• OH Redistricting, WA Redistricting: New congressional maps were released in two states yesterday: Ohio (where the GOP unleashed a breathtaking gerrymander) and Washington (where each of the state's four independent redistricting commissioners put out their own separate proposals). In a bit of kismet, the fortunes of one man are tied to redistricting in both places: Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has long been flirting with the impossibly weird idea of seeking re-election in Washington. With that in mind, David Jarman combined an analysis of both sets of plans into one mega-post. Click the link for the complete run-down, and also see our Ohio bullets below for more.
• AZ-Sen: Former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who last month said he was thinking about running for Senate as a Democrat, sounds like he's getting cold feet. From the horse's mouth: "Quite frankly, I'm just not sure it's the right opportunity yet." Meanwhile, the first linked article, without citing any sources, adds that former state Dem Party chair Don Bivens, who has also been looking at the race, "is expected to announce his decision in the next few weeks."
• CA-Sen: Holy crap. Sen. Dianne Feinstein says her coffers may also have been "wiped out" by Kinde Durkee, the treasurer for a huge array of Democratic campaigns who was recently arrested on charges that she stole from her clients. Feinstein isn't sure of the extent of the damage just yet — she had over $5 million on hand — but she joins a growing list of officeholders who have been hit, including Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Susan Davis.
• MA-Sen: According to a statement released yesterday, Elizabeth Warren will officially announce her campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination today.
• MO-Sen: PPP is out with a new survey in Missouri, and they find Dem Sen. Claire McCaskill leading Todd Akin 45-43, Sarah Steelman 43-42, and John Brunner 46-37. These numbers, while far from great, are pretty much unchanged from May, which is actually a good sign for McCaskill given how crappy the summer has been for Democrats.
• MO-Sen: Karl Rove's American Crossroads is spending $75K on ads trying to revive what already seems like an old issue: Sen. Claire McCaskill's proper reimbursements for official travel on a private plane (which she decided to return anyway), and her unpaid taxes on that same plane (which she paid off). Part of the reason these incidents didn't get as much play as they might have is because it turned out that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, the GOP's gubernatorial candidate in all but name, had engaged in genuinely abusive mis-spending of taxpayer dollars on personal travel of his own. You bring up one issue, you bring up the other. But with Kinder seemingly doomed, I guess Crossroads just doesn't care about tying this anvil around his neck, and they seem to think they can hurt McCaskill with it.
• WA-Gov: Republican AG Rob McKenna's fundraising has been neck-and-neck with Dem Rep. Jay Inslee's — he, too, took in around $500K in the month of August and has about $1.5 mil on hand. But McKenna's burn rate has been much higher: He's already spent $620K to just $294K for Inslee. Gotta wonder why he's running through cash like this fourteen months before election day and long before any ads go up on the air.
• AZ-08: Rep. Gabby Giffords will sit down for her first interview since being shot early this year with ABC's Diane Sawyer on Nov. 14. Apparently "it's still not decided whether she will sit for an interview in front of the camera."
• CA-35: Rep. Joe Baca, who currently occupies the old 43rd CD, just announced that he'd seek re-election in the new Fontana-centric 35th. That sets him up on a collision course for the Democratic nomination with state Sen. Gloria Negrete McCleod, and also possibly with Assemblywoman Norma Torres, who formed an exploratory committee last month. The first linked article says that Baca had been considering a run in the new San Bernardino-based 31st, but most of Baca's current district is in the new 35th, which is also a much bluer seat.
• OH-03: Aaron Blake reports that Dem ex-Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who represented the old 15th for a single term, is interested in making a comeback in the proposed new 3rd CD. This district, according to the new GOP map (see redistricting item below) is a Columbus-centric Democratic vote sink that would have no incumbent, so I suspect Kilroy would not be alone in seeking this seat.
• OH-09 (?): And here's a statement from Dennis Kucinich himself, who is, amazingly enough, painting the new map as a bit of good fortune. However, he actually does not say he'll run in the new 9th CD (the most obvious choice), or in fact in Ohio at all:
"It is an amazing turn of events that the legislature decided not to dismantle the district I represent. I have been praying that I could continue to serve my Cleveland-area constituency and it looks like I have a chance. That is all I could have hoped for."
• NJ-St. Sen.: Great news for Carl Lewis! The Third Circuit Court of Appeals just overturned the district court and found that the Democrat (and former Olympic champion) can indeed appear on the ballot this fall. Republicans are vowing to appeal, but their options are poor: They can either ask the entire Third Circuit to hear the case (known as en banc review), or they can go to the Supreme Court. However, neither court is obligated to hear the case, and both decline the vast majority of requests to do so.
• Pennsylvania: Man, I do not like the sound of this. Republicans in Pennsylvania are trying to pass legislation that would change the state's winner-take-all system for electoral votes and divvy them up by congressional district, as Maine and Nebraska do. Obviously it would be a much bigger deal if PA does it, though. And this isn't some backbencher filing a random bill. It's being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and has the support of Gov. Tom Corbett.
• ID Redistricting: How did they miss this one? Just days after the state Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by a deadlocked redistricting commission, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says that the entire commission needs to be reconstituted from scratch. Why? Because of a 2009 law which, somewhat insanely, prevents people from serving on a commission more than once. So now Ysursa is insisting that Democrats and Republicans provide him with new names by today… but then what? Do they start from scratch? Try to pick up where the previous commissioners left off? Sounds like a serious mess, and it seems like further delays are inevitable.
• TX Redistricting: Michael Li reminds us that that other big Texas redistricting case is about to heat up. One case (currently at trial) is underway in San Antonio, but the parties will soon be filing important papers in the preclearance suit that the state of Texas brought in Washington, DC. While there are a lot of intervenors, the chief defendant is the Department of Justice (as per the Voting Rights Act), which promises a substantive (rather than pro forma) answer to Texas's complaint on Sept. 19.