SSP Daily Digest: 2/4

CA-Sen: Possibly the most bizarre political ad (well, web video) of all time has just gotten unveiled by the Carly Fiorina campaign, which makes their “Carlyfornia Dreaming” website look reasoned and well-thought-out. I mean, they’re going to be studying this in political rhetoric classes 50 years from now, as an example of what not to do. Not only is the imagery laughable (check out the glowing-eyed demon sheep at 2:24) but the metaphor completely falls apart (Tom Campbell is a “FCINO” (financial conservative in name only) and thus a crafty wolf, while good politicians are a herd of helpless mindless sheep?).

CT-Sen: Even Rasmussen can’t find a way to put a happy face on the tombstone piledriver the Connecticut GOP suffered with the Chris Dodd-for-Richard Blumenthal swap. They find Blumenthal leading ex-Rep. Rob Simmons 54-35 and Gorgeous Lady of Wrestling Linda McMahon 56-36. Simmons is actually very well-liked, at 60/26 favorables, but that’s no match for Blumenthal at 70/27.

IL-Sen: Republicans can content themselves with Rasmussen’s first post-primary poll of the Senate field; they find GOP Rep. Mark Kirk leading Dem state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias 46-40. This, of course, doesn’t jibe with not only last week’s PPP poll (with a 42-34 Alexi lead) but the last Rasmussen poll of the general, from December (with a 42-39 Alexi lead). Both those polls predate the strangely-timed consent decree between the FDIC and the Giannoulias-family-owned Broadway Bank, so it’s possible Giannoulias might have taken a hit from that. Also, Rasmussen’s numbers aren’t that far off from an internal (pdf) from Magellan that the Kirk campaign was quick to release yesterday: 47-35. One suggestion that might cast a little doubt on the samples, though, is Barack Obama’s approval ratings in his home state, oddly low at 54% and 51% respectively, only a few points ahead of his national average.

IN-Sen: Ex-Sen. Dan Coats is leaving himself a lot of elbow room with the way he’s carefully phrased what he’s doing: “as I test the waters for a potential challenge…” I realize that SSP is pretty much powerless to change the nature of the political discourse, but we’re getting very tired of the whole “I’m not running, but I’m running, wink wink” kabuki that seems to be standard practice these days (John Boozman, we’re talking to you too). We fully intend to change the rating on this race, but not until Coats truly and officially gets in. At any rate, Coats may be wise leaving himself an escape hatch, if the dribs and drabs like this one keep piling up: one of his lobbying clients has been Hugo Chavez-connected oil company Harvest Natural Resources (but, then, making nice with Chavez is IOKIYAR, I guess).  

WI-Sen: If you’re looking for a tea leaf on whether or not ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson is interested in taking on Russ Feingold this year, look no further: he just took a position as an advisor to a hedge fund. He’ll consult with Peak Ridge Capital Group on agribusiness matters. Not only will that keep him occupied in the near future, but it’s not really the kind of thing you want on your resume if trying to run at a time of anti-banker agitas. (Another hint: the talk of an ex-Rep. Mark Neumann switch from the Governor’s race, to a rematch with Feingold, suddenly bubbling up.)

IL-Gov: We have winners in the gubernatorial primaries, as all of Illinois’s precincts reported by the end of the day yesterday. Pat Quinn wound up with a more than 8,000 vote margin over Dan Hynes (good for 50.4%), and Hynes conceded this morning. On the Republican side, state Sen. Kirk Dillard didn’t make up as much ground in Cook County on fellow state Sen. Bill Brady as anticipated, and Brady wound up finishing with a 406-vote margin. There’s no automatic recount law in Illinois, so it’s up to Dillard to decide whether or not to proceed with a challenge.

Meanwhile, down the ballot, both parties seem somewhat aghast at the winners of their Lt. Governor primaries. News came out today that pawnbroker Scott Lee Cohen, winner of the Democratic nod, was arrested four years ago for misdemeanor assault after holding a knife to the throat of a girlfriend (who had also been convicted of prostitution). Needless to say, Quinn is already distancing himself from Cohen, calling on him to step aside. (Although Governor and Lt. Governor are elected separately in primaries, they’re then lashed together as a ticket for the general, which is how Rod Blagojevich and Quinn got put together despite their antipathy – I’m not sure if any other state does it that way.) Which isn’t to say that the Republicans fared much better on that front, nominating random teabagging businessman Jason Plummer (who, like Cohen, won by pouring his own money into the race) instead of state Sen. Matt Murphy.

NY-Gov: I can’t see this being of any interest unless something goes seriously wrong and we somehow wind up with a David Paterson/Rick Lazio matchup and we need to shunt off some right-wing votes to get Paterson over the hump. But now there’s a teabagger-linked rich guy, Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino, saying that he’s considering a gubernatorial run, and that he “would go in as a pure independent.”

PA-Gov: Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato has the big financial edge in the Dem gubernatorial primary, and now he has some key labor backing as well. The Teamsters are the first major union to endorse in the primary, and they went for Onorato.

TX-Gov: Looks like there’s going to be a crazy Wang Dang Tango at Rick Perry’s Houston rally on Sunday: not only is Sarah Palin going to be there to endorse Perry, but so too is the Motor City Madman, the Ten Terrible Fingers of Doom, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Caveman: Ted Nugent (who plans to perform). In case you’re wondering where the normally reserved and understated Nugent stands on all things political, he recently said: “I think that Barack Hussein Obama should be put in jail. It is clear that Barack Hussein Obama is a communist. Mao Tse Tung lives and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. This country should be ashamed. I wanna throw up.”

AR-01: The first Democrat making moves to replace retiring Rep. Marion Berry is Berry’s very own Chief of Staff, Chad Causey, who has already scheduled a fundraiser. State Sen. Steve Bryles, state Rep. Keith Ingram, and former state party chair Jason Willett are other Dems publicly eyeing the race. For the GOP, broadcaster Rick Crawford probably won’t have the race to himself, with state Sen. Johnny Key interested. Princella Smith is also likely to get in – she’ll definitely need a new job starting in November, as she’s currently a staffer to Rep. Joe Cao.

FL-24: The 24th seems like an apt target for Republicans, with a Republican lean and freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas not quite finding her footing – but fundraising has gone poorly for the two GOPers in the race, state Rep. Sandy Adams and Winter Park city councilor Karen Diebel, neither of whom has broken into the six digits in the last few quarters. The NRCC is now touting the likely entry of Craig Miller, the former CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses. He’s never held office before, but at least he brings his own money with him.

NC-10: In the dark-red 10th, the only way odious chickenhawk Rep. Patrick McHenry is going to get dislodged is in a GOP primary – and it’s starting to look like that’s a possibility this year. Not one but two different opponents have outraised him (although mostly by dipping into their own wallets): dentist and Iredell Co. Commissioner Scott Keadle and businessman Vance Patterson. Keadle has some electoral experience, coming within 14 points of Mel Watt in NC-12 in 1998, during the brief period when the frequently-modified VRA district had a sizable white plurality. Keadle claims to be coming at McHenry from the right, which is hard to fathom as McHenry is already one of the most stridently conservative members of the House.

NH-01: Another one-time NRCC fave who’s fallen by the side of the road somewhat as he’s put up quarter after quarter of mediocre fundraising is former Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. Sensing an opening, several other contenders have gotten into the GOP field; one, Richard Ashooh, has been exploring the race but made it official today. He comes with his own set of insider credentials, though: he’s the VP of governmental relations for large locally-based defense contractor BAE Systems.

NY-23: Talk about not learning from the past. If Assemblyman Will Barclay wins the GOP nomination, he may find himself getting Scozzafavaed by the same guy. Doug Hoffman plans to run on both the Republican and Conservative lines, but Conservative party chair Mike Long says he’ll continue to back Hoffman on the Conservative line even if Hoffman loses the Republican primary.

Redistricting: There’s still a chance to get on the newly-created California legislative redistricting board. The deadline to submit an application is Feb. 12. The state is taking notice that 73% of applicants are non-Hispanic whites and 70% are males, neither of which is very representative of the state’s makeup, and is shelling out for a last-minute outreach campaign to bring in some more minority applicants. Part of the problem is that applicants can’t have run for office or worked for a politician, which filters out many of the most politically engaged in minority communities. At any rate, it’s an opportunity to get more progressives behind the wheel of shaping a more competitive legislative map for next year, so any SSPers in the Golden State are urged to apply.

70 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/4”

  1. 12 points is much different than 6. I’m inclined to believe the latter though even that may be a touch generous to Kirk given the source. Even if correct it isn’t so bad considering the hit Alexi just took. If he is able to distance himself from it and paint Kirk as a path to more gridlock then I think he’ll be fine once the president gets involved.  

  2. I can’t help but think of Betty Boozeman (she’s the red-haired one).

    Yay being a politics geek and a fan of obscure animé.  (The name of that is Stratos 4, btw.  Charming little show.  Gets better in the second season.)

  3. This isn’t really on-topic, but HNR isn’t “Chavez-connected” in the sense that they’re buddies with Chavez. It’s an oil company that drills in Venezuela, but IIRC they basically had their Venezuelan holdings appropriated from them — they had to transfer them to a separate holding company and then turn 51% of that holding company over the the Venezuelan state oil company. It’s nice to see Politico’s headlines-at-any-costs aesthetic turned on a Republican, but there’s not really a there there.

  4. Pennsylvania’s system is the same as Illinois, whereby the Gov and Lt. Gov candidates run separately in the primaries but are put on the same ticket in the general. There might be others, but I’m just speaking for my state. 😛

  5. That’s a re-election headache Quinn certainly didn’t need…

    The voters got pwn3d by that pawnbroker.

  6. I just read that recently, I thought he was at least 50 based on appearance. So at 41, he still probably has a future in politics despite this loss.

  7. Too long. Too melodramatic. No working metaphor. Barely mentions the candidate it’s trying to tout. And the demon sheep over the gothic chanting is just priceless. Between this and the website, I seriously wouldn’t be surprised to learn that team Fiorina accidentally hired a few sabotage-minded Democrats for its communications team. (Or is trying to capture the youth/geek/subculture vote by becoming the Rocky Horror Picture Show of political campaigns. I half expect the next evil sheep to be wearing a freak suit, holding the Sword of Damocles and singing about cutting taxes while doing the Time Warp. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the campaign any more than anything else to date has.)

  8. If someone campaigns to the right of McHenry, they should be a wacko.  The thought of McHenry not being conservative enough is beyond my comprehension.

  9. BAE Systems in not based in New Hampshire, or even in the United States.  They’re British, formerly known as British Aerospace.  They do have a large amount of American business though and a special agreement with the US Government that allows them to work on classified projects, despite their foreign ownership.  Their big New Hampshire offices are actually in the 2nd district, in Nashua.

  10. I got a political survey call a few days ago, and one of the questions was, if Paterson ran in the general election, would I vote for him or not. My reply was that I have no idea what I would do if it came down to that, because Paterson is demonstratedly incompetent, but I wouldn’t like whatever a Republican Governor would do.

  11. in Little Rock to discuss his political future. This has been known for quite a while now so I am not sure where the idea that he is non-running running comes from (I’m looking at you Andrew Cuomo).  

  12. Larry Kudlow is considering running in New York against Chuck Schumer according to TPM http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo…  Couple of questions though – a) why would he be running against Schumer if Gillibrand still has yet to field first-tier opposition and b) didn’t he consider running against Dodd in Connecticut last year?  What state does he live in and would he fulfill residency requirements?

  13. I like how practically the whole thing is interspersed with jump cuts to random footage of chewing sheep… and how its set to a soundtrack straight out of Angels and Demons. Truly comical.

  14. I’m really starting to think Scott Lee Cohen was like, planted by the Republicans to sabotage our ticket or something…

    and I heard on the radio this morning that he’s resisting calls for him to get out. Ughhhhh.

  15. State House Minority Leader and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Dubose Porter to pander to the Christian far-right:

    Sadie Fields, by the way, was a huge supporter of the anti-gay marriage/civil unions constitutional amendment and has a gay daughter that said her mother’s homophobia tore their family apart.  

  16. I recall that the Rendell/Hafer team was a bit mismatched.

    Also there was the year that Bob Casey was nominated for Lt. Governor. No, not that Bob Casey, a random dude named Bob Casey from Western PA. I think this was also when the state Treasurer was another random dude named Bob Casey.

  17. Robert P. “Bob” Casey, Sr: The Governor

    Robert E. “Bob” Casey: The Treasurer succeeded Robert P. Casey, served from 1976 to 1980

    Robert P. “Bob” Casey: Ice Cream who was nominated for Lt. Governor in the same primary that the more prominent Robert P. Casey lost a primary for Governor

    Robert P. “Bob” Casey, Jr: The Senator

    So that’s four, 3 elected officials and 1 nominee, in one state

  18. Robert P. Casey the Lt. Governor nominee was an Ice Cream Salesman. I’d need to check to see if he drove a truck too.

  19. Where the Lt. Gov was nominated separately.  I thought I remembered reading somewhere before that Barb Lawton never got along with Jim Doyle because she wasn’t Doyle’s pick for LG.

  20. Cuomo is fine not announcing, his current job gets him enough good press to keep everyone loving him. He could announce the day before the election and still walk through.

    If he doesn’t run then he is worse then Biden.

  21. Mike Long, the chairman of the New York Conservative Party, seems to think Schumer’s approval has taken enough of a hit amid the anti-incumbent environment for a competitive candidate to be fielded. The only reason Kudlow would be interested in a NY-Sen race is to take down Schumer, who he’s criticized time and time on his TV program; hence, he wouldn’t feel strongly about challenging Gillibrand, even if he probably doesn’t like her politics either.

    My sense is Kudlow probably doesn’t run in the end, DioGuardi does run for the nod against Gillibrand, and Blakeman theoretically could switch to a race against Schumer. Having a DioGuardi/Blakeman/Lazio GOP ticket would probably appeal to the NYC suburbs but flop upstate.

  22. There’s a residency requirement in New York?  Someone apparently forgot to tell Harold Ford.  Or Hillary Clinton for that matter.

  23. they seemed most interested in my opinion of the tax on sugary sodas and juice drinks that Governor Paterson has proposed. For the record, I am moderately in favor of that tax as good for public health, the one argument against it that I find meritorious is that, like most other sales taxes, it will be regressive, and Governor Paterson’s support for the tax doesn’t make me any more or less likely to vote for him.

    So if you see a poll that asked a bunch of questions about the respondents’ views of Pepsico, the soft drink bottling industry, the Governor, and so forth, and the proposed tax, that was the survey I took.

  24. Another issue with that article: I’m pretty sure neither Obama nor any other part of the Democratic leadership asked Dorgon, Snyder, or Tanner to retire.  Dodd, maybe, Ritter, maybe.  Those helped us electorally.

  25. But as far as I know based on admittedly cursory research, they are nominated and run on a single ticket.

  26. response is almost as hilarious:

    Carly Fiorina’s campaign is in full Mutton Meltdown mode, with an increasingly bizarre fixation on farm animals. She’s admitted missing a decade’s worth of opportunities to vote for budget reform, but instead of offering solutions, all she has for voters are dogs, cats and demon-sheep.

  27. Running on the same agenda as McHenry, just hoping that the persistent rumours about his sexuality bear fruit.

  28. They’ve been bribing Saudi ministers for two decades to win contracts, and would have been prosecuted if Blair didn’t intervene to shut it down. They’re still being prosecuted for bribes in Eastern Europe and Africa, and I believe the Americans were considering bringing charges too.

    So there are questions that could be asked there.

  29. and didnt want to put much stock into the rumor.  And then I read the article and thought the same thing, very inaccurate and misleading.

  30. For job creation. This is because of people stopping looking but I’ll take the optics thank you very much. Economic gravity means jobs are sure to come soon enough.

  31. Unemployment rate went down because individuals who were unemployed and actively looking last month still don’t have a job but have stopped looking and are therefore no long part of the workforce.

    I’m not saying that it’s not good news since it was better than expected, but for electoral purposes this won’t translate to improved voter perceptions.

  32. He’s still better than the gut Quinn ran with last time!

    Big deal, so what Cohen just has a letigous brother who likes filing lawsuits against him for $200 grand! And if California can elect a Governor who uses roids why can’t Illinios elect a LT Gov on them.

    As for chocking his ex-wife, well that just means he’s got the Ike Turner vote locked up.

    As for spending $3 million on the primary while not paying his child support just shows he is committed to the race.


  33. “I spent my life as a Republican. As the concepts of what it means to be a Republican changed, I tried to go with the flow. However, there was a point of no return, from which I could not go further. Now as a new member of the Democratic Party…”

  34. Front page diary at DailyKos –

    “Still No Positive Uptick in Jobs. U6 drops to 16.5%”

    Good grief!

  35. …making offers that Scott Cohen can’t refuse.

    Cohen needs to get dropped from the ticket, and replaced with someone, anyone (Dan Hynes, anyone?).

  36. Quinn running on a ticket with the guy who went super-negative against him? That would find its way into a Republican attack ad, easy.

  37. I guess he’s hoping he can find enough conservative Democrats and Democrats so desperate for a win that they think it’s a good idea to pander to the fundies.  That, and he’s hoping some didn’t notice.

  38.  being factual, bringing up the real meat of every issue while the GOP uses sound bites and slogans that speak very little about the issue at hand but instead manufactures the issue into something that is sellable.

    Hell, If I wasnt enlightened, I would never support the Democrats.  Who the hell would support the party who thinks the world is going to end because of me driving my car?

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