ARCHIVE: JULY 2009.
SENATE LIBERALS THREATEN BAUCUS; MALONEY WAFFLING ON GILLIBRAND
CHALLENGE; IRAN'S GREEN REVOLUTION IS ALIVE.
SENATE. Senate liberals are threatening they will seek
to strip Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) of his Finance Committee Chair
if he continues to block their attempts to include a public option
in the health care reform package he is privately negotiating
with Blue Dog Dems and centrist Republicans. "Every two years
the caucus could have a secret ballot on whether a chairman should
continue: yes or no. If the 'no's win, he's out," said Senator
Tom Harkin (D-IA) to The Hill.
YORK. CQ Politics reports that Congresswoman Carolyn
Maloney (D) seems to be procrastinating on entering the primary
contest against US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Maloney and her
staffers previously hinted to reporters she was going to announced
her Senate candidacy in June, then did so again saying
she would announce her plans by the end of the second week of
July. Those dates have come and gone and now Maloney's office
is hinting an announcement will come in August. Others believe
Maloney's eventual decision will instead be to seek reelection
The Green Revolution is alive and well. On Thursday -- the 40th
day after regime police thugs killed a young woman named Neda
and turned her into the martyr of the Iran election reform movement
-- reform activists held traditional Muslim memorial services.
The government had banned the request by reform leader Mir Hossein
Mousavi to hold a memorial gathering at Neda's grave. That didn't
stop thousands from trying to hold a graveside memorial, until
police moved in swinging clubs and using tear gas to disperse
the crowds. Police also grabbed Mousavi and quickly hustled him
back to his home so that he would be unable to speak to the crowd.
This latest violent police response simply prompted waves of spontaneous
reform demonstrations at numerous intersections around Tehran.
Reform demonstrations were also reportedly held in other large
Iranian cities. Stay tuned, because the struggle is continuing.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.31.09 | Permalink
SAYS SHE WILL RESIGN IN FALL, THEN WALKS IT BACK; NJ CORRUPTION
TARGET COMMITS SUICIDE; SENATORS CONRAD, DODD TARGET OF AGGRESSIVE
As expected, US Senator Kay
Bailey Hutchison (R) announced in a radio interview Wednesday
that she will resign her Senate seat later this year as she ramps
up her GOP primary challenge to Governor Rick Perry next year.
She initially said she plans to resign in "October or November"
– setting up a special election likely to coincide with
the already scheduled March 2, 2010, primary election. Later in
the day, however, Hutchison told CQ that she "might stay
in the Senate through next year's gubernatorial race and really
didn't intend to indicate a change in her anticipated timetable."
She explained she wants "to stay [in the Senate] all the
way through the election but for it being very difficult [to stay
in office] with the Governor continuing to run." Whatever
that means. Presuming Hutchison follows through on her on-and-off
plans to quit, Governor Perry (R) will name an interim successor,
who must immediately run in the special election if he/she wants
to keep the seat. Announced GOP candidates to date for the open
Senate seat include State Senate President Pro Tempore Florence
Shapiro, former Secretary of State Roger Williams, and State Railroad
Commissioners Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones. Other
Republicans are also looking at the race. The announced Democrats
running for Senate are Houston Mayor Bill White and former State
Comptroller John Sharp.
JERSEY. Veteran political consultant Jack Shaw was found
dead this week at his home. Police suspect he committing suicide
as Shaw was one of 44 people charged by the Feds in last week's
broad political corruption case.
SENATE. US Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Chris Dodd
(D-CT) are now formal subjects of an active Senate Ethics Committee
investigation into whether they broke Senate ethics rules when
they each received preferential low mortgage-rate deals and a
waiver of all mortgage fees from Countrywide in a lender's VIP
program. Both men, each powerful committee chairs, say they knew
they were getting special treatment when they accepted the mortgage
deals. Conrad said Wednesday that he did nothing wrong in accepting
the sweetheart deal because the perk was something routine "like
a frequent-flier program." Dodd likewise said there was no
wrongdoing in accepting the deal because it was "nothing
more than ... courtesy stuff.".
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.30.09 | Permalink
TO PRIMARY GOV QUINN; CHRISTIE'S BIG LEAD HOLDS; STILL NO BIG
DEM VERSUS BURR; NORM COLEMAN PONDERS COMEBACK.
State Comptroller Dan
Hynes plans to challenge Governor Pat Quinn in next year's Democratic
gubernatorial primary, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Hynes has made no public statements yet on the race, but he has
reportedly informed top party leaders he has decided to run against
Quinn. An email from Hynes' campaign -- still technically a reelection
campaign -- attacked Quinn as being of "the same old Blagojevich
brand of politics." Quinn and Blogojevich had a strained
relationship from the start, as Quinn defeated Blogojevich's preferred
Lt Gov runningmate in the 2002 Democratic primary, thus involuntarily
pairing the two men together. Quinn responded that he didn't like
"negative" politics: "I'm not into that, I'm into
governing." Hynes previously made a failed primary for US
Senate in 2004.
JERSEY. A new PPP (D) poll shows former US Attorney Chris
Christie (R) leading Governor Jon Corzine (D) by a 50% to 36%
vote, confirming other recent polls showing Christie's margin
CAROLINA. Congressman Mike McIntyre (D) confirmed this
week -- again -- that he will not run against US Senator Richard
Burr (R) next year. McIntyre, a Democratic whip, explained that
"with the leadership positions I currently hold in the US
House, there is a greater opportunity to capitalize on these to
benefit our constituents and the citizens of North Carolina."
Although polls show Burr could potentially be vulnerable, Attorney
General Roy Cooper, and Congressmen McIntyre, Brad Miller, Heath
Shuler and Bob Etheridge have all passed on the race. Secretary
of State Elaine Marshall and former State Senator/Iraq War veteran
Cal Cunningham are two Dems still looking at the race. Little-known
attorney Kenneth Lewis (D) is an announced candidate, and has
retained Joe Trippi as a campaign consultant.
Former US Senator Norm Coleman (R) is seriously considering running
for Governor next year, according to Coleman's spokesman. The
aide told the AP Coleman plans to make a decision on the race
sometime in March-April 2010.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.29.09 | Permalink
CHANGE DIALOGUE CONTINUES...
MESSAGE FROM RON. As I explained over the weekend, I'm
giving serious thought to making
a big change to Politics1. Several of you expressed an interest
in "taking over" in some shared way the homepage news
updates. That would only be possible if I change the way the blog
is currently written (i.e., in HTML code using Dreamweaver --
and not using any of the popular, easy blogger tools). I can speak
with my ISP to see if they are willing to move Politics1 onto
a server with PERL, which is required for the WordPress blogging
software everyone uses -- but only so long as there is no additional
costs to me. In any event, even if I go to my new proposed format,
I'll still provide you with weekly open threads (and would also
consider restarting writing my own daily posts at some future
date, possibly in mid-2010). However, for those who say they like
following the news stories I find of interest blended with my
personal take, then I'd suggest you follow
me on Twitter and/or friend
me on Facebook (my twitter posts + additional items).
I'm lately using those two sites to express myself, but the topics
are not limited to politics. Using my BlackBerry to write the
Twitter and Facebook items, I post briefs notes on the fly on
politics, foreign affairs, news of the strange, personal stuff,
travel, France, Iran, photos I like, or whatever. So, for now,
that's the latest.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.28.09 | Permalink
RETIRES; GOODE SAYS NO TO REMATCH; BARBOUR-PAWLENTY IS THE TICKET
FOR RGA; BOXES '10 RACE SUPRISINGLY CLOSE; KASICH PRIMARY FOE
QUITS; PATRICK TRAILS; HUCKABEE LEADS P2012 GOP FIELD.
US Senator Jim
Bunning (R) announced Monday he won't seek re-election in 2010.
The former star baseball pitcher blamed Republican leaders --
particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) --
for his decision. "To win a general election, a candidate
has to be able to raise millions of dollars to get the message
out to voters. Over the past year, some of the leaders of the
Republican Party in the Senate have done everything in their power
to dry up my fundraising," said Bunning in a written statement.
COURT. US Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will vote against
the Supreme Court nomination Sonya Sotomayor. Not surprisingly,
US Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Republican Jeff Sessions
(R-AL) also announced he will vote against the nomination.
Former Congressman Virgil Goode (R) surprisingly announced Monday
he will not seek a rematch next year against freshman Congressman
Tom Perriello (D). Goode narrowly lost for in one of the biggest
upsets of 2008. Goode gave no reason in his written statement
for the decision, and reportedly did not inform party leaders
of his plans before Monday. Factory worker Brad Rees is the only
announced GOP candidate to date. State Delegate Danny Marshall
(R) immediately said he would not run, as he has too much seniority
in the State Assembly. State Senator Robert Hurt (R) was also
mentioned as a potential candidate, but he said he’s busy
helping Bob McDonnell’s campaign for Governor right now.
"I'll think long and hard about the opportunity being presented
to me, but it’s a long way off," said Hurt.
GOVERNORS. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) -- a prospective
candidate for President in 2012 -- has been named as the next
Vice Chair of the Republican Governors Association. "His
firsthand knowledge of how to win in a so-called purple state
will be a major asset to the RGA," said Mississippi Governor
Haley Barbour, the RGA's current Chair. Barbour is also a prospective
2012 Presidendial candidate. Barbour succeeded embattled South
Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who resigned from the Chair post
after his sex scandal hit national headlines.
A new Rasmussen Poll shows US Senator Barbara Boxer (D) locked
in a surprisingly tight race with former computer manufacturing
executive Carly Fiorina (R) in next year's race for US Senate.
Boxer leads 45% to 41% in a potential general election matchup.
Fiorina has not yet decided whether she will run against Boxer,
but she has a campaign-like
State Senator Kevin Coughlin (R) dropped-out of next year's race
for Governor. This means that former Congressman John Kasich (R)
is unlikely to face any significant oppisition in next year's
GOP gubernatorial primary. Governor Ted Strickland (D) is seeking
Governor Deval Patrick (D) is in big trouble, according to the
latest Boston Glove-UNH poll. Wealthy health care executive Charlie
Baker (R) leads Patrick by a 41-35 vote. Businessman Christy Mihos
(R) leads Patrick by a 41-40 vote. However, the picture looks
very different if State Treasurer Tim Cahill (Independent) --
a former Democrat -- runs for Governor, as is expected. In a three-way
race, Patrick 30% and Cahill are tied with 30% apiece, followed
by Baker at 20%. Patrick and Cahill are tied at 31% if the GOP
nominee is Mihos (18%).
Governor Sarah Palin's (R) last day in office was on Sunday. Palin
resigned from office to pursue new opportunities. She is succeeded
by 46-year-old Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell (R), a close Palin
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows former Arkansas
Governor Mike Huckabee leading the GOP race for President for
2012. Huckabee leads with 26%, followed by former Massachusetts
Governor Mitt Romney at 21%, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
at 19%, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 10%. No Opinion
polled at 6%.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.28.09 | Permalink
FOR A CHANGE?
MESSAGE FROM RON. I'm giving serious thought to making
a big change to Politics1. As of this fall, I will have been publishing
this website for 12 years. That's a very long time. And, as I
also have a
"full-time plus" day job, this is something I need to
research, write and edit in my limited free time at night and
on weekends. This news page is the single most time-consuming
part of the site. Even with Vin writing update (much appreciated
help), it still takes quite a bit of time to edit and also insert
other news items I've come across. And, to be candid, with advertising
revenues sharply down on all political sites (including this site),
it simply isn't worth the expenditure of time to keep reporting
the news on our own. The core value of this site -- at least,
the thing that sets Politics1 apart from nearly every other site
on the net -- are the state-by-state pages listing every candidate
and potential candidate for Governor, State Cabinet, US Senate
and Congress. As for the news page, there are so many other sites
out there that cover political news better than Politics1. That's
why I'm thinking of trying something different by fully automating
the news page. Click here to
view the prototype (it may take a few seconds for
the news stories to load). I've selected the specific RSS fees
from the sites I check daily, which include a few mainstream media,
polling results, and many focused political sites (including some
sites which certainly have a pro-D or pro-R bias, plus a Green
and Libertarian site or two). By adopting this format, the front
page news would always be current and updated throughout the day
every day -- without any involvement on my part -- and I'd still
have the time needed to keep the state pages currently updated.
I'd also be willing to try keeping an open thread at the header
so all of you can continue to debate the daily happenings. Plus,
this change would give me much of my free time back. At this point,
I'm 90% decided I want to move to this format. Another option
was simply ending Politics1, but I don't see the point in doing
that if an alternative exists. I'll make some final decisions
on these changes within the next two weeks or so. Thus, using
this comment thread, please check our the proposed change and
give me your thoughts on it.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.25.09 | Permalink
MORE R'S AGAINST SOTOMAYOR; CORZINE NAMES RUNNINGMATE; IS ANYONE
IN MAINE NOT LOOKING AT THE GUV RACE; DEMS RECRUIT CANDIDATE AGAINST
COURT. Two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee
say they will vote against the confirmation of Associate US Supreme
Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and
John Cornyn of Texas announced they will vote nay.
JERSEY. Governor Jon Corzine (D) had named State Senator
Loretta Weinberg as his Lieutenant Governor runningmate. Weinberg
– a 74-year-old Madoff scheme victim -- has a reputation
as an anti-machine Democrat during her tenure in the state legislature.
Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Ken Kaplan picked open government
advocate John Paff as his runningmate. Former US Attorney Chris
Christie (R) selected Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as
his runningmate last week. Former EPA State Commissioner Chris
Daggett (Independent) has yet to pick a runningmate.
Just an aside, but have you recently checked out our list
of announced and potential gubernatorial candidates in Maine
for 2010? The list includes 19 Democrats, 12 Republicans, 3 Greens
and 6 Independents. That's an astounding 40 people looking at
the race (and 13 of them are already announced candidates)!
Democrats have recruited State Representative Todd Book (D) to
run against controversial Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R). Schmidt,
a perennial Democratic target, continues to win slim victories
in what should otherwise be a safe Republican seat. Democrats
believe Book will present Schmidt with her strongest re-election
challenge to date.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.25.09 | Permalink
SLIPS FURTHER BEHIND SIMMONS; BACHMANN DRAWS FOES; NJ FED CORRUPTION
BUST NETS 40+; GA GOV POLL.
CARE. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday
that the first floor votes on health care reform will be delayed
A new Quinnipiac
poll shows former Congressman Rob Simmons (R) leading incumbent
US Senator Chris Dodd (D) by a 48-39 margin. In a sign of true
weakness, Dodd is virtually tied with even the relatively minor
other leading GOP contenders in possible general election matchups.
Simmons leads the GOP primary field with 42%, with his opponents
tied with 5% apiece. In the Democratic primary, Dodd leads software
executive/former Al Gore aide Merrick Alpert by a vote of 52%
State Senator Tarryl Clark (DFL) -- who is viewed as the strongest
potential Democratic candidate against controversial conservative
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R) -- has filed paperwork this
week to enter the contest. Clark had also been looking at the
crowded gubernatorial race, but ultimately passed on it. Before
she gets to face Bachmann, Clark must win the DFL nomination over
former State Transportation Commissioner/'08 nominee Elwyn Tinklenberg
and former University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chair/physician
JERSEY. Over 40 elected officials, candidates, political
consultants and religious leaders were arrested in a major sting
operation today, relating to bribery, extortion, money laundering,
and even international transportation of human body parts. Three
mayors, two state legislators, several former state legislators,
several campaign managers, the Jersey City Council President,
Jersey City's Deputy Mayor and numerous high-powered rabbis were
among those arrested. The corruption even reached the edges of
the Governor's office, where State Community Affairs Commissioner
Joe Doria – a former Bayonne Mayor and State Assembly Speaker
– resigned on Thursday afternoon in a move believed to be
related to the arrests. This sting joins many others in recent
New Jersey history – which has resulted in the arrests and
indictments of over 100 elected officials in the last few years.
“New Jersey’s corruption problem is one of the worst,
if not the worst, in the country. Corruption is a cancer that
is destroying the core values of this state and this great nation,”
said FBI supervising agent Ed Kahrer. While Governor Jon Corzine
(D) was not implicated in any way in today's arrests, the move
by the feds will still assist his opponent -- former US Attorney
Chris Christie (R) -- who made his name prosecuting political
corruption cases. Vin's Tidbit: Congressman Albio Sires (D)
– who has battled his own scandals in the past – saw
the arrests this year of both his primary and general election
opponents from the 2006 race. Sires' 2006 primary opponent –
then-Perth Amboy Mayor and State Assemblyman Joe Vas (D) –
was indicted on numerous criminal counts earlier this year. Sires'
general election opponent – Republican John Guarini –
was among those arrested today for bribery.
The latest Strategic Vision (R) poll gives a good snapshot of
the open gubernatorial primaries. REPUBLICANS: State Insurance
Commissioner John Oxendine - 38%, Congressman Nathan Deal - 16%,
Secretary of State Karen Handel - 9%, State Senate President Eric
Johnson - 5%, Confederate Heritage activist Ray McBerry - 3%,
State Representative Austin Scott - 2%. DEMOCRATS: Former Governor
Roy Barnes - 46%, Attorney General Thurbert Baker - 31%, ex-State
Adjutant General David Poythress - 4%, State House Minority Leader
DuBose Porter - 3%.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.28.09 | Permalink
RUNS FOR OHIO A.G.; SPECTER-TOOMEY DEADLOCKED; CHRISTIE WIDENS
LEAD; NY GOP PICKS NOMINEE FOR CD-23 SPECIAL; DEMS SCORE STRONG
PA CD-15 CHALLENGER; PROHIBITION PREZ NOMINEE DIES.
COURT. Republican Senators continue to announce how they
will on the confirmation of US Supreme Court Associate Justice
nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he will support
Sotomayor, while Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) will both
vote against her.
Former US Senator Mike DeWine (R) announced Wednesday that he
will run for Attorney General next year. DeWine – a former
two-term US Senator – lost a bid for a reelection in 2006
by a 56-44 margin. DeWine will face Delaware County Prosecutor
David Yost in the GOP primary. The winner of the GOP contest will
face incumbent Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) in the general
A new Quinnipiac poll shows US Senator Arlen Specter (D) has rapidly
lost his commanding lead in next year’s US Senate contest.
Specter narrowly leads former Congressman Pat Toomey (R) by a
45% to 44% vote. Specter also has a disapproval rating of 46%
-- his highest ever. However, Specter still leads Congressman
Joe Sestak by 55-23 margin in the Democratic primary. Sestak just
finished a tour of all 67 counties and is expected to make his
formal entry into the contest shortly.
JERSEY. A new Strategic Vision (R) poll shows former
US Attorney Chris Christie (R) leading Governor Jon Corzine (D)
by a 53% to 38% vote, with former State EPA Commissioner Chris
Daggett (Independent) at 5%.
YORK. Republicans nominated Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava
-- a GOP centrist -- as their congressional candidate for the
CD-23 special election. The pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-labor
Scozzafava defeated eight rivals to win the nomination the third
ballot. The Conservative Party announced it would not co-nominate
Scozzafava because of her support for gay marriage, but has not
yet decided if they will field a nominee in the race on their
ballot line. The Democrats have not yet picked a nominee, but
State Senator Darrel Aubertine is viewed as the frontrunner for
the spot. Nine-term GOP Congressman John McHugh is resigning to
become Secretary of the Army in the Obama Administration. The
special election date has not yet been set.
The DCCC succeeded in recruiting a major challenger into the CD-15
race. Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan (D) announced he will run
against Congressman Charlie Dent (R) next year.
Nothing like starting early. Governor Steve Beshear (D) has named
Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson to be his Lieutenant Governor
runningmate for 2011. Current Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo
(D) is running for US Senate next year, so Beshear is obviously
presuming Mongiardo wins the race. The popular Abramson has served
as Louisville Mayor for 20 years and is a former President of
the US Conference of Mayors.
PARY. Minister, temperance lecturer and artist Gene
Amundson -- the Prohibition Party's candidate for President
in 2004 and 2008 -- died unexpectedly this week at age 65. He
had been planning to make a third run in 2012. While the anti-alcohol
Prohibition Party is the oldest of America's current third parties,
founded in 1869, their nominees performed terribly in recent years.
In 2008, Amundson was on the ballot in three states but captured
a total of just 658 votes.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.23.09 | Permalink
MORE GOP SENS FOR SOTOMAYOR; VITTER LEADS MELANCON; PA GUV PRIMARY
POLLS; SEALS MAKES THIRD TRY; CONNOLLY-FIMIAN REMATCH IN VA.
COURT. US Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe –
Maine's two GOP Senators -- both announced they will vote to confirm
of US Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), by contrast, said he will vote
against Sotomayor because he perceived her answers to be "hostile"
to gun rights. The Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, postponed
Tuesday's scheduled confirmation vote for a week. Republicans
had pressed for the delay, saying they needed more time. While
not yet in the US Senate, Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) is
trying to sound more conservative these days in response to an
aggressive primary challenge from the right. Crist announced Tuesday
that he would vote against Sotomayor if he was in the Senate.
A new Public Policy Polling-D survey shows US Senator David Vitter
(R) leading Congressman Charlie Melancon (D) by a 44-32 vote.
The latest Quinnipiac poll gives us a good snapshot of gubernatorial
primary races. On the GOP side, Attorney General Tom Corbett leads
Congressman Jim Gerlach by a 38-15 vote, with former US Attorney
Pat Meehan third with 9%. In the Democratic contest, Allegheny
County Executive Dan Onorato (D) and State Auditor Jack Wagner
(D) are tied at 16% apiece, with wealthy businessman Tom Knox
(D) next with 13%. The same poll also showed term-limited Gov.
Ed Rendell (D) has a 39% approval rating – a 15-point drop
from the May survey.
Marketing executive Dan Seals -- the 2006 and 2008 Democratic
nominee for the CD-10 seat against Congressman Mark Kirk (R) --
announced he will make a third run in 2010. The CD-10 seat is
open, now that Kirk is running for US Senate. The Dems are favored
to pickup the seat next year. Other announced Dems include State
Senator Michael Bond and attorney Elliot Richardson. Republicans
will also likely see a competitive primary for this seat.
GOP Businessman Keith Fimian will challenge freshman Congressman
Gerald Connolly (D) next year – setting up a rematch from
2008. Connolly won 55-43 in last year's contest for the CD-11
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.22.09 | Permalink
BLASTS MALONEY FOR USING N-WORD; REP DANNY DAVIS TO SEEK LOCAL
OFFICE IN 2010; CHRISTIE TAPS RUNNINGMATE; NM GOV RACE GETS MORE
CROWDED; PATERSON'S APPROVAL RATING IMPROVES.
YORK #1. Outspoken civil rights activist Al Sharpton
-- a supporter US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) -- is lashing
out her 2010 primary opponent. Sharpton blasted Congresswoman
Carolyn Maloney (D) for using the "N-word" while quoting
someone. "The quote by Congresswoman Maloney, if accurate,
is alarming and disturbing at best," No public official,
even in quoting someone else, should loosely use such an offensive
term and should certainly challenge someone using the term to
him or her," Sharpton wrote in a statement. The Congresswoman
said she was quoting a conversation someone had with her earlier.
"I apologize for having repeated a word I find disgusting.
It's no excuse but I was so caught up in relaying the story exactly
as it was told to me that, in doing so, I repeated a word that
should never be repeated," said Maloney said in an apology
Congressman Danny Davis (D) will not seek re-election next year.
Instead, Davis announced he will be a candidate for Cook County
Board President next year against embattled incumbent Todd Stroger
(D). Davis, 57, previously served on the county board before being
elected to Congress in 1996. During his tenure in Congress, Davis
played a leading roll in the bizarre
Capitol Hill "crowning" ceremony for cult leader
Sun Myung Moon. The CD-7 seat is safely Democratic.
JERSEY. Former US Attorney Chris Christie (R) has tapped
Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his Lieutenant Governor
runningmate. Governor Jon Corzine (D) is expected to select a
runningmate within the next few days. This is the first gubernatorial
election in New Jersey with Lt. Governor runningmates, as the
position was only recently created.
MEXICO. Doña Ana County District Attorney Susana
Martinez (R) entered next year's open race for Governor. Other
announced Republican candidates include former State GOP Chair
Allen Weh, State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones and National Guard Brigadier
General Greg Zanetti. GOP leaders are trying to convince former
Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) to run. Democrats running include
Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish and State Senate Majority Leader
Michael Sanchez. Governor Bill Richardson (D) -- the target of
an ongoing corruption investigation -- is term-limited.
YORK #2. A new Siena College poll shows a state legislative
meltdown last month, and Governor David Paterson's (D) attempt
to break the deadlock by naming a new Lieutenant Governor, has
improved his favorability. According to the poll, Paterson now
has a 36% approval rating -- up from 27% in last month's poll.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.21.09 | Permalink
ANNOUNCE SOTOMAYOR STANCES; ENSIGN APPROVAL RATE CRASHES; ROMNEY
LEADS GOP FIELD FOR 2012; REID BACK GILLIBRAND.
COURT. As the committee confirmation hearings for US
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor wind down, several previously-undecided
Senators have announced their positions. While Democrats solidly
support Sotomayor -- ensuring she will easily be confirmed by
the full Senate -- it looks like there is even a possibility that
roughly half of the GOP Senators will also vote in support of
the nomination. US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
announced he will vote against Sotomayor's nomination. This will
be the first time McConnell has ever voted against a nominee for
the highest court. Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY), Jeff Sessions
(R-AL) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) each announced that they will also
vote against Sotomayor. By contrast, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN)
and Mel Martinez (R-FL) announced they will support the nomination.
Two influential GOP Senators -- Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Orrin
Hatch (R-UT) -- are both still officially uncommitted, but
pundits expect both men will support Sotomayor.
US Senator John Ensign (R), mired in a sex-and-payoff scandal,
is seeing his approval ratings at home crash. A new Las Vegas
Review-Journal poll shows Ensign's approval rating at just
31%. He does not face the voters again until 2012, but has already
announced he will seek reelection.
A new Gallup Poll shows a competitive Republican Presidential
contest shaping up for 2012. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt
Romney leads with 26%, followed by outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin at 21%, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at 19%.
The others: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - 14%, Minnesota
Governor Tim Pawlenty - 3%, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour
YORK. US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has
endorsed interim US Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) for reelection
next year -- although Gillibrand faces a competitive primary challenge
from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Recent polls show Maloney
narrowly leading Gillibrand.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.20.09 | Permalink
Endorses House Dem Health Care Plan; New Polls from NH, NJ. TX,
NY; Maryland's GOP Bench.
CARE REFORM. In a major surprise, the powerful American
Medical Association officially endorsed -- without any qualifications
-- the House Democrats' $1 trillion health care reform proposal.
The House Ways & Means Committee plan is among the more liberal
proposals in play, and contains an expansive government-run public
insurance option. The House expects a floor vote on it in two
weeks. On the Senate side, there are two proposals advancing.
Senator Ted Kennedy's proposal -- a progressive plan with a significant
public option -- was approved the Senate Health & Education
Committee this week. Senate Budget Committee Chair Max Baucus
(D-MT) is also expected to have his committee approve a more centrist
bipartisan proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised
Senate floor votes on the health care bills within the next two
weeks. In related news, the DNC started running ads Wednesday
targeting several Democratic Senators who have been reluctant
to embrace the broad public option proposals backed by the White
JERSEY. Former US Attorney Chris Christie (R) continues
to lead Governor Jon Corzine (D), according to the latest Monmouth
University poll. Christie now leads by a 45-37 vote, with former
State EPA Director Chris Daggett (Independent) at 4%.
HAMPSHIRE. The open US Senate contest is amazingly close,
according to the new Research 2000 poll. Congressman Paul Hodes
(D) leads former Congressman Charlie Bass (R) by a 42-37 vote.
However, Hodes trails outgoing Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R)
by a 39-38 vote. Former US Senator John Sununu Jr. (R) was not
included in the matchups.
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Governor Rick Perry leading US
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison by a 46-36 vote in next year's GOP
YORK. New Rasmussem polls on the gubernatorial and US
Senate Democratic primary races, and the incumbents trail in both.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo leads Governor David Paterson by
a 61-27 vote. In the US Senate race, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
trails Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney by a 33-27 vote.
Both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun have
reported on the very thin GOP bench of potential challengers next
year against Governor Martin O'Malley (D). The top choice of GOP
leaders is clearly former Governor Bob Ehrlich (R), who was defeated
by O'Malley in 2006. The leading backup GOP candidate appears
to be businessman and former Ehrlich Cabinet Secretary Larry Hogan
Jr. "I was flattered to even be mentioned as a potential
candidate but I am pushing for Bob Ehrlich to run for Governor.
I think he should run and that he will run," emailed Hogan
to Politics1. However, as a side note, Hogan does appear to be
making more public political appearances around the state in recent
days. Some Republicans are unsure of Ehrlich seeking a rematch,
believing he would have already announced if he was really committed
to making the 2010 race.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.17.09 | Permalink
to Run Again in '12; GOP Foes Lining Up Against Kosmas; MN GOP
Guv Race Get More Crowded; Cuomo Outraises Paterson; IL Green
Makes Second Guv Run; Newsom-Brown Guv Primary Update.
Embattled US Senator John Ensign (R) announced this week that
that he will seek re-election in 2012. Ensign recently admitted
to an affair with a former staffer, whom his family later made
significant payments to in an attempt to keep the affair quiet,
and gave up his GOP leadership post in the Senate.
State Rep. Sandy Adams (R) this week filed federal paperwork to
challenge freshman Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (D) next year.
State Rep. Dorothy Hukill (D) jumped in last week. There are four
other Republicans running, including Winter Park City Commissioner
Karen Diebel. Kosmas defeated Congressman Tom Feeney (R) in an
upset last year, after the incumbent became ensnared in the Abramoff
lobbying scandal. Kosmas is a top NRCC target for 2010.
Former State Auditor Pat Anderson (R) announced her candidacy
for Governor on Wednesday, making her the eighth GOP candidate
in the contest. Anderson was defeated for reelection as Auditor
YORK. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), a prospective
primary challenger to Governor David Paterson (D), has raised
over $5 million this quarter. The haul doubled the latest fundraising
efforts of Paterson and leaves Cuomo with over $10 million cash-on-hand.
Attorney Rich Whitney will again be the Green Party's candidate
for Governor in 2010. Although unsuccessful in his 2006 bid, Whitney
earned 10%, finishing in a strong third place.
– San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) has tapped State
Sen. Alex Padilla to be his campaign chairman. Padilla –
a former Los Angeles City Council President – has strong
ties with Hispanics and labor. Newsom will face current Attorney
General and former Governor Jerry Brown in a competitive gubernatorial
primary next year. Recent polls show Brown holding a comfortable
lead over Newsom. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is term-limited.
Republicans running include former Congressman Tom Campbell, State
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former e-Bay CEO Meg
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.16.09 | Permalink
Endorses Toomey; Gerlach Makes PA Guv Run Official; Christie Widens
Lead; Schauer-Walberg Rematch Is On; Ramstad Stays Out of Crowded
MN Guv Race.
holding off for several months, the NRSC formally endorsed former
Congressman Pat Toomey for the US Senate seat next year. "Congressman
Pat Toomey's life experience and public service make him uniquely
qualified to serve Pennsylvanians in the US Senate," wrote
NRSC Chair John Cornyn said in a statement issued Tuesday. State
Senator Jane Orie – who was considering the race -- announced
she will not challenge Toomey for the nomination. Pro-life activist
Peg Luksik and businessman Larry Murphy are announced GOP candidates
against Toomey in next year's primary. In other Pennsylvania news,
Congressman Jim Gerlach (R) made it official that he will be a
candidate for Governor next year. Gov. Ed Rendell (D) is term-limited
and both primaries are getting crowded. Gerlach's open swing seat
will be a top national Democratic pick-up target.
JERSEY. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows former
US Attorney Chris Christie (R) leading Governor Jon Corzine (D)
by a 53-41 vote. This indicates -- along with other recent polls
-- that Christie is slightly widening his lead over the incumbent.
Both candidates are expected to select a Lt. Governor runningmate
in the next couple of days.
Pastor and former Congressman Tim Walberg (R) announced he will
challenge freshman Congressman Mark Schauer (D) in a rematch next
year. Schauer narrowly defeated then-freshman Walberg for by just
two points in 2008.
Former Congressman Jim Ramstad (R) – a GOP centrist who
was strongly considering a political comeback with a prospective
run for Governor next year – announced he will not be a
candidate next year.
The open gubernatorial race is already very crowded: 7
Republicans, 8 Democrats and 2 Greens have already announced
candidacies, and many others are still looking at the contest.
Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) is not seeking a third-term.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.15.09 | Permalink
Makes It Official of '10 Texas Guv Race; McKenna Out, Kirk In
in Illinois; Specter-Sestak Primary Will Be Costly; SarahPAC Raises
As expected, US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced Monday
that she will challenge incumbent Governor Rick Perry in next
year's Republican gubernatorial primary. Hutchison, who previously
had been exploring the race, also said she has raised over $6.7
million during the first six months of 2009 and now has over $12
million cash-on-hand. By contrast, Perry said last week that he
has $9.3 million cash-on-hand. Hutchison has previously indicated
she would resign her Senate seat early to allow a special election
to take place in 2010 -- but did not mention it in her Monday
remarks. The two announced Democrats in the race are former Ambassador/former
Texas Rangers baseball team General Manager Tom Schieffer and
country music performer/'06 Independent candidate Kinky Friedman
State GOP Chairman Andy McKenna said Monday that he won't run
for the US Senate next year. The news clears the path for Congressman
Mark Kirk (R) to become the US Senate nominee next year without
any major primary opposition. Kirk said last week he wouldn't
run if McKenna entered the race. Kirk – a GOP centrist who
represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district (Obama carried
the district last year with 61%) is seen as the party's strongest
candidate for the seat. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the
Democratic frontrunner. Embattled US Senator Roland Burris (D)
announced last week that he would not seek a full term in 2010.
US Senator Arlen Specter (D) is on a collision course for a costly
renomination battle in his new party. Specter switched parties
earlier this year when polls repeatedly showed he'd lose the GOP
primary for renomination by a lopsided margin. Polls currently
show Specter holding a comfortable lead in the Democratic primary
over Congressman Joe Sestak. According to the latest financial
reports, Sestak raised pver $1 million this quarter and now has
$4.2 million cash-on-hand. Specter's new total hasn't been released
yet, but he already had $6.7 million in the bank at the end of
SarahPAC -- the political action committee of Governor Sarah Palin
(R-AK) -- posted $730,000 in contributions for the past six months.
SarahPAC has $450,000 cash-on-hand. The PAC has only made two
contributions thus far – $5,000 apiece to the re-election
campaigns of Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
In related news, Palin said that in the upcoming elections she
is willing to campaign in support of both conservative Repulican
and Democratic candidates who share her vision and values. Palin
noted her own son is not a registered Republican -- but she didn't
volunteer whether he is an Independent or belongs to another party.
Newt Gingrich recently announced a similar pragmatic strategy
for rebuilding the conservative movement: support conservative
Republicans against RINOs in reliable GOP districts, but openly
help conservative Democrats (instead of longshot GOP candidates)
over center and left Dems in strongly Democratic districts.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.14.09 | Permalink
Confirmation Hearings Begin; California CD-10 Special Dates Set;
Kirk Wants to Run for US Senate "if...".
COURT. US Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor -- nominated
to replace retiring US Supreme Court Justice David Souter -- begins
her public confirmation hearings before the US Senate Judiciary
Committee on Monday. Sotomayor seems assured of confirmation as
conservative opponents are currently unsure if even 20 GOP Senators
will ultimately vote against her confirmation.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has set the dates for the CD-10
special election to replace former Congresswoman Ellen Tascher
(D). She was confirmed by the US Senate on June 25 to be the new
US Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control & International
Security. While the seat could be viewed as a potential swing
district under the right circumstances, the GOP failure thus far
in recruiting a major candidate gives the Democrats a near-lock
in the special election. The primary will be September 1 and the
general election -- if nobody receives a majority in the primary
-- will be held November 3. Seven Democrats, two Republicans and
one Green have announced candidacies to date.
According to Politico, Congressman Mark Kirk (R) is still planning
to enter the US Senate race on July 20. However, Kirk still has
serious concerns about entering the contest if State GOP Chair
Andy McKenna also plans to run. McKenna previously served as finance
chair of Kirk's first congressional campaign, but was angered
by Kirk's vote in support of the recent Democratic "cap-and-trade"
climate control legislation. Kirk's allies and the NRSC are now
pressuring McKenna to stay out of the race. "I will run if
Andy does not," Kirk emailed The Hotline over the
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.13.09 | Permalink
JERSEY. Former US
Attorney Chris Christie (R) told reporters that he has no interest
in having outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin visit the Garden
State to campaign in support of his run for Governor this year.
"This is about New Jersey issues and New Jersey, and I don't
think having Governor Palin here would do me, or frankly the state,
a whole lot of good in the sense that we need to talk and focus
on what the New Jersey issues are," said Christie. However,
Christie hasn't voiced any objection to recent campaign visits
on his behalf by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former
NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Meanwhile,
the latest Rasmussen poll shows Christie leading incumbent Governor
Jon Corzine (D) by 46-39 vote. In related news, former State EPA
Commissioner Chris Daggett (Independent) – who served under
GOP Governor Tom Kean and who backed Obama for President last
year – has qualified for state matching funds. The news
means Daggett will have at least $1 million to spend on his gubernatorial
run. Also, President Obama will visit the state next week in support
of Corzine. Analysts expect Corzine to also announce his Lieutenant
Governor runningmate prior to the Obama visit.
Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy (R) -- a former MTV
Real World (Boston) cast member -- announced his plans
to challenge veteran US House Appropriations Committee Chair David
Obey (D) next year. Duffy, as a side note, is married to Rachel
from the Real World San Francisco season.
US Senator Roland Burris (D), as expected, announced he will retire
next year. Burris said his inability to raise sufficient money
to run a viable campaign as his primary reason. Congressman Mark
Kirk (R), meanwhile, continues to waffle on the race. On Thursday,
Kirk leaked his plans to jump into the Senate race on Friday.
Then, on Friday, the Washington Post and MSNBC both reported
Kirk changed his mind and would not run now that he learned wealthy
businessman and State GOP Chair Andy McKenna was planning to enter
the Senate race. Late Friday, Kirk was back to "undecided"
status. His office told Roll Call that Kirk wants to
discuss the situation further with McKenna before making a final
decision. McKenna -- who lost a 2004 primary for US Senate --
had let it be known he will attack Kirk in the primary for some
of his centrist votes, including one last month in support of
the recent Democratic "cap-and-trade" climate control
legislation. In case you missed it during our hiatus, Attorney
General Lisa Madigan (D) announced this past Wednesday that --
for the sake of party unity -- she will seek reelection next year
and not run for either US Senate or Governor.
Governor Charlie Crist far outpaced former State House Speaker
Marco Rubio in their respective fundraising since launching their
rival Republicam US Senate run this past spring. The centrist
Crist raised an astounding $4.3 million in 2Q-09, versus just
$340,000 for the conservative Rubio. Congressman Kendrick Meek
(D) -- who started in the race a few months before either of the
Republicans -- raised another $1.2 million in the most recent
quarter, bringing his total raised to date to $3 million.
Report by Vin Gopal - 07.11.09 | Permalink
EXTENDING THE VACATION A LITTLE BIT MORE (AND SOME NEWS).
TAKES. My flight home Wednesday was hours late
... and now I'm fairly busy getting things ready for a major family
birthday event I'm organizing for this weekend. So feel free to
discuss John Ensign's ongoing sex scandal (and Tom Coburn's apparent
consigliere role with Ensign in the payoff/cover-up to
Ensign's mistress) ... the Dems recapture of the NY State Senate
on Thursday ... Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill quit
the Dems and became an Independent, seemingly in preparation for
a run against Governor Deval Patrick (D) next year. Wealthy health
care executive Charlie Baker (R) also jumped into the gubernatorial
race this week ... US Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) will announce
Friday that he will not seek the full-term in next year's election.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.10.09 | Permalink
DAY (AND RON'S BIRTHDAY) PUBLISHING VACATION: JULY 1-8.
Day Holiday Weekend? Heck, we're stretching it into the Independence
Day Holiday Week Vacation. A much needed break from writing website
updates, posting new candidates on the state pages, etc. We'll
be back with new updates on Thursday, July 9. Until then, as promised,
here are some open threads ...
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. Love the Prez, hate him,
or whatever you think. This
is your thread for expressing those thoughts on news coming
out of the White House.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
Pelosi, Boehner, Frank, Cantor, Kennedy, McConnell, Byrd, Graham,
Dodd, DeMint, Specter, Reid, McCain ... and Al Franken, our
newest US Senator.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
ELECTIONS. Paterson v Cuomo ... Gillibrand v
Maloney ... Crist v Rubio ... the crowded Alabama and California
gubernatorial races ... McCollum v Sink ... Specter v Sestak
v Toomey ... plus any of the hot US House races.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Obama versus ... Haley
Barbour, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, Ron Paul, Mike
Huckabee, and the rest of 'em.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
Health care reform, cap-and-trade, the economy, and anything
else of actual substance you want to debate.
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
REVOLUTION IN IRAN.
Keep up on all the latest #IranElection and
#GR88 developments at Twitter.com.
FYI: The folks at Tigereye
Design have designed some great pins expressing support
for the Green Revolution (and 50% of the profits go to Amnesty
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink
CULTURE. Celebrity deaths, scandals, gossip,
Report by Ron Gunzburger - 07.01.09 | Permalink