ARCHIVE: MARCH 16-31, 2009.
HOEKSTRA RUNS FOR GOV; SEN LINCOLN POSSIBLY VULNERABLE; NY CD-20
SPECIAL TODAY; OBAMA HEADS TO EUROPE.
Eight-term Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R) announced Monday that
he will be a candidate for Governor in 2010. Governor Jennifer
Granholm (D) is term-limited. Attorney General Mike Cox, State
Senator Tom George and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land are
already running on the GOP side. Democratic candidates include
frontrunner Lieutenant Governor John Cherry, Macomb County Sheriff
Mark Hackel, former Michigan State University football coach George
Perles, former Flint Mayor Don Williamson and State Representative
Polls continue to indicate that US Senator Blanche Lincoln
(D) could face a competitive race next year. According to a new
Public Policy Polling (D) survey, Lincoln has a 45% approval rating
-- a weak number for an incumbent. President Barack Obama took
a beating in Arkansas, losing by more than 20-points to John McCain.
“We are going to tie Lincoln to Obama as much as possible,”
stated one Republican consultant. Republicans looking at the race
include State Senators Gerald Baker and Kim Hendren, former US
Attorney Tim Griffin and banker French Hill. The PPP results showed
Lincoln leading Griffin 46-38. She leads Baker by a 48-37 vote.
YORK. Tuesday is election day for the CD-20 special contest.
Venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) faces State Assembly Minority
Leader Jim Tedisco (R). VIN'S ASIDES: The three biggest stakeholders
in this election are (1) Gov. David Paterson – who struggles
from low poll numbers and is responsible for opening this seat
up with his U.S. Senate appointment; (2) RNC Chairman Michael
Steele – all eyes are on the controversial chairman's first
political fight as the leader of the GOP; and (3) President Barack
Obama – some argue the election is a referendum on his leadership
ADMINISTRATION. As President Barack Obama heads to Europe
this week, he enjoys high approval ratings among internationals,
despite their opposition to some of his policies. According to
a new Harris Interactive Survey, more than 80% of those polled
in Italy, France, Spain and Germany said they held either a “very
good” or “somewhat good” opinion of the President.
At the same time, 71% of those polled in the United States shared
similar feelings. Still, the poll shows that more than 70% of
those living in France, Spain, Italy and Germany said they oppose
bank bailouts. Many also oppose Obama's policy in Afghanistan.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.31.09 | Permalink
ED MAKES HIS CASE FOR CONGRESS; WALTZ WITH BESHEAR; GEORGIA GOP
GOV RACE GETS CROWDED; EX-MS GOV TO BE NAVY SECRETARY.
Former Congressman Ed Case (D) will once again run for his old
job -- except this time from a different district. Case will seek
the CD-1 seat being vacated by Congressman Neil Abercombie (D),
who is making a run for Governor. Case was State House Majority
Leader before losing a close primary for Governor in 2002. He
was elected in a special election to Congress in 2002 from CD-2,
serving until his failed 2006 primary challenge against US Senator
Lieutenant Governor Dan
Mongiardo (D) has received the endorsement of Governor Steve Beshear
(D) for the 2010 US Senate contest. The written endorsement statement
was not a major surprise, in that Beshear had previously selected
Mongiardo to be his runningmate in 2007, so there were already
close political ties between the two men. However, the move was
clearly meant as a message for Attorney General Jack Conway (D),
who appears on the verge of also jumping into the race against
vulnerable US Senator Jim Bunning (R). State Auditor Crit Luallen
and Congressman Ben Chandler are also considering entering the
Democratic primary, but they have an apparent agreement with Conway
that only one of the three will challenge Mongiardo in the primary.
Republican incumbent Jim Bunning is seeking a 3rd term, but may
face a competitive primary challenge.
Secretary of State Karen Handel has become the third statewide
Republican elected official to enter the 2010 race to replace
term-limited Governor Sonny Perdue (R). Previously announced GOP
candidates include Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Lieutenant
Governor Casey Cagle and State Representative Austin Scott. Congressman
Jack Kingstom and Cobb County Commission Chair Sam Olens are also
looking at the GOP contest. On the Democratic side, former State
Adjutant General David Poythress is the lone announced candidate.
Former Governor Roy Barnes, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter
and other Dems are also considering the race.
ADMINISTRATION. President Barack Obama has tapped former
Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus (D) to be the next US Navy Secretary.
Mabus previously served as US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from
1994-96 during the Clinton Administration.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.30.09 | Permalink
DEM SURGES IN NY CD-20 SPECIAL; MISSOURI US SEN POLL; PALIN SNUBS
ALASKA GOP LEG LEADERS.
YORK. A new Siena Research poll shows venture capitalist
Scott Murphy (D) has erased State Assembly Minority Leader Jim
Tedisco's (R) previous double-digit lead and now leads by a 47-43
vote in Tuesday's CD-20 special election. A prominent national
Republican political consultant -- who has worked extensively
in New York race over the years -- told Politics1 he is convinced
Tedisco will lose. "Tedisco should have had this in the bag
against someone who was a total unknown just eight weeks ago --
but he took the wrong tone," said the consultant. In other
related news, Libertarian Party nominee Eric Sundwall -- who was
disqualified from the ballot this week -- endorsed Murphy on Friday.
A Wilson Research Strategies (R) poll released Friday shows Secretary
of State Robin Carnahan (D) leading either of her potential GOP
opponents for the open US Senate seat next year. Carnahan leads
Congressman Roy Blunt (R) by a 47-44 vote. She also leads former
State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) by a 47-39 vote.
Governor Sarah Palin (R) snubbed her state's Legislative leaders
this week. They were scheduled to meet with Palin to discuss her
decision to not accept federal funding from the Obama stimulus
package. “We had a meeting scheduled with the Governor today
and her legislative liaison told us that she wasn’t there
and that we could [instead[ meet with the staff,” said State
Senate President Gary Stevens (R) at an afternoon press conference.
Palin immediately fired back a written statement claiming it was
the lawmakers who canceled the meeting with her so that they could
“host their own press conference.” Stevens returned
fire by saying Palin’s account of events “is absolutely
false. To say that we canceled the meeting to have a press conference
is absolutely untrue and somebody should be brought to task on
that.” The Alaskan legislative leaders can bypass Palin
to accept stimulus funds, and have accused the Governor of playing
national politics with federal money given to a state now facing
a massive budget deficit. “We think the stimulus package
brings a unique opportunity for communities around Alaska to benefit,”
said Alaska House Speaker Mike Chenault (R).
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 03.28.09 | Permalink
NY CD-20 UPDATE; GOV PATRICK WEAK; DODD LEADS CHALLENGERS; LINC
CHAFEE SEEKS INDY COMEBACK; VITTER PRIMARY FOE ON FENCE.
YORK. Libertarian Party nominee Eric
Sundwall was disqualified from the ballot just days before next
Tuesday's congressional special election in CD-20. Although he
collected nearly 7,000 signatures in a short time, he only had
2,944 valid signatures-- far short of the required 3,500. Review
of the signatures showed most were of valid registered voters
in the district -- but were declared invalid because they failed
to write the full name of their town or other similar technical
errors. The challenge was filed by two supporters of State Assembly
Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R). The election is set for Tuesday.
Tedisco and ventura capitalist Scott Murphy (D) are locked in
a close contest. Tedisco started with a double-digit lead a few
weeks ago, but all polls within the past week now show Murphy
either tied or edging past Tedisco by a point or two.
Governor Deval Patrick (D) looks in trouble in his re-election
bid next year. A Suffolk University poll showed only 34% of voters
want to see Patrick re-elected, versus 47% who want "someone
else." In fact, the same poll shows Patrick trailing for
renomination by a 35-30 vote if State Treasurer Tim Cahill runs
A new Research 2000 poll shows US Senator Chris Dodd (D) leading
former Congressman Rob Simmons (R) by a 45-40 vote. Dodd leads
other GOP hopefuls by a margin of 20+ points. The same respondents
also indicated they'd solidly back Governor Jodi Rell (R) for
Independent US Senate Joe Lieberman's seat in 2012. In that matchup,
Rell was at 42%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) had 30% and Lieberman
was third with 25%. If Attorney General Dick Blumenthal is the
Dem candidate instead of Lamont, the results are nearly unchanged
(Rell - 43%, Blumenthal - 28%, Lieberman - 25%). In related news,
CNBC show host Larry Kudlow (R) announced this week he will not
ISLAND. WRNI Public Radio reports that former GOP US
Senator Lincoln Chafee "has decided to run for Governor in
2010, and will soon begin to assemble a campaign organization."
Chafee lost for re-election in 2006, quit the Republican Party
in 2007, endorsed Obama for President last year, and now plans
to run as an Independent. Governor Don Carcieri (R) is term-limited.
While several big-name Democrats are looking at the race, all
of the major GOP hopefuls have withdrawn from the race.
All of US Senator David Vitter's potential GOP primary foes have
withdrawn from the contest next year -- except one. Secretary
of State Jay Dardenne (R), a wealthy businessman, this week again
told reporters he's still considering the race. "I'm continuing
to get a lot of encouragement from a lot of people. I have not
decided to run, nor have I ruled out the possibility that I may
run," said Dardenne to Roll Call. To date, the Dems
have also failed to recruit anyone to challenge Vitter, despite
the incumbent's admitted involvement as a long-term customer in
the "DC Madam" prostitution scandal two years ago.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 03.27.09 | Permalink
SPECTER TRAILS TOOMEY; SEN BURR TRAILS IN NC.
The latest Quinnipiac poll shows US Senator Arlen Specter trailing
conservative former Congressman Pat Toomey by a lopsided 41-27
margin in a Republican primary contest. A series of independent
poll results like these have prompted Specter to openly discuss
the possibility that he may cede the GOP nomination to Toomey
while seeking reelection as an Independent. If Specter follows
the Indy route, he promised he would caucus with the Senate Republicans
if he wins another term.
CAROLINA. A new Civitas Institute poll indicates US Senator
Richard Burr (R) is in trouble next year. Burr trails Attorney
General Roy Cooper (D) by a vote of 41-38. Cooper has not yet
decided whether he will run against Burr.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 03.26.09 | Permalink
KAINE EXPLAINS DNC MONEY WOES; BUNNING HAS HIS OWN EXCUSES; AND
A VIN COMMENTARY.
Democratic National Chairman and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is
defending the DNC's poor fundraising performance last month. Kaine
insists his fundraising efforts were handicapped by a Virginia
law which prohibits elected officials from raising money during
the state's legislative session. "Fundraising stories don't
interest me that much. I was unable to raise any money in February
by [state] law," Kaine told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In a conference call, US Senator Jim Bunning (R) said he has been
having difficulty fundraising for his 2010 reelection race. Bunning
blamed his money problems on US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-KY) and NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) for publicly suggesting
Bunning may retire. Bunning – who was narrowly re-elected
in 2004 with 51% of the vote – is expected to face a GOP
primary challenge from State Senate President David Williams,
a McConnell ally. Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo (D), the 2004
nominee, is running again. Attorney General Jack Conway (D) also
appears likely to run.
VIN'S COMMENTARY. I remember after the 2004 election
when President George Bush was re-elected and Republicans picked
up seats in Congress. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter predicted
it to be the end the Democratic Party – that the party would
die within a decade. Democrats fought back hard in the last four
years and now have big majorities in Congress, control of the
White House and a majority of the state capitols in the country.
Now US Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) says that one of the main
reasons he is staying as a Republican is because the GOP is dying
and maintaining a viable two-party system is important to our
democracy. Republicans don't hold a single House seat in New England
and only three US Senate seats in the region. But Republicans
do have some chances due to a bit of good luck: three statewide
officeholders are very vulnerable despite strong favorable ratings
for Congress and the White House. In New York, Governor David
Paterson (D) has a 19% approval rating (although Paterson may
lose his primary, placing this race more solidly back into the
Dem column). In New Jersey, polls show Governor Jon Corzine (D)
trailing his top GOP rival by double digits. In Connecticut, veteran
US Senator Chris Dodd (D) continues to face ethics problems and
new polls show a seriously diminished approval rating. Meanwhile,
in Virginia, Republicans are fighting to stop the Democratic gains
in the state. Another statewide Democratic win in Virginia could
continue to make the electoral math worse for the party of Reagan.
The Republicans have opportunities to defeat those three unpopular
incumbents, although all three of those states have massive Democratic
voter registration. If the Republicans fail to start making gains
in these three opportunity race (or some other needed but unexpected
gains), and fails to win the Virginia governorship, will they
still be a viable national party after 2010?
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.25.09 | Permalink
GOV PATERSON NEARLY UNELECTABLE; SEN BENNETT STRONG AGAINST PRIMARY
FOES; VT SEN APPROVES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE; REP LEVIN GETS PRIMARY
19% of the voters questioned in a Siena Research poll approved
of the performance of Governor David Paterson (D) . By contrast,
78% say Paterson is doing a fair or poor job. The poll also showed
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo would defeat Paterson by a 67-17
vote in a primary next year. The poll also shows Paterson would
lose a general election to former New York City Mayor Rudy Guilliani
(R) -- but that Cuomo leads Giuliani. In the US Senate race next
year, interim US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is tied with former
Governor George Pataki (R) with 41% apiece. However, Gillibrand
leads Congressman Peter King (R) by a 47-23 vote.
US Senator Bob Bennett (R) now appears likely to face a primary
challenge from Attorney General Mark Shurtleff next year. Shurfleff
won election to a third term in November with 70% of the vote.
Shurtleff acknowledges he is looking at the race and promises
a decision "soon.". A recent poll showed Bennett currently
has an 80% approval rating. Former Juab County Prosecutor David
Leavitt and former gubernatorial legal counsel Mike Lee are also
considering GOP primary challenges. The seat is safely Republican.
EQUALITY. The Vermont Senate cast a bipartisan vote of
26-4 to legalize same-sex marriage. The Vermont House is expected
to soon approve the bill by a lopsided margin. Governor Jim Douglas
(R) -- who supports civil unions but opposes same-sex marriage
-- has not yet announced what he will do when the bill reaches
his desk. However, if the House margin is similar to the Senate
vote, it will have the support of a veto-proof majority. Douglas
may simply let the bill become law without either signing or vetoing
it. In other related news, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who
previously opposed same-sex marriage (and, at one time, even opposed
civil unions), said this week he now supports same-sex marriage.
Term-limited State Senator Mickey Switalski announced he will
challenge 14-term Congressman Sander Levin in next year's Democratic
primary. Levin, 77, is the older brother of US Senator Carl Levin
(D). Switalski is also a former State Representative and former
Macomb County Commissioner. Sources tell Politics1 that the 54-year-old
Switalski plans to make Levin's age an issue in the campaign.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.24.09 | Permalink
SPEECH ZONE. For a variety of family reasons, just an
open thread for Monday..
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 03.23.09 | Permalink
ISN'T THAT "SPECIAL" ... AND RNC TOPS DNC IN MOST RECENT
President Barack Obama made a controversial joke during his appearance
on The Today Show with Jay Leno on Thursday night. The
President had taken a shot at self-deprecating humor by saying
that he was
unhappy with his bowling score of 129 on the White House bowling
alley, saying his bowling reminded him of "like the Special
Olympics, or something.” Obama later apologized to Special
Olympics President Tim Shriver, and the White House issued a statement
before the show even aired. "The President made an offhand
remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended
to disparage the Special Olympics. He thinks that the Special
Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to
shine to people with disabilities from around the world,"
said a White House spokesman. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R)
-- a potential 2012 Presidential candidate and mother of a special
needs baby -- responded with the following statement saying she
"was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama
about Special Olympics. This was a degrading remark about our
world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the
most powerful position in the world.”
GAME. The RNC significantly out raised the DNC during
the past month. The DNC now has $8.6 million cash-on-hand, but
had $6.9 million in debts. The RNC now has over $24 million cash-on-hand.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.21.09 | Permalink
TAUSCHER TO BE US ARMS NEGOTIATOR; GOP STALLING FRANKEN SEATING;
DUBYA TO WRITE BOOK; UAW PREZ RETIRES.
Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D) was tapped this week to serve
in the Obama Administration as US Undersecretary of State for
Arms Control and International Security -- the Administration's
top arms control negotiator. The centrist Tauscher -- who represents
the CD-10 district which includes the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory nuclear weapons/WMD research and development facility
--- has been recognized as an expert on nuclear weapons issues
during her seven-terms in Congress. "Keeping nuclear weapons
out of the hands of terrorists, making sure other countries do
not obtain them and, one day, I hope, ridding the world of these
terrible weapons, has become my passion and, I hope, my life's
work," said Tauscher. The swing district has a Dem lean --
and the Dem bench of hopefuls is more significant. If Tauscher
is quickly confirmed by the Senate, a special election will likely
take place in late Spring 2009.
US Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) directly acknowledged that the GOP
strategy in the ongoing Coleman-Franken legal challenge to fill
the Senate seat is simply to delay the seating of Franken. The
final count showed Franken defeated incumbent Coleman by a 225
vote margin. “The battle in Washington, DC is real. Every
day in the Senate without Al Franken is a great day," said
Coburn to the Tulsa Beacon.
BUSH. Former President George W. Bush has signed with
Crown Publishing to write a book focusing on the defining decisions
he made in his personal and political life. The book -- tentatively
entitled Decision Points -- is set to be published during
the Fall 2010 election season.
United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger -- one of organized
labor's fiercest supporters for single-payer national health insurance
-- says he will not seek re-election and will retire when his
current term ends in June 2010. The UAW, one of the largest US
unions, represents over 800 local unions with over a million members.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.20.09 | Permalink
OHIO US SEN POLL; GOP HAS SECOND-TIER CHALLENGER FOR BOXER; BOSTON
MAYOR LIKELY TO RUN AGAIN; TOP RACES OF 2009.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Lt. Governor Lee Fisher
narrowly leading in the Democratic primary for US Senator over
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by a vote of 18% to 14% --
with 46% undecided. Among Republicans, former Congressman Rob
Portman leads State Auditor Mary Taylor by a 31-14. In a head-to-head
matchup among the frontrunners, Fisher leads Portman 41-33. US
Senator George Voinovich, the GOP incumbent, is retiring. VIN'S
TIDBIT: Voinovich endorsed then Cleveland City Councilman Dennis
Kucinich for Mayor of Cleveland in 1977. But, after getting elected
Lt. Governor in 1978, Voinovich ran against then Mayor Kucinich
and defeated him for re-election in 1979.
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, a conservative Republican, is actively
running against veteran US Senator Barbara Boxer (D). DeVore has
represented Orange County in the state legislature since 2005.
Republicans had hoped to recruit a higher profile challenger,
but it now appears as if DeVore is their most realistic prospect.
Sources tell Politics1 that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
is currently leaning towards seeking re-election. Menino, who
has served as Mayor for the past 16 years, has not gone public
yet on his political future. City Councilor-At-Large and mayoral
candidate Sam Yoon is one of the frontrunners for the race
RACES. Campaign's & Elections Magazine list
of the top-13 races to watch for 2009: (1) Virginia Gubernatorial
Election; (2) New Jersey Gubernatorial Election; (3) NY-20 Special
Election; (4) New York City Mayoral Election; (5) Detroit Mayoral
Election; (6) IL-5 Special Election; (7) New Jersey Legislative
Races - entire State Assembly is up; (8) Boston Mayoral Race;
(9) Los Angeles Mayoral Race; (10) CA-32 Special Election; (11)
Houston Mayoral Race; (12) Charlotte Mayoral Race; (13) Jersey
City Mayoral Race.
Report by Vin Gopal - 03.19.09 | Permalink
KBH LEADS PERRY; STRICKLAND LOOKS STRONG; PENN GOP GUV RACE GETS
CROWDED; DEL IS MIKE'S CASTLE.
Governor Rick Perry (R) continues to
trail US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for renomination in next
year's GOP gubernatorial primary. A new University of Texas poll
shows Perry trailing in the primary by a 37-29 vote. The poll
also showed that Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) is the favorite
to replace KBH in the US Senate in the special election that would
follow her election as Governor. However, Roll Call reports
that Hutchison no longer intends to resign her seat this year
to be a full-time candidate for Governor, as she implied last
A new Quinnipiac poll shows Governor Ted Strickland (D) leading
for re-election in 2010 by a wide margin over either of his likely
GOP opponents. Strickland leads former Congressman John Kasich
(R) by a 51-31 vote. He also leads former US Senator Mike DeWine
(R) by a vote of 50-34. The poll also shows -- against conventional
wisdom -- that DeWine leads Kasich by a 32-27 vote in the GOP
primary. While Kasish is an all-but-certain candidate for Governor,
DeWine is still trying to decide whether to run for Governor,
Attorney General or US Senate next year. Former Congressman Rob
Portman (R) is an announced candidate for US Senate, while no
GOP candidate has yet emerged for the Attorney General contest.
Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) launched his campaign for Governor
on Tuesday. Congressman Jim Gerlach and former US Attorney Pat
Meehan are also competing for the GOP nomination for Governor.
Governor Ed Rendell (D) is term-limited. Allegheny County Executive
Dan Onorato, State Auditor General Jack Wagner , and Lehigh County
Executive Don Cunningham are all expected to compete for the Democratic
nomination -- but, to date, none have formally entered the contest.
Congressman Mike Castle (R) looks is decent shape for re-election
next year -- presuming he doesn't run in the open US Senate race.
According to a new PPP (D) poll, Castle leads former Lieutenant
Governor John Carney (D) by 49-32 vote.
Report by Vin Gopal & Ron Gunzburger - 03.18.09 | Permalink
RENDELL SAYS SPECTER UNLIKELY TO SWITCH; SIMMONS CHALLENGES DODD;
OBAMA TO VISIT LENO SHOW; SHEA-PORTER PASSES ON NH SEN RACE.
Governor Ed Rendell (D) is telling reporters that Vice President
Joe Biden led an unsuccessful effort in trying to convince US
Senator Arlen Specter (R) to run for re-election next year as
a Democrat. "We've tried. Myself, Senator (Bob) Casey, Vice
President Biden have tried to talk him into it, but he's bound
and determined to stay a Republican," said Rendell. Of course,
it's also possible Specter is simply not yet letting Rendell know
his true political strategy for next year's race. Specter survived
a GOP primary challenge from conservative Congressman Pat Toomey
in 2004 by a 51-49 margin. Toomey is expected to seek a rematch
in next year's GOP primary.
Former Congressman Rob Simmons (R) announced Sunday he will run
against US Senator Chris Dodd (D) next year. Simmons, a GOP centrist
and retired CIA agent, served three terms in Congress before losing
his seat by just 83 votes in the Democratic tsunami of 2006. A
Quinnipiac poll last week showed Simmons narrowly leading Dodd
by a 43-42 vote. Dodd has faced heavy criticism for a purported
sweetheart home mortgage refinance deal he got from a company
his Senate committee regulates. The DSCC quickly reacted to the
Simmons announcement by releasing a collecting of Simmons quotes
praising President George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama will appear on the Tonight Show with
Jay Leno on Thursday. Obama will become the first sitting
US President to ever appear on late night television before a
new Pew poll shows that only 43% of Republicans approve of their
own party's leadership in Congress. Among all voters, only 28%
approve of the Republican leadership in Congress. By contrast,
47% of all voters approve of the Democratic leadership in Congress.
HAMPSHIRE. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D) announced
Monday that she will not run for US Senator in 2010. Congressman
Paul Hodes (D) previously entered the race to succeed retiring
US Senator Judd Gregg (R). Hodes now looks unlikely to face serious
opposition for the Democratic nomination. Former US Senator John
Sununu is considering running on the GOP side, and would be viewed
as the strongest Republican candidate. Several other Republicans
-- including former Congressman Charlie Bass and former Governor
Steve Merrill -- are also looking at the race.
GOES MOBILE. Something new ... check us out on your mobile
phone at m.politics1.com.
Report by Vin Gopal & Ron Gunzburger - 03.17.09 | Permalink
UNIONS OFFER SPECTER ENDORSEMENT DEAL; NV GOV GIBBONS & FL
CONGRESSMAN TO BE "PRIMARIED"; SHRIVER FOR CAL A.G.;
CONGRESSMAN RYAN LIKELY TO RUN FOR OHIO LT GOV.
The AFL-CIO is reportedly urging US Senator Arlen Specter (R)
to switch parties. The Washington Post's "The Plum
Line" blog reported that senior AFL-CIO officials have guaranteed
Specter they will endorse him for re-election in 2010 -- with
or without a party switch -- if Specter votes for the Employee
Free Choice Act. The powerful union's spokesman later confirmed
the story for the newspaper. With
AFL-CIO backing, Specter would be a heavy favorite to win the
Democratic primary next year. However, even if Specter stays a
Republican, the union said it intended to "stick by any Senator,
Democrat or Republican, who supports the Employee Free Choice
Act." The Post also reports that the rival SEIU
union is also expressing an interest in endorsing Specter if he
support the EFCA. "We have endorsed Senator Specter in the
past and we have a long-established record of standing with Members
of Congress who support workers," said SEIU President Andy
Stern. State Board of Education Chair Joe Torsella (D) and conservative
activist Peg Luksik (R) have already announced challenges to Specter.
State Representative Josh Shapiro (D) and former Congressman Pat
Toomey (R) are expected to also jump in later this month.
Former State Senator and Iraq War veteran Joe Heck and North Vegas
Mayor Mike Montandon have both announced GOP primary challenges
next year to embattled Governor Jim Gibbons. A large number of
prominent Democrats are also looking at the race.
Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver (D) -- brother of California
First Lady Maria Shriver -- is strongly considering a run for
Attorney General next year. Shriver, 54, is the son of 1972 Democratic
VP nominee Sargent Shriver. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)
removed Shriver and actor/director Clint Eastwood from the State
Parks Commission last year after they fiercely opposed a his plan
for a toll road through a Southern California state park. Incumbent
Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) is running for Governor next
Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced legislation requiring future Presidential
candidates to produce a birth certificate in order to be eligible
to run in future White House races. Conservative conspiracy theorists
have accused President Obama of being foreign-born and constitutionally
ineligible. Obama last year produced a certified copy of his birth
certificate from the Hawaii Department of Health, but critics
argued that it was a fake or possibly altered. Hawaii officials
confirmed the original document is in state records. The US Supreme
Court has already rejected several lawsuits challenging the President's
citizenship. "Congressman Posey should be focused on creating
jobs and jump-starting the economy, but it seems he's only obsessed
with pandering to the right wing," said Florida Democratic
Chair Karen Thurman. "I think we are going to take the president
at his word for it, just like we take every other candidate's
word for it," replied Posey's spokesman.
State Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson (D) -- as he previously
suggested -- filed paperwork to make a primary challenge next
year against Congressman Allen Boyd (D). Lawson believes Boyd,
a leader of the centrist Blue Dog Caucus, is too conservative
to represent mainstream Democratic values. He notes that Boyd
voted last year to bailout the Wall Street corporations -- but
was one of only 11 Democrats to vote against the Obama stimulus
Congressman Tim Ryan (D) is "at the top, or very near the
top, of Gov. Ted Strickland’s list of lieutenant governor
running mates" for next year's election, according to the
Youngstown Vindicator. Ryan gave the newspaper a non-denial
response: "It is always flattering to have your name mentioned."
Ryan had initially been looking at running for the open US Senate
seat next year but -- instead -- endorsed Lieutenant Governor
Lee Fisher for the seat. The move seems to indicate the 35-year-old
Congressman instead has his eye on the Governor's Mansion when
Strickland is term-limited in 2014.
Report by Vin Gopal & Ron Gunzburger - 03.16.09 | Permalink