OK-Gov, OK-05: Fallin to Run for Governor

The Oklahoman:

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin answered the question most delegates to today’s Oklahoma County Republican Convention wanted to know: She is running for governor in 2010.

When introducing Fallin, Pam Pollard, outgoing chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party, asked the two-term congresswoman whether she was forgoing a third term to seek the governor’s office.

“I’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions on behalf of our nation the last couple of years, but when it comes to making decisions about the future of Oklahoma and the leadership of Oklahoma and the governor of Oklahoma, my answer is yes,” Fallin said.

We have a decent Dem bench in Oklahoma, but the problem is that the two biggest guns, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, are both seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nod. How rough could this one get?

On the House side of the equation, open seat fans might find Mary Fallin’s vacant seat of mild interest. While most of the rest of Oklahoma swung hard to the right last year (especially Dan Boren’s traditionally Democratic 2nd CD), the Oklahoma City-based 5th District actually lurched in the Democratic direction. While John Kerry got pounded by a 64-36 margin here in 2004, McCain’s margin tightened to 59-41 over Obama while holding Bush-like margins nearly everywhere else in the state.


As a wise man once pointed out, they don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee. They don’t take their trips on LSD. They don’t burn their draft cards in the town square, because they like living right and being free.

Apparently the welcome mat’s out for bong-toting peacenik acid freaks in Oklahoma City now, though.

So who might run here for Team Blue? Might Andrew Rice be interested in a race like this?

(H/T: trowaman)

KY-Sen: Bunning to Resign?

Page One Kentucky has picked up a pretty wild piece of chatter:

Rumor has it that Jim Bunning is so spitting mad that he’s telling people he’ll just resign and let Steve (Beshear) appoint someone. […]

UPDATE: Spoke with one of Bunning’s staffers and they don’t deny it. WTF. Granted, it only means he probably said it.  But was it in frustration or was he serious?

This is probably not going to happen, but Bunning is one crazy sumbitch, so I guess we can let our imaginations run wild. If he actually went through with it, expect Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to give his Number One, Dan Mongiardo, a quick promotion to DC.

UPDATE: Hilarious:

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) told a room full of lobbyists this week that he’d resign his Senate seat early if he doesn’t get campaign money from national Republicans, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

But Bunning insists he’s going to run for reelection and says that the sources are “lying.”

“It’s not true,” Bunning said in a statement. “I intend to fulfill my obligation to the people of Kentucky. If you are going to write something like this, you’d better make your sources known because they are lying.”

It’s very likely that Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn have been working overtime to tighten the purse strings of Bunning’s major fundraising sources, so this story kind of makes sense — Bunning is threatening to pull the rug out from underneath the GOP caucus if donors don’t start opening up their wallets for him. Looks like a few more people are gonna have to take a chomp out of this shit sandwich.

(H/T: sicembears)

LA-Sen: Another Potential Vitter Foe Emerges

Bayou Buzz:

In a breaking story, Bayoubuzz.com and The Louisiana Weekly have learned that a Campaign has begun to draft former Fifth District Congressman Dr. John Cooksey to run in the GOP primary against David Vitter in 2010.

Moreover, sources close to the Monroe Ophthalmologist say that the retired member of Congress is very interested.  So interested, in fact, that he is willing to commit a sizable portion of his personal savings to a campaign against the incumbent Republican Senator.  

“John is willing to put up $200,000 of his own money to take on Vitter.  He only wants to know that there is public support for a run,” said a senior advisor to the former Congressman-who asked not to be named.

200 G’s is not nothin’, but Cooksey will need to amass considerably more financial support in order to have a shot against Vitter in a primary. (Perhaps the bastards at the American Academy of Ophthalmology may be willing to lend an assist to one of their own here.) Cooksey, a former Representative who served in the House for three terms, was last seen flaming out spectacularly in Louisiana’s 2002 Senate race after he compared turbans to diapers, winning only 14% in the multi-party primary.

So now we have Cooksey, Tony Perkins, and Secretary of State Jay Dardenne all sniffing around Vitter’s seat. Let’s just hope that someone can get off the pot soon.

(H/T: The Hill)

IL-Sen: Quinn Pushes Special Election; William Daley Emerges

Illinois governor Pat Quinn is pushing the idea of a special election to fill in the Illinois senate seat… the one that Roland Burris is currently occupying and doesn’t seem to be moving to relinquish. This wouldn’t be a recall election (recall power doesn’t exist at the federal level), but rather an end-run that would apparently clarify that Burris’s appointment lasts until any next election (not just the next federal election), and then set an election date much sooner than 2010. Sounds a little legally questionable to me, but AG Lisa Madigan seems to think it’s copacetic:

Quinn, appearing on “The Steve Cochran Show” on WGN-AM (720), said he spoke to the top two Democrats in the General Assembly today about the possibility of moving ahead with the legislation, which would take advantage of a clause contained in the U.S. Constitution’s 17th Amendment.

Quinn’s actions follow a legal opinion issued last night by Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan who said she believed the state could enact a special-election law that would effectively force Burris from office. Under the Constitution, a governor’s appointments to fill Senate vacancies should be considered temporary until an election is held, she said.

Even if it’s legal, though, the question of the price tag may prevent it from going through. Estimates of up to $50 million to hold a special election may throw cold water on the idea.

Regardless of whether there’s a special election soon or a long march till 2010, one more interested Democratic contender for the Senate has popped out of the woodwork today: William Daley. He plans to make his announcement in mid-April. Daley is the former Clinton-era Commerce Secretary, and perhaps more significantly, brother to Chicago mayor Richard Daley. Hmmm, I wonder which candidate the Daley machine will get behind?

Naughty Judd Gregg made money off earmarks

Thanks to New Hampshire blogger Dean Barker I learned something new today about Senator Judd Gregg.  

According to the Associated Press,

President Barack Obama’s former nominee to become commerce secretary, Sen. Judd Gregg, steered taxpayer money to his home state’s redevelopment of a former Air Force base even as he and his brother engaged in real estate deals there, an Associated Press investigation found.

Gregg, R-N.H., personally has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Cyrus Gregg’s office projects at the Pease International Tradeport, a Portsmouth business park built at the defunct Pease Air Force Base, once home to nuclear bombers. Judd Gregg has collected at least $240,017 to $651,801 from his investments there, Senate records show, while helping arrange at least $66 million in federal aid for the former base.

Sadly, this isn’t unprecedented or even the most egregious example of members of Congress profiting from earmarks. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sold real estate for nearly $2 million in profits after he secured federal earmarks to construct the Prairie Parkway near land he owned.

What looks corrupt in politics turns out to be legal more often than not, and that seems to be the case here. The AP says Senate ethics rules do not permit senators to direct earmarks to projects “solely” in order to benefit themselves or their family members financially, but of course Gregg could point to all kinds of benefits from redeveloping the former base.

“I am absolutely sure that in every way I’ve complied with the ethics rules of the Senate both literally and in their spirit relative to any investment that I’ve made anywhere,” Gregg told the AP. “These earmarks do not benefit me in any way, shape, manner financially, personally or in any other manner other than the fact that I’m a citizen of New Hampshire.”

Still, one wonders whether this story prompted Gregg to withdraw his nomination for Commerce Secretary. Whatever his reasons, we’re better off without him.

Members of Congress should stick to the usual form of legalized corruption and only seek earmarks that would personally profit their large campaign contributors.

No one raises ethical concerns about that behavior. As a bonus, donors who stand to gain from the earmarks may go the extra mile during the incumbent’s next tough campaign.

SSP Daily Digest: 2/27

NH-Sen: Oh, darn. Ex-Sen. Bob Smith isn’t planning to run in the GOP primary for Judd Gregg’s open senate seat. He said he prefers to remain a Florida resident.

OH-Sen: Add a fourth candidate (and, with Tyrone Yates, a second African-American with a less-than-statewide profile) to the mix in the Ohio senate primary: Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. Last week he told Ohio Daily Blog that he’d be forming an exploratory committee this week. (No telling if that actually happened.)

OH-02: You may remember David Krikorian, an independent who racked up double-digits in last year’s Schmidt/Wulsin faceoff. He’s announced that he’s going to seek the Democratic nomination for a rerun, as a loud ‘n’ proud Blue Dog.

IL-05: It’s the last weekend of campaigning before the Mar. 3 primary for the special election to fill Rahm Emanuel’s seat. With 12 candidates and projected low turnout, basically anything can happen. While Emanuel hasn’t endorsed, Politico does observe that there’s a Sara Feigenholtz sign in his yard in Chicago.

DCCC: Chris Van Hollen announced his 2009-10 chair for candidate recruitment: Rep. Steve Israel (of NY-02). He also announced that Robby Mook, most recently Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign manager, will take over as the DCCC’s political director.

FEC: This ought to make James’s job a lot easier: Russ Feingold has introduced legislation, widely expected to pass, requiring Senate candidates to electronically file their campaign finance reports with the FEC, the way House candidates already do. Currently, Senate filings are paper-only.

KY-St Sen.: Here’s a bit of good news that’s a few weeks old that eluded us until now: a Democratic candidate, Mike Reynolds, won the Feb. 11 special election to fill the state senate seat vacated by Republican Brett Guthrie (elected in KY-02 in November). The 32nd, based in Bowling Green, is in a deep red area at the federal level, but apparently still maintains a downballot Dem tradition. The GOP still controls the state senate, 21-16-1.

NYC: SSP doesn’t usually delve into county-level governance, but this involves one of the legal community’s most legendary members: Bob Morgenthau, the District Attorney of New York County (aka Manhattan), has decided not to go for a 10th term. Currently 89 years old, he’s been in office for 35 years.

Retread Watch: Yeah, there’s some precedent for this. But isn’t it a little sad that twice-defeated House loser Jeb Bradley is considering a run for New Hampshire state Senate?

Redistricting Jersey: Another Take

(This is a tremendous effort and a model for all future redistricting diaries, of which I’m sure we can expect many in the coming years – promoted by DavidNYC)

After reading Duffman’s excellent diary on redistricting New Jersey, I thought I’d take a crack at a 12-seat map. (I had done a 13-seat map awhile back, but it’s not nearly as exciting.) Unlike Duffman, though, I’m horribly shameless and did this without any intent of compactness, which I think will become readily obvious. My goal was to squeeze as many Democratic districts out as possible, while still conforming to the VRA.

I think I pretty much pulled out all the tricks in the book, while keeping Democratic incumbents in their home districts (although, seriously, Frank Pallone, get the f— out of Long Branch – you are singlehandedly responsible for half the ugliness of NJ districts). In the end, we get a 10-2 Democratic map, one where no Democratic district was less than 54% Obama at that. Maps, summary statistics, and more sardonic commentary over the flip.

To start, I used this map of Obama’s performance. Red/blue are obvious. Lightest shade is a margin of less than 5%, then 5-10, 10-20, and above 20. There’s a corresponding map for average margin from 2004-2006 (2008 hadn’t happened when I did the 13-seat map), which averages Kerry, Corzine, and Menendez’s margins.

So going district by district, here’s what we’ve got (for statistics, I also have raw vote totals, but I don’t think that’s as important here. The numbers here, in order, are: Population, Obama%, McCain%, Kerry%, Bush% in 2004.

NJ-01 700,792 59.95% 38.78% 55.24% 43.14%
Burlington 42,275 54.34% 44.75% 49.67% 49.45%
Camden 321,832 68.25% 30.55% 62.34% 35.65%
Cumberland 17,727 45.73% 52.68% 42.55% 55.71%
Gloucester 254,673 55.41% 43.27% 51.98% 46.68%
Salem 64,285 51.16% 47.24% 45.91% 52.49%

Bottom line is, I don’t like Rob Andrews. I think what he pulled with his seat after challenging Lautenberg is pure BS, and I don’t think you’ll find me shedding any tears if he suddenly disappeared off the political stage. With that in mind, I tried to make his district less Camden-centric. It incorporates the entirety of Gloucester and Salem counties, along with the Republican parts of Salem. Camden proper and Andrews’ home in Haddon Heights is still here, but with the inclusion of Evesham Township in Burlington County, this district is majority not-Camden County. Obama ran just shy of 60%, Kerry got 55% – enough for a staunch Dem district.

NJ-02 701,012 54.01% 44.76% 49.02% 49.20%
Atlantic 252,552 56.98% 41.92% 52.01% 46.17%
Burlington 57,222 51.51% 47.15% 45.90% 52.66%
Camden 68,660 65.10% 33.72% 58.79% 39.37%
Cape May 102,326 45.03% 53.68% 41.97% 56.35%
Cumberland 128,711 62.67% 36.01% 53.99% 43.80%
Ocean 91,541 42.47% 56.18% 41.02% 57.50%

I think there’s a lot of untapped potential in NJ-02, and we never seem to be able to capitalize. Unfortunately, with the slower population growth, this district has to expand northward. This district contains all of Atlantic and Cape May counties, and the parts of Cumberland not in the NJ-01. I’d like to think the split worked, given that Obama earned 62% in the NJ-02 part of Cumberland, while only 45% in the 1st. Throw in a bit of Ocean County, an arm into Camden, and some of Burlington including Democratic Pemberton, and you get a 54% Obama district. Kerry only narrowly lost here. Frank LoBiondo’s home in Ventnor City remains.

NJ-03 700,563 57.30% 41.64% 52.45% 46.00%
Burlington 323,897 60.57% 38.42% 54.38% 44.36%
Camden 118,440 67.38% 31.74% 61.81% 36.30%
Mercer 97,384 53.76% 44.74% 48.51% 49.04%
Monmouth 160,842 45.86% 53.14% 44.21% 54.44%

In my mind, there’s no point in dragging NJ-03 out to the Jersey shore, forcing it to pick up some nasty bits of Ocean County. (Packing and cracking, holler.) So this district pretty much runs diagonally up the state. Burlington is the center of population, but John Adler’s home of Cherry Hill (along with other Camden municipalities) stay in. Instead of touching Ocean County, it instead grabs some of the somewhat less-Republican Monmouth County – including Freehold and Marlboro Townships. On balance, you get a 57% Obama district – a big improvement over the 52% Obama scored in the current 3rd.

NJ-04 701,196 41.36% 57.44% 39.28% 59.41%
Monmouth 281,821 43.94% 54.88% 40.72% 57.87%
Ocean 419,375 39.59% 59.18% 38.25% 60.50%

Well, the Republicans have to go somewhere, and this district is it. I tried to string together the most Republican parts of Ocean and Monmouth, and this strip running up the Jersey shore is what you get. I probably could have done a better job in Monmouth by pulling out some of the Democratic municipalities like Red Bank and given them to NJ-06, but that would have messed up the Middlesex districting. I take pride in that both Republican districts had Kerry scoring less than 40%, and Obama getting no more than 42%. I know that technically, Christopher Smith’s house in Hamilton Township is in Mercer County, but eh, I have no reservations against drawing Republicans out.

NJ-05 701,447 41.91% 57.04% 38.55% 60.20%
Bergen 263,780 45.31% 53.99% 42.60% 56.43%
Hunterdon 34,314 37.74% 60.96% 35.30% 63.95%
Morris 160,430 40.90% 58.12% 37.20% 61.68%
Passaic 39,672 42.86% 56.00% 39.16% 58.74%
Somerset 17,858 39.70% 59.09% 36.21% 62.47%
Sussex 144,166 38.86% 59.61% 34.39% 63.95%
Warren 41,227 37.54% 60.73% 33.73% 64.40%

The other Republican district around here. Again, I tried to pack as much nastiness into this one district, and I think I mostly succeeded. This district takes in all of Sussex County. Originally, all of Warren and more of Morris county were going to go in, but I realized through some creative “tentacling,” this district could grab out some of the less-hospitable bits of Bergen (maintaining the Democratic performance in Steve Rothman’s district) without endangering Rush Holt. Hence the tentacles into Morris, Somerset, and Hunterdon. I think this also shows the relatively larger swing that Obama got in Northwest Jersey, as Obama did better here than in NJ-04, while Kerry did worse. Yes, Scott Garrett’s home in Wantage Township is still here.

NJ-06 701,196 59.74% 39.16% 54.99% 43.59%
Middlesex 528,558 60.70% 38.18% 56.15% 42.44%
Monmouth 172,638 56.85% 42.09% 51.65% 46.89%

When looking at the Presidential results, I realized that Plainfield, at 93% Obama (!!), was part of what was anchoring the Democratic performance here. This was putting a crimp in my plans for NJ-07, so I tried to keep the performance here up without Plainfield. The fact that this had to reach around large swaths of Monmouth County though, was a challenge. I thought Obama performed less well in the Monmouth part of the district (anchored in Asbury Park and Long Branch), but at 57%, no one’s complaining. Frank Pallone lives in Long Branch, which is along the shore (…seriously, move.) Staunchly Republican Middletown Township was getting in the way, along with roughly 50-50 Old Bridge. Luckily, the Brunswicks – New, North, East, and South – were happy to oblige, leaving Obama just shy of 60% here. Yes, this district is contiguous – just ask Sea Bright and Keansburg.

NJ-07 701,196 54.72% 44.38% 50.16% 48.63%
Essex 47,156 57.44% 41.79% 54.67% 44.35%
Morris 288,943 48.47% 50.61% 44.13% 54.77%
Somerset 37,073 54.11% 44.83% 48.31% 50.39%
Union 328,024 60.09% 39.03% 55.29% 43.37%

I had designed an old 7th district for Linda Stender awhile ago (when I thought she was going to win), so I made sure to keep Scotch Plains in this district. I also thought we were letting Democratic votes go to waste in Morristown, so I strung the two together. Because of the increased population requirement in going from 13 to 12 districts, this district takes in more bits of Essex and Somerset counties than before, but Obama’s solid 60% in the Plainfield-Westfield-Scotch Plains-Union Township anchor keeps this district at 55% Obama. Incidentally, Rod Frelinghuysen’s home in Harding Township gets placed here.

NJ-08 701,196 60.86% 38.29% 55.30% 42.01%
Bergen 61,390 51.07% 47.79% 49.93% 48.66%
Essex 190,429 60.72% 38.45% 56.20% 42.48%
Passaic 449,377 62.62% 36.57% 55.75% 40.59%

There are some good Democratic votes in Essex County that I didn’t want to all pack into Donald Payne’s district, so this is where they went. Added is Southern Passaic County, especially the very Democratic cities of Passaic, Clifton, and Paterson (where Bill Pascrell lives, incidentally). Also to relieve pressure on Steve Rothman, this district takes in four municipalities in Southwest Bergen County. You get a 61% Obama district, a few points shy of the current 8th, but Pascrell will survive.

NJ-09 701,092 61.06% 38.12% 58.07% 40.82%
Bergen 558,948 60.20% 39.00% 57.47% 41.42%
Hudson 142,144 65.42% 33.65% 61.18% 37.71%

This district, I think, changes the least from the current configuration. It keeps most of southern Bergen county. I would specify the municipalities that form the core, but I think the heuristic ‘towns in which you’re stuck in traffic on 95 before the Bridge” works well enough. It does reach a bit farther north than before, hitting the New York state line, and also south into Secaucus and Kearny in Hudson County – so basically, all of I-95 north of the Turnpike split and the Meadowlands. Fair Lawn – Steve Rothman’s residence – remains in this 61% Obama district.

NJ-10 702,254 81.68% 17.82% 75.29% 23.51%
Essex 556,048 85.36% 14.20% 79.00% 19.85%
Morris 20,839 41.17% 58.11% 40.02% 58.96%
Union 125,367 74.68% 24.55% 67.38% 31.10%

The current NJ-10 and NJ-13 I always thought had unnecessary encroachments on each other, and this configuration cleaves Newark and Jersey City into separate districts. Obviously, this is centered on Newark (Donald Payne’s residence), which has about 40% of the district’s population. Also included are the Oranges, and a branch to hit Roselle Park through Elizabeth. I didn’t want too much Democratic goodness in Union and Essex to go here, so it reaches northwest from Newark to hit the nasty parts (Essex Fells, Fairfield, etc) and has a township in Morris County included for good measure. By my calculations, this district is 47.5% African-American and another 23% Hispanic/Latino, which should satisfy the VRA as a ‘coalition’ district. At 82% Democratic, this is the most Democratic in New Jersey.

NJ-11 701,196 71.82% 27.28% 65.06% 32.83%
Hudson 466,831 75.11% 24.05% 67.87% 29.70%
Middlesex 165,215 63.55% 35.40% 57.75% 40.80%
Union 69,150 69.92% 29.19% 64.98% 33.36%

Renumbered from the 13th, this district is centered on Jersey City and Bayonne. It also includes Hoboken and Albio Sires’ home in West New York. Going south, it goes through Elizabeth and Linden in Union county to Carteret, Woodbridge, and Perth Amboy in Middlesex. This district is 42% Hispanic and another 15% African-American, which again should satisfy the VRA. I think that’s why the current NJ-10 and 13 interfere so much, so that the majority-Black areas in Jersey City are included in the 10th and the predominantly Hispanic areas in Newark are kept in the 13th. Either way, 72% Obama, no worries.

NJ-12 701,210 57.88% 40.96% 52.16% 45.83%
Hunterdon 87,675 44.55% 54.01% 40.60% 58.30%
Mercer 253,377 73.71% 25.25% 65.18% 31.40%
Middlesex 56,389 52.76% 46.22% 52.35% 46.34%
Somerset 242,559 53.30% 45.60% 47.92% 50.70%
Warren 61,210 45.94% 52.46% 40.12% 58.17%

Unquestionably, this is the district I’m most proud of. The current map was designed to help Rush Holt, and he does happen to be one of the Congresspeople I like more than most. So I set out trying to draw a good district for him. Obviously, the Democratic strength would have to come from Mercer County. Trenton is currently split between NJ-04 and this one, but with NJ-04 out of the picture, all of 93% Obama Trenton can fit here. Throw in Hopewell, Princeton, and you get a 74% Obama section. To the North, this district basically carves out the less Republican parts of Hunterdon, Warren and Somerset, and I think this shows – Obama scored 45% in this district’s part of Hunterdon, 46% in Warren, and 53% in Somerset, as opposed to the 38% he got in the parts of Hunterdon and Warren in the 5th and 40% in Somerset. Rush Holt’s home in Hopewell Township is here (as is Leonard Lance’s residence in Clinton Township in Hunterdon). At 57.9% Obama, this is only a 0.20% drop from Holt’s current district. Oh and yes, it is contiguous.

So there you have it. Questions, comments?

If you want shapefiles, vote statistics, outline maps, please ask!

UT-Gov: Huntsman Primaries the Party Faithful

As mentioned on today’s issue of Politics1.com: http://www.politico.com/news/s…

Huntsman says, against conventional wisdom (at least for the Republican base), that their party can’t be a party of “no”, among other things.

Sorry, I couldn’t think of a funnier title for this diary.  If you can, please do suggest it.

Also, a question: Is Utah so Republican that there are Republicans who are more liberal than Democrats there (as I’ve heard there are Democrats in Massachusetts who are more conservative than Republicans)?

SSP Daily Digest: 2/26

We’re going to try out a new feature for weekday afternoons here at Swing State Project: four or five links to various items that we want to get out there but don’t feel like investing a diary’s worth of effort on. Enjoy the bullet points! (We encourage you to add your own bullet points in the comments, and otherwise treat this as an open thread.)

UT-Sen: Daily Kos polls the 2010 Utah Senate race, where the action appears to be in the primary, but Bob Bennett looks safe for another 6 years. Bennett beats David Leavitt 44-23 in the primary, and, in the general, manhandles Rep. Jim Matheson 55-32 and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings 57-21, not that we should expect either of them to run.

OH-Sen: A third Dem has jumped into the primary field for the 2010 Senate race: state representative Tyrone Yates. He doesn’t have the stature of Fisher or Brunner, but as the only African-American and only Cincinnati-area candidate, he may well complicate things.

WA-08: The first Dem challenger has announced, and it’s another wealthy ex-Microsoft executive, Suzan DelBene. Don’t look for her to have the field to herself this time, though.

MN-Sen: In an indication that the Coleman camp has exhausted every possible legal argument that can win in court, he’s moved onto arguing that it was basically a tie so let’s just have a do-over election. Not the kind of thing that someone who has a hope of winning in court ever says.

Census: The Congressional Black Caucus is pushing the White House to keep the Census within its portfolio even though reliable Dem Gary Locke will now be taking over at Commerce.

Blogospheria: Blogger brainpower (including Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, Markos Moulitsas, and Nate Silver) and union bucks come together in the new Accountability Now PAC. The goal is to pressure (and where there’s a good target, primary) bad Dems and create more space for good Dems to maneuver on the left.

RI-01: Republican state representative John Loughlin is strongly considering a suicide mission against challenge to Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy got 69% against no-names in his last two elections, but apparently his approval ratings are softening.

HI-01: In another district where you might be surprised to know there’s an elected Republican, Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou has announced his candidacy for HI-01, which is expected to be vacated by Neil Abercrombie as he goes for governor. Djou claims the endorsement of every Republican in Hawaii’s legislature (all 7 of them).

NC-Sen: Former state treasurer, and gubernatorial primary loser, Richard Moore won’t be getting involved in the Dem primary to take on Richard Burr in 2010. The field looks clearer for AG Roy Cooper.