SSP Daily Digest: 7/28 (Morning Edition)

  • CT-Sen: I thought it was pretty weird that alleged non-candidate Rob Simmons was going to participate in a GOP debate last night. Well, he un-weirded things (I guess) by declaring at this debate that he is “running for the United States Senate.” We’ll see if it sticks. The primary, by the way, is August 10th.
  • KS-Sen: Not something you see every day: Rep. Jerry Moran’s former campaign manager, who claims he was pushed out in April, has endorsed rival Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Paul Moore said he thinks Moran, who has led in every single public poll, is not “instinctively conservative.”
  • NC-Sen: A new Civitas poll has Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 44-37. It’s been a really long time since Civitas looked at this race; in December of last year, they found Burr up 40-32.
  • WA-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS will headline a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray on August 17th in Seattle.
  • FL-Gov: McLaughlin & Associates supposedly has yet another poll out, but not for their client Bill McCollum. Apparently, they did double duty for the Florida Medical Association, and – surprise – found Rick Scott leading McCollum 37-33. This seems like a pretty colossal waste of money, since McCollum’s internal – released just the other day – had him down 37-31.
  • Meanwhile, McCollum had to deal with a small brush fire: former Florida House Speaker Alan Bense held a private meeting with Rick Scott over the weekend. The problem is that Bense is supposed to be a McCollum supporter – something he re-iterated after his soiree, saying he only got together with Scott to be polite. Bense is also the chairman-elect of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and his group is expected to get behind Billy Mac. And in case anyone still cares what unlovable loser Gary Bauer thinks, he endorsed McCollum.

  • KS-Gov: Dem state Sen. Tom Holland raised $283K from Jan. 1 to July 22nd and has $103K on hand. His Republican opponent, Sen. Sam Brownback, took in $519K and has $1.2 million in the bank. Note, though, that Holland’s fundraising mostly took place after the legislative session ended in June (there are strict regulations on fundraising while the lege is in operation), while Brownback was free to raise from all sources throughout the reporting period. Brownback’s been spending his time well, mind you: He just introduced legislation which would ban the creation of “part-human, part-animal creatures.” Sadly, this would mean no manticores, minotaurs, or mermaids. And I was really looking forward to embracing our brave new Greek mythology future.
  • MN-Gov: Glad to see that Citizens United is proving to be a two-edged sword. Target has donated $150,000 to a right-wing group called MN Forward, which is running TV ads on behalf of extremist Republican nominee Tom Emmer. Gay groups in particular are incensed, since Target had been known as a gay-friendly employer, even going so far as to support the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. And speaking for myself, Target can get fucked – as can Best Buy and any other corporation which uses corporate money to help elect Republicans. Not shopping at either location anymore, that’s for sure.
  • NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is launching his first TV ad of the cycle, a spot about property taxes. Of course, NWOTSOTB, or whether it’s cable or broadcast, or even where it’s airing. Sigh.
  • OH-Gov: Obama alert 2! The day after the POTUS appears in WA (see bullet above), he’ll be doing a fundraiser for Ted Strickland in Columbus.
  • OR-Gov: We haven’t done writeups of our most recent batch of race ratings yet, but Carla Axtman of Blue Oregon has a nice writeup of an interview she did with Crisitunity at Netroots Nation, where he explains our decision to move OR-Gov from Likely D to Tossup.
  • RI-Gov: Linc Chafee is doing his best to out-do Martha Coakley when it comes to alienating Red Sox Nation (a broad constituency throughout New England). While criticizing state loan guarantees to a video game company owned by Schilling, he also decided to question whether Schilling’s famous “bloody sock” game was legit. Already Chafee’s tried to walk back the remark – but there are no do-overs in baseball. Or politics.
  • GA-02: Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop, in a competitive race with Republican Mike Keown (who oh-so-narrowly outraised the incumbent last quarter), formally kicked off his campaign yesterday with a newly-famous Georgian at his side: Shirley Sherrod, with whom you are most certainly familiar by now. Even though this district is almost 48% black, it’s also extremely competitive politically, going 54% for Obama and 50% for Kerry.
  • KS-01: SurveyUSA has one final look at the open-seat GOP primary in KS-01, finding a three-way tie between state Sen. Jim Barnett, realtor Tracey Mann, and state Sen. Tim Huelskamp. All pull 24%. Last time, it was 23-20-18.
  • MA-09: Bubba alert! Bill Clinton is doing a fundraiser and rally this Thursday for conservadem and anti-healthcare reform asshole Stephen Lynch. Lynch faces a primary from Mac D’Alessandro and has a monster cash advantage ($1.3 million to just $72K), so this surely seems like overkill to me – but of course, the Big Dog loves to pay back favors, and Lynch was (you guessed it) a Hillary supporter in 2008.
  • NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon, seeking to avoid a primary on the Independence Party line, is challenging the petitions of third-party irritant John Tabacco. Tabacco needs only 497 valid signatures, but New York has absurdly stringent rules which make it very easy to knock “bad” sigs out. Therefore, the common rule of thumb is that you need to submit at least twice as many petitions as the law requires, and Tabacco only provided 678. Therefore, I’m going to guess that McMahon – who is highly motivated here – will succeed in his challenges. Tabacco has some more problems to worry about, though – after giving a loan to the wife of the chair of the state Independence Party last year, he suddenly got their ballot line in a city council race (funnily enough, for the seat vacated by McMahon).
  • NY-15: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is dipping a toe into new waters, suggesting that resignation is an option for Charlie Rangel. So is fighting the charges, Hoyer says, but a ringing endorsement of the embattled former Ways and Means chair this is not. Meanwhile, Walt Minnick isn’t playing footsie, becoming the second Dem (after OH-13’s Betty Sutton) to call on Rangel to quit the House.
  • Rangel is still in talks with the ethics committee to try to reach some sort of plea bargain, but it seems that he’s unwilling to cop to a sufficiently broad array of violations to satisfy the committee members. If Rangel can’t come to terms, he’d face a “public hearing” (essentially a trial). As the New York Times points out, the last time this happened was in 2002, when Jim Traficant was expelled from the House.

  • PA-07: Teabagger Jim Schneller, hoping to appear on the ballot as an independent, says he’s gathered 5,200 signatures so far – a thousand more than the 4,200 he needs to submit by August 2nd. It remains to be seen if Republican Pat Meehan will try to challenge Schneller’s bid.
  • TN-03: Politico has a piece documenting the wingnut-on-wingnut violence stemming from the fight to replace outgoing Rep. Zach Wamp in this dark-red seat. The battle is between attorney Chuck Fleischmann and former state GOP chair Robin Smith.
  • Fundraising: A rare day: two Steny Hoyer mentions in one digest. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck, and the undeserving Larry Kissell. Hoyer, like Nancy Pelosi, got where he is because lots and lots of people owe him – and will continue to owe him. Let this be a lesson to aspiring progressive leaders in Congress.
  • 91 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 7/28 (Morning Edition)”

    1. I surely hope someone is planning a website that lists all the companies giving to right wing causes.  This is fundamentally different from company execs or PACs giving since it this case a portion of everything you purchase is going directly to these conservative groups.  I’ve always shopped at Target a lot, but totally agree that I won’t anymore.  It’s going to be hard for individuals to know which companies are involved.  If people on both the right and the left boycott companies who give to their political opponents, it would really cut Citizens United off at the knees.

      On another topic, Crisitunity is a guy?  Wow!  I always thought it was a woman named Crissie.  Of course, for a long time I thought it was a devout Christian using “Christ Unity” as a screen name before I realized I was missreading the name.  Always a problem when words are run together!  


    2. I’m not crazy enough about sports to change my vote over that, but come on dude…Curt Schilling may be a right-wing wacko in terms of politics, but when it comes to sports, he’s untouchable. (On the other hand, I think many if not most Hispanics in RI are Yankees fans, so maybe there’s one demographic he helped himself with, lol.)

    3. The DCCC and Leonard Boswell’s campaign slammed Brad Zaun yesterday for voting against flood recovery spending as a state senator and suggesting at a public forum earlier this year, “We lost [personal responsibility] as a country, we expect when there’s a flood or something that’s going on, the government to come in and help us.”

      As of Monday 44 Iowa counties were under disaster declarations because of recent flooding.  

    4. Is Rob Simmons “special” or something?  I was under the impression he was a formidable opponent (and his electoral track record would bear that out), but this is strictly amateur hour.

    5. A rare day: two Steny Hoyer mentions in one digest. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck

      That should be Dina Titus, if i’m not mistaken :)

    6. It seems that nasty mailers against Joe Garcia have been traced to Republican groups pretending to be Democrats. At the same time, these said groups also have questionable finances. From what I’ve seen in the Herald for the past few months, it seems that Rivera is receiving a significant amount of negative media coverage. I think this race will be one of our pickups in November.

    7. From the linked interview:

      Crisitunity went on to say that they’re “alarmed” by chatter they’re hearing that Kitzhaber seems to be coasting on his well-earned reputation. They believe Kitz may also be viewing the race through an “outdated prism of bipartisanship and amicable problem-solving”. Swing State is concerned that the former Governor is waiting for the inevitable need to throw some punches and define Dudley instead of trying to somehow “transcend politicking as usual.”

      The rest of the article suggests Brown, but I think the lack of response I’m hearing from Kitz suggests Coakley. There are supposed to be some Kitzhaber house parties this weekend, but I still haven’t heard a da*n thing.

      I don’t think Kitzhaber has been anywhere since the July 4th parades — and yes, one opening of a campaign office in Eugene. (Details from the “campaign updates” link at )

    8. I’ve grown this year to give more respect to political reporters’ commentaries on horseraces, as I’ve grown to realize they really do get fed a lot of insider information we don’t see in public.

      Along those lines, Cillizza posted his Senate and gubernatorial race ratings changes today on The Fix, and while most of them are either no surprise or overdue, the big eye-popper was his movement of TX-Gov to “tossup” status from lean Republican.

      If Bill White really can pull this off, it will be huge.  I can see it happening.  While I’m a realist and I realize this is an anti-Democratic environment rather than an anti-incumbent environment, there are exceptions, and most of those exceptions involve states with longtime Repubilcan Governors whose approval ratings have gone South with the economy and maybe other factors.  So it will be no surprise at this stage if White wins, if for no other reason than Perry has worn out his welcome and too many Texans are sick of him, their strong distaste of Democrats this year notwithstanding.

      If Strickland can survive in Ohio, Sink can pull it off in Florida, and White wins in Texas, we have some real redistricting coups.

    9. Rand Paul’s former chairman is announcing a Tea Party ticket for Gov tomorrow (they will be running as Repubs, with Tea Party values). I’m pretty sure former Senate candidate Bill Johnson will have a place on the ticket.  

    10. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck, and the undeserving Larry Kissell.

      Kissell has gotten a lot of votes wrong – and misled a lot of contributors like me – but at least he voted for Pelosi as speaker.

      If Kissell manages to get re-elected, his votes are gonna count a lot more in 2011. And he’s gonna owe Steny some votes because his fundraising to date is awful.

    11. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, the DFL counter to the GOP MN Forward mentioned in the Digest, is airing this ad, spending $500k on it.  It’s a mother whose son died due to a drunk driver knocking Tom Emmer for sponsoring a bill to lower the penalty for drinking and driving while having two DWI on his record.

      The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is funded by pro-DFL businesses, unions, and Native American casinos.  The last can pretty much buy this election and any others in the future for us.  Not saying I agree with this all of this, but the corporations will always get a much bigger knock than the casinos I think.  Particularly since it’s the Native American tribes, who’ve always been very generous to the DFL and we’ve all known that and known where their money comes from.  People still gamble.

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