SPEECH ZONE. Saturday's DNC Rules Committee meeting will
decide the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegations to the
national convention ... and likely seal the end of the Clinton
campaign after the final primaries next Tuesday.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.31.08 | Permalink
CANDIDATES JOINTLY SPEAK OUT TO END DARFUR GENOCIDE; OBAMA GAINS
3 MORE SUPERS; MUSGROVE LEADS IN MS US SEN SPECIAL; SESSIONS SAFE
GENOCIDE. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain pointedly
issued a joint statement this week aimed at the government of
Sudan. The statement accused the Sudanese government of genocidal
atrocities against civilians in Darfur and warned Sudan that trying
to "run out the clock" on the current administration
would not benefit them. "Today, we wish to make clear to
the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous
importance, there is no divide between us. If peace and security
for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated
as president on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next administration
will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve," the three
wrote. Click here
to learn more about genocide in Darfur.
- DEMS. Barack Obama picked up another three superdelegates
on Thursday: Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Texas State Democratic
Chair Boyd Richie, plus one more Texas super.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey shows former Governor Ronnie Musgrove
(D) leading interim US Senator Roger Wicker (R) by a 47% to 46%
vote for November's special election. Race rating: Toss-Up. In
the state's other US Senate contest, incumbent Thad Cochran (R)
holds a comfortable lead of 58% to 35% over State Representative
Erik Fleming (D). Race rating: Safe GOP.
A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows US Senator Jeff Sessions (R)
leading State Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D) by a lopsided 62%
to 29% vote.
Race rating: Safe GOP.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.30.08 | Permalink
STOCKPILES SUPERS; CLINTON LEADS IN P.R.; IDAHO PRIMARY RESULTS;
NRSC CANDIDATE MISSES MASS. PRIMARY BALLOT; BARR APOLOGIZES FOR
- DEMS. According to a numerous media sources, Barack Obama
is stockpiling endorsements of superdelegates for a mass announcement
next week. The move is expected to put him over either the 2025
or 2131 number --depending what the DNC decides on Saturday as
to Florida and Michigan. Puerto Rico votes on Sunday, and the
South Dakota and Montana end the primary season next Tuesday.
A new El Vocero/Univision poll in Puerto Rico shows Hillary
Clinton leading Obama by a 51% to 38% vote. The only unknown is
whether Obama will unveil the superdelegate endorsements on Monday/Tuesday
so as to be able to declare himself the nominee on Tuesday night,
or if the supers will be unveiled later in the week. Our guess
is the former.
Congressman Bill Sali won renomination on Tuesday over Iraq War
veteran Matt Salisbury by a 60% to 40% vote. Sali is favored over
wealthy former timber executive Walt Minnick (D), but the November
contest is expected to be rather competitive because of the bombastic
Sali's lengthy history of feuding with his state GOP leaders.
In the open US Senate race, Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch (R)
and former Congressman Larry LaRocco (D) easily won their respective
primaries. Risch -- who easily defeated LaRocco for Lt Gov in
2006 -- is favored in the general election.
Embarrassing news for the NRSC but their preferred candidate in
Massachusetts against US Senator John Kerry (D) may have fallen
short of the signatures required to qualify for the primary ballot.
State election officials said this week that airline pilot, USAF
veteran and '07 Congressional nominee Jim Ogonowski seemingly
fell 82 signatures short of the 10,000 requirement. Ogonowski
insists there are more signatures his campaign filed with various
election offices around the state, which should push him over
the mark. However, businessman and former CIA agent Jeff Beatty
(R) -- who has already qualified for the primary ballot -- says
he plans to challenge Ogonowski's signatures if he scrapes over
the 10,000 mark. Beatty alleged many of Ogonowski's signatures
are bad and will not survive a legal challenge.
Former GOP Congressman Bob Barr -- the LP's Prez nominee -- has
changed his views on gay marriage and same-sex civil unions. When
he served in Congress, Barr was the main sponsor of the so-called
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Barr now calls DOMA "a mistake"
and apologized for having helped write it. Barr now says DOMA
should be repealed because it "clubs down the rights of law
abiding citizens." Barr also went so far as to tell LP delegates
at last weekend's convention that he supports California's decision
to recognize same-sex marriages, saying each state should have
the constitutional right to go its own way on this issue.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.29.08 | Permalink
TRAILS IN KY; MINNESOTA SENATE TOSS-UP; SWEITZER LEADS BIG IN
MT; McKINNEY LOCKS UP GREEN PREZ NOMINATIONL; RENDELL UNLIKELY
TO CHALLENGE SPECTER.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, US Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is trailing wealthy health care executive
Bruce Lunsford (D) by a vote of 49% to 44%. McConnell disputes
the numbers, saying his internal polling shows him holding a double-digit
Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) holds a wide lead in his re-election
contest, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll. The numbers: Schweitzer
- 55%, State Senator Roy Brown (R) -30%, businessman Stan Jones
(Libertarian) - 2%. (Editorial Note: Although Schweitzer is
up for re-election this year, Politics1 thinks Schweitzer -- or
Russ Feingold or Mike Bloomberg -- would make a great VP runningmate
with Senator Obama.)
US Senator Norm Coleman (R) leads humorist Al Franken (D) by a
47% to 45% vote, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.
Access News reports that former Georgia Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney is now a lock to win the party's Presidential
nomination during the July national convention. Even though not
all of the states have elected convention delegates, McKinney
now has won a majority of all delegates who will be going to the
convention. McKinney quit the Democrats, joined the Greens and
moved to California last year. With Barack Obama as the presumptive
Dem nominee, she will find it much harder to peel away disaffected
votes from the African-American liberal community.
Despite conservative columnist Robert Novak's column claiming
term-limited Governor Ed Rendell (D) is looking at a possible
2010 run against his friend US Senator Arlen Specter (R), could
us among the doubtful. We would remind people that Rendell already
announced his 2006 run was the final campaign of his career. "This
is my 14th election -- enough is enough," said Rendell in
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.28.08 | Permalink
STONE'S "CHARLIE CRIST SEX TAPE" STORY; OBAMA LEADS
IN MONTANA, GAINS SIX SUPERS; TROUBLE ON THE RIGHT FOR INDIANA'S
GOP GOVERNOR; NRCC RECRUITING PROBLEMS IN NEW YORK.
VEEPSTAKES. Politics1 Exclusive. How interested
is Florida Governor Charlie Crist in being John McCain's VP runningmate?
So much so that veteran GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone -- who
coordinated a few dirty stunts in support of Crist during the
2006 gubernatorial campaign -- is quietly peddling a so-called
"Charlie Crist sex tape." That's what Stone called it
during a telephone conversation. And no, it is not a tape of Crist
having sex with a guy. In fact, it isn't even X-rated. The video
was seemingly staged to kill the rumors
that Crist is gay. Stone claims the tape -- which he discussed
recently with Politics1, but didn't show to us ("I'm
saving it for the national shows") -- "shows Charlie
fooling around in a hotel elevator with his girlfriend ... They're
making out." Adds Stone: "It was captured on a security
camera in the elevator" last month. And Stone just conveniently
happens to have a copy of the hotel's elevator surveillance tape,
just when Crist's name is in play for the VP spot. Hmm.
As for Crist's purported girlfriend -- presuming it is the same
one he took as his date to the White House Correspondents Dinner
in DC a few weeks ago -- she's still married (and not to Crist).
Disclaimer: Always be skeptical of anything from Stone.
- DEMS. A new Mason-Dixon poll of Montana Democrats shows
Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton by a 52-35 vote for the state's
June 3 primary. Over the holiday weekend, Obama also won the endorsements
of six more superdelegates including Hawaii State Democratic Chair
Brian Schatz and former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles.
Four-term State Senator John Waterman (R) filed paperwork to launch
an Independent exploratory committee to challenge Governor Mitch
Daniels (R) in November. Waterman, a former Sullivan County Sheriff,
says he's running to give "disgruntled" voters a better
conservative choice than the incumbent. He told the Evansville
Courier he intends to select "a Christian conservative"
as his Lieutenant Governor runningmate by this Wednesday. An independent
statewide candidate must collect 33,000 valid petition signatures
by June 30 to qualify for the general election ballot. Recent
polling -- before Waterman further complicated the race -- showed
the vulnerable Daniels already locked in a touch fight against
former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson (D).
YORK. The NRCC's top recruitment choice for retiring GOP Congressman
Vito Fossella's CD-13 seat announced he will pass on the race.
Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan (R) released a written
statement Friday explaining: "I am best able to serve the
people of Staten Island in the position to which they re-elected
me by such an overwhelming margin just six months ago, as their
District Attorney." Richmond County Clerk Stephen Fiala (R)
also announced last week he will not run. Physician Jamshad Wyne
is the only announced GOP candidate to date. The
announced Democrats for the seat are New York City Councilmen
Dominic Recchia and Vincent Gentile, and attorney Stephen Harrison.
RECOUNT. If you enjoyed the HBO movie Recount
-- and are a reader who started visiting Politics1 after 2000
-- be sure to check out my insider account
of the recount from an on-the-ground perspective in Broward
County. As for the movie, it was rather entertaining (note: although
HBO took my mom's quote I heard her give in several interviews
-- "I don't mind if people thought I was a lesbian, but I
think I could do better than Carol Roberts if I was" -- and
had Carol instead make the comment in reverse about Mom).
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.27.08 | Permalink
Former GOP Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia captured the Libertarian
Party's Presidential nomination on Sunday . He defeated scientist
and party stalwart Mary Ruwart by a 324-276 vote on the sixth
ballot. Former Democratic US Senator Mike Gravel finished fourth
and was eliminated after the fourth ballot. Wealthy sports handicapper
Wayne Root of Nevada, who was eliminated from the Presidential
race after the fifth ballot, won the VP nomination. Both Barr
and Root were Republicans until switching to the LP within the
past two years. The Barr-Root ticket is likely to appear on the
ballot in at least 48 states in November.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.25.08 | Permalink
- DEMS. Barack Obama wrapped up a three-day swing through
Florida on Friday, with a rally in Broward County -- the largest
Democratic base in the state. A crowd of 16,000 braved heavy afternoon
rains outside as they lined-up to pass through security checkpoints
to attend the rally. wait in line outside cheered Obama, as he
praised rival Hillary Clinton for the race she ran for the nomination,
frequently distinguished his views from those of John McCain ("a
third Bush term"), and vowed to aggressively compete in Florida
in the general election with frequent visits. Click
here to view my photos of the Obama rally (and, if you're
not yet on my Facebook
friends list, feel free to add me to your list to get access
to the pix). Obama also spoke earlier Friday in Miami to the conservative
Cuban-American National Foundation -- a group that was closely
aligned with President Reagan and other Republicans over the years
-- to discuss Cuban policy. Obama said he was willing as President
to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss improving
relations between the two countries coupled with an improvement
in human rights in Cuba. He also called for an immediate end to
the restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling to Cuba and sending
money home to relatives still living on the island. Obama received
several standing ovations from the CANF audience during his remarks.
Fidel Castro's own estranged daughter -- a prominent anti-communist
leader in Miami's exile community -- warmly praised Obama afterwards.
"I believe he is the only candidate who has spoken sincerely
about the intentions that he has toward Cuba," she said.
CANF supports easing the travel and money restrictions imposed
by the Bush Administration. McCain had visited South Florida and
spoke to CANF earlier in the week, vowing to continue the current
hard-line US policies towards Cuba. "We love Senator McCain
and we have been friends with him for a very long period of time,
but we think at this juncture of history of the Cuban process
we need to try new approaches and new methods. There was nothing
in [McCain's] speech that we have not heard before," said
CANF President Pepe Hernandez to the Miami Herald. Clinton
also spent a day in South Florida last week. In related news,
Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) -- a previously announced Clinton
supporter -- announced Friday he was switching his superdelegate
vote to Obama.
The Libertarian Party is holding its Presidential nominating
convention this weekend in Denver, Colorado. Leading candidates
for the nomination include former GOP Congressman Bob Barr, college
professor and party stalwart Mary Ruwart, wealthy sports handicapper
Wayne Root, college professor George Phillies and former Democratic
US Senator Mike Gravel. Barr is closely aligned with Congressman
Ron Paul (R-TX), a LP favorite. Ruwart is a leader of the party's
anarcho-libertarian wing. Phillies has been a leader of the more
moderate "reform" movement within the party. ThirdPartyWatch.com
-- which is providing detailed coverage of the convention -- reports
convention attendance this year is significantly lower than it
was for the party's 2004 convention.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.24.08 | Permalink
WITH AN UNCOMMITTED SUPER; McCAIN REBUKES HAGEE; NC SEN &
GOV POLLS; MO GOV POLLS; KENNEDY WANTS WIFE TO SUCCEED HIM.
- DEMS.Politics1 had a chance to catch up in Florida
on Thursday with one of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates.
Broward County Democratic Chair, DNC member and former state party
chair Mitch Ceasar was part of the small group of uncommitted
Florida superdelegates who had an opportunity to meet privately
with Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. Ceasar said he and -- he expects
all of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates -- will announce
Presidential endorsements within a few days following the final
primaries on June 3. Ceasar said it was apparent Clinton "knows
the race is over" and was "realistic" in her private
comments about the nomination math. "We'll have a clear nominee,
and be a unified party behind one candidate by early June,"
he said. Continuing the contest through June 3, he said, appears
to be about "giving her leverage ... [pause] ... for something."
John McCain denounced controversial comments by evangelical
pastor John Hagee and renounced Hagee's endorsement on Thursday,
after a recording surfaces this week which the Jewish community
found offensive. Hagee said Adolf Hitler was doing God's work
in the Holocaust because it was intended to force Jews to create
a state of Israel. Hagee had previously denounced the Catholic
Church as a "whore." McCain had originally sought out
Hagee's endorsement during the primary season.
CAROLINA: SurveyUSA polls from the Tarheel State show two
competitive statewide races. In the open gubernatorial race, Lieutenant
Governor Bev Perdue (D) leads Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R)
by a 52% to 45% vote. Meanwhile, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R)
leads State Senator Kay Hagan (D) by a vote of 50% to 46%.
A new set of KSDK-TV/SurveyUSA polls shows the GOP primary in
the open gubernatorial race remains very close -- but that either
of the two leading Republicans trail Attorney General Jay Nixon
(D) by wide margins. The GOP primary numbers: Congressman Kenny
Hulshof - 29%, State Treasurer Sarah Steelman - 25%, teacher Scott
Long - 10%, retiree Jen Sievers - 4%. In general election match-ups,
Nixon leads Hulshof by a 57% to 33% vote ... and leads Steelman
by a 58% to 33% vote. Governor Matt Blunt (R) is not seeking a
second term. Another SurveyUSA poll of the CD-6 race shows Congressman
Sam Graves (R) leading former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D)
by a 49% to 39% vote.
The New York Daily News reported that ailing US Senator
Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is letting his political allies know he wants
his wife Vicki to be appointed to fill his eventual vacancy in
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.23.08 | Permalink
having some internet connectivity problems, meaning I'm having
trouble even visiting news sites to catch up on what's going on
today in the world of politics ... I updated the two state pages
to reflect the primary winners. Click here to
see the Oregon congressional nominees and click
here to see the Kentucky nominees ... John McCain, fresh off
his 72% victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary, is set to meet
this weekend in Arizona with three VP prospects. The three: Louisiana
Governor Bobby Jindal, Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ... Also, I'm using a half-day
personal leave from my "real job" on Friday so I can
cover the giant Obama rally scheduled for here in Broward County.
(Yup, despite my admittedly sometimes over-the-top enthusiasm
for Obama, this will be the first time I've ever heard him speak
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.22.08 | Permalink
CLINTON WINS KENTUCKY, OBAMA WINS OREGON; FOSSELLA RETIRES; TED KENNEDY HAS BRAIN TUMOR.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split Tuesday's two contests. Clinton swept to a big win in Kentucky, defeating Barack Obama by a 65%
to 30% vote. Obama defeated Clinton in Oregon by a 58% to 42% vote. Obama also scored enough pledged delegates Tuesday so as to now have an absolute majority out of all the pledged delegates going to the convention
... Also in Kentucky, wealthy health care executive Bruce Lunsford
(D) easily won his primary and will face US Senator Mitch McConnell
(R) in November ... In Oregon, State House Speaker Jeff Merkley defeated progressive attorney Steve Novick by a 45% to 41% vote to win the Democratic nomination to face US Senator Gordon Smith (R) in November. In the open CD-5 seat, State Senator Kurt Schrader (D) cruised to an easy primary win. On the GOP side, businessman Mike Erickson narrowly edged out former State GOP Chair Kevin Mannix in a very bitter and divisive race ... Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) announced
Tuesday he will not seek re-election this year. The decision comes
three weeks after his DUI arrest, and two weeks after he acknowledged
fathering a three-year-old child during a long-term extramarital
affair ... US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was diagnosed with a
malignant brain tumor. He remains in the hospital, but is expected
to be released later this week. Kennedy has not decided upon which
treatment options, if any, he will pursue.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.21.08 | Permalink
KENTUCKY PRIMARY PREVIEWS; OBAMA COLLECTS SENATOR BYRD + MORE
- DEMS. US Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) endorsed Barack Obama
-- as did a few other superdelegates. This now brings Obama to
just 109 delegates shy of the nomination. As for Tuesday's primary,
it remains fairly obvious that Hillary Clinton will win big on
Tuesday in Kentucky, while Obama will win Oregon by a comfortable
margin. Here are some new polls for Tuesday's primary contests
(note: keep in mind that approximately 75% of all likely Oregon
voters cast early mail-in ballots for the primary):
KENTUCKY (Suffolk Univ.):
Clinton - 51%, Obama - 25%.
OREGON (SurveyUSA): Obama
- 55%, Clinton - 42%.
OREGON (Public Policy
Polling): Obama - 56%, Clinton - 38%.
OREGON (Suffolk Univ.):
Obama - 45%, Clinton - 41%.
Besides the Presidential primary, there are several significant
other races on Tuesday's primary ballot. US SENATE: State
House Speaker Jeff Merkley and attorney Steve
Novick are locked in a tight battle for the Democratic nomination.
Merkley is the DSCC's recruited candidate, but feisty progressive
activist Novick has been leading Merkley in recent polls. Four
other minor Dems are also running. The winner will face US Senator
Gordon Smith (R) in November. Race rating: GOP Favored. CD-5:
Both parties have competitive races for this open seat, as Congresswoman
Darlene Hooley (D) is retiring. On the Democratic side, State
Senator Kurt Schrader holds a sizable lead over former gubernatorial
chief of staff Steve Marks and three others. On the GOP side,
former State GOP Chair Kevin Mannix is locked in a virtual tie
with businessman Mike Erickson. Mannix surprisingly appeared to
be trailing until these closing days, when he blasted the pro-life
Erickson for allegedly impregnating a woman a few years ago and
then paying for her abortion. Mannix now holds a slight edge,
but the early voting may favor Erickson. Also, playing this card
may make Mannix less electable in the November election in this
swing district as it seems to confirm public perception of him
as a candidate focused mainly on a social conservative agenda.
Mannix lost primary races for Governor in 2002 and 2006, and lost
general election contests for Attorney General in 1996 and 2000.
Race rating: Leans DEM.
There are three races worth watching on this state's primary ballot.
US SENATE: Multimillionaire businessmen Bruce Lunsford
and Greg Fisher lead the seven-candidate Democratic field. A new
SurveyUSA poll shows Lunsford leading Fisher by a vote of 47%
to 26%. Lunsford lost primary races for Governor in 2003 and 2007.
The winner will face US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R). CD-2: State Senator Brett Guthrie (R) is unopposed
for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Congressman Ron Lewis
(R). On the Dem side, State Senator David Boswell and Daviess
County Judge-Executive Reid Haire are competing. Boswell is also
a former State Agriculture Commissioner. Race rating: GOP Favored.
CD-3: Four Republicans are battling for the right to face
freshman Congressman John Yarmuth (D) in November. Former Congresswoman
Anne Northup -- who was ousted in 2006 by Yarmuth, then lost the
GOP primary for Governor last year -- is the Republican frontrunner.
Former pro football player and anti-tax activist Chris Thieneman
is her leading opponent, but he has run a very erratic race. He
filed for the seat, annouced he was quitting the race shortly
after filing closed out of anger with Northup's last-minute entry
at the urging of the NRCC, he then endorsed Yarmuth ... but then
jumped back in the race (and un-endorsed Yarmuth) a month ago
saying he never "officially" quit. Against that bizarre
behavior, Northup should easily win the primary. Race rating:
A new Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll shows US Senator Norm
Coleman (R) leading challenger Al Franken (D) by a 51% to 44%
vote. Previous polls had shown a closer race, but bad press involving
unpaid taxes Franken owed to various states for speaking engagements
over the years hurt him. In related news, former Governor Jesse
Ventura (Independent) said he expects either he or former US Senator
Dean Barkley (Independent) will jump into the race. Ventura said
he will defer to Barkley -- his former campaign manager and a
veteran third-party activist whom Ventura appointed to a Senate
vacancy in 2002 -- if Barkley decides to run.
Race rating: Toss-Up.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.20.08 | Permalink
UPDATE; NEVADA FILING CLOSES; US SENATE POLLS FOR NEW MEXICO,
MAINE, KANSAS, ALASKA & NEBRASKA.
- DEMS. For those keeping track, Barack Obama inched a bit
closer to the 2,025 delegate total needed to secure the Presidential
nomination. As of Sunday, Obama was just 116 delegates shy of
the nomination. By contrast, Hillary Clinton is 306 short of the
goal. That said, here are some new polls for Tuesday's primary
KENTUCKY (ARG): Clinton
- 65%, Obama - 29%.
OREGON (ARG): Obama -
50%, Clinton - 45%.
MEXICO. A new KOB-TV/SurveyUSA poll shows the two GOP candidates
for US Senate locked in a close contest for the June 3 primary.
The primary numbers: conservative Congressman Steve Pearce - 49%,
centrist Congresswoman Heather Wilson - 46%. However, it may not
matter which Republican wins the primary as both trail Congressman
Tom Udall (D) by landslide margins in general election match-ups.
Udall leads Pearce by a vote of 60% to 36%. Udall leads Wilson
by a nearly identical margin: 61% to 35%. US Senator Pete Domenici
(R) is retiring. Race rating: DEM Favored.
Congressional candidate filing closed in Nevada
on Friday. CD-1: Seven Republicans filed against Congresswoman
Shelley Berkley (D), but she's safe for November. CD-2:
Freshman Congressman Dean Heller (R) faces a rematch from State
University System Regent Jill Derby (D). Race rating: GOP Favored.
CD-3: This will be the most hotly contested race in the
state. Congressman Jon Porter (R) is a top DCCC pickup target,
based upon his poor performance in the last election against an
underfunded challenger. Former State Senate Minority Leader and
'06 Governor nominee Dina Titus (D) will give Porter a real race
this year. Race rating: Leans GOP. Note: Third party candidates
filed for all three House seats.
US Senator Susan Collins (R) continues to lead challenger Congressman
Tom Allen (D), according to the new Rasmussen Reports poll. The
numbers: Collins - 52%, Allen - 42%.
According to the Rasmussen Reports poll, US Senator Pat Roberts
(R) may not be quite as safe as was initially thought. The numbers:
Roberts - 52%, former Congressman Jim Slattery (D) - 40%.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey shows embattled US Senator
Ted Stevens (R) now trails in his race for re-election against
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D). The numbers: Begich - 47%, Stevens
- 45%. Stevens has been in electoral trouble ever since the FBI
raided his home last year, when it was revealed the long-time
Senator is the target of a federal corruption investigation. Stevens
and Begich are both heavily favored to win their respective primaries
on August 26.
Yet another Rasmussen Reports poll, this one on the open US Senate
race to replace retiring incumbent Chuck Hagel (R). Former Governor
Mike Johanns (R) - 55%, rancher Scott Kleeb (D) - 40%.
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.19.08 | Permalink
FROM ABROAD: SIMON HAMILTON, MLA, NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY.
HAMILTON, MLA, member of the Democratic
Unionist Party (DUP) in the Northern
Ireland Assembly. Simon, a regular Politics1 reader for 5+
years, generously volunteered to participate in our ongoing international
feature. Born in 1977 into a Protestant family in North Ireland,
he earned degrees in history/politics and law from the Queen's
University Belfast. After first working as an auditor in an accounting
firm, Simon went to work as the the DUP’s Press Officer.
In 2005, Simon was elected Councillor on the Ards Borough Council.
In March 2007, Simon was elected to represent the Strangford constituency
in the Northern Ireland Assembly -- and also retains his position
on the Ards Borough Council.
DUP -- for those of you unfamiliar with the decades of Northern
Ireland's political turmoil -- is the staunchly unionist, Protestant,
conservative party founded and led by evangelical clergyman Dr.
Ian Paisley. For many decades, Paisley was the most vocal Protestant
opponent of the IRA/Sinn Fein and Northern Ireland's Catholic
community. The DUP is today the largest political party in Northern
Ireland, the fourth largest party in the United Kingdom, and the
self-proclaimed "undisputed voice of unionism." The
DUP's top priority is to "secure, uphold and maintain Northern
Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE TO DATE?
The campaign to date has been absolutely fascinating and bodes
well for a thrilling general election too. It is extraordinary
to think that our preconceived notions that we held about a
year ago have been turned on their head. Hillary Clinton has
not taken the Democratic nomination at a canter, and the Republicans
haven't torn themselves apart. I have been struck by how, on
one hand, Senator Obama has overcome his comparative inexperience
to establish a political movement the likes of which my generation
hasn't seen before and, on the other, Senator McCain has belied
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT?
I hope that the next President ensures that the US continues
to take the fight to the terrorists who would destroy our way
of life and also puts America at the forefront of tackling other
threats to our civilisation like climate change and the security
of our energy supply. From a Northern Ireland standpoint, as
we seek to establish a long-term peace in our part of the world,
we would like to see the sort of positive engagement carried
out by the Bush Administration in Northern Ireland continue
-- especially in respect towards assisting us in transforming
our economy. Whichever of Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama
is ultimately elected President, they will join 23 predecessor
Presidents with Irish ancestry and I’m sure they will
continue to take an active interest in Ulster.
MARRIAGE LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA; OBAMA SCORES 10 MORE DELEGATES;
MICHIGAN PRIMARY FILING CLOSES.
MARRIAGE. In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court
overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Here is how the
court explained their reasoning: "Furthermore,
in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an
individualís capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed
relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and
raise children does not depend upon the individualís sexual orientation,
and, more generally, that an individualís sexual orientation --
like a personís race or gender -- does not constitute a legitimate
basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore
conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the
fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship,
the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee
this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual,
and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples. ...
There can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage
to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is
the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's
general legislative policy and preference." Key proponents
like San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) and San Francisco City
Attorney Dennis Herrera (D) -- who argued the case -- celebrated
the ruling. Across the political aisle, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
(R) immediately announced he would also honor the decision: "I
will not support an amendment to the [state] constitution that
would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling." The California
Legislature had previously passed legislation approving same-sex
marriage but Schwarzennegger had vetoed it. Bottom line: same-sex
marriage is now legal in California. Ron's one-sentence editorial:
Hooray for the California Supreme Court!
- DEMS. Just one day after John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama,
six Edwards delegates followed suit and announced their support
for Obama. On top of those six, Obama picked up four more superdelegates
on Thursday: Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA), Henry Waxman (D-CA)
and Howard Berman (D-CA) and Communications Workers of America
President Larry Cohen. The United Steelworkers Union -- which
previously backed Edwards -- also endorsed Obama on Thursday.
Major party primary filing closed this week in Michigan.
US Senator Carl Levin (D) is safe against State Representative
Jack Hoogendyk (R). Freshman Congressman Tim Walberg (R) will
face a tough challenge from State Senate Minority Leader Mark
Schauer (D) in CD-7. Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R) is a top
Democratic target, and will face former State Lottery Commissioner
Gary Peters (D) in November. The most interesting primary contest
is in CD-13, where Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D)
will face a tough battle against two well-known politicians. State
Senator Martha Scott and former State Representative Mary Waters
are the two challengers, and are likely running because they sense
vulnerability due to the sex scandal involving her embattled son
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Waters also says she is running
as a Barack Obama supporter who is upset with the incumbent for
being so out of touch with the district's voters as to have endorsed
by Ron Gunzburger - 05.16.08 | Permalink