SSP Daily Digest: 3/31


HI-Sen: Charles Djou reiterated that he’d wait until fellow GOPer Linda Lingle decides whether to run, which he expects by this summer. (So does that mean until Sept. 21st?)

MA-Sen: This is some… creative spin from the DSCC. Dems, both named and un-named, are saying that the failure of a Democratic challenger to emerge against Scott Brown is all part of a plan, one that involves attacking Brown (by various proxies, it would seem) while giving the Republicans no Dem to attack in response. This plan is so super-genious, it ought to continue right up until November 6th, 2012.

NV-Sen: The Lahontan Valley News, covering a Jeff-Jack dinner up north that Rep. Shelley Berkley just attended, says that the congresswoman ” confirmed she wants to run” for Senate – but those are their words, not hers. Please hold the microphone closer to the horse’s mouth!

VA-Sen: President Obama showered some praise on Tim Kaine at a couple of fundraisers in NYC on Tuesday night. Is this part of a lengthy marketing campaign, or an attempted kick in the pants?


CA-Gov: A lone unnamed source tells Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the SF Chronicle that newly-elected Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is planning to run for governor… in 2014. That would mean he either expects the Hon. Gov Jerry Brown, who will be 76 by then, to not run again, or he thinks it would be a good idea to challenge Brown in a primary. Given that it’s Newsom we’re talking about, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter.

WV-Gov: Rick Thompson has another ad out. I’m told that several other Dems are on the air, but I checked all of their YouTube accounts and found no other ads.


CA-36: The League of Conservation Voters just came out for Debra Bowen, while Rep. Linda Sanchez threw her support behind Janice Hahn.

NY-26: Dem Kathy Hochul is out with her first ad (NWOTSOTB), in which she touts her accomplishments as a politician… all of which seem to have to do with cars, in one way or another.

WI-07: Sean Duffy is just a total asshole, but my heart really goes out to the guy who questioned him at a town hall. Said the questioner:

I’m a builder. I haven’t been building too many things in the last couple years with the economy down. My wife is a teacher. I’m fortunate enough to take a bus driving job. Love it. Just love it. But it’s not very much money of course. It’s working for us.

He drives a bus, and still considers himself lucky. Sean Duffy earns $174,000 a year as a member of Congress and complains that “I struggle to meet my bills.” He also declared that the benefits the builder/bus driver’s wife gets as a state employee are “gold-plated” and are better than those he gets as a federal employee. As Steve archly notes: “What, they don’t have an Office of the Attending Physician in Marinette or Eau Claire?”

Other Races:

Suffolk Co. Lege: It’s some good news… for John McCain! It may also be further down into the weeds than we’ve ever gone at SSP. A Democrat, Sarah Anker, appears to have won a special election in a deeply Republican seat in the Suffolk County Legislature. Republicans are trying to claim that County Exec. Steve Levy’s very high-profile troubles with the law (see SSP Amazing Digest #325) weighed them down in this race… but Levy’s only been a Republican for less than a year!


Farm Subsidies: An organization called the Environmental Working Group has a fascinating look at the 23 members of Congress (17 Republicans, 6 Democrats) who have received farm subsidies since 1995. Over the last fifteen years, this group of Republicans has pulled in over ten times as much ($5.3 million vs. $500K) than the Dems. Farm subsidies have been a campaign trail issue – they enrage teabaggers, who savaged the #1 recipient, TN-08 Rep. and agribusiness kingpin Stephen Fincher, in the GOP primary last year over the $3.4 million in federal largesse he’s received over the years. The piece also notes that Dems tried to protect rural members by preserving the status quo back in 2008, but that of course has completely failed. With most of those big-age pols now washed out to the hog lagoon, maybe, just maybe, official Democratic policy toward these awful subsidies will change.

Voter Suppression: The AP has a good roundup on the stepped-up Republican efforts to pass voter ID laws – despite the expense caused by these laws, and by the fact that pretty much no one nowhere has ever proven a single one of these overblown charges of “VOTER FRAUD!!!!!!!!111111111”. States on the list include Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Fortunately, in Democratic-controlled Arkansas, the idea died in the Senate after it passed the House.

Fundraising: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s also the last day of the first fundraising quarter of the year, so time to start thinking about donations to your favorite Democrats.

Redistricting Roundup:

DC: The District of Columbia doesn’t often appear in the digest, but this fits our style: The site Greater Greater Washington has a Google Maps-based game of sorts where you can redistrict the city’s wards.

Florida: Republican legislative leaders have forwarded on Florida’s redistricting ballot measures (passed last year) to the Dept. of Justice for pre-clearance – an application weirdo Gov. Rick Scott withdrew earlier this year. But Mike Haridopolos (oh, you know him) and Dean Cannon, his counterpart in the state House, drafted their request to the DoJ in a way deliberately designed to undermine the amendments. They claimed they would hurt minority voting rights, but I don’t really see how that’s possible, since the VRA would trump any state laws. Hopefully the DoJ will see through this charade and clear these amendments promptly.

Iowa: Start hitting refresh! Iowa’s first-draft federal map will come out this morning.

Louisiana: The state House voted to accept a new map on Tuesday, by a 70-28 margin. Most of the votes against were from black Democrats and also from Republicans from Jefferson Parish, which apparently loses a seat to Orleans Parish under this plan.

Maine: Maine state law says that redistricting must be done in 2013 – which of course would be after the next round of Congressional elections. Two Mainers have filed a lawsuit challenging this practice on “one person, one vote” grounds, pointing out that every other state (except Montana, where federal redistricting isn’t an issue) redraws their maps as soon as they get new Census data in.

New York: Republican state Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos declared last night that redistricting reform is dead. He said the Senate would not take up legislation that would create an independent commission.

Pennsylvania: Everyone seems to expect that Dems Jason Altmire and Mark Critz will get thrown into a single district by Republicans. Politico examines what the contours of such a mashup might look like.

Texas: The Texas Tribune did a National Review-style poll of “insiders,” asking them what the state’s four new congressional districts will look like. 54% said they’ll be 3-1 Republican, while 37% said 2-2 Dem.

200 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/31”

  1. You forgot to finish your sentence:

    HI-Sen: Charles Djou reiterated that he’d wait until fellow GOPer Linda Lingle decides whether to run, which he expects by this summer. (So does that mean until Sept. 21st?) He also

  2. Can run for another term, as he was the first Governor to be hit by term limits. He found a loophole to run for this third term, but I’ll have to see if a fourth is possible. If not, then there’s nothing stopping Newsom from coveting the job… AGAIN!

  3. But she’s faced a whole lot of skepticism from the DSCC. And recently, that skepticism from the DC crowd has been spreading here. (Over the weekend, some folks were telling me they did NOT want Shelley running, and preferred Catherine Cortez Masto instead.) She must be hoping Mark Mellman’s new poll numbers will silence the critics and skeptics. She certainly would not have released them been OK with the “leak” if they showed her losing badly to Heller, as PPP did earlier this year.

    Again, remember that as good as PPP’s national record may be, they have a history of under-sampling traditionally Democratic friendly voters. Mellman, OTOH, is considered polling platinum here in Nevada.

  4. Linky here:

    Keep in mind Iowa is a nonpartisan commission, with legislative chambers and Governor required to give up-or-down votes and then sign-or-veto.

    The commission gets 2 cracks if first map rejected, then to the courts.

    Last time they approved a 2nd map, and it’s never gone to the courts.

    This map throws together Loebsack and Braley, and also Latham and King, while leaving Boswell alone in his Polk-based district.  Loebsack could just move down a few miles from Linn County to Johnson (Iowa City).  Latham and King won’t be happy, and I bet this map gets rejected for that reason…no way can I imagine the Iowa GOP going along with giving Boswell a free pass while making Latham and King fight it out.

  5. I know, bad joke, but I couldn’t resist. If $174,000 a year plus health benefits isn’t enough, perhaps Duffy should find another job, I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t mind that.


    I don’t know whether it’s wishful thinking, but the actions of Giffords’ aides seem hopeful

    “Our focus is on her recovery and what comes after that comes after that,” said Pia Carusone, Ms. Giffords’s chief of staff.

    Despite such protestations, several of Ms. Giffords’s longtime aides are whispering behind the scenes that she just might recover in time to run for the seat that Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican, is vacating next year.

    But the article goes on to “plan B” concepts, named

    Fred DuVal (state board of Regents)

    Rep Ed Pastor

    “as well as a handful of lesser-known hopefuls. ”

    I’m surprised that other polled candidates, e.g. Gordon, Goddard aren’t named in the article.

  7. Which would “strip public employees of their union protection when their contracts expire.”  

    For reference, NH has a democratic governor, but republicans have a veto proof majority in both chambers.  

    It looks like NH republicans may be over reaching with this and there could be another election quake here like there was in 2010 and 2006.


  8. Republican insiders seriously thinking that they’re going to  get away with a 3-1 split on the new Texas districts? Ridiculous. They have to create another Travis area district which will be quite Democratic leaning, and the VRA is going to make them create another Hispanic district. They’d probably be smart to make a third Democratic vote sink in Tarrant County. Though I can’t complain if they overreach and Texas starts becoming a hotbed of competitive house races over the next decade.  


    Obama: 46%

    Huckabee: 46%

    Obama: 44%

    Romney 43%

    Obama: 46%

    Christie: 40%

    Obama: 52%

    Gingrich: 37%

    Obama: 48%

    Pawlenty: 34%

    Obama: 54%

    Palin: 34%

    The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 800 registered voters nationwide was conducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from March 21, 2011, through March 28, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points

  10. “Congressional Redistricting: Is Creating “Safe” Districts A Dying Art?” from Rhodes Cook at Sabato’s Crystal Ball.  The title sounded promising, but after reading it you realize he’s talking up a lot of nothing because he only goes back to 1970 when analyzing turn-over rate.  He concludes that because the last decade saw so much turn-over, maybe it means the end of safer districts.  No, Bush was really that bad in 2006, and the economy really sucked that hard in 2008 and 2010.

    He also says

    The current redistricting process is different from the last one in a variety of ways. Republican gubernatorial and state legislative gains last fall put the GOP in a much stronger position in many states to push through maps of their choosing

    No, that is not a difference, as they controlled the process in 2000 as well.  And if they didn’t, they did it mid-decade like Texas and Georgia.  Yeah, whole thing is just kind of wrong.  Sorry guy, you wasted your time.  Sabato should’ve hired an SSPer.

  11. it was getting to be fun! Well, I suppose it was in time to keep it out of the Google cache.

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