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Reposted from pdc by raatz
Received an e-mail today from Senator Mazie Hirono (D. HI) who is campaigning for Congressman Ed Markey (D. MA) who is running in the 2013 Massachusetts U.S. Senate race for Secretary of State John Kerry's (D. MA) seat:
On Tuesday night, my former House colleague, Ed Markey, won the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate -- and I couldn't be more excited at the prospect of serving with Ed again.

I've always admired him for his tireless leadership on clean and renewable energy, an important issue for Hawaii and our nation -- and his would be a welcome voice in the Senate.

But Republicans are far less enthusiastic about a progressive like Ed Markey coming to the Senate.

In the [XX] hours since Ed became the Democratic nominee, right-wing groups from across the country have descended on Massachusetts to attack Ed and prop up his Republican opponent. He needs our help, especially since the general election is next month.

Click here to help send a true progressive to the U.S. Senate. Rush $5 Ed Markey's U.S. Senate campaign today:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

As you may well remember, the last time there was a special Senate election in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown stunned political observers when he unexpectedly won Ted Kennedy's former seat. That nearly derailed health care reform.

We Democrats can't let that happen again, especially with so many issues coming before the Senate over the next several months -- from reforming our immigration system to how to protect critical programs for our keiki and kupuna.

This time around, we're going to be prepared -- by making sure Ed Markey has all the support he needs.

Will you help?

Rush $5 to Ed Markey -- and make sure we don't have another Republican upset win in Massachusetts:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

With your help, I will soon be able to once again call Ed my colleague -- and we'll have another progressive champion in the Senate.

Mahalo,

Mazie Hirono
U.S. Senator

You can click here to donate:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

PPP released their latest poll on this race today and they have Markey leading businessman Gabriel Gomez (R. MA), 44-40:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he's at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He's at 31/50 with independents.

For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He's up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.

To put Gomez's 16 point lead with independents in context though, our final poll in the 2010 special election found Scott Brown winning them by a 64/32 margin. So he still has a long way to go to replicate the formula that let Brown pull off that upset.

One reason the race is surprisingly competitive is that we are seeing an electorate that's about 5 points more Romney friendly than the results of the election in Massachusetts in November. That sort of enthusiasm gap was a big part of what let Brown win in 2010 and what more broadly allowed Republicans to be successful nationally that year, and it's something Markey will have to try to erase over the next couple months.

The good news for Markey in the poll beyond the obvious fact that he's in the lead is that Barack Obama remains pretty popular in the state. He has a 53/41 approval rating. Obama was at only 44/43 when Brown won in 2010 and the President's lack of popularity was a big contributor to the upset. He's in a much better position this time around. The pool of undecided voters also sets up well for Markey- they voted for Obama by 18 points in November, 32% are liberals compared to only 25% who are conservatives, and 61% of them are women. Those are all demographics that ought to end up favorable to him in the end. - PPP, 5/3/13

First Lady Michelle Obama will be coming to Boston to fundraise for Markey:

http://www.boston.com/...

In the first sign that Democrats are preparing to pull out the party’s big financial guns for US Senate nominee Edward J. Markey, Michelle Obama is scheduled to appear at a Boston fund-raiser for the Malden congressman later this month, an event that can collect up to $37,600 from an individual donor.

The First Lady, who is making her first fund-raising appearance since the November presidential election, will headline the party at the Taj Boston on May 29, according to a copy of the invitation that has been sent out to the party’s big donors.

“The White House has made it clear it will do anything the Markey campaign wants of it,’’ said one senior Democratic leader who is raising funds for the congressman’s senatorial race.

That person said that President Obama, too, is likely to make an appearance in Massachusetts for Markey before the June 25 election if the campaign requests his help. Markey, a 36-year veteran of the US House, is facing Gabriel E. Gomez, a Cohasset businessman and former Navy SEAL who, in a major upset, captured the GOP nomination in his first attempt in a statewide race. - Boston Globe, 5/2/13

The election is Tuesday, June 25th.  If you would like to get involved with the Markey campaign and with GOTV efforts, you can go here:
http://www.edmarkey.com/
Discuss

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:53 PM PDT

Fired up, let's close it out!

by kos

Reposted from kos by raatz
Crowd cheers Barack Obama in Cleveland, OH, on October 25, 2012
Closing strong!
Goal Thermometer
Pick your cliche: This is it. Crunch time. It's now or never. Last chance.

Bottom line, the 2012 campaign is days from being over, and so is your chance to help deliver big progressive victories next Tuesday.

I'm not talking about those of you who are already doing your part donating or GOTVing. I'm talking to the rest of you. It's time to dig deep and chip in. It can be just a candidate or two. Don't wake up next Wednesday feeling like you could've done just a little bit more.

Upgrade the Senate bug
We'll either have the White House, an upgraded Senate, and a larger Democratic caucus in the House, or we won't. And we'd all rather have the former rather than the latter. So do a little bit more.

We've compiled our own list of winnable races featuring solid progressive candidates. Our Speaker Pelosi Project seeks to get us back in the majority. We'll have an infinitely better Senate if we elect the candidates on our Upgrade the Senate page. We can help make marriage equality a reality for our heroes fighting for it in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, via our Daily Kos for Marriage Equality page. And of course, there's the top of the ticket with President Barack Obama.

Speaker Pelosi project bug
Pick one or more of these campaigns, or look at our full Orange to Blue list here. Or if your favorite campaign isn't on our lists, give to that campaign directly. Just give.

You guys have been incredibly generous to date. A sampling of how we've helped various candidates:

Total raised: $3.012 million
Elizabeth Warren: $384,450
Tammy Baldwin: $148,939
Barack Obama: $88,091
Fight for Marriage bug

Sherrod Brown: $86,669
Chris Murphy: $88,192
Mazie Hirono: $71,163
Ami Bera: $32,356
Joe Garcia: $28,413

That's not Super PAC billionaire money. That's people like you, collectively given $3, or $5 or $20. Together, we can provide serious help to candidates who have put themselves on the line for what we all believe.

We're all tired of this campaign cycle. We're all sick of Romney bullshit and polls and fundraising emails and everything that comes with an important, hard-fought campaign.

But we've got five four days left. Let's make them count.

Discuss
Reposted from Laurence Lewis by raatz
Mitt Romney smirks after attacking President Obama over the Libya attacks
During the debate, President Obama allowed Mitt Romney to repeat the lie that Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion. Again and again and again. It's a brutal accusation, and Romney stuck to it and was allowed to get away with it. Again and again and again. But here are the actual facts, as previously reported.

CBS News:

Romney's $716B Medicare cut attack is dubious
Politifact:
Romney said, "There's only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare."

The only element of truth here is that the health care law seeks to reduce future Medicare spending, and the tally of those cost reductions over the next 10 years is $716 billion. The money wasn’t "robbed," however, and other presidents have made similar reductions to the Medicare program.

We rate this statement Mostly False.

New York Times:
The $716 billion cut to Medicare that Mr. Obama made will reduce payments to health maintenance organizations and hospitals and other health care providers. Mr. Ryan initially counted on the same savings in his budget plans.
New York Times editorial:
In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.

One big chunk of money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity.

And a further chunk will come from fees or taxes imposed on drug makers, device makers and insurers — fees that they can surely afford since expanded coverage for the uninsured will increase their markets and their revenues.

NO HARM TO SENIORS The Republicans imply that the $716 billion in cuts will harm older Americans, but almost none of the savings come from reducing the benefits available for people already on Medicare. But if Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan were able to repeal the reform law, as they have pledged to do, that would drive up costs for many seniors — namely those with high prescription drug costs, who are already receiving subsidies under the reform law, and those who are receiving preventive services, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations, with no cost sharing.

ABC News:

The Romney-Ryan campaign in its latest TV ad assails Obama for approving the cuts in 2010. “Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare,” says the narrator. “The money you paid for your guaranteed health care…is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”

Voters might be left with the impression that Romney and Ryan have both opposed the cuts. The truth is that Ryan himself endorses them in his signature budget plan – the same plan Romney has said he would sign as president if it reached his desk.

Those Medicare savings -achieved through reduced provider reimbursements and curbed waste, fraud and abuse, not benefit cuts – appear in the House Republicans’ FY 2013 budget, which Ryan authored.

And after the debate, Jackie Calmes of the New York Times:
The charge that Mr. Obama took $716 billion from Medicare recipients to pay for his “Obamacare” has several problems — not least the fact that Mr. Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, included the identical savings in his annual budget plans that nearly all House Republicans voted for in the past two years.

Mr. Obama did not cut benefits by $716 billion over 10 years as part of his 2010 health care law; rather, he reduced Medicare reimbursements to health care providers, chiefly insurance companies and drug manufacturers. And the law gave Medicare recipients more generous benefits for prescription drugs and free preventive care like mammograms.

According to nonpartisan analysts, it is Mr. Romney who would both cut benefits and add costs for beneficiaries if he restored the $716 billion in reductions. Restoring higher payments to insurers and other companies would in turn increase Medicare premiums because beneficiaries share in Medicare’s total cost. Marilyn Moon, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research, has calculated that a Medicare recipient’s out-of-pocket expenses would increase $577 a year on average by 2022.

This is an easy lie to refute. And it should be refuted every time it is repeated.
Discuss

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono is running for Hawai`i's open U.S. Senate seat.

She's an Orange to Blue candidate and has been endorsed by Hawai`i's firefighters, nurses, environmentalists, and peace activists.

The fourth of five general-election debates in the race is tonight on PBS Hawai`i.

You can watch online and chat at PBS Hawai`i's website:

http://www.pbshawaii.org/...

The debate starts at 8 p.m. HST. That's 11 p.m. PDT and 2 a.m. EDT. So it's a good opportunity for you night owls to watch and support Hirono. It might be good practice for election night too. Control for the Senate may come down to this race. Polls close at 6 p.m. on Nov. 6 - i.e., midnight on the East Coast. So everyone who cares about the Senate may need to stay up late and watch the Hawai`i results come in.

Aloha and mahalo!

Discuss
Reposted from Climate Change SOS by raatz

Consider ...

Consider ... the near silence amid the election campaign on climate change.  Our present -- and our future -- is at serious risk; this is an all-pervading issue that relates to every element of society; and it is an arena of stark political difference that plays to Democratic Party advantage.  And, yet ... crickets of climate silence.

Amid the silence, some politicians are actually doing what leaders should do: leading. They are speaking out on climate issues and crashing through the climate silence. Laying out climate challenges and highlighting the opportunities created by confronting these challenges.  These politicians merit a simple title:

Climate Heroes.
And, today, there is a chance to bring to the fore that we want -- we need -- to see more Climate Heroes in our political class.  We want -- we need -- more leadership in our political elite and in political offices when it comes to climate disruption.

Today, 16 October 2012, is a 'money bomb' call.  

Open your pocketbook to support Climate Heroes.

Continue Reading
Reposted from Joan McCarter by raatz

It's all attack ads and fundraising reports in the Orange to Blue race news today.
 

Speaker Pelosi project bug
Speaker Pelosi Project:

CA-10, MN-08, NH-01: Jose Hernandez, Rick Nolan and Carol Shea-Porter are all new targets of the American Action Network (AAN) and its Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), which is spending $2 million against both Hernandez and Shea-Porter and $100,000 against Nolan. Two million dollars of attack ads from one group in a single congressional race. Unbelievable.

FL-26: Rep. David Rivera is kind of a sleazebag. Here's just one point of evidence in another long and complicated saga about the man's legal woes, in which he produces voicemail recordings from some of his accusers that are supposed to prove . . . something. Anyway, three weeks ago WPLG invited Rivera and Joe Garcia to have a televised debate that was to take place yesterday. Garcia agreed, Rivera refused. So the Garcia campaign decided not to do it. Fast forward three weeks, and Rivera decides at the last minute to try to do some damage control, agreeing to the appear Sunday appearance on Saturday night, leaving the Garcia campaign with no time to prepare.

NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter's opponent, Rep. Frank Guinta, is getting support from an anti-union construction lobby group. The Associated Builders and Contractors already named Guinta its 2011 legislator of the year. Now it's running newspaper ads supporting him, on top of $20,000 in PAC contributions.

OH-16: The NRCC is hitting Betty Sutton with a bizarrely photoshopped ad showing her holding a sign saying she wants to raise taxes on small companies. Because for all Republicans, the definition of "small business" is anyone making more than $250,000 annually.

PA-06: Manan Trivedi is getting hit today with an attack ad from opponent Rep. Jim Gerlach, claiming that his politics are "extreme" because he supported the stimulus. Okay. Trivedi racked up a respectable $433K for this quarter, on par with Gerlach, but Gerlach has nearly $750,000 on hand.

WI-07 Bwaaack-bwack-bwack. Rep. Sean Duffy is refusing to do any live, televised debates with opponent Pat Kreitlow, agreeing only to two, non-televised meetings. Former Rep. David Obey makes Duffy an offer: “Would he instead agree to debate me, a second-string, stand-in retiree?"

Upgrade the Senate bug
Upgrade the Senate:

HI-Sen: Mazie Hirono had a kick-ass fundraising quarter on the grassroots front, with "more than $1.42 million from nearly 24,000 individuals during the third quarter of 2012." Republican Linda Lingle had the worst quarter she's had yet, raising $822,700. That's probably a sign that the GOP thinks she's toast. Which she probably is.

WI-Sen: Tammy Baldwin continues to whomp opponent Tommy Thompson in campaigning and in fundraising. She's raised $3.5 million on hand, he's got $2 million. And, "Baldwin says she raised nearly $4.6 million over the three-month period that ended Sept. 30. Thompson says he raised $2.2 million since the Aug. 14 primary."

Oh, and Thompson is a cranky old fart with a birther son. Name-calling runs in the family. Thompson the elder says that Baldwin is "anti-Israel" and "anti-Jewish" because he loves the Jews so much she didn't vote for Iran sanctions soon enough.

Fight for Marriage bug
Daily Kos for Marriage Equality:

Maryland: The leadership of the NAACP is urging black Marylanders to vote in favor of marriage equality, "saying it is a civil rights issue, not a theological one."

Benjamin Jealous, national president the organization, drew on the history of civil rights, and that of his own family, to make the case for marriage equality.
"This is question of what side of history do you want to be on," he said. He referred to the marriage of his parents, an inter-racial couple. "My parents were married in 1966 in Washington, D.C. They were married in D.C. because it was against the law for them to be married here in this great state," Jealous said.

Washington:  Here's another reason to love Nordstrom.
The Seattle retailer joins other prominent Washington corporations such as Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. in favor of approving Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Company president Blake Nordstrom sent a companywide memo—co-signed by brothers Erik and Pete, also executives at the retailer—laying out the retailer's "philosophical approach" to business, which includes a workplace where "every employee is welcomed and respected." [...]

"It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides as all our employees," the memo continues, adding that "the decision is consistent with our long-time philosophy of inclusivity and equality."

Discuss
Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by raatz
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Race Ratings:

This week, we're making a dozen changes to our race ratings, two on our Senate chart and 10 on our House big board. The moves are split equally between those benefitting Democrats and Republicans:

HI-Sen (Lean D to Likely D): It looks like we're finally back to where we conceived of this race at the outset. Former Gov. Linda Lingle might have been the strongest possible recruit the GOP could ever hope for in Hawaii, but she can't change the state's Democratic demographics—nor the fact that favorite son Barack Obama is on the ballot once again. Recent polling has shown Dem Rep. Mazie Hirono with solid leads, and Lingle's only response has been to carp about the numbers, not provide any contradictory data of her own. The headwinds are simply too great for her.

NM-Sen (Lean D to Likely D): Aside from a single "I'm not dead yet!" internal from ex-Rep. Heather Wilson herself, a long series of polls has shown Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich with leads that are both sizable and growing. The NRSC gave up here a long time ago and hasn't shown any sign of coming back; same with the DSCC.

CT-04 (Likely D to Safe D): We wanted to hedge our bets on this Connecticut seat that's really a creature of the NYC suburbs. Home to lots of Wall Street types and reliably Republican on the congressional level for many years, we figured there was a chance that Steve Obsitnik could gain some traction. But Rep. Jim Himes has proved to be a good fit for this district, and, in an extreme rarity, he was one of only about half a dozen Democrats to improve on his 2008 performance in 2010. TV time here is wildly expensive, and it's just hard to imagine the national GOP wanting to get involved here when the bang-for-the-buck is so much greater elsewhere.

IL-08 (Likely D to Lean D): The fact that freshman GOP Rep. Joe Walsh isn't automatic driftwood is a sign of just how distant a hope a Democratic House majority is. Tammy Duckworth has raised exceptional sums, and she's still favored. But the polling hasn't shown a slam dunk for her, and a fortune has been spent against her by conservative third-party groups who just refuse to give up on Walsh. But Barack Obama's just not doing as well in his home state as he did four years ago, and Gov. Pat Quinn is in the running for the most unpopular governor in the nation. All this is creating a drag on Illinois Democrats, and even Duckworth's not immune.

MN-01 (Likely D to Safe D): The DCCC recently cut back its ad reservations that were originally intended to shore up Rep. Tim Walz. There's also been no indication that outside groups are interested in helping Republican Allen Quist, who emerged wounded after a long and ugly primary battle that included a nasty deadlocked convention.

NJ-03 (Lean R to Likely R): Democrats landed a good recruit in the form of Shelley Adler, whose late husband, John Adler, held this seat for one term before losing in 2010's wave. But despite a couple of strong fundraising quarters, this remains tough turf: John Adler, who raised a ton of money, only won by four percent in 2008 when this was an open seat. On top of that, the 3rd became a couple of points redder in redistricting, to the benefit of GOP Rep. Jon Runyan. In recent weeks, the DCCC has cancelled all (or almost all) of the airtime it had reserved in the costly Philadelphia market that was earmarked for this seat, and the NRCC was only all too happy to follow suit. Without that outside help, this seat feels like an incredibly tough nut to crack.

NY-17 (Likely D to Safe D): When Joe Carvin dropped down from the Senate race to take on veteran Rep. Nita Lowey instead, he seemed like a good recruit for Republicans: He's both an elected official (Rye Town supervisor) and personally wealthy (thanks to his day job as a hedge fund manager). Redistricting also made this seat about seven points redder, according to presidential results. But much like Jim Himes in the adjacent CT-04 (see above), Lowey's insulated by the pricey NYC media market, which always gives pause to national organizations. Carvin's donated a million bucks to his own cause, but it doesn't look like he'll get much assistance from anyone else.

NY-22, NY-23 (Lean R to Safe R): This pair of swingy, upstate New York districts looked like potential targets for Democrats when redistricting left Reps. Richard Hanna and Tom Reed with seats that were almost half new to them. But Dem recruits Dan Lamb and Nate Shinagawa raised very little money; Reed, meanwhile, has a ton, while Hanna may be the most moderate Republican in the House (in word and deed). It just won't be possible to dislodge them this time.

PA-08 (Lean R to Likely R): The story is very similar on the other side of the Delaware River from the adjacent NJ-03 (see above), where Democrat Kathy Boockvar simply hasn't gained the traction she's needed against GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. Both the D-Trip and NRCC have cut back on their Philly ad reservations here as well, and no one seems to be acting as though this is a positive sign for Team Blue.

UT-04 (Tossup to Lean R): Dem Rep. Jim Matheson has survived the unsurvivable for years, but it's hard not to feel like his luck may have just run out. Utah Republicans targeted him—and hard—in redistricting, giving Matheson no good options in terms of seeking re-election. He opted for Utah's bluest seat, which at 56-41 McCain actually makes it the reddest seat that any Democratic incumbent is running in this cycle. On top of that, most of that turf (almost 70%) is new to Matheson. Recent polling, including an independent survey and an internal for his opponent, Mia Love, has shown the Republican leading, and the DCCC hasn't spent any money on him. That doesn't mean Matheson's been triaged (other groups like House Majority PAC and, more recently, Patriot Majority USA have tried to fill the breach), but if he's been living on borrowed time, it sure feels like his time's up.

WA-06 (Likely D to Safe D): When veteran Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks announced his retirement, there were a ton of potential candidates ready to fill his shoes. But state Sen. Derek Kilmer announced quickly and completely cleared the field, a sign of his strength as a candidate. Republican Bill Driscoll has self-funded half-a-mil, but a recent SurveyUSA poll gave Kilmer a commanding 52-37 lead. This is blue turf, and Driscoll would somehow have to run far ahead of Mitt Romney to have a chance here. We can't see how that would happen.

Continue Reading

Polls show Mazie Hirono with a double-digit lead in her campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in Hawai'i. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting this morning that Mazie raised more than $1.2 million in the last quarter, significantly outpacing her opponent. She's been tirelessly island hopping throughout the state, helping to fire up cohorts of volunteer phone bankers and canvassers. Three key recent endorsements add to the momentum:

Flight attendants:

"Over the years, Mazie Hirono’s support on issues important to flight attendants demonstrates that she is a true ally to our profession and recognizes our role as first responders in our nation’s skies. We applaud her efforts to prevent flight attendant fatigue, by introducing the Airline First Responder Workplace Fairness Act. Hirono’s efforts to bring workplace safety requirements (OSHA) into the aircraft cabin will help ensure long term benefits for flight attendants and the traveling public as well."
Professors:
Mazie Hirono has been a strong supporter of universities, faculty and students in the U.S. House of Representatives and is committed to continuing this fight in the U.S Senate. She has been advocate of the federal government’s role in supporting education, particularly higher education.

While many in Congress are attempting to limit the federal government’s support of public higher education, Mazie Hirono believes there is a strong role for the federal government. The federal government, in collaboration with universities, colleges and businesses, can create a strong university system that will enable students to be successful in school and in life. A strong university system is an economic engine for our state as it can attract the best and the brightest and create good paying jobs, she said.

Nurses:
If she wins this election, Hirono will be the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. As someone with a long history of advocating for her constituents and the nursing profession, Hirono would continue to fight for access to quality, affordable health care in the Senate.
With this broad coalition of support, Mazie has about a 90% chance of prevailing, according to Nate Silver. And she is off to a good start, with the first reported votes in the race being cast yesterday in her favor. So, Mazie is winning, literally. But Karl Rove, Foster Friess, and the Koch Bros. are still allied against her. So she could use some help over the next 23 days to finish strong. Just drop by her website to get the scoops: http://mazieforhawaii.com/

Aloha and mahalo!

Discuss
Reposted from Milk Men And Women by raatz
Sen. Gillibrand plots an XX Senate takeover with House Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Shelley Berkley and Mazie Hirono.
Pity the campaign staffer working for a safe candidate.

Oh sure, we all occasionally dream of a cushy, do-nothing job.

But many folks who venture into politics do so because they are pugnacious by nature. You don't become a political campaign staffer because your dream is a quiet life of conflict avoidance. You do it because you like the fight. You do it because you love to get into the trenches.

Where would Barney Frank be if he didn't have Republicans to beat up on? What would Bernie Sanders do with his time if he couldn't rile against the machine?

Consider the case of poor Sen. Gillibrand's staff. Just weeks from the election, her most formiddable opponent Republican Wendy Long aspires to breaking 25 percent in the polls. This would be because she's a crazy, awful woman, who owes what meager notoriety she has to parroting racist, sexist objections to Justice Sotomayor's confirmation on Fox News. Long is also currently fundraising with Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza, which really just says everything about her appeal and political instincts to negotiate deep blue New York.

The worst thing Gillibrand could do is to even acknowledge she has a challenger, something I don't think she's done since congratulating Long on winning the GOP nomination. Gillibrand generates more news picking up her morning coffee than Wendy Long has managed to generate all cycle.

Gillibrand also has a reputation as a ferocious and effective fundraiser dating way back to her House days. Some may find this unseemly, but alas, it is a highly necessary skill for a effective politician to possess.

So, what do you do with your campaign staff when you have enough money and no need to hit your opponent?

Picture it: Your boss has a 40 percent lead in the polls, so you and the rest of the campaign staff get to sit on your hands until November, right? Maybe work on your fantasy football team lines ups. Right?

"Not so fast" says, Senator Type-A, channeling RuPaul to the staff:"You better work!"

From Buzzfeed:

With just five weeks until her own re-election, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is in New York City today to fundraise — for other Democratic women.

The money raised today at Gillibrand's $800-per-plate lunch will be split evenly among four female senate candidates — Nevada's Shelley Berkely, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, and Hawaii's Mazie Hirono. Gillibrand's campaign expects to raise $250,000 at the event, hosted at a law firm in midtown Manhattan, her spokesman, Glen Caplin, said.

But that is only part of the story. Gillibrand's fundraising on behalf of other candidates this cycle topped $500,000 as of last month.

(Continues after fold.)

Continue Reading
Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by raatz
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12:23 PM PT: TX-23: Took him long enough. GOP Rep. Quico Canseco seemed to go silent in the face of an LCV internal poll conducted in the middle of last month that showed Pete Gallego, his Democratic opponent, leading 43-38. Now Canseco finally has some numbers of his own (from OnMessage) that purport to show him ahead 47-37, with 8% picking "other"—even though "other" won't be on the ballot. A "source in the Gallego campaign" disputed the findings to Roll Call, citing the LCV results, but wouldn't provide their own internal polling.

12:29 PM PT: NM-Sen: Rasmussen: Martin Heinrich (D): 52 (48), Heather Wilson (R): 39 (42).

12:35 PM PT: HI-Sen: Civil Beat's out with a new poll (from their usual pollster, Merriman River), showing Dem Rep. Mazie Hirono beating the stuffing out of Republican ex-Gov. Linda Lingle, 55-39. That's quite a bit different from the picture the last time they were in the field (back in June), when Hirono only led 49-44. Civil Beat also did something pretty interesting and commendable with this poll:

In the last survey before the August primary election, The Civil Beat Poll showed Hirono in a dead heat with Case, but she ended up winning by more than 20 points. In our post-mortem, we hypothesized that the use of a mainland, Caucasian voice could explain some of that disparity.

For this survey, Civil Beat used two voices to test that hypothesis. The same Caucasian woman from Ohio was used for half of the calls, and Civil Beat Assistant Editor Sara Lin, who's of Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry and was born and raised on Oahu, provided the voice for the other half.

There were some differences in the responses to the two voices, and we'll explore those differences throughout the week as we reveal the results for other general election matchups and key local issues. But the Senate race — the starting point for the experiment — showed no difference.

Hirono led 55 percent to 40 percent among those who took the poll with the "mainland" voice and 56 percent to 38 percent among those who took the poll with the "local" voice.

You don't often see pollsters so willing to analyze their own flaws—and take steps to rectify them—so this is a good thing to see.

12:45 PM PT: MD Ballot: A new OpinionWorks survey for the Baltimore Sun has good news for supporters of marriage equality: The state's ballot measure to repeal Maryland's new same-sex marriage law is currently failing 49-39. That's a big turnaround from a March poll which actually saw the repeal effort succeeding, 43-40. What's changed since then are attitudes among African American voters: Whereas less than a third favored the law in the prior poll, now black voters support it by more than two-to-one. Obviously President Obama's announcement in May that he supports gay marriage was a critical development. (Also, in case you care, the POTUS leads Romney 57-34.)

12:57 PM PT: GA-12: This internal from Republican Lee Anderson is pretty dusty—it was taken in late August, but we're only seeing it for the first time now. Still, we felt it was worth noting since there really hasn't been any public polling on the race and since the numbers—Anderson leads 44-43—actually seem better for Dem Rep. John Barrow than I'd have expected, accounting for the fact that this is, of course, a poll taken for his opponent. The presidential toplines do seem to be pretty spot-on, though, with Romney beating Obama 53-40 (the president lost here 56-44 four years ago). However, since this poll was in the field, both sides have been advertising heavily, so the situation may very well have changed a great deal.

1:15 PM PT: MA-06: Why has all the recent polling out of Massachusetts' 6th District been so weird? First we had two successive Republican polls that showed GOPer Richard Tisei on top—but which both showed absolutely implausible presidential toplines. Now we have a survey from UNH (for the Boston Globe) which has an absurd number of undecided—30%, in fact, giving Tisei a strange-looking lead of 37-31 over Dem Rep. John Tierney. I'm also not sure I really like the methodology here. Not only was the Tierney-Tisei head-to-head buried after a huge battery of questions, but the MA-06 numbers were part of UNH's new statewide poll (see MA-Sen bullet above), apparently obtained via special oversample. That doesn't seem like the best way to poll a House race.

1:32 PM PT: IN-, NV-Sen: The Senate contests in Indiana and Nevada keep getting hotter: Politico reports that the DSCC has added another $439K in airtime for the first week of October in the Hoosier State, with the NRSC apparently following suit for an unspecified sum. Out west, Dems have re-upped for another $587K.

1:35 PM PT: IA-01: Were we a little too quick on the trigger in moving this race from Likely D to Lean D on Friday? The Hotline reports that the NRCC is going dark in Iowa's 1st, with no new ad runs planned on behalf of Republican Ben Lange. This shift comes after the group already spent $400K (the DCCC hasn't intervened), suggesting that Dem Rep. Bruce Braley's poll numbers are probably holding up.

1:44 PM PT: MO-Sen: Dem Sen. Claire McCaskill's touting a new internal from Kiley & Company which has her beating GOP Rep. Todd Akin 50-41. A previously unreleased trendline from early in September had McCaskill winning 48-42, though you can understand why those numbers weren't publicized at the time (seeing as Akin still had the chance to drop off the ballot back then). The survey didn't include presidential toplines, but honestly, the polling has been all over the place in this absolutely bizarre race, so it's just hard to know what to believe at this point.

2:04 PM PT: ME-Sen, -01, -02: MaineToday Media, a consortium of local newspapers, has a new poll from Critical Insights on all of the state's big races coming up next month. As every other pollster has, they, too, show a drop for independent Angus King in the Senate contest: King's fallen from a 55-27 lead over Republican Charlie Summers back in June to a 50-28 edge now, with Democrat Cynthia Dill at 12. (The poll was actually conducted mid-September, but for some reason it's only being released now. It's also worth noting that the prior survey tested registered voters, while this one polled likely voters.)

Meanwhile, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 52-36 statewide, though by just 46-41 in the more conservative ME-02. Maine splits its electoral votes by congressional district, so Romney fans have to be praying for that single EV, but even these numbers suggest he's miles away from that possibility. Speaking of the 2nd, there are also numbers on the House race. Dem Rep. Mike Michaud holds a healthy 54-39 lead over Republican Kevin Raye, which is up from 47-35 last time. (The contest in the 1st is a snoozer, with Dem Rep. Chellie Pingree crushing GOPer Jon Courtney 60-29.)

Lastly, Critical Insights tested the state's pro-gay marriage ballot measure (called Question 1) and finds it passing 57-36. That's more favorable than a recent MPRC survey which found Mainers in favor by a 53-43 margin.

2:08 PM PT: WV-Gov: While we have to wait until Oct. 15 for federal third-quarter fundraising reports, West Virginia just required its gubernatorial candidates to file their campaign finance numbers for the period of May 21 to Sept. 23. During that time, Dem Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin swamped Republican Bill Maloney, $1.2 mil to $469K, though Maloney did also loan himself a quarter mil. Tomblin nevertheless has much more cash-on-hand, $618K to $264K.

2:30 PM PT: DCCC: The Hotline's Kevin Brennan does an admirable job trying to keep track of some serious ad time reshuffling by the DCCC; our trick is to figure out what's genuinely new. The one-week cancellations in two GOP-held seats, MN-08 and IA-04, are definitely news; the other cancellations are also, strictly speaking, "new," but they're in races that had previously seen reductions, so none are surprising. There are also a bunch of seats where the D-Trip is adding to their existing buys, but again, they've already been playing in all of these seats. (Click through for both lists.) But one brand-new district the DCCC's getting involved in is WA-01, a Dem-held open seat where they're helping out Suzan DelBene with a $500K television buy.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat this note of caution when interpreting these moves: It's a mistake to see an ad cancellation and instantly think a race is being triaged. That's because, thanks to the rise of super PACs like House Majority for the Dems and American Action Network for the GOP, when one group steps aside, another often fills in. We don't know that that's necessarily the case for any of these seats in particular, but following ad time reservations is a very difficult task and the information available is always less than perfect (often far from it). So just bear that in mind whenever analyzing this sort of reshuffling.

2:32 PM PT: And here's some awfully whiny pushback from the Lingle campaign over that new Civil Beat poll. The least histrionic (but most telling) line is this: "Our own internal polling is showing an incredibly competitive race with significant leads in key parts of the state and key demographics." Of course, no poll is provided.

2:37 PM PT: IL-10: Buried deep in this Politico piece on Illinois House races is a mention of a mid-September poll for GOP Rep. Bob Dold! from McLaughlin Associates purportedly pegging him to a 44-37 lead over Democrat Brad Schneider. That's an awful lot of undecideds for this late in the game, and the sample is also not provided. And compared to a late June Dold poll that had him up 42-32, these numbers represent a bigger improvement for the challenger than the incumbent, so I'm not sure I'd be too thrilled right now if I were Bob Dold!.

2:48 PM PT: IL-11: Grr. Why is GOP Rep. Judy Biggert the favorite Republican incumbent of groups desperate to appear bipartisan? First it was a "pro"-gay GOP super PAC pouring in half a million worth of TV ads on her behalf, and now the National Education Association is jumping in with $546K for "television and on-line advertising." Seriously, there are unions—teachers unions, no less—willing and eager to help Republicans in this day and age? Biggert's record on labor issues doesn't matter—John Boehner's does. This is America, and this is how politics works, and anyone who pretends otherwise is a fool.

2:50 PM PT: FL-Sen: Just a little color from GOP Rep. Connie Mack's time on the campaign trail in sunny Florida:

In the Republican stronghold of Destin on Thursday, Mack greeted about 25 supporters outside the Donut Hole café on Highway 98, and then went inside to introduce himself to customers.

"Could you get us menus?'' one elderly couple asked Mack, 45, the four-term congressman from Fort Myers, after he shook their hands. The congressman obliged.

Anyone order a kraut dog?

2:59 PM PT: ND-Sen: Doesn't seem like GOP Rep. Rick Berg's fitting in too well on the campaign trail, especially compared with Heidi Heitkamp. From the New York Times' page A1 cover story on the North Dakota Senate contest:

The contest — the state's first competitive one since 1986 and probably its nastiest in modern history — features two very different politicians with very different styles: the rumpled Democrat against the well-turned-out Republican, the longtime denizen of state government against the affluent businessman. Ms. Heitkamp hugs her way through a room. Mr. Berg approached a table of women in Fargo on Wednesday and then sheepishly backed off, saying: "We won't bug you. We'll just keep going." [...]

 "Everyone's pretty likable," Mr. Berg said with a shrug. "The issue is not about a personality contest. This whole thing kind of boils down to, do you want someone who's going to fight against President Obama."

The headline, by the way? " 'North Dakota Nice' Plays Well in Senate Race." Maybe for Heitkamp, because Berg sure sounds frustrated by the concept of "likability" in general.

3:01 PM PT: And here's another positive sign for Braley: The American Hospital Association, which tends to overwhelmingly support Republicans, just showed up with a $268K ad buy on his behalf.

3:07 PM PT: 3Q Fundraising:

CT-05: The award for First Candidate to Leak Third Quarter fundraising numbers goes to... Democrat Elizabeth Esty, who says she took in $650K in 3Q but doesn't provide cash-on-hand figures.

FL-18: And the award for How Do You Like Them Apples (3Q edition) goes to Democrat Patrick Murphy, who just announced an eye-popping $1.05 million raised in the quarter. Again, no cash-on-hand numbers, but this takes Murphy to a monster $3.3 million for the cycle to date. Running against Allen West has its advantages!

4:18 PM PT: Ads:

HI-Sen: Linda Lingle (R)
IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock (R)
MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D)
ME-SenAngus King (I)
MI-Sen: Debbie Stabenow (D)
MI-Sen: Debbie Stabenow (D)
MO-Sen: Todd Akin (R)
MT-Sen: Denny Rehberg (R)
NJ-Sen: Joe Kyrillos (R)
NM-SenHeather Wilson (R)
NV-Sen: Shelley Berkley (D)
PA-Sen: Bob Casey (D)
VA-Sen: Tim Kaine (D)

4:20 PM PT: Ads:

IN-Gov: John Gregg (D)
NC-Gov: Pat McCrory (R)
NH-Gov: RGA (R)
WA-Gov: Rob McKenna (R)
WV-Gov: Bill Maloney (R)

4:21 PM PT: Ads:

AZ-02: Ron Barber (D)
CA-07: Dan Lungren (R)
CA-09: Jerry McNerney (D)
CA-10: DCCC (D)
CA-24: NRCC (R)
CA-26: Julia Brownley (D)
CA-52: DCCC (D)
CA-52: NRCC (R)
CO-03: Sal Pace (D)
GA-12: John Barrow (R)
GA-12: NRCC (R)
IA-03: DCCC (D)
IA-04: NRCC (R)
IL-12: NRCC (R)
IL-13: Rodney Davis (R)
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D)
IL-17: DCCC (D)
KY-06: Andy Barr (R)
KY-06: NRCC (R)
MA-06: Richard Tisei (R)
MN-01: Allen Quist (R)
MN-08: NRCC (R)
NC-07: Mike McIntyre (R)
NC-07: NRCC (R)
ND-AL: Kevin Cramer (R)
NH-02: Annie Kuster (D)
NH-02: NRCC (R)
NV-03: DCCC (D)
NV-03: NRCC (R)
NV-04: NRCC (R)
NY-19: DCCC (D)
NY-19: Chris Gibson (R)
NY-24: Dan Maffei (D)
NY-24: DCCC (D)
PA-18: Larry Maggi (D)
RI-01: Brendan Doherty (R)
TX-23: CWA (D)
TX-23: Quico Canseco (R)

Discuss
Reposted from frisco by raatz

Attention (Democratic Party-supporting) Shoppers:
I WILL MATCH CONTRIBUTIONS TO DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES THROUGH SUNDAY

Goal Thermometer

From now until Sunday at 11pm (US-ET), I am providing a 25% match on all of your donations (up to a maximum of $400) on my ActBlue fundraising page. You pick the candidate(s) of your choice from my list and donate what you can. On Sunday night, I'll connect at 11:00pm (US-EDT) and bump the number donated today by 25%.

So your $40 donation becomes $50, and so on, right on up to an aggregate of $1,200 $1,600 contributed by the communal "you" over the next 72-hours. We're starting at $4,013 in the pool as of now, so let's see if we can hit $6,013 by Sunday night.

I began this humble fundraising page a couple of months ago in hopes of making it to $2,500. But through contributions from folks like you, it's now reached beyond $4,000 and climbing. Now, my objective is to reach beyond $5,000 raised for some great Democrats before the Federal Elections Commission reporting deadline at the end of this month, and a stretch goal of reaching $10,000 before election day.

Not only can you donate to President Obama on this page, but you can give to any of three dozen outstanding Democratic candidates for US Senate and US House seats (detailed list of candidates below the orange croissant).

Thank you in advance for your generous support - now let's help elect some great Democrats!

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Reposted from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand by raatz

Despite being 51% of the population (and 53% of the voting population,) women currently make up just 17% of Congress, 23.6% of state legislatures and women hold just 6 governorships. Shockingly, the United States is 78th in the world when it comes to female representation in our federal government.

This is simply unacceptable and is one of the reasons I started Off The Sidelines as a call to action to women to become more engaged in politics and to make their voices heard on the issues they care about. The more women are engaged in their communities and the more women’s voices are heard, the more diverse the views that are represented and the better the outcomes will be for everyone. Getting more women to run for office is a crucial part of that. Which is why I’m thrilled we have a record number of women running for Congress this year.

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