SSP Daily Digest: 3/30

  • 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.
  • 37 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/30”

    1. Tennessee’s deadline is Thursday, and it doesn’t look like Dems will have a serious candidate for TN-06. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Lincoln Davis will draw a top-tier challenger, but he needs to get his butt in gear with some better fundraising numbers if he still wants to win.

    2. Thune will be unopposed and we’ll see if some random doctor dude gets on the ballot against herseth sandlin

    3. I want him to win, but I hate that ad. I don’t like the policy position, but beyond that, if you are making a case against an incumbent, go ahead and take her on directly.

    4. Ok, I exaggerate but look at some of her Passover email: “This week, as we break bread and spend time with our families and friends, I hope we also take a moment to say a word of thanks for our freedom and for those who have given their lives in freedom’s name. Let us also look ahead with hope to the opportunities to come.”

      No, I don’t think it’ll change the direction of the race, but it’s a pretty Fiorina-esque gaffe.  

    5. I live in the area they visited and follow the race closely, so I can say with some confidence this was a waste of time that will probably due more harm than good. These visits have thus far received absolutely no local media play (aside perhaps the local right-wing talk) and thus it can be assumed they were targeted at the local party apparatus and fundraisers. The apparatchiks might be swayed by such institutional support from Washington, but it’s unclear that further indications of being “the chosen candidate of the DC establishment” will play well with the primary electorate.

      The bloodier this gets, and all indications are it will be one of the bloodiest primaries in the nation, the better for Herron. As a Democrat, I can attest this is fun to watch on the ground level.

      On a side-note: Fincher’s name ID is so low his campaign has felt compelled to get ahead of the pack in the sign competition. He has 4×8 signage up in a substantial manner.

    6. I went to LA for my Spring Break this year, and when I was there I went to that club. Pretty fun stuff.

    7. sponsored by state environmental groups, ref

      Candidates attending: John Kitzhaber, Bill Bradbury, Alvin Alley

      Chris Dudley, ex-basketball player and great whatever GOP hope, is not attending.

      Dudley’s decision is not surprising.  Two of the groups, the OLCV and the Sierra Club, said they will base their endorsement decisions in part on the debate.  But the environmental community leans strongly to Democrats and many Republican voters see support from environmentalists as a negative.

      It’ll be live blogged here

      (disclaimer: I’m a Bradbury supporter, but am not affiliated with his campaign.)

    8. Ordinarily I’d save this for the weekend, but since not much is going on in this thread:

      What Democrats this cycle do you feel are vastly overperforming in races that shouldn’t even be competitive for Dems?  That is, who are the Democratic equivalents of Mike Castle — candidates who are so good they put races in play that we’d lose automatically otherwise?

      Obviously there aren’t going to be that many this cycle, but I can think of three offhand: Bill White (TX-Gov), Kendrick Meek (FL-Sen), and Raj Goyle (KS-04).  Some of you may disagree with my choice of Meek, but I’d ask you to name another Florida Democrat other than Alex Sink who would have been competitive in that race at any point after Crist got in.

      Who’s on your list?

    9. The Clark County District Attorney’s office has submitted paperwork for the arrest of Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian.

      Ashjian lost his contractor’s license last Wednesday when he didn’t show for a disciplinary hearing.

      Two days later, the district attorney’s office filed charges on him for felony theft.

      They say he wrote a bogus check for $5,000 to a businessman in December.

      If convicted, Ashjian could spend up to 14 years in state prison.

      Probably not good news for Reid since we wanted Ashjian to suck up some GOP votes.  

    10. This is kinda funny–check out this new blog: Rosa DeLauro Is a F****g Hipster.


      The Connecticut congresswoman is apparently a hipster…or at least dresses like one. This is a takeoff of the popular “Look at That F**** Hipster” Blog and it’s rather charming, I must say.  

    11. This guy is actually a professor of political science at UGA, one that’s unabashedly liberal and foul-mouthed.  A sample:

      They should be careful pointing out how little the public likes Harry Reid. I mean, they’re not exactly erecting statues of and sacrificing the fatted calf for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

    12. She is really dumb. But the neocons who would be turned off by Tom Campbell’s Israel record don’t really care about the particulars of the Jewish religion in general, most likely, so at least there she’s safe.

    13. no way a progressive should be even as competitive than an incumbent D this type of year.

      He’s the only one who comes to mind, but I’d expect a few others in blue dog areas, especially in districts where current Ds aren’t running for re-election.  

    14. Blue Dogs have to overperform consistently, or they’d lose their seats–but I’d have to give shout-outs to the Roys: Roy Herron (TN-8) and Roy Barnes (GA-Gov). Bryan Lentz in PA-07 is looking good so far and would be a very likely winner, if he weren’t up against a Castle type in Pat Meehan.  

    15. He has a commanding lead.  With anyone else the race would’ve been lean at best.  Particularly against Simmons.

    16. The stuff linking Rand to Ron was okay, but the Wright stuff seemed like a weird stretch.  The clips with Rand didn’t make him appear crazy especially juxtaposed with Wright.  Of course I’m not a Republican so I my be reacting differently but I don’t see this as a (cringe) game changer.

    17. funniest Paul ad I’ve seen is a clip of Grayson saying “I look forward to working with President Obama”, it is just SOOOOO out of contexts and cracks me up. I really don’t think Grayson’s ad will be Pauls Waterloo, but it can’t hurt Grayson.  

    18. “Then we chugged mad Bud Light Limes and ironically recreated the Last Supper.  No joke.”


    19. I like this one:

      “He keeps talking about it,” said one person with whom Paterson has discussed the race. “At least for the next ten minutes, this is what we all expect him to do.”

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