AR-Sen: Quelle surprise: The AFL-CIO, which was a major supporter of Bill Halter, won’t endorse Blanche Lincoln in the general.
NV-Sen: Your daily dose of Angle Crazy comes courtesy Greg Sargent:
PA-Sen: Karl Rove’s gang of ne’er-do-wells is out with an ad attacking Joe Sestak. NWOTSOTB.
WI-Sen: Weirdo Ron Johnson has a new ad out, trying to sell himself as just a reg’lar guy. NWOTSOTB, but the “ad is airing statewide on cable and broadcast TV starting Tuesday, according to a campaign spokeswoman.” Meanwhile, the new right-wing group American Action Network is dropping a $325K ad buy against Russ Feingold. Some background on the group (whose backers include Nixon hatchet man Fred Malek – whataguy!) here.
HI-Gov: Wow. Former Rep. (and recent special election loser) Ed Case went somewhat against type and endorsed Neil Abercrombie over Mufi Hannemann in the Dem gubernatorial primary. The “centrist” Case seemingly had more in common with Hannemann, the urbane mayor of Honolulu, than Abercrombie, the septuagenarian progressive. And Case didn’t just issue some anodyne statement – he utterly lambasted Hannemann:
MANDERS: We have domestic enemies. We have home-born homegrown enemies in our system. And I for one think we have some of those enemies in the walls of the Senate and the Congress.
ANGLE: Yes. I think you’re right, Bill.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is touting an internal poll from Magellan, showing him with a 49-43 lead over Rep. John Salazar. Salazar says his own internals have him leading. One FYI about this (and most other) Magellan polls: It’s a one-day sample, much like Rasmussen, and – I would guess – does not include callbacks. Nate Silver previously laid out in great detail how a lack of callbacks can negatively affect poll quality.
KS-04: Raj Goyle is up with a positive bio spot touting his “Kansas values.” NWOTSOTB, though this district is centered around Wichita, which is a pretty cheap media market.
MA-10: Great headline:
Case called him “the most dangerous politician in a generation,” adding that Hannemann governs “by fear and intimidation.”
“He is the product and clear choice of a political machine that must end. While professing unity, he’s practiced the politics of division, exploiting rather than healing differences of race, origin and economic status,” Case said.
Jeff Perry ‘proud’ despite work on bogus degree
Meanwhile, Dem Rob O’Leary is out with his first TV ad, which interestingly enough calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan. NWOTSOTB, and WARNING – AUTOPLAYING YOUTUBE. Very annoying.
MI-07: AFSCME has a new ad out hitting Republican retread Tim Walberg for his votes in Congress, though I think the messaging is a little muddled. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB just yet, but presumably the union will have to file an IE report soon.
NJ-12: GOPer Scott Sipprelle claims he’s launching his “third positive, issue-based cable television commercial this summer.” First off, check out the ad (which attacks “Washington politicians right at the start”) and then tell me if you think it’s “positive.” Secondly, I’m guessing that this ad is much closer to a “video press release” (as Nathan Gonzales calls them) than a real buy, given that this district lies mostly in the #1-most expensive media market in the country (and the rest is in Philly, which ain’t exactly cheap), and that Sipprelle acknowledges it’s a cable-only buy.
NY-14: It seems like a long time ago now, but remember when Carolyn Maloney came oh-so-close to primarying appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand? Well, it’s an old memory indeed, seeing as Gillibrand is hosting a breakfast fundraiser in Manhattan for Maloney next week.
OH-16: Jim Renacci is up with his first ad of the general election campaign – which I can only assume is targeted at his race against me for NYC Zoning Board. But it’s weird that he keeps talking about Ohio, no? Anyhow, a spokesman says the ad “is part of a $250,000 two-week buy” on both broadcast and cable. Do you think it’s running on New York 1?
OH-17: Jim Traficant missed the deadline to file as a write-in candidate, but his supporters are still hoping for a favorable ruling from SoS Jennifer Brunner on whether Traficant can appear as an independent. If not, they are supposedly threatening to go to court.
PA-04: Great, another one of these. Much like Joe Donnelly, Jason Altmire has a new ad up claiming he that he’s “not afraid to stand up to the president – and Nancy Pelosi.” Lovely. NWOTSOTB.
PA-10: It’s nice when Republican delusions help us win campaigns. Here’s Tom Marino’s latest:
“My generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say,” he said. “We are not going to get Social Security,” he said. “But we are going to pay into it to get this debacle squared away. So if I have to sacrifice my Social Security to get it squared away … because we can’t take Social Security away from people that are on it now.
CT-Sen: Linda McMahon has already spent at least $22 million on her senatorial bid – and though she has plans to shell out much more, she’s already the fourth-largest self-funder of all time. The good news is that the top three are pretty uninspiring: Jon Corzine (NJ-Sen 2000: $60 million, 50.1% in general); Blair Hull (IL-Sen 2004: $29 million, 11% in primary); Michael Huffington (CA-Sen 1994: $28 million, 45% in general). Check out the second page of CQ’s piece to see who rounds out the rest of the top 10. Only three actually won a seat in the Senate, and all of them served one term or less – by choice!
FL-Sen: Ah – live by the zillionaire asshole, die by the zillionaire asshole. Joe Trippi, who apparently thought he could make a buck by helping schmuckface Jeff Greene run negative ads against Kendrick Meek, has been axed. This is pretty unsurprising, in light of an in-depth story by the St. Pete Times which catalogs just how much of a jerkass Greene actually is. Here’s a representative sample:
Adam Lambert worked as captain of Greene’s 145-foot yacht, Summerwind, earlier this year.
“He has total disregard for anybody else,” chuckled Lambert, who said he was Greene’s 20th and 22nd Summerwind captain (No. 21 quit after a few hours with Greene).
“I don’t think I ever once had an actual conversation with him. It was always, ‘I should just get rid of you, what f—— good are you? You’re just a f—— boat driver. You’re the third-highest paid employee in my corporation and I should just get rid of you,’ ” Lambert, 43, recalled by phone from a yacht in Croatia. “It didn’t bother me. I just felt sorry for the man. He doesn’t seem very happy.”
Quite apropos of all this, Dave Catanese takes a look at the “band of others” which has come together to run Charlie Crist’s campaign. Catanese says that Crist’s team “is staffed by a collection of misfits who run the gamut from longtime loyalists to out-of-state hired guns. They have worked for Democrats, for Republicans and even for prominent independents. As with Crist, ideology appears to take a back seat to winning office.”
MO-Sen: Mostly-failed teabagger Chuck Purgason has an internal poll out (at least, I think it’s an internal) from Magellan Strategies… but that’s not really the point. There are two super-huge problems with this poll. First off, there are literally zero undecideds – Purgason claims he’s beating Dem Robin Carnahan 56-44. Secondly, releasing a general election poll just days before an almost hopeless primary looks extremely unserious. I don’t give a damn about Purgason, but I don’t think either of these issues make Magellan look particularly good.
GA-Gov: Barack Obama is visiting Atlanta to speak to a disabled veterans convention and to host a DNC fundraiser today, but Dem gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes will be visiting other parts of the state. Several prominent Dems are planning to attend the events, including Labor Comm’r Michael Thurmond (our senate nominee), and Reps. David Scott and Sanford Bishop, the latter of whom has a competitive race this fall.
NY-Gov: Steve Levy has completed his transition from widely disliked xenophobic DINO to memorable Republican loser: He said he wouldn’t seek the Independence Party’s line this fall, and formally gave his backing to Rick Lazio. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Benjamin says a source tells her that another disgruntled Republican, the vile Carl Paladino, is doing the opposite – he’s reconsidering his decision not to run on a third-party line and may run on his own “Taxpayers Party” line if he loses the GOP primary in September. Apparently, the teabaggers are taking the long view here, hoping that they can create a “true” conservative rival to the, ah, Conservative Party, even if that means helping Andrew Cuomo win the gubernatorial race.
WY-Gov: Mason-Dixon did a poll of the Wyoming gubernatorial primaries for the Casper Star-Tribune. On the GOP side, state Auditor Rita Meyer leads with 27, followed by former U.S. Attorney Matt Mead with 24, House Speaker Colin Simpson with 17, and former legislator and state Ag. Director Ron Micheli with 12. For Democrats, former state Dem chair Leslie Petersen leads pilot and former University of Wyoming football star Pete Gosar by a 30-22 margin.
FL-08: Franking – the privilege that allows members of Congress to mail out nominally “informational” materials to constituents at taxpayer expense – is one of those things that’s usually a lame non-issue… until it’s an issue. Incumbents have been pushing the boundaries of proper franking for centuries, and it rarely gets traction in campaigns, but I really wonder if Alan Grayson’s gone too far with this one. He recently sent out a DVD to 100,000 homes in his district (at a cost of $73K) titled “Watch Congressman Grayson in Action!” featuring a few dozen clips of his greatest hits in office. Maybe the video will be popular, maybe no one will care, maybe some Republicans will howl and get ignored – we’ll see.
IL-10 (PDF): It’s a bit musty, but Mike Memoli got his hands on an internal poll from the Dan Seals campaign taken in mid-May by Anzalone-Liszt. The numbers are a damn sight better than most Dem internals, showing Seals with a 46-38 lead over Republican Bob Dold, and a 41-32 lead among independents. Despite the poll’s age, I’d be surprised if things had changed a whole lot since then, given that the air war hasn’t really been joined yet.
IL-13: Dem Scott Harper had apparently been trying to shop the results of an informed ballot test on a recent internal poll from Global Strategy Group but didn’t seem to get many bites. So he finally decided to pull a Raul Labrador and release the proper toplines, despite their utter – almost extreme – suckitude. Rep. Judy Biggert leads Harper by a 55-29 margin. The most ridonc thing is that Biggert felt compelled to put out her own, not-exactly-dueling internal in response. I say that because the numbers in Biggert’s survey (taken by American Viewpoint) show her up 61-28. This was really not a well-managed move by the Harper campaign.
KY-06: Republican Andy Barr, formerly a top legal aide to disgraced former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, is coming under fire for his shoddy handling of a response to a government records request under the state’s equivalent to the Freedom of Information Act when he worked for Fletcher. In a 2007 report, then-AG Greg Stumbo (a Dem) said that Barr’s failure to produce records on account of their alleged non-existence meant that he was responsible for “records mismanagement.” However, Stumbo’s office did not determine that Barr had actually violated the state open records law.
LA-02: The DCCC added state Rep. Cedric Richmond to its Red to Blue program on Friday. This tells me two things: First, the D-Trip doesn’t think much of Richmond’s primary challenger, fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta. Second, DC Dems are concerned enough about Rep. Joe Cao’s staying power that they’re getting involved in a reasonably contested primary, something they have largely avoided this cycle. Now in fairness, Louisiana has a very late primary – August 28th – with an absurdly late runoff on October 2nd. So I can understand wanting to avoid a pressured one-month campaign. Still, this suggests to me that this race is not the “gimme” we might have once imagined.
NY-01: Stuck behind Newsday’s paywall is a story which says that GOPer Christopher Cox has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate fellow Republican Randy Altschuler’s ballot petitions. This is exactly the kind of war that Democrats in New York have been hoping for. I can’t wait to read more about it. And don’t forget that there’s a third candidate in the race, George Demos, who is being publicly slammed for alleged ethical lapses while he was an SEC attorney by a former supporter, John Catsimatidis. You may recall that Cox is engaged to Catsimatidis’s daughter, which explains the old man’s turnabout.
NY-15: You’ve probably already seen this, but Barack Obama said in an interview with CBS News that Charlie Rangel should “end his career with dignity.” Really wonder if the old bull is going to keep fighting this thing.
NY-24: Mmm… donuts. The owner of a local donut shop, Michael Sadallah, filed a lawsuit trying to knock Republican Richard Hanna off the Independence Party line. Sadallah, an Independence Party member, has also donated to Rep. Mike Arcuri. Oral arguments are this week – good luck, dude!
OK-05: True Some Dude James Lankford just earned the endorsement of third-place finisher (and state Rep.) Mike Thompson, who scored 18% in the first round despite spending $900,000. Lankford took 34% and former state Rep. Kevin Calvey had 33%. Lankford and Calvey face off in an August 24th runoff.
Kansas: A rare bit of good news on the voter registration front: Over the last year in Kansas, “Democrats gained 11,260 voters, rising to 460,318; unaffiliated voters increased 38,764 to 490,395, and Republican ranks increased 3,189 to 744,975.” Obviously, that’s a pretty sizable edge for the GOP, but it’s still nice to see Dem gains both in absolute numbers and percentages outstrip the Republicans – especially in such a red state, and especially in a year like this.
Netroots Nation: In case you missed it, click the link to watch the video of our panel on the 2010 horserace from last Friday at Netroots Nation. It was a terrific, fast-paced panel and we were asked a broad range of questions on a ton of different races. Fun stuff! Also of interest, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted a straw poll of convention-goers. They included one horserace-ish question, asking participants which race was their top priority this fall. 31% picked NV-Sen, followed by PA-Sen (25%), KY-Sen (21%), MN-06 (15%), and VA-05 (7%).
CA-Sen: The NRSC has reserved $1.75 million in ad time for Carly Fiorina – but remember, just cuz you reserve time doesn’t mean you necessarily wind up buying it, so this could just be a feint.
FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek is up with his first ad, attacking zillionaire schmuckface Jeff Greene for his past run for Congress in California – as a Republican – and for the windfall he reaped by betting on a housing market collapse two years ago. Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times says the buy is for $420K, which he thinks is “pretty small” for the pretty big state of Florida.
IL-Sen: Mark Kirk is pulling a Pat Toomey. You’ll recall that the ultra-conservative Pennsylvania senate candidate somewhat surprisingly endorsed Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination for the Supreme Court. Now it’s Kirk’s turn to try to burnish his “moderate” credentials, so he’s backing Elena Kagan.
Meanwhile, here’s some new craziness: A federal district court judge just ordered a special election to fill the remaining months of Roland Burris’s term, most likely to coincide with the regular election in November. Both Kirk and Dem Alexi Giannoulias have said they want to run in the special, and they probably won’t have to face a primary, since the judge seems inclined to allow nominees to be picked by party committees. Politico points out a potentially huge angle to all of this: the FEC says that since the special would constitute a new election, the candidates would be able to raise fresh money for that race – meaning that Kirk and Giannoulias could hit up maxed-out donors once more.
PA-Sen: But wait! Pat Toomey isn’t pulling a Pat Toomey! He’s coming out against Elena Kagan.
WV-Sen: When early word came that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito wouldn’t run for Robert Byrd’s seat, we said that we’d move the race to Likely D. Capito made it official last Wednesday, so consider this move retroactive to that date.
MI-Gov: Bummer: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has endorsed DLC Dem Andy Dillon, whom Dillon called a “kindred spirit.” Given Bing’s outsider status and short tenure, I suspect he’s not quite a “machine” mayor, though, who can deliver wards on the turn of a heel.
MN-Gov: Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer continues to burnish his moron credentials. The other day, he declared that Minnesota should pass its own GI bill to help veterans. Good idea, right? So good, in fact, that the state actually passed such a law three years ago. Even better: Emmer, a state representative, voted against the bill!
RI-Gov: Linc Chafee won the endorsement of the 10,000-strong Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, his first big union nod. The Projo says that the teachers had been favored to go to AG Patrick Lynch, but Lynch rather unexpectedly dropped out of the race not long ago, and evidently Dem Treasurer Frank Caprio didn’t suit them.
SC-Gov: Nikki Haley, a member of the Strength Through Crippling Austerity wing of the Republican Party, is trying to soften (i.e., flip-flop) some of her less business-friendly stances. The AP explains her shifts on two issues: the infamous anti-tax pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, and the bailout.
IL-17: Can an internal poll sometimes seem just too good? That’s how I feel about this survey by Magellan Strategies for GOPer Bobby Schilling, which has him up 45-32 over Dem Rep. Phil Hare. YMMV.
NY-13: John McCain is endorsing former FBI agent Mike Grimm in the GOP primary. Grimm has faced hostility from the Republican establishment here, which has backed Michael Allegretti (whom Maggie Haberman delightfully refers to with the epithet “Bayside fuel heir”). Apparently, McCain (who has a race of his own to worry about) will both fundraise and campaign for Grimm, though no word yet on when. As for why he’s getting involved, Haberman says it’s because of his relationship with Rudy Giuliani and Guy Molinari, both of whom are supporting Grimm.
NY-15: Charlie Rangel’s autobiography is titled “And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since,” referring to his service in the Korean War. Well, it sure seems like he’s had more than a few bad days lately, with the latest batch coming in the last week. The House Ethics Committee declared on Thursday that Rangel had indeed committed transgressions and created a new panel to investigate further. In response, Indiana senate candidate Brad Ellsworth announced he would give to charity all the money he’s received from Rangel (some $12K). Rep. Betty Sutton (OH-13) went one further, calling on Rangel to resign. For the record, Rangel disagrees with me, saying: “I’m not in a foxhole, I’m not surrounded by a million Chinese communists coming after me. Life is good. I’m 80 years old. I’m on my way to a parade.”
OK-05: SoonerPoll.com has a survey out of the 5th CD Republican field, finding former state Rep. Kevin Calvey increasing his lead from 20 to 28 since the last test in March. Some Dude James Lankford is in second with 20, followed by 15 for state Rep. Mike Thompson, 6 for state Rep. Shane Jett, and a bunch of other Some Dudes bringing up the rear.
PA-15: This is what we call a good get: Bill Clinton will be coming to Salisbury Township for a fundraiser for John Callahan on August 10th. As is so often the case with the Big Dog, this is payback for Callahan’s support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008.
TN-09: Willie Herenton, asshole until the end:
WI-03: State Sen. Dan Kapanke has an internal out from Public Opinion Strategies (memo here) which shows Dem Rep. Ron Kind up just 44-38.
Willie W. Herenton, the former mayor, is accusing Steve Cohen, the white two-term United States representative, of “trying to act black.” He tells voters in this majority-black city that they “need to come off that Cohen plantation and get on the Herenton freedom train.”
CO-Sen: Ken Buck raised $417K in Q2 and had $664K cash-on-hand – more than rival Jane Norton does, despite the fact that she outraised him.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul campaign chair David Adams is leaving – or being asked to leave. You never know with these things. Anyhow, Adams supposedly prefers state to federal politics (especially funny in the context of this campaign) and is going to manage some unspecified gubernatorial candidate. As CNN notes, though, Adams had actually been Paul’s campaign manager, but was recently demoted after Rand’s disastrous set of post-primary interviews.
NV-Sen: In an interview with Ralph Reed, Sharron Angle informs the world that “God has been in this” – her campaign – “from the beginning.” I think Harry Reid would agree, since it’s a damn near miracle that we landed an opponent so awful!
WA-Sen: Dino Rossi says he raised $1.4 million since launching his campaign six weeks ago, but no word on his cash-on-hand. That’s not too shabby, and it might look impressive compared to Patty Murray’s $1.6 million haul for the entire quarter. But that first batch of cash is always the easiest to raise – the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Can he sustain that momentum?
WI-Sen: King of the Loons Jim DeMint has endorsed Ron Johnson – a rare instance, as Dave Catanese points out, where the establishment choice has also been DeMinted.
WV-Sen: Gov. Joe Manchin says he’ll name a temporary replacement for Robert Byrd by 5pm on Friday. Manchin also released the text of proposed legislation to change WV’s succession laws. The new law would allow a special election this November, with primaries (if necessary) to be held on August 31st.
AZ-Gov: It’s pretty amazing how much becoming the standard-bearer for xenophobia has dramatically altered Jan Brewer’s entire candidacy. She was an accidental governor, elevated to the post by Janet Napolitano’s appointment to the Department of Homeland Security. She also looked like electoral roadkill, losing ugly fights with an even further-right state legislature and drawing several high-profile opponents. But along came SB 1070, Arizona’s infamous new immigration law. Brewer’s full-throated support for the legislation, and her hysterical ranting about undocumented immigrants, have made her the conservative belle du jour. Just a few days ago, one of her major challengers, state Treasurer Dean Martin, bailed on the race. And now, the other big name running against her – wealthy NRA board member Buz Mills – is also dropping out. So at this point, it’s pretty much game on between Brewer and Dem AG Terry Goddard.
GA-Gov: Magellan Strategies (7/8, likely Republican primary voters, no trendlines):
MI-07: Former Rep. Joe Schwarz, who held this seat for one term, has endorsed Brian Rooney in the GOP primary, over the man who primaried him out in 2006, Club for Growth cabana boy Tim Walberg. It’s not clear how much a Schwarz endorsement helps in a Republican race, though, considering he also backed now-Rep. Mark Schauer (D) in 2008. And this bit of support is entirely conditional – not only does Schwarz say he’ll definitely support Schauer if Walberg wins the primary, but he might even do so if Rooney wins, saying he’ll re-evaluate things later.
MN-06: Both Michele Bachmann’s chief-of-staff and (of more relevance to her campaign) her finance director have parted ways with the polarizing congresswoman. It’s often tricky to tell whether a departure is a sign of turmoil, an indicator that a campaign is getting an upgrade, or really just nothing doing. But in this case, the fact that no replacements are being announced suggests that this isn’t part of an orderly transition. What’s more, why would Bachmann’s fundraiser leave right after announcing such an enormous quarterly haul? It’s especially telling that the fundraiser, Zandra Wolcott, wouldn’t say if she left or was pushed.
NM-01: A healthy quarter for Martin Heinrich: $376K raised, $1.3 million cash-on-hand.
PA-07: Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates for Pat Meehan (6/16-17, likely voters, no trendlines):
Karen Handel: 32
Nathan Deal: 18
John Oxendine: 18
Eric Johnson: 12
Ray McBerry: 3
Jeff Chapman: 3
Otis Putnam: 0
Bryan Lentz (D): 26
Pat Meehan (R): 47
Meehan favorables: 33-12. Lentz favorables: 12-7. A Lentz spokesperson attacked the poll as “skewed” but offered no specific critiques.
SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is out with her first ad of the campaign season, a bio spot which touts her vote against a “trillion-dollar health care plan.”
TN-08: The hip-hop wars are raging again! But it’s no longer Tupac vs. Biggie – this time it’s Republican Rob Kirkland versus radio station owner George Flinn on the mean streets of Memphis, TN. You may recall the odd situation here where Rob has been spending a fortune on allegedly “independent” expenditures on behalf of his brother Ron, who is the actual candidate in this race. Anyhow, Rob’s latest broadside is against Flinn’s ownership of a local hip-hop station, which (according to a Kirkland tv ad) “promotes gang violence, drug abuse, and insults women.” Another mailer attacks Flinn for “filthy gangster rap into our district.” Hey, guess what? Tipper Gore called, she wants her 1992-era harangue back.
DSCC: Seriously, who in hell allowed this to happen? Pretty much every Democratic senate candidate under the sun participated in a trial lawyers fundraiser… in Vancouver, CANADA. WTF? Could the optics be any worse? A fundraiser in a foreign country? And I don’t want to get all GOP-talking-point on you, but the fact that it’s the trial lawyers doesn’t really help. I’m filing this one under “DSCC” because you can’t possibly pull off an event of this magnitude without the DS knowing – and someone there should have had the brains to stop it. Or at least change the fucking venue to, you know, the United States of America. Maybe? Jeez.
Iowa: Jonathan Martin has an interesting piece at Politico about Christie Vilsack, who says she is “really interested” in running for office, perhaps as soon as 2012. It sounds like the House is her most likely target, but it’s hard to say where she might run. She and her family have ties all over the state, and Iowa is likely to lose a congressional district after the census. Though Martin doesn’t mention it, it’s not inconceivable that Sen. Tom Harkin will retire in 2014 (when he’ll be 75), which would create a big opening.