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RI-Sen: Dem Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse raised over $1 million in the first fundraising quarter, which in Rhode Island terms is a buttload. He now has $1.6 million in cash on hand, which hopefully will act as a nice deterrent to any Republican stupid enough to consider this race. You know I love concern trolling, but even I can't work myself up to goad the GOP into this one.

TX-Sen: Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said he raised $1.1 million and threw in another $1.6 million of his own money. There are a ton of other GOP candidates, both actual and potential, in this race, so I expect this primary to be wildly expensive.


WV-Gov: Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who is seeking his current job on a more permanent basis, released an internal from the Global Strategy Group. It shows him at 36% and SoS Natalie Tennant at 22%, but the National Journal's writeup doesn't mention numbers for the other two or three legit Dems. The NJ also says than neither Tomblin nor Tennant have gone on the air, while Rick Thompson and John Perdue have, as we've mentioned previously.


IN-08: The man I like to call F.E.C. Kenobi (aka Greg Giroux) brings us yet another candidate filing. This time it's Terry White, whom Greg describes as a "Dem lawyer/activist," seeking to run against GOP frosh Larry Bucshon. I'm pretty sure this is him. Looks like he has a background in criminal law, so apparently not a wealthy plaintiff's attorney (though he may be well-off).

Other Races:

IN-SoS: Today, a judge is expected to rule on whether a lawsuit challenging Republican Secretary of State Charlie White's eligibility to serve in office can proceed. White, the guy supposed to be protecting the integrity of his state's elections, is accused of fraudulently registering to vote.

LA-LG: Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser says he's thinking about challenging fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne this fall. If you watched a lot of cable TV news last year during the BP oil spill, you probably saw Nungesser's vocal complaints about the response to the crisis.


Washington: Vote-by-mail is now a legal requirement for all of Washington state. This isn't a big deal, though, as Pierce County was the only jurisdiction which still conducted in-person voting—the rest of WA had long gone to all-mail. Notably, the legislation still allows for ballots to be postmarked on election day, which means the state will continue its frustrating tradition of seeing election results trickle in over a period of many days. (Neighboring Oregon, the other mail-only state, requires ballots to be postmarked received by or turned in on election day.)

WATN?: Ex-Rep. Curt Weldon was always a sick, crazy piece of work, and we should all be thankful that Joe Sestak turned his sorry ass out of Congress. I honestly don't think I would have ever cared enough about him to feature him in a Where Are They Now? item, except that he's managed to show up in Libya, of all places, and has written an op-ed in the New York Times in which he calls for "engagement" with Moammar Gadhafi. Reminds me a bit of Tom DeLay saying "give peace a chance" when Slobodan Milosevic was massacring Kosovars, except I think Weldon really means it. Why do I say that? Well, hop into my time capsule and take a deep dive into the SSP archives. That amazing photo-within-a-photo shows Weldon pinning a medal on Gadhafi's chest! Because the mastermind behind the Lockerbie bombing is exactly the sort of person an American elected official wants to be honoring. (I also encourage you to read that entire post just to see how twisted Weldon is.)

Redistricting Roundup:

Arkansas: Even though Dems control both houses of the state legislature (and the governor's mansion), things are at an impasse. The state Senate rejected the House plan, dubbed the "Fayetteville Finger," and adopted a different map of its own. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a very helpful page where you can mouse over each of the various proposals that are under consideration, including the new Senate map. Now some heads will have to be banged together to reach a compromise.

Delaware: Don't laugh—mighty Delaware is starting up its redistricting process. Obviously this pertains only to the state lege, and lawmakers are accepting public comments and proposed plans through April 29th. So if you've worked something up in Dave's App, email The lege's ultimate deadline is in June.

Iowa: Leaders on both sides sound like they're coming around to the new maps created by Iowa's independent commission. The situation here reminds me of gym class in middle school. Our stereotypically sadistic teacher would ask us if we wanted to play, say, basketball—and we had to either accept the choice right there, or decide to risk taking door #2, with no chance of going back. The alternative could be dodgeball (yes!)… or it could be running laps. Faced with the possibility of doing suicide drills (that is to say, a much worse second map from the commission), Republicans and Democrats alike seem ready to play a little b-ball instead.

In any event, an advisory commission will issue recommendations on the maps by April 11th, after which the lege has three days to decide whether to accept them. If no, then the process starts all over again.

Illinois: An interesting article about an unusual tool that Dem Gov. Pat Quinn has in his arsenal, called the "amendatory veto." It sounds like it's a particularly fine-grained type of line-item veto, which could be used to make direct changes to any redistricting maps the legislature sends to the governor. Of course, Illinois is one of the few places where we're large and in-charge, and it seems that Quinn has had a productive relationship with lawmakers so far, so it's unlikely Quinn would have to use it.

Also, some SSP mapmakers have been getting love from around the Internets lately. Silver spring's awe-inspiring map gets a nice shout-out from Chicagoist, and see our Oregon item below for another one.

Louisiana: Louisiana continues to be the most vexing state to follow. On Tuesday, the state Senate adopted a "horizontal" congressional map (full-size PDF here) that was, believe it or not, authored by a Dem. (Yes, Republicans supposedly have a majority, but the President, selected by the governor, is a Dem. This is endlessly confusing.) The Senate also rejected a plan preferred by Gov. Bobby Jindal, while the House in turn rejected the Senate's map. Jindal threatened to veto any map that doesn't maintain two districts based in the northern part of the state, which suggests that the Senate plan is a non-starter. So even though Republicans would appear to control the trifecta, it seems that Louisiana's loose sense of partisan affiliation makes that mean a lot less than it would in other states.

Missouri: The GOP-controlled state House approved its new map, which essentially eliminates Dem Russ Carnahan's 3rd CD, by a 106-53 vote. This falls three votes shy of a veto-proof margin, meaning that Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, could potentially wield veto power here. Three Republicans defected, but four African American Dem legislators sided with the GOP, apparently believing this map is good for Rep. Lacy Clay, who is black. (The Senate plan is very similar.)

Mississippi: A pretty amazing story, if true, from Cottonmouth blog:

This afternoon in a closed door meeting of Republican Senators, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant told the crowd that 5th Circuit Chief Judge Edith Jones would "take care of" legislative Republicans because Gov. Haley Barbour handled her nomination to the 5th Circuit when he was in the Reagan White House. Bryant went on to regale the caucus with his opinion that Chief Judge Jones would likely appoint Judge Leslie Southwick as the judge from the 5th Circuit, and that if that happened, "Democrats would come to us looking for a deal."

In a letter to House Speaker Billy McCoy, Bryant denied making these statements, but his denial contained some weird language. Specifically, he said: "My point was that Democrats appoint federal judges and Republicans appoint federal judges, but all judges take an oath to decide cases fairly based on the law and the facts." Was he honestly giving a civics 101 lesson to benighted members of his own caucus? Why discuss this kind of thing at all?

New Jersey: The first casualty of NJ's new map is state Sen. John Girgenti (D), who earned the wrath of progressives—and a legitimate primary challenge from activist Jeff Gardner— for his cowardly vote against marriage equality in 2009. Girgenti's hometown was placed into a district largely belonging to another incumbent, Bob Gordon. Gardner will now run for Assembly instead.

Also of interest, Patrick Murray has some partisan breakdowns of the new districts. (Click here for PDF.)

Nevada: Republicans in Nevada, like the Dems, have now filed a redistricting lawsuit, but I'm not getting it at all. If you click through to the PDF and scroll down to the prayer for relief on page nine, all you'll see is that they want to bar any elections from happening under current district lines. Nevada isn't some Southern state in the 1950s, refusing to undertake redistricting, so what gives?

Oregon: Want to give your input into the Beaver State's redistricting process? Blue Oregon has a list of public hearings. Also, Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian gives some props to SaoMagnifico's proposed map, saying they show "it's possible to draw maps that do a good job of following county lines while achieving a partisan result."

Pennsylvania: PA's state (not federal) maps are drawn by a five-member commission, whose first four members (2R, 2D) have to agree on the fifth. Pretty lulzy notion, of course, and the selection deadline has passed, so the choice will now fall to the state Supreme Court. Unfortunately, thanks to a loss a few years ago, Republicans control the court.

Texas: Another lawsuit, though this one makes a lot more sense to me. Hispanic lawmakers are suing to enjoin Rick Perry and the legislature from conducting any redistricting activities because they allege that Latinos have been undercounted by the Census, and they want those numbers corrected. I'm pessimistic about these kinds of suits succeeding, though.

Utah: State legislators are also cranking up the redistricting process here. Obviously issue #1 (and 2 and 3 and 4) will be how the new congressional map treats Dem Rep. Jim Matheson. The article doesn't say what, if any, deadlines lawmakers face, though.

Virginia: At least some Republican legislators are hopping mad about the proposed state Senate map, and are considering filing suit to block it (dunno on what grounds). If the GOP is pissed off at this plan, isn't that a good thing?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Weldon was just on CNN, live from Tripoli. (3+ / 0-)

    It's bizarre that a nut - job - without - portfolio like Weldon suddenly appears on the radar, as if he had one ounce of credibility on any issue.

    •  If you try to create words from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs, CoyoteMarti

      the letters in Conspiracy Nut, you can come up with the name Curtis. Yes, my former congressman W. Curtis Weldon is a nutjob. That's why  I volunteered for his opponent, Joe Sestak. Curt is also arrogant. When my mother was heavily involved with the League of Woman Voters, the LWV arranged a debate in 2004. Weldon wouldn't show, so the Dem, Paul Scoles debated a Libertarian.

    •  Nevada is simple... (0+ / 0-)

      they've got two of the three House seats, they simply want to stop the election.

      At best, they won't pick up a third seat, and at worst, it could be a horrible election season for if they can stop the election, they keep their two seats now, and do not put them into jeopardy until later, when conditions might be better for them--or at least no worse.


      -7.88 -8,77 Just a wine sipping, brie eating, $6 coffee drinking, Prius driving, over educated, liberal, white, activist, male New Englander for Barack Obama.

      by EquationDoc on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 09:43:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  when will the WI Supreme Ct race be called? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, CoyoteMarti

    AP hasn't called it yet....

    If the GOP did ONE thing to help the average worker, Unions would donate to THEM.

    by MartyM on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 06:55:01 AM PDT

    •  The counties are still in the process (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of submitting their final counts to be certified. Making sure columns were added correctly, etc. AP won't call until then. This is the absolutely normal process in virtually all states. We only notice it when there is a squeaker of a race. And yes, that means some nums may shift slightly. Only after these official nums are in can one or more parties ask for a complete recount.

      "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by CoyoteMarti on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 10:26:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jay Nixon is the last line of defense... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for the Dems in MO against the tea hadists.  You thought those folks in OH, WI, IN, and MI were crazy, I'll take your crazy and raise you $30. We can't even get the GOP to be nice to dogs and cats, forget granny!

    It's time for a good ol' fashion Thunderdome battle to determine who has the craziest state legislators!  

    On a serious note, if this map gets approved, I can at least vote against Vicky Hartzler in the upcoming election.  Unfortunately, I don't know if this map could keep Kansas City in the blue and help us hold onto the few blue seats we have in MO.  We have quite enough of those middle-class suburbs full of people who don't know what their self-interests are, but are sure gays and abortion are evil.

    "An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty." Alexander Hamilton, Fed. Paper No.1

    by FriedmanIsDead on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 07:09:18 AM PDT

  •  Just a clarification on Oregon elections (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kid Zemo, CoyoteMarti, supercereal

    Oregon law requires all ballots be received by 8 PM on the day of the election, whether mailed or hand-delivered.  If a ballot is mailed on Monday but doesn't arrive until Wednesday, it goes straight into the trash.  The SoS and TV/print media always remind us to mail our ballots no later than Thursday to ensure they arrive by Tuesday.

  •  R and D tags... (2+ / 0-)

    In some states where some of us are not familiar with the candidates, it would be helpful if you're naming the person running or exploring a run to have an R or D moniker...

    Sometimes I just like the cowboys to have white or black hats so I can tell who I'm rooting for...

    •  Yes, yes, yes! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was just about to write a comment myself. David, PLEASE add the D/R labels to ALL names. I am a political junkie but even I can't know them all, and it is so annoying to have tlo stop reading and try to figure it out from the context.

      "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by CoyoteMarti on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 10:12:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PA redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    This is why off year elections matter. If more Dems had turned out in the 2009 local and judicial elections, the Pa Sup. Ct. might be split in our favor.

  •  Question re WI Gov recall in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    My understanding is that WI recalls are actual elections between 2 candidates. Assuming sufficient recall petitions are filed against Walker in Jan. 2012, shouldn't the grassroots start a campaign NOW to get Feingold to run against him?

  •  Redistricting in Illinois (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In case anyone missed it, Swing State Project came up with the ultimate Democratic map for Illinois.

  •  view from Virginia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The boundaries are shifting due to the population growth in urban/sururban areas, particularly northern VA (Loudon and Prince William counties, in particular). Since these areas tend to trend D, no wonder the legislators are mad.

    'We can make the trains run on time but if they are not going where we want them to go, why bother?' Neil Postman

    by history first on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 09:20:51 AM PDT

  •  NV: This is why they asked for that relief (0+ / 0-)

    This is a "just in case" lawsuit.  If the legislature and the governor can't agree on a new map, then the only option for drawing a new map is for the courts to do it.  But the courts can't do that if the current lines satisfy the constitutional requirements.  Thus, the only way the courts can draw new maps is for them to first declare that the old boundaries are unconstitutional.  Sure, Voting Rights Act concerns could be a basis for that, but the main reasons here are because  (1) because the Census allows for 4 seats but the current map only has 3, and (2) the populations in the districts are way out of balance.  

    We do this in Minnesota every 10 years, because we never have one party in control of both the legislature and the governor's mansion (usually a DFL legislature and a Republican governor, but this time we flipped the script).  Standard stuff.  

    "My philosophy has always been that benefits should percolate up rather than trickle down." - Hubert Horatio Humphrey

    by Wobegon Boy on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 09:38:43 AM PDT

  •  Mississippi (0+ / 0-)

    Phil Bryant is a right-wing wacko and loose cannon.  Even Governor Haley Bubba and the rest of the establishment Republicans are scared of him and endorsed the other guy in the last race.  I have no doubt that he said it.  Recent updates on "Cotton Mouth" say they may issue subpoenas to all the republicans in the room when he said it.  

  •  redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    anyone know how to convert a map from Dave's redistricting app to be an image I can post?

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 10:46:09 AM PDT

  •  WA's slow returns *not* due to deadline (0+ / 0-)

    As Goldy has often discussed (a 2010 edition of his oft-repeated argument is Moving the ballot deadline will not speed up election returns), the ballot return deadline is not the reason for our always-slow returns.  The hangup is processing the returned ballots.

    Especially in King County, the volume of returns overwhelms the hardworking but understaffed elections office.  The process of checking and validating ballots is time-consuming ... it takes King at least two days to move a ballot from receipt to tally, and it would take even longer if all ballots had to be in-hand on Election Day.  Somewhere over half of the state's ballots are completely tallied by midnight on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that still leaves some already-received ballots in mid-validation.

    Nearly all of the ballots received after Election Day arrive on Wednesday or Thursday.  If they got there on Tuesday, flooding the elections offices even more than they already are, they'd probably take even longer to process than they do now.  IOW, the results would be posted on something approximating the current schedule.

    grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

    by N in Seattle on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 12:32:16 PM PDT

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