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BLOG ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 1-15, 2007.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

VA GOP SABOTAGES DAVIS; TOMMY FOR RUDY; HOBSON RETIRES; NH POLL; YOUNG'S MONEY.
VIRGINIA: Former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) got some good news on Saturday when the Virginia Republican State Central Committee voted 47 to 37 to hold a convention rather than a primary to select a US Senate nominee next year. Congressman Tom Davis (R) is also looking at the race. A convention would heavily favor the more conservative Gilmore over the more centrist Davis, as Virginia GOP conventions are routinely dominated by Religious Right activists. Davis was pushing to have the decision made in a statewide primary. Based upon this move, look for Davis to skip the Senate race and seek re-election -- and allow Gilmore to be the party's sacrificial nominee against former Governor Mark Warner (D). A Davis spokesperson said the Congressman will make public his decision on the race on November 6. Several recent independent polls show Warner holding a landslide-sized lead over Gilmore.
GIULIANI: Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson -- who quit the GOP Presidential contest in August -- on Friday endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. Thompson said he believes Giuliani is best positioned to defeat Hillary Clinton (D) in the general election.
OHIO: Another day, yet another GOP Congressional retirement. On Sunday, Congressman Dave
Hobson (R) announced he would retire next year. "I wanted to go out on top," explained Hobson, who said he had privately considered retiring in 2006. His retirement was expected. Hobson, a GOP moderate, was first elected to the House in 1990. His CD-7 seat is reliably Republican, so the real fight for this seat -- if any -- will likely be in the GOP primary. Hobson is expected to support State Senator Steve Austria (R) as his successor. "My plans are to run and to ... continue his projects. Dave has been a mentor to me through my service in public office," said Austria to the AP.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: A new Marist College poll shows Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney continuing to lead in New Hampshire. The DEM numbers: Clinton - 41%, Barack Obama - 20%, John Edwards - 11%. The GOP numbers: Romney - 26%, Rudy Giuliani - 20%, John McCain - 17%, Fred Thompson - 10%.
FLORIDA: Here's a sign that Congressman Bill Young (R) may truly be contemplating retirement. Despite the fact that the DCCC has expressed an interest in targeting his swing district seat, Young only bothered to raise $28,500 in the most recent quarter. Then again, Young is sitting on a cash-on-hand of $579,000 -- so he may not feel that pressured to raise more money until a real opponent materializes.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.15.07 | Permalink |

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

REGULA RETIRES; YOUNG'S NEW FOES; P2008 NEWS; LA GOV POLL; McKINNEY TEASES; ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REDUX.
OHIO: Congressman Ralph Regula (R), 82, will announce his retirement on Friday. He becomes the 11th House Republican to announce his 2008 retirement. The DCCC immediately said it will target the open seat, as President Bush captured just 54% here in 2004 and Ted Strickland (D) carried the district by a comfortable margin in the 2006 gubernatorial race. Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller (R) and State Senator John Boccieri (D) were already announced candidates for the seat. Former Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula (R) -- the Congressman's son -- is reportedly looking at the race. Other potential candidates include State Senator Kirk Schuring (R) and Canton City Councilman Bill Smuckler (D). Note: The only two Dems leaving the House in 2008 are both seeking US Senate seats.
ALASKA: Congressman Don Young (R) -- yet another Alaska incumbent facing ethics problems -- got a double dose of bad news this week. State Representative Gabrielle LeDoux announced she will challenge Young in the GOP primary. Also, former State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz -- the '06 Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor -- jumped into the race on Wednesday. Other announced candidates include former State Democratic Chair Jake Metcalfe (D) and Alaska Native activist/'06 nominee Diane Benson (D).
BROWNBACK: US Senator Sam Brownback (R) told the Kansas City Star he will quit the Presidential race if he finishes worse than fourth in the Iowa caucuses.
PAUL: Congressman Ron Paul (R), appearing on CNN's Tucker, insisted he does not plan to make a third party run for President if he loses the GOP nomination race. "I have no intention of doing that. That is not a very attractive thing to do," he said. The comment still leaves Paul some wiggle room. Conservative columnist Robert Novak this week said Paul would consider continuing his Presidential campaign in the general election as an Independent -- but not as a third party nominee -- if he loses the Republican contest.
LOUISIANA: A Southeastern Louisiana University poll of registered voters shows Congressman Bobby Jindal (R) holding a massive lead in the October 20 gubernatorial primary. The numbers: Jindal - 46%, State Senator Walter Boasso (D) - 10%, businessman John Georges (Independent) - 9%, and State PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell (D) - 6%.
McKINNEY: Who knows if there is anything to this story ... but several leading Green blogs are reporting controversial former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is preparing to announce her candidacy for the Green Party's Presidential nomination. Some of the blogs also reported rumors that McKinney re-registered as a Green within the past week. McKinney made an appearance at a San Francisco Green Party event this week, but declined to answer direct questions on the topic. McKinney sent the Green Party leaders a letter last month saying she would not seek their nomination -- but then she suddenly resurfaced on their radar within the past two weeks.
THE ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST: A quick follow-up to yesterday's story on the resolution rapidly gaining support in Congress to condemn the Ottoman Turk genocide of 1915-23 that resulted in the murder of 1.5 million Armenian Christians. In response to the 27-21 vote in the House Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday to denounce the Turkish actions as "genocide," the Turkish government announced it recalled its Ambassador to the US for "consultation" as a direct response. The resolution is assured of House passage, but will face a close vote in the US Senate in response to strong lobbying against the resolution by the Bush Administration.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.12.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.12.07 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE RAISES "DRAFT GORE" HOPES; TURKEY'S HISTORY OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.
GORE: Former Vice President Al Gore (D) continues to insist he does not plan to jump into the Presidential race if he wins the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize
on Friday. European newspapers report Gore is viewed as the favorite to win the award for his international educational efforts on behalf of global warming. Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said the former VP still "has no intention of running for President in 2008. He is involved in a different type of campaign -- one to educate Americans and people around the world about the climate crisis." Several Draft Gore activists still hope he can be convinced to change his mind. One group ran a full-page ad in the New York Times urging him to run as a Dem unity candidate. Another group has been collecting petition signatures to place Gore on the California Presidential primary ballot.
THE ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST: One of the most contentious issues crawling through Congress these days is a symbolic historical debate. House Resolution 106 seeks to condemn as "genocide" the mass killings of ethnic Armenian Christians in Turkey during World War I. Most historians agree roughly 1.5 million Armenians were murdered in 1915-23 in a systemic campaign by the Muslim Ottoman Turks of the fraying Ottoman Empire to drive Armenians out of eastern Turkey. The Ottoman Empire evolved into the modern nation of Turkey in 1923. The Turkish government now acknowledges "hundreds of thousands" of Armenians died -- but they stubbornly insist the deaths of entire Armenian communities were "war" casualties and deny any allegation the deaths were caused by organized acts of genocide. President Bush and every living former US Secretaries of State are on record forcefully opposing the resolution, fearing it would cause a rift in US-Turkish relations. The Turkish government says it would be so offended by the Congressional condemnation that it would "reconsider" its role in the War of on Terror and possibly expel US forces from using air bases in southern Turkey. The Turkish government severed military relations with France last year after the National Assembly there took action denouncing the Armenian killings as genocide. President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Denny Hastert successfully worked together in 2000 to kill a similar resolution to avoid diplomatic problems with Turkey. Turkey has also hired former House Majority Leaders Bob Livingston (R) and Dick Gephardt (D) to lobby against the resolution. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), NRSC Chair John Ensign (R), Senator Hillary Clinton (D), Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) and Senator Sam Brownback (R) are among those on record supporting the resolution. In fact, the resolution has 226 co-sponsors in the House -- a majority of all House members -- ensuring it will pass when it hits the House floor. On the Senate side, 32 Senators are currently co-sponsors. Supporters of the resolution received a boost on Wednesday, when the House Foreign Relations Committee approved it by a 27-21 vote. Turkish President Abdullah Gul immediately denounced the vote, telling his country's national news agency the committee vote was "unacceptable."
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.11.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.11.07 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

PAUL, TANCREDO DROP HINTS; DEMS BAIL ON MICHIGAN; HILL-SODREL ROUND 4.
NO UNITY PROMISE: Congressmen
Ron Paul (R-TX) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) both said during Tuesday's GOP Presidential debate they were both unable to make pledges
to support the eventual GOP nominee. Paul said he would not support the Republican nominee "unless they’re willing to end the war and bring our troops home ... I’m not going to support them if they continue down the path that has taken our party down the tubes. I mean, we’ve lost credibility because of all our spending, because we have violated the civil liberties of all the American people, and we have adopted the Democrats’ foreign policy." Said Tancredo: "I am absolutely tired and sick and tired of being forced to go to the polls and say Iím going to make this choice between the lesser of two evils. I really donít intend to do that again. I am hoping, of course, that whoever we nominate will be the principled flag carrier for the Republican Party. But if that is not the case, no, then I will not support them." In related news, Tancredo said Monday he will quit the White House race if he doesn't finish at least third in Iowa or New Hampshire. Tancredo also said he'll announce his true re-election plans on the day after whenever the current baseball season ends for the Colorado Rockies. The Paul and Tancredo comments -- probably intentionally -- kicked the doors wide open to Paul seeking the Libertarian nomination and Tancredo seeking the Constitution nomination for President in the general election.
PROFILES IN COURAGE: In response to Michigan's move to advance its Presidential primary date to January 15, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich all met Tuesday's deadline to file paperwork removing their names from the primary ballot. "Today's decision reaffirms our pledge to respect the primary calendar as established by the DNC and makes it clear that we will not play into the politics of money and Republican machinations that only serve to interfere with the primary calendar," said Biden campaign manager Luis Navarro to CNN. While Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd agreed to abide by a prior pledge to not campaign in the state for breaking the DNC's calendar, both said they would keep their names on the Michigan ballot. Biden's campaign blasted Clinton and Dodd for having "abandoned Democrats in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina." In related news, US Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) filed a lawsuit last week in federal court to block the DNC from imposing any sanctions against Florida for advancing the primary to January 29. The two claim the sanctions are illegal as they violate the Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising protected minority voters by nullifying their votes in the Presidential nomination process. Not only are the Dem Presidential candidates boycotting Florida, all of them are also prohibiting their spouses from campaigning in the Sunshine State.
INDIANA: Call it "Baron Hill versus Mike Sodrel: Round 4." Former Congressman and trucking executive Mike Sodrel (R) announced Tuesday evening he will seek yet another rematch against Congressman Baron Hill (D). Sodrel's own press release describes the coming battle as a "historic 4th bid." Here is the history of the CD-9 seat. In 2002, Congressman Hill narrowly defeated challenger Sodrel. In 2004, Sodrel ousted Hill. In 2006, Hill ousted Sodrel to regain the seat. Now, Sodrel is seeking to recapture it. Just to make the rematch complete, 2006 Libertarian nominee Eric Schansberg also jumped in to ensure all three men enjoy a November 2008 ballot reunion. Expect a close race yet again, with Hill holding a slight advantage.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.10.07 | Permalink |

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NO SEIU ENDORSEMENT; IOWA CAUCUSES ON JAN 3; FRED DEBUTS; EARLY START FOR TN '10 GOV.
LABOR: The SEIU -- possibly the nation's most politically active labor union -- announced Monday it would not
endorse any Presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination at the national level. Instead, the SEIU leadership decided to allow local SEIU locals to endorse Presidential candidates on a state-by-state basis. John Edwards was initially favored to win the nomination, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were able to peel away enough support to block Edwards from capturing the big prize.
IOWA: The Iowa Republican Party leadership announced January 3 will be the date for their Presidential caucuses. Iowa Democrats have yet to decide on a date, and were reported to be favoring January 5 -- wants more distance from the New Year's holiday. However, the Dems are now likely to go with January 3 to avoid confusion by holding the Presidential caucuses on two separate evenings. This moves increases the odds that the New Hampshire primary will now move forward to January 8.
THOMPSON: Former US Senator Fred Thompson (R) will make his debate debut at the CNBC/MSNBC/Wall Street Journal debate on Tuesday from Dearborn, Michigan. The debate will be broadcast live on CNBC at 4 PM ET, live streamed online at msnbc.com, and re-broadcast on MSNBC at 9 PM ET. As for performance, Thompson's campaign has set the expectations bar pretty low -- with most pundits expecting a safe, low-charisma performance. In related news, Thompson's campaign announced former US Senator George Allen (R-VA) -- once himself a possible '08 Presidential hopeful before unexpectedly losing his re-election race last year -- will serve as Co-Chair of the Thompson campaign. Other national co-chairs includes former US Senator Howard Baker (R-TN), VP daughter Liz Cheney, and former US Senator Spence Abraham (R-MI). Baker was himself a White House candidate in the 1980 primaries. Abraham, defeated for re-election in 2000, subsequently served as Energy Secretary in President Bush's Cabinet.
TENNESSEE: Congressman Lincoln Davis (D) announced this week he will be a candidate for Governor in 2010 when incumbent Phil Bredesen (D) is term-limited. Davis -- who served as Chair of former Congressman Harold Ford Jr.'s US Senate campaign in 2006 -- clearly made the early announcement in an attempt to deter Ford from running. Ford, who currently served as Chair of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, is apparently very interested in the race. State Democratic Chair Gray Sasser told the AP Ford is "seriously considering" the race. Senior Ford advisor Tom Lee confirmed the interest, but left open the possibility that Ford could defer to Davis. "Congressman Davis is a great friend, a great Democrat and a great Congressman. How the race ultimately shakes out two or three years from now, we’ll have to see," said Lee. "I don’t think [Ford] is going to run because Lincoln Davis is going to run. I would imagine that if I’m in the race, he’ll step aside," said Davis. Congressman Zach Wamp (R) is also rumored to be interested in the race.
NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez (D) and wealthy oil executive Spiro Vassilopoulos (R) both jumped into the open US Senate contest, joining previously announced candidate Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R). Several others are still looking at the race. However, with new SurveyUSA polling out Monday showing Chavez trailing either of the likely GOP nominees -- and showing Governor Bill Richardson (D) cruising to an easy win against either of the two same Republicans -- look for pressure to grow for Richardson to jump in. Richardson can continue to sincerely deny any interest in the race. However, since nearly everyone agrees the Dem nominee will be be decided on or before the February 5 "Super-Duper-Mega Tuesday" contests, Richardson would still have an opportunity to jump into the race if someone else locks up the nomination by then. Candidate filing for the New Mexico primary closes on February 12, and other Dems would likely quit the Senate primary in favor of Richardson if he decides to make a last-minute run.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.09.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.09.07 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McGOVERN BACKS CLINTON; MITT, HILL LEAD IN IOWA; ... AND MORE SENATE RETIREMENTS?
P2008 - DEMS: 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern (D-SD) endorsed Hillary Clinton
this weekend at an event in Iowa. "She'll be a greater President even than her brilliant husband," said McGovern, who also praised John Edwards and Barack Obama. In South Carolina, State Representative Fletcher Smith (D) switched horses in mid-stream. Smith was state co-chair of the Bill Richardson campaign but he so disagreed with Richardson's plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq within six months that he quit as co-chair and endorsed Joe Biden on Saturday.
IOWA: The latest Des Moines Register/Selzer polls show Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton leading in Iowa. The GOP results: Romney - 29%, Fred Thompson - 18%, Mike Huckabee - 12%, Rudy Giuliani - 11%, John McCain - 7%, Tom Tancredo - 5%, Ron Paul - 4%, Sam Brownback and Alan Keyes tied with 2% each, and Duncan Hunter - 1%. The DEM results: Clinton - 29%, John Edwards - 23%, Barack Obama - 22%, Bill Richardson - 8%, Joe Biden - 5%, and all others at 1% or less apiece.
US SENATE: Are more GOP US Senators planning surprise retirement announcements in the coming weeks? Apparently so. Check out this comment from Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) to Newsweek: "We’ve now got five Republicans [retiring or resigning], and I guess there’s a few more that may make a statement, from what [US Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s told me." Maybe McConnell thinks Ted Stevens (R-AK) is a possible retirement ... but the comment referred to "a few" more, not just one more.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.08.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.08.07 | Permalink |

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS DIES AT AGE 57; RISCH SEEKS IDAHO US SEN SEAT.
VIRGINIA: Congresswoman JoAnn Davis (R) died Saturday of breast cancer at age 57. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2005, but it appeared to be in remission due to treatment -- until a recent reoccurrence was detected. Davis was an announced candidate for re-election in 2008 and remained active
in Congress until her health took a sharp decline within the past week. First elected in 2000, Davis faced an aggressive challenger for her CD-1 seat last year but still captured 63%. Governor Tim Kaine (D) said he intends to call a special election for the seat sometime in December 2007.
IDAHO: Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch (R) said Friday he will be a candidate next year for retiring US Senator Larry Craig's (R) open seat. Risch is the presumptive frontrunner to capture the seat. Former Congressman Larry LaRocco is the likely Democratic nominee.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.06.07 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

CRAIG TO RETIRE, NOT RESIGN; WILSON IN, UDALL OUT IN NM SEN RACE; RUDY WINS GOP MONEY RACE.
IDAHO: US Senator Larry Craig (R) lost his legal challenge in a Minnesota District Court on Thursday, as a judge ruled he could not withdraw his July guilty plea to a misdemeanor count from arising from his arrest in an airport bathroom police sex sting operation. "I am extremely disappointed with the ruling issued today. I am innocent of the charges against me. I continue to work with my legal team to explore my additional legal options." However, in some expected but unwelcome news for the Republican Party, Craig announced he has abandoned his plans to resign the seat. "I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee -- something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate. When my term has expired, I will retire and not seek reelection. I hope this provides the certainty Idaho needs and deserves," explained Craig. NRSC Chair John Ensign (R-NV) called on Craig to resign on Thursday, while US Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) offered Craig some public words of support for his decision.
NEW MEXICO:
On the same day six-term US Senator Pete Domenici (R) announced his retirement and said he was suffering from the early signs of a progressive brain disease that causes dementia, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) put out the word she will seek the open seat. Wilson will make her formal announcement on Friday afternoon. Based upon recent FEC reports, Wilson starts with nearly $600,000 cash-on-hand. In related news, the Albuquerque Journal reports Congressman Tom Udall (D) has decided to not seek the Senate seat. Udall purportedly does not want to forfeit his seniority on the House Appropriations Committee. Governor Bill Richardson's Presidential campaign again confirmed he will not seek the seat. However, Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, former Attorney General Patricia Madrid and Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez each acknowledged Thursday they were looking at seeking the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat.
P2008: The GOP fundraising numbers are in from the first-tier guys. Rudy Giuliani won the contest, with $10.5 million collected in 3Q-07. Mitt Romney was next with $9.5 million, followed by Fred Thompson with $9.3 million. Giuliani also has $16 million cash-on-hand, versus Romney's $9 million cash-on-hand. Important to note: $8.5 million of Romney's cash-on-hand came from yet another loan the wealthy candidate recently made to his own campaign. Including this recent infusion of cash, Romney has already pumped over $17 million of his own money into his campaign coffers.
ROMNEY: The Log Cabin Republicans -- the national gay GOP group -- is very annoyed with Mitt Romney's abandonment of his past support for gay rights. In fact, so much so that they've financed a rather clever attack spot bashing Romney with Romney's own past words. And done in the guise of being a positive spot for Romney. Pretty funny. Check it out here.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.05.07 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
A bit of editorializing again. An Iowa reporter this week asked Barack Obama why he -- unlike nearly every other politician in America -- does not wear a US flag pin on his lapel. The answer: "You know, the truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest, instead I'm gonna try to tell the American people what I believe what will make this country great and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism." Let me echo those comments, as I'm one of those who stopped wearing my flag pin and peeled my flag sticker off my car bumper in 2003 when I felt patriotism and the flag were being abused by the Bush-Cheney Administration to advance an unjust, pointless war in Iraq and the curtailment of our constitutional protections. Now ... if only Obama could adopt Bill Richardson's great plan for a quick end to US involvement in Iraq, I'd be really thrilled.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.05.07 | Permalink |

WANNA TRADE?
I'm interested in building up my collection of Canadian campaign buttons. If you've got Canadian political uttons to trade (both federal and provincial), I'm interesting in swapping with you (and will also trade your
Canadian buttons for some of my great US pins). Please drop me a note! Also interested in buying Canadian pins, if you're not interested in trading.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

DOMENICI TO RETIRE; RON PAUL RAISES $5 MILLION IN 3Q, HUCKABEE COLLECTS JUST $1 MILLION.
NEW MEXICO:
In a major surprise, six-term US Senator Pete Domenici (R) will reverse course on Thursday and announce his retirement plans for 2008. He previously said he would seek re-election next year. President Bush recently headlined a Domenici re-election fundraiser in the state. However, the 75-year-old Domenici now apparently feels his health has recently deteriorated due to arthritis, leg pain and age to the extent he no longer has the stamina to wage an aggressive race for re-election. He was also a target of a Senate Ethics probe related to his role in the political firing of former US Attorney David Iglesias. Domenici, first elected to the Senate in 1972, has spent the last 22 years as either the Chair or ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. The announcement is very bad news for the Republicans, who had a much better chance of holding the seat with the popular incumbent running again. With Domenici out, centrist Congresswoman Heather Wilson is viewed as the most likely Republican candidate for the seat. Wilson is a Domenici protégé, and he would certainly back her as his successor if she runs. Wilson appears to be the strongest possible GOP candidate -- but the race would still be rated a TOSS-UP if she runs. Congressmen Steve Pearce (R) and Tom Udall (D), Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (D) and former Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) are also expected to look at the open seat race. Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez (D) told the Albuquerque Tribune he is "strongly considering" the race. Governor Bill Richardson (D) quickly denied rumors he would quit his White House race and seek the seat. Richardson's spokesman told the Tribune Richardson is "running for president and .... confident about winning." Wealthy "green developer" Don Wiviott, former Congressional aide Jim Hannon and peace activist Leland Lehrman are already announced candidates for the Dem nomination. Also, if Wilson seeks the Senate seat, her open CD-1 swing seat would immediately move into the LEAN DEM category.
PAUL: Okay, here's another big surprise. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is clearly finding an audience in his libertarian anti-war and anti-tax run for President. He reports raising nearly $5.1 million in 3Q-07. To put this in perspective, that's five times more than the $1 million raised by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) in the same period -- and about half the amount raised by several of the Republican frontrunners. Paul also has a very respectable $5.3 million cash-on-hand, meaning he can wage a more serious effort than some of the other second-tier GOP candidates being treated as more serious contenders by the media and party leaders.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: A new CNN/WMUR-TV poll shows US Senator John Sununu (R) is now trailing for re-election against former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) by a 54% to 38% vote.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.04.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.04.07 | Permalink |

WANNA TRADE?
I'm interested in building up my collection of Canadian campaign buttons. If you've got Canadian political uttons to trade (both federal and provincial), I'm interesting in swapping with you (and will also trade your Canadian buttons for some of my great US pins). Please drop me a note! Also interested in buying Canadian pins, if you're not interested in trading.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

HILLARY'S BIG BUCKS; FRED'S 12 COMMANDMENT; SENATE GOP LEADERS PRESSURE CRAIG.
CLINTON:
Hillary Clinton scored an impressive fundraising tally for 3Q-07, far outpacing all of her Presidential rivals. Early media reports over the weekend incorrectly indicated both Clinton and Barack Obama were each going to come in around $19 million each. In reality, Clinton will report raising $27 million this quarter versus $20 million for Obama, $7 million for John Edwards and $5 million for Bill Richardson.
THOMPSON: Fred Thompson (R) sent a warning Tuesday he is preparing to launch a bare knuckle attack campaign against his GOP White House rivals. The move seemingly comes in response to Thompson's lackluster launch of his campaign this past quarter, which posted decent funraising totals and pushed him into the first tier -- but with much less than the shock-and-awe start his backers expected. The Politico asked Thompson -- in response to recent criticism of his preparation and lobbyist past -- if he was an "11th Commandment" Republican (i.e., Reagan's old adage to not speak ill of other Republicans). Thompson's response: "I am more of a 12th Commandment man: Don’t speak ill of them until they speak ill of me. And then really speak ill of them."
CRAIG: Senate Republicans are getting annoyed that US Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) now appears to have indefinitely postponed his plans to resign his seat over his bathroom sex scandal, according to the Washington Post. Fearing Craig's continued presence on Capitol Hill is hurting their electoral chances next year, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly wants to pressure Craig in quitting. The plan: "threatening to notch up the public humiliation" by demanding a fully open ethics investigation with public hearings to explore all of the allegations of Craig's secret gay sex life. Question: Will they do likewise with the recent allegations about Senator David Vitter's (R-LA) history of hiring female prostitutes?
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.03.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.03.07 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

P2008: NEW IOWA, NH, SC POLLS; RUDY BRUSHES OFF POSSIBLE RELIGIOUS RIGHT REVOLT.
IOWA:
Here is the latest American Research Group poll of likely Iowa caucus participants. The DEM numbers: Hillary Clinton - 30%, Barack Obama - 24%, John Edwards - 19%, Bill Richardson - 10%, Joe Biden - 3%, and all others at 1% or less apiece. The GOP numbers: Mitt Romney - 22%, Rudy Giuliani - 21%, Fred Thompson - 16%, John McCain - 11%, Mike Huckabee - 4%, and all others with 2% or less each.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Here's the new American Research Group poll of likely NH primary voters. The DEM numbers: Hillary Clinton - 41%, Barack Obama - 22%, John Edwards - 10%, Bill Richardson - 8%, Joe Biden - 3%, and all others at 2% or less apiece. The GOP numbers: Mitt Romney - 24%, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain tied with 20% each, Fred Thompson - 8%, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul tied with 3% each, and all others with 2% or less each.
SOUTH CAROLINA #1: One more American Research Group poll, this one of likely SC primary voters. The DEM numbers: Hillary Clinton - 41%, Barack Obama - 30%, John Edwards - 7%, Bill Richardson - 5%, Joe Biden - 2%, and all others at 1% or less apiece. The GOP numbers: Mitt Romney - 26%, Rudy Giuliani - 23%, John McCain - 15%, Fred Thompson - 10%, and all others with 2% or less each.
SOUTH CAROLINA #2: Here's a new Rasmussen Reports poll of possible SC primary voters. The DEM numbers: Hillary Clinton - 43%, Barack Obama - 30%, John Edwards - 10%, and all others at 2% or less apiece. The GOP numbers: Fred Thompson - 24%, Rudy Giuliani - 20%, Mitt Romney - 15%, John McCain - 11%, Mike Huckabee - 3%, and all others trailed farther behind.
GIULIANI: Despite confirmed reports that group of powerful Religious Right leaders met this past weekend in Utah to discuss a strategy to oppose Rudy Giuliani's Presidential candidacy -- even in a general election -- Giuliani says he's not spending any time worrying about it. "I'm working on one party right now: the Republican Party. This is a long primary, and once there are nominees on either side, we'll figure that out," he explained to NBC News. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, one of the participants in the weekend meeting, said the organizers are prepared to back a third party candidate in the general election if Giuliani wins the GOP nomination. They are dissatisfied with Giuliani's generally pro-choice and pro-gay rights record. Giuliani got some good news on Monday when the conservative Club for Growth issued a letter reaffirming their approval of Giuliani's record fiscal discipline as NYC Mayor.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.02.07 | Permalink |

STATES: SANTORUM PLOTS COMEBACK; EX-REP FITZPATRICK BAILS ON REMATCH.
PENNSYLVANIA #1: Former US Senator Rick Santorum (R) -- who was defeated for re-election by a lopsided 18-point margin last year -- told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he is "seriously mulling" a run for Governor in 2010. Incumbent Governor Ed Rendell (D) is term-limited. However, Democrats would be heavily favored to hold the office if the conservative Santorum becomes the GOP nominee.
PENNSYLVANIA #2: Former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R) is apparently not planning to seek a rematch next year against freshman Congressman Patrick Murphy (D). Republican hopefuls had all deferred to Fitzpatrick, whom everyone presumed was going to run again next year for the CD-8 swing seat. Instead, Fitzpatrick indirectly tipped his hand this a few days ago when he introduced Colonel Thomas Manion (R) -- a USMC Reservist and father of a Marine killed in Iraq -- at an event as "a good prospective candidate" for the seat. The district leans Dem, as President Bush captured 48% here in 2004. Murphy is well-financed to hold off a challenge, as he had already raised over $800,000 as of June 30. Other potential GOP challengers include State Representative Bernie O'Neill and college professor David Denoon.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.02.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.02.07 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

P2008: ROMNEY, OBAMA LEAD IN IOWA; NH EDGES DATE FORWARD; GINGRICH OUT, WON'T ENDORSE.
IOWA:
A new Newsweek poll shows Mitt Romney (R) and Barack Obama (D) leading in their respective contests among likely caucus participants. On the Democratic side, Obama lead with 28%, followed by Hillary Clinton at 24%, John Edwards - 22%, Bill Richardson - 10%, Joe Biden - 5%, and all others at 1% or less apiece. This reflects a drop for Edwards, who led in Iowa just a few months ago. Also, various news reports indicate Clinton and Obama will each report nearly identical fundraising totals of around $19 million each for 3Q-07. On the GOP side, Romney holds a somewhat wider lead. The Republican numbers: Romney - 24%, Fred Thompson - 16%, Rudy Giuliani - 13%, Mike Huckabee - 12%, John McCain - 9%, Ron Paul - 5%, Tom Tancredo - 3%, Sam Brownback - 2%, and Duncan Hunter - 1%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Secretary of State Bill Gardner is still coy about picking a date for the influential New Hampshire primary, but he is starting down that road. On Friday, Gardner moved the state's Presidential primary filing period forward. It will now open on October 15 and close of November 2. That move leaves Gardner the option of placing the primary any time in December or January. "This allows us to be prepared," said Gardner. He's still looking at January date, but said there still was "a chance" it could be held in December.
GINGRICH: Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) announced Saturday he would not be a candidate for President in 2008. The abrupt decision came just one day after Gingrich held a press conference to say he would launch a Presidential exploratory website this coming week to try to raise $30 million in pledges. Speaking Sunday, Gingrich explained the change of plans was due to restrictions in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. "Yesterday morning we learned from our attorneys that under the McCain-Feingold law, it is a criminal penalty if I had retained any communication with [my] American Solutions [PAC]. I could go to jail, and the idea that you're on the turn-of-the-dime kill this program in order to obey the McCain-Feingold Act which I think is an unconstitutional, frankly destructive bill, was crazy. And I just said if we have to choose, then it's irresponsible to not finish building up American Solutions," he told ABC News. Besides, Gingrich added, "I think the odds are 80% that Sen. Clinton is the next President." He said he would not endorse any GOP candidate until one is nominated next summer at the national convention.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.01.07 | Permalink |

CONGRESS: CRAIG MAY RENEGE ON RESIGNATION; FILING CLOSES IN OHIO CD-5 SPECIAL.
IDAHO: Embattled US Senator Larry Craig (R) now seems to looking for a way to entirely evade his earlier promise to resign his seat over a sex scandal. First, Craig explained he had only announced he "intended" to resign on September 30. Then Craig said he would hold off any resignation until whenever the judge rules on his motion to vacate his guilty plea. Last week Craig's attorney implied the Senator is now looking to complete the remainder of his term. "I think [Craig completing his term is] conceivable, especially if he gets some type of relief in Minnesota. But I don't think it depends on [getting the guilty plea set aside]," said attorney Stan Brand on Wednesday. "The only thing I can predict right now is that Larry Craig will not be running for the Senate seat in 2008," said Craig's press secretary on Saturday to the Lewiston Morning Tribune. However -- as Craig is a guy who clearly looks for every loophole -- the Tribune noted Craig has yet to directly confirm he will not seek re-election next year. Governor Butch Otter (R) has said he is already prepared to name a replacement if or when Craig resigns, but Otter has not tipped his hand as to the identity of the replacement.
OHIO: Filing closed on Friday for the CD-5 special election to replace the late Congressman Paul Gillmor (R), with six Republicans and three Democrats qualifying for the ballot. On the GOP side, State Senator Steve Buehrer and State Representative Bob Latta are the frontrunners. Latta is the son of former Congressman Del Latta (R), who held the seat for 30 years until his retirement in 1988. On the Dem side, think tank official Robin Weirauch -- the '04 and '06 nominee against Gillmor -- is favored to win her primary. Because of the district's demographics, the winner of the GOP primary will be heavily favored in the general election. The primary is November 6 and the general election is December 11.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.01.07 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.01.07 | Permalink |

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