• AK-Sen: All signs are pointing to Lisa Murkowski winning this race, and joining Strom Thurmond in the won-a-Senate-write-in-race club. At the end of yesterday's counting, which took us up to nearly half of all the write-in votes analyzed, the state Division of Elections is reporting that nearly 98% of all write-ins are being successfully counted for Murkowski. Even the rate of challenges, even if they were all successful (and few of them are), is inadequate for Joe Miller to make up all the needed ground (he'd need to shave off 12%, and isn't even challenging at quite that rate). 45,132 write-ins have been analyzed so far, and only 1.52% have been successfully challenged by the Miller camp. Seemingly realizing the gap can't be made up, the Miller camp, while still harping on the spelling issue and keeping that line of argument alive, is now turning to nebulous claims of voter fraud as their next line of attack, threatening a second potential lawsuit. His team is setting up a voter fraud hotline for people to report fraud, voter intimidation, and voter bullying. (Kind of a strange angle to explore, when you're the campaign that has its own paramilitary goon force.)
• HI-Sen: The Republican bench in Hawaii basically begins and ends with outgoing Gov. Linda Lingle. As far as her running against octogenarian Dan Akaka in 2012, she says she's going to take six months off from thinking about politics, and then give the race some "serious consideration" at that point.
• IN-Sen: Baron Hill is also looking for work in a few months, and he's one of the biggest names on the Dems' bench in Indiana. However, even with his potential choice of running for the Senate, for Governor, or his old seat in 2012, it sounds like he doesn't plan on any of those.
• MO-Sen: Could we see a 2006 rematch in the 2012 Senate election in Missouri? Ex-Sen. Jim Talent seems to be prepping toward that, with GOP operatives saying he's "furthest along" of all potential challengers to Claire McCaskill, who beat him in 2006. Other potential GOP names include ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (who's probably likelier to run for Governor in 2012), and Ann Wagner, wealthy person (former RNC vice-chair and Ambassador to Luxembourg, the kind of goodies doled out to itinerant rich donors) and former campaign manager to Roy Blunt.
• ND-Sen: Jeremy Jacobs lists a few possible challengers for Kent Conrad, who looks vulnerable after Republicans ran up the score in North Dakota this year. Mentioned are Jack Dalrymple (the Lt. Governor, who's about to become Governor once John Hoeven resigns, although he may be likelier to run for a full term as Gov. in 2012), AG Wayne Stenehjem, and Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk.
• Chicago mayor: And here I thought I was done with having to laboriously type out "Alexi Giannoulias" every day, like I have for the last few years. The recently vanquished Senate candidate is now at least considering the idea of pivoting over to the Chicago mayoral race, presumably under the principle of striking while the iron is hot in terms of his name recognition and donor base. He's getting urging from several anti-Rahm Emanuel aldermen. (UPDATE: OK, scratch that. A Giannoulias spokesperson now says no, he's not running for mayor.)
• DSCC: I think we've gotten closer to getting someone willing to hold the burning bag of dog doo than we have so far: Harry Reid personally asked Michael Bennet to lead the DSCC next cycle, and Bennet "didn't say yes and he didn't say no."
• DCCC: Dan Boren is moving the anti-Nancy Pelosi push to a new front: demanding that the position of DCCC chair be up for a true vote by the whole caucus, not a de facto appointment by leadership. He's being seconded in the effort by Larry Kissell, of all people (the same guy who got $1.7 million in DCCC aid this cycle after stinking it up on the fundraising front, and may be worried that another Pelosi ally might cut bait with him next time and make him catch his own fish). It's not clear who they'd rather see than likely chair Steve Israel, especially since they both had praise for departing chair Chris Van Hollen.
• Redistricting: Guess who's leading the push for Utah to switch to a independent redistricting commission, instead of it being done by the heavily Republican legislator? Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who may figure he'll be given an even worse version of UT-02 in 2012 than he currently has. (Interestingly, there's the possibility that a commission might give him a worse district, though; it's also possible that a GOP gerrymander might decide to concede a swing seat to him (probably the best Matheson could hope for) and go for three safe GOP seats, instead of risking a push for a 4-0 map.) Also on the redistricting front, here's a good overview from Real Clear Politics' Sean Trende, who goes state-by-state with possible outcomes.
• WATN?: Ashwin Madia (whom you probably remember for losing the MN-03 race in 2008) is taking over the helm for VoteVets for the time being while its current head, Jon Soltz, is deployed to Iraq. Also in the news is Andy Dillon, who lost the 2010 Dem gubernatorial primary after being termed-out as state House speaker. Turns out the centrist Dillon is crossing the aisle one last time: he just signed on as state Treasurer at Rick Snyder's request (it's an appointed position in Michigan).
• Money: When they write the tale of the 2010 election, the role of the Chamber of Commerce (and other third-party GOP backers, but especially the Chamber) will probably loom a lot larger in retrospect than it does right now. The Chamber spent $32 million, almost entirely on GOP candidates. The Fix also takes a look at self-funders, and calculates how much they spent per vote. The biggest fail was probably Linda McMahon, spending $97 per vote in a losing effort, outpacing Meg Whitman who spent only $57 per vote to lose by a similar margin (albeit for a much bigger price tag overall). Rick Scott spent "only" $29 per vote to win; the biggest bargain may have been Ron Johnson, who won spending only $7 per vote (although he did a lot of conventional fundraising too). In House races, Tom Ganley spent $29 per vote to lose ignominiously; the biggest spender was the victorious Scott Rigell in VA-02, at $30 per vote.
• Post-mortem: If you're still feeling down about last week's losses in the House and need some rationalization about it, here are a couple pieces that don't really try to put a happy face on the results but still show how very predictable the whole thing was. Alan Abramowitz, certainly no mindless cheerleader for the Dems, points out some of the ways in which it was something of a mile-wide, inch-deep victory for the GOP. And while the teeth-gnashing that accompanies the graph is worth a read too, here's a piece built around an amazing scatterplot from John Sides that shows how Democratic House candidate performances tracked presidential preferences district by district.
• Maps: If you're tired of looking at glitzy, state-of-the-art political maps, here's an amusing look back at the New York Times' earliest attempts at mapping the nation's political geography, going back as far as 1896. (As you might expect, their graphics capacity has evolved considerably.)
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: It seems like Lisa Murkowski's meetings with the Libertarian Party didn't lead to anything conclusive (while David Haase sounded amenable, the state party sounds opposed), as the signals she's putting out now seem to point more toward a write-in campaign, if anything. According to Roll Call, she's "strongly considering it" and will have an announcement as early as tomorrow. In case you're wondering about TX-22-style hilarity ensuing, the Alaska Division of Elections confirms that a voter can spell her name incorrectly and still have the vote count, which makes the prospect of a write-in campaign for Linda Mukrosky somewhat more doable.
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck may have dirty boots, but he's been busy scrubbing his website sparkly clean. The Michael Bennet camp has been observing lots of minor changes to Buck's website to make it more mainstream-y, with softer-sounding rewrites on his issues page on Afghanistan, stem cell research, and immigration.
• DE-Sen: In another sign that the GOP primary between Mike Castle and Christine O'Donnell isn't dialing down, both Castle and the Tea Party Express (on behalf of O'Donnell) are both extending their previous ad buys, starting today and running through next Tuesday's election. Again, kudos to Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs, who knows not only the Size Of The Buy but the complete breakdown (Castle, for instance, spent $75K in the Salisbury broadcast market, $27K on statewide cable, and $43K on radio, while the TPX spent $32K on cable only). He also susses out that at the current trajectory, the TPX will reach only slightly past the halfway point on its promise to spend $250K on O'Donnell, unless they want to blow a lot of money at the last minute in the pricey Philadelphia market. Meanwhile, TPM checks out how TPX's ongoing moneybomb for O'Donnell has been going, who has raised $89K since TPX got involved. Despite O'Donnell's frequent attacks on Castle's use of out-of-state money to power his campaign, they highlighted their $250+ donors, and a grand total of one (of 56) was a Delawarean.
• FL-Sen, FL-25: Biden alert! With Kendrick Meek having raised some bucks at a New York appearance with Bill Clinton last night, now he turns his attention to an upcoming fundraiser with the VPOTUS. (Expect to see the usual GOP carping about "Big Hollywood," seeing as how the fundraiser is in Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida, that is.) 25th District candidate Joe Garcia will also be a beneficiary.
• PA-Sen: The Philadelphia Inquirer has a rundown of Pat Toomey's past history of earmarks, in of course blatant contradiction with the pledges of austerity that define his current campaign... yet another Republican example of government largesse for me, but not for thee. In his first term in PA-15, Toomey won $9 million in earmarks, including $3 million for one company (Air Products & Chemicals) that then became his single biggest campaign contributor.
• CA-Gov: Steve Poizner seems to have finally gotten the message, if a few months on the late (and tepid) side. The Republican primary loser gave his endorsement to Meg Whitman yesterday... via press release.
• MI-Gov: Local pollster Mitchell Research is out with what appears to be their first poll of the general election in the Michigan gubernatorial race; like most pollsters, they find Republican Rick Snyder with a solid lead. He's ahead of Democrat Virg Bernero 53-26.
• OH-Gov: Bill Clinton will be in Ohio on behalf of (Hillary endorser) Ted Strickland on the 14th, also the day of his first debate with John Kasich. Clinton will stump for Strickland in both Cleveland and Columbus.
• NC-08: With the DCCC having rolled out a GQR internal poll yesterday giving Larry Kissell a decent lead (48-36) in the 8th (on top of Kissell releasing his own internal in late August with a 49-32 lead), GOP rival Harold Johnson offered up his own poll today to show he's still in this thing. His poll from POS finds Kissell still leading, but by a more surmountable margin: 39-34.
• NV-03: Politico has details on EMILY's List weighing into the 3rd, with a two-week TV ad blitz going after Joe Heck on women's health issues (like his vote against mandated insurance coverage for the HPV vaccine). While the article doesn't have a link to the ad, let alone the Size Of The Buy, it does have a very interesting look at the advanced micro-targeting they're using, focusing on very specific TV shows as well as Hulu and Facebook users.
• OH-16: Someone get Jim Renacci a high school history textbook, stat! When asked at the candidates' first debate what he'd like to do about civil rights, the Republican challenger to John Boccieri retreated to Rand Paul-style teabagger boilerplate, saying "We need to get our federal government out of the way," and that it was better dealt with as "local issues." Yeah, because local and state governments in the 50s and 60s were the paragons of tolerance and virtue during the civil rights movement, and that federal government just came in and screwed everything up...
• DGA: If you've been wondering what they're up to at the DGA, they're out with a strategy memo that outlines the next few months. Wisely, they're most concerned with the states with the greatest population and hence greatest redistricting impact, meaning that the smaller states with Dem-held open seats (Kansas, Wyoming, etc.) have already probably been on the losing end of their triage decisions.
• TX-St. House: We at SSP have been remiss in focusing on state legislatures in the last few months (for the same reason everyone else has -- it's hard to get good intelligence on them, and there's too dang much to focus on just at the national level alone), but Burnt Orange Report has done a bang-up job profiling the race for the Texas state House, one of the few legislatures where the Dems are on the offensive and have a slim but legitimate shot at a flip. They've written up summaries of the 21 hottest races, all helpfully collected in one place at the link.
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias ad rolling out his biggest gun: backing from Barack Obama
• PA-Sen: Not one but two ads from Pat Toomey ads with pretzel logic about how his time on Wall Street tells him that one shouldn't bail out Wall Street
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson ad hits Russ Feingold again for being a career politician
• TX-Gov: Bill White talks about border security
• VT-Gov: Dem group Green Mountain Future hits Brian Dubie on support for keeping local nuclear plant open
• FL-24: First Suzanne Kosmas ad hits Sandy Adams on teh crazy, especially the 17th Amendment
• GA-08: Jim Marshall ad tries to outflank Austin Scott on the right on the immigration issue
• MI-01: DCCC's 2nd IE ad goes after Dan Benishek on Social Security
• NY-25: Dan Maffei's first ad is anti-Ann Marie Buerkle, using Sarah Palin endorsement against her
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's second ad this week focuses on his time as a military doctor
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 38%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 60%
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 42%, Meg Whitman (R) 46%
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 42%, Carly Fiorina (R) 47%
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 38%, Rand Paul (R) 51%
In any effort to fight fire with fire, the DCCC has released their internal polls from five House races as part of a push-back effort against a recent wave of GOP-sponsored polling that's been flooding the zone. We only have top lines - no innards - so take these with the appropriate grain of salt:
CO-Sen: Like so many Republicans who rail against pork, Ken Buck still loves to gorge himself. Buck signed an anti-earmarks pledge pushed by Americans for Prosperity, but as Weld County DA, he asked then-Rep. Marilyn Manson Musgrave for a $2 million in federal funding for "expansions of North Range Behavioral Health center in Greeley." He also "won $235,000 earmarked for the Weld County Gang Task Force." In non-explaining this rather glaring contradiction, Weld said it "doesn't mean I don't want to change the system." In other words, vote for me because I'm a hypocrite.
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio agreed to participate in a debate with Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek, and then proposed six more. Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Buzz explains how this play might really squeeze Crist:
Charlie Crist is almost always good on TV, but this poses a real problem for him. In a three-person debate, it would be Rubio and Meek each taking turns hitting Crist and pressing him on flip-flops and inconsistencies. It's hard to stay above the fray when you're the main target.
But skipping most of the debates is equally problematic. If Meek agrees to these debates and the networks agree to televise them with or without all three candidates, Crist would be letting Meek raise his profile as the Democratic alternative to Rubio.
Tom Jensen also describes another rock-and-hard-place problem for Charlie: Kendrick Meek is starting to eat his lunch among Democrats, so how can Crist regain that support? Well, he could pledge to caucus with the Democrats... but that would, of course, hurt him among Republicans. Mark Blumenthal also has an in-depth post on the subject, looking at things from Kendrick Meek's perspective and wondering if he has a path to victory. Blumenthal concludes that Meek has a lot of room to grow, but thinks wining would be a "tall order."
KY-Sen: Rand Paul knows that when you are in a deep hole, you bring in a back-hoe. Then, you start using some C4. Finally, you send in an army of ten million moles. At last, once you can finally hear the sound of Chinese being spoken, you know you are deep enough - and you reiterate your opposition to doing anything about the drug problem in Eastern Kentucky.
NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall has become the first (I think) challenger so far to call for former WY Sen. Alan Simpson's resignation from what Atrios calls the "cat food commission" (not cat fud commission, sadly) - aka the president's stupid deficit commission. Simpson, if you haven't heard yet, wrote a vile email to the head of the National Older Women's League, calling Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits" - and telling his correspondent to "get honest work."
NV-Sen: His Mayoralness Michael Bloomberg will be hosting a fundraiser for none other than Harry Reid at Bloombo's home in September. The Hill notes that Bloombleman has endorsed both Dems and GOPers this cycle, including Michael Bennet and Joe Sestak for the good guys, and Mark Kirk and Mike Castle for the bad guys.
Getting back to Nevada for a second, both Reid and Angle have new ads up, which you can view here. Reid has really been smacking Angle relentlessly over all the crazy shit she's said - so I think you can understand why I said yesterday that it feels "limp" for Ron Klein to go after the similarly insane Allen West over tax issues rather than teh crazy. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, though the Reid campaign says the ad "will be added to its rotation of statewide spots."
WI-Sen: Wait, could there actually be room in this digest for a second Republican hypocrite? Hell yes! And it's a repeat performance. It turns out that Ron Johnson's plastics company Pacur received a HUD grant in 1979 to build a railway line out to its factory. This is on top of the $2.5 million federal loan Pacur received in the mid-80s to build an addition to the factory. As one blogger says, Ayn Rand must be rotating in her crypt. Don't forget what Dagny Taggart did for a living!
AZ-03: Ben Quayle started a post-victory press conference by doubling down on his previous jerk-assedness, repeating his claim that "Barack Obama is the worst President in history.'" The douche really doesn't fall far from the bag, huh. Meanwhile, Quayle's former buddies at TheDirty.com were hit with an $11 million default judgment in a defamation suit brought by one of the many people they've wronged over the years. The only problem, however, is that the plaintiff's attorneys appeared to have crumbed the play by naming the wrong business entity in their lawsuit. Hooman Karamian, the scumbag behind the website, says that neither he nor his company was served process, which could seriously imperil the award. In any case, all this legal wrangling is gonna make it a little harder for Quayle to get past this issue, methinks. (And Karamian, for that matter, says that he'll stop blogging about Quayle's involvement with the site once he "admits that he is Brock Landers".)
"Dan Webster is deader than Elvis. ... He is the ultimate establishment candidate," Grayson quipped Wednesday, the morning after Republican voters picked the veteran former state legislator to run against him in District 8. ...
Grayson, of Orlando, is a bare-knuckle campaigner who has already begun referring to Webster as "Taliban Dan," for what he considers to be Webster's extreme religious views. Grayson made it clear his campaign plans a heavy onslaught of attacks against Webster's voting record.
"Stay tuned. You'll see: We'll be putting it out day after day, week after week," Grayson said. "Very soon people are going to realize that Webster can't possibly win."
While he's often infuriating, you gotta respect Grayson for being balls-out, and not sounding like such a wuss like so many other Democrats.
FL-17: The Miami Herald has an interesting post-mortem on the Dem primary in the 17th CD. Given the heavily Haitian population in the district, it seemed likely that it could send the first Haitian-American person to Congress. But the four candidates of Haitian descent in the race split the vote, allowing state Sen. Frederica Wilson to carry the day with 35% (a number which, given the huge size of the field, was actually considered pretty high).
FL-24: Put the can-openers away, boys - no cat fud here. Karen Diebel emerged from hiding to endorse state Rep. Sandy Adams, the winner of the GOP primary. Diebel lost by about 0.8%, but obviously this means no recount.
ME-02: Businessman Jason Levesque is up on the airwaves in his bid to upset Blue Dog Mike Michaud, touting his desire to reign in government spending. Levesque has raised over $250K for his bid, so you may want to consider adding this one to your list of races that are bubbling under. (JL)
NM-02: The other day, we mentioned that the Defenders of Wildlife threw down another $125K on a new attack ad against GOPer Steve Pearce. The New Mexico Independent has the ad, if you'd like to watch it.
NC-07: Here's something you don't see every day: Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre's 2008 Republican opponent, Will Breazeale, is endorsing him. Breazeale really has it in for GOP nominee Ilario Pantano - Breazeale attempted a repeat bid this year, but was beaten by Pantano in the primary. The odd thing is that the McIntyre campaign specifically said "no comment" in regard to the endorsement. Any thoughts on why?
NC-08: Larry Kissell is touting a new internal poll from Anzalone-Liszt, showing him beating Republican Harold Johnson 49-32, with Libertarian Thomas Hill at 7. The only other interesting finding actually released in the memo is Johnson's faves, 32-25.
NV-03: Actually, it turns out AFSCME's buy was a lot bigger than we thought: $750K, according to independent expenditure reports, rather than the $240K reported by the Smart Media Group. AFSCME really seems to like buying in three-quarters-of-a-million chunks.
NY-01: Randy Altschuler is out with a new ad attacking Republican rival Chris Cox for living in New York City, rather than in Suffolk County. (Apparently, Cox is crashing at his uncle's house in the Hamptons.) NWOTSOTB.
NY-13: GOPer Michael Allegretti has a new ad out, frenetically edited in the Dale Peterson style, which includes a "man on the street" declaring that Allegretti "is a paisan! He's one of us!" And here's an interesting detail the ad alludes to, which I think we missed: Allegretti's opponent Mike Grimm apparently has no job and has debts which far exceed his income, according to financial disclosure forms. Gotta wonder how he can afford to run for Congress in NYC.
NY-14: Looks like the New York Post got caught trying to ratfuck the Dem primary here in my backyard. Those scuzzes tried to claim that Hillary Clinton - you know, the Secretary of State - was "unofficially" backing Reshma Saujani. Clinton confidantes and the State Department have called bullshit, though, stating that the Secretary of State does not engage in partisan politics. Duh. Nice try, Posties.
SD-AL: In politics, going after a candidate's record traffic infractions is usually a rinky-dink play, but it turns out that Republican Kristi Noem's record behind the wheel is very troubled:
KELOLAND News checked the records for all five candidates for U.S. House and Governor; Noem has the longest list of violations, including 20 speeding tickets, three stop sign violations, two seat belt violations, and no driver's license. Noem also has six court notices for failure to appear and two arrest warrants.
Yikes! Meanwhile, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is out with a new ad that, mercifully, doesn't feature her son's poop, but instead speaks in dour tones about how liberals in Washington are wrecking the heartland. Pretty bleak, defeatist-sounding stuff. (JL)
CT-Sen: I thought it was pretty weird that alleged non-candidate Rob Simmons was going to participate in a GOP debate last night. Well, he un-weirded things (I guess) by declaring at this debate that he is "running for the United States Senate." We'll see if it sticks. The primary, by the way, is August 10th.
KS-Sen: Not something you see every day: Rep. Jerry Moran's former campaign manager, who claims he was pushed out in April, has endorsed rival Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Paul Moore said he thinks Moran, who has led in every single public poll, is not "instinctively conservative."
NC-Sen: A new Civitas poll has Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 44-37. It's been a really long time since Civitas looked at this race; in December of last year, they found Burr up 40-32.
WA-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS will headline a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray on August 17th in Seattle.
FL-Gov: McLaughlin & Associates supposedly has yet another poll out, but not for their client Bill McCollum. Apparently, they did double duty for the Florida Medical Association, and - surprise - found Rick Scott leading McCollum 37-33. This seems like a pretty colossal waste of money, since McCollum's internal - released just the other day - had him down 37-31.
Meanwhile, McCollum had to deal with a small brush fire: former Florida House Speaker Alan Bense held a private meeting with Rick Scott over the weekend. The problem is that Bense is supposed to be a McCollum supporter - something he re-iterated after his soiree, saying he only got together with Scott to be polite. Bense is also the chairman-elect of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and his group is expected to get behind Billy Mac. And in case anyone still cares what unlovable loser Gary Bauer thinks, he endorsed McCollum.
KS-Gov: Dem state Sen. Tom Holland raised $283K from Jan. 1 to July 22nd and has $103K on hand. His Republican opponent, Sen. Sam Brownback, took in $519K and has $1.2 million in the bank. Note, though, that Holland's fundraising mostly took place after the legislative session ended in June (there are strict regulations on fundraising while the lege is in operation), while Brownback was free to raise from all sources throughout the reporting period. Brownback's been spending his time well, mind you: He just introduced legislation which would ban the creation of "part-human, part-animal creatures." Sadly, this would mean no manticores, minotaurs, or mermaids. And I was really looking forward to embracing our brave new Greek mythology future.
MN-Gov: Glad to see that Citizens United is proving to be a two-edged sword. Target has donated $150,000 to a right-wing group called MN Forward, which is running TV ads on behalf of extremist Republican nominee Tom Emmer. Gay groups in particular are incensed, since Target had been known as a gay-friendly employer, even going so far as to support the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. And speaking for myself, Target can get fucked - as can Best Buy and any other corporation which uses corporate money to help elect Republicans. Not shopping at either location anymore, that's for sure.
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is launching his first TV ad of the cycle, a spot about property taxes. Of course, NWOTSOTB, or whether it's cable or broadcast, or even where it's airing. Sigh.
OH-Gov: Obama alert 2! The day after the POTUS appears in WA (see bullet above), he'll be doing a fundraiser for Ted Strickland in Columbus.
OR-Gov: We haven't done writeups of our most recent batch of race ratings yet, but Carla Axtman of Blue Oregon has a nice writeup of an interview she did with Crisitunity at Netroots Nation, where he explains our decision to move OR-Gov from Likely D to Tossup.
RI-Gov: Linc Chafee is doing his best to out-do Martha Coakley when it comes to alienating Red Sox Nation (a broad constituency throughout New England). While criticizing state loan guarantees to a video game company owned by Schilling, he also decided to question whether Schilling's famous "bloody sock" game was legit. Already Chafee's tried to walk back the remark - but there are no do-overs in baseball. Or politics.
GA-02: Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop, in a competitive race with Republican Mike Keown (who oh-so-narrowly outraised the incumbent last quarter), formally kicked off his campaign yesterday with a newly-famous Georgian at his side: Shirley Sherrod, with whom you are most certainly familiar by now. Even though this district is almost 48% black, it's also extremely competitive politically, going 54% for Obama and 50% for Kerry.
KS-01: SurveyUSA has one final look at the open-seat GOP primary in KS-01, finding a three-way tie between state Sen. Jim Barnett, realtor Tracey Mann, and state Sen. Tim Huelskamp. All pull 24%. Last time, it was 23-20-18.
MA-09: Bubba alert! Bill Clinton is doing a fundraiser and rally this Thursday for conservadem and anti-healthcare reform asshole Stephen Lynch. Lynch faces a primary from Mac D'Alessandro and has a monster cash advantage ($1.3 million to just $72K), so this surely seems like overkill to me - but of course, the Big Dog loves to pay back favors, and Lynch was (you guessed it) a Hillary supporter in 2008.
NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon, seeking to avoid a primary on the Independence Party line, is challenging the petitions of third-party irritant John Tabacco. Tabacco needs only 497 valid signatures, but New York has absurdly stringent rules which make it very easy to knock "bad" sigs out. Therefore, the common rule of thumb is that you need to submit at least twice as many petitions as the law requires, and Tabacco only provided 678. Therefore, I'm going to guess that McMahon - who is highly motivated here - will succeed in his challenges. Tabacco has some more problems to worry about, though - after giving a loan to the wife of the chair of the state Independence Party last year, he suddenly got their ballot line in a city council race (funnily enough, for the seat vacated by McMahon).
NY-15: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is dipping a toe into new waters, suggesting that resignation is an option for Charlie Rangel. So is fighting the charges, Hoyer says, but a ringing endorsement of the embattled former Ways and Means chair this is not. Meanwhile, Walt Minnick isn't playing footsie, becoming the second Dem (after OH-13's Betty Sutton) to call on Rangel to quit the House.
Rangel is still in talks with the ethics committee to try to reach some sort of plea bargain, but it seems that he's unwilling to cop to a sufficiently broad array of violations to satisfy the committee members. If Rangel can't come to terms, he'd face a "public hearing" (essentially a trial). As the New York Times points out, the last time this happened was in 2002, when Jim Traficant was expelled from the House.
PA-07: Teabagger Jim Schneller, hoping to appear on the ballot as an independent, says he's gathered 5,200 signatures so far - a thousand more than the 4,200 he needs to submit by August 2nd. It remains to be seen if Republican Pat Meehan will try to challenge Schneller's bid.
TN-03: Politico has a piece documenting the wingnut-on-wingnut violence stemming from the fight to replace outgoing Rep. Zach Wamp in this dark-red seat. The battle is between attorney Chuck Fleischmann and former state GOP chair Robin Smith.
Fundraising: A rare day: two Steny Hoyer mentions in one digest. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck, and the undeserving Larry Kissell. Hoyer, like Nancy Pelosi, got where he is because lots and lots of people owe him - and will continue to owe him. Let this be a lesson to aspiring progressive leaders in Congress.
Former Democratic congressional staffer Wendell Fant announced Friday that he will not mount a third-party campaign against North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell, rebuffing calls from activists to challenge the Democratic incumbent for his vote against health care reform.
Fant has been urged to make the race by North Carolina Families First, a labor-backed group that gathered more than 30,000 petitions to put Fant's name on the ballot. [...]
Fant also said Kissell had soothed the frustration of some liberals when he voted for the Democratic-backed American Jobs Act in May.
"He's also heard our message...and lately he's voted in ways that make a difference for all of us," Fant said, praising Kissell for "voting for jobs and our families and against corporate special interests."
You may recall a recent PPP poll that suggested that Kissell would actually have an easier time with Fant in the mix, as Fant's candidacy drew a significant amount of Republican support from Harold Johnson. I'm on the record as doubting that such a split would be sustainable through a heated election campaign, as conservatives wouldn't be likely to stick with the left-leaning Fant after a rigorous campaign by all comers. Fant's presence on the ballot had much more potential to split core Democratic support than anything else, making this turn of events good news for Larry Kissell.
Larry Kissell (D-inc): 48 (54)
Tim D'Annunzio (R): 26 (38)
Undecided: 26 (7)
Larry Kissell (D-inc): 41 (53)
Harold Johnson (R): 35 (39)
Undecided: 23 (8)
Larry Kissell (D-inc): 40
Harold Johnson (R): 30
Wendell Fant (I): 14
Interestingly, ex-Kissell staffer Wendell Fant, whom the SEIU is trying to push into the race on an independent ballot line, actually seems to help Kissell by pulling more votes away from Johnson. Fant draws a nearly equal share of liberals, moderates, and conservatives, and 12% of Republican votes compared to 11% of Democrats. However, that would probably change after his positions become more obvious over the course of a campaign, I'd bet. As it is right now, it seems that the presence of another protest option on the ballot helps Kissell's top lines.
In any case, it's clear that Kissell's position has become much more dangerous since PPP's last look at this race at the height of HCR-mania in January.
FL-Sen: Not unexpectedly, Charlie Crist vetoed a bill (passed by Flordia's Republican state lege and supported by anti-choice groups) which would have required women seeking an abortion to first get an ultrasound. Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek both fired off press releases attacking Crist - the former for abandoning conservative principles, and the latter for trying to "run away" from his "anti-choice past."
KY-Sen: We've mentioned this before, but now the Louisville Courier-Journal has a lengthy piece looking at Rand Paul's renegade ophthalmology certification organization, called the National Board of Opthalmology. It turns out that the American Board of Medical Specialties - the meta-group which certifies this country's certifying organizations - doesn't recognize Paul's concoction. Rather, they recognize the American Board of Ophthalmology, from whom Paul used to have a certification, but which he let lapse some years ago.
SC-Sen: So now even the White House is weighing in on the mysterious primary victory of Alvin Greene, with senior advisor David Axelrod saying he thinks Green's win "doesn't appear" legitimate. This widespread establishment skepticism may enoucrage loser Vic Rawl to file a formal protest with the state Democratic Party, something he has until noon today to do. The party could void the result if it found serious flaws, but state chair Carol Fowler says something like that is "pretty rare." And Nathan Gonzales also makes a good point: Greene may have spent $0 on this race, but Rawl didn't spent a whole lot more - just $45K.
UT-Sen (pdf): Wilson Research Strategies for Mike Lee (6/10, likely voters):
Mike Lee (R): 39
Tim Bridgewater (R): 30
AL-Gov: This seems a little odd: lame duck AG Troy King (who just lost the GOP primary) issued an advisory opinion saying that the July 13th Republican gubernatorial runoff ballot should feature the names of Bradley Byrne and Robert Bentley - even if third-place finisher Tim James displaces Bentley in a planned recount. King advises that another runoff take place if James's recount is successful.
MI-Gov: Fifth CD Rep. Dale Kildee endorsed Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the Democratic primary, the first member of the House from Michigan to weigh in in the gubernatorial race. His nephew Dan Kildee, who considered running himself, also got behind Bernero.
NH-Gov: Democratic Gov. John Lynch formally filed for re-election last Friday. He's seeking a fourth consecutive two-year term, something no one has won before in New Hampshire history. A piece in the Laconia Citizen looks at the challenges Lynch faces in achieving this goal.
OH-Gov: Gov. Ted Strickland reported raising $1.3 million between April 23rd and June 10th, giving him $7.7 million cash-on-hand and $11.5 million raised for the entire campaign (which his camp says is a record). Politico also says that Strickland has raised more than any other Dem governor seeking re-election, but note that only seven fall into this category. Meanwhile, Republican John Kasich raised the same amount but has $5.7 million on hand.
UT-Gov: Ah, timing is everything in politics. Just four days after Gov. Gary Hebert called for more oil drilling in Utah, a Chevron pipeline burst a leak, spilling 500 barrels oil into Salt Lake City's Red Butte Creek, forcing the closure of the city's biggest park. (Click the link for a pic. More here.)
AR-01: The link is behind a paywall, so we don't have much to go on, but apparently Tim Wooldridge is "hedging" on an endorsement of Chad Causey, the man who beat him in the runoff last week. Let's hope this changes soon.
AR-02: Also behind a paywall (at the Hotline) is this tidbit that state Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) said she "doesn't know" whether she'd support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Elliott, who has a liberal reputation, probably has some re-positioning to do to remain competitive in this race, but is acting Pelosi-agnostic really plausible? Even Mike Oliverio eventually backed down from this perch - and he's infinitely more conservative than Elliott.
CT-04: A supporter of Dan Debicella says her name fraudulently appeared on a nominating petition for rival Tom Herrmann, who is also seeking the GOP nod to take on Rep. Jim Himes in the fall. Stories like this don't tend to have much legs, though, unless there turns out to be widespread fraud.
GA-09: Representative-elect Tom Graves (R) will be sworn in to the House later today. Note that the two other remaining vacancies in the House - NY-29 and IN-03, both the product of resignations due to scandal - will not be filled until November. Also, Graves is not out of the woods yet, as he still faces a regular July 20th primary for the fall general election.
MD-01: Looks like Andy Harris has gone, at least, birther-curious. During a recent radio appearance, Harris refused to dismiss a caller's accusation that Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship is "false", saying that he doesn't know why all the details on Obama's birth certificate are "being hidden". (J)
MS-01: Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya. There seem to be no hurt feelings in this GOP primary, after all. After initially refusing to endorse primary winner Alan Nunnelee, former Fox News commentator Angela McGlowan has endorsed his campaign in an email to her supporters. Second-place finisher Henry Ross also threw his endorsement to Nunnelee, making the circle complete and activating the powers of Captain Planet. (J)
NC-08: Mountain of Crazy Tim D'Annunzio has upped his personal investment in his bid for the GOP nomination against Larry Kissell to $1.3 million. Harold Johnson, the guy whom the NRCC desperately wants to see win the primary, is getting out-gunned; he only raised $49K in the pre-runoff period, and is getting outspent by a greater than 2-1 margin. (J)
NY-24: The Oneida County District Attorney's office is investigating quid pro quo allegations surrounging a 2008 donation that Republican candidate Richard Hanna made to the Oneida County Independence Party. (J)
SC-01: Politico's Alex Isenstadt tweets that House GOP leaders are "launching [a] full scale effort for Tim Scott", the African-American state Rep. who's locked in a runoff with legacy candidate Paul Thurmond. Karl Rove himself is even cutting a check for Scott. (J)
UT-02: Dem Rep. Jim Matheson certainly doesn't appear to be taking any chances in his first-ever primary against retired teacher/activist Claudia Wright. Matheson's pre-primary FEC filing shows that his campaign has brought in $142K and spent nearly $467K since Wright shocked Matheson by forcing a primary at the May Democratic convention, leaving the incumbent with just over a million in the bank. Wright, for her part, only raised $15K during that time, and spent $17K. (J)
WA-02: Moose alert! Sarah Palin gave her latest Twitter endorsement to Snohomish County councilman John Koster, who's seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen. Koster faces absolute nutball John Carmack in the Republican primary. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of Carmack's website. (J)
• AR-Sen: Bill Halter is "mulling" an endorsement of Blanche Lincoln, and wants a sit-down with her before doing so. Frankly, it'd be a big surprise if he didn't endorse her: it didn't seem like any more negative a race than usual by today's standards; labor made its point and is probably eager to move on; and Halter would probably like to run for something else at some point.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon has, well, a crisitunity on his hands with the oil spill in the Gulf. It gives him the chance to go on the offensive against David Vitter (who's been trying to limit BP's liabilities, and who's also taken to Twitter to tout Louisiana seafood (now pre-blackened) as safe). But he has the tricky task of keep his district's oil-and-gas dependency in mind; he's aggressively calling Vitter a "liar" now... but only because Vitter has been saying that Melancon supports the Obama administration offshore drilling moratorium.
• NC-Sen: Bob Menendez continues to play favorites in the NC-Sen runoff, although it wasn't with a large sum of money: Menendez's PAC (not the DSCC) gave $5,000 to Cal Cunningham last week, as well as the same amount to Blanche Lincoln.
• SC-Sen: The slow-motion trainwreck of Alvin Greene's media rollout continues apace in South Carolina, with last night's go-nowhere interview with Keith Olbermann taking the cake. (Gawker concludes he may actually be, instead of a plant, just "some random dude." Glad to see our phrasing's catching on.) Jim DeMint is, for his part, denying that he put Greene up to this, while other Republicans are helpfully suggesting that Democrats may have put Greene up to it instead, in order to give Vic Rawl a visibility boost (because unopposed candidates don't appear on the ballot). The Rawl campaign has had elections experts look over the voting patterns to try to figure out what happened, and they've already raised one odd red flag: the strange shift from the early absentee votes (where Rawl dominated) to votes cast on Election Day (which Greene won).
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett, after hinting at it several weeks ago, went ahead and endorsed Tim Bridgewater today. Bridgewater is one of the two quasi-insurgents who finished ahead of Bennett at the state GOP convention, and will be competing in the primary against Mike Lee.
• CA-Gov: I think Godwin's Law might not yet have been enacted when Jerry Brown was Governor the first time, but he might want to familiarize himself with it, after he was caught referring (apparently in jest) to Goebbels in reference to Meg Whitman's saturation advertising. Speaking of which, Whitman just launched her first TV ad post-primary, in which (big surprise) she hates on taxes.
• FL-Gov: Looking for something that'll stick against moneybags Rick Scott, Bill McCollum is now trying to attack him on his pro-life credentials, saying that Columbia/HCA hospitals performed abortions while Scott was CEO.
• OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with a poll in Oregon that has a whiff of outlier to it (as any poll that's about six points to the right of Rasmussen tends to): they find Republican candidate Chris Dudley leading Democratic ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber 47-40. Part of the problem for Dems might be that the poll has third-party Progressive candidate Jerry Wilson racking up 6%, which is assumedly coming out of Kitzhaber's column. But the crosstabs have Dudley winning 44-43 in the Portland area, which, given that area's sheer blueness, seems very odd (as counterpoint, Gordon Smith won the Portland area (Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties) 50-46 in 2002 en route to a 56-40 victory statewide, the Republicans' high-water mark for about the last 25 or so years). They also have Ron Wyden leading Jim Huffman 51-38 in the Senate race (with 4 for a Libertarian and 2 for a Green), which also seems strange.
• SC-Gov: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who crashed and burned his car/plane in 4th place in the GOP gubernatorial primary, threw his support to 2nd place finisher Gresham Barrett for the runoff. He said Barrett was the only one he "could trust."
• TX-Gov: The Green Party has agreed that it temporarily won't put forth any candidates until there's been a hearing in the lawsuit filed by the state Democrats. The lawsuit concerns whether the Greens unlawfully accepted a corporation's help in obtaining the signatures it needed to (surprisingly) qualify for a ballot line in Texas.
• AL-02: The Tea Party Express weighed in with an endorsement in the Republican runoff in the 2nd, and they aren't supporting the NRCC-backed establishment candidate, Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby. Instead, they're backing billiards entrepreneur Rick Barber. Their beef with Roby seems to be that she backed a budget pushed by then-Montgomery mayor, now-Rep. Bobby Bright.
• KS-02: You may remember Sean Tevis, who became a netroots fave based on his clever cartoon depictions of his campaign and raised a surprising amount of money that almost let him knock off an incumbent in a red legislative district. Well, he's moving up a level this year; he's decided to run in the 2nd, against Lynn Jenkins (or Dennis Pyle, if he successfully teabags Jenkins). He still faces two other Dems, Cheryl Hudspeth and Thomas Koch, in the primary.
• NC-08: The SEIU looks like it's going through with its strange plan to launch a third-party bid against Larry Kissell in the 8th; they submitted 34K signatures to qualify Wendell Fant for the ballot, much more than the necessary 17K. (The SEIU had previously tried to get a whole third party a ballot line, but that signature drive came up short.) Perhaps even stranger, Fant hasn't agreed to run, at least not yet; he didn't show up at the ballot-submitting press conference. Fant, it turns out, is an ex-Kissell aide who may have an axe to grind after getting dismissed for using a work computer to work on his own VA case.
• NJ-06: Diane Gooch, the self-funder who was expected to easily win the GOP nomination in the bluish 6th to go against Rep. Frank Pallone, is instead finding herself having to request a recount. Anna Little has declared victory, based on the 78-vote margin, after spending $22K to Gooch's $430K.
• NV-03: Americans for Prosperity has Dina Titus in its sights; they're taking out a $100K ad buy on network and cable (thanks, LVRJ, for actually reporting the details!), still harping on Titus for her vote in favor of health care reform.
• NY-13: Because the Republican/Conservative field in the 13th had some wiggle room to get even more messed-up, now another guy is trying to get in on the action. It's Lou Wein, who's going to try to petition his way onto the ballot against Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti, each of whom have their own clique of powerful backers. Wein is more of a loose cannon -- he's best-known for winning 4% statewide in a 1990 gubernatorial bid on the Right-to-Life line, as well as an unsuccessful 1977 mayoral bid -- but if he can pick up the teabagger banner, he might make some waves here.
• VA-05: Jim McKelvey's up to something weird here; we just don't know what yet. He says he's going to make up his mind this weekend whether or not to endorse Rob Hurt, to whom he finished 2nd in the GOP primary. His latest action is a head-scratcher: he's starting his own PAC, the Take Our Country Back PAC, in order to "seek out, support, educate, train and elect conservative candidates on the local and state level in the fifth district and throughout Virginia."
• Arizona: Here's an interesting piece of data that should hearten Terry Goddard and Rodney Glassman: there's been a surge in Latinos registering as Democrats since the passage of Arizona's new immigration law. This shouldn't be a surprise, as it closely mirrors what happened in the wake of California's Prop 187 in the 1990s. The surge is also demographics-driven, given the fast Latino growth in Arizona, and in fact nationwide: the Census Bureau reports that, for the 2009 estimate, minorities will make up 35% of the nation, way up from 21% of the nation in the 2000 census. While much of that comes from increases in Latino births, a lot of it also has to do with more Americans self-identifying as multiracial.
• Governors: Josh Goodman does some number crunching and guesses that, with all the open seats and expected turnover this year, we're on track to have 28 new Governors. That would be an all-time record for gubernatorial turnover (the previous record, 27, goes back to 1920).
• When Animals Attack: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose photo op went awry yesterday, ending with him getting stabbed in the hand by the horn of a large mohair goat. Apparently the most dangerous place to be is not between Weiner and a camera... so long as you're a goat.