Note: This Morning Digest contains additional items not contained in last Friday's Live Digest. I expect this will be a regular occurrence when dealing with the Friday-to-Monday time period.
• CT-Sen: Vernon (pop. 29K) Mayor Jason McCoy says he won't seek re-election this fall but will instead look at a possible Senate run. What doesn't make sense is that McCoy, a Republican, also says he wants to "spend more time with his family and to focus on his career as a lawyer," according to the Hartford Courant. This is not exactly compatible with a Senate run.
• FL-Sen: I guess the Florida GOP doesn't trust George LeMieux or Adam Hasner, because in the wake of Mike Haridopolos's departure, they're casting about for a savior. (I guess that means Haridopolos was their original savior, which is just sad.) Former state House Speaker Allan Bense makes it sound like his phone is ringing off the hook with entreaties to run, but he doesn't seem particularly enthused, though he wouldn't rule it out. Bense hasn't held office since 2006, and has been talked up for several races (including for Senate in '06 and '10) but never pulled the trigger. And while he surely has good connections, he has zero name rec, as this old Quinnipiac poll shows.
Speaking of saviors…. If you tell it one way, Nick Loeb sure sounds like Some Dude: 35 years old, owns an "environmental consulting firm," never held elective office before — and the closest he came was dropping out of a state Senate race in 2009. Not exactly U.S. Senate material, right? On the other hand, he raised $300K for that state Senate race (which had a $500 per donation cap), has a famous girlfriend ("Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara), a great-great- uncle who served as both governor and senator from New York (Herbert Lehman), and a dad who was an ambassador under Reagan (John Loeb). In any event, Loeb says he's "even more seriously" considering entering the GOP field in the Florida Senate race now that Mike Haridopolos has bailed… but what's he waiting for? He's been sniffing around the race since January. He also doesn't really sound like he could survive a GOP primary, given that he's not a movement conservative (click the first link in this graf to the Roll Call story for more on that point).
• MO-Sen, MT-Sen: Via the Fix, Dem super PAC Patriot Majority USA (sounds like a Republican outfit, though, doesn't it?) is launching a $150,000 ad buy across two states, Missouri and Montana, designed to push back against recent Crossroads GPS spots. The spots are basically identical (see Montana here), focusing on what the Ryan plan does to Medicare. Not sure how effective it is to feature MSNBC hosts inveighing against Ryan, though they do at least cite the WSJ, too.
• WA-Gov: Dem Rep. Jay Inslee just received initial approval from the state's Public Disclosure Commission to transfer $1 million in contributions to his federal account from past cycles over to his gubernatorial campaign. Republican AG Rob McKenna plans to contest any formal ruling by the PDC, though the AP writeup makes it sound like Inslee is on pretty firm ground.
• CA-06: Dem state Sen. Noreen Evans, who was thinking about a run for the retiring Lynn Woolsey's seat but whose house was moved out of the CD in the draft redistricting maps, says she won't make the race. Several other Democrats are already running, though, and the article says that one more, Petaluma City Councilwoman Tiffany Renee, has now formed an exploratory committee.
• CA-45: Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who had filed paperwork to seek a rematch against GOP Rep. Mary Bono Back but hadn't actively campaigned, said that he will instead seek re-election this fall and won't run for Congress. Pougnet ran a creditable campaign last year, raising well ($1.8 million), but facing 2010's red tide, he lost by just under ten points.
• MI-14: State Sen. Bert Johnson just announced he would challenge 23-term Rep. John Conyers in the Democratic primary. Like Conyers, Johnson is African American. Unlike Conyers, he was born after the invention of the polio vaccine — Johnson is 37, Conyers 82. I also suggest you read this Politico piece by Dan Hirschhorn, which points out that under the new congressional map just passed by the GOP-held legislature, the new 14th CD only contains 20% of the constituents from Conyers' old district. Most of the people whom Conyers has represented in the past have been shuttled to freshman Hansen Clark's 13th district, and there's a possibility the two men could swap seats (something Conyers has alluded to). Hirschhorn also mentions several other possible primary challengers: Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, Kevorkian attorney (and disastrous 1998 Dem gubernatorial nominee) Geoffrey Fieger, and even Rep. Gary Peters, who is casting about for a districting to run, since he got drawn into the same seat as fellow Dem Sandy Levin.
• MT-AL: Two more possible Democratic names for the open House seat: Attorney Rob Stutz he's looking at the race, and businesswoman Diane Smith is also said to be interested.
• NV-0?: State Sen. Ruben Kihuen and Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, both of whom are Democrats and both of whom are looking at congressional runs, are in DC this week as part of a delegation from Nevada. Kihuen tells Jon Ralston he's meeting with DCCC chair Steve Israel.
• OR-01: Dem Rep. David Wu announced he will not seek re-election, in the face of a report in the Portland Oregonian that a young woman (who apparently was just out of high school) has accused him of sexual assault. One of the two men who had sought to challenge Wu in the Democratic primary, Brad Avakian, called on him to resign now, while the other, Brad Witt, said "If this accusation proves to be true, it's time for David Wu to resign and get the help he needs." Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has called for the House ethics committee to investigate.
• PA-11: While his name had come up as a possible rematch candidate in his old district (the 10th), I think this is the first time I've seen anyone mention Dem ex-Rep. Chris Carney as a potential challenger in the neighboring 11th, now home to GOP frosh Lou Barletta. But Dan Hirschhorn is very knowledgeable about PA politics, so I'm ready to buy it. Meanwhile, Dem ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, who barely survived in 2008 before getting washed out the following cycle, is refusing to rule out a possible comeback bid. Kanjorski is 74 years old.
• Passings: Bruce Sundlun, who served two terms as governor of Rhode Island in the early 1990s, passed away at the age of 91. Sundlun, a Democrat, was the last governor of Rhode Island whose terms lasted only two years apiece (the state switched to four-year terms starting in 1995).
• AZ Redistricting: The ref-working has had its desired effect: A barrage of complaints by Republicans (pissed that the lone independent member of Arizona's redistricting commission, Colleen Mathis, dared, dared to side with Democrats on a couple of votes) has led state Attorney General Tom Horne (a Republican, of course) to open an investigation. It also helped that the Arizona Capitol Times also published a report alleging the commission had violating state open meeting and procurement laws.
Furious conservatives are demanding that Gov. Jan Brewer remove Mathis from the board. Honestly, I can't see why she wouldn't at this point — not on the merits, of course, but purely as a partisan move, while pretending to want to uphold the independence of the commission. All she needs is whatever fig leaf Horne's probe provides. In any event, I also suggest you check out local writer Steve Muratore, who has been following this saga assiduously, here and here for more background.
• CA Redistricting: An interesting — and unusual — issue has arisen in the California redistricting process. We've been struggling for a while now with the Canadian riding-style names the commission used instead of numbers on its new maps, unwieldy behemoths like "West San Fernando Valley-Calabasas" and "Hawthorne-Gardena-Compton." There's a good reason for this, though: the commission needed to emphasize that it was not taking current districts into account in drawing new ones, something required by law. And the actual numbers don't matter for the state Assembly or Congress, which both have two-year terms.
But there's a problem on the state Senate side, where terms are for four years: odd-numbered districts are up in 2012 while even districts aren't on the ballot until 2014. So if the commission doesn't compare the new Senate map with the old one when they add in the district numbers, they could risk forcing a lot of people to wait six years between Senate elections. Commissioners therefore want to minimize the number of voters who get flipped from odd to even districts. However, one commission staff attorney is concerned that the commission risks having its Senate map thrown out for violating the terms of 2008 initiative which created it if it does take this consideration into account. Instead, she says, the commission is supposed to just number districts consecutively from north to south, as the ballot initiative which created the commission specifies.
• NC Redistricting: Committees in both the state House and Senate passed new Republican-drawn redistricting maps along party lines on Friday. Now they'll go before the full chambers, though it's not clear exactly when they'll come up for a vote (but I'd expect soon).