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SSP Daily Digest: 6/22

by: Crisitunity

Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 3:15 PM EDT

AZ-Sen: Chances are you've already seen this video, but if you haven't, check out ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth going the full Matthew Lesko, pitching seminars for how to get free government grant money. Typical teabagging mindset at work: I hate the gub'ment! Except when it's giving me money for doing nothing!

CT-Sen: Linda McMahon, I'm sure, is from the "all PR is good PR" school, but this still has to go in the "bad PR" column. The widow of a professional wrestler who died in a 1999 stunt gone awry is suing both the WWE and McMahon personally.

NH-Sen: Making your first TV ad a negative one isn't really a sign of strength, but in this case, I'm sure Paul Hodes thinks he has something potent here. His first ad hits Kelly Ayotte for being asleep at the switch as AG during the collapse of Financial Resources Mortgage. Hodes' ad includes footage of Ayotte's widely-panned testimony before state legislators last week, framing it as an almost-Gonzales-esque litany of evasions.

NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Quinnipiac polls the Empire State, and like Rasmussen, finds intensely competitive races brewing... oh, who am I kidding; Dems are crushing, as usual. Kirsten Gillibrand beats Bruce Blakeman 46-26, and beats David Malpass 47-25. Blakeman beats Malpass 14-11 in the GOP primary. Interestingly, they seem to have decided not to poll Joe DioGuardi (who other polls have seen as the GOP primary's frontrunner) this time, who did not get a ballot slot at the convention but seems to be at work trying to petition on. On the gubernatorial side, Andrew Cuomo beats Rick Lazio 58-26 and beats Carl Paladino 59-23. Lazio wins the GOP primary over Paladino, 46-17.

FL-Gov: Bill McCollum got a lifeline of sorts from the Tea Party community, with an endorsement from ex-Rep. Dick Armey, now one of the movement's chief cat-herders at FreedomWorks. This looks like an endorsement from Armey individually, though, not from FreedomWorks. Filing day also came and went: independent candidate Bud Chiles filed at the last moment, and Alex Sink also found herself with an unexpected Democratic primary challenger, although one of the "perennial candidate" variety (Brian Moore).

GA-Gov, GA-Sen: SurveyUSA takes a look at the Georgia races, but unfortunately only at the already-thoroughly-polled primaries. On the Dem side, ex-Gov. Roy Barnes' comeback is well underway; he's out of runoff territory at 63, leading Thurbert Baker at 13, David Poythress at 5, Dubose Porter at 4, and three Some Dudes at 1. On the GOP side, the question seems to be who makes the runoff against John Oxendine. Oxendine is at 34, followed by Karen Handel at 18 and Nathan Deal at 17. If Eric Johnson's late push is going to succeed, he has a big climb: he's at 6, down near the weirdos like Ray McBerry (at 3). They also look at the Democratic Senate primary (Michael Thurmond leads 68-11 over R.J. Hadley), and some downballot races too (click the link for those... maybe most interesting, Carol Porter, wife of Dubose Porter, is doing a lot better than her husband; she's leading the Dem Lt. Gov. primary).

CT-04: After having had to pull the plug on his campaign after he wound up without enough valid signatures to qualify, Tom Herrmann (First Selectman of Easton) threw his backing to state Sen. Dan Debicella in the GOP primary.

FL-08: Here's some more grist for the mill for those who think that the local Tea Party is nothing more than an Alan Grayson plant to split the conservative vote in November: one of the candidates running for the State House under the Tea Party aegis is Victoria Torres, a consultant who did $11,000 worth of polling work for Grayson. (Amusingly, her polling "firm" is named Public Opinion Strategies Inc., not to be confused with the prolific Republican internal pollster Public Opinion Strategies.) Meanwhile, appointed Sen. George LeMieux just threw his support to ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, despite the NRCC's seeming preference in the GOP primary for businessman Bruce O'Donoghue.

IA-03: It's not surprising this is a close race, given Rep. Leonard Boswell's long history of underwhelming performances, but these numbers may a little too-good-to-be-true for GOP state Sen. Brad Zaun. His internal (taken by Victory Enterprises) gives him a 41-32 lead over Boswell. The party registration composition looks hinky (43 D-38 R-19 I, instead of 38 D-30 R-32 I), but it still should be a big red flag for Boswell.

KS-03: State Rep. Kevin Yoder's new web video has him walking with his wife through a field, with several small children in tow. There's one slight problem: Yoder doesn't have any kids. (Yoder's CM believes that the kids in question are nieces and nephews, not rentals.)

LA-02: Bayou Buzz points to a couple possible speedbumps on the road for Democrats expecting to take back the 2nd from accidental freshman Rep. Joe Cao, in the form of two potential independent candidates. Orleans Sewerage and Water Board member Tommie Vassel, and prominent black minister Byron Clay, are both floating the idea of independent bids. That's presumably to avoid the pileup of establishment candidates (state Reps. Cedric Richmond and Juan LaFonta) in the Dem primary, but the questions are a) whether they pull the trigger and b) if so, are they well-known enough to create a big-enough spoiler effect to save even Cao?

MS-01: Facing a strong challenge from state Sen. Alan Nunnellee, Democratic Rep. Travis Childers could use some good news, and he just got some: he got the endorsement of the NRA.

NY-16: This is the first (and apparently last) I'd heard of state Assemblyman Michael Benjamin's interest in running in the Democratic primary against Rep. Jose Serrano. Benjamin said he won't run against Serrano this year, but is watching with great interest to see what happens with redistricting in 2012; he might run then if a second majority-minority seat centered in the Bronx gets created.

PA-03: The Susan B. Anthony List (the bizarro-world version of EMILY's List, focused on electing anti-abortion candidates) has Kathy Dahlkemper in its sights after her vote in favor of HCR. They're laying out $300K to help her GOP opponent Mike Kelly.

SC-04: Politico has a look at how Rep. Bob Inglis has gotten very little help from his congressional Republican colleagues, suggesting that they (like us) have been doing the Inglis Deathwatch for the last year and, whatever they may think of him personally, don't see him as a good repository for their political capital. Inglis, who's likely to lose the GOP runoff to the more rhetorically-conservative Trey Gowdy tonight, has received money from only two GOP colleagues this cycle (both of whom are also despised by their bases: Lindsey Graham and Dan Burton). He hasn't gotten any NRCC help either, despite their earlier all-out efforts to help fellow incumbent Parker Griffith in his primary.

VA-02: One other GOP internal poll to report: Scott Rigell has one from POS, giving him a 41-35 lead over Democratic freshman Rep. Glenn Nye. (No other details about the poll were discussed.) This comes in the context of a larger question over the recent blitz of GOP internal polls, and strange silence on the Democratic end: do the Democrats just not have good news in those districts to counter with, or (as many have speculated) are they engaged in a bit of expectations gaming/rope-a-dope?

$$$: Remember how fearsome the Karl Rove-founded 527 American Crossroads was going to be, and how it was going to be some sort of unstoppable killing machine? The big-donor-oriented group set a target of $52 million raised this year, but they've raised a grand total of $1.2 million so far, with a whopping $200 last month. (That's not $200K... it's $200.)

Polltopia: With everybody seemingly buzzing about the "enthusiasm gap!" all the time (or maybe that was just for the duration of yesterday, a lifetime ago in politics), PPP's Tom Jensen simply shrugs. He points to huge GOP enthusiasm advantages in his polling of recent races like PA-12 (where the GOP lost) and NJ-Gov (where the GOP only narrowly won). He also points to Democratic advantages in generic ballot tests among likely but only the "somewhat excited" or "not very excited." As long as those less-excited voters still show up (as they did in, say, PA-12), their votes still count just as much.

Discuss :: (22 Comments)

SSP Daily Digest: 6/8 (Morning Edition)

by: DavidNYC

Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 8:03 AM EDT

  • DE-Sen: Biden alert? Dem senate candidate Chris Coons says a Biden fundraiser is "in the works." I sure hope so! I think Coons is a sleeper candidate, and it would be ridic for Biden not to help a fellow Dem out in his own state (which is just outside of DC, anyhow).

  • NV-Sen: It may be too late to save her fricasseed campaign, but Sue Lowden has an over-the-top ad out hitting Sharron Angle for her support of a Scientology-backed plan to offer massage therapy to recovering drug addicts. Be sure to check out the cameo of a certain couch-jumping Top Gun star at about 20 seconds in.
  • NY-Sen-B: So as you know if you're a faithful SSP reader, the state GOP put two dudes on their ballot line for the September primary: Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass. They did not include ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi, but (and this is a big "but," DioGuardi did score the Conservative Party's ballot line all to himself. Though DioGuardi says he'll try to petition his way on to the GOP ballot, Republicans don't seem to have a lot of faith in him becoming their nominee, and they want to avoid a split ticket. So Conservative chair Mike Long got a bunch of calls asking him to bounce DioGuardi from his party's line, but he refused, pointing out that DioGuardi got 70% of the vote at the Conservative convention. Ah, the New York GOP - still a train wreck.
  • ID-Gov: The Idaho Statesman has a pretty good profile on Dem gubernatorial nominee Keith Allred, who is running a surprisingly vigorous (and decently-funded) campaign against the not-so-hot incumbent Butch Otter. The most interesting detail is the fact that the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a chamber-of-commerce-type big business lobby, is already attacking Allred - not something you usually bother doing with an un-serious candidate.
  • SC-Gov: Rudy Giuliani jumped in with a last-minute endorsement of AG Henry McMaster yesterday - though note that the unlovable loser finished sixth in the South Carolina primary in 2008. (Though Joe Lieberman reassured him that it was actually an eleventy-way tie for fifth.) And in a seriously weird last-minute desperation move, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer released, uh, well... you'd expect me to say "released a poll," right? Nope - he released the results of a polygraph test (!), which he claims show he had no involvement in the various Nikki Haley affair allegations. Talk about protesting a wee bit too much, huh?
  • AL-05: A douchey move from a douchey guy: Bud Cramer, the Democrat who held this seat before giving way to Parker Griffith, is not "ready to endorse any candidate for Congress" - even though, you know, we have a nominee (Steve Raby). Cramer actually pulled this same shit last cycle after he announced his retirement, dithering for several weeks before finally endorsing Griffith. Back then, Cramer suggested he might endorse a Republican - and I guess he finally got his wish when Griffith switched parties. Jesus, though - do the right thing already.
  • FL-24: Former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel scored an endorsement from Mike Huckabee in her bid to become the GOP nominee against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas.
  • MA-10: Republican Jeffrey Perry has been under fire for his oversight of a police officer under his command while Perry was a police sergeant in the early 1990s. The officer, Scott Flanagan, was ultimately fired and pled guilty for illegal strip-searching a 16-year-old girl. Now, the Cape Cod Times reports that Perry's own accounts of the incident and its aftermath are contradicted by police records from the time. In an earlier interview, Perry suggested that he had acted with alacrity in handling the situation, but now it appears he waited 24 hours to write up the officer, and almost a week to take a statement from a witness to the search.
  • NC-08: Heh, he actually went ahead and did it. Weapons-grade wingnut Tim D'Annunzio launched a defamation suit against his runoff opponent, Harold Johnson, for a "radio ad targeting D'Annunzio for his 'life of drugs, crime and time served in prison' and for supposedly failing to pay an employer payroll tax, having tax liens, and withholding child support." D'Annunzio had previously threatened to sue the chair of the NC GOP, but this is so much more fun.
  • NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon scored the endorsement of the Independence Party, which means he'll have their ballot line in November (something he didn't have last cycle). And while he won't get the support Working Families Party thanks to his "no" vote on healthcare, the WFP isn't expected to nominate any kind of challenger, so their line will likely remain blank in this race - thus avoiding a split of the left-leaning vote. A Dem primary challenge at this point also looks remote. Meanwhile, McMahon raised $140K at a fundraiser hosted by none other than Mike Bloomberg. He was also expected to take in some $90K at an Anthony Weiner event, which was also slated to feature Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, a Conservative.
  • NY-29: Judge David Larimer of the Western District of New York ruled against Republicans who were seeking to force Gov. David Paterson to call the special election for this vacant seat earlier than November, saying Paterson was empowered to call it for the fall. An appeal to the Second Circuit is possible, but no word yet on whether one is planned.
  • VA-11: This seems really lame.
  • CA-SoS: I guess maybe we were too busy laughing when we first heard stories that Orly Taitz was running for California Secretary of State to bother writing it up... but not only is she on the ballot, the CA GOP is worried she might win the primary! She's running against Damon Dunn, another ex-NFLer (what is with those guys running for office this year?), but Dunn's deliberately ignored her rather than attack. The Republicans have little chance against Dem incumbent Debra Bowen, but Orly as their nominee would be a nice, months-long goiter for them to deal with.
  • Blue Dogs: I think I agree with everything Chris Bowers says in this post.
  • Games: Several folks in comments were recommending a new game called Congress Forever the other day, where you battle for control of the House and Senate. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like the perfect nerd timewaster.
  • Polling: Nate Silver just released the latest version of his pollster ratings, which analyzes a truly massive data set of "4,670 distinct polls from 264 distinct pollsters covering 869 distinct electoral contests" going all the way back to 1998. He lays out his methodology in a separate post, which is a must-read. Also, that gang of polling maniacs over at PPP are soliciting your votes again: The choices this time are LA, MA, PA, WA or WI.
  • Redistricting: Politico has a piece out which claims that Republicans are lagging in the race to raise money and set up legal groups to wage the coming round of redistricting battles. I'm a little skeptical, because the article says that Republicans are hurting thanks to a lack of soft money in the post-McCain Feingold world - but if anything, Dems were known as the party most dependent on soft money before campaign finance reform passed. Still, P'Co suggests that Dems are more organized because of some top-down control being exercised by the Obama political operation.
  • Discuss :: (94 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 6/3 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 4:23 PM EDT

    CA-Sen, CA-Gov: There's one more poll in California, courtesy of Capitol Weekly (done for them by Republican pollster Probolsky Research). They've polled a few times before, but they're calling this a "tracking poll," suggesting they'll be putting out more numbers as we count down to the June 8 primary. At any rate, there aren't any surprises here: they too see the Carly Fiorina surge on the Senate side: she's at 40, compared with Tom Campbell's 25 and Chuck DeVore's 13. In the Governor's race, Meg Whitman leads Steve Poizner 54-24.

    The big news here, though, is that Campbell, after saying he was going dark earlier this week, apparently pulled together enough last-minute contributions for a final TV ad. His closing argument is all about electability, centering around the recent LA Times/USC poll that gave him a lead over Barbara Boxer while Fiorina trailed. A candidate making a calm, logical pitch based on quantifiable data, instead of throwing together a mish-mash of fearmongering, jingoism, and meaningless buzzwords? I think Campbell might be running in the wrong party's primary for that kind of thing to work. Fiorina, for her part, may have some backtracking to do after her deriding Boxer's push on climate legislation as worrying about "the weather." Back in October, before Campbell's entry forced herself to recast herself as a conservative, she had lots of praise for cap and trade.

    KY-Sen: Rush disses Rand Paul! No, it's not Rush Limbaugh; it's just plain Rush, the pioneer 70s Canadian prog-rockers. They've told Paul to stop using Rush's music at his rallies and in his web ads, citing copyright violations inasmuch as Paul has simply chosen his own Free Will and not asked them for, y'know, permission. The Paul campaign has used "The Spirit of Radio" pre-rallies (and here's how big a Rush geek he is: he's actually quoted that song's lyrics on the stump). There's always been a lot of overlap between Rush fans and libertarians, not just because many of Rush's lyrics lean that way, but also because they both have a core audience of 14-year-old boys.

    NY-Sen-B: The Senate primary, for the right to go against Kirsten Gillibrand, is turning out to be just as much of a clusterf@ck as everything else the NY GOP has done lately. The GOP convention has left them with yet one more contested primary, as Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass split the vote (a weighted 42% for Blakeman and 40% for Malpass), leaving them to fight it out in a primary. They're still likely to be joined by Joe DioGuardi, who only got 18% (missing the 25% threshold) but who intends to petition his way on to the ballot. Remember that DioGuardi is already on the ballot on the Conservative line, though, so he's participating in November regardless of whether he gets into, let alone wins, the primary.

    CT-Gov: Here's one advantage to running against a rich guy in a state with public campaign financing: every time your opponent pulls out more money, more money magically appears for you, too. Dan Malloy has raised $250K in contributions, which opens the door to another $1.25 million from the state, and on top of that, he's entitled to a $938K bonus to match Ned Lamont's spending. On the GOP side, Michael Fedele (with a rich guy problem of his own, in the form of Tom Foley) would like to do the same thing, but doesn't look like he can rustle up $250K in contributions by the deadline.

    AL-05: Parker Griffith apparently isn't switching back to being a Dem after his party-switching chicanery blew up in his face; he congratulated Mo Brooks at a press conference yesterday and said he'll vote for him in November. "I was rejected by the constituents, they did not accept me. I appreciate that because that is how America is supposed to work," said Griffith.

    CA-36: There are some internal polls floating around out there ahead of next week's primary in the 36th. Jane Harman's camp has a poll out giving her a 58-17 lead over Marcy Winograd (no word on the pollster, let alone any of the details). Winograd has her own internal, with even less detail: all they're saying is that Harman is down at 43, although their silence about Winograd's own number is pretty telling.

    FL-19: The FEC is telling ex-Rep. Robert Wexler to give back an unspecified amount of the contributions he received for the 2010 general election -- which makes sense, considering he isn't a participant. (He left to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace, although ongoing chatter has him on track to become the next Ambassador to Israel.) Unfortunately, that means less cash that he can offload to the> DCCC or other Dems this cycle.

    HI-01: I wasn't aware that he hadn't already weighed in in favor of Colleen Hanabusa, since most of the rest of the local old-guard Dem establishment had, but today ex-Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie endorsed Hanabusa. He also gave a hat tip to Ed Case for getting out of the way.

    Blogosphere: The New York Times actually got something right! They're going to be partnering with Nate Silver, bringing a relaunched 538 under the NYT's online umbrella in August. We're glad to see that the legacy media are realizing that not only is there serious political journalism (if not scholarship) going on in the blogosphere, but that their last gasp at relevance may be by moving in that direction. Congrats to Nate, too!

    Discuss :: (86 Comments)

    AL Post Primary Rundown

    by: Merlin

    Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 1:10 PM EDT

    Last night, the voters in Alabama voted on nominees for each party to contest seats up for election in November. Here is a rundown of how things went in the Yellowhammer State last night:
    There's More... :: (9 Comments, 436 words in story)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/27 (Morning Edition)

    by: James L.

    Thu May 27, 2010 at 8:09 AM EDT

  • NV-Sen: Chicken Lady, meet Couch Lady? Does Tea Party fave Sharron Angle have a Scientology problem? It looks like Angle scrubbed a passage from her campaign website about how she, along with actresses Kelly Preston and Jenna Elfman, lobbied John Ensign to sponsor legislation prohibiting school employees from requiring students to take psychotropic drugs. Preston and Elfman are noted Scientologists, and psychotropic drugs are considered to be anathema to that, uh, belief system. Another curious nugget is Sue Lowden's attacks on Angle for "her support in 2003 of a drug-treatment program for inmates that included saunas and massages as treatment". It's amazing how this race has transformed itself from one of the most depressing to one of the most amusing.
  • MI-Gov: Hotline OnCall sits down for an entertaining interview with Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the populist progressive choice in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Calling himself a "FDR-Kennedy-Truman-Obama Democrat" and the candidate most in-touch with average angry voter, Bernero is blasting his opponent, House Speaker Andy Dillon, as the "Speaker of the Mess".
  • SC-Gov: Dick Cheney is showing his lovable mug in South Carolina, issuing an endorsement for Rep. Gresham Barrett, who was the House equivalent of Some Dude for most of us before he announced his gubernatorial campaign. One of Barrett's opponents, state AG Henry McMaster, used the news as an opportunity to remind voters of Barrett's vote for the Cheney-backed TARP legislation.
  • AL-05: If you want the endorsement of the freakshow Minuteman Project and its founder, Jim Gilchrist, be prepared to cut a fat check to the Election Impact Group, a political firm run by a close associate of Gilchrist. Ben Smith takes a thorough look at the financial strings attached to a Gilchrist endorsement, specifically honing in Republican Mo Brooks, who lobbied for a Gilchrist endorsement but was rebuffed after he refused to hire the Impact Group. Five months later, Gilchrist endorsed turncoat Rep. Parker Griffith instead... just two weeks after Griffith paid $6500 to the Gilchrist-connected firm. Sleazy stuff, all around.
  • CA-11: David Harmer, a demi-hero among Republicans for his decent performance against John Garamendi in the CA-10 special election last year, says that he is "disgusted" by healthcare reform, stimulus packages, and bailouts. The only problem? Harmer previously worked for Washington Mutual, which was acquired by JPMorgan Chase, who in turn received $25 billion in TARP funds. JPMorgan Chase then sent Harmer out the door with a $160,000 bonus and severance package.
  • ID-01: Raul Labrador proudly boasts that he's been called one of the "most extreme conservatives in the legislature". I love this guy.
  • KS-03: The Kansas City Star hears word that physician and teabagger Milton Wolfe -- a cousin of Barack Obama -- may run in the Republican primary for the seat of retiring Dem Rep. Dennis Moore. If he does, he'll certainly turn the heads of a few national media types.
  • SC-01: National Research Inc for the Club for Growth (5/23-24, likely voters):

    Tim Scott (R): 30
    Carroll "Tumpy" Campbell III (R): 10
    Paul Thurmond (R): 9
    Clark Parker (R): 9
    Larry Kobrovsky (R): 8
    W. Stovall White (R): 6
    Mark Lutz (R): 4
    Others: 4
    (MoE: ±5.7%)

    For the sake of completeness (this is Swing State Project, after all), a poll from early April that we missed showed Tumpy in the lead. The poll, commissioned by ex-Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky and taken by Victory Communications, had Tumpy with 18%, the Club for Growth-backed Scott at 16%, and Kobrovsky at 10%.

  • SC-05: Public Opinion Strategies for Mick Mulvaney (5/17-18, likely voters, October in parens):

    John Spratt (D-inc): 43 (48)
    Mick Mulvaney (R): 41 (35)
    (MoE: ±5.3%)
  • Twitter: As of this writing, SSP is only ten followers shy of a cool 2000 on Twitter. Who will step up to push us over the top? Begging is my business.
  • Discuss :: (47 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/25 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Tue May 25, 2010 at 8:08 AM EDT

  • AZ-Sen: Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? J.D. Hayworth thinks so!
  • CT-Sen: Dave Weigel tweeters that Rob Simmons will "make statement on the future of his campaign" at 9am today. What could this mean? A) He's getting married to Ginny Brown-Waite; B) he's announcing endorsements from Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik; or C) he's bailing out of the race in the face of Linda McMahon's zillions of dollars and new party endorsement. The Connecticut Mirror says it's option C. If so, that would pretty much just leave Paulist weirdo Peter Schiff in the mix against McMahon.
  • IA-Sen: Dem Roxanne Conlin has launched her first TV ad of the campaign, a biographical spot. Of course, no word on the size of the buy. I think Conlin will need to go sharply negative against Grassley if she wants to make a real dent in his poll numbers.
  • KS-Sen: Todd Tiahrt's probably wondering what exactly he did wrong on the way to (probably) losing the Republican nomination: "Didn't I out-teabag him my whole career?" I guess it doesn't matter. SurveyUSA now has him down 52-29 to fellow Rep. Jerry Moran in the GOP primary. Two months ago he trailed "only" 42-32. The primary here isn't until Aug. 3rd, but Tiahrt's consistently crappy polling is going to make it hard for him to make the case that he can turn things around before then.
  • NV-Sen: Because we like to keep track of such things, we note that the Tea Party Express - the shady, consultant-backed apparatus that appears to be trading on the "Tea Party" name in order to drum up business - has already spent $300K on behalf of Sharron Angle in the GOP primary. If she pulls off an upset against Chicken Lady, the TPE will have a nice notch in its belt - and will probably be able to put the fear of god into a few Republican candidates here and there.
  • KY-Gov: Freshman Rep. Brett Guthrie says he won't seek the Kentucky governor's mansion in 2011, but didn't rule out an eventual run some point in the future (he's 46 years old).
  • OH-Gov: A group backed by the DGA and the American Federation of Teachers called "Building a Stronger Ohio" is going up with a $300K ad buy on behalf of Ted Strickland which is likely to hammer John Kasich some more. (You may recall that Strickland's first ad out of the box blasted Kasich for his Wall Street ties.) Nathan Gonzales reports that this new group has $1.7 million in funding (so far), so more and bigger buys are probably on the way.
  • AL-05: Turncoat Parker Griffith just loaned his campaign $75K ahead of the June 1 primary, on top of $180K he loaned himself earlier.
  • HI-01: In light of Charles Djou's 40% plurality win, his conservative record, and the fact that we'll have a normal election in November, we're moving this race back to Tossup status.
  • NC-08: Now that their attempt to create a third party in North Carolina has fizzled, SEIU is scaling back their plans. Instead, they are trying to recruit former Larry Kissell staffer and Iraq War vet Wendell Fant to challenge his old boss (who of course voted no on healthcare reform) as an independent.
  • PA-11: Some Dude Brian Kelly managed to score 17% in the Democratic primary against Paul Kanjorski, despite refusing all financial contributions. Now, he's gone and endorsed Republican Lou Barletta. Kanjorski was in trouble anyway, but this certainly doesn't help.
  • PA-12: Mark Critz's impressive eight-point win, combined with the fact that he'll get square off again in November against a guy he already beat soundly (Tim Burns), has us convinced that this race should be Lean D. It's been a very long time since anyone won a special and then lost the subsequent rematch - Wisconsin Dem Peter Barca was the last to do so, in 1993/94. However, Barca won his special by just 675 votes, while Critz cruised by over 10,000.
  • VA-05: Saying he would "rather see Tom Perriello for two more years than the wrong conservative there for 20 years," teabagger Jeffrey Clark says he'll launch an independent bid if the hated Rob Hurt wins the GOP primary.
  • WI-07: Dem state Rep. Louis Molepske says he won't challenge state Sen. Julie Lassa in the primary, more or less clearing the field for her. The picture on the GOP side is less clear, where state Rep. Jerry Petrowski is still considering a bid, even though Ashland DA Sean Duffy has been running for a while (and has some establishment support).
  • Discuss :: (217 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/21 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Fri May 21, 2010 at 8:11 AM EDT

  • CT-Sen: Yet another thing the New York Times appears to have gotten wrong: Dick Blumenthal was on his college swim team, and no, he never claimed to have been the captain. In light of recent revelations, SSP is retracting the accusation we made in our first post on the NYT article that Blumenthal "lied." Subsequent information has show that the NYT's piece was misleading, at best.
  • NV-Sen: Chicken Lady is up on the air with an ad attacking Crazy Lady, aka enriched weapons-grade wingnut Sharron Angle, for some pretty lulzy stuff. No word on the size of the buy. Meanwhile, Danny Tarkanian is also aiming (indirectly) at Angle, with a press release criticizing the Tea Party Express, which endorsed her and not him.
  • NY-Sen-B: Even I had given up on all the people who have given up, but it looks like there may be yet one more name on the list of people who want to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand. Gail Goode, a staffer for the NYC Corporation Council (the city attorney's office) supposedly wants to give it a go. Goode has a pretty unimposing pedigree and would have to go through the arduous and expensive process of petitioning to get on the ballot. Meanwhile, one of the hapless Republicans trying to take down Gillibrand, David Malpass, is on the air with a TV ad (this early? really?), but of course, no word on the size of the buy.
  • AL-Gov: Mystery wingnutty (?) birthery (?) teabaggy (?) group New Sons of Liberty was caught making prank calls to Moe's Tavern said "psych!" and cancelled their vaporware $1 million ad buy that was set to asplode in the Alabama governor's race. If this was just a gambit to gain free media by pretending to buy paid media, it's an awfully weird one, since we know little more about this group now than we did a week ago. Anyhow, how come ad buyers don't have to put down deposits, especially when they book so much airtime during ad peak season?
  • IA-Gov: Chet Culver has raised $1.5 million this year so far, but more than half his haul came directly from the Democratic Governors Association. Chief rival Terry Branstad raised $1.6m in the same timeframe. Culver leads in cash-on-hand, $3.3m to $1.2m. You also may have seen that Culver lost his campaign "briefing book," the bible by which any campaign is run. Reminds me of when the Indiana Pacers lost their playbook right before a playoff series with the Knicks. (The Knicks won.)
  • AL-05: Mo Brooks, mankind's last, best hope of defeating turncoat Parker Griffith in the GOP primary, announced a whole slew of endorsements from local elected officials and party bigwigs. Interestingly, on the list was the GOP chair for Limestone County, who elected not to support the incumbent, which is a fairly unusual move for a party official.
  • AR-03: Damn - looks like we won't have Gunner DeLay to kick around anymore, at least for this cycle. The ex-legislator, who narrowly missed out on the runoff, backed off his plans to seek a recount and instead endorsed second-place finisher Cecile Bledsoe, a state senator. She squares off against Rogers (pop. 39K) Mayor Steve Womack. With Gunner gone, we're getting desperately low on awesome names.
  • CA-11: After previously saying he wished he could issue "hunting permits" for liberals because we "need to thin the herd," Republican jackass Brad Goehring isn't backing down in the least - rather, he says he's "proud" of all the flack he's been getting. What a guy!
  • ID-01: In his ongoing quest to assume the title of Bill Sali 2.0, budding SSP fave Vaughn Ward repeatedly referred to Puerto Rico in a debate as a "country." When corrected by his Puerto Rican opponent, he proudly reveled in his ignorance, saying he didn't "care what it is." That alone should garner him some good wingnut cred.
  • LA-03: Make them sweat? Despite not really having a candidate in this deep-red seat that most Dems have mentally given up on, the DCCC put out a press release walloping former Louisiana Speaker Hunt Downer, who just got into the race. They accuse Downer, who just retired as a major general from the National Guard, of abandoning his state in favor of his political ambitions instead of dealing with the BP oil spill. Dunno if this charge is really going to stick, though, seeing as Downer said he planned his retirement long ago.
  • MN-06: It's always rich when anti-tax zealots fuck up paying their taxes - something Michele Bachmann just did by failing to pay her own property taxes on time.
  • NY-13: Vito Fossella is shocked, shocked!... I mean, surprised! that he was nominated for his old seat by the Staten Island GOP on Wednesday. (Read this if you need to catch up on one of the most remarkable bits of WTF? this cycle.) He says he'll "take a short period of time" to decide if they like him, they really, really like him - i.e., whether to take the plunge. I'm not buying the "short period of time" business, since Fossella said he wants to talk this over with "loved ones," which ought to take him quite a while, given how many families he has.

    Meanwhile, Michael Allegretti, one of two candidates (not including Vito Fossella) seeking the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Mike McMahon, says he plans on staying in the race regardless of what Vito does. There had been some chatter that local Republicans wanted him to run for the state Assembly instead, but that would be a pretty sucky alternative, to say the least.

  • FEC: Instant SSP hero Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA-53) offered an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act (the bill designed to take the Citizens United ruling down a peg or two) which would require that all independent expenditures be filed electronically with the FEC, and be "searchable, sortable and downloadable." The amendment passed unopposed, so hopefully it will emerge intact in the final bill. Now if only the damn Senate would join the 20th century and file electronically, too.
  • Spoilers: Don't even think about talking about LOST.
  • Discuss :: (99 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 5/14 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Fri May 14, 2010 at 3:31 PM EDT

    AK-Sen: Moose man endorses Some Dude. That's SSP shorthand for: Todd Palin just endorsed Joe Miller, the right-wing lawyer who's taking on Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Senate primary. Recall that Mr. Palin has had some fairly fringey politics in the past (as with his membership in the Alaskan Independence Party), so I wonder if this was done with his wife's approval (or, given her busy schedule these days, whether he was even able to block out some time with her to get her say-so). Given her rumored brief interest in taking on Murkowski in the primary herself (back when she was still Governor rather than itinerant book-selling motivational-speaking grifter), and her long-standing beef with all things Murkowksi, I'd suppose yes.

    CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, trying to make up last-minute ground in the GOP primary against Tom Campbell, has thrown $1.1 million of her own money into her campaign. On top of previous loans to her campaign, that brings her total self-contributions to $3.6 million. Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner were both heard scoffing loudly.

    CT-Sen: Chalk this one up to bad, bad timing. Linda McMahon just sent out a mailer proposing to "put Connecticut back to work" by "increasing offshore drilling and production" (um, in Long Island Sound?). The mailer features a large, lovely picture of a (non-burning) offshore oil rig.

    NH-Sen: Has Kelly Ayotte just given up on any pretense of trying to look moderate? She's appearing at a Susan B. Anthony List (the anti-abortion group) fundraiser today, headlined by Sarah Palin, along with a supporting cast like Rep. Steve King. I know that she still needs to survive her GOP primary, but her main opposition these days is looking like moderate Bill Binnie, not right-wing Ovide Lamontagne.

    NV-Sen: Steve Kornacki looks at the Nevada Senate race and the "what if" scenario if Sharron Angle somehow wins the primary. History indicates that Harry Reid can't pin too many hopes on winning just because the GOP puts forth its most extreme candidate... maybe the biggest case in point, the Carter camp's hopes that wacko Ronald Reagan would make it out of the GOP primary in 1980.

    NY-Sen: Wow, there's actually going to be a GOP primary for the right to get mulched by Chuck Schumer! Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who's only been on the job half a year, is already looking to move up. He'll still have to get past political consultant Jay Townsend in the primary.

    UT-Sen: She stopped short of a formal endorsement, but fringey activist Cherilyn Eagar, who finished fourth at the GOP convention, said that Tim Bridgewater would be "an excellent senator" and complimented him on a "clean, honest race." Eagar is back to her day job fighting the menace posed by gnomes.

    AL-Gov: I'm losing track of all the weird outside groups popping up to play dirty pool in the Alabama governor's race. Today's entrant is the mysterious New Sons of Liberty, whose main agenda seems to be Barack Obama's birth certificate. They've reserved $1.1 million in TV airtime, although it's unclear what they'll be advertising about or on behalf of whom. The leader of a group, Basics Project, affiliated with the New Sons is mystified at where they would have gotten that kind of money, so it seems like they're being used as a conduit for... well, somebody.

    There's also a new poll out of the Republican primary, by Republican pollster Baselice (on behalf of local PR firm Public Strategy Associates... there's no word on whether any of the candidates are their client). They find Bradley Byrne barely leading Tim James 24-23. Roy Moore, who many thought would be the man to beat, is lagging at 18, with Robert Bentley at 12 and Bill Johnson at 2. The juicier numbers might be down in the AG race, where GOP incumbent Troy King is in all kinds of trouble. He's losing 50-25 to challenger Luther Strange. There are three Dems in the AG field, most prominently James Anderson, ready to try to exploit the cat-fud fight.

    AR-Gov: One thing we didn't mention in our writeup of Research 2000's AR-Sen poll from yesterday is that they were the first pollster to throw the Arkansas Governor's race into the mix. Incumbent Dem Mike Beebe routinely sports some of the highest favorables of any politician (64/24 here), and he seems immune from Arkansas' reddish trend and the nation's overall anti-incumbent fervor. He leads Republican former state Sen. Jim Keet, 62-19.

    CT-Gov: Former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy picked up another potentially useful endorsement today as we make our way toward Connecticut's endorsing conventions. He got the nod from Rep. John Larson, the #4 man on the House totem pole. UPDATE: On the GOP side, ex-Rep. Chris Shays has an endorsement of his own: Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele.

    NY-Gov: It's kind of more meta than we'd like, to report on an announcement about an announcement (about an announcement), but it sounds like we're getting closer to pinning down a date from Andrew Cuomo. It's being reported that he'll announce his gubernatorial candidacy on or around May 25, the start of the state Democratic convention.

    AL-05: Rep. Parker Griffith is already up with a negative ad hitting one of his Republican primary opponents, Madison Co. Commissioner Mo Brooks, calling him a "career politician" and "big spender." Brooks observed, perhaps correctly (although the Alabama primary is fast approaching), that an incumbent attacking a challenger is a big-time sign of weakness.

    GA-09: Former state Rep. Tom Graves, in the runoff for the special election in this seat against fellow Republican Lee Hawkins, got the endorsement from nearby Rep. Lynn "Uppity" Westmoreland. In a district this red, that may actually be a plus.

    MN-06: An unaffiliated independent, Troy Freihammer, may appear on the ballot, in addition to Independence Party nominee Bob Anderson. He needs 1,000 signatures by month's end, though, so he may not make that hurdle. Getting him on might be a net plus for the Dems, as his website makes pretty clear he's a Tenther and he's only likely to take votes away from Michele Bachmann.

    OR-01: SurveyUSA is way down in the weeds here (although that's because the poll where they get paid to do so, in this case by local TV affiliate KATU), with a look at the primaries in the 1st. In a four-way field on the GOP side, the NRCC's preferred candidate, sports-industry consultant Rob Cornilles, leads at 31, beating mortgage broker John Kuzmanich at 19. The other guy whose name you hear in connection with this race, Stephan Brodhead (mostly because he somehow summoned up $298K CoH) is polling at all of 3, probably because his main campaign activity seems to be trolling the online comment sections of local newspapers and people have ascertained thusly that he's a wackjob. Rep. David Wu is at 75% against token opposition on the Dem side.

    PA-04: What was supposed to be a victory lap for former US Attorney and loyal Bushie Mary Beth Buchanan has turned into a real dogfight with attorney Keith Rothfus, seemingly helped along by her apparent ineptitude at electoral politics. She's currently drawing fire for a "deceitful" mailer which uses the National Rifle Association logo without its permission. Things have actually been going badly enough on the message-control front that improbable rumors have her dropping out of the race (with days to go), although her camp is saying her "major political announcement" is just a press conference to go on the offensive against Rothfus.

    Census: An interesting article from Stateline looks at what various states are doing to amp up Census participation. The real interest, here, is a neat map they've put together rating the states not on their overall participation percentages, but on the overall shifts in participation percentage from 2000 to 2010. Intriguingly, the biggest improvements in participation were clustered in the Deep South (especially North and South Carolina, both of which are on the cusp of adding another seat), while the Mountain West states suffered the most. California also seemed to fall off a bit, as budget limitations kept them from doing much outreach this time around, which could conceivably hurt their hopes of staying at 53 seats.

    Discuss :: (3 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 4/27 (Afternoon Edition)

    by: Crisitunity

    Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 3:11 PM EDT

    FL-Sen: It's come down to brass tacks for Charlie Crist. With fast-approaching April 30 the drop-dead date for switching over to an independent bid for the Senate, he's set a Thursday deadline for making up his mind on the matter. So, we'll know soon one way or the other.

    MO-Sen, IL-Sen: Robin Carnahan found an excuse to avoid Barack Obama last time he was in Missouri, but, apparently realizing that she needs to rev up her base, she's appearing with him this week when he visits an ethanol plant in Macon. Obama is also extending some of his cred to the currently very-wobbly Alexi Giannoulias, appearing with him downstate in Quincy on the same road swing.

    NC-Sen: There are two different polls today of the Democratic primary in the North Carolina Senate race, both promising a very close race (with the election one week from today, although a runoff may be in the offing). SurveyUSA's first look at the field finds SoS Elaine Marshall leading ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham 23-19, with attorney Kenneth Lewis at 10, miscellaneous others adding up to 15, and 34% undecided. (Marshall has a 33-13 edge among liberals, while Cunningham has narrow leads among moderates and conservatives. And despite Cunningham's relative youth, he's in 3rd place among the 18-34 set; Kenneth Lewis actually leads among young voters, but barely makes a dent among older voters.) SurveyUSA also finds Richard Burr cruising in the GOP primary, at 59% with none of his opponents topping 6%. PPP (pdf) has similar numbers; Marshall leads Cunningham 26-23, with Lewis at 7, miscellaneous others at 10, and 34% undecided. (It's a narrower spread from last month, where PPP saw Marshall leading Cunningham 23-17.)

    NY-Sen: Finally, someone put their head in the chopping block to go up against Chuck Schumer and his $21 million warchest. Republican political consultant and Fox commentator Jay Townsend will try to... well, you can't even hope to contain Schumer, let alone beat him.

    UT-Sen: There's yet another poll of the delegates to next month's Republican convention in Utah, this time by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the Salt Lake Tribune. This one's pretty bad for Bob Bennett too, suggesting he isn't likely to even make it to the final round of convention balloting. He's in third place among delegates' expressed first choices. Mike Lee is at 37, Tim Bridgewater is at 20, and Bob Bennett is at 16, followed by Cherilyn Eagar at 11. (Inflammatory ex-Rep. Merrill Cook seems to have burned all of his bridges and then bagged and sold all the charcoal, as he's polling at 1%.) Based on second choices, Lee would win the final round against Bridgewater 44-30, suggesting that Lee can't nail it down at the convention and that he and Bridgewater would advance to the primary. (Lee wins a Lee/Bennett head-to-head 51-18.) Perhaps the most telling statistic, though, of what a thin slice of the hard right this sample is: of the delegates, 68% say they're "supporters" of the Tea Party movement. Other Senator Orrin Hatch should be glad he's not running this year, as he's sufficiently impure that he'd be getting the same treatment: 71% say they'd be inclined to nominate someone other than Hatch.

    AL-Gov: Ah, nothing beats good old fashioned southern hospitality. Tim James (son of ex-Gov. Fob James), running for Alabama Governor, says he'll save money by stopping offering the driver's license test in other languages (because, apparently, complying with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is for suckers). James's tagline? "This is Alabama. We speak English."

    GA-Gov: Wealthy teabagger Ray Boyd -- who just recently showed up on the scene in the GOP gubernatorial field -- balked at signing a Republican "loyalty oath" that's apparently a mandatory part of running for office as a Republican in Georgia. So, Boyd took his $2 million ball, went home, and is now planning to run as an independent. A few percentage of right-wingers peeled off by Boyd may make all the difference for Democratic ex-Gov. Roy Barnes in a close election, so consider this good news.

    ME-Gov: Former state House speaker John Richardson abruptly dropped out of the Democratic field in the Maine governor's race. Richardson (already getting little traction, if another candidate's internal is to be believed) hit 'eject' after finding he wouldn't qualify for Clean Election Act public funding, after the state ethics committee found his campaign fudged documents about qualifying contributions. That brings a little more clarity to the almost-opaque Democratic field, reducing it to state Sen. President Libby Mitchell, ex-AG Steve Rowe, ex-Dept. of Conservation head Pat McGowan, and businesswoman Rosa Scarcelli.

    MN-Gov: This seems like a strange time for Ramsey Co. DA Susan Gaertner to drop out of the gubernatorial race, as she was one of the candidates who was ignoring the DFL nominating convention and planning to forge ahead in the primary regardless. Maybe she was counting on a R.T. Rybak endorsement and thus being the only female candidate in the primary? At any rate, Gaertner cited money woes as the main reason for her dropout; she stopped short of endorsing Margaret Anderson Kelliher but cited the historic nature of electing a female governor and said she didn't want to be a spoiler for Kelliher.

    UT-Gov: Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon sounds like he's looking to take a page from Brian Schweitzer and Kathleen Sebelius, two popular Dems who overcame their states' reddish hue with a Republican as a running mate. Corroon didn't name anyone specific, but said he has some GOPers on his Lt. Gov. short list.

    AL-05: I don't know if this'll help Rep. Parker Griffith much with the local rank-and-file (for instance, the Madison Co. Republican Committee, which refused to endorse him), but all of the state's four other Republican House members endorsed him. Said the former Democrat and Deaniac: "They have seen first-hand how hard I've fought Nancy Pelosi's liberal agenda that will ruin our country if we don't stop it."

    FL-25: Buried deep in a Roll Call article about the current state of play in the open seat in the 25th are some numbers from a month-old internal poll by Benenson taken for the DCCC. The poll may explain what got 2008 Democratic candidate Joe Garcia off the fence and back into the fight in the 25th: the poll had Garcia leading state Rep. David Rivera (looking like the likeliest GOP nominee) 38-35. As far as the GOP field goes, it doesn't seem like rumored candidate state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla is planning to show up; so far, Rivera's main GOP opposition seems to be attorney Marili Cancio, who says she declined an invitation to the NRCC's "Young Guns" program.

    HI-01: The DCCC is slapping down an $81K independent expenditure in the 1st. It's a media buy, not on behalf of either Dem but against GOPer Charles Djou.

    KS-02: Too bad we don't have much of a candidate on tap in the 2nd to exploit the carnage if the GOP primary goes nuclear. One-term Rep. Lynn Jenkins (who, believe it or not, hails from the "moderate" wing of the party despite a litany of right-wing-sounding gaffes) is getting a challenge from the teabag corps, in the form of state Sen. Dennis Pyle. Pyle has been threatening a bid for many months, but made it official today.

    MO-04: And here's yet more cat fud, across the state line in Missouri's 4th. While they haven't done anything publicly, the NRCC is apparently starting to choose sides in the primary, favoring state Sen. Bill Stouffer over social conservative ex-state Rep. Vicki Hartzler. The NRCC arranged a sitdown between the two candidates, but Hartzler apparently blew it off after finding out the point of the NRCC's meeting was to encourage her to drop out.

    WA-03: State Rep. Deb Wallace was the first Democrat to jump into the field after Rep. Brian Baird's retirement; she got out fairly quickly once Denny Heck got in, realizing that she'd have to share the moderate side of the ledger with him and that she wouldn't be able to compete with Heck's financial resources. Wallace finally endorsed in the race today, opting for (no surprise here) Heck over the more liberal state Sen. Craig Pridemore (who just picked up the Sierra Club's endorsement last week). Heck also has Baird's endorsement, as well as that of Gov. Chris Gregoire.

    Discuss :: (56 Comments)

    SSP Daily Digest: 4/21 (Morning Edition)

    by: DavidNYC

    Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 8:01 AM EDT

  • CA-Sen: Just a day after President Obama did three fundraisers for her campaign, Sen. Barbara Boxer says she expects the POTUS to be back next month for another event in San Francisco.
  • FL-Sen: The US Attorney's Office, the FBI and the IRS are all investigating the possible misuse of credit cards by state Republican Party officials - a case which has already led to the indictment of former House Speaker Ray Sansom. In a separate investigation, the IRS is looking at Marco Rubio's tax records to see if he misused his party credit cards for personal expenses. Meanwhile, state Rep. Tom Grady becomes the latest Charlie Crist ally to pull away from the campaign.
  • PA-Sen: PoliticsPA says that, according to a source, Joe Sestak's week-long TV ad buy is "worth" $930,000. It's not clear to me whether that's how much Sestak is actually spending, though - it's possible to lock in lower rates by reserving time in advance, which his campaign may have done here (thus inflating the "worth" of the buy). Meanwhile, in an email to supporters, Sestak is decrying Arlen Specter's attacks on his service in the Navy as "Swift Boat-like."
  • ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Libby Mitchell (4/11-14, likely voters, no trendlines):
  • Libby Mitchell (D): 36
    Steve Rowe (D): 16
    Pat McGowan (D): 13
    John Richardson (D): 4
    Rosa Scarcelli (D): 3
    (MoE: ±4%)

    If these names - all of whom are running in the Maine Democratic gubernatorial primary - aren't familiar to you, follow the link to the Hotline for some background details.

  • MN-Gov: Dem Matt Entenza is going up on the air with TV and radio ads after the DFL's statewide convention this weekend - but of course, no word on the size of the buy. Speaking of the convention, things are about to either get very interesting or a lot simpler in the MN gubernatorial race. Entenza and ex-Sen. Mark Dayton, who can both self-fund, are both saying they'll fight on through the primary, while the two apparent frontrunners, state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, are pledging to abide by the convention's endorsement.
  • AL-05: Notorious turncoat Rep. Parker Griffith is still sitting on $20K that various Democratic lawmakers have given him, supposedly because they haven't asked for it back. This includes money from Rahm Emanuel, Nydia Velazquez, Rosa DeLauro and the retiring Bart Gordon, among others. Gordon, for what can only be bizarre, unspecified reasons, isn't asking for his money back. Rahm, since he's serving in the White House, won't make a formal request, but twists the knife, saying "Whether the contribution is returned or not will be left up to Rep. Griffith's conscience." As for the rest of you dudes, DEMAND YOUR MONEY BACK!
  • CA-19: SurveyUSA (4/16-19, likely voters, 3/15-17 in parens):
  • Jeff Denham (R): 27 (25)
    Jim Patterson (R): 26 (26)
    Richard Pombo (R): 16 (13)
    Larry Westerlund (R): 6 (7)
    Undecided: 25 (29)
    (MoE: ±3.6%)

    Loraine Goodwin (D): 18 (14)
    John Estrada (D): 15 (24)
    Les Marsden (D): 10 (8)
    Undecided (D): 56 (54)
    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    Seriously, of all the races they could poll? I realize this is on behalf of a media client, but still.

  • DC-AL, UT-AL: Sigh. Legislation which would have given the District of Columbia an actual voting seat in the House is yet again being derailed. Republicans insist that any such bill also eviscerate any remaining gun control laws in the district, and they've frightened enough conservative Dems into supporting such an amendment that you can't have one (the voting rights bill) without the other (the gun provision). The pro-gun measure has become even more absurd, though, such that Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton asked Steny Hoyer to pull the bill altogether. On the Senate side, Orrin Hatch had spazzed about the fact that the bill's other sop to Republicans (a temporary extra seat for Utah) would have been at at-large district - he wants to be able to re-draw the lines (and presumably screw Dem Rep. Jim Matheson) - and said he was glad the bill got scuttled.
  • HI-01: The D-Trip just spent another $55K on a second negative TV ad attacking Charles Djou, which you can see here. Meanwhile, in light of recent polling showing this unusual jungle race to be incredibly tight, SSP is changing its rating from "Lean Dem" to "Tossup.
  • MI-01: Term-limited Dem state Rep. Gary McDowell will apparently run to succeed Bart Stupak. McDowell is from the Upper Peninsula, which Crisitunity aptly described as the district's "cultural center of gravity." One possible holdup, though, is that it sounds like McDowell may be willing to defer to former House Democratic Floor Leader Pat Gagliardi, who has not yet made up his mind.
  • NY-29: Dem Matthew Zeller, tapped by county leaders as the Democratic nominee in the (potential) special election to succeed Eric Massa, formally launched his campaign on Monday. However, it's starting to look like there won't be a special election after all, which means there will be a primary. If that winds up being the case, businessman David Nachbar (who withdrew his name from consideration for the special) has said he might run.
  • WV-01: Rep. Alan Mollohan is going on the air with a TV ad that attacks his primary opponent, state Sen. Mike Oliverio, "for his ties to a conservative-leaning organization of state legislators." Oliverio had previously launched an ad attacking Mollohan on ethical grounds. No word on the size of either buy.
  • Alaska: Alaska's state legislature voted to increase its size, by two seats in the Senate and four in the House. AK's population has tripled since statehood fifty years ago, but its lege had remained constant in numbers. What's more, its rural districts are enormous, and would have gotten even larger after redistricting as the population concentrates in the state's few big cities.
  • Polling: Reid Wilson, diving into recent FEC reports, notes that few Dems commissioned polls in the first quarter of this year - and among those who have, pretty much no one is sharing the data with the public. However, Reid doesn't say whether Republicans have spent similarly on internal polling in the past quarter, or how Q1 2010 compares with prior years.
  • RNC: God bless Michael Steele. Under his stewardship, the RNC decided to blow $340K to hold a big staff meeting in... Hawaii. Because that's both convenient and inexpensive. If Dems suffer anything less than an utter blowout this fall, we'll be able to thank Steele in no small part.
  • WATN?: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who already served 99 days in jail for obstruction of justice (among other things), may be headed back to prison for probation violations (including hiding assets).
  • Discuss :: (60 Comments)
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