CT-Sen: Yet another thing the New York Times appears to have gotten wrong: Dick Blumenthal was on his college swim team, and no, he never claimed to have been the captain. In light of recent revelations, SSP is retracting the accusation we made in our first post on the NYT article that Blumenthal "lied." Subsequent information has show that the NYT's piece was misleading, at best.
NV-Sen: Chicken Lady is up on the air with an ad attacking Crazy Lady, aka enriched weapons-grade wingnut Sharron Angle, for some pretty lulzy stuff. No word on the size of the buy. Meanwhile, Danny Tarkanian is also aiming (indirectly) at Angle, with a press release criticizing the Tea Party Express, which endorsed her and not him.
NY-Sen-B: Even I had given up on all the people who have given up, but it looks like there may be yet one more name on the list of people who want to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand. Gail Goode, a staffer for the NYC Corporation Council (the city attorney's office) supposedly wants to give it a go. Goode has a pretty unimposing pedigree and would have to go through the arduous and expensive process of petitioning to get on the ballot. Meanwhile, one of the hapless Republicans trying to take down Gillibrand, David Malpass, is on the air with a TV ad (this early? really?), but of course, no word on the size of the buy.
AL-Gov: Mystery wingnutty (?) birthery (?) teabaggy (?) group New Sons of Liberty was caught making prank calls to Moe's Tavern said "psych!" and cancelled their vaporware $1 million ad buy that was set to asplode in the Alabama governor's race. If this was just a gambit to gain free media by pretending to buy paid media, it's an awfully weird one, since we know little more about this group now than we did a week ago. Anyhow, how come ad buyers don't have to put down deposits, especially when they book so much airtime during ad peak season?
IA-Gov: Chet Culver has raised $1.5 million this year so far, but more than half his haul came directly from the Democratic Governors Association. Chief rival Terry Branstad raised $1.6m in the same timeframe. Culver leads in cash-on-hand, $3.3m to $1.2m. You also may have seen that Culver lost his campaign "briefing book," the bible by which any campaign is run. Reminds me of when the Indiana Pacers lost their playbook right before a playoff series with the Knicks. (The Knicks won.)
AL-05: Mo Brooks, mankind's last, best hope of defeating turncoat Parker Griffith in the GOP primary, announced a whole slew of endorsements from local elected officials and party bigwigs. Interestingly, on the list was the GOP chair for Limestone County, who elected not to support the incumbent, which is a fairly unusual move for a party official.
AR-03: Damn - looks like we won't have Gunner DeLay to kick around anymore, at least for this cycle. The ex-legislator, who narrowly missed out on the runoff, backed off his plans to seek a recount and instead endorsed second-place finisher Cecile Bledsoe, a state senator. She squares off against Rogers (pop. 39K) Mayor Steve Womack. With Gunner gone, we're getting desperately low on awesome names.
CA-11: After previously saying he wished he could issue "hunting permits" for liberals because we "need to thin the herd," Republican jackass Brad Goehring isn't backing down in the least - rather, he says he's "proud" of all the flack he's been getting. What a guy!
ID-01: In his ongoing quest to assume the title of Bill Sali 2.0, budding SSP fave Vaughn Ward repeatedly referred to Puerto Rico in a debate as a "country." When corrected by his Puerto Rican opponent, he proudly reveled in his ignorance, saying he didn't "care what it is." That alone should garner him some good wingnut cred.
LA-03: Make them sweat? Despite not really having a candidate in this deep-red seat that most Dems have mentally given up on, the DCCC put out a press release walloping former Louisiana Speaker Hunt Downer, who just got into the race. They accuse Downer, who just retired as a major general from the National Guard, of abandoning his state in favor of his political ambitions instead of dealing with the BP oil spill. Dunno if this charge is really going to stick, though, seeing as Downer said he planned his retirement long ago.
MN-06: It's always rich when anti-tax zealots fuck up paying their taxes - something Michele Bachmann just did by failing to pay her own property taxes on time.
NY-13: Vito Fossella is shocked, shocked!... I mean, surprised! that he was nominated for his old seat by the Staten Island GOP on Wednesday. (Read this if you need to catch up on one of the most remarkable bits of WTF? this cycle.) He says he'll "take a short period of time" to decide if they like him, they really, really like him - i.e., whether to take the plunge. I'm not buying the "short period of time" business, since Fossella said he wants to talk this over with "loved ones," which ought to take him quite a while, given how many families he has.
Meanwhile, Michael Allegretti, one of two candidates (not including Vito Fossella) seeking the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Mike McMahon, says he plans on staying in the race regardless of what Vito does. There had been some chatter that local Republicans wanted him to run for the state Assembly instead, but that would be a pretty sucky alternative, to say the least.
FEC: Instant SSP hero Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA-53) offered an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act (the bill designed to take the Citizens United ruling down a peg or two) which would require that all independent expenditures be filed electronically with the FEC, and be "searchable, sortable and downloadable." The amendment passed unopposed, so hopefully it will emerge intact in the final bill. Now if only the damn Senate would join the 20th century and file electronically, too.
Spoilers: Don't even think about talking about LOST.
• AR-Sen: With Blanche Lincoln already facing the vague possibility of a primary challenge from her right from Arkansas Senate President Bob Johnson, now there are rumors that she might face a primary challenge from what passes for the left in Arkansas, from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Halter would focus on Lincoln's health-care related foot-dragging, but apparently has a track record of threatening to run for higher office and then not following through, so this, like Johnson's bid, may amount to a big bowl of nothing.
• HI-Sen: Congratulations to Senator Daniel Inouye, who today becomes the third-longest-serving Senator in history and, adding in his House tenure, the fifth-longest-serving Congressperson. The 85-year-old Inouye has been in the Senate for almost 47 years. Inouye passed Ted Kennedy today, and will pass Strom Thurmond in another eight months, but is still chasing Robert Byrd. (Unfortunately, Inouye may be spending his special day being a jerk, by trying to remove Al Franken's anti-rape amendment from the defense appropriations bill.)
• KY-Sen: Feeling the heat from Rand Paul in the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky, establishment choice Trey Grayson played the "you ain't from around these parts, are you?" card, calling himself a "5th generation Kentuckian" and Texas-born Paul an "outsider." (Of course, by implication, doesn't that make Grayson the... "insider?" Not exactly the banner you want to run under in 2010.)
• LA-Sen: David Vitter spent several days as the lone high-profile politician in Louisiana to not join in the condemnation of Keith Bardwell, the justice of the peace who refused to marry an interracial couple. Given the uselessness of his response, he might as well not have bothered -- Vitter's spokesperson still didn't condemn Bardwell, merely rumbling about how "all judges should follow the law as written" and then trying to turn the subject to Mike Stark's Vitter-stalking.
• AL-Gov: This is a good endorsement for Ron Sparks, but it's also interesting because it's so racially fraught: former Birmingham mayor Richard Arrington, the first African-American to be elected that city's mayor in 1979, endorsed Sparks instead of African-American Rep. Artur Davis Jr. in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Arrington puts it: "I think if we are ever to move forward, across racial lines in this state, we have got to begin to trust each other, work with each other, and I think Ron Sparks can be the kind of governor that helps to make that possible."
• FL-Gov: Rasmussen released part III of its Florida extravaganza, finding that Republican AG Bill McCollum leads Democratic CFO Alex Sink 46-35. (This is the same sample that had Marco Rubio overperforming Charlie Crist against Kendrick Meek.)
• IA-Gov: Ex-Governor Terry Branstad's Republican primary rivals aren't going to go away quietly. Bob vander Plaats attacked Branstad on his insufficient conservatism, ranging from sales tax increases during his tenure, choosing a pro-choice running mate in 1994, and even fundraising for Nebraska's Ben Nelson.
• NJ-Gov (pdf): One more poll out today, from Rutgers-Eagleton, finds Jon Corzine with a small lead. Corzine leads Chris Christie and Chris Daggett 39-36-20. This is the first poll to find Daggett breaking the 20% mark; also, with the addition of this poll to the heap, it pushes Corzine into the lead in Pollster.com and Real Clear Politics' regression lines.
• OR-Gov: Two different candidates have suspended their campaigns due to family health problems. One is pretty high-profile: state Sen. Jason Atkinson, who was initially considered to have the inside track toward the GOP nomination in Oregon but who had, in the last few days, been the subject of dropout speculation. (Could this mean that Allen Alley might actually somehow wind up with the nomination?) The other is John Del Arroz, a businessman who had put a fair amount of his own money into a run in the Republican field in CA-11. Best wishes to both of them.
• RI-Gov: While conventional wisdom has seen ex-Republican ex-Senator and likely independent candidate Lincoln Chafee as having a strong shot at capturing the state house by dominating the middle, he's running into big a problem in terms of poor fundraising. He's only sitting on $180K, compared with Democratic state Treasurer Frank Caprio's $1.5 million; that's what happens when you don't have a party infrastructure to help bolster the efforts.
• CT-04: While it's not an explicit endorsement, Betsi Shays, the wife of ex-Rep. Chris Shays, gave $500 to state Sen. Rob Russo last quarter. Russo faces off a more conservative state Senate colleague, Dan Debicella, for the GOP nod to go against freshman Rep. Jim Himes.
• IL-14: Cross out Bill Cross from the list. With Ethan Hastert and state Sen. Randy Hultgren probably consuming most of the race's oxygen, the former Aurora alderman announced that he wouldn't be running in the crowded GOP primary field in the 14th to take on Democratic Rep. Bill Foster after all.
• LA-03: Houma attorney Ravi Sangisetty announced his run for the Democratic nomination for the open seat left behind by Charlie Melancon. He's the first Dem to jump into the race, but certainly not expected to be the only one. He's already sitting on $130K cash.
• PA-11: After a long period of silence, Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta has re-emerged and sources close to him are saying it's "highly likely" he'll try another run at Rep. Paul Kanjorski, who narrowly beat him in 2008. Barletta is encouraged by the lack of presidential coattails and the primary challenge to Kanjorski by Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien -- although it's possible that, if O'Brien emerges from the primary, he might perform better in the general than the rust-covered Kanjorski.
• NJ-St. Ass.: If you haven't already, check out NJCentrist's diary, filled with lots of local color, on the upcoming elections in New Jersey's state Assembly. Republicans seem poised to pick up a couple seats in south Jersey, which would bring them closer but leave the Dems still in control.
• State Legislatures: Another fascinating graphic from 538.com, this one about the ideological makeups of various state legislatures. Apparently, political scientists have found a DW/Nominate-style common-space method of ranking all state legislators. The reason this is brought up is because of NY-23 candidate Dede Scozzafava, who it turns out is pretty near the center of New York legislative Republicans, not the flaming liberal she's made out to be, although that puts her near the nationwide center of all state legislators, because NY Republicans are still, believe it or not, pretty centrist on the whole. There's plenty else to see on the chart, including how Mississippi and Louisiana Democrats (who control their legislatures) are still to the right of New York and New England Republicans, and how (unsurprisingly, at least to me) California and Washington are the states with the simultaneously most-liberal Democrats and most-conservative Republicans.
• Mayors: In New York, incumbent Michael Bloomberg is holding on to a double-digit lead according to Marist, beating Democratic comptroller William Thompson 52-36 (with Thompson down from 52-43 last month). In Seattle, Joe Mallahan is opening up a lead over Mike McGinn according to SurveyUSA, 43-36, compared with a 38-38 tie three weeks ago. (The Seattle race is nonpartisan and both are very liberal by the rest of the country's standards, but Seattle politics tends to be fought on a downtown interests/neighborhoods divide, and this race is turning into no exception as the previously amorphous Mallahan is consolidating most of the city's business and labor support.)
• Nassau Co. Exec: Candidates slamming each other over ticky-tacky financial mistakes like unpaid liens is commonplace, but it's not commonplace when the unpaid liens add up to almost a million dollars. Republican Nassau County Executive candidate Ed Mangano has a whopping $900K liens against property owned by his family business. (Nassau County is the western part of Long Island's suburbs.)
• Fundraising: CQ has one more slice-and-dice of the third quarter fundraising information, listing the biggest self-funders so far this year. Top of the list is Joan Buchanan, who already lost the Democratic primary in the CA-10 special election, who gave herself $1.1 million. In 2nd place is Republican Brad Goehring, running in CA-11 and self-funder to the tune of $650K; 7 of the list of 10 are Republicans.
• TX-Gov: Holy crap, Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for Governor of Texas! Of course, everyone with a pulse has known this for most of a year, but it's now official: she's done exploring the race and formally launched her campaign yesterday. She also found a lot of cash under the couch cushions during all those explorations, as she put together $6.7 million during the first half of the year. Factoring in her $8 million transfer from her Senate account, she's sitting on about $12 million CoH. Her primary opponent, incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, raised $4.2 million in the year's first half (a lot, considering he couldn't raise during the legislative session) and has $9.3 million CoH.
• FL-Sen: Ordinarily, you probably wouldn't want to spotlight an endorsement from an unlikable jerk with a ridiculous name, but Marco Rubio is trying to rally the nationwide wingnut brigade to his financially faltering campaign ($340K last quarter), so he rolled out an endorsement from ex-House Majority Leader Dick Armey today.
• IL-Sen: Now that he's done holding his breath and turning blue until that nasty Andy McKenna would go away, Rep. Mark Kirk has announced that he'll announce that he'll announce that he'll announce his candidacy, or something like that, "in one week." Roll Call also has a look at the consternation that Kirk's messed-up rollout caused both local and national GOP figures, stepping on their attempts to crow "recruitment success."
Meanwhile, people are starting to wonder openly when if ever businessman Chris Kennedy is going to pull the trigger on getting into the Dem field. His hesitation is already landing him in legal hot water: a local police officer filed an FEC complaint against Kennedy for allegedly spending more than $5,000 on campaign outlays without actually having a campaign in place.
• NV-Sen: John Ensign (apparently emboldened by fellow C Street dweller Mark Sanford's seat-of-his-pants survival of his own affair) is proceeding full speed ahead, not just planning not to resign but to run for re-election in 2012. TPM wonders out loud if Harry Reid is one of the Dems who've urged Ensign to stay on board.
• PA-Sen: The NRSC finally officially endorsed Pat Toomey today. This comes hot on the heels of news that state Sen. Jane Orie (who was being chatted up by the NRSC last week) has decided against running against Pat Toomey in the GOP senate primary. Rumors abound that Rick Santorum, nursing some sort of grudge against Toomey, was the driving force behind the Orie boomlet. Meanwhile, Arlen Specter today announced a 2Q haul of $1.7 million, narrowly topping both Toomey ($1.6 million) and Joe Sestak ($1 million in his House account).
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman is sitting on a ton of cash now, having added $15 million of her own money on top of $6.7 million in private contributions, bringing her total stash to more than $25 million. Her GOP primary rival, Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner anted up $5 million of his own money, along with $1.2 million in contributions, during that same period.
• CT-Gov: A strangely quiet fundraising period for Jodi Rell has some wondering if she's going to run for re-election. She raised $20,000 in the most recent quarter, with $71K CoH, outpaced by potential Democratic challengers SoS Susan Bysiewicz ($141K for the quarter) and Stamford mayor Dan Malloy ($147K).
• OH-Gov: Betcha didn't know that ex-Rep. John Kasich had an opponent in the GOP gubernatorial primary in Ohio: state Sen. Kevin Coughlin. Well, apparently no one else knew that either, and having gotten nowhere on the fundraising front in the face of party opposition, Coughlin bailed out yesterday.
• VA-Gov: Creigh Deeds beat Bob McDonnell in fundraising in June ($3.4 million for Deeds, $1.8 million for McDonnell), but he had to blow through a lot of that in the primary. McDonnell is sitting on a lot more cash on hand, with almost $5 million compared with Deeds' $2.7 million.
• CA-11: This is the first I've heard of this guy -- vintner Brad Goehring -- who's planning to challenge Jerry McNerney in the 11th. He's not getting off on the right foot, though, with the appearance of 2006 statements where he shrugged off the problem of 40% of his workforce being undocumented immigrants... not likely to help him much with the nativist core of what's left of the California GOP base.
• CA-32: In case you'd forgotten (and most likely you had; I know I did), the general special election for the race to fill the vacant seat left behind by Labor Sec. Hilda Solis is today. Today's election is an afterthought, given that the race was basically won in a heavily-contested May primary in this solid Dem district. Someone named "Chu" is guaranteed to win, although in all likelihood it'll be Democratic Board of Equalization member Judy Chu over Republican Monterey Park city councilor Betty Chu.
• FL-12: The Blue Dogs have already weighed in with their first endorsement of the cycle, endorsing Polk Co. Elections Supervisor Lori Edwards in the open 12th district to replace Rep. Adam Putnam, who's running for Florida Agricultural Commissioner.
• KY-St. Sen.: Gov. Steve Beshear is seemingly taking a page from Barack Obama, picking off Republican legislators and giving them secure appointive positions instead, opening up their seats for possible Democratic takeove. Sens. Dan Kelly and Charlie Borders were appointed to a judgeship and the Public Service Commission, respectively. Dems are optimistic about retaking both the seats, with state Rep. Robin Webb looking at Borders' seat in Kentucky's NE corner, and former state Rep. Jodie Haydon looking at Kelly's seat in Bourbon territory in the state's center. This will hopefully put a dent in the GOP's 21-16-1 edge.
• Census: Census Director Robert Groves was finally confirmed after the Dems used a cloture vote to break the hold on him, leaving him with only eight months to whip the Census into shape. Only 15 GOPers voted against cloture, including Richard Shelby and David Vitter, the ones who'd had the hold on the nomination, and some of the other dead-enders (Brownback, Bunning, Cornyn, Ensign, Sessions, etc.... although, interestingly, Coburn and Kyl voted for cloture). Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann continues her one-woman war on the Census, proposing legislation that would limit the number of question the American Community Survey (the annual supplement, not the 2010 full count) can ask.
• Polltopia: PPP is asking for your input on another state to poll, so let 'em hear it. The finalists are California, Iowa, and Louisiana.