SSP Daily Digest: 2/21

CT-Sen: Linda McMahon says that she hasn’t “made up my mind yet” but that she is “leaning in [the] direction” of another senate run. As Daniel Kelly, ED of the state Dem party rightly points out, she can swamp the GOP field in the primary with her zillions, but she’d be the same tainted goods in the general as she was last year – and, I would add, this time, she’d be running in a blue state in a presidential year. Good luck, lady!

Meanwhile, another much-lesser-known Republican, state Sen. Scott Frantz, says he won’t “rule out” a senate bid, but that he has “no plans to run.”

FL-Sen: Obama alert! Barack Himself (and DSCC chair Patty Murray) will host a March 4th fundraiser for Sen. Bill Nelson in Miami Beach, with proceeds to be split between the Nelson campaign and the DSCC. I draw two things from this bit of news. First, if you’re facing a competitive race and want presidential help, it’s a good idea to live in a swing state. Second, it’s nice to see that Nelson isn’t shying away from Obama.

On the GOP side, the St. Petersburg Times has an interesting (and lengthy) profile of likely senate candidate Connie Mack. Mack is a hardcore conservative, but remember – it’s not just about how you vote, it’s about how you belong. And Mack has taken a few stances that put his tribal membership into some doubt, such as “supporting stem cell research, defending WikiLeaks and denouncing Arizona’s tough immigration law as Gestapo-like.” Still, with the possible exception of the Arizona law, these are mostly second-order concerns for teabaggers, and Mack would still probably have to be considered the favorite in any primary.

ME-Sen: If Olympia Snowe is going to get teabagged, we finally have a potential name that’s a notch of above Some Dude: wealthy real estate developer Eric Cianchette (a cousin of former Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Cianchette) is reportedly considering the race. But the guy who originally broke the news, Dennis Bailey, says that Cianchette may actually be having second thoughts and considering another race.

NV-Sen: Ah, the blind quotes are out to get John Ensign. “One Republican lobbyist” says he (and everyone else) is supporting Dean Heller, while “another Republican lobbyist” says he’s pushing John Cornyn to have Ensign fitted for some new Ferragamo cement wingtips. On the flipside, one lobbyist with an actual name, Kenneth Kies (who is supporting Ensign), claims “Cornyn’s been clear that he doesn’t get involved in these things.” I guess when you’re a Republican lobbyist, you are either very good at believing things which aren’t true or at least just saying them out loud.

FL-Gov: Usually, when the headline is “Criminal Behaves Like Criminal,” it’s not really news. But when that criminal is the sitting governor of Florida, it is. Zillionaire creepster Rick Scott followed through on a campaign promise to sell one of the state’s two planes. The problem is, he used the proceeds from the sale to pay off the lease on the other plane – and, says Republican state Sen. J.D. Alexander, it’s up to the legislature, not the governor, to decide how to appropriate state funds. It’s kind of amazing how frequently Rick Scott has already gotten on the wrong side of his fellow Republicans during his very short tenure. Actually, when I said “kind of amazing,” I meant “totally predictable and expected.” Florida is damn near turning into a cat fud factory.

AZ-08: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Adam Smith are hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Gabby Giffords on March 15th in DC.

FL-25: When Republicans vetted Rep. David Rivera, they must have used the same crew of CHUDS and mole-people who blessed Bernie Kerik’s bid for homeland security chief. Now comes word that in just a few short years, Rivera funneled at least $817,000 to a consultant and “close friend,” Esther Nuhfer, through an often-complicated series of arrangements that remind me of a South Florida version of BMW Direct. Ferinstance, Nuhfer’s firm raised an astounding $1 million for Rivera’s state senate campaign (before he switched over to the FL-25 race)… but he burned through $700K by February of last year, and at least a quarter mil of that went to Nuhfer. Also, this.

IN-02: Jackie Walorski is now saying she’ll decide whether to see a rematch against Joe Donnelly (who himself may not run again) in a “couple of weeks.” She also says she has no interest in running for Senate or Secretary of State.

NY-26: I doubt this matters much, since there won’t be a primary here, but Kieran Lalor’s conservative Iraq vets PAC is pushing one of their own for the GOP nomination: David Bellavia. Even though Assemblywoman Jane Corwin appears to be the frontrunner, Bellavia will be interviewed by local party leaders.

OR-01: This is deeply, deeply disturbing. Days before the election last year, David Wu’s staff confronted him and “demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.” He refused, and went on to win re-election anyway, but as you know, he faced a staff exodus earlier this year. Read the article for the full (and scary) details – excerpting it won’t do it justice. Wu seriously has got to go – and has to get the help he needs. Blue Oregon has more.

PA-10: Did someone crack out of turn? Last week, Steve Israel said he didn’t want to talk up potential recruits for 2012 lest they get pre-redistricted into oblivion in 2011. Former Rep. Chris Carney seems like exactly the sort of person who would fall into that category, yet an unnamed source told Politico’s Dave Catanese that Carney was just in Washington to meet with DCCC officials about a potential rematch with Tom Marino. Now the GOP will probably try to find a way to move Carney’s house to the District of Guam.

Philly Mayor: 2007 candidate and richie rich Tom Knox said he might change his mind and run in the Democratic primary once again, rather than as an independent (which is what he previously claimed he would do). He says he’s waiting on the results of a poll to decide – I like the honesty! He’d face incumbent Michael Nutter in the primary if he chose that route. Also, Milton Street, bother of Nutter’s two-term predecessor John Street, said he’s getting in the game, too.

Nassau Co. Exec: On the list of doomed Republicans, Nassau Co. Executive Ed Mangano ranks pretty high. He ran his super-wealthy county’s finances into the ground almost immediately after his upset victory over Dem Tom Suozzi in 2009. Just a few weeks ago, the state took control of the county’s finances. Now, Mangano is lashing out against unnamed enemies like sweat-drenched victim of night terrors. He’s running a campaign-style ad in which he attacks “opponents.” Yeah, “opponents.” NWOTSOTB, of course, but he’s got quite a few more years to keep digging this Death Valley-depth hole down to Dead Sea levels.

NRSC: Like a bunch of mathletes tired of being picked last for everything in gym class, it seems that Republican senators have managed to give just about everyone who wants one some kind of title down at the No Homers NRSC clubhouse. My favorite are “low-dollar chairs” Johnny Isakson and Kelly Ayotte.

203 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/21”

  1. It is worth noting that he was just released from Federal Prison (and is anyway something of a gadfly).  

  2. H/t Taegan Goddard:

    Basically, Huckabee implies Obama is extremely tough to beat, and that the GOP primaries could be a bloodbath with a wounded winner.

    If you’re saying those things publicly, you’re probably not going to run yourself.

    And no surprise, my latest expectations have been that Huckabee, and Palin for that matter, won’t run.  Gingrich will be the strongest of the true crazies, the others of which are Santorum and Herman Cain.  Barbour is in a class by himself as a semi-crazy.  And of the mainstreamers, Pawlenty and Romney are the ones certain to run, with Thune and Daniels up in the air.  Huntsman is the Santorum of mainstreamers:  an also-ran who won’t get any traction.

  3. You know… it might help prod people to move over there if the posts go online both places simultaneously (or better yet: over there first).

  4. The Des Moines Register has a giant list of possible Iowa maps.

    For their best plan, the partisan compositions work out like this:

    IA-1: Obama 58.3%, McCain 40.6%

    IA-2: Obama 57.8%, McCain 41.0%

    IA-3: Obama 54.5%, McCain 44.1%

    IA-4: Obama 45.8%, McCain 53.0%


    The article was almost a push to give Wu another chance —

    Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, who directed health research for Kaiser Permanente before his retirement, said he doesn’t think that Wu’s need for mental health treatment should hinder his ability to stay in politics.

    “It ought to be treated as any other illness,” Greenlick said, adding that he hopes that “we’re beyond the era where you have to drop out of politics” if you receive treatment for mental illness.

  6. A close friend at The Heritage Foundation told me the NRCC & NRLC are circulating a state-by-state quota list for “Safe” GOP seat and swing seat targets.

    I couldn’t see the list, but the interesting factoid is the are using this to try to get state legislatures to shoot for a total of <220 “Safe” seats and see a max GOP seat ceiling of <250 seats.

    I’ll ask for some specifics when I see her again tomorrow am.

  7. Wondering what impact, if any, Mack’s wife will have in a statewide race. Palm Springs voters don’t have a problem with the semi-racy photos that have showed up on the net, but I’m curious about how the voters along I75 and into the panhandle will react… if at all.

  8. 1) If Walker were to succeed in ending collective bargaining for some unions, state workers and teachers, but doesn’t end it for the police and firefighters, seems like there could be a lawsuit there.  Why can some have it but not others.  This of course means that based on the outcome of the lawsuit, perhaps everyone gets to keep their collective bargaining rights, or, everyone loses it, (or possibly nothing changes either way).    Thus, the police and firefighters might think they are immune, but, they could conceivably lose out in the end.  Also, if all the others lose their bargaining rights, wouldn’t Walker possible go after the police and firefighters later?  Reminds me of when England gave Hitler a pass on Poland and Czechoslovakia, and he ultimately came after England anyway.  I can’t imagine Walker being the type to know when to stop.  He’ll just keep on going, his ego demands it.

    2) Mary Bono Mack didn’t fare so well in her recent reelection.  She won by just under 10 percentage points.  There was a 3rd party candidate running, a more conservative type.  Given how well she did in 2008, in a great Democratic year, she is seen as weakened.  Depending on how the district is redrawn, it could easily be made less Republican, which might mean her demise.  Given that she is hardly around anymore anyway, that wouldn’t be any great loss.  Her Democratic opponent, Steve Pougnet, the Palm Springs mayor, will probably run again, and he is getting much more aggressive in his mayoralty, which will certainly boost his chances.  (The downtown of Palm Springs has been dying for decades, and now it finally might get turned around.  It seems odd that such a tourist mecca could have this challenge, but, as a resident, it is the truth.  Other desert cities are doing much better.)

  9. Today was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Inter County Connector, a major highway connecting the further-out parts of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties (running from Gaithersburg to Laurel). The highway was a major campaign promise of Ehrlich’s in his 2002 campaign, and one of his biggest accomplishments in office. So it’s no surprise that Ehrlich was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony today, his first major public appearance since losing the governor’s race. One quote stood out to me here:

    Greg Massoni, Ehrlich’s former press secretary, said the former governor chose to attend the event because he was so instrumental in the ICC’s history.

    “Pretty much, he got the road done,” said Massoni, who also accompanied Ehrlich at the ceremony. “It should be called the Ehrlich Highway.”

    The reason I bring this up is not because it is big news in itself, but because I wanted to ask people: do you see a future for Ehrlich in Maryland politics? He’s only 52, so he could run again in the future. Barbara Mikulski will be 80 in 2016 when her senate seat is up again, do you think he could run for that if she retires? I doubt he has too much of a chance, but he’s probably the GOP’s best candidate in MD.

  10. The Evansville C&P's Eric Bradner (who has been owning Indiana political coverage lately!) has him categorically stating that he “will not be” a candidate for any office next year.

    In the same article, the oft-mentioned Vi Simpson (Dem minority leader in the state senate) is quoted as “thinking about” the governor's race, along with John Gregg, whose name's been everywhere since Weinzapfel took himself out of contention. From what little I know about Gregg and Simpson, I like both of them, but the idea of a liberal v. conservative Dem primary makes me nervous.

  11. New York state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin was chosen Monday to be the GOP’s representative in the special election to replace Rep. Chris Lee (R) in the Empire State’s 26th district.

    The nomination of the establishment favorite, while celebrated by local Republican officials Monday night, drew an ominous warning from western New York tea party activists who immediately vowed to pursue a third-party candidate.

  12. http://seattletimes.nwsource.c

    One million voters are eligible to cast ballots over the Internet from their home computers in the supervisor election that started last week and ends March 15. Registered voters in all of King County are eligible to participate, except for those in Federal Way, Enumclaw and three smaller cities.

    We’ll see if they can overcome previous problems

    When Washington, D.C., tested an open-source electronic voting system intended for armed-forces members last year, a team of University of Michigan computer scientists hacked in and altered votes.

Comments are closed.