• IN-Sen: I think I'm just too amused by this quote from Lugar's PD to really write this piece up: "I encourage all Republican leaders to rally around the Dick Lugar flag now." Ah yes, the "Dick Lugar flag." That's a keeper. Okay, well, anyway, the real news here is that Lugar is now directly comparing his primary opponent, Treasurer Richard Mourdock, to Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell, saying that Republicans risk getting "duped" now like they supposedly were then. That's really not how I read either of those primaries, though—Republican voters in NV and DE may have made the wrong choice, but they weren't duped. And I doubt teabaggers like being accused of that in the first place.
The Justice Department plans to intervene in a whistle-blower lawsuit charging that one of the nation's largest for-profit college companies, the Education Management Corporation, defrauded the government by illegally paying recruiters based on the number of students they enrolled, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday.
Why am I filing this under ME-Sen? Because, as Dirigo Blue points out, the chairman of the company in question is Jock McKernan, husband of Sen. Olympia Snowe and former governor of Maine. (And yes, he really does go by "Jock." What do you expect—the guy went to Dartmouth.) We could debate all day whether it's fair or not if one spouse's issues affect the other, and who even knows if this will make even a ripple in the race. But, fair or not, it might, which is why I'm mentioning it.
• NJ-Sen: Ian Linker, a Republican attorney who basically sounds like Some Dude, says he plans to challenge Sen. Bob Menendez next year. Okay.
• NV-Sen: It's not like Dean Heller has a choice, so he's going to meet his fate with arms open wide:
Once Heller joins the Senate, Reid could call up for a vote the House budget blueprint that the chamber passed last month. The nonbinding plan would cut $6.2 trillion from yearly federal deficits over the coming decade. The plan makes changes to Medicare and Medicaid that some Democrats say would prove unpopular in next year's elections.
"I'm not worried about it. I voted for it once. I'm not going to come over here and vote against it," Heller said. "I'm proud to be the only member of Congress who will get to vote for it twice.
• AZ-Gov: Hah! Gov. Jan Brewer, just weeks after saying she was probably done with politics, is looking to pull an Alberto Fujimori. Whodat? Why, he's the corrupt Peruvian ex-president now serving a twenty-five year sentence for crimes against humanity, of course! Before his downfall, though, Fujimori found a clever way to evade his country's constitutional ban on seeking a third term. Per Wikipedia:
The 1993 constitution limits a presidency to two terms. Shortly after Fujimori began his second term, his supporters in Congress passed a law of "authentic interpretation" which effectively allowed him to run for another term in 2000. A 1998 effort to repeal this law by referendum failed. In late 1999, Fujimori announced that he would run for a third term. Peruvian electoral bodies, which were politically sympathetic to Fujimori, accepted his argument that the two-term restriction did not apply to him, as it was enacted while he was already in office.
Sneaky! (It didn't last long, though: Fujimori fled the country amid a scandal shortly after the election. Now he rots in jail.) Anyhow, Arizona's state constitution also has a similar prohibition for its chief executives:
The Arizona Constitution limits governors from serving more than two consecutive terms and specifies that the maximum number of terms "shall include any part of a term served."
Entertainingly, Brewer is claiming there's an "ambiguity" to this provision, and that her first term shouldn't count because she wasn't elected to the office. (As Secretary of State, she took then-Gov. Janet Napolitano's spot after the latter became Director of Homeland Security.) Everyone else (including a former AG who says he "loves" Brewer) thinks that this is nuts. (One guy thinks it's just a way for Brewer to stave off lame-duckness.)
Relatedly, Republican SoS Ken Bennett has filed paperwork for a 2014 gubernatorial exploratory committee.
• IN-Gov: Hamilton County Commissioner Jim Wallace (whom David Jarman once described as "one step up from Some Dude") officially got into the GOP gubernatorial field yesterday, where he'll presumably make a tasty snack for Rep. Mike Pence. Please prove me wrong, good buddy!
• KY-Gov: Steve Beshear continues to kick David Williams' ass. The Dem gov raised $200K in the second half of April, compared to just $77K for his Republican counterpart. The GOP primary is May 17. While Williams is favored, I wouldn't be surprised if he has a pretty limpy finish.
• LA-Gov: Lamar Parmentel at Daily Kingfish suggests that two old names are working their way through the rumor mill as possible challengers to Gov. Bobby Jindal (against whom no one is running right now): ex-Gov. Kathleen Blanco (who still has a $2.2 million warchest) and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial. Blanco won a nailbiter in 2003 but declined to seek re-election four years later after Republicans and the tradmed decided to turn her into a Hurricane Katrina villain. Meanwhile, Morial (also a former state senator) served two terms as mayor and unsuccessfully tried to pass an initiative that would have allowed him to run a third time (before Mike Bloomberg made this sort of thing even uncooler).
• VA-Gov: Bob McDonnell: Amazing governor, or merely the greatest of all time? That new WaPo poll has him at a 62-26 job approval rating. I expect him to run for Batman after his current term is up.
• WV-Gov: The AP rounds up some of the outside spending taking place in the West Virginia gubernatorial primaries… but it really hasn't amounted to much.
• AZ-07: This is just creepy. Republican Some Dude Gabriela Saucedo Mercer claims that the mayor of Nogales told her that Rep. Raul Grijalva "doesn't show up in Nogales because people want to lynch him." The mayor, Democrat Arturo Garino, denies every saying such a thing… but it's pretty fucking disturbing that Mercer would even say such a thing in the first place. Still, it's never a surprise to see eliminationist rhetoric on the right.
• IN-05: Dan, Dan the watermelon man, if he can't do it… well, a lot of people probably can. The remarkable Dan Burton says he'll run for another term, despite winning his primary last year with a truly impressive 30%. Will Indiana Republicans unite behind a single challengers? Or will they allow him to, as they say, pull a Burton?
• MO-01: An interesting post on the Arch City Chronicle notes that the Voting Age Population of the new 1st CD, which in theory is a majority-minority district, is actually plurality white: 48.3% white to 45.5% black. The author speculates that the hypothetical primary electorate could wind up being almost evenly split as well, and advises Russ Carnahan to "stop whining and start running" against Rep. Lacy Clay.
• VA-10: This looks like an interesting get for Team Blue: Retired Air Force General John Douglass says he'll challenge Rep. Frank Wolf next year in this swingy district. Republicans in the state legislature will try to shore Wolf up in redistricting, but as long as they're intent on drawing an 8-3 map, there's not a ton they can do for him. (And of course, who even knows how this battle will play out.) If Douglass has the chops of guys like Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy, and even Jim Webb, he could make some waves here. The title of "General" alone ought to turn some heads.
• Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso turns this one around ASAP:
Alabama's HD-105 ended with a surprisingly close result; Republican David Sessions defeated Constitution Party candidate Bill Atkinson by only 54-46.
In Maine's SD-07, Democrat Cynthia Dill easily held the seat, defeating Republican Louis Maietta by a 68-32 margin.
In Massachusetts, Democrat John Lawn defeated Republican James Dixon by a 68-32 margin for the 10th Middlesex district, while in the 6th Worcester district, the Alicea/Durant do-over ended with an actual winner this time: Republican Peter Durant defeated incumbent Democrat Geraldo Alicea by a slim 55-vote margin.
• Wisconsin Recall: Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board has certified the signatures in four recall races, all Republicans: Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen, and Sheila Harsdorf. But as TPM explains:
This action does not by itself trigger the recalls—challenges to the signatures will be reviewed at official board meetings on May 23 and May 31, with the board on a timeline to hold the recalls on July 12.
"So our review is limited to what's on the face of the petition," said Magney. "Is there a signature, a name, and a complete address. We don't check to see whether Joe Smith really lives at 123 Main Street, we don't see whether he's been disqualified from voting, we don't see whether that's really his signature."
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: With the recount completed in 71 of 72 counties (and 30% of the final county, infamous Waukesha), JoAnne Kloppenburg has made up 355 votes on David Prosser. She still trails by 6,962, an impossible sum to make up.
• Voter Suppression: We previously mentioned the odious, multi-pronged voter suppression bill that was moving through Florida's state legislature. Well, unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the bill passed and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. ThinkProgress has more details on exactly what's in the bill.
• Polls: For the first time ever, Gallup says that a majority of Republicans would like to see the creation of a third party. It sounds like this shift is coming from teabaggers who crave greater purity rather than independent-leaning "moderates" who are growing embarrassed by the Grand Old Party. Of course, this is never going to happen, but it does seem to indicate a growing number of disaffected Republican voters.
• WATN?: Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed former IL-10 candidate Dan Seals as an assistant director of the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
• Colorado: The legislative session ends today, and an agreement between Republicans and Democrats on new congressional maps seems as distant as ever. If no compromise can be reached, we could see a special session, or the issue could just go straight to court.
• Minnesota: Tony Angelo, using Dave's Redistricting App, estimates the Obama vote for each district on the GOP's proposed new congressional map. Important note: Angelo (and most other commentators, such as Derek Wallbank of MinnPost) view the new 8th as Dem Colin Peterson's district and the new 7th as GOPer Chip Cravaack's. This is a little confusing because Peterson currently holds the 7th and Cravaack the 8th.
• Mississippi: Republicans are desperately trying to convince a three-judge panel to draw its own maps for the state's legislative elections this November, rather than used maps that were only each passed by a single chamber earlier this year. The court previously said they were inclined to do the latter, and with time running out for candidates to file, it certainly is the easier (and cheaper) option.
• Texas: Another lawsuit, and this one seems to be asking the impossible. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus wants a federal judge to require that new maps be drawn "based on the assumption that there are more Hispanics living in the state than the Census shows." That sounds a lot like statistical sampling, which was expressly forbidden by the Supreme Court for the purposes of reapportionment in a cased called Department of Commerce v. United States House. I haven't read the full case, though, so I wonder if the MALC might be able to thread a needle and argue that sampling is permitted for redistricting even if it cannot be used for reapportionment.
• Facebook: We had to create a new Facebook page because the powers-that-be would not let us change the name on our Swing State Project page. So if you like following us on Facebook, then "like" us on Facebook!
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