AK-Sen: As of Friday, Lisa Murkowski was saying that she still hasn't made a decision about whether to pursue a write-in bid. At least one major Republican is opposed to the idea: Sen. John Cornyn says that Murkowski would have to quit her job as vice chair of the NRSC if she goes the third-party route. I also wonder if her Senate committee spots might be in jeopardy, too. Anyhow, Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota's excellent Smart Politics blog has a good post on the history of write-in campaigns in the Land of the Midnight Sun. In eight statewide contests, the best-ever score in a senate race was 17%, and 26% in a gubernatorial race. I actually think those numbers aren't bad at all!
DE-Sen: While everyone's still abuzz about last night's poll numbers, there's some other DE-Sen news worth reporting. For one, the NRA endorsed Christine O'Donnell. For another, so did Sen. Jim DeMint, Kingmaker of Loons. For yet another, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for O'Donnell, playing up their shared sense of victimhood.
Meanwhile, The Hill says that the Tea Party Express has spent some $300K on radio and TV ads on O'Donnell's behalf, but it's a little hard to double-check that since TPX's FEC filings seem to use, shall we say, "new math." Finally, a reporter asked Mike Castle if he'd pursue an independent bid if he lost the primary. (DE's laws are apparently similar to Alaska's in this regard.) Castle was surprisingly non-committal, saying he'd "have to give it thought."
GA-Sen: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton was in Atlanta late last week to do a fundraiser for Labor Comm'r Michael Thurmond, the Dem senate nominee challenging GOPer Johnny Isakson. Thurmond, as you'd expect, was a big-time Hillary Clinton supporter.
IA-Sen: Chuck Grassley, making a play for the dirty old man vote, had this to say when asked why he didn't once look at opponent Roxanne Conlin during a recent debate:
"I wish you had told me because I would have been very happy to look at her. She's a very nice looking woman."
NH-Sen: The New Hampshire Union Leader has been combing through a batch of emails released by the NH attorney general's office pursuant to a freedom of information request, and they've turned up a doozy: Then-AG Kelly Ayotte used her official email account to discuss campaign strategy with a guy who later became one of her consultants. In better news for Ayotte, Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for her, too (see DE-Sen item above), but man is this imagery getting crazy: She calls Ayotte a "Granite Grizzly." Zuh? Anyhow, Jim DeMint's also decided to get involved here (again, see DE-Sen), endorsing surging wingnut Ovide Lamontagne.
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston has the complete tick-tock on how he got Harry Reid and Sharron Angle to agree to a debate on his show - only to have Angle, in a spasm of campaign dysfunction, pull out, despite being the one to throw down the challenge to Reid in the first place.
AK-Gov: Anchorage attorney Bill Walker, who drew about 30% in his primary against Gov. Sean Parnell (thanks to $300K in self-funding), says he's still waiting to see if either the Alaskan Independence Party or Libertarian Party candidates withdraw from the race. If there's a drop-out by Wednesday, Walker could take that spot for the general election.
HI-Gov: A new robopoll by Aloha Vote (taken for online news service Civil Beat) shows ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie beating Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann by 48-31 in the Democratic primary. That's a pretty different picture from a Ward Research survey a few weeks ago which had Abercrombie leading just 49-44.
NY-Gov: It's been a long time since anyone has come out with any interesting statewide poll numbers in New York, but with just days to go before the primary, Siena has finally managed to surprise us (well, sorta): They show scuzzbucket businessman Carl Paladino in a dead heat with ex-Rep. Rick Lazio, trailing just 43-42. In mid-August, Lazio had a 43-30 lead, so this is all Paladino surge. The rest of the numbers (which test the senate races) are all meh - click the link if you want `em.
In other NY-Gov news, the Working Families Party decided to endorse Andrew Cuomo, and Cuomo - who had kept the WFP at arms' length for a long time - accepted. A federal investigation of the WFP was recently dropped, which seemingly helped smooth things. The party was in a very tough spot, though, as without Cuomo on their ballot spot, there was no real path for them to get the 50,000 votes they needed to avoid losing their ballot line. So I'm guessing there may be more to this story.
"John Salazar, it's time to come home," Tipton said as he opened the debate. "It's 9/11. Let's roll."
FL-25: Another mystery teabagger has (not really) come out of the woodwork. Roly Arrojo is running on the Florida Tea Party line, and it seems no one knows a thing about him, except for the fact that he hasn't filed any FEC reports - except for a Statement of Candidacy in which he identified himself as a Democrat. Republicans are suggesting this is a Dem put-up job, but Joe Garcia's camp is of course denying any knowledge of this guy. Interestingly, so is the head of the FL Tea Party!
ND-AL: I know, it sounds like parody, but Republican Rick Berg has a great idea: Drill for oil in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park! Not only is it, of course, illegal to do so, but it's also a fucking national park!
NY-13: Republican Michael Allegretti just got bounced from the new teabaggish Taxpayers Party line, thanks to a lack of sufficient signatures. Rival Mike Grimm already has the Conservative line, come hell or high water.
NY-15: Of all people, Mayor Mike Bloomberg wound up recording a robocall for Rep. Charlie Rangel.
PA-08 (PDF): Yikes. Sophomore Dem Patrick Murphy just put out an internal from the Global Strategy Group showing him up by a mere 47-43 margin over the man he beat in 2006, Republican Mike Fitzpatrick. This is scary.
VA-05: The Weiner Watch continues: Republican Rob Hurt has already skipped two debates, and now he's announced he's skipping a third. Weiner!
Chicago-Mayor: Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he won't make an endorsement in the race to succeed him.
NY-AG (PDF): Siena also released some final attorney general numbers, finding Eric Schneiderman narrowly in the lead at 25, with Kathleen Rice nipping his heels at 23. Sean Coffey is at 13, Richard Brodsky at 7, and Eric Dinallo at 4. The race has continued to get nasty in its final days, with Rice putting out a TV ad trying to link Schneiderman to scumbag state Sen. Pedro Espada, while a Schneiderman spot hits Rice for only becoming a Democrat in 2005.
DCCC: Blah blah blah, Dems not paying their DCCC dues. It's old news, and I'm beyond sick of these stories, but not (only) for the reason you might expect. Oh yeah, I'm pissed at the schmucks who are holding out on their party for no discernible reason, but I'm also frustrated with the DCCC. We've repeatedly told them we want to help them raise money from their members - the netroots is not all-powerful, but we can bring some pressure on stingy Dems. But the DCCC steadfastly refuses to share their dues spreadsheet with us - even though they have no problem sharing it with the likes of Politico, and even though they actually promised to give us a copy at Netroots Nation. Not just obnoxious, but weirdly self-defeating.
KY-06: NRCC ($96K on anti-Ben Chandler ads and polls from two different firms)
More generally, the NRCC's IE arm said that it would go up with anti-Dem ads in eight districts (though no IE reports have yet been filed): AZ-01, AL-02, FL-02, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05 & WI-07. A representative ad is available at the link.
AR-Sen, AR-01: Bill Clinton is heading back home to Arkansas to do events for Blanche Lincoln (probably not a good use of resources) and Chad Causey (better use of resources). Incidentally, Politico notes that Causey's primary opponent, Tim Wooldridge, still has yet to endorse him. Jeez.
DE-Sen: It's official: The Tea Party Express has spooked Mike Castle into going up on the air before the primary, to a six-figure tune. In fact, the Hotline's Jeremy Jacobs has an unusual level of detail on the nature of the buy, noting that "Castle has purchased $113K worth of airtime for Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 in the Salisbury, MD, media market," as well as "$26K worth of time on cable in New Castle County and $42K on radio."
NH-Sen: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is throwing down for a big buy against Paul Hodes. As the Hotline notes, the Chamber's FEC filing says they're spending $1 million, but apparently the buy is for less - a spokesbot will only say that it's "sizable." You can see their ad at the link.
AK-Gov: Republican Bill Walker, who held Gov. Sean Parnell to just 50% in the GOP primary while taking 33% himself, is talking to the Alaska Independence Party about filling their ballot line, since the AIP's nominee, Don Wright, has withdrawn from the race. Remember that in 1994, Dem Tony Knowles very narrowly won the gubernatorial race because an AIP candidate split the right-wing vote, taking 13%.
FL-Gov: I'm not sure whether these are new names or not, but Alex Sink is trying to stick it to Rick Scott by putting out a list of ten Republican elected officials in central and south Florida who have endorsed her campaign. Speaking of Scott, he's reportedly going to tap state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, an African American legislator from the Jacksonville area, to be his running mate.
NM-Gov: Local blog New Mexico FBIHOP has two new ads, one each from Republican Susana Martinez and Dem Diane Denish. NWOTSOTB in either case.
AZ-03: Dem Jon Hulburd is hitting noted d-bag Ben Quayle where it hurts: on Christian radio. Politico has the audio of the ad, which of course references TheDirty.com, but NWOTSOTB.
CA-47: Ya know, usually when we do an Obama Alert! or a Biden Alert! we're at least a little bit excited at the prospect that the (V)POTUS is doing an event for some Dem or other. But once in a while, it just makes me nervous. This is one of those occasions. Joe Biden is headlining a fundraiser for Rep. Loretta Sanchez in DC on Sept. 15th. I'm thinking a rating change might be in order here soon.
MD-01: Dem Frank Kratovil is up with his first ad of the season. NWOTSOTB.
NJ-12: The so-called "Emergency Committee for Israel," led by jerkass extraordinaire Michael Goldfarb and backed by lunatics like Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer, is now targeting Rep. Rush Holt with their latest bullshit. Holt, for his part, is fighting back, calling the ads "blatant lies" and trying to convince cable companies to pull them.
ND-AL: A break for Rep. Earl Pomeroy: The House's Office of Congressional Ethics said earlier this week that they were dropping an investigation into Pomeroy's fundraising practices.
NY-01: If anything saves Tim Bishop's bacon, it might be the fact that the Republican primary has been a festering pit of raw sewage, with outraged attacks traded among Bishop's GOP rivals daily - or more often. In fact, the three-way nature of the race seems to have tripled the likelihood of open warfare at any given moment - and it also makes things damn confusing at times. Anyhow, it looks like Chris Cox is hitting Randy Altschuler for failing to show up to a debate... but then the third dude, George Demos, also had a staffer show up at Altschuler's offices and catch him on camera, right when the debate was supposed to start. Meanwhile, Cox also won a court ruling allowing him to fight Altschuler for the Conservative Party nomination, but he'll have to run as a write-in.
NY-13: Another nasty New York primary also continues to get nastier. Local establishment fave Michael Allegretti keeps piling on attacks against Mike Grimm, the golden boy of national GOP figures like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Among other things, Allegretti is pointing out that Grimm has never voted in a single Republican primary in the 13th CD.
OH-17: Jim Traficant got beamed back on to the ballot yesterday, running as an independent. He'll face Dem Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican Jim Graham, who has raised bupkes.
PA-15: PA2010 is reporting that Dem John Callahan is going up on the air with his first ad, perhaps as early as today. NWOTSOTB, and we also don't have a link to the ad yet, but we'll try to bring it to you once it's public.
TX-23: Republican Quico Canseco is refusing to meet with the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News, claiming they have an "inherent bias" in favor of Dem Rep. Ciro Rodriguez. Only problem: The paper endorsed the last two Republicans who ran against Ciro.
WI-07: Republican Sean Duffy is finally scrambling on to the air with a positive bio spot. Dem Julie Lassa was up with her first ad last week, and the DCCC made its first independent expenditure (anywhere in the nation) here earlier this week. NWOTSOTB, though CQ notes the ad will air "in the Wausau-Rhinelander, Duluth-Superior, Minneapolis-St. Paul and LaCrosse-Eau Claire markets".
WV-03: Republican Spike Maynard is out with a new ad (watch it here) in which he says he wants to "stop the Obama-Rahall-Pelosi war on coal." That a serious mouthful, dude. (James Hell sez: "He should add Rand Paul to the list!") Anyhow, props to the Charleston Daily Mail for these details: "The ad is the first of two ads that will be released by Maynard's campaign as part of a $100,000 ad buy in the Beckley-Bluefield and Charleston-Huntington TV markets."
For Nick Rahall's part, he's apparently going to go on the radio with biographical spots to "familiarize folks with the congressman and his record." Uh, the guy has been in office since before I was born. The paper also reports that Rahall "is expected to run TV ads starting in late September." Can't say I love that pace.
Cat Fud: Think Progress has carefully stacked up an entire pallet's worth of cat fud tins in one of those lovely supermarket displays. They've assembled a long list of Republican primary losers who have refused to endorse the winners. I can think of two more off the top of my head: Pamela Gorman, who didn't want to catch Ben Quayle's cooties in AZ-03, and of course Lisa Murkowski, who maybe kinda sorta doesn't feel all that warmly about the guy who just called her a whore (or a john, take your pick) before the ballot counting was even over. Recall any others?
DSCC/DCCC: This is actually the same link that I got all emo about in that CA-47 item up above, but anyhow, uh, Obama Alert! The POTUS will be in NYC on September 22nd to do a joint event for the two congressional party committees.
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)
MO-Sen: AFSCME just threw down another hefty hunk of cash, pouring $700K into radio ads attacking Roy Blunt for voting against minimum wage hikes. According to The Hill, the union says that the ad is airing "statewide on over 200 radio stations outside the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets."
NH-Sen: Despite leading in the polls, AG Kelly Ayotte is joining third-party groups and launching a TV ad of her own attacking rival Bill Binnie as a "liberal." This comes in response to Binnie's new ad attacking Ayotte for her handling of the FRM scandal. NWOTSOTB, though Binnie's latest purchase is reportedly for some $430K.
WI-Sen: It's hard to keep up with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, but really, the lamestream media is being unfair to Ron Johnson, who definitely deserves a starting spot on the Wingnut 9. Watch him bash this stand-up double into deep right field:
There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now.
FL-22: Absolute fucking maniac - and absolute fucking whiner - Allen West has been decrying the "Gestapo-like intimidation tactics" he fantasizes have been deployed by Ron Klein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama. What are his dark Orwellian warnings about? The fact that the Klein campaign has been sending a video tracker to West's events. Yep, exactly like the Holocaust. Good comparison to be making in Palm Beach.
IA-01: The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)4, claims it's preparing to spend "six figures" against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), not a guy generally considered to be vulnerable. Part of that is because Braley leads his opponent, lawyer and former congressional staffer Ben Lange, $630K to $110K in cash-on-hand. Let's see if they actually follow through, though.
MO-04: For the first time since the mid-90s, the Missouri Farm Bureau's political arm, FARM-PAC, is not endorsing Ike Skelton - and in fact, they're supporting Republican Vicky Hartzler. FARM-PAC cited Skelton's vote in favor of cap-and-trade as the main reason for their change of heart. The Skelton campaign did, however, announce they received the backing from another agricultural group, the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
ND-AL: Rep. Earl Pomeroy is out with a new ad attacking Republican Rick Berg for his long (28-year) tenure in the North Dakota state lege, as well as his support for privatizing Social Security. NWOTSOTB.
NM-02: Defenders of Wildlife has re-upped its ad buy against Steve Pearce, who is attempting a comeback bid against Rep. Harry Teague, throwing down another $125K. It's not clear whether this is the same ad from a couple of weeks ago, which one station refused to air.
NJ-03: Props to Jane Roh of the Courier-Post, a paper which serves southern New Jersey. She exposes Republican Jon Runyan's first television ad for the video press release that it is, reporting that it's a mere $8,400 (on FOX News and CNN), but notes - do I detect a touch of mockery here? - that it's "expected to swell to $12,500 this week." This is pretty much a joke buy anywhere, but in the NYC media market, this doesn't even rate with late-night infomercials.
NY-13: Rudy Giuliani's lent all kinds of support to Mike Grimm in his primary against Michael Allegretti, and now he's cut an ad for him as well, touting Grimm's experience with terrorism as a "9/11 first responder." I wonder if that's the tie that binds these two men, or if Rudy is making some long-term play against the entrenched GOP interests on Staten Island which, for whatever reason, have been backing Allegretti. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, and incidentally, the FBI (and the Marines) have expressed displeasure with similar Grimm ads in the past.
NY-29: Teabagger Janice Volk failed to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent... but now says she'll run as a write-in. Whatever. Anyhow, has anyone heard anything - anything at all - about Dem Matthew Zeller?
OH-18: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled late last week that Rep. Zack Space made false statements about Republican opponent Bob Gibbs in an attack ad, but is issuing no penalty - not even a letter of reprimand. Sort of makes you wonder why this commission exists in the first place. I also find it weird that Ohio even has some body that tries to act as a referee for political campaigns. Isn't that what voting is for?
Redistricting: Redistricting geeks, rejoice! Thanks to some key volunteer help, Dave's Redistricting App now has partisan data for North Carolina and New Mexico. But more help is needed to get the remaining states online. Check out Dave's diary to see how you can help.
Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.
FL-Sen: Great catch by CQ's Greg Giroux, who always has some of the tastiest FEC tidbits. None other than Bob Dole (Bob Dole!) has cut a $1,000 check to Charlie Crist's senate campaign. It feels great to be writing about Bob Dole again! Bob Dole!
PA-Sen, PA-Gov, PA-08: Like some Green and teabagger candidates before them, the Libertarians have all been kicked off the statewide ballots in PA. That's because of a punitive Pennsylvania law which requires that a party which loses a challenge to its ballot status to pay the legal fees of the winner. Unsurprisingly, many minor party candidates tend to bail rather than risk a huge debt. In the same vein, indy Tom Lingenfelter also quit the race in PA-08, under intense courtroom pressure from Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign.
KY-Gov: This seems like a good get for Dem Gov. Steve Beshear: Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent next month in Jefferson County. This is a big deal because Pence is not only a Republican, but he served as LG for the man that Beshear beat, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. (Pence didn't seek re-election in 2007, and in fact had a pretty serious falling-out with Fletcher.)
AZ-08: Not something you see every day: Teabagger Jesse Kelly, hanging on in an uphill fight against establishment fave Jonathan Paton, is attacking none other than Sarah Palin, saying that the ur-Mama Grizz has been endorsing lots of front-runners (like Carly Fiorina) out of pure political calculation, and that she "needs to rehab" her image to woo independents. Paton fell all over himself trying to proclaim his Rich Lowry-like love for Palin, who in point of fact hasn't actually endorsed him. In an interesting aside, Paton's once-hot fundraising has fallen off a cliff, and Kelly actually outraised him in the pre-primary period.
OH-13: Remember how yesterday I was saying that despite the GOP's great recruitment efforts, they still have to deal with a serious structural problem - the stark raving insanity of their entire movement? Well, even prize recruit Tom Ganley is not immune. Here you have a multi-millionaire who is willing to self-fund, an extremely successful car dealer whose name is all over town, a guy who even helped police investigate the mob... and yet he pops off with statements like this: "I don't have a position on whether he's a Muslim." You can guess who he's talking about. A little while later, Ganley put out a statement trying to backtrack, but really, he's still a fucking nutter.
OH-15/16/18: Another shadowy right-wing group, a 501(c)4 with the Nixonian name "The Committee for Truth in Politics," is up to some dirty tricks, launching ads against Reps. Zack Space ($190K worth) and John Boccieri ($130K). CQ also says that a further $62K buy looks like it will be targeted against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The one odd thing about this writeup is that it says the anti-Space ad buy is going up in Cleveland, but if you compare a media market map with a map of Space's district, you'll see that his CD mostly falls in a bunch of other markets, principally Columbus. I wonder what gives.
Meanwhile, also in OH-16, Republican Jim Renacci (and soon-to-be DavidNYC opponent in the race for NYC Zoning Board) has filed a lawsuit against AFSCME, which is spending $750K on an ad buy against him. Renacci is alleging the ad, which accuses him of "cheating on his income taxes," is defamatory. It's more typical to threaten the TV stations running the ad, though, as they generally are pretty pliant when it comes to removing potentially questionable third-party ads from the air. Maybe he'll try that as well.
ND-AL: Republican Rick Berg is up with his first ad of the general election campaign, which you can view here. NWOTSOTB. Rep. Earl Pomeroy already has three different ads airing.
NY-13: Wingers disgruntled with the state Conservative Party have formed a new ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. (The name reminds me a little bit of George Pataki's vanity line in 1994, the Tax Cut Now Party.) Anyhow, Michael Allegretti, himself spurned by the Conservatives, is probably the TP's biggest name so far, having just filed 5,000 signatures to get on their line. This constitutes at least some bottom-shelf cat fud, since Allegretti would stay on the line even if he loses the GOP primary. Meanwhile, if rival Mike Grimm loses the Republican nod, he'll have the Conservative line no matter what. What did I say about the Republicans never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?
TN-03: Am I sniffing some cat fud on the horizon? Crazy Lady Robin Smith lost the GOP primary in this uber-red district by a 30-28 margin to self-funder Chuck Fleischmann, and already she's talking about running again in 2012. Smith hasn't endorsed Fleischmann, and for his part, Fleischmann says he hasn't responded to Smith's request for a reconciliation tête-à-tête. Since the only advice I like to give to Republicans is bad advice, nobody tell Fleischmann he should probably reconsider, as 30% doesn't exactly constitute a mandate. (Remember what happened to another Tennessean who barely won his primary in 2006?) Anyhow, Smith is also hoping that the district will get redrawn with a more southerly configuration, as Fleischmann did better in the northern counties. Could be messy!
Race Ratings: CQ has a cool new feature which, I admit, I'm quite envious of. A couple of years ago, James and I dreamed of creating a system which would allow SSP users to rate races as they saw fit, and then generate an "aggregate" rating across the site. Unfortunately, as a purely volunteer outfit with extremely minimal ad revenues, we simply didn't have the money for this project. But now, CQ has gone and created something very close to the tool we were hoping to build. The interface could use some improvement (right now, you have to drill down to a separate page for each race individually, and you can also only rate races that are already on their list), but it still looks pretty promising.
Netroots Nation: In case you missed it, click the link to watch the video of our panel on the 2010 horserace from last Friday at Netroots Nation. It was a terrific, fast-paced panel and we were asked a broad range of questions on a ton of different races. Fun stuff! Also of interest, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted a straw poll of convention-goers. They included one horserace-ish question, asking participants which race was their top priority this fall. 31% picked NV-Sen, followed by PA-Sen (25%), KY-Sen (21%), MN-06 (15%), and VA-05 (7%).
CA-Sen: The NRSC has reserved $1.75 million in ad time for Carly Fiorina - but remember, just cuz you reserve time doesn't mean you necessarily wind up buying it, so this could just be a feint.
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek is up with his first ad, attacking zillionaire schmuckface Jeff Greene for his past run for Congress in California - as a Republican - and for the windfall he reaped by betting on a housing market collapse two years ago. Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times says the buy is for $420K, which he thinks is "pretty small" for the pretty big state of Florida.
IL-Sen: Mark Kirk is pulling a Pat Toomey. You'll recall that the ultra-conservative Pennsylvania senate candidate somewhat surprisingly endorsed Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the Supreme Court. Now it's Kirk's turn to try to burnish his "moderate" credentials, so he's backing Elena Kagan.
Meanwhile, here's some new craziness: A federal district court judge just ordered a special election to fill the remaining months of Roland Burris's term, most likely to coincide with the regular election in November. Both Kirk and Dem Alexi Giannoulias have said they want to run in the special, and they probably won't have to face a primary, since the judge seems inclined to allow nominees to be picked by party committees. Politico points out a potentially huge angle to all of this: the FEC says that since the special would constitute a new election, the candidates would be able to raise fresh money for that race - meaning that Kirk and Giannoulias could hit up maxed-out donors once more.
PA-Sen: But wait! Pat Toomey isn't pulling a Pat Toomey! He's coming out against Elena Kagan.
WV-Sen: When early word came that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito wouldn't run for Robert Byrd's seat, we said that we'd move the race to Likely D. Capito made it official last Wednesday, so consider this move retroactive to that date.
MI-Gov: Bummer: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has endorsed DLC Dem Andy Dillon, whom Dillon called a "kindred spirit." Given Bing's outsider status and short tenure, I suspect he's not quite a "machine" mayor, though, who can deliver wards on the turn of a heel.
MN-Gov: Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer continues to burnish his moron credentials. The other day, he declared that Minnesota should pass its own GI bill to help veterans. Good idea, right? So good, in fact, that the state actually passed such a law three years ago. Even better: Emmer, a state representative, voted against the bill!
RI-Gov: Linc Chafee won the endorsement of the 10,000-strong Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, his first big union nod. The Projo says that the teachers had been favored to go to AG Patrick Lynch, but Lynch rather unexpectedly dropped out of the race not long ago, and evidently Dem Treasurer Frank Caprio didn't suit them.
SC-Gov: Nikki Haley, a member of the Strength Through Crippling Austerity wing of the Republican Party, is trying to soften (i.e., flip-flop) some of her less business-friendly stances. The AP explains her shifts on two issues: the infamous anti-tax pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, and the bailout.
IL-17: Can an internal poll sometimes seem just too good? That's how I feel about this survey by Magellan Strategies for GOPer Bobby Schilling, which has him up 45-32 over Dem Rep. Phil Hare. YMMV.
NY-13: John McCain is endorsing former FBI agent Mike Grimm in the GOP primary. Grimm has faced hostility from the Republican establishment here, which has backed Michael Allegretti (whom Maggie Haberman delightfully refers to with the epithet "Bayside fuel heir"). Apparently, McCain (who has a race of his own to worry about) will both fundraise and campaign for Grimm, though no word yet on when. As for why he's getting involved, Haberman says it's because of his relationship with Rudy Giuliani and Guy Molinari, both of whom are supporting Grimm.
NY-15: Charlie Rangel's autobiography is titled "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since," referring to his service in the Korean War. Well, it sure seems like he's had more than a few bad days lately, with the latest batch coming in the last week. The House Ethics Committee declared on Thursday that Rangel had indeed committed transgressions and created a new panel to investigate further. In response, Indiana senate candidate Brad Ellsworth announced he would give to charity all the money he's received from Rangel (some $12K). Rep. Betty Sutton (OH-13) went one further, calling on Rangel to resign. For the record, Rangel disagrees with me, saying: "I'm not in a foxhole, I'm not surrounded by a million Chinese communists coming after me. Life is good. I'm 80 years old. I'm on my way to a parade."
OK-05: SoonerPoll.com has a survey out of the 5th CD Republican field, finding former state Rep. Kevin Calvey increasing his lead from 20 to 28 since the last test in March. Some Dude James Lankford is in second with 20, followed by 15 for state Rep. Mike Thompson, 6 for state Rep. Shane Jett, and a bunch of other Some Dudes bringing up the rear.
PA-15: This is what we call a good get: Bill Clinton will be coming to Salisbury Township for a fundraiser for John Callahan on August 10th. As is so often the case with the Big Dog, this is payback for Callahan's support of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2008.
Willie W. Herenton, the former mayor, is accusing Steve Cohen, the white two-term United States representative, of "trying to act black." He tells voters in this majority-black city that they "need to come off that Cohen plantation and get on the Herenton freedom train."
WI-03: State Sen. Dan Kapanke has an internal out from Public Opinion Strategies (memo here) which shows Dem Rep. Ron Kind up just 44-38.
CT-Sen: Despite having no shortage of cash, the Journal-Inquirer of north-central Connecticut says Paulist freakazoid Peter Schiff might be having trouble petitioning his way on to the ballot. What an ignominious end! Anyhow, we'll know for sure by the end of this week. (Also, see our CT-04 bullet for another Nutmeg state petitioning debacle, only worse.) Meanwhile, Aaron Blake lays out some possible circumstances under which Rob Simmons' zombie campaign might come back to life (though ultimately he thinks reanimation of this particular corpse is unlikely).
WI-Sen: I like what Russ Feingold is doing here: He's putting his opponent, richie rich Ron Johnson, on the defensive by linking Johnson to Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, and charging that he hasn't said whether he supports Social Security, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act. Interestingly (at least according to Politico), Johnson's spokesbot shot back with some pablum - and didn't bother to say whether he does support any of these three pillars of modern society.
ME-Gov: An op-ed by George Smith in the Kennebec Journal suggests that environmental lawyer Eliot Cutler, running as an independent, could win Maine's gubernatorial race. Cutler apparently has personal wealth, and Smith suggests he could split the GOP vote, earning the support of some of its more moderate members while the teabaggers stick with the very conservative Paul LePage. (And remember, Maine's last governor before Dem John Baldacci was also an independent, Angus King.)
SC-Gov: So Politico has a piece claiming that the South Carolina GOP establishment, including the SC Chamber of Commerce, is going all-out to try to stop Nikki Haley from winning the run-off. But CNN notes that former First Lady Jenny Sanford is stumping for Haley, and of course third-place finisher and state AG Henry McMaster endorsed her as well.
AR-01: Dem Chad Causey is "in talks" about an endorsement with Tim Wooldridge, whom Causey beat 51-49 in the runoff.
AZ-08: Remember Randy Graf? If you don't, all you need to know is that he craaazy. He also ran for this seat in 2006 and, after the NRCC abandoned him, got beat badly by now-Rep. Gabby Giffords. Anyhow, he endorsed veteran Jesse Kelly in the GOP primary, who was once touted but then got outshined by the later entrance of state Sen. Jonathan Paton.
CO-04: Man, I bet Cory Gardner really wishes Rep. Steve King would shut up. The other day, Gardner cancelled a fundraiser in Colorado with King after King declared that President Obama "favors the black person." Now King is lambasting Gardner for spurning him - and claiming that Gardner agrees with what he said! Gardner of course disputes King's claims. I don't know if you can properly call this cat fud, but it sure smells like it.
CT-04: This sack is so very, very sad. Republican Tom Herrmann flushed his campaign down the toilet today like your kid's dead goldfish, only there won't be any trips to the pet store to buy a replacement. Turns out Herrmann's campaign engaged in a little bit o' ye olde petition fraud (something we mentioned the other day), meaning he won't have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. I admit that I was initially skeptical of this story, but it turned out that where there was smoke, there was indeed fire.
DE-AL: Republican Kevin Wade dropped out of the race, leaving Michele Rollins and Glen Urquhart to compete in the September primary. Wade endorsed neither, but touted Some Dude Rose Izzo.
LA-02: In a story about state Rep. Cedric Richmond formally kicking off his campaign, there's a throwaway line suggesting that state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson is still considering a run. Carter Peterson (then known only as Karen Carter) lost badly to ex-Rep. Bill Jefferson in a 2006 run-off. She also infamously supported Republican Jim Tucker to be Speaker of the Louisiana House in 2007, over (of all people) Dem Don Cazayoux.
NC-08 (PDF): Damn, I hope PPP is wrong about this. They have Harold Johnson leading beautiful maniac Tim D'Annunzio 49-39 in the runoff (which takes place next week). Surely the Ark of the Covenant can help turn the tide for Timmy D, no?
ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy's team did some nice work in getting a bullshit third-party ad yanked off the air. The spot accused Pomeroy of supporting healthcare taxes which led to lost jobs. The only problem(s): No new healthcare taxes have gone into effect yet, and the jobs in question related to reform of the student loan system, not healthcare. Yeah, whoops is right.
NY-13: Does the name Kieran Lalor ring a bell? He ran against Rep. John Hall in NY-19 in 2008 and got pasted. He's resurfaced of late, but this time, he's attacking a fellow Republican, Michael Allegretti. Lalor claims to represent a group of Iraq veterans, and he's miffed that Allegretti has pictures of himself with members of the military on his website. Lalor's hands are not exactly clean here, as his group's own website has a picture of Allegretti's opponent, Michael Grimm - whom Lalor says his organization will likely endorse.
NY-14: SEIU 32BJ, an important, 70,000-strong building workers union, endorsed Rep. Carolyn Maloney, citing her work in securing $4 billion in federal money for major east side transit projects.
PA-07: What a huge - and unforced - blunder. GOPer Pat Meehan tried to accuse Bryan Lentz of having been involved in the big "bonusgate" scandal (where Dem campaign workers were paid with state money). First problem: He had no such evidence, and the press (to their credit) had no trouble realizing this. Second mistake: He held his press conference in the state capitol - where the state legislature (of which Lentz is a member) is still in session. This meant that Lentz got to watch Meehan's presser in person - and then when Meehan was done and the cameras were still rolling, Lentz strode up to the same podium and delivered a biting rebuttal to Meehan's bullshit. Lentz's impressive political skillz are matched only by Meehan's lack thereof.
VA-05: Is there a word in English which expresses the idea that a debacle for one side is actually a boon for the other? No, it's not schadenfreude, and it's not crisitunity, either. But in any case, this is what seems to be brewing in VA-05, where the second-place finisher in the GO primary, Jim McKelvey, finally announced that he ain't endorsing no one - at least, not yet. We can only hope he'll give his backing to independent teabagger Jeffrey Clark rather than state Sen. Robert Hurt.
NRCC: The NRCC is setting a $20 million goal for its "Battleground" fundraising effort from members of its caucus. In 2008, their goal was $12 million, though it's not clear whether they actually met it. In 2006, they started at $17.5 mil but later bumped it up to $22.5 mil.
• 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.
Note: This digest was written entirely by DavidNYC.
AR-Sen: SEIU has a new ad out hitting Lincoln for her TARP vote and for her disloyalty during the health care debate. Props to CQ's Matthew Murray for trying to nail down the size of the buy from SEIU, which would only say that the run is "comprehensive." SEIU has gone pretty large in this race from day one, so they probably aren't going cheap on us now.
CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, in a move which will no doubt endear her to the teabaggers but embarrass her in the eyes of the state of California, has taken to decrying concerns about climate change as "worrying about the weather" in a new ad.
CO-Sen: I Do. Not. Care. about this stupid non-story. Why are journalists so damn breathless about crap like this? It's like they've never heard of politics.
NV-Sen: According to an analysis by the WaPo, Chicken Lady may have spent $100K on her primary out of funds that were designated for the general election only. Lowden bought $220K worth of ad time, but had only about $100K of primary money (mostly a loan from herself) on hand, so that extra hundred grand had to come from somewhere. God, you know, I just can't decide whom I'd rather face more: this crazy lady, or the other crazy lady. Harry Reid, you are one lucky dude. Just pray Danny Tarkanian doesn't pull an Alice Kryzan/Creigh Deeds.
NV-Gov: A district court judge enjoined a shadowy conservative group, Alliance for America's Future, from running ads until it registers with the Secretary of State, saying that voters have the right to know who is behind political advertising. The group, which has ties to Dick Cheney, had planned to spend $250K on behalf of GOPer Brian Sandoval.
AR-02: In the AR-02 runoff, state House Speaker Robbie Wills, a white male, has been arguing that he's "more electable" than state Senate Majority Leader Joyce Elliott, who is black and a woman. The chair of the Arkansas NAACP sees that a "code word for racism." Wills responded by saying that Elliott has "extreme views" which are out of step with the district. I hope this primary doesn't get much uglier, because words like that will be used by Republicans against whomever our nominee is.
CA-19: Dick Pombo is trying to win a GOP primary by reminding voters that he's a longtime creature of Washington, DC. No wonder he lost.
ID-01: Dear Vaughn Ward: socks before shoes. Also, hire publicists to get your side of the story out before election day, not after. Actually, no - we love you, don't change a thing!
MI-08: This is unfortunate. Kande Ngalamulume, the only Democrat running against GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, is dropping out of the race, just three weeks after formally announcing his candidacy. Though Ngalamulume hadn't filed any FEC reports, Obama actually won this district 53-46 (a major swing from Bush's 54-45 win over Kerry), and even being able to pin Rogers down just a bit would have been helpful. Michigan's filing deadline was May 11th, and I'm not sure if local Dems can nominate a replacement.
NH-02: Some Teabagger Andrew Hemingway says he won't get into the GOP primary in NH-02. Meh.
NY-13: It's always confusing in NY-13, but here's the deal: The state Conservative Party has given its backing to GOPer Michael Grimm, who was also endorsed by the Brooklyn wing of the party - even though the Staten Island Cons recently got behind Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. (Party chair Mike Long wasn't going to let McMahon get their nod, though.) To make things even more complicated, the SI Republican Party endorsed Grimm's primary opponent, Michael Allegretti, as we mentioned last week, and the Brooklyn GOP did as well the week before. But Grimm has at least one big player on his side: Rudy Giuliani, who did a fundraiser for him earlier this week. Anyhow, I'm sure you can sniff the cat fud: Grimm has already locked up the Conservative line, but Allegretti could definitely win the Republican primary. There's already a lot of bad blood between the two Republican Mikes, which means we could see something of an NY-23 redux here.
NY-18: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS squeezed in a fundraiser yesterday for... Nita Lowey? She has over $1.1 million on hand, and I'm not aware of any meaningful Republican challenger in this race. (Obama/Kerry: 62/58.) So what gives?
OK-02: This is interesting: Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson says he's going to launch a primary challenge to conservative Rep. Dan Boren. Wilson specifically cited Boren's opposition to the healthcare reform bill in launching his campaign. The primary here is pretty soon, July 27th, though there's also a run-off on August 24th. However, as of now, there are only two candidates in the race.
TN-08: The internal warfare continues in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner. Though the NRCC is still touting agribusiness kingpin Stephen Fincher, ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is doing a fundraiser for Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn. An establishment divided against itself... yields to a teabagger?
WI-07: Hah! We mentioned the other day that establishment efforts to clear the primary field for Dem Julie Lassa hit a snag when Some Dude Joe Reasbeck said he was going to run. Well, turns out he's run for office before: as a write-in (wait, there's more) in Texas (heh, there's still more) as a Republican (not done yet), earning 89 votes. Hold on, hold on - more! Who was he running against? Well, only the most famous write-in candidate of all time, Snelly Gibbr! Shit like this is why I love politics.
AK-Sen: It looks like Democrats will have a warm body to challenge frosh GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski this year. The Alaska Democratic Party is touting Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams as their man, and he says that he'll make an announcement about the race on June 1.
AR-Sen: The SEIU is spending $307,000 on their latest ad buy for Bill Halter, bringing their total investment in this race close to $2.5 million. That's some serious pie.
CT-Sen: Last week, Joe Lieberman said he was undecided on whom to support in the race between Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon. This week, Lieberman is still saying that he's "not eliminating [a McMahon endorsement] as a possibility." What a major league asshole.
FL-Sem: This is both amusing and rather extraordinary. Libertarian Party candidate Alexander Snitker released an internal poll conducted by Telsel Inc. showing Charlie Crist at 40%, Marco Rubio at 34%, Kendrick Meek at 10%, and Snitker at a whopping 2.5%. I'm not sure what's more remarkable: the fact that this guy paid for a poll, or the fact that he's touting its results as proof that he can win.
MO-Sen: Because it's never too early to start planning for 2012, ex-Sen. Jim Talent says that he's mulling over a rematch with Democrat Claire McCaskill, and will make a decision early next cycle.
NV-Sen: We had heard of the Dump Reid PAC before, but I didn't realize that their name was an acronym. Yes, their formal title is actually "Decidedly Unhappy Mainstream Patriots Rejecting Evil-Mongering Incompetent Democrats". Anyway, those bozos have spent $30,000 against Harry Reid, mostly on direct mail.
AL-07: EMILY's List has now spent $110,000 on the candidacy of former Wall Street securities attorney Terri Sewell, most of that on direct mail. My one-word editorial: Yeesh.
AR-03: Wilson Research Strategies (5/19-20, likely voters):
CT-04: It looks like the GOP primary to take on Jim Himes will be a four-way. State Sen. Dan Debicella, businessman Robert Merkle, and Easton First Selectman Thomas Herrmann will be joined on the ballot by Paulist businessman Rick Torres, who says that he's collected the required amount of signatures to land on the ballot. Torres also announced a cross-endorsement of fellow weirdo Peter Schiff, who's waging an uphill campaign for the Republican Senate nomination. Torres says that his campaign will help Schiff collect signatures in the coming days.
IN-03: Republicans now have more than ten dudes running for the seat of disgraced ex-Rep. Mark Souder, the latest entrant being state Rep. Wes Culver.
NY-13: After being rebuffed by disgraced ex-Rep. Vito Fossella, the Staten Island GOP formally nominated lawyer Michael Allegretti to take on Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. In advance of the committee's vote, Allegretti's primary opponent, former FBI agent Michael Grimm, wrote a blistering letter to the borough party, calling their Fossella shenanigans "dysfunctional" and their endorsement a "sham". Grimm is vowing to soldier on to the primary. Meanwhile, McMahon picked up the endorsement of the Staten Island Conservative Party this week.
SC-03: I don't have a dog in this race, but a good rule of thumb when it comes to contested GOP primaries is to root against whatever nutcase the Club for Growth has endorsed. That said, the Clubbers are spending $110K on a media buy in support of real estate broker and auctioneer Jeff Duncan in the open seat race to replace GOP Rep. Gresham Barrett. Write that one down on your scorecard!
TN-08: And speaking of "independent" expenditures, it's been mentioned several times in the digest that Robert Kirkland has been filing independent expenditures on behalf of his brother, physician Ron Kirkland, who's locked in a Republican primary battle with agribsuiness kingpin/humble gospel singer Stephen Fincher to replace retiring Dem Rep. John Tanner. For those keeping score, Rob has now spent a quarter of a million bucks on the race in a show of brotherly love.