Campaign and Election News – Covering Key Races Around the Country
SSP Daily Digest: 5/14 (Morning Edition)
AR-Sen: Americans for Job Security, a shadowy group deservedly under fire for racist ads attacking Bill Halter, has now followed suit with an equally if not more disgusting mailer (click to see for yourself).
FL-Sen: So Charlie Crist’s gone and hired himself an interim campaign manager… who just happens to be his sister. It’s not surprising that Charlie’s having trouble finding staff. Dems are loyal to Kendrick Meek and will risk getting blackballed by the DSCC if they work against him. And the Republicans – you can bet they will fucking fry anyone who crosses them. Crist is definitely going to wind up with some slim pickins’, though if the Jeff Greene thing doesn’t work out, I’m sure Joe Trippi will be available.
NC-Sen: Former Rep. Eva Clayton, the first woman elected to Congress in North Carolina and a prominent backer of third-place finisher Ken Lewis, gave her endorsement to Elaine Marshall. Will Lewis himself follow suit?
AL-Gov: Is Artur Davis’s plan to win the war causing him to lose the battle? Ron Sparks just picked up the endorsement of two historically black political groups in Birmingham, which seem to have established a mutual shunning society with Davis thanks in large part to his vote against healthcare reform. Even if Davis does win the primary, will he kill the enthusiasm of black voters for the general?
CT-Gov: The Democratic state convention is the same weekend as the GOP meetup (see CT-04 item below). My understanding is that Dan Malloy has the nomination locked up, but Ned Lamont and his millions are only hoping to score the 15% they need to avoid petitioning to get on the ballot.
SC-Gov: Moose Lady in the Palmetto State today, endorsing Mark Sanford protégé Nikki Haley.
ME-Gov: Heh – it’s a poll, of sorts. Portland-based Critical Insights asked 600 likely voters if they could name any of the gubernatorial candidates, I assume by pure recall. Republican Les Otten was best-known, with 30% naming him, while Peter Mills was at 16%. Among Dems, Libby Mitchell scored 16% and Steve Rowe 11%. Everyone else was in single digits.
CT-04: Some Dude Will Gregory is bailing on the race, following Rob Russo, who quit a couple of weeks ago. Russo endorsed state Sen. Dan Debicella, but Gregory isn’t backing anybody. The GOP will gather next weekend (May 21st) for its convention, where a simple majority gets you the party’s endorsement, which Debicella is expected to pick up easily. However, 15% gets you on the primary ballot, and failing that, so will 2,000 signatures. The other three Republican hopefuls are all more or less saying they plan to fight on regardless of what happens at the convention.
DE-AL: This is either some unbelievable oppo or the product of an amazingly lucky Google search: A letter to the editor in a Jamaican newspaper written by businesswoman/heiress Michele Rollins has somehow surfaced, and it’s given developer Glen Urquhart a fat opening. In the letter, Rollins advocates that Jamaica – which she refers to as “our” country – develop itself as an international banking center (aka offshore tax evasion haven) to rival the Cayman Islands. Not only does this raise the weirdest dual-loyalties question I’ve ever seen, but given that Delaware is a big banking center, it’s causing Rollins extra grief. Also of note: The DE GOP will hold its convention this Saturday. Candidates need 60% to get the party’s endorsement (which is expected to go to Rollins), but it’s non-binding, and both Republicans plan to fight on to the September primary no matter what happens.
FL-08: Former state Sen. Dan Webster, like so many of his brethren, also seems ensnared in the burgeoning Republican Party of Florida Amex scandal. He spent $9K over a two-year period, pretty much entirely at restaurants, and isn’t apologizing for it. That’s a lot of pizza.
FL-25: Joe Garcia is hammering state Rep. David Rivera for a “political stunt” which cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars. Rivera supported a law which required travel agencies arranging flights to Cuba to post six-figure bonds. The agencies successfully fought the law in court and were also awarded their legal costs, which amounted to $365K. This is a clever hit, and it also shows that Garcia isn’t afraid to challenge anti-Castro fanaticism.
HI-01: AFSCME funneled $100K back in April to a group called Workers for a Better Hawaii, which has since spent about $75K on radios ads against Charles Djou and Ed Case. Perhaps the scariest thing is that the NRCC hasn’t spent a dime on this race (thought the RNC transferred some $94K to the Hawaii GOP back in March).
ID-01: Remember back in 1997, when George Lucas re-released Star Wars? Yeah, he shoulda stopped there. GOP candidate Vaughn Ward shouldn’t have even bothered with the re-release: He tried to re-trot-out an endorsement from the American Conservative Union in order to bolster his wingnut bonafides… but he put out a press release about this all the way back in November. That is sad. Even sadder is the Bill Sali-esque excuse making from Ward’s campaign manager, who – when called on it – claimed, “I just got a new Mac and I’m still trying to figure it out.” Oh god.
IN-08: I like it: The D-Trip is already going up on the air with an ad bashing Republican Larry Buchson on a tried-and-true theme: social security privatization. No word on the size of the buy, though apparently it will go up for a week in Evansville, which is not a costly market.
MA-05: So Niki Tsongas demurred on whether or not she’d want Barack Obama to campaign with her. While Scott Brown did win this district 56-43, I’m really not sure Tsongas wants to be playing cringe politics. However, the NYT – which seems to think she’s in real trouble – cutely points out that her best-funded GOP challenger has not raised “as much” as Tsongas has. The truth: Tsongas $863K, Jonathan Golnik $177K. P.S. I note that Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-27) was eager to get a photo op with Obama yesterday.
NY-14: Hah – Reshma Saujani almost does something I might approve of, except I don’t. She’s berating Carolyn Maloney for not supporting President Obama and the DCCC because she didn’t raise money for last night’s fundraiser (see item below). Ordinarily at SSP, we’re the loudest when it comes to demanding incumbents support their party committees – but this is ridiculous bullshit. The D-Trip always goes easy when incumbents face serious races, whether primaries or generals. But in any event, Maloney points out that she has in fact raised over a quarter mil for the DCCC this cycle. I guess Saujani has a lot of credibility when it comes to supporting the D-Trip and Obama, though: She’s donated $0 lifetime to the DCCC and was a big Clinton backer.
PA-12: SEIU just dropped a cool $200K on TV ads to go after Tim Burns. Let’s just hope those recent polls are right…. Meanwhile, Scott Brown is coming to campaign for Burns, while Sen. Bob Casey will be doing the same for Mark Critz.
DCCC: Barack Obama was in NYC last night, doing a fundraiser for the D-Trip at the St. Regis hotel. He raked in $1.3 million (tickets started at $15K a pop).