SSP Daily Digest: 4/29

NY-20: Scott Murphy gets sworn in today as the newest member of the House Democratic caucus. Congratulations! (D)

PA-Sen: All of a sudden, the Pennsylvania GOP is beating a path to Jim Gerlach’s door to get him to consider jumping over to the Senate race, now that they’re stuck facing an Arlen Specter vs. Pat Toomey wipeout in the general election. (Gerlach has been associated with the open governor’s race, but is still in the exploratory stage.) Gerlach says “Don’t rule anything out.” The rather moderate and Philly-burbs-based Gerlach might face the same weaknesses in a closed primary against Toomey that Specter did, though (although Gerlach hasn’t been cultivating conservative ill-will for decades like Specter).

OK-Gov: Stuart Rothenberg reports that ex-Rep. J.C. Watts is getting close to a decision on whether to run for the governor’s seat in Oklahoma, and that he’s likely to get in. This would pit him in a battle royale with retiring Rep. (and former Lt. Gov.) Mary Fallin for the GOP nod.

CA-03: Here’s some proof that there’s a lot of blood in the water in the eight GOP-held House seats that Obama won in California: some pretty big sharks are sniffing out the races. Phil Angelides (the former treasurer, and loser of the 2006 governor’s race) is reportedly “taking a serious look” at a run against Dan Lungren in the Dem-trending R+6 district in the Sacramento suburbs.

OH-08: Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, widely known as an anti-immigration activist, may challenge House GOP leader John Boehner in a primary in this R+14 district. (D)

CA-44: No surprise here, but Bill Hedrick, who held Rep. Ken Calvert to 51-49 in this R+6 Inland Empire seat last year, officially announced he’s back for another try. The Corona/Norco School Board chair can’t expect another under-the-radar surprise attack, but can expect a lot of DCCC help this time.

RNC: Although he seems to have publicly escaped the NY-20 loss without calls for his head, the behind-the-scenes attempts to take down or at least circumvent Michael Steele continue. Some RNC members are proposing a new rule that would place new restrictions and oversight on Steele’s power of the purse-strings. (Seems like they might get better results if they sought better restrictions and oversight on Steele’s mouth instead.)

Gay Marriage: I’m pleasantly surprised how fast gay marriage is gaining widespread acceptance and turning into a winning issue for us: a CBS/NYT poll finds 42% support nationwide for legalized gay marriage, with another 25% supporting civil unions and only 28% opposed to any legal recognition. 57% of those under age 40 support gay marriage.

Census: Here’s another example of how there’s no such thing as a neutral and apolitical census: there’s a debate raging over the issue of where to count persons who are in prison. While the Census Bureau currently plans to continue its policy in 2010 of counting prisoners where they reside (often in rural counties where a sizable percentage of the population is incarcerated), civil rights groups and even NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg support counting them at their last known address… which would mean more funds, and a redistricting advantage, for major cities.

History: For the history fans among us, the Senate’s website has profiles of all 20 previous Senate party-switchers. (Here’s a chapter from US History I’d completely forgotten about: more than one-third of these switches were western-state senators in the 1890s during the free silver movement.)

83 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/29”

  1. beating specter in a primary, while possible, is unlikely barring conservative GOP obstruction (by specter) at a major level.  it looks like no serious candidates have stepped up for the uber-important gov’s seat.  how about sestak?

  2. A little bit of trivia, Phil Angelides lost by nearly 42% (68.6-26.8) to Gov. Ahnold in 06. I know 4 years is an eternity in politics, and federal races are different than state/local ones, but Angelides may not exactly be the best candidate in that race. But…stranger things have happened in politics.

  3. Im not surprised at all that 57% of those under 40 support gay marriage. And I wouldnt be shocked if its 65-70% for those under 30. My generation (those under 30. I myself am 26) looks at gay marriage the same way we do interracial marriage…we dont think its anything ‘unnatural’ or ‘weird’ at all. And when we see, or think we see, a gay couple together, we dont think ‘gross’ or ‘weird’. But I will admit, where I live, the Houston burbs, gays are discreet toward their sexuality. But Im sure thats just because of what the older generations might think or say. I wouldnt be shocked if a solid majority of those under 30 support gay marriage in every state but the most conservative of Deep South states. And while our generations’ opinions on taxes and foreign policy may change with age (or maybe it wont) I cannot see that happening with gay marriage and gay rights in general. In fact I think we are alot more likely to shift on abortion than gay rights. Especially in the Catholic community. Afterall you see many pro-life but otherwise culturally liberal members of Congress (Langevin, Mike Doyle, Tim Ryan, etc). And thankfully, one of the ‘groups’ of people whom are anti-gay rights are not politically active I dont think. And those would be what I call ‘white trailer park trash’. And even many of them dont have a problem with gay rights.

  4. Does god really love us that much? I hope she does!

    The Club for (democratic) growth can inject a lot of cash into the local economy!

  5. Is a huge one, and perhaps nowhere moreso than NY. I wonder if any of these groups plan to sue for a change in Census Bureau procedures. I think that would probably be difficult to win, but I’d at least want to look into trying.

  6. When prisoners are removed from the count in their often-urban liberal home counties, and added to the count in the usually-rural conservative counties where the prisons are located, it feeds an anti-black, anti-brown, anti-urban, anti-liberal gerrymandering monster in all 50 states.

    Ho hum?

    The lower House of the Texas Legislature is currently split 76 (R) -74 (D). In November, one district in Dallas County was decided by 19 votes on the recount.

    Could enough prisoners have been moved out of their Dallas home district to have denied the Democrats this seat? Easily. You might have that many locals in prison for marijuana-related cases alone.

    In fact, given the scope of DeLay’s racist gerrymanders of the Texas Lege and the US House seats, the exporting of prisoners from urban districts to rural districts likely cost us far more than one seat in one election.

    But I know. This prisoner census thing is a difficult subject to think about, or to do anything about, so let’s just let Tom DeLay take care of it for us.

  7. Today, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Foxx said that the Matthew Shepherd act is a hoax.  Namely, she says this because it wasn’t a hate crime.  What a b*tch.

    Is there any hope of dismantling her in her R+15 district?  I know that it’s steep, but she consistantly underperforms (having gotten 58, 57, and 58 in the past few election cycles).

    Any thoughts?

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