MO-Sen: Republican media trackers tell Politico that the DSCC has cancelled $1.3 million worth of ad buys in Kansas City and St. Louis for the final week before the election. The DS tried to push back, saying that "decisions are made on a week-to-week basis," but as Swingnuts well know, cancelling early reservations now subjects you to forfeiting deposits - and means you have to pay higher rates if you decide to go back in later. In other words, late cancellations are not made lightly.
WV-Sen: John Raese has one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
NV-Sen: So maybe some of that cash earmarked for Missouri is going to Nevada instead. On the heels of Sharron Angle's eye-bursting $14 million haul, the DSCC is making its first ad reservations in the Silver State, apparently for a million bucks a week.
GA-Gov: Wow, Nathan Deal really is the epitome of the corrupt scumbag who thinks the purposes of getting elected to public office is to use his position for personal gain. As the AP explains: "While in Congress, Republican Nathan Deal lobbied Georgia's attorney general and top state environmental officials to allow the development of a landfill that he and his business partner wanted next to their auto salvage yard...." Note that though this involves Deal's auto salvage business, this is actually a different scandal from the one which inspired him to resign from Congress (there, he had lobbied the state from his perch in the House to preserve a questionable vehicle inspection program from which he profited immensely).
NY-Gov: For the trouble of offering a half-assed, bullshit, "I'm sorry if you were offended" non-apology, Carl Paladino has now lost the backing of the right-wing rabbi, Yehuda Levin, who helped pen the anti-gay speech which got Paladino into such hot water to begin with.
Relatedly, a truly awesome catch by Politico's Maggie Haberman: She digs waaay deep to link a story at the Orthodox-oriented news blog Voz Iz Neias (Yiddish for "What's News?") about Paladino's flubbed outreach in the Orthodox community. Though it's getting far less play than his homophobic outburst, Paladino also attacked a bunch of big-time rebbes (Hasidic leaders) for supposedly being suckered into going soft on the libruhl Andrew Cuomo (who had also done the ritual meet-and-greets in Hasidic communities). Several prominent rabbis are now rebuking Paladino for waltzing on to their turf and making such presumptuous accusations against some of their own. So not only did Paladino piss off half the state thanks to this trip, he pissed off the very people he was trying to win over! In a word: fail.
CA-03: There aren't a whole lot of bright spots these days, but one of them is definitely Dan Lungren. The former state AG managed to win in 2008 against a badly underfunded opponent with less than 50% of the vote, and has been getting his ass kicked in fundraising literally every quarter this cycle by Ami Bera. So with his back against the wall, Karl Rove is coming to the rescue. American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS is launching ads in the district on Friday, but NWOTSOTB as yet.
CA-45: You know I'm a ratfucking fetishist, so of course it warms my heart to hear that Dem Steve Pougnet is doing his best to prop up teabagger Bill Lussenheide. He's targeting Republicans with robocalls that say Lussenheide is the "true conservative" - but he's also sending out mailers to the same households describing him as "extreme" and "dangerous" while calling Rep. Mary Bono Mack a "raging liberal." I imagine the idea is that what's "extreme" and "dangerous" to normal people is actually appealing to crazies. I also love the fact that Bono Mack's people whined that this was a "dirty trick" - just shows they are a bunch of weenies who don't know how to fight.
LA-02: Man, it seems like most pols in Louisiana care about party loyalty as much as the writers of LOST cared about not pissing off their fans after six fucking years of slavishly watching that goddamn... uh, where was I? Oh yeah, state Rep. Juan LaFonta, who got pasted in the Democratic primary by Cedric Richmond, has decided to endorse Republican Rep. Joe Cao for re-election. This does not seem like the winning move to me. (And screw you, J. J. Abrams!)
OH-09: This comment has the flavor of Star Trek nerds debating whether Captain Picard ever wore the Federation dress uniform while on the bridge of the Enterprise D during season 4... only, except, you know, this guy is actually trying to be serious. Rich Iott's spokesbot pleaded with Politico to understand that no, it was an SS uniform, not a NAZI uniform! I'm sure that will please John Boehner, who, as it turns out, gave $5,000 to Iott last month. Think he wants his Reichsmarks back?
PA-03: Paging Mark Twain... Mark Twain to the white courtesy phone. The AFSCME evidently thinks that rumors of Kathy Dahlkemper's demise are at least somewhat exaggerated, since they're dropping $350K on ads on her behalf. Triage is a tricky business.
WI-08: Aaron Blake tweets that the DCCC is "pulling out" of the 8th CD, but as is often the case, the picture is more nuanced. First off, AFSCME just dropped $750K here (to which Blake alludes). Secondly, Kagen is personally wealthy. In fact, in 2008, he was the 28th-richest member of the House, with a net worth of anywhere between $7 and $20 million. Hopefully his investments haven't taken too bad of hit the last couple of years and he can still afford to spend large (he gave his campaign almost $900K last cycle).
GA-08: Jim Marshall's anti-Pelosi ad actually has hippies in it - for reals
NY-20: Fuck yes - Scott Murphy's latest lacerates Chris Gibson for supporting repeal of the healthcare reform bill. Murphy, like Earl Pomeroy, knows the only way to win is to go loud and proud
TN-04: Lincoln Davis lacerates Scott DesJarlais for reportedly threatening his ex-wife with a gun - and threatening to kill himself. Stories like this were a big reason why Don Sherwood and Randy Kuhl both lost
ID-01: On behalf of Walt Minnick, the mother of a woman murdered by her abuser hits Raul Labrador for his failure to support laws that would protect women in abusive relationships
MA-06: Republican Bill Hudak hits Rep. John Tierney on a story we've been somewhat remiss in covering here: namely, his wife's recent guilty plea for tax fraud. By referring to "Tierney's family," the ad makes it sound like Tierney himself was involved, but Hudak gets away with this legerdemain because the wife's brother (family by marriage, I suppose) was also involved. The ad is only running on cable (Hudak had less than $100K on hand at the end of August)
America's Families First Action Fund: Sounds like a GOP group, but it's actually Dem to the bone: $80K against David Schweikert (AZ-05); $403K against David Rivera (FL-25); $94K on mail against Bob Dold! (FL-25); $200K against Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
EMILY: $520K against Tom Ganley (OH-13); $212K against Cory Gardner (CO-04); $20K against Frank Guinta (NH-01)
NEA: $1.4 million against Ken Buck (CO-Sen); $306K against Harold Johnson (NC-08)
AK-Sen: As of Friday, Lisa Murkowski was saying that she still hasn't made a decision about whether to pursue a write-in bid. At least one major Republican is opposed to the idea: Sen. John Cornyn says that Murkowski would have to quit her job as vice chair of the NRSC if she goes the third-party route. I also wonder if her Senate committee spots might be in jeopardy, too. Anyhow, Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota's excellent Smart Politics blog has a good post on the history of write-in campaigns in the Land of the Midnight Sun. In eight statewide contests, the best-ever score in a senate race was 17%, and 26% in a gubernatorial race. I actually think those numbers aren't bad at all!
DE-Sen: While everyone's still abuzz about last night's poll numbers, there's some other DE-Sen news worth reporting. For one, the NRA endorsed Christine O'Donnell. For another, so did Sen. Jim DeMint, Kingmaker of Loons. For yet another, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for O'Donnell, playing up their shared sense of victimhood.
Meanwhile, The Hill says that the Tea Party Express has spent some $300K on radio and TV ads on O'Donnell's behalf, but it's a little hard to double-check that since TPX's FEC filings seem to use, shall we say, "new math." Finally, a reporter asked Mike Castle if he'd pursue an independent bid if he lost the primary. (DE's laws are apparently similar to Alaska's in this regard.) Castle was surprisingly non-committal, saying he'd "have to give it thought."
GA-Sen: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton was in Atlanta late last week to do a fundraiser for Labor Comm'r Michael Thurmond, the Dem senate nominee challenging GOPer Johnny Isakson. Thurmond, as you'd expect, was a big-time Hillary Clinton supporter.
IA-Sen: Chuck Grassley, making a play for the dirty old man vote, had this to say when asked why he didn't once look at opponent Roxanne Conlin during a recent debate:
"I wish you had told me because I would have been very happy to look at her. She's a very nice looking woman."
NH-Sen: The New Hampshire Union Leader has been combing through a batch of emails released by the NH attorney general's office pursuant to a freedom of information request, and they've turned up a doozy: Then-AG Kelly Ayotte used her official email account to discuss campaign strategy with a guy who later became one of her consultants. In better news for Ayotte, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for her, too (see DE-Sen item above), but man is this imagery getting crazy: She calls Ayotte a "Granite Grizzly." Zuh? Anyhow, Jim DeMint's also decided to get involved here (again, see DE-Sen), endorsing surging wingnut Ovide Lamontagne.
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston has the complete tick-tock on how he got Harry Reid and Sharron Angle to agree to a debate on his show - only to have Angle, in a spasm of campaign dysfunction, pull out, despite being the one to throw down the challenge to Reid in the first place.
AK-Gov: Anchorage attorney Bill Walker, who drew about 30% in his primary against Gov. Sean Parnell (thanks to $300K in self-funding), says he's still waiting to see if either the Alaskan Independence Party or Libertarian Party candidates withdraw from the race. If there's a drop-out by Wednesday, Walker could take that spot for the general election.
HI-Gov: A new robopoll by Aloha Vote (taken for online news service Civil Beat) shows ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie beating Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann by 48-31 in the Democratic primary. That's a pretty different picture from a Ward Research survey a few weeks ago which had Abercrombie leading just 49-44.
NY-Gov: It's been a long time since anyone has come out with any interesting statewide poll numbers in New York, but with just days to go before the primary, Siena has finally managed to surprise us (well, sorta): They show scuzzbucket businessman Carl Paladino in a dead heat with ex-Rep. Rick Lazio, trailing just 43-42. In mid-August, Lazio had a 43-30 lead, so this is all Paladino surge. The rest of the numbers (which test the senate races) are all meh - click the link if you want `em.
In other NY-Gov news, the Working Families Party decided to endorse Andrew Cuomo, and Cuomo - who had kept the WFP at arms' length for a long time - accepted. A federal investigation of the WFP was recently dropped, which seemingly helped smooth things. The party was in a very tough spot, though, as without Cuomo on their ballot spot, there was no real path for them to get the 50,000 votes they needed to avoid losing their ballot line. So I'm guessing there may be more to this story.
"John Salazar, it's time to come home," Tipton said as he opened the debate. "It's 9/11. Let's roll."
FL-25: Another mystery teabagger has (not really) come out of the woodwork. Roly Arrojo is running on the Florida Tea Party line, and it seems no one knows a thing about him, except for the fact that he hasn't filed any FEC reports - except for a Statement of Candidacy in which he identified himself as a Democrat. Republicans are suggesting this is a Dem put-up job, but Joe Garcia's camp is of course denying any knowledge of this guy. Interestingly, so is the head of the FL Tea Party!
ND-AL: I know, it sounds like parody, but Republican Rick Berg has a great idea: Drill for oil in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park! Not only is it, of course, illegal to do so, but it's also a fucking national park!
NY-13: Republican Michael Allegretti just got bounced from the new teabaggish Taxpayers Party line, thanks to a lack of sufficient signatures. Rival Mike Grimm already has the Conservative line, come hell or high water.
NY-15: Of all people, Mayor Mike Bloomberg wound up recording a robocall for Rep. Charlie Rangel.
PA-08 (PDF): Yikes. Sophomore Dem Patrick Murphy just put out an internal from the Global Strategy Group showing him up by a mere 47-43 margin over the man he beat in 2006, Republican Mike Fitzpatrick. This is scary.
VA-05: The Weiner Watch continues: Republican Rob Hurt has already skipped two debates, and now he's announced he's skipping a third. Weiner!
Chicago-Mayor: Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he won't make an endorsement in the race to succeed him.
NY-AG (PDF): Siena also released some final attorney general numbers, finding Eric Schneiderman narrowly in the lead at 25, with Kathleen Rice nipping his heels at 23. Sean Coffey is at 13, Richard Brodsky at 7, and Eric Dinallo at 4. The race has continued to get nasty in its final days, with Rice putting out a TV ad trying to link Schneiderman to scumbag state Sen. Pedro Espada, while a Schneiderman spot hits Rice for only becoming a Democrat in 2005.
DCCC: Blah blah blah, Dems not paying their DCCC dues. It's old news, and I'm beyond sick of these stories, but not (only) for the reason you might expect. Oh yeah, I'm pissed at the schmucks who are holding out on their party for no discernible reason, but I'm also frustrated with the DCCC. We've repeatedly told them we want to help them raise money from their members - the netroots is not all-powerful, but we can bring some pressure on stingy Dems. But the DCCC steadfastly refuses to share their dues spreadsheet with us - even though they have no problem sharing it with the likes of Politico, and even though they actually promised to give us a copy at Netroots Nation. Not just obnoxious, but weirdly self-defeating.
KY-06: NRCC ($96K on anti-Ben Chandler ads and polls from two different firms)
More generally, the NRCC's IE arm said that it would go up with anti-Dem ads in eight districts (though no IE reports have yet been filed): AZ-01, AL-02, FL-02, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05 & WI-07. A representative ad is available at the link.
• AK-Sen: Once again, the Swing State Project is proud to issue one of its once-in-a-blue-moon endorsements, and to do it for Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee in Alaska. We're two-thirds of the way to our $2,400 goal, and we've just hit 50 contributors, so please join in!
• CO-Sen, CO-Gov: This is a real head-scratcher: Ken Buck's camp is out with an internal poll by POS... showing him losing (despite what a number of public polls have said)?!? The poll gives a 43-40 edge to Michael Bennet, with 5 going to the Libertarian candidate. Either this is an odd attempt to mess with Dems' heads, or, more likely, a message to his supporters to stop taking the race for granted and to keep the contributions flowing. UPDATE: OK, this isn't a Buck internal; it's a joint POS/Fairbank Maslin collaboration, and it's not said on whose behalf this poll was performed. One other bit of news from the poll: it also includes gubernatorial numbers, and John Hickenlooper is closing in on the 50% mark. He's at 48, to 25 for Dan Maes and 15 for Tom Tancredo.
• DE-Sen: Tax liens and penalties are sort of the common cold of political scandals, but this isn't timed well for Mike Castle, who's trying to stave off a last-minute zone-flooding from Tea Party Express on behalf of Christine O'Donnell. Castle had to make interest and penalty payments three times on his Capitol Hill pad in 2005 and 2006, although of course that pales in comparison to O'Donnell's long track record of ducking her bills. Meanwhile, we have a sense of what the Tea Party Express's fully operational battle station looks like: they've spent only $60K on O'Donnell's behalf so far, but plan to have spent $250K by the primary (including more airing of their TV spot and radio ad, as well as direct mail and out-of-state phone banking).
• KY-Sen: The moneybomb shoe's on the other foot: Jack Conway's doing an online one-day fundraising scramble today. As of 1 pm ET, the day's total was up to $130K. Meanwhile, against that moneybomb backdrop, is an instance of a paid Rand Paul staffer having gotten caught sockpuppeting over at Daily Kos, concern-trolling against Conway from the left.
• NH-Sen: A lot of money ($10K from various officers and employees) has flowed into Kelly Ayotte's campaign from a decidedly sketchy company in Texas: Tax Masters, one of those companies that relies heavily on late-night advertising to generate business for helping resolve debts owed to the IRS. The company and its CEO were charged with multiple violations of Texas's consumer protection laws, in the wake of hundreds of consumer complaints.
• OH-Sen, OH-Gov: The Columbus Dispatch offers up some truly bad numbers for the Democratic candidates in Ohio, finding Rob Portman leading Lee Fisher 50-37 in the Senate race and John Kasich leading Ted Strickland 49-37 in the governor's race (and the GOP winning all lower statewide races too), among registered voters. One important caveat, though: the Dispatch's poll are notoriously an all-mail-in survey (why not just poll subscribers to Literary Digest?!?), and have consistently ranked dead last in most of 538's pollster ratings (until the most recent installment, when they managed to leap ahead of a few other members of the rogues' gallery, including Research 2000, ARG, and Zogby Interactive).
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray leaked an internal poll today to Politico, showing that the needle has barely budged in this race between two ubiquitously-known, well-defined candidates. The Fairbank Maslin poll gives Murray a 50-45 lead, and 53/42 approval. An April internal by the same pollster, back when Dino Rossi was only considering entering the race, gave Murray an 8-point lead.
• MA-Gov: A poll from local wire service State House News Service gives a decent lead to Deval Patrick, thanks to an assist from Tim Cahill. Their first poll of the gubernatorial race has Patrick leading Republican Charlie Baker, independent Cahill, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 34-28-18-4, among registered voters.
• MD-Gov: For every Joe Miller, there's, well, a Brian Murphy. The Washington Post takes a quick look at the upstart GOP gubernatorial candidate, whose Sarah Palin endorsement hasn't turned into much of anything (other than a way for Bob Ehrlich to burnish his moderate credentials). In the pre-primary reporting period (all of which covers the post-Palin period), he's raised only $35K, including $14K from himself, leaving him with $31K CoH. Ehrlich raised $725K over the 18-day period, taking him to $2.5 million CoH, while Dem Martin O'Malley raised $267K and has $6.5 million CoH.
• MI-Gov: While organized labor is the biggest force propelling Dem Virg Bernero in Michigan, there's one union that isn't falling in line. The state's largest construction union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, is backing Rick Snyder instead. More alarmingly for Bernero, the much-larger Teamsters haven't endorsed yet and could conceivably go for Snyder too.
• MS-Gov: The 2011 election is only fourteen months away, and things are taking shape in Mississippi. Phil Bryant, the first-term Republican Lt. Governor, is taking steps to prepare for a bid. Businessman Dave Dennis also seems likely to run, while the state's great-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann, also sounds like he's interested.
• TX-Gov: We have two wildly divergent polls in Texas, both from GOP pollsters. Hill Research, on behalf of the Texas Watch Foundation (in a poll that seems primarily about homeowners' insurance reform, but where the gube race seems to have gotten thrown-in as an attention-getter), finds Rick Perry leading Bill White by only a 42-41 margin. On the other hand, GOPAC (perhaps having gotten an advance heads-up about the Texas Watch numbers) rolled out numbers showing Perry in better shape. Their poll, via Wilson Research Strategies, gives Perry a 50-38 lead over White.
• KS-04: With polling now pretty consistently showing Mike Pompeo leading Raj Goyle by single digits in the open seat race in the 4th, the last thing the Republicans can afford here is a high-profile third-party challenge on the right. That's what they might get, though, if businessman (and former Tic-Tac-Dough host) Wink Hartman follows through on threats to pick up the just-abandoned Libertarian ballot line. The state party has started scrambling to lean on Hartman to get him to stand down.
• NY-various: There's a bonanza of pre-primary fundraising reports in New York (where the primary is next week). The biggest raiser among the various Republican House challengers was Chris Cox in the 1st, who raised $103K to Randy Altschuler's $59K (although Altschuler still has a big CoH advantage). In the 23rd, the numbers were much smaller: Matt Doheny raised $41K and Doug Hoffman raised $37K, although Doheny has about three times Hoffman's CoH.
• WV-01: On the back of the DCCC's wave of internal polls today, here's one more poll that probably has to go in the "good news" file: an internal poll, from POS, has Republican David McKinley trailing Dem Mike Oliverio in the open seat race in the 1st. Oliverio leads McKinley 41-36. The only other poll of this race was an Oliverio internal last month that gave him a seemingly too-good-to-be-true 52-36 lead over McKinley, but at the very least, it seems like everyone's in agreement that Oliverio's in pole position for now.
• CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad in Colorado, letting Ken Buck go after himself with his own words on Social Security and the 17th Amendment
• DE-Sen: Mike Castle's new ad is out; predictably, it goes after Christine O'Donnell for her crazy finances
• FL-Sen: First TV ad from Charlie Crist, stressing his (what else?) independence; also Kendrick Meek's first TV ad, which is him on a swamp boat and stressing his (what else?) Dem credentials
• MO-Sen: Roy Blunt ad about how much he loves small business
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher's first TV ad out of the gate is negative, going after Rob Portman for being George Bush's job-exporting trade representative
• CA-Gov: Strangely sepia-toned ad is Jerry Brown's first, seemingly to remind older Californians about how much things sucked less when he was Governor the first time (SOTB: $1.2 million for one week... that's California for you)
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's first post-primary TV ad is an attack ad against... Barack Obama? (and Alex Sink, too, I guess)
• GA-Gov: Roy Barnes goes negative against Nathan Deal on the issues of his recently-released tax returns, calling him "too corrupt even for Congress"
• SC-Gov: Nikki Haley's first TV spot, outsider-themed with a jab at Mark Sanford
• FL-22: The new Ron Klein spot is another anti-Allen West spot, but still hammering on the tax liens instead of, well, West's non-stop stream-of-consciousness crazy
• ID-01: Walt Minnick's first TV spot: please disregard the "D" next to his name, because he's independent
• IN-02: The NRCC's first television IE of the cycle, hitting Joe Donnelly for, well, being a Democrat
• IN-08: Trent van Haaften's first TV ad is a basic introductory spot
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper's second ad tries to cram "jobs" in there as many times as possible
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's first TV ad also works the outsider angle
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski's second ad works the Social Security privatization angle, smart in such an aged district
• PA-15: Interestingly, Charlie Dent's first ad is a negative shot against John Callahan (on local property taxes), indicating he may be feeling some heat here
• WI-07: Julie Lassa's second ad goes after Sean Duffy for saying that he can't do anything to create jobs
• AFSCME: Here's the big buy of the day: the AFSCME is shelling out $1.5 million in four states (Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) for an ad attacking Republicans for voting against the state aid package in August)
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 48%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 47%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• ID-Gov: Keith Allred (D) 36%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%
• ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 24%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 63%
• MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 39%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 18%
• NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 28%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 61%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 33%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 45%
AK-Sen: Lulz. Ex-state Rep. Andrew Halcro is still carrying the torch for a Murkowski Libertarian bid, despite the fact that the Alaska Libertarian Party voted to reject having Murkowski on their ticket over the weekend. Halcro is telling The Hill (and anyone else willing to listen, apparently), that he thinks the Libertarians would be willing to reconsider, as long as Murkowski is the one who reaches out directly. And maybe he's actually got something there, as the state Libertarian chair, Scott Kohlhass, said yesterday that "as a sitting senator, we'd always be open to sitting down and talking to Lisa Murkowski." This is the same guy who, we remind you, previously announced that Murkowski was unwelcome on their ticket due to "fundamental differences". Make up your minds already!
It's also worth noting that Murkowski didn't sound all that interested in carrying this fight on to the general election in her concession speech last night. While she didn't endorse Miller, she spoke of her plans for the future, saying that she was looking forward to "coming home" at the end of her term. I don't think a Libertarian bid, or a write-in campaign, is in the cards.
Meanwhile, the NRSC has been busy trying to convince the world that Joe Miller has this shit locked. On Monday, they released a Basswood Research poll (8/28-29, likely voters) showing Miller leading Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams by 52-36. PPP tested the race around the same time and found Miller ahead by only 47-39.
FL-Gov: The St. Pete Times is hearing "considerable buzz" that Bud Chiles, the son of legendary former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, will pull the plug on his independent gubernatorial candidacy. Chiles, who seemed to be having a net-neutral impact on the race due to his support from Dixiecrat-flavored voters, reportedly was spotted having lunch with Democrat Alex Sink in Miami yesterday. Is an endorsement on tap?
WI-Gov: Jesus. Are these the kind of headlines that you really want to be generating?
Wis. cand. runs fighting ad aimed at attack victim
Scott Walker is up with a new ad in which he dons boxing gloves and vows to "go the distance" against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett, as you may recall, was brutally attacked while intervening in a domestic violence incident at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds last summer, sustaining injuries from which he may never fully recover. Talk about not thinking through all the angles...
CT-05: GOP state Sen. Sam Caligiuri won the endorsement of the Independent Party of Connecticut yesterday, meaning that he'll appear on the ballot against SSP hero Chris Murphy on both the Republican and Independent lines.
IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell rolled out an endorsement Monday from architect Mark Rees... who was most recently seen losing the Republican primary for the nomination to challenge Boswell back in June. Rees, who drew 4% in the GOP primary, says that he's backing Boswell because the Republican nominee, state Sen. Brad Zaun, is too far to the right "on all the issues".
NV-03: AFSCME shelled out $750K for attack ads on GOPer Joe Heck, and they're out with their second ad in the series, a thirty-second spot on the topic of Social Security privatization.
NY-24: Here's a double-dose of bad news for Mike Arcuri. First, the New York Board of Elections recommended that Libertarian Ernest Logan Bell be removed from the ballot after coming up short on valid ballot signatures. (Never fear, fans of liberty, Bell's encouraging his supporters to write-in his name in November.) Next, it seems that Arcuri's "NY Moderates" Party line is in jeopardy. Republicans in the district pointed out the existence of a state statute that says that ballot lines aren't allowed to include the words "New York." Election officials say that may cause Arcuri's indie line to go up in smoke, but are putting off a final decision on the matter until September 16th. Arcuri's attorney, for what it's worth, says that the party name will merely change to "Moderates". Good luck with that.
VA-09: Benenson Strategy Group (8/18-22, likely voters) for Rick Boucher:
Rick Boucher (D-inc): 55
Morgan Griffith (R): 32
Is that too optimistic for Boucher? Perhaps, but it's not entirely far-fetched, either. A July poll by SurveyUSA -- not the most Dem-friendly pollster this cycle -- had Boucher up by 52-39. Despite the bottom falling out for so many Democratic incumbents in tough districts, Boucher appears to have more staying power than some of his colleagues.
WI-07: At SSP, we always try to give you the Size Of The Buy where possible. We reported yesterday that the DCCC was hitting the airwaves with their first independent expenditure ad of the cycle against ex-Real World star Sean Duffy. Turns out the buy is for $36,500 -- not breaking the bank by any means, but House party committees rarely saturate the airwaves in August.
CO-Sen: Like so many Republicans who rail against pork, Ken Buck still loves to gorge himself. Buck signed an anti-earmarks pledge pushed by Americans for Prosperity, but as Weld County DA, he asked then-Rep. Marilyn Manson Musgrave for a $2 million in federal funding for "expansions of North Range Behavioral Health center in Greeley." He also "won $235,000 earmarked for the Weld County Gang Task Force." In non-explaining this rather glaring contradiction, Weld said it "doesn't mean I don't want to change the system." In other words, vote for me because I'm a hypocrite.
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio agreed to participate in a debate with Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek, and then proposed six more. Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Buzz explains how this play might really squeeze Crist:
Charlie Crist is almost always good on TV, but this poses a real problem for him. In a three-person debate, it would be Rubio and Meek each taking turns hitting Crist and pressing him on flip-flops and inconsistencies. It's hard to stay above the fray when you're the main target.
But skipping most of the debates is equally problematic. If Meek agrees to these debates and the networks agree to televise them with or without all three candidates, Crist would be letting Meek raise his profile as the Democratic alternative to Rubio.
Tom Jensen also describes another rock-and-hard-place problem for Charlie: Kendrick Meek is starting to eat his lunch among Democrats, so how can Crist regain that support? Well, he could pledge to caucus with the Democrats... but that would, of course, hurt him among Republicans. Mark Blumenthal also has an in-depth post on the subject, looking at things from Kendrick Meek's perspective and wondering if he has a path to victory. Blumenthal concludes that Meek has a lot of room to grow, but thinks wining would be a "tall order."
KY-Sen: Rand Paul knows that when you are in a deep hole, you bring in a back-hoe. Then, you start using some C4. Finally, you send in an army of ten million moles. At last, once you can finally hear the sound of Chinese being spoken, you know you are deep enough - and you reiterate your opposition to doing anything about the drug problem in Eastern Kentucky.
NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall has become the first (I think) challenger so far to call for former WY Sen. Alan Simpson's resignation from what Atrios calls the "cat food commission" (not cat fud commission, sadly) - aka the president's stupid deficit commission. Simpson, if you haven't heard yet, wrote a vile email to the head of the National Older Women's League, calling Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits" - and telling his correspondent to "get honest work."
NV-Sen: His Mayoralness Michael Bloomberg will be hosting a fundraiser for none other than Harry Reid at Bloombo's home in September. The Hill notes that Bloombleman has endorsed both Dems and GOPers this cycle, including Michael Bennet and Joe Sestak for the good guys, and Mark Kirk and Mike Castle for the bad guys.
Getting back to Nevada for a second, both Reid and Angle have new ads up, which you can view here. Reid has really been smacking Angle relentlessly over all the crazy shit she's said - so I think you can understand why I said yesterday that it feels "limp" for Ron Klein to go after the similarly insane Allen West over tax issues rather than teh crazy. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, though the Reid campaign says the ad "will be added to its rotation of statewide spots."
WI-Sen: Wait, could there actually be room in this digest for a second Republican hypocrite? Hell yes! And it's a repeat performance. It turns out that Ron Johnson's plastics company Pacur received a HUD grant in 1979 to build a railway line out to its factory. This is on top of the $2.5 million federal loan Pacur received in the mid-80s to build an addition to the factory. As one blogger says, Ayn Rand must be rotating in her crypt. Don't forget what Dagny Taggart did for a living!
AZ-03: Ben Quayle started a post-victory press conference by doubling down on his previous jerk-assedness, repeating his claim that "Barack Obama is the worst President in history.'" The douche really doesn't fall far from the bag, huh. Meanwhile, Quayle's former buddies at TheDirty.com were hit with an $11 million default judgment in a defamation suit brought by one of the many people they've wronged over the years. The only problem, however, is that the plaintiff's attorneys appeared to have crumbed the play by naming the wrong business entity in their lawsuit. Hooman Karamian, the scumbag behind the website, says that neither he nor his company was served process, which could seriously imperil the award. In any case, all this legal wrangling is gonna make it a little harder for Quayle to get past this issue, methinks. (And Karamian, for that matter, says that he'll stop blogging about Quayle's involvement with the site once he "admits that he is Brock Landers".)
"Dan Webster is deader than Elvis. ... He is the ultimate establishment candidate," Grayson quipped Wednesday, the morning after Republican voters picked the veteran former state legislator to run against him in District 8. ...
Grayson, of Orlando, is a bare-knuckle campaigner who has already begun referring to Webster as "Taliban Dan," for what he considers to be Webster's extreme religious views. Grayson made it clear his campaign plans a heavy onslaught of attacks against Webster's voting record.
"Stay tuned. You'll see: We'll be putting it out day after day, week after week," Grayson said. "Very soon people are going to realize that Webster can't possibly win."
While he's often infuriating, you gotta respect Grayson for being balls-out, and not sounding like such a wuss like so many other Democrats.
FL-17: The Miami Herald has an interesting post-mortem on the Dem primary in the 17th CD. Given the heavily Haitian population in the district, it seemed likely that it could send the first Haitian-American person to Congress. But the four candidates of Haitian descent in the race split the vote, allowing state Sen. Frederica Wilson to carry the day with 35% (a number which, given the huge size of the field, was actually considered pretty high).
FL-24: Put the can-openers away, boys - no cat fud here. Karen Diebel emerged from hiding to endorse state Rep. Sandy Adams, the winner of the GOP primary. Diebel lost by about 0.8%, but obviously this means no recount.
ME-02: Businessman Jason Levesque is up on the airwaves in his bid to upset Blue Dog Mike Michaud, touting his desire to reign in government spending. Levesque has raised over $250K for his bid, so you may want to consider adding this one to your list of races that are bubbling under. (JL)
NM-02: The other day, we mentioned that the Defenders of Wildlife threw down another $125K on a new attack ad against GOPer Steve Pearce. The New Mexico Independent has the ad, if you'd like to watch it.
NC-07: Here's something you don't see every day: Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre's 2008 Republican opponent, Will Breazeale, is endorsing him. Breazeale really has it in for GOP nominee Ilario Pantano - Breazeale attempted a repeat bid this year, but was beaten by Pantano in the primary. The odd thing is that the McIntyre campaign specifically said "no comment" in regard to the endorsement. Any thoughts on why?
NC-08: Larry Kissell is touting a new internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt, showing him beating Republican Harold Johnson 49-32, with Libertarian Thomas Hill at 7. The only other interesting finding actually released in the memo is Johnson's faves, 32-25.
NV-03: Actually, it turns out AFSCME's buy was a lot bigger than we thought: $750K, according to independent expenditure reports, rather than the $240K reported by the Smart Media Group. AFSCME really seems to like buying in three-quarters-of-a-million chunks.
NY-01: Randy Altschuler is out with a new ad attacking Republican rival Chris Cox for living in New York City, rather than in Suffolk County. (Apparently, Cox is crashing at his uncle's house in the Hamptons.) NWOTSOTB.
NY-13: GOPer Michael Allegretti has a new ad out, frenetically edited in the Dale Peterson style, which includes a "man on the street" declaring that Allegretti "is a paisan! He's one of us!" And here's an interesting detail the ad alludes to, which I think we missed: Allegretti's opponent Mike Grimm apparently has no job and has debts which far exceed his income, according to financial disclosure forms. Gotta wonder how he can afford to run for Congress in NYC.
NY-14: Looks like the New York Post got caught trying to ratfuck the Dem primary here in my backyard. Those scuzzes tried to claim that Hillary Clinton - you know, the Secretary of State - was "unofficially" backing Reshma Saujani. Clinton confidantes and the State Department have called bullshit, though, stating that the Secretary of State does not engage in partisan politics. Duh. Nice try, Posties.
SD-AL: In politics, going after a candidate's record traffic infractions is usually a rinky-dink play, but it turns out that Republican Kristi Noem's record behind the wheel is very troubled:
KELOLAND News checked the records for all five candidates for U.S. House and Governor; Noem has the longest list of violations, including 20 speeding tickets, three stop sign violations, two seat belt violations, and no driver's license. Noem also has six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrants.
Yikes! Meanwhile, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is out with a new ad that, mercifully, doesn't feature her son's poop, but instead speaks in dour tones about how liberals in Washington are wrecking the heartland. Pretty bleak, defeatist-sounding stuff. (JL)
FL-Sen: Five Teamster locals, representing union member across the state, endorsed Charlie Crist yesterday. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is out with a new ad, a positive family bio spot that is about as un-partisan as you can get. The Palm Beach Post suggests Rubio is trying to appear "above the fray" and let Crist and Kendrick Meek go at each other. NWOTSOTB.
FL-Gov: Mark Blumenthal (with assists from Charles Franklin and Harry Enten) has an interesting look at the final five FL-Gov polls, in an attempt to understand why PPP and Susquehanna came closest. (In passing, Blumenthal also points out that the average error in this batch of FL-Sen polls was twice as big as the FL-Gov average, but because several high-profile pollsters "called" the gube race wrong, those polls are getting more attention than the senate polls.)
AZ-03: State Sen. and fifth-place finisher Pamela Gorman, best-known for her ad in which she fires a bunch of guns, says she won't endorse Ben Quayle (at least not yet), on account of the vileness he spewed on TheDirty.com. Second- and third-place finishers Steve Moak and Jim Waring, however, say they will support Mr. Potatoe-son.
AZ-08: Those GOPers really can't shut up about how much they want to destroy Social Security, huh? Check out Jesse Kelly, fresh of his teabagger-fueled upset victory:
"We have to fulfill our promises that we've made to people who are on it now, because the government has stolen their money their entire lives, while phasing future generations off. You have to get the future generations off or you're going to go broke," he said. "Individual accounts is the key to it."
FL-22: Ron Klein is up with his first ad of the campaign season, a spot attacking GOPer Allen West for failing to pay taxes. I'm glad to see Klein going on the attack, but given how much utterly insane shit has come out of West's mouth, it feels a little limp to be going after him on IRS liens. Maybe that issue polled better, who knows. NWOTSOTB.
FL-24: Karen Diebel, one of the crazier GOP candidates in a year just chock-full of `em, has gone AWOL in the wake of her narrow loss to state Rep. Sandy Adams. While third-place finisher Craig Miller has endorsed Adams, Diebel hasn't said a word. With 100% of precincts reporting, she trails by 0.8%. She'd need to get under 0.5% to trigger a recount (unless she can demonstrate fraud), which I suppose is conceivable once absentee ballots are counted. But even if that were to happen, she'd still have to make up a few hundred votes, which seems impossible.
ID-01: Heh. Remember when the RNC gave money to the Idaho GOP to hire two staffers to help out the utterly feeble Raul Labrador? Turns out things haven't quite played out that way. One of the two staffers has been re-tasked to work on state races. As for the other guy, who knows?
MI-07: Yesterday we mentioned that AFSCME was launching a new ad against Republican Tim Walberg. Well, those guys don't mess around. The size of the buy? A cool $750K.
ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy is up with his second negative ad in a week, this one attacking GOP Rick Berg on a somewhat unusual issue. Berg apparently promoted a law early last decade which, according to the ad, would allow banks to sell customers' financial records. The bill was later rejected by voters in a referendum. I call this issue "unusual" because you don't typically see privacy matters make a big impact on the campaign trail. NWOTSOTB.
VA-02, VA-05: This is nice to see: Sen. Mark Warner is spending some time this recess campaigning for both Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello. It sounds like he just did a fundraiser for Nye yesterday, and has some events on tap with Perriello this weekend. Speaking of Nye, he's up with his first ad, touting his work in Iraq and how much he enjoys voting against the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Nye's opponent, GOPer Scott Rigell, is also up with an ad, attacking Nye for... supporting the Democratic Party. Do you get it yet, dude? They're going to attack you no matter what, so you might as well sack up and do the right thing. No word on the size of either buy.
Unions: The AFL-CIO and SEIU, which split apart several years back, are trying to join forces once more. The two labor organizations say that they plan to spend at least $88 million between them this cycle, and perhaps more.
AR-Sen: Quelle surprise: The AFL-CIO, which was a major supporter of Bill Halter, won't endorse Blanche Lincoln in the general.
NV-Sen: Your daily dose of Angle Crazy comes courtesy Greg Sargent:
MANDERS: We have domestic enemies. We have home-born homegrown enemies in our system. And I for one think we have some of those enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress.
ANGLE: Yes. I think you're right, Bill.
PA-Sen: Karl Rove's gang of ne'er-do-wells is out with an ad attacking Joe Sestak. NWOTSOTB.
WI-Sen: Weirdo Ron Johnson has a new ad out, trying to sell himself as just a reg'lar guy. NWOTSOTB, but the "ad is airing statewide on cable and broadcast TV starting Tuesday, according to a campaign spokeswoman." Meanwhile, the new right-wing group American Action Network is dropping a $325K ad buy against Russ Feingold. Some background on the group (whose backers include Nixon hatchet man Fred Malek - whataguy!) here.
HI-Gov: Wow. Former Rep. (and recent special election loser) Ed Case went somewhat against type and endorsed Neil Abercrombie over Mufi Hannemann in the Dem gubernatorial primary. The "centrist" Case seemingly had more in common with Hannemann, the urbane mayor of Honolulu, than Abercrombie, the septuagenarian progressive. And Case didn't just issue some anodyne statement - he utterly lambasted Hannemann:
Case called him "the most dangerous politician in a generation," adding that Hannemann governs "by fear and intimidation."
"He is the product and clear choice of a political machine that must end. While professing unity, he's practiced the politics of division, exploiting rather than healing differences of race, origin and economic status," Case said.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is touting an internal poll from Magellan, showing him with a 49-43 lead over Rep. John Salazar. Salazar says his own internals have him leading. One FYI about this (and most other) Magellan polls: It's a one-day sample, much like Rasmussen, and - I would guess - does not include callbacks. Nate Silver previously laid out in great detail how a lack of callbacks can negatively affect poll quality.
KS-04: Raj Goyle is up with a positive bio spot touting his "Kansas values." NWOTSOTB, though this district is centered around Wichita, which is a pretty cheap media market.
Meanwhile, Dem Rob O'Leary is out with his first TV ad, which interestingly enough calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan. NWOTSOTB, and WARNING - AUTOPLAYING YOUTUBE. Very annoying.
MI-07: AFSCME has a new ad out hitting Republican retread Tim Walberg for his votes in Congress, though I think the messaging is a little muddled. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB just yet, but presumably the union will have to file an IE report soon.
NJ-12: GOPer Scott Sipprelle claims he's launching his "third positive, issue-based cable television commercial this summer." First off, check out the ad (which attacks "Washington politicians right at the start") and then tell me if you think it's "positive." Secondly, I'm guessing that this ad is much closer to a "video press release" (as Nathan Gonzales calls them) than a real buy, given that this district lies mostly in the #1-most expensive media market in the country (and the rest is in Philly, which ain't exactly cheap), and that Sipprelle acknowledges it's a cable-only buy.
NY-14: It seems like a long time ago now, but remember when Carolyn Maloney came oh-so-close to primarying appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand? Well, it's an old memory indeed, seeing as Gillibrand is hosting a breakfast fundraiser in Manhattan for Maloney next week.
OH-16: Jim Renacci is up with his first ad of the general election campaign - which I can only assume is targeted at his race against me for NYC Zoning Board. But it's weird that he keeps talking about Ohio, no? Anyhow, a spokesman says the ad "is part of a $250,000 two-week buy" on both broadcast and cable. Do you think it's running on New York 1?
OH-17: Jim Traficant missed the deadline to file as a write-in candidate, but his supporters are still hoping for a favorable ruling from SoS Jennifer Brunner on whether Traficant can appear as an independent. If not, they are supposedly threatening to go to court.
PA-04: Great, another one of these. Much like Joe Donnelly, Jason Altmire has a new ad up claiming he that he's "not afraid to stand up to the president - and Nancy Pelosi." Lovely. NWOTSOTB.
PA-10: It's nice when Republican delusions help us win campaigns. Here's Tom Marino's latest:
"My generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say," he said. "We are not going to get Social Security," he said. "But we are going to pay into it to get this debacle squared away. So if I have to sacrifice my Social Security to get it squared away ... because we can't take Social Security away from people that are on it now.
AK-Sen: Just an FYI: The Tea Party Express has now spent $550K on behalf of Joe Miller - quite a sum in a super-cheap state like Alaska. (That means they've poured in about $200K in just the last week.) Remember, the TPX is the organization that helped power Sharron Angle to victory. Knocking off an incumbent senator is a much bigger task than beating Chicken Lady, of course, but the teabaggers are determined to keep this one interesting. (Also, any day I get to write about Chicken Lady is a good day.)
KY-Sen: Rand Paul, subjecting himself to a rare press conference, announced his preferred way of combating drug abuse in Eastern Kentucky. Instead of using federal dollars, he prefers church-based options: "I like the fact that faith is involved, that religion - Christianity - is involved, and I'm not embarrassed to say so. You have to have innovative local solutions to problems." Paul still called for the end of earmarks to fund Operation UNITE, an anti-drug program, which caused some awkwardness for his host, Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool, who has made use of UNITE himself. (And yes, that awesome name is NOT a typo.)
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes has a new ad up, featuring music he wrote himself, which continues a theme we've seen elsewhere - namely, referring to Congress as some kind of daycare center for overgrown children. I'm not really sure how effective this characterization really is, given that it's been incumbents who keep deploying it. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, though the Hodes campaign tells us it's "a significant buy in both the Manchester and Boston media markets" that's going up on both broadcast and cable today.
OR-Gov: Good news for Dem John Kitzhaber: The Oregon Progressive Party declined to nominate a candidate for governor, meaning that there won't be anyone on the ballot running to Kitz's left. Jerry Wilson, creator of the Soloflex, had been hoping for the Prog nod, and says he may run a write-in campaign instead.
AZ-03: Just a day before the primary, Dan Quayle emerged from his undisclosed potatoe to pen an email on behalf of his embattled, pathetic spawn, Ben. At this point, though, nothing can undo the Shame of the Super-Son.
CA-52: Democrat Ray Lutz has ended his 11-day hunger strike, which he launched in an attempt to get Rep. Duncan Hunter to meet him for a series of debates. Hunter actually did say he'd meet for an Oct. 15th debate, though he claims he was planning to accept that date even before Lutz went on his strike. Lutz, of course, is claiming victory - and if this tactic really did have its intended effect, I wonder if we'll ever see anyone else try it again.
IA-03: Rep. Leonard Boswell's been hitting Republican Brad Zaun on his flip-floppery over agricultural subsidies, and it seems like he's landed a solid blow. In Iowa, anything less than maximal statism in support of the ethanol industry is usually a political sin, but Zaun couldn't help himself at a teabagger debate earlier this spring. Zaun related a conversation with a farmer, who asked him "What are you going to do for me and the biofuels industry?" Zaun's description of his own response: "Nothing." Boswell's put out his first radio ad of the cycle (NWOTSOTB) featuring this very quote.
IL-11: Debbie Halvorson is getting a new campaign manager. Julie Merz, who has previously worked for Dennis Moore and Jim Matheson, is taking over for Travis Worl. It's always hard to say whether moves like this reflect campaign turmoil, a sign that the team is upgrading, or just natural turnover. The only tea leaf we have here is that Worl's departure was announced before Merz's hiring was.
LA-02: A good get for Cedric Richmond: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu just gave the state legislator his endorsement yesterday. Richmond faces fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta in the primary, which is this Saturday (note the unusual date).
NV-03: Republican media buying company Smart Media Group says that AFSCME has put down $240K for ads against GOPer Denny Joe Heck. The union hasn't filed an independent expenditure report yet, though.
NY-01: Republican George Demos is up with his first TV ad, attempting to out-conservative opponents Randy Altschuler and Ed Cox - and doing his best to make himself unelectable in the general election by painting himself as "pro-life." NWOTSOTB. Meanwhile, Altschuler succeeded in knocking Cox out of the Conservative Party primary, though Cox has vowed to appeal the judge's ruling.
NY-25: Republican (and Mama Grizzly) Ann Marie Buerkle says she won't rule out SSP - the bad kind of SSP, of course:
"There's so many options when it comes to privatization. I would have to look at each plan that's being proposed... but I would certainly consider looking at it."
MO-Sen: AFSCME just threw down another hefty hunk of cash, pouring $700K into radio ads attacking Roy Blunt for voting against minimum wage hikes. According to The Hill, the union says that the ad is airing "statewide on over 200 radio stations outside the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets."
NH-Sen: Despite leading in the polls, AG Kelly Ayotte is joining third-party groups and launching a TV ad of her own attacking rival Bill Binnie as a "liberal." This comes in response to Binnie's new ad attacking Ayotte for her handling of the FRM scandal. NWOTSOTB, though Binnie's latest purchase is reportedly for some $430K.
WI-Sen: It's hard to keep up with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, but really, the lamestream media is being unfair to Ron Johnson, who definitely deserves a starting spot on the Wingnut 9. Watch him bash this stand-up double into deep right field:
There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now.
FL-22: Absolute fucking maniac - and absolute fucking whiner - Allen West has been decrying the "Gestapo-like intimidation tactics" he fantasizes have been deployed by Ron Klein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama. What are his dark Orwellian warnings about? The fact that the Klein campaign has been sending a video tracker to West's events. Yep, exactly like the Holocaust. Good comparison to be making in Palm Beach.
IA-01: The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)4, claims it's preparing to spend "six figures" against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), not a guy generally considered to be vulnerable. Part of that is because Braley leads his opponent, lawyer and former congressional staffer Ben Lange, $630K to $110K in cash-on-hand. Let's see if they actually follow through, though.
MO-04: For the first time since the mid-90s, the Missouri Farm Bureau's political arm, FARM-PAC, is not endorsing Ike Skelton - and in fact, they're supporting Republican Vicky Hartzler. FARM-PAC cited Skelton's vote in favor of cap-and-trade as the main reason for their change of heart. The Skelton campaign did, however, announce they received the backing from another agricultural group, the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
ND-AL: Rep. Earl Pomeroy is out with a new ad attacking Republican Rick Berg for his long (28-year) tenure in the North Dakota state lege, as well as his support for privatizing Social Security. NWOTSOTB.
NM-02: Defenders of Wildlife has re-upped its ad buy against Steve Pearce, who is attempting a comeback bid against Rep. Harry Teague, throwing down another $125K. It's not clear whether this is the same ad from a couple of weeks ago, which one station refused to air.
NJ-03: Props to Jane Roh of the Courier-Post, a paper which serves southern New Jersey. She exposes Republican Jon Runyan's first television ad for the video press release that it is, reporting that it's a mere $8,400 (on FOX News and CNN), but notes - do I detect a touch of mockery here? - that it's "expected to swell to $12,500 this week." This is pretty much a joke buy anywhere, but in the NYC media market, this doesn't even rate with late-night infomercials.
NY-13: Rudy Giuliani's lent all kinds of support to Mike Grimm in his primary against Michael Allegretti, and now he's cut an ad for him as well, touting Grimm's experience with terrorism as a "9/11 first responder." I wonder if that's the tie that binds these two men, or if Rudy is making some long-term play against the entrenched GOP interests on Staten Island which, for whatever reason, have been backing Allegretti. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, and incidentally, the FBI (and the Marines) have expressed displeasure with similar Grimm ads in the past.
NY-29: Teabagger Janice Volk failed to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent... but now says she'll run as a write-in. Whatever. Anyhow, has anyone heard anything - anything at all - about Dem Matthew Zeller?
OH-18: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled late last week that Rep. Zack Space made false statements about Republican opponent Bob Gibbs in an attack ad, but is issuing no penalty - not even a letter of reprimand. Sort of makes you wonder why this commission exists in the first place. I also find it weird that Ohio even has some body that tries to act as a referee for political campaigns. Isn't that what voting is for?
Redistricting: Redistricting geeks, rejoice! Thanks to some key volunteer help, Dave's Redistricting App now has partisan data for North Carolina and New Mexico. But more help is needed to get the remaining states online. Check out Dave's diary to see how you can help.
Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.
FL-Sen: Great catch by CQ's Greg Giroux, who always has some of the tastiest FEC tidbits. None other than Bob Dole (Bob Dole!) has cut a $1,000 check to Charlie Crist's senate campaign. It feels great to be writing about Bob Dole again! Bob Dole!
PA-Sen, PA-Gov, PA-08: Like some Green and teabagger candidates before them, the Libertarians have all been kicked off the statewide ballots in PA. That's because of a punitive Pennsylvania law which requires that a party which loses a challenge to its ballot status to pay the legal fees of the winner. Unsurprisingly, many minor party candidates tend to bail rather than risk a huge debt. In the same vein, indy Tom Lingenfelter also quit the race in PA-08, under intense courtroom pressure from Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign.
KY-Gov: This seems like a good get for Dem Gov. Steve Beshear: Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent next month in Jefferson County. This is a big deal because Pence is not only a Republican, but he served as LG for the man that Beshear beat, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. (Pence didn't seek re-election in 2007, and in fact had a pretty serious falling-out with Fletcher.)
AZ-08: Not something you see every day: Teabagger Jesse Kelly, hanging on in an uphill fight against establishment fave Jonathan Paton, is attacking none other than Sarah Palin, saying that the ur-Mama Grizz has been endorsing lots of front-runners (like Carly Fiorina) out of pure political calculation, and that she "needs to rehab" her image to woo independents. Paton fell all over himself trying to proclaim his Rich Lowry-like love for Palin, who in point of fact hasn't actually endorsed him. In an interesting aside, Paton's once-hot fundraising has fallen off a cliff, and Kelly actually outraised him in the pre-primary period.
OH-13: Remember how yesterday I was saying that despite the GOP's great recruitment efforts, they still have to deal with a serious structural problem - the stark raving insanity of their entire movement? Well, even prize recruit Tom Ganley is not immune. Here you have a multi-millionaire who is willing to self-fund, an extremely successful car dealer whose name is all over town, a guy who even helped police investigate the mob... and yet he pops off with statements like this: "I don't have a position on whether he's a Muslim." You can guess who he's talking about. A little while later, Ganley put out a statement trying to backtrack, but really, he's still a fucking nutter.
OH-15/16/18: Another shadowy right-wing group, a 501(c)4 with the Nixonian name "The Committee for Truth in Politics," is up to some dirty tricks, launching ads against Reps. Zack Space ($190K worth) and John Boccieri ($130K). CQ also says that a further $62K buy looks like it will be targeted against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The one odd thing about this writeup is that it says the anti-Space ad buy is going up in Cleveland, but if you compare a media market map with a map of Space's district, you'll see that his CD mostly falls in a bunch of other markets, principally Columbus. I wonder what gives.
Meanwhile, also in OH-16, Republican Jim Renacci (and soon-to-be DavidNYC opponent in the race for NYC Zoning Board) has filed a lawsuit against AFSCME, which is spending $750K on an ad buy against him. Renacci is alleging the ad, which accuses him of "cheating on his income taxes," is defamatory. It's more typical to threaten the TV stations running the ad, though, as they generally are pretty pliant when it comes to removing potentially questionable third-party ads from the air. Maybe he'll try that as well.
ND-AL: Republican Rick Berg is up with his first ad of the general election campaign, which you can view here. NWOTSOTB. Rep. Earl Pomeroy already has three different ads airing.
NY-13: Wingers disgruntled with the state Conservative Party have formed a new ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. (The name reminds me a little bit of George Pataki's vanity line in 1994, the Tax Cut Now Party.) Anyhow, Michael Allegretti, himself spurned by the Conservatives, is probably the TP's biggest name so far, having just filed 5,000 signatures to get on their line. This constitutes at least some bottom-shelf cat fud, since Allegretti would stay on the line even if he loses the GOP primary. Meanwhile, if rival Mike Grimm loses the Republican nod, he'll have the Conservative line no matter what. What did I say about the Republicans never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?
TN-03: Am I sniffing some cat fud on the horizon? Crazy Lady Robin Smith lost the GOP primary in this uber-red district by a 30-28 margin to self-funder Chuck Fleischmann, and already she's talking about running again in 2012. Smith hasn't endorsed Fleischmann, and for his part, Fleischmann says he hasn't responded to Smith's request for a reconciliation tête-à-tête. Since the only advice I like to give to Republicans is bad advice, nobody tell Fleischmann he should probably reconsider, as 30% doesn't exactly constitute a mandate. (Remember what happened to another Tennessean who barely won his primary in 2006?) Anyhow, Smith is also hoping that the district will get redrawn with a more southerly configuration, as Fleischmann did better in the northern counties. Could be messy!
Race Ratings: CQ has a cool new feature which, I admit, I'm quite envious of. A couple of years ago, James and I dreamed of creating a system which would allow SSP users to rate races as they saw fit, and then generate an "aggregate" rating across the site. Unfortunately, as a purely volunteer outfit with extremely minimal ad revenues, we simply didn't have the money for this project. But now, CQ has gone and created something very close to the tool we were hoping to build. The interface could use some improvement (right now, you have to drill down to a separate page for each race individually, and you can also only rate races that are already on their list), but it still looks pretty promising.