AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln's closing ad for her campaign is really, really sad-sack. "I know you're angry at Washington - believe me, I heard you on May 18" and "I'd rather lose this election fighting for what's right than win by turning my back on Arkansas." Gawd.
CT-Sen: Dick Blumenthal is out with his first TV ads of the cycle, featuring people he helped in his capacity as attorney general. You'll need to click over to his site to watch them. No word on the size of the buy (grrr).
FL-Sen: Boy, Joe Trippi sure has shacked up with one serious shitball. Jeff Greene, who spent his entire adult life registered either as "no party" or a Republican, donated five grand to Meg fucking Whitman's gubernatorial campaign just last year. Lately he's given a bunch of money to Dems, but jeez - to Whitman, of all people? Oh, and he also gave money to Pete Wilson back in 1988. That should help him with the Hispanic vote.
IL-Sen: Where to start with Mark Kirk? How about this: Liberal blogger Nitpicker first nailed Mark Kirk for misleading people about his military service record all the way back in 2005 (while chasing down a bullshit attack on Paul Hackett, interestingly enough). TPM also lists many more occasions where Mark Kirk did his best to make it appear he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (he did not). Meanwhile, Bloomberg has another video of Kirk claiming to have won the Intelligence Officer of the Year award (he did not). And last but not least, the Navy itself is saying it alerted Kirk to the fact that the media was inquiring about the award story. Ouch.
KS-Sen: State Sen. David Haley officially kicked off his campaign to succeed Sam Brownback yesterday. Haley lost a bid for Secretary of State in 2006. He joins former newspaper editor Charles Schollenberger and academic administrator Lisa Johnston in the Democratic primary.
KY-Sen: Libertarian purity trolls in Kentucky have decided not to field a candidate to express their unhappiness with Rand Paul... mostly because they don't have, you know, a candidate. Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans are pretty pissed themselves. The GOP-led state Senate adopted a resolution on a voice vote expressing support for the Civil Rights Act, and criticizing those (like a certain nameless senate nominee) as "outside the mainstream of American values" and part of an "extreme minority of persons in the United States" for their opposition to the law. Double ouch.
NY-Sen: Will it blend? The answer is always yes, whether you're talking about a blender from Blendtec or a Schumer from Flatbush. The NY GOP nominated former CIA officer Gary Bernsten, who vowed, a little too Jack Bauer-like, to "pursue Sen. Schumer in every town, on every street and every village." Political consultant Jay Townsend, who may be in this just to sell more DVDs on how to run campaigns, will also be on the primary ballot - as will anyone insane enough to try to petition his or her way on. Whoever the lucky winner is, they'll have to face the implacable Schumer whirling blades of death in November.
KS-Gov: Sen. Sam Brownback, running for governor, picked state Sen. Jeff Colyer has his running-mate. Colyer is also a plastic surgeon whose Google results lead with the fact that he performs breast augmentations.
NV-Gov: Jon Ralston points out that Rory Reid has $2.6 million in cash-on-hand, while likely Republican opponent Brian Sandoval has just $575K. Sandoval has had to fight a primary battle against incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons, while Reid's had the nomination to himself.
AR-03: Steve Womack has finally picked up an endorsement from one of the people he beat in the first round in AR-03, businessman Kurt Maddox. His opponent in the runoff, Cecile Bledsoe, has scored the support of also-rans Steve Lowry, Doug Matayo, and, of course, Gunner DeLay.
CO-07: Navy vet Lang Sias doesn't live in the 7th CD, and he also hasn't done something else there or anywhere else for the last decade: vote. In fact, the former Democrat (who donated to Mark Udall in 2002) didn't even manage to vote for John McCain when he was volunteering for his campaign two years ago. Sias is fighting for the GOP nod against Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, who is whomping him in the cash department.
GA-07: GOP State Rep. Clay Cox is the first candidate on the air in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Linder. Amusingly enough, Cox's ad features his support for the "Fair Tax" - one of the key issues which sunk Tim Burns in PA-12. Obviously it's a different district, but I'll be curious to see if it flies in a Republican primary. Anyhow, no word on the size of the buy (of course). (Also, is it just me, or does the part of the ad in front of the heavy vehicles look greenscreened?)
NY-03: Howard Kudler, a Nassau County teacher, will likely run against Rep. Peter King, says Newsday. Kudler challenged GOP Assemblyman David McDonough in 2008, losing 62-38.
NY-19: Biden alert! The VPOTUS was seen yesterday doing a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Bedford, NY. No word on the haul, though the event was described as "small." In the evening, the elder Biden also did an event in NYC for his son Beau's DE-AG re-election campaign.
Polling: Mark Blumenthal tries to pin Scott Rasmussen down on why his firm hasn't been polling key primaries closer to the actual elections. When confronted with evidence that his patterns this cycle have changed from the last, Ras says that general elections and presidential primaries are "different" from regular primaries. He also claims that the AR-Sen race is only "of intense interest to some on the political left," which doesn't exactly gibe with reality, given how much ink has been spilled on this contest by the tradmed. Meanwhile, speaking of questionable polling, Nate Silver takes a look at Internet-based pollsters. While Zogby of course is the suck, Silver thinks that Harris Interactive and YouGov "are capable of producing decent results."
Passings: Former North Dakota Gov. Art Link passed away at the age of 96. He served two terms in the 70s, losing a bid for a third term to Republican Allen Olson in 1980.
Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
• Redistricting Contest: A reminder - if you haven't sent in your .DRF.XML file to Jeff, please do so ASAP - jeffmd [at] swingstateproject [dot] com. Please be sure to include your SSP username and a link to your diary. Thanks! (D)
• AR-Sen: Alleged United States Senator Blanche Lincoln is whinging that actually doing her job in December cost her $300,000 in fundraising receipts. This is probably her way of saying her numbers will be lighter than expected this quarter. Why on earth would you go public with this, though? This is not exactly the kind of message you want to communicate to the public - or your opponents. (D)
• CA-Sen: A lot of Republicans seemed dismayed by Carla Fiorina's suggestions a few months ago that she wasn't going to be dipping into her personal money in order to fund her Senate bid - I mean, that was the whole point of her running, wasn't it? At any rate, she's just reversed course, with her latest finance report, which reveals that she loaned her campaign $2.5 million. Having burned through most of her outside donations, that leaves her with $2.7 million on hand.
• FL-Sen, FL-Gov: Charlie Crist's message discipline seems to be gotten completely unglued, as he searches for the just-right pitch that's moderate enough and yet conservative enough. Today, he's acknowledging support for the stimulus package and "being nice" to Barack Obama, and not apologizing for either one. Meanwhile, there's still that persistent rumor out there involving Crist bailing on the Senate race and going back to another term as Governor. That's not happening if GOP AG Bill McCollum has anything to say about it; he says he won't stand down for Crist.
• MA-Sen: Everyone's still milling around waiting for that rumored close Boston Herald poll, but in the meantime, a new Democratic internal poll floated to the surface this morning, and it seems to give some credence to that Boston Globe/UNH poll that gave a solid 15-point margin to Democratic AG Martha Coakley. The internal, conducted by Mark Mellman's firm, gives Coakley a 50-36 lead over Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, with Libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation to the Kennedy clan) pulling in a surprisingly-high 6 (which may be coming out of Brown's share). If Brown has internals showing the race a dead heat like he claims, now would be the time for him to lay them on the table. Also today comes word that Barack Obama has no plans to campaign for Coakley, although I don't know whether to interpret that as a sign of Democratic confidence, or of Obama not wanting to risk political capital on something that's less than a slam dunk.
• ND-Sen: Gov. John Hoeven had said he needed a few weeks to get some stuff out of the way before saying anything official about the Senate race, but it looks like the stuff was more easily cleared away than anticipated: he's now expected to announce his candidacy at an appearance at a GOP district convention in Bismarck tonight.
• NY-Sen-B: Republican Rep. Peter King announced, for something like the third or fourth time, that he is no longer considering running for the Senate, and instead will run for another term in NY-03. Stay tuned for next month, when King will at some point remember that he hasn't been on cable news for a while and will reveal that he's considering a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, the political establishment is continuing to take seriously the possibility of a Harold Ford Jr. primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand, going all the way up to the White House, which today confirmed that it will back Gillibrand over Ford. Ford, meanwhile, is doing some serious remodeling of his image to better comport with New York codes: he's now done a complete 180 on gay marriage, which he's now for, and on abortion, where he claims that when he said he was pro-life, it was to "take back" the term from its right-wing appropriators. Finally, the Republicans will have to look elsewhere than ex-Rep. Susan Molinari for their nominee; after a brief flirtation, Molinari (who's making big money consulting and probably doesn't want the pay cut) just declined.
• UT-Sen: This should come as no surprise, but the NRSC, tasked with defending incumbents, confirmed that it's supporting Bob Bennett in his re-election bid against several right-wing primary challengers. The Club for Growth has painted a bullseye on Bennett's back, although they haven't settled on which challenger to support.
• CO-Gov: Denver mayor John Hickenlooper hasn't leaped as quickly into the Governor's race (following the withdrawal of Bill Ritter and demurral of Ken Salazar) as many had expected; he's saying he'll make a decision within the next five days, so stay tuned. Former House speaker Andrew Romanoff, currently an invisible presence in the Senate primary, has also been consulting with Democratic officials about getting in, although it sounds like he'd do so only if Hickenlooper didn't. Another rumor getting bandied about: Romanoff joining forces and running as Hickenlooper's Lt. Gov. candidate; at any rate, it sounds like Romanoff is looking for an exit from the Senate race. Hickenlooper's decision may get helped along by a certain Barack Obama, who apparently called Hickenlooper to encourage him to get into the race (Hickenlooper says that doesn't change his decision, though).
• KS-Gov: Kansas Democrats are getting way, way down the totem pole as they look for a gubernatorial candidate, with Tom Wiggans' recent withdrawal. Board of Regents chair Jill Docking, whose name frequently appears as Democrats' Plan B in a variety of races, said she won't run, and now the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Lawrence-area state Sen. Marci Francisco. (H/t Campaign Diaries.)
• MA-Gov: The Boston Globe/UNH poll of the Senate race also asked about 2010's gubernatorial race, and it's more confirmation for the apparent trend that Dem incumbent Deval Patrick seems bolstered by the presence of state Treasurer Tim Cahill's independent bid (despite Patrick's 39/50 favorables and Cahill's 39/15). Rather than Cahill dominating the middle, as he may have expected, instead he just winds up splitting the anti-Patrick vote, leaving the race's GOPers a distant third. A Patrick/Cahill/Charlie Baker ballot plays out 30-23-19, while Patrick/Cahill/Christy Mihos is a similar 32-23-19.
• CA-11: The GOP hasn't quite found a top-tier candidate to take on Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, the only Golden State Dem who's even remotely vulnerable. But they might get something of an upgrade with the newly-announced candidacy of David Harmer, the Republican attorney who acquitted himself fairly well in the special election last year in much bluer CA-10. He can bring residual name rec and fundraising connections to the race, and one of the race's lesser lights, former San Jose city councilor Larry Pegram, is already moving to get out of the race. Still, Harmer doesn't live in the district, and he exposes himself to the same carpetbagging charges he brought to his race against John Garamendi in the 10th.
• CA-19: Kevin McCarthy looks a little flaky after this whole incident: it was reported last Friday that the Bakersfield-area Republican was sticking with his earlier endorsement of state Sen. Jeff Denham in the 19th while admitting a bit of a man-crush on ex-Rep. Richard Pombo. But now the Fresno Bee is reporting that McCarthy has gone all the way, spurned Denham, and is now endorsing Pombo.
• HI-01: The local political establishment weighed in heavily on the side of state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa in the upcoming special election to replace resigning Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The decision of Sen. Daniel Akaka to endorse Hanabusa over his nemesis Ed Case should be no surprise, but this was accompanied by endorsements from the state's other Senator, Daniel Inouye, and a variety of labor leaders as well. Case does have one endorsement which he's touting in ads, though, from ex-Governor Ben Cayetano.
• NY-23: Doug Hoffman won't have the GOP primary field to himself in the 23rd after all. He'll face a fight with a fellow conservative, albeit more of a team player: Assemblyman Will Barclay, who passed on a run in the special election in the 23rd, says he's begun exploring the general election race.
• OK-02: Rep. Dan Boren can always be counted on to say something douchey, and today's no exception. He tells the Tulsa World (in an article titled "Boren: Democrats May Lose Congress") that Dems are likely to lose seats in Congress, and that's good news for Oklahoma and especially for him personally. ""In the 112th (Congress), I probably will have the most influence I have ever had, no matter who has the majority," he says.
• TN-08: It remains to be seen how much of an impact this will have on the race to succeed retiring Dem Rep. John Tanner, but the Republican primary just shrunk by one: computer consultant Donn Janes has announced that he's going to run instead as a Tea Party-aligned independent. (J)
• Mayors: That Rahm Emanuel-running-for-Chicago-mayor thing seemed to last a whole couple days. Emanuel yesterday praised Richard Daley and backed him for another term starting in 2011.
• Florida: For all the general black clouds hanging over the Democrats regarding 2010, there's always a lot of nuts-and-bolts numbers that somehow still look favorable, such as party committee fundraising and registration numbers. In Florida, both are actually advantage Team Blue, as the state Democratic party is sitting on $2.6 million cash on hand, $1 million more than state Republicans. Democrats have also built up their registration advantage over Republicans in Florida, to a margin of more than 800,000.
• Tea Partiers: TPM has an interesting look at the civil war growing within the Tea Party movement, a microcosm of the larger civil war within the Republican party. Front and center today is the big teabaggers' convention in Nashville (with Sarah Palin as keynoter), which is too expensive for many of the teabagging rank and file to attend, leading some to question whether there's a usurpation of the movement by the Republicans' Beltway professional class. Meanwhile, Think Progress has some new additions to its ongoing compendium of teabagger primary challenges to establishment GOPers.
Here's my contest entry, creating a 27-1 redistricted map for the State of New York.
I had several goals in mind, most lining up with the contest rules anyway.
Here were some of my guiding principles:
* Keep incumbents' homes in their current districts where possible.
* Pay special attention to good Democrats in bad or mediocre districts.
* Don't get greedy and gamble too much; don't repeat the mistakes the GOP made in Pennsylvania and Ohio 10 years ago and turn safe districts into vulnerable ones.
* Comply with all VRA mandates, but don't overpack minority-majority districts.
I didn't, in most cases, pay a lot of attention to keeping counties together. I kept most cities, other than NYC obviously, in one district most of the time. (I think whoever posted that comment in someone else's contest entry that Staten Islanders would be angry at whoever approved a plan to split Staten Island was dead on.)
I tried to stay away from ridiculous gerrymanders for the most part, but had to succumb in a few instances. With the exception of placing Rikers Island (accessible by bridge from Queens but not the Bronx, even though it is considered part of Bronx County) in the Bronx-based NY-16 I did not create any district whose parts whose only contiguity was open non-bridged/tunneled water.
You may recall that, back in August, GOP Rep. Pete King made one of the mopiest exits from Senatorial consideration in recent memory, kvetching that Gov. David Paterson's decision to tap Kirsten Gillibrand instead of Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat robbed him of the opportunity to enter a competitive race. Well, it looks like King, at the urging of Rudy Giuliani, may be having second thoughts:
While Mr. Giuliani mentioned Mr. Pataki and Representative Peter T. King of Long Island as potential challengers to Ms. Gillibrand, those who know Mr. Pataki say the odds of his running are remote. (Efforts to reach Mr. Pataki through a spokesman on Tuesday were unsuccessful.)
Mr. King ruled out a race against Ms. Gillibrand in August, but said in an interview on Tuesday that he would give it a second thought, at the urging of party strategists. A run would mean giving up his House seat and his spot as ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, and winning would leave him facing re-election in 2012.
Who knows how seriously King is taking this -- if he wants to run, he wasted a hell of a lot of fundraising time in dithering for so long while the industrious Gillibrand has been flooding her coffers. The GOP can't seem to come to terms with letting this race slip away, but they have nothing substantive to show for this race 11 months after Gillibrand's appointment.
UPDATE: King tells Politico that it's unlikely that he'll run, with the chances that he'll take the plunge on a scale of 1-to-10 being a "three".
"I'm not trying to kid anyone," King said in a prepared statement. "I wanted to be able to run for the Senate." [...]
"The reality is that a statewide Democratic candidate starts the race with a voter registration edge of almost 3 million. To overcome such a large margin, there would have to be intensive media coverage of the race and I would need to raise at least $30 million."
"That is why I would have run if Caroline Kennedy were the Democratic candidate. Her candidacy would have generated the media coverage and financial contributions necessary for me to run a competitive race. That's all I would have hoped for. Once the race became competitive, it would have been up to me to win it by contrasting my blue collar conservatism with her Manhattan liberalism."
"That race was not to be. Senator Gillibrand generates neither strong support nor opposition. This makes it virtually impossible for me to raise the campaign funds I would need to overcome the built-in Democratic registration advantage and the countless millions of dollars which the Democrats will make available to Senator Gillibrand."
While this is hardly a surprise at all, I can't think of a more mopey, sorry-for-yourself press release in recent history. Good grief.
• MN-Sen: Our long national nightmare is finally over: Senator Al Franken was sworn in today, without any weird last minute gambits by Norm Coleman. Harry Reid announced he'll be on the HELP, Judiciary, Aging, and Indian Affairs Committees.
• KY-Sen: Jim Bunning, via his regular teleconference with reporters, reminds us that he's still running for Senate. Bunning also thinks that he won't outraise SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $600,000 in the 2nd quarter) for the quarter, but it doesn't matter because Grayson won't stay in the race if Bunning stays in too.
• OR-Gov: Here's a surprise: Democratic rising star state Rep. Brian Clem suddenly made his presence known in the Oregon governor's race, launching an exploratory committee and filling up his coffers with a $500,000 loan from his mother-in-law. The 37-year-old Clem, who has represented part of Salem since 2006, implied that he wouldn't pull the trigger on a run, though, if former Gov. John Kitzhaber got into the race.
• SC-Gov: Mark Sanford may get to keep his job after all (thanks in part to Sarah Palin creating a distraction). The state GOP voted yesterday to censure Sanford over his doomed tango, rather than call for his resignation.
• HI-01: Roll Call takes a quick look at who might run for the seat being left behind by Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Top of the list is Ed Case, a Blue Dog who used to represent HI-02 but gave up his seat for an ill-fated primary run against Sen. Dan Akaka and pissed off a lot of the Democratic base along the way. They also cite state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, former state House majority leader Kirk Caldwell, state Democratic Party chair Brian Schatz, and also Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who's currently exploring the governor's race but conceivably could switch races if he doesn't get any traction in the primary against Abercrombie. Also, we can't rule out Republican Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou, who seems well-thought-of but faces a steep climb given the state's lean.
• IL-07: CQ provides a similar laundry list of potential candidates in IL-07, assuming Rep. Danny Davis leaves an open seat to run for President of the Cook County Board instead. Davis's former Chief of Staff Richard Boykin tops the list, but there's also state Reps. LaShawn Ford and Karen Yarbrough, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, and Aldermen Dorothy Tillman and Ed Smith. (No mention of any Republicans here, unsurprising since it's D+35.)
• NY-03: Here are some folks who'd especially like Rep. Peter King to Beat It, following his Off the Wall remarks disparaging the nonstop coverage of Michael Jackson. They've started "Michael Jackson Fans Against Peter King" on ActBlue and have already raised several thousand dollars for whoever steps up to run in the 3rd.
• NY-14: With Rep. Carolyn Maloney looking more likely to follow through on her Senate primary challenge, state Sen. Liz Krueger, whose turf closely overlaps the 14th, has been getting a lot of encouragement to run for the open seat. Krueger sounds politely interested, saying "I've never been in Congress so I don't know if it's less frustrating. But I suspect pretty much any job in the United States of America would be less frustrating than Albany in the last three weeks."
• NY-23: A potentially strong candidate for the GOP nomination in the upcoming NY-23 special election has taken himself out of consideration: Assemblyman Will Barclay. Unfortunately for us, this may make the primary path easier for moderate GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who would be a tougher general election foe; the more conservative Barclay, remember, was the loser of the state Senate special election to Darrel Aubertine last year. Two other minor GOPers added their names to the list as well: YMCA director Andrew Bisselle and businessman Bart Bonner.
• OH-15: His candidacy was already well in the works, but GOP former state Senator Steve Stivers made it official today that he's seeking a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who barely won the open seat in 2008. Stivers may have an opening in 2010 if there's less Obama-driven college turnout in this district dominated by Ohio St., and no pro-life independent candidate siphoning votes from his right flank.
• TN-09: Burned-out Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton seems to have a pattern and practice of delaying his planned resignations whenever things don't quite go right for him. Herenton, who'd planned to resign in order to devote himself full-time to his primary challenge to Rep. Steve Cohen, pushed back his resignation date (planned for July 11) to July 30, citing some unfinished items of business.
• House: The Hill throws together an interesting catch-all of ten "dark horse" House races, one of which is already threatening to be top tier (TX-10), one of which features an intriguing Dem primary (FL-02), and some of which are interesting because of changing demographics (TX-32) or changing political tides (all three Dem seats in Arkansas).
• DGA/RGA: In keeping with the sense that the real battlegrounds in 2010 are going to be the gubernatorial races, the DGA and RGA are both raising like gangbusters. The DGA raised $11.6 million in the first half of the year, a record for them, but the RGA nosed ahead of them, raising $12.2 million.
• Census: A coalition of Colorado local governments joins New York's legislature in laying out its own funds to help assist the Census Bureau in putting together an accurate count by reducing undercounting. While Colorado isn't likely to gain or lose a House seat in 2010, it's still important in terms of securing federal funds, and with much of the state's growth coming among Latinos, the risk of undercounting is high.
• Campaign Finance: Florida's Republican SoS, Kurt Browning, has decided not to appeal a federal court's ruling that found a state law regulating 527s was unconstitutional. With major implications for the Florida governor's race, now 527s can operate without disclosure requirements on who they are and who funds them. (Florida has strict $500 limits on individual contributions, so 527s are especially important there.)
• Trivia: Wondering who the last Governor to resign in mid-term to focus on a presidential run was? New York's Nelson Rockefeller, in 1973. He never made it to the presidential run, although he did wind up briefly serving as Gerald Ford's fill-in vice-president.
• DSCC: Friend of SSP and once-and-future DKos editor Arjun Jaikumar (f/k/a brownsox) is not just the DSCC's new media guru - he's also up for The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful in DC. Vote for the good-looking bastard by sending an email. (D)
• IL-Sen: Here's a fairly big-name entrant to the Illinois Senate: Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, who just formed an exploratory committee. Jackson had occasionally been rumored to be interested (to the extent that Jan Schakowksy's internal poll included her, where she got 17% when explicitly substituted for Burris) but hadn't taken concrete steps. Jackson has two demographic positives: with Schakowsky out, she'd be the only female in the race (unless, of course, Lisa Madigan gets in, in which case the game would be over anyway), and she'd be the only African-American in the race who isn't Roland Burris. However, she used to be Rod Blagojevich's press secretary prior to taking over at the Urban League, so the Blago stench may be hard to wash off.
• ND-Sen: All had seemed quiet on the midwestern front, especially after that R2K poll that showed him getting flattened by Byron Dorgan (57-35), but Gov. John Hoeven recently showed at least a peep of interest in running for Senate after all... even if it was just a statement that he was still making up his mind and would decide by September. GOP state chair Randy Emineth said that Hoeven "wants to" run against Dorgan, but we'll need to actually hear from Hoeven.
• NH-Sen: The swabbies at ARG! pointed their spyglasses toward the 2010 open Senate seat in New Hampshire, and find that Rep. Paul Hodes would defeat ex-Sen. John Sununu 40-36. No numbers for the much-hyped AG Kelly Ayotte.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: In the face of relentless wooing from GOP Senators, Rep. Dean Heller has set a deadline of June 30 to make up his mind about whether he runs for Harry Reid's Senate seat. (Wait a minute... that's today!) Heller's other options include staying in NV-02 or running a primary challenge in the governor's race -- where the younger Reid (Rory, the Clark County Commission chair) seems to be staffing up for the race on the Dem side.
• PA-Sen: Joe Torsella, who briefly was running against post-party-switch Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary before dropping out, has endorsed Specter. Not surprising, since Torsella is a big ally of Gov. Ed Rendell, who has pledged his support to Specter.
• CT-Gov: More indications that Ned Lamont is getting serious about running for Governor (probably against incumbent Jodi Rell) in 2010. Lamont is looking at an early-2010 deadline for deciding, but can get away with a shorter timeframe as he can self-fund and won't need a long ramp-up for fundraising.
• NJ-Gov (pdf): PPP takes their turn at polling the New Jersey Governor's race and find about what everyone else has been finding: Chris Christie leads incumbent Jon Corzine 51-41, with Christie benefiting from a 60-26 lead among independent voters. Good news, relatively speaking, for Corzine, though, is that Christie's negatives are rising quickly as he's starting to get defined in the media, up to 43% favorable and 33% unfavorable.
• SC-Gov: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has publicly floated the idea that he would stand down from running in 2010 if he got to be Governor now, if Mark Sanford would just go ahead and resign (please?). His potential 2010 rivals are looking at this as statesman-like grandstanding, especially since it looks like Sanford is digging in.
• AK-AL: In case there was any doubt, the indestructible Rep. Don Young has announced that he's running for re-election. Young is 76 and in perpetual danger of indictment, but with the state's political talent gravitating toward the Governor's race, may have an easier path in 2010 than in 2008.
• CA-36: Los Angeles City Councilor Janice Hahn has been telling supporters that she's interested in running for Rep. Jane Harman's seat. She doesn't seem to be thinking primary, though; Hahn, for some reason, believes Harman (still under a bit of a cloud from the wiretap incident) is up for appointment to something, maybe Ambassador to Israel, in the Obama administration.
• FL-12: State Sen. Paula Dockery made clear that she won't be running in the 12th; she endorsed former State Rep. Dennis Ross for the job. She seemed to leave the door open to the Governor's race, saying in her statement that "my passion for public policy is in state government."
• IL-07: With Rep. Danny Davis looking to move over to the Presidency of the Cook County Board, Chicago-area Dems are already eyeing the super-safe open seat. Davis's former chief of staff Richard Boykin (now a lobbyist for Cook County) seems to be the first to make his interest publicly known.
• NH-01 (pdf): Manchester mayor (and NH-01 candidate) Frank Guinta is due for the Bad Samaritan Award, as he watched several of his friends (an alderman and a state Representative) beat up another acquaintance in a barroom brawl, ending with the man's leg being broken in seven places, and then immediately left the scene without reporting it to the police. Guinta said he was unaware of the extent of the man's injuries and contacted police at that point. No charges have been filed in the incident; still, not the kind of free publicity a political candidate likes to get.
• NY-03, NY-Sen-B: Rep. Peter King is sounding even iffier than before about running for Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand, having scored a desired slot on the Intelligence Committee.
• NY-23: Investment banker Matthew Doheny anted up with a lot of cash to jump into the Republican side of the race to replace Rep. John McHugh: $500,000 of his own money. Roll Call reports that he'll need the ostentatious display of cash to get anywhere in the candidate-picking process, as Assemblypersons Dede Scozzafava and Will Barclay are both reaching out behind the scenes to party leaders.
• Redistricting: Regardless of what nonsense happens in the New York Senate this session, it's looking more and more like the GOP's toehold on legislative power will be vanquished in post-2010 redistricting, regardless of who controls the legislative redistricting process. Because of growth in the city and declines upstate, 1.2 seats will need to be shifted from downstate to NYC (and, as an added bonus, an extra one-sixth of a seat will shift to the city if the Census Bureau goes ahead and starts counting prisoners according to where they're actually from rather than where they're incarcerated).
• Fusion Voting: Here's one way in which Oregon suddenly became a lot more like New York: the state legislature decided to allow "fusion voting," in which a candidate can run on multiple party lines on one ballot. This will be a boost to minor parties in Oregon, by letting them form coalitions with the major parties instead of simply playing spoiler.
• Fundraising: It's June 30, and you know what that means... it's the end of the 2nd fundraising quarter. If you want to give some momentum to your favored candidates, today's the last day to do it.
• CT-Sen: Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons needs to look like one of those allegedly-not-quite-extinct moderate New England Republicans in order to get elected in Connecticut, but he's not doing himself any favors by appearing with Newt Gingrich at the annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. With a large Puerto Rican population in Connecticut, Simmons probably doesn't want to be anywhere near Sonia Sotomayor's loudest and most toxic critic. Another problem for Simmons: businessman Tom Foley, the former ambassador to Ireland, made his official entry into the GOP primary field today. Foley, unlike Simmons, has deep pockets he can self-fund with.
• MN-Sen: Sources close to Norm Coleman are suggesting he won't appeal at the federal level if he loses his case with the Minnesota Supreme Court. Republicans still publicly say they'll try to stop any Dem efforts to seat Al Franken until Coleman has conceded or exhausted his appeals. John Cornyn has sent some mixed signals, though, saying it's "entirely" Coleman's decision whether to keep fighting and that he's "amazed that Sen. Coleman's been willing to persevere as long as he has."
• NV-Sen: Wondering why the GOP is having a hard time attracting a challenger to supposedly-vulnerable Harry Reid? Maybe it's because of his deep levels of support among much of the state's Republican establishment. The Reid camp released a list of 60 GOP endorsers, including, most prominently, soon-to-be-ex-First Lady (and former NV-02 candidate) Dawn Gibbons, Reno mayor Bob Cashell, and, in a move guaranteed to nail down the key 18-29 demographic, Wayne Newton.
• NH-Sen: Could it be that the NRSC could actually be stuck running Ovide Lamontagne against Rep. Paul Hodes? Just the very fact that the NRSC is talking to Lamontagne (a businessman whose one claim to fame is losing the 1996 governor's race to Jeanne Shaheen) with an apparently straight face should be a red flag that their top-tier possibilities (ex-Sen. John Sununu, ex-Rep. Charlie Bass) aren't looking likely.
• NY-Sen-B: Joe Biden reportedly had a sit-down earlier this week with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who may or may not be running in the Senate primary against Kirsten Gillibrand. Presumably the meeting would contain some of the same content as Barack Obama's now-famous phone call to Rep. Steve Israel.
• OH-Sen: If a candidate falls in the woods with no one around, does he make a sound? State Rep. Tyrone Yates has been exploring the Senate race for several months, and apparently found nothing that would help him overcome Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and SoS Jennifer Brunner, as he bowed out of the race.
• NJ-Gov: Rasmussen has the first post-primary poll of the New Jersey governor's race. Chris Christie may have gotten a bit of a brief unity bounce in the wake of his primary victory, as he's up to a 51-38 edge over Jon Corzine now, as opposed to 47-38 last month. There's one spot of 'good' news, as it were, for Corzine: his approval rating is back up to 42%.
• AZ-08: Construction company executive and ex-Marine Jesse Kelly seems to be the establishment GOP's choice to go against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2010. He announced endorsements from three House members: Trent Franks, Duncan Hunter, and Frank Wolf. (Not quite clear how endorsements from Hunter and Wolf help him in Arizona, though.)
• KS-01: State Senator Jim Barnett got into the race for the seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Moran, who's running for Senate. Barnett may quickly become front-runner, based on his name recognition from being the 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate (where he lost the state as a whole to Kathleen Sebelius, but won the dark-red 1st). He's up against a more conservative state Senator Tim Huelskamp, and Sam Brownback's former chief of staff, Rob Wasinger. The primary is the whole shooting match in this R+23 district.
• KY-01: After the purchase of "whitfieldforsenate.com" got people's attention yesterday, Rep. Ed Whitfield had to tamp that down, confirming that he's running for re-election in his R+15 House seat.
• MN-06: Even if this goes nowhere, it's great to have a GOPer doing our framing for us... attorney Chris Johnston is publicly mulling a primary challenge to (his words, on his website) "'anti-American' hurling, malaprop-spouting, 'they took me out of context'" Rep. Michele Bachmann. He confirms that he and Bachmann share "strong conservative beliefs;" he just thinks the 6th would prefer someone "who thinks before they speak."
• NH-02: Attorney Ann McLane Kuster is launching an exploratory committee to run for the open seat left behind by Rep. Paul Hodes. St. Rep. John DeJoie is already in the primary field, and they may soon be joined by Katrina Swett.
• NY-03: Dems are scoping out potential candidates in Long Island's NY-03 (which fell to R+4 in the wake of 2008), thinking that even if Rep. Peter King doesn't vacate to run for Senate he's still vulnerable. The biggest fish would be Nassau Co. Exec Tom Suozzi, who seems to have bigger fish to fry (reportedly AG if Andrew Cuomo vacates). The next-biggest fish would Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice. Smaller fish listed include Isobel Coleman of the Council of Foreign Relations, and minor league baseball team owner Frank Boulton.
• NH-Legislature: It took a rewrite of a couple sentences that Gov. John Lynch didn't like, but after a few weeks of back-and-forth New Hampshire finally enacted gay marriage. Both chambers passed the amended bill yesterday (clearing the House 198-176) and Lynch signed it into law on the same day.