That's the difficulty of a campaign. I mean, it's easy to just say, "Seal the border and enforce the law." What does that really mean? What does that entail? And when you're able to explain it, then they're alright. And I think for those who don't agree with my position-think that it ought to be something different-at least I think they give me a little credit for sticking with my position because I've always believed this is what we need and I continue to believe regardless of the political environment.
In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform - increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do. I've been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable, given the current leadership.
In other AZ news, the subscription-only Arizona Guardian says that ex-Rep. Matt Salmon may endorse Rep. Trent Franks, rather than his old buddy Flake (who succeeded him in Congress when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002), something they characterize as a "snub" on their home page. Franks of course hasn't announced a run yet, but Dave Catanese claims he'll do so this Saturday. Just hope whoever told Dave this is more truthful than the dipshit who dissembled about Connie Mack last week. (And I still maintain that Dave had every right-if not an obligation-to burn that source.)
• FL-Sen: Adam Hasner has to be feeling pretty good about himself these days. Rep. Connie Mack inartfully bowed out of the race, and Mike Haridopolos has already scored a few own-goals. So the former state House Majority Leader took to his Facebook to declare that "this election still needs a proven limited government leader, who is solid across the board on the conservative principles." Why golly, that sounds just like Hasner, doesn't it?
• IN-Sen, IN-02: Rep. Joe Donnelly sure sounds like he's interested in running for Senate. He told Robert Annis, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, that he thinks his "experience is best served in the Senate." Annis also characterized Donnelly as "leaning toward" a run. A different reporter at the same event characterized him as "leaning strongly toward" a Senate bid if the GOP makes his current district redder.
• MI-Sen: PPP has the remainders from their Michigan poll last week, a kitchen sink GOP primary:
Pete Hoekstra is the clear first choice of Republicans in the state for who they'd like as their nominee to take on Debbie Stabenow next year. 38% say he'd be their pick compared to 18% for Terri Lynn Land. No one else cracks double digits, with Saul Anuzis at 5%, Justin Amash, Randy Hekman, and Tim Walberg at 4%, Chad Dewey at 3%, and Tim Leuliette with the big egg at 0%.
Speaking of The Hook, he said he'll decide whether to challenge Stabenow in two weeks. In an amusing side note, Hoekstra admitted he got all butthurt when MI GOP chair Bobby Schostak said in a recent interview that he expects a candidate to emerge who is " head and shoulders" above the current crop of potentials-a group which obviously includes Hoekstra. Of course, Schostak also said of this mystery candidates: "I don't know who it is. They haven't met with me yet, if they're out there." We don't know who they are either!
• NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, presumably trying to scare off would-be primary opponents, raised a pretty massive $125K in a single event in Vegas on Monday night.
• OH-Sen, OH-12: This is... getting strange. Top-tier Ohio Republicans have all pretty much taken a pass on challenging Sherrod Brown, or at least seem to be leaning against a run. But one guy all of a sudden put his name into the hopper: Rep. Pat Tiberi, who sits in the very swingish 12th CD. Tiberi's spokesman made sure to remind Dave Catanese that he's on Ways & Means, though, so that's a pretty tasty perch to give up. Catanese also notes that state Sen. Kevin Coughlin is preparing a run.
• RI-Sen: I guess rich guy Barry Hinckley is running against Sheldon Whitehouse? The founder of a software company called Bullhorn ("the global leader in On Demand, integrated front office software for the staffing and recruiting industry"), Hinckley is apparently trying to burnish his Republican credentials by holding some fundraisers at California yacht clubs. (Not joking about that.)
• LA-Gov: 2010 Lt. Gov. nominee Caroline Fayard is starting to sound very much like a gubernatorial candidate... that is, if you can hear her over her foot-stuffed-in-mouth. She didn't do much to help her cause by declaring at a recent even that she "hates Republicans" because they are "cruel" and "eat their young." (Uh, I talk a lot of shit about the GOP, but what does "eat their young" even mean?) Fayard later tried to wiggle her way out of this by claiming "I'm against the president, but I don't need to see his birth certificate." So she's managed to kill her crossover vote and her support among African Americans in one fell swoop. Well, uh, she sure is getting some free media out of this. (Hat tip: Daily Kingfish)
• CT-05: I guess I thought that former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had already announced she was running for Chris Murphy's seat, but apparently she's only just formed an exploratory committee.
• MN-06: It's not particularly meaningful, since the funds can be transferred to another federal account, but Michele Bachmann did just file to run for re-election yesterday.
• NY-25, VA-02: Dan Maffei apparently says he'll decide on a rematch "in the next two months," while Glenn Nye (I'd forgotten he was still considering) will wait until "sometime in the summer." (That's how The Hill phrased it in both cases.)
• RI-01: With the city of Providence's finances imploding, freshman Rep. David Cicilline is taking a beating over his stewardship of the city he used to be mayor of. Among other things, a new Brown University poll finds him with a statewide approval rating of just 17-49. Could Cicilline be vulnerable in the general election? I doubt it, but he could underperform annoyingly and require help that could best be expended elsewhere, like a Paul Kanjorski. I think he might be more at risk in a primary.
• Wisconsin Recall: In just the last two months, the Wisconsin Democratic Party reports raising $1.4 million-or, a quarter million more than it did in all of 2010. In other news, a coordinator of the petition drive against Randy Hopper seems to have gone off-message with his intimation that volunteers would have "closer to 30,000 than 15,000" signatures by Tuesday (a month before the deadline). 15,269 sigs are needed for the recall to happen, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party told the Journal Sentinel that these figures (such as they are) "are not accurate" and wouldn't say more. Quite understandably, t's pretty much been the policy of the party not to talk about where things stand.
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: JoAnne Kloppenburg is out with TV and radio ads that tout her independence.
• WATN?: Artur Davis, douchebag from beyond the grave. This is actually the same link as the NY-25/VA-02 item above; Davis did an event with Maffei and Nye at which he said that President Obama would bear the brunt of the blame for any government shutdown. Davis's claim: "I think that voters always focus on the executive as the responsible officer." That's why Bill Clinton lost so badly in 1996, right?
In other WATN? news, I'm guessing that ex-Rep. Bart Gordon (D) is probably ruling out a run for the seat he voluntarily gave up last year (TN-06), or a Senate bid - he just took a job at the law firm of K&L Gates. (The "Gates" is Bill Gates, Sr., the Microsoft founder's dad, who is now retired.)
• Indiana: Have an idea for an Indiana state Senate map? Sen. Tim Lane (D) wants to hear from you! (Seriously!) Contact information is at the link.
• Louisiana: Even though he had said he'd stay out of it, Gov. Bobby Jindal's been weighing in on the redistricting process-and Dems, as you might guess, aren't happy about it. Click through the article to learn more about the exact nature of the dispute. Ultimately, though, it sounds as though Jindal will get his way, which more or less preserves the status quo.
• Funnymanders: What happens when a very careful redistricting job blows up in your face because the state Senate Majority Leader's son being groomed for the new seat tells the media he can't even remember being arrested for getting into a dispute over chicken fingers at Applebee's? Well, I'm calling that a funnymander. Nathan Gonzales has the details on that story, and a few other anecdotes as well, about redistricting gone awry.
• Dark Money: On the darker side of redistricting is all the unregulated cash flooding into various coffers, which Politico takes a look at. A big reason is an FEC decision last year which allowed members of Congress to raise unlimited soft money for redistricting groups, and both Dems and Republicans are, of course, going at it full bore.
• CA-Sen: Despite getting only a small vote share in the GOP Senate primary this year (as conservatives decided to go with the slightly-more-electable Carly Fiorina), Chuck DeVore is talking Senate again, for 2012, when Dianne Feinstein will presumably run for re-election. Or is he? All he's saying is that he's likely to run in 2012, but hasn't decided what office. Senate is the only thing that's available, though, which makes his statement seem kind of strange (unless he's talking about trying to rejoin the state Assembly). If Barbara Boxer could still win by 10 points in a terrible year, the more-popular Feinstein in a presidential year is an even more daunting target, meaning that DeVore may be the only prominent GOPer crazy enough to take on the task.
• MA-Sen: Nobody really has any idea whether or not Vicki Kennedy plans to run for Senate -- she'd probably have a massive field-clearing effect in the Dem primary if she did -- but Joan Vennochi is seeing some signs of the groundwork for a run, looking at Kennedy's stepped-up routine of public appearances around the state.
• OH-Sen: Rep. Jim Jordan had probably been the GOPer most associated with a potential run against Sherrod Brown this cycle, but now he's publicly saying that he's "leaning heavily against" the run. He has a plum job coming up as head of the right-wing caucus (the Republican Study Committee), which is often a leadership springboard, and given his ultra-safe district, that may be a more appealing track than rolling the dice on a Senate run. Auditor and soon-to-be Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (who you may recall got a few weeks of Senate speculation in 2009 when conservatives were casting about for someone more charismatic and less wonky than Rob Portman) may be next in line.
PPP is out with its primary numbers for the GOP side, too, and they find that Jordan was actually in first place among those few people who actually know him. It's one of those everybody-but-the-kitchen-sink fields where the guy with the name rec winds up winning out: Incoming AG and ex-Sen. Mike DeWine (who's quite unlikely to run, given his new job) leads at 27, with ex-SoS Ken Blackwell at 17, new SoS Jon Husted at 11, Jordan at 10, Taylor at 7, Rep. Steve LaTourette at 6, new Treasurer Josh Mandel at 5, and state Sen. Kevin Coughlin at 2.
• PA-Sen: Quinnipiac's new poll of the Pennsylvania Senate turned out to not be that revealing, seeing as how they only testing Bob Casey Jr. against Generic R. (Although they can be forgiven, given the paucity of GOP candidates willing to reveal themselves yet.) At any rate, Casey is in good shape, although the percentage of people with no opinion seems strangely high, maybe reflective of his low-key nature. He beats Generic R 43-35, and has an approval of 39/29 (55/16 among Dems, 28/42 among GOPers, and 36/30 among indies).
• House: Politico has another list of possible rematches among the ranks of defeated Dems. Some of these you're probably already familiar with (Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, Phil Hare, and Alan Mollohan(?!?)), but other names now weighing another bid include Dina Titus, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, and Bobby Bright. Mark Schauer says he's waiting to see what the GOP-held Michigan legislature does to his district, and Ron Klein is waiting to see how his district responds to Allen West.
• NY-St. Sen.: Craig Johnson lost his case concerning the result in SD-7 (in which the balance of the state Senate hangs) at the Appellate Division level, who found there wasn't a basis for a full hand recount. Johnson is still planning to appeal to the Court of Appeals. (In New York, for some screwed-up reason, the Supreme Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court. Also, hamburgers eat people.)
• Switchers: Courtesy of the Fix's Aaron Blake, here's a list from GOPAC of all the state legislators who've switched parties in the last month, if you're having trouble keeping track. There's a list of 20, although almost all come from three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana). Also an interesting note: we've actually found someone who just switched from the GOP to the Democrats, although you have to go even further into the weeds: Luzerne County (in Pennsylvania) Commissioner Steve Urban. Before you get too excited, though, the move seems to be mostly driven out of personal pique stemming from Urban's recent loss in a state Senate race.
• California: It looks like California's switch to a Washington-style "top two" primary is a done deal. It survived a court challenge, with the state Supreme Court refusing to block a challenge to two of its provisions. (One of the provisions is one way in which it'll differ from Washington: in California, party affiliation can be listed only if one belongs to a party that's officially recognized by the state, while in Washington, you can list yourself as belonging to whatever crazy made-up party you want.)
• CfG: The Club for Growth is issuing one of its litmus test warnings, saying that primaries will result for GOPers who defy its will... and it's over one of the less controversial things on the current docket: the omnibus spending bill (which contains... gasp!... earmarks.)
• Votes: The House, as you're probably well aware, easily passed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell yesterday (although its Senate future is hazy; ask again later). The 15 Dem "no" votes are mostly Blue Dogs in socially conservative districts (with nine of them not coming back, either via loss or retirement), with one key exception: Artur Davis, still seeming completely intent on maxing out on his frequent douchebag miles before leaving. The 15 GOP "yes" votes are more interesting, a mix of departing moderates (Castle, Djou, Cao, Ehlers), remaining moderates in well-educated (and presumably low homophobia) districts (Biggert, Reichert, Dent, Platts), GOPers with substantially gay constituencies (Bono Mack, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart... and we can double-count Cao), die-hard libertarians (Paul, Flake, Campbell), and in his own category, David Dreier.
• WATN?: Dede Scozzafava, perhaps as a reward for, in her own round-about way, giving us the gift of Bill Owens in NY-23, is in talks to get a job in the incoming Cuomo administration. The exact position hasn't been defined, but will be something about "streamlining" government.
• Demographics: Here's an interesting piece in the Democratic Strategist that does some demographic slice-and-dice of the House seats where Dems lost. Some of it isn't a surprise (losses occurred where race and education overlap, as the white working class particularly turned right), but it adds an important variable to the mix that nobody else seems to have noticed: manufacturing. There's a definite correlation between losses and how reliant the district is on a manufacturing economy.
• AK-Sen: Everyone's watching Joe Miller's next move, as tomorrow is the day he has to decide whether or not to appeal a trial court decision in order to keep fighting his largely-hopeless fight with Lisa Murkowski. On Friday afternoon, a state superior court judge ruled against Miller's lawsuit, and in pretty withering fashion, saying he presented no evidence of fraud or malfeasance, only "hearsay, speculation, and... sarcasm." This comes on top of other comments on Friday by state elections director Gail Fenumiai strongly disputing one of Miller's cornerstone issues, that there was a strange sudden influx of felons voting in the state.
• CT-Sen, CT-04: Rep. Jim Himes confirms that he isn't going to run for Senate in 2012 against Joe Lieberman (if Lieberman even decides to stick around). It's also pretty clear confirmation that Rep. Chris Murphy is ready to run on the Dem line, as Himes said he's deferring to his slightly-more-senior colleague and might consider running if Murphy changed his mind. (The article also mentions that Rep. Joe Courtney is "considering" the race. Ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz's interest is well-known as well, although I doubt she'll be able to manage to file her candidacy papers successfully.)
• HI-Sen: Sometimes the Beltway media's parsing of every innocent word from a potential candidate gets a little maddening, but this throw-away line from Linda Lingle's website flagged by David Catanese is actually pretty suggestive of a future run (probably against Dan Akaka in 2012): the site is titled "Looking Back, and Forward," and her first blog post is "Continuing the Journey."
• MD-Sen: Contrast that with Bob Ehrlich, who seems ripe to fall into the Dino Rossi trap but has just made it pretty clear that he won't be running for anything else again. He says a Senate run would be "very highly unlikely."
• ME-Sen: The only story that seems to be here is that the viable Tea Party candidate that has been promised to emerge to take on Olympia Snowe is starting to look like more of a mirage. A must-read (for sheer hubris and wtf?ness) interview with the state's self-appointed head teabagger, Andrew Ian Dodge, makes it sound like the candidate that Dodge is allegedly talking to is either imaginary, or else is Dodge himself (seeing as how he's from southern Maine and has his own money).
• MI-Sen: PPP includes a GOP primary portion in their Michigan Senate poll, and like a lot of other polls this far out, name rec seems to rule the day. Ex-Gov. John Engler, despite eight years out of the picture, has the lead (in fact, that may be good news, as the general electorate doesn't remember him fondly; he underperforms Debbie Stabenow, losing by 7, compared with Peter Hoekstra, who loses by 1). It's Engler 31, Hoekstra 24, with 12 for ex-AG Mike Cox, Terri Lynn Land (who may be interested in this race after all) at 7, Candice Miller at 5, Mike Rogers at 4, Thad McCotter at 3, and Tim Leuliette (the most-interested candidate so far) at 0.
• NJ-Sen: The Hill has an article that's mostly about how no GOPers are stepping up to express their interest in an uphill fight against Bob Menendez, but it does include the obligatory list of possible contenders. Top of the list is a rematch from state Sen. (and gubernatorial progeny) Tom Kean Jr., but also mentioned are Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Anna Little (a small-town mayor who was competitive against Rep. Frank Pallone this year), state Sen. Jennifer Beck, former state Sen. Bill Baroni, and state GOP chair Jay Webber if all else fails.
• NY-Sen: Rep. Peter King does some coulda-woulda-shoulda in a recent interview, saying he definitely would have run in 2010 had Caroline Kennedy been the appointee. As for a run in 2012 against Kirsten Gillibrand (when she's up for election for her first full term), he's only "keeping his options open," apparently leery of her fundraising prowess.
• PA-Sen: Rep. Charlie Dent is usually at the top of the list for Senate race speculation, but a recent interview has him sounding rather un-candidate-ish: he's about to land a plum spot on Appropriations, and speaks of it in terms of "one never rules anything out," which to my ear sounds a few steps down the Beltway-ese totem pole from "considering" it. One other interesting rumor bubbling up is that ex-Gov. Mark Schweiker is being courted to run. The question is whether anybody even remembers Schweiker; he spent less than two years on the job in the early 00s after getting promoted after Tom Ridge moved to the Bush administration, and declined to run for his own full term.
• VT-Sen: Could Bernie Sanders see a real opponent? While he isn't specifically threatening to run yet, State Auditor Tom Salmon is taking to Facebook to attack Sanders over his anti-tax deal agitating (including attacking Sanders for being a socialist, which doesn't quite have the same effective power with Sanders as with most Dems since he's likely just to say "guilty as charged"). At any rate, going after the entrenched Sanders seems like an odd move if it comes to pass, as Peter Shumlin, who narrowly won the open gubernatorial race, seems like a much easier target in a blue state that's willing to elect Republican governors but has sworn them off at the national level.
• CA-Gov: Steve Poizner sounds likely to make another run at the governor's mansion in 2014, publicly telling various people that he would have made a much better candidate than Meg Whitman. Poizner will have to step it up on the financial situation next time, though; self-funding only to the tune of eight digits, instead of nine, was pretty weak sauce.
• IN-Gov: With Evan Bayh apparently out of the gubernatorial sweepstakes, Brad Ellsworth seems to be jockeying to the front of the line today, although with some of the requisite hedging. The other main contender, of course, is Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, although the impact of redistricting changes (at the hand of the now-GOP-held legislature) could drive Reps. Joe Donnelly or Baron Hill into the race. Two lesser Dem names who've been bandied about, Hammond mayor Thomas McDermott and former state House speaker John Gregg, are already taking their names off the table, lining up behind others for now: McDermott backing Ellsworth and Gregg backing Weinzapfel. One final new Dem name to keep an eye on: Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.
• MS-Gov: For now, the Democratic side on the Mississippi governor's race seems to be between two men: Hattiesburg mayor Johnny DuPree (that city's first African-American mayor) and businessman Bill Luckett, who has his own money (and the backing of Morgan Freeman... apparently for real, unlike with NC-04's B.J. Lawson).
• WA-Gov: Here's a good take from Joel Connolly (dean of the local press corps) on the 2012 gubernatorial election in Washington state, which the Beltway press seems to treat like an open book but everyone local knows is going to be between Rep. Jay Inslee and AG Rob McKenna, who's probably the best shot the GOP has had in decades of winning the governor's race. (Chris Gregoire can, by law, run for a third term, but, in practice, that would be unheard of even if she weren't already too unpopular to do so feasibly.)
• NY-15: Is the Charles Rangel era actually coming to a close? He's not ruling out another run in 2012 but saying he'll have to think about retirement. And in public comments he is actively pointing to a generation of successors, citing state Sens. Adriano Espaillat and Robert Rodriguez, and state Assemblyman Keith Wright. (Although Harlem is the core of the district, it now has more Hispanics than it does African-Americans... and the wild card is that the fastest growing group in this district is white regentrifiers.)
• LA-St. Leg.: The hemorrhaging of Dem state legislators to the GOP in Louisiana continues apace, with one of its most prominent state Reps., the mellifluously-named Noble Ellington, sounding about ready to pull the trigger on a switch. He'd follow two state Sens., John Alario and John Smith, who also recently crossed the aisle.
• Philly mayor: You'd think that at age 80, you'd want to think about retirement, but not if you're Arlen Specter, apparently. There's word of a poll making the rounds (from Apex Research, with no mention of who paid for it or why) that not only links the outgoing Senator to a mayoral run (in the city where he got his start generations ago as the DA) but actually has him in the lead. The poll has Specter at 28, with incumbent Michael Nutter at 19, Sam Katz at 9, Anthony Hardy Williams at 8, Tom Knox at 7, Bob Brady at 6, and Alan Butkovitz (anybody care to let me know who he is?) at 6.
• WATN?: Try as he may, Artur Davis just can't get the douchiness out of his system. On his way to the private sector, he's still taking the pox-on-both-your-houses approach on his way out the door, writing an op-ed calling for an independent party as the solution to all of Alabama's woes. Meanwhile, Mariannette Miller-Meeks has landed on her feet, after losing a second run in IA-02 in a rare setback for the Ophthalmologists (who elected at least two more of their own to Congress this year): Terry Branstad just named her head of Iowa's Dept. of Public Health.
• Census: Finally, this may be the most exciting news of the day: we have a reporting date for the first real batch of 2010 Census data. Dec. 21 will be the day the Census Bureau releases its state population counts, which also includes reapportionment data (i.e. how many House seats each state will get... at least prior to the inevitable litigation process among the most closely-bunched states).
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck twisted himself into a knot that's unlikely to satisfy anyone. After it came out that, about a year ago, he'd announced his support for the repeal of the 17th Amendment (which allows for direct election of Senators, and should alarm any non-teabagger), on Friday he clarified that, no, he's changed his mind and supports the 17th now (which should piss off any teabagger). While several House GOP candidates have touted the idea, Buck is the first Senate candidate to discuss why it's a good idea for people to vote for him so he can go to Washington and take away their right to vote... for him.
• FL-Sen: There's one more Florida poll to add to the growing pile; it's only of the Democratic Senate primary, though, and it's from Republican pollster Susquehanna on behalf of online media outlet Sunshine State News. They join in the chorus seeing Kendrick Meek pulling away from Jeff Greene, 45-30.
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's getting some support from an unexpected place: Michael Bloomberg, the loudly post-partisan New York mayor. Bloomberg, who'll stump on Sestak's behalf in Pennsylvania tomorrow, seems to like Sestak's efforts on better lending for small businesses. Another bright spot for Sestak: Green Party candidate Mel Packer is dropping out of the Senate race, not seeming able to withstand the pending court challenge to his petitions from the Sestak camp.
• AL-Gov: With friends like Artur Davis, who needs enemies? The ostensibly Democratic Rep., who seems to have gotten consumed with bile after his surprising yet thorough loss to Ron Sparks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, published an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser yesterday titled "A lack of vision" that said that Sparks is "no champion of real change." The key quote: "In a break with tradition, I did not attend that [unity] event and will not be campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee." But really: read the whole thing, especially if you still had any shreds of respect left for Davis.
• CA-Gov: You know that saying about how if you want to experience the sense of yachting, just go stand in the shower with your clothes on and keep continuously flushing money down the toilet? I wonder if Meg Whitman is starting to get that sense about her own campaign and its nine figures worth of out-of-pocket sunk costs. She just wrote herself another $13 million check, saying that she had to throw down more because of the nerve of those unions and their insistence on using independent expenditures.
• IA-Gov: You might remember the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse, a former Des Moines school board member and alternative newspaper publisher who'd made some motions about challenging Chet Culver in the Dem primary. Well, now he's back, and he's planning to mount an independent bid instead. He claims to have enough signatures to qualify, and despite his ostensibly left-of-center orientation claims to be getting a lot of interest from disgruntled Bob Vander Plaats supporters looking for an option to Terry Branstad.
• LA-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Bobby Jindal confirmed that he'll be running for re-election for Governor in 2011. That makes a 2012 presidential run seem less likely, given the quick turnaround, but he's young enough that he needn't hurry.
• MS-01: Travis Childers is out with his second ad in as many weeks, this one a negative spot against Alan Nunnelee (although self-narrated by Childers, rather than using the usual grainy black-and-white photos and angry-sounding voice of doom like most negative ads). Childers hits Nunnelee for raising various taxes while in the state legislature.
• NH-01: Frank Guinta, the presumed frontrunner in the GOP primary for the right to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has some good news and bad news. The good news: he seems to have discovered an extra bank account in his name that had somewhere between $250K and $500K in it, which hadn't been on previous disclosure forms because of "an inadvertent oversight." The bad news: now he has to explain where all that money came from, which isn't exactly clear, as Guinta has partially self-funded his run but also done a lot of outside fundraising. This looks serious enough that ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley is calling for Guinta to drop out if he can't provide a credible explanation (although it should be noted that, although Bradley hasn't officially endorsed, he was already informally backing GOP primary rival Sean Mahoney).
• NY-06, NY-13: The New York AFL-CIO endorsed all but four New York House incumbents over the weekend: the two Republicans, naturally, but also Reps. Mike McMahon and... Greg Meeks? Turns out they've had a beef with Meeks (who's a bit of a mismatch with his dark-blue district) for a while, going back to his CAFTA vote. So this means they did endorse Mike Arcuri in NY-24, despite his HCR vote and subsequent antipathy from the Working Families Party.
• Ohio: We Ask America, an auto-dialing pollster with Republican connections that occasionally pops up with flurries of polls, rolled out three polls of different House races in Ohio last week. They add one more poll to the heap of doom for Rep. Steve Driehaus in OH-01, finding him losing to ex-Rep. Steve Chabot 51-39. They also find Paula Brooks unlikely to prevail in her right-candidate-wrong-year challenge to GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi in OH-12; she trails 51-34. Perhaps most interesting is OH-15, which I believe is the first poll released of this race, which many Dems have mentally written off already. While they have freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trailing, it's not that bad, in comeback-able range with a 46-41 lead for GOP rematch candidate Steve Stivers.
• Stumping: Barack Obama is making a three-state road swing over the next few days, appearing on behalf of three vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer in California, and Patty Murray in Washington. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is making three appearances around Florida today on behalf of Hillary-endorsing Kendrick Meek in his Senate primary.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 48%, Tom Foley (R) 33%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 41%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 55%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 30%, Paul LePage (R) 38%, Eliot Cutler (I) 16%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 69%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 44%, Rick Berg (R) 53%
• Election results: Last night's Georgia primary election went pretty much as expected. The main surprise was the collapse of John Oxendine in the GOP gubernatorial primary, who had the most money and led most polls, but his collapse was plainly foreseeable via polls over the last few weeks. He finished fourth, behind Karen Handel and Nathan Deal (who'll advance to the runoff, where the Palin-backed Handel will attack Deal for being corrupt and the Gingrich-backed Deal will attack Handel for being a RINO), and Eric Johnson. Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes locked down the Democratic nomination without a runoff. Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond easily advanced to face GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson in the Senate race.
In the House races, Dems in two of the three potentially competitive races in Georgia know who their opponents will be: Mike Keown in GA-02 and Austin Scott in GA-08 won without runoffs. John Barrow -- who beat back a challenge from the left from Regina Thomas in GA-12 (with a final score of 58-42, as Thomas's Savannah stronghold reported late) -- will need to wait for a runoff between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. Hank Johnson in GA-04 escaped his three-way primary against Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes without a runoff, too. Finally, two dark-red seats will feature GOP runoffs: GA-09's newly-elected Rep. Tom Graves will face off yet again against Lee Hawkins, who lost the special election, while the GA-07 race features a runoff between Rob Woodall and Jody Hice.
• AR-Sen, AR-Gov: That internal poll from Blanche Lincoln didn't seem to do anything to stem the gusher of bad polls. One additional poll came out yesterday, from Ipsos on behalf of Reuters. It finds John Boozman leading Lincoln 54-35. On the plus side, it also looks at the Governor's race and finds that the Zata|3 poll finding only a 9-point lead for incumbent Dem Mike Beebe may have been a bit pessimistic. They find Beebe leading Republican challenger Jim Keet 57-35, more consistent with other polling.
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth is out with a new introductory TV ad in the Indiana Senate race. It focuses on his blue collar roots and his experience as Sheriff; there's nary a mention of his time in Congress.
• LA-Sen: It turns out David Vitter may actually be a better family-values role model than his newly minted GOP primary opponent. Faulkner character State Rep. Noble Ellington says that Chet Traylor was "significantly involved" in his divorce from his ex-wife Peggy McDowell, who then married Traylor. Traylor is currently romantically involved with the estranged wife of one of his stepsons via McDowell. The two stepsons have also filed a lawsuit against Traylor, accusing him of hiding information about his financial assets, as part of their probate case concerning McDowell's recent death without a will. (If someone wants to call me classist in the comments, please feel free, but I can't help but notice that Traylor's name is a homonym for a certain type of dwelling whose residents are stereotypically and often unfairly associated with such behavior.)
• WV-Sen, WV-Gov: As expected (at least as expected since late last night), Shelly Moore Capito announced this morning that she won't run in the Senate special election in November, despite the nice Capito Carveout specifically designed by the legislature to facilitate her doing so. This leaves self-funding businessman John Raese the likely candidate. (In fact, he'd sounded likely to run in the primary with or without Capito, which may have been a major deterrent for Capito. She cited not wanting to run for two things at once, though, and the potential legal challenges to her doing so.) The primary is Aug. 28, so someone will need to fill the gap soon. West Virigina political analyst Hoppy Kercheval seemed to be the first to correctly diagnose the situation earlier yesterday, pointing out her risk-averse past.
There was one surprise, today, though: Joe Manchin drew a primary opponent, theoretically from the left. He was recently in the news for his staunch opposition to Mike Oliverio in WV-01; it's former SoS and former Rep. Ken Hechler. Hechler, by the way, is 95 years old, older even than Robert Byrd was, so, well, take that for what it's worth. Most of the speculation today instead seems to involve what happens with the Governorship. Succession laws aren't very clear (and there's no Lt. Gov.), but apparently State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be acting Governor in the event of a Manchin move to the Senate. The bigger question is when the election to fill that job would occur: in a 2011 special election, or in 2012 when Manchin's term would end anyway? Any discussion of GOP candidates for that begins and ends with Capito, but the Dem list is endless, ranging from temp Sen. Carte Goodwin to SoS Natalie Tennant, but almost certain to include state Treasurer John Perdue and state Sens. Jeff Kessler and Brooks McCabe.
• AL-Gov: Following the lead of Artur Davis on the Democratic side, Bradley Byrne finally got around to endorsing Robert Bentley, sticking his knife in his back a few more times along the way for good measure. His parting shot was that Bentley still needs to answer questions about his relationship with the teachers' union, the Alabama Education Association.
• CO-Gov: OK, so it's looking like if Scott McInnis does get kicked to the curb, no one is going to rally behind Dan Maes. His vaunted financial small-business acumen turned out to be a lot of inflated boasting, as newly-released tax returns reveal that his credit reporting business turns out to be a small operation and one that paid him earnings that put his family below the poverty line in 2005 and 2008. When asked how he made ends meet, he responded, "there are other ways to pay yourself than salary," without further elaboration. Well, that's true... are those ways legal, though?
• HI-Gov: After padding things out as long as he could, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann finally resigned his day job today and launched his gubernatorial campaign in earnest. Hawaii has a "resign to run" law, so Hannemann wasn't officially running until now, despite having been transparently campaigning for many months in the Dem primary against Neil Abercrombie.
• MA-Gov: Massachusetts Citizens for Life endorsed ex-Dem indie candidate Tim Cahill, rather than Republican Charlie Baker. Baker, from the moderate blue-blood side of the party, is pro-choice.
• NV-Gov (pdf): PPP's Tom Jensen finds it ironic that somehow the Nevada GOP managed to pick the strongest possible Republican for the gubernatorial race and the weakest possible one for the Senate race. The telegenic and inoffensive Brian Sandoval is somehow managing to avoid having his GOP predecessor Jim Gibbons' unpopularity (25/63) rub off on him (Sandoval is at 42/31). Sandoval leads Rory Reid (who's at 34/48) by 52-38 in the general election.
• RI-Gov: Bill Clinton will be appearing in Rhode Island on behalf of Democratic candidate Frank Caprio, last man standing in the Dem primary, on July 29. Caprio backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.
• WI-Gov: Fundraising numbers in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race are out. Democrat Tom Barrett raised $2.39 million in the period of January through June, while GOPers Scott Walker and Mark Neumann raised $2.59 million and $1.96 million respectively (although some of Neumann's money seems to be out of his own pocket). In terms of CoH, it's Barrett (with no primary opposition) with $2.89 million, Walker with $2.57 million, and Neumann with $1.05 million.
• IA-02: Marianette Miller-Meeks, the ophthalmologist who lost severely to David Loebsack in 2008, is back for a rematch, and seems to be in better shape this time (better, even, than Raul Labrador), if her own internal is to be believed. Her poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research gives Loebsack a 46-41 lead.
• NJ-03: The Courier-Post wonders aloud "who the heck is Peter DeStefano?" That's because no one really seems to know. He's the independent Tea Party candidate in the 3rd, who hasn't done anything to promote himself and whose main claim to fame was polling in the double-digits in John Adler's recent internal poll where he was dominating Jon Runyan. This led, naturally, to GOP claims that DeStefano was some sort of plant from the Adler camp. DeStefano denies that, but isn't helping matters with his pattern of ducking publicity, not just among the teabagging rank and file but even with the Courier-Post too.
• PA-11: Naturally, it's never a sign of strength for an incumbent to go negative on his challenger this early... but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Paul Kanjorski is in a heap of trouble in his rematch against Lou Barletta. But Kanjorski may feel he's not only better served by localizing, not nationalizing his race, but also that he has a target-rich environment for hits on Barletta, given Barletta's tenure as mayor of city of Hazleton, which has the highest unemployment in the state and whose local government is in danger of going into receivership.
• TX-06: I suppose this is an example of karma at work. Rep. Joe Barton's campaign fund took a loss of $154K over the last three months because of hits to its investments... perhaps most significantly, because of losses at BP.
• RNC: It seems like Michael Steele can say all the dumb things he wants and keep his job (fo shizzle), but could financial mismanagement be the straw that breaks the camel's back? The RNC has had to report new debts that were kept off the books by staffers loyal to Steele, and treasurer Randy Pullen (not a Steele ally) is going public alleging that the debts go much deeper than what was reported to the FEC, claiming that more than another $7 million in debt is out there. The dispute is likely to dominate matters at the RNC's annual meeting in two weeks. This also leads to speculation that American Crossroads, the Karl Rove 527 operation that finally seemed to kick into high gear last month, will be the de facto main source for independent expenditures this year while the RNC sputters.
• House: Well, it looks like we're stuck with 435 for the foreseeable future. A federal district court ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that claimed that only 435 seats was unconstitutional under 14th Amendment grounds, because of malapportionment between different states (i.e. Montana and Wyoming each getting one Rep., despite their population differences).
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
• MN-Gov: Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 35%
• MN-Gov: Matt Entenza (D) 37%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc): 43%, John Kasich (R) 48%
IL-Sen: Undoubtedly Alexi Giannoulias wishes this kind of thing happened every week: Barack Obama is coming to town for a fundraiser on August 5th.
PA-Sen: The Philly Inquirer has a good look at Pat Toomey's attempted "moderate" makeover. He's doing a fundraiser with Susan Collins, who was lambasted last year by the Club for Growth - Toomey's old group - as "Comrade of the Month" for her stimulus vote. He's also getting the support of a former Specter chief-of-staff (who "stayed loyal" to his old boss when he became a Dem), and perhaps most famously, came out in favor of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the SCOTUS. The real question is, will this stick? Or will Joe Sestak be able to show Toomey for the ultra-conservative he really is?
WV-Sen: This is unexpected: The West Virginia legislature, called into a special session specifically for the purpose of amending the state's elections laws, recessed yesterday without taking any action. Apparently, the two houses are still ironing out differences. (Remind me why we need bicameral state legislatures?) The Secretary of State's office says that it thinks it has time to hold a special election this fall if a bill passes today, but that timetable may be in doubt if lawmakers tarry any longer. Gov. Joe Manchin could also rely on a state AG opinion and schedule a special even if the lege fails to act - but he might also do nothing, meaning Carte Goodwin could serve past November.
AL-Gov: Artur Davis is determined to be remembered as the Asshole of Alabama. Despite endorsing Ron Sparks in his concession speech, Artur Douchebag spewed a bunch of right-wang talking points about his former opponent - and also went out of his way to praise Republican candidate Robert Bentley. Ooh, ArturD2, I definitely see some phat lobbying jobs in your future - and maybe a seat on a deficit commission some day. Stay douchey!
MN-Gov: GOP nominee Tom Emmer really stepped in some serious shit when he suggested that the minimum wage should be revoked for waiters in Minnesota - and that he had heard of servers making over $100,000 a year. So to make reparations, he held... I guess, not a town hall but a dining hall hall with restaurant workers, who were mostly annoyed by his refusal to get specific. (Said one: "I didn't know of him before this. I know him now. And I don't like him.") But it all came to an abrupt end when activist Nick Espinosa dumped a couple thousand pennies on Emmer's table, barking "Here's your tip!"
NY-01: Stay nasty, boys. Randy Altschuler is sending out mailers attacking rival Chris Cox for his support of Dede Scozzafava and Charlie Crist.
NY State Sen: You may remember Pedro Espada as the "Democrat" who spearheaded last year's attempted coup by Republicans in the state Senate. In addition to being a scumbag under federal investigation, he's also been targeted by the Working Families Party, who say that his defeat in the September primary is their "No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 priority." To that end, they've been aiding Jose Gustavo River, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. On top of that, Bill Samuels, a bigtime Dem donor, is pledging to spend $250K to boot Espada. Let's hope it happens!
Aside from a weird little special primary for the Dems in sleepy OH-03, all eyes tonight are on the runoffs in Alabama. Let's check in on the three big-ticket items tonight (there's also a Dem runoff in the AG's race, and a sadly Dale Peterson-free Republican runoff in the Ag Commissioner's race).
• AL-Gov (R): The GOP gubernatorial runoff between ex-state Sen. Bradley Byrne and state Rep. Robert Bentley is a convoluted one, as Byrne is simultaneously getting squeezed from the left and from the right, by Bentley in both cases. Bentley, who's closely linked to Mike Huckabee's camp, has the social conservative cred, and seems to have consolidated many former Tim James and Roy Moore voters, in opposition to the former Democrat and GOP-establishment-backed Byrne. Byrne, however, has been a tireless foe of the Alabama Education Association, who are much friendlier with Bentley. (As much as this is a duel between two guys trying to out-conservative each other, remember that these are the two comparatively reasonable guys in the field, with serious wackos Moore and James having fallen by the wayside). Both candidates have internal polls giving them the lead, but a sorta-public poll from Baselice gives Bentley the edge. The winner faces Democratic Ag Commissioner Ron Sparks.
• AL-02 (R): Gather your armies! Montgomery city councilwoman Martha Roby, the NRCC-crowned establishment favorite, just barely fell short of an outright primary victory last month, taking 49% to teabagging businessman Rick "The Barber" Barber's 29%. Barber, who has lagged in the fundraising race against Roby, has attempted to gin up interest in his campaign through a series of increasingly absurd "viral" videos. Either candidate will face a tough general election fight against frosh Dem Rep. Bobby Bright, who's leaving little room for his would-be opponent on his right flank. (J)
• AL-07 (D): Wall Street securities lawyer Terri Sewell squares off against Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. Sewell led after the first round, with 37% of the vote to Smoot's 29%. (Earl Hilliard, Jr. took 22% but hasn't endorsed anyone in the runoff.) Sewell has swamped Smoot on the fundraising front, taking in some $1 million to Smoot's $150,000 (thanks at least in part to her befuddling EMILY's List endorsement), and has dominated the airwaves. The campaign has turned negative during the long runoff period, with Smoot accusing Sewell of accepting lots of out-of-state "Republican" money and calling her "Artur Davis in a dress." Meanwhile, Sewell has suggested that Smoot double-dipped on a car allowance from JeffCo. No polls of the runoff have been released, so we'll see whether Sewell's money can carry the day for her, or whether Smoot has effectively tied her opponent to Davis (who performed very badly here - his home district - in the AL-Gov primary against Ron Sparks). (D)
If you have any predictions, please share them in the comments!
Polls close at 7 pm Central time (8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific).
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov: Leftover from last Friday is the most recent Quinnipiac poll of Connecticut. Without much changing from their previous poll other than some within-the-margin-of-error gains for Linda McMahon, the poll is very digestible. Richard Blumenthal leads McMahon 55-35 (instead of 56-31 in late May), leads Rob Simmons (who has "suspended" his campaign) 54-33, and leads Peter Schiff 56-29. McMahon leads Simmons and Schiff in the GOP primary 45-29-13. They also included gubernatorial primaries (but not the general): for the Dems, Ned Lamont leads Dan Malloy 39-22, while for the GOP Tom Foley leads Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel 39-12-2.
• IL-Sen: With a growing sense that many Illinois residents would prefer to vote for neither Mark Kirk nor Alexi Giannoulias, a new right-winger with money to burn looks like he's daring to go where Patrick Hughes didn't. Mike Niecestro says he's a "disgusted Republican who has had it with the people the party throws at us," and differentiates himself from Kirk on cap-and-trade and immigration. Just another random teabagger who's all talk and no $$$? No, Niecestro says he already has the 25,000 signatures he needs to qualify before the June 21 deadline, and also has $1 million of his own money ready to go, along with another $100K he's raised elsewhere. Even if he winds up pulling in only a few percent off Kirk's right flank, that could be what that Giannoulias needs to squeak by in what otherwise looks to be a close race.
• NV-Sen: Jon Scott Ashjian is turning into something of the white whale for the Nevada GOP. Even though his candidate lost the primary, Dan Burdish, former political director for Sue Lowden, is still filing complaints with the SoS's office to get Ashjian off the ballot. It doesn't look like it'll go anywhere, though; Ashjian himself has qualified for the ballot, easily meeting the low 250-vote signature hurdle even though the "Tea Party" didn't meet the signature requirements for its own ballot line. Of course, competing right-wing third party the Independent American Party is still trying to get Ashjian off the ballot too, and now the teabaggers in general have turned on Ashjian (who never really had much support from them in the first place) since one of their own, Sharron Angle, managed to snare the GOP nod.
• NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Siena has yet another poll out of both the Senate races in New York. There's still very little of interest to report. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Bruce Blakeman 48-27, David Malpass 49-24, and Joe DioGuardi 47-29. DioGuardi leads the GOP primary over Blakeman and Malpass, 21-7-3. Chuck Schumer leads Jay Townsend 60-26 and Gary Berntsen 59-27. Townsend leads Berntsen in the other GOP primary, 20-15.
• SC-Sen: Vic Rawl, who lost the Democratic nomination to the baffling Alvin Greene last week, is now formally contesting the results of the election. The state party's 92-member executive committee will meet on Thursday to hear evidence, but it's unlikely they'll do anything, as there's no precedent in South Carolina for throwing out a primary election's results.
• WA-Sen: The state GOP convention was over the weekend in Washington; unlike, say, Utah or Connecticut, there's nothing at stake here, but the general sense in terms of signage, applause, and the like, was that the party's activist base is pretty jazzed about Sarah Palin-endorsed Clint Didier, and much more tepid about Dino Rossi than they were in 2008, when he was a more apt vehicle for their resentments. A straw poll at a Patriot Coalition event associated with the convention (a subset of a subset of the most hardcore base, so take with much salt) gave Didier a 99-12 edge over Rossi.
• AL-Gov: Artur Davis isn't giving up on being a douchebag just because he lost the gubernatorial nomination; he said he isn't sure how Ron Sparks is going to be able to win the uphill fight in the general election, and that Sparks will need something "broader than bingo" to win. Also, this is a very strange time to be making any major staff changes, let alone plunging into what Reid Wilson is describing as "turmoil:" fresh off the triumph of (probably) making the GOP gubernatorial runoff against Bradley Byrne, Robert Bentley just sacked his campaign manager, communications director, and new media director. Bentley is bringing in members of the Mike Huckabee camp to take over (with Huckabee son-in-law Bryan Sanders the new CM), but it seems like his small-time help didn't get demoted, but instead rudely shown the door by the new bosses.
• CO-Gov: Businessman Joe GesundheitSchadenfreudeWeltschmerz Gschwendtner has pulled the plug on his Republican gubernatorial bid, without endorsing anybody else. He wasn't able to round up enough signatures to qualify, which is odd, considering that people only need to be able to spell their own names, not his.
• FL-Gov: With his once-clear path to the GOP nomination suddenly looking to be on life support, Bill McCollum got some help from a key GOP establishment figure: Mitt Romney. Romney will appear at two Sunshine State fundraisers today, handing out endorsements like candy to a number of other Republicans in better position too.
• IA-Gov: You may recall that, in the wake of Terry Branstad's closer-than-expected victory over social conservative Bob vander Plaats, we lamented that the Dems didn't try any Gray Davis-style meddling in the primary to get the more-conservative, less-electable guy over the top. Well, it turns out they did try a little of that; the Dems launched an independent expenditure committee called "Iowans for Responsible Government" that ran ads on Fox News and sent direct mail attacking Branstad for tax hikes and putting his face on a liberal Mt. Rushmore next to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. While it didn't seal the deal, it may have contributed to the underwhelming showing by Branstad.
• MI-Gov: AG Mike Cox won the endorsement of Michigan Right to Life, a big endorsement that will help him as he fights for the social conservative vote in the GOP primary with Rep. Peter Hoekstra. Cox might be the Republican we most want to face out of the GOP field; Rasmussen joined the crowd today in finding that he polls the weakest against either Democrat.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Siena also polled the gubernatorial race; again, nothing noteworthy here, other than Andrew Cuomo having lost a few points since last time. Cuomo leads Rick Lazio 60-24, and leads Carl Paladino 65-23. Party-endorsed Lazio leads Paladino (assuming he can successfully petition onto the ballot) in the GOP primary, 45-18. Meanwhile, the race may get slightly more interesting as gadflyish New York city councilor Charles Barron seems to be moving forward on his quixotic plans to create a whole third party (New York Freedom Democratic Party) for a challenge to the left, mostly to protest Cuomo putting together an all-white ticket.
• OH-Gov: Incumbent Dem Ted Strickland won the NRA endorsement today, instead of GOP ex-Rep. John Kasich. That may seem a surprise, but Strickland has a lifetime "A" rating from the NRA while Kasich was always an unusually anti-gun Republican.
• GA-12: The Hill details how Rep. John Barrow's fundraising from fellow Dems has fallen way off this year, perhaps an indication of blowback over his "no" vote on HCR. He's only gotten money directly from five Democratic colleagues and five others' PACs, compared with 53 in 2006 and 22 in 2008. (An alternative explanation, of course, is that he's in no major trouble in the general election this year and that money may be more needed elsewhere.) Barrow still has the AFL-CIO's endorsement, and about a 20:1 CoH advantage over primary challenger Regina Thomas. Speaking of one of his minor GOP opponents, Carl Smith, the fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, has a less-appealing resume now that he just got canned by his city council, which opted to stop paying for a fire department and return to an all-volunteer operation.
• IN-03: The Indiana state GOP met over the weekend to pick a nominee to fill the spot left behind by the resigned Rep. Mark Souder. It wasn't much of a surprise: they picked state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, an up-and-comer who gave Dan Coats a challenge in the GOP Senate primary. Stutzman won on the second ballot, with state Rep. Randy Borror a distant second. It was a double pick: Stutzman will be replace Souder as the GOP candidate in the general election, and also will be the GOP's candidate in the special election that will also be held on Election Day in November (which, assuming he wins, will allow him to serve in the post-election lame duck session).
• NC-02: Rep. Bob Etheridge, usually one of the more low-key members of the House, had an embarrassing flip-out in front of two GOP trackers/college students asking him if he "supported the Obama agenda," grabbing one of them and his camera. Etheridge subsequently issued a statement apologizing.
• Polltopia: PPP is soliciting opinions on where the poll next, both multiple-choice and open-ended. Let 'em know what burning questions you'd like answered.
AR-Sen: We knew the SEIU wasn't going to fuck around. Their newest (and probably final) ad buy on behalf of Bill Halter (which we mentioned yesterday) is on the order of $370K. The League of Conservation Voters is also putting down $100K for a buy of their own, also in support of Halter.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul, the son of Ayn Rand and a Somali warlord, must be dying inside: He actually felt compelled to call for more regulation of offshore drilling. Upon hearing this, a thousand Austrian School economists tried to jump off a bridge, but couldn't find one as the free market had decided a bridge was unnecessary.
NH-Sen: Former AG Kelly Ayotte is being called to testify before a state senate committee investigating the collapse of a mortgage company called FRM which is accused of running a Ponzi scheme - and which was allowed to continue in operation while Ayotte's department was supposedly regulating it. It's belated, but at least someone is watching the watchmen.
AL-Gov: Artur Davis: "I have no interest in running for political office again. The voters spoke in a very decisive way across every sector and in every section of the state. A candidate that fails across-the-board like that obviously needs to find something else productive to do with his life."
NM-Gov: Diane Denish is already out with a negative ad trying to paint GOP opponent Susana Martinez as an ineffective prosecutor, saying she went soft on DWI felons and had the worst conviction record in New Mexico. No word on the size of the buy, though the Denish campaign says, according to Heath Haussamen, that the ad "is running statewide on network and cable television."
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is trying to kill off the Working Families Party. He says he doesn't want their ballot line this fall, without which the WFP has almost no hope of getting the 50,000 votes it needs to stay on the ballot for the next four years. The party is under investigation by the Manhattan US Attorney's Office, and hyper-ventilators like the Daily News editorial page accuse it of sponsoring a "job-killing agenda," so you might think there's sufficient reason for Cuomo to avoid the WFP on the merits.
But I don't think that adds up, because few voters pay attention to this stuff, which means that Cuomo will miss out on more votes without the WFP line than he'd risk losing by accepting the party's endorsement - so it looks like a power play to me. (Note that state lawmakers friendly to the WFP are trying to introduce legislation which would allow a party to remain on the ballot if it got 50K votes in any statewide election, which would allow the party to bootstrap itself to, say, the Schumer or Gillibrand campaigns.)
FL-08: Uh, is this really an endorsement that you want? Former state House Speaker Daniel Webster, hoping to challenge Alan Grayson in the fall, secured the backing of ex-Rep. Tom Feeney. Feeney was last seen apologizing to voters for his role in the Abramoff scandal while getting his ass kicked by Suzanne Kosmas.
ID-01: I know we all miss Vaughn Ward terribly, but I think we'll enjoy having Raul Labrador to kick around, too. It turns out that Labrador forgot to get his cooties vaccination, because the NRCC is keeping him in one of those glove-box containment zones. GOP brass has no plans, says Politico, to add the Lab to their Young Guns list - even though it already contains an absurd 110 names. Michael Steele, though, seems to like Raul just fine (which makes sense), sending some cash to help the Idaho GOP.
AL-Ag. Comm'r: May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless Dale Peterson:
Boy! We put up a tough fight in round one. The thugs made a full court press to stop me by making hundreds of thousands of "robo calls" with lies about me.
Rest assured, Dummy and the thugs at ALFA will not go quietly - so expect them to launch a full-scale attack against John McMillan in the coming weeks as the July 13 runoff draws near. Just remember, the word "truth" is not in their vocabulary.
Because good ol' Dale gives a RIIIIIP about Alabama, he promises that he's "not going away." Hooray!
Rasmussen: Commenters here have been all over it, but Markos lays out in bright orange letters exactly how fucked up Rasmussen's recent polling in CT-Sen and KY-Sen has been.