AR-Sen: Bill Halter has a new ad up going after Sen. Blanche Lincoln for her vote in favor of TARP – aka the bailout. As is all too often the case with these kinds of reports, there’s no indication of how big the ad buy is.
CA-Sen, CA-Gov: Man, the news cycle moves fast these days. The RNC bondage-themed nightclub scandal (which I’m sure you’ve read all about) already had some same-day blowback. GOP senate candidate Chuck DeVore says he’s “severed all ties” with Erik Brown, a consultant who seems to be responsible for the expenses racked up at Voyeur West Hollywood. The Daily Caller (which broke the story originally) also says that Brown did work for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner. Meanwhile, Politico’s Dave Catanese tweets that freshman Sen. Claire McCaskill is sending out a fundraising email for Barbara Boxer.
CT-Sen: In the somewhat strange Connecticut Republican senate primary, Paulist economist Peter Schiff has put out his first TV ad… and it doesn’t mention that he’s a Republican. Schiff is spending half a mil to run the ad statewide for two weeks. Schiff also promised to run in the August primary even if he doesn’t get the party nomination at the May convention.
KS-Sen: Things have gotten a little worse for Todd Tiahrt in his race against Jerry Moran in the GOP primary to succeed outgoing Sen. Sam Brownback: SUSA now shows Moran up 42-32. Two months ago, Moran led by seven points – and by just three two months before that. The Kansas primary is not until August 3rd, so Tiahrt still has time, but he doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction.
KY-Sen: Now things are getting good:
Trey Grayson, Kentucky’s secretary of state, used his latest ad to again hammer his rival, Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul, on national security issues.
“Paul even wonders whether 9/11 was our fault,” a female announcer says in the spot that began airing Thursday. The commercial then shows Paul speaking at a Blue Grass Policy Institute forum in March 2009, saying: “Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries.”
I just hope that Grayson doesn’t nuke Paul before our nominee (hopefully Jack Conway) gets a chance to pummel him in the general.
NC-Sen: A good get for former state Sen. Cal Cunningham: Gen. Wesley Clark endorsed his fellow Army veteran for the Democratic senate nod. Interestingly, Clark specifically noted Cunningham’s support for ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
NY-Sen-B: Marist finds ex-Gov. George Pataki with the narrowest of leads over Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 47-45, essentially unchanged from last month’s 48-45 margin. This is all well and good for Republicans, but Pataki hasn’t given the slightest indication that he’s interested in running.
GA-Gov: Looks like Nathan Deal didn’t quit quite fast enough. The Office of Congressional Ethics found (according to the NYT) that Deal “appeared to have improperly used his office to pressure Georgia officials to continue a vehicle inspection program that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for his family’s auto salvage business.” I wonder how much of an impact this will have in the governor’s race, though, since Deal had mostly been floundering in the polls. Maybe it’ll just be the final nail in his political coffin – a suiting end for a party-switching ex-Democrat.
IA-Gov: GOP ex-Gov. and comeback hopeful Terry Branstad is up with his first TV ad of the campaign. No word on the size of the buy, though.
MD-Gov: The Baltimore Sun profiles would-be GOP gubernatorial candidate (and ex-gov) Bob Ehrlich and finds that his current job is “‘rainmaker’ for the Baltimore branch of North Carolina-based law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Ehrlich describes his job as being ‘the face of the firm,’ with his duties including ‘speeches, coffees, dinners, lunches, meetings.'” Sounds like Ehrlich’s been working on honing his Dan Coats/Tommy Thompson pedigree.
FL-08: Rep. Alan Grayson, one of the wealthiest members of Congress and a man who has largely self-funded his past campaigns, raised almost half a million dollars in a recent “moneybomb.”
NY-13: It looks like the GOP has some primary woes of its own in the 13th CD. Though the Republican establishment is coalescing around former FBI agent Mike Grimm, lawyer Michael Allegretti is vowing to fight on. He’s recently gone up with an ad on cable (so presumably a small buy) demanding repeal of the healthcare reform bill.
NY-23: Hah! Could the unlikable Doug Hoffman foment yet another right-wing split? Hoffman is laying claim to the Conservative Party line in this fall’s election, and he’s making the argument that whoever runs for the Republicans will need both lines in order to win. (Pretty plausible!) This is pissing off local GOP leaders, though, who are taking this as a threat to nominate Hoffman – or else face yet another divided ballot. This is some Fancy Feast-level cat fud we’re talking about.
NY-29: A more complete list of candidates interviewed by upstate Dems as potential nominees for the special election to fill ex-Rep. Eric Massa’s seat:
Mary Wilmot, an aide to Gov. David Paterson, Assemblyman David Koon of Perinton, past candidate for state Senate and businessman David Nachbar of Pittsford, Southern Tier native Matthew Zeller, and Michael McCormick of Allegany County
Wonder if we might be missing a name, though, since yesterday word was that the Dems would be interviewing six people.
OH-16, OH-18: CQ: “Businessman Jim Renacci, who is taking on freshman Rep. John Boccieri in the 16th district, and state Sen. Bob Gibbs, who is running against two-term Rep. Zack Space in the adjacent 18th district, established a joint fundraising committee, ‘Gibbs-Renacci for Congress’ and will split the proceeds evenly.”
PA-06: Manan Trivedi is chipping away at Doug Pike’s big lead among organized labor. He picked up a couple of local union endorsements, from the Transport Workers and the Iron Workers.
TN-08: Republican potentates are showering even more love on Steve Fincher, this time in the form of a campaign tour with GA Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (of “Obama is uppity” fame). Fincher has a lot of money, but like almost every GOP candidate with establishment backing, he faces a primary from ever-truer conservatives.
Census: There’s some speculation that anti-government attitudes (and paranoid black-helicopterism) might be the cause of low Census response rates in Texas. Though the biggest challenge for the Census is typically presented by undercounted groups like blacks and Latinos, some of the lowest response rates are in fact coming from very Republican counties. It’ll be very interesting to compare response rates and voting history when all is said and done.
Redistricting: Nathan Gonzales has a detailed look at the powers that are gathering on both sides for the upcoming post-census redistricting battle.