Campaign and Election News – Covering Key Races Around the Country
SSP Daily Digest: 7/30
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff has launched a new TV ad (a Joe Trippi Production), accusing Sen. Michael Bennet of “pushing companies into bankruptcy” while working for corporate raider (and right-wing zillionaire) Phil Anschutz. Bennet claims that his work for Anschutz Investments actually saved foundering movie theater chains from going out of business. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB.
CT-Sen: Politico’s Shira Toeplitz talked to a bunch of bigtime Rob Simmons supporters (including ex-Rep. and all-time SSP enemy Nancy Johnson), all of whom seem to be fairly down on his chances at pulling off his weird comeback attempt against Linda McMahon. Simmons also told Politico that his internal polling matching a recent Quinnipiac survey, which had him down 52-25 in the primary, but wouldn’t release any further details. So really, what’s he doing? P.S. Linda McMahon’s personal spending on the race is already up to $23 million.
FL-Gov: Obama alert! The POTUS will be doing a fundraiser with gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in Miami Beach on August 18th. No word on whether he’ll also help out Kendrick Meek. (Extremely eagle-eyed digesters of the digest will note that the Sink event is planned for the same day as a Ted Strickland fundraiser. Busy guy!)
IA-Gov: Heh. Former Gov. Terry Branstad’s campaign is in trubba because it purchased two vehicles, including a $52K Winnebago – something that isn’t kosher, on account of a state law which requires that campaigns lease, not buy. This is an amusing bust, because the law in question was passed when Branstad was governor – on account of a previous campaign of his purchasing a van for less than half its market value. This reminds me of when Chicken Lady (seems like so long ago!) received an improper donation of a $100,000 RV from a supporter. Ah, good times!
KY-Gov: Businessman Phil Moffett, managing partner of the telecommunications management company CCS Partners, is the first Republican candidate to enter the race against Dem Gov. Steve Beshear. Moffett says he’s going after the teabagger vote, but he’s been a big proponent of the stimulus-funded “Race to the Top” education bill, which makes me think he’ll be anathema to the tribalist wing of the Republican Party. Anyhow, plenty more candidates wait in the wings for this race, which is not until 2011.
NV-Gov: Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate is now claiming to have had an out-of-body experience, claiming he doesn’t remember telling Univision that he wasn’t worried about his kids getting profiled in Arizona because they “don’t look Hispanic.” Sandoval’s exact, uh, apology: “If I did say those words, it was wrong and I sincerely regret it.” So deeply weird.
NC-11: Memo to media: Message-testing polls are totally normal and fair game in any campaign. So Heath Shuler is testing out attacks on Republican Jeff Miller – he’d be negligent if he didn’t do so. Not news. (At least no one called it a “push poll.”)
NH-01, NH-02: Dean Barker at Blue Hampshire is one of my favorite state bloggers, so you should just go read what he has to say about UNH’s new poll of NH-01 and NH-02. As for the toplines (PDF), in NH-01, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter leads all comers (April trendlines in parens): Frank Guinta 44-39 (38-42); Rich Ashooh 43-35 (36-39); Sean Mahoney 45-36 (37-40); and Bob Bestani 44-33 (37-38). In NH-02, it’s Ann McLane Kuster 29, Charlie Bass 47 (30-42); Kuster 32, Jennifer Horn 34 (32-33); Katrina Swett 30, Bass 47; Swett 31, Horn 35 (31-35).
NY-15: Alright, the whip count is definitely winding down. Paul Hodes is now the latest to call on Charlie Rangel to resign, in the wake of formal ethics charges being announced against the veteran New York congressman. And Joe Sestak has returned Rangel’s campaign contributions. At this point, I think pretty much everyone is gonna have to do that, so it’s going to get pretty boring. Anyhow, of more direct relevance, CQ points out that it’s now probably too late for Rangel to take his name off the September primary ballot, even if he wanted to. I wonder if he can still win re-election, somehow.
TN-08: It sounds like the NRCC is trying to game expectations with regard to Steve Fincher, their golden boy in the race to replace John Tanner. Fincher’s been caught in a mega-multi-million dollar three-way fight, with Ron Kirkland and George Flinn beating up on him and each other. An NRCC flack says that Fincher “probably has the edge,” but then immediately contradicts himself by saying a Fincher victory would be “against all odds” and that “anything can happen in primaries.” I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he lost in the primary next week (which, please note, is on a Thursday). Also important: Tennessee is the rare Southern state which does not feature runoffs.
DSCC/DCCC: God, pieces like this are just too depressing for me at this point. The Hill rounds up a pretty large list of retiring lawmakers who are still sitting on monster cash hoards. I mean, what the fuck is up with guys like Bill Delahunt? Says The Hill: “But Delahunt said there are competing political interests that need the money, and he’ll decide how to spend it when the time is right.” Shit, do I even need to say that the time is right… right now? Sigh.
Moose Lady: Heh again. The Washington Post has a special page devoted to tracking the Mama Grizzly-in-Chief’s endorsements. It even has helpful logos for each candidate denoting whether they are “Establishment” or teabaggers. Anyhow, so far, Palin has 10 wins to 4 losses, with a bunch more races in the works.