NH-Sen: C4O Spotlights Jeanne Shaheen

(Proudly cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

OK, now that the convention is over… It’s time for us to get back to work! And for us here at C4O, this means getting more & better Democrats elected. So today, I’d like to introduce you to a truly awesome person who will make a fantastic Senator from New Hampshire.

Are you ready to meet her?

Jeanne Shaheen was the first woman ever elected as Governor of New Hampshire. But not only did Gov. Shaheen make history this way, as she also worked hard as Governor to build a clean, green energy infrastructure in the state, as well as implement real ethics reform, improve New Hampshire’s schools, and advocate civil rights for all. Oh yes, and her list of accomplishments didn’t end after she left office. From 2005-07, she was Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Now contrast this with Republican Incumbent John Sununu. He’s an out-of-touch George W. Bush Republican who would rather side with Bush than the people of New Hampshire. The people of New Hampshire are ready for change, but Sununu only offers more of the same.

Fortunately, the race here has become quite competitive. In fact, Democrats may even have a slight advantage here. But still, that doesn’t mean we should take a win here for granted. Bush, McCain, and Sununu will do anything to win New Hampshire this fall, so we Democrats must be ready to fight back!

And guess what? Democrats are lining up to support Jeanne Shaheen! Emily’s List is on board, as well as the DSCC, the Democratic organization that supports our Senate candidates. New Hampshire is poised to be one of our best Senate pick-up opportunities, so we need to be prepared to win!

So please join us in standing up for great Democrats like Jeanne Shaheen! let’s say no more to the GOP and its watys of the past. Let’s say “Yes, We Can” and make real change happen today! 🙂

AK-Sen, AK-AL: How does Palin influence these?

Democrats were sitting pretty in these two races (esp. if Young hangs on in the primary) until McCain picked Gov. Palin.

My short take:

Stevens is done unless he is acquitted.  The outcome of the trial may be important.  I just don’t think there are many coattails in this race.  The House race may be a different story as Palin could pull Young through.

Any thoughts?

NY-26: Let’s Put Jon Powers Over The Top

I met Jon Powers last July when he visited Orleans County for the first time. In the past, Orleans County had not been a focus for our Democratic congressional challengers against Tom Reynolds. But Powers wanted to come out to Orleans County. He wanted to see the whole district. After all, if he was going to win he would need all of us.

It was after sitting down with Jon for an interview that I realized what a great candidate he was, especially for someone who was only in the race for a month and was, by all accounts, a political novice. But over the last 13 months of knowing Jon, I know that he has grown as a person and as a candidate. He has listened to citizens in all seven counties of the district, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, farmers, teachers or any other compare/contrast you could make. When Jon talks, you have his undivided attention.

Jon Powers needs your help today. Powers is out with his first television ad that has aired during the Democratic National Convention numerous times and local television stations also. If you haven’t seen the ad, here it is:

Almost 10 days, the Powers campaign started a fundraising drive to raise $10,000 in 10 days to help fund the ad and keep it on television. There is an Introducing Jon Powers ActBlue page to allow donors to give and keep this ad on the air.

The goal of $10,000 is in sight. As of this writing, the total given is at $8,707. That means within the next eight and a half hours, we need to raise $1,293. I think we can do this.

You don’t need to give hundreds of dollars to help this cause. Think about it: If 100 of us gave $10, that would be $1,000 right there. Now, 100 people is a lot to ask for. But what if some of those gave $25? Or $50? Or what if they really came out strong and gave $100 or more? We can do this and we can do it by midnight tonight.

So watch the ad above or visit the “Introducing Jon Powers” ActBlue page to watch the ad and give your secure contribution today. Being a resident in this district, I know that we have two television markets to appeal to (Buffalo and Rochester) and getting in both markets is of the utmost importance. This is a great way to get Jon more name recognition and to raise awareness about his campaign.

Please contribute to Jon today.  

AK-Gov: Palinmania

In case you haven’t heard yet, John McCain’s out-of-the-box Vice-Presidential pick is Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. Now let me start by saying: I’m baffled, because her lack of experience (two years as governor of one of the nation’s smallest, and, let’s face it, most unusual states… and prior to that, mayor of a town of about 7,000) dramatically undercuts his ability to hit Obama on the not-ready-to-lead charge.

On top of that, there’s the mini-scandal associated with Trooper-gate, which revealed a rather vindictive and not so squeaky-clean Palin going after the head trooper who wouldn’t fire her screw-up ex-brother-in-law. There’s also the not-so-small matter of Alaska having only 3 electoral votes, although it does legitimately qualify as a swing state this year. Maybe after the Dem convention, the Republicans have realized the not-ready-to-lead thing just isn’t going to work on Obama, and, despite the pleasant whiff of unity coming out of Denver, are banking on peeling off a few points’ worth of PUMAs who may be attracted to a female pick (and Palin is one of the few prominent Republican women conservative enough that she won’t irritate the base).

Anyway, let’s step away from the Presidential politics; this is Swing State Project, after all! Here’s the hypothetical: what if, for some reason, McCain/Palin wins? The next person in line is Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. If the current vote count in the AK-AL race holds, it looks like Parnell might have his schedule free to take over as governor after all.

On the other hand, what if Parnell manages to squeak past Don Young in the recount (and since the person in charge of administering Alaskan elections is none other than Parnell, don’t rule it out!), and then makes it past Ethan Berkowitz in the general? We discussed this very possibility, remote as it seemed at the time, in our VP Vacancy Speculation thread a few months ago. It turns out that the Alaska constitution and election statutes don’t specify who the #3 person in the line of succession is, but an Attorney General opinion Alaska law allows the governor to designate a third person. The currently designated person is Republican Attorney General Talis Colberg.

There’s one more possibility: what if Parnell wins AK-AL, but put in the position of being able to choose between being governor or representative, chooses the power of governor over the potential longevity of representative? Then, as far as I can tell, we’d be in immediate special election territory for the vacant House seat.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: In this video (from several weeks ago), Palin admits that she doesn’t really know what the VP does every day. Try doing that at your next job interview!

United Democratic Party Money Bomb

From the about section of the ActBlue page I’ve created:

Despite the self-important screechings of the traditional media, the hurt feelings and ruffled feathers of the primary season are not insurmoutable. Hillary and Bill Clinton have worked to unite the Democratic Party with their rousing convention speeches and gracious support of Obama during the delegate voting process. Now it’s time to reward Hillary for being a team player by helping pay off her campaign debt.

And while we’re at it, lets give Barack Obama, who was equally gracious in victory, the funds he needs to expand the map, create coattails for down-ballot races, and end the conservative governing that thinks that all social issues are due to gays, Atheists, Hollywood, and working women, that the way to solve all economic ills are tax cuts for the super rich, and that war will solve all of America’s international problems.

We’ve noted with glee that Obama is advertising in states like Alaska and Georgia and opening campaign offices in states like Indiana.  And this strategy of expanding the map and out-organizing McCain will yield results in down ballot-races as well.  An Obama get out the vote operation in Georgia helps Senate candidate Jim Martin.  Organizing in Alaska helps make the words “Senator Begich” or “Representative Berkowitz” possible.  

Let this unified party money bomb:


My Time at the Republican National Convention

As a college student who does off-campus programs as often as possible, I am ecstatic to be doing the program through The Washington Center’s Campaign 2008 Seminar Series: The Republican National Convention.  The program is one week of class work and seminars, and then the next week is during the convention where I do fieldwork and do my best to get credentials to get inside the convention.  I’ve been assigned to do my fieldwork with CNN so I’ll be able to provide many insights and great stories once I start that work on Monday.  My program thus far has been teaching me about general political topics and also about political conventions.  The program has been 100% fantastic.  I’ve gained many insights, had an epiphany, and have become so dedicated to electing Barack Obama that I almost wish I wasn’t doing the program so I could have the free time to register voters for Obama.

First, I’ll say that if I had instead done The Washington Center’s seminar at the Democratic National Convention, I’d be pissing my pants every day out of excitement, guaranteed.  But alas, I’m from Saint Paul so getting to save money on a plane ticket and hotel rooms seemed like an easy decision.  At the Republican Convention, I’m taking everything as a learning experience and as something to put on my resume.  I’m surrounded by Republicans all day every day, college Republicans at that; those who aren’t even old enough to benefit from the tax benefits the Republican Party offers those in the top 1% of the tax bracket.  They are mainly in the pocket of Republicans and they spout off stupid Republican talking points that I cringe at.  I’ve had a really hard time turning off my politics button off and ignoring my political differences with these people so I can interact with them at a friendly level, but I’ve been trying my best to not judge them all as Bush-enablers.

One of the main professors of the seminar is a former Congressman from Oklahoma, Congressman Mickey Edwards, a founder of the Heritage Foundation.  The other is a professor from Hofstra University, Dr. Meena Bose (same school Norm Coleman went to coincidently) who has represented the left in a non-partisan way.  I’ve bitten my lip, made numerous comments underneath my breadth and also comments loud enough for everyone to hear and laugh at.  I’ve been able to learn exactly why I think Republican ideology is complete bullshit and has corrupted the American psyche.

One of the speakers I’ve been able to hear was Jo Anne Davidson, co-chair of the RNC and chair of the Committee on Arrangements, the committee in charge of putting on the convention.  I’ve learned great insight in the purpose of political conventions; to introduce ones candidate and present a message to the American electorate to convince them to vote for ones party’s candidate.  One of the best quotes I’ve heard so far was that everything that happens on stage is scripted.  Every time Obama’s kids did something cute on stage or when Hillary did the move for acclamation, scripted.  Very important thing to remember, the convention is the opportunity for the party to market and brand their candidate.

A lot of the actual class work has been discussions on the Democratic National Convention, who McCain will pick as VP, and other various topics.  One of these various topics was the make-up of the Republican Party, which former Congressman Edwards described as being made-up of libertarians, the former racist Southern Democrats, the religious right, and neo-cons.  One of my inclinations is that the Democratic Party is the reverse and made up of who these groups disenfranchise, labor unions, minorities, and the socially liberal.

I was able to go inside the Excel Energy Center where I got to see the set-up for the Republican National Conventional and I’ll tell you now, it looks good.  I was very impressed and I can’t wait to play the credentials game of getting as far inside as I possibly can.

Nothing that spectacular has happened as pertaining directly to the convention but a lot of build up.  I start my fieldwork for CNN on Monday and I absolutely cannot wait.  The list of duties I may perform that I have been given pretty much indicate that my credentials will allow to me be all over the convention and I’ll certainly write follow up diaries on how everything has been going, of course without too much detail as I don’t want to get in trouble with the Secret Service, ?.  But Saturday I’ll hopefully be attending the huge media party in downtown Minneapolis and also another event with Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Megan McCain on youth voting.  Karl Rove is a complete douche but the bitch knows how to win so hopefully I’ll learn some insight on how organizing college students for Barack Obama.

SSP’s Competitive House Race Ratings (8/29/08)

Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R
CT-05 (Murphy)
GA-12 (Barrow)
IL-08 (Bean)
IN-02 (Donnelly)
KS-03 (Moore)
MN-01 (Walz)
NY-13 (Open)
NY-19 (Hall)
NY-24 (Arcuri)
OH-18 (Space)
PA-08 (Murphy)
TX-23 (Rodriguez)
AL-05 (Open)
AZ-05 (Mitchell)
AZ-08 (Giffords)
CA-11 (McNerney)
FL-16 (Mahoney)
GA-08 (Marshall)

IL-14 (Foster)
IN-09 (Hill)
KS-02 (Boyda)
KY-03 (Yarmuth)
MS-01 (Childers)
NH-01 (Shea-Porter)

NJ-03 (Open)
NY-20 (Gillibrand)

NY-25 (Open)
OR-05 (Open)
PA-04 (Altmire)
PA-10 (Carney)
PA-11 (Kanjorski)

VA-11 (Open)
WI-08 (Kagen)
AK-AL (Young)
AL-02 (Open)

AZ-01 (Open)
CO-04 (Musgrave)

IL-11 (Open)
LA-06 (Cazayoux)
LA-04 (Open)
MI-07 (Walberg)
MN-03 (Open)
NJ-07 (Open)
NM-01 (Open)
NV-03 (Porter)
OH-15 (Open)
OH-16 (Open)

TX-22 (Lampson)

WA-08 (Reichert)

CT-04 (Shays)
FL-21 (L. Diaz-Balart)
FL-24 (Feeney)
FL-25 (M. Diaz-Balart)

IL-10 (Kirk)
MI-09 (Knollenberg)
MO-06 (Graves)
MO-09 (Open)
NC-08 (Hayes)
NM-02 (Open)
NY-26 (Open)
NY-29 (Kuhl)
OH-01 (Chabot)
OH-02 (Schmidt)
PA-03 (English)
VA-02 (Drake)

AL-03 (Rogers)
AZ-03 (Shadegg)
CA-04 (Open)
CA-26 (Dreier)
CA-46 (Rohrabacher)
CA-50 (Bilbray)
FL-08 (Keller)
FL-13 (Buchanan)
FL-18 (Ros-Lehtinen)
ID-01 (Sali)
IL-06 (Roskam)
IL-18 (Open)
IN-03 (Souder)
KY-02 (Open)
LA-07 (Boustany)
MD-01 (Open)
MN-06 (Bachmann)
NE-02 (Terry)
NJ-05 (Garrett)
NV-02 (Heller)
OH-07 (Open)
PA-06 (Gerlach)
PA-15 (Dent)
TX-07 (Culberson)
TX-10 (McCaul)
VA-05 (Goode)
VA-10 (Wolf)
WV-02 (Capito)
WY-AL (Open)
11 D, 1 R
18 D, 3 R
2 D, 14 R
16 R
29 R

Races to Watch:

CA-03 (Lungren) IL-13 (Biggert) MN-02 (Kline) OK-01 (Sullivan)
CA-45 (B. Mack) IN-04 (Buyer) NC-10 (McHenry) PA-05 (Open)
CA-52 (Open) KS-04 (Tiahrt) NJ-04 (Smith) SC-01 (Brown)
IA-04 (Latham) LA-01 (Scalise) OH-03 (Turner) SC-02 (Wilson)

Today’s ratings changes:

  • AL-02 (Open): Lean Republican to Tossup
  • Despite all the hype surrounding the DCCC’s recruitment of Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, we have until now been skeptical of Bright’s ability to seal the deal in this conservative R+13.2 district. No longer.

    Republicans emerged from their primary with deep divisions – divisions that Bright is now capitalizing on, as most recently evidenced by his endorsement from the Republican mayor of Dothan, the second-largest population center of the district. With two recent polls showing Bright leading by 10 points, the Republicans can no longer claim a clear edge here.

  • AL-03 (Rogers): Safe Republican to Likely Republican
  • This race is certainly still a long shot, but Alabama’s 3rd District was drawn to elect a Democrat, and it almost did so in 2002. GOP Rep. Mike Rogers has held this district since then with ease, but attorney Josh Segall’s fundraising (he’s raised $521K since starting his campaign earlier this year) and the district’s demographics can’t be ignored.

  • CO-04 (Musgrave): Lean Republican to Tossup
  • All is not well in Musgraveland. A divisive reputation and years of being pounded by negative third-party ads seems to have taken a heavy toll on GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave’s political health. The two most recent polls of this race have shown the incumbent trailing Democrat Betsy Markey by seven points in this Dem-trending R+8.4 district (the SUSA poll showed the presidential race nearly tied). The NRCC’s decision to reserve a whopping $1.2 million in ad time for this district is quite telling, too. A tossup this is.

  • MI-07 (Walberg): Lean Republican to Tossup
  • Democrat Mark Schauer, a state senator, is a proven vote-getter in the conservative-leaning Battle Creek area, but his campaign against frosh GOP weirdo Tim Walberg has yet to engage fully. However, the cold hard reality of the numbers are catching up to Walberg — a recent EPIC-MRA poll shows his lead shrinking to a mere three points, while his job approval rating is in the dumps. With voters clearly frustrated with the status quo in Michigan, Walberg’s political fate is very much up in the air.

  • NH-02 (Hodes): Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic
  • Under the rubric we use to rate races at SSP, a race in the “likely” column is one where an upset cannot be completely, entirely ruled out. We’re pretty sure that we can rule one out in New Hampshire’s 2nd District. Democrat Paul Hodes has by all accounts performed well in his first term in office, and all the polls we’ve seen confirm this. Hodes’ Republican challengers are a sorry lot, and are squandering their meager resources on a meaningless and mostly annoying primary. The eventual GOP victor does not stand a ghost of a chance against Hodes in November in this Dem-trending district.

  • NY-13 (Open): Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
  • It’s hard to believe, but the GOP’s chances of retaining this Staten Island-based district get worse and worse by the week. The only real candidate that the GOP could find, former state Assemblyman Robert Straniere, is both hated and unloved. And it shows in his fundraising, with only a paltry $15,000 raised for his campaign so far. Furthermore, his primary against physician Jamshad Wyne has taken a turn for the ugly and racist. The cherry on top? Straniere admits that he can’t even vote for himself in the primary, as he lives in Manhattan — very much a game killer in the parochial nature of Staten Island politics. Meanwhile, Democrat Mike McMahon continues to steamroll in fundraising.

  • NY-26 (Open): Tossup to Lean Republican
  • We don’t enjoy making this call, but it’s hard to deny that Democrats have engaged in a damaging and resource-draining primary here between nutjob billionaire Jack Davis, Iraq vet Jon Powers, and attorney Alice Kryzan. Davis, in particular, has leveled some damaging accusations against Powers’ charity work on behalf of Iraqi children that continue to cause unwanted headaches for his campaign. Moreover, Davis himself is crazy as fuck, and there’s a very real chance that he could win the primary here due to his massive spending and name ID advantage from two previous campaigns. If so, we may be looking at a Likely R race against the relatively noncontroversial (so far) and well-funded Republican businessman Chris Lee.

    If this winds up being a Powers-Lee race, this could return to tossup state at some point, especially if the DCCC brings its considerable resources to bear and if the NRCC can’t follow suit.

  • PA-03 (English): Likely Republican to Lean Republican
  • The GOP’s poll numbers in this R+1.6 district must be atrocious, because incumbent Phil English has clearly hit the panic button with a summer full of defensive campaign ads, and the NRCC itself has set aside over $800K in ad time to attack Democratic candidate Kathy Dahlkemper. Does that sound like behavior that merits a “Likely Republican” rating to you? Yeah, me neither.

    NH, NY, MN, WI: Pre-Primary Fundraising Reports Round-up

    Primary day in New Hampshire, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin (as well as Delaware, Rhode Island, and Vermont) is on September 9th, and midnight tonight is the deadline for congressional candidates to file their fundraising reports with the FEC. We’re rounding up all the numbers as they come in in the handy chart below. All numbers are in thousands, and cover the period of July 1st through August 20th:

    We’ll fill in the blanks in real time — as best we can.

    Special note: look at how pathetic Robert Straniere is in NY-13. $15K raised for his campaign, total? This guy is truly hated and unloved in Staten Island. What a D-grade sadsack loser of a candidate for the GOP.