Politics1
The Most Comprehensive Online Guide to American Politics
search POLITICS1:

Politics1 News Blog: Archives
November 1-16, 2003

by Ron Gunzburger
Publisher, Politics1.com

11.15.03

BLANCO WINS LOUISIANA GOV RACE IN UPSET. Jindal vs. BlancoLieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) won a come-from-behind victory Saturday in the open race Louisiana Governor against former State Health Secretary Piyush "Bobby" Jindal (R). Blanco -- who trailed Jindal by fifteen points in last month's primary and trailed in most recent polls -- won the run-off by a 52% to 48% vote. Jindal was term-limited Governor Mike Foster's (R) hand-picked successor. Blanco will become the state's first female Governor. In the run-off contest for State Insurance Commissioner, interim incumbent Robert Wooley (D) defeated former State Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle (R) by a 14-point margin. Wooley -- who was the top deputy to former Commissioner Jim Brown (D) -- moved up to the top job when Brown was sent to prison on federal corruption charges several months ago. State voter turnout was just 50% -- making it one of the lowest rates in state history for a gubernatorial contest.

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to this weekend's donors: Ernie F, Scott H, Matthew D, Chris C, Miles M, Brian E, David L, Mark G, James M, and Peter R. Pledge Month Total: 59 donors.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: California, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and News Links.

11.14.03

NO MOORE ... AT LEAST, FOR NOW. As a local circuit court judge in Alabama, Roy Moore (R) gained statewide fame when he posted a Ten Commandments display on his courtroom wall and began court each day with a Christian prayerRoy Moore -- and then refused to remove the display and stop the prayers when ordered to do so by a higher state court. Next -- touting himself as "The Ten Commandments Judge" -- Moore parlayed that recognition into a run for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000. He promised in the campaign that, if elected, he would place a Ten Commandments monument in the Supreme Court building. He won -- and he kept his promise. It was that promise -- and his defiant refusal to remove the monument when ordered to do so by a federal court order -- that led to his unanimous removal yesterday from office by a judicial ethics panel. Moore remains entirely unapologetic, saying he was removed because he "acknowledged God." He added: "The battle is not over. I have absolutely no regrets." Moore made it clear he plans to run for office again in the near future, but provided no specifics. Observers believe Moore may be contemplating either a run next year in the GOP primary against US Senator Richard Shelby or for Governor in 2006 against GOP incumbent Bob Riley.

LOUISIANA VOTES SATURDAY. Just a short reminder, because we've written much about the race in recent days. Saturday is Election Day in the run-off for Governor between former State Health Secretary Piyush "Bobby" Jindal (R) and Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). Jindal appears favored to win this competitive race. Voters will also decide the run-off contest for State Insurance Commissioner between incumbent Robert Wooley (D) and former State Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle (R). Wooley -- who was the top deputy to former Commissioner Jim Brown (D) -- moved up to the top job when Brown was sent to prison on federal corruption charges several months ago. See our Louisiana page for all the related links.

MORAN'S FOES KEEP VANISHING. Months ago, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) looked as if he would have big problems winning renomination next year for his seat. Several Democrats announced their candidacy against Moran after ethics questions about his finances were raised and after MoranMoran made comments implying that those who wanted to the US to go to war with Iraq were mainly Jews. Moran apologized -- saying he hadn't mean to say that and that the remarks were inaccurate -- but he was still forced to surrender his position in the House Democratic leadership. A group of Democratic Congressmen -- including former DCCC Chair Martin Frost -- also signed a letter saying they could no longer support Moran for re-election. Since then -- for a variety of reasons -- Moran's announced opponents have exited the race. Former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne and Arlington County Councilman Jay Fissette announced candidacies, but quickly exited. Jewish community activist Jeremy Bash talked of running for months, but never jumped in. On Thursday, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Kate Hanley -- who was viewed from the outset as Moran's main challenger -- dropped out after having already raised $262,000 for the race. After months of campaigning, Hanley said she simply didn't have the desire to give the "total commitment of time" required for the all-out run needed to win. With her departure, Moran's only remaining primary opponent is attorney Andy Rosenberg, a former aide to US Senator Ted Kennedy. Moran -- who one day ago would have been rated as "vulnerable" -- just moved into the "incumbent favored" column. Several GOP candidates are also in the race, but the district is heavily Democratic.

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: Jonathan H, Jerry D, Erik L, Adam C, Catherine P, Andrew W, Scott P, David B, Peter B, and Michael T. Pledge Month Total: 49 donors.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, P2004: Bush, P2004: Socialist Party USA, Ideology: Radical and Issues: Trade.

11.13.03

H.U.D. SECRETARY WEIGHS SENATE RACE. When MartinezWhite House leaders initially approached US Housing Secretary Mel Martinez (R-FL) months ago and asked him to enter the 2004 US Senate race for the seat currently held by Bob Graham (D), he quickly said no. He made it clear he was much more interested in running for Governor in 2006. Since then -- and since Graham announced his retirement a week ago -- Martinez appears to be changing his mind. Martinez, who was a banker and the elected Orange County Commission President before going to Washington two years ago, has reportedly been making phone calls this week to key GOP leaders in DC and Florida to guage for a possible race. He is reportedly a favorite for the seat of Bush Administration political strategists. Four Democrats and six Republicans have already announced candidacies for the Senate seat. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) denied news reports she was about the enter to Senate race this week. She said Wednesday that she is still in the early part of her deliberation process.

LOUISIANA UPDATE. Only two days left until voters in Louisiana elect a new Governor. That latest poll -- conducted for the Hammond Daily Star -- shows that former State Health Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) now holds a 48% to 40% lead over Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). Jindal appears to have strong momentum, while Blanco looks stalled. Our Prediction: Jindal wins by several points, keeping the office in GOP hands.

LiebermanJOE LEADS IN DELAWARE, TOO. It seems the Joe Lieberman campaign isn't completely dead after all. Just the other day, we joked about a new poll showing him leading in Ohio -- a primary that may come way too late to help him. However, a new WBOC-TV poll of likely Dem primary voters in Delaware shows that Lieberman is leading there, too. Delaware, which votes February 3, is one of the first primaries. Traditionally, the state has lacked the political significance normally attached to Iowa and NH. Delaware also is eclipsed by the fact that it votes on the same day as Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arizona -- all larger states that Lieberman (and Clark and Edwards) deems essential for his political survival. The Delaware numbers: Lieberman-19%, Howard Dean-15%, Dick Gephardt-12%, Wes Clark-10%, John Kerry-8%, Al Sharpton-4%, and John Edwards-3%.

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: Bill O, Tania G, and Peter R. Pledge Month Total: 39 donors.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, P2004: Prohibition Party, P2004: Clark and Jobs.

11.12.03

MORE TROUBLE IN KERRYVILLE. On Sunday, John Kerry fired Jim Jordan as his campaign manager in an effort to revive his sagging Presidential campaign. Aircraft carrier politicsIn response, Kerry's campaign press secretary and deputy finance director both quit on Tuesday, expressing disagreement with the Jordan firing. Perhaps I'm wrong, but hasn't the problem with the Kerry campaign thus far been the Senator's inability to click with the Democratic electorate? On Tuesday, Kerry's campaign also announced that it was going to beat rival Howard Dean to the punch and air the first Bush attach spot to include the "Mission Accomplished" footage of Bush on the aircraft carrier. Dean's campaign -- which apparently gleefully anticipated the move -- quickly released a pointed media advisory with side-by-side shots (left) of Kerry and Bush both giving speeches this year on aircraft carriers. The soundbite in the Dean email: "Senator John Kerry and President George Bush seem to agree on at least one thing: A speech on an aircraft carrier is a fine substitute for leadership in the face of a failing war you supported." Finally -- as if it couldn't get much worse Kerry -- CQ Politics Daily reports that Kerry is apparently prohibited by law from dipping into his wife's extensive fortune -- in excess of $550 million -- to finance his campaign. According to CQ, the FEC has advised that "Kerry can not legally spend assets that were in his wife’s name at the time he declared his candidacy. And the senator’s most recent financial disclosure reports indicate that most of the couple’s wealth is in her name."

KucinichWANTED: POTENTIAL FIRST LADY. A few days ago during the "Rock the Vote" Presidential Candidates Forum, Dennis Kucinich said that he was single and described the attributes he sought in a potential wife. He added: "If you are out there, call me." The PoliticsNH.com site has taken Kucinich up on his invitation and are holding online auditions to become Mrs. Kucinich. They've entitled the national contest: Who Wants to Be a First Lady? The site explained that they are trying "to help him find his perfect First Lady. We will post profiles of interested single women, and at some point we'll let our readers pick the best Kucinich [mate]. If Congressman Kucinich agrees, PoliticsNH.com will fly the fortunate woman to New Hampshire and treat the two candidates to dinner."

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: William M, Daniel P, Jason S, Buck S, Leon S, James D, Ryan B, and Richard S. Pledge Month Total: 36 donors.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Bush Cabinet, and P2004: Clark. Also: We welcome Aristotle Industries as a new advertiser in our Campaign Products & Services Directory.

11.11.03 - Veterans Day

TIGHT RACE IN LOUISIANA. Jindal vs. BlancoPolls in Louisiana are all in agreement that the open race for Governor between former State Health Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) and Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) is very close. Some independent polls out this past weekend showed either tie or Jindal leading by a few points. Since those polls were taken, both campaigns have launched negative attack spots against each other. A new independent poll by Southeastern Louisiana University released Monday shows the race virtually tied again. The numbers: Blanco-41%, Jindal-40%. After factoring in undecided “leaners,” the poll has Blanco at 45% percent and Jindal at 43%. Another poll released yesterday -- this one conducted for the Baton Rouge Advocate -- has Jindal leading by a vote of 46% to 40%. Only four more days until the Saturday election.

IS YOUR CAMPAIGN HIRING? If so, then let us know. We'll post the ad for free for any paid campaign staff positions. See our Jobs page for more details.

NEWS: LIEBERMAN STILL LEADS SOMEWHERE! Joe Lieberman gets so little attention these days that one almost forgets he's still in the Presidential race. Lieberman -- who started the 2004 contest as the initial frontrunner in early polls -- has trouble breaking out of the single digits these days in most early contest states. A new University of Cincinnati poll this week has Lieberman leading in Ohio. The numbers: Lieberman-18%, Dick Gephardt-14%, Dennis Kucinich-12%, Howard Dean and John Kerry tied with 9% each, Wes Clark and Al Sharpton tied with 6% apiece, Carol Braun at 4% and John Edwards at 1%. The big question, of course, is whether Lieberman will perform well enough in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arizona in February to still be in the race on March 2nd when Ohio voters go to the polls. In related news, Lieberman's campaign announced that it will soon go on the air in SC with new TV spots.

POLITICS1 SALUTES OUR VETERANS! Finally, regardless of your views on the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we encourage all Americans to remember with our gratitude those military veterans of years past who have defended our freedoms ... and to pray for the safe return of those Americans serving in uniform today around the globe.

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: Brian F, Eric G, Bill W, Peter P, Geoffrey R, Matthew R, Peter B, Travis R, Greg F, Ziyad N, Dick G, and Paul S. Pledge Month Total: 28 donors.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Illinois, Maryland, P2004 Directory, and Jobs.

11.10.03

KerrySHAKE-UP IN KERRYVILLE. Florida Panthers Coach Mike Keenan wasn't the only guy fired Sunday for poor results. John Kerry also fired Jim Jordan as his Campaign Manager the same day in an effort to revive his failing Presidential campaign. In the prepared statement announcing the firing, Kerry praised Jordan and said he wants him to continue as a "senior advisor." It was not clear if Jordan would agree to remain with the campaign. The new Kerry manager is Mary Beth Cahill, a veteran political strategist who currently serves as US Senator Ted Kennedy's Chief of Staff.

CORRUPTION INDICTMENTS IN VEGAS. Last year, Clark County Commissioner Erin Kenny (D-NV) was her party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Her colleague, Commissioner Dario Herrera, was the Democratic nominee for Congress for the newly created CD-3 seat. Kenny and HerreraWhat a difference one year makes. On Thursday, Kenny pled guilty in a plea deal to three federal felony political corruption charges. In a related move, federal prosecutors also unsealed felony corruption and extortion indictments against Herrera, former Commissioner Lance Malone and current County Commission Chair Mary Kincaid-Chauncey (D). The three officials purportedly accepted bribes and other favors from Michael Galardi in exchange for favorable treatment for his three strip clubs in Las Vegas in relation to building permits, zoning and liquor licenses. Malone, who left the Commission in 2001 to go to work for Galardi, was allegedly the person who negotiated and delivered the bribes. He was also charged with racketeering. Galardi, like Kenny, pled guilty on Friday under a plea agreement. Galardi and Kenny have both agreed to cooperate and testify against the others, in exchange for more lenient sentences. Kenny also agreed to forfeit the more than $70,000 in bribes she had accepted from Galardi. Galardi agreed to forfeit $3.85 million to the government, pay $200,000 in restitution for investigative costs, and give up ownership of his clubs. Herrera, Malone, and Kincaid-Chauncey purportedly accepted a combined total of bribes in excess of $200,000 and -- in the case of Herrera -- also accepted bribes in the form of services from some of Galardi's strippers. They are expected to enter not guilty pleas when they appear in court on November 21.

DEAN REJECTS FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS. Not that the outcome was any surprise, buth Howard Dean announced Saturday that he will opt out of the federal matching funds process. In exchange for that move, he will no longer have any spending limits on his campaign. Had he not made the move, Dean would have been forced to stop all fundraising for the primaries before the end of this month -- as he was nearing the maximum amount of allowable money. Democratic opponents John Kerry and others expressed dismay with the move -- and Kerry implied he may also follow suit and drop millions into his race from his own pocket. President Bush -- who also has opted out of public financing -- is on track to raise a record $175 million by November 2004. Dean said he believes he can hit the $200 million mark -- without relying heavily on special interest dollars -- if two million Americans would each pledge just $100 to his campaign.

GephardtGEPHARDT RETAKES IOWA LEAD. In related news, a new a new Des Moines Register poll out Sunday shows Dick Gephardt has recapture

d the see-sawing lead in Iowa from Howard Dean. The poll of likely caucus participants shows Gephardt leading Dean by a vote of 27% to 20%. John Kerry was third with 15%, John Edwards and Joe Lieberman were tied with 5% apiece, followed by Wesley Clark at 4%, Dennis Kucinich at 3%, and Carol Braun and Al Sharpton last with 1% each. Meanwhile -- in the DC primary -- five of the nine Dems in the race have formally removed their name from the District's January 13th primary. The move by Clark, Edwards, Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman is apparently intended to demonstrate to NH and Iowa leaders that they do not intend to do anything to diminish the importance of those two early contest states.

HISTORIC PUERTO RICO PRIMARY. Voters in Puerto Rico on Sunday cast ballots in the island's first ever gubernatorial primary. Traditionally, party leaders there have selected their own nominees for Governor in a fairly closed process. Rosello vs. Acevedo-VilaIn the historic race, former Governor Pedro Roselló won a landslide 3-to-1 victory over party chairman Carlos Pesquera in the PNP primary to reclaim the job he was self term-limited out of in the last election. Pesquera -- a former Roselló protégé and the 2000 PNP nominee for Governor -- said he would quickly step aside as the PNP Chairman in favor of Roselló. Congressional Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá was unopposed for the PPD nomination to succeed retiring Governor Sila Calderón (PPD). In the four-way PNP primary for Acevedo-Vilá's congressional seat, Republican National Committeeman Luis Fortuño won by a 36-point margin over former Governor Carlos Romero-Barcelo and two others. Fortuño will face Senator Roberto Prats (PPD) next year for the open seat. Meanwhile, in the PPD primary for San Juan Mayor, former Senator Eduardo Bhatia won the nomination for the right to face incumbent Mayor Jorge Santini (PNP) in a rematch of the 2000 race. The PNP (New Progressives) favors US statehood for Puerto Rico. The PPD (Popular Democrats) favors maintaining the current commonwealth status.

NEW LOUISIANA NUMBERS. A new independent poll released Saturday shows former State Health Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) moving ahead of Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) in the hotly contested open race for Lousiana Governor. The poll of likely voters -- conducted for the Daily Advertiser/Gannett -- has Jindal at 48% and Blanco at 43%. The run-off election will be decided this upcoming Saturday.

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: KJ D, Christopher B, Dylan M, Amy L, Brad K and Jamie vW. Pledge Month Total: $501.50 (16 donors).

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: California, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, News Links, P2004 Directory, P2004: Other Republicans, P2004: Constitution Party, P2004: Libertarian Party, P2004: Clark, P2004: Kerry, and Calendar.

11.9.03

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to this weekend's donors: Jennifer F, Shawn H, Dewayne N, Paul F and Linda R. Pledge Month Total: $252 (10 donors).

PAGES UPDATED THIS WEEKEND: Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Utah, West Virginia, News Links, and P2004: Bush.

11.7.03

CHANGE OF PLANS.Kernan Last year, as the two-term Lieutenant Governor, Joe Kernan (D) announced he would not run for Indiana Governor in 2004. Instead, the Vietnam War POW and former South Bend Mayor said he planned to retire from politics. Since then, incumbent Governor Frank O'Bannon collapsed and died of a stroke this past summer -- which unexpectedly promoted Kernan into the governorship. Democratic pressure recently began to build for Kernan to change his plans and run in 2004. Leaders feared that, without Kernan as their candidate, likely GOP nominee and former Bush Administration Budget Director Mitch Daniels would win the contest. On Thursday, Kernan announced he would run in 2004. The Democrats already in the race -- consistent with their previous promises -- quickly indicated they would withdraw in favor of Kernan. This race just went from a "GOP favored" rating to a "Leans Dem" rating.

HE'S BAAACK. He's fresh from serving a prison stint in a murder-for-hire plot against a former business partner (he still denies the charges) and he's ready to run for office yet again. Yup, wealthy parking garage developer and Holocaust survivor Abe Hirschfeld Hirschfeldannounced this week that he will run next year against US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as a GOP challenger. The colorful Hirschfeld has been running gadfly races for the Senate, Congress and other posts on and off since the early 1970s. While most of his runs have been in New York, in the 1980s he was elected to one term on the Miami Beach City Commission. While he revived a failing theater in the city, his tenure there is best remembered for his stream of tasteless ethnic jokes from the commission dais and the time he spit on a pregnant newspaper reporter -- and refused to apologize -- because he was upset with her paper's coverage of his campaign. Hirschfeld is also known for his 16 day tenure in 1993 as owner of the bankrupt New York Post -- a purchase that so enraged the staff that they printed a full-cover picture of newspaper founder Alexander Hamilton crying and ran a special section entitled "Who Is This Nut?" Hirschfeld is still so amused by this coverage that he has a full page devoted to the topic on his new website. He also publicly offered Paula Jones a million dollars to drop her suit against Clinton -- but never came through with the money when she was willing to accept the offer. He won't come close to ousting Schumer, but Hirschfeld will make the race entertaining.

DEAN NABS SECOND MAJOR UNION ENDORSEMENT. Yesterday, the giant Service Employees International Union (SEIU) confirmedDean that they are going to endorse Howard Dean for President. Today, it appears Dean is about to secure the endorsement of SEIU's traditional rival AFSCME. According to the Washington Post, SEIU and AFSCME agreed to put aside their differences within the labor movement in the hopes of uniting labor and, thus, bettering the chances to unite behind one anti-Bush candidate. That's why SEIU delayed the formal announcement of Dean's endorsement until next Wednesday -- so both unions can jointly endorse Dean. This move would likely be a crippling defeat for Dick Gephardt's campaign, which was relying on labor support to win the early contests. AFSCME is the dominant labor union active in Iowa politics, while SEIU is the major labor player in New Hampshire races. Dean is also endorsed by the Painters Union. Combined, AFSCME and SEIU alone are also large enough in membership to block Gephardt from winning the coveted AFL-CIO endorsement -- even though Gephardt is endorsed by 19 other unions that belong to the AFL-CIO. John Kerry is endorsed by the Firefighters and the Utility Workers. No other Presidential candidates have won any national labor endorsements.

PUERTO RICO PRIMARY SET FOR SUNDAY. Voters in Puerto Rico go to the polls on Sunday to cast primary ballots for the 2004 races for Governor, Congress, San Juan Mayor and other positions around the island. Puerto Rico politicsThe three main parties on the island, however, do not match the mainland US parties. The New Progressives (PNP) favor US statehood for Puerto Rico. The Popular Democrats (PPD) favor maintaining the current commonwealth status. The views of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) -- a democratic socialist party -- are pretty obvious from their name. FYI: While the PPD is largely affiliated with the Democratic Party, the PNP's members are split between those affiliated with the Democrats and those aligned with the GOP. The hottest race on the ballot is the PNP contest for Governor. Former Governor Pedro Roselló is a heavy favorite to win against his former protégé and current PNP Chairman Carlos Pesquera. One hot issue that divides the two is gay rights. Roselló staked out a moderate pro-gay rights stance, while Pesquera is staunchly anti-gay rights and highly critical of the US Supreme Court's decent decision that struck down anti-sodomy laws. Incumbent Governor Sila María Calderón (PPD) is not seeking reelection and Congressional Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá is unopposed for the PPD nomination to replace her. There is also a four-way PNP primary for Acevedo-Vilá's congressional seat, and a two-man PPD primary for San Juan Mayor. There are no contested PIP primary races on Sunday.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Virginia, Washington, P2004: Dean, P2004: Clark, P2004: Gephardt, Calendar and Jobs.

11.6.03

DEAN TO LAND KEY UNION ENDORSEMENT TODAY. The powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) -- the largest union in the AFL-CIO -- will announce Thursday that they are endorsing Howard Dean for President. The move is a major blow to Dick Gephardt's campaign, which was hoping to quickly lock-up the AFL-CIO endorsement. Nearly twenty unions have endorsed Gephardt to date -- including the Steelworkers, the Teamsters, and the Machinists. Still, the SEIU endorsement of Dean is a sign that the former Vermont Governor's campaign continues to gain powerful momentum in these final two months before the primary and caucus season starts. Gephardt, John Edwards and John Kerry came together this week in a united -- but failed -- effort to combine their support in the union to deny the SEIU nod for Dean. In related news, Dean announced Wednesday that he will let his supporters decided via online ballot whether or not he should accept federal matching funds (with the attached spending caps) or reject them (and have no spending limit). Dean continues to outraise all of his Democratic opponents by a massive margin. The decision, however, would also affect matching funds and spending for the general election. He wants hundreds of thousands of his supporters to vote by this Friday night. "Ballots" can be obtained at Dean's BlogForAmerica.com site.

A NAGIN SUSPICION THAT BAYOU CONTEST IS TIED. A new independent poll out earlier this week now shows that the Louisiana gubernatorial contest is now a dead heat. The poll shows that Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) and former State Health Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) are tied with 42% apiece. Jindal won the October open primary by a wide margin over Blanco, but she quickly narrowed that gap. On Monday, Jindal was endorsed by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) -- one the state's most prominent black politicians. The pollster felt the endorsement would probably help Jindal more with New Orleans white voters than with blacks, because Nagin was elected last year as a reformer not tied to the traditional black political leadership. The poll also showed that the amount of undecided voters climbed to 16% -- a jump of five points -- in the past week. The run-off will be held on Saturday, November 15.

UTAH HAS NEW GOVERNOR. Olene WalkerLieutenant Governor Olene Walker (R) was sworn in Wednesday as Utah Governor, following the resignation of incumbent Mike Leavitt (R). Leavitt -- who was confirmed last week by the US Senate to become the new EPA chief -- started his new job this week. Walker named attorney Gayle McKeachnie to be the new LG, and he was also sworn into office yesterday. Walker -- a former State House Majority Whip and businesswoman -- has not made any decision yet as to whether she will run for Governor in 2004. Regardless of what she decides, the GOP race for Governor will be crowded. Former Congressman Jim Hansen, State Senator Parley Hellewell, Utah County Commissioner Gary Herbert, former Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Board of Regents Chair Nolan Karras, businessman Fred Lampropoulos, and State House Speaker Marty Stephens are already in the race. None of them -- at least, not yet -- seem inclined to exit the race in favor of Walker if she decides to run. The Democrats, meanwhile, already seem to have united behind the candidacy of law school dean Scott Matheson Jr. -- the son of Utah's last Dem Governor and the brother of Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT).

PLEDGE MONTH UPDATE. Politics1 is largely reader supported by generous contributions. Thank you to today's donors: John Y, John A, Marc M, Frank M, and David R.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Indiana, Louisiana, Utah, P2004: Dean, P2004: Edwards, P2004: Clark and P2004: Gephardt.

11.5.03

NEWSOM & GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE ADVANCE IN S.F. MAYOR RACE. Newsom vs. GonzalezSan Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom (D) -- the handpicked successor to term-limited Mayor Willie Brown (D) -- scored an impressive first place finish in the crowded mayoral contest. With all votes counted, Newsom captured 41% of the vote in the ten candidate race. His nearest competitor -- who will advance with Newsom to the December 9 run-off -- is Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez (Green), who finished second with 20%. Former Police Chief Tony Ribero -- the lone GOP candidate in the race -- finished sixth with just 2%. Newson, a political moderate, is heavily backed by the city's business community. Gonzalez will now need to win the support of the three prominent liberal Democrats who failed to make the run-off, but who earned a combined vote of 35%. Regardless of the ultimate outcome next month, Gonzalez scored an impressive result for a third party candidate.

BarbourBARBOUR WINS IN MISSISSIPPI. Former Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour defeated incumbent Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) by a 53% to 45% vote. Barbour -- who lost a 1982 race for US Senate -- spent the last decade as a high-powered lobbyist in Washington, DC. Barbour's win is not a surprise, as the state is reliably Republican in most -- but not all -- major elections. In other news, District Attorney Jim Hood (D) won the open Attorney General race by a wide margin. Incumbents easily won re-election in the races for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Insurance Commssioner, and Agriculture Commissioner. Investment banker Tate Reeves (R) won the open race for State Treasurer.

WhiteWHITE, SANCHEZ ADVANCE TO HOUSTON MAYOR RUN-OFF. The top two contenders in the closer-than-expected open race for Houston Mayor will be heading to a December run-off. Former State Democratic Chairman Bill White was leading with 38%. Former City Councilman Orlando Sanchez (R) was second with 33%, followed by State Representative Sylvester Turner (D) third with 29%. Six others trailed far behind. Sanchez clearly made up much ground in recent days with his attack campaign against White, as most recent polls had shown White leading the field by about fifteen points. Turner scored heavily with black voters, a Democratic group likely to turn to White in the run-off. White's campaign spent $6 million in the primary -- more than twice the combined total of Turner and Sanchez.

BarbourPHILLY MAYOR WINS LANDSLIDE. Philadelphia Mayor John Street (D) cruised to a surprisingly big re-election victory. He defeated wealthy businessman Sam Katz (R) by a vote of 58% to 41%, with the remaining 1% going to a communist candidate. Street first won election over Katz in a nasty 1999 race, winning then by a margin of just one point. The rematch had been tied until a FBI wiretap was discovered in Street's office one month ago. The Mayor argued he was a victim of political 'dirty tricks" by a Republican-controlled Justice Department. From that point forward, Street recaptured and held the lead in the polls.

FletcherFLETCHER WINS IN KENTUCKY. Congressman Ernie Fletcher (R) -- who is also one of the few physicians serving in Congress -- was elected Kentucky Governor by a comfortable margin. He is the first Republican to win the office since 1967. Fletcher defeated Attorney General Ben Chandler (D) by a ten-point margin. Fletcher's victory will now necessitate a special election to fill his seat in Congress. Fletcher's CD-6 seat is considered a very competitive district -- and at least ten folks are considering seeking the seat. Elsewhere on the ballot, former college basketball star Richie Farmer (R) was elected State Agriculture Commissioner. State Representative Greg Stumbo (D) won the open race for Attorney General. The GOP also picked up the Secretary of State's office.

OTHER ELECTION NEWS. In Maine, voters overwhelmingly rejected a move to allow casino gambling in the state. In Florida, Daytona Beach elected its first black mayor. In New Jersey, Democrats won control of both houses of the state legislature, breaking a 20-20 tie in the state Senate and widening their majority in the Assembly. In Virginia, the GOP retained control of both the state legislature. In Utah, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson (D) won re-election. Voters in New York City rejected a proposal to end party primaries and instead have non-partisan races for Mayor and other city-wide positions. In South Carolina, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley (D) won re-election to an eight term.

WE'RE BACK ... Talk about bad timing, but our server host machine decided Election Day was a great time for both the main drive and backup drive to simultaneously crash at 2 p.m. -- knocking Politics1 offline for about eight hours. But, we're back and on a brand new machine.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Arizona, California, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Texas, P2004: Bush, P2004: Kerry, News, Ideology: Right, Jobs, and Calendar.

11.4.03

TODAY IS ELECTION DAY! Voters in various state and cities across the nation will go to the polls Tuesday to elect governors, statewide officers and mayors. In Kentucky, Congressman Ernie Fletcher appears on the brink of being the first Republican elected Governor since 1967. In Mississippi, former Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour is locked in a tight contest against incumbent Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D). In Texas, incumbent Houston Mayor Lee Brown is term limited. Polls show that former State Democratic Chair Bill White holds a wide lead in the nine-person race, while former City Councilman Orlando Sanchez (R) and State Representative Sylvester Turner (D) are locked in a close race for the second run-off spot. A similar scenario is unfolding in San Francisco, where moderate City Supervisor Gavin Newsom (D) is certain to place first in the crowded field of ten candidates. Four liberals -- City Supervisors Matt Gonzalez (Green) and Tom Ammiano (D), former Supervisor Angela Alioto (D), and City Treasurer Susan Leal (D) -- all trail Newsom by a large amount, but are in a tight race for the second run-off position. In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mayor John Street (D) -- who was earlier locked in a virtual tie -- now appears likely to win re-election in his rematch against GOP businessman Sam Katz. In Virginia and New Jersey, voters cast ballots in state legislative races. Voters in Maine will decide whether or not to allow casino gambling in the state.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: California, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas.

11.3.03

GrahamGRAHAM ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT. In a major blow to Democratic chances of recapturing control of the US Senate, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) announcing Monday that he would not seek re-election in 2004. Instead, he simply said there are other things he wants to do with the remainder of his life. Graham, 67, implied he would be interested in heading up an institution or serving someday in the Presidential Cabinet. He said he pondered the decision over the past month since ending his Presidential campaign, explaining that he only made up his mind to retire within the past two days. Democrats actively seeking the seat include Congressman Peter Deutsch, Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas, and former State Education Commissioner Betty Castor. Republicans in the race include State House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, former Congressman Bill McCollum, State Senator Daniel Webster, Pinellas County Commissioner Barbara Sheen Todd and conservative activist Larry Klayman. Others are also likely to get into the race.

Musgrove vs. BarbourMISSISSIPPI GOV RACE IS DEAD HEAT. New independent polls out this weekend show that Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) is locked in a virtual tie with challenger Haley Barbour (R). Barbour -- the former Republican National Chairman and a 1982 US Senate candidate -- is now a high-powered lobbyist. A poll commissioned by WAPT TV-16 of registered voters showed Musgrove leading Barbour by a vote of 42% to 41%. However, a poll conducted for WLBT TV-3 of registered voters showed Barbour leading by four points. A Jackson Clarion-Ledger/AP poll last week of likely voters also showed Barbour narrowly ahead. President Bush campaigned in the state for Barbour this past weekend. Musician Sherman Lee Dillon (Green), pastor John Cripps (Constitution) and frequent candidate Shawn O'Hara (Reform) are also in the race. Polls also show that Lieutenant Governor Amy Tuck (R) -- who switched parties from Dem to GOP since her election in 1999 -- holds a wide lead in her bid for re-election. District Attorney Jim Hood (D) holds a huge lead in the open race for Attorney General. In the open contest for State Treasurer, investment banker Tate Reeves (R) narrowly leads State Fiscal Officer Gary Anderson (D) by four points -- but 27% of voters were still undecided. Election Day is Tuesday. Politics1's Prediction: Barbour defeats Musgrove by a few points.

Chandler vs. FletcherKY GOV RACE IN HOME STRETCH. Congressman Ernie Fletcher (R) got some good news in the open race for Kentucky Governor. President Bush briefly stumped in the state for Fletcher. Also, one of the former Democratic primary candidates for Governor -- wealthy businessman Bruce Lunsford -- crossed party lines to endorse Fletcher. Chandler's campaign responded by calling Lunsford "irrelevant." Democrats, meanwhile, are claiming that Fletcher's campaign broke state elections law in the final days and he could be barred from serving. At issue is a mailing from Fletcher's campaign to thousands of state employees seeking their votes. State election law prohibits anyone from soliciting state workers for political purposes. Fletcher's campaign counters that the action is constitutionally protected free speech. Also, the ACLU filed two lawsuits on Friday claiming that the Jefferson County Republican Party is illegally placing vote challengers in predominantly African-American precints in order to supress the minority vote. Two other open statewide contests -- State Auditor and Secretary of State -- appear to be neck-and-neck. Politics1's Prediction: Fletcher wins by several points.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Jobs, P2004, News and Calendar.

11.2.03

ClarkCLARK UP, EDWARDS DOWN IN S.C. A new independent tracking poll of likely South Carolina primary voters shows that John Edwards has lost his lead in the state. According to the American Research Group poll, Wesley Clark now leads the field there with 17%. Edwards is second with 10%, followed by Joe Lieberman at 8%, Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean tied with 7% apiece, Al Sharpton and Carol Braun each polled at 5%, John Kerry was next with 4%, and Dennis Kucinich was last with 1%. More than a third of the voters -- 36% -- said they were still undecided. Since the last ARG tracking poll last month, Clark has moved up 7% -- while Edwards has dropped by nearly that same amount. Under their current strategies, Edwards, Clark and Lieberman each must score an early win in either South Carolina, Oklahoma or Arizona -- all viewed as states populated by more "centrist" Democrats -- or they will be forced from the race.

GRAHAM TO SEEK RE-ELECTION, SAY INSIDERS. Sources close to US Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) -- who last month ended his Presidential bid -- told Politics1 that Graham plans to announce Monday that he is seeking re-election next year. Graham has flirted with retiring from the Senate in the month since quitting the White House race. Democratic leaders in Florida and in the Senate have pleaded with Graham to seek re-election, arguing that he is the party's best hope for holding control of the seat. Polls currently show that Graham would easily defeat any of the Republicans currently in the race. According to the sources, Graham has also assembled the core of a new campaign team for the race. Graham, 67, previously served as Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee when the Dems held control. The four Democrats currently running for Graham's seat -- Congressmen Peter Deutsch and Alcee Hastings, Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas and former university president Betty Castor -- all say they will exit the race if Graham runs. At least three of them reportedly polled to see if they could defeat Graham head-to-head in a primary but found that -- even if they could defeat Graham -- they would likely to be too wounded by the bloody contest to win the subsequent general election.

PAGES UPDATED TODAY: Illinois, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, P2004: Bush and Calendar.

 

Politics1

The Presidency | P2004 Race | The States | Calendar
Political Parties | News Links | Issues | Job Bank | Issues
Campaign Products & Services | Campaign Buttons | Bookstore | About Us | E-Mail

1997-2003 by Ron Gunzburger. All rights reserved.