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Leading Off:

WV-Sen: Hahahahahahahahah! Oh, too, too priceless! Uber-rich businessman John Raese received a ton of crap last year (deservedly so) for actually being a resident of Florida while running for Senate in West Virginia. (Here's a sample DSCC ad.) So how did he launch his bid for a rematch against Dem Sen. Joe Manchin, the guy who thoroughly beat him last year?

"It just seemed like a good day," he told reporters. "The weather was clear, the clouds parted and I just came in."

According to the FlightAware online flight tracking service, Raese flew to Charleston from Palm Beach International Airport in his Cessna Citation jet, arriving at Yeager Airport at 3:34 p.m.

Oh man! Just perfect! But wait, it gets even better:

However, the jet is hangared, not in the University City, but at Cumberland (Md.) Regional Airport, about 70 miles east of Morgantown.

Why? Unlike West Virginia, Maryland does not collect aircraft registration fees or charge personal property taxes on aircraft. Purchases of aircraft are also exempt from Maryland sales taxes, if the company that owns the plane is engaged in interstate commerce.

For a Citation CJ2, domiciling the jet in Maryland saves about $240,000 in sales taxes, and about $52,000 a year in personal property taxes.

Even Raese's plane isn't a resident of West Virginia! And all to deprive the state he supposedly cares so much about some badly-needed tax revenue. The attack ads have already been produced, but in case Democrats need to freshen them up, well, the new ones just write themselves.

4Q Fundraising:

FL-13: Keith Fitzgerald (D): $223K raised

MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon (D): $1.3 mil raised, $5 mil cash-on-hand

NV-Sen: Rep. Shelley Berkley (D): $1.1 mil raised, $3.75 mil cash-on-hand

Senate:

MA-Sen: I don't know why there was a delay, but Alan Khazei, who dropped out of the race back in October, finally endorsed fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren's Senate bid.

NE-Sen: Okay, I'll give Bob Kerrey credit for a pretty funny response to Karl Rove's radio ad attacking the former Dem senator for living in New York City for the past decade. From Cameron Joseph in The Hill:

Kerrey has sent a letter back to Rove that was obtained by The Hill pointing out that he owns restaurants and a chain of gyms in the state.

"I heard your very funny radio ad and would like to invite you to come to Nebraska and have a burger with my family at one of my restaurants. Or better: Let's work out at one of my health clubs," Kerrey wrote to Rove. "I am certain you'll be glad you did."

Kinda sounds like Kerrey is actually giving serious consideration to this thing, huh?

PA-Sen: Republican Tom Smith, who has kicked $5 million of his own money into his campaign kitty, is up with his second TV ad. No word on the size of the buy, but it'll supposedly air statewide on cable. While the spot's message obviously doesn't resonate with me (it's about cutting government spending), I actually think the production values are pretty decent, and the campaign rally bit at the end feels reasonably authentic. So I'm starting to wonder if Smith, by virtue of his money and perhaps a little bit of skill, might wind up as the GOP nominee despite being a political newcomer.

WI-Sen: Well, it sure looks like Tammy Baldwin has the Democratic nomination locked up: Former Rep. Steve Kagen, who was probably the last remaining potential candidate of any notability, just endorsed her. All in all, some pretty nice work by Baldwin in terms of securing this opportunity for herself. Now she can let the GOP field tear itself apart while she focuses on winning in November.

House:

AL-05: This is so hilarious and so absurd that I can hardly believe it. Everyone, of course, remembers ex-Rep. Parker Griffith, the turncoat chump first elected in 2008 who then switched parties from D to R in Dec. of 2009, thinking it would save his sorry ass at election time. Well, his ass was sorry indeed, because he immediately got teabagged to death in the Republican primary, losing 51-33 to Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks. (Surprise! Alabama Republicans aren't interested in lifelong Democrats who donated money to Howard Dean and Harry Reid.) After that humiliating defeat, you had to figure Griffith was gone for good. I certainly did.

But no! He's back! And he says he's going to run against Brooks again… yes, in the GOP primary! (Snapped Brooks: "The immediate thought that came to my mind when I heard Parker Griffith was running, was, which party?") Once again, Griffith is demonstrating his remarkable stupidity, because he has only two months until the election, and what's more, he has almost no chance of defeating the incumbent. So I, for one, will be glad to see him get spanked one more time. What a moran.

AZ-04: So what's the deal with Paul Gosar, anyway? The freshman Republican, who just announced he was switching districts from the 1st to the 4th, saw a whole bunch of staff-related turmoil that Dave Catanese wrote about over the summer, centered around a pair of top staffers who had no prior congressional experience and were tight with none other than Sarah Palin. Now Arizona's Yellow Sheet reports that Gosar's general consultant, who managed his 2010 campaign, is leaving, apparently in response to the drama caused by these poor hiring choices. Gosar also supposedly had a weak fundraising quarter, which supports my belief that he could very well lose the GOP primary this year.

AZ-09: I try never to shy away from taking a critical look at fellow Democrats, even when such an examination might reveal unpleasant things, so in that spirit of due diligence, I think this piece by Stephen Lemons in the Phoenix New Times on ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is worth a read. Lemons discusses recent attempts by Sinema, who has a very liberal profile, to moderate her image, such as refusing to back the recall of Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, author of Arizona's notorious immigration law SB 1070, whom she called her "boss." At the same time, her résumé also includes things like supporting Ralph Nader in 2000. Lemons thinks Sinema is unlikely to win over middle-of-the-road voters with these shifts, but that she does risk alienating her current base of supporters as she pursued her bid for Congress.

Meanwhile, Sinema, the only declared Democratic candidate so far, just received the endorsement of former one-term Rep. Sam Coppersmith. Coppersmith won a major upset in AZ-01 in 1992, but gave his seat up after a single term to run for Senate when Democrat Dennis DeConcini retired. 1994 obviously wasn't an auspicious year for Democrats to seek higher office, and he lost to Jon Kyl (who is now mercifully retiring this year).

CA-31, CA-08: San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who had expressed interest in running in the 31st District if Rep. Jerry Lewis retired, now says he won't run in spite of Lewis's decision not to seek another term. Presumably Ramos doesn't want to have to deal with a Republican primary battle against Rep. Gary Miller, who immediately said he'd run here after Lewis made his announcement. But Miller may still have some competition for his party's nomination, since it sounds like state Sen. Bob Dutton is still looking at the race. Dutton said he's "seriously headed in that direction" and will "make a decision fairly quickly."

Meanwhile, two Republicans who had been closely eyeing the race in the red 8th District (where Lewis might also have sought re-election) both jumped in on Thursday: San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and Assemblyman Paul Cook.

NJ-12: Venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle, who held Dem Rep. Rush Holt to his narrowest re-election margin in 2010 since his 651-vote escape a decade earlier, says he won't seek a rematch. No surprise: Holt's seat was made considerably bluer in redistricting, and if Sipprelle couldn't win 2010 under more favorable lines, it's quite hard to see him winning in 2012 under a tougher map. Holt will get a Republican challenger, though: Eric Beck, a businessman and former state director of the Concord Coalition, says he'll run.

OR-01: Democrat Suzanne Bonamici has a new ad for the special election to replace ex-Rep. David Wu, which you can view at the link. (I'm pretty lukewarm about it.) It's also worth noting that ballots in this all-mail election were sent out to voters on Friday, and they must be returned by Jan. 31. Postmarks are insufficient—ballots actually have to be received by county officials no later than 8pm on election day.

PA-12: Mark Critz just received the support of the United Mine Workers in his Democratic primary battle against fellow incumbent Jason Altmire, the first union endorsement in the race, though I wonder how many miners are still left in this district.

PA-18: I'd rather see them spend this money against Fred Upton in Michigan, but any time the Club for Growth wants to blow their scrilla attacking a Republican incumbent, I'll take it. The latest is a $61K buy on two 15-second spots hitting Rep. Tim Murphy, whom they'd targeted with some previous ads as well. The claim is the same as ever: He's a "liberal" who supported all kinds of ungodly liberal liberalism. I find the ads themselves amusing—you can click through and watch `em at the link.

Other Races:

WI Recall: A challenger has emerged for Republican state Sen. Pam Galloway in the 29th District, should a recall go forward: Marathon County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Johnson, who took a leave as party chair in order to declare his candidacy. Johnson is also a former AFSCME member.

In related news, organizers of the drive to recall state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald say they have enough signatures to force a recall. Given that this is the fifth-reddest senate seat in all of Wisconsin, though, I'm not really sure I understand the motivation behind this push (though conceivably Fitzgerald could be beaten by another Republican in a recall primary).

Grab Bag:

DCCC: Apparently, the D-Trip recently told a whole bunch of Democratic hopefuls that, as part of being considered for the DCCC's "Red to Blue" list, they need to raise 100 donations on ActBlue by today. I haven't seen this reported anywhere, but a lot of campaigns are mentioning it (or alluding to it) on their ActBlue pages. Ami Bera, running in CA-07, offers the most explicit confirmation, saying: "The DCCC has challenged us to reach a goal of 100 donors by Monday." Several other candidates have also made reference to this challenge, including Christie Vilsack (IA-04), Brendan Mullen (IN-02), Annie Kuster (NH-02), and Nick Lampson (TX-14). (Hat-tip to trowaman, who told me about this story and is helping Lampson with his efforts.)

Polltopia (PDF): On Friday, Democracy Corps came out with one of their frequent "state of play" memos, and, as we've been seeing all year, we're looking at a 2012 election that's a scrum at the 50-yard line, not a wave one way or the other. What's probably most noteworthy here, though, is that the Democrats have pulled ahead on the "named" House ballot (where the actual name of the incumbent in the interviewee's district is included in the question, though the Democrat is still asked generically) for the first time since early 2010, 47-44. That includes a 44-42 lead among independents.

At the presidential level, 44% approval for Barack Obama is good for a 47-46 lead over Mitt Romney. Down in the weeds, but maybe most noteworthy—and consistent with an apparently improving economic picture—is that the Democrats have also drawn even with the GOP on the question of who would do a better job with the economy (at 42-42). That's after three straight years of a big Republican advantage there (it was 48-36 for the GOP at the time of the 2010 election). (David Jarman)

Voter Suppression: Some rare good news on the voter suppression front: A new voter ID bill was pulled from the legislative docket in Nebraska and won't (at least for now) come up for a vote. Of course, it could rise again, zombie-like, at some point in the future, but for the moment, I'll take it.

Redistricting Roundup:

CT Redistricting: Nathan Persily, the special master drawing Connecticut's new congressional map, just released a draft proposal, and it looks like the changes are very minimal—exactly what Democrats, who currently control the state's delegation 5-0, were hoping for. Click the link for more detail (including the master's report). The map is below:

New Connecticut congressional map
(click for larger)
Persily stuck very close to the "least change" edict the state supreme court insisted on. So what alterations did he make? In CT-05, the GOP's most recent target, he made just a tiny change to the town of Torrington (which was already split) to add 524 people to the 5th. He also moved about 8,000 people from the city of Shelton to the 4th. (Interestingly, the Republican mayor of Shelton, Mark Lauretti, is looking at the race. He's also looking at a federal investigation for corruption.)

Persily also hammered the Republican proposal:

The Republican Proposal shifts more population, land, and towns than is reasonably necessary to comply with one person, one vote.  It moves 185,726 people (or 5.2% of the state’s population) out of their current district.  The plan makes changes to fourteen towns, seven of which would be moved into entirely new districts.  Neither the one person, one vote rule, nor the Voting Rights Act requires that such changes be made.

MI Redistricting: What a bunch of stupids. Michigan, you may be surprised to learn, is required to seek preclearance from the Department of Justice for its statewide redistricting plans because two townships (Clyde and Buena Vista) are covered jurisdictions under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Well, like a lot of states with Republicans at the helm, they got all paranoid and decided to seek preclearance through the courts rather than via the DoJ. So what happened? The DoJ still went ahead and signed off on the maps, but because Michigan chose to litigate, Justice's decision has no legal effect and the plans are still without preclearance because the courts haven't ruled yet.

A while back, redistricting expert Gary Hebert (who happened to be my election law prof in law school) predicted exactly this sort of problem with regard to another state that went this route:

Louisiana has foolishly sought preclearance simultaneously in the DC court and at DOJ. I say foolishly because Louisiana says it wants "expedited review." But filing in the DC court can only slow the process down. First, any proceeding in the DC court is an adversarial one and will likely take more time to resolve than simply proceeding administratively before DOJ.

Second, the legal standard is the same in both the DC court and before DOJ, so what's there to gain? Perhaps the State thinks that by going to the DC court, it can avoid the Obama Justice Department. It can't. DOJ is the statutory defendant in such a DC preclearance case and its views and review of the Louisiana plan will get a full airing.

Third, filing in the DC court could see groups opposed to the redistricting plans intervene in the suit and delay the process even further. DOJ rightfully has told the DC court that it will review the maps and data, but it needs time to do so. If other states follow Louisiana's lead and file simultaneously in the DC court and before DOJ, they invite delay, not expedited consideration. That's something else to watch in the aftermath of Louisiana's dual submissions.

MO Redistricting: It looks like the Russ Carnahan-backed suit against Missouri's new congressional map might have gotten a little traction with the state's supreme court justices, but not in the way Rusty would have hoped. At oral arguments on Thursday, the judges didn't seem to care much about line-drawing in the St. Louis region, where Carnahan saw his district get dismantled, but they were intrigued by the odd little "teardrop" carved into the western chunk of Democrat Emanuel Cleaver's 5th CD outside of Kansas City (see it here).

Missouri's state constitution has a requirement that districts be drawn as "compact" as possible, and this small carve-out seemed to catch the bench's attention. But even if the court rules that some changes need to be made to clean up the 5th, it's unlikely that any kind of ripple effect will be enough to save Carnahan, all the way on the other side of the state.

VA Redistricting: If you blink, I think you might miss it. Virginia's long-delayed congressional remapping process is kicking back into high gear, now that Republicans have taken back control of the state Senate, giving the GOP control of the proverbial redistricting trifecta. The House passed an incumbent-protection plan last year to lock in the state's 8-3 Republican delegation, but it died in what was then the Dem-held Senate.

Now a revived version of that bill (which you can view here, including the map) is once again quickly sailing through the House and should soon land in the upper chamber, where it will almost assuredly pass easily, and then get signed by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. Had Democrats hung on to the Senate, we might have wound up with a much better court-drawn map, which made that loss the most painful of Nov. 2011.

DRA: Twohundertseventy is compiling DRF files of official state-drawn redistricting plans for use in Dave's Redistricting App. Click the link to see how you can help.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lemme get this straight (6+ / 0-)

    Raese wants to move from FL to the greater DC area (I guess the weather is better...), so he chooses to compete in an election in a state he has only a marginal connection to (hasn't lived there in years, avoids paying taxes whenever possible, etc.) in order to finance his move?

    Good luck, loser!

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 05:04:38 AM PST

    •  If he couldn't win in '10 . . . (4+ / 0-)

      . . . he's not winning in '12. The extra baggage is just the "to boot."

      28, chick, solid progressive, NY-14 currently, FL-22 native, went to school in IL-01.

      by The Caped Composer on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 06:40:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's more puzzling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, MichaelNY

      is why the West Virginia Republican Party doesn't try harder to stop this. Even if it's poorly organized and so on, is it so bad that it can't find someone else to be its nominee?

      •  It's all about the $$$ (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dc1000, Odysseus, MichaelNY, jncca

        Raese will self-fund his campaign. Even though WV is full of blue-dog Dems who are more like DINOs, they still balk at making out-and-out campaign contributions to Republicans. So they need someone with deep pockets of their own.

        And I can paint a scenario where Raese's behavior (if not his residency) is considered an advantage: (1) he may be  wealthy, but he's frugal with his money, so he'll be frugal with WV citizens' money, and (2) this is a demonstration of why/how WV is "hostile" to business.

        The residency issue is much bigger. We already labor under "absentee landlords" - Big Coal, for instance, may rape and pillage us, but they don't have their corporate HQs here. We'll be hammering him over Florida.

        West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

        by blonde moment on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:28:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WI: Motivation behind recalling Fitzgerald. (13+ / 0-)

    This was started without the blessing of the state Democratic party. It was strictly grassroots by his constituents; once it became clear that they might succeed they sent calls out to activists in the rest of the state to help them over the top.

    Scott Fitzgerald has treated his senate district as his own personal fiefdom for the last decade, and has with great prejudice and malice told anyone who disagrees with him to either 1) get lost (I'm being polite) and/or 2) run against him. He holds grudges, gives largess to his cronies, and tries to destroy those who get in his way.

    No, he probably won't lose, unless perhaps to a republican in the primary. But it ties down his 1/4 million war chest.

    And sometimes kicking a bully in the crotch is useful in and of itself.

    Mere passive citizenship is not enough. Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from men who are aggressive for what is wrong. - Robert M. LaFollette

    by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 05:14:58 AM PST

  •  the 1% got that way because of thrift not envy (0+ / 0-)
    Why? Unlike West Virginia, Maryland does not collect aircraft registration fees or charge personal property taxes on aircraft. Purchases of aircraft are also exempt from Maryland sales taxes, if the company that owns the plane is engaged in interstate commerce.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 05:25:39 AM PST

  •  Beck does not have a prayer in NJ-12, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc1000, R30A, MichaelNY

    especially since redistricting made our district much bluer. He starts off by calling Holt a career politician. As everyone here in NJ-12 knows, Holt spent most of his career as a physicist. To give you an idea of what NJ-12 is like, Sipprelle (who was a self-funded vulture capitalist) flooded the airwaves with ads and never once said in any of these ads that he was a Republican. Mercer county is at the heart of NJ-12. In the state legislature, we are represented by two African-American women and the only openly gay male in the state house. I will be out working for Rush Holt, but I hope that this is an easier year than 2010.

  •  On California's redistricting (6+ / 0-)
    What happens when you take party politics out of redistricting? Total chaos, apparently. Six members of California's House delegation have now retired, blunting the state's influence in Congress. (California's delegation has the sixth-highest average seniority of any state's in the House this year. Needless to say, it'll be lower in 2013.) Plus, we've still got two more member-versus-member primaries and veteran GOP Rep. David Dreier without a home - and that's just in Southern California.

    Both parties opposed the proposition empowering a citizen redistricting commission in 2010. After watching this cycle in California, you can bet that the next time a proposal like this comes up in another state, the parties (and the congressional delegation) will fight it even harder.

    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 06:44:22 AM PST

  •  Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, et al (9+ / 0-)

    Is anyone else starting to get just a little bit excited about these races, and in a real, not fantastical, way? I don't want to count by chickens before they come home to roost, but with a little luck, it looks like we are about to get a major upgrade in the quality of our senators. And a good number of them, like Chris Murphy and Martin Heinrich, are young, so they can be hopefully be there for a long, long time.

    •  Agreed regarding . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, MichaelNY

      . . . Warren, on whose victory I would put money, were I a betting woman. Same goes for Chris Murphy-- doesn't matter how much Linda McMahon spends; if she didn't win in '10, she's not winning in '12 (see my comment above re: John Raese in WV). As for Heinrich and Baldwin . . . yes, I'm excited about their candidacies, but I need to see more polling before I get too excited. I'm hoping that the NM Dem primary won't end up too bloody and divisive, while simultaneously hoping that the WI GOP primary will. There hasn't been much in the way of polling in either of those states for awhile, has there?

      28, chick, solid progressive, NY-14 currently, FL-22 native, went to school in IL-01.

      by The Caped Composer on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 09:37:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  PA-Atty Gen (6+ / 0-)

    No endorsement came out of State Committee this weekend, with Patrick Murphy garnering about 50% on the first vote (three-way) and 60% on the second (h2h v McCaffery), with two-thirds needed to endorse.  So we'll have an open three-way primary, though Patrick clearly showed the most statewide strength.  

    All three candidates are good ones, and there wasn't rancor in State College this weekend.

  •  Cuomo riding high (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drhoosierdem, MichaelNY

    73/20 fav/unfav, 62/38 job approval on the more stringent excellent/good/fair/poor scale.

    http://www.siena.edu/... (Warning: PDF)

  •  Re: PA-12 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Aside from local government, First Energy is the largest employer in Altmire's district.  First Energy's electric generation is primarily from coal and nuclear power.

  •  Fun with FlightAware (5+ / 0-)

    http://flightaware.com/...

    Raese is so hell bent on avoiding paying taxes that the jet is often making the long, approx 11 minute flight from Morgantown to Cumberland.

    This isn't like an 11 minute drive in your car where fuel used is negligible. An 11 minute flight is still going to use a lot of fuel and cost more money than most of us have. But I guess it's still cheaper than paying your fair share of taxes.

    TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

    by yg17 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:08:53 AM PST

  •  NE Sen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

    Hate to come with bad news but a Kerrey comeback looks tough. Granted a Republican poll, but I believe it fully. This is also before negative ads hit as well. I would say it was extremely unlikely he ran anyway, but this should stop it.

    http://magellanstrategies.com/...

    They say that Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professions. Adding in the fact that I am a Democrat in Indiana to that ratio then it is probably a miracle that I am still alive.

    by drhoosierdem on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:18:27 AM PST

    •  Maybe I am wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, Adam B, MichaelNY

      But this doesn't seem like the worst poll to me. He is down by 11 in a red state, maybe Kerrey has a shot. Any skeletons in Bruning's closet?

      Swingnut, new CA-38 resident, more punk than you! Chairman of the DKE Ginger Left-handed caucus.

      by uclabruin18 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:34:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Bruning is a shitty candidate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, Odysseus, MichaelNY

        He might not survive the primary.

        Political Director, Daily Kos

        by David Nir on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 08:53:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He Trails By More Than Nelson Did! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, jncca

        It's bad.

      •  You mean, like more so than ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, MichaelNY

        ... war crimes?

        Senator Bob Kerrey's hands trembled slightly as he began to read six pages of documents that had just been handed to him. It was late 1998; the papers were nearly 30 years old. On the face of it, they were routine "after action" combat reports of the sort filed by the thousands during the Vietnam War. But Kerrey knew the pages held a personal secret -- of an event so traumatic that he says it once prompted fleeting thoughts of suicide.

        Pulling the documents within inches of his eyes, he read intently about his time as a member of the Navy Seals and about a mission in 1969 that somehow went horribly wrong. As an inexperienced, 25-year-old lieutenant, Kerrey led a commando team on a raid of an isolated peasant hamlet called Thanh Phong in Vietnam's eastern Mekong Delta. While witnesses and official records give varying accounts of exactly what happened, one thing is certain: around midnight on Feb. 25, 1969, Kerrey and his men killed at least 13 unarmed women and children. The operation was brutal; for months afterward, Kerrey says, he feared going to sleep because of the terrible nightmares that haunted him.

        ...Kerrey -- who left the Senate in January and is now president of the New School University in New York -- says he has spent the last three decades wondering if he could have done something different that night in Thanh Phong. "It's far more than guilt," he said that morning in 1998. "It's the shame. You can never, can never get away from it. It darkens your day. I thought dying for your country was the worst thing that could happen to you, and I don't think it is. I think killing for your country can be a lot worse. Because that's the memory that haunts."

        (I guess these are de-closeted skeletons, however. He's just never run a race since these revelations.)
        •  Hard to use in a race though (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          With Abu Ghraib and other scandals fresh in the public's mind, I think that hammering on this could well be seen as "dishonor to military service".

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 11:05:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh, I hate Magellan's cross tabs. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, MichaelNY

      Why do they look so unreadable?

      Anyway, these aren't that bad. Not great, of course, but not horrendous. Part of the problem looks to be that Kerrey isn't getting nearly as much support from Democrats as someone like Bruning is getting from Republicans. But then, unless I am reading this wrong, he's winning Independents. That's not a bad thing at all. Plus, this seems to have too many Republicans, 55 percent versus the 48 percent we saw in 2008.

      Then again, even if the results were a lot worse than this, I'd still want Kerrey to run, because his candidacy represents by far our best chance of winning. He won't have to answer for much of anything that's been happening in government, at either the state or federal level, so he can still run above the fray and as an anti-incumbent. And if things like the Ryan plan are as toxic to Republicans as I imagine they might be, he'll probably benefit, especially if someone like Bruning has to openly support it.

      •  In my view the reason this poll is bad for us (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        is because this is before Republicans seriously attack him. Normally I would like these results but to be honest I really can't see him improving all that much, but I can see him doing a lot worse once he gets defined.

        They say that Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professions. Adding in the fact that I am a Democrat in Indiana to that ratio then it is probably a miracle that I am still alive.

        by drhoosierdem on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:51:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama job approval (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, gabjoh, MichaelNY, askew

      should not have come before the votes - that primed the pump a little.

      Kerrey would probably lose this race but at the very least it would tie up a bunch of Republican money that could be spent elsewhere.  He could be our Linda Lingle for this cycle.

  •  Fun fact: Crook County, OR was a (6+ / 0-)

    renowned bellwether until the 90s. Voted 61-35 McCain in 2008. Not every part of Oregon trends blue.

  •  Hate to ask here (9+ / 0-)

    But Brendan Mullen is only 6 donations away from getting red to blue assistance from the DCCC. Amount given does not matter at all, just amount of donations. So if anyone could chip in a couple of bucks that would be cool.

    https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/mullen

    They say that Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professions. Adding in the fact that I am a Democrat in Indiana to that ratio then it is probably a miracle that I am still alive.

    by drhoosierdem on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 07:45:45 AM PST

  •  Fitzgerald recall nice, but... (0+ / 0-)

    the recall effort will likely lose.  This is not a necessary race to retake control of the Senate and there are better targets.  It feels good to go after the big kahuna and there's a crew of real dedicated good people fighting this fight, but our resources are not unlimited.  

    •  Fitzgerald vulnerable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deanarms, Odysseus

      And I have to admit, I thought both his recall would fail and there was no hope in an election as recently as two weeks ago.

      Scott Fitzgerald is the Republican majority leader in the Senate, second only to Walker as the face of the Republican assault on this state, and author of a series of truly loathsome tactics in the Senate (ring the buzzer and take the vote before Democrats can run to their seats, crap like that).

      The Democratic Party of Wisconsin, bless them, overlooked Fitzgerald because they thought he was impregnable and focused on three other senators who seem to be more vulnerable. The three Dem-initiated recalls are going through and so is Fitzgerald's, the latter a true grass roots effort. Many of us in Madison did what we could the last two weeks, the grassroots champions in that district exceeding everyone's expectations and closing like nothing ever seen - there were days with 1,200 signatures.

      Fitzgerald himself is acting like someone highly concerned about facing election this summer, what a pleasure it has been seeing him whine about how unfair it all is. Contrary to David above, Fitzgerald's district was 48-51 for Obama-McCain (see his link). Fitzgerald ran unopposed in 2006 and 2010 and God knows, we're in a new environment and Fitzgerald has gotten a good deal of negative attention in the last year.

      So I wouldn't discount those citizens in Watertown, Beaver Dam, Fort Atkinson, Lake Mills, and throughout SD 13. How this plays out will say a lot about how Wisconsin is moving.

      •  From your mouth... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dc1000

        Love to hear this.  I'm in Chicago and was surprised as anyone when I saw what those volunteers had done.  It's great news.  Particularly since I didn't know about the 48-51 split.  Really hope there's something there. This guy is a creep and jerk of the highest order.

        My family and I will be volunteering when the races happen, so we'll do what we can.  Thank you for this informative and thoughtful reply.

  •  Sinema at @YearlyKos in 2006 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Odysseus

    She was a panelist on public election financing.  Found her really compelling - a shame she seems to have trouble in letting the personal relationship with Pearce outweigh her responsibility to her constituents.

  •  Roane Co. TN: free of Teapublican DesJarlais!!! (3+ / 0-)

    We've been reborn as part of the new U.S. Congressional Dist. 3, which makes a tiny bit more sense demographically and geographically -- no more Scott f*ing DesJarlais (who has recently received $2500 from the Koch Bros.).

    I missed the opportunity to meet Democrat Bill Taylor, the Chattanooga CPA who is mounting a campaign to run against current 3rd-dist Congressman upChuck Fleishmann or Weston Wamp, the 24-yo son of the district's former Congressman Zach Wamp. He pressed the flesh and spoke at the recent grand opening of the new Roane Co. Dem HQ.

    http://www.nooga.com/...

    http://timesfreepress.com/...

    http://tndp.org/...

    Taylor is owner and health care administrator of a Chatt physicians group, and is almost certainly too conservative for my tastes, but center-left friends who met him said he is extremely knowledgeable about health care delivery and insurance, and is positive about the ACA.

    His legislative goals include regulating pharmaceutical costs and requiring elected officials to sign up for Medicare. "If it's good enough for seniors, it's good enough for me as a congressman." He's also interested in improving healthcare delivery in rural areas.

    I expect him to be on the socially conservative side; he's a Seventh Day Adventist. However, SDAs are not monolithically conservative; groups have splintered off because they held the core denomination to be too liberal.

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