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Leading Off:

FL-18, FL-22: Democrat Patrick Murphy is refusing to let GOP freshman Allen West out of his grasp. A week ago, West declared he'd flee the proposed new 22nd Congressional District for the friendlier confines of the 18th. Now Murphy—who'd been running against the Tea Party favorite West for a year—has decided that he'll chase West one seat up the Florida coastline in order to continue the fight. That should set up a colossal one-on-one battle between West and Murphy in the 18th, seeing as there's been almost no mention of other possible Democratic candidates (outside of some speculation on this very site). Murphy is a first-time candidate but has raised a boatload so far ($1.4 mil), though West of course is a prodigious fundraiser himself.

In any event, I think Murphy's move is great for Democrats, because he's probably the strongest candidate we have to take on West, and it helps avoid an expensive primary fight with fellow Dem Lois Frankel in the 22nd, who is well-situated to take down Republican Adam Hasner. (Frankel still has to contend with newcomer Kristin Jacobs for the Democratic nomination, but I'd be surprised if she could match Frankel's own impressive fundraising, especially given her late entry.)


MO-Sen: Though he's been rising in the polls thanks to his free-spending ways, I'm really not sure that John Brunner, former CEO of his family-owned cosmetics company called Vi-Jon, is really ready for prime time. First came his embarrassing attempt to back out of debates he himself had demanded, earning him a righteous body-slam from GOP primary opponent Sarah Steelman. Now comes word that while at Vi-Jon last year, Brunner paid himself a salary of $372,000—at the same time the firm was laying off workers. Not really an auspicious profile for an aspiring public servant.

NE-Sen: Former Democratic Lt. Gov. Kim Robak says she won't run for the Senate—and took a shot at Bob Kerrey, saying his delay in making up his mind cost her too much time in terms of being able to gear up for an effective campaign. On the one hand, I don't know why it took Kerrey over a month to figure things out after Ben Nelson announced his retirement, but on the other hand, is a month really going to make that much of a difference at this point?

VA-Sen: Quinnipiac's newest poll of Virginia finds Tim Kaine leading George Allen 45-44 (up from a 2-pt. deficit in December). Barack Obama improves even more, vis-a-vis Mitt Romney, now leading 47-43. Click through for our full post at Daily Kos Elections. (David Jarman)


NC-Gov: PPP is out with a poll of North Carolina's all-of-a-sudden-wide-open Democratic gubernatorial primary. Among announced candidates, we've got Bob Etheridge at 34, Walter Dalton at 24, and Bill Faison at 6. But this is PPP, so Tom Jensen also tested a ton of hypothetical variants, including one giant kitchen-sink matchup of every major name still thinking about the race. That yielded the following results:

Etheridge gets 21% to 13% for Dan Blue, 10% for Dalton, 8% for Brad Miller, 7% for Richard Moore, 6% for Mike McIntyre, and 2% for Faison.
But since the field is rather unlikely to develop that way, PPP also tried four different setups with the three actual candidates and a fourth undeclared name. All of the results were pretty similar, though:
Etheridge 24, Dalton 20, Blue 11, Faison 4

Etheridge 25, Dalton 22, McIntyre 7, Faison 6

Etheridge 24, Dalton 20, Miller 11, Faison 4

Etheridge 24, Dalton 21, Moore 8, Faison 5

As you'd expect, though, all of these people have low name rec (Etheridge is the highest with 50%), and obviously there are a lot of undecideds, so it's clearly anybody's game.

OH-Gov: Passed along with only one comment: WTF?

John Kasich’s second State of the State speech Tuesday was rambling and at times bizarre. Among his head-jerking references, Kasich told the first three winners of a newly-created state courage award not to sell the medals on eBay; pointed out his “hot wife;” and imitated someone with Parkinson’s disease when he talked about “deep brain massage.”
WI-Gov: After strongly suggesting she would for a couple of weeks, Dem state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout formally entered the gubernatorial recall race, joining former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. Vinehout has taken a few somewhat conservative stands in recent years, like on concealed weapons and access to contraception, the latter of which led NARAL's Wisconsin chapter to put out a statement opposing her candidacy. Falk, meanwhile, is a favorite of labor unions, so we could see something of a left-right divide in the primary if no other candidates enter.

Meanwhile, the forces of darkness are gathering to protect GOP Gov. Scott Walker, as we knew they would. The Koch brothers-backed front group Americans for Prosperity is throwing down $700,000 to run a minute-long ad defending Walker's record. Of course, as Greg Sargent notes, the spot doesn't mention Walker by name because AfP is using the "issue ad" a loophole to run the advertisement through its non-profit arm. But you can watch it yourself at the link: it's a clear recitation of everything Walker and his supporters are most proud of.


AZ-09: With GOP Rep. Ben Quayle deciding to seek re-election in the 6th District, the hunt is on for a Republican replacement in the new 9th CD. Paradise Valley Councilman Vernon Parker says he's interested, though Philip Haldiman of the Arizona Republic runs though a whole bunch more names:

[2010 AZ-03 candidate] Steve Moak, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and former Chandler City Councilman Martin Sepulveda
CA-30: The "-erman vs. -erman" Democratic primary in the newly-drawn 30th is shaping up to be a fascinating case study in whether money and endorsements can triumph in the end over geography. Brad Sherman has three advantages here: (1) the war is being fought on his turf (he represents 58% of the new district, while Howard Berman represents 20% of it); (2) he has a cash-on-hand edge, at least for now; and (3) he has a lead in the polls, including 42-17 (with 26 for GOPer Mark Reed in the top 2 primary) in his own internal and 34-14 (with 30 for Reed) in a weird poll from IVN. On the other hand, Berman has been outraising Sherman many times over, boasts the backing of most of the state's House delegation and other prominent politicos, and has a lot of labor endorsements. And now the final category includes one of the biggest prizes: This week, Berman got the endorsement of AFSCME. (David Jarman)

FL-07: There were pretty fragmentary for much of Wednesday, but later in the day, Roll Call's Joshua Miller reported that a source confirmed to him that GOP Rep. John Mica plans to seek re-election in the proposed new 7th CD, which would set him up for an incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary battle against freshman Sandy Adams. The new Florida map still hasn't passed the state Senate yet (let alone been signed into law), but it's already proving to be a rather thorny tangle. Once we have final lines, we will, as usual, sort it all out.

IL-16: We've got ourselves a tasty Republican-on-Republican battle in Illinois, in the new 16th, which links up some of the most distant exurban reaches of the Chicago area. Rep. Don Manzullo, who's held the old 16th for almost two decades, is in a pitched battle with much younger freshman Adam Kinzinger, whose 11th got nuked from under him and opted for a difficult primary in a safe R district instead of a difficult general election in a Dem-leaning district. And now Kinzinger is out with a poll (from Wilson Research, on behalf of pro-Kinzinger Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability) showing the two men tied at 43 each, ahead of the fast-approaching (!) March 20 primary. They both have high approvals, so it's looking like a question of seniority vs. up-and-comer-ness.

And here's one more thought about this duel, not just in light of this poll but also the Illinois Tea Party's endorsement of Manzullo earlier this week. Kinzinger has turned out to be a lot more moderate than one would have thought—I don't know if the insurgent thing was a convenient act for herding tea partiers, or if he decided to tack left once he started to see his redistricting fate. He currently has a Progressive Punch score of 8.8, putting him at 236 overall in the House and in the second decile among House Republicans for liberalness. Manzullo's at 307, almost dead-center in the GOP caucus. (David Jarman)

MI-14: A big endorsement for Rep. Gary Peters as he pursues re-election against fellow Rep. Hansen Clarke (and a couple of other local elected officials) in the Democratic primary: SEIU's Michigan State Council just gave him their backing. I also like the fact that the press release quotes an SEIU official as saying they know Peters "will continue to provide a strong voice for the 99% in the halls of Congress." In any event, this adds to Peters' pile of union endorsements, which are helpfully all listed out at the link.

MN-08: Lost amidst the hubbub of Mitt Romney's stunning loss in Minnesota on Tuesday was the fact that there were DFL caucuses that night, too. The fates of Barack Obama and Amy Klobuchar certainly didn't hang in the balance, so the biggest prize was the Dem primary in the 8th, where they need to pick a new Dem for the first time since 1974 (seeing as how Jim Oberstar lost unexpectedly to GOPer Chip Cravaack in 2010, who's now considered very vulnerable). If you're thinking that ex-state Sen. (and more memorably, '10 MN-06 loser) Tarryl Clark's fundraising advantages in this race would translate into a good caucus showing, though, that didn't happen.

Instead, geography seemed to carry the day, as Iron Rangers dominated. Long-ago ex-Rep. Rick Nolan won the straw poll, getting 1,088 votes to 642 for Duluth city councilor Jeff Anderson and "about 200" for Clark (who instead hails from St. Cloud at the district's south end). The district-level DFL endorsement (a much bigger deal in Minnesota than in most states) comes May 5, though Clark and Anderson have suggested that if they don't get the endorsement (as now seems likely) they'll keep fighting on to the primary. (And one other thought about the MN-08 caucuses. There's no new Minnesota congressional map yet, as we wait for the courts to do their work... so were they using the old lines? Strange to have candidates picked, in part, by people who won't even be in the district come November.) (David Jarman)

NC-11: Young Ethan Wingfield sure seems like he's earned the enmity of Politico's Dave Catanese. You'll recall that Wingfield tried to snow Catanese last week by acting as though he put up some gaudy early fundraising numbers. Turned out (as we suspected) that half of it was Wingfield's own money. Now Catanese is tossing some brickbats Wingfield's way, calling his plan to raffle off an iPod Nano to people who "like" his Facebook page "a bit tawdry." Catanese also passes along a bit of oppo from what I have to imagine is a rival Republican campaign, pointing out that Master Wingfield's fundraising report was even less impressive than it appears to be, since 70% of his haul came from family members (including his own $125K check). Let this be a lesson to you!

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Roll Call's Joshua Miller says that retiring Rep. Heath Shuler's chief-of-staff, Hayden Rogers, will seek his boss's seat, confirming Miller's reporting that Rogers was thinking about the race just a few days ago.

NV-01: State Sen. Ruben Kihuen may be a rising star in the Nevada Democratic Party, but he's putting his ascent on hold for now. Though Kihuen was believed to be the favorite of Silver State power-broker-in-chief Harry Reid, he was facing a very uphill primary battle in the open 1st Congressional District against ex-Rep. Dina Titus, who is making a comeback bid after getting narrowly turfed in 2010. Back in November, Titus released an internal poll that showed her with a monstrous 77-11 lead over Kihuen, who never responded with one of his own. Titus also swamped Kihuen on the fundraising front last quarter, $220K to $88K. This race was a free shot for Kihuen, who was elected to his first four-year term in 2010; he pledged to remain in the Senate, where he won't have to go before voters again for another three years. As for Titus, she's now the overwhelming favorite to return to Capitol Hill in this very Dem-friendly district (and she also picked up Reid's endorsement, too).

NY-12: Hmm. This is somewhat unexpected. We mentioned that New York City Councilman Erik Dilan could conceivably challenge Rep. Nydia Velazquez in the Democratic primary back in October, but Dilan never made any public statements to that effect and never seemed particularly interested. But now comes word that he's raising money for a federal campaign account, which sure makes it seem like he might want to take on Velazquez. There is, however, a whole lot of backstory here—and many reasons to believe that Dilan still isn't serious—which Colin Campbell ably explains.

NY-22: Attorney Leslie Danks Burke, who is also chair of the Town of Ithaca Democrats, says she plans to run for the open 22nd Congressional District—but she also adds that she's willing to take on an incumbent if the seat is dismantled for parts, saying: "I am running for whatever district my house lands in." That could very well put her up against GOP freshman Richard Hanna, whose 24th CD entirely surrounds Ithaca, though of course anything is possible. Also of note is that Danks Burke says she's already raised $100K, even though her campaign has only been up and running for a week.

Former Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman Julian Schreibman is already in the race, and another Democrat, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, says he's thinking about it but is waiting on the outcome of redistricting.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Oh man, this is terribly sad news. Former Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore, who represented KS-03 until his retirement last cycle, just revealed that he has Alzheimer's disease. Moore is just 66 years old. He reiterated that his decision to step down in 2009 was not due to health reasons, but apparently his friends had been worried about his health for some time, and his decision not to seek re-election was a surprise. Regardless, we're very sobered by this announcement and, it goes without saying, we wish Moore the very best.

Redistricting Roundup:

NY Redistricting: This is just appalling beyond words. Read the blurb below, and check out the map:

Every single upstate district is under-populated—and every single downstate district is over-populated—under the GOP's proposed new state Senate map, in order to maximize Republican chances. This "safe harbor" protecting a ±5% population variance in legislative maps, however, isn't quite as firmly enshrined in federal law as the New York World suggests. In a case from 2004 called Larios v. Cox, a federal panel invalidated a set of maps from Georgia which systematically pushed this limit to the max, much as this plan does. The U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed the lower court's ruling, which means (as Rick Hasen says) that the SCOTUS "support[ed] the result in the lower court, but not necessarily its reasoning." So it's unclear whether the safe harbor is still automatic, but there's at least a decent chance that it isn't—which means that if this plan does pass into law, it ought to be challenged on these grounds.

I should also add that Sasha Chavkin and Michael Keller have much more on the new maps in their extended interactive feature focusing on a number of dastardly tactics, including the familiar cracking, but also what they call kidnapping, diluting, dividing, and decoying.

PA Redistricting: Much to my surprise, a federal judge just ruled that Pennsylvania's legislative elections can proceed this year under the 2001 maps, even though those lines now have enormous population variances of some 30-40% that really undermine any notion of "one person, one vote." (You'll recall that the state supreme court ruled the new House and Senate plans violated the state constitution, so Pennsylvania is currently map-less.) I would think an appeal would be likely, though note that unlike a lot of similar litigation, this case was heard by a single federal judge, not a three-judge panel. That means appeals would go to the Third Circuit, rather than directly to the SCOTUS.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bob Kerrey apparently just couldn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    talk himself into running. Kim Robak is very well known in the eastern part of Nebraska, but probably very unknown in the huge western 3/4th of the state. Robak would not have had enough time to establish name recognition to the degree it would require.

  •  MN-08: what a mess... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, The Caped Composer

    I want Cravaack out, full stop. But Nolan? Ugh. The lead-up to the DFL endorsement may expose a rift between Rangers and Duluthians. There's no doubt in my mind that Anderson's sexuality is factoring large here, though the rules of "Minnesota nice" won't allow folks to admit it.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 05:18:44 AM PST

    •  woa woa woa (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tietack, Setsuna Mudo

      You are incredibly off base with a good part of your statement Duluthh is the hub of the Iron Range. And you will never see hibbing or Ely or Virginia or Grand Marais voting differently than Duluth. The divisions in this straw poll were really between the old-guy-that-lives-on-the-wring-park-of-the-district, and the young-up-and-comer-with-a-thin-resume. The blatant-carpetbagger-that-has-never-lived-here was not even a favor in spite of her followers from outside the district. And if Anderson's sexuality was an issue, Clark would have finished at least close behind him instead of posting also-ran numbers.

      •  I'm fairly comfortable with my analysis of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        differences in the intensity of support for these candidates between the Range and Duluth. The good news is that we should see strong turnout in a Presidential election-year and that, in itself, should strengthen the chance to oust Cravaack (so long as the geography of the district isn't changed too much).

        On the question of social issues underlying views of Anderson, I have only my own anecdotal evidence to draw upon, so your mileage may vary.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:39:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd Temper That Analysis A Little..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot, Setsuna Mudo

        Duluth is a college town and far more conventionally liberal than blue-collar industrial towns like Hibbing and Virginia. While they typically vote as a bloc, Duluth is slowly getting bluer while the Iron Range proper is getting less blue, as Jim Oberstar can attest to.

        •  Duluth isn't a college town (2+ / 0-)

          Not in the way Morris, Marshall, and Winona are. Duluth is a major port city, a good part of the world's iron is shipped from the harbor there. It also has major companies there that make everything from airplanes to blue jeans. The city has about 90,000 residents, and UMD has about 10,000 students. Not exactly what I consider a college town.

          •  Any College Town Has a Trickle-Down Effect..... (3+ / 0-)

            Meaning that 10,000 students don't represent the entirety of its college town effect. You also have hundreds of professors and college administration, along with small businesses catering to college students that are often run by college alumni, most possessing a left-leaning worldview. Would you not agree that at least a third of Duluth's economy is connected to the university and other private colleges? Yes, Duluth is a port town and blue-collar to its core, but unlikely Virginia, Chisholm, and Silver Bay, Duluth's political identity is not limited to its industrial base...and I suspect the current pattern of Duluth trending bluer and the Iron Range proper getting less blue every election cycle will continue. There's plenty of overlap in their politics and economics, but that overlap is lessening.

            •  Predicting 2012 on the basis of 2010 is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Setsuna Mudo

              tricky business, but the divergences between Duluth / the Range and urban / rural were definitely in play in 2010. I talked about those (and others, especially the north / south issue) in two diaries in November '10 (here, and here). Turnout in the district, particularly in Duluth, is considerably higher in Presidential election-years, so that's a plus. The question to my mind is whether Nolan is "exciting" enough to motivate younger voters to get involved in down-ticket races.

              And while Duluth isn't Ann Arbor, it is very much a college town, as you note, with all attendant town-gown issues :)

              Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

              by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's Not Just 2010..... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angry marmot

                Every election cycle in the last 20 years, there's been signs of slippage in DFL margins on the Iron Range. Gore underperformed Clinton. Kerry underperformed Gore. And Obama underperformed Kerry. Not by much, but enough to show up over the course of several Presidential election years.

                Very interesting dynamic in St. Louis County in 2008. Obama did better than Kerry in the city of Duluth and the southern townships of the county, as well as the northern reaches of St. Louis County from Ely to Cook and points northward. But right in the middle of St. Louis County, where the Mesabi and Vermillion Ranges cut through, Obama did noticeably worse than Kerry. The final result is Obama topping McCain by a margin of only one percentage point higher than Kerry topped Bush in 2004.

                •  So, not to put you on the spot... (0+ / 0-)

                  but any thoughts on the relative strengths / weaknesses of Nolan, Anderson and Clark, assuming that redistricting doesn't produce significant changes? Fwiw, my ideal candidate would have been Sertich :~)

                  Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

                  by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:43:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Agreed On Sertich.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    angry marmot

                    ...and perhaps an even better choice would be State Senator Tony Lourey, who would be a bridge from the Northland to exurbia given the area he's represented for a decade.

                    I suspect Tarryl Clark would beat Cravaack in a general election but even if St. Cloud ends up in MN-08, I can't see Iron Rangers going for a non-Iron Ranger if there's an Iron Ranger on the ballot. Just goes to prove being an ambitious legislative DFLer from St. Cloud gives you few good options outside of a statewide run given your surroundings.

                    I must confess though that Nolan and Anderson are not on my radar. I grew up in southern Minnesota so local politicians from the Northland escaped my notice. Haven't had the chance to study them much either. Who do you prefer?

                    •  Didn't Nolan originally represent (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mark27, angry marmot

                      southern MN?

                      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                      by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Nolan (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sapelcovits, Mark27, angry marmot

                      Used to be a congressman from southwestern Minnesota, in the old version of the 6th district:

                      27, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

                      by bumiputera on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:01:33 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      As a Duluthian, I know Anderson better than Nolan or Clark and, frankly, I like the guy. He has roots in the Range and credibility in Duluth (at least among folks I know) for his time as Councilman.

                      Thoughts I wrestle with, in no particular order:

                      in terms of gravitas, Nolan has the edge; "elder-statesmanship" may be a double-edged sword, though

                      in terms of potential for nat'l attention and funds, Clark likely has the edge; exciting candidate, but the "not one of us" claims seem to resonate across the district

                      in terms of GOTV, particularly wrt students and the broader college/university community in Duluth, I think that Anderson has the edge; yet his resume is admittedly thin wrt Nolan, and that may be an issue; it would also be naive to think that

                      In short, it's complicated. Lousy answer, but there it is...

                      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

                      by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:24:12 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks For The Heads-Up.... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        angry marmot

                        It's hard to see how the DFLer fails to win here whatever configuration MN-08 takes after redistricting as Cravaack has made his already vulnerable situation worse.

                        How old is Nolan by the way? If he was a Congressman from so far back that I wasn't even aware of him, I gotta figure he is truly ancient. I think this district would be best served by someone younger who could position themselves for an Oberstar-style tenure needed to meet the district's more-government-dependent-than-most needs. In that respect Clark is the best bet but her local liabilities could well make her a nonstarter in the district's base.

                        Anderson sounds intriguing and given the weight of the activist base in Minnesota, especially the Northland, he could find himself the Ashwin Madia underdog winner to Nolan's Terri Bonoff (awkward analogy but it was the best I could come up with). I am now going to finally do my homework on this race after not paying as much attention to the DFL contenders up to this point.

                        Also do you have any feelings one way or the other on Tony Lourey, who struck me as the district's best would-be candidate at least from a demographic and youth standpoint?

                        •  If there were two surprises for me (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          they were that neither Lourey nor Roger Reinert seem to have tested-the-waters at all. Lourey could definitely have eaten away at Cravaack's support in the southest of the district, though I just don't know if he has the name-recognition among the Rangers. Reinert may be looking "down the road" and building up a record in the state Senate. Sertich wasn't a huge surprise (alas) given that Commissioner of the IRRRB is a near-perfect gig for him. It's going to be interesting...

                          Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

                          by angry marmot on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:09:40 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Nolan is 68 (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          angry marmot

                          He retired from congress 30 year ago, but while he was still in his thirties.

                          27, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

                          by bumiputera on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:32:47 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  sertixh has ZERO interest in Washington (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      angry marmot

                      My personal preference was Mayor Ness, but he is equally antipathetic about it.

      •  Wasn't the district Nolan represented (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot

        Actually in the Southwest corner of the state?

        24, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

        by HoosierD42 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:07:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angry marmot, Mark27

          He an Oberstar were freshman together way back when. At the time, the DFL dominated outstate Minnesota except for the Republican stronghold of Rochester (that is very strange to type considering how the old Farmer-Labor ties have been weakened in the farmland, and Rochester's rapid growth and shift leftward.

  •  Vinehout (WI) has a 75% rating from Planned (6+ / 0-)


    The issue at hand is somewhat nuanced... she put forward an amendment to a bill requiring pharmacists to distribute contraceptives/Plan B, to change the wording to "pharmacies". In other words, it would be up to the pharmacy (the business) to have someone on staff who would distribute the prescription, rather than the responsibility of the individual pharmacist.

    The Wisconsin Constitution has an explicit statement of freedom of conscience, and Sen. Vinehout stated that she feared, based upon legislation in other states with similar provisions, that the language refering to individuals would be overturned.

    Much of the blow-up on this issue has allegedly come from the Falk camp, which appears to be trying to pre-emptively blow Vinehout out of the water. There's been some pretty nasty stuff coming out of Madison.

    The Will of the People shall be the Law of the Land. - Robert M. LaFollette

    by stcroix cheesehead on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 05:34:39 AM PST

    •  The scorecard is misleading (0+ / 0-)

      That reflects how she voted on an agenda that was specifically crafted to pass through a Senate where she was the primary roadblock. Of course she's going to score well on it; they focused on bills where they could get her support.

      The pro-choice community in Wisconsin knows who's on its side, and that has never been Kathleen Vinehout. She did not receive Planned Parenthood's endorsement in 2010, and will not receive it for governor. Rep. Chris Taylor, the former public policy director for Planned Parenthood when this scorecard was created, has attacked Vinehout publicly, as has NARAL-WI.

  •  FL-22 -> FL-18; love it! (8+ / 0-)

    Regarding Allen West's attempt to run away, and Patrick Murphy's decision to run in 18 as well, I'm hopeful. Murphy should start his campaign with liberal use of the phrase, "You can run, but you can't hide".

    Sad to hear about Dennis Moore. Alzheimer's is devastating.

    That NY map is beyond the pale. IOW, SOP for today's Repubic Party.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 05:44:33 AM PST

    •  Murphy and West (10+ / 0-)

      I can hardly think of a member of congress I'd rather see tossed out of office and publicly humiliated than Alan West. It bears repeating - constant repeating - that West is a self-admitted torturer and war criminal. He was forced to retire from the army because he conducted a mock execution on a prisoner. Mock executions are considered torture by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and are also against the Geneva Conventions.

      Regardless of West's politics (and they are egregious enough), every day he serves as an actual Member of Congress is a shame for us all.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:22:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  IL-13: IL AFL-CIO endorsed Goetten (4+ / 0-)

    Not sure if it was ever covered, but if not:

  •  Monmouth Poll of NJ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Setsuna Mudo, Delilah

    NJ-Sen: Menendez approval 41-26. 21-32 re-elects. Kyrillos (R) has 4-2 favorables, Little (R) has 3-1.

    NJ-Pres: Obama approval 51-42. 47-45 re-elects. no head-to-heads apparently (or for Sen).

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:20:58 AM PST

    •  Reelects worse than approvals? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's unusual, at least for Obama. His reelects almost always run slightly ahead of his approvals, I've always thought because of Dem leaners who are unhappy with him but will vote for him anyway.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:18:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I did a 2021 gerrymander of CO. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, sapelcovits, HoosierD42

    CO is predicted to gain a seat, so I drew a Dem gerrymander with 8 seats using 2010 data. I drew it so Dems have strong odds at 6 of them. I also drew CO-4 into a Brandon Schaffer-mander.

    Sh*t politicians say: "I'm Pete 'Spend It Not' Hoekstra and I approve this message." -'Police State' Pete

    by KingofSpades on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:36:01 AM PST

  •  Jobless Claims Decline to 358,000 (9+ / 0-)

    The claims for the previous week were 373,000, up from 367,000, but I'd bet that just reflects the difficulty in measuring this accurately. As Calculated Risk notes, we are now well below the 400,000 mark and have been here for weeks. That by itself doesn't mean anything in particular, but it's usually associated with strong job growth. If this keeps up, perhaps we should be seeing stronger and stronger job growth in coming months. If that is true, Obama's going to win in a landslide.

  •  "WTF" is what we're always saying in Ohio (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, bear83, bythesea

    about this bozo. Go read or watch the entire speech and you will say "WTF" about 100 times.

    Anyone think he has a giant man-crush on OSU president Gordon Gee?

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:44:57 AM PST

  •  "has decided that he'll chase West one seat up" (9+ / 0-)

    Sounds Ahab-ish

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:46:15 AM PST

  •  Murphy v. West? A normal person vs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, DCCyclone

    a RW lunatic for whom facts are inconvenient things, to be studiously ignored and scoffed at?

    This should be good.

    As for the Manzullo race in Illinois, I recall the time in high school that I was waiting for the school bus. A girl I barely knew (no, not that kind of barely) and one of the greaser crowd continued a verbal war they had started a week earlier. but this time, it degenerated into open, physical warfare. I quickly realized that if I hoped for a long life, there were two things I would never get in the middle of: cat fights between feral felines, and two girls fighting tooth and nail, drawing blood. THAT is what this Manzullo race will be like. I suspect the Teabugger candidate will lose.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:48:51 AM PST

  •  Mitt Romney's Economic Speech at Ford Field (4+ / 0-)

    First Read, via Political Wire, notes he's set to make a big speech at Ford Field in Detroit on February 24, with the obvious statement that it is probably going to be something big. They say it might be him trying to seal the deal with conservatives; I'm not so sure.

    Regardless, what might he say? If he does try to get in with conservatives, I can't imagine the likely message of tax cuts and deregulation will do so well with the middle, especially if he goes off the deep end with the delivery. If he pivots towards the center, how is he not going to seem like he's copying what Obama has proposed?

    Above I said that, given the increasingly good economic news, now might be the time to release something like an infrastructure plan. Given what Romney is supposed to do, I think that's even more true. The worst that will happen is that it will make him look more moderate, but there's also a chance it makes him look like a follower, not a leader. There's an even better chance, I think, that he looks way out of the mainstream, and that would be a big, big help to us.

  •  Bummer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal, Odysseus, bythesea

    Allen West will no longer be my Congressman! Go Murphy!

    Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it. Lily Tomlin

    by DavidW on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:59:54 AM PST

  •  Terrible to hear about Dennis Moore (4+ / 0-)

    He was one of my favourite red district Democrats while he was in Congress. Best wishes to him and his family.

    British guy with a big interest in US politics; -3.50, -3.18

    by General Goose on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:04:19 AM PST

  •  Franken and Murphy (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like a couple of people showing real maturity and putting the priority of trashing West as he leaves town over personal ego.

    •  You have to admire... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, jncca

      ...Mr. Murphy for being willing to run in a far more competitive district simply for the sake of being the one to take on the odious Allen West.

      I know he's young and relatively inexperienced, but the kid's got chutzpah. Last cycle, I honestly thought there was a good chance that Ron Klein would turn up floating in the Everglades.

      •  This could just as easily be self-preservation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know what public or other released polling has said, but it's entirely possible Murphy's own private polling shows him having a harder time being Frankel in a FL-22 primary than West in a FL-18 general.

        People talk as if Murphy is doing something courageous, but it's at least as possible that he's taking the easier path, rather than the harder one, by going to 18.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:23:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Naw, Ron never made the hard calls (0+ / 0-)

        Wanted to protect millionaires' tax breaks.

        I live smack in the middle of his district and never saw a sign.

  •  For those that don't know Murphy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and would like, rather, LOVE (like me) to see West get tossed out on his lying tea bagging ass, and would like to know more about him (and maybe show him a little love yourself), please check out this diary I did last month...

    I'm sorry to see him leave my district. But, I'm glad he's gonna haunt (and defeat) that tea bagging piece of shit.

  •  Is this better for Democrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

    to run under 2001 lines instead of 2011 ones?

    Much to my surprise, a federal judge just ruled that Pennsylvania's legislative elections can proceed this year under the 2001 maps,
  •  Analysis of politics of housing settlement? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    this isn't my area of expertise, but I know it is for some people on here.

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:57:42 AM PST

    •  I think the real good news is that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, DCCyclone

      It eliminates a huge source of risk to the banks (people didn't know how much liability for this they'd ultimately have, forcing the banks to keep huge cash reserves to offset potential liability) and will make them much more willing to draw down their cash cushions and originate more loans (in turn aiding the recovery)

      You can partially see this through the sharp rise in the stock price of Bank of America (which had the greatest exposure to this liability through it's purchase of mortgage mill Countrywide prior to the collapse) over the past few weeks as the settlement appeared increasingly likely and the risk of collapse in Europe dissipated.

      25, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:05:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, not popular with the left, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...the banks hold the economy's fate in their hands. To punish them too severely is to punish us all.

        I view the settlement as largely good news.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:25:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This seems like a pretty good summary to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      25, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:16:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's This Patrick Murphy For Those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, bythesea

    confused as I was.

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:05:07 AM PST

  •  RE: CA 30 (0+ / 0-)

    Several community organizations (including one I chair) have been trying to set up a debate between all four declared candidates in the 30th for several months. The hang up has been Berman. After confirming on two dates, he bailed. We finally set a date (April 12) and told him that we know he is in town and that the date is far enough in advance that he should be able to show up. Mark Reed, one of the Republicans in the race lost to Sherman in 2010, getting only 38% of the vote.

  •  Old PA House Map. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The 2001 map would really help Southeastern Pennsylvania Democrats. A lot of competitive seats there were of course made non-to-so competitive in the new gerrymander.
      I don't really understand how the court could allow use of the old maps however... Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:25:38 AM PST

  •  Small correction re: Kristin Jacobs (0+ / 0-)

    She's not a newcomer, she's a Broward County Commissioner.

    (Broward contains Ft. Lauderdale. It's a densely populated and highly Democratic county.)

    "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner) - Infinite Jest

    by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:56:56 AM PST

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