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SSP Daily Digest: 4/21 (Morning Edition)

by: DavidNYC

Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 8:01 AM EDT

  • CA-Sen: Just a day after President Obama did three fundraisers for her campaign, Sen. Barbara Boxer says she expects the POTUS to be back next month for another event in San Francisco.
  • FL-Sen: The US Attorney's Office, the FBI and the IRS are all investigating the possible misuse of credit cards by state Republican Party officials - a case which has already led to the indictment of former House Speaker Ray Sansom. In a separate investigation, the IRS is looking at Marco Rubio's tax records to see if he misused his party credit cards for personal expenses. Meanwhile, state Rep. Tom Grady becomes the latest Charlie Crist ally to pull away from the campaign.
  • PA-Sen: PoliticsPA says that, according to a source, Joe Sestak's week-long TV ad buy is "worth" $930,000. It's not clear to me whether that's how much Sestak is actually spending, though - it's possible to lock in lower rates by reserving time in advance, which his campaign may have done here (thus inflating the "worth" of the buy). Meanwhile, in an email to supporters, Sestak is decrying Arlen Specter's attacks on his service in the Navy as "Swift Boat-like."
  • ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Libby Mitchell (4/11-14, likely voters, no trendlines):
  • Libby Mitchell (D): 36
    Steve Rowe (D): 16
    Pat McGowan (D): 13
    John Richardson (D): 4
    Rosa Scarcelli (D): 3
    (MoE: ±4%)

    If these names - all of whom are running in the Maine Democratic gubernatorial primary - aren't familiar to you, follow the link to the Hotline for some background details.

  • MN-Gov: Dem Matt Entenza is going up on the air with TV and radio ads after the DFL's statewide convention this weekend - but of course, no word on the size of the buy. Speaking of the convention, things are about to either get very interesting or a lot simpler in the MN gubernatorial race. Entenza and ex-Sen. Mark Dayton, who can both self-fund, are both saying they'll fight on through the primary, while the two apparent frontrunners, state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, are pledging to abide by the convention's endorsement.
  • AL-05: Notorious turncoat Rep. Parker Griffith is still sitting on $20K that various Democratic lawmakers have given him, supposedly because they haven't asked for it back. This includes money from Rahm Emanuel, Nydia Velazquez, Rosa DeLauro and the retiring Bart Gordon, among others. Gordon, for what can only be bizarre, unspecified reasons, isn't asking for his money back. Rahm, since he's serving in the White House, won't make a formal request, but twists the knife, saying "Whether the contribution is returned or not will be left up to Rep. Griffith's conscience." As for the rest of you dudes, DEMAND YOUR MONEY BACK!
  • CA-19: SurveyUSA (4/16-19, likely voters, 3/15-17 in parens):
  • Jeff Denham (R): 27 (25)
    Jim Patterson (R): 26 (26)
    Richard Pombo (R): 16 (13)
    Larry Westerlund (R): 6 (7)
    Undecided: 25 (29)
    (MoE: ±3.6%)

    Loraine Goodwin (D): 18 (14)
    John Estrada (D): 15 (24)
    Les Marsden (D): 10 (8)
    Undecided (D): 56 (54)
    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    Seriously, of all the races they could poll? I realize this is on behalf of a media client, but still.

  • DC-AL, UT-AL: Sigh. Legislation which would have given the District of Columbia an actual voting seat in the House is yet again being derailed. Republicans insist that any such bill also eviscerate any remaining gun control laws in the district, and they've frightened enough conservative Dems into supporting such an amendment that you can't have one (the voting rights bill) without the other (the gun provision). The pro-gun measure has become even more absurd, though, such that Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton asked Steny Hoyer to pull the bill altogether. On the Senate side, Orrin Hatch had spazzed about the fact that the bill's other sop to Republicans (a temporary extra seat for Utah) would have been at at-large district - he wants to be able to re-draw the lines (and presumably screw Dem Rep. Jim Matheson) - and said he was glad the bill got scuttled.
  • HI-01: The D-Trip just spent another $55K on a second negative TV ad attacking Charles Djou, which you can see here. Meanwhile, in light of recent polling showing this unusual jungle race to be incredibly tight, SSP is changing its rating from "Lean Dem" to "Tossup.
  • MI-01: Term-limited Dem state Rep. Gary McDowell will apparently run to succeed Bart Stupak. McDowell is from the Upper Peninsula, which Crisitunity aptly described as the district's "cultural center of gravity." One possible holdup, though, is that it sounds like McDowell may be willing to defer to former House Democratic Floor Leader Pat Gagliardi, who has not yet made up his mind.
  • NY-29: Dem Matthew Zeller, tapped by county leaders as the Democratic nominee in the (potential) special election to succeed Eric Massa, formally launched his campaign on Monday. However, it's starting to look like there won't be a special election after all, which means there will be a primary. If that winds up being the case, businessman David Nachbar (who withdrew his name from consideration for the special) has said he might run.
  • WV-01: Rep. Alan Mollohan is going on the air with a TV ad that attacks his primary opponent, state Sen. Mike Oliverio, "for his ties to a conservative-leaning organization of state legislators." Oliverio had previously launched an ad attacking Mollohan on ethical grounds. No word on the size of either buy.
  • Alaska: Alaska's state legislature voted to increase its size, by two seats in the Senate and four in the House. AK's population has tripled since statehood fifty years ago, but its lege had remained constant in numbers. What's more, its rural districts are enormous, and would have gotten even larger after redistricting as the population concentrates in the state's few big cities.
  • Polling: Reid Wilson, diving into recent FEC reports, notes that few Dems commissioned polls in the first quarter of this year - and among those who have, pretty much no one is sharing the data with the public. However, Reid doesn't say whether Republicans have spent similarly on internal polling in the past quarter, or how Q1 2010 compares with prior years.
  • RNC: God bless Michael Steele. Under his stewardship, the RNC decided to blow $340K to hold a big staff meeting in... Hawaii. Because that's both convenient and inexpensive. If Dems suffer anything less than an utter blowout this fall, we'll be able to thank Steele in no small part.
  • WATN?: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who already served 99 days in jail for obstruction of justice (among other things), may be headed back to prison for probation violations (including hiding assets).
  • DavidNYC :: SSP Daily Digest: 4/21 (Morning Edition)
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    DC voting rights
    It's sad that the Dems keeping letting their legislation be hijacked by unrelated wedge issues. You'd think they would learn by now.

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    poison pills
    Come to think of it, that's a good campaign issue for the Dems this November. Poison pills isn't too abstract or unknown to make a campaign issue out of. Consider that only a few years ago most people didn't know what an earmark was. The most famous poison pill is the Stupak Amendment. Now that Stupak is retiring there is not reason to defend what he did. A not-well-informed voter might think it's not a poison pill because it falls under the general umbrella of health care. That's why need to make clear that the health care bill was about helping people get health insurance if they are too poor or too sick to get it from the private market, not about whether or not abortion should be legal.

    The gun poison pill will also expose Republican hypocrisy. They hate the federal government shoving liberal values down their throat, but then they think a city with a high crime rate should have the same gun laws as rural Idaho. Even gun friendly Congressmen are personally against it, but they have to support this nonsense because they are afraid of losing their A rating from the NRA.

    I'm throwing this out here, not because I want to argue policy, or rant (I know that's not what this place is for). I want to know if you think this is good campaign strategy, and are these good talking points.

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    [ Parent ]
    that's what they should try campaigning on
    with that issue, it's their own right to make up their own minds.  Unless the law is something egregious, then we'll step-in.  But we aren't on gay marriage and we shouldnt be on their gun laws.

    Oh Republicans.....  Limited government my ass.

    [ Parent ]
    I have to wonder if David Paterson is screwing up this race on purpose to get back at the Dems for turning against him. Paterson should have done what Rendell did in PA. Put the special election on the same day as the primary. "Vote in the primary to make sure Gillibrand doesn't get defeated by some rich guy from the city, oh and while you're at it vote for Zeller."

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    Not calling a special election is the biggest favor he can do for Democrats.

    [ Parent ]
    Also, it would cost the state quite a bit to run.

    Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!
    So little time, so much to know!

    [ Parent ]
    Unlike in PA, we don't have competitive primaries for senate or gov on the Dem side in NY. That's why it makes more sense (on purely political grounds) to wait until November.

    [ Parent ]
    we could have "competitive" primaries
    If Paterson would run for reelection, and if some rich asshole (Harold Ford?) would spend millions of dollars running advertisements in the Southern Tier criticizing Gillibrand for not being friendly enough to Wall Street.

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    [ Parent ]
    No, those would merely be primaries.
    Not competitive and not enough to do anything for the seat.  Hell, I'm not even sure PA's primaries will be enough.

    [ Parent ]
    I know both Onorato and Wagner
    Are from Pittsburgh but do either have any links to the district?

    [ Parent ]
    Couple points
    Chump change in Hawaii won't cut it. Not that the ad itself is even that impressive.

    I wonder if this CC thing could end up seriously hurting Rubio, Crist and McCollum a la Ohio in 2006.

    Regarding the credit cards: It might
    If you click through the link to the story, it's hard to know if the feds are just fishing or if they really think they might have something on Rubio.

    It's certainly a potential game changer, but it's probably not there yet. Also, the IRS would likely be pretty shy about doing anything in an election year, so they will likely give Rubio the benefit of the doubt.

    [ Parent ]
    I would also add...
    I think the credit card situation makes it more likely Crist jumps into the race as an Independent. Obviously, if Rubio does somehow impolode becasue of this, he'd want to be there to pick up the pieces.  

    [ Parent ]
    Ahhh, Crist is hoping for a
    reverse Scozzafava....

    [ Parent ]
    Anyone disagree that FL-Sen
    is the most fun race to watch of the cycle?  Here we have another excellent grab the popcorn moment.  Confirmed thoughts of switching to Indy.  Rubio possibly under serious investigation.

    Franken/Coleman was pretty fun to watch last time around.

    [ Parent ]
    Barter with your doctor. Pay your medical bills with chickens. I can't wait for what Sue Lowden will say next.

    26, male, Dem, NJ-12

    [ Parent ]
    Exactly why people shouldn't be counting Reid out.

    [ Parent ]
    While Harry Reid is trailing in the polls, he's got two things going for him:  (a) the NV GOP candidate will be flawed, and(b) he's an aggressive campaigner.  I think this race will tighten up in the summer months.  I wouldn't be surprised if Harry somehow pulls a rabbit out of his hat.

    40, male, Democrat, NC-04

    [ Parent ]
    "None of These Candidates" might wind up winning that race
    by getting the most votes.

    [ Parent ]
    funny because I pretty much considered Crist Senator elect for a long time. This was supposed to be an easy dull Republican hold.  

    Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

    [ Parent ]
    Just like NY-23 with Scozzafava.

    My blog
    28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)

    [ Parent ]
    He should just have run for re-election
    No serious Dem was likely to take him on. I said at the time it was an odd move.

    [ Parent ]
    at the time, no one really took Rubio that seriously. It looked Crist could get elected to anything he wanted. I really can't blame Crist, it looked like a perfect opportunity for the upgrade. Then came Marco Rubio.  

    Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

    [ Parent ]
    Seems to me
    It might go beyond Rubio. Which is why it may hurt the entire GOP, including Crist because he was/is governor while this was going on.

    [ Parent ]
    Charlie Crist's homepage
    now contains no references to the word "Republican."

    34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

    Michael Steele ... the gift that keeps on giving.
    The mismanagement of the RNC will no doubt take off at  least a few of the losses Democrats will suffer in November.

    Long live Michael Steele!
    Michael Steele is a gift machine for the Democrats.  I wonder if Steele has some sort of hidden agenda with his actions.  Probably not.  It's more about being inept.

    40, male, Democrat, NC-04

    [ Parent ]
    Too bad you know he's out after this cycle

    [ Parent ]
    If there ever was a re-make of "The Wizard of Oz"
    I think Steele would be a fine candidate to play the Scarecrow.  We could have Boehner be the Tin Man, and Crist the "Lion".  In order to not leave Michele Bachmann out, she can play the Wicked Witch of the West (or she could also be a strong candidate for the scarecrow).

    40, male, Democrat, NC-04

    [ Parent ]
    And who would be Dorothy? Pelosi?

    Joe Cooper

    [ Parent ]
    Hillary Clinton

    Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

    [ Parent ]
    Plus that $340K for the Hawaii meeting doesn't include
    the airfare to/from HI for "at least 33 RNC staffers and officials".
    (Apparently air travel is a separate line item that can't be broken out in the report).

    [ Parent ]
    Crist to run as an indie
    Looks like an announcement is imminent...

    With the FBI investigation
    Meek may be seeing the perfect toxic brew to slip through with a plurality.  

    [ Parent ]
    It's the IRS that's investigating Rubio, not the FBI (at least not now).

    Kos had this wrong in his headline too.  

    [ Parent ] reports that the IRS and the FBI are investigating

    40, male, Democrat, NC-04

    [ Parent ]
    Right, but only IRS is involved in the Rubio part of the investigation
    Important only because the IRS doesn't raise it to a criminal investigation on Rubio yet (he might have a chance to file amended tax returns), whereas if the FBI were involved it would be at that level.  

    [ Parent ]
    think rubio/gop/tea baggers will use this to their advantage
    and claim that "Obama's IRS stormtroopers" are going after his enemies?  If I was in the GOP, didn't have ethics and a chunk of my supporters believed the current admin is a socialist plot to destroy america it's what i'd do.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Sounds like RedState prefers Meek to Crist
    If Rubio were to disappear from the three-way.

    [ Parent ]
    point to me
    for predicting back in January that this 3-way scenario would play out.  

    Not sure my prediction then that Crist would win the race will hold up, but we'll see.  Either way, this race just became a 3-way toss up, a la HI-1.

    23, Male, Democrat, OH-13

    [ Parent ]
    That Alaska piece was a fun read
    They should really expand even further, because that district is ridiculous.

    Could Boxer just transfer her money from Obama event to DSCC?
    Just a hypo, but could Boxer's war chest from these three fundraisers be transfered over to the DNC or DSCC if she ends up not needing it?

    I'm impressed with Obama's fundraising. He pulled in 2.5 million in Miami a couple weeks ago and now somewhere between 3 million in California. If he keeps this up we might be able to pay for such a massive GOTV for the mid-term election that we might just hold on in Nov.

    if she so chose, she could donate it ALL to party committee's

    [ Parent ]
    That's what I thought.
    That kind of freedom to disperse your money really makes the recipient of the money from the fundraiser unimportant, especially when its a solid Democrat like Boxer. I'm just glad Dems are bringing in the cash.

    [ Parent ]
    CA Boxer
    My impression from the polls was that she is in  lean D or tossup Position. , running against a very wealthy opponent. Or am I wrong?

    Joe Cooper

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, it's definitely Lean Dem or toss-up
    The "very wealthy opponent" you speak of is fmr. CEO Carly Fiorina, who's in a dead heat with fmr. Rep. Tom Campbell for the nomination. Campbell's probably the stronger candidate the GOP can prop up, given Fiorina has a tendency to make gaffes. But, Fiorina can self-finance while Campbell cannot. There's a third candidate in the GOP field, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who's a darling of the Jim DeMint wing but hasn't gained much traction.

    For daily political commentary, visit me at and

    [ Parent ]
    ray sansom was indicted for OTHER things
    not this one

    who is loraine goodwin?
    seems to be gaining a lot of 'mo......

    She is a physician
    and seems to be basing her campaign on "health care for all", and given that the current health care reform bill that just passed is extremely popular among California Dems, they probably associate her with "health care reform". So I will not be surprised to see her win the primary.

    My blog
    28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)

    [ Parent ]
    I wonder if Rasmussen is readjusting
    realizing that "the jig is up" w/r/t suspicions of his polls.

    Of course, there's no knowing for sure w/o internals & comparisons to other reputable polls, in this case, Field.

    [ Parent ]
    I second that: w/ the CA races, it's Field or bust
    There's nothing I can think of to account for Whitman losing support over the past few weeks. I could see Brown increasing a point or two after the Dem conference, though.

    I still think CA-Gov is toss-up, while CA-Sen slightly leans Dem, depending on the candidate (toss-up against Campbell, lean Dem against Fiorina, likely-to-solid Dem against DeVore).

    For daily political commentary, visit me at and

    [ Parent ]
    The one reason I can think of for a drop in Meg's numbers is people getting tired of her ads
    It's gotten so bad second graders are asking who she is.  I would not be surprised if some Californians just got fed up and switched to Brown/ undecided purely out of spite.  

    21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

    [ Parent ]
    if Meg Whitman will start airing ads mashing Poizner and Brown together. She does have the money to go on the offensive against Brown and Poizner at the same time. Though if that happens, I won't watch the local news until the primary is over through.

    19, Male, Independent, CA-12

    [ Parent ]
    A few reasons for Meg fading
    Who isn't sick of those damn commercials?  In a sense she is a houseguest who was fun for a short time but now, get the hell off my TV.

    Poizner's ads are having an effect.

    [ Parent ]
    Two possibilities
    1. Whitman's wall-to-wall ads blasting Poizner are backfiring, causing her to become less appealing.

    2. It's a wacky Rasmussen outlier poll; they happen every now and then.

    [ Parent ]
    DC gun control
    "# DC-AL, UT-AL: Sigh. Legislation which would have given the District of Columbia an actual voting seat in the House is yet again being derailed. Republicans insist that any such bill also eviscerate any remaining gun control laws in the district,"

    Doesnt make any difference.  Some other excuse will be found to oppose the law even if they are given the gun control.

    Joe Cooper

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