SSP Daily Digest: 3/21

IN-Sen: An unnamed “Democratic strategist” quoted by The Hill suggests that ex-Rep. Tim Roemer (whose name hadn’t really come up before this year) is unlikely to run for Senate. Honestly, I’m not sure if the wankerish Roemer would really excite anyone… but we don’t seem to have a long list of possible names for this race.

OH-Sen: PPP has another “everyone and the kitchen sink” primary polls, this time of the Republican senatorial primary in Ohio. In this case, the kitchen sink is named “Kenneth Blackwell,” and he comes in first in an eleventy-billion-way test, with all of 17%. I don’t think I’ve even heard Blackwell (last seen losing the 2006 gubernatorial race to Ted Strickland very badly) as a possible contender. Click the link for the other numbers.

VA-Sen: I’ve got a new name you can root for: Tim Donner, a wealthy television production executive who is considering whether to challenge George Allen in the Republican primary. A spokesman tells Dave Catanese he’s a “couple weeks away” from making a decision. It’s not 100% clear whether he’s a teabagger, but I suspect he is, given that his mouthpiece attacked bona fide teabagger (and hopeless Some Dude) Jamie Radtke for “working in government since she graduated from college,” and because Donner thinks none of the candidates currently running “believe in the concept of a citizen legislature.” That sounds like something a teabagger trying to channel Patrick Henry might say, no? At the very least, we should be hoping he’ll rough Macaca up with a million or few.

WV-Gov: This was expected, but it’s still an important get: State House Speaker Rick Thompson (D) scored the backing of the AFL-CIO, a key endorsement in what will likely be a low-turnout special primary. (As we noted last week, Thompson also picked up the support of a couple of teachers unions.) The election is May 14th.

CA-36: Marta Evry at Calitics takes a look at the ActBlue fundraising numbers so far for the key Democrats in the race. The numbers are a moving target, but as of Friday, Janice Hahn had taken in $49K from 200 donors, while Debra Bowen had pulled in $41K but from a much larger 474 donors. Oh, and Marcy Winograd has now achieved joke status, with $1K raised. Also, some teabagger also joined the race, making him the fourth Republican to get in.

Wisconsin Recall: Some very good sleuthing by Madison TV station WKOW27: The alleged mistress of GOP state Sen. Randy Hopper (the name you can’t forget) recently scored a government job, and Hopper said: “I want to keep my involvement of anything as a private matter. So, I’m going to maintain that.” He didn’t maintain that for very long, calling the station back and denying his involvement with the hiring. I’m not sure Jack McCoy ever got a witness to change his story so quickly – and incredibly. Even better, discovers WKOW, the woman in question got a 35% pay boost over the person who previously held the job. Scott Walker’s government austerity in action.

In other news, Greg Sargent says that GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies is in the field with a survey testing anti-union messages on recall target Alberta Darling’s behalf.

DCCC: Biden alert! The VPOTUS was in Philadelphia on Friday, raising a cool $400K for the D-Triple-C. A long list of PA pols was in attendance, including ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy and a couple of unsuccessful 2010 candidates, Bryan Lentz and John Callahan. Also nice to see present: Arlen Specter, a guy whose age, brief tenure as an elected Dem, and inglorious exit from office would give him more than enough reason to stay away from this sort of thing forever. Too bad he didn’t have the sense to join our team decades ago!

Redistricting Roundup:

With the bulk of census data out, redistricting stories are coming fast and furious now.

Arkansas: Talk Business has copies of a few different congressional maps proposed by various lawmakers, as well as descriptions of some others. Click the link to have a look.

California: Ugh, gross: One of two finalist consulting firms to help California’s new redistricting commission has hardcore Republican leanings, while two of four finalist law firms are similarly oriented. Of course, this is exactly what you risk when you leave things to a supposedly independent panel (that features a ridiculous level of Republican over-representation).

Florida: One Democratic consultant thinks that Florida’s population growth suggests that new districts (the state is getting two) could be anchored to regions that would favor two Republicans in particular: ex-LG Jeff Kottkamp and state Sen. Paula Dockery. Kottkamp lost the GOP primary for AG last year, while Dockery dropped out of the gubernatorial primary.

Iowa: The Hawkeye State’s independent redistricting commission will release its first proposes congressional and state maps on March 31st. (Remember, IA loses a House seat.) As the Des Moines Register points out, “Either chamber of the Iowa Legislature or Republican Gov. Terry Branstad can reject proposals twice. If they don’t like the third, the Iowa Supreme Court decides the boundaries.”

Louisiana: A bunch more proposed maps have been released by the state lege. Republican state House Speaker Jim Tucker’s plans can be found here, while Democratic state Senate President Joel Chaisson’s are toward the end of this document.

Missouri: Show Me State lawmakers are starting their work on redistricting, but if they don’t have a congressional plan by May 13th, then it’ll get kicked over to the courts. State legislative maps aren’t due until September.

Mississippi: I’m not really sure I’m getting this: The NAACP is suing the state of Mississippi over its redistricting plans, but the legislature hasn’t even passed anything yet. It seems like this case would fail from the get-go on ripeness grounds (i.e., a court would say that the dispute isn’t ready to be heard because the plaintiff doesn’t have actual maps to complain about), so I’m not really sure what the NAACP’s angle is here.

Pennsylvania: PoliticsPA talked to some insiders who are crediting Dave Wasserman’s sources and saying that his most recent map is apparently pretty close to the plan that the state’s Republicans are supposedly reaching consensus on. (Maybe both share the same sources, though – who knows?) Click through for all the details. The most salient feature is something a lot of people here have also proposed: a matchup between Jason Altmire and Mark Critz, the two most junior Democrats in the delegation, in order to deal with PA’s loss of a seat.

Virginia: Lawmakers are potentially looking to release state legislative maps as early as the end of the month – which makes sense, since VA holds its House and Senate elections this November.

SSP Daily Digest 8/25 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: Quelle surprise: The AFL-CIO, which was a major supporter of Bill Halter, won’t endorse Blanche Lincoln in the general.
  • NV-Sen: Your daily dose of Angle Crazy comes courtesy Greg Sargent:
  • MANDERS: We have domestic enemies. We have home-born homegrown enemies in our system. And I for one think we have some of those enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress.

    ANGLE: Yes. I think you’re right, Bill.

  • PA-Sen: Karl Rove’s gang of ne’er-do-wells is out with an ad attacking Joe Sestak. NWOTSOTB.
  • WI-Sen: Weirdo Ron Johnson has a new ad out, trying to sell himself as just a reg’lar guy. NWOTSOTB, but the “ad is airing statewide on cable and broadcast TV starting Tuesday, according to a campaign spokeswoman.” Meanwhile, the new right-wing group American Action Network is dropping a $325K ad buy against Russ Feingold. Some background on the group (whose backers include Nixon hatchet man Fred Malek – whataguy!) here.
  • HI-Gov: Wow. Former Rep. (and recent special election loser) Ed Case went somewhat against type and endorsed Neil Abercrombie over Mufi Hannemann in the Dem gubernatorial primary. The “centrist” Case seemingly had more in common with Hannemann, the urbane mayor of Honolulu, than Abercrombie, the septuagenarian progressive. And Case didn’t just issue some anodyne statement – he utterly lambasted Hannemann:
  • Case called him “the most dangerous politician in a generation,” adding that Hannemann governs “by fear and intimidation.”

    “He is the product and clear choice of a political machine that must end. While professing unity, he’s practiced the politics of division, exploiting rather than healing differences of race, origin and economic status,” Case said.

  • CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is touting an internal poll from Magellan, showing him with a 49-43 lead over Rep. John Salazar. Salazar says his own internals have him leading. One FYI about this (and most other) Magellan polls: It’s a one-day sample, much like Rasmussen, and – I would guess – does not include callbacks. Nate Silver previously laid out in great detail how a lack of callbacks can negatively affect poll quality.
  • KS-04: Raj Goyle is up with a positive bio spot touting his “Kansas values.” NWOTSOTB, though this district is centered around Wichita, which is a pretty cheap media market.
  • MA-10: Great headline:
  • Jeff Perry ‘proud’ despite work on bogus degree

    Meanwhile, Dem Rob O’Leary is out with his first TV ad, which interestingly enough calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan. NWOTSOTB, and WARNING – AUTOPLAYING YOUTUBE. Very annoying.

  • MI-07: AFSCME has a new ad out hitting Republican retread Tim Walberg for his votes in Congress, though I think the messaging is a little muddled. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB just yet, but presumably the union will have to file an IE report soon.
  • NJ-12: GOPer Scott Sipprelle claims he’s launching his “third positive, issue-based cable television commercial this summer.” First off, check out the ad (which attacks “Washington politicians right at the start”) and then tell me if you think it’s “positive.” Secondly, I’m guessing that this ad is much closer to a “video press release” (as Nathan Gonzales calls them) than a real buy, given that this district lies mostly in the #1-most expensive media market in the country (and the rest is in Philly, which ain’t exactly cheap), and that Sipprelle acknowledges it’s a cable-only buy.
  • NY-14: It seems like a long time ago now, but remember when Carolyn Maloney came oh-so-close to primarying appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand? Well, it’s an old memory indeed, seeing as Gillibrand is hosting a breakfast fundraiser in Manhattan for Maloney next week.
  • OH-16: Jim Renacci is up with his first ad of the general election campaign – which I can only assume is targeted at his race against me for NYC Zoning Board. But it’s weird that he keeps talking about Ohio, no? Anyhow, a spokesman says the ad “is part of a $250,000 two-week buy” on both broadcast and cable. Do you think it’s running on New York 1?
  • OH-17: Jim Traficant missed the deadline to file as a write-in candidate, but his supporters are still hoping for a favorable ruling from SoS Jennifer Brunner on whether Traficant can appear as an independent. If not, they are supposedly threatening to go to court.
  • PA-04: Great, another one of these. Much like Joe Donnelly, Jason Altmire has a new ad up claiming he that he’s “not afraid to stand up to the president – and Nancy Pelosi.” Lovely. NWOTSOTB.
  • PA-10: It’s nice when Republican delusions help us win campaigns. Here’s Tom Marino’s latest:
  • “My generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say,” he said. “We are not going to get Social Security,” he said. “But we are going to pay into it to get this debacle squared away. So if I have to sacrifice my Social Security to get it squared away … because we can’t take Social Security away from people that are on it now.

    SSP Daily Digest: 8/11 (Morning Edition)

  • IL-Sen: Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that a teabaggish libertarian, Michael Labno, appears to have survived challenges to his petitions and will likely appear on the ballot this fall. Presumably this is good news for Alexi Giannoulias.
  • NV-Sen: Who knew he was even gone? Sketchball and possibly ersatz teabagger Scott Ashjian had apparently been AWOL for some time, but Jon Ralston has been keeping tabs. The erstwhile Ashjian put out his first press release in however long yesterday, to remind the world that he exists. It also serves the remind the world that he does not know how to use spell check.
  • AR-01: GOPer Rick Crawford just caught a break: conservative indie candidate Richard Walden just dropped out of the race and threw his backing to the Republican.
  • IN-09: Another similar story to the AR-01 item above: Indie Ron Kimsey has bailed on the race, in order to help Republican Todd Young beat Rep. Baron Hill.
  • NM-02: In one of the first independent expenditures aimed at the general election, Defenders of Wildlife plunked down $125,000 for a two-week buy to air an ad against GOP retread Steve Pearce. Big problem, though: The Pearce campaign put out a press release saying they got KOAT-TV to take down the ad on the grounds that it was false and misleading. Really hate to see a Dem ally stumble out of the gate like this.
  • NY-14: Talk about chutzpah: Reshma Saujani baselessly attacked Carolyn Maloney for the fact that the 9/11 healthcare bill failed to pass, carping that “A real leader would have passed this bill years ago.” Not only did this bill fail purely due to Republican obstructionism, I’d like to know where Saujani was lobbying on this legislation “years ago.” Fortunately, the attack has generated some swift blowback: the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association says he supports Maloney’s efforts, and the head of the NY AFL-CIO said Saujani’s charges were “absolutely ridiculous.” Now, the chief of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (a different outfit) has also chimed in, slamming Saujani for her “disingenuous and offensive” attacks.
  • PA-15: Say what you will about Bill Clinton, but the man is touring America like a fuggin’ champ on behalf of Democratic candidates this year. In addition to stumping on behalf of Joe Sestak yesterday, Clinton stopped by the Lehigh Valley to help Dem John Callahan raise $150K for his race against GOP incumbent Charlie Dent. (JL)
  • WV-01: Politico reports that the AFL-CIO is threatening to remain neutral in this race, rather than back Dem Mike Oliverio, who hasn’t exactly compiled a very pro-labor record. (Indeed, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers endorsed his Republican opponent, David McKinley.) It could of course all be a ploy to extract promises out of Oliverio. (If so, good.) In any event, the AFL will decide on an endorsement this weekend.
  • SSP Daily Digest: 5/26 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: The Big Dog is coming back home to stump for Blanche Lincoln, the first time he’s done so this race. Meanwhile, the SEIU just tossed in another $100K for phonebanking and another $100K for field on behalf of Bill Halter. (There’s also an amusing negative $100K entry for “reverse phonebanking.”)
  • CA-Sen: Chuck DeVore is as insane as this ad. A true must-see. In news of the normal, President Obama kept to his promise to return to CA for two more Barbara Boxer fundraisers. The events raised $1.75 million, $600K of which will go to Boxer and the balance to the DSCC.
  • KY-Sen: Heh, that was quick. Rand Paul is already planning the dreaded “staff shakeup.” The only problem is that he can’t fire himself. Barring that, Mitch McConnell is telling his least-favorite fellow Kentuckian to shut the fuck up and hide under a rock – “for the time being.”
  • PA-Sen: I agree – this is a magnanimous move. Arlen Specter introduced Joe Sestak to his Senate colleagues at their weekly lunch yesterday. Very gracious.
  • AL-06, AL-07: Unsurprisingly, corporate lawyer Terri Sewell is the only Democrat airing TV ads in the primary to succeed Rep. Artur Davis, spending about $200K so far. With $783K, she’s far outraised her chief competitors, Earl Hilliard, Jr. ($328K) and Shelia Smoot ($100K). Sewell can also count among her contributors Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
  • Crazily, though, ten-term GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus is also airing ads in advance of his primary in AL-06, some $70K worth. Bachus has spent an amazing $680K on his campaign so far, even though his challenger, teabagger Stan Cooke, has raised just $29K total. This is the reddest district in the nation according to Cook PVI (R+29), which may explain Bachus’s anxiety, since he is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and voted in favor of the bailout.

  • AR-01: A similar situation in AR-01 as in AR-02 below, where first-rounder David Cook endorsed the somewhat less-conservative Chad Causey over the extremely conservative Tim Wooldridge in (you might be a little surprised to hear me say this if you don’t already know the names) the Democratic runoff.
  • AR-02: Some runoff endorsements on both sides from the also-rans. Patrick Kennedy and John Adams (great names, huh?) both endorsed Robbie Wills in the Democratic race, while David Boling endorsed Joyce Elliott. I suspect national Dems would prefer Wills over the more-liberal Elliott, but this race is probably too touchy to get involved in.
  • DE-AL: Joe Biden returned home to do a fundraiser in Wilmington for John Carney. No word on whether he’ll also do one for Senate candidate Chris Coons, but it’s not like it’s a big schlep.
  • FL-25: The statewide Florida AFL-CIO, following the lead of its South Fla. branch, endorsed little-known longshoreman Luis Meurice in the Democratic primary, rather than Joe Garcia. The union, Florida’s biggest, backed Garcia in 2008.
  • IN-05: This is exactly the kind of weird that Dave Weigel specializes in. Tim Crawford, the teabagging “Democrat” who snuck to victory in the Democratic primary here, abruptly dropped out of the race after an unpleasant meeting with, you know, actual Democrats… and then wrote a long, rambly email saying he was un-dropping-out. Ah well.
  • IN-09: Speaking of Joe Biden, he’ll also be doing a fundraiser in late June for Rep. Baron Hill in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
  • NC-08: I would really freakin’ love to see Tim D’Annunzio pull this one off. The entire NC House GOP delegation just collectively endorsed former TV sportscaster Harold Johnson, terrified as they are of the spastic-fantastic Tim-diana Jones. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here stat.
  • RI-01: Scott Brown is coming to Rhode Island for a fundraiser with state Rep. John Loughlin, the GOP’s candidate in this open seat. To date, Loughlin’s raised about $344K, which might not seem too bad, but in fact he’s been running for a long time, since well before Rep. Patrick Kennedy announced his retirement.
  • VA-11: Businessman Keith Fimian has a new poll from McLaughlin & Associates showing him with a 36-23 lead over Fairfax Co. Supervisor Pat Herrity in the GOP primary. A March poll had Fimian up 29-17. Herrity had his own poll out last month, though, showing him with a 42-21 lead – and pointed out that Fimian claimed his internals had him just three points behind Gerry Connolly before election day 2008, but lost by twelve.
  • DSCC: Uh, good, I guess. The DSCC has cancelled plans to have EPA chief Lisa Jackson headline an NYC fundraiser next week – but what a retarded idea in the first place. It seems pretty inappropriate to me to have cabinet members doing hackwork like this (can you imagine Hillary Clinton or Eric Holder shilling for dollars?), but it’s even worse when you’re talking about the head of the EPA in the midst of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. I also find it unctuous that the original invitation promised that the event would be “intimate, so each of you will have a real opportunity to get to know and to speak to Lisa about issues of concern to you and our nation.” Pretty gross when it’s our team selling access to the ultra-wealthy. Barf.
  • Ideology: Alan Abramowitz has a great piece up at the Democratic Strategist, looking at the correlation between ideology (as measured by DW-NOMINATE) and election performance by Republican senators. Using a modified eight-point DW-N scale, Abramowitz finds: “For every additional one point increase in conservatism, Republican incumbents lost an additional three percentage points in support relative to their party’s presidential candidate.” But shhh… don’t tell the Republicans!
  • SSP Daily Digest: 5/24 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: The SEIU is looking to finish the job, throwing down another $450K on behalf of Bill Halter. The union has spent almost $2 million dollars on this race so far.
  • AZ-Sen: Perhaps sensing some vulnerability on John McCain’s part, ex-state Rep. and former AZ health department chief Cathy Eden is jumping into the Democratic primary, where she’ll face former Tucson city councilman Rodney Glassman. Eden served in the state House in the early 1990s, then ran a brief campaign for the Dem nod for Arizona’s open Senate seat in 1994, dropping out before the primary. She’s also apparently tight with Janet Napolitano.
  • CT-Sen: So it turns out the NYT did have in its possession a copy of the full video of the Dick Blumenthal speech where he first said he served “during Vietnam,” only later to cloud things by saying he served “in Vietnam.” Yet despite having the entire video, the Times only posted a truncated clip showing the latter bit. Sheesh.
  • FL-Sen: The normally Dem-friendly Florida Education Association endorsed both Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek for Senate on Friday, as a thank-you to Crist for his veto of a controversial teacher “merit pay” bill. Crist tried to parlay that victory by attempting to steal another endorsement from Meek, enthusiastically courting the backing of the AFL-CIO. Unfortunately for Crist, the union decided to endorse Meek and only Meek. (J)
  • KY-Sen: You probably saw that Rand Paul abruptly cancelled a “Meet the Press” appearance scheduled for yesterday. What you may not have known is that the only other people in recent history to do so are Louis Farrakhan and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar. Also, if you check out that first Politico link, you’ll see exactly how uncomfortable Paul’s post-primary “unity” roll-out has been. Even Trey Grayson couldn’t stay on-message long enough to avoid admitting to reporters that the whole thing has been “awkward.”
  • NV-Sen: This is the chicken that laid the golden egg: Nevada election officials have banned people from wearing chicken suits into polling places on primary day. Though Dems have been sending people in chicken costumes to Sue Lowden campaign events, no one had any apparent plans to do electioneering while so garbed. But what this means is another day of chickens in the news. I think that calls for some Chicken Dance!
  • PA-Sen: Weird – Joe Sestak repeated his claim that the Obama administration offered him a job so that he’d drop his challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter. The weird part is that White House press secretary Bob Gibbs, in response, said only that  “nothing inappropriate” happened, but didn’t confirm or deny Sestak’s claim.
  • WI-Sen: This is a surprise: One-time beer baron Dick Leinenkugel has dropped out of the race after less than a month. He endorsed teabaggy businessman Ron Johnson, which seems like an odd fit, since the Kugel had worked in Dem Gov. Jim Doyle’s administration (a pretty big and obvious knock against him in a GOP primary). Hey, Beer Man – we hardly knew ye! Meanwhile, Johnson picked up the GOP’s endorsement (by a wide margin) at the state Republican convention this past weekend. Terrence Wall and David Westlake are apparently still staying in the race, though.
  • FL-Gov: God bless chrome-domed creep Rick Scott. He’s blasting McCollum on the airwaves for failing to support Arizona’s new “papers, please” immigration law with sufficient gusto. Though I usually complain when tradmed accounts fail to detail the size of ad buys, since it’s Scott, we can probably assume there’s plenty of money behind it, as he’s already spent approximately eight zillion dollars on the race. You know McCollum is sitting at home with his head in his hands, just wondering, “What the hell did I do to deserve this shit?”
  • Meanwhile, third wheel state Sen. Paula Dockery said she wouldn’t put her personal wealth into her campaign – and also opined that she’d veto an abortion bill she voted for if she became governor. I’m not even sure John Kerry could come up with something that good.

  • ID-Gov: This is interesting – Dem Keith Allred raised $240K since January, outstripping Gov. Butch Otter’s $193K. Otter has $201K CoH while Allred has $130K.
  • WI-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker was forced to return $44K in illegal contributions for an amazingly simple reason: a railroad exec used company money to reimburse employee donations to Walker! Talk about shady – and dumb.
  • HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa made it clear she’s going to run again after Saturday’s lost to Charles Djou, but Ed Case sounded surprisingly non-committal, saying only that on Monday, he planned to “wake up, go body surfing and cut the lawn. We’ll figure out the rest of it later.”
  • IN-03: Ala NY Gov. David Paterson and the NY-29 race, Gov. Mitch Daniels is reportedly considering holding the IN-03 special election in November, on the same day as the regular general election, in order to save the state money.
  • VA-09: Morgan Griffith, majority leader of the state House of Delegates, won the GOP nod at a district convention this past weekend on the first ballot. I’m not sure if there even would be a primary here on account of the convention, but in any case, it sounds like the other Republican candidates are rallying behind Griffith, who will take on Dem Rep. Rick Boucher in the fall.
  • NY-State Sen.: New York Dems seem to have landed a good recruit against the 78-year-old Sen. Hugh Farley in the 44th district upstate. Susan Savage, chair of the Schenectady county lege, is entering the race in this 50-48 Obama district.
  • Fundraising: The WaPo has a great interactive graphic illustrating corporate PAC giving to Dems vs. Republicans, dating all the way back to 1989.
  • Polling: A new Pew study shows that question responses in landline + cell phone surveys are starting to differ from landline-only answers, sometimes as much as four or five points (and in one case, seven). In general, landline-only surveys tend to underestimate Democratic support.
  • Passings: One-time GOP Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens died on Saturday at age 79. He was best known for his conviction for paying a 16-year-old girl for sex, which led to his 1990 loss in the GOP primary to none other than John Boehner.
  • WATN?: Former senator and general d-bag Bob Kerrey may go and head up the Motion Picture Association of America. He’d follow in the footsteps of another former member of Congress from the middle of the country, Dan Glickman.
  • SSP Daily Digest: 3/19 (Morning Edition)

  • AZ-Sen: Another Democrat, businesswoman Nan Stockholm Walden, is taking a look at the Arizona Senate race. Walden, a former staffer for Bill Bradley and Pat Moynihan, seems like she might be able to bring a good chunk of her own cash to the table (at the very least, she seems well-connected). Right now, the highest-profile Dem in race is Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman.
  • NV-Sen: Coming home to roost? One of those DOJ subpoenas in the investigation of John Ensign has landed on the doorstep of the NRSC. Ensign, of course, was chair of the organization during its disastrous 2008-08 campaign cycle.
  • PA-Sen: Reid Wilson takes a look at the divergent poll numbers between Susquehanna (Toomey +6) and Research 2000 (Specter +6). Susquehanna relies on voter lists and doesn’t weight; R2K uses random-digit dialing and does weight.
  • IA-Gov: I guess this is a little bit of good news for Gov. Chet Culver – the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse won’t challenge him in the Democratic primary.
  • NY-Gov: I guess we should tag all David Paterson stories as “News of the Weird.” Yesterday, he bizarrely claimed that he was the NYT’s source for the exceptionally damaging stories about his administration which have led to the resignation of many top staffers and many, many calls for his resignation. Now the Times is saying “not so” – that Paterson was most definitely not their source. So, so strange.
  • GA-07: GOP state Sen. Don Balfour, who was considered a leading contender for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Rep. John Linder, has ended his campaign. Balfour also indicated that he won’t seek re-election to the state Senate. (JL)
  • PA-07: Heh – GOPer Pat Meehan’s motion to dismiss Dem Bryan Lentz’s challenge to his ballot petition signatures was rendered moot almost the instant after he filed it. Meehan tried to claim that Lentz hadn’t followed proper court procedures in serving him with notice of the challenge, but the court issued its own order saying that Lentz still has plenty of time to do so. Whoops.
  • IL-Lt. Gov: Gov. Pat Quinn apparently has a preferred choice for a running mate, state Sen. Susan Garrett, who as luck would have it is not up for re-election herself this fall. The IL Dem state party will pick a replacement on March 27th.
  • Healthcare: Greg Sargent has a source at the AFL-CIO who says that leaders of the umbrella organization’s member unions will be making “direct appeals” to the following Dems, implicitly backed up by the threat of a primary or third-party challenges:
  • Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Daniel Lipinski, Stephen Lynch, Michael Michaud, James Oberstar, Steve Dreihaus, Charlie Wilson, Marcy Kaptur, John Boccieri, Zack Space, Tom Perriello, Jason Altmire, Christopher Carney, Paul Kanjorski, Tim Holden, Jerry Costello, Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall, Kathy Dahlkemper

  • Polltopia: Speaking of voter lists (see PA-Sen item above), Harry Enten at chides the NYT for claiming that it doesn’t publish polls which sample from voter lists (like that Chamber of Commerce healthcare poll). Yet on the very same day it made that claim, the Times cited the results of the recent CA-Sen Field poll in another article… and Field uses, well, voter lists. At SSP, we have a simpler rule: Don’t publish concern troll bullshit.
  • NRCC: Classic – the NRCC is touting ads its running against Dems undecided on healthcare, but they are spending just $3,900 per district. That gets you, what, a 30-second spot at 3am on the Smithsonian Channel, sandwiched between infomercials for the Flowbee and the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie? Props to the Hotline for unmasking this (typical) chicanery.
  • Passings: Memphis Rep. Steve Cohen gave a tribute yesterday on the floor of the House to the life of SSP hero and Big Star frontman Alex Chilton, who sadly passed away on Wednesday. (JL)
  • SSP Daily Digest: 3/15 (Morning Edition)

  • CA-Sen: No one does weird-ass like Carly Fiorina, who has another web video out that hails from the land of the bizarre.
  • CO-Sen: Seventh CD Rep. Ed Perlmutter has endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet over Andrew Romanoff in the Dem primary.
  • FL-Sen: It looks like Marco Rubio is finally starting to come in for some serious scrutiny. The St. Pete Times has a lengthy examination of the corporate money that has flowed Rubio’s way, and the irregularities which have riddled his campaign finance reports.
  • IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias says he’s going to return all campaign contributions from, as Politico puts it, “accused bank fraudster Nick Giannis and his family.”
  • IN-Sen: Ah, this is good. Dan Coats is trying to run as hard as he can against the bailout… but back in 2008, he was lobbying the government on behalf of a hedge fund which owned 80% of Chrysler – a huge recipient of bailout funds. (He didn’t do a very good job, it seems, considering that the fund, Cerberus, has its equity stake wiped out.) As Texas Dem astutely noted the moment Coats rumors started flying, “Usually retired senators get rich in some unseemly way that makes them unelectable in the future.” Sure looks like the case here.
  • NY-Sen-B: I hope all those Democrats who supported Mike Bloomberg over the years are happy: The NYT has an in-depth look at Bloombo’s hostility to Kirsten Gillibrand, and all the candidates he has tried to push into running against her. The latest is his own girlfriend, Diana Taylor. The Times fails to find any rational reason for why His Bloominess has chugged so much haterade, but devtob points out that they ignored a key item: Bloombo was a big backer of Caroline Kennedy, who of course was snubbed in favor of Gillibrand.
  • RI-Sen: Don’t look to retiring Dem Rep. Patrick Kennedy to share any of his spoils with the DCCC. Calling his decision not to seek another term in the House more of a “sabbatical” than a retirement, Kennedy says he plans to transfer his $500K campaign purse into an interest-bearing account, just in case he should need it for a Senate campaign someday. This is total bullshit. (Thanks to SSPer Andrew for this one.) (JL)
  • ID-Gov: Dem Keith Allred has made it official. Allred, a former Harvard professor, had spent five years running a non-partisan “citizens group” called The Common Interest which he left to pursue a gubernatorial run.
  • MI-Gov: Virg Bernero locked down another big union endorsement: the AFL-CIO took a vote, and it was “overwhelming” (their words) in Bernero’s favor. The United Auto Workers union, itself a member of the AFL-CIO, had already gotten behind Bernero, but now the entire umbrella organization (which also includes AFSCME, IBEW and AFT) is doing so. Bernero’s been running exactly the sort of populist campaign his supporters would have hoped, lately proposing that Michigan establish a state-run bank, modeled after the Bank of North Dakota.
  • NM-Gov: Doña Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez won the support of 47% of the delegates at the state GOP convention this past weekend, while former NM Republican Party chair Allen Weh pulled in 26%. Pete Domenici, Jr. took less than 5%, but still plans to file petitions to get on the ballot. Because Martinez and Weh got over 20%, they only have to file half as many signatures, but as Heath Haussamen points out, no candidate who hasn’t scored 20% at the convention has ever come back to win the nomination.
  • OH-Gov: A voluminous auditor’s report on the demise of Lehman Brothers was published last week, documenting all of the company’s shady financial practices which led to its doom. Why does this matter to the Ohio governor’s race? John Kasich was a managing partner at Lehman for several years, right up until the bitter end in 2008. Ted Strickland is putting some pointed questions to Kasich, whose response so far has been extremely feeble.
  • FL-08: Sarah Palin’s gotten mixed up in the race to take on Rep. Alan Grayson, firing some broadsides at the Democrat during a recent trip to Orlando. Grayson did not let this challenge go unanswered.
  • KY-03: Tacked on to a Louisville mayoral poll, SUSA included a sort of unusually-worded question about Dem Rep. John Yarmuth’s re-elects. They asked voters if they would vote for or against Yarmuth “no matter who else is on the ballot,” with a not sure “until I know who else is on the ballot” option. Yarmuth scored 27-23-48. It still seems that Yarmuth’s only challenger so far is a dude who owns a bunch of Pizza Huts.
  • NY-14: EMILY’s List has finally done something right: They’re endorsing Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a longtime advocate for women’s issues, in her primary fight against Some Dude Reshma Saujani.
  • NY-23: After months of sounding pretty serious about a bid, state Assemblyman Will Barclay has decided to pass on a race against Dem Rep. Bill Owens. Barclay’s exit greatly improves the chances of Club For Growth nutter Doug Hoffman in the GOP primary, where his main rival now appears to be investment banker Matt Doheny, who lost the special election nomination to Dede Scozzafava last fall. (JL)
  • OK-05: The Republican primary to succeed Mary Fallin in the House just gets bigger and bigger. State Rep. Shane Jett is now the sixth candidate in a field that includes state Rep. Mike Thompson, former state Rep. Kevin Calvey, and Some Other Dudes. (JL)
  • IL-Lt. Gov: The 38 members of the IL Dem central committee will hold interviews with prospective candidates around the state next week and then pick a replacement Lt. Gov. nominee on March 27.
  • SSP Daily Digest: 7/8 (Morning Edition)

    Live from SSP World Headquarters in New York City, it’s your daily Daily Digest!

    CA-47: The GOP has heavily touted Assemblyman Van Tran, who is waging an uphill campaign against Rep. Loretta Sanchez in this D+4 district. Tran, however, may face an additional hurdle: businessman & veteran Quang Pham, who just filed papers. Politico explains that there is “lingering anger with Tran’s role in a bitter contest for a Board of Supervisors seat in 2007, where Tran denounced the winning candidate as a communist.”

    S. Fla.: A couple of entries for the Where Are They Now? files. Joe Garcia, who ran against “Super” Mario Diaz-Balart in FL-25 last year, just accepted an Obama administration job – he’ll become Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact for the Energy Dept. Meanwhile, Annette Taddeo, who took on Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in FL-18, has declined to run for CFO to replace the outgoing Alex Sink.

    FL-08: No need for me to summarize: “After saying for weeks that he would let people know by the Fourth of July whether he plans to run for Congress next year, Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty has left town on a holiday cruise without making a decision.” What a wank.

    FL-12: Despite the GOP’s effort to clear the primary for state Rep. Dennis Ross in this open seat being vacated by Rep. Adam Putnam, Polk County Comm’r Randy Wilkinson formally announced his candidacy late last week.

    IL-Sen: Looks like Illinois Republicans are growing tired of waiting for Capt. Kirk to beam back from the planet Vulcan. NRSC officials are meeting with Plan B, aka IL GOP chair Andy McKenna. McKenna previously sought this seat in 2004, coming in fourth in the Republican primary, well behind Dairy King Jim Oberweis. Crain’s Chicago Business charitably explains McKenna “never has had much of a following among the party’s conservative reform wing.”

    NH-Sen: It’s starting to look like Sarah Palin is Kelly Ayotte’s political mentor in more ways that one. First, Ayotte announces she’s going to quit her current job in the middle of her term. Then, responding to the fact that she pledged to complete her entire four-year appointment, she offers this incoherent non-answer:

    “I would say that at the time of my reappointment no one could have predicted the political future. The political landscape has changed drastically since then. Clearly the intent was to continue serving, but I think in fairness no one could have predicted the changes that have occurred on the political landscape.

    Maybe she was just too busy reading all the magazines to make any sense.

    NJ-Gov: Jon Corzine is up with a new negative ad. Meh. It doesn’t do it for me.

    OH-Sen: Haven’t we heard this before? SoS Jennifer Brunner has penned a 1,300-word post on her website decrying the “insiders” who supposedly want her out of the primary… and back in May, she also sent a letter to supporters saying she wouldn’t quit the race. I don’t know why she feels the need to keep saying this. Also, in a sign that things are only likely to get worse before they get better, she includes this flourish: “If this race for the U.S. Senate is about the trappings of insider politics, then I suspect Lee Fisher will be your man.” Gonna be a long year.

    OK-01: Rep. John Sullivan, who just returned to work after a monthlong stay at an alcohol rehab facility, said that he would seek re-election. Rep. Patrick Kennedy is also back after receiving similar treatment.

    PA-Sen: Chris Cillizza reports that the AFL-CIO “will almost certainly weigh in” on the expected Specter vs. Sestak primary, but isn’t giving any hints about whose side they’ll take.

    WI-07: It looks like another former “Real World” contestant is gearing up for a run for Congress. Last cycle, Kevin Powell (season one) got crushed by Rep. Ed Towns in NY-10, but is apparently back for another round. Meanwhile, out in Wisconsin, Real World-er Sean Duffy (season six) is weighing a challenge to Rep. Dave Obey. There is one thing Duffy must remember.

    PA-05: McCracken for Congress — Weekly Update — August 17, 2008

    Campaign Receiving Important Endorsements:

    As we move into the fall campaign season, the McCracken for Congress campaign is receiving several important endorsements.   Earlier this month we were honored to receive the endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.   This is a key endorsement from an organization that is a leader in supporting the rights of the working people, not only in the 5th district, but in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

    This week, we were notified by the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, the political action committee of the National Education Association, of their decision to recommend the election of Mark B. McCracken to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 05 in Pennsylvania.   This endorsement carries a special meaning to me in light of my prior experience as a former member of a public school board.   I truly believe if our local public school systems receive the proper support from our federal government, we can have the finest education system in the world.   When I speak of support, I’m not only talking adequate financial support, I also believe that elected leaders at the federal, state and local level should be strong vocal advocates for our public schools.  

    Throughout this campaign, I’ve stressed the need for a federal education policy that includes adequate funding while letting standards and policies to officials at the state and local levels.  As a person with 10 years experience serving on a local school board, I realize that parents, administrators, teachers and local leaders know what is best for their children.  Unnecessary mandates from the federal government in Washington only complicate matters.

    Updates Coming to McCracken for Congress Webpage:

    Later this week we will be unveiling some changes and updates to the McCracken for Congress webpage —  

    The big change will be with the issues section.  As we’ve traveled throughout the 5th district meeting with people and discussing the issues and problems, we can now better define what the important issues are on the minds of the citizens in the district.  From my position as the candidate, I’ve spent the last 8 months listening and learning from the people that I hope to represent in the United States Congress.  While there are many of the issues I was already aware of as a county commissioner, there were issues I had to learn more about from the citizens of the 5th district.  

    As we move into the next phase of the campaign, I want to give voters a better outline of the issues and problems they have discussed with me and provide them with specific ideas and solutions they can consider before making their decision on November 4th.

    Keeping Up a Hectic Pace:

    We were very busy again this week traveling throughout the 5th district meeting people and listening to their concerns.  

    On Monday we spent the evening working in the Democratic booth at the McKean County Fair.  Tuesday took us to State College for meetings with campaign supporters.  Also on Tuesday, Victor Ordonez represented the campaign at an event near St. Marys with the Elk County Farm Bureau.  

    McKean County Fair

    Thursday was an important day in Clearfield County featuring a visit by Gov. Ed Rendell who announced several million dollars in funding for important projects in Clearfield County.   Funding announcements were made for the expansion of Paris Company in DuBois creating 40 new jobs, expansion of the Clearfield YMCA, a river walk project in Clearfield Borough and the state’s investment to rebuild several deficient bridges in Clearfield County.  

    On Thursday evening the campaign headed to Janesville in southeastern Clearfield County to appear at the annual Bud George Day picnic.  It was a great honor be on the speaking program with Gov. Rendell, State Rep. Bud George, Auditor General Jack Wagner, candidate for Attorney General John Morganelli, candidate for Treasurer Rob McCord and fellow congressional candidate from the 9th district Tony Barr.  

    On Friday, we were in the DuBois area for a fundraiser organized by Henry and Molly Guthrie.  We had a nice turnout for the event with special guests State Rep. Scott Conklin and State Rep. Dan Surra on hand.  

    BBQ Event

    Kelly and I want to thank Henry and Molly for organizing the event and also thank the people who did the work getting the site ready and cooking the food.   We closed out the week on Saturday with a trip to Emporium for a car show and downtown event sponsored by the Emporium Chamber of Commerce.  Later, it was on to Smethport for another appearance at the McKean County Fair.

    Plans for the Coming Week:

    We’ll be spending quite a bit of time in Centre County this week.  

    Tuesday we will be joining members of the Centre County Democratic Committee to attend Gov. Rendell’s appearance at the CBICC luncheon.  Wednesday we will be traveling to Venango county for several meetings in the morning and then back to Centre County later in the day to attend the Penn Ag Democratic Picnic held in conjunction with Ag Progress Days.  Friday we will be in attendance for the opening of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in Clinton County.   Finally, on Saturday, we will start out a busy day at the Centre County Democratic breakfast followed by “Mark McCracken Day” in the Democratic booth at the Grange Fair in Centre Hall.  

    I look forward to meeting with everyone at the Grange Fair on Saturday.

    FINAL THOUGHT — Momentum is Building:

    Right after winning the primary election in April, I made a statement when asked by a reporter “Mr. McCracken, can you actually win this race?”  My response was “We can and we will” which I posted on our campaign blog site.  I was encouraged on Monday evening when speaking with a gentleman at the McKean County Fair who made reference to my response.  He was asking me how the campaign was going and I gave him a very positive report about the progress we are making.   What was so encouraging was when he told me — “Mark, remember what you said on your blog — We can and we will…? Just keep up the hard work and you can and you will win the seat.”

    We’ll see you on the campaign trail and with your help, we can and we will win this race!

    Mark B. McCracken

    Your Candidate for Congress

    PA-05: McCracken for Congress — Weekly Update — August 3, 2008

    White House Announces Bush Administration to Leave a Record Budget Deficit of $482 Billion.

    Since January when we began our campaign for the 5th District seat in the US Congress, I’ve consistently stressed that my biggest concern is the fiscal mess that has happened in Washington.  This week, White House officials admitted the Bush administration would leave office in January 2009 with a record budget deficit sitting on the books of $482 BILLION.   This record $482 billion deficit is coupled with a record debt of $9.5 trillion.  

    On January 20th, 2001, when George W. Bush was sworn in to his first term in office and the Republican Party had control of both houses of Congress, the United States government had a record budget surplus, our economy was in a period of record expansion and the national debt was being paid down.  In fact, if the Bush administration would have continued the fiscally responsible polices from the 90’s by continuing to grow the surplus and pay down the debt, the federal debt could have been retired by 2013.

    It is all fantasy now thanks to the irresponsible fiscal policies of the last 8 years, but, imagine what we could have done in the United States after the debt was paid off in 2013.  Our country would have had a surplus of funds that we could have invested in a complete rebuild of our infrastructure to make it ready for the next century,  We could have made a real effort at addressing the health care crisis because funds would have been available.   We could have invested in updating and upgrading our military and providing for our veterans.  We could have had a real investment to fix our public education system.  All these possibilities – GONE.

    In the 90’s, difficult decisions were made and sound fiscal policies were put in place by the federal government.  These decisions were made in a bipartisan manner with a Democratic administration in the White House and the Republicans in control of Congress the second half of the decade.   Rather than sticking with sound logic in support of a fiscally strong government, Republicans in Congress joined with George W. Bush in the early days of his administration and decided that short term gratification from across the board tax cuts, with the overwhelming majority directed towards the top 2% income levels, was more important than the long term fiscal and financial security of the federal government.

    In the 5th District race, voters will have the decision to choose between more of the same fiscal irresponsibility as my opponent continues to voice his strong support for the Bush tax cuts.  Or, they can choose something better because I believe we must show the courage and responsibility to clean up this fiscal mess once and for all.  It won’t be easy in the short run, but, if we make the commitment to stick to strong fiscal policies, we can finally invest in the things we need to in order to make the lives of our citizens better and our country more secure.  

    Campaign Receives Endorsement from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

    I am pleased and excited to announce that our campaign has received a letter from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorsing my candidacy.   I am truly honored that we have received this important endorsement as it represents support from working men and women, not only in the 5th district, but from throughout Pennsylvania working for our cause.  

    In announcing the list of endorsed candidates in a press release posted on, Bill George, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said “These candidates have proven themselves to be the friends and supporters of working families.  They understand that workers are struggling in this economy with stagnant wages, soaring prices for health care, gas and food.  They advocate and support an agenda that mirrors the priorities of the labor movement.  We are confident that they will put this country back on track toward prosperity and opportunity for all not the few.”.

    The letter from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO concluded with the positive exclamation “Congratulations on Labor’s endorsement!  On to Victory!”.

    Major Fundraising Event for DuBois area / Elk and Jefferson Counties:

    Campaign Chairman Henry Guthrie and his wife Molly have finalized plans for a McCracken for Congress fundraising event to be held Friday August 15th at the Lion’s Club Sky Lodge in DuBois.  This is going to be a fun filled evening with entertainment from the Moore Brother’s Band and a Chicken BBQ dinner.  We are inviting several local and state level elected officials.  Tickets for the event are $20.  We are also looking for sponsor level support for the event for a donation of $150 or more.  Please contact Henry or Molly at 371-1892 or 577-2398 for ticket information.   Also we would greatly appreciate it if you could take 10 or more tickets and sell them.

    BBQ Fundraiser

    Recap of the Past Week:

    The majority of the past week was spent working close to home at the Clearfield County Fair.  The response from people visiting the Democratic booth was tremendous.  I was also encouraged by the positive comments and remarks that we received from people interested in the Obama campaign.  I have to recognize the people who put in the time and effort to make the booth available for the week.  Specific recognition goes to County Chair John Sughrue, Sue Lemmo and Terry Noble for leading the effort over the past months to have the booth.   Also, Patrick Yingling was at the booth several nights, County Controller Claudia Read worked for many weeks to schedule people to work the booth and Rodger Baumgardner was on hand every evening to make sure the booth was properly secured at closing time.

    Tuesday evening I made a trip to Potter County to spend the evening working with County Chair Norma Nichols in the Democratic booth at the Potter County Fair.  It was a very positive visit and I made contact with many voters from Potter, McKean and Tioga counties.

    Potter County Fair

    On Friday evening, I traveled to St. Marys for the Elk County Democratic Picnic.  Media Advisor Diane Kesner traveled with me to shoot some footage that we will use later in commercials for the campaign.  The event had a great turnout with the highlight of the evening coming from a rousing speech given by Rep. Dan Surra who talked about the problems facing our region, state and country.  Rep. Surra made it clear that this is a key election in the history of our country and he called on everyone to get involved to elect the candidates who will work to solve the problems.  State senate candidate Don Hilliard also gave a tremendous speech addressing the important issues in his race.  

    On Saturday, Kelly, Amanda and I made a trip to Juniata County to appear in the parade for the Fayette carnival in McAlisterville.  While this was a small parade, it was an important event for the campaign.  Fayette Township is the only municipality in Juniata County that is part of the 5th District.  Juniata County Commissioner Teresa O’Neal has been working with me to make sure our campaign has a presence in Juniata County.   Although Juniata County only has a very small portion in the 5th District, it is important to me that we include them on our campaign schedule.

    Scheduled Events for the Upcoming Week:

    Monday — Clinton County Fair — 6 PM

    Tuesday — Meeting with Sierra Club — State College

    Wednesday — Elk County Fair — 6 PM

    Thursday — Sykesville Fair — 6 PM

    Friday — Tentative — Venango Co. Fair

    Saturday — Multiple Events Subject to Change — Clinton County Fair Parade / McKean Co. Fair / Warren Co. Fair

    Sunday — Potter / Cameron County Joint Democratic Picnic — Austin PA


    We now have campaign materials available!  Don’t forget to pick up your magnetic bumper sticker or campaign yard sign.

    Mark B. McCracken

    Your Candidate For Congress


    This diary is cross-posted at McCracken’s campaign blog, PA’s Blue Fifth

    Mark McCracken for Congress

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