SSP Daily Digest: 8/5

NV-Sen: Looks like John Ensign might be starting to get the Jim Bunning treatment from GOP Senate leadership even though it’s three years till he’s up in 2012. Today John Cornyn made a point of refusing to endorse Ensign when asked, instead retreating to boilerplate about giving him the time and space to work out his issues. This follows revelations earlier this week from the Las Vegas Sun detailing how Ensign’s staff, contrary to earlier claims, knew about Ensign’s affair almost one year before it became public.

NH-Sen: As the GOP establishment annointment of Kelly Ayotte as Senate candidate continues apace, she’s nailed down former Gov. Steve Merrill (who had been touted as a possible candidate himself) as her campaign co-chair.

NC-Sen: Polls have shown that voters are pretty lukewarm about Richard Burr, and now comments from Burr suggest that he’s pretty lukewarm about being Senator, too. By way of decrying the increased partisanship on the Hill (by which he no doubt means being in the minority), he says “When people ask me if I enjoy what I’m doing, now is the time that I try not to answer the question.”

OH-Gov: While the fundraising numbers in the Ohio Secretary of State’s race that we talked about yesterday are a cause for concern, Dems are doing well in the two other races that will determine control of the legislative reapportionment board. Not just the Governor’s race, where incumbent Ted Strickland is far outpacing Republican ex-Rep. John Kasich ($2.5 million to $516K), but also Hamilton Co. Commissioner David Pepper, who is challenging incumbent Republican Auditor Mary Taylor, and leading the money chase $317K to $107K. Cumulatively, Democrats in the state House have also more than doubled up on their Republican colleagues.

PA-07: Now that Joe Sestak has made it official that he’s running for Senate, that puts the wheels in motion in the 7th. Democratic State Rep. Bryan Lentz says he’ll make a formal announcement of his candidacy in the next month. Lentz doesn’t seem like he’ll have the Dem field to himself, though; state Rep. Greg Vitali says he’s also considering the race. On the GOP side, businessman Steven Welch is staffing up for his campaign; unless Pat Meehan does an about-face and drops down from the gubernatorial race, Welch seems likely to have the field to himself.

Ads: Prepare to watch and hear nothing but ads about health care reform for the next month. The Club for Growth is running ads playing up the “deather” line of argument, targeting Democratic congressional delegations in Nevada, Arkansas, Colorado, and North Dakota. On the Dem side, the DNC is running health care radio ads on behalf of 19 House members (Driehaus, Dahlkemper, Kirkpatrick, Giffords, McNerney, Perlmutter, Kosmas, Grayson, Walz, Heinrich, Titus, Maffei, Massa, Kilroy, Boccieri, Space, Wilson, Nye, and Kagen).

DE-St. Sen.: A Republican, state Rep. Joe Booth, won a vacant Senate seat in a special election that had been held by the Democrats for decades (of course, it was always the same Democrat: state Senate President Pro Tem Thurman Adams recently passed away, after holding the seat for 37 years). Booth defeated Adams’ daughter, Polly Adams Mervine, who’d never run for office before. The victory in this rural seat in Republican-leaning Sussex County brings the GOP total in the state Senate up to a whopping 6 (Dems hold 15 seats). One silver lining is that Democrats now have a shot at picking up Booth’s House seat, where their margin is narrower and could use some padding (they control the state House for the first time in ages, by a 24-16 margin with the 1 vacancy).

FL-St. Sen.: Remember Joe Negron, the Republican state Rep. who lost to slimy Tim Mahoney in the 2006 FL-16 election (largely due to the fact that his name was listed as “Mark Foley” on the ballot)? Well, he’s back in the legislature, this time as a Senator, winning a special election yesterday to take over from Republican Ken Pruitt, who’s stepping down from the solidly Republican seat for health reasons.

33 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 8/5”

  1. Should we all start referring to Senator Burr as “Dick Burr”? I had a friend in college named Richard, and there were these two girls that enjoyed referring to him as “Dick,” even though it was not for any malicious purposes.  

  2. A quick recap of history first:


    – Moderate Joe Schwarz defeats Tim Walberg (and several others) in the GOP primary.

    – Sharon Renier, a quirky organic farmer, defeats two other no-name candidates in the Democratic primary.

    – Schwarz defeats Renier 59-36.


    – With the Club for Growth endorsement in hand, Tim Walberg defeats “RINO” Rep. Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary.

    – Sharon Renier defeats three third-tier candidates once again, winning the Democratic primary.

    – Since Walberg really was that bad, Renier makes it close, losing to Walberg but holding him to just under 50 percent.


    – Walberg wins the GOP primary unchallenged.

    – Top-tier recruit state Senator Mark Schauer defeats Sharon Renier in the Democratic primary, yielding this quote:

    Renier, of Munith, said her apparent defeat is a loss for the people of Michigan.

    “I believe people are sheeples and they will go wherever they think the feed is the sweetest,” she said. “They will stand out in the rain but they don’t realize that the big bad wolf is coming and that’s too bad for them.”

    – Schauer defeats Walberg in one of the most expensive races of the year. Walberg announces in July of 2009 that he’ll run in 2010 to reclaim his seat.

    Now we come to…


    – Former state Rep. Mike Nofs defeats a no-name candidate in the GOP primary to fill the vacancy Mark Schauer left in the state Senate.

    – State Rep. Martin Griffin defeats Sharon Renier in the Democratic primary for the same seat. Sharon Renier reacts:

    Renier said she was disappointed by the primary’s outcome.

    “I’m officially a Republican,” she said, adding that she will “absolutely” take on Tim Walberg in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 7 in 2010.

    “I am no longer a Democrat,” Renier said. “They don’t even know when they’ve got a good candidate.”

    Oh boy.

    The thing is, Sharon Renier actually has a few decent ideas, and she ran a passionate (if not particularly effective) campaign against Tim Walberg in 2006. But a few decent ideas don’t make up for some of the other things she says. Her issues pages from 2008 put her in the fringe, and her primary campaign against Schauer was a bit of a joke, with wild accusations being thrown about.

    But now she’s Tim Walberg’s problem.

  3. Before anyone concludes the end of the world from the result here, the loss was pretty much a paper one. Adams was a DINO (as you tend to get in Sussex County), the district went something like 54-46 for McCain, and Polly Mervine Adams was a terrible candidate, from what I heard.

  4. Sort of reaches levels of “Democrat Party” or “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” to call him anything else.

    Along the same sophomoric lines, however, there is a judge in my state whose given name is Richard Stroker.  He goes by his middle name for obvious reasons.

  5. His previous negative ad was more like the many that the DCCC ran in the 2008 that just say the opponent is corrupt or something without providing a story, while at the same time many people view all politicians as corrupt. Corzine really needs to make his ads about policy and connect Christie with Bush by showing examples of his support for Bush and his policies.

  6. I wondered what was coming then but the ending was beyond anything I was expecting. They are welcome to her.

  7. got to wonder what she’ll do when Walberg crushes her in the primary.  

    I mean, what does she want the Dems to do, they nominated her twice and she lost both times.  Doesn’t sound like a good candidate to me.  

  8. Adams was a DINO (as you tend to get in Sussex County), the district went something like 54-46 for McCain, and Polly Mervine Adams was a terrible candidate, from what I heard.

    Yes, this is all 100% correct. Senate Pro Tem Adams was famous for blocking gay rights legislation (using the infamous “desk drawer veto” power) and was the number one reason why we don’t even have civil unions in Delaware. Sussex County Democrats are more socially conservative than New Castle County Republicans. Polly Adams Mervine was not likely to be an improvement. The only downside is the Senate Republican caucus gets another conservative, making it evenly split 3-3 with the moderates. The 6 GOP senators are 3 male conservatives (inluding the Senate Minority Leader) and 3 female moderates (including the Senate Minority Whip). I had been hoping the moderate Whip would try to grab the minority leader position from the conservative inbumbent next cycle.

  9. In certain very safe Democratic districts, I actually try to get some grassroots support for Green Party candidates, provided they’re going to do a Sanders and caucus with us.  Rep. DeGette had no Republican opponent in 2006 and I flirted with voting Green (DeGette should have joined the CPC in defunding the war and had a few other concerning votes on issues of war and peace).  She’ll never lose and I sometimes think about such things, but Tom Kelly had no issues to be found.  The more detail the better, I say.  The Greens need to learn from this. Sometimes, so do we.

  10. I’m from California but I go to college at Tulane in New Orleans and was able to vote in the December election.  I debated whether it was better not to vote at all or to hold my nose and vote for Cao.  I didn’t think for a second Cao would win but decided having a lame-duck conservative was better than a probable felon.  Definitely proud of my choice.  Cao has been able to get far more done for NOLA than Jefferson would have while on trial.  Plus this scandal would have been far more embarrassing for the Democratic Party if Jefferson was still in office.  I plan to vote out Cao in 2010, but for now I’m just grateful that he’s my representative and not Jefferson.

  11. We have 3 counties – most of the people live in New Castle County (Wilmington, Newark, U of DE, Banks, Du Ponts), reliably blue except for very rich areas. Kent County (Dover, the Air Force base, the NASCAR track) is the swing county, won by Obama after twice going for Bush. Sussex County (Perdue farms, Indian River School District, Crazy Eileen, Rehoboth) might as well be South Carolina, with the exception of the beaches – Rehoboth is pretty liberal, while Lewes and Dewey beach are more middle-of-the-road.

    Kent and Sussex (basically everything south of the canal) are referred to as “Slower Lower”

    YouTube “Crazy Eileen” if you wanna know what Sussex is like.

  12. The fourth video I saw in the “Crazy Eileen” search…

    Mike Castle Gets Obama Birth Certificate Earful

    RINO Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, one of the 8 Republican representatives who voted for the Democrats’ disastrous Cap and Trade national energy tax, got an earful about Barack Obama’s missing birth certificate from a concerned constituent at a recent town hall meeting.


  13. Thanks for the nice rundown of DE political geography and what differentiates Delaware’s 3 counties.

    Posts like this are why I love SSP. :)

  14. Too many people actually drank the polluted water and suffered serious brain damage. My own former congressman, Jim Traficant, suffered the same fate.

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