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BLOG ARCHIVE: JUNE 1-15, 2006

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: US Senator Joe Lieberman - 46%, businessman Ned Lamont - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 49%, retired pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 38%, businessman Russ Diamond (Independent) - 2%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 49%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 40%, Others - 1%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - P2008 - DEMS:
US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) - 33%, former Vice President Al Gore (D-TN) - 18%, former-US Senator John Edwards (D-NC) - 14%, US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) - 6%, US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) - 5%, former-Governor Mark Warner (D-VA) - 2%, retired General Wes Clark (D-AR) - 2%, US Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) - 2%, Others - 5%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - P2008 - GOP: Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) - 39%, US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) - 28%, former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) - 5%, Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) - 5%, Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) - 3%, US Senator George Allen (R-VA) - 3%, Others - 3%. (Strategic Vision-R).
RHODE ISLAND - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY - (Rasmussen Reports):
US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - 44%, Former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 42%.
Whitehouse (D) - 60%, Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey (R) - 25%.
TENNESSEE - GOVERNOR- (Zogby):
Governor Phil Bredesen (D) - 58%, State Sen. Jim Bryson (R) - 22%.
Bredesen (D) - 61%, businessman Mark Albertini (R) - 16%.
TENNESSEE - US SENATE - (Zogby):
Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) - 46%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 40%.
Former Congressman Van Hilleary (R) - 43%, Ford (D) - 41%.
Former Congressman Ed Bryant (R) - 42%, Ford (R) - 42%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.15.06 | Permalink |

ARIZONA: PRIMARY FILING CLOSES.
No real surprises on Wednesday as candidate filing closed in Arizona. Click here to view the full list of candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.15.06 | Permalink |

THE FINAL HOURS: WHO IS THE HOTTEST MAN IN US POLITICS?
Voting ends at 9 pm Eastern, so cast your ballots now in our biennial survey to determine the Hottest Man in US Politics. Click here to cast your ballot (or view the results, if you've already voted). FYI: We'll keep the poll online until Thursday at 9:00 pm Eastern. And -- early next month -- we'll do a new version of our "Worst Hair in Congress" poll. Use this thread to nominate your favorite comb-overs, cheap hairpieces and overall tonsorial nightmares in the House and Senate.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.15.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: former Assistant Defense Secretary KT McFarland, Republican for US Senator (New York); and Veterans Party State Chair and Biddeford Charter Revision Commissioner Bob Mills, Independent for York County Commissioner (Maine).

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Sorry for the very brief post, but I spent nearly all Wednesday -- until 9 pm in the office -- researching and writing a legal Motion to Dismiss in my "real job." I'm just exhausted and out of words today, but I'll be back with a full slate of postings tomorrow.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.15.06 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

VIRGINIA: WEBB WINS DEM SENATE PRIMARY
Former Reagan Administration Navy Secretary and bestselling author Jim Webb defeated high tech executive Harris Miller in the contentious Democratic primary for US Senator. Webb won by a 53% to 47% vote. DSCC leaders strongly backed Webb, who they hope will attract the support of traditionally conservative "Reagan Democrats" needed for a victory in Virginia. Webb's victory sets up a competitive race in November against US Senator George Allen (R). Allen, a likely 2008 Presidential candidate, will now be forced to spend extensive time and money in Virginia while his national rivals are free to make inroads in key early contest states. Businesswoman Gail Parker (Independent Green) is also running. US Senate Race Rating: GOP Favored.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

MAINE: BALDACCI, WOODCOCK WIN GOV PRIMARIES.
As expected, Governor John Baldacci (D) cruised to a 3-to-1 primary victory over a minor opponent. On the GOP side, State Senator Chandler Woodcock appears to have won a close primary victory. With most votes counted, Woodcock had 40%, State Senator Peter Mills was at 35%, and former Congressman Dave Emery trailed with 25%. Other candidates in the November gubernatorial race include 2004 Green Party Vice Presidential nominee Pat LaMarche, State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent), former State Representative John Michael (Independent), and developer David Jones (Independent). Governor Race Rating: Leans DEM. US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) only faced a write-in foe on Tuesday. In the Democratic primary, liberal activist Jean Hay Bright was holding a very slim lead over attorney Eric Mehner -- although around 15% of the precincts remained uncounted. The winner will face Snowe.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH CAROLINA: PRIMARY RESULTS.
Governor Mark Sanford (R) won renomination Tuesday against little-known physician Oscar Lovelace -- although Lovelace still managed to capture 35%. Lovelace was highly critical of Sanford's contentious style of leadership. On the Democratic side, State Senator Tommy Moore won 64% in a surprisingly wide victory against two primary opponents. Sanford is heavily favored over Moore in November. In the colorful race for Lieutenant Governor, controversial young incumbent Andre Bauer (R) trailed business consultant Mike Campbell by a 45% to 37% vote. Publicized foibles -- sometimes described as immaturity -- have diminished Bauer's support. The two men will meet in a June 27 run-off.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARIZONA - GOVERNOR (Rasmussen Reports):
Governor Janet Napolitano (D) - 55%, financial consultant Don Goldwater (R) - 34%.
Napolitano (D) - 58%, Religious Right activist Len Munsil - 29%.
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 52%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 21%. (WFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA - US SENATE- GOP PRIMARY: Congresswoman Katherine Harris - 50%, attorney Will McBride - 12%, retired Navy officer LeRoy Collins Jr. - 7%,. developer Peter Monroe - 4%. (WFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
OHIO - GOVERNOR: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 53%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 37%, retired professor Bill Peirce (Libertarian) - 2%, progressive activist Bob Fitrakis (Green) - 1%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
OHIO - US SENATE: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 48%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 39%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

THE VOTING CONTINUES: Who is the Hottest Man in US Politics?
Over 2,100 readers cast ballots thus far -- and the five Democrats are leading the five Republicans by a combined vote of 75% to 25%. Have you voted yet in our biennial survey to determine the Hottest Man in US Politics? Click here to cast your ballot (or view the results, if you've already voted). FYI: We'll keep the poll online until Thursday at 9:00 pm Eastern.
And -- early next month -- we'll do a new version of our "Worst Hair in Congress" poll. Use this thread to nominate your favorite comb-overs, cheap hairpieces and overall tonsorial nightmares in the House and Senate.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

PLAME-GATE: ROVE WON'T BE CHARGED.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald gave White House political advisor Karl Rove some good news on Monday. Fitzgerald informed Rove's lawyer that Rove will not be indicted in the case related to leaking confidential CIA information to reporters. Republicans praised the move (actually, gloated would be a more apt description). Dems were downbeat, but vowed to look into the matter further through a call for a congressional investigation. Whether you're in the pro-Rove or anti-Rove camps, the bottom line is the same: Rove beat the charges.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Attorney Tom Letson, Democrat for Ohio State Representative; State Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, Republican for Congress in Nevada's CD-2 ... and attorney and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy, Democrat for Congress in Pennsylvania's CD-8 (because we published the wrong link when we first thanked him).

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Anything at all.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.14.06 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

VIRGINIA: WEBB-HARRIS FIGHT IS MARQUE RACE OF THE DAY.
The Democratic primary for US Senate may be hotly contested -- at least between the two rival camps -- but few voters have taken notice. The state is expecting a very low turnout on Tuesday in the contest between high tech executive Harris Miller and former Navy Secretary and bestselling author James Webb. Miller, an ally of former Governor Mark Warner, was originally recruited to run by Warner. But that was before Webb jumped in. Since then, Warner became neutral and the DSCC leaders have been strongly backing Webb. Despite some last minute stumbles, Webb should win the primary -- and give US Senator George Allen (R) a competitive race in November. The only other two races on Tuesday are the GOP primary in CD-8 and the Dem primary in CD-11.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

MAINE: PRIMARY PREVIEW.
Governor John Baldacci (D) and US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) -- both centrist incumbents -- won't have any problems winning their respective primaries on Tuesday. Baldacci faces only nominal opposition, while Snowe will dispatch a Religious Right activist running as a write-in. The GOP primary for Governor features a contest between former Congressman Dave Emery, and State Senators Chandler Woodcock and Peter Mills. All three are moderates who have largely run dull primary races, and no one hopeful ever surged ahead of the others during the primary campaign. There is no clear frontrunner, and light turnout is expected. We'd give a slight edge to Emery, although he's been hurt financially by his decision to opt out of the public financing. This multi-party race will be exciting in November, as the contest will feature several significant third party and independent candidates. There is also a Dem primary for US Senate, but the outcome really doesn't matter much: Snowe is safe in November.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH CAROLINA, ARKANSAS: TUESDAY VOTE PREVIEWS.
SOUTH CAROLINA - The most colorful race of the day in the Palmetto State is whether young, lead-footed, airplane-crashing Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer (R) survives his tough primary challenge from business consultant Mike Campbell and frequent candidate Henry Jordan. Campbell -- the son of the late Governor Carroll Campbell (R) -- is running TV spots touting an endorsement from former President George H.W. Bush. Prediction: Campbell defeats Bauer. Governor Mark Sanford (R) should easily win renomination with at least 70% of the vote. State Senator Tommy Moore, Florence Mayor Frank Willis and one other are competing for the Dem nomination for Governor. We'll pick Moore to win the primary. GOP voters will see also see contested primaries for State Treasurer and State Superintendent of Education. Insignificant Congressional primaries will also take place in two districts.
ARKANSAS - Dems will decide nominees in three statewide run-offs: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and State Treasurer.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
P2008 - WISCONSIN DEM STATE CONVENTION - STRAW POLL: US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) - 54%, former Vice President Al Gore (D-TN) - 10%, US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) - 9%, Ex-US Senator John Edwards (D-NC) - 7%, Ex-Governor Mark Warner (D-VA) - 6%, retired General Wes Clark (D-AR) - 3%, US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) - 2%, Nine Others - 6%. (WisPolitics.com).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

THE VOTING CONTINUES: Who is the Hottest Man in US Politics?
Flippant? Superficial? Fun? Yup, yup and yup! Over 1,500 readers cast ballots during the first day of voting in our biennial survey to determine the Hottest Man in US Politics. Click here to cast your ballot (or view the results, if you've already voted). FYI: We'll keep the poll online until Thursday at 9:00 pm Eastern.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Democrat for Maryland Governor; and business consultant Jamie Wall, Democrat for Congress in Wisconsin's CD-8.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Are there any Politics1 readers in the Toronto area? If so, please drop me a note -- as I have a little favor to ask of you next week.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.13.06 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

The Politics1 Poll: Who is the Hottest Man in US Politics?
Last month we held our irreverent biennial poll to name the hottest woman in US politics. Today, we open voting on our "Hottest Man in US Politics" poll. First, we limited the contenders to either elected officials or candidates for elective office -- and that meant disqualifying former US Senator John Edwards (our 2004 male winner) as he falls into neither category. Second, we made sure the contenders included guys who are White, Hispanic, Black, Asian, Democrats and Republicans, from coast-to-coast ranging in age from 20s to 50s. The ten nominees came from the lengthy list of suggestions y'all posted in the blog threads and emailed us. And -- for those of you male readers worried that casting a ballot in this would somehow be "gay" -- don't worry, as you can decide you're voting on the "studliest" (or whatever) guy. Besides, just one time -- voting -- won't make you gay. Click here to cast your ballot (or view the results, if you've already voted). FYI: We'll keep the poll online until Thursday at 9:00 pm Eastern.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.11.06 | Permalink |

MINNESOTA: HATCH WINS DEM GOV ENDORSEMENT ON SEVENTH BALLOT.
The third time running for Governor is proving to be the charm for Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL). Hatch previously lost primary bids for Governor in 1990 and 1994 as an "outsider" candidate, before he was elected Attorney General in 1998. At this weekend's state convention, Hatch won the 2006 DFL endorsement after seven tough rounds of balloting. Hatch proudly touts his record as a consumer advocate and his endorsement from ACORN for his work on behalf of poor families. State Senator Becky Lourey -- the most liberal Dem in the contest -- finished second on the first ballot. First ballot results: Hatch-39%, Lourey-31%, State Senator Steve Kelley-29%. However, after four ballots, Lourey withdrew from the fight because she acknowledged she could not hit the 60% mark required for securing the endorsement. "We will leave you to your work in this convention, but we are seriously going to see you in September," said Lourey to the delegates. Kelley surged in the later ballots, but trailed Hatch by a 55% to 43% vote after the seventh ballot. A tearful Kelley then withdrew from the race and urged that Hatch be nominated by acclimation. Kelley said he would keep his earlier promise and not run in the primary. Hatch said he respects Lourey and agrees with many of her views, but believes he is more electable over Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) and former State Finance Commissioner Peter Hutchinson (IP) in November. "Today a lot of delegates basically said they want to win," said Hatch. He hopes to meet with Lourey and convince her to end her primary challenge. "If we didn't think [winning the primary] was a viable option, we would not have made this decision" to run in the primary, responded Lourey. Hatch did not yet designate a runningmate, but former State Auditor Judi Dutcher -- who switched from Republican to Democrat to run for Governor in 2002 -- is rumored to be at the top of his list. In the US Senate race, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar easily won the DFL endorsement on the first ballot with 79% of the vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.12.06 | Permalink |

COLORADO: HOLTZMAN BACK ON GOV PRIMARY BALLOT (FOR NOW).
A Denver District Court Judge on Friday ordered the Secretary of State Gigi Dennis (R) to put former college president Marc Holtzman back on the Republican primary ballot for Governor. Dennis had previously disqualified Holtzman from the primary for falling short of the required signatures from the requisite number of Congressional districts. Dennis' decision handed the GOP nomination to Congressman Bob Beauprez without primary opposition. Holtzman argued Dennis was looking to disqualify him on a technicality because she is openly posturing to have Beauprez select her as his Lieutenant Governor runningmate. The ruling does not mean Holtzman will actually compete in the primary -- but it ensured Dennis could certify the primary ballot by Friday's deadline. The court, however, is requiring Holtzman to still prove he actually collected enough signatures to qualify. If he fails to prove is case, Holtzman's name will appear on the ballot but any votes cast for him will not be counted. Holtzman's campaign took the ruling as a victory, even if it proves to be a short-term one.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.12.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
P2008 - IOWA CAUCUS - DEMS: Ex-US Senator John Edwards (D-NC) - 30%, US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) - 26%, US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) - 12%, Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) - 10%, Ex-US Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) - 3%, US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) - 3%, Ex-Governor Mark Warner (D-VA) - 3%, US Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) - 2%, retired General Wes Clark (D-AR) - 2%. (Des Moines Register/Iowa Poll).
COLORADO - GOVERNOR: Ex-Denver D.A. Bill Ritter (D) - 43%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).

OKLAHOMA - CONGRESS/CD-5 - GOP PRIMARY: Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin - 43%, ex-Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett - 36%, State Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode - 7%, three others - 7%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.12.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is Jack Carter for US Senate (D-Nevada) -- nice Western look and feel to this challenger site.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.12.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: attorney and Navy veteran Rich Sexton, Democrat for Congress in New Jersey's CD-3; and attorney and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy, Democrat for Congress in Pennsylvania's CD-8.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The Dem US Senate primary in Virginia is getting very nasty in these final days before Tuesday's primary. Businessman Harris Miller's campaign is accusing former Navy Secretary Jim Webb's campaign of using subtle anti-Semitism in a weekend flier. Miller is Jewish. Webb denied the charge, but ordered his staff to stop distributing the flier with the offending cartoon ... In a sign the Nevada CD-3 seat is now seriously in play, the NRCC has upgraded Congressman Jon Porter's (R) re-election fight to their list of top-20 competitive races in the nation, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The DCCC also has upgraded challenger Tessa Hafen (D) to its list of 22 top-targeted GOP-held seats in the nation.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.12.06 | Permalink |

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) says he'll run for Majority Leader if the Dems retake the House this fall. Current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) would also be expected to seek the Majority Leader post ... Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) confirmed he will enter the 2008 Presidential race next year if no one candidate appears to have locked up a solid advantage by then. In an interview with the Washington Post, Gingrich also blasted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). "The Gingrich model of an idea-led, contentious majority ... is a lot better than a model of 'The Hammer.' A hammer is a relatively dumb symbol ... [now that DeLay is gone] the House will become healthier with every passing week. You'll see an emergence of an idea-led Republican majority. The question is whether they'll do it fast enough to save the majority" in November, said Gin
grich.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.10.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ALASKA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Ex-Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin - 44%, ex-State Senator John Binkley - 27%, Governor Frank Murkowski - 18%. (Alaska Correctional Officers Association/Ivan Moore Research-D).
ALASKA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Former Governor Tony Knowles - 82%, State Rep. Eric Croft - 14%. (Alaska Correctional Officers Association/Ivan Moore Research-D).
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR (Quinnipiac University):
DEM PRIMARY: New Haven Mayor John DeStefano - 37%, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy - 28%.
GENERAL #1: Governor Jodi Rell (R) - 64%, DeStefano (D) - 24%.
GENERAL #2: Rell (R) - 65%, Malloy (D) - 22%.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE (Quinnipiac University):
DEM PRIMARY: US Senator Joe Lieberman - 55%, businessman Ned Lamont - 40%.
GENERAL #1: Lieberman (D) - 68%, ex-State Rep. Alan Schlesinger (R) - 14%.
GENERAL #2: Lamont - 37%, Schlesinger - 20%.
GENERAL #3: Lieberman (Ind.) - 56%, Lamont (D) - 18%, Schlesinger (R) - 8%.
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 42%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 23%. (Florida Chamber of Commerce/McLaughlin & Associates-R).
NEW YORK - US SENATE (Newsday/NY1):
GOP PRIMARY: Ex-Yonkers Mayor John Spencer - 22%, ex-DOD Official K.T. McFarland - 20%.
GENERAL #1: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 59%, Spencer (R) - 28%.
GENERAL #2: Clinton (D) - 60%, McFarland (R) - 36%.
WISCONSIN - GOVERNOR: Congressman Mark Green (R) - 46%, Governor Jim Doyle (D) 45%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.09.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: JUDGE BLOCKS GOP FROM NAMING DeLAY REPLACEMENT NOMINEE.
"I wish I knew how to quit you," Texas Republicans must be asking themselves today about former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. At least, for now, Texas Republicans may face the dilemma of of being stuck in November with DeLay as their congressional nominee for the CD-22 seat. DeLay won his primary, then withdrew from the race and announced he was immediately changing his permanent residency to Virginia. By so doing -- i.e., rendering himself apparently ineligible to serve from Texas -- he was making it possible for the party to select a replacement nominee. Texas law only allows a replacement nominee to be substituted when a nominee dies or "conclusively" becomes "ineligible" to serve. The Texas Dems sued to block any replacement, as they want to force the GOP to keep DeLay as the nominee on the November ballot against former Congressmen Nick Lampson (D) and Steve Stockman (Independent). The Republicans were already set to hold a district meeting to select the nominee -- but District Judge Darlene Byrne issued a temporary injunction Thursday blocking the move. Dems argued DeLay's "move" to Virginia is sham, noting he is still claiming a homestead exemption on his Texas home and the affidavit of eligibility DeLay filed earlier this year when he filed. They argue the entire replace move was a coordinated effort between DeLay and party, planned before the primary in an effort to deceive voters while allowing DeLay to keep raising funds for his legal defense committee. Republicans countered with DeLay's new Virginia voter registration, driver's license and application for state tax withholding. Dems countered this evidence only shows DeLay could claim residency in either state. The Judge set a June 22 hearing for further legal arguments.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.09.06 | Permalink |

CALIFORNIA: SCHWARZENEGGER WAFFLES ON GOP SLATE-MATES.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) surprised his Republican base Thursday when he implied he might endorse some of the Democratic nominees for statewide office. While he made a point a praising conservative Lieutenant Governor nominee Tom McClintock (R), Schwarzenegger is known to not look very favorably upon the GOP nominees for State Treasurer and State Controller -- as both as social conservatives who defeated candidates in the primary closely aligned with him. Asked by reporters if he would consider endorsing some Democrats, the Gov told a Sacramento Bee reporter: "If I like someone, absolutely." Later in the day, speaking through his campaign manager, Schwarzenegger backtracked. He explained Schwarzenegger is officially supporting all of the down-ticket Republican candidates for stare offices. Yet, when asked if the Governor was supporting GOP nominee Dick Mountjoy against US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Schwarzenegger manager said: "Like most Californians, he thinks Dianne Feinstein is a great Senator." This set off more speculation, so reporters asked Schwarzenegger if he planned to endorse Mountjoy. The response: "I have not been asked to do that and I have no intention to go there." Mountjoy seemed to take the shot in stride. "He'd have to tell me what his problem is with me. I pretty much stick to the Republican platform, so he might be going against the Republican platform," said Mountjoy. Pundits who follow Schwarzenegger said this is his typical way of launching a trial balloon to gauge the likely response.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.09.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is Bill Winter for Congress (D-Colorado) -- good use of campaign site as online headquarters.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.09.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: attorney and Army veteran Scott Holcomb, Democrat for Georgia Secretary of State; attorney Joe Steffen, Democrat for Georgia State House; and the Draft Mark Warner for President PAC.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
TGIF!

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.09.06 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OKLAHOMA: NO SURPRISES AS FILING CLOSES.
Candidate filing closed on Wednesday with no significant surprises. Governor Brad Henry (D) faces only a nominal primary challenge. Congressman Ernest Istook -- who is most likely to become the GOP nominee -- must first get past a July 25 primary against State Senator Jim Williamson (R), oil executive Bob Sullivan, and a political unknown. Henry remains favored over Istook. The open Lieutenant Governor's post drew competitive primaries in both parties. As for Congressional race, the only race worth watching is Istook's open CD-5 seat. Six Republicans, three Democrats and an Independent filed in the race. Leading candidates for this heavily-GOP seat include Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin (R), Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R) and State Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode (R). Click here to view all of the Oklahoma candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.08.06 | Permalink |

LOUISIANA: JEFFERSON HAS "HONORABLE EXPLANATION" FOR COLD CASH.
Congressman Bill Jefferson (D-LA) -- who appears on the brink of imminent indictment on federal bribery and corruption charges -- told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he has "an honorable explanation" for the $90,000 in purported bribe money FBI agents found hidden last year in the freezer of Jefferson's New Orleans home. However, Jefferson said he couldn't discuss the matter further at this time on the advice of counsel. Unsealed court documents show the Feds maintain Jefferson took over $400,000 in bribes, and is actually videotaped accepting a $100,000 pay-off. "I do not believe I committed any crimes," said Jefferson. (Editor's comment: I cannot wait to hear the "honorable explanation." Here's an idea for readers: Use the blog thread to submit your best or funniest "honorable explanation" for the cash.)

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.08.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is Infoshop.org -- a giant, content-laden news and resource site from an anarchist perspective.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.08.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: agribusinessman and State Senator Ben Westlund, Independent for Oregon Governor; and restaurant owner Mike Huckelberry, Democrat for Congress in Michigan's CD-4.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Congrats to those members of the US Senate who helped killed the mean-spirited and distracting "Family Marriage Amendment" on Wednesday. Also, be sure to check out conservative financial pundit Lou Dobbs' great column on the same topic. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) wants to prove his House colleagues are just as mean-spirited and politically inept as Senate GOP leaders by calling for a House vote on the topic next month.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.08.06 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

CALIFORNIA: PRIMARY RESULTS.
In one most nationally watched race on Tuesday, former Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) narrowly defeated college professor Francine Busby (D) by a vote of 49.5% to 45% in the CD-50 special election. Bilbray and Busby will meet for a third time this year on the November ballot, but Bilbray will be favored in that rematch. While the GOP is relieved to have won the special, the closeness of the race may still be a barometer of serious Republican problems this year because the district is overwhelmingly Republican. State Treasurer Phil Angelides narrowly defeated State Controller Steve Westly by a 48% to 44% vote in a contest that saw both men each spend tens of millions of dollars. Angelides started the race in the lead months, lost the lead for a time, but bounced back with key endorsements over the past month. He will next face Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in what should be the most costly Gov election in the nation -- and what may prove to be the most expensive gubernatorial race ever. Gov Race Rating: Toss-Up. In the race for Attorney General, former Governor Jerry Brown handily won the Dem primary with 63% and is a heavy favorite to win in November. In a game of musical chairs caused by the state's term limits law, State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D) won the Lieutenant Governor primary while Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante (D) won the State Insurance Commissioner contest.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

MONTANA: BURNS, TESTER TO MEET IN NOVEMBER.
As expected, embattled US Senator Conrad Burns (R) cruised by an easy renomination win with over 70% of the vote. The surprising news of the night was the lopsided margin in the Democratic primary. Liberal State Senate President Jon Tester (D) won the nomination by a landslide 25-point margin over centrist State Auditor John Morrison. Morrison had lead in most early polls, although a sex scandal derailed Morrison's campaign. Still, polls in the final days showed the tow men locked in a virtual tie. Clearly, Dem voters went with their squeeky clean option to face the Abramoff scandal-tainted Burns in November.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

ALABAMA: RILEY, BAXLEY SCORE LANDSLIDE WINS.
Governor Bob Riley (R) and Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D) each scored impressive wins in Tuesday's primaries, setting up a competitive November race between the two. Riley steamrolled over ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy "The Ten Commandments Judge" Moore by a 67% to 33% vote. On the Democratic side, Baxley scored 60% against her six primary opponents. Baxley's closest rival, former Governor Don Siegelman, was second with 36%. Gov Race Rating: GOP Favored. In the Lieutenant Governor contest, wealthy GOP lawyer/lobbyist Luther Strange outspent his rivals by a wide margin and finished far ahead of the field -- but will appears to be headed to a run-off against State PSC Commissioner George Wallace Jr. The GOP contest for State Auditor also will have a July 18 run-off vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

IOWA: CULVER EDGES BLOUIN IN DEM GOV PRIMARY.
In the open race for Governor, Secretary of State Chet Culver appears to have scored a narrow win in the Democratic primary with 39% to 34% for former State Economic Development Director Mike Blouin. State Representative Ed Fallon was third with 26%. Culver was sp confident of victory he gave his victory speech when roughly 40% of the vote was still uncounted. Congressman Jim Nussle was unopposed for the GOP nomination. Gov Race Rating: Toss-Up. In the race for Nussle's open CD-1 swing seat, businessman Mike Whalen won a surprisingly strong victory in the GOP primary, capturing 48% against his two rivals. On the Dem side, former Iowa Trial Lawyers Association President Bruce Braley narrowly edged community development official Rick Dickinson by a vote of 37% to 34%. As Braley surpassed the required 35% mark, he will not have to face Dickinson in a district convention vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

MISSISSIPPI: PRIMARY RESULTS.
State Representative and former LaRouche activist Erik Fleming (D) finished first with 43% in the US Senate primary -- twenty points ahead of his nearest rival -- but will still face a June 27 run-off with business consultant Bill Bowlin. The winner will face US Senator Trent Lott (R) in November. In the in much watched Dem primary in CD-2, Congressman Bennie Thompson had little problem turning back a challenge from State Representative Chuck Espy. Thompson defeated Espy by a 65% to 34% vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

NEW JERSEY: MENENDEZ, KEAN JR AND SIRES ALL WIN BIG.
Garden State voters set up one of the hottest general election Senate contests in the nation on Tuesday, nominating both US Senator Bob Menendez (D) and challenger State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) by wide margins. Menendez won his primary with 86%. Kean, who faced a marginally stronger candidate from the conservative wing of the GOP, won by a 3-to-1 margin. Senate Race Rating: Toss-Up. In the open CD-13 contest, State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires (D) easily won both the special election primary and the regular election primary. In the regular primary, Sires crushed State Assemblyman Joe Vas by a 74% to 26% vote. John Guarini -- son of a former Democratic Congressman -- was unopposed for the GOP nomination. Sires also won the special primary with 91% -- and is unopposed in the special general election. CD-13 Race Rating: Safe DEM.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

NEW MEXICO: PRIMARY RESULTS.
Four-term incumbent US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) will face urologist Allen McCulloch (R) in November. McCulloch won 53% against his two primary foes. Bingaman is safe in November.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH DAKOTA: BILLION ADVANCES TO MUCH TOUGHER "ROUNDS 2."
Surgeon and former State Representative Jack Billion rolled to a surprisingly big win Tuesday, defeating former State Farmers Union President Dennis Wiese in the low-key Democratic primary for Governor. Billion won by a 61% to 39% vote. Billion now advances to the general election contest against Governor Mike Rounds (R), who drew national attention a few months ago when he signed the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. Businessman and minister Steve Willis (Constitution) and retiree Tom Gerber (Libertarian). Race rating: Safe GOP.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.07.06 | Permalink |

NEW YORK: WELD QUITS GOV RACE.
Less than a week after an embarrassing 61%-39% endorsement defeat at the New York Republican State Convention, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R/Libertarian) abruptly ended his campaign for Governor. "I wasn't prepared for the stunning political performance that [former State Assembly Minority Leader] John Faso has delivered thus far ... I do think there's a time to look beyond your aspirations for the bigger picture. This is not a time for a contested primary," he explained. Weld also endorsed former rival Faso, although the the libertarian Weld and the conservative Faso disagree on most social issues. Faso appeared with Weld at the press conference. Weld also withdrew as the Libertarian nominee for Governor. Race rating: Safe DEM.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

ILLINOIS: DEMS PICK REPLACEMENT FOR CONGRESSMAN EVANS.
After a spirited but polite round of balloting, Democratic committee members throughout CD-17 cast weighted ballots to select a replacement nominee for Congressman Lane Evans (D). Evans withdrew from the contest shortly after the March primary when it became apparent his condition was rapidly growing worse due to Parkinson's Disease. The Dems selected Evans's hand-picked choice: Phil Hare, who serves as Evans' district director. Hare won 65% of the vote against his four rivals. "If I'm half as good as Lane, I'll be one heck of a great Congressman," said Hare. Former TV news anchor and '04 nominee Andrea Lane Zinga is again the GOP nominee. "It's an open seat this time ... Someone who runs the district office is not the same as the Congressman," said Zinga. Race rating: DEM Favored.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner, Democrat for Congress in Washington's CD-8; and teacher and Army veteran Bill Morrison, Democrat for Congress in Tennessee's CD-7.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Go.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

MONTANA: BURNS STILL HIGHLY VULNERABLE, BUT NOT IN GOP PRIMARY.
The only race worth any attention in the state features US Senator Conrad Burns, one of the two most vulnerable Senate Republican incumbents in the nation. Burns, who took more money from lobbyist/felon Jack Abramoff and his clients than any other politician in Washington, is a top target of the FBI corruption probe. State Senate Minority Leader Bob Keenan is challenging Burns in the GOP primary. Keenan initially said he was running because he was concerned Burns is too damaged to win in November. However, since filing closed, Keenan largely limited his criticisms to fairly bland statements like noting he is more fiscally conservative than Burns. When it comes to the Abramoff scandal, Keenan said he tried to honor the "11th Commandment" of not criticizing a fellow Republican -- and noted Burns is not charged with any wrongdoing. Look for Burns to score a comfortable win in the primary over Keenan's tepid challenge. On the Democratic side, State Auditor John Morrison and State Senate President Jon Tester had both run aggressive campaigns. Morrison is a centrist more closely aligned with the DSCC, while Tester is liberal populist strongly favored by the netroots. Former State Representative Paul Richards -- who was running as a peace candidate -- withdrew from the race last week and formally endorsed endorsed Tester yesterday. Morrison seems to have a better ground operation, but also had to deal with negative publicity from an embarrassing sex scandal. Tester seems to have gained key momentum in the final days, and we'll predict a narrow Tester win. No matter if the Dem nominee is Tester or Morrison, Burns will face a tough fight against either man. Polls show Burns slightly trailing either Dem.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

NEW JERSEY: FAIRLY DULL PRIMARY DAY AHEAD.
US Senator Bob Menendez (D) will cruise to an easy primary, likely scoring in excess of 75% against his minor opponent. On the GOP side, financial analyst John Ginty is giving conservative Republicans a choice against moderate State Senator Tom Kean Jr. -- but he won't come close. Some movement conservatives are annoyed Kean is generally pro-choice and pro-gay rights, but Kean is still likely to win by around a 2-to-1 margin. In the general match-up, Menendez is likely the nation's most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbent. The other race of note is the open CD-13 seat -- safely Democratic -- formerly held by Menendez. State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires (D) should cruise to comfortable wins in both the regular primary and special election primary. In the regular primary, he faces State Assemblyman Joe Vas. Vas, oddly, didn't file In the special primary --
so Sires only faces a perennial candidate there. Even stranger, community activist and regular election GOP nominee John Guarini (R) also didn't bother to file in the special election. Thus, Vas will be totally unopposed in the special election contest after Tuesday.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

NEW MEXICO: COMPETING WITH MISSISSIPPI FOR MOST MEANINGLESS PRIMARY.
Three Republicans are facing off in a rather negative primary battle -- which in itself is rather amusing -- because none of them stand a chance of even coming close in November against four-term incumbent US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D). Urologist Allen McCulloch will likely win that GOP primary, ensuring the NM Republicans of running a ticket this year headed by two little-known physicians for US Senate and Governor. If you want something interesting to watch Tuesday, check out the open seat Secretary of State and Attorney General primaries.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH DAKOTA: BILLION DEMOCRATS IN "ROUNDS ONE."
Governor Mike Rounds (R) drew national attention a few months ago when he signed the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. A controversial law, incidentally, that prompted a citizens' petition drive to seek a ballot repeal -- and they succeeded in getting it on the ballot by quickly collecting more than twice the required number of signatures. Rounds still looks very strong for November, but the controversy prompted two Dems to challenge him. Look for surgeon and former State Representative Jack Billion to defeat former State Farmers Union President Dennis Wiese in the low-key Democratic primary.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

P2008: GINGRICH WINS BIG IN MINNESOTA STRAW POLL.
In yet another sign former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) is planning to make a serious White House run in 2008, Gingrich scored a surprise first place finish in the straw ballot conducted at this weekend's Minnesota Republican State Convention. 540 convention delegates cast ballots. Gingrich was first with 40%, followed by US Senator George Allen (R-VA) at 15%, and US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Secretary of State Condi Rice (R-CA) tied at third with 10% apiece. The rest were far behind. What is more interesting is that convention delegates all received a two-page letter that boasted "no one can articulate a Republican vision for America better" than Gingrich -- and it warned of "a significant risk that a moderate candidate will get the Republican nomination in 2008." The letter went on to attack McCain and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, saying "between them they have supported tax hikes, free speech restrictions, amnesty for illegal immigrants, gay marriage and abortion." The letter was signed by Republican National Committeeman Brian Sullivan, former State GOP Chair Chris Georgacas, former Republican National Committeeman Jack Meeks and several other leading state GOP activists. Former Congressman Vin Weber (R-MN) -- a close Gingrich ally -- also remains very influential in the Minnesota GOP. If you had any doubt whether or not Gingrich is really running for President, those doubts should be gone now. With this solid win -- and with his close third finish in last month's Wisconsin GOP straw poll -- Gingrich has unexpectedly demonstrated he may still be a major candidate for the 2008 nomination.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

YET ANOTHER LIBERAL EDITORIAL: "WE'RE LOSING THE IRAQ WAR AND THE DEFICIT IS SKYROCKETING ... SO LET'S BAN GAY MARRIAGE!"
So we're losing the Iraq War (Iraq is mired in a deepening civil war and nearly 2,500 Americans have already died in the conflict) ... terrorist Osama bin Laden still remains at large ... we're racking up the largest deficits in US history ... millions of Americans remain without health insurance ... more US jobs are being outsourced overseas than ever before ... and the President's popularity rating is down in the Nixon '74 and Carter '79 ranges ... so it's clearly time for a White House diversionary tactic. President Bush and US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist think they have the solution to all that ails our nation (or, at least something to distract you from all those other pesky problems): "Ban gay marriage!" Why, if you're not careful, did you realize you could possibly wake up tomorrow morning in your bed and discover your wife secretly replaced by a dude (unless, of course, we adopt this constitutional amendment, which would "protect" your marriage). Why I know my scheduled Canadian marriage later this month will likely cause ... I dunno ... maybe like 500 straight divorces simply through osmosis. Why, just a few hundred more gay marriages like mine and we'll soon risk the very foundation of heterosexual marriage. Yup, as Senators Cornyn and Santorum previously argued, people would start marrying underage box turtles (possibly in polygamous combinations of multiple wives, a man, and several box turtles) .... and then we'd see the collapse of all Western civilization as we know it. Obviously, I don't get the uproar ... but gay folks aren't seeking to destroy the "institution of marriage." We're just seeking an end to the "separate but (less than) equal" second-class citizenship we currently enjoy. Did you know a husband can have his wife covered in his health insurance at work from pre-tax dollars -- but a gay person is actually taxed extra by the IRS on the domestic partner health insurance coverage he selects for his spouse? We just want to enjoy the same inheritance laws, state and federal tax laws, medical powers of attorney, visitation rights, insurance rights, property rights, and all of the other 1,000+ other rights and responsibilities bestowed by federal law upon married couples. I'm confident that twenty or thirty years from now, most of those on the other side -- like former segregationists today -- will regret their legacy of shame for having tried to enshrine discrimination in our majestic US Constitution.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is Blog for Democracy -- a nicely designed, informative blog site by some dedicated Georgia progressives.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum, Democrat for Congress in Wisconsin's CD-6; and high school principal Ben Shuldiner, Democrat for Congress in New York's CD-19. Special thanks also to readers Chris Bridges of Georgia and Dan Greifenberger of Maryland for sending me nice assortments of campaign materials from their respective states.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) is fresh out of drug rehab ... and I'm fresh out of words (at least, for today).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.06.06 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

ALABAMA: RILEY, BAXLEY LOOK STRONG FOR TUESDAY.
What was once viewed as a GOP gubernatorial clash of Biblical proportions -- pun intended -- now looks to be a looming landslide win Tuesday for Governor Bob Riley. Riley's failed push for a huge tax hike early in his term made him initially appear vulnerable. However, ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy "The Ten Commandments Judge" Moore saw his base shrink as his campaign comments grew more bizarre. The strangest of all was Moore's insinuation that "mad cow" disease was fake and possibly part of a communist conspiracy for the federal government to nationally track cattle. Riley will win by a wide margin. On the Democratic side, polls for months showed Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley and indicted former Governor Don Siegelman locked in a close race. Baxley, however, seemed to rapidly gain traction in the past two weeks as Siegelman was tied up in the courtroom during his ongoing corruption trial. Baxley should win by at least ten points. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, an upset could be in the making. Wealthy lawyer and lobbyist Luther Strange (R) has outspent his nearest opponent -- State PSC Commissioner George Wallace Jr. -- by a better than 2-to-1 margin. Many pundits think Strange will score the win, but I still think the Wallace name performs well enough to place him narrowly first in the four-candidate primary.The only other races worth watching on Tuesday are the two State Auditor primary contests.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

CALIFORNIA: DEM GOVERNOR PRIMARY, CD-50 SPECIAL ARE TOP RACES TO WATCH.
California's easy ballot access laws ensures there are lots of contested statewide and congressional primaries on Tuesday, but only a few are really worth much attention. State Treasurer Phil Angelides and State Controller Steve Westly have battled for months in a very costly, aggressive Democratic primary for Governor. Angelides started as the frontrunner, then Westly grabbed the momentum and surged into the lead. However, Angelides strongly rebounded in recent weeks by winning key labor and party endorsements and narrowly retaking the front spot. My prediction: a narrow Angelides win over Westly (and the seven other minor Dems also in the race). No surprise, but look for former Governor Jerry Brown to handily win the Dem primary for Attorney General. Other hot primaries include most of the other statewide races. The top Congressional race to watch is the CD-50 special election between former Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) and college professor Francine Busby (D). The district's strong GOP voting history should make Bilbray a heavy favorite, but that hasn't been the case. His problem is the district symbolizes the epicenter of the DC political corruption. Imprisoned Congressman Duke Cunningham (R) actually had a menu of amounts he charged in bribes for securing his help in landing lucrative defense contracts. Bilbray had to deal with a fractured GOP base in the primary, an Abramoff-related junket in his past, movement conservatives who fear Bilbray is too centrist, and ongoing stories about DC corruption problems involving other San Diego-area Republican congressmen. All this is why the NRCC has worked to lower expectations, even widely leaking a story they view a Bilbray defeat as a real possibility. Our prediction: a very narrow Bilbray win (but this one could easily go either way). Another race to watch is the GOP primary in CD-4. If Congressman John Doolittle (R) -- a top target of the ongoing Abramoff corruption probe -- scores an unconvincing primary win over Auburn Vice Mayor Mike Holmes, he will rapidly move up to a leading spot on the national endangered list for November. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D) in CD-5, Congressman Dick Pombo (R) in CD-11 and Congressman Bob Filner (D) in CD-51 are all facing competitive primaries, but all three should comfortably win.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

IOWA: CULVER HOLDS LEAD HEADING INTO PRIMARY.
The final Des Moines Register poll, out Sunday, shows Secretary of State Chet Culver leading the Democratic field for Governor with 36%, followed by former State Economic Development Director Mike Blouin at 28% and State Representative Ed Fallon at 21%. The numbers were similar months ago and -- except for minor fluctuations -- remain largely unchanged. Culver will win the primary. Congressman Jim Nussle is unopposed for the GOP nomination. The other races to watch are the two primaries in CD-1 for Nussle's open seat. On the GOP side, State Representative Bill Dix, former State GOP Chair Brian Kennedy and restaurant chain owner Mike Whalen are all waging competitive campaigns for the seat. Dix is from the rural part of the district, while Kennedy and Whalen both share the same urban base. We'd give a slight edge to Dix over Whalen. On the Dem side, wealthy former Iowa Trial Lawyers Association President Bruce Braley is expected to defeat community development official Rick Dickinson and two others. The CD-1 swing seat will be hotly contested in the general election.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

MISSISSIPPI: FAIRLY QUIET PRIMARY DAY FORECAST.
In the top race on the ballot, four Democrats are competing for the right to get destroyed by US Senator Trent Lott (R) in November. Here's an example of how hopeless the four candidates are: the top fundraiser in the group has collected just $9,200. Expect a run-off, but it really doesn't matter who wins. The one race actually worth watching is the Democratic primary in CD-2. Congressman Bennie Thompson is facing a feisty challenge from State Representative Chuck Espy. Chuck Espy is the nephew of former US Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, who held the CD-2 seat before Thompson defeated Chuck's father for the seat in a 1993 special election. Espy argues Thompson doesn't deliver enough for the district. Thompson counters that his seniority is the key to delivering results and Espy would start from scratch as an ineffective freshman. Mississippi hasn't seen a congressional incumbent lose for renomination in decades, and don't expect to see it happen this week either.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

P2008: INTRODUCING THE GORE AND BLOOMBERG "DENIAL-A-METERS."
The frequency of protestations from former Vice President Al Gore (D) and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R) that they are each entirely uninterested in the 2008 White House race implies they, of course, actually are interested. They manage to keep their names in the mix (while not having to meet any current expectations because they are not running). In the end, neither man may run. However, the increasing frequency of these denial statements is becoming amusing. They remind me of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D), who announced seemingly every month during late 2003 and the first half of 2004 that he wasn't interested in being the VP nominee -- and the press kept writing stories about Richardson as a possible runningmate. So -- for those keeping tabs -- the most recent date Gore said he isn't running was June 4 and for Bloomberg it was May 30.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is James Crabtree for Travis County Clerk (R-Texas). Why? Well, how about because James was
our correspondent in Iraq during 2004, and we appreciate what he did for Politics1 and his fellow Marines.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Attorney General Patricia Madrid, Democrat for Congress in New Mexico's CD-1.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
In Massachusetts, former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick won the Democratic endorsement for Governor at this weekend's Democratic State Convention. Patrick captured 58% against his two opponents. Worcester Mayor Tim Murray won the endorsement for Lieutenant Governor on the second ballot ... In New York, it turns out GOP candidate Bill Weld's new Lieutenant Governor runningmate previously gave a $250 contribution to the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) ... And, FYI, tomorrow we'll post our primary previews for Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.05.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NEW YORK: REPUBLICANS REJECT PATAKI'S CANDIDATE.
New York Republicans openly vented their long pent-up anger and disenchantment with retiring three-term Governor George Pataki (R) at their state convention on Thursday. Pataki is not seeking reelection in order to concentrate on a 2008 Presidential run. Pataki, State GOP Chair Steve Minarik and their allies backed former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R/Libertarian) for Governor -- so much so that Pataki's newly minted Secretary of State is Weld's Lieutenant Governor runningmate. The anti-Pataki faction is backing former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R/Conservative) for Governor. The Pataki group argued Faso's pro-life and other social conservative views make him unelectable in the general election. They even made a failed last ditch attempt to pressure key activists. The delegates were unmoved by the Pataki threats, as Faso soundly defeated Weld for the GOP gubernatorial endorsement by a vote of 59.5% to 40.5%. The vote was a major win for the party's conservative wing, who argued Faso represents real Republican values. Just a few months ago, the endorsement looked to be a lock for Weld. Faso and Weld will next meet in the September primary, as Weld captured enough votes to earn a ballot spot. After the vote, Weld said "I suppose it would be nice [to be endorsed], but my campaign would be unaffected" by the vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

KENTUCKY: FLETCHER MAKES BAD NEWS WORSE.
On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence (R) -- a former federal prosecutor -- announced he would not run for reelection in 2007 as indicted Governor Ernie Fletcher's (R) runningmate. Pence said he believed Fletcher was generally an "honest" person, but declined to offer any defense of Fletcher on the criminal charges related to state hiring practices. In response, Fletcher -- from his vacation in Florida -- initially issued a written statement: "I fully understand Steve's decision. This has been a tough work environment with or without [Attorney General] Greg Stumbo's relentless attacks." However, Fletcher apparently became livid when he later learned Pence pointedly refused to endorse Fletcher's reelection. On Thursday, Fletcher called Pence and demanded he resign immediately. "The Governor was not happy. There’s still honor left in this business called politics," said Fletcher's spokesman, who confirmed the telephone call took place. Pence rebuffed Fletcher's demand, insisting he was elected in his own right and will complete the 18-months remaining in his term. "In politics ...nothing surprises me all that much, so I was probably prepared for things like this to come out," said Pence. Fletcher's spokesman said the Governor "has not made any decisions at this time" about removing Pence from appointed state panels, but added that isn't planning to give Pence any new official assignments. All this prompted Pence to open the door to a possible run against Fletcher in the GOP primary. Pence coyly told reporters he has "no plans" at this time to run against Fletcher, but added "I have to tell you this: When I became a candidate in 2003 for Lieutenant Governor, the month before that I had not planned on becoming Lieutenant Governor." Fletcher's meltdown with Pence took bad publicity and managed to make it even worse.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

COLORADO: HOLTZMAN FAILS IN GOV PRIMARY BALLOT DRIVE.
Conservative former university president Marc Holtzman (R) apparently failed in his effort to petition his way onto the August primary ballot in the nasty GOP race for Governor. The news must come as a relief to Congressman Bob Beauprez (R), who has had to deal with a steady stream of attacks coming from Holtzman's campaign. Holtzman lost the GOP gubernatorial endorsement to Beauprez by a lopsided 72% to 28% vote at last month's state convention. In the days that followed, state GOP leaders demanded that Holtzman quit the primary race. Holtzman does not accept the Secretary of State's decision that he failed to submit 1,500 valid signatures. "We will challenge this all the way up to the Supreme Court of Colorado ... We produced more than double the number of signatures statewide," said Holtzman. With Holtzman seemingly out of the way, Beauprez is now free to concentrate his efforts on the race against former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA & MAINE: CANDIDATE FILING CLOSES.
ALASKA - Filing closed on June 1 for the primary and general election ballots. The gubernatorial race is particularly crowded, with Governor Frank Murkowski (R) facing a primary challenge from Alaska Railroad Commission Chair John Binkley, former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and three others. The unpopular Murkowski will likely face a real struggle just to win renomination. On the Democratic side, former Governor Tony Knowles, State Representative Eric Croft and frequent candidate Bruce Lemke are competing for Governor. Knowles is the prohibitive favorite to win the primary. Five third party and independent candidates also qualified. Race rating: Toss-Up. Five Democrats, a Green, two Libertarians and an Independent qualified to oppose Congressman Don Young (R) in November. These earnest challengers all appear to be on a political bridge to nowhere, as Young appears a fairly safe bet to win an 18th term.
MAINE - Filing for Independent candidates closed on June 1, ending the state's qualifying process for the November ballot. While four candidates earned gubernatorial ballot spots for November, six Independents failed to make the ballot. Among those who failed to secure a ballot spot as an Indy candidate for Governor was former Democratic State Senator John Jenkins. However, State Rep. Barbara Merrill and former State Rep. John Michael -- both former Democrats -- and two others qualified as Independents against Governor John Baldacci (D). Three Republicans and radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) are also running. Race rating: Leans DEM. In other races, Independent peace activists Bill Slavick qualified in the US Senate race and Dexter Kamilewicz did likewise in the CD-1 contest.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

MORE NEWS: QUICK-TAKES.
TEXAS: The Green Party fell far short of the number of petition signatures required for the party's candidates to earn ballot status in November. The Greens only collected 26,000 of the 45,000 signatures required by state law ...VIRGINIA: US Senate candidate Gail Parker of the Independent Green Party successfully petitioned her way onto the general election ballot. Despite the name similarities, the IGP is entirely independent of the Green Party of the US ... MINNESOTA: State Senator Becky Lourey (DFL) this week named former pro football player Tim Baylor as her Lieutenant Governor runningmate. Lourey is increasingly looking to be the favorite to win the DFL's endorsement at the upcoming state convention. Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL) had to publicly deny rumors this week he was ready to quit the gubernatorial contest and seek re-election. State Senator Steve Kelley is the only DFL candidate for Gov who says he will abide by the convention vote and quit the race if he does not win the endorsement. The others all vow to let the September primary select the nominee.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is The Innocence Project -- sharp design and compelling, thoroughly documented content. Very effectively presents the case about the seriously flaws of the death penalty
system in the United States. The non-profit group presents a fairly compelling case that Texas executed an innocent man in 2004. Governor Perry's spokeswoman said the report was "somewhat unsettling. But his decision was based on the evidence before him. Hindsight is always 20-20."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: author/actor Malachy McCourt, Green Party nominee for New York Governor.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Just a little editorial rant here, but two of my Broward County Commissioners (and my mother is not one of them) are heading off on Friday on a "trade mission" to China. Sounds more like a glorified junket to me, as I cannot see what Broward stands to gain in a trade deal with China. Perhaps they'll negotiate a nifty deal to outsource some South Florida jobs to Chinese workers forced to slave away in sweatshop conditions for wages in the range of 25-75 cents per hour. Or, perhaps, they're studying ways to effectively govern using the glorious model of a totalitarian Chinese system that suppresses all political dissent. I have to presume other pols around the US have taken similar trips. That being the case, please tell me any solid benefit these junkets have ever produced for a US community. </rant>

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.02.06 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

KENTUCKY: GOVERNOR FLETCHER'S LT GOV QUITS TICKET.
In what was seen as a surprising blow to indicted Governor Ernie Fletcher's (R) plans to seek reelection in 2007, Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence (R) unexpectedly announced Wednesday he would not run again as Fletcher's runningmate. Pence -- a former US Attorney prosecutor -- also said he would resign as Secretary of Fletcher's Justice Cabinet. Pence built his reputation as a tough prosecutor who targeted political corruption. Pence was not implicated in the hiring scandal swirling around Fletcher -- and, from his refusal to discuss at any depth the ongoing investigation and Fletcher's pardon of various aides, it was clear Pence was at odds with Fletcher. "I fully understand Steve's decision. This has been a tough work environment with or without [Attorney General] Greg Stumbo's relentless attacks," said Fletcher, in a written statement. Pence downplayed speculation he will oppose Fletcher in the GOP primary. Fletcher "clearly is on the ticket for 2007, and he needs an opportunity to find a running mate and prepare for his campaign," said Pence, explaining his early announcement. Political pundits in the Bluegrass State see Pence's move as a major blow to Fletcher, as it sends the voters a message that the "clean government" Pence is uncomfortable remaining associated with Fletcher.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

NEW YORK: SPENCER WINS SEN ENDORSEMENT, BUT RIVAL EARNS BALLOT SPOT.
Former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer handily won the Republican endorsement for US Senate on Wednesday over former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Kathleen "K.T." McFarland by a vote of 63% to 37% at the State GOP Convention. However, McFarland earned well over the 25% needed to guarantee her an automatic spot on the September 12 primary ballot. Spencer had hoped for a knockout win, but it was not to be. Attorney Bill Brenner recorded only a smattering of support, but vowed to collect the 15,000 signatures required for him to qualify for the primary ballot -- a nearly impossible task with the intentionally complex and technical legal roadblocks that go along with the petitioning process. In his victory speech, Spencer called on McFarland to unite behind his candidacy for the sake of GOP unity -- but she has no plans to quit the race. Spencer is also the Conservative Party nominee for US Senate. In the end, it is largely a meaningless victory as Spencer and McFarland are merely fighting for the right to lose to incumbent US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) in November. In other related GOP convention news, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R/Libertarian) named recently appointed NY Secretary of State Chris Jacobs as his Lieutenant Governor runningmate. Former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R/Conservative), meanwhile, tapped Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef as his runningmate. The gubernatorial endorsement vote is set for Thursday. While the fight is rather nasty -- highlighting the split between the pro-Pataki (backing Weld) and anti-Pataki (backing Faso) forces -- Faso is expected to win the endorsement. The GOP blog site Urban Elephant has good coverage of the convention. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer easily won the endorsement for Governor. Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi (D) boycotted and denounced the state convention as a "coronation" by party bosses. Suozzi vows to petition his way onto the Gov primary ballot.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT POLLS.
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 56%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 33% (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA: GOV RACE UPDATE
A short-take approach to the most recent developments. As reported earlier this week. former Governor Tony Knowles (D) announced his candidacy for Governor and State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) quit the Gov race to become Knowles' designated runningmate for Lieutenant Governor. However, State Representative Eric Croft (D) announced he would stay in the guberantorial primary, saying he and Knowles will offer voters a healthy discussion of major issues. In a surprising twist, Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman (R) announced that he would not challenge Governor Frank Murkowski (R) in the GOP primary -- and that he would not even seek reelection as Lt Gov. Murkowski still faces two serious primary opponents.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

SITE OF THE DAY.
Our Politics1 Site of the Day winner is Shelley Madore for Minnesota State House (DFL) -- a well-done site by a local candidate.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Just giving some more thought to our story yesterday about the Unity '08 group's effort to organize a "national unity" White House ticket ... and thought that independent-minded US Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is as likely a possible candidate for the group's nomination as is NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.01.06 | Permalink |

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