SSP Daily Digest: 5/2


MT-Sen: TPM’s headline says it all: “23rd Richest Member Of Congress: I’m ‘Struggling Like Everyone Else.'” Those words were indeed uttered by Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is worth anywhere from $6,598,014 and $56,244,998. It’s not quite Fred Heineman, but it’s not exactly far off, either.

NM-Sen (PDF): Republican robo-pollster Magellan has a new survey out for the GOP primary. They find ex-Rep. Heather Wilson at 59, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez at 17, teabagging businessman Greg Sowards at 2, 11 other and 11 undecided. The supposedly RINO Wilson has what seems like preposterously good favorables, 84-12, among members of her own party. The linked PDF has faves for a whole host of other candidates, including some who weren’t tested in the head-to-heads.

NV-Sen: Joe Trippi’s really becoming the go-to guy for rich vanity candidates whom no one wants to see run, isn’t he? Fresh off the vomit-caked Jeff Greene debacle, Trippi’s been hired by wealthy lawyer Byron Georgiou, who so far as refused entreaties to clear a path for Rep. Shelley Berkley. Georgiou’s also arranged to bring on Dan Hart, a local consultant, and pollster Paul Maslin (as in Fairbank Maslin).

WA-Sen, WA-Gov: Republican Rep. Dave Reichert suggested back in January that he might be thinking about a gubernatorial run, something he affirmed in a recent interview with a local tv station. What seems to be new is that he says he’s also thinking about a run against Sen. Maria Cantwell. I can’t imagine that working out well for him, and he’s also quoted as saying that the “hardest part” of adjusting to life in DC was “getting used to sitting on the airplane.” If he’s still grumbling about those transcontinental flights all these years later, then it sounds to me like he’d prefer the governor’s mansion to the Senate.


WV-Gov: Rick Thompson has a new spot specifically noting that “across the country, the rights of workers are under attack” – and promising that he’ll “stand up for workers” in West Virginia.


NH-01: Joanne Dowdell, who is described as a “Portsmouth businesswoman” and has had some involvement in national Dem politics (she was a DNC committeewoman), says she plans to go up against ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the Democratic primary. It sounds like her politics, by her own admission, are pretty similar to CSP’s, so I’m not really sure what the point of this is.

NV-02: Gov. Brian Sandoval has set Sept. 13 as the date for the special election to replace Rep. Dean Heller. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Ross Miller will announce the rules for the special at a press conference later today. Oh, and Sharron Angle’s sent out a fundraising email (decrying the “left wing of the Republican Party”), so she’s obviously hoping Miller’s framework leaves the door open for her.

NY-13: The New Yorker has just about the most fearsome fact-checking department in the English-speaking world, so if you’re going to call them liars, you’re probably going to get your ass handed to you. That’s exactly what’s happening to Rep. Mike Grimm, who called Evan Ratliff’s piece on his FBI days “fiction,” “a witch hunt,” and “a hatchet job.” Ratliff has responded, and in so doing nailed Grimm on a few mistruths of his own. I don’t know that this whole saga is going to have a huge impact in Grimm’s district (I think the Ryan vote is a much bigger deal), but there are still a lot of documents we haven’t seen. We may never see them, but they still loom out there like a sword of Damocles.

NY-26: New ads from Jane Corwin and Crazy Jack Davis. Corwin’s touts her record on creating jobs, while Davis goes on a rampage, talking directly to the camera about how both parties give bailouts to Wall Street, but he “can’t be bought.” NWOTSOTB in both cases. Meanwhile, NARAL is endorsing Dem Kathy Hochul, but also no word as yet if money will follow.

Other Races:

Wisconsin Recall: A local judge agreed with the Government Accountability Board that eight recall elections (so not including one for GOPer Rob Cowles) could get consolidated on July 12. Democrats had asked that the recalls against Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper be certified right away, since those petitions were turned in first, and they’re the two most-vulnerable Republicans, but the request was denied. Things may still get delayed if there are petition challenges, which are all but certain – indeed, Dems have already discovered the signature of a Democratic state Rep.’s long-dead father on one. (Republicans amusingly accused Democrats of planting the sig.)

The Journal Sentinel also has a look at state Assembly members who may run in these recalls, on both the Republican and Democratic sides. It’s a tempting proposition because it’s a free shot: These folks don’t have to give up their current seats in order to run. Some of these names have already announced, while others are still considering. And finally, WisPolitics has a roundup of fundraising numbers for all the recall targets.

Grab Bag:

Dark Money: Democrats have finally followed the GOP’s lead and decided to create organizations to counter Karl Rove’s American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS. Former Obama aide Bill Burton and former Rahm Emanuel aide Sean Sweeney will head up “Priorities USA” and “Priorities USA Action,” with a goal of raising $100 million to help President Obama. These groups will be allowed to take in unlimited undisclosed donations. No word yet if they also plan on getting involved downballot.

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Election lawyers out west looking for work now have at least one redistricting battle they can probably look forward to. Steam is coming out of Republican ears now that they’ve seen the Dems’ new map, and I can’t imagine any sort of compromise taking place now. The map the Democrats are going with is one that they’ve released before, called “City Integrity 4”; you can find a PDF of the bill as formally introduced before the legislature here.

Missouri: Finally, the Dems do something right in redistricting: Gov. Jay Nixon just vetoed the legislature’s last-minute compromise map, almost right after it landed on his desk. The CW said Nixon would wait until the very end of the legislative session to veto, to make an over-ride that much more difficult (or possibly push it into September), but it looks like Nixon chose instead to look publicly magnanimous. He’s asked the GOP to send him a new map before the session ends, which makes him look gracious. I suspect that he also knows they can’t over-ride, and his veto letter offered no specific complaints about the map, so he’s cleverly made it impossible for the Republicans to satisfy him.

The GOP could try to make Nixon look bad by forcing a second veto, but given how difficult it was to hammer out a deal between the House and Senate, I think they’d have a hard time sending him a map that looked any different from the one he just axed. So it would look like silly gamesmanship if they tried to put forward the exact same plan. (That didn’t exactly work out for Dick Saslaw in Virginia.) As long as the over-ride fails and Nixon sticks to his guns, this map will end up in court, which would count as a big win for Team Blue.

Mississippi: I have to say, I never imagined this would work – but here we are. A three-judge federal court says they are “inclined” to agree with Democrats and the NAACP that state legislative elections should be held this year under maps that were approved in each chamber but not the other (and hence never signed into law), in order to correct serious one-person, one-vote imbalances. The court could still choose to allow elections under current lines, or draw its own map, but this seems to be the path of least resistance. Note that in VRA cases which go before three-judge trial court panels, appeals are taken directly to the Supreme Court – and the SCOTUS must rule on the case (they can’t kick it by declining certiorari), which is a real legal rarity.

Nevada: Nevada Democrats have released their congressional map, but we can’t seem to find a copy of it online. If you see it anywhere, please let us know in comments.

Virginia: Well, it’s a done deal. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the new legislative maps into law. (You can see them here.) Now we move on to the congressional map. The GOP could (and I guess will) probably try to wait until 2012 to do that, since they’ll have a chance at re-taking the state Senate this fall. My view is that Democrats would be idiots to compromise and should take their chances with the voters this fall so that they can kick the map-making to the courts next year. Even if we get rocked this year, what’s the worst the Republicans can do to us? Draw an 8-3 map? That’s the only “compromise” they’ll accept now anyway, and even that might not pass VRA muster. So there’s no reason not to wait.

Site News:

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156 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 5/2”

  1. He seems to really be doing a lot right.  What is his future as party leader.  I don’t really see him as a viable presidential candidate (and I’m wary of picking him as a VP candidate in 2016 as I’m not sure he helps Dems’ carry MO as #2 on the ticket).

    Does he get an appointment towards the end of Obama’s 2nd term or do we think he’ll try a 3rd run for Senate against Blunt in 2016?

  2. I very much disapprove of the move, thought I would voice my disapproval once more. We shall see how well the site does after it is lost in the shuffle over at DailyKos (an overheated site for political rhetoric).  

  3. Okay, I get how, in some sense, someone like Sean Duffy might not be rolling in dough. He’s clearly not poor, but there are no indications he’s sitting on a large inheritance, or anything like that. But Denny Rehberg is in a different league, even if he’s not Bill Gates. I don’t give a shit if his wealth is tied in up illiquid assets and can’t be cashed in right away. He’s clearly in the top percent of Americans, and his blithe dismissal of this point and his absurd suggestion that he’s “struggling” is really something to behold. He should be ashamed of himself, yes, but he should also be afraid, because if Tester is at all smart, he will remind the voters of this stupid, insensitive comment from now until election day.  

  4. Sen. Bennet won 5 of the 7 districts in this proposed map:

    CO-01: +38% (Denver)

    CO-02: +10% (Boulder / Northwest)

    CO-03: -15% (South)

    CO-04: +7%  (Northeast)

    CO-05: -23% (Douglas / El Paso)

    CO-06: +5% (Adams / Arapahoe)

    CO-07: +5% (Jefferson)

  5. Via Political Wire, here’s an article on Mitch Daniels. I’m not sure it tells us anything new, but if nothing else, it does reinforce one thing: the complete leadership vacuum for the Republicans. Aside from Pawlenty and Romney, which candidates are even remotely credible? Both of them are running, and perhaps Huntsman should be included in that group, but seriously, there’s no one. But is that a bad thing? Does the candidate need to light a fire under the asses of everyone in order to win the primary and, more importantly, the general? At what point can someone boring and serious simply be good enough since he’s not Obama, if ever?

  6. If this were the law in this country?

    An elections law enacted when telecommunications were still in their infancy runs up against the digital age for several hours Monday when polls close in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Strict rules under the Canada Elections Act prevent any instance of “premature transmission of results” until the last polls have closed in every electoral district in the country.

    That means extra precautions for online publishers and consumers.

    Elections Canada has issued a warning to Facebook and Twitter users to use caution on election day when communicating and posting voting results, saying the act also applies to transmissions made over the internet.

  7. What other political site would have barely a single comment about Osama Bin Laden (and that one only an aside) today while talking about the ins-and-outs of Virginia redistricting?  

  8. anyone know of a good site to keep track of the Canadian elections?  Thanks in advance.

  9. I came here to SSP in 2005 and have been here for probably about six years now. This is the first site I checked every morning with a cup of coffee in hand. On days when the Daily Digest seemed to be running a little late, I would say things to myself like, c’mon David…. What’s going on James?!

    This is been a great community, and I am sad to see it ending/changing, although I understand the reasons.

    Thanks for all the hard work to everyone.



    McCaskill is still highly vulnerable, just not any more vulnerable than she was before March

    2 hours ago


    Missouri Senate numbers tomorrow- McCaskill not in any more trouble for reelection than she was pre-airplane issues

    2 hours ago

  11. While this is not a typical media source, the Milwaukee Labor Press is privy to inside information and actually has the second largest circulation in the state behind the JS:

    Key Part from the article:

    “one of the Democrats’ brightest stars in the Assembly would be taking on Alberta Darling in that crucial District 8 recall election. A formal announcement of the actual candidate was planned for later in the week

    One of her fellow legislator spilled the beans Sunday before 500 listeners at the Bay View Tragedy — Rep. Sandy Pasch would be the Democratic standard bearer against Darling, news that drowned Pasch in unexpected cheers of support. Sources also have told Labor Press that this contest may be a bit like a “two-fer” (two for the price of one in Broadway ticket terms) since physician Sheldon Wasserman, a former member of the Assembly who almost beat Darling in 2008, was also eager to run and will certainly be an active supporter if not participant in this race.

    Both Pasch and Wasserman attended the Saturday Democratic dinner without revealing the news, but insiders then told Labor Press that Pasch had scored strongly in surveys of voters, and that she is a new candidate for Darling who now has to scramble to focus that costly GOP opposition research on her.”

  12. I think Amodei only path was to be hand picked by GOP establishment in a closed special or to have a divided tea party vote and sneak through a GOP primary as the lone mainstream candidate.

    I cant see a path for him to win an open jungle special election or him jumping in to be a spoiler.

    If this is what happens he’s most likely better off pulling out if the GOP field gets crowded and then running in the 2010 GOP primary as a unity type candidate if the GOP loses the special because of the divisions.

  13. The precinct numbers are consistent with the state board of elections, right?  I’m working on a project involving MD-04, and there are some precincts colored in that CD in DRA that don’t appear to be in the state board of elections returns.

  14. The Seattle Times reports:

    It may sound like a crazy rumor, but Ohio’s Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich may really be thinking about running for Congress in Washington state – possibly in the yet-to-be drawn new 10th District.

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