• MA-Sen: Did Scott Brown just say he'd vote for the Ryan budget when Harry Reid brings it to the Senate floor? Why yes, yes he did. God bless him. And if for some reason he changes his mind between then and now, I believe that'd make him for it before he was against it. Perfect.
In other news, Rep. John Olver now becomes the third Democratic Massachusetts congressman who needs quit gabbing about his state's Senate race. First we had Barney Frank repeatedly slagging Newton Mayor Setti Warren, who recently announced his candidacy. Then we had Richie Neal singing Scott Brown's praises. Now comes Olver, talking smack about the entire Democratic field that's emerged so far. Hey, jackasses: If you're in a position to improve things — you know, by, like, running yourselves — but you're instead sitting there doing nothing, then you need to drink a tall glass of STFU.
• MI-Sen: I never really imagined GOP Rep. Thad McCotter would challenge Debbie Stabenow, despite some pussyfooting around the race. So it's not a surprise that he finally announced he wouldn't run. Hell, good ol' Thaddeus might not even seek re-election. The Detroit Free Press's Todd Spangler says that McCotter is waiting on the outcome of redistricting, and will wait "until closer to the filing deadline next May" to decide whether to run again.
• MN-Sen: Former GOP state Rep. Dan Severson will supposedly become the first Republican to launch a campaign against Sen. Amy Klobuchar later today. Severson ran for Secretary of State last year and lost by three points to incumbent Mark Ritchie.
• MO-Sen: Another dude I was sure wouldn't run for the Senate is GOP Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer, who said no on Friday. Leutkemeyer would have almost certainly faced fellow Rep. Todd Akin in the primary, which couldn't have been an appetizing thought. A separate Roll Call piece says that rich guy businessman John Brunner, whom we've mentioned in the past, is "poised to enter" the Senate race.
• MN-Gov: A Minneapolis Star Tribune poll taken by Princeton Survey Research Associates International shows new Dem Gov. Mark Dayton with a surprisingly good job approval rating of 54-20. I say "surprisingly" only because so many governors, especially in the Midwest, have had such rough numbers.
• NJ-Gov: Hah, well, here are some job approval numbers that are not quite so good, though I'm sure the Beltway media will happily ignore them. GOP Gov. Chris Christie is at a truly terrible 38-56 in SurveyUSA's newest poll, which also includes some other amusing comparisons (Christie vs. Obama, Christie vs. Bush). Believe it or not, though, these figures represent an improvement for Christie, who a year ago (when SUSA last tested) was at 33-62.
• AK-AL: This is almost the definition of "Some Dude": Eagle River electrician Doug Urquidi, who lost a state Assembly race earlier in the year by a 6-to-1 margin, is announcing a bid for congress. He'll challenge GOP Rep. Don Young as a Democrat. I can almost feel the Mumpower!
• CT-05: I think this is pretty close to Some Dude-level, too: 31-year-old Mike Williams says he'll seek the Dem nomination to replace Rep. Chris Murphy. It's not clear from the writeup what exactly he's doing now, but he's done some work for Obama and Biden and has worked in American embassies overseas, so maybe he has a few Beltway connections.
• MO-02: Another name is piling into the clown car that Rep. Todd Akin hasn't quite left with the valets just yet: Former GOP state legislator Mike Gibbons, who narrowly lost to Republican-turned-Dem Chris Koster for state AG in 2008, is supposedly thinking about getting in.
• NY-10: Heh: City Councilman Charles Barron, who isn't term-limited out until 2013, says he may not run against Rep. Ed Towns in the Dem primary… but not because he's afraid of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is on the verge of making the race. Oh no: He plans to step aside only if Real World star and two-time failed candidate Kevin Powell gets into the race once more. Uh-huh.
• OH-10: This is exactly the kind of research-intensive thing the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog is good at. They sum it up: "No U.S. Representative has won reelection in back-to-back cycles after moving to a new state in the history of the House." I doubt Dennis Kucinich will care, but it's certainly instructive. Only twenty-three men have won House seats in two different states. Six didn't have to move: They wound up in new states when Maine split from Massachusetts and West Virginia left Virginia, respectively. Another fifteen did indeed move from one state to another, but only three have pulled off the feat since the 19th century. The last person to do so was Republican Ed Foreman, over forty years ago (he lost his seat in Texas and later won one in New Mexico). But I encourage you to read the full article, since it's chock-full of interesting historical tidbits.
• TX-08: Sometimes, you know somebody's a Some Dude not because of how his bio page reads but because of what his website looks like. Click through to Chris Irish's site and tell me you disagree. Anyhow, the teabagger and local school board member apparently plans to challenge GOP Rep. Kevin Brady in the primary. Brady's not a name you hear a lot, but he is on Ways and Means, so I don't think you can call him a back-bencher. That alone, though, probably makes him insufficiently pure for the teabag set.
• NJ-St. Sen.: Though Carl Lewis's ballot status is still in legal limbo, Burlington County sent out primary ballots with his name on them, unable to delay any further. Lewis is the only Democrat running for state Senate in the 8th district, but his legal case may not get resolved until after the June 7th primary.
• PA-AG: Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman raised $235K in the first quarter, despite being unopposed, which has some folks thinking she might instead be interested in running for state AG. Meanwhile, ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is actually running, just scored the endorsement of Philly DA Seth Williams.
• Wisconsin Recall: Republicans are, unsurprisingly, trying to ram through a package of voter suppression reforms before any recall elections take place. Click through the link for all the shenanigans.
• 501(c)(4)'s: The IRS is potentially moving to tax big-dollar gifts to non-profits which are classified as 501(c)(4)'s. These groups have played an increasing role in the world of politics lately, but in order to maintain their preferential tax status, their primary purpose cannot be political. If they cross the line, a gift tax bill might come due. See more here (PDF) in this client advisory from the law firm of Covington & Burling.
• Voter Suppression: Uh guys, what are you doing? A voter ID bill just passed the Dem-held Rhode Island state Senate, which really makes absolutely no sense. It's not clear what will happen in the House (which is also controlled by the Democrats), and indie Gov. Lincoln Chafee hasn't said whether he'd sign such legislation, but I can't believe we're even having this discussion. Meanwhile, new voter ID laws will soon be going into effect in Texas and South Carolina.
• Alabama: Some Democrats in Alabama are mooting the idea of second majority-minority district, but it seems like a tough sell. Alabama's black population is 26.2%, which would appear to fall short, especially since it's the same proportion as it was ten years ago. What's more, the GOP-dominated state legislature would never go in for such a thing unless forced.
• Arizona: A tea leaf? Arizona's independent redistricting commission was required to hire a pair of law firms (one D, one R), and the lone independent on the board sided with the two Democrats to select their preferred firms. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come, with any luck.
• Illinois: Republicans in Illinois are filing a lawsuit challenging the way tiebreakers are handled in redistricting… but it seems like a weird suit, given that Dems can just completely dial the GOP out this time.
• Louisiana: Black legislators are asking the Department of Justice to deny preclearance to the new state House map that was recently passed into law. While the details of this particular map may not be especially interesting, I believe that this is the first redistricting plan currently going through the preclearance process, so it's worth watching to see what the DoJ does here.
• Nevada: It's curtains for the kabuki cartography in the Silver State: As expected, GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the maps that Democrats passed through the state legislature. So now we move to the courts, where lawsuits had already been filed some time ago (evidently in anticipation of this day).
• Texas: Republicans have released their proposed map for redistricting the state Senate; you can see a copy at the link. Interestingly, Texas only has 31 Senate districts, fewer than it has Congressional districts!
• Virginia: The state legislature will reportedly reconvene on June 9 to take up congressional redistricting. I'm sort of surprised to hear that, since I figured the GOP would prefer to take a shot at winning back the state Senate this fall and then give mapmaking a go; if they fail to pick up seats in November, then they're in the same boat they are now. If Democrats roll over for the map that is currently on the table, then they're idiots (but I think we already knew that). It's already an 8-3 plan, and the GOP can't possibly draw anything worse than that, so we're better off forcing things to go to court. The only thing holding us back, I'm sure, is fear that our three remaining congressmembers could find themselves with a map they like even less if a judge creates one.
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