SSP Daily Digest: 3/22

MO-Sen: Well, it looks like Claire McCaskill has been trying to make me look like an idiot. After this site’s repeated smack-downs of the “airplane” story as Politico-fueled b.s., it turns out that there is quite a bit more to it: McCaskill now says she owes $287,000 in unpaid property taxes on the plane. That’s quite a bit. Of course, she says she’s paying them, and she’s also having her husband sell the plane – and she further notes that this problem only came to light because she reviewed the plane’s records herself. But how do you forget to pay over a quarter mil in taxes? Man.

In other MO-Sen news, former state GOP chair Ann Wagner was in DC last week meeting with the NRSC about her bid. She still claims her first preference is to run for Senate, but based on the quotes in Roll Call’s piece, it’s sounding more and more like Rep. Todd Akin (R) will get in and she’ll run for his seat. Of course, who knows what MO-02 will look like in a few months….

PA-Sen: The National Journal’s Alex Roarty says that Ed Stack, longtime CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Pittsburgh native, is thinking about seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Bob Casey. Stack is, of course, very rich.

ND-Gov: Horse’s mouth: Ex-Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) is leaving the door just slightly ajar to a gubernatorial run, saying “I am not excluding anything nor am I focusing on politics right now.” But he repeatedly told the Fargo-Moorhead Forum that he was concentrating on his new legal/lobbying job at Alston & Bird in DC.

WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant released a poll from GQR showing acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin leading the Dem primary field with 31, but with herself just behind at 27. Treasurer John Perdue is at 14, while state House Speaker Rick Thompson and state Sen. Jeff Kessler take 5 apiece.

CA-36: Debra Bowen got her first endorsement from a member of Congress: Rep. Judy Chu, who filled Hilda Solis’s 32nd CD seat when the latter became Secretary of Labor. Several other local officials have also endorsed. Also of note: The Courage Campaign is holding a candidate forum on Thursday, and if you click the link, you can submit a question.

IA-03: Longtime SSPer (and blogger in her own right) desmoinesdem points out that Nancy Pelosi is coming to Iowa to do some fundraisers with Rep. Leonard Boswell, including one at the home of 2010 Dem Senate nominee Roxanne Conlin. Is this a suggestion to Christie Vilsack that perhaps she ought not run?

KS-04: One political scientist is calling him “the congressman from Koch” – and you’ll probably want to as well. Mike Pompeo, a loathsome man hated by many fellow Republicans, took in $80K in donations from Koch employees, was supported by the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, and, for good measure, hired a Koch Industries attorney as his chief of staff. (Or more like, David and Charles installed a fixer to make sure their new paisan did as he was told.) Pompeo’s been delivering: He’s promoting legislation to defund a new consumer complaints database, and an EPA catalog of greenhouse-gas polluters. Personally, I think this dickbag could be very vulnerable to a GOP primary.

NY-26: Crazy Jack Davis and David Bellavia both filed signatures to appear on the ballot as independents – but of course, now the fun can truly begin. If you weren’t already aware, New York has just about the most draconian requirements for petitions in the land – they can be invalidated for as little as using the wrong color ink. I’d be pretty surprised if the GOP didn’t try to nuke both of these guys from orbit, though Davis might be invulnerable, since he said he submitted over 12,000 petitions. Bellavia’s camp would only say that they submitted “more” than the required 3,500. Unless he has at least double that number, once Christian Szell starts asking “Is it safe?”, it’s a good bet that Bellavia won’t survive scrutiny.

OR-01: Kari Chisholm of Blue Oregon has an excellent roundup of recent OR-01 stories, so I’m going to recommend you click through for his summaries and links. Two items of note: Republican state Sen. Bruce Starr says he won’t challenge Rep. David Wu, and Wu is apparently starting to actively fundraise again, with an event this week in Portland. I’ve gotta ask: Who the heck would want to show up to such a thing?

AZ-St. Sen.: A recall effort is underway against notorious Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant legislation known as SB1070. The leader of the best-organized group claims they have thousands of signatures and are meeting their goals, but they aren’t releasing any actual numbers.

NYC-Mayor: Another Republican campaign, another fortune embezzled. Mike Bloomberg hired John Haggerty to forklift over a million bucks to the state’s Independence Party, but instead, Haggerty laundered most of the cash through a consulting firm he owned and spent $750K on a home in Queens. Now a judge says that the evidence of Haggerty’s guilt is “overwhelming.” Can’t say I feel too bad for Bloombo! (Other recent similar incidents involved Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and ex-Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut.)

California: California Republicans are doing their best to ruin whatever advantages the state’s new top-two primary system might give them – on purpose. While the top-two might free more moderate GOPers from the ultra-conservative stranglehold on primaries, the activist base wants none of that. Starting in 2014, the party will conduct “pre-primaries” by mail and award their formal endorsement to whoever wins those beauty contests. These people will get assistance from the state party and will also be listed as the “official” GOP candidate for that race. David Atkins thinks, though, that this is a feature, not a bug: The CA Republican Party needs just 1/3 of the members of one of the chamber of the state legislature to maintain California’s absolutely dysfunctional system of state governance, and this helps ensure that they elect uncompromising crazies to the few seats they do win – which is all they require.

Redistricting Roundup:

California: Good news: The Republican firm that was a finalist to serve as the redistricting commission’s mapping consultant was unanimously rejected in favor of an Oakland company called Q2 Data and Research. And while Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which was selected as the panel’s law firm, does have some well-connected Republican partners in their DC office (like Ted Olson and Miguel Estrada), it’s big enough that you’ll probably find the entire gamut from good to evil working under their umbrella (so let’s hope we get “good”).

Louisiana: This Times-Picayune piece details the backroom wrangling going on over Louisiana’s congressional map, which painfully has to shrink from seven to six seats. Scroll down to that grey call-out box on the left for links to actual maps. I believe we linked the Gallot maps before, but the Kostelka and Jackson maps should be new. (You’ll find them at the end of some very long PDFs.) I note that of these plans seem to keep one Dem district by marrying New Orleans with Baton Rouge.

New Jersey: NJ legislators are being weirdly good about not sharing their proposed state maps with the public, but folks who have seen them are chatting up reporters. One such person, Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, thinks that the GOP is running afoul of the edicts set by commission boss Alan Rosenthal, and could get in trouble for their attempts to over-reach.

154 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/22”

  1. I can’t see that working. What exactly is there to stop somebody from continuing to run against the anointed party candidate?  

  2. Would Jay Nixon ever consider a run for Senate? I’ve been starting to think recently that McCaskill’s recent antics might have made it a safer bet to just have the governor run instead of her.

  3. While on the surface, it’s difficult to see how Wu survives,

    he survived ’04, when the allegations of his sexual assault during college were revealed — and he was faced with a full-out campaign on the issue.

    But his ’04 opponent may have overdone it, ref

    As I remember it, the allegations against Wu then sounded worse then the (different) allegations now. But Ameri was at best a second tier candidate.

    Nevertheless, I would not be shocked to hear that Wu feels bulletproof.  

  4. A repeat of 2001 will occur where the Dem map was chosen because it was the most reasonable to the tiebreaker while the GOP map overreached more.

  5. I doubt that Pompeo’s Koch ties will cause him any trouble in the primary or even much in the general as Koch is a big employer in Wichita. The Koch issue in general resonates with hardcore Dems but I don’t think it has much traction with anyone else. I think it’s the Dem equivalent of the George Soros issue.

  6. wanna tell me if it’s a good idea to admit in your campaign TV ads that your in for an huge loss on election day? Granted the NSW Labor Party which made this ad is going in for an massive loss on Saturday, but is it a good idea to admit so in your TV ads?

  7. Wasn’t there a referendum passed last year that meant you no longer needed 2/3 of the legislature to approve the budget? I thought a simple majority sufficed now?  

  8. From the the link below, you can see a copy of the ad that the Missouri Republican party ran against McCaskill. Maybe it’s me, but I had to laugh at how bad it was. It seems to assume that people have followed the story fairly closely, which is almost certainly not the case, and it saves the big punch, “DID YOU ENRICH YOURSELF FUNNELING TAX DOLLARS TO A DELAWARE SHELL COMPANY?” for the end, instead of the beginning. Wouldn’t it have been more effective to get a picture of her with a scowl or confused look and simply flash the words “TAX CHEAT” right at the top? I guess they can keep running these ads, but wouldn’t that get expensive? If this is the best they can do, I’m not sure we need to be worried.


  9. It does seem that the GOP mappers are overreaching more as their map is all about packing as much as possible while the Dem map makes some concessions.  If this is still the case, the Dems win this.

  10. As anybody here who regularly reads my comments knows, I’m very inclined to believe the Tea Party can help us greatly by causing a lot of trouble for Republicans, especially incumbents, around the country. The Party Party is not guaranteed to have an effect, but it’s a big threat, particularly for moderates like Olympia Snowe. Others disagree with me, downplaying the intensity of the challenge that these people pose. But I think I’ve found one more piece of evidence that suggest these people, for better or worse, are determined to get what they want, no matter who or what is standing in their way. Below is a link from a site I try to follow regularly. It’s about policy, as is the post I am linking to, but just so we are clear, I am not trying to start a policy discussion. The excerpts I am including here highlight just how the Teabaggers plan to operate:

    One of the more interesting exchanges occurred when one of the House members who was there asked the tea party chairs if they really had expected them to have reformed Medicare in the first six weeks of the session. Another was when one of the members complained about having been booed at a national tea party meeting that had just been held.

    But the most interesting exchange came when the tea party state chairs openly threatened the reelection of the tea party supporting members of Congress who attended. This was anything but subtle. One of the chairs specifically pointed at the members and told them that the tea party had elected them and would run someone against them in the next election if they didn’t vote as expected. This was beyond a “passionate” exchange: It was angry with a strong take-no-prisoners attitude.

    Read the whole post, which is too long to simply copy and paste here.

  11. “A new survey by Democracy Corps in 50 of the most competitive battleground Congressional districts – nearly all of which gave a majority to Obama in the last presidential election – shows the new Republican majority very much in play in 2012.”


    At the GOP state convention this weekend, more than 1,000 Republican activists will consider a resolution to censure lawmakers who vote for Brown’s plan. The measure brands them as “traitorous Republicans-In-Name-Only” and calls for their resignations.

    But each of the five has reasons for tolerating the activists’ ire.

    Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach is serving his last term in the Legislature. Among his options after leaving office is seeking a judicial appointment from Brown.

    Sens. Anthony Cannella of Ceres and Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo hail from largely Democratic districts where support for the governor is strong.

    Sens. Bill Emmerson of Hemet and Tom Berryhill of Modesto say the Republican credo of cutting more government would devastate their districts, which have some of the state’s highest unemployment and foreclosure rates.

    The Democrats’ “Gang of Five” was in the 80s when five conservative Democrats in the Assembly, Gary Condit among them, threatened to defect to the Republicans to get one of them elected Speaker over Willie Brown. Their efforts failed though when a Republican Assemblyman died.

  13. The election is officially non-partisan but it’s pretty clear who’s from which party.  Democrat Bob Buckhorn leads Republican Rose Ferlita 60%-40% with absentees and early votes in.  Turnout today was said to be light so I’m guessing the margin won’t change much.

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