SSP Daily Digest: 3/4

AZ-Sen: Sources are telling Roll Call that Rep. Trent Franks is planning to run for Sen. John Kyl’s open seat. I personally think Franks will get in – Jeff Flake definitely will not have this race to himself.

HI-Sen: Former part-term Rep. Charles Djou (I’d say we hardly knew ye, but I think we got to know him pretty well) says he’s considering a senate bid, but it sounds like he wants to wait and see what his fellow Republican (and next-door neighbor) Linda Lingle does first.

MO-Sen: Remember when Claire McCaskill said she’d co-sponsor Bob Corker’s CAP Act – the bill designed to take an axe to, among other things, Social Security? Now she’s telling her constituents in a letter that she’ll “vote against” any cuts to SS. So either she’s backtracking on her idiotic support of Corker’s bill, or she somehow thinks this pledge doesn’t conflict with that piece of legislation. In other words, she’s come to her senses – or she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth. We’ll see.

NV-Sen: The committee investigating John Ensign’s affair-and-hush-money scandal just interviewed Sen. Tom Coburn, which Politico claims is a sign that the inquiry is “intensifying,” but who knows – the whole thing could be winding down, especially since the Justice Department pathetically dropped their entire case against Ensign. I’d be surprised if any serious punishment is meted out here.

AZ-07: Some Dude Gabriela Saucedo Mercer announced a challenge to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D). Saucedo Mercer volunteered for fellow Republican Ruth McClung last time, who herself said after the election that she will “probably” run again.

CA-36: This can’t be the sort of news Republicans were hoping for: Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin said he’s joining the field of candidates hoping to succeed the now-departed Jane Harman. Why is this a problem? Because Gin is now the second non-Some Dude Republican running – Redondo’s elected city attorney, Mike Webb, is already in the race. If the GOP ever had any, any chance whatsoever of sneaking out a win here, it could only have happened with a single candidate to unite behind. Now, it seems impossible for one of their own to make it into a runoff, unless the Democratic field gets absurdly fractured.

MD-02: Huh. So it looks like fifth-term Dem Rep. Charles Albert Ruppersberger III – you know him as “Dutch” – already has a non-Some Dude opponent. Republican state Delegate Patrick McDonough (who is also a talk radio host) represents a reliably red district and has already managed to score Christine O’Donnell to headline a fundraiser for him. This district went 60% for Obama and 54% for Kerry, and I can’t imagine the Dem-held legislature would risk making this seat any redder if Ruppersberger looked genuinely threatened, so McDonough will have a hell of a challenge.

MI-12: Rep. Sandy Levin became the latest veteran Michigan Dem (along with Johns Dingell & Conyers, and Dale Kildee) to confirm that he’ll seek another term.

NY-26: Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz has told Democratic leaders to drop his name from consideration as a possible candidate for the upcoming special election. Is it just me, or is it a little worrisome that we still seem to be so far away from choosing a nominee? Just another reason why we should have primaries for special elections in New York.

The legislature did just pass one small bit of elections reform: Once Gov. Cuomo signs the bill, special elections will now be held 70 to 80 days after their announcement by the governor (as opposed to 30 to 40 right now), to give county boards more time to handle military and overseas ballots. This was done to bring NY into better compliance with federal law, but still note that there is no specific timeframe in which a governor must actually call for a special – this law only applies to the time period after one has been called.

OH-01: Cincinnati NAACP President Christopher Smitherman tells Dave Catanese that he thinks Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is “floating the idea of a run” against Rep. Steve Chabot. Mallory is black, and Smitherman notes, of course, that President Obama will be at the top of the ticket. The current OH-01 is 29% black, as strong black turnout was responsible for Steve Chabot losing in 2008.

IN-SoS: Republican Secretary of State Charlie White was just indicted on seven felony counts, “including voter fraud, perjury and theft.” White is accused of intentionally voting in a precinct he didn’t live in. Funny how after all their bogus charges of “voter fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111,” the one guy who actually gets hauled up on charges is nothing less than the guy responsible for ensuring the integrity of elections – and a Republican, to boot.

Idaho: Due to a court challenge, which found Idaho’s system of open primaries unconstitutional under the First Amendment, Idaho looks like it will be moving toward closed primaries – or at least, a setup where you have to register with the Republican Party in order to vote in GOP primaries.

MS Redistricting: So it looks like Mississippi may be the first state in the nation to adopt any sort of actual redistricting map – not a surprise, seeing as the state holds legislative elections later this year. The state House will vote on its own map as early as this Friday. (Click here for the map, and click here for the demographic breakdowns.) Believe it or not, the state House is actually still run by the Democrats, and predictably, Republicans don’t like their plan, calling it an incumbent protection plan for Dems. Still, it will likely pass – Dems insist all lawmakers have had a chance to give their input, and the GOP, which controls the state Senate, will need Democratic cooperation in the lower body to get their corresponding map approved.

PA St. Sen.: Craziness – local Republicans are reportedly preparing for a special election in the 40th district to replace the seemingly-doomed state Sen. Jane Orie… whose corruption case just ended in a mistrial today. But it’s not the kind of bad trial thingy a defendant typically roots for (i.e., a hung jury). Rather, the judge dismissed the jury because documents entered into evidence by the defense contained forged signatures. Said the judge to Orie’s attorney: “Ray Charles could see that those signatures were doctored.” So it seems like Orie may live to fry another day.

136 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/4”

  1. Also buried in that one article is one interesting tid-bit…

    “”As an engineer who worked in the aerospace industry, a Chinese American, pro-choice Republican and an elected official who was born in the district, I represent the depth and diversity” of the district, said Gin, who also is openly gay.”

    Has an openly gay republican ever run for congress before? I know there are some rumors about certain GOP members right now, and I know that some republicans have been outed (and then resigned/not run for reelection) but has there ever been an openly gay republican that ran for an open seat?

  2. Which is pretty predictable. We’ll see if he sticks with that; a lot of Republicans here want him gone.

    The Indy Star had a report this morning that mentioned Mitch Daniels apparently having tried back in December to convince White that he shouldn’t take office until he’d been cleared of any wrongdoing. White didn’t want to do that, and now they’ve got a big embarrassment on their hands as a result.  


    The economy gained 192,000 jobs in the month, roughly in line with economists’ forecast of 190,000 jobs. Businesses added 222,000 — their best hiring month since last April — while state and local governments cut 30,000 jobs.

  4. RRH says Fmr Rep Patrick Murphy (D-PA) is floating a bid for Attorney General of PA. The seat is currently held by Corbett appointee Linda Kelly who said she will not seek a full term in 2012. Murphy was my favorite member to get in from the ’06 wave and I was heart broken to see him go down, he was my FIRST political donation ever last year for $20. I hope he pulls the trigger on something and makes his way back into office.

    Anyone got some thoughts on this?


  5. As far as I could tell, the Cap Act didn’t specifically call for cuts to Social Security or Medicare. It just made them likelier, since the federal government was prevented from spending more than a certain percentage of GDP. Normally, this would still be something to be concerned about, but as I said at the time, I didn’t see it going anywhere. And has it? I haven’t heard anything about it since.

    At the same time, she’s on record as saying she won’t cut Social Security benefits. Regardless of what you think of this from a policy standpoint, it’s a good move politically, especially for her. If her strategy is to hold down the margins of her Republican opponent in rural areas, where there are probably a lot of older folks, it’s a smart move, since it gives her a lot of credibility with them.

    By the way, that’s what her strategy appears to be. By way of an e-mail that Talking Points Memo published from McCaskill to her supporters, we learned that she recently held town hall meetings in Franklin County, Columbia, and Blue Springs. Columbia is, of course, in Boone County and is prime territory for her, since it’s a pretty damn friendly place for Democrats, and Blue Springs, in Jackson County, probably isn’t much different. But Franklin County? It’s solidly Republican at the presidential level, since it’s socially conservative, but it’s also supposed to be fairly populist on economic issues. It actually approved the ballot initiative of raising the minimum wage a few years ago at a slightly higher rate than the state as a whole, for instance. She lost the County in 2006 by about seven points, but McCain beat Obama here by more than 12 points. It’s got a fairly large amount of people, so not getting beat too badly here is probably more important than it is in other counties.

    Anyway, I don’t want to say she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth, if only because she’s probably well aware that Corker’s act isn’t going anywhere. She gets the credit for being a deficit hawk, even if it’s undeserved, and she also score points for refusing to cut Social Security. She is playing both sides, but only because she is able to. And if you were her, would you do it any differently, considering there doesn’t look to be any downside?  


    From what I understood, Swing State Project would be a separate section of Daily Kos. I see the the Daily Digest reposted to the Daily Kos homepage, lost in the shuffle, just another diary. Is that the plan once the full site merger happens? If so, that again bums me out.  

  7. I suppose this isn’t exactly shocking, considering Utah Democrats are about as successful lately as a Nicolas Cage movie, but it’s still interesting.

    The entire interview is also amusing. I’m not sure what I like more: his name, WatsonsBitch; the fact that he jokes about a computer raping him in prison; or this specific example of his “self-deprecating Mormon humor,” which I think deserves to be quoted in full:

    He shares self-deprecating Mormon humor:

       1. Christina Aguilera was born Mormon. Not our finest effort ….

       5. My Sunday school teacher, when I was a Mormon teen, once memorably advised us that “There’s nothing more overrated than sex, and nothing more underrated than a good bowel movement.” It totally worked … I don’t remember a single other sermon from when I was a kid, but I think about this guy exactly once a day, and then again once a week.

  8. From The National Journal:

    Carol Weston, the new state director for Americans for Prosperity-Maine and a former state representative and senator, is not ruling out a primary challenge to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), though she told Hotline on Call that she’s not thinking about a bid just yet.

    “I’ve worked with Senator Snowe in many different ways and I served in the House and the Senate here in Maine and certainly now in my job with Americans for Prosperity I do reign in and lobby her, and over the years I have found there are times when we certainly do disagree,” said Weston. “But I also want to make sure that whoever may run against her in a primary will also have the financial support and the backing of the Maine people to win the general election. And that’s something that needs some careful consideration by anyone considering running.”

    What’s striking about this, I think, is not that Weston herself may be a candidate, but that she speaks as if a challenge is all but guaranteed. That’s not exactly shocking to us or to anyone else that has been paying attention, but it’s still sort of bracing to read such comments. People like her must feel awfully confident to claim that she will be fought even if there’s no agreed upon candidate.

    On that note, the article also mentions several people that have expressed interest. Not all of them will get in, of course, but if a few do, doesn’t that make it highly likely she could sneak by? I have to think that they will be as strategic here as they plan to be in other places, by trying to coalesce around one candidate, if only because they’ve had their eyes on Snowe for some time.


  9. The Udall family has another relative in the Senate: Utah Senator Mike Lee is a second cousin to both Tom and Mark Udall.

  10. I’ve seen Sanchez referred to as Tea Party guy here, can anyone link to something on that? It was not my impression…he seemed a fairly establishment conservative guy…

  11. Holy cow!

    It’s clear that Scott Rasmussen is telling Mr. Walker to back off before it’s too late.  There is no other reason why Rasmussen would release a poll like that.  That and Chris Christie’s announcement that he, “Loves collective bargaining” should be a strong hint to the Wisconsin emperor.

  12. The CRP joined the CDP is opposing Prop 14’s Jungle Primaries last year (full disclosure, I did online ads against 14). But they didn’t just oppose, concurrently they also made the necessary adjustments in their rules for endorsements.

    What you’re seeing on the GOP side isn’t a race for the voters on the first ballot, but a race to be the lone candidate on the first ballot. The GOP intends to only have one candidate at that time, if so the pre-primary battle is actually in their favor as it drums up excitement about winning the seat (a seat the won last time Janice Hahn was the Democratic nominee).

    This is how the GOP gets all of the benefits of a primary (earlier excitement, organization, & money) while also getting the strategic imperative of a single candidate. They’ve been planning for this very scenario for over a year. Things are actually shaping up in the best case scenario for CA Republicans.

  13. Not sure if this says more about Mayor Michael Nutter, the decrepit state of the Philadelphia Republican Party, or the incumbent-protection campaign finance rules that then-Councilman Nutter introduced a few years back, but with no non-felon Democrats challenging Mayor Nutter in the primary, and no non-loopy Republicans stepping up, the Republicans have finally found a candidate, Philadelphia DEMOCRATIC Committeewoman Karen Brown.  She’s running on a ticket of “I’m a woman” and may end up being to Nutter’s left on many issues.

    Brown’s a nice person, but don’t be fooled by the title, she’s just Some Dude — Philadelphia has more than 3300 Democratic committee people (two per division, with 1681 divisions in the city of about 1.4 million people).  In other words, Brown and her committee person partner represent about 800 people at the most grass-roots level.  

    The Republican party, with the same number of committee seats, has only about 1000 committeepeople, with the remainder of the slots unfilled.

    It is important that the Republicans field someone however, as they could lose an automatic ballot line in Philadelphia for the next four years if they don’t get five percent of the vote in the Mayor’s race.    

    So, who’s more pathetic:

    A) Karen Brown

    B) The Philadelphia Republican Party

    C) Governor Walker

    D) All of the Above


  14. New Poll on 2012 GOP Contenders

    I am really surprised that Palin is that more popular with independents then Gingrich. And it is nice to see Pawlenty continues to set the world on fire with his candidacy. That man has absolutely zero charisma, he’ll be out of the race after New Hampshire just like Dodd and Biden were.

  15. okay technically it was a motion to reconsider but that should reflect the final vote.  Nearly all of the no votes were GOP votes but the republicans did have some imput.  

    The state senate will vote on a bill next week.  I am not sure if Barbour intends to veto the bill or let each legislative body pass its own map.  

    The house bill passed with substantial number of AA legislators voting Yes.  I don’t know enough about the bill to say more then that.  Its on to DOJ if everything gets approved and signed.  

  16. …and, it’s not who you think it is:

    Grand Rapids- Randy Hekman is a father of 12, grandfather of 19, executive pastor of a church and the founder of a nonprofit advocacy group. Now, he’s looking for more work – in the U.S. Senate.

    Hekman, a 63-year-old Republican from Grand Rapids, announced today he’s running for the Senate seat held by two-term Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

    “I’m excited to be part of the Senate race as the United States faces such monumental crises,” Hekman said in a statement. “I want to make a difference for our country, and I feel a role in Washington during these difficult times is the best way to do that.”

    Hekman’s campaign said he was the first Republican to enter the 2012 race. He plans stops in Southfield, Lansing and Grand Rapids on Monday to officially announce his candidacy.

    I’ve lived here all my life, and I don’t even know the guy.  For as bad off as the state Dems have been, lately, the state Republican bench is ridiculously shallow.  They better hope Hoekstra gets in, and soon.

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