SSP Daily Digest: 4/18


AZ-Sen: Board of Regents member Fred Du Val, who I don’t think we’d discussed before, said he won’t seek the Democratic nomination to replace Jon Kyl. The article also mentions another possible Dem name that I hadn’t previously seen, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke.

FL-Sen: This article makes George LeMieux’s candidacy appear exactly as lame as you’d expect. Not only is he lamely courting teabaggers, but a recent “Tax Day” rally drew “less than 100.” Sounds like a lot less.

MA-Sen: Apologies for the paywalled-link-not something I’d ordinarily do, but this story isn’t available elsewhere. Anyhow, bigwigs constantly talking about him to the media has just got to be frustrating for Newton Mayor Setti Warren. First it was Gov. Deval Patrick, blabbing to the press that he was sure Warren was going to run. (Warren had to publicly back away from Patrick’s remarks.) Now, it’s the opposite: Rep. Barney Frank for some reason thought it would be a good idea to tell the National Journal: “I think it’s a mistake for him to run, I’ve told him that.” Well, if Frank’s told Warren this, then why the fuck does he also have to tell the NJ and turn it into a public spectacle? And it’s not just one off-hand remark – Frank made multiple statements talking down Warren’s chances. Sheesh, just let Warren do what he wants to do. Jeez.

ME-Sen: Dem House Minority Leader Emily Cain says she won’t challenge Olympia Snowe next year. (Cain, just 30 years old, can certainly bide her time.) The same piece mentions another possible Democratic name, businessman Donato Tramuto, who may also be interested in a 2014 gubernatorial bid.

MO-Sen: As Eli Yokley of PoliticMo observes, Todd Akin’s visit with a bunch of teabaggers in Joplin, Missouri took him three hundred miles outside of his congressional district, as sure a sign as any that he’s interested in taking on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin says he’ll decide “in the near future.” Interestingly, at the end of this article, he also whined about Democrats “beating up” Republicans over wanting to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. That kvetching means our attacks are already working-and when you have to start explaining yourself in full-length paragraphs (as Akin tries to do), you’re on the defensive and flailing.

NM-Sen: Auditor Hector Balderas said on Friday that he’ll decide whether to seek the Dem nod to replace the retiring Jeff Bingaman “within the next two weeks.”

TX-Sen: It appears that Democrats may have landed an interesting recruit in this race: Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top military commander in Iraq. Sanchez said he wouldn’t “confirm or deny” the reports, but former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Dem, decided to crack out of turn, saying he spoke with Sanchez and that it sounded “like he’s close to being a candidate.” One black mark: Sanchez was in command of US forces during the Abu Ghraib scandal, and he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram it was “pretty fair” to say the event ended his military career (though of course neither he nor any high-ranking officers were ever held responsible).

In other TX-Sen news, another one of Ron Paul’s offspring, Fort Worth physician Robert Paul, says he has “thought about running” for Senate… but that’s pretty much all he’s said.


NH-Gov: Mark Connolly is an interesting figure in New Hampshire politics: He’s the former director of the state’s Bureau of Securities Regulation, until he resigned last year to publicly blow the whistle on the state’s mishandling of an investigation into a ponzi scheme run by an entity called Financial Resource Management. (You may recall that this scandal also tainted Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who had been NH AG at the time, but not enough to derail her Senate bid.) In any event, Connolly says he thinks Gov. John Lynch should seek a fifth-term and he’d support him if he does-but if Lynch declined to run, Connolly “would consider” doing so himself. (Note that Connolly also briefly considered a Senate run himself last cycle, but was wise enough to stand aside.)

WA-Gov: I’m not really understanding Rob McKenna’s path to victory. He’s spent most of his career trying to convince people he’s a “moderate,” non-insane Republican, but then he signed on to the multi-state suit by mostly red-state Republican AGs to try to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional. He’s since continued in that surprising vein: He just attended a teabagger “Tax Day” rally and seems to think he needs to court the wingnuts in order to be successful. Is he worried about a primary? Or is he concerned he can’t win without teabaggers pushing for him at full throttle? Either way, it seems like he’s screwing himself.


FL-22: Kinda interesting: Former Gov. Charlie Crist just gave $1000 to Democrat “no not that” Patrick Murphy’s campaign to oust Allen West. (They share a consultant in common.) Really, I can’t believe Crist just didn’t switch parties when he had the chance.

OR-01: Carla Axtman, writing at the you-should-bookmark-`em-if-you-haven’t-yet Blue Oregon, goes as far down into the weeds as it’s possible to go without spontaneously commencing photosynthesis. In a look at the possible Dem field shaping up to primary Rep. David Wu, she mentions a couple of candidates we hadn’t previously seen named before: state Rep. Brad Witt and Clatsop County Commissioner Dirk Rohne, a recent R-to-D switcher.

Other Races:

NYC-Mayor: Kill me now: Dick Grasso, the d-bag ex-director of the New York Stock Exchange, says that if Eliot Spitzer runs for mayor, so will he. I just pray Spitzer isn’t stupid enough to actually run, but if anything, this challenge from Grasso probably has Eliot’s blood flowing and makes him more likely to do it. God.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Alan Hevesi, who had once served as NYC Comptroller and later comptroller for the whole state, was sentenced to one to four years in prison, after pleading guilty last fall to one count of official misconduct. Hevesi took bribes from financial firms (politely called “pay-to-play”) in exchange for steering the state to invest its considerable pension funds with those firms. What a piece of shit. Anyhow, he could be out of jail in less than a year.

Another ex-pol who has very much landed on his feet is former PA Gov. Ed Rendell. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from Fast Eddie, and if you really are curious as to what he’s up to, you’re going to have to click the link, because it’s way more than I can summarize.

224 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/18”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been mad at something Barney has done, but this really just smells. Maybe Frank is thinking of running himself? I just creamed myself thinking of the impossibility.

    (The dash-through was intentional).

  2. I’m going to take back every word I’ve said about Texas not being possibly competitive. I didn’t even know Sanchez was from Texas…

    Anyway, perfect figure to both raise Hispanic participation and soften suburban whites towards the Democrats. Combine those with higher black turnout from Obama being top-of-the-ticket and the fact that this is an open seat and we could squeak out a win. By the time he’d have to run for reelection, Texas would be just purple enough to squeak out another win.

    1. for Darling. The fact that the Olsen signatures came in at 160% of the required number suggests a lot of these campaigns are merely trying to build extra insurance into their totals and/or build up the list as a GOTV resource.

  3. Not the highest profile contest, but a big deal for folks out in the mountain west (especially since it’s been a springboard for its last three holders, Federico Pena, Wellington Webb, and now-Gov. Hickenlooper).

    Denver’s mayoral race is May 3, and though ten people are running, seems to be a contest between three:

    – former State Sen. Chris Romer (son of former Gov. Roy Romer), who has support of most of the Republicans (despite being a Democrat)

    – former city employee and preschools director James Mejia, who has support from the Latino community and progressives

    – City Councilman Michael Hancock, former president of the Denver Urban League, who has the support of much of the black community and lots of the moderates.

    Romer has been the front-runner the entire campaign, with support ranging from ex-State Sen. President Josh Penry (a conservative Republican) to the Denver Post, to liberal Rep. Ed Casso. Mejia and Hancock have been closing fast, though.

    All three men are polling between 18 and 22 percent in recent polls, and if no candidate reaches 50 percent (which no one will), we’ll have a runoff later this summer. It’s an all-mail election, and participation will probably be low, as it was in 2003 when Hickenlooper beat 4 others without needing a runoff in the last open race.

    Today, City Councilwoman Carol Boigon, who was polling in the high single-digits, dropped out and endorsed Hancock. Ballots are already out, and some have been returned, but it’s a boost that could help (Boigon was the highest-polling female candidate in the race as well).

    The race is interesting, with Denver’s White, Latino and Black communities all putting up a serious candidate. Of the three, Hancock would have serious potential for future statewide office were he to win.

    Should be a fun race in the closing weeks.  

        1. when it comes to assuming how many votes a third-party candidate will steal from the major party candidates, if it’s a minor third party and not one with a lot of resources? That could come in hand in a big way in this race.  

        2. I mean, Barbara Ann Radnofsky was an attractive candidate in ’06 and she only garnered 36 percent. I’d bump that up a bit solely on Hispanic growth.

    1. your shirt would be priceless….

      I think this is more about speculating who will be the next Secretary of State.  Biden would be a great SOS, but he’s somewhat tied up in his current gig.  I’m sure Obama will pick a great candidate to replace Clinton.

      1. and more on media as it’s hard to see candidates turn-over something as crucial as turn-out to a third party.


    This has been confirmed by the Recall Olsen facebook group.

    While it is nice to get two in one day (or maybe Harsdorf will file tomorrow), I think there is going to be a lull until late next week when I believe the Cowles and Darling committees file.  

      1. Frank might just want to scare away all non members of Congress from the Senate race. That way which ever MA congressman gets the short end of the redistricting stick can have the Senate race as a fallback option.

        To me this is just Frank doing a little CYA for redistricting.  

  5. Somebody last week suggested a weekly candidate rollout. Maybe they were right and this is part of it. Whatever, recruitment has certainly picked up the pace after a slow start.

  6. are both names that get floated occasionally as candidates, including last year (I think Andrew Burke, who was previous Napolitano’s COS, was seriously looking at the AG race before Obama appointed him USA). They’re both struck me as the milquetoast insider types that thrived during the generally disastrous Don Bivens era of the AZ Democratic Party (while, you know, actual people running for office interested in building grassroots campaigns suffered and were marginalized). I don’t know know enough about either to say whether or not they would actually make decent candidates.

    Also, I had a dream about Michele Bachmann last night. She told me she doesn’t like words that contain the letters “ou” together.  

  7. I found out a few of the numbers were off (mostly due to the GAB’s stupid Excel formatting):

    The 10th (Harsdorf – R) went for Kloppenburg with 51.3%, not Prosser with 50.5%.

    The 16th (Miller – D) went for Kloppenburg with 66.7%, not 69.8%.

    The 30th (Hansen – D) went for Prosser with 52.2%, not Kloppenburg by a hair.

  8. Could this be a move to get Rs to invest in Texas instead of a state like Ohio or Missouri? Say Sanchez gets in the race and polls around 45% by next summer and Obama is looking pretty competitive, wouldn’t a lot of the R money go towards low hanging fruit like Texas? Just hoping against hope that Ds still have a shot at saving the senate somehow.


    Harper is targeting immigrants specifically, I gather 20% of the Canadian electorate

    While Mr. Harper was in Markham to announce he’d guarantee loans for foreign-trained professionals to upgrade their skills

    In contrast, the Liberal leader sounds positively dismissive

    Since becoming leader, Mr. Ignatieff has avoided traditional ethnic politics, saying repeatedly that “a Canadian is a Canadian.” He has also criticized the Conservatives for identifying certain target ridings as “very ethnic” in a leaked strategy document.

    I suspect Conservatives might take a plurality of immigrants this election. Liberals took 50% (big, given the 5 Canadian parties) back in ’06.

    The trend at the ballot box suggests it’s the Conservative approach that’s working. The Canadian Election Study found that a once-huge Liberal lead among immigrants narrowed to six percentage points in 2008.

  10. McKenna shouldn’t be that worried about a primary challenge. Washington now has open primaries, with the top 2 vote getters going on to the general election. Moderates seem to do well under this system.

    1. This guy should be able to get into the mid 40s with a strong campaign. Especially if the Obama machine doesn’t have a strong presence here, TX Dems are going to need to be excited about something

      1. But, you can’t win if you don’t play…

        I was pessimistic about a lot of states in 2008, and we won a bunch.  I was pessimistic in 2006 in a bunch of states, but we won a bunch of those, too.

        Party building takes time, and you have to start somewhere.  Texas may be fools gold, but if it pans out someday then… jackpot!

      2. the fact that they’ve gone to the effort to recruit a candidate means they know Obama will be contesting Texas. It’s obviously not been friendly to us lately, but I think it could be, if we can devote the resources necessary to building the party. But it’s unreasonable to expect any normal candidate to do that by himself, so having a presidential campaign there makes sense.

        I also think the sheer number of seats we need to defend is misleading. We won’t have to worry about the senate seats in New York, Vermont, Delaware, Washington, California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin (if Kohl runs), Minnesota, Hawaii, and Maryland. We almost certainly won’t have to worry about those in Connecticut, West Virginia New Mexico, New Jersey, Michigan, and perhaps even Florida and Ohio. The real contests in seats that we hold are in North Dakota and Nebraska, unless you consider them gone, Virginia, Montana, and Missouri. Nevada and Massachusetts will be toss ups until the end, I think, and while there are potentially huge oportunities in Arizona, Indiana, and Maine, it’s possible not all of them will pan out. Plus, all of those states are likely targets for Obama, if they aren’t safely Democratic. Adding one more, even one as difficult as Texas, isn’t going to break us.  

    2. How was Bill White last year not trying, or trying in a real f*cuked up way? How was Rick Noriega? How was Ron Kirk back in 2002?

      You’re whole point is that we haven’t tried in Texas, and we need to try. Just like you made the same point about Mississippi the other day, and other states that no one else thinks Dems have much of a chance in 2012. But have you ever considered that national Dems have looked at these states, and just determined that they aren’t winnable and aren’t worth spending money on. Maybe that’s why they didn’t try as hard as you want to.

      You’re whole premise is that Dems and Obama just have unlimted money to spend and should expand the playing field in every direction. And you know what – if Republicans keep screwing up like I think they did with this Paul Ryan plan – you may be right. But I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point yet and that’s why I’m going to hold a pretty cynical position on a lot of these races until we get to that point.  

  11. DavidNYC – Chris Bowers has a pretty good posting about the Wisconsin recall election on the front page of Kos. Do you think he’d allow you to repost it here?

  12. ….Count me among the pessimists on this one I guess. I’m hoping somebody else steps up to primary this guy, not that I think anybody could win this race or that the DSCC will spend money here(they’re going to be spread thin with all the incumbents we have to protect as well as open seats in Nevada and Arizona and helping whoever is going against Brown), plus I don’t think Obama will focus on this state when there are so many easier nuts to crack.

    Texas is just too big, too red and too expensive.

    I do hope I end up being wrong of course.

  13. Not something I’d lead, but at the very least it allows Michigan Dems to exercize their atrophied organizational muscles:

    Group begins effort to recall Gov. Rick Snyder


    April 18, 2011

    A recall effort is organizing against Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

    A group called Michigan Citizens United filed proposed recall petition wording with election officials today in Washtenaw County, Snyder’s county of residence.

    The group says on its website it plans to begin collecting voter signatures as early as next month if the wording on its petition is approved. The group says it will need about 807,000 valid signatures to make the ballot in November.

    Michigan Citizens United filed paperwork for a political action committee last month.

    Very likely won’t get the signature needed, but again, a very good class in political organizing.  

  14. Blue Arkansas:

    In the short months of Mark Martin’s tenure we have already seen well over a hundred thousand dollars of the taxpayer’s money wasted-70,000 of it on a car and a consulting fee, 54,000 of it on a survey.  One staffer has already resigned under mysterious circumstances and another had to resign because she drove a car without a valid license or proof of insurance. Oh and that staffer that resigned for the non-auto related incident?  She’s now saying she did so because Martin told her to delete an email rather than supply it in accordance with a FOIA request. Remember, this is the same man who told an idiot Republican state legislator (Donna Hutchinson less you think I’m calling anyone else an idiot) that he would work to disenfranchise Latinos and then had to show on camera that he didn’t know what he was talking about and has a childish temper.

    And this is all in just a few short months of taking office.  Imagine what will happen before the year is over.  Or his first term for that matter!  It is only a matter of time before Martin is indicted for something, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs. Stewart and any number of other staffers followed him right into orange suits and cushy white collar jails.

    If you’d like some links,

  15. To be honest, I suspect that Balderas won’t run, he’s already going to start behind Heinrich in both fundraising and name recognition and honestly, he has to know that he’s more likely than not to lose against him.

    Plus, as I’ve said before, I suspect that Udall isn’t a lifer, Balderas can always run for governor against Susana Martinez and/or wait to see if Udall retires come 2020 (yeah, I know, but my own view has always been that Udall isn’t a lifer, he’ll probably serve two or three terms and then call it a day, for those who remember, he did have to be coaxed into running in 2008).

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