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Senate:

AZ-Sen: So what the heck happened with Trent Franks? The Arizona Guardian is reporting that the Republican Congressman had been promising people jobs on his pending Senate campaign, and that his people had even gone so far as to ensure proper media risers were available at the hotel where Franks was supposed to make his big announcement. Yet it all vanished in a heartbeat when Franks unexpectedly pulled the plug. Says the Guardian: "The good thing is, there's still another year-and-a-half to get the full story before the 2012 elections." Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, Dave Catanese penned a piece explaining the backstory on how he got burned by Franks' consultant. It just adds to all the weirdness.

FL-Sen: Tucked inside that Quinnipiac poll which showed tough numbers for Obama was this nugget:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who like Obama is on the 2012 ballot, is in better shape, with a 47-26 percent approval rating, a 43-39 percent lead over an unidentified Republican and voters saying 43-35 percent that he deserves another term in the Senate.

MI-Sen (PDF): A week or so ago, Republican-affiliated pollster Market Research Group offered some better-than-everyone-else approval ratings for Gov. Rick Snyder. Apparently, they also polled the Senate race at the same time, pitting Dem Debbie Stabenow against Some Dude Randy Hekman. Amusingly, the polling memo says the Senator has a "slim" 11-point lead over Hekman, 45-34. But the real problem is the sample, which is 26 R, 26 D, 43 I—in other words, nothing like reality.

MRG also polled a hypothetical state Supreme Court matchup between incumbent Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, which had Zahra up 38-33. (Moving from the statehouse to the high court is not unheard of in Michigan.) Speaking of Granholm, she was supposedly under consideration to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Board but says she withdrew her name (and likes Elizabeth Warren for the job). It sounds like Granholm is keeping pretty busy, and the article notes she's teaching at UC Berkeley, so perhaps she's enjoying the weather out in Cali a bit more than back home. But Granholm is a former state AG and was even supposedly a possible Supreme Court pick, so perhaps a judicial run is plausible.

PA-Sen: Sam Rohrer, the teabaggy ex-state Rep. who got pounded by Tom Corbett in the PA-Gov GOP primary last year, says he's "50-50" on running against Bob Casey this cycle. Rohrer has the perfect pedigree: He runs the Pennsylvania chapter of the malevolent David Koch front group Americans for Prosperity.

VA-Sen: Passed along without comment:

NBC 4’s reporter-anchor Craig Melvin is a tall African-American. Which apparently led to this exchange with former Sen. George Allen, according to Melvin’s Twitter account Tuesday night:

“For the 2nd time in 5 months, fmr. gov. and sen candidate George Allen asks me,"what position did you play?” I did not a play a sport.”

Actually, I changed my mind. If you still don't think George Allen is a racist fuck, read this coda from ThinkProgress writer Lee Feng. And no, Allen didn't apologize—he offered a classic bullshit "I'm sorry if I offended you" response. That's bullshit.

Anyhow, Roanoke College released a poll of the race, showing Allen leading Tim Kaine by 45-32—a rather different picture than what we saw from PPP. However, the WaPo ran an above-the-item update warning readers to be "cautious" about this survey because "[r]esults were adjusted only for gender, and the resulting sample is not representative of Virginia’s racial composition, its age structure or regional population densities." It also looks like the horserace question was asked after about a bajillion issue-related questions (PDF), some of them kind of weird.

Finally, in Some Dude news… some other Some Dude (an African-American minister named Earl Jackson) decided to get into the GOP primary, a race with a lot of Some Dudes already in it.

Gubernatorial:

GA-Gov: PPP did a re-do poll in Georgia, too, and found Dem ex-Gov. Roy Barnes would edge actual Gov. Nathan Deal by a single point today, 46-45. Tom says that this isn't a case of voter disgust with Deal (he has pretty meh ratings, not downright radioactive ones like Scott Walker), but rather a clear sign of last year's enthusiasm gap that will forever haunt us. There's also a smorgasbord of other Peach State odds-and-ends at the link.

KY-Gov: Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is out with his first radio ads of the campaign, touting his small-town roots, a week after his likely Republican opponent, David Williams, also went up on radio. Unlike Beshear, Williams faces a primary on May 17th, so he's also going up on cable TV with a new ad you can watch here. NWOTSOTB for any of these.

MS-Gov: Turns out PPP did in fact test the Republican gubernatorial primary in Mississippi. Click through if you really, really care. (Hint: You won't.)

UT-Gov: State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, a teabagger fave to challenge immigration apostate Gary Herbert for the governor's mansion, says on Facebook that he has "no plans or intentions to run." (Yes, it would be more awesome if his name were Stephen Sandstorm.)

WV-Gov: In case you weren't sure where all the players in the Democratic primary field stand on the ideology spectrum (something we'll be rectifying with a more in-depth post shortly), this is a helpful guidepost: Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was endorsed by the WV Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also endorsed the only two legit Republicans running, Betty Ireland and Bill Maloney.

House:

CA-26, CA-06: Assemblyman Anthony Portantino is getting some high-profile fundraising help: Steve Israel is coming out to Pacific Palisades this weekend for a breakfast event. The same piece also notes that Assemblyman Jared Huffman raised $120K for a federal account in Q1; Huffman is interested in 73-year-old Rep. Lynn Woolsey's seat, if she retires. Woolsey apparently will decide whether to seek another term by June.

FL-25: Idiot.

IL-08: I'm not exactly broken up by this news: Ex-Rep. Melissa Bean, whose race was the closest in the nation last year (she lost by 290 votes to a real piece of work), says she won't run again. She's now CEO of something called the Executives Club of Chicago, which doesn't really give off a man-of-the-people vibe, now does it?

MI-09: If there's one guy repeatedly written off as a redistricting victim who I'd really love to see find a way to survive, it's Rep. Gary Peters. Despite what must have been an exhausting last several years raising money, the Michigan Dem wasted no time getting right back into the game, pulling in over $400K in Q1. He has half a mil on hand.

NM-01: This Roll Call piece (also linked below in a redistricting item) mentions a few Dem names we hadn't discussed here before: state Rep. Al Park, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, who lost the 2008 primary for this seat.

NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon will join the "government relations" (i.e., lobbying) group at a mid-sized NYC law firm. He's apparently being brought on as "counsel" status, rather than as a partner, so this could just be a way-station to allow him to pay the bills as he weighs a re-match… but of course, he risks getting hit with the lobbyist taint.

PA-17: Activist Sheila Dow-Ford confirms the rumors that she's considering another run against Rep. Tim Holden, against whom she took 35% in the Democratic primary last year. Holden could get a bluer district when all is said and done, so a challenge from the left is a real possibility—but as Dow-Ford herself notes, others are interested, and I wouldn't be surprised if some bigger-name candidates got in if the seat became markedly more Dem.

UT-02: Huh—I can't exactly accuse the Salt Lake Tribune of burying the lede, since they put this in the second graf, but Rep. Jim Matheson says he's waiting to see what the new district lines look like before deciding whether to run again, or instead if he'll seek statewide office. A statewide run doesn't seem like a particularly appealing escape hatch, but both Gov. Gary Herbert (see item above) and Sen. Orrin Hatch could wind up damaged by teabaggers, so you never know. A couple of other statewide offices Matheson could see (Treasurer, Auditor) are up as well.

Also, Some Dude Chuck Williams, an Air Force vet who lost a couple of GOP primaries for Congress… in California… says he plans to challenge Matheson for his House seat, and that he'll run regardless of where the lines get drawn.

VA-11: Via FEC Kenobi, Some Dude Christopher Perkins just filed as a Republican to challenge Gerry Connolly. That's a pretty un-Google-able name, so I can't tell you much about him… though I do know his home is worth $743,130!

WV-01: Freshman Rep. David McKinley (R), who won a close race last year, says he's raised over half a mil in the first quarter. Note, though, that he still has $670K in campaign debt from last cycle.

Other Races:

Allegheny Co. Exec.: PoliticsPA, via Municipoll, has a race out on the Allegheny, PA County Executive's race. I'm gonna admit straight off the bat that I don't know the players here, but click through for details.

IN-SoS: So a judge allowed a Dem challenge to SoS Charlie White's eligibility to serve in office to proceed, but really, you just need to read Bob Bobson's summary of where things stand—and where things will head now. (Bob's been doing an awesome job of staying on top of this oftentimes-complicated story, so pay attention to him.)

Champaign, IL Mayor: Here's a nice little election result that we otherwise missed: The avowedly teabagging mayor of Champaign, Illinois was narrowly defeated by a political newcomer on Tuesday night, the first time, in fact, that he'd ever been opposed in 12 years in office. I'm a little surprised that the university town of Champaign would have elected such a wingnut in the first place, but this is still good news.

Specials: Johnny Longtorso:

Democrat Kevin Johnson won a 5-point victory over Republican Sonny Sanders in South Carolina's HD-64.

[On whether this seat was supposedly a Dem stronghold:]

I took another look at it; it's almost all of a county that Obama got around 56% in along with one or two precincts of an adjacent county, and it's about 50/50 white/black, so black turnout may have been low. So he just did a few points worse than Obama's numbers in 2008.

Wisconsin Recall: Dems filed over 22,000 signatures to recall state Sen. Randy Hopper yesterday. Republicans claim they are close to filing petitions for Sen. Robert Wirch, one of the more endangered Dems on the list.

Remainders:

WATN?: Ethan Hastert, son of ex-Speaker Denny the Hutt and victim of a genuinely impressive teabagger-fueled anybody-but-Ethan movement to deny him the GOP nomination in IL-14 last year, has managed to win elective office this year. He earned a council seat in the village of Elburn, IL, which has a population that is actually a few thousand smaller than my census tract. Don't call it a comeback!

Redistricting Roundup:

Arkansas: Total impasse: The state House rejected the state Senate's congressional redistricting plan, complementing the Senate's recent rejection of the House plan. Some procedural maneuvers may be used to try to get things moving forward again, which lawmakers are probably eager to do, since the legislative session was scheduled to end over a week ago.

California: Look, it's basically impossible to find a law firm that knows anything about redistricting which has never had any prior political involvement. So I don't understand why it's coming as a surprise that Gibson Dunn, the firm hired by the redistricting commission, has a political fund and has used it to make donations. Oh wait, I think I do—it's because most (but by no means all) of those donations were made to Democrats, so the GOP is continuing its plan to do everything it can to "discredit" the entire process. It's especially silly, because the firm specifically tasked one Dem attorney and one Republican attorney to lead the effort… but then again, the GOP is especially silly.

Louisiana: Nathan Gonzales has a good piece untangling the wreck that is Louisiana redistricting, and offering some insight into the behind-the-scenes process. I strongly encourage you to click through the link for the full flavor. (As an inducement, there's a bowl full of cat food inside.) Apparently, a compromise plan is in the works, but Nathan says that if an agreement isn't reached by next week, the lege will have to wait until next year to finish its work. (They can't call a special session?) Anyhow, like I say, read the whole thing.

New Mexico: Though legislators won't hold a special session on redistricting until the fall, apparently a plan is brewing among Democrats to excise GOP-leaning Torrance County from the 1st CD. The problem, though, is that while Dems control the lege, Gov. Susana Martinez is, of course, a Republican—a very similar situation to the last round of map-drawing in 2001, which eventually ended up in court.

Texas: You can play with various Texas map proposals at the link.

Virginia: Two Virginia items. First, the House of Delegates approved the Republican gerrymander for that body, though most Democrats were actually stupid enough to vote in favor of the plan. (Hasn't anyone ever heard of a symbolic protest vote to at least signal to your supporters that you know you're getting the shaft, even if it's for the greater good?) Second, a (the?) congressional plan was released, and it's potentially not as bad as it could be. Have a look-see.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Allen can't help himself (0+ / 0-)

    Not so sure he realized he was making racial assumptions. Melvin recently got  engaged to the sportscaster on channel  4(who is white) so maybe he assumed she is only interested in jocks.
    Anyway Melvin took it as racial. Allen better just talk to white people until after the election.

  •  The new New Jersey legislative map. A win for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM

    the NJ Democratic Party.   This map chops up two Republican bastions, Monmouth and Somerset Counties, like mince meat.   Somerset used to be in one district.  It's spread over six now.  

    Map and new district list, by towns, here:

    http://www.politickernj.com/...

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:45:41 AM PDT

  •  any MA Dems challenging Scott Brown? (0+ / 0-)

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

    by MartyM on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 06:57:42 AM PDT

  •  The problems with Champaign are: (0+ / 0-)

    a) the University is split about evenly between Champaign and neighboring Urbana, IL.

    b) turnout amongst students at the school is notoriously low.

    c) though it's very proud of the University, it isn't exactly a "collegetown" like say, Ann Arbor or Charlottesville. The local Congressman (who hails from Champaign) is Republican Tim Johnson.

  •  Sam Rohrer is a head case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Nir

    Say what you want about Pennsylvania Republicans, both at the top and down at the voter level, but they're not crazy and they do want to win.  They showed Rohrer what's what in last year's primaries (I can't even remember what he ran for, Senate or Governor) and they'll do it again.  PA Republicans hold delusional beliefs about the benevolence of corporate rule, but they don't want to live in Rohrer's medieval dystopia.

    Todo tiempo pasado fue mejor. I don't believe that, but I hear this sig is permanent.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:12:05 AM PDT

  •  Champaign IL (0+ / 0-)

    As a Champaign resident, let me say a few things:

    1. Jerry has descended into grumpy-old-coot-hood - and he wasn't that crazy 12 years ago.  He was a former cop, so he was relatively popular among the residents of Champaign.

    2.  Champaign isn't the university town you make it out to be.  Urbana is where all the liberals live.  Champaign is the reactionary, pro-business estranged uncle of Urbana.  (And don't get me started on Savoy.)

    3.  Students at the U of I don't vote, because they don't care.  They're generally more Chicago politically and culturally.  Total campus turnout was 103 voters out of 9030 registered.  That's basically 1%.

  •  NY-13 (0+ / 0-)

    McMahon sucked and voted against the healthcare bill. Lobby-taint is fine with me. Wish Harrison would run again.

    "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

    by joojooluv on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:21:41 AM PDT

  •  Allen tries to hand his empty glass... (0+ / 0-)

    ....to every black guest at the reception.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:34:26 AM PDT

  •  Grayson (0+ / 0-)

    Is Grayson going to run again? Since progressives are coming out to vote he should be a slam dunk

  •  Executives Club of Chicago.... (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like an escort service.

  •  Ah, Elburn (0+ / 0-)

    How amusing. I lived just a few miles from there for more than twenty years. I had at least a couple of co-workers and at least one ham radio friend who lived in or near it. I've been there and through there many times.

    It's not the biggest nor the smallest town on IL-47, the north/south state road that runs from the Wisconsin line down to an abrupt terminus just west of Champaign—roughly half the length of the state. 47 is actually a fairly major thoroughfare carrying quite a bit of truck traffic and lies east of the I-39/US-51 corridor and west of the Chicago/downstate highways which serve the eastern part of the state.

    It goes through about a dozen towns you've likely never heard of—in no particular order: Gibson City, Mahomet, Mazon, Dwight, Morris, Yorkville, Sugar Grove, Woodstock, Lily Lake, Huntley, and Hebron, and of course, Elburn. Except for Mahomet and Gibson City I've been through all of them. Some, like Mazon and Lily Lake are little more than wide spots on the road—the proverbial "if you blink, you'll miss it" settlements.

    Yorkville is where Daddy Denny had his offices (yes, he was rep for my district—ugh—now I'm saddled with Mica here in FL, satisfying the aphorism "it could be worse"). Elburn? Well, they had a really good meat store and a nice bakery, as well. Elburn Days, their annual carnival attracted the usual suspects but wasn't as big as nearby DeKalb's Corn Festival.

    There's a crossroads community called Albert's Corners north of town at IL-47 and IL-38. For years there was a 1930's style two story building with a couple of gas pumps and a diner which was featured in an obscure, 1986 Jim Belushi film called The Birthday Boy. The building's gone now, replaced by a mega gas/mini-mart complex and surrounded by 21st Century zero-lot line affordable ticky tack houses.

    I say all that, primarily to enjoy the reminiscence, but also to confirm that the population of Elburn can't indeed be too many multiples of 1,000 (didn't bother to look it up). I haven't been there in a dozen years, but my impression is that being on the "city" council there is definitely a small pond accomplishment.

  •  Uh oh (0+ / 0-)
    • NY-13: Ex-Rep. Mike McMahon will join the "government relations" (i.e., lobbying) group at a mid-sized NYC law firm. […] but of course, he risks getting hit with the lobbyist taint.

    Getting hit with lobbyist taint?  Isn't that what got the Minerals Management Service in trouble?

  •  Wonder if Franks (0+ / 0-)

    Has a skeleton in the "closet?"

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:54:50 AM PDT

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