SSP Daily Digest: 6/23 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: John Boozman says that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be coming to Little Rock to stump for him next month.
  • CO-Sen: Ex-Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is attempting to rebut some ugly public polling with an internal of her own from Public Opinion Strategies. Norton’s survey has her up 39-33 in the GOP primary against Weld County DA Ken Buck, but a SurveyUSA poll taken last week showed her getting killed, 53-37.
  • FL-Sen: Rep. Kendrick Meek and zillionaire asshole Jeff Greene had a seriously feisty debate the other night. I cannot do it justice by summarizing, so I encourage you read the Palm Beach Post’s account. Also of note, Greene is taking a page from the John Kasich playbook and refusing to make his tax returns public. In a display of leadership, he said disclosure was his wife’s call – who said “hell no” when asked by reporters if she would do so.
  • LA-Sen: As Crisitunity noted, Rep. Charlie Melancon has a real crisitunity to deal with vis-a-vis the gulf oil spill, and it’s been interesting watching the issue play out on the campaign trail. Melancon may have gotten a gift with a federal district court judge’s ruling against the offshore drilling moratorium (something Melancon opposes), but contrary to his wishes, the Obama administration will indeed appeal.
  • NV-Sen: Jon Ralston, one of Nevada’s top political analysts, points out that Sharron Angle has been touting an endorsement on her website from a bunch of lunatics called the “Declaration Alliance.” They’re a birther outfit, and Ralston has been trying to get Angle on the record as to whether she shares their views – but, says Ralston, “She no longer answers her voicemail, and her press secretary’s voicemail is full.” I’m sure Ralston’ll ask her all about this next week, when he interviews her on his TV show. Here are a couple of other things he ought to bring up: Angle’s statements that unemployed folks have been “spoiled” by government “entitlement” – and that bringing jobs to Nevada wouldn’t be, well, her job as senator. This should be a fun interview!
  • OH-Gov: As Dave Catanese says, on the campaign trail, “a candidate’s humble upbringing is almost always safe from attack.” So you really have to wonder why in the fuck John Kasich thought it would be a good idea to mock Ted Strickland’s background, braying about his opponent: “Having grown up in a chicken shack on Duck Run, he has all but ignored our cities’ economies and their workers.” Not that you needed it, but even more evidence that Kasich is a grade-A schmuck with a tin ear: He told Alan Colmes he would not be “singing in any chorus for LeBron James” to help keep the NBA uber-star Ohio’ #1 Citizen in Cleveland. Christ, what an asshole!
  • NV-Gov: Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun says that Rory Reid may be going up on the air with TV ads as soon as today – but that’s it. No further details on the nature of the ad, where it might run, or, of course, the size of the buy.
  • AR-01: Tim Wooldridge is doing everything in his power to convince 1st CD Democrats that they were right to select Chad Causey as their nominee instead of him. He’s still refusing to endorse Causey, and in an interview with Politico, he had kind words for Rick Crawford, the GOP nominee, calling him a “fine fella.” With Dems like these….
  • FL-06: Will Joe Barton be the next Joe Wilson? Or will he become… well, I just can’t think of a single Republican in recent memory who has been exorcised by the party for saying something outrageous. Which suggests to me that, in fact, GOP rank-and-file are probably cheering Barton for having the “guts” to say the quiet part loud. Indeed, Dave Weigel points to several Republicans who have been aping Barton’s “shakedown” language.) Anyhow, Barton’s doing a fundraiser for Cliff Stearns next week, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of draw Smokey Joe will be. Stearns doesn’t face any meaningful opposition in this 56% McCain district and has $2.5 million on hand, so I wonder why Barton is doing him the favor in the first place.
  • KY-03: Todd Lally, the GOP nominee in the 3rd CD, said that fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell told him to go twist when he asked for fundraising help. But not to worry – Rand Paul to the rescue! The libertarian freakazoid will apparently do two events with Lally this summer, something I’m sure will play well back in Louisville.
  • MI-03: Retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers endorsed businessman and former Kent County Commissioner Steve Heacock to succeed him, but pledged to support whomever wins the August 3rd GOP primary. Also in the race are state Sen. Bill Hardiman, state Rep. Justin Amash, attorney Louise Johnson, and Air Force vet Bob Overbeek. Amash recently dinged Heacock for copying and pasting position statements from other Republicans (like Paul Ryan and fellow Michigander Dave Camp) and posting them on his website without attribution. (Heacock has since taken them down.)
  • MI-07: After a local Republican club announced that Rudy Giuliani would be doing a fundraiser for ex-Rep. Tim Walberg, Brian Rooney (Walberg’s primary opponent) pounced, citing Giuliani’s squishiness on abortion. Rooney’s camp must have been pleased to make the hit, since Walberg had previously zinged Rooney for failing to show up at an anti-abortion group event a few months ago. In any case, Walberg is now saying no, no, no – there was never going to be a Rudy fundraiser in the first place (though his campaign manager said they’d like to do something in the future).
  • MO-07: Missouri Right to Life endorsed self-funding businessman Billy Long, citing unhappiness with the voting record of state Sens. Gary Nodler and Jack Goodman, the other two major candidates in the race to succeed Roy Blunt. This is a 63% McCain district, though, and we have no real candidate, so any cat fud here is for entertainment purposes only.
  • WATN: Former Rep. Don Cazayoux was unanimously confirmed as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana by the Senate yesterday. Here’s wishing Cazayoux – who is only 46 – a successful tenure and, hopefully, a return to electoral politics some day.
  • SSP Daily Digest: 4/15 (Morning Edition)

  • CT-Sen: It looks like Dick Blumenthal, who hasn’t run a competitive race in 20 years, has a lot of rust to shed on the campaign trail. An NYT article paints an unflattering portrait of Blumenthal’s political skills, describing his long-winded and legalistic answers to simple questions, and a flop in a debate against an unknown primary opponent. (Please tell me why Blumenthal’s campaign team consented to a debate against Merrick Alpert in the first place?) None of this is making me feel very good.
  • KY-Sen: Heh – from the king of fuck-yous comes a final hurrah: Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning is endorsing weirdo Rand Paul in the Republican primary to succeed him, snubbing establishment pick Trey Grayson. Considering that Bunning was shoved aside very much against his will to make way for Grayson, this last knife-twist makes sense.
  • NY-Sen-B: Here’s one clear reason why Kirsten Gillibrand has scared off legions of opponents, including George Pataki: She raked in another $1.6 million in the first quarter, bringing her total raised since she became a senator to $8.8 million. No word on her cash-on-hand yet, though.
  • OH-Sen: Dem Lee Fisher’s Q1 haul doesn’t look too pretty – just $550K, and with only $1.8 million on hand, and his warchest will undoubtedly shrink heading into his primary with SoS Jennifer Brunner (Fisher just went up with an introductory TV ad). For her part, Brunner hasn’t released her numbers yet. (GOPer Rob Portman has $7.6 million on hand.)
  • FL-Gov: Yowza. Republican rich guy Rick Scott, who appeared on the gubernatorial scene out of nowhere just days ago, says he’ll spend $1.5 million of his own money on a statewide TV and radio ad buy this week. Is he trying to Meg Whitman his way into contention?
  • PA-12: The NRCC has spent another $50K on media on behalf of Tim Burns. The D-Trip hasn’t laid out any cash here yet.
  • TN-08: We noted in a previous digest that Rob Kirkland has been filing independent expenditures on behalf of his brother, Ron Kirkland, who is in the midst of a competitive GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner. The two claim they are no longer communicating (if they did, they’d be violating the no-coordination rules required for IEs), but a local attorney (who is supporting another campaign, but won’t tell which) says he doesn’t buy it and has filed a complaint with the FEC.
  • WATN?: This is very good news: President Obama has nominated former Rep. Don Cazayoux to be U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. Here’s hoping he is swiftly confirmed. Cazayoux is only 46, so this post would put him in great position to stage a return to electoral politics some day, if he so chooses.
  • LA-Sen: Vitter In Danger of Getting Spanked (Electorally, That Is)

    Research 2000 for Daily Kos (3/2-4, registered voters):

    Charlie Melancon (D): 41

    David Vitter (R-inc): 48

    Don Cazayoux (D): 39

    David Vitter (R-inc): 48

    Charlie Melancon (D): 40

    Jay Dardenne (R): 49

    Don Cazayoux (D): 38

    Jay Dardenne (R): 50

    (MoE: ±4%)

    David Vitter (R-inc): 43

    Jay Dardenne (R): 32

    Stormy Daniels (R): 1

    (MoE: ±5%)

    David Vitter still seems to have an edge in his quest for re-election to his Louisiana senate seat, but it looks like he could have a rocky time of it in both the primary and the general. Vitter is polling below the 50% mark in each, and he has a lukewarm 49/42 favorable/unfavorable.

    Vitter performs about the same against both Democrats polled (Rep. Charlie Melancon and ex-Rep. Don Cazayoux, neither of whom seem to be moving in the direction of running). Neither Melancon nor Cazayoux seems well-known outside their respective districts, so this is basically a test of “Generic D.” (Names that get talked up more as the eventual candidate include ex-Rep. Chris John, who lost to Vitter in 2004, and former Louisiana Democratic Party head Jim Bernhard, not that either of them are well-known, either.)

    On the other hand, notice that Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne perfoms just as well as David Vitter, if slightly better. It may be that we’re seeing “Generic R” on the GOP side as well, and partisan lines are pretty hard-set (at least at this point, before people know much about the individual candidates). Dardenne is being talked up for the race by others, but publicly has been noncommital so far; out of all the favorables/unfavorables in this poll, Dardenne fares the best of anybody at 48/22.

    Despite Dardenne’s favorables, Vitter beats Dardenne in the primary — not surprising, given how conservative the Louisiana GOP base is, and that Dardenne is something of a moderate figure while Vitter has been charging to the right. However, there’s a wild card here that wasn’t polled: Family Research Council honcho Tony Perkins, who has made his interest in the race known. It would be interesting to see Perkins polled in this race, both whether the polarizing religious right talking head would fare worse than Vitter in the general, and his effect on the primary. It’s possible that in a 3-way primary, with Vitter and Perkins splitting the hard-right vote, Dardenne could sneak through with the support of what passes for moderates in Louisiana. (As you can see, the Stormy Daniels candidacy hasn’t aroused much interest yet, although I’m sure she won’t take that lying down.)

    Who do you wanna see coming back?

    Well, I don’t know who else to include in the tags, but this thread is about people who lost races–even if by landslides–who we think have real potential to do something awesome.

    Scott Kleeb: obviously, the netroots darling of this cycle.  With his coming so close in NE-03 last time, I think he should have run again there, rather than get in over his head running for the Senate seat against a non-crappy (and quite tough) candidate.  It seems that the fact that Adrian Smith sucked hasn’t yet resonated into netroots consciousness the way Bill Sali’s antics have, and thus it was passed around that Kleeb’s overperformance in NE-03 meant that he could similarly overperform in all of Nebraska.  But he seems like he’s got a future ahead of him, and I think we’d love to see him back.

    Gary Trauner: I think I’ve mentioned several times that he’s my favorite candidate, and not only that, he’s almost singlehandedly built a semblance of a Democratic bench in Wyoming (of all places!).  His name’s been tossed around as a gubernatorial candidate, since (to paraphrase someone) Wyomingites are more comfortable sending a Democrat to Cheyenne than to DC.

    Nancy Boyda: a nearly heart-breaking loss, from the person who I’ve heard got DCCC money in 2004 and lost badly, then refused it in 2006 (mostly) and won a surprise victory, and then refused it again in 2008 and lost narrowly.  I remember seeing one of her announcements in her capacity as a Representative, and she seemed like a quite hard-working person who really wanted to serve her constituents.

    Jon Powers: three words: Jack ****ing Davis.  Will we see more of him?  He can’t really high-tail back to New York immediately either, so this one is really in the air.

    Alice Kryzan: How good of a candidate was she?  Will we see more of her?  Would we like to?  I have little to no information about her.

    Chris Rothfuss: the Democratic Senate candidate against Mike Enzi of Wyoming, this college instructor with chemical engineering and diplomacy experiences was in WAYYYYYY over his head.  But as my mother mentioned, this guy’s got presidential-level potential, and I hope he gets somewhere.  I was very receptive to his appeal for more scientists in Congress, and while we just got one more recently (Bill Foster), there’s no question that we need more.

    Don Cazayoux: Unfortunately, Michael Jackson Wanted to Be Where Don Cazayoux Is, and made everyone not Happy by running as an independent and not Beating It.  This caused this One Day of Cazayoux’s Life, this past Tuesday, to be Bad, because the district’s African-American voters were torn by the question of Black or White, and caused a rare election-day Thriller for Republicans this year as Bill Cassidy succeeded in letting himself say “This Seat Is Mine”.  So Farewell Our Summer Love, LA-06, but let’s not Cry over it, because Cazayoux might Wanna Be Startin’ Something since he’s still got quite a bit of potential.  Will You Be There for him?

    Nick Lampson: A comeback kid swept back out of office, by extremely unfriendly turf that nearly elected Snelly Dracula-Gibbr Shelly Sekula-Gibbs in write-in ballots.  Will he be back for another round once we can tip Texas’s districting a bit closer back to sanity?

    Larry LaRocco: does this guy have anything else he can do?  Will he wait until Risch really screws it up?  Or can he do something else?  Or is Walt Minnick the way of the future, with apologies to poor LaRocco who worked his butt off on one of the best Senate campaigns this year?  (Speaking of which, what’s Larry Grant doing?)

    Larry Craig: Hmm, I think we’d love to have him around!  (What about other Idahoans named Larry?  Is there something that really curses them to political problems?)

    Debbie Cook: Seems like a quite awesome candidate…can we get her to run again in 2010?

    Dan Seals: Will he be running again?  Or is third time seriously not going to be the charm?  What else could he do?

    Elwyn Tinklenberg: How about our favorite light rail champion?  How about another run against the House Anti-American Activities Committee’s lone member?

    Tom Allen: I’ve heard that he kept the campaign relatively placid in order to position himself to run for governor.

    Rick Noriega: Rumor has it that Hutchison wants the governorship.  Is Noriega our man for the job?  He ran a decent (though, according to people around here it seems, not quite stellar) campaign even though it was a serious uphill battle.

    Who else do we want to see again?

    LA-06: Can YOU Outraise Dick Cheney?

    Goal ThermometerOn Friday, we learned that Dick Cheney will be coming to Baton Rouge to raise money for Republican hopeful Bill Cassidy on Monday.

    Can YOU raise more money than Dick Cheney? Can you help stand up for Don Cazayoux? Don stood with us on the bailout, voting NAY both times the House voted, on Monday and Friday.

    Don’s opponent, Bill Cassidy is sitting on a war chest of $565,000, which is certain to grow after Dick comes through for him. And the lies emanating from the Cassidy campaign have already started.

    Can YOU raise more money than Dick Cheney? Can you stand up for Don, who voted to increase our investment in alternative energy sources? Can you stand up for a Congressman that gets it, rather than one who believes that running against earmarks will save the economy?

    LA-06: Who’s Bankrolling Michael Jackson?

    No, not the King of Pop. I’m talking about state Rep. Michael Jackson (“D”), who’s running as an Independent with an official campaign strategy of taking as many African-American votes away from Democratic Rep. Don Cazayoux as possible. Jackson insists that such a strategy will allow him to sneak up the middle and win in November, but at only 9% in the polls, such a scenario is beyond dubious.

    As of August 17th, Jackson only had $12,600 on-hand. That’s peanuts. But it’s still worth asking: who’s giving him the peanuts?

    Well, a significant share ($6,900) came from developer Lane Grigsby, a man who spent tens of thousands of dollars on his own attack ads and mailers against Cazayoux in May, and from two of his relatives. Grigsby’s motive for bankrolling Jackson is pretty sickeningly transparent — he doesn’t want Jackson to win; he just wants to satisfy his desire to see Cazayoux lose.

    That sort of thing is messed up, but it’s not as messed up as this contribution that Jackson collected on July 26th. Yes, you read that correctly: Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) sent Jackson a $500 check from his campaign committee two weeks after he entered the race as an independent. Let me repeat this: G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat in the House of Representatives, donated $500 to help defeat Don Cazayoux, a fellow Democrat.

    Pardon me for saying so, but that’s pretty fucked up.

    LA-06: Cazayoux Fighting Back

    Well, we’ve seen some race-baiting and outright lies by Republican Party operatives in ads over the last two days.  I guess they thought that since Don is a Democrat, he would shrivel up into the fetal position, and whine.  Think again.  It’s not 2004, but 2008.  Democrats today stand up and fight what we all know is right:

    Help keep this ad on the air right up until Election Day (May 3rd) by donating here.

    LA-06: DCCC Files 2nd Complaint Against the NRCC and Freedoms Watch

    Hat Tip to The Stakeholder AND cross-posted at Daily Kingfish.

    The DCCC has filed a second complaint against the NRCC and Freedoms Watch for:

    • Running a political attack ad that directly and illegally advocates the defeat of a Democratic candidate AND
    • failing to disclose the names of the donors funding that ad

    They’ve even made a video outlining their case:

    LA-06: Republican Student Leader Loses Post over Support of Cazayoux

    It seems that everyone is supporting Don Cazayoux in the contest for Louisiana's sixth congressional district– even the incoming president of the College Republicans at Louisiana State University.  Smoot Carter, a junior at LSU, announced his support for Cazayoux at a news conference last Thursday, prompting Louisiana Federation of College Republicans Chairman Rudy Perciful Jr. to ask Carter to resign.  Republican candidate Woody Jenkins' past includes support for the notorious bigot David Duke, a controversy that appears to have influenced Carter's decision. 

    “I decided to support Don Cazayoux, and felt that the 1,600 students I represent in the College Republicans could not stand for anti-Semitism,” Carter said.

    Sounds like more good news for our side! 

    LA-06: It’s Crunch Time

    Aight, y’all … in less than month, voters will head back to the polls and decide which candidate best represents Louisiana values. Don Cazayoux’s campaign is putting the final touches on their sprint to the finish and they need our help to put them over the top. It’s time to get their message out and make sure all the voters know that Don will stand up for Louisiana families.

    Don has promised to stand up for Louisiana’s middle class families by fighting to provide access to high quality, affordable health care, while at the same time making it easier for small businesses to provide health care to their employees. He’s also committed to keeping the lower tax rates for middle class families, so they can keep what they earn, and reinvest it right here in Louisiana.

    CQ Quarterly called this race a “No Clear Favorite,” which is astonishing, as this district has been represented by a Republican for the last 30+ years. Even the Cook Political Report called a Cazayoux-Jenkins matchup “a perfect storm for Democrats”:

    Insiders on both sides agree the nomination of the current favorites – moderate Democratic state Rep. Don Cazayoux and GOP newspaper publisher Woody Jenkins – would present something akin to a perfect storm for Democrats in the May 3rd special general election.

    Cazayoux, much like neighboring Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon did in 2004, could very plausibly take advantage of GOP disunity and use his rural background to cut into the heart of the district’s GOP base.

    Folks, we can win this one. But we need to step it up. You can donate, or volunteer. In order to win this one, we all have to step it up.

    Let’s set a goal of $10,000 from the netroots. Right now, Don’s raised $60,810 from 110 donors over at ActBlue.

    Let’s make it $70,810 in 7 days. I know we can do that.