LA-Sen: Two Questions for Treasurer Kennedy

[First, a cheap plug for

Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.

So, newly-Republican state Treasurer John N. Kennedy has taken the first steps toward a 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu, as he announced yesterday by e-mail and via a message on his circa 1997 Geocities website.

To kick off his campaign, I’d suggest the media ask two questions of Treasurer Kennedy:

First, Kennedy has demonstrated incredibly mercurial career goals, always seeming willing to better-deal his constituents for the next gig down the line.  As Landrieu adviser Norma Jane Sabiston reminds us: “John Kennedy, the first candidate in the Republican primary field, ran ads just four weeks ago saying ‘the job’s not done’ and asking for Louisianians’ support to ‘continue to be your state treasurer.'”  Why should Louisiana voters offer him a six-year job when he never seems happy to complete his four-year jobs?

Second, in response to his willingness to offer Halliburton no-bid contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he said: “Well, in an emergency situation, you do what you have to do to get the job done.” Similar to allowing Halliburton’s no-bid contracts as “doing what you have to do to get the job done,” would Kennedy also support extreme and illegal measures such as waterboarding and other torture, warrantless wiretapping, and suspending habeas corpus “to get the job done” against terrorism?

NE-Sen: NEWS RELEASE: 52 people step forward and PLEDGE for KLEEB (

Sent out to media outlets this morning:

November 30th, 2007: 52 people step forward and PLEDGE for KLEEB

Over 150 working days, $12,000 pledges

OMAHA — On Friday November 23rd, 2007 Draft Scott Kleeb for U.S. Senate launched PLEDGE for KLEEB, a program that allowed voters and activists to pledge support for Democrat Scott Kleeb should he enter the 2008 U.S . Senate race in Nebraska.  Interested parties were encourage to pledge 8 volunteer hours or one working day.  Pledged contributions were also encouraged.

As of Friday November 30th, 2007, 52 people have pledged over 150 working days and over $12,000 to an eventual Kleeb for Senate campaign.

“I am delighted by the reception PLEDGE for KLEEB has seen from voters throughout the state,” said Mike Nellis, editor of  “52 people doesn’t sound like much but candidates would kill to have that many volunteers this early in a campaign.”

Those pledged include: President of Nebraska Young Democrats, Kyle Michaelis; Phelps County Chair, Brian Osborn; and one self described, “life-long Republican.”

“The numbers are strong, and the people are motivated to preserve Democracy in the state of Nebraska.  But we aren’t going to stop here.  PLEDGE for KLEEB will continue to show Scott Kleeb that he has the support to win the Senate race, and build him an infrastructure upon which to launch his campaign.”

If you haven’t done so already, PLEDGE for KLEEB!

CT-04 Pub Quiz Part Deux

‘Tis the season to support Jim Himes, share a drink with you fellow Democrats, and show off your mad trivia skillz.

What: That’s right.  It’s time for another end of quarter blograiser.  You don’t have to be a trivia whiz – just have a good sense of humor, an interest in history, politics, or current events, and a strong desire to work for better leadership in Washington by electing Jim Himes to Congress.

Our September event was attended by over 60 people and raised over $4500 for the the Himes campaign.  Relive the magic at the official liveblog thread, including a play by play of the game and plenty of pictures.

When: Saturday December 15 from 7 to 10PM


Murphy’s Law

239 Fairfield Ave

Bridgeport, CT 06604

(203) 366-5297

Suggested Minimum Contribution $25


Rock Star Democratic co-host:

State Rep. Gerry Fox

Democratic co-hosts:

Jim Himes

State Rep. Tom Drew

State Rep. Bruce Morris

State Rep. Chris Perone

State Rep. Jim Shapiro

State Rep. William Tong

Blogger co-hosts:

Gabe:: CT Local Politics & The Left Coaster

Jon Kantrowitz:: MyLeftNutmeg

Melissa Ryan:: CT Local Politics & MyDD

Spazeboy:: Spazeboy

Pub Quiz will begin promptly at 7:30 and will consist of four rounds of questions.

Can’t attend?  Be a virtual participant.  Follow the action via liveblog on MyLeftNutmeg.

Israel Salanter, Sam Bennett, and the essence of progressivism

(cross posted from daily Kos)

What do a 19th century rabbi and a 21st century congressional candidate have in common?  They both exemplify the true meaning of progressivism.

Israel Salanter was a 19th century rabbi

Sam Bennett is a woman running for Congress

more below the fold

The other night (at daily Kos), I wrote a diary on Republican representatives in Democratic districts and, while researching it, ran across Sam Bennett who is running for congress in PA-15.  She says, on her site

The Bush Administration seems to have things exactly backwards. Where government should be robust – protecting and caring for its citizens – they have made it weak. Where government should tread lightly, they have made it overbearing.

A long time ago, I wrote a diary  called The 25 best things ever said by anyoneMy number 1 was from [Rabbi Israel Salanter:

Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people’s souls, when we all ought to be worried about our own souls, and other people’s bellies

Aren’t those two quotes perfect?

Sam Bennett’s quote is 35 words.  Do they not sum up what is wrong?

Salanter’s quote is 26 words.  Do they not generalize that concern for the ages?

Are we progressives?

My soul is my business, thank you, and I would like the government not to tell me how to live my life – whom to worship (or how, or when, or if), or whom to love (male or female).  But everyone’s belly is everyone’s business, and, in this 21st century world, the government must help.  We no longer live, most of us, in small villages where everyone knows everyone.  We live in anonymous megalopolises.  

OH-05 Weirauch campaign taking off

Crossposted at OhioDailyBlog. Jeff did all of the number crunching.

Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) pulled in a remarkable $138,152.51, leaving her with $66,587.05 cash-on-hand as of 11/21. She received $38,002.51 from individuals, $1,400.00 from political party committees, and $98,750.00 from PACs. Included are $5,000 from Emily’s List and $2,000 each from committees affiliated with Rep. Rahm Emmanual (D-IL), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland). She also recived funds from various Congressional leadership PACS, including $5,000 from Rep. Kaptur’s PAC. Weirauch also got over $34,000 from union PACs.

But the big news today is the incredible results on ActBlue. General Wesley Clark endorsed Robin today and as of this moment, she has gained $9,638.01 in contributions today (AFTER the closing deadline for the FEC filing.)

Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) brought in much more than Weirauch.. He reported raising $246,173.98 in contributions, and he loaned himself $50,000, leaving him with $132,488.78 in the bank. Latta received $128,367.38 in contributions from individuals and $117, 806.60 from PACs. Included are $20,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee, $2,300 from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana), and $2,000 each from Rep. Deborah Schmidt (R-Upper Arlington) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland). Of course, we knew that the forces of wealth and power would flock to get in some “play to pay” action with Latta, and they did.

Two observations:

This remains a VERY difficult situation for a Democrat. This District was built precinct by precinct to protect it’s former “do nothing” reactionary representative. Latta enjoys (undeserved) name recognition in Wood County which tends to negate Weirauch’s strength here.

But, the ODP, the DCCC and the DNC ARE fully engaged in this campaign. They are providing people, money and resources to the Weirauch campaign.

This all leads up to a series of the campaign stops coming up all day this Saturday with Governor Strickland.

This Saturday is “(D)” Day for OH-05.

Wisc GOP DECERTIFIES Green Bay offices- fires staff

Reince Priebus, state chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said the Brown County group has been decertified by the state, but not because of the recent legal troubles of its former chairman, Donald Fleischman of Allouez.

Fleischman resigned in September after charges of child enticement were brought against him in Brown County Circuit Court; they have since been dropped.

Priebus called the reorganization “tangential” to Fleischman’s predicament.

Fleischman’s resignation created two vacancies in the party’s officer corps. Holly Arnold, the first vice-chair, did not want the top spot, and the second vice-chair position already was vacant, Priebus said.

That meant the party didn’t have enough officers to call a caucus to elect new officers, Priebus said. At Arnold’s request, the state GOP decertified the county party on Nov. 13.

Want to volunteer for a party that harbored a sex offender for 8 months?

Answer questions about that, and why they did nothing about it?

…and then ask for money?

OH-05, VA-01: NRCC Dropping Cash in Special Elections

When you’re as hard-pressed for cash as the NRCC is, I’m sure that the last thing you want to do is dump money that you don’t have into defending two deeply red districts in off-year special elections.  But the NRCC is doing just that — spending precious cash to defend the seats of the late Reps. Paul Gillmor (OH-05) and Jo Ann Davis (VA-01).

As a refresher, let’s take a look at how red these districts really are.  OH-05 has a PVI of R+10.1, and VA-01 sits at R+8.9.  To put it another way, these districts supported Bush by 21 and 22-point margins in 2004.  On any given day, these districts should be rock solid turf for the GOP.

But, as Roll Call reports, the NRCC is taking nothing for granted, making some independent expenditures against VA-01 Dem nominee and Iraq vet Phil Forgit on behalf of state Delegate Rob Wittman, the GOP candidate:

NRCC officials refused to comment about the committee’s strategy in the special election.

But the committee’s independent expenditure arm this week spent almost $8,000 to produce an ad attacking Forgit that hasn’t yet aired, bringing its total expenditures for anti-Forgit activity to almost $39,000. The NRCC also has spent about $3,100 on phone banks to help Wittman.

As Roll Call implies, that expenditure will balloon very shortly, as the NRCC buys the necessary ad time to put their Forgit attack ad on the air.

We can also expect some NRCC-funded fireworks in Ohio’s 5th district, where Republicans have spent over $9000 for the production of another ad (this one positive in tone, apparently) in support of Republican Bob Latta.  Latta, as you may recall, won a bruising primary against state Sen. Steve Buehrer earlier this month.

Is the NRCC really sweating over the prospect of losing these districts?  It would be a shocker for either of these races to end up in the Dem column, but perhaps Republicans are intent on playing it safe, because they can’t afford not to.

Predicting the Senate

Now that I’ve found this site, I have a place for my geeky weirdness statistical political self!

I am modeling, below, potential gains in the Senate.  What I do is assign each race a probability of switching.  Then I simulate the probabilities using R, and run  it 1000 times.  

Quick results:

Most likely result: Gain of 5 or 6 seats (23.9% chance of each).  

Chance of gaining at least 1 seat: 99.8%

                 at least 2       99.4

                 at least 3       96.4

                 at least 4       87.9

                 at least 5       70.6

                 at least 6       46.7

                 at least 7       22.8

                 at least 8       10.0

                 at least 9        3.4

                 at least 10        .7          

How I got these (feel free to correct me… these are guesses based on all sorts of things).  I also need to add in for the new MS race:

1% chance of switching:

AL, DE, IL, MA, MI, MS, RI, WV, WY1, WY2

2% chance of switching:


5% chance:


10% chance:


15% chance:


30% chance:


40% chance


50% chance


80% chance:


90% chance:


NE-Sen: PLEDGE for KLEEB reaches 50 people! (


In less than a week we have mounted a serious volunteer and contribution drive that has really brought out the best in Nebraska Democrats.  Thanks to those who pledged to put this campaign on their shoulders.

Here is where the tally sits:

50 people have pledged…

  • …1,192 hours (149+ working days)
  • …$11,780.01 ($236.60 per person)
  • Campaigns would kill for those kinds of numbers this early in a cycle.  Let’s keep this momentum up!

    Click here to PLEDGE for KLEEB today!

    NY-19: More GOP Recruitment Follies

    The GOP continues to hit brick walls when it comes to House recruitment.

    First, uber-wealthy businessman Andrew Saul aborted his bid to topple frosh Dem Rep. John Hall after some light was shed on some very shady donations to his campaign.  Now, former Assemblyman Howard Mills, a moderate Republican who some thought could wage a competitive campaign, says that Team Red can count him out.

    Just a wild guess: Mills probably didn’t want to be associated with the troglodytes in the House GOP caucus.

    (H/T: The Albany Project)