SSP Daily Digest: 8/20 (Morning Edition)

Is there any better way to start your day than with the SSP Daily Digest? There is not.

  • FL-Sen: Great catch by CQ’s Greg Giroux, who always has some of the tastiest FEC tidbits. None other than Bob Dole (Bob Dole!) has cut a $1,000 check to Charlie Crist’s senate campaign. It feels great to be writing about Bob Dole again! Bob Dole!
  • PA-Sen, PA-Gov, PA-08: Like some Green and teabagger candidates before them, the Libertarians have all been kicked off the statewide ballots in PA. That’s because of a punitive Pennsylvania law which requires that a party which loses a challenge to its ballot status to pay the legal fees of the winner. Unsurprisingly, many minor party candidates tend to bail rather than risk a huge debt. In the same vein, indy Tom Lingenfelter also quit the race in PA-08, under intense courtroom pressure from Mike Fitzpatrick’s campaign.
  • KY-Gov: This seems like a good get for Dem Gov. Steve Beshear: Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent next month in Jefferson County. This is a big deal because Pence is not only a Republican, but he served as LG for the man that Beshear beat, disgraced ex-Gov. Ernie Fletcher. (Pence didn’t seek re-election in 2007, and in fact had a pretty serious falling-out with Fletcher.)
  • AZ-08: Not something you see every day: Teabagger Jesse Kelly, hanging on in an uphill fight against establishment fave Jonathan Paton, is attacking none other than Sarah Palin, saying that the ur-Mama Grizz has been endorsing lots of front-runners (like Carly Fiorina) out of pure political calculation, and that she “needs to rehab” her image to woo independents. Paton fell all over himself trying to proclaim his Rich Lowry-like love for Palin, who in point of fact hasn’t actually endorsed him. In an interesting aside, Paton’s once-hot fundraising has fallen off a cliff, and Kelly actually outraised him in the pre-primary period.
  • OH-13: Remember how yesterday I was saying that despite the GOP’s great recruitment efforts, they still have to deal with a serious structural problem – the stark raving insanity of their entire movement? Well, even prize recruit Tom Ganley is not immune. Here you have a multi-millionaire who is willing to self-fund, an extremely successful car dealer whose name is all over town, a guy who even helped police investigate the mob… and yet he pops off with statements like this: “I don’t have a position on whether he’s a Muslim.” You can guess who he’s talking about. A little while later, Ganley put out a statement trying to backtrack, but really, he’s still a fucking nutter.
  • OH-15/16/18: Another shadowy right-wing group, a 501(c)4 with the Nixonian name “The Committee for Truth in Politics,” is up to some dirty tricks, launching ads against Reps. Zack Space ($190K worth) and John Boccieri ($130K). CQ also says that a further $62K buy looks like it will be targeted against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. The one odd thing about this writeup is that it says the anti-Space ad buy is going up in Cleveland, but if you compare a media market map with a map of Space’s district, you’ll see that his CD mostly falls in a bunch of other markets, principally Columbus. I wonder what gives.
  • Meanwhile, also in OH-16, Republican Jim Renacci (and soon-to-be DavidNYC opponent in the race for NYC Zoning Board) has filed a lawsuit against AFSCME, which is spending $750K on an ad buy against him. Renacci is alleging the ad, which accuses him of “cheating on his income taxes,” is defamatory. It’s more typical to threaten the TV stations running the ad, though, as they generally are pretty pliant when it comes to removing potentially questionable third-party ads from the air. Maybe he’ll try that as well.

  • ND-AL: Republican Rick Berg is up with his first ad of the general election campaign, which you can view here. NWOTSOTB. Rep. Earl Pomeroy already has three different ads airing.
  • NY-13: Wingers disgruntled with the state Conservative Party have formed a new ballot line, the Taxpayers Party. (The name reminds me a little bit of George Pataki’s vanity line in 1994, the Tax Cut Now Party.) Anyhow, Michael Allegretti, himself spurned by the Conservatives, is probably the TP’s biggest name so far, having just filed 5,000 signatures to get on their line. This constitutes at least some bottom-shelf cat fud, since Allegretti would stay on the line even if he loses the GOP primary. Meanwhile, if rival Mike Grimm loses the Republican nod, he’ll have the Conservative line no matter what. What did I say about the Republicans never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?
  • TN-03: Am I sniffing some cat fud on the horizon? Crazy Lady Robin Smith lost the GOP primary in this uber-red district by a 30-28 margin to self-funder Chuck Fleischmann, and already she’s talking about running again in 2012. Smith hasn’t endorsed Fleischmann, and for his part, Fleischmann says he hasn’t responded to Smith’s request for a reconciliation tête-à-tête. Since the only advice I like to give to Republicans is bad advice, nobody tell Fleischmann he should probably reconsider, as 30% doesn’t exactly constitute a mandate. (Remember what happened to another Tennessean who barely won his primary in 2006?) Anyhow, Smith is also hoping that the district will get redrawn with a more southerly configuration, as Fleischmann did better in the northern counties. Could be messy!
  • Race Ratings: CQ has a cool new feature which, I admit, I’m quite envious of. A couple of years ago, James and I dreamed of creating a system which would allow SSP users to rate races as they saw fit, and then generate an “aggregate” rating across the site. Unfortunately, as a purely volunteer outfit with extremely minimal ad revenues, we simply didn’t have the money for this project. But now, CQ has gone and created something very close to the tool we were hoping to build. The interface could use some improvement (right now, you have to drill down to a separate page for each race individually, and you can also only rate races that are already on their list), but it still looks pretty promising.
  • 52 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 8/20 (Morning Edition)”

    1. The CQ thing is pretty neat, but also buggy.  I noticed HI-01 was “Likely D” and I voted tossup, and then it said

      Thanks for voting! You may vote again tomorrow, or you can vote on another race.

      You chose Likely Democrat

      Oops.  Like the Simpsons when Homer voted for Obama and it said “Thank you…You selected John McCain.”

    2. That’s pretty awesome. I always respected that man. Hopefully the rumors of him in poor health are untrue.

    3. It’s at the discretion of the court, and I’ve only seen it assessed in the Nader litigation given the massive nature of the fraudulent signature gathering.  I sought such fees in 2008 in knocking off an incumbent state reps’ petitions and was denied — only court costs (stenographer, etc) were assessed.

    4. I’m still blown away by yesterday’s Des Moines Register story on Zaun, which you linked to in the SSP afternoon roundup. If the 2001 incident with his ex-girlfriend becomes widely known, that is going to be a huge red flag with women voters.

      That’s not even the only bad news of the week for Zaun. Boswell is up with a radio ad comparing the candidates’ stands on biofuels (during the primary campaign Zaun said he was against ethanol subsidies). Zaun’s probably not going to be able to go on the air soon, because he is at a huge cash on hand disadvantage (probably even more so since Bill Clinton came to Des Moines to raise money for Boswell three weeks ago).

      The NRCC left out IA-03 when it reserved ad time in 40 House districts. I don’t think the week’s developments will help Zaun convince them to spend a lot of money here.

    5. Raise your hand if you think Blanche Lincoln is actually trailing 65-27? Anybody? No? Come on guys, don’t you know that Rasmussen has SUCH a good track record?

    6. There really is an interesting dynamic going on this year between the Macro-environment (which, as those who went on the depressing thread to StephenCLE’s House picks in the past few days know, is trending hard against Team Blue), and the continuing troubles Republicans are having with their candidates. This OH-13 is a perfect example – this kind of talk cannot help Ganley in such a moderate district (although it won’t guarantee that he will lose either). Also the devleopments in MI-01, which there’s seems to be some evidence the third-party candidate will follow through with his well-funded right wing independent campaign that could hand the seat to the Democrat.

      This statement is a cliche on this site, but sometimes I do think (repeat after me): This year may not be as bad as people think.  

    7. With so many Senate seats in play (relatively), I looke dto see about current US Senate Seniority.  We all know that Inouye is most senior, but what of seniority lower down the ladded.

      With recent Sentae turnover due to deaths, retirements, lost elections and Cabinet appointments, its actually quite fascinating.  The class of 2006 (Casey, Webb, McCaskils and the rest) already have seniority over 15-20 other Senators.

      Ben Cardin from MD, based on his house service, has seniority over 27 other Senators, even though he has only been in the Senate 3.5 years.

      Heck, after the upcoming election, even Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed in 2009, will have seniority over possibly 10 Senators.

      I don’t know, I just found that fascinating fro some reason.

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