AR-Sen: Former President and governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton cut two radio ads on behalf of Blanche Lincoln. One of them highlights Lincoln’s alleged support for Clinton’s economic agenda back in the 1990s – not an issue likely to resonate, especially in today’s economic climate.
FL-Sen: A Public Opinion Strategies poll for Charlie Crist, taken before he left the GOP primary, had him at 36, Marco Rubio at 28, and Kendrick Meek at 23. A McLaughlin & Associates poll (taken for “the Associated Industries of Florida,” also before the switcheroo) had Crist up as well, 33C-29R-15M. Meanwhile, The Buzz takes a look at which boldfaced names showed up to Crist’s first fundraiser following his political party reassignment surgery.
On the Dem side, zillionaire mortgage-shorting mogul Jeff Greene says he’ll “spend whatever it takes” to win his primary against Rep. Kendrick Meek. That must be music to Joe Trippi’s ears. Greene is unelectable but thanks to his monstrous bankroll, he can do a lot of harm to Democratic chances in this race. Trippi is aiding and abetting this bullshit, and will profit handsomely.
NY-Sen-B: Chris Dodd, in the midst of working on financial regulation reform, says he won’t attend a Wall Street-sponsored fundraiser on behalf of Kirsten Gillibrand in NYC tonight.
UT-Sen: A poignant poll for Bob Bennett: While Republican delegates to the state convention despise him (he’s in third place with just 16%), rank-and-file Republican voters like him much more (first place, 39%). In other states, the GOP would have cause for concern, since a convention process like this is clearly aimed at producing the most conservative candidate imaginable. But in Utah, it probably won’t matter. Though if Bennett gets toppled, I wonder if other nervous establishment officials might consider eliminating the convention and replacing it with an ordinary primary.
MI-Gov: Thank god: Geoffrey Feiger, Jack Kevorkian’s attorney and the Dems’ disastrous 1998 gubernatorial nominee, says he won’t run again. Now all we have to worry about is Andy Dillon.
HI-Gov, HI-01: Hawaii’s legislature unexpectedly passed a civil unions bill on the last day of the session, which now goes to Gov. Linda Lingle (she has until July 6th to decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto it). Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R), running to succeed Lingle, wants her to veto it. Ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie is strongly in favor of the bill (and gay marriage), while his Democratic primary opponent, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, opposes gay marriage but hasn’t expressed an opinion on the current bill.
This may also have repercussions in the HI-01 race, where state Sen. President Colleen Hanabusa may have pushed the bill through in an attempt to repair relations with the LGBT community after the same bill got scuttled in January. Hanabusa says she doesn’t support gay marriage, though, while Democratic rival Ed Case does. Republican Charles Djou opposes the measure.
FL-05: Unsurprisingly, local Republicans are grumbling about Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite’s filing-deadline handoff to Sherriff
Ted Richard Nugent, including state Sen. Mike Fasano, who apparently has had his eye on this seat for some time. You have to wonder if this is the kind of thing which will taint Nugent and make him vulnerable to a primary challenge next cycle. Also among the complainers, interestingly, is state Sen. Paula Dockery, whose current district overlaps with the 5th CD. Dockery’s gotten nowhere in her FL-Gov primary against AG Bill McCollum, so you have to wonder if she isn’t gnashing her teeth about a lost opportunity here.
FL-25: Joe Garcia’s candidacy is a rare bright spot for Dems in this otherwise putrid cycle. Now the DCCC, which lobbied heavily for him to get into the race, has given Garcia their official stamp of approval, adding him to their Red to Blue list once again.
GA-09: Dems never had a chance in the special election in this ruby red district, but you gotta figure it’s almost always better to actually have a Democrat on the ballot rather than not. We had a candidate here, pastor Mike Freeman, but he dropped out a couple of weeks ago. Now, though, he says he’s back in the race, but his website is offline.
IN-08: Democratic state Rep. Trent Van Haaften, running to fill Brad Ellsworth’s open seat, has been talking to local teabaggers to see if they might support him. Yeah, I’m in as much disbelief as you are. But, as is always the case, there’s a lot of hostility between the tea partiers and the establishment, and at least one ‘bagger says they want to “teach the machine a lesson.”
PA-12: Freedom’s Defense Fund, an arm of the incredibly dodgy Base Connect (formerly BMW Direct) has made a $20K “independent” expenditure on behalf of Bill Russell, who is challenging Tim Burns in the GOP primary. (Recall that there’s both a special election and a primary on the same day.) FDF is supposedly distinct from Base Connect, but given that they share the same office (according to TPM), the idea that their expenditures are actually “independent” is a real stretch.
More importantly, the NRCC just threw down another quarter million bucks on behalf of Burns, bringing their total spending on this race to over $725K. The DCCC has yet to respond to this latest blast.
DCCC: The DCCC is about to begin its biennial rite of splitting off its independent expenditure arm. Thanks to stupid federal laws against “co-ordination,” the DCCC staffers who make spending decisions about IEs can’t be in contact with the rest of the D-Trip, because those folks are in contact with individual campaigns. This is senseless. Anyhow, political director Robby Mook will head up the IE arm, and John Lapp (who once ran this shop himself) will serve as a “senior advisor.” Incumbent retention director Jennifer Pihlaja will replace Mook as PD of DCCC proper (and keep her current title).