SSP Daily Digest: 9/27 (Morning Edition)

  • AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski is seeking clarification on just how expansively the state elections board will view misspellings or variants of her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who’s in charge of all this, previously said he leans “toward a liberal view” of how to count Murkowski ballots, but now he’s refusing to get more specific. See you in court?
  • DE-Sen: Bill Maher keeps serving up the goodies:
  • O’DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself –

    MAHER: Evolution is a myth?!? Have you ever looked at a monkey!

    O’DONNELL: Well then, why they – why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?

  • FL-Sen: Former Rep. Robert Wexler became one of the most prominent Democrats to break ranks and endorse Charlie Crist. Wexler, who has long had a close relationship with Crist, famously abandoned his party earlier this year by resigning his seat in the middle of the term, before the final votes on healthcare reform.
  • FL-Gov: Douchebag zillionaire Rick Scott really just out-did himself with only three words. When asked if he had forked over another million bucks to his campaign (he had), Scott responded: “I don’t know.” I guess it’s easy to forget writing seven-figure checks when you’re Rick Scott!
  • IA-Gov: This race has been depressing for a long while now, and the latest news is no different. A Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register shows GOPer Terry Branstad crushing Gov. Chet Culver 52-33. Just ugh.
  • ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rossner (D) for Libby Mitchell (9/22-24, likely voters, July in parens):
  • Libby Michell (D): 34 (32)

    Paul LePage (R): 38 (44)

    Eliot Cutler (I): 10 (8)

    Shawn Moody (I): 8 (5)

    Kevin Scott (I): 2 (2)

    Undecided: 7 (10)

    (MoE: ±4.4%)

    Mitchell also says her internal shows LePage’s favorability weakening from 33-19 to 38-36 over the same timespan.

  • AZ-01: CQ got ahold of a month-old internal poll for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick by Lake Research Partners, which shows the race to be very tight. Kirkpatrick had a 43-39 lead over Republican Paul Gosar. But of course, we’re talking about late August. Who knows what’s changed since then.
  • CO-03: Nice catch by Colorado Pols. Check out Republican Scott Tipton trying to backpedal away from his earlier statements that he’d eliminate the Department of Education:
  • Tipton said his plan for that department is the same as his plan for the entire federal government, to cut it in half. He said he plans to do that without cutting government services….

    That is some seriously lulzy shit right there, my friends. Even better is the fact, as CO Pols points out, that Tipton already tried to back away from this plan (“slice the gov’t in half”) a few days ago, but he’s already re-un-flip-pivot-flopping back to it. Man.

  • CT-05: Smaller, fun-size cat fud: Mark Greenberg, who lost in the GOP primary to Sam Caligiuri, showed up on Caligiuri’s hometown to make an endorsement… of the Republican running in Rosa DeLauro’s district. A Caliguri endorsement sounds unlikely.
  • FL-22: I’m not a big fan of Politifact for a variety of reasons, but they sink their teeth into a good one here. At a recent candidate forum, Allen West claimed, “If you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.” This is obviously insane, points out Politifact, because security clearances exist because of a presidential executive order… which is signed by, uh, the president. The other possible way of viewing this (which is what West’s campaign proudly says is their view) is as a birther-esque claim that grew out of right-wing email forwards. This “school of thought” holds that Obama’s shaaady personal background means that he’d never have gotten security clearance by normal means (if he hadn’t been elected). Yeah, okay.
  • MS-04: Remember when, a few weeks ago, Heath Shuler suggested that he might run for Speaker of the House? Well now Rep. Gene Taylor is the latest ConservaDem to take up residence in fantasy-land, saying that he’d prefer 78-year-old Ike Skelton for Speaker, rather than answer a question about whether he’d vote for Nancy Pelosi again. Taylor also refused to answer how he’d react if Republicans approached him about a party switch.
  • NV-03: In response to a claim by the Smart Media Group that the DCCC was cancelling a week-long buy on behalf of Rep. Dina Titus, the D-Trip announced that three panzer divisions were reconsolidating on the Eastern front the cancellation was actually a sign of strength. Later that same day, perhaps realizing that sounded like bullshit, the same Dem spokesman said that the party was still committed to a million-dollar ad buy.
  • PA-10: After an AP report cited an anonymous Dept. of Justice source on this story, the Scranton Times Tribune obtained an on-the-record statement from the DoJ confirming that the department has no record of having given approval for then-US Attorney Tom Marino to serve as a reference on a casino license application for his buddy Louis DeNaples. If you’ve been following this story, you know that DeNaples was a possibly-mobbed-up “businessman” who was under investigation by Marino’s own office – and when Marino got busted for providing the reference, he resigned in disgrace, and then took a sinecure with DeNaples. Marino claimed back in the spring that he had received permission from the DoJ to give a reference for DeNaples, but this has clearly turned out to be bullshit. Dem Chris Carney has gotten a lot of mileage out of this so far.
  • While we’re on the subject, Maine-based pollster Critical Insights tested this race for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. They found Marino ahead of Carney 40-36. But the n on this poll was extremely low – just 196 LVs.

  • PA-11: The Times Leader also polled the 11th CD. Again, with a very small sample (211 LVs), they found Republican Lou Barletta leading Rep. Paul Kanjorski by a 43-32 margin. The Kanjorski campaign blistered the poll, offering some slightly dumber lines of attack (“Makes you wonder if The Times Leader didn’t cook the numbers”) and some sharper ones (noting that the TL doesn’t seem to be very adept at polling, given that last week they tested the Lt. Gov. race, even though Pennsylvanians don’t elect the LG separately). They also questioned the partisan makeup of the sample, and its small size.
  • NRCC: The NRCC just made $3.2 million in expenditures on a ton of different races – too many to list here. It looks like it’s mostly for paid media, as well as a bunch of polls in a number of districts. Be interesting to see if any see the light of day.
  • SSP TV (by James L.):

    • DE-Sen: Chris Coons’ latest ad touts reform and fiscal conservatism
    • KY-Sen: Jack Conway’s out with a great ad that personalizes Rand Paul’s nagging hostility to federal anti-drug funding
    • FL-Gov: Alex Sink attacks chrome-domed creep Rick Scott for attacking her over the Florida state pension fund
    • CO-04: Dem Rep. Betsy Markey paints Cory Gardner as a career politician with his hand in the trough
    • FL-08: Dem Rep. Alan Grayson takes off the gloves… and straps on a set of brass knuckles. In his latest ad, he paints his Republican opponent as a radical religious fundamentalist, going so far as to call him “Taliban Dan Webster”. In another ad, Grayson hits Webster for his Vietnam deferrals. Also worth mentioning is this ad, which came out two weeks ago but went unmentioned here, where Grayson resurrects his famous “briefcase” theme from last cycle.
    • HI-01: GOP Rep. Charles Djou responds to the DCCC’s latest attack ad
    • IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell unleashes a decent ad hitting Brad Zaun on “personal responsibility” hypocrisy
    • IL-14: Dem Rep. Bill Foster goes after GOP state Sen. Randy Hultgren for his company’s  role in fueling the mortgage crisis (and profiting from it)
    • NY-13: Frosh Dem Rep. Mike McMahon’s first ad touts his accomplishments and votes, including his vote against healthcare reform
    • OH-15: Dem Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy touts her votes, while, in another ad, smacks Steve Stivers over his support of a national sales tax.
    • OR-05: A six-pack of seniors form a chorus to sing Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader’s praises, and wave their hickory walking sticks in Republican Scott Bruun’s direction
    • PA-11: GOPer Lou Barletta responds to Paul Kanjorski’s attacks

    198 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/27 (Morning Edition)”

    1. If you actually look up past votes for Speaker, you’d see that Taylor has voted against the Caucus’ choice before. I’d say Taylor voting against Pelosi is far from being “fantasy-land”, considering he’s done it before, granted he was in the minority party.

      1995 – Present (instead of Gephardt)

      2001 – Murtha (instead of Gephardt)

      2003 – Murtha (instead of Pelosi)

      2005 – Murtha (instead of Pelosi)

      It’s not that hard to see how Taylor could vote for Skelton.

      And even if he didn’t directly say “hey if they approach me I won’t switch”, the next sentence kind of says it all:

      “What I would want is a Democratic nominee for Speaker that is much more in tune with what I believe,” he said. “Quite frankly I haven’t seen that the last couple years.”

      Doesn’t sound like a switcher to me.

    2. I hadn’t realized that for overseas voters they first send a limited ballot with federal/statewide races and a “blank ballot” for local races where you fill in the races and candidates yourself. Then I guess later on if you want to change your choices, they send a normal ballot with all the races printed. Weird!

      At any rate, I voted for Chafee for governor and straight D otherwise, though I guess in theory I can change that if I get my normal ballot in time 😛

      Might I be the first SSPer to vote in the 2010 general election?

    3. Why?  I understand Grayson himself is over the top, but did he micromanage the admaking, too?  A campaign staff and advisors and media consultant should act as a check on this.

      The sad thing is that the “Taliban Dan” ad correctly uses a damning video clip of Webster talking, and the message in the ad is correct, too.  But the over-the-top Taliban crap, imagery and in the tagline, dilutes the effectiveness.

      The Vietnam draft avoidance, too, is a good hit if tied into a larger point about Webster’s integriy, but it doesn’t quite get to any such larger point.  Instead, it suggests Vietnam is a freestanding reason not to vote for Webster, and I don’t think that’s going to work almost 40 years after the war ended.

      But who knows, maybe the intended points still will get across and resonate enough to hurt Webster?  I hope so.  Grayson makes me cringe a little just as other Dem SSPers have said, but I want him reelected to make a helpful point about what kinds of members CAN get reelected after casting tough votes and talking tough words.  Republicans get away with this all the time, it seems they can say anything at all and get elected and reelected.

      Regarding the briefcase ad, it’s a sound point Grayson makes, but the legislation he talks about is obscure to the average voter, and I don’t know if it will stick with people.

    4. And return to find y’all have let races in WV, NY and CT get closer. I’m very disappointed. More seriously I’m increasingly exasperated by Democratic apathy. I get that people are hurting but schadenfreude is looking like an increasingly attractive result right now.

    5. …Coons wins 49-40-5.  That’s Castle, not O’Donnell, with 5.  😛

      I’m not surprised by Coons in the high 40s or that Castle is in single-digits.  O’Donnell at 40 seems a bit high, but she got 35% against Biden in ’08 and polled at 42 by Rasmussen last week, so 40 now might be about right.

      Rassy has Coons at 57-36 favorability, and O’Donnell deep underwater at 39-56.  Obama job approval is 52-46, the Dem Governor’s job approval at 60-34.

      In a nutshell, nothing to see here, move on.

    6. Unfortunately no link to the poll or a story on it, just the tweet itself.

      Another tea leaf that we might be recovering just enough……

    7. “RT @markos: Got NM results–3 CDs and Gov race. 1st impression: House Dems doing much better than I feared, and far better than Denish.”

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