SSP Daily Digest: 2/12

AZ-Sen: The establishment is moving in to shore up John McCain’s re-election bid, as the rest of Arizona’s GOP congressional delegation endorsed yesterday (over their former colleague J.D. Hayworth): Jon Kyl, plus Reps. Trent Franks, John Shadegg, and Jeff Flake. Yesterday McCain also got a perhaps more surprising endorsement yesterday, from Grover Norquist, who’s been supportive of a lot of insurgent bids this year… but Norquist is more interested in purely economic issues and may not have much common cause with the more resentment-based social conservative politics of Hayworth.

CO-Sen: Here’s a sign of life for the strangely low-profile Andrew Romanoff primary campaign: he just got the endorsements of two of the state’s major unions, the Teamsters and the UFCW. Michael Bennet did just vote to confirm Craig Becker to the NLRB, but the unions take issue with his lack of support for the card-check provision of EFCA. Meanwhile, Tom Wiens is offering one of the strangest excuses I’ve ever heard for his failure to get much traction in the GOP primary: there are a whole lot of Nortons in Colorado, and people reflexively will vote for any of them.

IN-Sen: Another day, another damning revelation about Dan Coats’ lobbying past. Today, it turns out that his lobbying firm, King & Spalding, was lobbying on behalf of Bank of America at a time it was seeking patent approval for a formula that would help companies evaluate whether and how to outsource their operations to lower-overhead countries.

NC-Sen: Richard Burr has drawn a primary challenger as he seeks his first re-election the Senate. Asheboro city councilor Eddie Burks, however, doesn’t have the kind of high-profile position that’s likely to make much of an impact. But even weirder is the nature of the challenge. You’d think he might get some traction if he reached out to the teabaggers and accused Burr of being insufficiently bloodthirsty, but instead it’s a surprisingly level-headed critique of Burr’s inaccessibility and general anonymity.

NY-Sen: Speaking of random primary challenges, now Chuck Schumer is facing one too, from Phil Krone, an Illinois and/or Florida political consultant who was just involved in Dan Hynes’ unsuccessful campaign. Krone says he’ll dive in only if he can raise $10K in contributions before April 1; given the strangeness of his bid, even that seems kind of a high bar to reach.

NY-Sen-B: Finally, there’s one other carpetbagging primary challenge that’s only slightly less random: that of Harold Ford Jr. against Kirsten Gillibrand. This latest discovery isn’t likely to help Ford’s case much: Ford claims that paying New York taxes has helped make him a New Yorker… except he hasn’t paid any New York income taxes. Ford has continued to maintain Tennessee residency, which is convenient, seeing as how Tennessee doesn’t have an income tax on wages. I guess what he meant is that he pays sales tax on all his New York pedicures.

WI-Sen: Ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson sure likes keeping his name in the news. Despite his recently signing on to work for a hedge fund on agribusiness matters (and his various other private sector projects, including being a partner at DC biglaw firm Akin Gump, he’s still refusing to rule out a Senate bid. “I’m going through a process,” he says cryptically.

NY-Gov: Looks like we will have David Paterson to kick around for at least a few months more. Despite the mounting tsunami of crap threatening to engulf him, and facing very likely annihilation by Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, Paterson has been e-mailing supporters to tell them that on Feb. 20 or 21 he’ll officially launch his bid to stay Governor. He is adopting the “outsider” mantle for his run, since, of course, nothing says “outsider” more than being the sitting Governor of New York.

MI-03: CQ compiles a list of a truckload of different Republicans who might seek the seat opened up this week by retiring Rep. Vern Ehlers in the Grand Rapids-based 3rd. Prime contenders include state Sens. Bill Hardiman and Mark Jansen, former state Rep. Jerry Kooiman, and former state Sen. Majority leader Ken Sikkema, all of whom say they’ll decide soon. Former Lt. Gov., and gubernatorial candidate, Dick Posthumus, has ruled out a bid, and it seems unlikely that SoS Terri Lynn Land (who’d been associated with the seat when Ehlers retirement rumors popped up early last year) will run, as she might have her sights on the LG slot. While the GOP has the stronger bench here, Dems who might run include former state Reps. Michael Sak and Steve Pestka, and state Rep. Robert Dean.

NY-20: One seat that should be attractive to Republicans, given the narrowness of Rep. Scott Murphy’s special election victory, is the 20th, but it’s proven be one of their biggest recruiting headaches. Assemblyman Marc Molinaro is the latest GOPer to decline. Jim Tedisco, who lost to Murphy in the special, shut down his account from that election but hasn’t fully ruled out another run. Murphy is already sitting on $1.4 million, which certainly acts as a deterrent.

OH-06: The rural, Appalachian-flavored 6th (at R+2, and a negative trend from Kerry to Obama) is another district that should be a Republican target, but where Rep. Charlie Wilson hasn’t drawn a serious opponent yet. Some Dude, however, has stepped up, in the form of businessman Bill Johnson. Johnson had been considering a run next door in the 17th (where he lives) against Rep. Tim Ryan, but recently seemed to realize the 6th would be easier sledding.

CA-LG: The confirmation of Abel Maldonado as California’s new Lt. Governor has become a bizarre clusterf@ck. First off, there’s the question of why legislative Democrats would want to keep Maldonado in his Dem-leaning, pick-up-able Senate seat instead of promoting him to the entirely harmless LG slot. Clearly the Senate Dems like the idea of getting to the magic 2/3s mark, as Maldonado’s appointment cleared the Senate easily, but then enough Dems in the Assembly voted against it that his appointment failed, with 37 voting yes and 35 voting no. Confused? Well, some would say that he needed 41 votes (a majority of the 80-seat chamber) in order to be confirmed. Arnold Schwarzenegger is claiming victory, though, and planning to swear in Maldonado anyway, claiming that there would need to be 41 votes against Maldonado for the confirmation to fail. Several election law experts say Ahnold has a good point with that, although there’s guidance from a 1988 state treasurer appointment that says otherwise. Looks like this is headed to the courts.

Teabaggers: Ed Kilgore picks apart the recent CBS poll regarding the tea party movement, and comes to the same conclusions that I’ve been teasing out… that there’s really nothing new in the movement, and that it’s just the most conservative elements of the Republican coalition in just a particularly revved-up, radicalized mood, and with a handy new name to distinguish themselves. This is particularly seen that 62% of them have a favorable view of the Republican party, despite their vague claims to be a movement separate from the parties.

SSP Daily Digest: 10/16

NV-Sen: John Ensign’s once potent fundraising has gone decidedly flaccid in the wake of the Hampton affair, dwindling approval ratings, and a likelihood of not coming back in 2012. He raised less than $33K in the third quarter (and managed to spend more than that, on various legal fees and consultants).

PA-Sen: Joe Sestak’s fundraising for the third quarter was half of what Arlen Specter raised: $758K for Sestak (also less than half of his 2Q number), vs. $1.8 million for Specter. Take out the money that Obama raised for Specter at their fundraiser, though, and they’re close to parity on last quarter’s numbers. Meanwhile, the allegedly fiscally-disciplined Pat Toomey raised $1.6 million in 3Q, but has been burning through cash quickly, spending $861K and ending up with $1.8 million CoH.

IL-Gov: This is good news for John McCain… ‘s former media guy. State GOP chair Andy McKenna made clear he’s going to, if nothing else, spend a lot of money on his gubernatorial campaign. He just hired ad guru Fred Davis, creator of the infamous “Celebrity” ad last summer. President McCain, of course, will confirm how well that one worked out for him.

PA-Gov: Rasmussen polled the Democratic and Republican fields in the gubernatorial race, finding what most other pollsters have seen: AG Tom Corbett is mopping up on the GOP side, while nobody has a clue who the Democratic candidates are. Corbett leads Rep. Jim Gerlach 54-10 (with 6 for some other and 30 not sure). For the Dems, “not sure” is kicking ass at 37, followed by Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato at 19, state Auditor Jack Wagner at 14, ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel at 11, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty at 6, rich guy Tom Knox at 4, and “some other” at 10.

VA-Gov: One last look at how the candidates are faring financially in the Virginia governor’s race. Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds raised about the same amount in September ($3.8 mil for McD, $3.5 mil for Deeds), but McDonnell enters the home stretch with a lot more cash on hand ($4.5 mil for McD, $2.8 mil for Deeds).

FL-08: Among the contributors to liberal firebrand Rep. Alan Grayson’s one-day haul of $60K at the end of the fundraising quarter (and after his “die quickly” speech) were two prominent Blue Dogs: Reps. Bart Gordon and Collin Peterson.

FL-19: State Sen. Ted Deutch wasted no time. The leading contender to take over FL-19 in the wake of Rob Wexler’s departure officially entered the race yesterday.

IN-01: Nobody has really regarded long-time Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky as vulnerable in his bluish district, but he’s laboring under an ethical cloud from his role in the PMA lobbying firm scandal, and now out $100,000 in legal fees resulting from subpoenas in the matter. He’s sitting on $916K CoH, down from $1.47 mil at this point in the 2007-08 cycle.

NY-15: Rep. Charlie Rangel, facing some ethical problems of his own, may face another primary challenger with a famous family name: Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (who previously ran against Rangel in 1994). With a former staffer already in the race, though, this could fracture the anti-Rangel vote and inadvertently let Rangel slip through again.

NY-19: Looks like the free-spending Ophthalmologists’ PAC has one sure target for their largesse this cycle: Nan Hayworth, a Westchester County eye doctor, says that she’ll run for the GOP nomination. This is despite the presence of a high-profile (if somewhat questionable and controversial) recruit in the field already, Assemblyman Greg Ball. Hayworth starts with $318K CoH, half from her own wallet and half apparently from her eye doctors friends, giving her a sizable edge over Ball’s $213K CoH. The winner will face off against incumbent Dem Rep. John Hall.

NY-20: Thursday was the official Last Day of Tedisco. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, the loser of this year’s special election filed a notice of termination of his exploratory committee, seemingly ending any plans for a re-run in 2010.

NY-23: Dinged by reports that the RNC wasn’t getting adequately involved in the 23rd (or involved, period), Michael Steele announced that the RNC will be making an unspecified “six-figure” contribution to the NRCC in support of efforts in the 23rd, as well as $85K to the state party. Also seeking to quell reports of civil war, Newt Gingrich — who passes for the GOP’s voice of sanity these days — went ahead and endorsed Dede Scozzafava, which may not move many votes on the ground but may move some Beltway dollars into her kitty.

OH-16, 18: Biden alert (again)! The VP will be heading to Ohio to host a joint fundraiser for sorta-vulnerable Democratic Reps. John Boccieri and Zack Space in several weeks.

SC-02: Rob Miller got a huge boost in his fundraising in the wake of “You lie!” and pulled in $1.7 million. Unfortunately, he seemed to peak early after an initial outpouring of support, with little follow-up with the netroots; contrast that with Rep. Joe Wilson, who continued to push his newfound celebrity with the GOP base and, despite being initially outraised, wound up the quarter with $2.7 million.

NY-St. Sen: State Senator Hiram Monserrate was convicted yesterday of assault, but instead of the felony charge that was sought, he was only convicted of a misdemeanor — which means that he isn’t automatically out of the Senate. That means Dems are stuck with the coup-joining convict until next year’s primary… unless he resigns, something that fellow Sen. Liz Krueger is already pushing, or is expelled.

Mayors: In not much of a surprise, Shelby County mayor A.C. Wharton won the special election to take over as Memphis mayor. His 60% share (against 24 other opponents) is pretty impressive, though. Wharton argues his margin is a mandate for his pet project, uniting Memphis and Shelby County governments into one entity.

Polling: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has a fascinating polling memo titled “The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans” out, based on focus groups of GOP base voters in Georgia that look at what’s driving the accelerating freakout among the hard right. The diagnosis seems to be acute paranoia with persecution complex: while few couched their viewpoint in an explicitly racist way (which may surprise some), there is a sense among them of being a “mocked minority” and a overarching sense of an Obama administration “secret agenda” to bankrupt the country and exert government control over all aspects of our lives. I don’t know if Ed Kilgore had advance knowledge of this study, but it dovetails exactly with his remarkable piece earlier this week focusing on how the roots of the screamers and teabaggers isn’t so much overtly racist as motivated by a growing out-of-control sense of loss of the ‘old ways’ (i.e. replacement of small-town, homogeneous, traditional America with a multiracial, globalized future).

NY-20: Tedisco Gauging Support for a Rematch

Back in April, former GOP Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco said that he wasn’t planning on seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy, but today he’s singing a different tune. From the Glens Falls Post-Star:

Republican James Tedisco said Thursday he has been meeting with county GOP chairmen in the 20th District to discuss a possible rematch next year against U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls.

“I enjoy being a public servant and I’m looking at the atmosphere now,” said Tedisco, a state Assemblyman from Glenville. “And it certainly has changed since when I ran for congressman in the short eight week election.” […]

Tedisco said in a telephone interview that he has been meeting with the 10 county chairmen to analyze mistakes his campaign made  in the special election and to discuss how the mood of the country may be changing.

“I think I’ve met or talked with all of them,” he said.

Elizabeth Benjamin has a lot more; apparently, losing the open seat race and also getting booted, literally, to the back row of the GOP Assembly caucus has left Jimmy T nothing short of morose over the past several months. Eager to redeem himself, he’s looking at a second chance against Murphy or a possible run for the state Senate if Republican Hugh Farley retires next year. If Tedisco passes, Benjamin also identifies John Faso, another former Assembly Minority Leader who lost to Eliot Spitzer in 2006, as a potential recruit.

If Republicans are going to nominate somebody with more grativas than a sack of potatoes, Scott Murphy couldn’t complain too badly with the prospect of beating up on Tedisco again.

RaceTracker Wiki: NY-20

SSP Daily Digest: 4/30

PA-Sen: Apparently, Arlen Specter’s campaign has only received 15 requests for donation refunds so far in the wake of his switch to the Democratic Party. The returned funds only add up to a paltry $15K. (J)

The NRSC has launched a new robocall targeting Specter, by linking him to the NRSC’s arch-enemy… George W. Bush? (It replays Bush’s 2004 endorsement of then-GOPer Specter.) Apparently, the goal is to soften Specter up among the Dem electorate to lose a Democratic primary to a more reliable Dem, who would then be a little more vulnerable to Pat Toomey in the general… or something like that? This is one of those moments when you can’t tell if the GOP is crazy like a fox, or just crazy.

Specter bringing his decades of seniority with him over to the Democratic caucus is angering some key Democrats who get bumped down the totem pole as a result, according to The Hill. Specter could find himself wielding the gavel in an Appropriations subcommittee, or even back in charge of Judiciary if Patrick Leahy takes over Appropriations in 2010.

Specter’s switch has the whining flowing among some of the GOP’s sourest senators: Jim Bunning says the GOP “coddled” Specter for too long, while Jim Inhofe shows his grasp of GOP dead-ender logic, saying that Specter’s fleeing the party is a sign of conservatism’s strength and presages a comeback. In much the same way that if my house is on fire, that indicates that its value is about to go up, because it’s finally clearing out all that clutter.

FL-Sen: The DSCC is pulling out all the stops against Charlie Crist, and he hasn’t even taken any steps toward getting into the Senate race yet. They’ve launched a new TV spot (airing in the Tallahassee market) that attacks Crist for leaving Florida in financial disarray to jump to Washington, and attacks his heavy-on-socializing, light-on-work schedule.

CO-Sen: The GOP’s Weld County DA Ken Buck is trapped in the grey area between candidate and not-candidate for Senate; his website is up and running and has a “donate” button, but hasn’t filed his official paperwork and denied Monday’s reports that he was officially in.

RI-Gov: Lincoln Chafee seems to be having similar problems on just how official a candidate he is, too. His exploratory committee is open and he said he “is” running when appearing on Rachel Maddow on Tuesday, but then issued a release yesterday walking that back, to “my intentions are” to run for governor.

WI-Gov: The GOPers aren’t waiting any longer for Gov. Jim Doyle to publicly announce his re-elections; Milwaukee Co. Scott Walker launched his campaign yesterday. Walker (who briefly ran in the primary in 2006) doesn’t have the race to himself, though; last week, Mark Neumann, who represented WI-01 from 1994 to 1998 and then lost the 1998 senate race to Russ Feingold, announced his candidacy, touting his support from Tommy Thompson surrogate James Klauser.

AL-Gov: Not one but two more Republicans are sizing up the governor’s race, although neither one seems top-tier material: Hoover mayor (in the Birmingham suburbs) Tony Petelos, and Bill Johnson, the head of the Alabama Dept. of Economic and Community Affairs. (Johnson has a colorful backstory that wouldn’t help him much in the primary.)

OR-Gov: Local Republican pollster Moore Insight polled potential Dem candidates for governor on their favorables. Ex-gov. John Kitzhaber and Rep. Peter DeFazio posted pretty similar numbers: 49/21 for Kitz, 48/17 for the Faz. (Kitzhaber has higher negatives among Republicans, thanks to all those vetoes he handed out.) Former SoS Bill Bradbury is at 29/10, and Steve Novick, who barely lost the 2008 Senate primary, is at 14/4.

GA-01: Long-time Rep. Jack Kingston has often been the subject of speculation in the Georgia governor’s race, but he confirmed that he’ll be running for re-election to the House. Interestingly, he’s supporting state senator Eric Johnson in the race instead of fellow Rep. Nathan Deal, but that’s because Johnson is a fellow Savannah resident and his son’s godfather.

VA-10: The subject of much retirement-related speculation due to age and a rapidly bluening seat (now R+2), Rep. Frank Wolf confirmed he’ll be running for re-election in 2010. He may face state senator Mark Herring or delegate David Poisson.

OH-18: Rep. Zack Space has been added to the DCCC’s defense-oriented Frontline program. Space was the target of an NRCC TV spot earlier, but this isn’t so much a question of newfound vulnerability as it’s confirmation he’s done flirting with a Senate run and committing to his House seat for 2010.

CA-36: Suddenly embattled Rep. Jane Harman has hired Clinton-era fixer Lanny Davis to help her negotiate the legal and PR minefield she finds herself in, regarding the wiretap imbroglio. 2006 primary challenger Marcy Winograd is revving up her efforts, sensing Harman’s weakness. Winograd, who earned 38% in 2006, has begun raising funds for another try.

NY-20: Republican Jim Tedisco says that he is “not planning” on seeking a rematch against freshly-minted Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy, but refuses to explicitly rule out a run. (J)

WA-08: One more tea leaf that Suzan DelBene may be left holding the bag in WA-08: State Rep. Ross Hunter, one of the first Dems to crack the GOP stranglehold on the Eastside and a potentially strong contender in WA-08, is running for King County Executive. The already-crowded Exec race is in Nov. 2009, not 2010, but indicates Hunter’s interests lie locally, not in DC.

Votes: The 17 Democrats who voted against the Obama budget are all familiar dissenters, and most of them are in difficult Republican-leaning districts: Barrow, Boren, Bright, Childers, Foster, Griffith, Kratovil, Kucinich, Markey, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Minnick, Mitchell, Nye, Taylor, and Teague.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/24

NY-20 (pdf): Last evening’s total from the BoE had Scott Murphy leading Jim Tedisco by 401. With his chances approaching the “statistically impossible” realm, we may reportedly see a Tedisco concession today.

MN-Sen: Norm Coleman could take a few pointers from Jim Tedisco. The five justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court who’ll hear the election contest (two justices who’ve been actively involved in the count recused themselves) announced that their expedited hearing isn’t all that expedited: it’ll happen on June 1, to give the parties adequate time to file briefs and replies. In the meantime, that gives Minnesotans more than one more month with just one senator.

GA-Gov, GA-03: Just one day after his name was suddenly floated for GA-Gov, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland flushed that idea, saying he’ll stay in the House.

PA-Gov: Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato was bandied about as the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the open governor’s race in 2010, but we’ve heard nary a peep from him on the matter. Apparently, he is in fact interested, as he says he’s “laying the groundwork” and expects a formal announcement later in the year.

TN-Gov: Businessman Mike McWherter made official his candidacy for the Democratic nod in the open Tennessee governor’s race. McWherter hasn’t held elective office, but benefits strongly from links with his father, popular ex-governor Ned McWherter.

SC-Gov: Lawyer Mullins McLeod (and apparent scion of a political family, although one that pales in comparison to the Thurmonds or Campbells) announced his bid for the Democratic nomination in the open governor’s race. He joins two Democratic state senators Vincent Shaheen and Robert Ford in the chase.

CA-10: Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who previously issued an internal poll showing her leading senator Mark DeSaulnier, has officially jumped into the special election field. With Lt. Gov. John Garamendi’s entry into the race, splitting the white-guy vote, Buchanan probably feels that her hand has been strengthened.

CO-03: Rep. John Salazar has drawn a solid Republican challenger in this R+5 district: Martin Beeson, who’s the district attorney for Pitkin, Garfield, and Rio Blanco Counties. Blue Dog Salazar has had little trouble with re-election despite the district’s lean.

CA-36: Jane Harman’s high-profile role in the still-unfolding wiretap scandal has liberal activists in the 36th, long frustrated by Harman’s hold on this D+12 district, wondering if they finally have an opening to defeat her in a primary. Marcy Winograd, who won 38% against Harman in 2006, has been urged to run again and is “thinking about it.”

MI-07: For real? Republicans in DC (read: the NRCC) are telling’s Susan J. Demas that their top choice to take on frosh Dem Mark Schauer is none other than… ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz, who was ingloriously defeated in a 2006 primary by wingnut Tim Walberg. Schwarz, who went so far as to endorse Schauer over Walberg last fall, tells Demas that he’s not interested in running again. (J)

NH-02: Democratic New Hampshire State Rep. John DeJoie has formed an exploratory committee for the seat Paul Hodes is leaving open. (D)

KS-04: Democrats have their first candidate in the open seat in the 4th: Robert Tillman, a retired court services officer, and former precinct committeeman and NAACP local board member. There’s more firepower on the GOP side of the aisle in this now-R+14 district, including RNC member Mike Pompeo and state senator Dick Kelsey.

Redistricting: Republican Ohio state senator John Husted (who will probably be the GOP’s candidate for SoS in 2010) has introduced legislation that would totally change the way redistricting is done in Ohio. It would create a 7-member bipartisan commission that would draw both congressional and state district lines (removing congressional district authority from the legislature, and legislative district authority from the 5-member panel that Dems currently control). It remains to be seen, though, whether this proposal would make it past the Democratic governor and state house.

Nostalgia: Yahoo is shutting down the venerable Geocities. What ever will former Louisiana senate candidate John Neeley Kennedy do? (D)

NY-20: Last Days of Tedisco

Looks like it may soon be curtains for Jimmy T-Bags:

A finish line could be in sight in the race for the 20th Congressional District. With the numbers not looking good for Republican Jim Tedisco, sources tell Capital News 9 that Tedisco could concede to Democrat Scott Murphy as soon as Friday afternoon.

Let’s only hope! I look forward to seeing Scott Murphy be officially declared the winner and joining the Democratic caucus in the House.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/23

NY-20 (pdf): The BoE’s official tally bumps Scott Murphy’s lead up to 365, as 250 more ballots, mostly from Murphy stronghold Warren County, were added. Counting will continue for the forseeable future, unfortunately, and on Monday a judge will set a counting schedule for the ballots contested on the basis of second home residency.

The drip-drip of GOPers publicly throwing in the towel on NY-20 continues: today star strategist Mike Murphy cried uncle, as did former NRCC chair Tom Reynolds yesterday. Campaign Diaries has a thought-provoking piece on why the GOP continues to drag this out in the courts, even though they’re in too deep a hole for “case by case” examination of the ballots to salvage the count for them: it may be to set precedent for future recounts, where picking off individual ballots may be targeted to their advantage.

NY-Sen, NY-14: Rep. Carolyn Maloney has hired a statewide finance director, Lewis Cohen. Cohen denied that Maloney (who has been rumored to be interested in a primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand) will be running for Senate, but his title of “statewide” is pretty telling, considering that Maloney currently represents a few square miles in Manhattan and Queens.

PA-Sen: Only eight weeks before jumping into the Senate primary, Pat Toomey told Pennsylvania GOP chair Rob Gleason that he “didn’t want to be a Senator” and “be number 100 and vote no on everything.” Now this wouldn’t exactly be the first time a politician has promised one thing and done another, but the Specter camp has begun beating Toomey over the head with his flip-flop.

MO-Sen: Ex-treasurer Sarah Steelman is “moving in [the] direction” of entering the GOP senate primary, but is in no hurry to make a formal announcement as she gets her campaign’s financial house in order first. (She’s still paying off debts from her unsuccessful gubernatorial run last year.) This comes against a backdrop of increasing public discomfort by the party concerning Roy Blunt’s candidacy, caused not only by his humdrum $542K fundraising quarter and his high burn rate, but also his lobbyist ties and long ‘establishment’ track record.

GA-Gov, GA-03: With top candidates like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Cobb Co. Commissioner Sam Olens bailing on the race, there’s an opening for a top-tier candidate to leap into the GOP field for the Georgia governor’s race. (SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Comm. John Oxendine are still in.) Could Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who has occasionally expressed interest in this race, be the man? Westmoreland (perhaps best known for not being able to name the 10 commandments on the Colbert Report) is “seriously considering” it. Don’t look for a pickup of his R+19 seat if it’s open, though.

AL-Gov: Republican treasurer Kay Ivey will be running for governor after all, according to party insiders. The perception was that her role in Alabama’s floundering prepaid tuition plan may have wounded her too much to run for governor, but she’s still going for it.

CA-32: More endorsements as we approach the May 19 special election. Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu got the endorsement of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (The district doesn’t include any of LA, but obviously he’s a big figure in the media market.) The United Farm Workers and the locals of the Southern California District Council of Laborers went for state senator Gil Cedillo.

FL-08: Republican Orlando mayor Rich Crotty was looking like a major threat to just-elected Rep. Alan Grayson, but he’s getting tarnished with some legal troubles that may preclude him from running. A grand jury accused him of pressuring vendors to contribute to his re-election campaign. There’s still a deep Republican bench eyeing the race in this R+2 district, including state senate majority whip Andy Gardiner, ex-state senator Daniel Webster, and state rep. Steve Precourt. Grayson raised only $144K in the first quarter, but he may plan to self-finance, as he partially did in 2008.

Demographics: Here’s some interesting data from the Census Bureau: fewer people moved in 2007 (35.2 million) than any year since 1962 (when the nation had 120 million fewer people). This has its roots in the housing bubble pop, as people underwater in their houses are unlikelier to relocate for work. This may show up in a big way in 2012 reapportionment, though, as more people staying in place may save a few seats in the northeast or midwest and limit growth in the south or west.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/22

PA-Sen: The founder of the PA chapter of the Club for Growth has called on Pat Toomey to drop out (!), saying that he’s too conservative for Pennsylvania. (No shit.) The Toomey camp fired back with some mostly non-responsive B.S. (D)

CA-Gov: San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom made the official leap from exploring the California governor’s race to being an officially announced candidate yesterday. He joins Lt. Gov. John Garamendi as the only formal candidates in the race, although Garamendi’s campaign is on hold while he pursues the CA-10 special election.

CA-Sen: The California GOP has lined up a “strong second choice” to challenge Barbara Boxer if ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina doesn’t get in the race. African-American talk radio host Larry Elder, who was on Los Angeles’s KABC for 15 years, is meeting with GOP officials, but still sidelined while waiting for Fiorina. (The pro-choice, pro-pot legalization Elder is very much from the libertarian wing of the party.) Assemblyman Chuck Devore is already officially a candidate, but the party seems unenthused about his odds.

NC-Sen, NC-07: Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre says that his re-election to the House is his current “concentration”, but when asked if he’s considering a Senate bid, McIntyre told a local ABC affiliate that “you never say never to anything.” A recent PPP poll had McIntyre trailing Richard Burr by only five points. (J)

TN-09: Rep. Steve Cohen, as a white Jewish man representing a mostly African-American district, is going to always be vulnerable to primary challenges (as seen with last year’s mudfest with Nikki Tinker). It looks like he’ll be facing a serious test this year, as Memphis mayor Willie Herenton has formed an exploratory committee for the House race. Herenton is African-American and has been mayor since 1991, elected five times. On the other hand, there may be some Herenton fatigue going on in this district, as he is under federal investigation, was re-elected most recently with less than 50% of the vote, and announced his resignation in 2008 only to withdraw it shortly after.

NY-20: You know it’s over for Jim Tedisco when major Republicans are telling him to pack it in. Yesterday, ex-Rep. Tom Davis said it was over, and today, state senator Betty Little (who lost the special election nomination to Tedisco) and Dan Isaacs (who’s running for state GOP chair) also called for the pulling of the plug. Isaacs is so upset that he’s reduced to making up new words: “Tedisco appears not able to pull out a victory in an overwhelmingly Republican district; to me that’s the final indignancy.”

MI-02: Roll Call takes a quick look at the race to replace retiring Rep. Pete Hoekstra. On the GOP side, former state rep. Bill Huizenga is the “biggest voice that’s out there,” but state senator Wayne Kuipers is poised to get in, as is former NFL player Jay Riemersma, who’s well connected with the Christian right. (Notice a common thread in those names? This is the nation’s most heavily Dutch-American district.) There are three Democratic state reps in the district, too, but none of them seem to be making a move yet.

Michigan: An interesting white paper obtained from the Michigan GOP shows that they’re quite pessimistic about getting back into power in 2010, despite the advantages they seem to be taking into next year’s governor’s race. Their suburban base has eroded since the 1990s, and their one-note message just isn’t resonating with swing voters anymore.

NRSC: Continuing our theme of unusually reality-based Republicans today, NRSC John Cornyn is sounding an increasingly cautious note about senate prospects in 2010, telling the Hill that it’s “going to be real hard” to keep the Democrats from breaking 60 seats in 2010.

NH-St. Sen.: Ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley, who lost twice to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has begun a new, more low-key chapter in his career, as a state senator. He easily won a special election, 61-39, over retired judge Bud Martin, to retain a GOP-held open seat. Dems continue to hold a 14-10 edge in the chamber.

John Sununu Sr. (the state GOP chair) didn’t seem interested in spinning the victory as indication of a new GOP trend in New Hampshire, though. Always a charmer, Sununu’s thoughts instead were:

He said Bradley’s election actually helps [Gov. John] Lynch. Bradley could be counted on to sustain a Lynch veto of the gay marriage and transgender discrimination legislation, “if he (Lynch) finds the strength to veto that garbage,” Sununu said.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/17

NY-20 (pdf): This morning’s official tally from the BoE gives Scott Murphy a whopping lead of 268. This new number reflects the addition of all the remaining absentees from Columbia County, where Murphy performed well on Election Day and apparently even better among absentees. There are still 1,200 absentee ballots that haven’t been counted because they were subject to challenge; they’ll be reviewed starting Monday.

Jim Tedisco isn’t waiting around for those ballots, though; he’s already asking the courts to declare him the victor. Wait… what? Isn’t he the one who’s behind? (The Tedisco camp has tried to clarify that they were re-filing a motion that they filed on Election Day, to also have Tedisco declared the winner, as some sort of ‘insurance policy.’ OK, that makes me feel much better.)

CA-10: BigDust broke the story yesterday in diaries: Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, seeing his gubernatorial campaign sputtering and lured by the siren call of a term-limits-free job, has more-or-less confirmed that the rumors are true and he’s jumping into the 10th District special election, where state senator Mark DeSaulnier had already nailed down the ‘establishment’ candidate mantle. (Unlike other frequent job-hopper Tom McClintock, Garamendi actually has the advantage of living in the district.)

KY-Sen, SD-Sen: The message can’t get much clearer than this. Mitch McConnell is hosting a fundraiser in the state of Kentucky for his fellow senator… John Thune? That’s right; McConnell would rather help a guy from South Dakota defending a safe seat than help his fellow Kentuckian Jim Bunning, who has already been complaining about how McConnell is sucking up all the fundraising oxygen in the state.

CT-Sen: Chris Dodd may have raised a million bucks last quarter, but only five donors were from his home state of Connecticut. And before you can say “But what about donations below $200 which don’t require detailed disclosure?”, we’ll just point out that Dodd took in under $2,300 total from that category of donors. Sigh. (D)

On the plus side for Dodd, he got a hearty endorsement and a promise of future help from someone a little more popular than him: Barack Obama. “Chris is going through a rough patch,” says Obama.

NH-Sen: Paul Hodes raised $225K this quarter, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot, does it? (D)

NJ-Gov: Governor Jon Corzine, facing a tough re-election, has another problem: his gross income last year was negative $2.75 million. You’ve got to assume that his overall net worth (once estimated at $300 million) has taken a much, much larger hit, so that calls into question his willingness, if not ability, to moneybomb the race as he did with his last two runs for office.

TX-Gov: I never thought I’d have to say this out loud, but Governor Rick Perry may not have a winning issue on his hands when he makes veiled secession threats. A Rasmussen snap-poll finds that 75% of Texans would prefer to remain a part of the USA. 18% prefer secession, and 7% just aren’t sure. Not coincidentally, a similar percentage of the Texas state senate (71%) just voted, 22-9, to ignore Perry and accept the $550 million in federal stimulus money to keep their state unemployment trust fund from going broke.

Words: Here’s a fun time-suck: a website that lets you create a word cloud for most-used words in a particular day, week, month, or year in the Congressional Record, or for a particular lawmaker.