Foley, who owns a 100-foot yacht, an airplane and a waterfront Greenwich estate, laughed and stammered when asked how could much he afford to spend.
“Well, I, …,” Foley began, then he paused and said, “Could I afford to match him? Yeah.”
People have always said – those words, ‘too conservative,’ is fairly relative. I’m sure that they probably said that about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. And truly, when you look at the Constitution and our founding fathers and their writings, the things that made this country great, you might draw those conclusions: That they were conservative. They were fiscally conservative and socially conservative.
Wait, we’ve got some more. Back in 1993, Angle (then a member of the Independent American Party) sent a letter to Harry Reid regarding the Clinton budget. Have a look-see:
I and the majority of my fellow Nevadans are sickened by the passage of the recent huge tax increase bill. With YOUR help the quality of life in America has taken another step into the pit of economic collapse. Clinton’s mother-of-all tax packages is the world’s biggest tax increase ever. It increases government spending by $300 billion, increases the national debt by $1 trillion, it is retroactive to January 1, and probably the most offensive, it schedules 80 percent of the promised spending cuts to take place after the next Presidential election. What a joke, and not a very funny one at that! …
The answer to this mess is clear. STOP FUNDING THE WASTEFUL SOCIAL AND ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS. MAKE THE DIFFICULT CHOICES THAT WILL KEEP OUR COUNTRY STRONG. THAT’S WHAT YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO!
With her mastery of ALL CAPS, Angle’d make a great comment forum troll.
Meanwhile, in the GOP primary, presumed front-runner Jonathan Paton is airing an ad attacking rival Jesse Kelly for alleged stimulus hypocrisy.
[If Renacci] wants to run for the zoning commission in New York City, I’ll be more than happy to pay his filing fee.
AND I WILL FUCKING RUN AGAINST HIM! If only it were actually an elected position. (Eh, it’s probably a good thing that it isn’t.)
“Let me start by saying, I cannot imagine wanting the government to be able to tell me and my faith community where we can build a house of worship on private property,” Perriello said. “… I have opinions on whether it’s a good idea or not, but … compared to the importance of solving the economy right now… this is a distraction of what our biggest priorities should be.”
The crowd overwhelmingly applauded his answer.
A lot of Democrats could learn a lot from this man.
Have any predictions for tonight? Please share with us in the comments.
Polls close at 7 pm ET.
• CT-Sen: Quinnipiac (7/8, registered voters, likely Republican primary voters, 6/2-8 in parentheses):
Richard Blumenthal (D): 54 (55)
Linda McMahon (R): 37 (35)
Undecided: 7 (8)
Richard Blumenthal (D): 55 (54)
Rob Simmons (R): 35 (33)
Undecided: 9 (10)
Richard Blumenthal (D): 58 (56)
Peter Schiff (R): 31 (29)
Undecided: 9 (12)
Linda McMahon (R): 52
Rob Simmons (R): 25
Peter Schiff (R) : 13
Not much change in the Nutmeg State. And it looks like Rob Simmons might have some pretty serious disincentive to not get back into the Senate primary again, as he briefly threatened.
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio’s $4.4 million haul blew a lot of people away, but what’s equally impressive (and didn’t get any coverage at the time) is his burn rate. It turns out that, even though he no longer has a primary to worry about, he spent almost all ($4 million) of what he made.
• NY-Sen-B: You might remember that there was some uncertainty as to whether Joe DioGuardi, who has the Conservative line for November, would even make it into the Republican primary thanks to his poor finish at the GOP state convention. Well, after gathering enough signatures, he has now successfully petitioned his way onto the primary ballot. He has consistently led polls of the GOP primary, although generally in the low 20s. (H/t andyroo312.)
• WI-Sen, WI-Gov (pdf): Apparently, voters in Wisconsin are dimly aware that something called an “election” may be transpiring at some point in the future, as more than half of all those surveyed not having decided yet on a Senate pick, at least according to Univ. of Wisconsin’s Badger Poll. The likely voters in Wisconsin are currently going for Russ Feingold at 33 and Ron Johnson 28. RVs are Feingold 27, Johnson 21, and Wisconsin residents are Feingold 25, Johnson 19. In a remarkable contrast with Rasmussen (who’d have thunk?), nobody knows who Johnson is: he has 12/8 favorables among likely voters. They also look at the even-more-disinteresting gubernatorial race, finding Tom Barrett losing to both Scott Walker and Mark Neumann by the same margin of 32-15 (!). (UPDATE (DavidNYC): Here’s another good reason to mistrust this poll: It was in the field for a month. What the…?)
• WV-Sen: The West Virginia legislature is still busy tinkering with their state’s election laws today as part of the preparations for the special election to succeed Robert Byrd. Perhaps most significantly, it sounds like they are planning special primaries (tentatively set for fast-approaching Aug. 28), rather than a jungle-style election in November. They threw out a Joe Manchin proposal, however, that would scrap the special primaries if only one candidate from each party decided to run.
• AZ-Gov: We reported yesterday on the Rocky Mountain Poll (by the ominously-named Behavior Research Council), and it looks like they also have general election numbers. GOP incumbent Jan Brewer leads Democratic AG Terry Goddard 45-25, a surprisingly large margin since most non-Rasmussen pollsters have seen a close race (although that was mostly before SB 1070-mania hit).
• CO-Gov: SurveyUSA, on behalf of the Denver Post, is out with a snap poll on the subject of Scott McInnis, post-plagiarism-scandal. It turns out that this scandal does have a lot of resonance — there’s a lot less semantic ambiguity here than with Richard Blumenthal or even Mark Kirk… either you wrote it or you didn’t (and then tried to pass the blame on an octogenarian ally). 20% of Republicans now say they’ll vote for someone else, but 39% say they’ll still vote for him. Looking ahead to a replacement, the poll also asked who “the strongest Republican” would be, and the number one pick was… you guessed it… Tom Tancredo, at 29. McInnis followed at 19, with primary opponent Dan Maes at 13. Jane Norton (a possible switchover, given her dwindling Senate campaign) was at 11, former candidate and state Sen. Josh Penry was at 7, and Univ. of Colorado Bruce Benson was at 3. (In other polling news, note that even Rasmussen can’t find a way to polish this turd, as seen in a poll (see below) taken last night.)
If you’re wondering who Benson is, he’s now the subject of perhaps the most speculation as the GOP’s preferred fill-in. Another name getting tossed around is long-ago former Sen. Hank Brown, who more recently served as president of Univ. of Northern Colorado. The Post also was apparently set to do its regularly-scheduled endorsement for the primary this week, and they said that prior to this week, they would have endorsed McInnis; now they can’t endorse anyone at all (which is quite the slap at Maes).
• GA-Gov: Not that he seems to need a lot of help at this point, but Roy Barnes is getting the endorsement of Atlanta’s new mayor, Kasim Reed. Turnabout’s fair play, as Barnes gave Reed a late endorsement in last year’s election.
• NY-Gov: Well, this race is effectively over: Andrew Cuomo reported raising $9.2 million in the last six months for a total of $23.6 million CoH. (You think he could redirect a little of that to the DGA? Of the nation’s 10 most populous states, 9 have gubernatorial races, and of those 9, New York is the lone one that isn’t highly competitive.) Rick Lazio, by comparison, raised $1.4 million in that period, and has $689K CoH, which might make him competitive in an upstate House race. GOP primary rival Carl Paladino reported raising $1.7 million during the same period… but $1.6 million of that came out of his own pocket.
• TN-Gov: We normally don’t report on Mitt Romney’s many endorsements, as he seems to hand out low-four-figures sums of money to any Republican with a pulse who survived a primary. Here’s one that’s a big race though and where the decisive primary hasn’t happened yet. Romney backed Bill Haslam, the establishment and most moderate of the three GOPers in the primary.
• TX-Gov: With full information available from Rick Perry, we know now that Bill White won each fundraising category. White outraised Perry $7.4 million to $7.1 million in the post-primary period, and White leads in CoH by a $9 million to $5.8 million margin. And here’s an interesting tidbit: the White campaign says it’s raised more than $1 million from former Kay Bailey Hutchison contributors.
• CO-04: EMILY’s List is weighing into the 4th with a big independent expenditure. They’ll be spending $300K on TV advertising on behalf of Betsy Markey over the next three weeks; the ad’s a negative spot hitting Corey Gardner, including on health care issues.
• FL-17: The Miami Herald has some helpful background on the largely-forgotten Democratic primary in the open seat 17th, which is where all the action will be in this dark-blue district. (This seat, long held by the Meek family, hasn’t had a competitive primary in decades.) They look at state Sen. Frederica Wilson as frontrunner, and they cite an AFL-CIO poll from March (the first I’ve seen of it) that had Wilson at 34, with 12 for Miami Gardens mayor Shirley Gibson and 10 for North Miami city councilor Scott Galvin. The race’s rapidly emerging wild card, though, seems to be physician Rudolph Moise, by virtue of having over $900K CoH, at least six times what anyone else has. Some of that is self-funded, but he seems to have raised the most from other donors too, and he plans to start an advertising blitz soon.
• GA-12: Rep. John Barrow’s been burning cash fast lately: he raised $204K last quarter but spent $374K in that period, leaving him with $655 CoH. But that’s probably because his big challenge this year is in the Democratic primary (next week), not in the general, where his possible GOP opponents are all pretty weak. Of course, Regina Thomas doesn’t present that much challenge to him, either, if her financials are any indication: she raised $2,400 last quarter and had $6,600 CoH. But hey, at least she managed to file her FEC report on time this year.
• ID-01: Here’s another way that Raul Labrador is an unconventional candidate: he thinks that following that unspoken rule that you release your internal polls only when they have good news for you is for pussies. He’s out with an internal, by Moore Insight, that gives Rep. Walt Minnick — in theory one of the most vulnerable freshmen by virtue of his district and narrow win last time — a 37-27 lead. Minnick’s re-elect is only 38/40, though, which I guess is worth something. Reid Wilson also has more detail on Labrador today, slamming Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to reach out to citizens for help on creating a new Contract with America-type-thing. (The democracy-hating Labrador, no fan of the 17th Amendment either, thinks House leadership should impose the agenda top-down.) Also, were you wondering why Labrador didn’t loudly tout his fundraising haul from last quarter? Well, that’s because he raised $101K in the post-primary period of May and June, and is sitting on all of $69K CoH with $30K debt.
• MI-01: Is this the smallest sample size ever? Another Inside Michigan Politics poll of a House primary is out, this time in the Republican field in the open seat race to replace Bart Stupak, and it’s got a whopping n of 140. State Sen. Jason Allen and physician Dan Benishek (who was the lone GOPer before Stupak’s retirement announcement) are tied at the top with 20 each. There’s also a handful of no-names polling in the low single digits, one of whom, Linda Goldthorpe, just dropped out yesterday. (H/t TheGradyDem.)
• Caucuses: Well, it was only a matter of time before this happened. Michele Bachmann is taking out the paperwork to create a whole new caucus in the House: the Tea Party Caucus. Hmmm… I thought that already existed, and it was called the RSC.
• NY-St. Sen.: Here’s an interesting piece on the fundraising and infrastructure collapse behind the scenes for the GOP in the New York State Senate (who may, via GOP-held open seats, actually manage to lose further seats in November despite the nature of the year). Case in point: the race to replace retiring Senator Vincent Leibell in the Hudson Valley, where there’s cat fud a-flyin’ between establishment pick Mary Beth Murphy and teabaggish Greg Ball (who you may recall from briefly making a splashy entry in the NY-19 field).
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 45%, Scott McInnis (R) 43%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 36%, Mike Castle (R) 47%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 39%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 41%
• GA-Gov (D): Roy Barnes (D) 59%, Thurbert Baker (D) 16%, Dubose Porter 5%, David Poythress 5%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 38%, Tom Corbett (R) 48%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D) 45%, Dino Rossi (R) 48%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D) 45%, Clint Didier (R) 48%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D) 46%, Paul Akers (R) 41%
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov: Leftover from last Friday is the most recent Quinnipiac poll of Connecticut. Without much changing from their previous poll other than some within-the-margin-of-error gains for Linda McMahon, the poll is very digestible. Richard Blumenthal leads McMahon 55-35 (instead of 56-31 in late May), leads Rob Simmons (who has “suspended” his campaign) 54-33, and leads Peter Schiff 56-29. McMahon leads Simmons and Schiff in the GOP primary 45-29-13. They also included gubernatorial primaries (but not the general): for the Dems, Ned Lamont leads Dan Malloy 39-22, while for the GOP Tom Foley leads Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel 39-12-2.
• IL-Sen: With a growing sense that many Illinois residents would prefer to vote for neither Mark Kirk nor Alexi Giannoulias, a new right-winger with money to burn looks like he’s daring to go where Patrick Hughes didn’t. Mike Niecestro says he’s a “disgusted Republican who has had it with the people the party throws at us,” and differentiates himself from Kirk on cap-and-trade and immigration. Just another random teabagger who’s all talk and no $$$? No, Niecestro says he already has the 25,000 signatures he needs to qualify before the June 21 deadline, and also has $1 million of his own money ready to go, along with another $100K he’s raised elsewhere. Even if he winds up pulling in only a few percent off Kirk’s right flank, that could be what that Giannoulias needs to squeak by in what otherwise looks to be a close race.
• NV-Sen: Jon Scott Ashjian is turning into something of the white whale for the Nevada GOP. Even though his candidate lost the primary, Dan Burdish, former political director for Sue Lowden, is still filing complaints with the SoS’s office to get Ashjian off the ballot. It doesn’t look like it’ll go anywhere, though; Ashjian himself has qualified for the ballot, easily meeting the low 250-vote signature hurdle even though the “Tea Party” didn’t meet the signature requirements for its own ballot line. Of course, competing right-wing third party the Independent American Party is still trying to get Ashjian off the ballot too, and now the teabaggers in general have turned on Ashjian (who never really had much support from them in the first place) since one of their own, Sharron Angle, managed to snare the GOP nod.
• NY-Sen, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Siena has yet another poll out of both the Senate races in New York. There’s still very little of interest to report. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Bruce Blakeman 48-27, David Malpass 49-24, and Joe DioGuardi 47-29. DioGuardi leads the GOP primary over Blakeman and Malpass, 21-7-3. Chuck Schumer leads Jay Townsend 60-26 and Gary Berntsen 59-27. Townsend leads Berntsen in the other GOP primary, 20-15.
• SC-Sen: Vic Rawl, who lost the Democratic nomination to the baffling Alvin Greene last week, is now formally contesting the results of the election. The state party’s 92-member executive committee will meet on Thursday to hear evidence, but it’s unlikely they’ll do anything, as there’s no precedent in South Carolina for throwing out a primary election’s results.
• WA-Sen: The state GOP convention was over the weekend in Washington; unlike, say, Utah or Connecticut, there’s nothing at stake here, but the general sense in terms of signage, applause, and the like, was that the party’s activist base is pretty jazzed about Sarah Palin-endorsed Clint Didier, and much more tepid about Dino Rossi than they were in 2008, when he was a more apt vehicle for their resentments. A straw poll at a Patriot Coalition event associated with the convention (a subset of a subset of the most hardcore base, so take with much salt) gave Didier a 99-12 edge over Rossi.
• AL-Gov: Artur Davis isn’t giving up on being a douchebag just because he lost the gubernatorial nomination; he said he isn’t sure how Ron Sparks is going to be able to win the uphill fight in the general election, and that Sparks will need something “broader than bingo” to win. Also, this is a very strange time to be making any major staff changes, let alone plunging into what Reid Wilson is describing as “turmoil:” fresh off the triumph of (probably) making the GOP gubernatorial runoff against Bradley Byrne, Robert Bentley just sacked his campaign manager, communications director, and new media director. Bentley is bringing in members of the Mike Huckabee camp to take over (with Huckabee son-in-law Bryan Sanders the new CM), but it seems like his small-time help didn’t get demoted, but instead rudely shown the door by the new bosses.
• CO-Gov: Businessman Joe
Gesundheit Schadenfreude Weltschmerz Gschwendtner has pulled the plug on his Republican gubernatorial bid, without endorsing anybody else. He wasn’t able to round up enough signatures to qualify, which is odd, considering that people only need to be able to spell their own names, not his.
• FL-Gov: With his once-clear path to the GOP nomination suddenly looking to be on life support, Bill McCollum got some help from a key GOP establishment figure: Mitt Romney. Romney will appear at two Sunshine State fundraisers today, handing out endorsements like candy to a number of other Republicans in better position too.
• IA-Gov: You may recall that, in the wake of Terry Branstad’s closer-than-expected victory over social conservative Bob vander Plaats, we lamented that the Dems didn’t try any Gray Davis-style meddling in the primary to get the more-conservative, less-electable guy over the top. Well, it turns out they did try a little of that; the Dems launched an independent expenditure committee called “Iowans for Responsible Government” that ran ads on Fox News and sent direct mail attacking Branstad for tax hikes and putting his face on a liberal Mt. Rushmore next to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. While it didn’t seal the deal, it may have contributed to the underwhelming showing by Branstad.
• MI-Gov: AG Mike Cox won the endorsement of Michigan Right to Life, a big endorsement that will help him as he fights for the social conservative vote in the GOP primary with Rep. Peter Hoekstra. Cox might be the Republican we most want to face out of the GOP field; Rasmussen joined the crowd today in finding that he polls the weakest against either Democrat.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Siena also polled the gubernatorial race; again, nothing noteworthy here, other than Andrew Cuomo having lost a few points since last time. Cuomo leads Rick Lazio 60-24, and leads Carl Paladino 65-23. Party-endorsed Lazio leads Paladino (assuming he can successfully petition onto the ballot) in the GOP primary, 45-18. Meanwhile, the race may get slightly more interesting as gadflyish New York city councilor Charles Barron seems to be moving forward on his quixotic plans to create a whole third party (New York Freedom Democratic Party) for a challenge to the left, mostly to protest Cuomo putting together an all-white ticket.
• OH-Gov: Incumbent Dem Ted Strickland won the NRA endorsement today, instead of GOP ex-Rep. John Kasich. That may seem a surprise, but Strickland has a lifetime “A” rating from the NRA while Kasich was always an unusually anti-gun Republican.
• GA-12: The Hill details how Rep. John Barrow’s fundraising from fellow Dems has fallen way off this year, perhaps an indication of blowback over his “no” vote on HCR. He’s only gotten money directly from five Democratic colleagues and five others’ PACs, compared with 53 in 2006 and 22 in 2008. (An alternative explanation, of course, is that he’s in no major trouble in the general election this year and that money may be more needed elsewhere.) Barrow still has the AFL-CIO’s endorsement, and about a 20:1 CoH advantage over primary challenger Regina Thomas. Speaking of one of his minor GOP opponents, Carl Smith, the fire chief of the small town of Thunderbolt, has a less-appealing resume now that he just got canned by his city council, which opted to stop paying for a fire department and return to an all-volunteer operation.
• IN-03: The Indiana state GOP met over the weekend to pick a nominee to fill the spot left behind by the resigned Rep. Mark Souder. It wasn’t much of a surprise: they picked state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, an up-and-comer who gave Dan Coats a challenge in the GOP Senate primary. Stutzman won on the second ballot, with state Rep. Randy Borror a distant second. It was a double pick: Stutzman will be replace Souder as the GOP candidate in the general election, and also will be the GOP’s candidate in the special election that will also be held on Election Day in November (which, assuming he wins, will allow him to serve in the post-election lame duck session).
• NC-02: Rep. Bob Etheridge, usually one of the more low-key members of the House, had an embarrassing flip-out in front of two GOP trackers/college students asking him if he “supported the Obama agenda,” grabbing one of them and his camera. Etheridge subsequently issued a statement apologizing.
• Polltopia: PPP is soliciting opinions on where the poll next, both multiple-choice and open-ended. Let ’em know what burning questions you’d like answered.
• AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov: The signature by Gov. Jan Brewer (which may have helped her survive the GOP primary, but may also hurt her in the general) of Arizona’s new aggressive anti-immigrant law was the key motivating factor in a new Democratic candidate getting into the Senate race: civil rights activist Randy Parraz. He’ll face Rodney Glassman in the Democratic primary. (Why not the, y’know, Arizona Governor’s race instead? Apparently Glassman looks like easier primary opposition than AG Terry Goddard in the governor’s race… and at any rate, John McCain and J.D. Hayworth have both been beating the war drums on immigration.) And here’s an interesting take on the immigration law: ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo just came out in opposition to it, saying, “I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like should be pulled over.” If even Tom Tancredo thinks you’re doing it wrong… you’re probably doing it wrong.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon’s campaign doesn’t seem to be doing anything illegal here, but there’s still no good way to spin this: the campaign has been offering students an extra $5 bounty (on top of a flat hourly rate) for every Republican registered during a Univ. of Connecticut voter registration drive. It’s a practice that the DOJ has frowned upon.
• IL-Sen: In the wake of the seizure of the Broadway Bank, Alexi Giannoulias wasted no time in getting an explanatory ad on the air, laying it out in easy-to-grasp points: one, he hadn’t worked there in years and when he left it was fine, two, the broader economy took the bank down, and three, speaking of that economic downturn, don’t vote for unemployment-benefits-denying Mark Kirk.
• MD-Sen: OK, maybe all those Barb Mikulski retirement rumors will finally go away. She just had her campaign’s official kickoff event on Friday. She has 24 times the cash of her likeliest Republican opponent, Queen Anne’s Co. Commissioner Eric Wargotz.
• NC-Sen: Elon University’s out with another poll; they still aren’t doing head-to-heads, but have some assorted other numbers that Richard Burr would probably rather not see. His approvals (among flat-out everybody, not even RVs) are 28/37 and 26% say he “deserves re-election” with 44% saying “time for a new person.”
• NV-Sen: A poll for the Nevada News Bureau performed by PMI finds Sue Lowden leading the pack in the GOP Senate primary, at 41. Danny Tarkanian is at 24, Sharron Angle is at 17, and “someone else” is at 18. The poll was taken on the 22nd, shortly after Lowden laid out her support for trading chickens in exchange for poultices and tinctures.
• NY-Sen-B: Long-time Rockland Co. Exec Scott Vanderhoef has decided not to pursue a run against Kirsten Gillibrand, after having spent a month in exploratory mode, saying the money’s just not there. Vanderhoef probably found he didn’t have the name rec outside of Rockland Co. to have an advantage against the odds and ends in the GOP primary, let alone in the general.
• UT-Sen: Another poll of GOP delegates for the convention in Utah isn’t as bad for Bob Bennett as the one leaked to Dave Weigel last week, but it still looks pretty bad for him. Mike Lee leads the way among first-choice votes at 31%, followed by Bennett at 22% (and then Tim Bridgewater at 17% and Cherilyn Eagar at 10%). 41% of delegates say they will “absolutely not” vote for Bennett, so even if Bennett picks up the other 59%, he still can’t nail down the nomination at the convention (as there’s a 60% threshold).
• WA-Sen: Everyone seemed a little taken by surprise by Friday’s SurveyUSA poll of the Washington Senate race, which has non-candidate (for now) Dino Rossi leading Patty Murray 52-42 (and leading the various no-name GOPers actively in the race by 2 or 3 points). Even the Rossi camp is downplaying it, saying that their internal polling places Murray in the lead – which is an odd strategy for someone who got gifted an outlying poll, unless either he’s trying to rope-a-dope Murray into complacency or privately cursing the results saying “aw crap, now I have to run for Senate.” One of the no-namers, motivational speaker Chris Widener, got out of the race on Friday, which may also portend a Rossi run (or just having taken a stark look at his own finances). Murray’s camp may have gotten advance warning of the SurveyUSA poll, as on Friday they leaked their own internal from Fairbank Maslin giving Murray a 49-41 lead over Rossi, very consistent with R2K’s recent poll.
• IL-Gov: Oh, goody. Scott Lee Cohen, having bailed out/gotten booted off the Democratic ticket as Lt. Governor nominee after his criminal record became news, still has a political issue that needs scratching. He’s announcing that he’s going to run an independent bid for Governor instead. Considering how thoroughly his dirty laundry has been aired, he seems likely to poll in the low single digits; I have no idea whether his candidacy (which now appeals mostly only to the steroid-addled pawnbroker demographic) is more harmful to Pat Quinn, Bill Brady, or just the world’s general sense of decency.
• MI-Gov: When I heard a few weeks ago that Geoffrey Fieger (the trial lawyer best known for defending Jack Kevorkian and second-best-known for his awful turn as 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee) was pondering another gubernatorial run, I laughed it off. The new EPIC-MRA poll makes it seem a bit more serious, though… which, in turn, if he won the primary, would pretty much foreclose any Democratic shot at winning the general. They only polled the Democratic primary and find, thanks to name rec within the Detroit metro area, Fieger is actually comfortably in the lead at 28%. Andy Dillon is at 20, Virg Bernero is at 13, Alma Wheeler Smith is at 8, other is at 2, and 29% are undecided. Fieger hasn’t moved much to act on his interest, though, and has only three weeks to collect the necessary 15,000 signatures to qualify.
• FL-24: Karen Diebel earned the backing of Tom Tancredo in the GOP primary in the 24th, focusing on (with Tancredo, what else?) in the immigration issue. It seems less of a pro-Diebel endorsement than more of a slap against her GOP opponent Craig Miller, though; in a 2006 Miami Herald op-ed, Miller (who was at that point chairman of the National Restaurant Association) came out pretty solidly on the “cheap labor” side of the Republican split on immigration.
• GA-12: Democrats looking for an upgrade from ex-state Sen. Regina Thomas (who raised $10K last quarter and has $4K CoH) for a primary challenge to recalcitrant Blue Dog John Barrow are going to have to keep looking. State Sen. Lester Jackson decided to take a pass, and will stay neutral in the Barrow/Thomas race. He’ll focus instead of supporting the Senate bid of Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond (another rumored, but no-longer, challenger to Barrow).
• LA-03: Bobby Jindal just appointed Scott Angelle, the state’s Sec. of Natural Resources, to the vacant position of Lt. Governor. Why is this filed under LA-03? Angelle was rumored to be one of the top contenders to run for the 3rd (although it was unclear whether he was going to do it as a Dem or a GOPer… Angelle was a Dem in the legislature, but appointed by GOP Gov. Jindal to his cabinet). With Angelle saying he’ll return to his job at Natural Resources after a permanent replacement is elected, that means that former state House speaker Hunt Downer is pretty well locked-in as the GOP nominee in the 3rd, and the Dems aren’t likely to get an upgrade from attorney Ravi Sangisetty, making this open seat a very likely GOP pickup. (H/t GOPVOTER.)
• NY-01: Randy Altschuler got the endorsement from the Suffolk County Conservative Party on Friday, which guarantees him a place on the ballot if he wants it. He’ll still need to overcome Chris Cox and George Demos in the competitive three-way moneybags duel in the GOP primary (where the county GOP recently switched its endorsement from Altschuler to Cox). It’s unclear whether he’d keep the Conservative line if he lost the GOP primary, as that would create a NY-23 type situation and pretty much assure Rep. Tim Bishop’s safety. (Unlike the patchwork of counties in the upstate districts, all of the 1st is within Suffolk.)
• NY-29: The GOP would really, really like to have a special election in the 29th, despite David Paterson’s apparent intention to play out the clock until November (and prevent a possible GOP pickup, given the difference in strength between the likely candidates). Several GOP party chairs within the district are preparing a lawsuit that would force a special election; the state GOP plans to assist.
• OH-02: Bad news for Jean Schmidt: although she got the Hamilton Co. GOP’s endorsement in the previous two elections, she’s going to have to proceed without it this year. They’re staying neutral as she faces several primary challengers, most notably Warren Co. Commissioner Mike Kilburn.
• SC-04: The dean at Bob Jones University (the crown jewel in the buckle of the Bible Belt, in Greenville in the 4th), Robert Taylor, has announced he’s supporting Trey Gowdy in the GOP primary instead of incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis. The occasionally-moderate Inglis (more stylistically than in actual voting substance, though) faces at least three right-wing competitors in the primary, but could run into trouble if he doesn’t clear 50% and gets forced into a runoff with one of them.
• WV-01: There are dueling internal polls in the 1st, in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Mike Oliverio was first to release a poll, saying he led Rep. Alan Mollohan 41-33. (One caveat: Oliverio’s pollster is Orion Strategies, owned by Curtis Wilkerson, who also just happens to be Oliverio’s campaign manager.) Mollohan struck back with a poll from Frederick Polls giving him a 45-36 lead over Oliverio, with the primary fast approaching on May 11.
• MA-AG: Despite it now being widely known that Martha Coakley has a glass jaw (or what’s something more fragile than glass? what do they make those fake bottles out of that they use in bar fights in the movies?), she may actually get re-elected Attorney General without facing any GOP opposition whatsoever this fall. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the GOP’s entire bench in Massachusetts just got elected to the Senate.
• Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting look at the changes in registration in Pennsylvania over the last decade. The Democratic Party grew substantially in the state’s east, gaining 550,000 registrations up to 4.3 million voters. The GOP shrank by 103,000 registrations down to 3.1 million votes. The Dems lost 20,000 voters in the state’s southwest, though; in 2002, 27.8% of the state’s Dems were in the Pittsburgh area, but that’s down to 23.8%. Contrast that with the Philadelphia metro area: in its five counties, the number of Republicans dropped 13.5%, from a million to 873,000.
• Redistricting: Here’s the last redistricting resource you’ll ever need: a handy map showing congressional and legislative redistricting procedures for all 50 states. There’s also an accompanying document (pdf) which goes into remarkable detail about the various processes, and even contains an appendix of some of the ugliest current gerrymanders.
• AR-Sen: A labor-funded group, the Citizens for Strength and Security, is up with a six-digit ad buy in the Arkansas Senate race, attacking putative GOP frontrunner state Sen. Gilbert Baker for his pork-hungry ways. There’s some speculation, though, that the real target of the ad isn’t Baker but rather Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who’s publicly mulling a primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln; observers wonder if this is a sign that the SEIU and allies are firing a shot across Halter’s bow, showing that they have Lincoln’s back (at least monetarily) in exchange for a cloture vote on health care reform for her. With the Arkansas Democratic Party also laying out a lot of money on a pro-Lincoln TV ad, there does seem to be something concerted going on.
• CT-Sen: Linda McMahon has caught a lot of attention with her splashy spending on the Senate race, blowing through $2 million in three months. Her first campaign finance report, though, is creating a whole lot of question marks. A significant amount of that money isn’t itemized (as campaign finance laws would require), but rather listed as in-kind contributions from McMahon herself; this goes well beyond the usual food and travel stuff that gets listed as in-kind, to include legal fee, survey research, and technology. On the Dem side, poor Chris Dodd won’t be able to attend his own Biden-headlined fundraiser because of the Senate’s working weekend; his wife Jackie will be pinch-hitting for him.
• FL-Sen: RNC chair Michael Steele previously warned stimulus-supporting moderates that the GOP would be “coming after them,” but he dialed that back in a recent St. Pete Times interview when the subject came to Charlie Crist, suggesting a more neutral RNC stance on the Senate primary. He sounded sympathetic about Crist’s job, saying being governor is “not as simple as right or left.”
• IL-Sen, IL-Gov: Planned Parenthood issued endorsements in the Illinois races, and just went with the establishment choices (Alexi Giannoulias and Pat Quinn), despite Cheryle Jackson making a big issue out of reproductive rights in health care reform in her Senate primary bid. Perhaps to even things out after spurning Jackson, they also endorsed in the Cook County Board president race, giving the nod to Toni Preckwinkle.
• NC-Sen: We’re already seeing some ideological differences in the North Carolina Dem primary field, as SoS Elaine Marshall and ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham seek to differentiate themselves. Marshall says she’d support the public option, while Cunningham says he’d only have voted to start debate on HCR. (Campaign Diaries also has a longer piece on the race today.)
• NY-Sen-B: Suffolk County Legislator (i.e. county commissioner in most states) Jon Cooper is the only elected Dem who has been moving full speed ahead on a primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand rather than tipping in a toe and then turning tail. (Activist Jonathan Tasini is already committed to a primary run too.) Cooper says he’ll make a public announcement about his intentions next week, and considering that he’s bringing along a few allies (most notably Assemblyman Charles Levine) it may point to a run… not that he’s likely to pose much of a challenge to Gillibrand.
• CO-Gov: The Denver Post has an in-depth look at how the state’s teabaggers are in a lather over the party establishment’s efforts to clear the field for ex-Rep. Scott McInnis in the gubernatorial race. With state Sen. Josh Penry and ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo pushed aside, though, they don’t have anyone to hang their tri-cornered hats on, other than random businessman Dan Maes, who doesn’t seem to have the name rec or money to make much of an impact in the primary.
• ID-Gov: Democrats finally landed a credible candidate to go up against Butch Otter in the Idaho governor’s race (one of the few anywhere in either column to rate as “Safe”). Keith Allred is a former Harvard professor who’s now a mediator and consultant, who’s attracted a lot of attention via his bipartisan economy-boosting group The Common Interest.
• MN-Gov: Here’s another campaign finance screwup, that may hurt gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher. It turns out that Kelliher maxed-out donors were directed to give to the DFL, which in turn bought an expensive voter database for Kelliher’s campaign’s use. The money has been returned, but this may point to some favoritism on the DFL’s part, because this arrangement wasn’t offered to any of the other candidates.
• NV-Gov: This may be an exercise in advanced tea leaf reading, but the fact that Carolyn Goodman, wife of Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, has stepped down from her post on the school board is taken to mean that she may be planning on running for Las Vegas mayor in 2011 — which would in turn suggest that Oscar Goodman will be planning on being Governor at that point.
• GA-12: Bedecked in a fuschia hat, former state Sen. Regina Thomas officially kicked off her Dem primary rematch against Rep. John Barrow with an event in Savannah today. She only got 24% against Barrow last year, but may benefit from an earlier start this cycle.
• TN-08: The elevation of farmer/gospel singer Stephen Fincher to “Contender” by the NRCC isn’t sitting well with some other Republicans in the district who are sniffing out the now-competitive race in the wake of Rep. John Tanner’s retirement. A few other Republicans, most notably Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn Jr., are interested. (Flinn is from the district’s small slice of Memphis suburbs, which may be a liability though in this mostly-rural district.) Also mentioned as a potential GOP candidate is Jackson-area physician Ron Kirkland.
• Cook Co. Board Pres.: There’s already a poll out on the Cook County Board president race (the top slot in the nation’s second-largest county, and the race that Rep. Danny Davis recently dropped out of). Incumbent Todd Stroger is in bad shape, with only 14% of the vote; he trails both Dorothy Brown at 29 and Toni Preckwinkle at 20, leading only Terrence O’Brien at 11.
• Mayors: The mayoral runoff in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, is set for tomorrow. City controller Annise Parker (who just got Burnt Orange Report’s endorsement) led in the November election; she faces former city attorney Gene Locke. A Parker victory would make Houston by far the largest city to ever elect an openly LGBT mayor.
• CT-Sen: It’s a rumor that’s been going around for a few weeks that seemed ridiculous, but it only seems to be getting louder, so it’s worth a mention: Ralph Nader is considering a run for the Senate in Connecticut under the Green Party’s banner, and is gauging grass-roots support for a race. The knee-jerk reaction is that this is one more piece of bad news Chris Dodd doesn’t need, but it’s worth considering that Nader may actually help Dodd more than hurt him, by diluting the pool of anti-Dodd votes, giving an option for Dems and indies who are specifically anti-Dodd and anti-bankster, other than voting for the Republican.
• IL-Sen: Freshman Rep. Aaron Schock gave his endorsement to Rep. Mark Kirk in his quest to win the GOP Senate nomination. People are treating this like it boosts Kirk’s conservative bona fides, but Schock has turned out to be more of a low-key, establishment player since getting into the House than his loose-lipped statements during his campaign would have suggested.
• KY-Sen: Rand Paul and the NRSC seem to be in a standoff, over the same old issue, whether or not the NRSC plans to endorse in the primary. Paul was spreading the word last week, based on conversations with the NRSC, that the NRSC would not endorse, but spokesperson Brian Walsh now says the NRSC doesn’t “anticipate” endorsing but reserves the right to do so.
• MA-Sen: Rep. Michael Capuano got an endorsement from one of the deans of Bay State politics, former Gov. (and presidential candidate) Mike Dukakis. However, he might be overshadowed a little by Alan Khazei, who’s attracted little attention so far but seems to be closing strong, if the last Rasmussen poll is any indication. Khazei snagged endorsements from both the Boston Globe and retired Gen. Wesley Clark.
• NC-Sen: Campaign Diaries managed to snag an internal polling memo for the Elaine Marshall campaign, which leads me to wonder why the DSCC is stiff-arming her and still pining for former state Sen. Cal Cunningham to get in the race. Marshall leads with 42% in the primary, with attorney Kenneth Lewis at 7 (including 14% of African-Americans) and Cunningham at 5. At some point, the DSCC’s tepidness about her, if it doesn’t change, is going to start affecting broader perceptions of her — likely to create a fundraising vicious circle of not being able to raise funds well because she’s not perceived as not being able to win because she can’t raise funds well. The poll was conducted by PPP, although Marshall has previously used Lake Research as her pollster.
• NY-Sen-B: Rasmussen took their first look at a Rudy-centric Senate race in New York, finding Rudy Giuliani beating Kirsten Gillibrand 53-40 (a very similar margin to last week’s Marist poll). Giuliani has 63/33 favorables, while Gillibrand is at 46/41 (this has to be the best-known Gillibrand has ever been, but one of Rasmussen’s many quirks is to show everyone as being well-known). The New York Post also has the scoop on a Republican who seems likelier to run (although it’s on the gossip page rather than the politics section!): Port Authority Commissioner Bruce Blakeman is considering a running for the Republicans. Blakeman lost the 1998 state Controller’s race to Carl McCall; also, his ex-wife is now dating Paul McCartney, which is apparently Page Six’s angle on all this.
• UT-Sen: Here’s an interesting ploy: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (rumored as a potential Senate candidate) is taking a highly visible stand against the Obama administration’s decision to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan, saying it’s time to bring them home and that he’s opposed to “nation building.” That puts him up against the party orthodoxy, but it also leads to the question of whether Chaffetz is a bit of an outlier here or if the movement conservatives are going to be moving in more of an isolationist direction heading into 2012 (and whether that’s because of their paranoid nativist worldview, or just because it gives them one more thing to oppose the President on).
• AL-Gov: Two endorsements in the Alabama governor’s race, where there are heated primaries on both sides. Mitt Romney has endorsed Treasurer Kay Ivey, perhaps as payback for chairing his Alabama campaign but also a potential thumb-in-the-eye to the religious right, who are naturally supporting Roy Moore in the race. On the Dem side, Sam Jones, the first African-American mayor of Mobile, endorsed Rep. Artur Davis.
• MA-Gov: Rasmussen threw in some gubernatorial numbers to their sample last week of the Senate special election primary, and they continue to find that incumbent Dem Deval Patrick has the edge. It’s a little narrower than their last poll or Suffolk’s recent poll — Patrick leads independent Tim Cahill and Republican Christy Mihos 32-28-26 and leads Republican Charlie Baker and Cahill 33-28-25 — but it still shows Patrick benefiting from Cahill splitting the anti-Patrick vote.
• MI-Gov: A poll of the Republican field in the Michigan gubernatorial race by Mitchell Research for the Detroit News finds a small lead for AG Mike Cox. Cox leads Rep. Peter Hoekstra 27-24, with 12 for Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard and 3 each for state Sen. Tom George and businessman Rick Snyder. The poll also finds Cox beating Democratic Lt. Gov. John Cherry by 16 points in the general, although specific numbers aren’t reported for some reason.
• NY-Gov: Another brave Republican is considering taking on the gubernatorial race: Emil Henry Jr. He’s got just the right resume for these troubled times: He was assistant Treasury Secretary in the Bush administration, and before that, an executive at Lehman Brothers. Ex-Rep. Rick Lazio is already in the GOP field.
• UT-Gov: Democratic Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon is sounding more like a candidate for governor, in next year’s special election against appointed GOP incumbent Gary Herbert. A recent Deseret News/KSL-TV poll finds Herbert leading Corroon 56-32. Corroon actually sounds encouraged by these numbers; considering it’s Utah, I suppose they could be much worse.
• CA-45: More Mitt Romney news, and it’s a tea leaf that the GOP is concerned about defending Mary Bono Mack in the 45th even as they go on the offense in swing districts elsewhere: Romney will be appearing at a Bono Mack fundraiser in the district on Jan. 9.
• FL-19: Charlie Crist moved the date on the general special election to replace resigning Rep. Robert Wexler, which had been originally scheduled Apr. 6. He moved it to Apr. 13, so it wouldn’t conflict with Passover (a problem in this heavily Jewish district).
• GA-08: Democrats dodged a bullet in the 8th, where Rep. Jim Marshall may get the easiest ride of any Dem in a dark-red southern district next year. Republican State Sen. Ross Tolleson said he’d like to run for Congress at some point, but this won’t be the year. Tolleson threw his support to Angela Hicks, a businesswoman who’s one of several little-known candidates in the hunt.
• GA-12: It’s official: former state Sen. Regina Thomas will be challenging Rep. John Barrow in the Democratic primary next year. Barrow is unusual among the most problematic Blue Dogs because he’s in a district with a Democratic-leaning PVI and thus one where a better Dem could still win a general election (although it’s one where African-American voting tends to fall off during off-year elections). Thomas piqued some netroots interest last year because of this unusual circumstance, but between a late start, a low-visibility strategy focused on word-of-mouth through black churches, and an Obama endorsement of Barrow, she only cleared 24% in last year’s primary. We’ll have to see if the earlier start helps this time.
• IA-02: Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who came within 18 points of Rep. David Loebsack last year thanks to a lot of help from those meddling Ophthalmologists, says she’ll try again in 2010. She’s not alone in the GOP field, though; interestingly, she’s up against two guys who both ran for Senate in 2008, businessman Christopher Reed (who made it through to the general against Tom Harkin, only to get flattened) and Steve Rathje (who lost the primary).
• NH-01: I don’t know if this is a case of once-highly-touted Manchester mayor Frank Guinta losing momentum, or just Some Dude with delusions of grandeur, but businessman Richard Ashooh is filing exploratory paperwork to run in the GOP primary. The winner faces Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in what’s likely to be a close race.
• TN-06: The GOP is trying to cajole a state Senator into getting into the race against long-time Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon in the once-swingy, now R+13 6th. Jim Tracy says he’s strongly considering the race. There’s one catch: Rutherford County Republican chair Lou Ann Zelenik is already in the race, and has the ability to self-fund.
• TX-17: Here’s a Dem in a dark-red district who caught a big-time break on the recruiting front, though: Rep. Chet Edwards won’t be facing state Sen. Steve Ogden, as had been rumored. Ogden announced that he’ll run for another term in the Senate instead. (Thanks to the small size of Texas’s Senate, Ogden actually has more constituents than Edwards.) 2008 candidate Rob Curnock, who came within single-digits of Edwards, is running again, though.
• GA-Super. of Education: Georgia’s Republican Superintendent of Education, Kathy Cox, is persisting in running for re-election next year despite having recently filed for bankruptcy to escape $3.5 million in debt. The story gets even weirder: this is despite Cox having won $1 million on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” — despite having pledged to give that money to charity, her creditors are now coming after that money. (Is there any precedent for a statewide elected official appearing on a game show?) Cox now faces opposition in a GOP primary from former state Rep. Roger Hines.
• Nassau Co. Exec: The counting of absentee ballots in Nassau County is finally winding down in this month’s most drawn-out election, and it looks like Republican challenger Ed Mangano may actually succeed in upsetting incumbent Dem Tom Suozzi. Mangano leads by 217 with few ballots remaining. Even if the count concludes today, it won’t be the last word, as legal challenges to a number of votes will still need to be resolved.
• Mayors: New Orleans mayoral candidate James Perry is getting a jump on political advertising, and his ad is certainly attention-grabbing too. It includes a variety of bleeped-out profanities as local residents (or actors portraying them) let everyone know how they feel about career politicians.
• NY-St. Ass.: Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava says she’s going to stay a Republican, despite losing her leadership position in the wake of her imploded House campaign. Despite her many impure thoughts, she says she’d still clock in at 7 out of 10 on the RNC’s new purity test.
• Redistricting: CQ Politics sits down with filmmaker Jeff Reichert, whose upcoming documentary on redistricting is slated for release next year. I’ve been emailing with Jeff about this project for a while now, and it looks very interesting. (D)