• CT-Sen: Connecticut's open seat Senate race was always destined to be a high-dollar affair, and the money chase is well underway. Former SoS Susie Bysiewicz released a first quarter total of a respectable $500K, but Rep. Chris Murphy, her main rival in the Dem primary, just more than doubled up on that, with $1.1 million raised over the course of his first 10 weeks. (Of course, they've both picked their low hanging fruit on their first trip to the orchard, so the challenge will be to keep up that rate.)
• FL-Sen: PPP, who put out general election numbers on the Senate race last week, have the GOP primary numbers... and they find GOP voters saying "Uh, who?" (Y'know, like that guy who used to be the Senator... who somehow is known by only 26% of the sample?) Unfortunately, Connie Mack IV dropped out while the poll was in the field, so, better-known than the other options (perhaps courtesy of his dad, the former Sen. Connie Mack III, who the state's older and more confused voters might think is back) he leads the way at 28, with the actual candidates, ex-Sen. George LeMieux and state Sen. majority leader Mike Haridopolos at 14 and 13, respectively. Additional likely candidate Adam Hasner is back at 5. Don't look for any help on choosing from Marco Rubio: he's just announced that he won't endorse in the primary.
• HI-Sen: There still seem to be fans out there for losing '06 IL-06 candidate and Obama admin member Tammy Duckworth, eager to get her into elected office somewhere someday, and the place du jour seems to be Hawaii, where a Draft Duckworth page has popped up for the open Senate seat.
• MA-Sen: Salem mayor Kim Driscoll has been the occasional subject of Senate speculation for the Dem primary, along with the mayor of pretty much every other mid-sized city in the state. Nevertheless, she pulled her name out of contention yesterday (all part of the Democratic master plan of not having a candidate to deceptively lull the GOP into complacency, I'm sure). Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Scott Brown (last seen praising the Paul Ryan Abolition of Medicare Plan, rolled out his first quarter fundraising numbers: he raised $1.7 million in Q1, leaving him with $8.1 million cash on hand. That's, of course, huge, but the silver lining on that is that it doesn't leave him on track to hit his previously-announced super-gigantic $25 mil fundraising goal for the cycle.
• FL-Gov: With various newly-elected Republican governors in polling freefall, Rick Scott (who can't even get along with his GOP legislature, let alone his constituents) really seems to be leading the way down. Quinnipiac finds his approvals deep in the hole, currently 35/48, down from 35/22 in February (meaning he picked up no new fans in that period, but managed to piss off an additional quarter of the state). Voters says by a 53-37 margin that his budget proposals are unfair to people like them. Voters are also opposed to the legislature's proposal to stop collecting union dues from state workers' paychecks.
• MO-Gov: After spending Monday dragging out his fight with those who buy ink by the barrel (aka the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who broke the story on his fancy-pants hotel habit), Missouri Lt. Gov. and Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Kinder seemed to dial things down a notch yesterday: he says he'll 'voluntarily' reimburse the state $30K for those expenditures, and while not exactly apologizing, says he seeks "to move this nimbus off the horizon." Um, whatever that means.
• AZ-06: After getting mentioned a lot when Jeff Flake announced his Senate run, opening up the Mesa-based 6th, state Senate president Russell Pearce is now sounding unlikely to run according to insiders. (Blowback over his links to the Fiesta Bowl controversy may be the last straw, though, rather than his status as xenophobia's poster child.) A couple other GOP names have risen to the forefront: state House speaker Kirk Adams, who's considering, and former state Sen. majority leader Chuck Gray, who is already in.
• CA-36: One more big union endorsement for Janice Hahn in the primary fight against Debra Bowen to succeed Jane Harman: this one comes from the SEIU.
• CT-05: The open seat vacated by Chris Murphy is likely to draw a crowd, and here's a new Republican contender in this swingy, suburban district: Farmington town council chair and former FBI agent Mike Clark. Clark has a notable profile for helping to take down a fellow Republican while at the FBI: corrupt ex-Gov. John Rowland. He'll face Justin Bernier in the GOP primary, who lost the primary in 2010.
• FL-20: In case Debbie Wasserman Schultz's work load couldn't get any heavier, she just got a new heap of responsibility dumped in her lap: she'll become the new head of the DNC, to replace newly-minted Senate candidate Tim Kaine. She'll, of course, keep her day job as Representative.
• MN-08: The Dem-leaning 8th is as good a place as any to pick up a seat in 2012, but there's the wee problem of trying to find somebody to run there. The latest Dem possibility that drew everyone's interest, Yvonne Prettner Solon, the former Duluth-area state Sen. and newly-elected Lt. Governor, won't run here either.
• NH-St. House: I realize that with 400 members you're going to have a lot of bad apples, but still we're up to 3 GOP frosh having resigned already from the New Hampshire state House. Hot on the heels of a 91-year-old member resigning after advocating (literally) sending 'defectives' to Siberia to starve, Gary Wheaton just resigned for driving with a suspended license after a previous DUI (and then publicly suspected the arresting officer for targeting him because of his vote against collective bargaining). And somewhat less dramatically, Robert Huxley eventually got around to resigning after not getting around to showing up for any votes so far in the session.
• EMILY's List: EMILY's List is out with its first five fundraising targets for the 2012 cycle. Some of them are to be expected, with high-profile GOP freshmen and already-announced female opponents: Allen West (who may face West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel in FL-22), Paul Gosar (who faces a rematch with ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in AZ-01), and Charlie Bass (rematched with Ann McLane Kuster in NH-02). They also targeted Joe Heck in NV-03 and Chip Cravaack in MN-08, who don't have opponents yet but conceivably could match up with Dina Titus and Tarryl Clark, respectively.
• WATN?: Thirtysomething Carte Goodwin seemed to make a good impression during his half-a-year as a fill-in in the Senate (in between Robert Byrd and Joe Manchin), moving him to prime position on the Dems' West Virginia bench, but he says he's not running for anything else anytime soon. Or more accurately, he says the only the only thing he's running for "is the county line." (Uh, with the revenuers in pursuit?)
Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a freshman Democrat ousted in last year's Republican tidal wave, is angling for a rematch against Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. She told AZ/DC Tuesday that she has made the decision to run for her seat again in 2012. ...
"It's clear to me, now that Paul Gosar has a record, that he is toeing the party line rather than serving the district," she said. "The real key for me is the number of people who I've been hearing from in the district -- and this is Democrats, independents, Republicans and even folks who are actively involved in the 'tea party' -- that they feel he is deeply out-of-touch with the district."
Kirkpatrick said she hopes the 2012 political climate will be more hospitable to her candidacy because it is a presidential year and likely will have a bigger turnout.
I'm not sure that this comeback had really been on our radar. In fact, I apart from randomly appearing in a PPP poll a little while back, her name hasn't come up on SSP since the November election. Most commentators wrote her off at one point or another last year - we eventually moved the race to Lean R. Kirkpatrick wound up losing, of course, but by a not-entire-horribly six points. (By comparison, Carol Shea-Porter was also universally considered to be in a "Lean R" race, and she lost by double that margin.) So perhaps she has enough mojo to stage a comeback.
(As an aside, I'd also point out that Kirkpatrick was the Dem in the reddest seat who both voted for healthcare reform and against the Stupak amendment-as a freshman, no less.)
Of course, there's the little matter of redistricting, but as the article notes, both Gosar and Kirkpatrick hail from Flagstaff, so if there's a district for them to run in after the state's independent commission gets done with its work, they'll both be in it. AZ-01 is also one of those seats that you're pretty much required to describe as "sprawling" - it is, in fact, the tenth-largest by area (and fifth among non-at-large states). So unless mapmakers get very creative, it's hard to imagine this behemoth won't still exist in some form or another come next year.
AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski is seeking clarification on just how expansively the state elections board will view misspellings or variants of her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who's in charge of all this, previously said he leans "toward a liberal view" of how to count Murkowski ballots, but now he's refusing to get more specific. See you in court?
O'DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself -
MAHER: Evolution is a myth?!? Have you ever looked at a monkey!
O'DONNELL: Well then, why they - why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?
FL-Sen: Former Rep. Robert Wexler became one of the most prominent Democrats to break ranks and endorse Charlie Crist. Wexler, who has long had a close relationship with Crist, famously abandoned his party earlier this year by resigning his seat in the middle of the term, before the final votes on healthcare reform.
FL-Gov: Douchebag zillionaire Rick Scott really just out-did himself with only three words. When asked if he had forked over another million bucks to his campaign (he had), Scott responded: "I don't know." I guess it's easy to forget writing seven-figure checks when you're Rick Scott!
IA-Gov: This race has been depressing for a long while now, and the latest news is no different. A Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register shows GOPer Terry Branstad crushing Gov. Chet Culver 52-33. Just ugh.
ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rossner (D) for Libby Mitchell (9/22-24, likely voters, July in parens):
Libby Michell (D): 34 (32)
Paul LePage (R): 38 (44)
Eliot Cutler (I): 10 (8)
Shawn Moody (I): 8 (5)
Kevin Scott (I): 2 (2)
Undecided: 7 (10)
Mitchell also says her internal shows LePage's favorability weakening from 33-19 to 38-36 over the same timespan.
AZ-01: CQ got ahold of a month-old internal poll for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick by Lake Research Partners, which shows the race to be very tight. Kirkpatrick had a 43-39 lead over Republican Paul Gosar. But of course, we're talking about late August. Who knows what's changed since then.
CO-03: Nice catch by Colorado Pols. Check out Republican Scott Tipton trying to backpedal away from his earlier statements that he'd eliminate the Department of Education:
Tipton said his plan for that department is the same as his plan for the entire federal government, to cut it in half. He said he plans to do that without cutting government services....
That is some seriously lulzy shit right there, my friends. Even better is the fact, as CO Pols points out, that Tipton already tried to back away from this plan ("slice the gov't in half") a few days ago, but he's already re-un-flip-pivot-flopping back to it. Man.
CT-05: Smaller, fun-size cat fud: Mark Greenberg, who lost in the GOP primary to Sam Caligiuri, showed up on Caligiuri's hometown to make an endorsement... of the Republican running in Rosa DeLauro's district. A Caliguri endorsement sounds unlikely.
FL-22: I'm not a big fan of Politifact for a variety of reasons, but they sink their teeth into a good one here. At a recent candidate forum, Allen West claimed, "If you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background." This is obviously insane, points out Politifact, because security clearances exist because of a presidential executive order... which is signed by, uh, the president. The other possible way of viewing this (which is what West's campaign proudly says is their view) is as a birther-esque claim that grew out of right-wing email forwards. This "school of thought" holds that Obama's shaaady personal background means that he'd never have gotten security clearance by normal means (if he hadn't been elected). Yeah, okay.
MS-04: Remember when, a few weeks ago, Heath Shuler suggested that he might run for Speaker of the House? Well now Rep. Gene Taylor is the latest ConservaDem to take up residence in fantasy-land, saying that he'd prefer 78-year-old Ike Skelton for Speaker, rather than answer a question about whether he'd vote for Nancy Pelosi again. Taylor also refused to answer how he'd react if Republicans approached him about a party switch.
NV-03: In response to a claim by the Smart Media Group that the DCCC was cancelling a week-long buy on behalf of Rep. Dina Titus, the D-Trip announced that three panzer divisions were reconsolidating on the Eastern front the cancellation was actually a sign of strength. Later that same day, perhaps realizing that sounded like bullshit, the same Dem spokesman said that the party was still committed to a million-dollar ad buy.
PA-10: After an AP report cited an anonymous Dept. of Justice source on this story, the Scranton Times Tribune obtained an on-the-record statement from the DoJ confirming that the department has no record of having given approval for then-US Attorney Tom Marino to serve as a reference on a casino license application for his buddy Louis DeNaples. If you've been following this story, you know that DeNaples was a possibly-mobbed-up "businessman" who was under investigation by Marino's own office - and when Marino got busted for providing the reference, he resigned in disgrace, and then took a sinecure with DeNaples. Marino claimed back in the spring that he had received permission from the DoJ to give a reference for DeNaples, but this has clearly turned out to be bullshit. Dem Chris Carney has gotten a lot of mileage out of this so far.
While we're on the subject, Maine-based pollster Critical Insights tested this race for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. They found Marino ahead of Carney 40-36. But the n on this poll was extremely low - just 196 LVs.
PA-11: The Times Leader also polled the 11th CD. Again, with a very small sample (211 LVs), they found Republican Lou Barletta leading Rep. Paul Kanjorski by a 43-32 margin. The Kanjorski campaign blistered the poll, offering some slightly dumber lines of attack ("Makes you wonder if The Times Leader didn't cook the numbers") and some sharper ones (noting that the TL doesn't seem to be very adept at polling, given that last week they tested the Lt. Gov. race, even though Pennsylvanians don't elect the LG separately). They also questioned the partisan makeup of the sample, and its small size.
NRCC: The NRCC just made $3.2 million in expenditures on a ton of different races - too many to list here. It looks like it's mostly for paid media, as well as a bunch of polls in a number of districts. Be interesting to see if any see the light of day.
SSP TV (by James L.):
DE-Sen: Chris Coons' latest ad touts reform and fiscal conservatism
KY-Sen: Jack Conway's out with a great ad that personalizes Rand Paul's nagging hostility to federal anti-drug funding
FL-Gov: Alex Sink attacks chrome-domed creep Rick Scott for attacking her over the Florida state pension fund
CO-04: Dem Rep. Betsy Markey paints Cory Gardner as a career politician with his hand in the trough
FL-08: Dem Rep. Alan Grayson takes off the gloves... and straps on a set of brass knuckles. In his latest ad, he paints his Republican opponent as a radical religious fundamentalist, going so far as to call him "Taliban Dan Webster". In another ad, Grayson hits Webster for his Vietnam deferrals. Also worth mentioning is this ad, which came out two weeks ago but went unmentioned here, where Grayson resurrects his famous "briefcase" theme from last cycle.
HI-01: GOP Rep. Charles Djou responds to the DCCC's latest attack ad
IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell unleashes a decent ad hitting Brad Zaun on "personal responsibility" hypocrisy
IL-14: Dem Rep. Bill Foster goes after GOP state Sen. Randy Hultgren for his company's role in fueling the mortgage crisis (and profiting from it)
NY-13: Frosh Dem Rep. Mike McMahon's first ad touts his accomplishments and votes, including his vote against healthcare reform
OH-15: Dem Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy touts her votes, while, in another ad, smacks Steve Stivers over his support of a national sales tax.
OR-05: A six-pack of seniors form a chorus to sing Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader's praises, and wave their hickory walking sticks in Republican Scott Bruun's direction
PA-11: GOPer Lou Barletta responds to Paul Kanjorski's attacks
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball
AK-Sen: The NRSC is coughing up money for Joe Miller; they just cut him a $42,600 check and say they'll be spending $170,000 in coordinated expenditures on his behalf, which CQ reports represents "the maximum allowed under the law". I'm not sure how that's possible, though, as the FEC has a $87,000 limit on coordinated party expenditures for Senate races in Alaska. What I do know is that Democrat Scott McAdams is already making the GOP sweat (although, Joe Miller's balls-out insanity may have a little something to do with that). You see that thermometer on the top right corner of this page? You know what you have to do.
FL-Sen: Libertarian Alex Snitker has popped up to remind the world that he's actually in this race... by announcing that he won't be dropping out of the race, despite pressure in the form of "numerous e-mails and Facebook messages" from Republicans urging him to get out of Marco Rubio's way.
NC-Sen: Normally, I'd bunch this bullet down in the ad section, but Richard Burr's latest spot deserves some special attention. The ad, entitled "Front Porch", resurrects the highly-acclaimed "rocking chair" actors employed by the DSCC in their extremely effective ads against Elizabeth Dole in 2008. Only this time, they're singing Richard Burr's praises and railing against the national debt. At least, I think those are the same actors; if not, they're dead ringers for the originals. (To see what I mean, click here.) I've gotta say - pretty damned clever move on Burr's part.
WA-Sen: The DSCC has reserved $2 million worth of ad time to help protect Patty Murray against Dino Rossi. The DSCC's ads will begin on October 5th.
CO-Gov: Democrat John Hickenlooper doubled up on American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo in August fundraising, bringing in just over $400K to Tancredo's $200K. Tancredo, in turn, quadrupled up on Republican flag-bearer Dan Maes, who raised $50K, nearly half of which was spent on legal fees and campaign finance penalties. Meanwhile, downballot Republicans are doing their best to rally around Tancredo, the only guy with the money and semblance of cred to run a real campaign. More than 20 elected GOPers in Colorado came out in support of Tanc. RGA chair Haley Barbour sounds about ready to throw in the towel, though.
AZ-01, AZ-05: Here's a pair of fresh GOP internal polls from Arizona for your consumption: In AZ-01, rogue dentist Paul Gosar is tied with Dem Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick at 43-43 in a Moore Information poll conducted at the end of August. In AZ-05, National Research, Inc. has David Schweikert up on Dem Harry Mitchell by 46-38.
FL-02: Blue Dog Allen Boyd rolled out the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday.
KS-04: By all indications, Republicans are set to have a very good year at the polls, but they would be foolish to consider a race like the open seat battle to replace Todd Tiahrt in the bag. Not only has Democratic state Rep. Raj Goyle been fundraising strongly and pollingcompetitively in this GOP-friendly district against dickbag Republican Mike Pompeo, it looks like there's a very real chance that there could be some serious vote-splitting on the right. Mega-wealthy businessman Wink Hartman, who lost to Pompeo in the Republican primary, is interested in running as a Libertarian, and Kansas Libertarian Party Chairman Andrew Gray said the chances of that happening are "very favorable". Hartman, who spent over $1.5 million on Republican campaign, had a phone interview with the Libertarians on Tuesday, and they apparently loved what they had to hear. Hartman would be taking the place of David Moffett on the Libertarian ballot, who pulled his name last week after citing personal health reasons. Republicans, of course, are crying foul, but the KS SoS has already denied one objection to the withdrawal.
D-bags: Add NRCC tool Andy Sere to the list. Just click the link.
DE-Sen: Chris Coons is out with his first ad, a spot touting his record as New Castle County Executive. NWOTSOTB, but it's a statewide cable buy that the campaign decided to roll out earlier than planned in order to take advantage of the cat fud fight between Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle.
AR-01: Chad Causey's first ad of the general election is a spot that's mostly biographical, but one that ends with a left hook on Republican Rick Crawford for his support for the bad kind of SSP.
AZ-08: Gabrielle Giffords is out with a solid hit on tea-flavored douchebag Jesse Kelly, hitting him with his own words on his plan to "privatize" and "phase out" Social Security, which, along with Medicare, are apparently the "biggest Ponzi schemes in history". Hey, Jesse: thank you for being a moron.
CA-45: Mary Bono Mack's first ad touts her efforts to support the "magic" of the doctor-patient relationship. Or something.
IL-11: Republican Adam Kinzinger is up with his first ad, an autobiographical piece which touts his Air Force service and his intervention in a knife attack on a woman back home.
IL-17: Phil Hare is out with his first ad in four years, hitting Republican Bobby Schilling on his support of "a bad trade deal with Korea".
IN-02: GOPer Jackie Walorski has the right issue (the economy), but the wrong remedy (trickle down nonsense).
IN-08: Republican Larry Buschon's first spot hits Democrats on, you guessed it, spending - and also on the curious notion that food grows in grocery stores.
MD-01: Frank Kratovil Reads The Bills. (The ad will run "on broadcast stations in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets".)
NE-02: Dem Tom White hits Lee Terry on the national debt, citing his vote for TARP.
NJ-12: Rush Holt's first ad is half-negative, hitting hedge fund kingpin Scott Sipprelle for his supply-side economics, and half-positive, touting Holt's support of the middle class.
TN-08: Dem Roy Herron comes out against drug dealers, predatory lenders, and Wall Street. This one seems like it could use more of an emotional punch, though.
SSP IE Tracker:
Longtime fans of SSP will remember the House Independent Expenditure tracker that we updated on a regular basis two years ago. As much as I'd like to resurrect that project this year, the time constraints of law school prevent me from investing that kind of time. However, we'll still try to keep you in the loop on noteworthy independent expenditure reports here in the Daily Digest.
NH-Sen: CULAC the PAC files a $66K radio ad buy on behalf of conservative Republican Ovide Lamontagne
IN-02: The NRCC files $95K in ads and polls against Joe Donnelly
MA-09: The SEIU is spending $190K on phonebanks and radio ads in support of Mac D'Alessandro in his primary fight against Stephen Lynch
MI-01: The DCCC buys $48K in ads against Dan Benishek
WI-07: The DCCC has re-upped their ad buy against Sean Duffy by another $50K.
• CO-Sen: It looks like the Michael Bennet camp, and his Beltway backers, are taking the recent polling surge by Andrew Romanoff in the Dem Senate primary, very seriously. Barack Obama just did a remote appearance on behalf of Bennet, for five minutes at a Bennet town hall.
• KY-Sen: Well, he finally got around to it. It was buried in the fifth and final paragraph of a press release. Nevertheless, Dan Mongiardo finally endorsed Dem primary victor Jack Conway. Despite previous rumors that he was holding out on his endorsement to get his $77K campaign debt paid off, a Mongiardo spokesperson says he didn't receive anything in exchange for the nod.
• PA-Sen: Bill Clinton will be in Scranton to campaign for Joe Sestak next Tuesday. Frankly, that's a really good fit of candidate, backer, and locale. I wonder if Paul Kanjorski will be allowed to tag along, though? Seems like he could use some Clinton love, too. (No, not that kind of Clinton love.) On the GOP side, Pat Toomey got some campaign fundraising help in Philly from moderate Maine GOP Senator Susan "Comrade of the Month" Collins, who seems to have forgiven or conveniently forgotten all those Club for Growth attempts to knife her in the back.
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray seems to be taking a page from the John Hickenlooper campaign in Colorado, dropping a huge amount of money right now on advertising reservations, all the way through November, while they're still cheap. She spent $3.4 million, nearly half her CoH, on ad buys in July. She can count on her coffers being replenished, though, as Barack Obama will be hosting a fundraiser for her later this month.
• WI-Sen: Dueling ads in Wisconsin. Russ Feingold is out with a sobering ad rattling his saber at Wall Street, while Ron Johnson levels accusations of being a "career politician" at Feingold. Double NWOTSOTB.
• CO-Gov: Is there blood here in the water, or what? Colorado Ethics Watch just filed a complaint with the state bar, which could lead to disciplinary action against Scott McInnis's license to practice law in Colorado, over his plagiarism scandal. McInnis's former campaign manager (until last December, so he was out long before the scandal) also just asked McInnis for a refund of all the contributions he's given him. The DGA is also starting to pour money into this race, striking while the iron is hot; they've plowed $100K into a new third-party group airing a new anti-McInnis attack ad. And if you were thinking that Dan Maes might turn out to be a reasonable alternative to McInnis, guess again. He ventured not just into Michele Bachmann territory (about how we'll all have to live in tenements and take mass transit to work) but clear into UN-black-helicopters-are-fluoridating-my-water territory. And what's the nerve center of the one-world-government's scurrilous plot against Coloradan sovereignty? Denver's program for public bike shares and more showers for bike-riding commuters!!!!1!
"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty."
• GA-Gov: This seems like a big Deal for Nathan: the third-place finisher in the gubernatorial primary, state Sen. Eric Johnson, is backing ex-Rep. Nathan Deal in the runoff. (Oddly, Johnson hasn't said anything about it himself, but Rep. Jack Kingston, another Johnson backer-turned-Deal backer, made the announcement.) Johnson's support should help Deal in the Savannah area, where Johnson seems to have a strong base.
• MD-Gov: I wonder if Sarah Palin is playing three-dimensional chess here, in some sort of strange gambit to help Bob Ehrlich in the general election... or just playing tic-tac-toe, and losing badly at it. At any rate, she endorsed Ehrlich's barely-registering primary rival, businessman Brian Murphy, in the GOP gubernatorial primary. (Which, if you think about it, doesn't jibe at all with her endorsement of centrist and likely victor Terry Branstad in Iowa instead of wingnut Bob Vander Plaats... but then, Maryland's not an early presidential state.) Ehrlich is now publicly doing the happy dance over her endorsement of his rival, saying that it just confirms his moderate credentials for the general, where he has a shot at knocking off incumbent Dem Martin O'Malley.
• AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar has a lead in the Republican primary in AZ-01 for the right to take on freshman Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, if his own internal is to be believed. The poll from Moore Info puts him at 30, with '08 candidate Sydney Hay at 10, Some Dude Bradley Beauchamp at 7, and, surprisingly, former state Sen. majority leader Rusty Bowers back at 6. Gosar seems to have consolidated many big-name movement conservatives behind him, ranging from Sarah Palin to Joe Arpaio. My main question, though, is: Sydney Hay is running again?!? Why weren't we informed? (You may remember her legacy of fail from her 2008 run.)
• AZ-03: This is at least the second time a childless GOP candidate has gotten busted for playing up his "family man" credentials by romping with children in advertising (the first time was Kevin Yoder in KS-03). At least Yoder was able to claim the kids were his nieces and nephews... Ben Quayle apparently had to borrow some of his aides' kids for his photo shoot.
• IL-17: After seemingly no one found their internal poll from last week credible (which gave the previously-unheralded, if not unknown, Bobby Schilling a lead over Democratic Rep. Phil Hare), there's another Republican poll out that seems to at least be on the same temporal plane as reality, in this swing district where the GOP hasn't competed hard in a while. POS (on behalf of a state party committee... Magellan did the Schilling internal) gives Hare a 33-31 lead over the political novice and pizza restauranteur. The poll also gives 7% support to the Green Party candidate, which somehow doesn't seem likely to hold.
• WV-01: As heartburn-inducing Mike Oliverio will probably be in terms of his voting record, here's some confirmation that we at least got an electoral upgrade here from the guy he defeated in the Dem primary, Rep. Alan Mollohan, who had ethical clouds following him and seemed to be phoning in his campaign. Oliverio is out with a new internal from Hamilton Campaigns that gives him a 52-36 lead over GOP opponent David McKinley. With Joe Manchin at the top of the ticket in a November special election, now, too, here's one Tossup seat where our odds seem to be getting noticeably better. (As a bonus, they find Manchin leading John Raese 62-30 in the district, which is West Virginia's reddest.)
• DCCC: CQ looks at the DCCC's attempts to enforce dues-payment this cycle. While their "Frontline" members (the ones in the trickiest races) are exempt from paying dues, they're winding up giving de facto passes to a number of other vulnerable incumbents, not having had any luck at stopping them from hoarding their own cash in preparation for tough races. 88 House Dems haven't paid any dues at all this cycle, while many others are in arrears. There's also, buried in the article, a statement that the DCCC doesn't plan to further extend its Frontline program, even as the number of potentially vulnerable Dems seems to keep increasing.
• California: For people who just can't get enough campaign finance reports, the Sacramento Bee has a helpful table of filings for all the candidates for the downballot statewide races. Dems have a cash on hand lead in most races, except for two (Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner). It's particularly pronounced in the Lt. Governor race, where Gavin Newsom leads GOP incumbent Abel Maldonado $495K to $91K. In the very tight AG's race (also the downballot race that's seen by far the most expenditures), Dem Kamala Harris leads GOPer Steve Cooley $186K to $121K (and Cooley also has $170K in debt).
• Redistricting: Ohio, unfortunately, won't be having a referendum on a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, that would limit parties' ability to gerrymander by requiring bipartisan support for new maps. The problem? The parties in the state legislature couldn't agree on the exact framework for the plan. At least there's good news on the better-districts front in New York, where the state Senate just passed legislation that will make sure that incarcerated persons are counted in their home communities, when legislative lines are redrawn next year.
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 31%, Bill McCollum (R) 27%, Bud Chiles (I) 20%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 31%, Rick Scott (R) 35%, Bud Chiles (I) 16%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 40%, Rob Portman (R) 44%