• OR-01/OR-03: Hah, man, this is some gonzo campaigning at its finest—I love it! Dem Rep. Earl Blumenauer is re-airing a campaign advertisement from his first run for congress in 1996… a spot to which Republican Rob Cornilles' much-derided new ad bears a striking resemblance. Blumenauer's campaign explains what they're up to:
“It’s clear that Rob Cornilles is trying to be Earl Blumenauer for Halloween and we’re going to take off the mask and remind people of his positions on the issues,” said Willie Smith, Blumenauer campaign manager. […]
Fifteen years later, Republican Rob Cornilles is running a remarkably similar ad that has already caused controversy, in part because it shows him running in the 3rd Congressional district (held by Blumenauer) and tries to mislead first district voters about his well-documented, strictly conservative agenda– privatizing Social Security and Medicare, denying climate change, opposing women’s reproductive choice, and embracing the Tea Party.
Watch the ad below (The Hotline says it's a "small five-figure buy"), and make sure you stick around for the updated disclaimer at the end (something which wasn't required by law when the spot first ran):Meanwhile, a second poll (this one from Elway Research, for The Oregonian & KGW-TV) shows Suzanne Bonamici with a massive lead in the Democratic primary for the 1st CD special election. Click the link for our full post at Daily Kos Elections. P.S. The all-mail primary is coming up on Nov. 8.
• FL-Sen: Even though Rep. Connie Mack just made a preposterous about-face and announced on Thursday that he would in fact enter the Senate race, I guess he's not the savior some Florida Republicans were hoping for. Supposedly, some of them are still courting state CFO Jeff Atwater as well. No quotes from anyone in Atwater's camp about this, though—sounds like it's barely even at rumor level.
• RI-Sen, RI-01: Ted Nesi says that Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian will endorse fellow Republicans Brendan Doherty in RI-01 and Barry Hinckley for the Senate race—which presumably means Avedisian has ruled out runs for either of those seats himself.
• UT-Sen: "Later this fall" has turned into "later this year" for a decision from state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, probably the most prominent possible challenger still remaining for Sen. Orrin Hatch in the GOP primary. (I guess technically speaking, autumn runs until Dec. 21st, so maybe this change of language doesn't amount to much. But does anyone say "this fall" when they mean, say, mid-December?)
• KY-Gov: It's really just gravy at this point, but the Kentucky Democratic Party went ahead and filed a formal complaint with the state's Registry of Election Finance, accusing the David Williams campaign of illegally coordinating with Restoring America, a front group that ran advertising in support of Williams and which was funded solely by Williams' father-in-law, Terry Stephens.
Meanwhile, Dem Gov. Steve Beshear says that if he's re-elected next month, he won't seek a third term. This isn't a huge shock, since Kentucky's term limits law would prevent him from running again until 2019. UPDATE: I sort of missed the more important point here, which is that Beshear said he wouldn't run for any office ever again, which would include a rematch against GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who defeated Beshear in 1996 by a 55-43 margin.
• GA-12: Attorney Wright McLeod is the latest Republican to join the race against Dem Rep. John Barrow in the redrawn (and redder) 12th CD. It's not clear whether he's got a lot of juice, but he does have the backing of Gloria Norwood, the widow of ex-Rep. Charlie Norwood, who used to represent the 10th District.
• IL-13, IL-12: Uh, seriously, WTF? Ex-state Rep. Jay Hoffman had looked like a strong recruit for Democrats in the new 13th CD, where he'd face off against GOP Rep. Tim Johnson. Then, after Jerry Costello announced his retirement in the neighboring 12th, Hoffman suggested he might switch over there, a move which would have left Dems with a serious hole in the Johnson race but at least would have given us a credible candidate to hold the open Costello district. Now he's bailing on Congress altogether, to instead make a comeback bid for the state House! (Albeit in a different district than he used to represent.) Ugh. This really screws us.
Fortunately, Dem recruitment has picked up in the 12th in recent days, with former county Regional Superintendent of Schools Brad Harriman announcing a run. Madison County Chief Circuit Judge Ann Callis is also expected to join the race this week. (Apparently, local Democratic organizations have split between these two, with St. Clair County supporting Harriman and Madison County likely to back Callis.) But that still leaves us pretty hosed in the 13th. (Incidentally, though we missed it a month ago, Hoffman touted a poll, from an unnamed pollster, that showed the better-known Johnson up 44-33.)
• MI-13: State Sen. Glenn Anderson says he will challenge Rep. John Conyers in the Democratic primary in the redrawn 13th District. Conyers still hasn't formally announced he's switching to the 13th himself, but since fellow Dem. Rep. Hansen Clarke has made the reverse move (13th → 14th), everyone expects him to do so. (The switcheroo was prompted by GOP line-drawing which shifted many of Clarke's constituents into Conyers' district and vice-versa.)
• NV-01: Looks like we should have a pretty interesting Democratic primary in the new 1st CD. State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, who had long signaled his interest in running for Congress, says he plans to make a bid here—the same district where ex-Rep. Dina Titus lives and is hoping to make a comeback.
• MI Recall: We haven't discussed this race before, but in case you weren't aware, there's a recall election scheduled for Nov. 8 in Michigan, where the Michigan Education Association has led a drive to recall state Rep. Paul Scott. The AP explains:
The union is unhappy with Scott, the chairman of the House Education Committee, for his leadership in new laws that weaken the role of teacher tenure in the state. The teachers union also is upset with Scott's support of proposals that cut education funding for the state budget year that started Oct. 1.
Scott is also a notorious gay-baiter. In Michigan, as in California (and unlike in Wisconsin), recalls are a simply thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote—Scott doesn't face any actual opponent. If the recall succeeds, then a separate special election will be held to fill the vacancy.
• OH SB5: A weird poll on Issue 2 from the University of Akron finds voters opposed to SB5 by a 37-25 margin, which is obviously a ridiculous number of undecideds for a prominent election that's a little over a week away—and which also doesn't match other polling at all. Also, Akron reports its results to the tenth of a percent, a false level of accuracy which is one of my biggest polling peeves.
• Census: Greg Giroux is out with another one of his always-fascinating spreadsheets, and it's a good complement to the income and poverty data I was looking at a few weeks ago: it's a ranking of all congressional districts according to income inequality, as measured by gini coefficients (a tool usually used at the national level when analyzing developing nations). Most polarized: NY-08, which contains the Upper West Side as well as working-class swaths of Brooklyn. Least polarized: uniformly affluent VA-11 in the DC suburbs. Also, for the DIY demographers among us, the Census Bureau recently released the rolling three-year American Community Survey estimates for the years 2008-2010, which thanks to larger sample sizes (compared with one-year ACS samples) provides a plethora of data for populations all the way down to 20,000. (David Jarman)
• NV Redistricting: Carson District Judge James Russell approved new congressional and legislative maps that were drawn by the court's special masters, clearing the way for the parties to appeal his ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court. The federal map is probably set, though, since Republicans withdrew their objections, conceding that the Voting Rights Act does not require the creation of a majority-minority Hispanic district. However, the GOP is still complaining about the legislative plans, the senate map in particular. A hearing is already set before the state's high court next month. (Note that Nevada does not have an intermediate appellate court.)
Note that Russell made a few tweaks to the legislative maps but does not appear to have changed the congressional map. You can find the new versions here.
• OH Redistricting: Ohio's Supreme Court ruled that the clock should not get re-set for Democrats who want to gather signatures to put the state's controversial new redistricting map on the ballot for a voter referendum. You'll recall that the GOP tried to immunize their map from such a vote by attaching an election-related appropriation to the bill, but earlier this month, the high court said that a referendum could proceed. Ordinarily, opponents have 90 days from the passage of a law (in this case Sept. 26) to collect petitions, but Democrats wanted the start date moved forward to the day the court issued its prior ruling permitting the referendum, Oct. 14. Despite this setback, Democrats say they are confident they will gather sufficient signatures (231K) by the original deadline of Dec. 26.
Meanwhile, it sounds like the Legislative Black Caucus is once again back to negotiating an unholy alliance with Republicans over a new map, after having said they would work with Democrats instead. I was afraid this might happen (and said so at the time), since Democrats don't really have anything they can offer the LBC (except, well, the prospect of electing more Democrats). The GOP, meanwhile, is offering the carrot of a second heavily (but not majority) black district, though drawing one could constitute an illegal racial gerrymander, so it's not clear how wise this course of action would be even given the narrow aims of the LBC.