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BLOG ARCHIVE: AUGUST 16-31, 2006

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

ARIZONA: NRCC BACKS GOP CENTRIST IN OPEN CD-8 PRIMARY.
Retiring eleven-term Congressman Jim Kolbe (R) is strongly supporting State Representative Steve Huffman as his successor -- and now Kolbe has some powerful allies in his vocal efforts to derail the candidacy of former State Representative Randy Graf. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $122,292 to purchase TV time for a spot in support of Huffman scheduled to start airing later this week, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal also reported the individual leadership PACs of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader John Boehner and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt each gave $5,000 to Huffman within the last week. The NRCC and House Republican leaders purportedly share Kolbe's concern that Graf is far too conservative to win this swing district in November.
Graf's campaign responded by claiming these contributions to Huffman will "tick off a whole lot of people." Huffman, like Kolbe, is a GOP centrist. Graf -- a hardcore conservative who has embraced the anti-immigration views of Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) -- lost to Kolbe by a 14-point margin in the 2004 GOP primary. Graf is endorsed by Tancredo, Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), gubernatorial candidate Don Goldwater, National Right to Life, and the Fraternal Order of Police. Huffman is backed by Kolbe, the NRCC, BIPAC, and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup. Former State GOP Chair Mike Hellon and two others are also running in the Republican primary. Former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Giffords is endorsed by Emily's List, the AFL-CIO, the National Education Association, the Arizona Police Association, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.31.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: GOVERNOR PERRY BELATEDLY DECIDES CD-22 IS SPECIAL AFTER ALL.
For months, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) maintained he would not call a special election to fill the remainder of the CD-22 term left vacant by the resignation of Congressman Tom DeLay (R). Now, in the aftermath of the court rulings that the Republicans cannot replace DeLay on the ballot, Perry has called a special election to take place on the same day as the November general election for the full-term. Democrats complain the move is merely an effort to help bolster the write-in candidacy of GOP candidate Shelley Sekula-Gibbs against former Congressman Nick Lampson (D). A spokesman for Libertarian nominee Bob Smither also voiced similar views: "Perry's priority is to facilitate Republican Party damage control in the wake of Tom DeLay scandals and the GOP failure to place a candidate on the ballot for the general election. Once again, Republican leadership has violated the trust of the voters." This way, voters will see her name on the electronic ballot in the special election before casting their ballots in the regular election. However, the move could backfire as other Republicans -- including gadflies -- are free to run in the special election contest. Further, some voters may think they already cast ballots for Sekula-Gibbs merely by voting for her in the special election and forget to write-in her name in the real contest. Filing closes Friday for the special election.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.31.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: LIEBERMAN HAS STRANGE NEW BEDFELLOWS.
As his Democratic friends have nearly all abandoned him, US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent-CT) is accepting help from people who never would have openly supported him in the past. Conservative former Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) -- a 1988 Presidential candidate and the 1996 GOP nominee for Vice President -- announced this week will campaign in Connecticut in support of Lieberman. Kemp is a leading advocate of "supply-side" economic policies. "If anyone complains about Jack Kemp coming in on my behalf, it just shows that they're still blinded by the old partisan politics. Jack's a devoted Republican, I'm a devoted Democrat, but we agree on a lot of stuff," said Lieberman. Businessman Ned Lamont (D) defeated Lieberman in the Democratic primary, after asserting Lieberman was too supportive of the Iraq War and too friendly with President Bush. Lieberman needs the votes of Republicans and Independents to win in November. The NRSC and President Bush have already announced it will not back the GOP nominee -- former State Representative and chronic gambler Alan Schlesinger -- against Lieberman. Seemingly in return, Lieberman recently distanced himself from the Democratic challengers running against vulnerable GOP congressional incumbents Rob Simmons, Chris Shays and Nancy Johnson. Lieberman had backed the challengers before the primary, but now says he is neutral and sees no reason to help Dem challengers Joe Courtney, Diane Farrell and Chris Murphy any longer as they are all supporting Lamont in the general election.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.31.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARIZONA - CD-8 - DEM PRIMARY: Former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords - 48%, retired TV news anchorwoman Patty Weiss - 27%, airline pilot Jeff Latas - 6%. (San Pedro Valley News-Sun/Wick).
ARIZONA - CD-8 - GOP PRIMARY: Former State Representative Randy Graf - 36%, State Representative Steve Huffman - 13%, former State GOP Chair Mike Hellon - 10%, Others - 2%. (San Pedro Valley News-Sun/Wick).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Davis - 43%, State Senator Rod Smith - 37%. (Strategic Vision-R).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 52%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 36%. (Strategic Vision-R).
MARYLAND - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Ben Cardin - 43%, former Congressman Kweisi Mfume - 30%. (Gonzales Research).
MARYLAND - US SENATE - (Gonzales Research):
Cardin (D) - 44%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 39%.
Mfume (D) - 42%, Steele (R) - 38%.
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 43%, US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 39%. (Fairleigh Dickinson University).
WASHINGTON - US SENATE: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 53%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 36%, Robin Adair (Independent) - 3%, former Black Panther Party activist Aaron Dixon (Green) - 3%, university instructor Bruce Guthrie (Libertarian) - 3%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.31.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
FYI: If you're a collector of campaign buttons, I'm selling a few small lots of duplicates from my collection on eBay. Click here to check 'em out.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.31.06 | 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.

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NEVADA: CD-2 PRIMARY LOSER SUES FOR "DO-OVER" VOTE.
On August 15, Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller won the Republican primary for the CD-2 seat being vacated due to the gubernatorial candidacy of Congressman Jim Gibbons. Heller -- a GOP centrist -- narrowly edged out State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle by a 36% to 35% vote, a difference of just 421 votes. State Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, the early frontrunner and wife of the current incumbent, was third with 25%. The Club for Growth spent roughly a million dollars in support of Angle, running a sustained barrage of attacks labeling Gibbons and Heller as pro-tax and social "liberals." Since Heller's office is responsible for overseeing state elections, Angle decided to skip any administrative remedies available by law from Heller's office and instead she filed suit in court on Tuesday to overturn Heller's primary win. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Angle said that election day "problems at the polls disenfranchised a large number" of Washoe County. The local elections office there concedes some precincts opened late on primary day. In her lawsuit, Angle is seeking a primary re-vote. Surprisingly, State GOP Chair Paul Adams told reporters he supports Angle's call for a special primary re-vote -- although it would be likely cause division and additional expenses likely to weaken the eventual GOP nominee in November against State University System Regent Jill Derby (D). For that reason, others in the Republican Party have openly urged Angle to drop her demand for a new primary election. In other Nevada news -- despite a pre-primary pledge to support the winner of the GOP gubernatorial primary -- the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports term-limited Governor Kenny Guinn (R) has thus far "shunned Gibbons" and declined to endorse him. For his part, Gibbons kept the three-year old feud running by offering "scathing ... criticism" of Guinn's record in a media interview last week, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

COLORADO: RETIRING HEFLEY SLAMS GOP NOMINEE FOR HIS OPEN CD-5 SEAT.
Retiring ten-term Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO) says he and other Republicans in CD-5 are still so upset with the GOP primary campaign waged by nominee State Senator Doug Lamborn that he will not support Lamborn in the general election. "I feel that [Lamborn] ran the most sleazy, dishonest campaign I’ve seen in a long, long time, and I can not support [him]," said Hefley to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Hefley's designated heir -- former Hefley aide Jeff Crank -- narrowly lost to Lamborn in the crowded primary. Hefley also reported a group of prominent GOP activists in the district tried to convince him to jump into the general election contest against Lamborn by waging a write-in bid -- but Hefley rejected the idea. The newspaper reported the write-in effort "had involved national political consultants and elected officials [and] was a reaction to widespread dislike of Lamborn" by some Republicans. Lamborn -- a Religious Right conservative -- defended his primary campaign, saying he ran on issues and had no control over the harsh negative ads paid for by some social conservative 527 groups. Hefley, however, also stopped short of endorsing retired USAF officer Jay Fawcett (D) for the seat. Hefley told the Gazette it would be “very difficult” for him to endorse Fawcett because he "wants Republicans to keep control of the House" -- but Hefley left the door open to a future endorsement of the Dem: “I don’t know what I’m going to do at this point about that.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: CONGRESSIONAL HOPEFUL SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD.
Automobile dealer and Republican fundraiser Vern Buchanan is blowing away spending records in his run for GOP Congresswoman Katherine Harris' open CD-13 seat. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Buchanan just put $300,000 more of his personal money in his campaign, bringing his total out-of-pocket contribution to $2.1 million. Add in the more than $2 million that Buchanan has raised to date from donors and that brings his fundraising total to over $4.1 million -- more than any other House candidate. "Wouldn't it have been cheaper just to pay us all to drop out," sardonically asked State Representative Nancy Detert, one of the four Republicans facing Buchanan in next week's primary.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA: PALIN CALLS FOR MURKOWSKI'S STATE GOP CHAIR TO RESIGN.
Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin last week handily ousted unpopular Governor Frank Murkowski in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Since then, Palin has repeatedly called on Murkowski's allies to resign their positions in the Alaska Republican Party leadership so that she may designate new leadership supportive of her candidacy. State GOP Chair Randy Ruedrich is defiant, saying he won't resign under any circumstance and doesn't care what Palin wants: "I was re-elected in April, and let me remind you, Palin had the opportunity to run someone against me at that time [and she didn't]." Former State GOP Chair Tuckerman Babcock sides with Palin, explaining to the Anchorage Daily News that "it's time now for Murkowski's guy at the head of the party to step aside." Palin faces former Governor Tony Knowles (D), former GOP State Representative Andrew Halcro (Independent) and three others in November.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

MAINE: INDY CANDIDATE QUITS GUV RACE.
Former Democratic State Representative John Michael lost an initial appeal this week in his attempt to qualify for state campaign financing under Maine's Clean Elections Law. Based upon the ruling, Michael has ended his run against Governor John Baldacci (D). "Because it is unlikely that I will remain in the race as a privately funded candidate, I feel it is only fair to the public, the various issues groups and the press that I suspend campaign activity at this time," said Michael, who explained he will take steps to withdraw from the ballot. Michael said he will not appeal the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices decision to the state courts because he does not believe it "is likely to make a difference," reported the Lewiston Sun-Journal. State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R), former Democratic State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent), 2004 Green Party Vice Presidential nominee Pat LaMarche, and four others are challenging Baldacci in the general election.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
DC - MAYOR - DEM PRIMARY: City Councilman Adrian Fenty - 45%, City Council Chair Linda Cropp - 35%, former Verizon CEO Marie Johns - 9%, attorney Michael Brown - 3%, City Councilman Vincent Orange - 3%. (WUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MINNESOTA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Attorney General Mike Hatch - 68%, State Senator Becky Lourey - 23%, frequent candidate Ole Savior - 1%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
RHODE ISLAND - GOVERNOR: Governor Don Carcieri (R) - 45%, Lieutenant Governor Charlie Fogarty (D) - 41%. (WPRI-TV/Fleming & Assoc.).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.29.06 | Permalink |

POLITICAL TRIVIA: CAN YOU IDENTIFY THESE CAMPAIGN BUTTONS?
Within the community of collectors of "locals" campaign buttons, I'm viewed as one of the leading experts for successfully identifying obscure campaign buttons. But these items, pictured below, absolutely stump me. To solve these (and I'll say up front I don't know the identity of any of these pins), you'll need to figure out things like "Who were the Regular Freedom Democrats?" and "What candidate named Sundquist ran in Indiana?" and "Where did a Dem candidate named Lewis run for Congress in the 20th District?" (which also means Lewis was from a "big state" with at least 20 congressional districts). It has been suggested the "Andy/US Congress" button is from Tennessee in the 1970s and the "GTO" button may be from Ohio or the Midwest -- but these tips I was given could prove inaccurate. The Lattimore, Lamoreaux, GTO and Regular Freedom Dems could prove "too local" to identify, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Kessler, Sgombick, Couch, Lattimore, Sundquist, Lamoreaux, Mills, Andy, GTO, Paladino, Lewis, Regular Freedom Democrats

So, can you identify any of these for me? If you think you know the answers, please post them in the thread. Thanks!
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.30.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Tropical Storm Ernesto arrived in Florida Tuesday evening as just some some rain and wind -- much like the normal heavy rains and squalls we experience frequently throughout every summer. It is expected to move out on Wednesday. Overall, no big deal ... Also, longtime Politics1 blogger Jeremiah "DemoGog" Brewer was in the news: click here to see Jeremiah with Hillary Clinton (although I still maintain US Senator Russ Feingold would be a much better Presidential nominee who truly embraces a winning progressive Democratic agenda).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.29.06 | 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.

WRITERS WANTED: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CALIFORNIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 52%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 38%, Others - 1%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
CALIFORNIA - US SENATE: US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) - 56%, former State Senator Dick Mountjoy (R) - 34%, Others - 1%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Davis - 36%, State Senator Rod Smith - 27%. (Florida Chamber of Commerce/Insider Advantage).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 48%, billionaire Dick DeVos (R) - 43%. (Strategic Vision-R).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 49%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
NEW YORK - CD-20: Congressman John Sweeney (R) - 53%, attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) - 34%. (Siena College).
OKLAHOMA - GOVERNOR: Governor Brad Henry (D) - 60%, Congressman Ernest Istook (R) - 34%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
OKLAHOMA - LT. GOVERNOR: State House Minority Leader Jari Askins (D) - 48%, State House Speaker Todd Hiett (R) - 42%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
WASHINGTON - US SENATE: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 48%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 43%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.29.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
My office, the local schools, and lots of businesses are closed Tuesday so everyone in South Florida can prepare for the arrival of Tropical Storm (or Hurricane) Ernesto -- expected to come ashore in the early hours on Wednesday -- so I'll have time to add some more items here in the morning. Unlike the two serious hurricanes that hit Broward County last year, Ernesto looks like it will be just a messy nuisance.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.29.06 | 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 OUT TO: Congressman Jim Davis, Democrat for Florida Governor.

WRITERS WANTED: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
Claim your 15 minutes of online fame with the political crowd. Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 39%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 29%. (Florida Chamber of Commerce/Insider Advantage).
MASSACHUSETTS - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 31%, venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli - 30%, Attorney General Tom Reilly (D) - 27%. (Boston Globe).
OHIO - GOVERNOR: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 57%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 32%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OHIO - US SENATE: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 45%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 50%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 48%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
RHODE ISLAND - US SENATE: US Senator Linc Chafee (R) - 43%, former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - 42%. (WPRI-TV/Fleming & Assoc.)
RHODE ISLAND - US SENATE: Whitehouse (D) - 58%, Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey (R) - 26%. (WPRI-TV/Fleming & Assoc.)
WASHINGTON - CD-8: Congressman Dave Reichert (R) - 54%, former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D) - 41%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.28.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: GOV PRIMARY FINALLY HEATS UP.
The leading candidates for Florida Governor each debated last week on public television, first the Republicans and then the Democrats. The GOP affair largely consisted of State CFO Tom Gallagher attacking Attorney General Charlie Crist for being "a liberal" -- hitting him for his views on abortion (Crist doesn't support overturning Roe v. Wade, but explains he would sign a bill to ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is endangered), stem cell research (Crist supports expanding it), gay rights (Crist supports civil unions), and illegal immigration (Crist opposes Gallagher's plan to have state and local police help enforce federal immigration laws). Crist largely ignored Gallagher in the debate, sounding more like a candidate already campaigning for the November election. Gallagher is also also out with new ads and mailings that feature pix from a recent photo op with term-limited Governor Jeb Bush. While Bush remains officially neutral in the primary, the new pix certainly imply the incumbent's tacit support for Gallagher. On the Dem side, Congressman Jim Davis and State Senator Rod Smith had a much rougher debate -- with each man landing a volley of effective verbal punches, even though both are in agreement on nearly all key issues. Additionally, "Big Sugar" (the normally pro-GOP U.S. Sugar Corporation) -- working in coordination with Smith's campaign (a fact Smith acknowledged to reporters) -- has poured nearly $2 million in a very nasty TV and direct mail attack campaign against Davis designed to help Smith. Smith needs it, as he is nearly out of money while Davis still has a significant amount of cash-on-hand for the final ten days. The Gallagher and Smith/Big Sugar attack campaigns against the frontrunners are rapidly narrowing the gap in both primaries -- although, as of now, Crist and Davis both appear to be holding onto their respective leads.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.28.06 | Permalink |

OREGON: SEC OF STATE KEEPS CONSTITUTION NOMINEE ON GOV BALLOT.
Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (D) rejected a Republican legal challenge that sought to disqualify
pro-life activist and retired TV news anchor Mary Starrett (Constitution) from the November ballot. The complaint alleged the CP failed to follow state law which required the party to place a newspaper ad announcing the state nominating convention in advance. Bradbury ruled that, even if proven, the "defect" was not sufficient under state law as to merit disqualification from the ballot. "It doesn't surprise me that Bradbury doesn't want to enforce the law when it benefits the Democrats," complained State GOP Chair Vance Day to the Portland Oregonian. Day said the ruling will help Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) in November by splintering the conservative vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.28.06 | Permalink |

RHODE ISLAND: LAFFEY'S COLLEGE WRITINGS SURFACE.
Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey -- the social conservative Republican challenging US Senator Lincoln Chafee in the GOP primary -- is under fire for columns he wrote for the student newspaper when he attended Bowdoin College in the early 80's. In his columns, Laffey made remarks such as: "I have never once seen a happy homosexual" and "I say let's get those pinkos out of the music business and replace them with some tough conservatives." The Providence Journal, which reported this story Saturday, received copies of the columns anonymously. When asked if he holds these views, Laffey answered "not now, nor then, or ever." He explains the columns were "sophomoric political satire." In other columns, Laffey discusses his conservative political views such as a desire for more individual freedoms, a smaller government, increased free trade, and a flat tax. He even admits in once column that his views made President Reagan "look leftist." Laffey and Chafee face-off in what is expected to be a very close September 12 primary.
Writer: Alex Mizenko -08.28.06 | Permalink |

ALABAMA: STATE DEMS OVERTURN LOCAL DECISION, OUT LESBIAN WINS HOUSE SEAT.
According to the Birmingham News, the Alabama Democratic Party Central Committee voted Saturday to re-instate the State House nomination of out gay candidate Patricia Todd. The vote was 95-87 to overturn the ruling of a state subcommittee, which had concluded that Todd and her run-off opponent both violated an arcane party finance rule. Many saw the challenge as an attempt by state conference chairman Joe Reed to keep the seat occupied by an African-American. The 54th House District, which is 52% black, contains some of the richest and poorest sections of Birmingham. Without a Republican opponent, Todd is again on track to become the state's first out gay elected official. At the same meeting, the committee also passed a resolution telling gadfly failed Attorney General candidate Larry Darby not to run for any more offices as a Democrat. Darby, who received 43% of the vote in the primary this year, called for renewing "white racial awareness," denied the Holocaust had ever happened, and proposed state-wide roadblocks to check for illegal immigrants. Darby called the decision "censorship" motivated by fear over his strong primary showing. State Party Chairman Joe Turnham however, told the AP the resolution is symbolic and legally unenforceable.
Writer: Mike Hatchett - 08.28.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
After two direct hits last year here in South Florida from Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, I'm not looking forward to the next month or so. We're already "in the cone" for Hurricane Ernesto -- meaning it could possibly impact our area within the next few days -- but a lot could happen between now and then to send it spinning off elsewhere. The local TV media is already ratcheting up the hysteria with regular "We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the latest update on Ernesto..." reports throughout the day.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.28.06 | 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 OUT TO: Teacher and progressive activist Eric "Moose" Mahoney, Independent write-in candidate for California Governor.

WRITERS WANTED: WRITE FOR POLITICS1.
Claim your 15 minutes of online fame with the political crowd. Click here to learn more about writing for Politics1.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OHIO: UNITY IN SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARIES.
While candidates quickly crowded
the special congressional primaries -- Dems in CD-3 and GOP in CD-18 -- most exited just as quickly. In CD-18 -- the seat being vacated by scandal-tainted Congressman Bob Ney (R) -- Republicans are rapidly rallying behind State Senator Joy Padgett. She started with endorsements from Ney and House Majority Leader John Boehner. Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen filed against Padgett, but withdrew this week and endorsed her. Former Ney aide John Bennett and community activist Greg Zelenitz also quit the race this week. Padgett is heavily favored over her four remaining challengers. In the CD-3 race to replace the withdrawn Democratic nominee, Dems are now unified behind former federal prosecutor and Navy veteran Dick Chema. Wealthy political consultant/'04 nominee Jane Mitakides and former college basketball star Roosevelt Chapman quit the race by Friday in favor of Chema. Chema's only remaining primary foe is a frequent candidate. Chema will be a decided underdog against Congressman Mike Turner (R) in the general election. The CD-18 primary is September 14 and the CD-3 primary is September 15.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.26.06 | Permalink |

P2008: NO SURPRISE, BUT RENDELL TAKES HIMSELF OUT OF '08 RACE.
At one time, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) was being touted as a likely candidate because he had national stature and the ability to raise money. A former Democratic National Chairman during the later part of the Clinton Administration, Rendell has contacts with a national network of party leaders. In 2005, Rendell was being mentioned as possible White House hopeful in 2008. However, a somewhat competitive race for reelection this year against former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) forced Rendell to focus his attention and dollars in the Keystone State. On Friday, Rendell made it clear he would not run for President nor for any other office ever again in the future. "This is my 14th election -- enough is enough," he explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.26.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: A DAY AT THE RACES.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF CONGRESSIONAL RACE: In an interesting twist on the usual public debate on having debates, the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer both report physician and CD-2 Democratic nominee Victoria Wulsin on Monday challenged Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R) to a race. Specifically, Wulsin challenged Schmidt to race: the 5K charity run of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer research. In exchange for which, Wulsin wanted Schmidt -- a veteran marathon runner -- to agree to hold at least two debates out of the seven Wulsin has been trying to arrange for several weeks. Schmidt replied she was unavailable to run in the Komen event because she is training that day for the upcoming Columbus marathon. Instead, Schmidt counter-challenged Wulsin to compete against her in a 13-mile half marathon race. Wulsin accepted, provided that Schmidt agree to all seven proposed debates. The half marathon takes place later this month, and Schmidt's campaign said the incumbent will participate in several debates in October with Wulsin. Schmidt is presently projected to win both races.
Writer: Jo Valentine-Cooper
PROBABLY MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Schmidt is an experienced marathon runner, having completed over fifty marathons. Some are questioning whether she is capable of running a marathon in 3 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds -- as shown on a photo on Schmidt's campaign site. The photo shows Schmidt near the finish line at a 1993 race, with a time clock in the background showing 3:19:06, which would have made her a top-finisher. A newspaper article on the race does not name Schmidt as a top finisher, said attorney and social conservative write-in candidate Nathan Noy. Noy believes the photo may be fake or altered. He suggested Schmidt may not have even participated in the race. An attorney representing Schmidt denied the photo was altered and produced an official race results book listing Schmidt as the fifth-place finisher in her age group with a time of 3:19:09. However, a four-member Ohio Elections Commission panel seemed to agree with Noy, ruling Thursday there was enough evidence to look further into the complaint. One board member wondered aloud why there did not appear to be any shadow cast by Schmidt in the photo. State law prohibits candidates from publishing false statements designed to promote their election. In April, Schmidt received a public reprimand from the State Elections Commission for claiming on her website she had two college degrees when she actually only has one. My two cents: I've looked at the pic and -- as much as I dislike Schmidt -- I think the picture is authentic.
As for the "missing" shadow, it appears the running in front of her obscures the portion that would appear on the lower portion of the photo.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.26.06 | Permalink |

ALABAMA: DEM COMMITTEE DISQUALIFIES LESBIAN DEM STATE REP-ELECT.
According to the AP, Alabama State Representative-elect Patricia Todd (D) -- a white, openly gay candidate -- may be disqualified from taking her seat because she violated a state party rule that has not been enforced for twenty years. Both Todd and her unsuccessful Democratic primary run-off opponent Gaynell Hendricks failed to file a financial disclosure form with the State Democratic Chairman. Therefore, a state party subcommittee on Thursday -- acting on Hendricks' complaint -- disqualified both from the the race. A full committee will decide on Saturday whether or not to remove her from the ballot. Todd faces no Republican opposition in this black-majority district and was guaranteed to become the first openly-gay Alabama legislator. The issue seems to be about her race rather than her sexuality, as a prominent black state legislator is complaining a black person should represent this minority district. State Democratic Chair Joe Turnham said gubernatorial nominee Lucy Baxley and Lieutenant Governor nominee Jim Folsom Jr., both violated the same rule as Todd and yet they have not been disqualified. Stay tuned.
Writer: Alex Mizenko - 08.26.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R-FL) told the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper this week that the constitutional separation of church and state is "that lie we have been told." Further, she added "God is the one who chooses our rulers." Based upon her comments and her poll numbers, I guess that means Harris believes God is supporting Senator Bill Nelson (D).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.26.06 | Permalink |

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
It was a long day at work, so just an open thread today.
I'll post more over the weekend, including more reader-submitted articles.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.25.06 | Permalink |

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR: Governor Jodi Rell (R) - 61%, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano (D) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: US Senate Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 45%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 43%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 6%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer - 72%, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi - 15%. (Quinnipiac University).
NEW YORK - GOVERNOR: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 65%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 17%. (Quinnipiac University).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.24.06 | Permalink |

P2008: McCAIN STAFFING UP FOR '08.
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled two surprising campaign recruiting wins this week. The first was the news that former Cabinet-rank US Trade Representative and current Deputy US Secretary of State Bob Zoellick will leave the Bush Administration next year to go to work for McCain's campaign. Zoellick will work on foreign and trade policy issues. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) -- a McCain supporter and close Zoellick friend -- was reportedly responsible for recruiting Zoellick. The Hotline reports the most surprising recruit is Nicco Mele, who will work on developing the new McCain campaign website. Mele was the chief webmaster who developed Howard Dean's official internet sites for his 2004 White House run. Mike Connell of New Media Communications -- who developed the Bush websites in in 2000 and 2004 -- also committed to McCain. Looks like McCain is going to make a serious net effort for 2008.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.24.06 | Permalink |

NEBRASKA: GOP SEC OF STATE BLOCKS PARTY-SWITCHER WITEK FROM BALLOT.
Secretary of State John Gale (R) ruled that, based upon his interpretation of state law, he doesn't believe the Democrats are allowed to nominated State Auditor Kate Witek to seek reelection in November as a Democrat. Witek lost for Lieutenant Governor in the GOP primary earlier this year, and switched parties just last week. Under the state's "sore loser" law, Gale said he doesn't believe Witek should be allowed to run for another office in November after losing for a different one earlier this year. The Dems vow to bring an immediate lawsuit to place Witek on the ballot, saying state law permitted them to name Witek as the nominee as last weekend's state convention.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.24.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA: DOWN BALLOT PRIMARY RESULTS REDUX.
Alaska's statewide primary election brought saw a strong gust of electoral change for an event that has been historically pretty low-key. Along with the headline event of the highly-contested Republican gubernatorial and Lieutenant Governor primaries and the slightly less lively Democratic Governor and Lieutenant Governor nominations, a closely fought ballot initiative regulating the cruise ship industry is making waves. Also, a number of incumbent state legislators appear to have lost their re-nomination bids. The statewide cruise ship initiative contains language that would -- among other things -- remove tax exemptions for the industry, instill stricter environmental regulations on cruise ship waste discharges, and impose a $50 head tax for every cruise ship passenger traveling to Alaska. Supporters argued that the cruise ship industry deserved to pay their fair share in taxes for the high cost of public infrastructure maintenance worn down by the hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers that pass through Alaska annually and is currently passed on to local and state government. Opponents, however, argued the measure was far too onerous and punitive in its regulations, would create more bureaucracy, and punish Alaska economically with the head tax serving as a disincentive for would-be cruise ship passengers to Alaska. It is important to note the use of present tense as, despite the election having been held Tuesday, only 87% of precincts (due to Alaska's extremely rural nature) have returned results as of this writing, meaning the cruise ship initiative's tenuous 52.5%-47.5% lead in the vote count is still too close to call. The same uncertainty belies two of the three state legislators that are currently trailing in the incomplete results. It appears that the primary defeat of an unusually high number of legislators -- in combination with Governor Murkowski's primary defeat -- demonstrates a strong anti-incumbent mood present in Alaskan voters.
Writer: Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins - 08.24.06 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.24.06 | Permalink |

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARKANSAS - GOVERNOR: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 52%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 31%. (Arkansas News Bureau/Stephens Media).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: US Senate Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 44%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 42%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 3% . (American Research Group).
GEORGIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 54%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 41%. (Strategic Vision-R).
MAINE - GOVERNOR: Governor John Baldacci (D) - 43%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MASSACHUSETTS - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 34%, venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli - 30%, Attorney General Tom Reilly (D) - 30%. (WBZ-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 47%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 47%, engineer Doug Campbell (Green) - 1%, hospital worker Greg Creswell (Libertarian) - 1%, engineer Bhagwan Dashairya (US Taxpayers) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 51%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 42%, retired auto engineer W. Dennis FitzSimons (US Taxpayers) - 2%, David Sole (Green) - 1%, attorney Leonard Schwartz (Libertarian) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MISSOUR - US SENATE: US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 46%, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OREGON - GOVERNOR: Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) - 49%, attorney Ron Saxton (R) - 35%. (Rasmussen Reports).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.23.06 | Permalink |

ALASKA: PALIN OUSTS GOVERNOR MURKOWSKI, KNOWLES WINS BIG.
Tuesday was "comeback day" in the Alaska gubernatorial primary. Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin (R) -- who lost the 2002 primary for Lieutenant Governor -- easily defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski. Palin captured 51%, former State Senator John Binkley was second with 30%, followed by Murkowski with 19%. On the Democratic side, former Governor Tony Knowles -- who lost the 2004 US Senate race to Murkowski's daughter -- cruised to victory over State Representative Eric Croft by a vote of 73% to 26%. In a sign of party unity, Murkowski and Binkley endorsed Palin and Croft endorsed endorsed Knowles on Tuesday night. Former GOP State Representative Andrew Halcro (Independent) also filed his gubernatorial candidacy on Tuesday, stating he submitted more than enough signatures to ensure his place on the November ballot. The Palin-Knowles contest is currently a toss-up for November. Former State Senator Sean Parnell (R) and State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) won their respective Lieutenant Governor primaries, and each will run in November paired on tickets with the guv primary winners.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.23.06 | Permalink |

WYOMING: CUBIN, UNEXPECTEDLY WEAK, SCORES TEPID PRIMARY WIN.
Six-term incumbent Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) posted a surprisingly weak victory in Tuesday's primary. Retired Navy officer Bill Winney spent almost no money, yet he captured 39% of the primary vote, won Laramie County (Cheyenne) and evenly split Natrona County (Casper). Cubin won big in the less-populated rural counties, giving her the victory. Many Republicans -- and even newspapers which endorsed her -- have voiced concerns that, as the state's lone House member, Cubin has largely proven herself ineffective in Washington. Cubin will face Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner (D) in November. Trauner has shown decent fundraising abilities, so he should be able to make this a competitive contest. House Race rating: Leans GOP. Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) and attorney Ray Hunkins (R) cruised to landslide gubernatorial primary victories. Freudenthal is a favorite to win a second term in November. There were no primaries in the US Senate race, although incumbent Craig Thomas (R) is a safe bet to defeat college professor Dale Groutage (D) in the general election.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.23.06 | Permalink |

OKLAHOMA: FALLIN WINS BIG IN CD-5, HIETT & ASKINS WIN LT GOV RUN-OFFS.
Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin (R) cruised to an easy run-off victory Tuesday In the open CD-5 race. Fallin defeated Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. The CD-5 seat -- currently held by GOP gubernatorial nominee Ernest Istook -- is solidly Republican. Voters in both major parties also selected nominees for Lieutenant Governor. State House Speaker Todd Hiett won the GOP race by two points and State House Minority Leader Jari Askins won the Dem contest by eight points.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.23.06 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.23.06 | Permalink |

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

ALASKA: CERTAIN PRIMARY DEFEAT LOOMS FOR GOVERNOR MURKOWSKI.
Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski (R) will see his career in politics end on Tuesday in the same way it began in 1970: with an electoral defeat. Murkowski -- a first-term Governor and former 4-term US Senator -- regularly scores among the lowest approval races of any governor in the nation. Polls show him lagging in third place in the GOP primary, with former Wasilla Mayor and unsuccessful 2002 Lieutenant Governor candidate Sarah Palin fairly certain to win the race. Former State Senator John Binkley is also expected to finish ahead of Murkowski. Former Governor Tony Knowles is a safe bet to win the Democratic primary, setting up a highly competitive Knowles-Palin contest in November.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

OKLAHOMA: LT GOV, CD-5 RUN-OFF DAY.
In the open CD-5 race, Oklahoma Republicans have seemingly rallied behind Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin. After placing first in the six-candidate primary last month, all of the eliminated candidates endorsed Fallin. Polls since then show Fallin gaining traction and increasing her advantage over Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Voters in both major parties will cast run-off ballots in the Lieutenant Governor race. Republicans will choose betwen State House Speaker Todd Hiett and State Senator Scott Pruitt. Democrats will pick between State House Minority Leader Jari Askins and former Congressional aide Pete Regan.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

WYOMING: QUIET PRIMARY DAY ON TAP FOR TUESDAY.
Primary day will be fairly sedate in Wyoming. The top contests are GOP races for some open sate constitutional offices: Secretary of State, State Auditor and State Treasurer. Due to term limits, the three incumbents cannot seek reelection -- so two of the three are playing musical chairs by running for different statewide offices. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) again faces a primary challenge, but she should win handily again. Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) faces only nominal primary opposition from a frequent gadfly candidate.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: GOP UNITY IN CD-22 RACE.
While Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R) remains an underdog as the write-in GOP nominee for Tom DeLay's open House seat, she got some good news Monday. Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace (R) caved to pressure from state party leaders on Monday, ending his rival write-in bid for Congress. Former Congressman Nick Lampson (D) must still be rated the favorite, despite the historical Republican advantage in the district.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ARKANSAS - GOVERNOR: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 45%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
COLORADO - CD-7: State Higher Education Commission Chair Rick O'Donnell (R) - 45%, former State Senator Ed Perlmutter (D) - 45%, businessman Dave Chandler (Green) - 2%, businessman Roger McCarville (Constitution) - 2%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
MAINE - US SENATE: US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - 68%, liberal activist Jean Hay Bright (D) - 20%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OKLAHOMA - CD-5 - GOP RUN-OFF: Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin - 61%, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett - 36%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA - US SENATE: US Senator George Allen (R) - 48%, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 45%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Ind. Green) - 2%. (WUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

P2008: NEW HAMPSHIRE CONTEMPLATES HOLDING PREZ PRIMARY IN 2007.
In the aftermath of the Democratic National Committee vote to add two states -- Nevada and South Carolina -- to the early voting calendar for the 2008 Democratic Presidential calendar, party and state leaders in New Hampshire are left to discern how to respond to this challenge to their prized "first-in-the-nation" primary status. State law dictates the NH contest be held 'at least seven days prior to any other similar contest.' The Iowa caucuses have preceded NH during modern presidential elections for decades, but the AP reports that NH Secretary of State Bill Gardener has broad authority of protect the state's early status -- even if that means moving the primary to late fall 2007. Expecting some turmoil, the DNC also voted to punish candidates who campaign early in states that do not abide by the DNC calendar by denying them delegates elected from those states. Governor John Lynch (D-NH) announced over the weekend he already has letters from ten potential candidates who pledged to campaign in the Granite State no matter when the primary is held.
Writer: Andy W. Davis - 08.22.06 | Permalink |

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Whatever ... other stuff.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.21.06 | Permalink |

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
MARYLAND - GOVERNOR: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 50%, Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 43%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 47%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND - US SENATE: Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D) - 46%, Steele (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
VIRGINIA - US SENATE: US Senator George Allen (R) - 47%, former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WISCONSIN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 45%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 44%. (Strategic Vision-R).
WISCONSIN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 49%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 41%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WISCONSIN - US SENATE: US Senator Herb Kohl (D) - 59%, attorney Robert Gerald Lorge (R) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.21.06 | Permalink |

OREGON: GOP TRYING TO REMOVE CONSTITUTION GOV NOMINEE FROM BALLOT.
The most prominent Constitution Party candidate in the nation this election year may lose her ballot status. The AP reports that Republican lawyer and former State Representative Kelly Clark filed a state election complaint against anti-abortion activist and former local TV news anchor Mary Starrett, the CP’s candidate for Oregon Governor. Clark said that the Oregon Constitution Party failed to file the required notice in a general circulation newspaper publicizing the party's June 3 nominating convention where Starrett was nominated, thereby violating state election laws related to ballot qualifying. “If we are right, and the party didn't follow proper process, then Mary Starrett doesn't belong on the ballot," Clark told the AP. If the Secretary of State rejects the complaint, Clark plans to file a lawsuit in the Circuit Court to invalidate Starrett’s nomination. Clark -- a prominent anti-gay rights activist -- denies that the suit has any direct links with Republican Gubernatorial nominee Ron Saxton or that he is trying knock out a potential “spoiler” in Saxton’s race against Governor Ted Kulongoski (D). However, Clark confirmed to the AP he filed this complaint on behalf of "several individual voters, some of who are supporters of Saxton" who were concerned about the integrity of election laws. Recently, the Democrats lost their own potential “spoiler candidate” when moderate State Senator Ben Westlund (Independent) dropped out of the race.
Writer: David Jimenez - 08.21.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: TWO SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARIES SET.
Last Friday we mentioned how eight Republicans filed to run in the special election primary in Ohio's CD-18 next to replace retiring Congressman Bob Ney (R) on the November ballot. The GOP special primary is set for September 14. In Ohio's CD-3, veterinarian Stephanie Studebaker (D) abruptly ended her campaign last week just days after both she and her husband were arrested on domestic violence charges for hitting each other. In a quickly called filing period -- open for only one day -- four Democrats filed to compete in the September 15 special primary. Click here to view all of the CD-3 and CD-18 candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger; Cindy Zawadzki of AsOhioGoes.com also contributed to the story - 08.21.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The DNC confirmed the early Nevada caucus and South Carolina primary dates, as previously reported ... and US Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is yet again criticizing his own party as having lost the values it formerly represented ... So, what else is going on?

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.21.06 | Permalink |

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WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

NEBRASKA: GOP STATE AUDITOR SWITCHES PARTIES.
State Auditor Kate Witek switched parties Friday from the GOP to the Democrats, complaining to the Lincoln Star-Journal of a desire by the Republican leaders to have "total control of everything ... [with] a good-old-boy handful of people making the decisions." in the state to get elected rather than govern. Witek, a two-term State Auditor and former State Senator -- was Congressman Tom Osborne's runningmate for Lieutenant Governor in this year's GOP primary. Witek, 51, is a lifelong Republican and staunch pro-life advocate. The conservative Witek was often at odds, however, with her statehouse GOP colleagues as she was unafraid to criticize Republicans and Democrats alike in her capacity as State Auditor. She was largely responsible for bringing down the GOP State Treasurer two years ago in an office funding scandal. Witek joined her new party at the Democratic State Convention on Saturday, where she was named as the Democratic nominee for State Auditor by a 171-106 vote -- as no Democrat had filed for the office. The split at the convention came from Democrats concerned Witek was far too conservative to adequately represent her new party. While the State GOP Chair offered only a terse "no comment" on the defection, former runningmate Osborne wished her well: "We appreciate Kate’s experience and expertise and we respect her opinions and views."
Writer: Barry Reutzel of VoxPopuli-NE.com - 08.19.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: GOP FACES OBSTACLES, UPHILL FIGHT WITH CD-22 WRITE-IN ELECTION.

The History of Successful Congressional Write-In Candidates.

The Republican efforts to keep the CD-22 seat, recently vacated by former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, face long odds. In US history, only five times has a general election to Congress been won by a write-in candidate. US Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina won as a write-in in 1954, but was already widely known and popular figure, having previously served as Governor, as the Dixiecrat candidate for President in 1948, and was a leader of the South’s resistance to integration (Brown v. Board of Education having been decided earlier that year).

The four House election victories that went to write-ins include Charles Curry Jr. (R-CA) in 1930. Curry's father had held the seat and was running unopposed when he died. Curry Junior had no opponent on the ballot -- but subsequently lost his primary for renomination just two years later. Little Rock Boad of Education Member Dale Alford (D-AR) won in 1958 as a write-in segregationist candidate, after incumbent Congressman Brooks Hays (D) -- running without Republican opposition -- expressed support for the integration of Little Rock's Central High School. Former State Senator Joe Skeen (R-NM) won in 1980 when the unopposed incumbent Harold Runnels (D) died and the Democratic Governor twisted enough arms to get his nephew David King appointed as the replacement nominee, despite having no recent ties to the district. In a three way race -- between King, write-in Republican Skeen and Runnels’ widow running as a Democratic write-in, Skeen edged King a 38% to 35% vote with Runnels getting the remainder. Two years later, Carlsbad Mayor Ron Packard (R-CA) was elected to Congress -- and is the only write-in candidate ever to defeat the nominees of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Packard jumped into the race when many district Republicans were unhappy with Johnny Crean, the wealthy, plurality winner of the GOP primary. The district was heavily Republican.

The Impact of Texas Laws and Voting Technology on the CD-22 Race

It takes extra effort to cast a write-in ballot. The harder it is to vote for a write-in, the lesser the tendency for voters to do so. Most forms of machine or electronic tabulation use or generate paper products on which a name can be written. In same cases candidates are permitted to hand out stickers to be affixed to the ballot, which makes “write-in” voting even easier. But in Texas -- pursuant to Texas Election Code, § 65.008 -- votes cast by stickers will not be counted.

The electronic voting machines now being used also present new problems. The electronic machines used in some Texas countries, including two of the three in CD 22, requires a voter to cast a ballot for a write-in and then -- after a prompt -- type the person's name onto the machine. In CD-22, only Galveston County votes without electronic voting machines -- and fewer than a fifth of the precincts in that county are in CD-22. In fact, Galveston seemingly provides less than 10% of the total population of CD-22. The other two countries, Fort Bend and Harris (Houston) both use eSlate machines (click for an online flash demo of the machines, including how to cast a write-in vote). And, with the eSlate machines, there is no independent paper verification trail. In the case of this specific race, those seeking to cast ballots for the officially supported GOP write-in nominee will need to type in the name of Shelley Sekula-Gibbs -- which won't be exactly easy. Adding to the complications are rumors the Democrats plan to field a write-in candidate with the last name of Gibbs, so that any voters who merely write-in "Gibbs" would be voting for someone other than the GOP candidate.

Given the historical lack of overall success in write-in campaigns and the new technical hurdles in the race in CD-22, it seems likely that -- despite the strong and well-financed efforts we can expect from the GOP -- their odds for victory remain a long shot.

Writer: Yehuda Cohen - 08.19.06 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.19.06 | Permalink |

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CALIFORNIA - CONGRESS - CD-48: Congressman John Campbell (R) - 57%, attorney Steve Young (D) - 31%, realtor Bruce Cohen (Libertarian) - 6%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
COLORADO - GOVERNOR: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) - 50%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 40%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 53%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 41%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 4%. (Quinnipiac University).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 49%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 54%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 42%. (Detroit News/EPIC-MRA).
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 42%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 40%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 51%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 41%. (Strategic Vision-R).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 47%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 41%, railroad consultant Carl Romanelli (Green) - 4%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.18.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Bush Administration to stop a formerly-secret warrantless domestic wiretap program it said protects Americans from terrorism. The judge ruled the program violated the constitutional rights to free speech and privacy, and the federal separation of powers ... In Ohio's CD-18, eight Republicans filed to run in the special election primary next to replace retiring Congressman Bob Ney (R) on the November ballot ... For those who submitted articles in the last two days, I'll get them edited and posted over the weekend ... And, yeah, today's postings are rather brief as I'm just too tired to write more tonight.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.18.06 | 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: Software engineer and Socialist Party of Pennsylvania State Secretary Jeff Brindle, Socialist for Pennsylvania State Representative in District 26.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

P2008: A PREVIEW OF A POSSIBLE McCAIN PRESIDENCY.
Campaigning in Iowa, a resident asked US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to define his priorities if elected to the White House. According to the Mason City Globe Gazette, here was McCain's response: "I start by vetoing spending bills. There is just too much pork-barrel spending and we must become fiscally responsible. I would work more closely with our military allies. We need their support in the struggle that is ahead. I would speak every two weeks to the American people. You need to know what is happening -- about the war and the many serious issues we face. I would make sure we don’t torture prisoners. I would close Guantanamo Bay." And -- kudos to McCain for political courage --, he went on to share some unpopular views with the Iowa crowd: "I don’t like [farm] subsidies. I am a free-trader, and I believe subsidies do damage, especially to undeveloped countries. And while I support ethanol for its greenhouse effects, I do not support ethanol subsidies."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.17.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CALIFORNIA - CONGRESS - CD-26: Congressman Dave Dreier (R) - 48%, environmental consultant Cynthia Matthews (D) - 35%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
COLORADO - CONGRESS - CD-4: Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R) - 46%, State Representative Angie Paccione (D) - 42%, former Reagan Administration EPA official Eric Eidsness (Reform) - 8%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 50%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 47%. (Detroit News/EPIC-MRA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.17.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: GOP DISUNITY TURNS CD-22 WRITE-IN EFFORT INTO POLITICAL WRITE-OFF.
According to the New York Times, no write-in candidate has every won office before in Texas history. Thus, Texas Republican leaders understand their only was of having any chance of holding former Congressman Tom DeLay's vacant US House seat is unifying behind a single candidate. "Candidates need to set aside personal agendas and do what is best for the Republican family," said State GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser. That's where the agreement ends. State GOP leaders have called a meeting, saying the party must decide in a single candidate against former Congressman Nick Lampson (D). Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace (R) already announced his write-in candidacy, as did Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R) and GOP State Committeeman Tim Turner (R). State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson (R) and former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) both openly suggested the GOP unify behind electrical engineer Bob Smither (Libertarian), as he has ballot status and pledged to caucus with the Republicans if he wins. Both view a successful write-in effort as a near impossibility. The GOP write-in hopefuls are further complicating the race. One candidate -- Wallace -- is balking at any plans to unify behind a single candidate if the single candidate is not himself. Wallace said Texas "is not Moscow" and he cannot be forced out of the race. Wallace said he will continue his write-in candidacy no matter what party leaders decide. "It would be a great disappointment if Mayor Wallace choose to put himself ahead of the Republicans in this district. That would be an unfortunate event and won't be forgotten," responded Turner. None of this likely matters, as a leading Texas GOP consultant told the Times that Lampson has raised millions and is now guaranteed of winning the House seat this year. Instead, the consultant explained, the 2006 race is just about forcing Lampson to spend enough of his money so he won't start his 2008 re-election race with $3 million in the bank.
Writer: David McAvoy -08.17.06 | Permalink |

VIRGINIA: SENATOR ALLEN SPINNING FURTHER INTO DEEP MACACA.
US Senator George Allen (R) has found a way to keep the "macaca" story in the news for yet another day. First, his campaign manager said no apology was owed and Allen's "macaca" comments were only referring to the mohawk hairstyle of a Democratic campaign worker stalking and filming Allen's every public move. Note: While some claim college senior S.R. Sidarth has a mullet, not a mohawk, I side with those classifying Sidarth's 'do as an extra-wide mohawk. On Tuesday, Allen reversed course and publicly apologized -- explaining he made up the word "macaca" and that it was not based upon Siddarth's hair or ethnic heritage. He strongly denied he meant the word -- apparently used in French as an insult towards dark-skinned people of African descent -- in any racial way. On Wednesday, Allen kept explaining the incident. Here's the latest version, according to The Hotline: The word macaca -- pronounced "mocaca" -- was a composite bantered about by his campaign aides: mo was short for mohawk, "and 'caca,' [is] Spanish slang for excrement or shit." Allen's press secretary said Wednesday that he didn't believe the Senator "would ever try to publicly embarrass or demean a young person even if that person was working on an opposing campaign. The Senator has apologized sincerely and repeatedly over the last two days to the young man and to the public in general." Challenger Jim Webb (D) campaign's spokeswoman responded: "I don't know what's worse: calling this innocent 20-year-old a 'shit head' or a racist slur that was debatable that it wasn't." Allen may be moving towards a run for President in 2008, but this inept follow-up shows Allen is clearly not ready yet for the big leagues.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.17.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Our quote of the day comes from embattled US Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), who candidly talked to the Billings Gazette about his frequent ability to say things that land him in political trouble: "And just like I say, I'm the only guy in the world [who could] probably [be] getting beat running unopposed. But I can self-destruct in one sentence. Sometimes in one word."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.17.06 | 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.

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NEVADA: GIBBONS, TITUS WIN GOV PRIMARIES, HELLER WINS CD-2 GOP PRIMARY.
US Senator John Ensign (R) and businessman Jack Carter (D) will face-off in November, as both easily won landslide victories in their respective primaries. While Carter is running an effective campaign, Ensign still is strong and polls continue to give the incumbent an advantage in November. In the open gubernatorial race, both parties saw bitter primary contests. Congressman Jim Gibbons won the GOP nomination with 48%, defeating his nearest opponent State Senator Bob Beers by 19 points. During the primary campaign, Beers attacked Gibbons as a liar, a coward and an extortionist. Still, Beers endorsed Gibbons Tuesday night, explaining that "politics is often the case of having to choose between two less-than-perfect candidates." On the Dem side, State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus scored a surprisingly easy win over well-financed Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson by a 54% to 36% vote. Gibson was still angry Tuesday night, saying that he didn't like the negative "for sale" TV spots Titus had run against him. The November contest -- which also features environmental activist Craig Bergland (Green) and Religious Right activist Christopher Hansen (Independent American) -- is expected to be competitive. In the hot race for Gibbons' open US House, Secretary of State Dean Heller -- a GOP centrist -- narrowly edged out State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle by a 36% to 35% vote, a difference of just 428 votes. State Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, the early frontrunner and wife of the current incumbent, was third with 25%. The Club for Growth spent roughly a million dollars on the race to support of Angle, running a sustained barrage of attacks labeling Gibbons and Heller as a pro-tax "liberals." Factoring in the CFG money, Angle outspent her opponents by better than 4-to-1. In the end, Heller probably won the close vote by using an inexpensive tool: he personally called every absentee voter in Washoe County, Angle's homebase, to help improve his numbers there. Heller will face State University System Regent Jill Derby (D) and three others in November. GOP voters in the race for State Treasurer decided against nominating the late State Auditor Kathy Augustine -- perhaps deciding her lack of aspiration was a negative -- and instead nominated financial consultant Mark DeStefano. Still, Augustine finished second with 20%. Click here to view all of the Nevada nominees.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.16.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
ALASKA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin - 40%, former State Senator John Binkley - 29%, Governor Frank Murkowski - 17%. (Anchorage Daily News).
COLORADO - CONGRESS - CD-3: Congressman John Salazar (D) - 53%, pottery company owner Scott Tipton (R) - 42%, mechanical engineer Bob Sargent (Libertarian) - 4%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
DC - MAYOR - DEM PRIMARY: City Councilman Adrian Fenty - 48%, City Council Chair Linda Cropp - 27%, former Verizon CEO Marie Johns - 7%, City Councilman Vincent Orange - 5%, attorney Michael Brown - 4%, Others - 1%. (WUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 47%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 46%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 49%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 44%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MISSOURI - US SENATE: State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 47%, US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 46%, Frank Gilmour (Libertarian) - 2%. (KCTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 45%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 39%, railroad consultant Carl Romanelli (Green) - 5%. (Quinnipiac University).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 47%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 40%. (Quinnipiac University).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.16.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: SPECIAL PRIMARY SET TO REPLACE NEY IN CD-18.
One day after embattled Congressman Bob Ney (R) officially submitted paperwork withdrawing from his race for reelection, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) set September 14 for a special GOP primary to select a replacement nominee. Former Taft Administration official and State Senator Joy Padgett (R) -- Ney's endorsed successor -- has already announced her intention to run. Democrats plan legal action to disqualify Padgett from the contest under Ohio's "sore loser" law, which states a candidate who lost an election cannot run for any other office in the same election. Padgett was Attorney General Jim Petro's runningmate for Lieutenant Governor during their unsuccessful run against Blackwell in the May 2 primary. Petro -- yes, the same former runningmate Petro -- declared this week in his official capacity that Padgett is eligible to run for Ney's seat. While Padgett is heavily favored for the nomination, although others could jump into the race. Filing for the primary closes this Thursday afternoon.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.16.06 | Permalink |

VIRGINIA: SENATOR ALLEN UNDER FIRE FOR SEEMINGLY RACIST REMARKS.
US Senator George Allen (R) -- a likely 2008 Presidential candidate -- is under fire for making seeminly racist comments about a campaign supporter of Allen's Democratic opponent. On Friday, college senior S.R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old Webb volunteer, was doing what he usually does: following Allen from event to event, videotaping Allen's comments. Sidarth, born and raised in Virginia, is of Indian descent and was reportedly the only non-white person in the audience at Friday's campaign event. During his remarks, Allen spotted Sidarth and broke from his prepared remarks. "This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere ... Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." You can view the brief video of the incident online. Macaca is a word which refers to a type of monkey, and has also been used to insult dark-skinned Africans. Allen's campaign manager has said that it was meant to refer to Sidarth's mohawk -- although Sidarth's haircut is a mullet. Sidarth said he was offended that Allen presumed him to be an immigrant because of his dark skin. Allen apologized Tuesday for the comments, saying "Macaca" was a meaningless word he "just made up." Allen told the AP: "In no way was it meant to demean him, and I'm sorry if he was offended." Allen has previously been accused of racial insensitivity for wearing a Confederate flag pin in his high school yearbook photo, keeping a Confederate flag in his living room, and having a noose hanging from a ficus tree in his law office -- but Allen said he has "grown" since then.
Writer: David McAvoy - 08.16.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The congressinal earmark process appears to be at the root of the Abramoff scandal -- and subsequent similar scandals -- that apparently ensnared Duke Cunningham
, Bob Ney, Conrad Burns, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Katherine Harris, Alan Mollohan and others purportedly the focus of ongoing federal investigations. Kudos, then, to the the Sunlight Foundation, Club for Growth and other groups across the political spectrum for launching this new Exposing Earmarks online project.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.16.06 | 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.

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