SSP Daily Digest: 4/6 (Afternoon Edition)

AZ-Sen: Maybe she was scared off by that R2K poll that had her down more than 20-odd points? Nan Stockholm Walden, a wealthy attorney and businesswoman who had been the subject of DSCC interest as a candidate in Arizona, decided not to run. That gives Tucson city councilor Rodney Glassman a pretty clear path to the nomination (assuming he runs; he’s still in exploratory mode).

CT-Sen: Did you know that Linda McMahon actually held (until now) a political position, in addition to, of course, all the important work she does at WWE? She was on Connecticut’s Board of Education (an appointed position, courtesy of Jodi Rell), but just resigned from that role. She says that there are too many restrictions on political activities by board members for her to be able to remain in that position, as she tries to get the GOP Senate nomination.

SD-Sen: John Thune may have dodged having to run against a Democrat in November, but he won’t be running purely unopposed. He’s still facing off against an independent, perennial candidate Kurt Evans.

WI-Sen, WI-Gov: I had no idea that St. Norbert was the patron saint of fucked-up polls. A poll from Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College is tilted even further in the Republican direction than recent offerings from Rasmussen and the decidedly conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. They find Russ Feingold losing to Tommy Thompson 45-33 (with 14% for an independent/third party, whoever that might be), and beating Generic R by only 40-37. Their gubernatorial numbers find Tom Barrett losing to Scott Walker 44-28 and to Mark Neumann 43-29. Even the GOP primary numbers seem screwy, with underdog Neumann almost even with Walker, who leads 24-23.

CA-Gov: Meg Whitman rummaged around in her purse and found another $20 million to throw on the table, bringing her personal contributions to the race up to a whopping $59 million. Despite her big lead over Steve Poizner in the primary, she may need to prepare to shore things up, as Poizner has been telegraphing that he’s going to start going hard at her on the hot-button issue of immigration, in a last-ditch effort to get the state’s right-wingers to pay some attention to him.

GA-12: There were some poorly sourced rumors yesterday that Rep. John Barrow — a conservadem in a swing district facing a primary challenge and the ire of a large swath of his African-American constituency after his HCR “no” vote — was going to switch parties. Barrow now says he was never even contemplating that, though.

KS-03: After the Kansas City Star reported last week that Stephene Moore was going to run to replace her husband, Dennis, in the 3rd, she started acting coy about it (despite insider assurances that it was a done deal). As expected, though, today she made it official, filing a glaring hole in this R+3 open seat.

LA-03: It looks like the NRCC is finally getting a top-tier participant in the open seat race in the 3rd (despite that winning it won’t be much of a prize, as the 3rd is poised to vaporize in 2012 redistricting). Former state House speaker Hunt Downer says he’ll announce his candidacy very soon. Probably the surest indication that Downer is serious is that state Rep. Nickie Monica, who may have been the strongest GOPer in the field to date, now says he’s getting out of the race to make way for Downer. With attorney Ravi Sangisetty the only Dem willing to stick his neck out for this one, this one’s pretty thoroughly in the GOP column.

MN-06: State Sen. Tarryl Clark has been putting up some monster fundraising numbers against Michele Bachmann this cycle; I guess that’s what happens when you run against one of the nation’s top lightning rods for teh crazy. She pulled in $505K last quarter, bringing her to $1.1 million in total receipts this cycle. Unfortunately, Clark (or her primary opponent Maureen Reed, who’s also raised well but hasn’t released Q1 numbers yet) will likely have to contend with the presence of spoiler Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson. Anderson pulled in 10% of the vote in 2008 (while Elwyn Tinklenberg lost by only 3%), and he’s seeking the IP’s endorsement again.

NH-01: RNC committee member Sean Mahoney made a big show out of resigning his post, ostensibly out of disgust with the Michael Steele administration and its free-spending, strip-clubbing ways. Speculation, though, is that Mahoney is planning to run in the GOP primary in the 1st (where Manchester mayor Frank Guinta is considered frontrunner, although so-so fundraising has diminished his luster a bit), which would require him to resign anyway. Mahoney isn’t promising anything on that front yet, though.

NY-29: The Democrats have literally chosen Some Dude as their standard bearer in the 29th. The party chairs in the eight counties in the district issued a statement where they said they’ve chosen a consensus nominee to replace Eric Massa in the special election that may or may not happen. However, they neglected to actually say who that candidate might be. We’ll know the masked man’s identity next week.

TN-03: A Huck divided against itself cannot stand? In a prime example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing, HuckPAC (Mike Huckabee’s national financial arm) and Team Huck Tennessee (the local grassroots operation) are endorsing different candidates in the GOP primary in the 3rd. Team Huck is endorsing former state GOP chair Robin Smith, while HuckPAC (and presumably, Huckabee himself) is going with attorney Chuck Fleischmann.

TN-08: State Sen. Roy Herron had another fine fundraising quarter as he tries to keep this open seat in Democratic hands; he pulled in $490K last quarter, leaving him with more than $1 million cash on hand. It’s not an expensive district, media-wise, but he has some strong fundraising competition from humble gospel-singing farmer agribusiness mogul Stephen Fincher, who pulled in over $300K himself and is sitting on $820K CoH.

PA-St. Sen.: As if the Pennsylvania legislature couldn’t be held in any lower esteem, here’s another fresh scandal. Luckily, this one seems to be falling on the Republican side of the aisle: state Sen. Jane Orie, the body’s third-ranking GOPer, was just accused by a grand jury of repeatedly using her staff for political campaigns on the state’s dime (include the campaign of her sister, state Supreme Court justice Joan Orie Melvin). Charges are expected, but Orie is shrugging it off, saying it’s a politically motivated smear by Democratic Allegheny Co. DA Stephen Zappala.

Filings: The filing deadline in Missouri has passed, on March 30. Rep. Roy Blunt wound up with (count ’em) 10 Republican primary opponents in the Senate race, although state Sen. Chuck Purgason seems the only one worth paying attention to. The number of GOPers vying to take on Ike Skelton in MO-04 also reached the double digits. Probably the biggest surprise and disappointment was in MO-09: not that the DCCC would likely have strongly contested this district that they barely lost in 2008 when it was open, but not a single Democrat showed up to run in this race.

Teabaggers: Here’s a nice catch from Ruy Teixeira: teabagging is about as popular as socialism. In slightly-differently-worded questions from two different 2010 polls, Gallup found that 37% had a favorable opinion of “the Tea Party movement” (including 14% of Democrats), while 36% had a positive image of “socialism” (including 17% of Republicans?!?).

SSP Daily Digest: 3/18 (Afternoon Edition)

NV-Sen: It’s starting to look like the investigation into John Ensign may really take off. The DOJ is actually serving subpoenas to at least six different Las Vegas area businesses, as they expand a criminal probe into the tangle of quid pro quos that arose as Ensign tried to find lobbying work for cuckolded friend Doug Hampton.

CA-Gov: Usually politicians wait to say this kind of thing privately instead of publicly, but maybe Jerry Brown, as is his way, is engaged in some sort of Jedi mind trick. Brown openly encouraged his union allies to start spending now in the governor’s race and to go on the attack against likely GOP opponent Meg Whitman, so that he can stay “the nice guy” in the race.

MI-Gov: Chris Cillizza has access to a new poll from Inside Michigan Politics/Marketing Resource Group, which looks at the Republican primary in the Michigan Governor’s race. It’s more evidence that businessman Rick Snyder’s splashy spending and catchy “one tough nerd” ad has turned this into a real three-way race. The poll finds AG Mike Cox and Rep. Peter Hoekstra tied at 21, with Snyder right there at 20. Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard trails, at 10.

NY-Gov: Guess who doesn’t like the idea of running a Democrat for the Republican nomination for Governor (even if NY GOP head Ed Cox seems to think it’s the best idea since sliced bread)? The RNC has threatened not to put money into New York races (and note that says “races,” not just the Gov’s race) if Democratic Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy winds up the GOP’s nominee. Meanwhile, David Paterson‘s case just gets weirder and weirder, as now he’s saying he himself was the anonymous source for the NYT story on his interceding on his aide’s behalf.

WY-Gov: It’s still not clear that state Sen. Mike Massie is going to run for Governor on the Democratic side, but it is looking like he’s planning to move up. He confirmed he won’t run for his Senate seat again, although he’s interested in Superintendent of Public Education as well as Governor.

NY-24: Chalk Rep. Mike Arcuri up as a “no” vote on health care reform. This comes despite the threat of losing the Working Families Party line in November, which will probably imperil his chances of re-election more so than any Republican votes he might pick up (which will probably equal zero, regardless of how he might vote on HCR).

NY-29: Corning mayor Tom Reed has a bright idea on how to pay for the special election caused by Eric Massa’s resignation: make Massa pay for it, out of the money in his campaign fund (which is roughly equal to the actual cost of holding the election). Not that it’s going to happen, but it raises an interesting question: is there a legal mechanism for Massa to write a $644K check to the state of New York out of his account?

PA-12 (pdf): There’s a second poll of the 12th, from a slightly more established pollster (although one who still requires a grain or two of salt): Republican pollster Susquehanna. Their numbers are pretty close to the weird robopoll from yesterday, finding Democrat Mark Critz leading Republican Tim Burns 36-31. Bad news for Dems: by a 49/44 margin, voters want to turn away from a candidate who, in the John Murtha tradition, supports earmarks for the district. Good news for the Dems: of the undecideds, 67% are Democrats, meaning that Critz has more room to grow.

VA-11: Rich guy Keith Fimian is up with his first radio ad in the 11th, attacking Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly for saying, in reference to the stimulus, “I want to be there with all four paws and snout in the trough.” Um, yeah… except Connolly was saying that long after the stimulus passage, making fun of Eric Cantor’s hypocrisy on the issue. Too bad snark tags don’t translate to radio very well.

NY-Something: Former Republican Lt. Governor, and then unsuccessful former health care industry spokesbot, Betsy McCaughey, apparently is looking for a way into the Republican field in one of the various statewide races in New York; she’s been polling both races. (There’s one small wrinkle: she’s still registered as a Democrat, and voted in the 2009 Democratic primary. She became a Dem after George Pataki dropped her from his 1998 ticket, and tried to run against Pataki as a Dem instead.)

Votes: After all the sturm and drang surrounding the cloture vote, the final vote on the Senate jobs bill was pretty uninteresting, with 11 different GOPers crossing the aisle to vote for it: Alexander, Bond, Brown, Burr, Cochran, Collins, Inhofe, LeMieux, Murkowski, Snowe, and Voinovich.

WATN?: A must-read editorial in today’s WaPo comes from ex-Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, whose despite her two years in the House looms large in history as the decisive vote on the 1993 Clinton budget, which is usually assigned as the reason for her loss in 1994. She pushes back against the mind-numbing Beltway conventional wisdom that your electoral survival depends on bucking the party line on the tough votes, and seems to be weighing on the minds of members like the aforementioned Mike Arcuri. A wave is a wave, and it takes out those in unsafe districts who vote for or vote against; the key is to not let the wave become a wave in the first place:

Votes like this are never a zero-sum game…. While it is easy to say my balanced-budget vote cost me reelection, that assumes the line of history that followed the bill’s passage. Had I voted against it, the bill wouldn’t have passed, the Republican opposition would have been emboldened, the Clinton presidency would have moved into a tailspin . . . and all of this could have just as easily led to my undoing.

Simply put, you could be Margolies-Mezvinskied whether you vote with or against President Obama. You will be assailed no matter how you vote this week. And this job isn’t supposed to be easy. So cast the vote that you won’t regret in 18 years.

There’s still one strange contention in her piece: that “I was in the country’s most Republican district represented by a Democrat.” Sorry, not even close: that district would’ve been R+4 at the time, based on its 1988 and 1992 results, good for 51st most Republican held by a Democrat. Even though she famously got bounced out in 1994, the 13th was promptly back in Democratic hands in 1998, courtesy of Joe Hoeffel (and now, thanks to trends in the Philly suburbs and thanks to redistricting, it’s a safe Dem district). The most Republican district held by a Dem in 1993? FL-01, then held by Earl Hutto, at R+20. (Hutto retired in 1994, giving way to… wait for it… Joe Scarborough.)

SSP Daily Digest: 3/12 (Afternoon Edition)

NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The filing period in Nevada is now open, and there was one more surprise credible entrant in the Republican field for the Senate race, attracted by the stink lines coming off of Harry Reid. Assemblyman Chad Christensen of suburban Las Vegas, who at one point was minority whip, decided to take the plunge. That takes the number of Republicans jostling to face Reid up to a whopping 10. In other filings news, New York investment banker John Chachas decided to follow through on his planned expensive run despite usually polling with 0%, and on the gubernatorial side, Jim Gibbons put to rest any retirement rumors by filing for re-election.

NY-Sen-B: It looks like the GOP has managed to find another warm body to take on Kirsten Gillibrand. Ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi, ousted by voters from Congress over 20 years ago and now a darling of the local teabaggers, says that he’ll enter the race. (JL) (Port Authority commissioner Bruce Blakeman is already in the race, and has gotten a lot of county-level endorsements, while the Beltway media is treating former Bush aide Dan Senor as their flavor of the day, seeing as how he’s a guy they’re all familiar with.)

UT-Sen: The start of the Utah Republican caucus process is in just two weeks, and Utah’s GOP chair is busy telling outside groups to butt out, warning them that they risk a backlash for their negative campaigning. He’s referring to Club for Growth, who’ve been advertising and robocalling to attack incumbent Bob Bennett (although they aren’t endorsing a particular opponent).

MI-Gov: Much has been made of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Dillon’s poor relations with organized labor, with the assumption that labor is now getting behind Lansing mayor Virg Bernero instead. However, Dillon managed to nail down at least one union endorsement, from the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council.

CO-07: He’d gotten Tom Tancredo’s endorsement, but that wasn’t enough to keep music promoter Jimmy Lakey in the race. Not having gotten much traction against Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier in the primary, he bailed out.

IN-03: I’m not sure if that rumored teabagger challenge to Republican Rep. Mark Souder – near-legendary for his lackluster campaigning – from attorney and former Dick Lugar staffer Phil Troyer ever came to pass, but now it sounds like Souder is facing another challenge from the right (or at least from the land of the awake). Auto dealer Bob Thomas (a former head of the national Ford dealers association) is planning a run and expected to advance himself $500K to get things rolling. If he has two insurgent opponents, look for Souder to survive the split… but one well-financed one could give him fits.

MA-10: I’m not sure that “top aide to Deval Patrick” is the thing you want on your resume right now, but Ted Carr is now considering a run for the open seat in the 10th in the Democratic primary (where he’d join state Sen. Robert O’Leary and Norfolk Co. DA William Keating). Carr is currently the director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and is also a selectman in Cohasset.

NJ-07: Looks like Dems finally have a candidate nailed down in the 7th, although probably not one who’s going to put the contest against freshman Rep. Leonard Lance squarely on the map. The Union Co. Dems endorsed educator and former Hill aide Ed Potosnak for the race, and his principal rival, Zenon Christodoulou, vice-chair of the Somerset Co. Democrats, dropped out and endorsed Potosnak.

NY-29: Here’s a big break for Corning mayor Tom Reed, and, in terms of avoiding a toxic split of the kind that’s sabotaged many a House special election for them, possibly for Republicans in general. Monroe Co. Executive Maggie Brooks has decided not to run in the special election to replace Eric Massa, whenever that might be held, which leaves Reed (who was running before Massa’s resignation) as the consensus choice. On the other hand, Brooks is probably better known than Reed and may also have better fundraising connections (on which front Reed has been lackluster so far), so she might have turned out to be a better bet for the GOP. The Dems still have nobody lined up, although several Assembly members have floated their names.

PA-06: The Manan Trivedi Express keeps gaining steam, scoring a big endorsement last night from the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. Trivedi can place this endorsement in his back pocket — right alongside his endorsement from the Chester County Democrats last month. (The MontCo Dems also endorsed local fave Joe Hoeffel for Governor, and declined to endorse for Senate.) Meanwhile, The Hill notes that Trivedi’s primary opponent, the moneyed Doug Pike, is taking a “silence is best” approach on the topic of healthcare reform, refusing to respond to multiple requests for comment on the bill. (JL)

DCCC: Barack Obama’s wading into the Congressional electoral fray on May 13, hosting a big-dollar fundraiser in New York hosted by the DCCC.

CA-LG: State Sen. Dean Florez decided to jump out of the way of the Gavin Newsom juggernaut, ending his own Lt. Governor bid. It looks like the LG race will come down to Newsom vs. Los Angeles city councilor Janice Hahn.

NY-St. Sen.: Here’s one of those polls that helps restore your faith in humanity. Ex-state Sen. Hiram Monserrate does not appear to be on track to win back the Senate seat he got expelled from after being convicted of assault, according to a new Siena poll of the SD-13 special election. Democratic Assemblyman Jose Peralta is polling at 60%, followed by Monserrate (now an independent) at 15, with Republican Robert Beltrani at 9. The election is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Georgia: I can’t think of how to connect this story to national politics, but it’s certainly interesting just from the perspective of geographical geekery. Ever wonder about the strange shape of Fulton County, Georgia (which is kind of arrow-shaped, where the pointy part is a cluster of right-leaning mostly-white exurbs far to the north of Atlanta)? It turns out that Fulton County is a conglomerate of three former counties (Milton and Campbell), and now the Republicans in the state House are pushing legislation that would allow historic merged counties to reconstitute themselves. The racial undertone, of course, is that the wealthy exurbs of former Milton County (like Roswell and Alpharetta) would like to split off from mostly-black Fulton County… which would be a big hit on Fulton County’s property tax base, so Democrats are opposed. The plan may not succeed though, as it would require two-thirds of the legislature because it requires amending the state constitution.

Humor: If you missed Scott Rasmussen’s appearance on the Colbert Report last night, check it out. The actual interview itself wasn’t revelatory, but the self-feeding sausage machine bit that precedes it is amazing.  

SSP Daily Digest: 3/11 (Morning Edition)

  • FL-Sen: Insider Advantage, polling on behalf of the Florida Times Union, confirms what PPP sees in the GOP primary. They have Marco Rubio eviscerating Charlie Crist, 60-26. Charlie Crist better figure out his exit strategy in a hurry, or else he’ll have a lot more time to spend on back waxes come September.
  • KY-Sen: Some Dude Bill Johnson said he’s bailing on the GOP primary to succeed Jim Bunning, saying his internal polling looked cruddy. He’d spent a few hundred grand of his own money, but yeah, I never heard of him either. He does have a perfect Some Dude name – according to the SSP tags, there’s another Bill Johnson running in Ohio this cycle, and still another running in Alabama!
  • NV-Sen: How is this man still in office? The New York Times reports:”Previously undisclosed e-mail messages turned over to the F.B.I. and Senate ethics investigators provide new evidence about Senator John Ensign’s efforts to steer lobbying work to the embittered husband of his former mistress….”
  • CO-Gov: In an apparent bid to out-nut his party-mate Jane Norton when it comes to outlandishly conservative proposals on the “restructuring” of basic governance, Scott McInnis was caught on tape at a recent Tea Party candidate forum suggesting that the state Department of Education be looked at as a possible target for elimination. (JL)
  • GA-Gov: Georgia Dems are pressing the House Ethics Committee to wrap up its investigation of Rep. Nathan Deal, who is slated to resign from the House at the end of the month. If they don’t finish by then, there’s a good chance they’ll just drop the investigation – something, in fact, they just did with regard to Eric Massa.
  • HI-Gov: This is interesting. We noted the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s endorsement of Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman in the Dem primary yesterday, but we didn’t look at their rationale. One of their reasons ought to appeal to progressives: Hanneman, like the ILWU and Sens. Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye, has backed Colleen Hanabusa over Ed Case for the HI-01 May special election. Rival Neil Abercrombie has stayed neutral, which looks like a big mistake, given how powerful the ILWU is in Hawaii.
  • NY-Gov: Trying to forestall attempts to find a better candidate (or shove him from the race), Rick Lazio rolled out a bunch of endorsements from a bunch of Republicans who are all retired these days: former Gov. George Pataki and former Reps. Amo Houghton, Sherwood Boehlert, and George Wortley. I had to look up Wortley – he hasn’t served since 1989.
  • MI-07: Look out, John Kasich! Tim Walberg says “I was Tea Party before there was a Tea party.” He also says he lost in 2008 “because McCain was not a true conservative and people were tired of moderates.”
  • NY-14: With Democratic majorities at risk and progressive power in Congress at a troubling ebb, too many powerful New Yorkers seem only too happy to back an unabashed pro-bankster neophyte challenging a liberal female incumbent. I’m talking about Reshma Saujani, who’s running on a platform of kissing Wall Street’s ass (“If you go to Texas, you’ll never hear a Congressional member speak poorly of the oil industry”) against Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Oh, but don’t worry – Saujani’s got all the important things covered. At a recent women’s fundraiser, one of her supporters assured the crowd, “But it gets better, look how fashionable she is. She’ll definitely be the best dressed person in Congress.”
  • NY-29: Former Rep. Randy Kuhl has decided he won’t try to win his old seat back. Instead, he’s endorsing ex-Corning Mayor Tom Reed. Incidentally, Kuhl must have had the worst oppo team ever when he was actually running for office, no?
  • SC-02: Ugh – Dem Rob Miller, who raked in a couple mil he never otherwise would have seen after Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst, is making some unforced errors. He kicked a TV reporter and camera crew out of a speech to a local Democratic club, and then tried to later claim he had done no such thing. Unfortunately, contemporaneous emails contradicted Miller’s claims. I really hope that Miller’s elevation to Red to Blue status means he’s going to get some professional campaign assistance, and that he’s not just being fleeced for his Brewster’s millions.
  • Redistricting: I love this diary – possumtracker takes us on a magical mystery tour of some of the most extreme possible majority-minority districts, in places you probably never thought such districts could exist. Let’s hope actual map-drawers (or the DoJ) don’t take too many cues, though, since these kinds of districts would likely kill many neighboring Democratic seats.
  • Robocalls: The Republican Attorney General of Indiana, Greg Zoeller, chastised the NRCC yesterday for its use of robocalls introduced by a live operator. Zoeller says that, while legal, the NRCC’s tactics violate the spirit of a tri-partisan treaty signed between the state’s Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties banning the use of robocalls in the state. Zoeller asked the NRCC to suspend its use of robocalling in the state. Typical for the NRCC, they told Zoeller to go twist. (JL)
  • SSP Daily Digest: 3/10 (Morning Edition)

  • IL-Sen: In DC celebrating Greek Independence Day, Alexi Giannoulias also met with White House political advisors David Axelrod and Patrick Gaspard. No real word on what was discussed.
  • PA-Sen: Ouch – check out this blistering broadside directed at Joe Sestak from PA Democratic Chair T.J. Rooney. Rooney blasted Sestak in a sternly-worded letter for not paying his campaign workers the minimum wage and encouraged him to make a concerted effort to vote more often on the House floor. (JL)
  • TX-Sen: Will she resign or won’t she? The Politico catches up with GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, still fresh from her massively underwhelming performance in the Texas gubernatorial primary, and reports that she “has nothing to say, and I won’t for a while” regarding her future plans. Senate Republicans, apparently, are taking her silence as a sign that a resignation is not actually in the cards, despite KBH’s repeated promises in the past year that she would definitely be leaving the Senate regardless of the primary result. (JL)
  • CO-Gov: Teasing teaser Tom “The Teaser” Jensen teases us with this tease:
  • Well we’ll have Colorado Governor numbers out [today] and here’s a little preview – John Hickenlooper’s net favorability is 36 points better than Bill Ritter’s net approval. As you can imagine that makes Hickenlooper just a little more competitive in the horse race.

  • AL-05: It’s the party switch which keeps on backfiring. Unlike a lot of other, uh, Republicans, Parker Griffith accepted a bunch of money from Charlie Rangel, which he was in a hurry to give back. The problem is that Rangel donated in 2008 – and Griffith recently told angry ex-supporters (to whom he had promised refunds) that he couldn’t return their money from the previous cycle since it had already been spent.
  • GA-07: Ralph Reed says he’ll announce his plans today, but according to Roll Call, GOP bigs think he’s going to pass on a run. Reed’s previous run for office did not go particularly well – he got crushed in the 2006 Republican primary for GA Lt. Gov., losing 56-44.
  • LA-03: Lawyer Jeff Landry joined the GOP field to replace Rep. Charlie Melancon yesterday, but CQ thinks that there are bigger names still in the offing: House Speaker Hunt Downer and Scott Angelle, “a Democrat who was named by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal in late 2007 to serve as Louisiana’s secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.” Dems are also holding out hope for a more prominent candidate, such as state Rep. Fred Mills (who might decide after the legislative session ends on June 21) or former Rep. Chris John.
  • MI-01: Teacher and former Charlevoix County commissioner Connie Saltonstall plans to challenge Bart Stupak in the Democratic primary, specifically citing Stupak’s infamous anti-choice amendment and threats to vote against healthcare reform if he doesn’t get his way. Saltonstall lost a race against incumbent GOP state Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer in 2008, 61-37.
  • NM-01: NRCC Chair Pete Sessions will campaign in Albuquerque with fellow GOPer Jon Barela, who is hoping to unseat frosh Dem Martin Heinrich.
  • NY-13: Here’s a nice score for frosh Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. Richmond County Borough President James Molinaro, an elected Republican who came up with the Conservative Party, has endorsed McMahon for another term in the House. Molinaro endorsed McMahon in 2008, but that was against the detested specimen that was Bob Straniere, who seemed to turn off just about every member of the Republican and Conservative Staten Island hierarchy. (JL)
  • NY-29: David Paterson says that he’s going to call the special election “as soon as possible,” and that he doesn’t think the seat will be left vacant for the rest of the year.
  • House: Some chair shuffling as 69-year-old Rep. Norm Dicks, the second most-senior member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, takes over the reins in the wake of John Murtha’s passing, as expected. This mondo committee post potentially means tons more campaign donations will head Dicks’ way, giving him a chance to shower that wealth on others.
  • WATN?: Ex-Rep. Eric Massa is now under investigation “for allegations that he groped multiple male staffers working in his office.” Also yesterday, Glenn Beck apologized at the end of his Massa interview, saying: “America, I’m going to shoot straight to you. I think I’ve wasted your time.”
  • SSP Daily Digest: 3/9 (Afternoon Edition)

    AR-Sen: Like I always say, flip-flopping at every opportunity is the best way to win elections. Then:

    Lincoln: I Will Fight Reconciliation as Tool to Achieve Health Insurance Reform


    Asked twice whether she was wavering on her previous statements to vote against a reconciliation bill, Lincoln said: “I’ll wait to see what’s in it.”

    Considering she already voted for healthcare reform in the first place, this actually is probably the better move for her, believe it or not. (D)

    CO-Sen, CO-Gov: More evidence that the teabaggers and assorted other movement conservative aren’t takin’ kindly to outsiders coming in and imposing Jane Norton on them. Norton lost a GOP straw poll to right-wing Weld County DA Ken Buck after a Denver candidate forum sponsored by the Tea Partiers and 9-12ers. Interestingly, no-name Dan Maes also triumphed over ex-Rep. Scott McInnis on the gubernatorial side.

    LA-Sen: Rep. Charlie Melancon is going on the offensive, having a lot of ground to make up against David Vitter if polls are any indication. He’s filed an ethics complaint against Vitter for having violated federal law by sending out fundraising appeals on official Senate letterhead.

    NY-Sen-B: Hardcore movement conservative and – get this – former chief economist for Bear Stearns (!!) David Malpass says he’s weighing a run against Kirsten Gillibrand, presumably as a Republican. Jonathan Chait hits all the high points as to how badly out-of-touch Malpass is, and Paul Krugman zings him for an especially good bit of moranocity. If I were Gillibrand, I think I’d love to go up against a mouthbreather like this. (D)

    PA-Sen: Arlen Specter got a boost from labor, with an endorsement from the United Auto Workers. Also, speaking of Pennsylvania, check out my latest installment at, where I used the disparate polling in PA-Sen as a means of introducing the non-SSP-reading masses to the idea of polling likely voters vs. registered voters.

    WA-Sen: It looks like the NRSC hasn’t given up on trying to lure Dino Rossi into the Senate race, as Rossi has confirmed having had a conversation with John Cornyn about it. Rossi continues to maintain a “never say never” attitude about it in the face of questions. The NRSC may also have a Plan B if Rossi says no, that’s an upgrade from their current top candidate, state Sen. Don Benton. They’re also interested in former news anchor Susan Hutchison. Despite presenting a somewhat moderate profile and the advantage of running without an “R” next to her name in the nonpartisan race, she still managed to rack up only 41% while losing November’s King County Executive race. (Still, that makes her only a one-time loser, compared with Rossi’s two strikes.) Hutchison says that she’s undecided, and she’ll wait for Rossi’s decision to make her own.

    IA-Gov: One other candidate who’s not faring so well in the straw poll venue, despite an overwhelming consensus from the political establishment, is ex-Gov. Terry Branstad. He just lost a quick succession of three different county-level straw polls to social conservative Bob Vander Plaats, and these aren’t dinky rural counties either. Vander Plaats cleaned up in Woodbury County (his home turf of Sioux City), while earning narrow victories in Story County (Davenport Ames) and Dallas County (Des Moines suburbs).

    NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo may not be a declared candidate for Governor just yet, but he’s certainly fundraising like one. His camp is planning to hold a high-priced fundraiser in DC on March 22nd with some high-powered Democratic money players in attendance. (JL) Some of David Paterson’s nosediving approvals may have rubbed off a bit on Cuomo, if Marist‘s new snap poll (pdf) is any indication: Cuomo’s approval is down to a relatively human 54/39. Paterson is at an appalling 19/79, but 68% say he might as well still serve out his term with 28% saying resign. Still trying to find an upgrade from the lackluster campaign of Rick Lazio to go up against Cuomo, the GOP is meeting with conservaDem Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy (who’s been mulling a run in the Democratic primary) to try and get him to switch over to the GOP line to run for Governor.

    DE-AL: Republicans may have found an upgrade in the Delaware at-large seat, which has pretty much already slipped out of their grasp but where they can at least force former Democratic Lt. Gov. John Carney to work for it. They’re courting philanthropist Michele Rollins, the widow of former Republican Lt. Gov. John Rollins (and a former Miss USA) who has access to her former husband’s personal fortune.

    LA-02: Rep. Joe Cao seems to have read yesterday’s big expose of BaseConnect (the former BMW Direct) at TPM, and it seems to have been the first time he’d learned that they’re up to no good. He just severed all ties with the group, who’ve been doing his fundraising for the last year (and skimming off almost all his proceeds, which explains his terrible burn rate). Does this mean that no one from the NRCC was giving him any guidance on how to raise funds? It doesn’t seem like the kind of scam an incumbent would ordinarily fall for.

    NY-23: Doug Hoffman’s made it official – he’s going to try to win the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party nominations, “and unite them, as one team, to defeat the agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Bill Owens.” Sounds like someone has seen the Lord of the Rings movies a few times too many. This also seems a wee bit delusional, since of course most of the Independence Party quickly embraced Owens (who seems like a good fit for them) when Dede Scozzafava abandoned the race at the last moment. (D)

    NY-29: Strike two names from the list of potential Democratic candidates for the special election to replace crumb-bum Rep. Eric Massa. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton has announced that she won’t run for the seat, as has Monroe County DA Mike Green. (JL) On the GOP side, state Sen. Cathy Young has also just declined.

    PA-12: Barbara Hafer continues to attack the manner in which former Murtha aide Mark Critz was selected as the Dem nominee for the May special election – and by extention the people behind the process. Several Dems have gone on record expressing their distaste for Hafer’s attacks, and state party chair T. J. Rooney thinks they contributed to her being passed over. (D)

    TN-03: Democrats seem to have found a willing candidate, finally, to fill the gap in the open seat in the R+13 3rd (which looked like a promising race while former Insurance Comm. Paula Flowers was in it). Brenda Short decided to take the plunge; she used to be a Hill aide long ago for former Rep. Marilyn Lloyd (whose 1994 retirement turned the seat over to Rep. Zach Wamp, who’s finally vacating the seat to run for Governor).

    OR-Treasurer, OR-04: In something of a surprise, Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler today got named as interim state Treasurer, in the wake of the unfortunate death of Ben Westlund. Wheeler will still need to run again in a special election to be held as part of the November 2010 ballot; he’s confirmed he’ll run in that election but will face at least two prominent Dems: retiring state Sen. Rick Metsger (well-known from his time as local sports anchor), who filed yesterday before Wheeler’s appointment, and former Treasurer (and 2006 gubernatorial primary contestant) Jim Hill. Adding to the general sense of chaos is that it’s the last day of filing in Oregon, meaning now people are piling into Wheeler’s vacant seat as well. Finally, it looks like, with Springfield mayor Sid Leiken’s departure, OR-04 Rep. Peter DeFazio will merely face Some Dude: home-schooling activist Art Robinson.

    West Virginia: One other state where the filing deadline has passed is West Virginia. Despite the state’s red-ward trend (and significant challenges to both its Dem Reps., Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall), one area where the GOP doesn’t look poised to make much of any progress is the state legislature, already thoroughly dominated by Democrats. In fact, if the Republicans won every race in the state Senate where they managed to field a candidate, they still would come up short on controlling the chamber. In the state House, they managed to leave 27 seats uncontested.  

    NY-29: Eric Massa Becomes Unhinged

    First it was a cancer scare. Then it was sexual harassment allegations. Now, Eric Massa’s traded in his captain’s cap for a tinfoil helmet:

    Embattled Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) lashed out in an emotional radio appearance Sunday, accusing Dem leaders of what he suggested was an orchestrated campaign to force his resignation.

    “There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”

    This is sun-drenched lunacy, of course. Massa originally claimed he voted against the healthcare bill from the left. The only other person to do so was Dennis Kucinich. Every other freshman voted against it from the conservadem point of view, so Massa couldn’t possible be made into an example for them.

    But whatever – that’s all nuts. You think Steny Hoyer would trade all this bad press just to break some balls? That’s absurd. Massa wouldn’t quit unless someone really had the goods on him. Even if the D-Trip completely cut him off, he’s a prolific fundraiser and could well have won re-election against Tom Reed. At the very least, he could have served out his term if he wanted to. You don’t bail midstream without a damn good reason. I only wish Hoyer were that all-powerful!

    Anyhow, get a load of Massa recollecting his alleged transgression:

    “I said goodnight to the bridesmaid,” Massa continued. “I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.”

    “One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.’ And then [I] tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.”

    Because that’s how I always react when a buddy ribs me for leering at bridesmaid…. Ugh, whatever. Why doesn’t this guy have the good sense to shut up? This dingbat is going on the Glenn Beck show tomorrow, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more crap like this:

    “Eric Massa’s probably not going to go back to Congress, because the only way I would go back there would be as an independent. A pox on both parties.”

    I can’t believe I supported this guy through two election cycles, helping to raise six figures for him across a few different ActBlue pages with Daily Kos. What an asshole. Glad he’s gone.

    Though Massa’s not the only one expressing these kinds of Broderite sentiments – Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan (D) says he won’t run, because the “atmosphere in politics today is toxic, fueled by extremism on both sides of the aisle.” Can’t say I’m unhappy he’s declining – doesn’t sound like my type of Democrat at all. Fortunately, CQ mentions several other names, some of which are new (to me, at least):

    Democrats continue to emerge in the 29th district, which takes in a big chunk of eastern New York state. Democratic Assemblywomen Barbara Lifton and Susan John and Assemblyman David Koon have all expressed interest in the seat. And local Democrats are also now talking up Monroe County District Attorney Michael Green, a former Republican, as a strong possible contender.

    No word yet on when the special might be held. Since David Paterson is a man without a future, he can do whatever he pleases, which could include holding the special at some random date, scheduling it to coincide with the September primary, scheduling it to coincide with the general, or not having one at all. Who knows.

    NY-29: Massa Will Resign on Monday

    From Hotline OnCall:

    Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) will resign Monday at 5pm, a source close to the embattled incumbent tells Hotline OnCall.

    Massa has been pressured by House Dems to step aside amid an ethics controversy that caused him to announce earlier this week he would not run for a second term.

    So when will the special election be? Check out N.Y. Pub. Off. Law § 42 ¶ 3:

    [U]pon the occurrence of a vacancy in any elective office which cannot be filled by appointment for a period extending to or beyond  the next  general  election  at  which  a person may be elected thereto, the governor may in his discretion make proclamation of a  special  election to  fill  such  office,  specifying  the district or county in which the election is to be held, and the day thereof, which  shall  be  not  less than thirty nor more than forty days from the date of the proclamation.

    In short: it’ll be David Paterson’s call. (Or Richard Ravitch’s — who knows who will be the Governor of New York on Monday.)

    UPDATE: Reid Wilson has some more details on possible Democratic candidates for the seat:

    On the Dem side, Massa’s pick appears to be Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan (D), but he has yet to decide on a bid. Assemb. David Koon (D), though, told county chairs he’ll run. And several other legislators are also taking a look at the contest.

    SSP Daily Digest: 3/5 (Afternoon Edition)

    AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth’s new online fundraising ad actually depicts John McCain in blueface. (Click the link for a visual.) The joke, apparently, is an Avatar reference, in that McCain is being nominated for an award for “best conservative actor.” Or something like that. At least he’s not in blackface.

    NY-Sen-B: The GOP is still intent on mounting some sort of challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand; there’s just the small problem of finding a willing sacrifice. They may have found one, although I don’t know if he’d present much of an upgrade from Port Commissioner Bruce Blakeman (who’s already running and has secured a number of endorsements). Scott Vanderhoef, who just got elected to a fifth term as Executive of suburban Rockland County, is publicly weighing a bid. (If his name sounds vaguely familiar, he was John Faso’s running mate in 2006, en route to getting 29% of the vote against Eliot Spitzer.)

    PA-Sen: Joe Sestak pulled in a potentially useful endorsement in terms of both fundraising and ground troops, from the National Organization of Women. NOW says it’s more a positive endorsement of Sestak than a negative reflection on Specter (although I suspect the specter of Anita Hill still looms large in their memories). Let’s hope the timing works out a little better on this one than Sestak’s last endorsement — Tuesday’s endorsement from fellow Navy vet Eric Massa.

    SC-Sen: Democrats acted quickly to fill the gap left by the recent dropout of attorney Chad McGowan in the South Carolina Senate race; in fact, it may be something of an upgrade, with the entry of Charleston County Councilor and former judge Victor Rawl. Victory still seems highly unlikely, but it’s good to mount a credible challenge against DeMint to keep him pinned down in the Palmetto State in the campaign’s closing months instead of letting him roam the country freely.

    CT-Gov: Ned Lamont got an endorsement from a key legislative figure in his battle for the Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial nomination: Senate president Donald Williams. Lamont’s main rival for the nod is former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy.

    IL-Gov: It’s finally official: state Sen. Bill Brady will be the Republican nominee in the gubernatorial race. Earlier in the day, the state certified Brady as the winner, by a razor-thin margin of 193 votes, over fellow state Sen. Kirk Dillard. And only moments ago, Dillard conceded, saying that he wouldn’t seek a recount and offered his support to Brady. (Dillard had previously said he’d contest it only if he was within 100 votes, give or take a few.) While I’d prefer to see a long, drawn-out nightmare for the Illinois GOP, this is still a pretty good outcome: the conservative, downstate Brady isn’t as good a matchup against Pat Quinn as Dillard would be. In fact, PPP’s Tom Jensen is already seeing some parallels between Brady and another guy who stumbled across the finish line after the presumptive frontrunners nuked each other: Creigh Deeds.

    MA-Gov: Here’s more evidence that former Democratic treasurer Tim Cahill is trying to move onto center-right turf as he forges ahead in his indie bid against incumbent Dem governor Deval Patrick. He’s bringing aboard several key members of John McCain’s 2008 campaign, including McCain right-hand-man Mark Salter and former chief strategist John Weaver. In fact, Reid Wilson wonders if Cahill is going to try to run to the right of the leading GOP candidate, Charlie Baker, who’s a socially-liberal big-business type.

    MI-Gov: Ex-Genesee County treasurer Dan Kildee has ended his campaign for Governor. The decision seems to have been made after the political arm of the UAW decided to throw their support to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Kildee says he wanted to “avoid splitting the support of organized labor and the votes of progressives,” who now seem likely to coalesce behind Bernero rather than centrist Andy Dillon (although liberal state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith also remains in the race). (J)

    NY-Gov: Quinnipiac did another snap poll on the status of David Paterson (whose downward spiral seems to be continuing, as today he lawyered up. In this installment, 46% said he should continue his term and 42% said resign; not catastrophic numbers, but ominous trendlines from only 31% saying “resign” in their previous poll, just two days earlier.

    MA-10: Contestants are already lining up in the wake of William Delahunt’s not-so-surprising retirement announcement yesterday in this D+5 district (albeit one that was colored decidedly Brown in January). For the GOP, state Rep. Jeffrey Perry is already in, but he’s likely to get shoved over by former state Treasurer Joe Malone, who’s announcing his bid today. (Malone’s statewide status may be hindrance as much as help, as he was at the helm during an embezzlement scandal involving underlings at the Treasurer’s office, although he was never accused of any wrongdoing himself.) GOP state Sen. Robert Hedlund has ruled out a bid. On the Dem side, Norfolk Co. District Attorney William Keating has expressed interest, and he may have an advantage because of his high-profile role in the controversy over the Amy Bishop shooting. Other possible Dems include state Sen. Robert O’Leary, wealthy businessman Philip Edmundson, state Reps. James Murphy and Ronald Mariano, former state Rep. Phil Johnston, and state Energy and Environmental Affairs Sec. Ian Bowles. Johnston and Bowles both lost to Delahunt in the 1996 open-seat primary.

    NY-25: This seat is low on the list of Dems’ worries this year, and it may get a little easier with the threat of a Republican primary battle looming. The local GOP endorsed pro-life activist candidate Ann Marie Buerkle over the occasionally NRCC-touted Mark Bitz, a political novice but a self-funder. Bitz says he’ll consult with his wallet as to whether to mount a primary rather than abide by the endorsement. Buerkle, who briefly was on the Syracuse Common Council, also got the Conservative and Right-to-Life party lines.

    NY-29: This isn’t promising for Corning mayor Tom Reed; he’s already had to get up and confirm that he’s staying in the race, despite some bigger GOP names sniffing around now that it’s an open seat race. The biggest is probably Maggie Brooks, the Monroe County Executive, who’s “seriously considering” and will make a decision in the next few days. On the Dem side, one other name that’s bubbling up is John Tonello, the mayor of Elmira (the district’s largest city).

    State legislatures: Politico’s David Catanese has an interesting observation, how polling shows that there’s something even less popular than Congress or individual incumbent politicians: state legislatures. That’s maybe most egregious in New York, where the state Senate gets 16% positive marks according to the most recent Marist poll, although Pennsylvania (where the “Bonusgate” investigation is constantly in the news) isn’t much better, where the lege has 29% approval according to Quinnipiac. While this trend might work to our advantage in red states where we’re trying to make gains, it could be a pain in the butt in New York, where we need to hold the Senate to control the redistricting trifecta, and even more so in Pennsylvania, where (if we lose the gubernatorial race) we need to hold the narrowly-held House in order to stave off Republican control of the redistricting trifecta.

    Votes: There was some interesting party-line breaking in yesterday’s House vote on the jobs bill. It passed pretty narrowly, but that wasn’t so much because of worried votes by vulnerable Dems (Tom Perriello and Steve Driehaus voted no, but with Harry Teague, Bobby Bright, and even Walt Minnick voting yes) but rather a bloc of the most liberal members of the Congressional Black Caucus voting no, apparently from the perspective that it doesn’t go far enough. Six GOPers got on board, all of the moderate and/or mavericky variety: Joe Cao, Dave Camp, John Duncan, Vern Ehlers, Tim Murphy, and Don Young.

    Blogosphere: I’m pleased to announce that, in addition to my SSP duties, I’ll be writing for’s politics section several times a week, as part of their new feature “The Numerologist.” Today I deconstruct National Journal ratings; please check it out (especially if you’re curious what my real name is).

    SSP Daily Digest: 3/5 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: SSP hero and perfect fuckup Bill Sali held yard sales to raise money for his flailing campaign. GOP senate hopeful Kim Hendren is doing him one better: He’s selling five of his black angus cows. Moo.
  • KY-Sen: Like rival Jack Conway, Dem Dan Mongiardo is making a small, made-for-media ad buy criticizing Jim Bunning’s fight against unemployment benefits, and specifically calls out teabaggers. Mongiardo being Mongiardo, though, his spokesbot can’t resist taking a douchey shot at Conway’s ad. Seems like sour grapes, since Conway’s team thought of the idea first.
  • NY-Gov: Headline for the times, from the Times: “Paterson Still Governor, for Now.” Also, Generalissimo Francisco Franco still dead. Only one of these statements is likely to remain true for much longer.
  • TX-Gov: The battle lines have been drawn, and it’ll be secessionista Rick Perry vs. former Houston Mayor Bill White. Rasmussen sees Perry leading 49-43, not much changed from the 47-41 he had it in late February. White has 54-34 favorables, while Perry is at 54-46. Though since Ras (contra every other pollster) likes to look at only “very favorable” and “very unfavorable” scores, it’s worth noting that Perry is at just 18-23 by that metric, while White is at 25-13. Whoops!
  • AL-05: Minority Leader John Boehner is bringing his orange perma-tan with him to Alabama to do a fundraiser for turncoat Parker Griffith. Griffith’s two teabaggy opponents are furious about this turn of events and trying to get some mileage out of casting Griffith as the establishment choice. With DC as toxic as it’s ever been, maybe that’ll work. Still, I think Griffith is most likely to be defeated if the uber-wingnuts unite around a single candidate (see IL-14).
  • FL-08: Dem Rep. Alan Grayson released a stunty poll of the Republican primary in his race… but included his own name – and he’s leading the pack. I’ve never heard of the pollster, Middleton Market Research, but their CEO is listed on LinkedIn as a “Senior Account Executive at To be determined.”
  • FL-17: Another candidate got into the race to replace Kendrick Meek today: North Miami City Commissioner Scott Galvin. Galvin is the first white candidate in this 58% African American district.
  • GA-09: GOP Rep. Nathan Deal now says that he’ll delay his resignation from the House until March 31st, so that he can vote against any healthcare legislation. This is probably a stunt to help Deal impress the Republican electorate, since he’s trailed badly in all polling for the GA-Gov GOP nomination. Deal doesn’t want to stay too much longer, though, since he’s just one step ahead of an Ethics Committee investigation.
  • MS-01: Ah, cat fud. FOX Newser Angela McGlowan, a GOP candidate vying to take on Travis Childers, won’t commit to backing the establishment favorite, state Sen. Alan Nunnelee if he should win the primary. This is exactly what the Republicans don’t want, of course, since a bitterly divided primary in 2008 helped hand this seat to Childers in the first place. It’s all the more remarkabe given how much effort the NRCC put into clearing the field for Nunnelee. I almost wonder if state Sen. Merle Flowers, who deferred to Nunnelee but did not endorse him, might be re-considering.
  • NY-29: Is this going to get worse before it gets better? The House Committee just launched an investigation into whatever it is Eric Massa is alleged to have done. Meanwhile, Massa is laying low – he’s missed several votes (including one on the jobs bill) since his announcement.
  • PA-12: Former Murtha aide Mark Critz says that he’s raised over $100,000 so far for his special election bid to replace his boss. Meanwhile, Critz’s opponent for the Democratic nomination, ex-Treasurer Barbara Hafer, is pre-emptively doing all she can to discredit the nomination process, as well as pressing for the release of Critz’s testimony to the House Ethics Committee. (J) On the Republican side, businessman Tim Burns has launched a teeny-weeny radio ad buy.
  • Netroots Nation: Thinking about heading to the progressive confab that is Netroots Nation? Well, MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer has already reserved a seat. He’ll be the keynote speaker on the convention’s opening night.
  • Redistricting: The National Democratic Redistricting Trust, a new group designed to support Dems in the inevitable legal battles over redistricting, has asked the FEC whether member of Congress can raise soft money to support the trust’s efforts.