SSP Daily Digest: 5/12 (Morning Edition)

  • CA-Gov: This video (the second one on the page) is a couple of months old but is worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet. I think it goes a ways toward explaining Meg Whitman’s glass jaw. It’s a local news piece detailing an ugly snub of the media by Whitman at a campaign stop she specifically invited the press to – and it’s about as harshly negative as a straight news piece can be. When ordinary people imagine rich douchebags behaving douchily, this is what we envision.
  • KY-Sen: Republican muckety-muck Cathy Bailey, who almost ran in this race herself, endorsed Rand Paul, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorse Trey Grayson. They must love fiat currency.
  • PA-Sen, PA-07: Joe Sestak just endorsed Bryan Lentz to succeed him in PA-07… but Lentz faces zero primary opposition. The real news is that Lentz in turn endorsed Sestak, which may help him snare an extra vote or two in the Philly burbs.
  • UT-Sen: Is Orrin Hatch setting himself up to be Bob Bennett 2.0? He said that the teabaggers “don’t have an open mind and they won’t listen.”
  • FL-Gov: Rick Scott loves his chocolate milk: The uber-wealthy gubernatorial candidate (who has been flooding the Florida airwaves) opposes a Charlie Crist-backed amendment to the state constitution which would ban offshore drilling. It’s interesting to see how this is playing among conservative circles, where even Bill McCollum largely supports Crist’s idea. On the flipside, both Scott and McCollum luv Arizona’s new immigration law.
  • MA-04: Consultant and Marine vet Sean Bielat announced that he will challenge Rep. Barney Frank as a Republican.
  • MI-13: Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick may survive yet another primary. She narrowly escaped last cycle thanks to a split field again, and may yet do so again. Four opponents filed against her, including state Sen. Hansen Clarke.
  • NY-23: Keep the cat fud a-comin’: Conservative Party chair (and newfound progressive hero) Mike Long sent out a memo to North Country GOP leaders explicitly comparing Matt Doheny to Dede Scozzafava and pleding to stick with Doug Hoffman. Long points out that Doheney (who sought his party’s nomination last year) maxed out to Dede after she got the nod, and also said, “I’m going to do everything I can for her, and more.” If Doheny wins the Republican primary, it could be Hoffman’s turn to play spoiler on the Conservative line. History is definitely starting to rhyme.
  • OH-18: There were fat ladies… all around… but he never heard them singing…. State Sen. Bob Gibbs “declared victory” over a disgruntled Fred Dailey, even though official results have not yet been declared. Dailey called the move presumptuous and said the fat lady ain’t sung. The Secretary of State doesn’t have to certify results until 20 days after the election, and then, since the margin of victory was less than half a percent, we could see a recount – which might take until June. You know Zack Space is doing a happy dance.
  • PA-12: Big Dog coming to town: Bill Clinton is coming to Johnstown on May 16th to do a rally for Dem Mark Critz.
  • PA-17 (PDF): Susquehanna Polling & Research (5/7-8, likely voters, no trendlines):
  • Tim Holden (D-inc): 54

    Sheila Dow-Ford (D): 27

    Undecided: 18

    (MoE: ±4.9%)

    David Argall (R): 21

    Frank Ryan (R): 17

    John First (R): 7

    Allen Griffth (R): 5

    Undecided: 47

    (MoE: ±4.3%)

    While Dow-Ford probably can’t unseat Holden, these are some uninspiring numbers for the incumbent, who only gets 38% re-elects. Obama’s job approval is 32-56.

  • SD-AL: Chris Nelson, South Dakota’s Republican Secretary of State who is hoping to take on Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, is at least birther-curious, claiming that “many people” contacted him as SoS “asking how Obama could be on our ballot given this controversy.” Nelson’s primary opponents (who were asked the same question) didn’t take the bait, so you gotta wonder if Nelson is trying to out-teabag them.
  • NY State Sen.: Among his many un-endearing habits, Mike Bloomberg has long used his zillions to prop up Republicans in the state Senate. However, Bloombo flack Howard Wolfson is now hinting that this tradition may come to an end. His Bloombleness has already endorsed Dem Craig Johnson of Long Island.
  • NRSC: Michael DuHaime, a top strategist for Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaign (and before that, political director for John McCain’s presidential bid), is being tapped by the NRSC to head up their independent expenditure arm this year.
  • NY-St. Sen: Shocker! Espada to Return to Fold

    Whoa whoa whoa:

    The Senate deadlock may be over.

    Rogue Democrat Pedro Espada Jr., who collaborated with Republicans in a June 8 coup that toppled Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, is returning to the fold, sources said.

    That will give Democrats a 32-30 majority and, ostensibly, allow the Senate to convene and vote on crucial legislation, like mayoral control of city schools and a city sales tax hike.

    Under the deal, Malcolm Smith will be the Senate president, several senators said.

    Espada (D-Bronx) and Democratic conference leader John Sampson will serve as co-majority leaders, they said.

    Jesus wow.

    UPDATE: Espada is scum, the Senate leaders suck, this has been a huge mess & massive waste of money… but the one silver lining here is that Tom Golisano can seriously, seriously suck it.

    We need a “Use it or Lose it” Campaign for the NY State Senate!

    It is becoming more and more clear with each passing day that our competitive Democratic challenges to the 32 Republican held state senate seats has grown to the 12 to 14 seat range.  A great deal of money will be needed to materialize many of these dozen or so challenges into Democratic pickups in November.  Early in the cycle it seemed as though we would enjoy the advantage of former Governor Spitzer’s fundraising prowess to foot the bill needed to do the job.  Of late, it has become apparent that Governor David Paterson will not be bringing anything close to those resources to the table.  

    more after the flip

    Our 30 incumbents as a group have raised well as have many of our challengers.  But to expand the playing field in the spirit of our NDC Chair Howard Dean’s fifty state project we will need our incumbents who will greatly benefit from gaining the majority to play a key role as well.  The fact that we have so many safe seats that will be effectively unchallenged in November reminded me of the 2006 successful campaign to get safe Democratic US House and Senate candidates to kick in from their resources to help fund what became a 30 seat house and 6 seat senate pickup.

    While visiting MYDD today, I read desmoinesdem front page post calling for a 2008 version of the “Use it or Lose it” campaign.  Here is desmoinesdem brief description of the effort:

    In 2006, MyDD and launched a “Use It Or Lose It” campaign to contact “ultra-safe Democratic House Representatives and ask them to help fully fund all of our competitive challengers this cycle.” The project spurred at least $2.3 million in additional major donations from House incumbents (click the link to read details).

    So, why not a similar effort lead by our TAP Community to get the DSCC to bring the pressure to bear on our unchallenged or under-challenged state senate incumbents that can raise significant funds to be distributed among our growing list of competitive challengers.  Lets take a look at some of the Cash on Hand in the July BOE reports for these Democratic State Senators:

    SD 07 – Craig Johnson  453.9 K  (Contested Gen.)

    SD 10 – Shirley Huntley  6.9 K  (Light Primary)

    SD 12 – George Onorato 278.0 K

    SD 13 – John Sabini     52.0 K  (Not Running)

    SD 14 – Malcolm Smith  782.0 K

    SD 16 – Toby Staviskey 215.0 k  (Light Primary)

    SD 17 – Martin Dilon    28.1 K

    SD 18 – Velm.Montgomery 52.0 K

    SD 19 – John Sampson    33.6 K

    SD 20 – Eric Adams      35.0 K

    SD 21 – Kevin Parker    45.5 K  (heavy Primary)

    SD 23 – Diane Savino    67.5 K

    SD 25 – Martin Connor   83.0 K  (HEAVY PRIMARY)

    SD 26 – Liz Krueger    324.5 K

    SD 27 – Carl Kruger   1814.6 K

    SD 28 – Jose Serrano    30.3 K

    SD 29 – Tom Duanne     114.7 K

    SD 30 – Bill Perkins    38.7 K

    SD 31 – EricSchneiderman 47.8 K

    SD 32 – Ruben Diaz      30.3 K

    SD 33 – Efrain Gonzalez(10.8 K)  (Light Primary)

    SD 34 – Jeffrey Klein   NA

    SD 35 – Andrea Stew-Cous, 180.5 K(Contested Gen.)

    SD 36 – Ruth Thompson   0.0 K    (Light Primary)

    SD 37 – Suzi Oppenheimer 68.8 K  (Contested Gen.)

    SD 46 – Neil Breslin    148.5 K  (Primary???)

    SD 48 – Darrel Aubertine 45.3 K  (Contested Gen.)

    SD 49 – David Valesky   191.6 K(Gen.Opp only 31k)

    SD 58 – William Stachowski 47.3 K

    SD 60 – Antoine Thompson  50.5 K

    While most of our incumbents have some level of sacrificial lamb challengers, I only listed contested General for our targeted incumbents or where some quasi reasonable funds were raised by their opponent.

    If we exempt all our incumbents with contested Generals and Heavy contested primary challenges we have 21 incumbents in no genuine threat sitting on 4.2 million dollars.  That is 4.4 M with no need to spend it in 2008 and an ongoing ability to raise it.  If each of these incumbents were assessed to donate back to our serious challengers just 25% of their COH we would have over $1M more to invest in our challengers.  That is one million dollars more to enable the challengers to make strong stretch drive runs at their GOP incumbents or open GOP seats!  Even if Carl Kruger has other electoral ambitions with that 1.8 M he has a proven ability to easily raise back his 450 K boosty! A powerful majority chairmanship has got to be worth the price of 25% of an unneeded campaign stash.  If it can be done with our congressional incumbents who thirsted for a return to the majority why not our incumbent state senators who are four times as parched!

    The question is, How do we go about bringing the kind of pressure on these state senate incumbents as MYDD and did in 2006 and plan to do again this cycle?

    NY-SD7: Election 2007 Begins Today

    He hasn’t even taken office yet, and already Eliot Spitzer is working his magic:

    Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer stunned the state’s political establishment yesterday when he announced he had crossed party lines to appoint state Sen. Michael Balboni, an influential Long Island Republican, as his homeland security czar.

    Just some cabinet appointment, right? So what, you say? Not so slow:

    What elevates Balboni as a master political stroke is that his seat has a great chance to go Democratic in an upcoming special election. The GOP recently lost every statewide race. With its Senate majority down to three seats – Balboni caved in to party pressure last year not to run for attorney general – the loss of his seat could hasten the fall of the state’s last GOP bastion of power.

    Republicans currently hold a slim 34-28 advantage in the state Senate. That means we need just three more seats to take control of the body. (The Lt. Gov., soon to be a Dem, gets to break ties.) If we can take Balboni’s seat, then we’d only need two pickups (though more would be better, of course) before redistricting. And winning here is very possible.

    New York’s 7th state Senate district has a voter registration breakdown (PDF) of 38D-35R-23I, with minor parties making up the rest. A special election will likely take place soon, in February. (Because this is New York and everything has not yet changed on Day One, there won’t be a primary.) Newsday offers up a list of names being considered by the establishment on both sides.

    Undoubtedly the state GOP will throw everything it has into this race, since the Senate is its last remaining bastion. But the Dems will do the same, and given how unpopular Republicans have become of late throughout the state and especially on Long Island, this race may even tilt Dem ever so slightly.

    (Hat tip to The Albany Project for the links in this post.)