ARCHIVE: APRIL 1-15, 2009.
TIM RYAN WON'T RUN FOR OHIO LT GOV; BOEHNER GETS PRIMARY FOE;
NH LEG APPROVES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE; DSCC RUNNING ANTI-CRIST ADS
IN FLA; NC CONGRESSWOMAN CALLS MATTHEW SHEPARD MURDER "A
#1. Congressman Tim Ryan (D) announced he will seek re-election
next year and will not -- contrary to widely reported accounts
-- be a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
#2. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones (R) filed paperwork
to launch a run against US House Minority Leader John Boehner
in next year's GOP primary. Butler is a vocal supporter of aggressive
crackdowns on illegal immigrants, and would likely challenge Boehner
from the right. State GOP Chair Kevin DeWine said the Ohio Republican
Party will officially back Boehner in the primary.
MARRIAGE. The New Hampshire Senate approved same-sex
marriage legislation on Wednesday by a 13-11 vote. The NH House
previously approved the bill by a 186-179 vote. Governor John
Lynch (D) has not yet announced whether he will sign or veto the
bill. If signed into law, the Granite State would become the fifth
US state to sanction same-sex civil marriages.
The DSCC is already running a TV spot in Florida attacking Governor
Charlie Crist (R) for leaving the state an economic wreck and
abandoning the unresolved state budget process in favor of a Senate
candidacy. And Crist has not yet even announced his plans yet
CAROLINA. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R) is under fire
for remarks she made Wednesday during floor debate on the Local
Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (more commonly known
as the "Matthew Shepard Act"). The bill would authorize
the US Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain
bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived
sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability --
just as they currently can do for crimes motivated by the victim's
race, color, religion, and national origin. During the debate,
Foxx argued it was "a hoax" that Matthew Shepard 's
murder was motivated by his sexual orientation. The House approved
the bill later in the day by a 249-175 vote.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.30.09 | Permalink
SPECTER BOLTS TO DEMS, GIVES DEMS SENATE SUPER-MAJORITY; CONGRESSMAN
DEAL RUNS FOR GA GUV; VA DEM GOV PRIMARY POLL; SEBELIUS CONFIRMED
FOR CABINET; KANSAS HAS NEW GOVERNOR.
US Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced Tuesday that he is changing
parties and will seek reelection next year as a Democrat. "Since
my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican
Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000
Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become
Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with
Democrats than Republicans," explained Specter in a written
statement. Polls showed Specter would be crushed by conservative
former Congressman Pat Toomey in next year's GOP primary, largely
as a backlash for Specter's centrist views and support of the
Obama stimulus package. However, the same polls show Specter would
be strongly favored to win another term if he runs as the Democratic
nominee. Vice President Joe Biden reportedly took the lead in
courting the party switch, speaking 14 times with Specter over
the past ten weeks. Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh tried to
put a positive spin on the party switch, calling it "ultimately
good" and "weeding out people who aren't really Republicans."
Centrist US Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), by contrast, told Politico
the news made her feel rather uncomfortable in her own party:
"We're heading to having the smallest political tent in history,
the way things are unfolding." When Al Franken (D-MN) is
ultimately seated -- likely in late June -- the Democrats will
hold a 60-seat super-majority procedurally capable of blocking
any GOP filibusters. State Representative Josh Shapiro (D) immediately
ended his campaign for US Senate, calling Specter's announcement
"a good day for the Democratic Party." However, State
Board of Education Chair Joe Torsella (D) -- a long-time ally
of Governor Ed Rendell (D) -- said he plans to continue his run
against Specter: "I decided to run for the US Senate for
one simple reason: I believe we need new leadership ... Nothing
about today’s news changes that or my intention to run."
Torsella will find political conditions have immediately changed.
"We are thrilled to welcome Senator Specter into the Democratic
fold and he can count on our full support," said Democratic
National Chair Tim Kaine. Even Rendell has abandoned Torsella.
Rendell told the AP on Tuesday night that he now backs Specter
because the Senator "has always acted in the best interest
of Pennsylvanians ... [and] we think he'll be even better as a
Democrat." It's only a matter of time, but Rendell's endorsement
of Specter ensures Torsella will eventually be forced out of the
race before next year's primary.
Congressman Nathan Deal and State Senate President Eric Johnson
both jumped into the GOP contest for Governor this week. Previously
announced Republican candidates include Secretary of State Karen
Handel, State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and State Representative
Austin Scott. Governor Sonny Perdue (R) is term-limited and is
tacitly backing Handel as his successor. Democratic candidates
include Attorney General Thurbert Baker, State House Minority
Leader DuBose Porter and former State Labor Commissioner David
A new SurveyUSA poll shows former Democratic National Chairman
Terry McAuliffe holding a wide lead in the June 9 Dem primary
contest for Governor. The numbers: McAuliffe - 36%, State Senator
Creigh Deeds - 22%, former State House Democratic Caucus Chair
Brian Moran - 22%.
HOUSE. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) was confirmed
Tuesday as the new US Health Secretary by a 65-31 vote. Her confirmation
completes the US Senate approval process of President Obama's
entire cabinet. Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson (D) was sworn
in as the new Kansas Governor on Tuesday evening. Parkinson does
not plan to be a candidate for the job next year -- but state
Democratic leaders have already started lobbying him to change
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.29.09 | Permalink
SPEECH ZONE. Still tied up with family stuff, so just
an open thread today.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.28.09 | Permalink
QUICK TAKES. Former Congressman Mark Neumann (R-WI) --
the '98 GOP nominee for US Senate -- told the Wisconsin State
Journal he will be a candidate for Governor next year. Neuman
will compete against Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker in
next year's GOP primary for the right to face Governor Jim Doyle
(D) in the general election ... Foreign Policy magazine
and The Hill reported that former Congressman Tim Roemer
(D-IN) will soon be nominated to be the next US Ambassador to
India ... Businessman Mike McWherter (D-TN) -- son of former Governor
Ned McWherter -- announced his candidacy in next year's open gubernatorial
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.27.09 | Permalink
QUICK TAKES. After several weeks of counting the absentee
ballots, venture capitalist Steve Murphy (D-NY) has been declared
the winner of the congressional special election in CD-20. State
Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) conceded the race on
Friday ... A new Rasmussen poll of Pennsylvania GOP primary voters
finds that conservative former Congressman Pat Toomey is leading
centrist US Senator Arlen Specter by a lopsided 51-30 vote, with
9% backing other primary candidates ... The Minnesota Supreme
Court has decided it will not hear arguments in the Norm Coleman-Al
Franken US Senate election certification contest until June ...
Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) told Roll Call "there’s
probably a better chance I’ll run for the Senate than the
[re-election to the] House. [But] I said there’s a chance
I won’t run at all" next year. The statement comes
a week after the DCCC recruited former Lieutenant Governor John
Carney (D) to challenge Castle for his House seat in 2010.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.25.09 | Permalink
GUNZBURGER (1931-2009). My dad Gerry Gunzburger passed
away on Thursday at home at age 77. He led a rather colorful life,
which you can read
about him here. That's a photo at right of Dad and me, taken
just six weeks ago.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.24.09 | Permalink
QUICK TAKES. Two separate threads tonight, for obvious
reasons ... The Washington Post asked US Senator John
Ensign (R-NV) if his upcoming visit to Iowa relates to a possible
2012 White House run. A Presidential run is "not something
I would ever rule out," he told the newspaper ... Term-limited
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton (D-TN) has formed an exploratory
committee to challenge Congressman Steve Cohen (D) in next year's
Democratic primary. Cohen is the only white member of Congress
representing a majority black congressional district.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.24.09 | Permalink
SPEECH ZONE. Murphy +365 over Tedisco in NY CD-20 ...
Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi (D-CA) quit the gubernatorial
race and jumped into the CD-10 special election contest ... Congressman
Mike McIntyre (D-NC) opened the door to a possible run against
US Senator Richard Burr (R) next year, telling WWAY-TV that "you
never say never to anything" ... and US Senator Barbara Mikulski
(D-MD) shot down rumors she will retire in 2010, instead telling
the Baltimore Sun she has $1.2 million in her campaign
account and is already setting an aggressive schedule of frequent
stops in all corners of the state to deter possible GOP challengers.
"I believe the best campaign is the one you don't have to
have. I believe in what I call a deterrent strategy," she
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.23.09 | Permalink
PERSONAL NOTE FROM RON. I'm rather distracted with family
matters as my father has been very ill for the past few weeks
and I've been spending most of my time with my folks. Thus, I
apologize that I just don't have the energy in the evening to
edit Vin's daily news updates -- at least not for the next few
days. I'll post open threads for the next few days until we return
to our regular news coverage (i.e., sometime next week).
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 04.22.09 | Permalink
CUOMO STRONG FOR NY GOV; BURRIS POLITICALLY D.O.A.; POLITICAL
PASSINGS; ARK & TENN GOV NEWS; FRANKEN STAFFS UP.
YORK. A new Siena Research poll shows Governor David
Patterson (D) still struggling, as he only has a 27% favorable
rating -- and only 12% of those polled said they're prepared to
vote for Paterson in 2010. In a Democratic primary match-up, Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo (D) leads with 64%, followed by Paterson
at 11% and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi ay 8%. In a general
election, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani (R) leads Paterson
56% to 29% -- but Giuliani loses to Cuomo by a lopsided 53-39
poll also indicated problems for US Senator Kirsten Gilibrand
(D), as 47% of voters said they'd prefer someone else over her
in 2010, while 20% plan to support her.
A new Rasmussen poll shows US Senator Roland Burris (D) at a 19%
approval rating with only 4% saying that they would definitely
vote for Burris. "If Senator Burris were to win re-election,
it would be one of the most stunning comebacks in the nation's
history," pollster Scott Rasmussen said.
Politico reports that House Minority Leader John Boehner
(R-OH) has contributed $5,000 to a legal defense fund for former
Congressman John Doolittle (R-CA), a target of the Abramoff lobbying
Former three-term Congressman Bill Orton (D),
who was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2000, was killed
in an ATV accident in the Utah salt flats over the weekend. Orton
was 60. Former Congressman Jerry
Waldie (D-CA), an outspoken liberal and opponent of the
Vietnam War, died at age 84. Waldie, a former Majority Leader
of the California State Assembly, earned national fame when he
served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach
President Richard Nixon. Waldie lost the 1974 primary for Governor
to Jerry Brown.
State Senate Minority Leader Kim Hendren (R) announced Saturday
he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Blanche
Lincoln. In 1982, Hendren was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate
for Governor in the primary against a young Bill Clinton.
Former Congressman Harold Ford (D) and former State Democratic
Chair Doug Horne both announced in recent days that they will
not run for Governor in 2010. Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is term-limited.
Al Franken (D), humorist and the apparent winner of last year’s
US Senate race, has already selected a state director –
and The Hotline reports he’s now hiring additional staff
members for his offices in DC and Minnesota. Defeated US Senator
Norm Coleman (R) has filed a formal notice of appeal to the Minnesota
Supreme Court, contesting a lower court’s ruling that Franken
was the legitimate winner of the race. The Supreme Court has agreed
to hear the appeal on an accelerated schedule.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.21.09 | Permalink
SPEECH ZONE. Just an open thread tonight. Have at it.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.20.09 | Permalink
NJ DEM MAYORS BACK BLOOMBERG; PALIN'S A.G. NOMINEE REJECTED; MURPHY
+273 OVER TEDISCO; CANTOR RAISES BIG BUCKS; PLUS CALIFORNIA, NJ
AND GAY RIGHTS NEWS.
YORK CITY. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (Independent)
won the endorsements of the Democratic mayors of New Jersey's
two largest cities. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Jersey City Mayor
Jerramiah Healy -- who were NJ State Co-Chairs of the Obama campaign
last year -- endorsed Bloomberg for re-election this week. Bloomberg,
who has also won the endorsement of NYC Republican Party and Independence
Party, faces a likely challenge from City Comptroller Bill Thompson
(D). "I respect [the NJ Mayors], but hard-working people
who actually live in New York know that we need change and that
Michael Bloomberg offers four more years of the same," said
Thompson in a statement. Bloomberg recently hosted a fundraiser
for Healy's reelection campaign in next month's nonpartisan election,
so that endorsement seems to be reciprocation. “Anything
that Mike asked me to do, I’d do, whether he’s a Republican,
Democrat or Independent,” said Healy.
Governor Sarah Palin's
(R) choice for state Attorney General was rejected by the GOP
controlled legislature. Wayne Anthony Ross was rejected in a 35-23
vote after a week of damaging confirmation hearings which revealed
a history of controversial comments. Ross came under fire for
his past defense of a Ku Klux Klan statue and a 1991 speech in
which he purportedly joked about spousal rape.
YORK. According to the official New York State Board
of Elections website, venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) now
leads State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) by 273 votes
in the CD-20 special election. All ballots have now been counted
except for the roughly 1,200 absentee ballots challenged by the
campaigns due to purported defects. As the vast majority of the
challenges were filed by Tedisco's campaign, observers say it
is now nearly impossible for Tedisco to prevail when a winner
is initially certified at the end of the counting on Monday.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) raised a lot of eyebrows
this week when he reported collecting $723,000 during the 1st
quarter of 2009. Cantor has never faced a significant reelection
challenge and is not likely to have any serious opposition in
2010. As far as freshman fundraising, impressive numbers were
posted by Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), who raised $298,000,
and Congressman John Adler (D-NJ), who raised $464,000.
Congressman Devin Nunes (R) is calling on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
(R) to resign because of a water crisis in the state's San Joaquin
Valley. "When a government can't provide the people access
to a reliable supply of water, it has failed. This government
has utterly failed and Governor Schwarzenegger should resign from
office," stated Nunes, in a written statement. A Schwarzenegger
spokesperson responded to CNN: "We encourage Congressman
Nunes to be part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem."
RIGHTS. Steve Schmidt -- the Karl Rove protégé
who directed Senator John McCain's Presidential campaign in the
general election -- will address the national meeting of the gay
Log Cabin Republicans group this week. Schmidt plans to urge conservative
Republicans to drop their opposition to same-sex marriage. Meghan
McCain, the Senator's daughter and a prominent blogger, is also
expected to address the group and speak in support of same-sex
JERSEY. Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) succeeded
this week in his legal challenge to disqualify three of his Republican
gubernatorial opponents from the June primary ballot due to invalid
petition signatures. The three disqualified candidates: Franklin
Township Mayor Brian Levine, and political unknowns David Brown
and Christian Keller . Lonegan must still face GOP frontrunner
and former US Attorney Chris Christie and State Assemblyman Rick
Merkt in the primary. Governor Jon Corzine (D) also faces primary
opposition from three gadfly candidates. In related news, Levine's
campaign manager -- Pastor Shannon Wright -- this week launched
an independent campaign for Governor on the general election ballot.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.18.09 | Permalink
PERRY SUGGESTS TEXAS SECESSION; SPECTER LOSING SUPPORT; BURRIS
RAISES JUST $845 IN 1Q; GOP CANDIDATES JUMP INTO CO US SEN, AZ
GOV AND NM GOV RACES.
Governor Rick Perry (R) thinks many Texans may want to see the
state eventually secede from the union. "There's a lot of
different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great
union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington
continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know,
who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique
place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." Perry
faces a significant GOP primary challenge from veteran US Senator
Kay Bailey Hutchison. Polls show Perry currently trailing KBH
in primary matchups.
Former Congressman John Pederson (R), an ardent past supporter
of US Senator Arlen Specter, told Roll Call that he will
not be supporting Specter next year. The conservative Republican
believes that Specter should retire and not seek re-election.
Pederson represented a Penn State University-based district for
six terms until his retirement in 2008.
Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier on Thursday became the first
Republican to enter the 2010 race against interim US Senator Mike
Bennet (D). Governor Bill Ritter (D) appointed Bennet to fill
the vacancy left by US Senator Ken Salazar's elevation to the
Embattled US Senator Roland Burris (D) has only raised $845 during
1Q-09 for his potential re-election bid in 2010. If he runs for
a full term, Burris will be facing off in a primary against State
Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and possibly others. By contrast,
Giannoulias raised more than $1.1 million in his first four weeks
since entering the race.
Former State Senator Karen Johnson (R) filed paperwork this week
to run against Governor Jan Brewer in next year's GOP primary.
Johnson -- who espoused fringe conspiracy theories over the years
about everything from water fluoridation to NAFTA to the 9/11
attacks -- said she is running mainly because of Brewer's recent
call for a "temporary" tax increase to cover funding
shortfalls. Johnson, who has also advocated Arizona seceding from
the USA, told the Arizona Republic that she "has no illusions"
she could actually defeat Brewer in a primary. Brewer has not
yet announced whether she will seek a full term -- but pundits
expect her to run.
MEXICO. State Army National Guard Brigadier General Greg
Zanetti announced he will be a GOP candidate for Governor in 2010.
Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson and former Congressman Steve
Pearce are also considering running on the GOP side. On the Democratic
side, Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish is an announced candidate
and actor Val Kilmer is considering the race. Governor Bill Richardson
(D) is term-limited.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.17.09 | Permalink
MURPHY +68 OVER TEDISCO; REP CASTLE DRAWS MAJOR CHALLENGER; CAGLE
QUITS GA GOV RACE; CRIST MORE POPULAR WITH DEMS THAN GOP.
YORK. According to the official New
York State Board of Elections website, venture capitalist Scott
Murphy (D) has widened his lead over State Assembly Minority Leader
Jim Tedisco (R) to a margin of 86 votes in the CD-20 special election.
While the counting of absentee ballots is continuing, this total
now includes all absentee ballots from Tedisco's GOP stronghold
of Saratoga County. Only a small number of absentee ballots remain
uncounted. As part of the GOP strategy here, Republican observers
are objecting to absentee ballots filed by Democrats who own second
homes outside the district. Republicans even challenged US Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand's ballot in her old House district. Tedisco's
campaign objected to Gillibrand's absentee ballot because the
Senator was in the district on Election Day and should not have
been allowed to vote by absentee ballot. "Their latest move
to challenge my ballot is part of a much larger attempt to disenfranchise
legal Democratic voters and delay Scott Murphy's inevitable victory
in the 20th," wrote Gillibrand in an op-ed on The Huffington
Former Lieutenant Governor John Carney (D) has announced his challenge
to centrist Congressman Mike Castle (R) for the state's at-large
seat. Carney narrowly lost the 2008 Democratic primary for Governor.
Analysts say that will be a highly competitive race -- if Castle
seeks reelection. With a recent history of serious health problems,
Castle may be a possible retirement prospect for 2010.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (R) quit the race for Governor
on Wednesday. Cagle cited chronic shoulder and neck pain which
limits his ability to actively campaign as the main reason he
quit. Instead, Cagle said he plans to have surgery and then seek
re-election next year. Governor Sonny Perdue (R) is term-limited.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Governor Charlie Crist
(R) enjoying a 68% approval rating. An interesting point of the
poll is that 25% of Republicans have a negative opinion of him
versus only 20% of Democrats share the same opinion. Crist is
a vocal supporter of the Obama stimulus package.
A new Public Policy Poll-D shows that a strong majority of Minnesota
residents wants former US Senator Norm Coleman (R) to quit contesting
the race for US Senate against humorist Al Franken (D). The numbers:
63% believe Coleman end his legal challenge, 37% want Coleman
to continue his court fight.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.16.09 | Permalink
PATERSON PUSHES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PLAN; NRSC BACKS SPECTER; MN
GOV RACE GETTING CROWDED; MURPHY +47 OVER TEDISCO.
YORK. Governor David Paterson (D) will announce plans
on Thursday to introduce same-sex marriage legislation in the
state assembly. A bold step for the unpopular governor –
who pundits say is taking steps like this to win support from
the progressive wing of the party in case he faces an expected
primary challenge in 2010 from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
"The Governor's office called me and asked if I would stand
with the Governor," said State Assemblyman Micah Kellner,
who is openly bisexual. "I said I will be thrilled to stand
with the Governor when he makes this announcement."
NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) -- acting in his official capacity
-- announced his endorsement of US Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)
for re-election in next year's primary. Cornyn's endorsement signals
that national Republican leaders will support the moderate incumbent
against his conservative primary challengers Pat Toomey and Peg
Luksik. "It's clear we need more [GOP] candidates that fit
their states. While I doubt Arlen could win an election in my
home state of Texas, I am certain that I could not get elected
in Pennsylvania. I believe that Senator Specter is our best bet
to keep this Senate seat in the GOP column," explained Cornyn.
Sources say that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) will also shortly
announce his endorsement of Specter. Changing demographics in
the state -- the dwindling of the GOP primary base due to the
defection of moderates to the Democratic Party -- may doom Specter
in the primary. With the backing of the NRSC and these same GOP
leaders in 2004, Specter only managed to win a 51-49 victory over
Toomey. This is sure to be a very competitive primary.
Progressive State Senator John Marty (D) -- the 1994 DFL nominee
for Governor -- is the latest candidate to jump into the crowded
2010 gubernatorial contest. Other announced Dem candidates to
date include former US Senator Mark Dayton, State Senator Tom
Bakk, former State House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, Ramsey
County Attorney Susan Gaertner, State Representative Paul Thissen,
and former State Senator Steve Kelley. Governor Tim Pawlenty (R)
has yet to announce his reelection plans, as he weighs the impact
of a 2010 race on his potential White House bid in 2012.
YORK. According to the official New York State Board
of Elections website, venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) now
leads State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) by 47 votes
in the CD-20 special election. The counting of absentee ballots
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.15.09 | Permalink
FRANKEN WINS; TOOMEY BRINGS IT; PALIN DECLARES "W.A.R.";
PORN STAR-TURNED-VP CANDIDATE DIES.
court panel overseeing Republican Norm Coleman's election recount
dispute has officially declared Democrat Al Franken the winner
of the US Senate race. The judicial panel ruled that "Franken
is entitled to receive the certificate of election" with
a win by 312 votes. Coleman is expected to appeal next to the
Minnesota Supreme Court. The appeal, if filed within the ten-day
deadline, will likely delay Franken's seating for several more
As expected, conservative former Congressman Pat Toomey announced
he will challenge US Senator Arlen Specter for the Republican
nomination next year. Toomey lost to Specter by a 51-49 vote in
the 2004 primary. Specter, who has expected the challenge from
the right, has already gone up with television ads more than a
year before the primary election.
Governor Sarah Palin's choice to be the next Alaska Attorney General
is drawing fire for his controversial past remarks. Wayne Anthony
Ross -- a bombastic attorney and former two-time gubernatorial
candidate who refers to himself by his "W.A.R." initials
-- has a history of incendiary comments. In 1993, he authored
a newspaper op-ed piece which praised the "courage"
of a college student who created a statue of a Ku Klux Klansman
with a cross in one hand and a flag in the other. Ross added that
it would have been "fun to see [the African-American student
who complained about the statue] try to remove the display. Then
she could have been arrested and her future as a student of the
university could have been resolved through the university disciplinary
proceeding." Ross also has called gays "degenerates"
and vowed to undermine the sovereignty of Native American tribes.
Most troubling, opponents found remarks purportedly Ross made
to Dads Against Discrimination group: "“If a guy can’t
rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?" Child advocate
lobbyist Leah Burton sent legislators a letter this week detailing
comments Ross made when he debated her in the past, including
this one: "If a woman would keep her mouth shut, there wouldn’t
be an issue with domestic violence." The outrage over the
nomination -- even from Republicans -- has grown so intense that
Palin may be forced to withdraw Ross' nomination before it comes
up for a confirmation vote later this month.
Retired 1970s porn star Marilyn Chambers -- the 2004 Vice Presidential
nominee of the Personal Choice Party -- has died at age 56. CNN
reports she died of natural causes at her California home. Why
are we mentioning it? It's a good excuse to work porn into our
Report by Ron Gunzburger and Vin Gopal - 04.14.09 | Permalink
TEDISCO-MURPHY UPDATE; OHIO MONEY PRIMARY; NO TAKERS YET FOR CHINA
POST; CAPITALISM VERSUS SOCIALISM.
YORK. According to the official New York State Board
of Elections website, the lead has switched yet again. State Assembly
Minority Leader Jim Tedisco once again trails venture capitalist
Scott Murphy (D) in the CD-20 special election. Murphy now leads
by a margin of 35 votes.
Former Congressman Rob Portman (R) reports raising $1.7 million
in 1Q-09. Added to money he previously had in his old congressional
campaign account, Portman now has $3 million cash-on-hand. By
contrast, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher (D) said he raised over
$1 million during the same time period. None of the other candidates
have yet to release fundraising numbers for the first quarter.
ADMINISTRATION. Politico reports that both former
US Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and former White House Chief of
Staff John Podesta have turned down offers to be the next US Ambassador
to China. Former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA), who backed Obama
for President last year, is now considered to be the frontrunner
for the post.
vs. SOCIALISM. A provocative new Rasmussen Reports poll
has some surprising results. As GOP leaders have attempted to
use the word "socialist" to describe many Obama Administration
proposals, the pollster asked registered US voters whether they
thought capitalism or socialism "is better." The poll
did not define either capitalism or socialism. The results: Capitalism
- 53%, Socialism - 20%, Not Sure - 27%. And -- if these numbers
alone aren't enough to raise a future alarm for conservatives
-- check out the response from voters under age 30: Capitalism
- 37%, Socialism - 33%, Not Sure - 30%.
CONTEST. A new CBS poll shows President Barack Obama
with a 66% approval rating, and a new Research 2000 poll finds
him with a 68% approval rating. The CBS poll also shows that 57%
of Americans are willing to pay higher taxes if that allows all
Americans to have health care (73% of Democrats favor the idea
while 29% of Republicans do). The Research 2000 poll shows Senate
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell with a 23% approval rating and
House Republican Leader John Boehner with an 18% approval rating.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands at a 36% approval rating, while
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at 34%. Congressional Democrats
overall have a 41% approval rating and Congressional Republicans
have an 18% approval rating. Americans give the Democratic Party
as a whole a 51% approval rating, versus just 26% for the Republicans.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.13.09 | Permalink
BUNNING DRAWS MAJOR FOE; BOB SMITH SEEKS SEN RETURN IN FLORIDA;
NH GOP MAY FINALLY HAVE A SEN CANDIDATE; TEDISCO-MURPHY UPDATE;
RENDELL WANTS SPORTS JOB; MONTEL LOOKS AT POLITICAL RUN.
Attorney General Jack Conway (D) announced
his candidacy against vulnerable US Senator Jim Bunning (R) on
Thursday. Conway had a pact with Congressman Ben Chandler and
State Auditor Crit Luallen that only one of them would run against
Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongairdo in the Dem primary, so as to
not split their shared base. Mongiardo -- an ally of Governor
Steve Beshear -- was the 2004 nominee who narrowly lost to Bunning.
The winner of the Conway-Mongiardo primary will be favored over
Bunning in the general election ... presuming Bunning survives
his own GOP primary.
Former US Senator Bob Smith will seek the Republican nomination
for US Senate in his new home state of Florida. Smith lost for
renomination to the US Senate in New Hampshire in 2002. Smith
briefly ran for this same Florida seat in 2004, but withdrew before
filing citing fundraising trouble. He subsequently endorsed John
Kerry for President in 2004, then briefly flirted with seeking
the Constitution Party's Presidential nomination last year. Polling
shows Smith has almost zero name recognition in Florida.
HAMPSHIRE. Former State Board of Education Chairman and
1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne is strongly considering
a bid for US Senate in 2010. While former US Senator John Sununu
Jr. (R) is expected to run, no GOP candidate has yet to formally
enter to open seat contest against Congressman Paul Hodes (D).
US Senator Judd Gregg (R) is retiring.
YORK. State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco has
increased his lead to 27 votes against venture capitalist Scott
Murphy (D) in the CD-20 special election, as this new number includes
absentee ballots counted in Dutchess, Columbia and Greene counties.
According to House Race Hotline, "If these numbers
hold, it would be a bad early sign for Tedisco" as he needed
to run up a much larger lead from the absentees in these counties
if he is to capture enough votes to prevail when everything is
finally counted. UPDATE: Murphy has now moved into a 34 vote
lead over Tedisco, according to the Albany Times-Union.
Term-limited Governor Ed Rendell (D) is interested in becoming
either the next Commissioner of the National Football League or
of Major League Baseball, according to various reports. Former
Kentucky Governor A.B. "Happy" Chandler (D) resigned
his US Senate seat in 1945 to become Major League Baseball Commissioner,
serving in that capacity until 1951. Chandler -- grandfather of
current Congressman Ben Chandler (D-KY) -- later returned to politics,
being elected Governor again in 1955. Former US Senate Majority
Leader George Mitchell (D-ME) was also interested in serving as
the MLB Commissioner after he retired from elective office, but
was not selected for the baseball job.
TV talk show host Montel Williams told Politico
he will most likely run for political office sometime soon. Williams
-- a Baltimore native and graduate of the US Naval Academy --
launches a new radio show on the liberal Air America network this
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.10.09 | Permalink
BUNNING GETS MORE BAD NUMBERS; QUIGLEY WINS IL CD-4; GINGRICH,
CORKER IN P2012 NEWS; PALIN WON'T PRIMARY MURKOWSKI; TEDISCO LEADS
A new Public Policy Polling-D survey shows incumbent US Senator
Bunning (R) facing long odds to win another term next year. His
overall approval rating now is just 28%. Even more troubling for
the former pro baseball pitcher: only 42% of Republicans approve
of the job he is doing. Bunning may face a GOP primary challenge
from State Senate President David Williams, an ally of US Senate
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Several strong Democrats are
also looking at the race.
Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley (D), as expected, easily
won the special election for Rahm Emanuel's open CD-4 seat on
Tuesday. Quigley captured 70%, versus 23% for anti-immigration
activist Rosanna Pulido (R), and 7% for peace activist Matt Reichel
GINGRICH. Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA)
is lashing out at President Barack Obama's appointment of Harry
Knox to the White House Advisory Committee on Faith-Based Initiatives.
"I think [the Obama Administration wants] to have a very
secular America in which government dominates everything. Why
wouldn't you put an anti-religious, left-wing zealot on a faith-based
group? It's a perfect pattern for this Administration," said
Gingrich. Since 2005, Knox -- a former pastor -- has served as
National Director of the Human Rights Campaign gay rights advocacy
group. Those in support of Knox's appointment have called Gingrich
hypocritical for attacking the Obama Administration on family
values, since Gingrich has been married several times and acknowledged
extra-marital affairs in his past. Gingrich is also the half-brother
of gay rights activist Candace Gingrich. Pundits say Gingrich
is using his attacks to position himself for a prospective 2012
CORKER. US Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) will be the featured
keynote speaker at a prominent annual South Carolina Republican
Party fundraising event in May. Corker's presence at this hot-spot
Presidential contest state has some observers wondering if Corker
is considering a 2012 run for the White House. Corker, a wealthy
businessman and former Chattanooga Mayor, was elected to the US
Senate in 2006.
Governor Sarah Palin (R) has announced she won't challenge US
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) in the 2010 primary. And, to prove
through actions that she means what she is saying, Palin is now
doing a fundraising event for Murkowski. Recent polls showed Murkowski
leading Palin in a GOP primary.
YORK. State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco now
leads by 17 votes against ventura capitalist Scott Murphy (D)
in the CD-20 special election. The primary was held last week.
The Republican ended election night trailing by a handful of votes.
Nearly 7,000 absentee and military ballots still remain to be
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Report by Vin Gopal - 04.09.09 | Permalink
OBAMA VISITS IRAQ; VT LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE; FRANKEN WIDENS
LEAD; CORZINE TRAILS CHRISTIE; GARAMENDI MAY END CAL GOV RACE,
RUN FOR CONGRESS;
HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
HOUSE. President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to
Iraq, visiting US troops in Baghdad. "It is time for us to transition
to the Iraqis. They need to take responsibility for their country,"
Obama said as an estimated 600 troops cheered and gave him a standing
ovation. Meanwhile, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Obama
enjoying a 66% approval rating.
MARRIAGE. The Vermont
Legislature overrode GOP Governor Jim Douglas's veto of a bill
allowing same-sex couples to marry. Vermont becomes the first
state to allow gay couples to marry through legislative action,
and the fourth state overall to legalize same-sex marriage. In
related news, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted
this week to approve a bill to legalize gay marriage. The bill
now advances to the State Senate. Sources say that Governor John
Lynch (D) would sign the bill if it is presented to him. Also,
respected Evangelical conservative columnist Cal
Thomas writes that the Iowa move this week largely sounded
the death knell for opponents of same-sex marriage: "To those
on the political and religious right who are intent on continuing
the battle to preserve 'traditional marriage' in a nation that
is rapidly discarding its traditions, I would ask this question:
What poses a greater threat to our remaining moral underpinnings?
Is it two homosexuals living together, or is it the number of
heterosexuals who are divorcing and the increasing number of children
born to unmarried women, now at nearly 40 percent, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Most of those
who are disturbed about same-sex marriage are not as exercised
about preserving heterosexual marriage. Thatís because it doesnít
raise money and wonít get them on TV. Some preachers would rather
demonize gays than oppose heterosexuals who violate their vows
by divorcing, often causing harm to their children. Thatís because
so many in their congregations have been divorced and preaching
against divorce might cause some to leave and take their contributions
with them. The battle over same-sex marriage is on the way to
being lost. For conservatives who still have faith in the political
system to reverse the momentum, you are -- to recall Harold Hill
[in The Music Man] --'closing your eyes to a situation
you do not wish to acknowledge.'"
Democrat Al Franken's lead has widened to a 312 votes over Republican
Norm Coleman, with the completion of counting all questionable
absentee ballots in Coleman's lawsuit challenging Franken's victory.
Coleman's lawyer said they will file appeals to the Minnesota
Supreme Court and federal courts, if necessary, to pursue the
action. Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) said on Tuesday he will not
sign any election certification for Franken until Coleman exhausts
all his appeals.
JERSEY. A new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll shows
former US Attorney Chris Christie (R) leading Governor Jon Corzine
(D) by a vote of 42% to 33%. Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan
(R) also leads Corzine by a 37-36 vote. Corzine's approval rating
stands at 40%. In the GOP primary, the poll shows Christie leading
with 43%, Lonegan at 21%, and two other candidates each getting
2%. With the passing of the New Jersey primary filing deadline
on Monday, ten candidates will compete in the gubernatorial primary.
Corzine is expected to easily defeat former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl
Bergmanson and two others in the Dem primary. On the Republican
side, Christie remains the favorite over Lonegan and four others.
Click here for the complete list of NJ primary
Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi (D) -- who has had trouble
gaining ground in his gubernatorial campaign -- is considering
instead jumping into the special election for Congresswoman Ellen
Tauscher's (D) soon-to-be vacant CD-10 congressional seat. State
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D) is currently the favorite, in what
will likely be a crowded primary race. Garamendi issued a statement
which seemingly verified the the rumors: "A number of people suggested
I consider this seat. Of course, I will check it out. As a former
Undersecretary of the Interior, there is a lot of exciting work
going on in Washington. Much is possible with Barack Obama. But
I am focused [now] on California and my campaign for Governor."
Garamendi previously lost primary runs for Governor in 1982 and
1994, and recent polling has placed him at a very distant third
in the current race. Tauscher was recently nominated to serve
in the US Undersecretary of State responsible for arms limitations
ARTS. President Barack Obama has hired actor
Kal Penn to serve as the new Associate Director in the White House
Office of Public Liaison. In that capacity, Penn will serve as
the White House's chief liaison to the arts community and the
Asian-American community. Penn's character on the hit FOX-TV's
House committed suicide on Monday night's show, so as
to free Penn to accept the new job. "It’s not like
I’m retiring from acting. I certainly intend to come back
at some point, but right now I just felt like my calling was in
public service," said Penn.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.08.09 | Permalink
YET ANOTHER POLL SHOWING GOV PATERSON WEAK; NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG
CLOSER TO NOV BALLOT LINE; RON PAUL FOLLOWER LOOKS AT NH GOV RACE;
LINC CHAFEE MAKES IT OFFICIAL.
YORK. A new Quinnipaic University Poll shows Governor
David Paterson (D) continuing to face political problems. He has
an upside-down approval rating of 28% to 60% -- and 63% of New
Yorkers say he should not seek re-election. A general election
matchup shows former New York City Mayor Rudy Guilliani leading
Paterson 53% to 32%. However, if Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
is the Democratic nominee, Cuomo leads Guilliani 53% to 36%. US
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) trails Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy
(D) in a primary contest by a 33-29 vote. While McCarthy has yet
to take any action towards making the race, Gillibrand announced
Monday that she has raised $2.3 million in the two months since
she was appointed to the seat by Paterson.
YORK CITY. NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg has won the endorsement
of the Independence Party in his bid for reelection this year
to a third-term. The move guarantees him a spot on the November
ballot. Bloomberg -- who was a Democrat before previously switching
to the GOP to run for Mayor in 2001 -- quit the Republican Party
in 2007. He recently announced he will also seek the Republican
Party ballot line for the general election. The Independence Party
ballot line will either provide Bloomberg with a multi-party fusion
option for his supporters -- or will become his lifeline if he
loses the GOP primary in a major upset (as happened to incumbent
NYC Mayor John Lindsay in the low turnout 1969 GOP primary).
HAMPSHIRE. As no major Republicans have stepped forward
to express any interest in running against Governor John Lynch
(D) next year, State Representative Dan Itse (R) says he'd be
willing to run. Itse -- a staunch Ron Paul follower -- says he'd
run if enough people express support for the idea. Lynch won with
over 70% in each of his last two runs.
ISLAND. Former US Senator Lincoln Chafee (Independent)
filed paperwork on Monday to launch his campaign for Governor.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.07.09 | Permalink
MOST SENIOR GOP'ER IN CONGRESS FEELING YOUNG ENOUGH TO RUN AGAIN;
"NO MEANS NO," SAYS GREGG.
Congressman Bill Young (R) has quickly shot down the rumors he
plans to retire next year. He told the St. Petersburg Times
the rumors were "wishful thinking" on the part of others.
"I'm feeling good, and doing interesting stuff," said
Young, explaining why he plans to seek re-election next year.
District demographics indicate the seat is likely to be a Democratic
pickup when Young retires, but the voters' personal loyalty to
the incumbent keeps him safely in office. Young is currently the
longest-serving Republican in Congress.
HAMPSHIRE. Despite pressure from the NRSC, US Senator
Judd Gregg (R) said his mind "was 100% made up" that
he will not change his mind and seek reelection next year. "Bottom
line: I do not have any intention of running for reelection,"
Gregg told The Hill. NRSC Chair John Cornyn (R-TX) acknowledged
he tried to persuade Gregg to seek another term in 2010. "I
figured if you change your mind once, you can change it again.
I think he's probably pretty firm," said Cornyn.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.06.09 | Permalink
DON YOUNG WANTS STEVENS TO PRIMARY PALIN; IOWA LEGALIZES SAME-SEX
MARRIAGE; TEDISCO-MURPHY TIED (MAYBE NOT); PLUS ALABAMA GOV &
CT US SEN NEWS.
Congressman Don Young (R) is
calling on former US Senator Ted Stevens to challenge Governor
Sarah Palin in the GOP primary next year. Young -- the second
most senior House Republican -- faced a 2008 primary challenge
from Palin's Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell. Palin endorsed Parnell
over Young. Stevens narrowly lost to Democrat Mark Begich last
year. Palin and the Alaska Republican Party this week called on
Begich to resign so a new special election could be held. Young
called Palin's resignation call “a lot of noise. Senator
Begich, in all due respect, won the race. ... He has taken office,
he is now the new Senator."
MARRIAGE. A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows that
44% of Americans support marriage equality versus 55% who oppose
it. These numbers are drastically different than
prior decades, when as much as 80-90% opposed same-sex marriage.
"Women and young people are more in favor of same-sex marriage
than men and senior citizens. Americans who attended college are
also more likely to favor it," says CNN Polling Director
Keating Holland. Polling also frequently shows a majority of Americans
support government-recognized same-sex civil unions with legal
rights largely identical with marriage. On Friday, the Iowa Supreme
Court likely kicked off the latest national debate on the topic
when they unanimously rejected a state law which had banned same-sex
marriage. Relying upon the state constitution, the court ruled
the law violated the state's equal protection amendment. Republican
state legislators opposed to same-sex marriage are split on strategy.
One faction of conservative GOP legislators are calling for a
state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, while
another more centrist group supports the same amendment but coupled
with legalizing same-sex civil unions with nearly identical legal
rights. "I firmly believe marriage should be between a man
and a women but, at the same time, I believe we should address
these [equal protection] issues. I would rather recognize a civil
union than to have same-sex marriage," said State Representative
Dave Heaton (R). Iowa will now become the third state in the nation
to allow same-sex marriage, after Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Governors Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and David Paterson (D-NY) both say
they will sign marriage equality legislation if the state legislature
passes the enacting legislation. Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT) says
he will veto the same-sex marriage bill approved by broad margins
in both houses of the Vermont Legislature -- although same-sex
marriage supporters need to attract just a handful of additional
votes in the House to ensure a veto-proof majority.
YORK. The ongoing review of the election day votes cast
in the various counties in Tuesday's CD-20 special election now
officially has venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) and State Assembly
Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) tied with 77,225 votes apiece.
However, Politico on Friday evening cited an observer
"plugged into all the counties' election boards" who
reported that Murphy now has a 198 vote lead in the informal count.
Tedisco's campaign disagrees, claiming they believe the GOP candidate
now leads by 30 votes.
A new Mason-Dixon poll tests what would happen in next year's
gubernatorial contest if Governor Charlie Crist (R) runs for the
open US Senate seat, as is now expected. In a matchup between
the two most likely Governor nominees, Attorney General Bill McCollum
(R) leads State CFO Alex Sink (D) by a 36-35 vote.
State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks (D) officially jumped
into the open gubernatorial race on Friday. He will face Congressman
Artur Davis in the Democratic primary. State Senator Roger Bedford
and former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow are also looking at the Democratic
Attorney and tennis sports agent Roger Pearson announced he will
challenge US Senator Chris Dodd in next year's Democratic primary.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.04.09 | Permalink
BLAGO INDICTED; ALASKA GOP WANTS DO-OVER; DODD SINKS IN POLLS;
TEDISCO NOW LEADS BY 12 VOTES; MACK PASSES ON FL US SEN RACE.
Former Governor Rod
Blagojevich (D -- arrested in December on conspiracy and fraud
charges -- was indicted on 16 additional felony counts by a federal
grand jury on Thursday. Blagojevich was impeached and removed
from office earlier this year by the state legislature. "I'm
saddened and hurt but I am not surprised by the indictment. I
am innocent. I now will fight in the courts to clear my name,"
said Blagojevich, in a written statement. "We can only hope
the former Governor will not view this indictment as a green light
for another publicity tour ... The people of Illinois deserve
a break," responded US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Governor Sarah Palin (R) and the Alaska Republican Party called
on freshman US Senator Mark Begich (D) to resign so a special
election can take place. They maintain Begich would not have defeated
former US Senator Ted Stevens (R) last year had Stevens not been
convicted on felony corruption charges shortly before election
day. US Attorney General Eric Holder dismissed all charges against
Stevens on Wednesday, citing prosecutorial misconduct. Begich
quickly responded by saying he will not resign and plans to serve
his full six-year term.
Embattled US Senator Chris Dodd (D) appears to be in
serious political trouble next year, according to the latest Quinnipiac
University poll. Dodd trails former Congressman Rob Simmons (R)
by a 50-34 vote. He also trails State Senator Sam Caligiuri (R)
by a 41-37 vote. Many DC insiders believe Democratic leaders will
eventually find a face-saving way out for Dodd, possibly with
an appointment to a high-profile ambassadorship. It would pave
the way for Attorney General Dick Blumenthal (D) to jump into
the race. Blumenthal recently stated he is interested in running
for the US Senate if either Joe Lieberman or Chris Dodd retire.
YORK. The continuing review of the election day votes
cast in the various counties in Tuesday's CD-20 special election
has further narrowed the margin, and switched the leaders. Venture
capitalist Scott Murphy (D) now trails State Assembly Minority
Leader Jim Tedisco (R) by 12 votes.
Congressman Connie Mack IV (R) announced Thursday he will not
be a candidate for US Senate next year. Mack was the top ranked
GOP hopeful in primary polls if Governor Charlie Crist stays out
of the contest. Many close Crist allies say they are now convinced
the Governor will jump into the open US Senate race after the
Florida Legislature adjourns for the year in May. Former State
House Speaker Marco Rubio is already an announced GOP candidate
for US Senator, and takes frequent shots at Crist for supporting
an expansion of legal gambling in Florida and for openly backing
the Obama stimulus plan. However, if Crist jumps in, look for
Rubio to switch into the gubernatorial race. Congressman Kendrick
Meek, State Senator Dan Gelber and North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns
are announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for US
Senate. Incumbent US Senator Mel Martinez (R) is retiring.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.03.09 | Permalink
MURPHY LEADS TEDISCO BY 25 VOTES; FOLSOM SKIPS ALAB GUV RACE;
A.G. BAKER JUMPS INTO GA GOV RACE; USDOJ DISMISSES ALL CHARGES
AGAINST TED STEVENS.
YORK. A review of the votes cast in Columbia County narrowed
the CD-20 special election results, with both men losing some
votes accidentally double-tabulated. After the correction, venture
capitalist Scott Murphy (D) leads State Assembly Minority Leader
Jim Tedisco (R) by just 25 votes -- out of over 152,000 cast.
The race, however, will ultimately be decided by the thousands
of still uncounted absentee and provisional ballots.
In a somewhat surprising move, Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom
Jr. (D) announced Wednesday he will seek re-election next year.
Most pundits had thought Folsom was leaning towards entering the
open gubernatorial contest. Congressman Artur Davis is the only
major announced Democrat in the race for Governor. Real estate
developer Tim James, son of former Governor Fob James, is the
only announced GOP candidate to date -- although a large crowd
of prominent Republicans are looking at the race. Incumbent Governor
Bob Riley (R) is term-limited.
Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D) will run for Governor
next year, acccording to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Baker, a former State House Democratic Leader, has served as Attorney
General since his election in 1996. Former Secretary of State
David Poythress, a retired USAF general, is also competing in
in the Dem contest -- and former Governor Roy Barnes and State
House Minority Leader DuBose Porter are also exploring the race.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Karen Handel,
State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine are the GOP frontrunners.
Governor Sonny Perdue (R) is term-limited.
US Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped all federal corruption
charges against former US Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). Stevens
was narrowly defeated for re-election in 2008, shortly after a
Virginia jury convicted him on several corruption felonies. Holder
acted -- not out of a belief that Stevens was not guilty -- but
due to his agreement with the federal trial judge that the US
Attorney's Office committed prosecutorial misconduct in hiding
evidence and other actions which unfairly prejudiced Stevens'
defense. Holder is hoping his action sends a message to federal
prosecutors that they are expected to act fairly and ethically
at all times.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.02.09 | Permalink
NY CD-20 WINNER LIKELY UNCLEAR FOR WEEKS; EX-HP CEO FIORINA LOOKS
AT US SEN RUN; CT US SEN UPDATE.
YORK. Tuesday was
election day for the CD-20 special contest -- and the results
were so close we will likely not have a declared winner until
mid-April at the earliest. With all precincts counted, venture
capitalist Scott Murphy (D) holds a 65 vote lead over State Assembly
Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R). However, there are as many as
6,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted over the
next week, plus that election officials plan to count any absentee
ballots mailed from overseas which arrive by April 13. Based upon
when the pendulum of support shifted in the polls, Tedisco may
ultimately prevail if most of the outstanding ballots are true
absentee votes cast over the past few weeks. However, Murphy will
be favored if the bulk of those uncounted votes are provisional
ballots cast on election day. Tedisco started the contest with
a double-digit lead in this district which traditionally skews
GOP (although Kirsten Gillibrand captured it for the Democrats
in an upset in 2006). Expect a recount and a possible legal challenge
-- no matter which man is declared the winner.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina told the San Jose
Mercury News she is "seriously considering" a challenge
to US Senator Barbara Boxer (D) next year. “Fiorina reportedly
received more than $150 million during her time at HP -- including
$21 million in severance pay after she left under fire -- while
laying off more than 25,000 employees as CEO, none of whom received
the kind of golden parachute she did. Now she has millions of
her own dollars to pour into a possible campaign against Barbara
Boxer,” replied a Boxer campaign email on Tuesday.
State Senator Sam Caligiuri (R) has entered the race
against US Senator Chris Dodd (D) next year. He joins former Congressman
Rob Simmons and anti-tax activist Peter Schiff in the GOP contest.
Report by Vin Gopal - 04.01.09 | Permalink