AK-Sen: Hello! McFly! You ever heard of the Commerce Clause? Joe Miller evidently got quite a fine education at Yale Law, since he somehow believes that the minimum wage is “not within the scope of the powers that are given to the federal government.” Oh, yeah, “merit scholarship.” Now make like a tree and beat it!
P.S. Miller’s personal financial disclosures – which he promised to file last week, after ignoring the law since April – are still “going to take a little while.” Anybody home, McFly?!
DE-Sen: By now, you’ve probably all seen Christine O’Donnell’s new ad. If not, drop everything and watch it. It might just blow your mind. But I don’t want this other crucial item to get lost in the shuffle: In a 2006 debate, O’Donnell said that “China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn’t divulge.” Reminds me of one of my all-time fave Michele Bachmann quotes.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul is no slouch when it comes to slagging the social safety net. At a debate this weekend, he announced that he wanted to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age. And at a meeting with (who else?) the state Chamber of Commerce, he also declared that Medicaid – a program which benefits some 800,000 Kentuckians – has created “intergenerational welfare.”
GA-02: Those federal indictments in Alabama regarding bribery-for-bingo charges are having effects across state lines. Jay Walker was “chief strategist” for Republican Scott McKeown, who has been making some serious headway against Rep. Sanford Bishop of late. Walker, unsurprisingly, has resigned his post.
MN-08: Republican Chip Cravaack (yep, that’s how you spell it) is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies (n=300) showing him nipping at longtime Rep. Jim Oberstar’s heels, 45-42. Oberstar’s campaign claims that the survey was a “push poll,” but Cravaack’s campaign denies it (though they won’t release the questionnaire). I’d be surprised if a firm like POS did anything outright shady, though. Anyhow, Cravaack had just $42K on hand as of July 21 and had only raised $100K overall. Oberstar has $1.1 million in the bank.
WA-03: This is weird – the Lower Columbia Daily News asked GOPer Jaime Herrera for a list of campaign events she’s done since the August primary, but she refused to provide one, claiming it might be used to attack her. Denny Heck’s campaign, for their part, says they think Herrera’s all but disappeared from the campaign trail. An unofficial list shows that she supposedly did about a dozen events in this timeframe, to some 30-odd by Heck.
NY-State Sen: Did you know that Iona College was in the polling biz? I had no idea. Anyhow, it looks like they’ve released a couple of state Senate polls in the last few weeks (but no telling exactly how many, since I can’t seem to find a central hub for them anywhere). I’ve come across two surveys, though: In SD-35 (PDF), Dem Andrea Stewart-Cousins leads Republican Liam McLaughlin 44-37. Meanwhile, in SD-40, GOPer Greg Ball leads Dem Mike Kaplowitz 45-35. (A Siena poll yesterday of the same race had Ball up just 45-44.) The sponsor of these polls is a right-wing business group called the Westchester County Association, which also promises to poll SD-37 and NY-19.
- ID-01, OH-15: The Hotline has numbers for Walt Minnick and Mary Jo Kilroy
- NY-20: Scott Murphy, $900K raised
- NM-01: Martin Heinrich, $575K raised, >$1m on hand
- WA-02: Rick Larsen, $500K raised
- Ophthalmologists: Those rogues are backing a rare Dem, Glenn Nye (VA-02), and a guy whose name hasn’t come up in well over a year, Erik Paulsen (MN-03), to the tune of about $65K each
- CT-Sen: The DSCC is spending half a mil on TV for Richard Blumenthal
- CA-Sen: Uh, is it just me, or does this ad seem like a parody of itself?
- ND-AL: I like seeing this a lot. It’s not the greatest ad of the cycle, but here Earl Pomeroy proudly touts his support of healthcare reform (I think he was the Dem in the reddest district to vote in favor), while attacking Rick Berg for supporting the never-popular insurance companies. If you know they’re going to attack you anyway, you need to just go strong
CT-Sen: I thought it was pretty weird that alleged non-candidate Rob Simmons was going to participate in a GOP debate last night. Well, he un-weirded things (I guess) by declaring at this debate that he is “running for the United States Senate.” We’ll see if it sticks. The primary, by the way, is August 10th.
KS-Sen: Not something you see every day: Rep. Jerry Moran’s former campaign manager, who claims he was pushed out in April, has endorsed rival Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Paul Moore said he thinks Moran, who has led in every single public poll, is not “instinctively conservative.”
NC-Sen: A new Civitas poll has Richard Burr leading Elaine Marshall 44-37. It’s been a really long time since Civitas looked at this race; in December of last year, they found Burr up 40-32.
WA-Sen: Obama alert! The POTUS will headline a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray on August 17th in Seattle.
FL-Gov: McLaughlin & Associates supposedly has yet another poll out, but not for their client Bill McCollum. Apparently, they did double duty for the Florida Medical Association, and – surprise – found Rick Scott leading McCollum 37-33. This seems like a pretty colossal waste of money, since McCollum’s internal – released just the other day – had him down 37-31.
Meanwhile, McCollum had to deal with a small brush fire: former Florida House Speaker Alan Bense held a private meeting with Rick Scott over the weekend. The problem is that Bense is supposed to be a McCollum supporter – something he re-iterated after his soiree, saying he only got together with Scott to be polite. Bense is also the chairman-elect of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and his group is expected to get behind Billy Mac. And in case anyone still cares what unlovable loser Gary Bauer thinks, he endorsed McCollum.
KS-Gov: Dem state Sen. Tom Holland raised $283K from Jan. 1 to July 22nd and has $103K on hand. His Republican opponent, Sen. Sam Brownback, took in $519K and has $1.2 million in the bank. Note, though, that Holland’s fundraising mostly took place after the legislative session ended in June (there are strict regulations on fundraising while the lege is in operation), while Brownback was free to raise from all sources throughout the reporting period. Brownback’s been spending his time well, mind you: He just introduced legislation which would ban the creation of “part-human, part-animal creatures.” Sadly, this would mean no manticores, minotaurs, or mermaids. And I was really looking forward to embracing our brave new Greek mythology future.
MN-Gov: Glad to see that Citizens United is proving to be a two-edged sword. Target has donated $150,000 to a right-wing group called MN Forward, which is running TV ads on behalf of extremist Republican nominee Tom Emmer. Gay groups in particular are incensed, since Target had been known as a gay-friendly employer, even going so far as to support the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. And speaking for myself, Target can get fucked – as can Best Buy and any other corporation which uses corporate money to help elect Republicans. Not shopping at either location anymore, that’s for sure.
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo is launching his first TV ad of the cycle, a spot about property taxes. Of course, NWOTSOTB, or whether it’s cable or broadcast, or even where it’s airing. Sigh.
OH-Gov: Obama alert 2! The day after the POTUS appears in WA (see bullet above), he’ll be doing a fundraiser for Ted Strickland in Columbus.
OR-Gov: We haven’t done writeups of our most recent batch of race ratings yet, but Carla Axtman of Blue Oregon has a nice writeup of an interview she did with Crisitunity at Netroots Nation, where he explains our decision to move OR-Gov from Likely D to Tossup.
RI-Gov: Linc Chafee is doing his best to out-do Martha Coakley when it comes to alienating Red Sox Nation (a broad constituency throughout New England). While criticizing state loan guarantees to a video game company owned by Schilling, he also decided to question whether Schilling’s famous “bloody sock” game was legit. Already Chafee’s tried to walk back the remark – but there are no do-overs in baseball. Or politics.
GA-02: Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop, in a competitive race with Republican Mike Keown (who oh-so-narrowly outraised the incumbent last quarter), formally kicked off his campaign yesterday with a newly-famous Georgian at his side: Shirley Sherrod, with whom you are most certainly familiar by now. Even though this district is almost 48% black, it’s also extremely competitive politically, going 54% for Obama and 50% for Kerry.
KS-01: SurveyUSA has one final look at the open-seat GOP primary in KS-01, finding a three-way tie between state Sen. Jim Barnett, realtor Tracey Mann, and state Sen. Tim Huelskamp. All pull 24%. Last time, it was 23-20-18.
MA-09: Bubba alert! Bill Clinton is doing a fundraiser and rally this Thursday for conservadem and anti-healthcare reform asshole Stephen Lynch. Lynch faces a primary from Mac D’Alessandro and has a monster cash advantage ($1.3 million to just $72K), so this surely seems like overkill to me – but of course, the Big Dog loves to pay back favors, and Lynch was (you guessed it) a Hillary supporter in 2008.
NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon, seeking to avoid a primary on the Independence Party line, is challenging the petitions of third-party irritant John Tabacco. Tabacco needs only 497 valid signatures, but New York has absurdly stringent rules which make it very easy to knock “bad” sigs out. Therefore, the common rule of thumb is that you need to submit at least twice as many petitions as the law requires, and Tabacco only provided 678. Therefore, I’m going to guess that McMahon – who is highly motivated here – will succeed in his challenges. Tabacco has some more problems to worry about, though – after giving a loan to the wife of the chair of the state Independence Party last year, he suddenly got their ballot line in a city council race (funnily enough, for the seat vacated by McMahon).
NY-15: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is dipping a toe into new waters, suggesting that resignation is an option for Charlie Rangel. So is fighting the charges, Hoyer says, but a ringing endorsement of the embattled former Ways and Means chair this is not. Meanwhile, Walt Minnick isn’t playing footsie, becoming the second Dem (after OH-13’s Betty Sutton) to call on Rangel to quit the House.
Rangel is still in talks with the ethics committee to try to reach some sort of plea bargain, but it seems that he’s unwilling to cop to a sufficiently broad array of violations to satisfy the committee members. If Rangel can’t come to terms, he’d face a “public hearing” (essentially a trial). As the New York Times points out, the last time this happened was in 2002, when Jim Traficant was expelled from the House.
PA-07: Teabagger Jim Schneller, hoping to appear on the ballot as an independent, says he’s gathered 5,200 signatures so far – a thousand more than the 4,200 he needs to submit by August 2nd. It remains to be seen if Republican Pat Meehan will try to challenge Schneller’s bid.
TN-03: Politico has a piece documenting the wingnut-on-wingnut violence stemming from the fight to replace outgoing Rep. Zach Wamp in this dark-red seat. The battle is between attorney Chuck Fleischmann and former state GOP chair Robin Smith.
Fundraising: A rare day: two Steny Hoyer mentions in one digest. The House Majority Leader is parachuting into a whole host of districts, doing events for Dems such as Mark Critz, Chris Carney, Tim Bishop, Denny Heck, and the undeserving Larry Kissell. Hoyer, like Nancy Pelosi, got where he is because lots and lots of people owe him – and will continue to owe him. Let this be a lesson to aspiring progressive leaders in Congress.