SSP Daily Digest: 2/25

FL-Sen: Here’s one way the rich & powerful are different from you and me: You can, if you’re GOP state Sen. Mike Haridopolos, manage to leave clients worth $100,000 of income and a house valued at $400,000 off of your financial disclosure forms and have it be judged “inadvertent.” Here’s another way: you get to have the people doing the judging be your friends. Indeed, the chair of the committee responsible for punishing Haridopolos, former FL GOP chair & state Sen. John Thrasher, had endorsed his senate bid just last month. When asked if he should have recused himself, Thrasher said, “Hell, no. I think that’s a total political bunch of crap from the Democratic Party of Florida. They’re used to losing, obviously.” And what’s half a million bucks between friends?

MT-Sen, MT-Gov, MT-AL: A firm called NSON Opinion Strategy took a poll of all three Montana races for the a conservative radio host, Aaron Flint of the Northern News Network, and a conservative consulting firm, 47 North Communications. Note that despite our very early point in the cycle, they tested likely voters. Anyhow, they found Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) narrowly leading Sen. Jon Tester, 47-44, in the senate race. In the open house race, they have Republican Steve Daines on top of Dem Frankie Wilmer, 31-22 (and obviously a ton of undecideds). Incidentally, Rehberg just endorsed Daines, the only announced Republican candidate so far.

NSON also checked on the gubernatorial primaries for both parties, but there’s no suggestion of an oversample, and I’m not in the habit of reporting polls where the n is in the vicinity of 200, so you’ll have to click through if you want the numbers.

NV-Sen: I, like you, had been wondering why in the hell Harry Reid would randomly start talking about outlawing prostitution in Nevada. But when I saw that John Ensign felt compelled to weigh in in response – he’s fer it! – I wondered if Reid might be playing a very clever deep game. Goading Ensign into running his mouth off about whoring is a pretty good trick, if you ask me.

WA-Gov: This seems like a pretty unlikely move, what with AG Rob McKenna ready to pounce (and even Rep. Dave Reichert supposedly weighing a run), but another Republican might get into the mix. Businessman and Seattle Port Commission President Bill Bryant won’t even go so far as to say he’s “considering” the race; rather, he’s “listening” to people who have “urged” him to look at the race.

CA-23: A great catch by Aaron Blake: Republican former LG Abel Maldonado filed paperwork with the FEC to run in Dem Rep. Lois Capps’ district. While it would be a hell of a feat for a Republican to win here – Obama won 65% of the vote here – the proverbial “source close to” Maldonado says the candidate is “pretty confident that redistricting will change that district enough” to make it competitive. We’ll see.

CA-26: It looks like we’re finally getting the upgrade we need to successfully challenge Rep. David Dreier, and we have term limits to thank. Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who is termed out in 2012, will kick off his campaign next week. As per the above, it’s pretty ballsy to start running when you can’t even know where you’ll be running, but unlike Maldonado, Portantino is getting off to a real start, complete with fundraiser.

CA-36: Has anyone of any stature endorsed Debra Bowen yet? I have no idea, because her website is still just a freakin’ splash page. And I ask because two more members of Congress just endorsed Janice Hahn: Loretta Sanchez and Laura Richardson. Endorsements don’t typically mean a lot, but in this case, Hahn has really piled together an impressive roster in a very short time, which indicates her level of influence is quite strong. Meanwhile, I’m not even sure what Bowen is up to – search for her name on Google News (be sure to sort by date) and you won’t find much about her, but you’ll see plenty of stories about Hahn.

FL-22: Hmm. So much for keeping his recruiting plans on the DL. Steve Israel’s in South Florida this week, talking with potential candidates about taking on Lunatic-in-Chief Allen West next year. It sounds like Israel’s met with ex-Rep. Ron Klein, whom West beat in November, as well as Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon, and a guy named Patrick Murphy (no, not that Patrick Murphy), a construction executive. Israel also said he wants to talk to West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, who is term-limited.

NY-26: You can try to dump your gnarly tins of leftover Scozzafava-brand cat fud into a landfill, but the stench will forever linger on. The Albany Project has this awesome catch: Republican nominee Jane Corwin made the terrible, terrible error of donating $1,000 to Dede Scozzafava during her most ill-fated of congressional runs. Oh, the agony!

OR-01: Two newspapers have already called for Rep. David Wu’s resignation: The Daily Astorian and the Eugene Register Guard, which is actually the second-largest paper in the state. Can the Oregonian be far behind? So far, though, while the chair of the Oregon GOP seems to be calling for Wu to step down, fellow Dem politicians have been very circumspect, and Wu himself said he has no interest in leaving.

TX-15: This might help explain why Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D) has missed so many votes (40% so far): Earlier this month, he declared bankruptcy, on account of loan guarantees he made to his family’s meat company. The company itself declared bankruptcy in 2008, and though he was paid as a consultant from 2002 to 2007, Hinojosa has said he does not have managerial control over the firm.

UT-02: Jim Matheson is on a bit of a sticky wicket. If the GOP cracks Democratic Salt Lake City when they draw their new maps, he could potentially survive – after all, he’s represented a brutal district for a decade now. But he could be given a super-red district which also includes a lot of new territory, setting him back to square one-and-a-half. Alternately, the Republicans could pack Dem voters into a single district that would actually be fairly blue – in which case the conservative Matheson might find himself vulnerable to a more liberal challenger, particularly thanks to Utah’s convention nomination process. (Recall that Matheson only pulled 55% at last year’s convention against Some Dude Claudia Wright.) One such challenger might be former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson, who told Aaron Blake he wouldn’t rule out such a run, if the district were suitable.

National Journal: It looks like the NJ’s senate ratings are out (though I’m not sure the complete list is publicly available yet). And guess who is tied for most conservative senator? The circle is now complete. When John McCain left us, he was but the maverick. Now he is the hackster.

Tea Party Express: Open Secrets has an interesting analysis in which they show that no fewer than twenty different federal PACs sprang into being last cycle, but that fully 96% of all money raised was hauled in by just a single entity, the Tea Party Express. But even more fascinating to me are TPX’s final numbers. They donated $37K directly to candidates and spent $2.7 million on independent expenditures, but raised an amazing $7.6. That means that almost five million dollars went… where exactly?

WI St. Assembly: Mark your calendars: Widely-beloved Gov. Scott Walker has set May 3rd as the date for special elections for three now-vacant Republican-held Assembly seats. (All three dudes just took jobs in the Walker administration.) The open seats are the 60th, 83rd and 94th. That last one could be interesting. Obama won only 38% & 35% of the vote in the first two districts respectively, but he took 55% in the 94th. The GOP has a 57-38 edge in the Assembly, though, so we have a long way to claw back.

94 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 2/25”

  1. what is he gaining by pushing him into a corner like that?  I imagine the Democrat that ends up running has a much better shot against Ensign than the other candidates that are lined up (minus Sharon Angle if she tries for another run).  

  2. Interesting to see what impact the Corwin thing will have, though the State Conservative Party Chair sounded unswayed, simply saying he’d preferred it she’d not done it, without seeming that bothered.

    Corwin also had an A- rating from the NRA, according to Vote Smart. While that’s pretty high and Corwin’s pro-gun by any sane standard, I’d be interested to know what votes she took to make it an A- instead of an A or A+, and I’d imagine tea partiers might want to know too. Her “pro-choice” stance is extremely limited, after all, but has still rankled them.

  3. Portantino is from La Cañada Flintridge, which leans Republican and was given to Dreier for security. It’s close to Pasadena, so the logical solution is it for it to go to Schiff. Assemblywoman Norma Torres will probably be Dreier’s opponent.

    Even with redistricting, Maldonando is going to have a climb at that district. If the seat becomes mainly SLO and Santa Barbara Counties, it still leans Dem, even Kerry won it 50% to 49%. Plus, Capps is a rather strong incumbent.

  4. One dimension of this race that I don’t think I’ve seen anyone mention is that unlike after the last round of redistricting, Matheson will be facing Presidential turnout levels. In 2002, there weren’t any statewide offices on the ballot, so turnout was low, which may have aided his narrow (1,500 votes or so) victory. In 2012, turnout is going to be high in Utah, especially if Romney is the nominee.

    As a comparison, in 2002, the turnout in UT-02 was around 224k votes, while in 2004 it was 342k.  

  5. In other news Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood says drinking and boating is perfectly safeand Titanic Captain Edward J. Smith says icebergs aren’t a threat to North Atlantic cruise ships.  

  6. the best outcome would actually be the GOP packing SLC for a Dem-leaning district and pretty much assuring 3-1, with Matheson probably primaried out and a better Democrat in his place.

    The worst case scenario is of course them managing to crack SLC four ways and somehow Matheson can’t win any of the four districts.

  7. Shore up their tenuous State Senate majority through redistricting?  From the data, 1 Assembly seat will have to be moved into Clark County from the Rurals (and possibly a second from Washoe, although this is 50/50) and 1 State Senate seat will have to be moved into Clark County.

  8. The State Senate approved a same-sex marriage bill yesterday, 25-21, which is amazing considering how far from people’s minds that was last year. They probably would have been a good half dozen votes short last session – Republicans, Democrats from conservative or suburban non-metro districts, and anti-gay black Democrats from Baltimore or PG had always added up to a majority.

    Two interesting things happened in last fall’s elections – an upset win in the Democratic primary by Bill Ferguson over Sen. George Della (D-Baltimore) and a somewhat surprising defeat of anti-gay Sen. Alex Mooney (R-Frederick) in November. Hard to say how Della would have voted, but Ferguson was an enthusiastic SSM supporter. Ron Young, who beat Mooney, also voted yes.

    A surprising number of wavering Democrats from at least theoretically competitive suburban Baltimore seats signed on. In a year like 2010, with Bob Ehrlich atop the ticket, I’d have expected tougher campaigns by Republicans against Brochin, Klausemeier, and Kasemeyer, and maybe Zirkin, but none of them had much trouble getting re-elected. And one Republican, Allan Kittleman of Howard County, the former GOP floor leader, joined in. His unwillingness to sign a declaration of opposition along with all his colleagues cost him his leadership job.  

    While all of the African-American Senators from Prince George’s County voted no as a bloc (the three Senators from northern PG, two whites and one Latino, voted yes) all of Baltimore City’s delegation – all African-Americans except for the aforementioned Ferguson – all voted yes.

    The bill now moves to the House. The House has been the more liberal of the two bodies in Annapolis generally, but that may not be true anymore; the GOP actually lost ground (Mooney, plus an open seat on the Eastern Shore) in the Senate last fall, they gained a chunk of seats in the House – although none from areas especially likely to produce many votes for same-sex marriage.  

  9. who are these people urging Bill Bryant to run? He has next to zero name recognition, and if he were to actually run it would just throw a spotlight on the often murky doings of the Port Commission.  Other than perhaps being able to self-fund, I see no rational reason for him to run for statewide office.

  10. 1 Republican state Senator down 2 more to go.

    Oh and to make this SSP legal I think he may have been worried about re-election, his district went 61% for Obama.

    downwithtyranny Howie Klein

    Obama won the district with 61%, Kerry with 51%. RT @GinaSpitz: Sen. Dale Schultz (R) will vote NO! #wiunion

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