• AZ-Sen: Rep. Jeff Flake (R) will apparently announce a haul of more than $1 million in Q1.
• OH-Sen: A spokesman for Treasurer Josh Mandel says he'll file paperwork with the FEC "very shortly," but it's not clear from the writeup whether this means an exploratory committee (what I'm guessing) or if it's the real thing. Also of note: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R), whose name first came up as a possible candidate less than a week ago, quashed any notion that he might run against Sherrod Brown last Friday.
• VA-Sen: If you want to believe CNN's sources, Tim Kaine will announce a Senate bid in the next two weeks.
• WA-Sen, WA-10: Sue Rahr, the conservative King County Sheriff who inherited the job from now-Rep. Dave Reichert, said through a spokesman that she has no intention of running against Sen. Maria Cantwell - a rumor that seems to have gotten shot down before we'd ever heard of it here at SSP. However, a political consultant of Rahr's thinks the sheriff (who supposedly has crossover appeal) could run in Washington's new 10th CD, if a district emerges out of Reichert's 8th centered in the area north of I-90.
• ME-Gov: Will Paul LePage be the next Rick Scott? Like Florida's governor, Republican members of LePage's own legislature are starting to turn on him; eight state senators penned an op-ed declaring : "'Government by disrespect' should have no place in Augusta, and when it happens, we should all reject it."
• MO-Gov: I think it's going to get worse before it gets better for Republican LG Peter Kinder. Trying to push back against revelations that he spend taxpayer money to spend two months a year in St. Louis luxury hotels to attend baseball games, society balls, and teabagger conclaves since 2006, Kinder claimed that his office had been reviewed by two different state auditors, both of them Democrats: Susan Montee and Claire McCaskill (yes, her). The problem? Montee's audit faulted Kinder for "numerous mathematical errors and inconsistencies" regarding employee pay, and McCaskill's found that Kinder used a state-owned care for personal use. I'm sensing a theme here.
• WA-Gov: Could Christine Gregoire's claim to be undecided about seeking a third term really just be a way to ward off lame-duck syndrome? That's Jim Brunner's guess. The Seattle Times reporter points out that campaign finance filings show the Democrat had just $44K on hand at the end of February. At the comparable reporting deadline during the prior election cycle, she had $1.2 million in the bank. Meanwhile, other likely candidates are flush: Republican AG Rob McKenna has raised $800K and has $400K on hand, while Rep. Jay Inslee (D) had $1.2 million in his congressional account at the end of last year. The piece also notes that another possible Dem candidate, state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, has recently discussed a potential run for Lt. Gov. instead. (She'd have to primary Brad Owen, who has been in office since 1997, or push him into retirement.)
• FL-22: Whoa, I was definitely wrong to dismiss "no not that" Patrick Murphy as a Some Dude. One article described him as a 28-year-old accountant, but he's got family money - and, evidently, good connections. Murphy says he raised a majorly impressive $350K in less than a month, and only $30K of that is his own money. Even fundraising machine Ron Klein raised "only" $153K in the comparable quarter in 2005 (before he was first elected).
• NM-01: Terry Brunner, a former state director for the retiring Jeff Bingaman, had previously said he was thinking about running for his old boss's seat, but now says he's considering a run for the 1st CD instead.
• NV-01: Jon Ralston thinks former 3rd CD Rep. Dina Titus will run for Shelley Berkley's seat if the latter runs for Senate, but this is definitely a case of Schrödinger's Seat.
• OR-01: Former state Rep. Greg Macpherson is the first big-name Dem to say he's considering a primary challenge to embattled Rep. David Wu. He wants to wait until the district lines become clear, saying he'll only run if he lives in the district. (He doesn't live there now, but I suppose he could move even if redistricting doesn't help him, so I'm not sure how big an obstacle that is.) He also says he's considering a primary challenge to state AG John Kroger, the man who beat him in the Dem primary for that office in 2008.
• WI-07: Feeling the heat, Rep. Sean Duffy offered a half-assed non-apology, saying his "words were admittedly poorly chosen" when he whinged about getting paid only $174,000 a year as a member of Congress.
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: Surprise, surprise: "Citizens for a Strong America," the potemkin right-wing group responsible for several attack ads in the race (including one even PolitiFact rated "pants on fire") turns out to be just a clone/offshoot of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers' arch-evil front group.
• Special Elections: After a few weeks without any state lege races, Johnny Longtorso is back:
While everyone will be focused on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election (which is a phrase I never thought I'd type), there is one special occurring on Tuesday in South Carolina's HD-64, though it's in a safe Democratic seat. Democrat Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Manning, will face off against Republican Walter Sanders.
Also, a quick shout-out to Republican Mike "Pete" Huval, the newest member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from HD-46. He defeated another Republican (no Democrat ran) on Saturday for the seat vacated by now-State Sen. Fred Mills.
• Maps: The National Journal has an interesting set of maps which focus on a theme that DCCyclone has been hitting in comments: Namely, because of population growth among minorities, the share of the white vote that Obama needs in 2012 is lower than it was in 2008, assuming minority support for Obama stays the same. In a very pessimistic scenario where his minority support falls 10%, Obama would only lose three states he otherwise won in 2008 (FL, IN & NC), assuming he keeps the same share of the white vote. (But note that that latter assumption is unnecessary: Even under the reduced minority support scenario, Obama's white support could also drop considerably in many states and he'd still win.)
• Votes: A new study (full paper here) says that Dems who votes "yes" on healthcare reform saw their reelection margins reduced from 6 to 8 points. Something about this study seems incomplete to me, though, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'll be really curious to read your thoughts in comments.
• VRA: This is interesting: Black lawmakers in Georgia have filed a lawsuit challenging to dissolve the charters of five very white cities in DeKalb and Fulton Counties. The plaintiffs argue that these cities, all formed between 2005 and 2008, were created to dilute minority voting power, and hence violate the VRA. Apparently, this is a novel application of the Voting Rights Act, so we'll see how it unfolds.
• Passings: Very sad news: Former Rep. John Adler, a longtime state Senator who served one term in NJ-03 before losing last year, passed away at the age of 51. Last month, Adler contracted an infection which led to heart disease from which he never recovered. His father also died young of heart disease, something Adler would mention on the campaign trail when describing his family's struggles after his father's death. As a state legislator, one of his signature accomplishments was a smoke-free air bill which banned smoking in many public places. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
In other news, former TN Gov. Ned McWherter also passed away yesterday. McWherter, who was 80, served two terms as governor in the late 80s and early 90s. One of the things McWherter is probably best known for is the creation TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program. His son Mike ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor last year.
• Arkansas: Rob Moritz of the Arkansas News Bureau has a good rundown of what's going on with Democrats' controversial redistricting plan, dubbed the "Fayetteville Finger." The plan has passed in the House but has stalled in the Senate, where a vote won't come until Thursday at the earliest. At the end of the piece, Moritz details several different alternate proposals pending in the Senate.
• Louisiana: A piece from Sunday's Times-Picayune said that votes were possible on Monday in the House and Senate on congressional maps, but I've not yet seen any subsequent coverage.
• Michigan: Aaron Blake's redistricting series takes him to Michigan, where he has a good explanation of just how difficult it will be for the GOP to shore up its current situation.
• Missouri: Check out this Google Maps version of the state House's proposed new federal district lines.
• New Jersey: Republicans started bitching and moaning about the state's new map even before it was officially chosen, but so far, they haven't said whether they'd challenge the map in court. Not really sure what grounds they'd have even if they wanted to give it a go.
• Nevada: The LVRJ has a piece on the debate in Nevada over whether to create a majority-Hispanic district, or whether to keep Hispanic voters spread out to keep all districts more Dem or more competitive. Most Republicans obviously like the former idea, while Dems (including some Latino lawmakers) are understandably skeptical. Also, it looks like abgin must have trekked all the way from Basque Country to make a presentation at a public hearing in Vegas last weekend: The LVRJ says that "[s]everal interest groups presented proposed maps, including one that likely wouldn't pass legal or political muster because it would create four new vertical congressional districts stretching from North to South."
• Texas: Ah, redistricting cat fud - it has a stench all its own. GOP Rep. Lamar Smith is apparently taking the non-insane view that Hispanic growth and the VRA require that two (well, at least two) of Texas's four new districts be majority-minority, and he's been working with Dem Rep. Henry Cuellar to create a compromise map. This has infuriated fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton (aka Smokey Joe), who insists that at least three if not all four of the new seats be Republican-favored. And folks, the cat fud is real. Sayeth Politico:
Barton has harshly criticized Smith during Texas GOP delegation meetings, launching a profanity-laced tirade at Smith during one session early last month, and he's privately tried to oust Smith as the lead Republican negotiator on redistricting.
Politico's sources say that Smith is still favored among members of his own party, but that Gov. Rick Perry may be leaning toward Barton. Perry's alleged plan is to skip DoJ pre-clearance and go directly to federal court, perhaps hoping for a friendly conservative panel (backstopped by an unquestionably conservative Supreme Court), so that could turn Barton's dream into a reality... but I still think it's a serious stretch. The piece also reports that proposed maps have been circulated among Republicans, but of course, no one's sharing any copies.
• AL-Gov (Univ. of S. Alabama): Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 48%
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Suffolk): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: Kamala Harris leads Steve Cooley 35-34 in the AG race, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 55-40)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (SurveyUSA for KABC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 40%; Jerry Brown (D) 46%, Meg Whitman (R) 38%
(Bonus: Gavin Newsom leads Abel Maldonado 42-34 for LG, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 46-44)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (PPP): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 45-48)
• CA-20 (SurveyUSA for KFSN): Jim Costa (D-inc) 42%, Andy Vidak (R) 52%
(note: this poll population is 37% Hispanic, compared with 67% in reality) (also, the DCCC responded with a poll giving Costa a 47-41 lead, although they neglected to leak the pollster's name) (UPDATE: The pollster is Bennet Petts & Normington, with the sample over the same 10/21-24 period as SurveyUSA)
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov (Quinnipiac): Richard Blumenthal (D) 54% (54), Linda McMahon (R) 42% (43); Dan Malloy (D) 48% (49), Tom Foley (R) 43% (42)
• FL-08 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alan Grayson (D-inc) 41% (36), Daniel Webster (R) 48% (43), Peg Dunmire (T) 4%
• GA-Gov (InsiderAdvantage): Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 47%, John Monds (L) 5%
• ID-Gov, ID-Sen, ID-01, ID-02 (Mason-Dixon for Idaho newspapers): Keith Allred (D) 30%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%; Tom Sullivan (D) 20%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%; Walt Minnick (D-inc) 44%, Raul Labrador (R) 41%; Mike Crawford (D) 17%, Mike Simpson (R-inc) 67%
• IA-Gov (Global Strategy Group for Chet Culver): Chet Culver (D-inc) 40%, Terry Branstad (R) 46%
• IL-Gov (MarketShares for Chicago Tribune): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39% (39), Bill Brady (R) 43% (38), Scott Lee Cohen (I) 5%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%, Lex Green (L) 2%
• IL-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt for DSCC): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 38%, Mark Kirk (R) 36%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%, Mike Labno (L) 4%
• KY-Sen (PPP): Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
• KY-03 (RiverCity for Todd Lally): John Yarmuth (D-inc) 41%, Todd Lally (R) 37% (note: n = only 239, yet they claim MoE of 4.5%)
• LA-02 (Anzalone-Liszt): Cedric Richmond (D) 49%, Joe Cao (R-inc) 32%
• NY-20 (Siena): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42% (54), Chris Gibson (R) 51% (37)
(The Murphy camp leaked an internal from Global Strategy Group today, although only saying a 3-point lead without specific toplines)
• OH-Gov, OH-Sen (Quinnipiac): Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43% (41), John Kasich (R) 49% (51); Lee Fisher (D) 36% (34), Rob Portman (R) 53% (55)
• OH-Sen (Wilson Research, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Lee Fisher (D) 38%, Rob Portman (R) 49%
• OH-Sen (Univ. of Cincinnati for Ohio newspapers): Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman 58%
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Ipsos for Reuters): Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%; Dan Onorato (D) 43%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
(Sestak leads 46-42 among RVs, and even Onorato leads 46-43 among RVs)
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Muhlenberg): Joe Sestak (D) 40% (42), Pat Toomey (R) 48% (47); Dan Onorato (D) 39% (41), Tom Corbett (R) 50% (49)
• PA-08 (POS for Mike Fitzpatrick): Patrick Murphy (D-inc) 40%, Mike Fitzpatrick (R) 50%
• PA-10 (Lycoming): Chris Carney (D-inc) 45%, Tom Marino (R) 39%
• SD-Gov (Neilson Brothers): Scott Heidepriem (D) 40%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 43%
• VA-09 (SurveyUSA for WDBJ): Rick Boucher (D-inc) 46%, Morgan Griffith (R) 47%
• WI-Gov (Mellman Group, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
John Adler (D-inc): 41 (31)
Jon Runyan (R): 39 (25)
Peter DeStefano (I): 6 (4)
Undecided: 14 (34)
Braun offers a number of alternative takes on these numbers, including a sample of just registered voters (which included a "not voting" option), in which Adler beats donkey-powered ex-NFLer Jon Runyan by 40-31. Also note that before including tea-stained indie Peter DeStefano in the mix, Braun tested the race as between Adler, Runyan, and a "Third Party" option; in that match-up, Adler beats Runyan by 44-38. It's interesting that once a name is plugged into the Third Party column, a dent is made in Adler's margin. It would help if some of these teabaggers were a little more notorious...
AK-Sen: This is pretty lulzy - Lisa Murkowski is busy reassuring people that she'll still have the support of K Street as she pursued her write-in bid. In a year like this, that's the message you want to run on? It's even sadder that she probably feels like she has to reassure her corporate masters that she's still there for them.
DE-Sen: Merry meet and blessed be! Bill Maher unearths a 1999 clip of Christine O'Donnell (a frequent guest on his show), and promises there's more where this came from:
I dabbled into witchcraft - I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. [...]
One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. ... We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.
Yesterday, though, O'Donnell decided to skip visits to some other satanic altars, namely Sunday talk shows "FOX News Sunday" and CBS's "Face the Nation." Dissing Bob Schieffer I can understand - I mean, that's straight out of the Sarah Palin/Sharron Angle hide-in-a-deep-underground-bunker playbook. But the friendly confines of FOX? How will she get a job there when she moves on to her next gig in the grifter's circuit?
AK-Gov: Last week we learned the disappointing news that Republican Bill Walker, who scored 30% running against Gov. Sean Parnell, would not make a third-party gubernatorial bid. But now he's saying that Lisa Murkowski has inspired him and he might yet wage a write-in campaign. Godspeed, good buddy!
IL-Gov: GOP-affiliated robopollster We Ask America has their first survey of the race, finding Republican Bob Brady at 42, Gov. Pat Quinn at 32, and everybody's favorite, Scott Lee Cohen, at 5.
NY-Gov: Speaking of SLC, it looks like the NY GOP has a reverse Scott Lee Cohen situation on their hands. Basically, the less-crazy guy - Greg Edwards, who was supposed to be Rick Lazio's running-mate, won the Republican Lt. Gov. nomination. Revolting meat-bucket (and, dear lord, gubernatorial nominee) Carl Paladino preferred many-time loser Tom Ognibene instead. There's chatter now that Edwards may stay on the ballot but not really run, or will try to drop out (a somewhat tricky proposition in NY). If he does successfully bail, the state GOP would appoint a replacement (presumably Ognibene, if Paladino's in charge). Anyhow, I suggest you click through for Celeste Katz's full story, because there are so many layers and permutations to this story that I simply can't summarize them all.
Ognibene may be the only guy actually not running away from Paladino as fast as he can. GOP comptroller nominee Harry Wilson has refused to endorse Paladino, and attorney general nominee Dan Donovan is basically saying the same thing. Haven't seen any word yet as to whether senate nominee Joe DioGuardi feels the same way.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is now saying he's no longer a Seventeenther (you know, a maniac who wants to get rid of the direct election of United States senators), despite having answered a teabagger survey on that very question in the affirmative. He's also claiming that he doesn't want to abolish the Department of Education. Live by the yes-no question, die by the yes-no question.
MO-04: Another day, another Dem gets endorsed by the NRA. This time, it's veteran Ike Skelton.
NY-15: Adam Clayton Powell, who took just 25% against Charlie Rangel's 53% in a fractured field, is saying he already has plans to run again. Of course, this district's lines (and even number) could change substantially before 2012.
NY-19: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton did a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Cortland Manor this past weekend. Of course, Clinton lives ("lives") just outside the 19th CD in Chappaqua (in the 18th).
PA-10: In a previous digest, we related the story of then-U.S. Attorney Tom Marino providing a personal reference for "businessman" Louis DeNaples's bid to get a casino license - while DeNaples (euphemistically described as "having possible ties to organized crime") was under investigation by Marino's office. These dealings led to Marino's resignation in 2007 (and, surprise surprise, he soon wound up with a nice sinecure as DeNaples's in-house counsel). Marino claimed in April that the Department of Justice gave him permission to serve as a reference to DeNaples (then why did you resign?), but has never provided any proof. Now the AP is saying that a DoJ source tells them that there is no evidence that Marino ever received such authorization. The heat is on.
DCCC: The D-Trip has added Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Bill Keating (MA-10) to Red to Blue.
DC-Mayor: Deposed incumbent Dem Adrian Fenty says he won't try to run in the general as a Republican. Given that there are probably 19 registered Republicans in the entire district, I'm not sure how this was even an idea in the first place.
Polltopia: Go tell Public Policy Polling where to poll next.
DE-Sen: DSCC ad says Christine O'Donnell will "fit right in in Washington," thanks to her personal fiscal irresponsibility. Uh, do they remember who is in charge in DC?
IL-Sen: CQ reports that the DSCC is set to go up here this week for a quarter mil, but no links to actual ads yet
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad compares his navy service to Pat Toomey's service on behalf of Wall Street
FL-Gov: Two Alex Sink ads, one dinging Rick Scott for harping on endlessly about Obama, the other talking about schools
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo's second spot, featuring an endorsement from a former state Republican Party chair
MA-10: Fresh off his primary win last week, Dem Bill Keating is up with an ad on a good issue: his pledge not to raise the retirement age for Social Security (contrasting with his Republican opponent's desire to do so)
MI-07: SEIU spot hitting GOPer Tim Walberg for failing to support the auto industry and wanting to eliminate Social Security (CQ says buy is for $250K)
NC-11: Two spots from Heath Shuler: the first a touching ad about his efforts to build new veterans' health clinics, the second hammering Jeff Miller for supporting the bad kind of SSP
NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter's first ad, a mostly positive spot emphasizing that "whether it's popular or not," she "always fights for what she believes in,"
NY-19: George Pataki's PAC Revere America has a spot hitting John Hall with scaaaaary music over his vote in support of healthcare reform
NY-23: Bill Owens' first ad, which redistricting geeks will appreciate, emphasizing just how big the district is physically
NY-24: Richard Hanna personally narrates a negative ad attacking Mike Arcuri for his support of the stimulus and bailouts - I think it's pretty effective
OH-13: GOPer Tom Ganley's spot touts his work with the FBI (as a civilian) to bring down some mob extortionists
NRCC: CQ rounds up ads targeting Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Bryan Lentz (PA-07), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and John Adler (NJ-03) (click here for Adler ad)
Americans for Job Security: The right-wing front group is launching some huge buys: $443K against Mike Arcuri (NY-24), $526K against Larry Kissell (NC-08), and $712K against Heath Shuler (NC-11)
NY-19: Curses! Those meddling ophthalmologists! The (non-rogue) American Academy Of Ophthalmology, Inc. Political Committee (aka OPHTHPAC) is throwing down $143K on behalf of one of their own, Republican eye doctor Nan Hayworth (NY-19)
AK-Sen: Joe Miller sure sounds like he's measuring the drapes here, doesn't he, with his talk about how much he'd "love" to serve on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees? Donate to Scott McAdams and help make sure we force Joe Miller to make a humiliating, droopy-dog run back to Neiman Marcus to return those curtains.
DE-Sen: Oh, I'm afraid the Tea Party Express will be QUITE operational by the time Mike Castle arrives! The NYT reports that the TPX is going up with five different ads (two TV and three radio) on behalf of Christine O'Donnell, and they have a rough cut of one of the TV spots (check the link). As for how big a buy we're talking, the TPX just filed its first independent expenditure report, for $46K. Their usual practice is to dribble things out in smallish reports one at a time - but don't worry, it'll snowball.
FL-Sen: Charlie Crist is spending over half a million on a new TV buy. We don't know what ads he'll be running, but the St. Petersburg Times has some pretty good info on where they'll appear (notably in Dem-leaning markets). Check the link for full details.
WI-Sen: GOPer Ron Johnson raised $1.2 million between July 1 and Aug. 25th, while Sen. Russ Feingold took in $920K. Johnson also loaned his campaign another $2.9 million out of his own coffers (which of course have been greatly bolstered over the years by government loans and grants to his plastics company). RonJo has been outspending Feingold, though, and has $1.6 mil in the bank compared to the senator's $3.1 mil.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink has a new ad, touching on the oil spill and calling for a diversification of Florida's economy. NWOTSOTB, but the spot is apparently airing in Florida's panhandle.
GA-Gov: Nathan Deal just performed a classic document dump - and not one that's likely to help him. He made public 28 years of his personal income tax returns, but none of this has anything to do with his auto salvage business which was the focus of a probe by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
CO-04: The House Race Hotline reports that the NRCC has reserved over $1 million in air time in the 4th CD. Let's see if they actually come through with all that scrilla, though.
FL-08: Put away your can openers - no cat fud here. All six of Dan Webster's Republican primary rivals have endorsed him, including teabagger Patricia Sullivan. However, Peg Dunmire is still in the race, on the actual Tea Party line.
IN-02: Joe Donnelly has a new spot out (NWOTSOTB), hitting Jackie Walorski for her support of a 23% national sales tax (as well as her desire to eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction). This issue is one that helped sink GOPer Tim Burns in the PA-12 special, so it has potency. I know that sometimes when Dems sink their teeth into this one, weenie liberals like to whine that what Republicans really mean is that they want to replace other taxes with this one. You know what? Let them make that argument. You don't need to make it for them.
IN-09: Republican Todd Young has a new ad out, featuring footage of Baron Hill imperiously telling a journalism student that she couldn't videotape a town hall. NWOTSOTB, but CQ notes that the spot is "currently airing only in the Louisville, Ky. market."
LA-02: With Al Franken acting, you know, senatorial, it looks like Joe Cao has decided to take up the mantle of Stuart Smalley. Sayeth Cao: "I love the president, and I believe he truly likes me." What a wiener.
MA-09: Labor activist Mac D'Alessandro scored the endorsement of NARAL in his primary bid against anti-choice incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch. D'Alessandro raised $178K in the pre-primary period (7/1-8/25) and had $158K on hand for the stretch run. Lynch took in only $66K but had a million bucks in the bank.
NJ-03: Dem Rep. John Adler received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which did not back anyone in the race two years ago. They also say they'll provide financial help. (The Courier Post notes that the district includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.) Adler's also got a second negative spot out, hitting Republican Jon Runyan for his minimalist voting record. NWOTSOTB, and get a load of this stonewalling: "Campaign manager Geoff Mackler would not disclose the size of the buy, where the ads were committed to air or for how long they would air, saying he does not discuss strategy with reporters." But I don't think that should be the end of the story for a journalist. Hell, one of my jobs on a campaign I worked on in the 90s was to track down enemy ad buys. Reporters can do it, too. (And BTW, if you haven't seen Adler's first ad, I highly recommend you do so.)
NH-01, NH-02: John DiStaso has an asburd wealth of updates on New Hampshire's two House races, including word that Charlie Bass is set to release his first ad (watch it here), a $40,000 buy on New Hampshire TV. There's also news of a GOP primary poll in the 1st CD, taken by Cross Target on behalf of the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity. Sean Mahoney is at 33, Frank Guinta at 26, Rich Ashooh at 10, and Bob Bestani at 5. Mahoney's been out with a positive/negative ad comparing his record to Guinta's, making it clear that he thinks this poll is right about who the real contenders are. Guinta apparently has a new response ad coming this week.
NY-24: Mike Arcuri is up with a new ad, a positive bio spot. NWOTSOTB, though he has two slightly different versions, one of which is airing in Utica, the other Syracuse (see both here).
PA-07: A nice break for Dem Bryan Lentz: After a series of adverse rulings, Pat Meehan's campaign withdrew its legal challenge to the candidacy of Jim Schneller, a teabagger who petitioned his way on to the ballot... thanks to a lot of help from Lentz supporters.
PA-10: Interesting: Back when he was a US Attorney, Tom Marino served as a reference for a casino application for a man his office was investigating. In fact, the news was so explosive it led to the DOJ transferring the investigation to another office - and to Marino's resignation as USA. Back in May, though, Marino told a radio host that the DOJ had given him written permission to provide that reference, but he hasn't produced it (yet). Dem Chris Carney is hitting him for this, asking, "Where's the letter?"
WI-08: Steve Kagen is up with his first ad, and it's a good one. Among other things, he touts the fact that he has refused congressional health coverage until everyone in America has health insurance. He also refers to himself as "Dr. Steve Kagen," which is probably a helpful alternative to "Congressman" these days.
Enthusiasm Gap: Tom Jensen takes a look at a painful "what if" - as in, what if there were no enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans this year? Among other things, he thinks Alex Sink would have a double-digit lead and that Elaine Marshall would be running slightly ahead of Richard Burr. But check out his full chart.
Dumping Ground: We've brought up some serious methodological issues in the past that we have with those zone-flooding American Action Fund House race polls, so it's best if we just confine the following to their own quarantine zone. (Those issues, by the way, included extremely aged samples and the fact that the GOP pollster, Ayres McHenry, asked respondents about their opinion of the healthcare bill right before diving into the topline match-ups.)
AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick (D-inc) 41%, Paul Gosar (R) 47%
AZ-05: Harry Mitchell (D-inc) 44%, David Schweikert (R) 50%
AZ-08: Gabby Giffords (D-inc) 46%, Jesse Kelly (R) 46%
CA-11: Jerry McNerney (D-inc) 44%, David Harmer (R) 45%
CA-47: Loretta Sanchez (D-inc) 45%, Van Tran (R) 43%
• DE-Sen: Wow, the mounting establishment/teabagger war in the GOP Delaware primary is actually getting physically violent. A Christine O'Donnell supporter got into a scuffle with a tracker from the state GOP party who was videotaping O'Donnell at a candidate forum
• IL-Sen: The Constitution Party is still trying to get back on the ballot in Illinois, maybe most notably in the close Senate race where Randy Stufflebeam would be their candidate. They're going to court to get back on the ballot after the state Board of Elections kicked them off for not having enough valid signatures.
• NV-Sen: School's out for the summer/ school's out... forever! The latest daily nugget of crazy from Sharron Angle is her recounting last week of her struggles back in the state legislature in 2003 against a supplemental budget bill that would have paid for emergency funding to make sure that the state's public schools could actually open at the start of the school year. Meanwhile, Harry Reid is continuing his apparently successful advertising strategy of letting Angle say the usual things she says, and just turning them straight into his own ads against her, as with his newest ad launched this week.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Despite the utter lack of drama in the big races in the Empire State, Quinnipiac just keeps polling it. (I guess that's OK; we'll take good news where we can get it.) In the governor's race, Andrew Cuomo beats Rick Lazio 57-25 and Carl Paladino 60-23. (Unfortunately, there aren't GOP primary numbers, as it'd be interesting to see, as other pollsters have seen, whether Paladino might actually be able to overtake the insufficiently-crazy Lazio for the nomination.) In the Senate race, Kirsten Gillibrand beats Bruce Blakeman 44-26, David Malpass 45-24, and Joe DioGuardi 43-28.
• CO-Gov: If either Dan Maes or Tom Tancredo is going to drop out and stop their tragic pas de deux, it'd better be soon. Friday, it turns out, is the last day before the November ballot printing is finalized. Meanwhile, here's the kind of headline you don't want to see when you're already fighting public perception that you're a bit of a paranoid wackjob who thinks that bicycles are a United Nations plot:
GOP gubernatorial candidate Maes backs off claims of undercover police work
• KY-Gov: The establishment slate for Kentucky Republicans for the off-year gubernatorial race (only a year from now!) seems like it's officially coalesced. David Williams, the state Senate president, will run for Governor, and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer (who'd been a rumored governor candidate himself) will run for Lt. Governor. They'll still have to get past businessman Phil Moffet, running under the teabagger banner, in the GOP primary before facing Steve Beshear, who'll be seeking re-election. A recent poll had Farmer and Beshear neck-and-neck, but there hasn't been any Beshear/Williams polling yet.
• MA-09: Mac d'Allesandro's against Stephen Lynch in the Dem primary in the 9th is raising some decent cash in the late innings. Since July 1st, the SEIU, MoveOn, and Act Blue have raised $178K for d'Allesandro.
• PA-06: DNC DGA head Tim Kaine heads to Philly to fundraise on Manan Trivedi's behalf, as part of a tour on behalf of Asian-American Dem candidates. Trivedi's also had help on the stump this week from Bob Casey and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
• RGA: Good thing the RGA already has an unprecedented amount of money squirreled away... because they're going to have to give a decent chunk of it to Chris Bell, the ex-Rep. who was the 2006 Dem gubernatorial candidate in Texas. A Travis County judge ordered the RGA to pay Chris Bell a cosmic $2 million because of campaign finance violations in the '06 election (where the RGA gave an undisclosed $1 million to Texans for Rick Perry).
• WATN?: This isn't really FL-Sen anymore, but Jeff Greene is insisting on staying in the limelight even as his vomit-covered yacht sails into the sunset. In fact, the phrase "vomit-covered yacht" is really what's at stake here; he says he's following through with a libel suit against the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald over their reporting of his many foibles. Good luck proving actual malice!
• Maps: They're rapidly scrolling their way down the front page, so if you haven't had a chance to check out jeffmd's maps of Alaskan elections past, do it now. Begich/Stevens, Murkowski/Miller, and Young/Parnell all played out in similar ways, geographically, so if you're wondering what Scott McAdam's path to a win might look like, check it out.
• NH-Sen: We told you a few days ago that Ovide Lamontagne was finally going on the air; his first ad is a talk-to-the-camera introductory spot.
• PA-Sen: The DSCC is out with another ad, attacking Pat Toomey on the derivatives trading issue.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold's new ad is testimonials from a variety of (as C. Montgomery Burns would say) Joe Lunchpails and Sally Housecoats.
• IN-02: Jackie Walorski is out with an introductory bio spot.
• NE-02: Tom White is also out with an introductory bio spot, carefully steering clear of anything Democratic-sounding.
• NJ-03: John Adler may actually win the advertising day today, with a negative spot that slams Jon Runyan for his tax break for his "farm" (a.k.a. McMansion plus one donkey).
• NV-03: Dina Titus hits Joe Heck for comments that "it's not Congress's role to create jobs." (This comes on top of the AFSCME's huge buy of anti-Heck ads.)
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon (D) 33%, David Vitter (R-inc) 54%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 39%, John Kasich (R) 47%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 37%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%
AZ-Sen: Here's an internal poll from a few days ago that we missed: Randy Parraz, running in the Dem primary, commissioned a one-day robopoll by a firm called Winning Connections. It found Rodney Glassman in the lead with 20, Parraz at 17, John Dougherty at 11, and Cathy Eden at 8. Forty-four percent are undecided. Glassman went up on the air with his first ad last week, touting his endorsement from the Arizona Republic and his military credentials. Parraz is also now on the air, with ads in both English and Spanish, talking about his fight against SB 1070 and the notorious Sherriff Joe Arpaio. NWOTSOTB for either campaign.
Meanwhile, John McCain has some boring new 60-second positive spot out - like he really needs to introduce himself to Arizona voters? As CQ says, "the tone and content of this spot send the message that McCain is a politician who doesn't have to look over his shoulder to see if anybody's gaining on him." NWOTSOTB.
FL-Sen: Nancy Pelosi's recorded a robocall for Kendrick Meek (not a surprise), and for Jeff Greene, it's Star Jones to the rescue. Yeah, I'm scratching my head about that one, too.
KY-Sen: Countless law enforcement officials (police and prosecutors alike) are hammering Rand Paul for his claim that drugs are not "a real pressing issue" in Kentucky. Apparently, things in the real world are a little different than in retard libertarian fantasy land, where Paul is married to Ayn Rand and their son Alan Greenspan just received 500 shares of Taggart Transcontinental stock for his bar mitzvah. Anyhow, at least in part because of all this, the statewide Fraternal Order of Police just endorsed Conway, who promises to hit Rand hard.
NV-Sen: Harry Reid has a new ad out (NWOTSOTB) hitting Angle for her support of SSP - the bad kind of SSP, of course (Social Security privatization). Sad to see Reid acting like such a pathetic coward on the issue of the Cordoba House, though - not that I really expect better from him, though.
CO-Gov: Hahah! This is going to be a laugh riot. Republican gubernatorial nominee (weird to type out, as Colorado Pols notes) Dan Maes has to pick a... lol... running mate by tomorrow evening. This could produce the funniest ticket matchup since H. Ross Perot tapped Admiral Stockdale twenty years ago. Anyhow, Colorado Pols has some good suggestions for Maes, including one state senator who is opposed to telecommuting (I fucking wish I were kidding) - perfect, because Maes is freaked out by bicycle commuters.
FL-Gov: Freakazoid Lex Luthor clone Rick Scott has emerged from his Fortress of Squalitude with a new 30-second spot designed to heal divisions in this country and promote greater tolerance and understanding. Oh, please don't tell me you believed that for a second, did you? Scott's ad, cutely titled "Obama's Mosque," is a scum-drenched attempt to fearmonger his way to victory in the gubernatorial primary.
Meanwhile, Alex Sink is reportedly set to tap former prosecutor and state Sen. Rod Smith as her running mate. Smith himself unsuccessfully sought the Dem gube nod in 2006. Click the link for more background on him and how the pick went down.
MN-Gov: The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Dem-backed group, is hammering GOP nominee Tom Emmer for all the votes he's missed in the state legislature. There's some serious muscle behind this ad, too - it's a half-million dollar buy for the next two weeks. (Props to the Star Tribune's Baird Helgeson for reporting that info.)
AZ-05: I'm a huge Deadwood fan, and one of my favorite all-time lines is of course uttered by Al Swearengen, who says: "Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh." Cue this story:
Former Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert is essentially declaring victory in the District 5 GOP primary, and said he is cutting his advertising budget for the final two weeks of the campaign because he is so confident in victory that he wants to save his money for the general election match-up with incumbent Democratic Rep. Harry Mitchell. His main opponents, businessman Jim Ward and former Scottsdale City Councilwoman Susan Bitter Smith, say the race is still up for grabs.
CO-04: Though outside groups have been up on the airwaves for a while, Rep. Betsy Markey is now out with her first ad of her own, an anti-TARP spot which calls bailouts "offensive." NWOTSOTB.
GA-02: Republican Mike Keown is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies which purports to show Rep. Sanford Bishop up just 50-44.
NJ-03: This is the sort of grumpy whining you expect from newcomer pols who don't understand that politics - still - ain't beanbag. Still, it's a little surprising to see former NFL players act like such weenies. Anyhow, John Runyan is moaning because he's sure that Dem Rep. John Adler is responsible for indie teabagger Peter DeStefano's candidacy. Runyan's team couldn't knock DeStefano off the ballot on account of his petitions, so now they are "considering a lawsuit alleging that those who signed may not have known that DeStefano was unaffiliated with a formal tea-party group." Uh, is that even a cognizable legal argument? Good luck with that.
NY-14: I guess Reshma Saujani missed the day they taught "Not Fucking Up" at First-Time Candidate School. Saujani put out a statement decrying Carolyn Maloney's supposed "silence" on the Cordoba House. Yeah, you saw this one coming: Maloney put out a statement in support of the project almost two weeks ago. Better luck next time!
NY-State Sen: Good news: A poll from a group called the New Roosevelt Initiative (taken by Red Horse Strategies) shows scumbag state senator Pedro Espada - you know, the guy who led the ill-fated coup last year to hand control back to the Republicans - tied with progressive activist Gustavo Rivera at 32% apiece in the Democratic primary. Unfortunately, as Albany Project writer Roatti notes, there's a third candidate in the race, Daniel Padernacht, who may be unintentionally offering Espada a lifeline by splitting the anti-incumbent vote.
DCCC: We mentioned this fundraiser a little while back (see Amazing Daily Digest, Issue #88!), but now we have the goods: President Obama raised a cool million for the D-Trip at a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser, featuring the likes of Steven Spielberg and Barbara Streisand.
Polltopia: Blargh. PPP has switched to a full-bore likely voter model, and the results ain't pretty for Team Blue. Go read Tom's post for the full details.
Braun Research for the Rutgers-Eagleton Institute of Politics (8/5-8, registered voters, no trend lines):
John Adler (D-inc): 31
Jon Runyan (R): 25
Peter DeStefano (I): 4
Not Voting: 6
John Adler (D-inc): 35
Jon Runyan (R): 28
Not Voting: 13
The eggheads at Rutgers are out this week with a new poll of New Jersey's 3rd CD, the first poll of this race since John Adler released an internal last month claiming a 51-34 lead over the ex-Eagle Runyan, with 12% going to independent teabagger Peter DeStefano. That poll drew howls of protest from the Runyan campaign, who didn't believe that DeStefano, a man who appears to be in the Witness Protection Program (as no one can seem to be able to track him down), could be winning a double digit-sized share of the vote.
Much has been made of the fact that, zomg, Runyan holds a 36-35 lead among those who are "paying the most attention to the campaign", but the more interesting statistic from this poll is that, among those who say they are likely to vote (n=351), Adler holds a 40-30 lead over Runyan -- or a 36-26 lead with DeStefano in the mix. That's the opposite result you'd expect in a year where Republican enthusiasm has been shown to be more intense than that of Democrats, but it's also probably true that Braun wasn't pushing undecideds off the fence with as much force as other pollsters.
My own thoughts on this race are that Adler should've be a pretty appealing target for the GOP to turn into a one-term wonder, but they certainly gave him a fighting chance by relying on a B-list candidate in Runyan to get the job done.
• 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%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway is pulling in some big fundraising numbers now that Dems are seeing an opening here. He raised $1.4 million last quarter (although $400K of that was a loan from himself). That tops Rand Paul's $1.1 million raised, although Paul will point out that all of his haul came from donors. No word on either side's CoH.
• LA-Sen: It seems like the scandal that's emerged surrounding David Vitter's employment of violent aide Brent Furer was what pulled ex-state supreme court justice Chet Traylor into a last-minute credible challenge to Vitter in the GOP primary. Traylor says "if Vitter was in good shape, I wouldn't be running," and his camp says they'll be focusing on Vitter's "personal foibles" rather than ideological differences. In fact, Traylor's campaign manager (whom the Monroe local newspaper identifies as "sweet potato kingpin" Lev Dawson) says "I don't think there's a difference politically." Traylor also tells ABC News that many local GOP establishment figures urged his last-minute entry out of fears that Vitter may be too badly damaged politically to survive the general against Charlie Melancon. Meanwhile, we've all known that Vitter is quite willing to experiment with interesting new, um, practices, but as he seeks to move even further right in view of Traylor's challenge, he's now going birther-curious.
• NC-Sen: If there's a reason Richard Burr is able to hold on to the "cursed" seat this year, it's going to be his bank account. The GOP freshman Senator raised $1.9 million last quarter, and is sitting on $6.3 million CoH. While Elaine Marshall seems to have gotten a good fundraising boost after the Democratic runoff, she's likely to have only a fraction of that.
• SC-Sen: Be afraid. Be verrrrrrrrry afraid. (Alvin Greene is about to give his first formal speech as candidate, addressing a local NAACP chapter on Saturday.)
• WA-Sen: Here's the good news for Patty Murray: she had a $1.6 million quarter, which is a lot of money in the "other" Washington. She's sitting on $6.8 million CoH. The bad news is that conservative group American Action Network is spending $750K on a statewide buy for TV ads attacking Murray. The ad, continuing in Demon Sheep/Boxer Blimp impresario Fred Davis's avant-garde performance-art tradition, features various Joe and Jane Sixpacks lying in the dirt getting walked all over by an unseen figure in white tennis shoes.
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin's giving a little more clarity to his timeline in West Virginia. He says he expects to fill Robert Byrd's seat with a temporary appointment by "this Sunday," possibly as early as Friday if the special legislative session about the special election is done by then. He'll announce after that (probably by Monday) whether he intends to run in the special.
• CO-Gov: This is a surprisingly amateurish thing to get taken down over: the Denver Post has observed that a series of articles on water rights "written" by Republican ex-Rep. Scott McInnis as part of a 2005-06 fellowship were simply plagiarized from articles written twenty years earlier by Gregory Hobbs, who's now a Colorado Supreme Court justice. The foundation McInnis was working for would like the salary returned to them that they paid him. It's unclear how much damage this will do to McInnis, or how this stacks up compared with allegations of dishonesty leveled at Mark Kirk and Richard Blumenthal... but locked in a dead heat with John Hickenlooper, McInnis doesn't have any margin of error to shed a few points over character issues. (For what it's worth, RCP seems to think he's finished. Too bad the only GOP alternative, Dan Maes, is completely broke and in campaign-finance hot water.)
• IL-Gov: The DGA is out with a new ad running on Chicago area TV stations, trying to introduce the area's many residents to downstate state Sen. Bill Brady and disabuse them of any notion that he's the sort of GOP moderate that's typically occupied the state house over the last few decades. The ad points out his extreme positions on reproductive health and minimum wage.
• TN-Gov: Republican Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam is still the man with the money, although everybody's moved into the seven digits. Haslam has $2 million CoH, compared with Ron Ramsey's $1.35 million and Zach Wamp's $1.29 million. On the Dem side, Mike McWherter has $1.5 million CoH, having raised $315K last quarter.
• AR-01: Radio broadcaster Rick Crawford, the GOP nominee, has a small cash edge in the 1st, as Democrat Chad Causey's pretty depleted after having to go through a runoff. Crawford raised $131K post-primary and has $221K CoH. Causey raised $416K over the quarter, but spent $420K on the primary. No word on Causey's CoH (although I assume it's something higher than -$4K).
• CO-04: With Corey Gardner having released his financial numbers, it's clear Betsy Markey has the money edge for now. His $377K raised last quarter is still pretty impressive, but it's less than Markey raised, and Gardner's $763K CoH is about half of Markey's $1.5 million.
• FL-25: Joe Garcia reports raising $700K last quarter, including $230K in online contributions (thanks, netroots!). He still lags behind likely GOP nominee David Rivera, though.
• NH-02: Of the candidates in the 2nd, Ann McLane Kuster (another netroots project) was the big raiser. She pulled in $316K, for $745K CoH. Fellow Dem Katrina Swett raised $188K, but has more CoH at $1.15 million. GOPer Charlie Bass leads in the polls but not at the bank: he raised $170K, for $360K CoH.
• NJ-03: Freshman Democratic Rep. John Adler is out with an internal poll that has him sprinting for the end zone while Jon Runyan limps along behind: the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll gives Adler a 51-34 lead over Runyan, with 12 to independent teabagger Peter DeStefano (I'd imagine that lead would tighten as the DeStefano share shrinks). Runyan raised $501K last quarter (a bit more than Adler's $415K), but $301K was from donors and the other $200K was from himself. Runyan seemed to burn a lot on his surviving his primary, though; he's sitting on $472K CoH compared with Adler's more than $2 million.
• NV-03: Rep. Dina Titus is in good shape financially (less so, poll-wise). The freshman Dem raised $426K and has $1.2 million CoH.
• PA-04, PA-17: Keystone State Blue Dogs Jason Altmire and Tim Holden posted good numbers. Altmire raised more than $300K in May and June and is sitting on $1.4 million CoH. Holden raised $213K in that period and is sitting on $885K CoH, which isn't huge but far more than David Argall (who had $70K before the primary he barely survived) is likely to have.
• TN-09: Here's a big score for Steve Cohen, facing a primary from former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton that's, as is usually the case in the 9th, all about the race card. Cohen just got an endorsement from prominent African-American politician Barack Obama, as well as financial backing from several key House CBC members (John Lewis, Alcee Hastings, William Clay) apparently unenthused with the specter of the potentially-embarrassing Herenton joining their ranks.
• CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Jane Norton (R) 44%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 40%, Jane Norton (R) 47%
• CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff (D) 42%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 39%, Ken Buck (R) 48%
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski (D-inc) 58%, Eric Wargotz (R) 33%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 43%, Sharron Angle (R) 46%
If you're Scott Rasmussen, what do you like to do on your day off? Well, you might like to go on a cruise. A cruise for fans of conservative magazine National Review, as their all-expenses-paid guest.