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BLOG ARCHIVE: JULY 16-31, 2006

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OHIO: STATE GOP FIRES CONSULTANT FOR SPREADING STRICKLAND RUMORS.
The Ohio Republican Party fired political consultant Gary Lankford for using emails to spread rumors that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland and his wife may be closeted homosexuals in a marriage of convenience, according to the Toledo Blade. Lankford served as the Ohio GOP's Social Conservative Coordinator on behalf of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's campaign for Governor.
Strickland, in addition to serving in Congress, is also a Methodist minister. "In no way was I intending to smear him ... [but Strickland was] making being a Methodist minister and husband an important part of his qualifications [in his radio ads, so] it seems like a fair observation," said a not-quite apologetic Lankford. The State GOP Chair also openly apologized to Strickland for the "innuendo."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
TENNESSEE - US SENATE - (Rasmussen Reports):
Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) - 49%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 37%.
Former Congressman Ed Bryant (R) - 44%, Ford (D) - 41%.
Former Congressman Van Hilleary (R) - 44%, Ford (D) - 40%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: INDY GOV CANDIDATE FALLING SHORT ON SIGNATURES.
Businessman Russ Diamond (Independent) -- who organized the popular grassroots organization last year that targeted state legislative incumbents who pushed through a huge pay hike for themselves
-- will fall far short of the required signatures to secure a November ballot spot. Diamond must submit at least 67,000 valid voter signatures by this upcoming Thursday. However, he has only 26,000 verified signatures to date. "I'm not ready to throw in the towel, but it's been cleaned and pressed," said Diamond to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Diamond noted Government Ed Rendell (D) and former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) were only required to collect 2,000 signatures apiece as major party candidates to qualify for the primary ballot -- even though both were unopposed for their respective nominations. Diamond's only hope is for a large volume of volunteer-collected petitions to arrive in his mailbox over the next few days, but he's not optimistic.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

CONGRESS: GOP TIES MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE TO ESTATE TAX CUT FOR WEALTHY.
In what could prove big issue in the November elections, a group of nearly 50 backbench House Republicans successfully pressed their leadership to hold a floor vote on legislation to raise the minimum wage. It has been a decade since the last increase to the current rate of $5.15 per hour -- an amount which places minimum wage-earning families below the poverty level. After already raising their own congressional salaries, election-year politics forced the GOP leadership to allow the vote to increase the wage to $7.25 in a phased-in process. In return for allowing the minimum wage vote, the Republican House Leadership insisted the bill be tied to holding votes on several tax cuts, including eliminating the inheritance tax on multimillion-dollar estates. The minimum wage bill -- pegged to the estate tax cut -- passed the House on Saturday by a 230-180 vote. The bill’s future, however, is uncertain as it approaches an end-of-session vote in the Senate. "It's political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans ... Members of Congress raised their own pay -- no strings attached. Surely, common decency suggests that minimum wage workers deserve the same respect," said US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to the AP. If tied to further estate tax cuts, the minimum wage increase appears unlikely to win Senate approval. "The Senate has rejected fiscally irresponsible estate-tax giveaways before and will reject them again," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Writer: Andy W. Davis - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

P2008: UTAH GOV EXPLAINS SWITCH FROM ROMNEY TO McCAIN.
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) denied expressing any interest in a Cabinet post as his motivation for endorsing US Senator John McCain in his potential 2008 Presidential bid. Earlier this month Huntsman announced his support for McCain over Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R), a fellow Mormon. Huntsman last year announced his support for Romney. Huntsman, a former ambassador to Singapore, was advising Romney on Asian issues. Huntsman defended his subsequent switch by explaining that he and McCain share similar beliefs on immigration, Iraq, and land and water issues. However, the primary issue that led to Huntsman’s decision to support McCain was Iraq and the War on Terrorism. "We have a lot of brush fires around the world that I do believe are going to need a clear vision of foreign policy, defense policy and some military experience," Huntsman said.
Writer: Dustin McKissen - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: LAMONT, LIEBERMAN EACH SPLIT BIG PAPER ENDORSEMENTS.
The New York Times on Sunday endorsed anti-war businessman Ned Lamont over US Senator Joe Lieberman in the upcoming Connecticut Democratic primary. "At this moment, with a Republican president intent on drastically expanding his powers with the support of the Republican House and Senate, it is critical that the minority party serve as a responsible, but vigorous, watchdog. That does not require shrillness or absolutism. But this is no time for a man with Mr. Lieberman’s ability to command Republicans’ attention to become their enabler, and embrace a role as the president’s defender ... [The primary] has become a referendum on his warped version of bipartisanship, in which the never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for silence and inaction," explained the newspaper.
The blow was cushioned, however, when the Hartford Courant endorsed Lieberman on Sunday.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Your space for the rest of the news.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.06 | 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: businesswoman and radio talk show host Pat LaMarche, Green Independent Party nominee for Maine Governor.

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Talk amongst yourselves, 'cuz I'm spending time down at the beach this weekend.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.29.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARKANSAS - GOVERNOR: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 47%, former Congressman Asa Hutchison (R) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
CALIFORNIA - GOVERNOR:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 43%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 30%, financial executive Peter Camejo (Green) - 4%, Others - 4%. (Public Policy Institute of California).
GEORGIA - US HOUSE - CD-4: DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson - 46%, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney - 21%. (InsiderAdvantage).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 47%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 44%. (Detroit News/WXYZ-TV).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: DeVos (R) - 48%, Granholm (D) - 44%. (Strategic Research-R).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard - 43%, evangelical bishop Keith Butler - 37%. (Strategic Research-R).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 52%, Bouchard (R) - 36%. (Strategic Research-R).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: Stabenow (D) - 53%, Butler (R) - 33%. (Strategic Research-R).
VIRGINIA - US SENATE: US Senator George Allen (R) - 50%, former US Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

ARIZONA: GOV CANDIDATE IS BOTH RICH MAN, POOR MAN.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Harris has come under fire regarding questions about his decision to contribute more than $100,000 of personal money to his campaign. Well self-financing candidates are fairly common these days, Harris stands out because this move comes after he successfully convinced a judge to reduce his child support payments. The Arizona Republic reported that Harris successfully sought a reduction in his child support payments by 50%. Arguing that his technology business had suffered a “significant reduction in income”, Harris was granted a monthly reduction from $2,000 to $1000, in addition to the requirement that he provide health insurance to his son. According to the newspaper, his seven-year-old son remains uninsured despite the fact that Harris' website claims his company -- Harris Technical Sales -- has gross sales averaging $18 million a year. Harris recently joined fellow GOP candidate Gary Tupper in criticizing incumbent Governor Janet Napolitano (D) with some less-than-subtle gay baiting. “She’s never been married. She’s never had children. I don’t think she ever will,” says Harris daily in his stump speeches.
Writer: Dustin McKissen - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

P2008: "DRAFT SESSIONS" MOVEMENT CRASHES ON TAKE-OFF.
A recent move by a prominent member of the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee to promote the candidacy of US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for President in 2008 got the cold shoulder from the state party’s leadership. Hugh McInnish, an outspoken and occasionally contentious member of the Executive Committee, proposed a resolution recommending Sessions as an ideal candidate for President. McInnish lauded Sessions’ stand against illegal immigration and conservative views in a resolution presented. "I think the grassroots has been becoming more and more concerned with illegal immigration and as that concern continues to swell, by November 2008, it will reach a crescendo and, yes, I think Jeff Sessions is beautifully positioned to ride that crest," McInnish told the Birmingham News. Apparently, the rest of the ALGOP leadership failed to agree. The resolution was hastily tabled. McInnish shrugged off the dismissal and noted the "discussion of the resolution ... served to bring the possibility of Sessions’ candidacy to the fore." The small draft campaign to promote Sessions appears to be off to a rocky start.
Writer: Stephen Hill - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

KENTUCKY: FLETCHER'S GOP PROBLEMS GROW.
The bad news continues to roll in for Governor Ernie Fletcher (R). This week his 2003 campaign's state finance chair jumped into the 2007 primary contest against Fletcher. McCracken County Board of Education Chair Billy Harper said: "With all that's gone on, I think Kentuckians need an option, and I'm willing to be that option.” Two weeks ago, anonymous supporters of State Representative Lonnie Napier made a big splash when a Draft Napier website was unveiled. And -- although the election is still over a year away -- the voters of Kentucky appear to be done with Fletcher, as 69% said they "want a new governor" in a recent independent poll. Democrats appear currently unable to find a suitor to actively run for Governor, as all potential Democratic candidates are waiting to see what Congressman Ben Chandler (D) is going to do. Chandler lost to Fletcher in 2003, but Chandler recently said that while Fletcher’s political stock continues to drop, his own continues to rise as voters are feeling a “buyer’s remorse.”
Writer: Roscoe Mann - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

ALABAMA: RETIRED BASKETBALL STAR PONDERS RUN FOR GOV IN '10.
For almost a decade now, most Alabamians snickered when former Auburn and NBA star Charles Barkley mentioned running someday for Governor. However, some things seem to have changed. The Birmingham News reported Barkley again hinted at a gubernatorial run while speaking recently at a national school board convention in Florida. Barkley sounded more like a candidate than ever before. In a surprising statement, Barkley said he was “…rich like a Republican. But I’m not one.” He explained he recently switched from Republican to Democrat. Barkley then went on to bash current Democrats and Republicans for using issues like gay marriage and illegal immigration to "deceive" voters -- saying the real issues of education, drugs and crime are most important for his state. Going further, he blasted affluent whites for forgetting about poor students. Barkley jabbed at his own community, too, saying that rap music was a negative influence on young black men and too many black families do not adequately value education. "There are places where a black kid who is a good student and tries to speak correctly, you hear stuff like, 'He's trying to be white.' Well I say, if that's true, we need more kids trying to be white." Alabama has never yet had an viable African-American candidate for Governor, despite the state's sizable black voter population.
Writer: Andy W. Davis - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

WASHINGTON: STATE SUPREME CT RULES AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE..
On Wednesday, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a state law the defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. A group of 19 same-sex couples had challenged the law, hoping to make Washington the second state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. In the 5-4 decision, the court found that the "legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the State's legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children." While it found that the same-sex couples had failed to prove a fundamental right to marry, Justice Barbara Madsen wrote in the majority opinion that the legislature "may want to re-examine the impact of the marriage laws on all citizens of this state." Same-sex marriage advocates were shocked by the ruling, as they had expected to prevail.
Writer: Xander Zebrose - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

MASSACHUSETTS: BIG DIG PROBLEMS HELP ROMNEY DUMP FOE.
Amid public backlash following the tragic death of a passenger due to the partial collapse of a "Big Dig" tunnel two weeks ago, State Turnpike Authority Chair Matt Amorello decided to resign this week. At a press conference shortly after the collapse, Amorello originally said he would not step down despite heavy pressure from Governor Mitt Romney (R). "I didn't think it would fix anything or magically make all the issues associated with the Big Dig go away [by resigning]," explained Amorello. Romney had pressured Amorello to resign since taking office in 2003. The Governor then publicly tried to fire Amorello -- a fellow Republican. Amorello fought back, retaining attorneys to resist Romney's attempts to dump him. Romney, who has been criticized by state Dems for being frequently absent from the state in order to concentrate on a run for President in 2008. They note Romney was absent from the state when the collapse happened. However, Romney promptly returned to Boston -- and a TV video captured him chewing-out Amorello.
Writer: Keith Sonia - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

SOMETHING NEW: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
This appears to be working ... six contributing writers published today! Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.28.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Blah, blah, blah ... whatever.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.28.06 | 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: Fair Wisconsin, the group fighting the ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

HAWAII: LINGLE LOOKS SAFE AS FILING CLOSES.
Governor Linda Lingle (R) go some good news when candidate filing closed this week, leaving her without a major challenger. Former State Senator Randy Iwase appear likely to capture the Democratic nomination against Lingle, when all of the bigger names passed on the race. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim (D) announced the day before the close of filing he appreciated the encouragements from party members, but he declined to enter the race. Governor Race Rating: Safe GOP. Liberal US Senator Dan Akaka is facing an aggressive Democratic primary challenge from centrist Congressman Ed Case. Case argues Akaka is ineffective, while Akaka's boosters tout his seniority clout and progressive record. Right now, Akaka appears the frontrunner. On the GOP side, six unknowns filed for the seat. Congressman Neil Abercrombie (D) looks safe in CD-1. In the open CD-2 race, 10 Democrats and two Republicans filed. The seat is heavily Democratic -- and most of the Dems in the race appear to be potentially viable contenders -- so keep an eye on this hot primary. Click here to view all of the Hawaii candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.27.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ALABAMA - GOVERNOR: Governor Bob Riley (R) - 52%, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D) - 38%. (WKRG-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY:
Attorney General Charlie Crist - 57%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 29%. (Strategic Vision-R).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Davis - 40%, State Senator Rod Smith - 35%. (Strategic Vision-R).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR (Strategic Vision-R):
Crist (R) - 49%, Davis (D) - 39%.
Crist (R) - 49%, Smith (D) - 41%.
Gallagher (R) - 40%, Davis (D) - 39%.
Gallagher (R) - 40%, Smith (D) - 40%.
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Crist - 55%, Gallagher - 32%. (Quinnipiac University).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Davis - 47%, Smith - 19%. (Quinnipiac University).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR: Crist (R) - 44%, Davis (D) - 38%. (Quinnipiac University),
FLORIDA - US SENATE: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 57%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 29%. (WESH-TV/Mason-Dixon).
FLORIDA - US SENATE:
US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 60%, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - 22%. (Strategic Vision-R).
VIRGINIA -CD-5:
Congressman Virgil Goode (R) - 59%, winemaker Al Weed (D) - 35%. (WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA).
WASHINGTON - US SENATE:
US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 48%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 44%. (Strategic Vision-R).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.27.06 | Permalink |

MARYLAND: STEELE ADMITS HE WAS THE ANONYMOUS GOP CRITIC IN WaPo STORY.
Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steel acknowledged he was the Republican candidate quoted anonymously as saying that being a member of the GOP was like wearing a "scarlet letter" and that he did not want President Bush to campaign for him this fall. Steele also voiced objections to continuing the Iraq War ("It didn't work ... We didn't prepare for the peace") and the government's response last year to Hurricane Katrina ("a monumental failure"). In the original Washington Post article Steele was only referred to as an unnamed "Republican Senate Candidate." "He realizes that he can't win being a conservative Republican in Maryland in 2006," said Maryland Democratic Party spokesman Arthur Harris. Steele's campaign spokesperson responded the quotes merely show Steele is "independent minded." Polls currently show Steele trailing the two Democratic frontrunners -- Congressman Ben Cardin and former Congressman Kweisi Mfume -- by competitive margins.
Writer: Xander Zebrose - 07.27.06 | Permalink |

SOMETHING NEW: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
Ready. Aim. Scribble. Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.27.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Last week it was Alabama. This week it was Oklahoma. I missed this item from yesterday's vote:
businessman, former police officer and grandfather Al McAffrey won the Dem primary for a seat in the Oklahoma State House by a 51% to 49% vote. No Republican filed, so McAffrey won the seat by simply winning the primary -- making McAffrey the first out gay member of the Oklahoma Legislature.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.27.06 | 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: Financial broker and political activist Stan Vaughan, Democrat for Nevada State Assembly AD-7.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CALIFORNIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 45%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 37%. (Field Poll).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 55%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 24%. (WESH-TV/Mason-Dixon).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Davis - 29%, State Senator Rod Smith - 14%. (WESH-TV/Mason-Dixon).
ILLINOIS - GOVERNOR: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) - 45%, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) - 34%, "Other" - 17%. (KSDK-TV/SurveyUSA).
INDIANA -CD-2: Attorney Joe Donnelly (D) - 46%, Congressman Chris Chocola (R) - 41%. (South Bend Tribune/WSBT-TV).
KENTUCKY -CD-4: Former Congressman Ken Lucas (D) - 50%, Congressman Geoff Davis (R) - 41%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
TEXAS - GOVERNOR: Governor Rick Perry (R) - 40%, State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Independent) - 20%, musician/author Kinky Friedman (Independent) - 19%, former Congressman Chris Bell (D) - 13%. (Rasmussen Reports).
VIRGINIA -CD-9:
Congressman Rick Boucher (D) - 66%, State Delegate Bill Carrico (R) - 29%. (WDBJ-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

OKLAHOMA: PRIMARY RESULTS.
Governor Brad Henry easily won renomination with 86% in the Democratic primary. On the GOP side, Congressman Ernest Istook sailed to a comfortable victory with 56% against three opponents. Wealthy oil executive Bob Sullivan was Istook's nearest opponent, but finished more than 25-points behind the primary winner. Independent polls show the conservative Henry holding a commanding lead over Istook. Governor Rac Rating: DEM Favored. There were no clear winners in the race for Lieutenant Governor, with both parties seeing candidates forced into run-offs on August 22. State House Speaker Todd Hiett and State Senator Scott Pruitt will meet in the Republican contest, while State House Minority Leader Jari Askins and former congressional aide Pete Regan advance in the Dem race. There was an interesting twist in the GOP primary for State Treasurer. Howard Barnett -- former Chief of Staff to Governor Frank Keating (R) -- defeated investment banker Daniel Keating, the former Governor's brother. In the GOP primary for the CD-5 seat being vacated by Istook -- a safe GOP seat -- Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin finished first in the six-candidate field with 35%. She will advance to the run-off with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who placed a distant second with 24%. Click here to view all of the Oklahoma nominees and run-off candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

P2008: COMIC JUMPS INTO LIBERTARIAN PREZ RACE.
Comedian Doug Stanhope -- of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Girls Gone Wild video fame -- has announced he will seek the Libertarian nomination for President in 2008. "Yes, I am very serious. Most of us know how completely screwed the system has become. Yet we shrug it off as something to deeply rooted to change. I'm tired of accepting what we have as the best we can do and yelling about it in barrooms and comedy clubs isn't going to force anyone's hand," said Stanhope. He promised on his MySpace website that his first official act as President will be to pardon all non-violent drug offenders. Stanhope, who is known for his sexually-explicit comedy routines, will likely be the only White House candidate with an X-rated adult-content official website. 2004 LP nominee Michael Badnarik is currently running for Congress in Texas, but has not ruled out making another Presidential run in 2008. Several other Libertarians have also announced P2008 candidacies.
Writer: Xander Zebrose - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

CONGRESS: FORMER HOUSE ETHICS CHAIR WANTS TO BAN LEADERSHIP PACs.
A surprising statement was inserted in the Congressional Record by former Ethics Committee Chair Joel Hefley (R-CO), who was removed from his post by the GOP leadership in 2004 because of his independence. Embattled Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) -- who is targeted by Republicans in his re-election campaign because of ethics problems -- got unexpected help against the GOP claim Mollohan caused the stalemate that paralyzed the Ethics Committee during the last two years. Hefley, who is retiring, stated: "If I had been the ranking member of the Ethics Committee and the majority party had arbitrarily and unilaterally changed the rules, I would have had an obligation to react, just as Representative Mollohan did." Hefley also criticized changes the GOP leadership made to the structure of the Ethics Committee that limited their inquiry into the activities of then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). The same he made his statement, Hefley introduced legislation to ban sitting federal legislators from establishing so-called leadership PACs. Hefley's legislation would give existing leadership PACs a year to give away their money. Hefley's bill is intended to stop of potential House Committee chair candidates raising money for colleagues in order to secure votes in the chair elections in the party caucuses. Hefley lost a bid in 2002 for House Resources Committee Chair when GOP legislators instead picked Congressman Richard Pombo (R-CA) -- who had less seniority than Hefley but donated substantially more money to GOP House members.
Writer: Johannes Waldschütz - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

KANSAS: CD-3 PRIMARY PREVIEW.
In what is a perennial target district for both national party organizations, two Republicans competing next week for the opportunity to face 4-term Congressman Dennis Moore (D) in November. The long-time GOP frontrunner, State Representative Scott Schwab, appears to be losing traction to political newcomer Chuck Ahner. Ahner is a West Point graduate and banker. The Kansas City Star on Tuesday endorsed Ahner. Two other Republicans are also running, but have little chance of winning the primary. No matter whether Schwab or Ahner wins the August 1 primary. either man will have an uphill battle to unseat the incumbent. Moore reported nearly $1.6 million raised to date, and still has over $540,000 cash on hand as of the July reporting period. By contrast, Ahner has a cash-on-hand of $157,000 (nearly all from his own pocket) and Schwab a COH tally of only $15,000. However, Republicans hold a heavy registration advantage in the district, so this district is always worth watching.
Writer: Jim Thompson - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

SOMETHING NEW: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
Claim your fifteen minutes of fame. Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.26.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Insert random comments here.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.26.06 | 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: Marketing executive and former Congressional aide Dan Seals, Democrat for Congress in Illinois CD-10.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OKLAHOMA: PRIMARY PREVIEW.
Primary voters cast ballots in the Sooner State on Tuesday. Governor Brad Henry (D) faces only nominal primary opposition and is a heavy favorite to win re-election in November. On the GOP side, frontrunner Congressman Ernest Istook (R) has failed to solidify the GOP base, and could be embarrassingly forced into an August 22 run-off with wealthy oil executive Bob Sullivan. Istook told the Daily Oklahoman he "expects to win" without a run-off. The open race for Lieutenant Governor will see competitive primaries in both parties. State House Speaker Todd Hiett (R) and former congressional aide Pete Regan (D) are the two frontrunners in their respective Lt Gov primaries. The other race to watch is the GOP primary for the CD-5 seat being vacated by Istook. Polls show Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and State Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode easily leading the six-candidate Republican field. Look for Fallin and Cornett to advance to the run-off.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ALASKA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Former Governor Tony Knowles - 65%, State Representative Eric Croft - 12%, Others - 2%. (Anchorage Daily News).
ALASKA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin - 36%, former State Senator John Binkley - 23%, Governor Frank Murkowski - 20%. (Anchorage Daily News).
MINNESOTA - GOVERNOR: Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) - 50%, Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL) - 36%, former State Finance Commissioner Peter Hutchinson (Independence) - 8%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
MINNESOTA - US SENATE: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (DFL) - 47%, Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) - 42%, former public acess TV executive Robert Fitzgerald (Independence) - 8%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW YORK - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 78%, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi - 9%. (Siena College).
NEW YORK - ATTORNEY GENERAL - DEM PRIMARY: Former US Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo - 45%, former NYC Public Advocate Mark Green - 27%, attorney Charlie King - 3%, former Clinton White House aide Sean Patrick Maloney - 3%. (Siena College).
NEW YORK - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: US Senator Hillary Clinton - 79%, labor organizer Jonathan Tasini - 12%. (Siena College).
OKLAHOMA - CD-5 - GOP PRIMARY: Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin - 30%, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett - 25%, State Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode - 24%, State Representative Kevin Calvey - 9%, State Representative Fred Morgan - 6%, Others - 4%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
TENNESSEE - GOVERNOR: Governor Phil Bredesen (D) - 57%, State Senator Jim Bryson (R) - 24%. (Chattanooga Times Free Press/Mason-Dixon).
TENNESSEE - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker - 39%, former Congressman Ed Bryant - 23%, former Congressman Van Hilleary - 22%. (Chattanooga Times Free Press/Mason-Dixon).
TENNESSEE - US SENATE: Corker (R) - 49%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 36%. (Chattanooga Times Free Press/Mason-Dixon).
TENNESSEE - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Corker - 49%, former Congressman Ed Bryant - 29%, former Congressman Van Hilleary - 15%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
TEXAS - US SENATE: US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) - 58%, attorney Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
UTAH - CD-1: Congressman Rob Bishop (R) - 57%, engineer Steve Olsen (D) - 23%. (Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV).
UTAH - CD-2: Congressman Jim Matheson (D) - 64%, State Representative LaVar Christensen (R) - 23%. (Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV).
UTAH - CD-3: Congressman Chris Cannon (R) - 56%, attorney Christian Burridge (D) - 24%. (Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: ATTY GEN CANDIDATE HAS ABRAMOFF-PROBLEM.
Under a headline "Bad Timing For Lobbyist-Candidate", the St. Petersberg Times took former Congressman Bill McCollum (R) to task for his work as a DC lobbyist for the past five years. Furthermore, the article attempted to link McCollum to convicted felon and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. McCollum never did business with Abramoff, but he got $1,000 from Abramoff in his 2000 US Senate race. Also, two Indian tribes represented by Abramoff gave $1,000 each to McCollum. Actually, a review of campaign contributions on www.opensecrets.org reveals additional $1,000 contributions from Jack Abramoff's Sun Cruz Casino company and his jailed former business partner Adam Kidan. McCollum claims he was unaware of the contributions and did not know Jack Abramoff -- a claim which is proving difficult to believe since the same newspaper revealed in January that McCollum previously met with Abramoff to ask about a job, "The only time he spoke to Abramoff was after that race, when he was considering law firms where he might work and Abramoff talked to him about Miami-based Greenberg Traurig. Abramoff resigned from the politically connected firm in 2004," explained a McCollum spokesperson. McCollum is the GOP nominee for Florida Attorney General, the state's top law enforcement post. Bad press detailing similar Abramoff-related ties destroyed former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed's GOP primary bid for Georgia Lieutenant Governor last week.
Written by Jeff Garcia - 07.25.06 | Permalink |

MARYLAND: BAD PRESS (REALLY BAD) FOR SENATE HOPEFUL.
Unemployed international business consultant and USAF veteran David Dickerson (D) was a little-known candidate in the open US Senate race. Today, he's finally grabbing lead headlines across the state ... but not for anything good. Baltimore Police arrested Dickerson over the weekend on charges he raped and assaulted his 19-year-old Latvian wife. According to WBAL-TV, police were called to the hospital when Dickerson's wife Anna reported she had been raped. According to the TV station, "the victim said she and her husband met in her home country of Latvia and married last year when she was 18. She told police that shortly after moving back to the United States, she was deprived of food and physically abused -- even after becoming pregnant ... she was forced to have sex against her will many times and was beaten if she did not submit to her husband's wishes. After an alleged assault by her husband on July 16, the victim said she called 911. She said her husband allegedly raped and beat her before medics could arrive." Anna's mother in Latvia is raising the couple's 2-month old child. According to the police report, Dickerson told the officers Anna was "crazy in the head," denied all charges, and said his wife is simply seeking to remain in the US. In response, police charged Dickerson with three sex crimes. After his arrest, Dickerson posted $100,000 pre-trial bond. In a rather ironic twist, retrospectively, Dickerson proclaimed on his campaign website "we need to renew our respect for ... family values ... [rebuild] the moral fabric of our Democratic Party" and proclaims that "violence in our society is beyond worrisome ... we need to stop the strong from taking advantage of the weak."
(And, even though they have nothing directly to do with this story, feel free to use this thread for commenting on the hot Cardin-Mfume-Steele race for this open US Senate seat.)
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.06 | Permalink |

SOMETHING NEW: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
Submit just one article ... or an article everyday ... it is entirely up to you. Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
So, what else is going on?

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.06 | 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 State Representative and former State Human Resources Commissioner Jim Martin, Democrat for Georgia Lieutenant Governor.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

P2008: DEMS REVISE PREZ PRIMARY CALENDAR.
Bowing to press from party activist located in nearly all states -- except Iowa and New Hampshire -- the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to allow Nevada to hold a Presidential caucus on the Saturday following Iowa's Tuesday caucuses. The New Hampshire primary would take place next on the Tuesday after Nevada, followed by the South Carolina primary one week later. After February 5, all other states could set their own primary and caucus dates. New Hampshire Democratic Chair Kathy Sullivan blasted the decision as a "short sighted action ... exacerbates the current problem of frontloading in the primary calendar. In addition to ensuring that the Democratic Party will have a nominee by February 5th after only a handful of states have voted, the committee trampled on the grassroots tradition of the New Hampshire primary. Instead of going door to door and meeting the voters face to face, the candidates will spend millions of dollars on television advertising." Personally, I endorse the controversial compromise suggested last month by Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen: the first primary every four years will be the state that had the closest actual raw vote total difference between the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees, followed by the second closest state, then the third, then everyone else. That way, the states most likely to be in play in November will also have the greatest say in the primary process. Applying Yepsen's model, for example, Florida would have gone first in the 2004 primaries. (And why, you may ask, are we using Senator Russ Feingold's photo to illustrate this article? Because he'd make a damn good Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008.)
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.24.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Businessman Ned Lamont - 51%, US Senator Joe Lieberman - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: Lamont (D) - 40%, Lieberman (Independent) - 40%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 14%. (Rasmussen Reports).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Lamont - 51%, Lieberman - 47%. (Quinnipiac University).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: Lieberman (Independent) - 51%, Lamont (D) - 27%, Schlesinger (R) - 9%. (Quinnipiac University).
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: New Haven Mayor John DeStefano - 52%, Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy - 32%. (Quinnipiac University).
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR: Governor Jodi Rell (R) - 62%, DeStefano (D) - 25%. (Quinnipiac University).
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR: Rell (R) - 64%, Malloy (D) - 23%. (Quinnipiac University).
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 43%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 40%. (Fairleigh Dickinson University).
OHIO - GOVERNOR: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 47%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 27%, Others - 2%. (Columbus Dispatch).
OHIO - US SENATE: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 45%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 37%. (Columbus Dispatch).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 49%, former football player Lynn Swann (R) - 36%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 50%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 40%. (Strategic Vision-R).
WISCONSIN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 43%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
WISCONSIN - GOVERNOR: Doyle (D) - 47%, Green (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WYOMING - GOVERNOR: Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) - 58%, attorney Ray Hunkins (R) - 29%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WYOMING - US SENATE: US Senator Craig Thomas (R) - 59%, college professor Dale Groutage (D) - 32%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.24.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: JOE IS "FRIEND OF BILL" ... MORE SCHLESINGER WOES.
US Senator Joe Lieberman (D) -- locked in a very tight primary for renomination -- scored a major coup in recent days. Former President Bill Clinton agreed to make a campaign swing through the state in support of Lieberman. Meanwhile, pressure mounted on former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) to quit the race. The Hartford Courant reported Schlesinger was "successfully sued for thousands of dollars in casino debts he ran up in Atlantic City venues." The newspaper reports that a sizable number of members of the Republican State Central Committee are now "scheming" to give Lieberman the GOP nomination, in the belief it will assist the state's three endangered GOP Congressional members in November.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.24.06 | Permalink |

SOMETHING NEW: HELP US BROADEN OUR NEWS COVERAGE.
Like the famous story of Tom Sawyer painting his aunt's fence, I'm willing to let all of you have the great experience of writing news articles for Politics1 -- but only if you're up to the task. Normally, I'll admit I'm a fairly rigid control freak with the site content here (excluding the wide open exchanges in the blog comment threads). Still, I'd like to find a way to add more stories to the daily news update. That's where you come in. If you'd like to try it (and, yes, you'll be credited by name with the articles you write, so I will need your real first name/last name), here are some guidelines, rules and disclaimers:

  • All articles should be in the same general form as those we currently publish (i.e., one paragraph optimally around 150 words in length; but 300 words is the max length). The shorter the article, the better your chances are for being published.
  • Politics1 (which means Ron) reserves the right to edit all articles for appropriateness and site style consistency (without changing the context of your writing), and also reserves the full discretion to reject any articles submitted for publication.
  • IMPORTANT: These are to be news stories, and NOT editorials, election predictions, poll analysis, or campaign press releases/puff pieces. "State Senator X starts 9-city bus tour in race for Governor" is not a story we would ever publish.
  • The topics are limited to those related to US elections (particularly Presidential, US Senate, Congressional, gubernatorial and "big city" mayoral races).
  • Try to keep the tone fairly neutral/balanced.
  • All articles must be sourced (i.e., something like "..., according to the [insert newspaper/TV station name]." must appear in the article to show the original source if it is not original reporting).
  • Try not to get "too local" or obscure in the level of the election covered -- unless it is a particularly colorful story.
  • There will obviously be days when different people submit similar articles. Don't get your feeling hurt is someone else's gets selected.

That said, please submit articles to me at publisher@politics1.com, write ARTICLE in the subject line, and email the article(s) to me within the body of your email (please don't submit them as attachments). I'll still only do the updates each evening -- as I'm at my "real job" during the day -- but this should help broaden our coverage. So ... any interest?
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.24.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Over the past few days, we've updated candidate links and info on 20+ of our state pages ... Also saw the painful Pirates of the Caribbean sequel over the weekend. Hard to believe a big budget movie with that much
action could still be so painfully boring.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.24.06 | 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: Nassau County Executive, former Glen Cove Mayor and attorney Tom Suozzi, Democrat for New York Governor.

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Candidate filing closed in Florida on Friday, with an astounding 19 hopefuls running for Governor (including 4 Repulicans and 5 Democrats). Click here to view all of the Florida filings.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.22.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Sorry, but this is one of those every-once-in-a-while days when I just don't have the time to write an update. But, I promise, I'll post some stuff over the weekend.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.21.06 | 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: Democratic activist Sam Brooks, candidate for Washington, DC, City Council, Ward 3.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
NEBRASKA - GOVERNOR: Governor Dave Heineman (R) - 66%, publishing executive Dave Hahn (D) - 21%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEBRASKA - US SENATE: US Senator Ben Nelson (D) - 57%, former Ameritrade COO Pete Ricketts (R) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK - GOVERNOR: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 69%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 20%. (Marist College).
NEW YORK - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Spitzer (D) - 75%, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi - 10%. (Marist College).
NEW YORK - US SENATE: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 61%, former Yonker Mayor John Spencer (R) - 34%. (Marist College).
NEW YORK - US SENATE: Clinton (D) - 61%, former Defense Department official K.T. McFarland (R) - 32%. (Marist College).
NEW YORK - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Clinton - 81%, labor organizer Jonathan Tasini - 13%. (Marist College).
NEW YORK - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Spencer - 36%, McFarland - 15%. (Marist College).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.20.06 | Permalink |

NRSC: ADVICE FOR GOP CANDIDATES.
US Senator John Thune (R-SD) is openly posturing the be the Chair of the National Republican Senate Committee for the 2008 elections. That's why his openly expressed comments Wednesday at the National Press Club were rather unexpected. "If I were running in the state this year, you obviously don't embrace the President and his agenda," said Thune, according to the AP. In fact, President Bush's current approval ratings are so dismal that Thune said the November elections "are going to be tough races to win" for the Republicans. Thune was elected to the US Senate in 2004 by pledging to be a solid Bush ally in DC.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.20.06 | Permalink |

WORST HAIR IN CONGRESS: CYNTHIA McKINNEY.
Congratulations to Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) for placing first in her primary on Tuesday ... and for placing first Wednesday in our biennial Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award contest for having the "Worst Hair in Congress." Personally, I disagreed with the vote -- as I thought her new "Sideshow Bob" look actually appeared rather stylish at times. I thought reigning champion Carl Levin's comb-over disaster or John Mica's cheap-looking fake hair yarmulke should have won ... but it wasn't my decision. Instead, roughly 3,600 of you cast ballots in the poll and gave McKinney the win with 29% -- a full 7-points ahead of Levin. Thus -- and as creatively envisioned at right -- it is with great dignity and in good humor that we place the coveted crown of Jim Traficant's infamous toupee on McKinney's head for the next two years. Click here to view all of the tonsorial nightmares (and the complete poll results)
.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.20.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Here's a surprise. Community activist Patricia Todd won the Democratic run-off Tuesday for the open Alabama State House District 54 seat by a 51% to 49% vote. No Republican filed for the seat, so Todd will take office when the new legislative session begins. Why is this a big surprise? Because Todd -- a lesbian -- ran as an "out" candidate. In Alabama. And won.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.20.06 | 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 State Senator and attorney Greg Hecht, Democrat for Georgia Lieutenant Governor.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GEORGIA: RALPH REED DEFEATED; McKINNEY FORCED INTO RUN-OFF.
In the gubernatorial race, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor defeated Secretary of State Cathy Cox in the Democratic primary by a 52% to 44% vote. Taylor trailed Cox in the polls until just a few weeks ago, when Cox's campaign made several minor (but cumulative) tactical missteps and gaffes. Taylor will face Governor Sonny Perdue (R) in November. Governor Race Rating: Leans GOP. In the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Casey Cagle decisively defeated former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed by a 56% to 44% vote. Reed -- once a rising conservative star -- was hammered in the news and Cagle's TV spots for his extensive Abramoff-related ethics problems. In his post-concession remarks, Reed said he does not plan to again seek elective office. On the Dem side, former state legislators Jim Martin and Greg Hecht finished in a near tie -- easily outpacing three others -- and will continue their battle in the August 8 run-off. In the Congressional primaries, the CD-4 contest may prove to be an apparent upset in the making. With most votes counted, controversial Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney narrowly led DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson in the Dem primary by a 47% to 45% vote. McKinney's campaign site blamed Diebold voting machine problems and poll worker incompetence for her poor performance, saying that some voting machines changed McKinney votes into Johnson votes. The two bitter rivals appear headed to a run-off. In CD-6, Congressman Tom Price (R) easily won his primary. CD-13 Congressman David Scott defeated former State Senator Donzella James in the Dem primary by a 24-point margin. Click here to view our Georgia page to see the lost of nominees and run-off candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | Permalink |

ALABAMA: WALLACE JR. LOSES LT GOV RUN-OFF.
The much anticipated general election contest for Lieutenant Governor between scions of two of Alabama's most legendary Governors will not take place. State PSC Commissioner and former State Treasurer George Wallace Jr. (R) -- the son of the late Governor George Wallace (D) -- lost his run-off contest to wealthy attorney Luther Strange by a 55% to 45% vote. Strange will next face former Governor Jim Folsom Jr. (D) in November in what should be a hotly contested race.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | Permalink |

MINNESOTA: LAST MINUTE SURPRISE AS PRIMARY FILING CLOSES.
Rapidly growing controversies derailed the Attorney General candidacy of State Representative Matt Ettenza, forcing the DFL frontrunner to suddenly quit the race just hours before filing closed. When Ettenza exited, a swarm of Democrats jumped into the fray, including State Senator Steve Kelley, former Congressman Bill Luther, and State Solicitor General Lori Swanson. State Representative Jeff Johnson is the GOP nominee. There will also be Democratic, Republican and Independence party primaries for Governor and US Senate. In the open CD-5 contest, eleven candidates filed. By contrast, the nominees are already decided in the open CD-6 seat. Click here to view all of the Minnesota primary filings. Not as seemingly exciting as the impromptu Minnesota doings, but filing also closed this week in Vermont -- with lots of crowded races.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
RHODE ISLAND - US SENATE: Former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 46%, US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | Permalink |

BAD HAIR POLL: THE FINAL DAY.
Wednesday is the final day of voting in our biennial Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award contest to name the "Worst Hair in Congress." As of Tuesday evening, nearly 3,000 people have already voted. Click here to vote in our Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award poll. Voting ends Wednesday evening at 9:00 pm Eastern.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Whatever.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.19.06 | 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: Congressman Russ Carnahan, Democrat for re-election in Missouri's CD-3; Wyoming; and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, a group blending religious beliefs, inclusion, and progressive politics.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GEORGIA: PRIMARY PREVIEW.
Georgia voters cast primary ballots on Tuesday. In the gubernatorial races, Governor Sonny Perdue (R) will cruise to an easy win over his minor opponent. The Democratic primary, however, is much more competitive. Secretary of State Cathy Cox led in the polls for months, only to see Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor leap ahead in recent weeks. Look for Taylor to win the primary by several points, setting up a feisty November contest. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed (R) has been hammered for his extensive Abramoff-related ethics problems. State Senator Casey Cagle should narrowly defeat Reed in the GOP primary, ending Reed's career as a "rising star" conservative leader. In the Dem primary, look for former state legislators Jim Martin and Greg Hecht to lead the Lt Gov field and face-off in an August 8 run-off. In the Congressional primaries, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's Dem primary in CD-4 is garnering the most attention. However, the 2006 challenge is not the same as the crowded 2002 primary she lost. This time McKinney largely ignored her primary foes, and the strategy appears to be working. She'll win the primary. Congressmen Tom Price (R) in CD-6 and David Scott (D) in CD-13 are both facing respectable challenges, but both will easily win renomination. Alabama voters will also cast votes Tuesday in the GOP run-off for Lieutenant Governor between State PSC Commissioner George Wallace Jr. and wealthy attorney Luther Strange. Both of the candidates eliminated in the primary endorsed Wallace, as did the Christian Coalition -- but has run an uninspiring campaign. Strange , however, outspent Wallace by a wide margin from his own deep pockets and will likely defeat Wallace by several points.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.18.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH CAROLINA: GOP SENATOR KNOTTS QUITS HIS INDY GOV RUN.
Conservative State Senator Jake Knotts (R) ended his brief Independent run for Governor on Monday. Although he apparently collected at least 13,000 vote petition signatures -- well more than the statutory requirement for an Indy run -- Knotts said he would not file because he did not believe he could collect the $2 million he thought he needed to run a viable campaign. "With the best interest of the people who support me at heart, I will not be a candidate for governor in the November 2006 election," he explained. Knotts is closely aligned with GOP critics of Governor Mark Sanford (R). He previously said he would endorse State Senator Tommy Moore (D) for Governor if he didn't enter the race. Still, Knotts' move is great news for Sanford.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.18.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARIZONA - US SENATE: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) - 52%, former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) - 40%. (KPNX-TV/SurveyUSA).
COLORADO- GOVERNOR: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) - 42%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 35%. (Denver Post).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 47%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 36%. (Baltimore Sun).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D) - 42%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 40%. (Baltimore Sun).
MARYLAND - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Ben Cardin - 32%, former Congressman Kweisi Mfume - 28%, socialist activist Robert Kaufman - 1%, college professor Allan Lichtman - 1%, developer Josh Rales - 1%, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen - 1%. (Baltimore Sun).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 47%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 45%, former Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 47%, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 42%. (Detroit Free Press).
MINNESOTA - US SENATE: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (DFL) - 50%, Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) - 31%. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
NEVADA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Gibbons - 44%, State Senator Bob Beers - 23%, Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt - 16%. (KVBC-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEVADA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus - 42%, Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson - 39%, liberal activist Leola McConnell - 6%. (KVBC-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 38%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 37%. (Gannett/Monmouth University).
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 40%, US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 38%. (Quinnipiac University).
OHIO - CONGRESS - CD-13: Former State Rep. Betty Sutton (D) - 48%, Lorrain Mayor Craig Foltin (R) -30%, attorney Traci Kennedy (Independent) - 6%. (WKYC-TV/SurveyUSA).
OKLAHOMA - GOVERNOR: Governor Brad Henry (D) - 57%, Congressman Ernest Istook (R) - 29%. (Tulsa World/Oklahoma Poll).
OKLAHOMA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Congressman Ernest Istook - 36%, businessman Bob Sullivan - 10%, aviation consultant Jim Evanoff - 7%, State Senator Jim Williamson - 2%. (Tulsa World/Oklahoma Poll).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.18.06 | Permalink |

BAD HAIR POLL: BEAT THE FREEPERS?
We're in the middle of our biennial Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award contest to name the worst hair in Congress ... and along come the FreeRepublic.com right-wingers with a fairly racist campaign to push Cynthia McKinney into first place. If you disagree with my description of these wingers as racists, just check out their blog thread filled with fairly racist photos and comments. I'd urge everyone to level the playing field by mentioning this poll on sites across the political spectrum: left, right, libertarian, etc. Click here to vote in our Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award poll. Voting ends Wednesday evening ... so, who does have the worst hair in Congress? I'll repeat: worst HAIR (not: who is craziest, meanest, most corrupt, etc.) ... we're voting on BAD HAIR!!
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.18.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Anything and everything else.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.18.06 | 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: Governor Dave Freudenthal, Democrat for re-election in Wyoming; and to Democratic activist Jeremiah "DemoGog" Brewer of Wyoming, who not only sent the "Mightly Governor Dave" pin (he asked that I use that tag for Freudenthal), but also sent a bunch of other items from Dem campaigns across the nation.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NEVADA: WAS STATE CONTROLLER AUGUSTINE MURDERED?
Due to several new developments, the Reno Police Department and State Division of Investigations are now conducting an investigation of the sudden death of State Controller Kathy Augustine (R). Her husband, critical care nurse Chaz Higgs, told police he discovered Augustine unconscious on the floor and not breathing after she apparently collapsed from a massive heart attack at their second home in Reno. She died three days later without regaining consciousness. Because Augustine was only 50 and seemingly healthy -- and was in the middle of campaign for State Treasurer -- police ordered an autopsy. The findings: no signs of any serious heart problems. It will reportedly be several weeks before toxicology results come back. That news was released Friday, the same day as Augustine's funeral services. On Saturday, Higgs attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. Augustine's daughter kicked open the bathroom door and called paramedics in time to save Higgs' life. The suicide note did not contain any confession. "Whether the attempt was caused by emotional distress or something else, it begs us to take a look. It's just common logic," said Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns to the AP. According to KLAS-TV, the couple was having problems and police were dispatched to Augustine's Las Vegas home for a domestic disturbance call just days before her collapse. Higgs was the hospital nurse who cared for Augustine's second husband, Charles, when he died following an apparent stroke in 2003 at age 63. Higgs and Augustine were married about one month later.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | Permalink |

OUR BIENNIAL CONGRESSIONAL "BAD HAIR" CONTEST.
It's time again for our biennial Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award contest (note: Traficant isn't dead, but his political career is six feet under). Traficant -- now imprisoned (but not for his criminally ugly hairpiece) -- is the undisputed all-time champion of Congressional tonsorial terror. He would likely take some pride from the fact that a quarter of all our nominees come from Traficant's homestate of Ohio. This year's contestants are giving it their best shot to win the Traficant Award by knocking the crown off reigning 2004 "bad hair" champ Carl Levin. Looking at the rival comb-overs, bad rugs, and just plain ugly hair stylings of the dozen contenders -- and we even included a few women this time -- it will be tough for Levin can score a repeat win. Click here to vote in our Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award poll. Voting ends Wednesday evening ... so, who does have the worst hair in Congress? I'll repeat: worst HAIR (not: who is craziest, meanest, most corrupt, etc.) ... we're voting on BAD HAIR!!
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
MARYLAND - GOVERNOR: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 46%, Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 38%. (Baltimore Sun).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | Permalink |

HAWAII: VIABLE DEM CANDIDATE EASES TOWARDS GOV RACE.
Governor Linda Lingle (R) -- a heavy favorite to win re-election this year -- filed paperwork last week to run for a second term. In a surprising move, popular Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim is considering filing paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination. Kim, however, remained oddly non-committal on the race. Kim told reporters he just commissioned a poll to see how he would perform against Lingle. In his past races, Kim noted he has always filed at the last minute. Kim has been the target of an informal draft effort for the past several months. Former State Senator Randy Iwase (D) is also running. Filing closes July 25.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: GOP HAS REPLACEMENT READY, BUT SCHLESINGER WON'T FOLD.
According to the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, state GOP leaders have already decided to back wealthy former clothing company CEO Jack Orchulli as their new nominee against US Senator Joe Lieberman (D). Orchulli earned 33% as the GOP nominee against US Senator Chris Dodd (D) in 2004. The problem, however, is that embattled GOP nominee Alan Schlesinger will not quit the race -- even though the leading Connecticut Republicans have publicly asked the former State Representative to quit due to reported gambling problems. Schlesinger confirmed the news stories that he "frequently" gambles at casinos and does so under a fake name. However, he said his gambling was "not a problem" and that he had incurred no serious debts from the gambling. None of this has changed the mind of State GOP Chair George Gallo, who still wants Schlesinger to exit the race.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Win Rockefeller (R), 57, died on Sunday. The down-to-earth billionaire -- who remained very popular with state voters -- died after a lengthy fight with a cancer-related condition.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.17.06 | 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: Physician, and epidemiologist Victoria Wells Wulsin, Democrat for Congress in Ohio's CD-2; college professor and community activist Duane Milne, Republican for Pennsylvania State House Dist. 167; and librarian and progressive activist Jim Brown, Green candidate for Congress in New York's CD-3 (note: another Brown supporter sent me more pins so, thus, this second plug).

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE #2.

OUR BIENNIAL CONGRESSIONAL "BAD HAIR" CONTEST.
It's time again for our biennial Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award contest. Traficant -- now imprisoned (but not for his criminally ugly hairpiece) -- is the undisputed all-time champion of Congressional tonsorial terror. Still, this year's contestants are giving it their best shot to win the Traficant Award by knocking the crown off reigning 2004 "bad hair" champ Carl Levin. Looking at the rival comb-overs, bad rugs, and just plain ugly hair stylings of the dozen contenders -- and we even included a few women this time -- it will be tough for Levin can score a repeat win. Click here to vote in our Congressman Jim Traficant Memorial Bad Hair Award poll. Voting ends Wednesday evening ... so, who does have the worst hair in Congress?
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.16.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Your open thread to discuss everything and anything (other than bad congressional hair).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 07.16.06 | Permalink |

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