SSP Daily Digest: 4/19

HI-Sen: Both Rep. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have confirmed to Roll Call that they are looking at the Dem primary to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka, and Hanabusa says she’s meeting with the DSCC, presumably soon. She also says that the DS “has made it known it wants to speak with anyone interested in running, but it is not actively recruiting any one candidate” (Roll Call’s phrasing).

IN-Sen: So GOPer Richard Mourdock raised $157K, not much better than the $125K or so he predicted (in an obvious attempt to ensure he “exceeded analysts’ estimates,” as they might say after a Wall Street earnings call). But I flag this item because Roll Call says Mourdock plans to “raise money from a national donor base starting next year.” Does this mean he’s going the Sharron Angle/Michele Bachmann/Allen West BMW Direct-type direct mail scammery? (See related bullets below.) If so, then perhaps Dick Lugar is in better shape than he might have hoped.

MO-Sen: This is news to me: Sophomore GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer is apparently thinking about a Senate bid, and has reportedly even met with the NRSC about his intentions. Dave Catanese says that “uncertainty about redistricting” is spurring Luetkemeyer to consider other options, but I’m not sure I buy that, seeing as the new maps being considered by the Republican-held legislature offer him a very comfy seat. The real puzzler is why he’s doing this when six-term Rep. Todd Akin seems to be gearing up for a Senate run, since there’s almost no way the two would want to fight it out in a primary. Maybe Lute thinks he can be Plan B if Akin demurs.

Another reason cited by Catanese (which applies equally well to both congressmen) is ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman’s crappy fundraising. She pulled in just $186K in Q1, which would be unimpressive for a supposedly serious candidate in almost any state. If Akin gets in, I think there’s a non-zero chance that she’d drop out.

MT-Sen: Nice: Sen. Jon Tester (D) raised $1.2 million in Q1 and has $1.5m on hand. His Republican opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, raised less than half that, $580K, but has $932K in the bank.

NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson raised $1 million in Q1 and has $2.3 mil on hand. His chief Republican rival, AG Jon Bruning, raised $1.5 million and has $1.2 in the bank, but Nelson pointed out that $600K was transferred from Bruning’s 2008 Senate account (when he briefly sought to primary Chuck Hagel; after Hagel announced his retirement, Bruning was squeezed out by former Gov. Mike Johanns).

OH-Sen: Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin, whom we’d mentioned previously as a possible candidate, has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee, joining Treasurer Josh Mandel in this in-limbo category in the GOP primary.

TN-Sen: I feel like there’s an alternate universe not too dissimilar from our own where a Republican dude named Bob Corker is also freshman in the U.S. Senate, and he’s also up for re-election, except Corker Prime is actually vulnerable. Here on Earth, though, it really seems like Corker is well out of reach for us. He raised an impressive $1.9 million in Q1 and has over $4 million in the bank – and there are no Democratic candidates on the horizon.


MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon lapped his likely Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, on the fundraising circuit, pulling in over twice as much money over the last six months, $1.7 million to $770K. Nixon also has a big cash-on-hand edge, $2.1 mil to $900K.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show? Well, pretty terrible, actually – Kinder’s had just an awful few weeks in the press. After the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed his penchant for spending taxpayer money to stay in luxury hotels to attend baseball games and society balls, Kinder promised to reimburse the state $35K… but two weeks later, he still hasn’t. That nimbus definitely isn’t moving anywhere just yet, and it’s his own damn fault. Let’s hope he runs the rest of his campaign the same way.

NC-Gov: This just doesn’t seem good. Gov. Bev Perdue, whose public image has already suffered enough damage, was out-of-state Saturday afternoon when a series of deadly tornadoes touched down in North Carolina. She was attending a horse race in Kentucky and didn’t make a public appearance back home until 11pm that night. I’m not going to predict what this will mean for Perdue, but it can’t be helpful.

WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant’s first ad is a hokey spot set on a farm, in which she decries politicians wasting money… and a cow can be heard to moo. (Or a bull. I don’t know. It has horns. But small ones. So maybe still a cow? Do bulls moo? I’m from the city – sue me.) Tennant is generally seen as the candidate with the greatest appeal to liberals (yes, there are some in West Virginia), so she’s clearly trying to play against type here.


AZ-08: Rep. Gabby Giffords raised $358K in Q1 and has $556K in the bank.

CA-19: Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Denham (I admit it – I had already forgotten who he was and had to Google him) is already making a name for himself. That name is “idiot.” He staged a mega-lavish DC fundraiser in January when he was sworn in which featured singer Leann Rimes and spent an amazing $212,250 on the event. Total raised? $212,900 – which means he netted exactly $650. That’s quite the feat. It’s even more amazing when you consider it was all supposed to benefit a joint fundraising committee for 11 GOP frosh. To rub it in, Michael Doyle of the Modesto Bee archly observes: “If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59.”

CA-36: Janice Hahn outraised Debra Bowen in Q1, $273K to $195K, and has about double the cash-on-hand, $171K to $93K. Surprisingly, Marcy Winograd managed to raise $50K. (And if you care, Republican Craig Hughey lent his campaign $250K.)

Bowen also put out an internal from the Feldman Group. In a test of apparently all the candidates who have filed, she and Hahn tie for 20, with Republican Mike Gin the next-closest at 8 and Winograd at 6. The memo also says that in a two-way runoff, Bowen leads 40-36 with 16% undecided. The poll also claims that Hahn’s unfavorability rating is “double that of Bowen,” but a self-respecting pollster really shouldn’t include such tripe, because the refusal to release actual numbers means we’re talking about something like a 12-to-6 comparison (i.e., meaningless). As mi hermano G.O.B. Bluth would say, “COME ON!”

FL-08: Hah! Does Daniel Webster want to lose? The GOP freshman raised just $30K in Q1, but the really funny part is that the guy he defeated, Alan Grayson, raised more! Grayson took in $38K, apparently from small donors who hope he’ll make a comeback bid.

FL-22: Allen West raised a seemingly-impressive $434K in Q1, but as you know, he’s a major practitioner of the churn-and-burn style of shady direct-mail fundraising, and it really shows in his burn rate. He spent an amazing $266K last quarter, which both as a raw total and a percentage rate is exceedingly high… but see the MN-06 and NV-02 items below.

IA-04: Interesting, though not surprising: Politico says that DCCC chair Steve Israel warned Christie Vilsack off of challenging Dave Loebsack in the new 2nd CD, assuring her that the D-Trip would back the incumbent. He also apparently promised to support her if she took on Rep. Steve King (as she supposedly might do), though who knows what kind of $ that might translate into.

IL-03: Insurance exec John Atkinson, who is apparently challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary, raised $535K in Q1, including $312K from his own pockets. Lipinski raised just $138K but has $637K on hand.

MN-08: Freshman GOPer Chip Cravaack raised just $121K in Q1 – so why are we having such a hard time finding a Dem willing to take this guy on?

MN-06: Michele Bachmann raised a MIND-OBLITERATING $1.7 million in the first quarter… and yes, I’m being sarcastic, because she also managed to spent $756K. Of course, netting a million bucks ain’t bad (and she has $2.8 mil on hand), and if she truly pulls the trigger on a presidential run, I’ll bet the spigots will open even wider. But that’s still quite the burn rate.

NV-02: Sharron Angle makes Allen West look as parsimonious as Scrooge by comparison. Everyone’s favorite nutter (okay, it’s a multi-way tie, but you know you love her) raised an amaaaaaaaaazing $700K in Q1, but spent an actually amazing $550K, mostly to BaseConnect, the scam artists formerly known as BMW Direct. She has only $176K in the bank.

NY-26: Republican Jane Corwin is not fucking around: She raised just $102K in Q1, but gave her own campaign a whopping million dollars. Yow. Meanwhile, Crazy Jack Davis has raised zilch, but has loaned himself $1.5 mil and already spent $1.4 mil.

Other Races:

Denver Mayor: SSP commenter Kretzy has a really good run-down on the May 3rd Denver mayor’s race, necessitated by John Hickenlooper’s ascension to the governor’s mansion. I won’t try to summarize it – you should just click through. Timely, too, because SUSA has a poll out on the race, showing James Mejia and Chris Romer tied at 22, with Michael Hancock next at 18. Again, read Kretzy’s summary if you want to know more about these people.

Wisconsin Recall: Signatures were filed yesterday to force a recall election for a third Republican state senator, Luther Olsen, and Dems expect to file petitions for Sheila Harsdorf today. (Number of Dem state sens who’ve had petitions filed against them so far: 0.) Also, the state’s Government Accountability Board says it will try to consolidate the recalls into as few elections as possible.

Grab Bag:

DSCC: In an item about Herb Kohl raising $0 last quarter (he can cut himself a fat check any time he pleases, so this isn’t meaningful), Dave Catanese says that DSCC chair Patty Murray said “she was confident all of the remaining incumbents were running for reelection.” Kohl is the most obvious candidate for retirement, and of course Murray could be wrong, but maybe this is it.

Fundraising: The NYT has a list of fundraising by freshman Republicans, and also notes that IN-08 Rep. Larry Bucshon took in just $45K. Not really wise for a guy whose district is likely to be made at least a bit more competitive. The Fix also has a fundraising roundup.

LCV: The League of Conservation Voters is launching a $250K radio ad campaign targeted at four members of the House who voted in favor of a bill that would bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The ads are hitting two Republicans running for Senate, Denny Rehberg and Dean Heller, as well as Energy Cmte Chair Fred Upton (R) and Jason Altmire (D). Here’s a sample ad (targeted at Heller), which I actually find kinda weird and confusing.

Passings: Former Rep. Harold Volkmer, who represented mostly rural northeastern Missouri’s 9th CD for ten terms, passed away at the age of 80.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Now this at least is a fight that makes sense: Republicans control the Colorado House, while Dems control the Senate – and tempers have already exploded with the release of proposed redistricting plans from both sides. (See yesterday’s digest for the maps.) Speaker of the House Frank McNulty flipped out, accusing Democrats of drawing districts that would benefit two legislators in particular: Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Sen. Morgan Carroll.

However, Carroll said she has no plans to run for Congress, while the Dem point-man on redistricting, Sen. Rollie Heath, pointed out that the new 4th CD (which McNulty thinks Shaffer wants to run in) has a 10 percent GOP registration edge… in other words, not the kind of seat you’d drawn for yourself if you were an ambitious Democrat. So either McNulty is just a garden-variety moran, or he’s just trying to cast fact-free aspersions against the other side. We’ve seen a lot of this kind of crap from Colorado Republicans already, so door number two is a definite possibility (but of course, it’s not mutually exclusive of door number 1).

Missouri: Trying to unlock a stalemate that seems remarkably picayune to outsiders such as myself, Republican power brokers in Missouri met yesterday to talk things over. Among the participants were most of the Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation, the heads of the state House and Senate, and the chair of the MO GOP. No sort of deal has been announced as yet.

Virginia: Hah – so much for lawmakers racing back to work to deal with Gov. Bob McDonnell’s veto of their redistricting plans. Legislators had planned to be off this week, so rank-and-file members declined leadership’s entreaties to show up.

315 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/19”

  1. Bulls bellow or snort, cows moo. Gender actually matters here as to what sound the species makes.  

    1. Nice to have those leads but I think his job approval is still the most important number. Normally I would be slightly concerned that they sampled adults and not registered voters but Rasmussen’s likely voter model shows basically the same picture.

      1. There’s just a huge difference between something bad, like $5 a gallon gas, and something truly awful, like $9 a gallon gas.  

          1. Walker would still lose even if he took every single swing state outside the midwest (CO, NV, NM, AZ, NH, VA, NC, FL).

          2. What his first few months as Governor show is that he’s in over his head.  He’s really screwed up politically in every possible way, constantly throwing more gasoline on to the fire.

            It’s not that anything he’s done pisses off Republicans.

            It’s that what he’s done shows he lacks political sense now that he’s at this high level.  And that lack of political sense would carry over into a Presidential campaign, where I’m confident we would see a neverending string of screw-ups of all kinds.

            That’s the thing about all these people who various factions of Republicans pine over, I actually don’t think any of them could win the nomination.  They are either too green to have the political chops to run a competent campaign, or they just don’t have the motivation to do what they’d have to do (see Fred Thompson), or they just wouldn’t catch fire with primary voters.

            That last point is key:  there’s really no evidence that Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels or Scott Walker would catch fire with rank-and-file Republicans.

            That’s the problem their party has:  no one catches fire.  They don’t have any good choices period, either among actual candidates, prospective candidates who are actually thinking about it, or fantasy candidates.

      2. The popular memory is that the economy was terrible throughout Carter’s presidency and that plus the hostage crisis killed his presidency. In truth, the economy was actually quite good during the first half of Carter’s term. Unemployment dropped to 5%, inflation fell to high but manageable levels, high but far lower than the double-digit highs of the mid-70s, and economic growth was strong.

        What killed Carter was the Iranian Revolution. The supply disruptions from the conflict caused a massive oil spike which both killed the economy and caused inflation to spike dramatically upwards over the course of ’79 and ’80.

        Without Iran imploding, Carter would probably have still defeated Kennedy for the nomination (very hard to defeat a sitting president), then would probably have gone into the election with middling-but-not disastrous numbers (mid 40s) and beaten Reagan by about 5 points. There may still have been a subsequent Volcker-instigated recession in ’81, but without the massive inflation spurred by the oil crisis, interest rates would have been raised more gradually and less sharply, producing a milder recession overall.  

        1. These guys are probably going to try to rush the bill through before the Recount Commission starts working on the White challenge again. I’m sure it will pass the House, but I wonder if there’s a chance of Daniels vetoing it.  

  2. The bullet point is not a complete sentence. Who were the participants? Akin, Emerson, Luetkemeyer, House Speaker Tilley, Senate Pro Tem Meyer, and Hartzler over the phone.

      1. Huckabee is probably the worst fundraiser imaginable.  Even in late 2007/early 2008 when he surged in Iowa polling and then national polling afterward, he never translated that to $$$.

        It’s as if he’s got Jeff Denham as his fundraising consultant.

        And running for President, you simply can’t win without a lot of money.  McCain won a few early states on to propel him when he ran on what was considered a shoestring budget, but his “shoestring” budget was still a lot more money than Huckabee ever raised.

      2. From there, though, I can’t fathom how Huckabee improves upon his ’08 performance, sans perhaps winning Texas. I think Romney would win Florida and, with that, become a solid front-runner. And Pataki wouldn’t have a prayer in New York…he’d need to prevail in New Hampshire first. (It doesn’t look like Pataki’s running, anyway.) If Giulaini ran, though, and placed 2nd in NH/FL, I suppose he could triumph in New York. And nowhere else.

  3. Do they not know his seat is going to be collapsed…and that he’ll probably be out anyways?

    Reminds me of Homer Simpson…”Impeach Churchill”.

  4. “If the $650 netted from outside contributors were to be divvied up evenly, each of the 11 GOP lawmakers would receive $59.”

    That will buy about three yard signs per candidate. Great work, team.

    1. Tennant grew up on a farm.  For real.  So I think it’s quite easy for her to pull off “farm girl.”

      I thought it was a good ad.  Nothing awesome, nothing memorable, but most good ads aren’t memorable.  She was trying to reach a rural audience, and it probably helps her.

  5. Well to my knowledge all cows can “moo”.  I’ve yet to figure out if its an actual form of communication as it seemed to do nothing.  The only “mooing” that ever seemed productive was when the momma cows (as opposed to momma grizzlies) were calling their carlves.  The rest of the time it seemed like gibberish.

    Both cows and bulls “mmoed” on our farm, though we had Holsteins.  Cows and bulls can both have horns too, if Holsteins are any proxy.

    The cows in that pic are white-faced herefords I believe.  

    But I prattle on….lol

  6. This Thursday, and I suspect this is just the start of him “reintroducing himself” to Nevada. The stakes are incredibly high here: 6 Electoral Votes, an open US Senate seat, and 3 open US House seats!

      1. By inviting them to sit in the front row while he told them what he thought of their plan. And Chuck Todd says that is why his job approvals are down.

    1. Perdue has been crucified everywhere she turns in this state…be it adding a surtax to the wealthiest taxpapers (which really accounts for very little) or cutting government to cover a budget shortfall.  

      If anyone tries to use this crap against Perdue, it will blow up in their faces.  Perdue has done a helluva good job in handling this disaster.

    1. was actually conducted from the White House, but your point is taken.

      The bits about Messina sealed it for me, though. Until I specifically hear they won’t be targeting the state, I will be convinced they will do just that. I just hope we hear about this stuff sooner rather than later. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I’d feel much more inclined to throw money to the campaign if I could see what it was going towards.

  7. I think Natalie Tennant’s ad will play pretty well in WV but you’re missing the point. She pauses, deliberately, after saying “that’s a lot of…” and the BULL moos, whereupon she substitutes a more “ladylike” word. Again, I think WVians will get it while perhaps New Yorkers and Los Angelenos don’t. As to all the debate about which gender moos and which bellows… the bovine in the image is a steer so I’ll let you all hit the googlemachine to figure the rest of it out.

  8. At the end of an…interesting interview, the newsman says that Texas Republicans keep bringing up that he’s targeting the state, and Obama said they are clearly not. As I’ve said more than a few times over the last few days, I think the campaign will be there based on the decision to try for the Senate seat. So either this was a lie, a frank admission of the truth, or it was based on the idea of “targeting Texas” in the sense of not supporting Houston and the space program, which the interviewer brought up. I would think it’s the latter, but it’s not clear from this heavily edited clip.

    Anyway, it’s kind of a weird interview. The President is right to be annoyed that the guy kept interrupting him–and seriously, how much of a douche do you have to feel like when the President of the United States criticizes you for being rude, as Obama does at the end of the clip? You can see the look on the interviewer’s face as evidence he’s slightly embarrassed. Also, there’s no better question to ask than “Why are you so unpopular in Texas?” Really, nothing at all?

    1. an investment for the current period and a bigger one for the future. If we happen to see some big electoral successes while we are there, that’s fantastic, but if we simply see a closer race for most of the contests and only a few wins (think one or two House seats versus a presidential and/or senate win plus more House seats), we will be doing ourselves a lot of good. Obama knows this, I think, and that’s why he will be there.  

      1. It keeps managing to slip my mind that there was a lot of activity in untraditional states because of the extended primary. It’s still not the same as a full fledged general election, I think, but it’s a lot different than nothing.  

  9. The N&O, once a liberal bastion has HATED the NCDP now for a few years and has gone after Bev and anybody else they can find even if it adds up to nothing.  This story is nowhere outside the paper’s online political blog and half the comments, usually very bad, are “don’t care.”  What happened is that her press team screwed up by trying to cover it even though her schedule was public.  Thats where the screwup occurred.  My biggest concern is that regardless of the truth this will be an add next year that will just be one more thing people pile on her.

    1. Republicans jump back to “Drill Baby Drill”, and certain Democrats get weak-kneed… Until the next big oil spill happens, entire coastlines are trashed, and all of sudden Americans don’t want offshore drilling again.

      What really needs to be done IMHO is continue pushing for fuel efficiency and renewable energy by explaining the best way to lower gas prices is by reducing demand. There’s only so much oil left off California’s coast, and ANWR at most has about a year’s worth of oil there. What happens when all that oil runs out? Basically, we’re screwed all over again.

    1. Think Clinton signing an Executive Order in December 2000 abolishing the electoral college. Yes, I know that is impossible but you take my point.

    2. But they’re only interested in changing them because the weirdness of the current laws has become a danger to them. It’s transparently a move by people who couldn’t care less about good government, and the proposal should be rejected by the governor and brought up again when there isn’t a legal dispute already in progress that the bill is obviously targeted at.  

      1. If you going to design the perfect GOP candidate as you’ve described it to be sans female and non-beltway characteristics, it would be Haley Barbour.

      2. I don’t think there’s any Palin Derangment Syndrome going on. Palin has done a lot to alienate a wide spectrum of people, including some Republicans but especially Democrats and independents. It’s not just the perception of her as a cultural warrior, but the perception that she’s frankly not all that smart and does inexplicable things like quit the governorship of Alaska after two years.

        It’s true that Reagan wasn’t all that respected among some folks, but he was still a two term governor of California and a good speaker who never made the missteps in the years before 1989 that Palin has.

        This statement:

        “I think an attractive Pro-Life female candidate, from outside the beltway, who could unite the Tea Party/ Club for Growth econ wing with the culturally conservative Social Con wing would be it.”

        is absolutely true except that it describes a generic candidate, not Sarah Palin, whose image is much more complicated, and negative, then what you described.


    1. But then I might argue our side isn’t exactly helping by holding his feet so closely to the fire all the time. No, I’m not suggesting people shut up and blindly follow, that is what the other side does. What I am saying is there is something to this…

    2. that Americans are looking for a fighter. They seem to be looking for a conciliator.

      Actually, I don’t have a f*cking clue what this country is looking for anymore and I suspect neither do they.  

      1. Or which R candidate has “political sense?”

        My money is still on Romney, as a 1:4 to a 2:5 shot.

          1. I get what you’re saying now… The first post really didn’t impart your point very well.  

        1. Huck will suck up the moderate likable nice guy vote that Huntsman is hoping to peel off from the hatefest that is currently the rest of the GOP primary field. I don’t think Huck is going to run though.  

          1. I was an intern on the Carson campaign back in 2004 but I haven’t really live in OK since and was too young at the time to know much more about Jay Parmley than the name but it is an interesting connection. I will say that the early oughts were the last time that the Oklahoma Democratic Party was an effective and coherent force in the state — with the victory of Brad Henry, relative lack of collapse in state houses etc.

          2. We should give him a shot.  I had a friend express concern about the hire but I remember hearing about Parmley from his days in Oklahoma and, not knowing all the details, was impressed.

        2. Huntsman is a total RINO. All he has going for him is the far-right implodes, Romney putters off, and Rs turn to someone who might still be breathing

  10. Yesterday, a group of Republicans in the state Senate inserted an amendment into a house bill that would change election law in the Hoosier State. Just how would it change election law? It would change the state legal provisions that account for the replacement of a statewide official after they are removed from office. And how would it change them?

    Currently, if a statewide elected is removed from office, (let's just say, hypothetically, SoS Charlie White was to be kicked out of his job by the State Recount Commission), the candidate that won the second highest amount of votes in the last election for that office would replace them (so, in our hypothetical scenario, Democrat Vop Osili would replace Republican Charlie White). What the Republicans want to do is instead change this so that a removed officeholder would instead be replaced by a person selected by the governor.

    It's very easy to conclude that this is just coincidental timing by Republican legislators concerned about the strangeness of some of Indiana's election laws, and is not at all related to the possibility of one of their own being removed from office and replaced by a Democrat. Obviously.

    In fact, the bill is so clearly not motivated by any sort of partisan considerations that it even includes a provision (27-B) for ensuring that the removal of disqualification of an SoS candidate, post election, would not effect the use of that election's vote numbers for the purpose of defining major and minor parties!

    Kudos to Jim Shella, who appears to have originated the “Charlie's Law” term, and who also notes that IN Dem big boss Dan Parker (as he so often does) is talking about filing suit if this thing's actually signed into law by the governor. 

  11. From the Texas Tribune:

    A proposed map for redrawing Texas House district boundaries could help fortify the Republicans’ majority in the lower chamber in 2012.

    Plugging in the returns from the last presidential election shows how the changes in the new map, proposed by Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, reshape numerous House districts across the state in a way that could protect most of the Republicans’ two-thirds majority.

    Under Solomons’ proposal, which will likely by changed this week by amendments proposed by his House colleagues, GOP presidential nominee John McCain would have won 98 of the 150 seats in the House, a six seat improvement over 2008, according to a Tribune analysis. (Republicans currently hold 101 of the seats).

  12. Interesting story on politico today about how Lacy Clay refused to do anything to stop the Republican gerrymander of Missouri because he liked his uber-Democratic vote-sink too much.

    Btw… I know this is old news, but I thought commenters might be interested in a refresher about Rep. Clay’s “progressive” views w/r/t race and Congressman Cohen

    Clay made headlines in early 2007 when, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (co-founded by his father), he objected to the possible inclusion of U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, a Caucasian who represents the majority-African American district in Memphis and had made a campaign promise to attempt to become the first white member of the CBC. Although it is not part of the CBC’s bylaws that members must be black, all members so far have been black.[4] Clay told Cohen “that he could not collaborate with the Congressional Black Caucus for the benefit of his black constituents ‘until your skin turns black.'”[5] In response to press inquiries, he said, “Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He’s white and the Caucus is black. It’s time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It’s an unwritten rule. It’s understood.” In response to the decision, Cohen stated, “It’s their caucus and they do things their way. You don’t force your way in.”[4] Clay issued an official statement from his office in reply to Cohen’s complaint: “Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept – there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it’s our turn to say who can join ‘the club.’ He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.” Some have said that since Cohen represents a district with 60 percent of African American voters, that he has a legitimate interest in helping the goals of the CBC, and the decision should not be solely based on skin color.[4]

  13. Well the GOP has finally found a couple Pols willing to at least look at challenging Amy Klobuchar, but they are both B- Listers who were last seen losing statewide last fall.

    Lawyer Chris Barden told The Associated Press that he has been approached by several people about running after an unsuccessful bid for attorney general and is weighing the prospect. He gave no timetable for a decision….

    ….Dan Severson, who lost his secretary of state race, is “seriously considering” entering the race and will decide sometime in May, said Kent Kaiser, a political adviser to Severson.

    1. Although I could be wrong.

      Rep. Paul is of course immensely popular with a certain voting bloc, but he’s also rather old – older than Sen. McCain, actually. And Sen. Paul just filed for reelection to the Senate, which suggests that he’s just posturing and preening (as you might expect) with this presidential hinting.

      It wouldn’t stun me if Ron Paul goes ahead and runs anyway, arguing that Johnson is too focused on the drugs issue and is too liberal on immigration policy. That would, of course, virtually wreck any chance the libertarians have of breaking through in Iowa (not likely, but if Huckabee runs, it’s open), New Hampshire (not likely, but if Romney falters or has his base cut into by Pawlenty, Trump, Gov. Daniels, or [even less likely] Gov. Christie, it’s open), or Nevada (more likely, though I expect Romney to romp here if he’s not too badly damaged), though I don’t know what effect it would have on fellow unorthodox, hey-look-I’m-hip Republican Ambassador Huntsman’s viability – or lack thereof, as it may be.

      Ultimately, this is all just fun and games unless one of them starts really making some noise in the polls.

  14. This statement from his website suggests he is going to be the candidate or why would the contact person be someone from the State party and why would he make a public announcement?

    I believe he would be the strongest opponent, so if true another solid recruitment by the state Dems.  While I do worry about the ability to keep the seat next year, his district can easily be made much more favorable by moving southwest.  

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