• NY-25: Maybe Maggie Brooks won't be so intimidating after all. The Republican Monroe County Executive tried to pull an embarrassing David Weprin just a day after kicking off her campaign against veteran Dem Rep. Louise Slaughter:
Speaking to reporters at the Greater Rochester International Airport on Tuesday following a news conference about expanded service to New York City, Brooks said it was premature for her "to be pinned down on issues."Hah! So not only will Brooks not discuss her views on the issues, but she's waiting to field-test her positions before announcing them to the public. Strong!
"I know everybody wants to know, 'Where do you stand on this, this and this?' " Brooks said. "At this point, we're organizing a campaign that hopefully will mirror what people at the local level want to talk about.
• IN-Sen: This is a great move by Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly: In response to Sen. Dick Lugar's ultra-feeble claim that he spent a mere 1,805 days in Indiana in 36 years in office, Donnelly is pointing out that he's been in the Hoosier State 1,151 days and 1,029 nights since he was first sworn in five years ago. Going by days, that's 63% of the time, versus less than 14% for Lugar.
Meanwhile, Lugar is once again trying to refashion his image as a staunch warrior against "Obamacare," instead of what he's better-known for, being Obama's "favorite Republican." He has a new TV ad (tied to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act), and we have some word on the size of the buy: $110K, which includes $23K for radio. (You can watch it at the link.)
Meanwhile, here's that Club for Growth ad attacking Lugar that's supposedly backed by a $1.8 million buy. Can't really say it packs much of an emotional punch or has very impressive production values.
• ME-Sen: When campaigns circulate "petitions," it's just a way to gather email addresses, so I tend to take little notice of them. But I'll give credit to Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Gill for this gambit: She's circulating a new petition asking Angus King to tell Mainers who he'll support as Senate majority leader, Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell. It's a good way for Dill to tout her own Democratic bona fides, and to keep King's wishy-washiness in the news.
King, of course, seems intent on continuing to do just that himself, though. (No surprise.) His latest move: He's tapped a former Democratic state legislator as his policy director and a former Republican strategist as his political director. I guess I forgot how much voters love it when politicians try to look like they're all over the map.
While we're on Angus, this is super-lame. Even though Twitter allows parody accounts, and even though the @King_Angus account followed all the rules, Angus King (or a supporter) managed to get the account yanked from the site. (It's what Angus himself was referring to when he complained about "all these crappy twitters.") Have no fear, though: King Angus II lives! Long live the king!
P.S. Genius comment by gabjoh on King's party & state designation: "Angus King (I-ME): 'cause that's all he's about."
• MT-Sen: Dem Sen. Jon Tester is out with his first ad of his re-election campaign, a positive spot in which he says that he, like the combine he uses on his farm, is non-partisan. The buy is for $60K, which is actually not such a small sum in a small state like Montana. You can watch the ad at the link or below:
• CA-10: This is pathetic: California Republicans are suing to prevent Democrat Jose Hernandez, who is running against freshman Rep. Jeff Denham in the redrawn 10th, from describing himself on the June top-two primary ballot as an "astronaut." Hernandez worked for NASA until 2011 and flew into space in 2009, so the lawsuit rather amusingly declares that "astronaut is not a title one carries for life." Who knows—maybe the GOP is right on the legal merits. But this suit will just bring more attention to Hernandez's extraordinary resume.
• CA-44: Wow. Laura Richardson is just the worst. I really hope she loses.
• MD-06, MD-04: Looks like I wasn't the only person unhappy with Rep. Donna Edwards' endorsement of financier John Delaney in the 6th District Democratic primary: The state's AFL-CIO just sent around a memo to other labor organizations sharply criticizing Edwards' move, saying she'd been asked to either endorse state Sen. Rob Garagiola or to stay out of the race. Unions have good caused to be miffed: When former prosecutor Glenn Ivey moved to challenge Edwards in her own 4th CD primary, labor circled the wagons around her and made it clear exactly how tough a race Ivey would have—something that helped convince Ivey to drop his aspirations after just a short while. Next time, Edwards may not be so fortunate, since the AFL is saying that her endorsement decision will "certainly be considered in our future relationships."
• MN-02: Democrats have their first announced candidate in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District: Northfield City Council member Patrick Ganey. While Kline will be tough to defeat, redistricting made this seat a bit bluer, which ought to help. The linked article also mentions a couple of other Dem names who are still considering: ex-state Rep. Michael Obermueller and Dakota County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord. One top potential recruit said earlier this month that he won't make a go of it, though: State Rep. Joe Atkins will instead run for re-election.
• NC-13: This is interesting. A super PAC called the American Foundations Committee (there must be a refrigerator magnet set of words you can use to make up PAC names) just threw down almost $60K on paid media on behalf of former U.S. Attorney George Holding—capping a month-long spending spree that totals some $215K. Holding is running in the GOP primary for the redrawn 13th District (an open seat because Dem Rep. Brad Miller is retiring, though he wasn't planning to run here anyway), and he's already raised a lot more than his main rival, Wake County commissioner Paul Coble. This big infusion of outside money only pads that edge, and it's yet another example of a single-candidate super PAC making its presence felt.
• NJ-07: Well whaddya know: We now have a bona fide state legislator running for Congress against GOP sophomore Leonard Lance, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, who is also the chamber's deputy speaker. Democrats lost their top recruit, former Edison mayor Jun Choi, when Choi's home base was moved out of the 7th in redistricting, so that makes this a particularly good get for Team Blue. Defeating Lance will still be very difficult, but as the New Jersey's first and only Indian-American lawmaker, Chivukula may be able to tap into the strong national network of Indian-American donors that seems hungry for a congressional win. (As it happens, some back-of-the-envelope number crunching also suggests that this is one of the most heavily Indian districts in the nation.)
• NY-06: Republican NYC councilman Dan Halloran, best known as a Pagan and a Paulist, has announced that he'll run for Gary Ackerman's open House seat. This is a 63-36 Obama district, so I have no idea what Halloran is thinking, except that this race is a free shot (he doesn't have to give up his council post to make a bid). Even state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whose 51-46 win in 2010 was one of the closest statewide races in recent years, took this district by a 57-40 margin. This is very inhospitable turf for any Republican.
• NY-11: The Independence Party isn't shying away from GOP freshman Mike Grimm, despite the serious taint of serious scandal now surrounding him. They're giving Grimm their endorsement, which went to Dem Rep. Mike McMahon last cycle.
• NY-19: Attorney Julian Schreibman just scored two more local party endorsements over the weekend, from Democrats in Greene and Columbia Counties. Based on our CDs-by-county chart, that means Schreibman now has the backing of county orgs representing more than half the population of the redrawn district.
• NY-27: Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, who had been widely anticipate to run for Congress ever since redistricting made this seat significantly redder, finally declared over the weekend that he would in fact challenge first-term Dem Kathy Hochul. Collins is probably the strongest possible GOP recruit here, but it's worth noting that he lost his bid for re-election as executive last year in an upset by Democrat Mark Poloncarz. Collins will also have to face off against Iraq vet David Bellavia in the Republican primary, though, at least one other potential opponent is already saying no: Erie County legislator John Mills, who had been discussed as a possible candidate previously, won't run.
• PA-12: Rep. Mark Critz's polling is showing slight movement in his direction, but will it be enough for him to ultimately prevail in the Democratic primary just a month from now? Critz's newest internal, again from Global Strategy Group, still has fellow Rep. Jason Altmire leading, but this time it's by a 45-38 margin, as opposed to 47-37 in February. Time's growing short, but that also explains why Critz is dumping most of his warchest on to the airwaves. A win for him seems possible, but it would most certainly be an upset.
• PA-17, PA-12, PA-AG: The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the state's largest labor union, just handed out endorsements to Democrats in three races: to Rep. Mark Critz in the 12th Congressional District (no surprise), to Rep. Tim Holden in the 17th (perhaps more of a surprise, given Holden's more conservative record—but he's typically had strong ratings from labor groups), and to ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy in the AG's race. The campaign of Holden's primary opponent, attorney Matt Cartwright, sniffed in a response: "The leadership of the AFL-CIO made this endorsement happen. Matt Cartwright is more interested in the support of the actual workers of the AFL-CIO." I really don't know that that's a winning message, unless he's sure the "actual workers" mistrust the very same leaders they elected in the first place.
Cartwright did get one endorsement on Monday, from liberal activist group Democracy for America. But Holden scored another win as well: The Lackawanna County Democratic Committee gave him their backing, which is notable because that's Cartwright's home turf—and because the old 17th doesn't cover any part of Lackawanna, so it's all brand-new to Holden. Cartwright grumped about this one, too, saying Holden was merely "busy gathering up endorsements from political insiders." I'm really not sure this kind of complaining constitutes wise campaign strategy.
• PA-AG: These Bill Clinton endorsements are starting to get kind of old, no? Now the Big Dog is endorsing former prosecutor Kathleen Kane over ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Democratic primary—and I don't even have to tell you it's because Kane was a big supporter of his wife's in 2008, while Murphy backed Obama. What makes this one extra-annoying is that Kane was something of a PUMA: She participated in a meeting of Clinton supporters hosted by McCain advisor Carly Fiorina in August of 2008, at which point she was still she was "not sure" whether she'd support McCain or Obama. (She later claimed she didn't vote for McCain.) At that late date, with the stakes so high, I find that kind of behavior beyond appalling.
• NY Redistricting: We have our full package of redistricting goodies now that New York's new congressional map has been finalized: our Google Maps overlay, our classic redistribution analysis, and a full suite of election results by congressional district, for all statewide races in both 2008 and 2010. I'm also re-posting an added bonus, a chart of the new CDs broken down by county. It's useful for seeing how important a given county's endorsement is in a particular district. And remember, you can always find our complete set of redistricting resources at this link.