Braun

Posted by Bob Brigham

Annatopia says:

oh man, apparently someone is too busy covering their ass to run a campaign today...

If you want to know why she said that, it is because she has sources...

UPDATE: (Bob) Atrios says:

Schmidt Campaign Imploding?

Word is that Spankin' Joe Braun is too obsessed with what's being said about him on the internets to actually actively manage the campaign...

Wow. Must suck to be Joe Braun. Remember Friday's Hotline? The Washington Republicans didn't write the big checks because Joe Braun was doing a good job.

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Republicans, Scandals, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, July 31, 2005

OH-02: Come Clean Jean!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe

Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption

Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirer noted (July 31, 2005):

Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.

Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on – only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.

You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.

In fact, on March 21, 2002, official state documents prove Jean Schmidt testified before Tom Noe's committee. Tom Noe seconded and approved the minutes for this meeting, which read:

There are a number of areas where we are totally lined up with [Jean Schmidt's] thinking. In any event, the conclusion is that we need more contact, more often.

And , additional official state documents establish that Tom Noe testified before Jean Schmidt's committee on March 18, 2003.

These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.

And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.

When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Blade reported (July 29, 2005):

Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.

It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.

Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come...

UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett just referred to Jean Schmidt as the, "Poster Child for the Culture of Corruption" as he held up the documents that busted her. During the press conference, it was clear why Hackett is such a successful attorney, he did a great job of telling the story.

UPDATE: (Bob) Max Clelland remarked, "The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."

UPDATE: (Bob) Channel 19 was also there, along with the Cincinnati Enquirer. There is no way that the press can ignore this, you can't let politicians lie about their involvement in corruption.

UPDATE: (Bob) It is not too late to donate to Paul Hackett, help him FINISH THE JOB!

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, General, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Site News, Special Elections | Comments (7) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

OH-02: Netroots Investment Yielding Momentum

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project Paul Hackett Tim Tagaris and Swing State Project made CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Of course, Crooks and Liars has the video.

The segment focused on the overwhelming momentum Paul Hackett is receiving from the netroots. Here at Swing State Project we've followed his success -- and it has been startling. Netroot Democrats want to see Hackett have the recources to compete in the face of the Swift Boat smears coming from the Schmidt campaign. Here is a netroots investment update:

$$$48 Hours Ago24 Hours AgoRIGHT NOW

And Eschaton is at $12,294.44 from 308 people. That is a quick $55K in the last 24 hours...the beat goes on!

Go contribute!

Posted at 12:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News, Special Elections | Technorati

OH-02: Schmidt Denies Being Rubber Stamp

Posted by Bob Brigham

Big Paul Hackett win in the debate . My favorite Jean Schmidt line, "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us." That's right, in Jean Schmidt's world we keep our eye on the ball because we are scared of the ball. In Paul Hackett's world we keep our eye on the ball so we can smack it out of the park.

Schmidt's running scared, she's bungled an easy win, and her strategy of buying the race through overwhelming resources was stopped by the massive netroots support for Paul Hackett. Hackett has the momentum and every Democratic activist in Ohio is heading to the 2nd congressional district to put him over the top in this super-low turnout, August special election.

Tagaris is going to have some video, but here's the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In their last head-to-head debate before Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election, Democrat Paul Hackett accused his opponent, former Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt, of being a "rubber stamp" for the "failed policies" of the Taft administration, and said she can be expected to do the same for President Bush in Washington.

Schmidt insisted she will be an independent voice.

"I am not a rubber stamp," said Schmidt, who served in the Ohio House from 2001 to 2005.

Next Tuesday Paul Hackett finds out whether he is going to Congress or back to Iraq -- he's quite literally campaigning like his life depends upon it, and his message is getting through:

Nonetheless, Hackett mentioned Taft's name in the same sentence with Schmidt no fewer than 12 times, and used the term "rubber stamp" seven times.

His populist message is breaking through:

"The question is if you are better off today than you were five years ago," Hackett told the audience of a little over 100 at the school, just west of the Adams County seat of West Union. "Under the administration of Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt, Ohio lost 160,000 manufacturing jobs."

And Hackett's Iraq experience provides great contrast:

"I support the president in his mission to make sure the enemies of freedom stay on their shores and not on ours,"' Schmidt said. "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Schmidt said the Bush polices on Iraq are succeeding, saying, "The seeds of democracy have been planted. Democracy is on the march."

Hackett, who served seven months with a Marine civil affairs unit, said the reality on the ground is not what the Bush administration paints it to be.

"It's not pretty over there, it's not Hollywood, and we are not spreading democracy," Hackett said.

Candidate George W. Bush said in the 2000 presidential campaign that he would not engage America in nation-building, Hackett said.

"Guess what, folks?" he said. "We're nation-building."

Remember: "We have to keep our eye on the ball or the ball will come back to harm us."

Posted at 09:42 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

OH-2: Hackett Earns Cincinnati Post Endorsement

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The beat goes on. From the Cincinnati Post ENDORSEMENT of Paul Hackett:

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.

Big Mo'

UPDATE (Bob) 12:33 PM Exactly 24 hours ago I reported Paul Hackett's ActBlue page stood at $147,350.59 from 2960 people. Since then, Markos chipped in $100 and he was not alone.

The current total: $175,669.59 from 3,525 members of the netroots. And Eschaton's ActBlue is at $9,244.39 from 230 members of the netroots. And Hackett's on Majority Report's ActBlue page. And the beat goes on...

UPDATE: (Bob) Tim is live-blogging with Hackett RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE (Tim): I got video of Paul Hackett thanking the netroots for "blogosphere day."

Posted at 12:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Democrats, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Sunday, July 24, 2005

OH-02: Saturday with Paul Hackett

Posted by Bob Brigham

hackett.jpg Major Paul Hackett wants be the first veteran from the current Iraq War to also serve in Congress. This change of duty came a step closer yesterday when the Hackett camp had a successful day of organizing, both Tagaris and Crazy Catwoman were there, she says, "I will definitely do it again next Saturday." When she does, she'll be joined by Toledo Councilman Frank Szollosi among many others.

But today, I want to talk about the odds. From Chris Baker's OH-02:

In the closing days of the campaign you are going to hear more and more from the cynics and Beltway loser mentality liberals about how Hackett can’t win this race because it is such a solid Republican district. None of them have watched Republicans talk to Paul Hackett. None of it means anything.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game poker is what they call pot odds.

The typical Beltway Democrat will look at a race and if there isn’t a high chance of winning say forget it and save their money.[...]

What are the pot odds for the Democrats in the Ohio 2nd? The return for the Republicans is minimal. They aren’t going to win much of anything if Jean Schmidt wins. But for the Democrats the pot odds are massive. This is Bush’s home turf. This is the reddest district in the state that handed Bush the presidency. If the Democrats win here they will have punched open a breach in the heart of the Republican defenses. Suddenly all of the momentum will have shifted. Suddenly everyone will be listening to what Paul Hackett has to say and using his tactics to win other races.

Any poker player could tell you that the pot odds in this race are so good that you would be a fool not to bet on it. So in the coming days as you read more and more about what a hopeless race this is, do as Paul Hackett does and quote to them Thomas Paine: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Tim Tagaris is on the ground, he'll be posting here and on Grow Ohio.

Posted at 12:06 PM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

OH-02: Max Cleland: Send a Marine to Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE: (Bob) Via Chris Bowers, Paul Hackett is doing Al Franken today. Tune in.

Democrats are fired up for Paul Hackett. The midnight scoop by Tim Tagaris (Shock! Hackett with CoH Lead over Schmidt, rec'd on Daily Kos) has compounded the momentum.

The coingate scandal is reminding everyone about Jean Schmidt and her deeping scandals.

While Schmidt sinks, Democrats are coming together to send a marine to Congress. Mayor Paul Hackett received a major show of support from Max Cleland. Over at MyDD, Ann Driscoll covers a Hackett Veterans' Event with Max Cleland.

Also, the DNC sent a few million netroots Democrats an email from Cleland. Full copy in the extended entry.

Marine Major and Democrat Paul Hackett could be a first for our country -- the first veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be elected to Congress. He fought in the Fallujah campaign, took part in reconstruction efforts and worked side-by-side with Iraqi military and civil personnel.

Paul Hackett knows what's really happening in Iraq. And, he's ready to take his experience to Washington. He's running in the August 2nd special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District stretching from just outside Cincinnati eastward along the Ohio River.

Paul's campaign has a tough fight against some of the most entrenched special interests in Ohio. His opponent, Jean Schmidt, is a favorite of the corrupt and ever-present Republican establishment -- one that never misses an opportunity to smear and cheat.

Take a look at a day in the life of the two candidates. On the night of October 25, 2004, Jean Schmidt had dinner at an expensive restaurant and partied at a Bengals game in Cincinnati. Her trip, sponsored by a global bio-tech lobbyist, yielded yet another ethics scandal for Ohio Republicans.

That same evening, Paul and his men were keeping insurgents' supplies from entering war-torn Falluja. They ate the standard-issue MRE and fought to defend Iraqi civilians and their fellow troops.

At the end of the day, the choice for voters couldn't be clearer. In Jean Schmidt, they have the hand-picked choice of the backslapping insiders who sell the process to the highest-bidding right-wing group or corporate interest.

In Paul Hackett, voters have someone with first-hand experience in uniform and the drive to solve problems and put us on the right track. He proudly served his country in Iraq, and he's ready to serve in Washington.

So, take a moment and read the article about Paul Hackett below. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about what's happening in Ohio's 2nd District because it's a preview of what's to come next year -- real leaders stepping up to serve at a time of abuse of power and corruption in government.


Thank you,

Senator Max Cleland

If you haven't, go donate to Hackett. The current total stands at $137,024.02 from 2,728 online Democrats.

Posted at 11:47 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, July 21, 2005

OH-02: Iraq War Vet Runs for Congress

Posted by Bob Brigham

My inbox has had a solid stream of good news for Major Paul Hackett's bid for Ohio's 2nd Congressional. The August 2nd Election is less than two weeks away. I'm told Hackett's satellite offices are humming with scores of phone lines. The campaign is doing a major mobilization this weekend to run up the ID'd voters list so that the large GOTV program has more targets.

Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt is bogged down in a late breaking scandal (see the ad). Schmidt's ethics scandal is invoking the "culture of corruption" meme against the Ohio Republican Party.

Last time I updated you on the ACTBlue page (38 hours ago), the total was $100,504.47. Now it is up to $129,805.92. If you haven't deployed a few bucks for this special election, please consider investing.

From the AP:

SEAMAN, Ohio - A few months ago, Paul Hackett was flushing out insurgents and avoiding ambushes in Fallujah, Ramadi and other hotspots in theIraq War. Today, the Marine is trying to round up votes in small southern Ohio towns like this one.

Hackett, a Democrat, is running in a special election Aug. 2 in a bid to become the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress.

The stakes couldn't be higher, either Hackett goes to Washington or back to Iraq.

The 43-year-old lawyer, former Milford city councilman and Marine Reserve major is hoping his battlefield experience will help him become the first Democrat to get elected in Ohio's conservative 2nd District in three decades. [...]

That Hackett is on television at all is remarkable in deep-red southwestern Ohio, which helped tilt Ohio's crucial 20 electoral votes to Bush last year. Seven-term Republican Rob Portman regularly won with more than 70 percent of the vote before leaving Congress to becoming Bush's U.S. trade representative this year.

Army Lt. Paul Worley, 23, of Peebles, said he likes the idea of a congressman veteran as he prepares for Iraq duty later this year: "You can't substitute anything for leadership by example, somebody who's been there and seen it."

We need Major Hackett in Washington. Go check out the Paul Hackett website.

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is are some action items from histopresto's Kos diary:

1. Look on our website for a link to contribute and volunteer to the Hackett campaign.  Or you can find more information about Paul Hackett on his website and contact him directly

2.  Hamilton County: We are going to have a volunteer rally and canvass kick off on Saturday the 23rd at 10 AM at 1523 Madison in Cincinnati. We need to have everyone there. Please RSVP intern@hamiltoncountydems.org <snip> Bring your comfortable shoes and a car, if possible.  We'll be meeting rain or shine - bring a cell phone (free weekends!) to phone bank if the weather isn't great. If you cannot canvass but would like to help us on our phone banks, please let us know at intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

3. (Ohio residents) Check with your local County Democratic Party to see how they will be helping the 2nd congressional race. You can find your local county party contact information at our [website www.ohiodems.org]  Many local democratic county parties statewide have committed to send volunteers down to the Second Congressional race to help with Getting Out the Vote efforts the last weekend of the election by passing out literature door to door, making phone calls and helping on Election Day August 2nd


Or you can contact the Democratic Parties in the 2nd congressional district directly from their contact information on our website.

Adams County  

Brown County

Clermont County

Eastern Hamilton County

Pike County: Harold Cooper  740-493-2402

Scioto County

Southern Warren County


4. Hamilton County: Our Get Out The Vote project will have a huge canvass push the weekend before the election, on Saturday the 30th at 10 AM at the same location.  We need you there! Please RSVP to let us know that you will be there. intern@hamiltoncountydems.org

Posted at 04:30 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Special Elections | Technorati

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Blogosphere Day

Posted by Bob Brigham

[EDITOR's NOTE] This will remain at the top till midnight. Scroll down for the latest on "John Roberts"

A long time ago, even though it happened one year ago today, there was an event that proved to the whole world the united blogosphere's ability to deploy resources immediately into a single congressional district. July 19th is Blogosphere Day.

As was announced in October of 2004 and covered by the National Journal last week.

Today is Blogosphere Day and it needs to happen again.

Two weeks from today, there is a special election in Ohio's second congressional district. The Republican is caught in a late-breaking scandal that has made irrelevant all assumptions about the race.

The election will be a big day for Paul Hackett. If he wins, he goes to Washington. If he loses, he goes back to Iraq.

Understandly, Hackett is campaigning as if his life depended upon it...with only two weeks to go.

Just like last year, we need the one-two punch of the blogs, email, and ActBlue. Go make a contribution and then come back and read some of the history behind blogosphere day. Then post and email and let's see how much we can raise.

I gave $50, special elections are important. All day, we'll be rolling out posts on the race.

------ Go Donate


Thanks for donating. Now let me tell you a story about Blogosphere Day -- a national holiday and show of unity by the liberal blogosphere.

It was one year ago today that it all began. I'll let Salon set the moment:

On Monday afternoon, July 19, Stephen Yellin, a 16-year-old politics junkie and frequent contributor to the lefty blog Daily Kos, noticed an intriguing development in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, an area to the north of Philadelphia. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was reporting that Jim Greenwood, the district's popular, moderate Republican congressman, had unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection, meaning that his House seat was now up for grabs. This is the sort of news that sets partisans like Yellin jumping for joy, and so, of course, he blogged about it.

"I would suggest that we get involved ASAP," Yellin, who goes by the handle MrLiberal on Daily Kos, wrote. Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, the Democrat running for the open seat, "supports civil unions and is against Bush's positions on Iraq and the Patriot Act," he noted approvingly. But she was woefully low on cash -- as of June 30, Schrader had only $7,000 in the bank. Yellin implored Daily Kos' politically obsessed readers to change that situation: "This is completely out of left field, folks, and it gives us another opportunity for a pickup," he wrote. "Ginny Schrader is the luckiest candidate in the nation today, but can her luck hold?"

What happened next was beyond anything that Yellin had expected. Hundreds of people began pitching in, documenting their small donations in the comments threads of Daily Kos and other blogs: "$25.01 coming from me." "$30.01 from me too." "Yeah, this liberal kicked in $20.01." (Daily Kos readers add in the extra penny as a kind of signature for the site, letting a campaign know where the money's coming from.) The tide came in for at least two full days, and when it was over, Ginny Schrader, a candidate who was recently unknown to even the most obsessive campaign watchers, found herself flush with more than $30,000. She was suddenly a political force to contend with. (emphasis mine)

Yes, it was a very magical day. Here at Swing State Project, DavidNYC wrote:

We can make a huge difference overnight if we chip in to help her out - and we can also scare off any Republicans who might consider entering this race now. Imagine the headlines tomorrow or the next day if the blogosphere rapid-response network can toss Ginny some serious coin.

Kos noted, " I just spoke with Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, and the news is spectacular. Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, her campaign has raised $14K online. Some from Daily Kos, some from other sources. This is a blogosphere-wide phenomenon."

Once again, we need to leverage our numbers and quickly deploy resources – people and money – to a single congressional district. Here's what Stephen Yellin says:

Paul Hackett's a genuinely good and decent human being, and one that can make a big difference if elected. Jean Schmidt's another GOP hack in a long line of such politicians, and would be just another face in the crowd if elected. No to mention that electing a Democrat in this district would send a clarion message to the Republicans in Washington: Your days in power are numbered. This threat would not be ignored, especially if Congressman Paul Hackett is there to give it to them. The Republicans will be shell-shocked (we saw how concerned they were when Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth won specials in 2004), and we will have scored a major victory for our party, for our ideology, for America.

So, how do we make the most of our moment? Go to Paul's website, http://www.hackettforcongress.com and help them out, first off. If the Hackett campaign is going to take advantage of this GOP donnybrook, they'll need to have enough money to run a few TV ads so people know who they ought to vote for instead of "same-old, same-old." They need volunteers-if you live near the district or if you want to fly over there to help, Cincinnati is not far away at all from Hackett's HQ.

Go Donate -- a little money from a whole lot of people can make a huge difference in a low-turnout special election with a late breaking scandal. Thank you for your solidarity and...

Happy Blogosphere Day!

You can follow the success here.

UPDATE (Bob): Wow. At the end of the night: $100504.47 from 1842 netroots Democrats.

Posted at 11:59 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Site News | Comments (4) | Technorati

OH-02: Hackett Update

Posted by Bob Brigham

Happy Blogosphere Day!


UPDATESupportersTotal Raised
10:20 Central321$33,967.96
12:20 Central475$41,367.96
1:20 Central638$47,813.22
2:20 Central897$61,819.29
3:20 Central1106$70,698.14
4:20 Central1317$78,764.55
5:20 Central1397$85,244.59
6:20 Central11484$89,310.60

UPDATE (Tim): Of course, if you are from Ohio, you can volunteer for the campaign by going to Paul Hackett's volunteer page.

You can also view the grassroots produced video that draws a nice distinction between the two candidates running at Grow Ohio.

UPDATE (Bob & Tim): Atrios has a page for the Eschaton community ($740.00, $1055.01 $1651.80 $2,201.81) and Democracy for America is driving mad people to the main actblue page.

Posted at 01:33 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (5) | Technorati

Thursday, July 14, 2005

NJ-GOV: Lautenberg Says: Give Back the Blood Money

Posted by Bob Brigham

As was to be expected, the Karl Rove Scandal is now turning into an elections issue.

Check out the email Senator Frank Lautenberg sent today:

Last month, Doug Forrester and the New Jersey Republican Party held a fundraiser with Karl Rove as the star attraction. We don't know what Rove said, because the event was closed to the press and public. But we can guess, because the day after the Forrester fundraiser Karl Rove tore into progressives, saying "liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." What did Forrester have to say about this baseless partisan attack? Nothing.

Now according to his own lawyer, Karl Rove is involved in leaking the identity of a CIA undercover agent working to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet Forrester is still silent, apparently believing that it's more important to protect the patronage of the national Republican Party leadership than the safety of our country.

Sign the petition demanding Forrester repudiate Karl Rove's despicable behavior and return the blood money Karl Rove raised at the Forrester fundraiser:

Damaging national security for partisan revenge threatens the safety of all Americans. And having it come from inside the White House threatens the stability of our political system. Early last week, I called for Karl Rove's security clearance to be revoked. But we must ask for more than this. We must ensure that anyone who profits politically by the divisive and possibly illegal activity of high level operatives like Karl Rove be held to account for their implicit endorsement of such behavior. Add your voice to those demanding Forrester repudiate Rove's support: http://www.corzineforgovernor.com/rove

It's not yet known how much damage Karl Rove has done to this country by compromising CIA assets. I hope and pray that this White House recommits itself to protecting Americans instead of playing partisan games.

Until then, we can only ask Republicans and Democrats of good conscience to demand that this behavior stop, and that those who compromise national security be brought to justice.

Thanks for your help, and if you have a moment, please forward this petition to your friends and family.

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Posted at 06:42 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Plamegate, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

OH-02: Blogging the Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the new National Journal Beltway Blogroll:

Voters in Ohio's 2nd District will choose a replacement for Republican Rob Portman in an Aug. 2 special election, and The Stakeholder, the blog of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is billing it as "a campaign that could cement the blogosphere's reputation as leaders in the Democratic Party."

Portman left the seat to become U.S. trade representative, and with Portman having won 72 percent of the vote in the district last fall and President Bush netting 63 percent, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt seemed to be a sure bet for victory. But that was before the Ohio Republican Party was rocked by a scandal involving state investments in rare coins.

Now the DCCC sees an opportunity to trim the Republican House majority, and it is calling on bloggers to help the cause by supporting Democratic candidate Paul Hackett. "Can we raise $25,000 in two weeks to get Paul Hackett elected?" Stephen Yellin wrote at The Stakeholder. "We did it in 2004 with Ginny Schrader in a week, and this race is no less important. And when I threw the first pebble into Ginny's wave of money, I knew that her race mattered. So does Paul Hackett's."

By way of reminder, Schrader was dubbed "the candidate of the netroots" by Daily Kos, which also created "Blogosphere Day" (July 19, in case you're wondering) to recognize how bloggers rallied around her campaign in Pennsylvania's 8th District.

I forgot about Blogosphere Day -- set your calendars. An appropriate tribute would be to support Paul Hackett.

Posted at 06:31 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

OH-02: Jean Schmidt Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

As regular readers know, Swing State Project Senior Elections Analyst Tim Tagaris also has a day job working for Grow Ohio. Today, he's putting on a demonstration on how to turn some breaking news into a shitstorm of a scandal online.

First, he wrote a great post and then spread the word. Over at DailyKos, DavidNYC put it on the front page. At MyDD, Chris Bower put it on the front page. It's on the Stateholder. And OH-02.

This is a huge day in the Special Election for Ohio's second congressional district. Go check out the Jean Schmidt scandal.

Posted at 03:57 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, Ohio, Open Seats, Scandals, Special Elections | Technorati

Thursday, July 07, 2005

CA-48: Bob Dornan and the American Independent Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

The special election in California's 48th Congression District could get very interesting. Toss out convention wisdom about Orange County, if this race goes three way with a big name, it could be very favorable for Democrats. From the LA Times:

Former U.S. Rep. Robert K. Dornan, a rabble-rousing Republican and notorious conservative who represented Orange County from 1985 through 1996, is eyeing another run for Congress, despite defeats in 1996, 1998 and 2004.

This time, Dornan, 72, is weighing whether to abandon the GOP and run as a candidate for the American Independent Party. He is hoping to gain a strategic advantage in a bid for the plum coastal congressional seat held by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach).

It gets weirder, and it appears Dornan will quickly go negative on Republican candidates (state Senator John Campbell and former Assemblywoman Marilyn C. Brewer).

Campbell and Brewer are too moderate and unreliable on such issues as abortion, said Dornan, who lives in Virginia but is registered to vote in Sunset Beach.

"This time, I'm not going to see a safe conservative seat go to someone like Marilyn Brewer," he said by telephone. He said social liberals, who he predicted would back both Campbell and Brewer, "are a metastasizing cancer on the Republican party to turn us into Democrats."

"metastasizing cancer"

Here's how it would go:

Running as an independent candidate has appeal, Dornan said Wednesday, because he would not have to change parties to appear on the ballot — as long as at least 40 registered American Independent Party voters signed his nomination papers.

All candidates would appear on the same ballot in the special election, with the top vote-getters from each party in a runoff if there is no clear majority. [...]

The American Independent Party has about 29,000 registered voters in Orange County, with 7,620 voters in Cox's 48th Congressional District. Republicans have 202,793 voters in the district; Democrats have 109,514.

The independent platform includes ending foreign aid and debt financing by state and federal governments, ending the federal income tax and international trade pacts, reducing immigration and ending subsidies to illegal immigrants. The group opposes abortion and claims it's the only party to support a state's right to recognize God and the Ten Commandments.

Here's some polling and the Seaborn strategy.

Posted at 10:58 AM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, California, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, June 24, 2005

NJ-Gov: Karl Rove Scandal Scalds Doug Forrester

Posted by Bob Brigham

I knew the Karl Rove scandal would have impacts in local elections when I received the following email with an hour of the scandal blowing up:

Vicious Karl Rove Just Raised Money for Republican Doug Forrester

I’m sure you’ve heard about Karl Rove calling liberals and Democrats traitors, and the White House supporting his comments.

I think it’s interesting that Karl Rove was just in New Jersey raising money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester: link

Now there is an Action Alert to contact NJ Gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, New York City Mayor Michael Bloombloog and New York state Governor Bill Pataki. This already has support from Americablog, Eschaton, Steve Gilliard's News Blog, and Chris Bowers at MyDD.

From AmericaBlog:

Anti-Karl Rove Action Alert

Atrios suggests we all do the following. I agree:
This week Karl Rove headlined a couple of fundraisers for the Republican candidate for governor of New Jesrsey, Doug Forrester.

Call his campaign office and demand to know if Forrester stands by Karl Rove's assertion that Democrats like Dick Durbin are motivated by a desire to see troops die (especially if you live in New Jersey or imagine that you do). Demand that he return the money he raised. Find out if he's proud to stand with Karl Rove, and if also thinks that New Jersey Democrats are motivated by a desire to see our troops die.

email: info@doug2005.com

GOP Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has refused to repudiate what Rove's, Mehlman's, and the White House's assertion that YOU want to kill the troops and didn't give a damn about September 11. And remember folks, this is New York City, if they want to play that "liberal" card, let them. 80% of the city would call itself "liberal." So Bush thinks 80% of New Yorkers didn't give a damn about September 11. You're traitors, you dishonor the dead. When your friends died that day, you wanted to give Osama a hug.

Call Mayor Bloomber and demand he publicly repudiate the White House's slander against New Yorkers and all those who survived September 11. Bloomberg's wishy-washy statement about how we wishes all sides would stop politicizing September 11 is cute, but "all sides" weren't politicizing it. Only one party has. That would be the party he invited to hold its patriotic orgasm of a convention there last fall, the one that politicized September 11.

It's time for Bloomberg to tell New Yorkers, is he with them or against them? Does he stand by the White House's words that 80% of New Yorkers are motivated by a desire to kill our troops, and that 80% of NYers didn't give a damn about September 11? Answer the damn question, or don't be mayor.

Email bloomberg here.

Then make some phone calls to Bloomberg's press people:

Edward Skyler, Robert Lawson, Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958


Pataki refused to even give a wishy-washy answer yesterday about the White House's slander of NYers and all Americans. He stood by Rove 100%. Give him a call too, and demand that he publicly repudiate this disgusting use of the 9/11 dead to help George Bush's polls.

Main governor's office phone: 518-474-8390, 212-681-4580
Email the governor here

Lynn Rasic (Governor)
(212) 681-4640

Forrester, Bloomberg and Pataki need to do the right thing by denouncing Karl Rove and returning the poisoned money.

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, New Jersey, New York, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Friday, June 17, 2005

CA-48: Special Election Polling

Posted by Tim Tagaris

So, it's closer than I thought it might be:

Conducted by Probolsky Research (R). June 10-14, 2005. N=325 likely special election voters districtwide. (MoE +/- 5.5%)

John Graham (D): 22%

John Campbell (R): 31%
Marilyn Brewer (R): 8%

Don't Know/Undecided: 39%

The Democrat, John Graham is a university professor. For the Republicans, John Campbell is a State Senator and Marilyn Brewer is a business woman.

Posted at 02:29 AM in 2005 Elections, California, Polls, Special Elections | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

VA-2005: General Election Ballot

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Republican and Democratic tickets were set yesterday for the Nov. 8 general election.

State Sen. Bill Bolling of Hanover County and Del. Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia Beach won the Republican nominations to run for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Former U.S. Rep. Leslie L. Byrne won a four-way Democratic primary contest for lieutenant governor.

Bolling and McDonnell will join former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore on a GOP ticket with an especially conservative bent. As expected, Kilgore brushed aside Warrenton Mayor George B. Fitch for the gubernatorial nomination.

Because he was unopposed for the Democratic nomination, Timothy M. Kaine of Richmond is the Democratic nominee for governor. His name was not on the ballot yesterday. Also unopposed was State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County, the Democratic standard-bearer for attorney general.

With New Jersey the only other state with important state-wide offices on the ballot, Virginia is going to see an infusion of out-of-state money and people that will have significant impacts on all of the races. Nationally, both sides want to do well, and will be spending accordingly. Democrats are in better position, with a likely win in New Jersey, Democrats worst case scenario is a split with a best case being a sweep.

Posted at 11:07 AM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Technorati

Monday, June 13, 2005

NYC-02: Gur Tsabar Getting Noticed

Posted by Bob Brigham

On Christmas Eve, Swing State Project was visited by Gur Tsabar (candidate for NYC City Council, 2nd District), who commented on Tim's famous ATM post. He seemed interested in using his campaign as an experimentation lab, which judging by the press, he's been doing (with the hustle you would expect from somebody working on Christmas Eve). The latest was from The Village Voice:

Tsabar's campaign is combining the required petition drive to get on the ballot with a clothing drive. Every morning from 7-9, at the 6 train stop at Astor Place and the F stop at 2nd Ave., Tsabar's volunteers collect signatures and donated clothing. Originally, all the donated duds were going to go to the Henry Street Settlement. "But we've just collected so much, they can't take it all," Hilary Keller, a campaign aide, tell the Voice, so other nonprofits will get the surplus.

The clothing drive is the latest installment of Tsabar's "community service-oriented campaign." Previous good deeds included a collection of 75 deactivated cell phones, which were then turned over to senior citizens so they can call 911. Back in December, the campaign collected 500 books for P.S. 63's holiday book fair. The reason for the campaign's approach, Keller says, is that campaigns have grown so expensive that "you really feel that the money can be used in different ways, for better purposes." Not to mention, it's good politics. Somebody gets the clothes they need, somebody else gets to clean out that hall closet, and Tsabar gets his signatures—as well as voters' kudos for doing something nice.

I'm going to keep my eye on this one.

Posted at 06:30 PM in 2005 Elections | Technorati

Friday, June 03, 2005

NJ-Gov: Bret Schundler Website Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Jon Corzine is widely expected to easily win New Jersey's 2005 gubernatorial campaign. Republican odds are long at best, but get even longer when the GOP tricksters get busted fabricating support with photoshop. Idiots.

Posted at 02:43 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey, Scandals | Technorati

Thursday, June 02, 2005

CA-48: Chris Cox Out; Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

California Republican Chris Cox will be leaving behind an Open Seat as he has been tapped for the SEC.

Of course, this seat is Orange County, but it does present Democrats an opportunity for life to imitate art...imitating political life.

This is the seat Sam Seaborn ran for on The West Wing. Viewers will remember that Seaborn took one for the team, serving as a big gun running in an awful district following a strange turn of events.

Seaborn lost, but it is important for us to fight in every district, every cycle -- all of the time. Hollywood is filled with such bigs guns talking about running for Governor or President. Right now, one of these people should can the talk and start working to take back Orange County -- starting with fighting for the California 48th.

Orange County isn't as bad as convention wisdom suggests. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez calls it home and it has also elected Democrats like Richard T. Hanna and Jerry Patterson.

The trend could also be favorable for Democrats. Red Orange County resulted from Oakies and other midwesterners populating the area, but the current migration patterns of immigrants provided Sanchez her victory and could make the district far more competitive in years to come.

Open seats are targets of opportunity that are critical for a minority party. So let's put the Orange County jokes aside, find a good candidate ready to fight relentlessly, and give the immigrant communities a reason to vote for a Democrat.

Posted at 11:31 AM in 2005 Elections, California, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

San Diego Mayoral Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

I love Special Elections. While most regular elections are carefully scripted affairs that have been planned for years, Special Elections are last minute sprints. Following the abrupt resignation of San Diego's mayor, there is a Special Election scheduled for July 26th (likely to be followed by a runoff). From the AP:

SAN DIEGO - Fifteen candidates submitted signatures before a Friday filing deadline to run for a spot on the July 26 ballot to replace embattled Republican Mayor Dick Murphy. [...]

Donna Frye, a Democratic city councilwoman who nearly won a write-in bid in November's disputed mayoral election, is widely considered the front-runner to replace Murphy.

Frye, who is married to the legendary surfer Skip Frye, ran a surf shop and campaigned for clean water before joining the City Council in 2001. She has campaigned on a theme of ending what she sees as a culture of secrecy at City Hall.

With a surf shop owner leading the rag-tag pack, it isn't surprising to see she's facing competition for a valet, a P.I., and of course, a rich guy trying to buy the seat. Full candidate list after the break.

Donna Frye - City Councilmember
Jerry Sanders - Businessman
Jeremy Ledford - Sales for McKesson
Jonathan Schell - Software Engineer
Les Swazzo - Full time student
Paul M. Dekker - Computer Consultant
Tony V. Theodore - General Manager
George R. Cook - Property Manager
Bernard Palecek - Dir. of Operations, California Mortgage Consultant
James Galley - Water Plant Operator
Ed Kolker - Mediator
Christopher Perl - Customer Service Rep. 2/HSBC Auto Finance
Michael Hill - Bartender/Manager
Jim Bell - Ecological Designer
Michael Shelby - Motorcycle Sales & Services
John P. Casey - Small Business Owner
Richard Rider - Taxpayer Activist
Christopher McKerlie - Marketing Manager
Kent Mesplay - County Air Quality Inspector
Bret Patterson - Airline Employee
Thomas Knapp - Supervisor
Christopher L. Wylie - Teacher/Artist
Steve Francis - Executive Chairman-AMN Healthcare
Shawn A. McMillan - Attorney
Ronnie Douglas Lawson - Private Investigator
Joseph Braverman - Researcher
John Washington - Valet Attendant-Cashier
Mac Sperry - Activist, Writer, Political Theorist
Patrick Shea - Attorney Businessman

Posted at 11:46 AM in 2005 Elections, California, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, May 21, 2005

San Diego Special Election for Mayor

Posted by Bob Brigham

On July 26th, San Diego will have a general Special Election to replace Dick Murphy who resigned from the office under scandal. As I'm sure you can appreciate, that is quite a sprint of a race that should be interesting to watch because of the candidates. From the AP:

SAN DIEGO - A wealthy Republican businessman on Thursday entered the race for mayor of scandal-plagued San Diego, joining a field that includes a maverick councilwoman and a former police chief. [...]

Steve Francis announced his candidacy by saying he was "ashamed, embarrassed and angry" at the city's leaders. "If you ran a business this way, you would be in jail," he said.

The 50-year-old Francis, executive chairman of a hospital staffing company, has already contributed $500,000 to his campaign, according to an e-mail sent to his supporters.

Francis served in the Nevada Assembly in the 1980s but is new to San Diego politics. His main opponents to date are former Police Chief Jerry Sanders, a Republican, and Councilwoman Donna Frye, a Democrat who nearly won a write-in bid in November.

Rich boy will have some dough, but Frye has the potential to captivate the narrative. Her candidacy is perfect for an agressive internet campaign, stay tuned to see if she takes advantage of the potential.

Posted at 01:25 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Special Elections | Technorati

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

LA-Mayor: Villaraigosa v. Hahn

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Regular updates can be found HERE. I will continue to update this race, and Seth Williams, at Swing State Project.

Update 1: Reporting 8%: Villaraigosa 51% (61,435) - Hahn 48% (58,045)
Update 2: Reporting 9%: Villaraigosa 53% (71,621) - Hahn 47% (62,610)
Update 3: Reporting 11%: Villaraigosa 56% (90,660) - Hahn 44% (72,024)
Update 4: Reporting 14%: Villaraigosa 58% (119,044) - Hahn 42% (86,150)
Update 5: Reporting 16%: Villaraigosa 58% (139,773) - Hahn 41% (98,486)

FINAL: Quick correction, the above percent reporting numbers are the numbers for voters, not precincts. The count stands at Villaraigosa 58.66% (260,721) - Hahn 41.34% (183,749).

Hahn was stomped. Changing the Democratic Party is best done in races where we get to choose which Democrat we prefer.

Posted at 11:46 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Monday, May 16, 2005

VA-Gov: Jerry Kilgore an Idiot

Posted by Bob Brigham

This is kinda funny. I'm sitting here at the personal democracy conference, listening to lots of big ideas about the internet and democracy (lower case 'd'). Which is why I was so shocked to come across this article in the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Jerry W. Kilgore, the likely Republican nominee for governor, fires back next week in the television-advertising battle, rolling out his first commercials of the increasingly bitter campaign.

People willing to donate $50 or more could preview one TV ad yesterday on a special Web site.

Fifty bucks to see a campaign ad a day early? This has got to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard of. I know there are plenty of people stupid enough to support Kilgore, but I'd be shocked to learn that there is anyone, anywhere in the world, dumb enough to pay $50 to watch a TV ad.

Kilgore is an idiot, raising taxes on democracy with his pay-to-play campaign.

Posted at 09:39 AM in 2005 Elections | Technorati

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh-02: Open Seat Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ohio Second Congressional District special elecion breakdown, from a Cincinnati Enquirer acticle:

Special Primary Election: June 14
Special General Election: August 2

12 Republicans
7 Democrats
(Independents have until June 13 to submit 1,921 valid signatures)

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2005 Elections, Ohio, Open Seats, Special Elections | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

California 2005 Special Election

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

The possibility of a special election has hung over California since January, when the governor outlined his proposals for overhauling state government this year. He said that if lawmakers balked at his ideas, he would take them to voters.

So far, legislative leaders have reached no agreement with the governor on his agenda, and many Democrats are not inclined to compromise with him, saying that his proposals have not generated popular support.

Schwarzenegger's poll numbers have slid precipitously as he has pushed his plans. "If the governor prevails on most, if not all, of his proposals, this will give him a resurgence of momentum and likely break the back of the Democratic opposition," said Larry Gerston, a political science professor at San Jose State University. "If he loses, after putting all of his prestige on the line, this will cut the legs out from under him. We're really looking at a crossroads here."

We are looking at as many as 8 ballot initiatives. So what is each side bringing to the table?

From the Republicans:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet to call the election he has been considering all year. But his allies said they have submitted petitions to place on the ballot three measures he favors. They would curb state spending, strip legislators of the power to decide the boundaries of their districts and delay tenure for public school teachers.

Along with an initiative that challenges unions' political might, on which Schwarzenegger has not taken a public position, the measures would chip at the clout and financing of the Democratic Party and the authority of the Legislature — the one branch of government Democrats have controlled for the last decade.

From the Democrats:

Groups aligned with Democratic lawmakers announced that they had submitted petitions for an initiative that would lower prescription drug prices and for another to re-regulate the state's energy market.

Passage of either would be a rebuke to Schwarzenegger, who vetoed legislative versions of the measures last year.

I don't see how Arnold can chicken-out on the Special Election. But, don't see how he could end in any better position since this would serve as yet another excuse for the growing number of Governorator critics to spend a pile of money bashing Arnold. Then again, this is California so it really doesn't matter what one does (as long as it is done colorfully).

Posted at 09:03 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

VA-Gov: Kaine Supporters' Misguided Agenda

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was reading a misguided praise for the DLC because Blair didn't do that much worse than expected, when I stumbled across something that told me my gut was right in rejecting Tim Kaine. Don't get me wrong, I understand you campaign for the state you're running in, but there is an important difference between that and running a triangulation campaign against Democrats as part of a scheme to let the extreme right-wing take over the Democratic Party as they have the GOP. From Raising Kaine:

First we create a New Centrist Democrat success model in Virginia, then we extend it to the rest of America in 2008.

Now I don't feel bad at all about checking Kaine when he's been out of line. Like here, here, and here. Who says blogs don't influence who people support in elections, this blog post has convinced me that the Kaine supporters are more concerned about the long-term message implications of running a rightwinger for the Democrats -- so I shall be equally concerned.

Posted at 12:40 AM in 2005 Elections, 2008 Election - President, Democrats, Netroots, Virginia | Technorati

Sunday, May 08, 2005

TX-City Races 2005

Posted by Bob Brigham


In Dallas, Monica Barros-Greene, the transsexual owner of a popular Mexican restaurant, will face Pauline Medrano in a runoff for city council. Medrano pulled 45 percent of votes, compared with Barros-Greene's 38 percent.

And there might be even more interesting of a race in San Antonio.

A 30-year-old San Antonio city councilman says his lead in the mayoral election should erase doubts that he's too young to lead the nation's eighth-largest city, but his 70-year-old opponent isn't so sure.

Councilman Julian Castro will face retired Texas appeals court judge Phil Hardberger in a June runoff for mayor because neither received more than 50 percent of the vote on Saturday.

Castro led with about 42 percent, or 47,893 votes, after three-fourths of precincts were counted. Hardberger received 30 percent of the vote, or 34,280 votes.

"The lion's share of voters in San Antonio believe I can effectively lead," said Castro, who was the subject of jokes during his campaign because of his age and youthful appearance.

Castro faced a double-scandal (literally) when he was busted extending his campaign schedule in an innovative way:

The election gained attention last month when Castro's twin brother, Joaquin Castro, stood in for him on a city council parade float. Hardberger accused the brothers of trying to deceive the public.

The brothers responded by joking about the so-called "Twingate" affair, with Julian wearing an "I'm Julian" T-shirt and his brother wearing one that said "I'm Not Julian."

Posted at 03:20 PM in 2005 Elections, Texas | Technorati

Friday, May 06, 2005

LA-Mayor: Fundraising Blowout

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, who is aggressively raising money to finance his second bid for the city's highest office, had raised almost $1.7 million more than incumbent James K. Hahn as the Los Angeles mayoral race entered its final stage.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday showed that Villaraigosa had collected more than $2.8 million for the runoff campaign through the end of last month compared with less than $1.2 million for Hahn.

Ouch. Villariagosa's huge lead in the polls appears to have short-circuited Hahn's fundraising.

But the slower pace of Hahn's fundraising adds to the impression of a mayor "floundering" in his reelection quest, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a USC political science professor.

"It appears as though the mayor has totally stalled, and that the money is on Villaraigosa," she said. "That's the perception, and in politics, perception is reality."

Consistently low poll ratings have made it hard for Hahn to draw support from donors who normally would lavish contributions on a sitting mayor with leverage over business interests at City Hall.

Villaraigosa's campaign manager, Ace Smith, said Hahn's latest fundraising report showed that the mayor is "in deep trouble."

"An incumbent mayor being out-raised by a challenger is a sign of a critically ill campaign," Smith said.

Posted at 01:23 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

LA-Mayor: Villaraigosa Stomping Hahn

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at the Villaraigosa Blog, they have released the latest tracking numbers (Survey USA):

Channel 7 released a new mayoral poll by Survey USA today. The results:

Villaraigosa: 62%
Hahn: 3%
Undecided: 5%

The reaction?

Jerome Armstrong:

LA's had enough of Hahn. The only demographic that Hahn beats Villaraigosa on is among Republicans (62-37) and Conservatives (53-45). Among everyone else, Villaraigosa leads; and in the Valley Antonio holds a 20% lead over Hahn.


Not only does it appears that Villaraigosa is set to demolish Hahn, but it also looks like he has the support of just about every prominent politician. I assume some of that is just the bandwagon effect, but doesn't Hahn have any friends?

The last numbers Swing State Project has looked at were Villaraigosa - 53%, Hahn - 35%.

For Hahn, things have gone from bad to worse. I'm sure the race will tighten in the final days, but not enough for Hahn to finish respectably.

Posted at 10:45 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

OH-02: A Strange Twist

Posted by DavidNYC

The special election in Ohio's second district can't be scheduled, as I understand things, until Rep. Rob Portman actually gets confirmed as trade rep and steps down from his House seat. The committee responsible for his nomination approved him unanimously, but now there's a bit of a hold-up:

But Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, has placed a "hold" on the nomination. This could block Portman from being confirmed in time to represent the United States at a trade meeting early next week in Paris.

Bayh wants Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, to schedule a vote on a China trade bill strongly supported by U.S. manufacturers and many other lawmakers in exchange for dropping his hold.

The bill Bayh is pushing would allow the Commerce Department to put duties on Chinese imports to offset government subsidies. That could encourage U.S. companies to file a flood of cases charging China with subsidizing exports. (Emphasis added.)

This is definitely an interesting move by Bayh, and if I wanted to, I suppose I could also label this a post on the 2008 presidential election. I have to believe that the DLC - a group with which Bayh, moreso than almost any other elected Democrat today, energetically associates himself - opposes this kind of "protectionism." Maybe I'm wrong on that specific detail, but nonetheless, this strikes me as a sort of economically populist move designed to showcase Bayh's bona fides for the sake of certain parts of the Dem base.

As for Ohio's second, this procedural move by Bayh could delay the special election there - for how long, I'm not certain. I have a feeling that Portman won't be made to cool his heels for very long, but if Bayh is tenacious (and this could get him exactly the kind of press he's hoping for), then maybe the nomination will get put on hold for a while. And Frist has shown himself to be an incompetent parliamentarian - I wouldn't be surprised if Bayh could deviously outsmart him on this one.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2005 Elections, 2008 President - Democrats, Ohio | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, April 24, 2005

LA-Mayor: Hahn Cracks in Debate

Posted by Bob Brigham


Struggling in the polls, Hahn assumed the role of a challenger, accusing Villaraigosa of being the candidate of inertia and shopworn ideas.

"(Villaraigosa) wants to defend the status quo," said Hahn, who is seeking a second, four-year term.

When the incumbent calls the challenger the status quo candidate it is time for a serious ass whoopin. If that isn't enough evidence, you know Villaraigosa is going to win when Hahn is bogged down in denials:

Hahn responded by saying that "no one has found that anyone has done anything wrong in my administration so far."

Villaraigos is going to kick Hahn's ass. My bet is it will be a double-digit victory.

Posted at 12:39 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Thursday, April 21, 2005

LA-Mayor: Spending Cap and Gloves Come Off

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

Villaraigosa campaign strategist Ace Smith said the city councilman, who raised $1.8 million by last Sunday, would collect as much as he can.

"Jim Hahn ran one of the sleaziest campaigns in American history four years ago," said Smith, referring to the June 2001 matchup in which Villaraigosa lost to Hahn. "We know we are going to need every dollar possible to respond."

Hahn campaign strategist Kam Kuwata said that "all the money in the world cannot cover up" Villaraigosa's "very shaky record" in public office.

Hahn and Villaraigosa, meanwhile, spent the day attacking each other's records on crime and education.

Two weeks ago I noted Villaraigosa's financial advantage. However, both numbers reported at that time showed a low level of interest with less than impressive contribution totals. Now, the independent spending it giving Hahn temporary relief from being at a financial disadvantage.

Mayor James K. Hahn and his opponent, Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, can spend an unlimited amount of money on their May 17 runoff election because the cap was lifted Wednesday when two unions with close ties to Hahn reported spending $320,000 to support his reelection.

Hahn has so far benefited from $402,632 in independent spending, primarily from unions, while Villaraigosa has benefited from $121,865, less than a third as much.

There are no limits on independent expenditures, but spending more than $200,000 for or against a candidate removes the $1.8-million cap on how much candidates can spend.

The election is May 17th and with less than a month to go, this race is going to get expensive and nasty. Here are the latest poll numbers that I've seen:

Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa has pulled ahead of Mayor James Hahn by 18 points in the race to lead the nation's second-largest city, according to a Los Angeles Times poll released Tuesday.

Voters would oust Hahn for Villaraigosa by a margin of 53 percent to 35 percent if the election were held today, according to a survey released on the newspaper's Web site. Twelve percent were undecided.

The poll held few positive signs for Hahn, with nearly two-thirds of likely voters saying they believed his policies have left the city no better off and desiring a new direction.

A half a million in IE money isn't to do too much for an unpopular mayor who is trailing by 18 points.

Posted at 12:39 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine Trailing by 8

Posted by Bob Brigham


April 16, 2005--In the race to become Virginia's next Governor, Republican Jerry Kilgore leads Democrat Tim Kaine by eight percentage points, 44% to 36%.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Virginia have a favorable opinion of Kilgore while 33% have an unfavorable opinion. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.

For Kaine, the numbers are 44% favorable, 31% unfavorable, and 25% not sure. [...]

The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted Thursday night, April 14, 2005. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points, with a 95% level of confidence.

If Kaine's strategy isn't working, at what point would the campaign make the necessary adjustments?

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 16, 2005

OH-2: Open Seat Update & Testing New Ideas

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Six GOP candidates have already announced their intention of running for the soon to be open 2nd Congressional District in Ohio. The latest two to throw their hat into the ring are State Representative Tom Brinkman and former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen. So far, no Democrats have announced their intention to run for the seat. Current Representative Rob Portman (R-OH) was nominated by President Bush to become the next U.S. Trade Representative and is slated to stand before the Senate Finance Committee in a confirmation hearing next Thursday.

Swing State Project's very own DavidNYC started a discussion on DailyKos a few weeks ago about using this special election as a "trial run" to test out ideas involving grassroots/netroots type activism that might be risky to give a first go in a hotly contested seat.

I agree. When it comes to netroots activism, this would be a great opportunity to attempt the difficult process of distilling national support for a candidate down to the local level where it actually translates into votes, volunteer hours, and results on-the-ground. That means creating an online infrastructure that gets people talking to people in like-minded communities, whether those are interest or location based. As of right now, and outside of fundraising, most candidates/campaigns think the only option is to cast a "national net" and attempt to catch the pieces that fall between the cracks into their own states/districts. The "national net" might be fine for Presidential races, and it certainly has helped out quite a few statewide and congressional campaigns, but until we attempt to create the infrastructure that targets specific demographics (ie. location), we are leaving a lot of potential on the table. This would be my first priority with the OH-2 special election.

Now we just need a candidate. But as Bob is fond of saying. "Forget about the candidate, we have an election to win."

Posted at 07:54 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio | Comments (5) | Technorati

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine Supporting Theocracy

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Raising Kaine:

The GOP, under the leadership of the Far Right, is now attacking Democrats for lacking Christian Faith. This is deplorable politics, and quite frightening to see. These sorts of attacks should not surprise us though. The GOP has found that the best way for them to win has been to attack Democrat’s patriotism (as in the case of both Max Cleland and Tom Daschle), and now they are just upping the ante. If they are successful here in Virginia, this will only encourage them to escalate these attacks further.

Agreed. So what does Tim Kaine do? Does he blast the Theocrats like Sen. Majority Leader Reid or make theocracy a campaign issue like DNC Chair Howard Dean? No, he joins the religious war by trying to triangulate himself as being holy enough to be part of the theocracy.

Tim Kaine has gone a great distance to try to undermine the GOP’s strategy. He’s been ahead of the game, putting up radio ads all across Virginia, but most especially in the rural areas of the state, talking about how his religious faith has guided his life.

Instead of criticizing the theocrats for starting a Holy War, Tim Kaine is helping them by joining their Holy War. This selfishness is actually undermining Democrat's national effort to stop the Holy War.

Here are some more resources:

Tim Kaine: Virginia: Tim Kaine campaign rejects reason; rejected by voters

Tim Kaine: 2005 Virginia Governor, who is running Kaine's campaign?

MyDD Tim Kaine: More Self-Hating Democrats

Posted at 02:12 PM in 2005 Elections, Democrats, Virginia | Comments (11) | Technorati

Thursday, April 14, 2005

VA-Gov: Tim Kaine, Jerry Kilgore Warchests

Posted by Bob Brigham

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Gubernatorial candidates Timothy M. Kaine and Jerry W. Kilgore have raised more than $15 million combined, an unprecedented amount of money for an election that is still seven months away.

Kaine, the Democratic lieutenant governor, brought in slightly more than $8 million as of March 31, according to campaign reports that are due tomorrow at the state Board of Elections.

Kilgore, the leading Republican candidate who stepped down as attorney general on Feb. 1 to focus on the Nov. 8 election, will report collecting more than $7 million, his campaign said yesterday.

Kaine brought in more than $2.6 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to the latest campaign reports. That includes a January gift of $1.5 million from the Democratic National Committee. He entered April with $5 million in cash. [...]

Kilgore received about $1.7 million during the first three months of the year and lists $4 million in cash. His campaign contended that it actually raised more money from donors when the DNC infusion is removed from Kaine's report.

It was irresponsible for Terry McAuliffe to blow $5 million on his way out the door. It would have been prudent for McAuliffe to let the incoming Chair direct the money and give if it was actually in the best interests of the Party's future as part of a long-term plan. IMHO, giving Kaine more money to lecture Democrats is a self-defeating strategy.

Posted at 12:07 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Corzine a Kossack

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Jon Corzine posted his first diary on Daily Kos. In a brilliant strategical maneuver, the Democratic Leadership Council is mentioned four times.

Posted at 11:05 AM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Technorati

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Political Blog Consultants

Posted by Bob Brigham

My recent post on Matt Stoller got me thinking about the unfortunate situation of a lack of experienced political blog consultants. While there are many people who can help a campaign set up a blog, there really aren't that many who can help a candidate get other blogs involved. Tim calls this "thinking outside the website" and this holds more potential than any other tactic.

But who are campaigns going to hire to make this happen? Corzine snatched up Matt Stoller, Sherrod Brown grabbed Tim Tagaris, Reid landed Ari Rabin-Havt, Markos isn't consulting any longer and I'm not taking any additional clients. Of course, Jerome Armstrong is available, but not everyone is going to be able to hire the Blogfather himself.

If you are interested in online communications and you are looking to hop on a campaign, send me a resume: bob.brigham -at- swingstateproject.com. With 33 Senate races, 435 House campaigns, hundreds of important state races there will be lots of opportunities.

Posted at 02:33 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

NJ-Gov: Corzine's Online Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hiring Matt Stoller was one of the smartest things that Senator Jon Corzine has done in his campaign for governor of New Jersey. Stoller is editing Corzine Connection and Corzine for Governor along with the offsite campaigning.

In addition to being a great blogger, Stoller is also one of the leading strategists in the Democratic Party. This race will be captivating, if for no other reason than Matt Stoller is involved.

And there will be disco dancing.

Posted at 02:05 PM in 2005 Elections, Netroots, New Jersey | Technorati

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

CA-Gov: Arnold Schwarzenegger's $60 Million Report Card

Posted by Bob Brigham

My how convention wisdom evolves. Six months ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to cruz to re-election. Now he's in for the battle of his life, from the Contra Costa Times:

California's teachers are girding for a battle royal.

The 335,000-member California Teachers Association began assembling a $60 million war chest last weekend to fight off Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's anticipated actions on school funding guarantees, teacher pay and tenure, all of which are expected to appear on a special election ballot in November.

Even in California, $60 million is a huge campaign fund. And this is just the teachers. Add in the nurses and the firefighters and the unions and the Democratic Party and the people, and it is easy to see how a quarter of a billion dollars could be spent against Schwarzenegger in the next two years. In all probability, there could be far more spent. Here is a key point from the story:

But California teachers can opt out of their union's political activities at the local, state and national level without losing any of their rights and privileges, said CTA vice president Dave Sanchez.

Some teachers take that option. Others, like Mt. Diablo union president and CTA state representative Mike Noce, think the political lobbying is so worthwhile that they contribute more.

"This equalizes the little guy," said Noce. "It gives me a voice in Sacramento."

The current political climate has incensed teachers to such a degree that several teachers who initially opted out came back to Noce to change their minds, he said. Even political neophytes have hit the streets, demonstrating outside San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Hotel last week when Schwarzenegger was in town to raise campaign money.

People were unhappy with Gray Davis. But when it comes to Schwarzenegger, the people are pissed off.

Posted at 12:26 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati

LA Mayor: Antonio Villaraigosa Wins

Posted by Bob Brigham

I tend to think of campaigns as a science as much as an art. For you scientists, my question is whether there is any possible scenario where Antonio Villaraigosa could lose after this assist?

LOS ANGELES - Basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor Monday, giving the challenger one of the race's prized endorsements and another A-list supporter in the politically crucial black community.

Johnson played for Hahn last time, but no more...

One of Southern California's most popular figures and now a successful businessman, Johnson endorsed Hahn over Villaraigosa in their runoff four years ago, part of a surge of black support that helped secure Hahn's victory in 2001.

Showing once again he has political game, Johnson explains:

Speaking at one of his health clubs in the San Fernando Valley, Johnson's announcement became as much a denunciation of Mayor James Hahn's leadership as an embrace of Villaraigosa's candidacy. The former Los Angeles Lakers star said the administration had been crippled by an ongoing corruption investigation.

"You can't point to the Hahn administration and find 10 things he has accomplished because he was so bogged down by the scandal situation," Johnson said. "The city was not moving forward." [...]

Johnson was outraged, like many blacks, when Hahn helped push out the city's black police chief, Bernard Parks, in 2002. There were other problems, too — most important, Hahn's failure to do more to create jobs, Johnson said.

"I expected him to be like his dad, and that didn't happen," Johnson said, referring to late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, a revered figure in the Los Angeles black community.

This is getting the play in the news it deserves. This is all-star. This is a done deal.

Posted at 09:05 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Saturday, April 09, 2005

LA Mayor Villaraigosa

Posted by Bob Brigham

I haven't written about the L.A. mayoral race, because frankly I have little interest. And judging by the latest fundraising numbers, I'm not alone. But all signs point towards Antonio Villaraigosa easily winning the runoff. That will be made easier with his financial advantage, from the AP

LOS ANGELES - Mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa has reported raising $652,000 over several weeks for the May runoff election, grabbing an early edge against Mayor James Hahn.

Hahn, seeking a second four-year term, trailed his fellow Democrat with about $408,000 in donations over the period, campaign figures from March 9 to April 2 showed. [...]

Along with at least a temporary financial edge, the figures, released Thursday, also give Villaraigosa's campaign a symbolic boost, particularly since Hahn held a fundraising edge in the primary season.

Sounds like momentum.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Virginia AG: R. Creigh Deeds launches campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham

Richmond Times Dispatch:

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County formally launched his bid yesterday as the Democratic candidate for attorney general, vowing to keep a post-Sept. 11 Virginia "safe and secure."

At a Capitol news conference yesterday afternoon, Deeds touched on a wide range of issues he promised to pursue if elected to the state's No. 3 job and said he wanted to protect Virginia families and consumers.

Deeds appeared with Gov. Mark R. Warner and several Richmond-area legislators.

Warner called him "the best candidate for the job" and said, "It's going to be great for Governor Tim Kaine to have Attorney General Creigh Deeds."

Deeds became the only Democratic attorney general candidate when state Sen. John S. Edwards of Roanoke stepped aside this month. In the November election, Deeds will face either Republican Steve Baril of Richmond or Del. Robert. F. McDonnell, R-Virginia Beach. The two Republicans will square off in a June 14 primary.

Also yesterday, two statewide candidates became the first to file petitions to place their name on the primary ballot. Sean Connaughton, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors filed his for the GOP nod for lieutenant governor. He was followed by McDonnell. The petition deadline is April 15.

Posted at 08:07 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

2005 Virginia Governor, who is running Kaine's campaign?

Posted by Bob Brigham

"Democrat" Tim Kaine's campaign for Governor of Virginia is self-destructing. It is ugly, Kaine appears to be going out of his way to embarrass himself and the Democratic Party.

Last week, Kaine gave an interview lecturing Democrats on religion by employing a self-hating strategy of trying to build himself up by attacking fellow Democrats.

It failed miserably.

When I say failed miserably, I mean failing in every quantifiable manner. So let us look at this academically:

Professor George Lakoff has this to say about swing voters:

Fallacy: Progressives can gain more voters by moving to the Right.

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1. Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2. It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

Moral: Voters are not on a left-to-right line. Stick with your ideals, frame what you believe effectively, and say what you believe. Say it well, strongly, and with moral conviction.

Kaine has provided the textbook example.

1. Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

I covered this yesterday on my post about the backlash documented by Chris Bowers and the Gadflyer. The Kaine campaigned excelled at proving this rule. It appears they are going out of their way to keep Democrats from supporting the campaign.

2. It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Now that Kaine has begun activating the GOP model in Swing Voters, Jerry Kilgore is piling on:

Kaine said Kilgore had questioned the authenticity of his religious beliefs. Kilgore said he was misquoted, that he was discussing Kaine's professed opposition to the death penalty.

The latest dustup in the campaign between the Democrat and Republican flared after the Washington Examiner, a daily newspaper in the Washington area, quoted Kilgore as saying in an interview Friday that Kaine never mentioned his faith in connection with the death penalty until Kaine's opposition to capital punishment became politically unpopular.

Not only did Kaine activate the conservative model in the minds of Swing Voters, but he came off as an opportunist in the process. And if that wasn't enough harm for one week, here's Kaine's spin:

Kaine likened the criticism to a "jihad," a religious holy war, but later backed away from that analogy.

Textbook indeed.

Posted at 06:22 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (8) | Technorati

Monday, March 28, 2005

Senator Jon Corzine for New Jersey Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Jon Corzine is running for Governor of New Jersey. He is kicking off his campaign this Wednesday, March 30th:

10:30 AM
Washington Township H.S. (Gloucester County)
519 Hurffville-Crosskeys Road, Sewell, NJ

1:30 PM
New Jersey City University
Gilligan Student Union, Multi-Purpose Room
2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ


Why Corzine is running:

After serious thought and consideration, I asked you here today to let you know that I hope to serve the people of New Jersey as their next elected governor.

It is a decision that didn’t come easily, but I am convinced it is the right one.

Let me be clear — I’m not running for governor as a reaction to what others have done. . . I’m running for governor for what I can do.

I’m not running for governor to oppose any individual . . . I’m running for governor to build a better life for eight and a half million New Jerseyans.

I’m running for governor to lead a state government that gives citizens value for their hard earned tax dollars and respects the values that hold us together.

I’m running for governor because I have the CEO experience of running one of the most successful private businesses in the world and I’ve served effectively in the most important deliberative body in history.

I’m running for governor after leading a respected financial institution that was rated one of the ten best places to work in America. As governor, I hope to make New Jersey one of the best places to live, to work, to go to school, to start a business and to grow old with dignity to set a new standard of excellence.

I’m running for Governor because the causes of social justice, quality education, accessible health care, and environmental accountability are under attack across America, but they must advance in New Jersey. With this campaign we will demonstrate that progressive ideas can be far more powerful than divisive politics.

A return to the traditional American values of concern for community, belief in each other and integrity in public life must begin somewhere. With this campaign, it begins in New Jersey.

This will not be a campaign about me — it will be a campaign about us.

Five years ago, I left private life to fight for the people and causes I believe in. I’ve been very blessed in my life. I’ve had the benefit of good public schools, the strength and encouragement of my family and community, and I was afforded tremendous professional opportunities that left me better off than I could have ever dreamed.

I believed five years ago and I still do that it is my responsibility to fight so that everyone can have the same kind of opportunities I’ve had and it’s my responsibility to fight, that fight where I can do the most good.

I believe that place is here and it is now as the governor of this great state.

That said, I am truly honored to serve as New Jersey’s United States Senator, and quite frankly, I love the job and the chance to affect change on critical issues:

National security and the war against terrorism;

Homeland Security;

Health Care;


Civil rights and civil liberties;

Social Security

The list goes on. But today, I believe that I can do more for New Jersey as its Governor.

I have served the people of this state with one goal, always in mind:

To represent their interests.

I promised the people of this state that if they elected me to the Senate, they would get a fighter who would stand up for them against the insiders and special interests UNBOUGHT AND UNBOSSED. That is what the people of New Jersey have gotten.

In my work in the Senate, it is always the people here at home who matter most.

And because I believe that, I have decided to run for Governor.

Given the history of recent years, New Jersey needs credible, hands-on, executive leadership in Trenton.

We need an outsider’s perspective, and we need a Governor whose first priority is to earn the trust of the people of this state.

I’ve been warned that the atmosphere in Trenton has been poisoned by procrastination, corruption and financial mismanagement that I should stay in the Senate above the fray. But that’s not why I got involved in public life.

Now more than ever, the challenge of restoring the credibility and confidence of our government falls on all of us in public life. And I accept that challenge.

I have worked hard to be the kind of United States Senator who is focused on my constituents, and the issues that impact their lives.

In this post 9-11 world, where tens of thousands of brave men and women many of them New Jerseyans -- risk their lives on the front lines in Iraq, there can be no tolerance for any other objective.

The public interest will be my, only, interest as Governor.

In the Senate, I pushed for the creation of the 9-11 commission, led the fight for tighter security at our chemical facilities and was outspoken in pushing for allocating homeland security resources based on risk.

I won corporate reforms to protect small investors and expanded home ownership opportunities for the middle class and our veterans.

I fought to make sure New Jersey’s PAAD program was protected in the new Medicare prescription drug law and wrote and passed with Congressman Frelinghuysen -- the 110 million dollar Highlands Conservation Act.

I have been a leader in pushing back against overreaching tax cuts and pork barrel spending that will bankrupt our children’s future.

Today, I pledge to be the same kind of Governor -- independent, principled, fiscally responsible, socially progressive, and effective.

I know what it takes to create jobs, to scrub a budget, to meet a payroll, and to make tough decisions about what investments make the most sense for the future.

I have made this announcement today to make my intentions ABSOLUTELY clear. Over the coming months I will offer my ideas for moving our state forward.

On providing affordable access at health care;

On improving education in the places it’s broken;

On protecting the most vulnerable our children and seniors;

On restoring a balanced and responsible fiscal plan;

On protecting a quality of life that provides for open spaces, clean beaches, clean air, and clean water;

On expanding New Jersey’s economy and building businesses;

On restoring the trust of our people in their elected officials.

As I said before we need to set a new standard of excellence in state government.

I respect the difficulty of the task ahead too much to come before you today with clever slogans or ten point plans. We need far more than a broom and a web site to change New Jersey for the better.

Most of all, being governor is being a leader. And if the people of New Jersey give me the privilege, I will be that leader.

Posted at 02:35 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Technorati

2005 Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine?

Posted by Bob Brigham

I had been planning on closely following Virginia's gubernatorial race with Democrat Tim Kaine. But that was before I found out Kaine is a self-hating Democrat.

Hopefully, Kaine be enough of a leader to fire whoever is giving this awful advice. Here is his website, somebody drop me an email if Kaine decides to grow up and stop triangulating.

Posted at 11:57 AM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Comments (12) | Technorati

Monday, March 21, 2005

GOP Overextended

Posted by Bob Brigham

New Polling Numbers:

New polling numbers on the Schiavo case have been released by ABC News. Here are some highlights:

- 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.

- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)

- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.

- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.

- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Republicans | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, March 17, 2005

OH-02 - Congressman Portman's seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

Congressman Rob Portman has been tapped for Trade Envoy.

In 2004, the Democrats surrendered Portman's second congressional district (even though it was in OHIO). Charles Sanders spent $15K and -- act surprised -- Portman coasted to re-election. This left Portman free to raise money for his cohorts, which he did.

I'm sure Tim will have more.

Posted at 11:30 AM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

IL-06 Hyde retiring, Cegelis leading Open Seat

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

In a few weeks, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House International Relations Committee who as Judiciary Committee chief wielded the gavel during President Clinton's impeachment, will announce that he will not seek another term.

The public position of Hyde, 80, an icon of the conservative movement, is that he will make up his mind for sure in April. But I am told he has decided to retire and is unlikely to reverse course.

Cegelis has kept her organization running and is even posting on dailykos as she ramps up her efforts:

As seasoned political advisor told me, if I wanted to win in 2006 I needed to start in November of 2004. I took that advice to heart and kept as much of my organization in place as possible to gear up for what is now will most likely be an open seat in 2006. I have been running with a really strong sense of urgency though since there are strong rumors that Henry Hyde will be given an ambassadorship to the Vatican in 2005, kicking off a special election. I do not know if it really will happen, but I would be foolish not to be ready if it did. So in the next few months we will be running this campaign as if the election is going to happen this summer. If it does not then we will be just that much stronger in 2006. There are many who believe that the Sixth District is the best target in Illinois in 2006 for a Democratic seat.

Posted at 11:37 AM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Illinois | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Under The Radar: Matsui Wins Special Election

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In the seat vacated by the passing of her husband, Congressman Bob Matsui, Doris, his wife, won a landslide special election last evening and expects to be sworn in on Thursday.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, Matsui had nearly 72 percent of the overall vote and 88 percent among Democrats in a race marked by low turnout. She is expected to be sworn in Thursday.

Matsui will represent California's fifth congressional district in the seat held by her husband for 26 years.

Posted at 12:41 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati

Monday, January 31, 2005

NJ: Gov. Codey Abandons Gubernatorial Bid

Posted by DavidNYC

News from one of the two big state races taking place this year:

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who took office late last year to fill out his scandal-tainted predecessor's term, announced Monday he will not enter the gubernatorial race.

"God knows this has not been an easy decision for me to reach," Codey said, citing family obligations and a desire to focus on his remaining 11 months in office.

He endorsed U.S. Sen. Jon S. Corzine, the only Democrat to formally enter the race.

As Chris observed at MyDD, Corzine has monster leads over the two main potential GOP challengers:

• 52 - 28 percent over Bret Schundler
• 51 - 29 percent over Douglas Forrester

And don't forget Corzine's formidable personal warchest. We should be able to hold on to this seat without a great deal of difficulty. But NJ politics is always nasty, and with the gubernatorial race in VA the only other major campaign of this cycle, we can expect a lot of attention to get focues on this race.

So now here's the real question: Who is going to pick up Corzine's seat?

Posted at 02:38 PM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You couldn't escape it. During the 2004 election cycle, Internet fundraising was all the rage. From Howard Dean's $40 million, DailyKos and ActBlue, to Terry McAuliffe receiving credit, some of it undeserved, for leveraging the small donor to pull even with GOP fundraising efforts.

That's great - for whatever the real reasons - the Democratic Party did a terrific job of using the Internet to raise money in small amounts as a counter to a traditional GOP advantage. But guess what? The Republican (Noise) Machine will learn, and we had best get ahead of the curve.

If the small donor was the phenomenon of the 2004 election cycle, the small blogger might very well be the next great hope for the Democrats.

The online financial contributions had implications for finance (and comm.) staffs working campaigns across the country. Leveraging the small blogger is predominantly a technological offshoot for traditional field programs (and comm). And as many of us know, the field organization is where is gets done in a grassroots effort. They are the group that will put in hours of tedious study to pull every last vote out of each precinct in a candidate's universe.

Much like everything else in the field plan, organizing the small blogger is laborious and requires a commitment often unmatched by other parts of traditional campaigns. The good news is, so much of netroots outreach crosses formerly compartmentalized groups within a campaign structure; so you can share the burden. What fun!

Let's begin.

If you listen to the pundits, why was the GOP finally able to effectively counter the Democrat's field operation? I have heard it a million times, you probably have as well, it was "the neighbor to neighbor strategy." Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove crafted a plan that had people convincing others in their communities to vote for President Bush. By most accounts, it worked terrifically.

We can accomplish the same thing using our netroots. The beautiful thing about this plan is that we have all the resources necessary to accomplish it without some sort of direction from the powers-that-be. But let's take it back into the campaign setting, because that is the reason I started writing this. Rest assured however, the blogosphere has every resource it needs to make this happen without direction.

Think about the characteristics of the small blog. Many of us run our own. You know the blog your friends, co-workers, and maybe your parents read? The same one you link to in your Kos diaries to boost your visibility? Yes, that one.

It's the blog that generally gets the same 15 people, most within same community you are targeting, reading it a few times a week/month. Maybe you see where I am heading now?

I propose that we take that personal neighbor to neighbor strategy and lead it in a technological direction.

Let's assume you are working on a campaign that has a very clear message. You are part of a functional effort that sends out consistent press releases, talking points, and uses the Internet to foster participation within your congressional district, legislative district, or even statewide.

Step 1: Start collecting each and every single blog that exists within the universe your campaign is operating in. Find them out, email them directly, then introduce yourself and your campaign.

Step 2: Give your supporters the tools to create their own blogs. And do it your website. Heck, it takes 3 minutes to start a blog - walk them through it on your homepage or get involved page. Get a volunteer in the office whose task it is to take people through it step by step over the phone if necessary.

Step 3: If a blog, even a small blog, asks for an interview, grant it! If it gets to be too much, then schedule a weekly/bi-weekly half hour conference call with all the bloggers who want to participate.

Step 4: Back to the press releases and talking points. Send them to bloggers. Send them in the same mass email that you are sending out to the traditional media outlets. Give them the same opportunity to ask questions of the campaign.

Step 5: Invite bloggers to attend your events, just like the press. Make your press conferences and events wi-fi when possible.

Step 6: Nurture the relationship. Rinse and repeat. Bloggers love the inside scoop before the newspapers can get it in print the next day or the news broadcasts it a few hours later

And this plan holds for medium sized blogs as well. The ones that candidates and their staffs would have never dared to enter before because there weren't enough ATM cards found on a consistent basis.

There are some great medium sized blogs out there on both sides of the aisle. There are quite a few of those smaller blogs that have HUGE POTENTIAL in the state I am working now; they include: Young Philly Politics and Philly Future. Pittsburgh Webloggers is also a great source.

The way that traditional communication directors compile lists of newspapers, reporters, journalists, and their contact information - that is the way they need to start with bloggers, especially the small bloggers within their universe.

Finally, cross your fingers and hope they remember you when they go big! Until then, just be content as you work with them to spread your information to their families, co-workers and friends in the district which you are running.

Posted at 02:18 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Republicans, Activism, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Post Modern Political Warfare: Part II

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It looks like one reader has taken, and ran with, the idea I discussed in this post about waging politics on-line. The idea was to purchase potential URLs for 2006 GOP candidates, before they do.

SSP reader Max Palmer sent me this email earlier today:

Inspired by your post "Post-Modern Political Warfare", I registered several domain names tonight of Republic senators up for relections:

snowe06.com, talent06.com, kyl06.com, chafee06.com, lott06.com, ensign06.com, hutchison06.com, allen06.com - I also registered nelson06.com, b/c I am worried about both races and did not want anyone opposing them to get it. [...]

I consider the $90 I spent registering these sites to be a part of my donations to the democratic party and its candidates.

It's a new ballgame folks. Those who used to marvel at the perfect placement for a yard sign, should now consider perfect Internet positioning in post-modern political campaigns.

Imagine if Katherine Harris had to give out the URL, "katherineharrisforussenateinflorida.biz" on every piece of literature, in every speech, and in commercials. The fundraising, organization, and information loss would be staggering.

If nothing else, the people at Free Republic were pissed at my original post.

You can check out what domain names are taken and available here.

Disclaimer(s): You should not purcahse these URLs and attempt to sell them for profit later. If you buy a GOP URL, link it to the Dem candidate's site, or put your own blog on it and comment on the race.

If you buy a Democrat's URL, offer it up to the campaign as an in-kind contribution.

Posted at 04:07 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Activism, Netroots | Comments (2) | Technorati

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