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BLOG ARCHIVE: FEBRUARY 1-15, 2009.

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

McDONNELL GETS HELP; TOO SICK TO BE MAYOR, BUT OKAY FOR GOV RACE; PUBLIC WANTS CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY ON POTENTIAL BUSH ADMIN MISCONDUCT.

VIRGINIA. Political consultant Ed Gillespie -- a former Republican National Chairman and staunch Bush loyalist -- has been named as a Senior Advisor to the gubernatorial campaign for Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R). McDonnell is unopposed for the GOP nomination.

MICHIGAN. Flint Mayor Don Williamson (D) -- facing a possible recall election -- announced he is resigning "due to health reasons." When pressed, the health reasons he cited are kidney stones and a sinus infection. Williamson, however, is apparently healthy enough to remain an announced candidate for Michigan Governor in 2010.

BUSH ADMINISTRATION. A new Gallup Poll shows that 71% of Americans want to see some sort of investigation on the Bush Administration. 41% want to see a criminal investigation while 30% want to see an independent investigation take place. Another 63% of Americans are in favor of investigating the Bush Administration in connection with illegal wiretapping. 62% of Americans believe the Bush Administration should be investigated for the use of torture. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), who played a major role during the Nixon impeachment hearings, is pushing hard for a full investigation.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.14.09 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GREGG WITHDRAWS CABINET NOMINATION, WON'T SEEK RE-ELECTION; TALENT OUT OF MISSOURI US SEN RACE.

OBAMA CABINET. US Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) unexpectedly withdrew himself from consideration to become the next US Commerce Secretary. Gregg said he alone was responsible for the decision ("my mistake"), that he had a change of heart when he realized he could not wholeheartedly support the President's stimulus plan and 2010 Census plans, and thanked Obama for the opportunity. Shortly after the Gregg decision was announced, the White House released the additional details that it was Gregg who -- via Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- asked to be considered for the Cabinet spot. Gregg also confirmed in a conference call with reporters on Thursday evening that he will not seek reelection in 2010.

MISSOURI. Former US Senator Jim Talent (R) said he will not be a candidate for US Senate next year, although he still would like to run again for elective office someday in the future. Talent told the Kansas City Star that "other qualified Republicans who are seriously investigating the race" and his own candidacy would likely cause GOP "dissension" and weaken the party in the general election. Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) and Congressman Roy Blunt (R) both appear likely to jump into the open seat contest. Democrats, meanwhile, have already unified behind the candidacy of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. US Senator Kit Bond (R) is retiring.
Daily Report by Ron Gunzbuerger - 02.13.09 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McCAIN SEEKS REELECTION; JINDAL GETS STAR ROLE; SENATORS BURRIS, SPECTER VULNERABLE; REP KING LOOKS AT IOWA GOV RUN.

ARIZONA. 2008 GOP Presidential nominee and US Senator John McCain (R) announced this week via email that he will seek re-election to a fifth term next year. To date, only a few minor challengers have emerged.

P2012. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) -- a strong social conservative and a potential 2012 Presidential candidate -- has been tapped to deliver the GOP TV response to President Barack Obama's upcoming February 24th address to Congress. Jindal, 37, is seen as a national "rising star" Republican with high approval ratings at home.

ILLINOIS. A new Chicago Tribune poll shows recently appointed US Senator Roland Burris (D) may be vulnerable to a challenge in 2010. Burris has a 34% approval and 18% disapproval rating. More troubling for him, 37% say Burris should be a candidate next year and 33% say he should retire. Burris was appointed to the seat in January by now-impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich (D). Burris has not won a statewide primary since 1990.

PENNSYLVANIA. US Senator Arlen Specter (R) is another incumbent who also appears vulnerable next year. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows 40% would support Specter for re-election while 43% plan to vote against him. However, unlike Burris, Specter has a solid 56% approval rating.

IOWA. Congressman Steve King (R), in a radio interview this week, said he is considering a challenge next year to Governor Chet Culver (D).
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.12.09 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FISHER JUMPS INTO OHIO SEN RACE; DODD HAS '10 POLITICAL PROBLEMS; TENN GOP EXPELS HOUSE SPEAKER FROM GOP CAUCUS.

OHIO. Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher (D) filed federal paperwork to establish an exploratory campaign for US Senate in 2010. He becomes the first major Democratic candidate to enter the race. Governor Ted Strickland (D) had been openly encouraging Fisher to run and is aggressively pushing Ohio Dems to unify behind his candidacy. Former Bush Administration Budget Director Rob Portman is the leading announced GOP candidate for the seat. US Senator George Voinovich (R) is retiring.

CONNECTICUT. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that veteran Senator Chris Dodd (D) could face a potentially difficult re-election next year if Republicans can find a viable challenger. According to the poll, 51% said they will likely not support Dodd for re-election -- versus 42% who say they will likely vote for him. Dodd's approval rating stands at 41%, with a 48% disapproval rating. Dodd was an unsuccessful candidate for President in 2008. Shortly after withdrawing from the White House race, ethics issues surfaced about favorable loan terms he had received from an entity regulated by his committee. Republicans are trying to recruit former Congressman Chris Shays to run for the seat, although Shays recently said he will never again be a candidate for political office. Another dream challenger is centrist Governor Jodi Rell (R), who enjoys a 75% approval rating. If both Shays and Rell pass on the race, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele (R) is seen as a more likely challenger for Dodd.

TENNESSEE. The Tennessee State House Republicans gave away its narrow mathematical majority by expelling State House Speaker Kent Williams from the Republican Caucus for being too close to Democrats. As previously covered by Politics1, Williams joined with Democrats to give them a one-vote majority in the House. Williams said he was disappointed by the decision and will run as an Independent if he opts to run for re-election in 2010.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.11.09 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA PUSHES STIMULUS PLAN; EBAY BILLIONAIRE MAKES BID FOR CAL GOV; 'MORNING JOE' OUT OF FL SEN RACE.

WHITE HOUSE. President Barack Obama held his first prime-time press conference to rally Americans behind the economic stimulus package. "It is absolutely true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life," said the President. He also said his plan will save or create up the four million jobs. On Tuesday Obama travels to Florida to hold a rally in support of the plan. Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) will appear on stage at the rally with the President to express support for the plan.

CALIFORNIA. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman -- who was last year vetted as a potential John McCain VP runningmate -- officially jumped into the race for California Governor. The billionaire Whitman will face former Congressman Tom Campbell and State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the GOP primary. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is term-limited.

FLORIDA. MSNBC Morning Joe show host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R) seems to be playing games to keep his name in the news. On Monday he seemed to leave open the option to jump into the open US Senate next year. "I haven't closed it off. I've been getting some calls from some fundraisers in Florida," said Scarborough. A few hours later, a spokesman for MSNBC officially ended the speculation: "Joe’s not considering running." One rumor buzzing in Florida has it that Governor Charlie Crist (R) will jump into the US Senate race in May and former Governor Jeb Bush (R) will seek a return to the Governor's Mansion.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.10.09 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA CLOSE TO FILLING HHS SPOT; TODD PALIN FOUND IN CONTEMPT; CONYERS VS. DR. GUPTA.

OBAMA CABINET #1. Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) is reportedly leading the pack of frontrunners to become the next US Health Secretary. However, with Sebelius currently leading in the polls for the open US Senate seat in Kansas next year, Obama would likely only offer her the post if she has decided not to run next year. Sebelius, just a month ago, also announced she had no interest in serving in any Cabinet post. Other contenders purportedly include Governor Phil Bredesen (D-TN) and US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). Some on the left are pushing for the selection of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who is also a physician. Dean is apparently not being seriously considered for the post because Dean as Democratic National Chair frequently butted heads with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- who was then DCCC Chairman -- over political strategy.

OBAMA CABINET #2. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) is calling on his Democratic colleagues in the US Senate to oppose the prospective nomination of CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta as the next US Surgeon General. “The severity of the current health care crisis in America requires a Surgeon General of serious stature, with deep roots in the public health community and a record of compassion towards America’s 47.5 million uninsured. In what I have read about Dr. Gupta, he seems to have given little thought to the serious problems facing our health care system,” said Conyers. Gupta engaged in a public feud last year with filmmaker Michael Moore over the accuracy of several parts of Moore's film Sicko. US Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would support a Gupta for the job and does not expect much opposition in the Senate.

ALASKA. Alaska "First Dude" Todd Palin -- husband of Governor Sarah Palin (R) -- was found in contempt Friday by the Alaska Senate for failing to appear to testify in the Legislature's "Troopergate" investigation. Nine other Palin aides were also held in contempt for their non-appearances. A bipartisan commission in the Legislature investigated allegations that Governor Palin fired State Public Safety Director Walter Monegan last year after he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state police trooper.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.09.09 | Permalink |

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

STEELE CLEANS HOUSE; REP DAVIS RUNS FOR ALABAMA GOV; McDONNELL LEADS FOR VA GOV; BATMAN PONDERS GUV RUN; GOP CONGRESSMAN TWITTERS SECRETS.

RNC. Newly elected Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is doing some major house cleaning at the RNC. In his first meeting with RNC staffers, he asked for the resignations of everyone -- and then he'll decide which ones he'll accept. Sources tell Politics1 that Steele is going retain very few staffers, and that nearly all of the previous top-level staffers will be dumped. The entire RNC communications office staff, according to various news reports, has already cleared out.

ALABAMA. Congressman Artur Davis (D) announced his candidacy for Governor on Friday. "Yes this will be hard. But if we do it well, in a way that honors the decency and the hard work of the people who live here, we can build a state that we have never known, not at some distant point called one day, but right now, in our season," said Davis. Governor Bob Riley (R) is term-limited. A large crowd of others from both major parties are also looking at the race.

VIRGINIA. Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) currently holds leads all three Democrats in this year's gubernatorial race, according to the latest Rasmussen poll. McDonnell leads former Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe by a 42-35 vote. McDonnell holds a 39-30 lead over State Senator Creigh Deeds (D). Former State House Democratic Caucus Chair Brian Moran is the strongest Dem, trailing McDonnell by a 39-36 vote. McDonnell is resigning as Attorney General later this month to become a full-time candidate.

NEW MEXICO. Actor and rancher Val Kilmer -- best known for his roles in the films Batman Forever and The Doors -- is apparently considering a run for Governor next year. Kilmer, a Democrat, donated money to his friend Ralph Nader four years ago. He also has a history of rarely voting. However, Kilmer voted in 2008 -- for Obama -- for the first time in 16 years. "I'm just looking for ways to be contributive. And if [running for Governor ] ends up being where I can make a substantial contribution, then I'll run ... If I run, I’m going to be the next Governor," he told the AP. Kilmer has lived in the state for over 20 years. Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (D) has already announced her candidacy. Former Congressman Steve Pearce (R) -- who lost a run for US Senate in 2008 -- announced this week his plan to run for either Governor or his former CD-2 seat next year. Governor Bill Richardson (D) is term-limited.

TWITTERING SECRETS. Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) frequently uses the live-blogging tool Twitter to post updates about whatever he's doing right now. He used Twitter to post details about a congressional delegation visit to Iraq and Afghanistan this weekend led by House Minority Leader John Boehner. For security reasons, the trip was supposed to remain secret until the legislators were en route home on Monday. Hoekstra, the former House Intelligence Committee Chair, started posting updates from the moment he headed to Andrews AFB for the flight to Iraq. Once on the ground there, Hoekstra added details about flying by helicopter to the green zone. Hoekstra, who recently announced he won't seek reelection next year, is preparing to enter the open Michigan gubernatorial race.

NEW JERSEY. Governor Jon Corzine (D) has tapped Assemblyman Doug Fisher (D) to serve as the next NJ Secretary of Agriculture. Fisher will resign from the legislature to accept the statewide post.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.07.09 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

STRICKLAND STRONG IN OHIO; DRIEHAUS-CHABOT REMATCH; REP DAVIS QUITS TN GOV RACE; CRIST DEFERS DECISION, HELPS OBAMA; REP GERLACH ENTERS PENN GOV RACE; EX-GOV EHRLICH LEANING AGAINST MD REMATCH.

OHIO #1. According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Governor Ted Strickland (D) has a 63% approval rating and is a heavy favorite to win reelection. The GOP gubernatorial primary, however, may be hotly contested. Here are the GOP primary numbers: former US Senator Mike DeWine - 37%, former Congressman John Kasich - 22%, State Senator Kevin Coughlin - 3%. Coughlin announced his candidacy this week, while Kasich is expected to enter the contest shortly. DeWine is looking at several contests next year including Governor, US Senate and Attorney General. In general election match-ups, Strickland leads DeWine by a 54-32 vote ... and defeats Kasich by a 56-26 vote. The numbers are surprising, as conventional wisdom held that Kasich was the strongest potential GOP candidate.

OHIO #2. Former Congressman Steve Chabot (R) -- defeated for re-election in 2008 by a 52-48 vote -- announced Thursday he will seek a rematch next year in CD-1 against freshman Congressman Steve Driehaus (D).

TENNESSEE. Congressman Lincoln Davis (D) has officially ended his previously announced plans to run for Governor next year. Instead, he will seek reelection in 2010. House Dems recently gave Davis a much-coveted committee assignment, hoping it would entice him to seek reelection. Apparently the strategy worked. With Davis out, former State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan is the only announced Democrat in the race to date. State Senator Andy Berke (D) looks likely to jump in -- and there is even a seemingly legit move to draft country music star Tim McGraw to run. McGraw recently expressed an interest in running for office in Tennessee as a Democrat, but most do not believe he is planning to run next year. Congressman Zach Wamp, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons are announced Republicans candidates for Governor. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R) is also eyeing the race. Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is term-limited. Trivia: country music star Roy Acuff was the GOP nominee for Tennessee Governor in 1948, and retired cowboy movie star/singer Tex Ritter made an unsuccessful 1970 GOP primary run for US Senate in Tennessee.

FLORIDA. Governor Charlie Crist (R) told reporters this week he will decide on whether to seek re-election or the open US Senate seat in 2010 after the end of this year's annual legislative session in May. The NRSC is actively attempting to recruit the popular Crist into the race. Former State House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) has indicated he will run for whichever of the two office Crist doesn't seek. Crist made news this week when he joined fellow centrist GOP Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Jodi Rell (R-CT) in endorsing President Obama's stimulus plan. Crist sharply criticized the Congressional Republican leadership during a TV appearance for trying to obstruct the spending plan. Obama telephoned Crist on Wednesday to thank him for his lobbying efforts to pressure US Senator Mel Martinez (R) and targeted GOP House members to support the plan. Crist appears unlikely to face serious opposition if he seeks re-election. By contrast, Congressman Kendrick Meek and State Senator Dan Gelber are already announced Dem candidates for US Senate -- and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Congressman Ron Klein are making calls about the race. (FYI: The Crist button at right is from his failed run against US Senator Bob Graham).

PENNSYLVANIA. Congressman Jim Gerlach -- a GOP centrist -- on Thursday filed paperwork to launch an exploratory run for Governor next year. Gerlach said he's leaning towards making the race now, but will make a final decision in the spring. Former US Attorney Pat Meehan (R) appears to be Gerlach's most likely primary rival. Several others are looking at the race. The primary will present the usual geographic battle: Gerlach is from eastern Pennsylvania, while Meehan is from western Pennsylvania. Governor Ed Rendell (D) is term-limited. The Dem contest is also wide open with several big-name figures from around he state informally testing the waters. Gerlach's bid, presuming he follows through, will create a big headache for the NRCC. Gerlach's CD-6 seat is a very competitive swing district -- where the Republican incumbent only won by a 52-48 vote last year against his retiree challenger.

MARYLAND. A well-placed Republican source in Maryland with close ties to former Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) said he now believes Ehrlich is leaning against seeking a rematch next year against Governor Martin O'Malley (D). "If Ehrlich doesn't run, and it looks less likely today that he will [run] -- and [new Republican National Chairman] Michael Steele has a better paying gig so he won't run -- we're in trouble because we have no bench. I'm sure someone will step forward, but there really isn't anyone else strong waiting in the wings," reported our GOP insider to Politics1.
Daily Report by Ron Gunzburger - 02.06.09 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OHIO US SENATE & NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR POLL NUMBERS.

OHIO. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that Republicans have a fight ahead of them in Ohio. Former Congressman Rob Portman (R), the GOP frontrunner for the open US Senate seat in 2010, trails two possible Democratic opponents. The poll shows Portman trailing Lt. Governor Lee Fisher by 15 points and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by 10 points. The state has continued to move towards the left with Sherrod Brown, a progressive Democrat, getting elected to the US Senate in 2006 and Barack Obama's decisive win in the state in 2008. Incumbent Senator George Voinovich (R) is retiring.

NEW JERSEY. Another Quinnipiac poll shows Governor. Jon Corzine (D) as very vulnerable in his bid for a second term this year. Corzine has an approval rating of 40%. That low number likely is why former US Attorney Chris Christie (R) is leading Corzine 44% to 38%. The last Republican to win a statewide election in New Jersey was Governor Christie Todd Whitman in 1997.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.05.09 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GREGG IN, DASCHLE OUT; 2010 US SENATE AND GOVERNOR CANDIDATE NEWS FROM NH, CT, TX & MIZZOU.

OBAMA CABINET. President Obama has a bad day Tuesday -- despite his nomination of US Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) as Commerce Secretary -- as two high-level nominees withdrew from consideration. Former US Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) withdraw as the Health Secretary-designate, saying the New York Times editorial against him convinced him he needed to quit so the new new administration wouldn't be saddled with his perceived problems involving the non-payment of some past income taxes. Nancy Killefer, who had been appointed as the White House's new "Chief Performance Officer", also withdrawn over lesser tax issues. In other Obama Administration news, disabled Iraq War veteran and 2006 Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She currently serves as the Illinois State Veterans Affairs Director and was viewed as a possible US Senate candidate in 2010.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Congressman Paul Hodes (D) announced his intention to run for US Senate in 2010 for the seat being vacated by Commerce Secretary-Designee Judd Gregg. Governor John Lynch (D) named former Gregg chief of staff and former university president Bonnie Newman (R) to fill Gregg's seat, once he is confirmed. Newman immediately confirmed the rumors that she will not seek reelection in 2010 nor endorse any candidate for the seat. Newman -- a self-described "independent Republican" -- was chair of "Republicans for Lynch" in 2004 when Lynch ousted incumbent Governor Craig Benson (R). Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter (D), who is also interested in the Senate race, issued a statement saying "it is still very early and I am focused on my work for New Hampshire and the country."

CONNECTICUT. In a quadrennial event nearly as predictable groundhog day, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) announced yet again that he will not be a candidate for Governor next year -- but implied he may run for higher office in the future. Blumenthat has been floated as a top gubernatorial prospect in every race for the past dozen or more years. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) and former State House Speaker Jim Amann (D) have both announced their candidacies against Governor Jodi Rell (R), who has not yet officially announced whether she plans to run again in 2010.

TEXAS. 2008 VP nominee and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) is already acting like a major national political figure. This week she weighed into the 2010 gubernatorial contest by endorsing Governor Rick Perry for renomination in the GOP primary against challenger US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

MISSOURI. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) announced her candidacy for retiring US Senator Kit Bond's (R) open seat in 2010. Congressman Roy Blunt (R) appears to be preparing to enter the Senate race and is trying to convince former US Senator Jim Talent and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman not to run against him in the GOP primary. For now, both Talent and Steelman seem to be leaning towards running.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.04.09 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

SEN GREGG TO BE COMMERCE SECY, GOP CARETAKER TO FILL HIS SENATE SEAT; CRIST OPENS DOOR TO FL SEN RUN; JERRY BROWN JUMPS INTO GUV RUN.

OBAMA CABINET. President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday morning his nomination of US Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) to become the next Commerce Secretary. According to various news reports, Gregg insisted a condition of his accepting the appointment was an agreement by Governor John Lynch (D) to select a Republican to replace him in the Senate. Lynch confirmed to reporters on Monday that he had been in communication with both Gregg and the White House about naming a new Senator. is expected to appoint Bonnie Newman (R) to succeed Gregg. Lynch appears likely to appoint centrist Bonnie Newman (R) -- Gregg's former Chief of Staff, a Reagan Administration official, and founder of "Republicans for Lynch" in 2004 -- to fill Gregg's seat. Newman, 63, has reportedly agreed to serve only as a caretaker and will announce she won't run for the full-term in 2010. Newman seems a safe choice, as even the progressive Huffington Post website praised her on Monday as "highly competent and sufficiently experienced to replace Gregg in the Senate." With Congressman Paul Hodes (D) and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D) both looking at the open Senate seat -- and no GOP incumbent Senator -- we're changing our race rating to Leans DEM.

FLORIDA. Governor Charlie Crist (R) is apparently considering a run for the open US Senate seat in 2010. Crist has sky-high approval ratings and would be a heavy favorite to win. Here is the Q&A on Monday that started the media buzz. Question: "It sure seems like you're entertaining a run for Senate." Crist: "I'm focused on Florida and our budget issues and making sure we're ready to spend these stimulus dollars." Question: "So that's a no?" Crist: "I didn't hear that." A few hours later, Crist's closest confidante and campaign manager George LeMieux seemed to shoot down the speculation. "He's being courted [by the NRSC] ... Beyond that, I don't think there's anything to it," he told the St. Petersburg Times.

CALIFORNIA. Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) -- who served served two terms as Governor in 1975-83 -- said Monday he will run again for Governor next year. Brown, a three-time Presidential candidate, left the Governor's Mansion after losing a 1982 bid for US Senate. Since then, Brown also served as State Democratic Chair and Oakland Mayor. Other announced candidate for Governor include Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi (D), San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D), Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D), State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (R), and former Congressman Tom Campbell (R). Others openly looking at the race include US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R).
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.03.09 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

REP PUTNAM WON'T SEEK RE-ELECTION; NY DEMS SELECT CD-20 NOMINEE; DEM JOB FAIR.

FLORIDA. Congressman Adam Putnam (R) -- who just stepped down last month as House Republican Conference chair, the #3 leadership post -- will announce Monday he will not seek re-election next year. Instead, Putnam will announce his candidacy for State Agriculture Commissioner. Putnam was elected to Congress in 2000 at age 26, and was viewed in recent years as a rising young conservative star in national Republican politics. Starting several months ago, Putnam seemed to lose interest in having a future on Capital Hill and began to focus on returning to state politics. Putnam is interested in serving as Florida Governor in the future. Putnam won reelection in 2008 by a 58-42 over unknown challenger and Navy veteran Doug Tudor. Dems believe they could make this seat competitive with the right candidate. However, CD-12 strongly favors the Republicans and they will likely see several contenders seeking the nomination. Putnam is the fifth Republican incumbent to announce he will leave the House in 2010 to seek statewide office.

NEW YORK. New York Democrats selected a nominee on Sunday to run in the special election to fill the District 20 seat left vacant by Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand's (D) elevation last month to the US Senate. Six candidates competed at the district meeting for the nod, before party leaders united behind wealthy venture capitalist and Democratic fundraiser Scott Murphy. He will face State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) in the special election in Spring 2009 (date not yet set).

OP-ED: A PLUG BY VIN. Democratic GAIN -- a trade organization chaired by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) -- helps people get employment in Democratic campaigns and progressive causes. (Unfortunately, Republicans don't have a similar organization despite strong urging from GOP staffers on Capitol Hill.) For those interested in a career in Democratic politics, GAIN has a terrific job fair this weekend. On Friday, February 7, Democratic GAIN will host a career fair at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey. Over 20 employers will be present including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Work for Progress, the Working Families Party, and many others. If you are looking for your next career move, register for the event by going to www.democraticgain.org. It is worth checking out.
Daily Report by Vin Gopal - Email Vin - Facebook Vin - 02.02.09 | Permalink |

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