9:03 AM PT: Rhode Island: It's a small state, but it sure was a beast: Jeff has now finished calculating presidential election results for Rhode Island's new congressional districts. Says Jeff: "That was more work than I've put into any other state with just two districts." Why was it so annoying? "Because Rhode Island doesn't provide its precinct boundaries to the Census Bureau. I had to create a precinct file based on a .jpg map and then use it to calculate split precincts, which was a pain in the ass."
Questioner: What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or international socialists?
West: That's a good question. I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.
Congressman David Cicilline offered a public apology and expressed regret Tuesday for saying during his 2010 campaign that Providence was in "excellent financial condition."Cicilline, a freshman Democrat, has struggled badly in the polls thanks to accusations he mismanaged Providence's finances while he served as mayor, which is why he's trying to put the issue behind him with this mea culpa. But that's not easy to do, and his Republican challenger, former state police chief Brendan Doherty, certainly won't let the issue drop. As our new presidential calculations show, Cicilline's seat was made about three points bluer in redistricting, turning it into a 67% Obama district. That's the kind of turf that should almost never be competitive for Democrats, but Cicilline's weakness combined with Doherty's strength are making this race look a lot closer than it ought to be.
"I should not have used that word," Cicilline said in a wide-ranging interview with WPRI 12. "It obviously doesn't describe the condition the city is in [and] it was never my intention to mislead people intentionally." [...]
"I should have been much clearer the challenge the city faces," Cicilline said. "I should have been much louder in the consequences of the state cuts and to the extent anything I did contributed to the challenge the city faces, I'm sorry for that and I accept full responsibility for it."
"I understand now why people feel I misled them and I understand why people feel betrayed and it's important for me to address that," Cicilline added.
10:02 AM PT (David Jarman): PA-18: I'm not sure I ever understood the Club for Growth's beef with Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy is nobody's idea of a moderate, and unlike, say, Spencer Bachus, he's not in a blood-red district. At any rate, CfG's Chris Chocola says they're not going to spend any more in the 18th, with only two weeks left until the primary, despite having run anti-Murphy ads earlier in the year. Their preferred candidate, young Evan Feinberg, didn't seem to live up to the initial touting: he never offered a rebuttal to Murphy's internal poll showing Murphy up by 62 points, and today revealed he only raised $72K in Q1. Nevertheless, the inscrutable Campaign for Primary Accountability continues to wage the war against Murphy, as logic has never seemed to offered a deterrent to them; they've just dropped $52K in IEs against Murphy.
10:10 AM PT (David Jarman): PA-Sen: The Republican primary in the Pennsylvania race is starting to look like a Three Stooges routine; Larry tweaks Moe's nose, Moe hits Curly in head with mallet. Case in point: after Steven Welch got a few 'nyuk nyuk's at Tom Smith's expense yesterday with a negative TV ad hitting him on his decades of being a Democrat, today Smith went after Sam Rohrer's insufficient purity during his time in the legislature, especially voting for an unpopular pay raise. (No word on the size of the buy, and you can view the ad the link.)
10:20 AM PT (David Jarman): PA-04: With the primary only a few weeks away, the first ad from a candidate in the 4th district has finally popped up. This is a safely Republican seat centered on York, where the needle is likely to move to the right with moderate Todd Platts' retirement, and all the action will be in the primary. The ad is a positive bio spot for state Rep. Scott Perry. Perry's playing a bit of catch-up though, as Pat Toomey's PAC already ran a TV spot in favor of York Co. Commissioner Chris Reilly, who seems to be Perry's main competition. It's a cheap district for paid media: Perry's buy is only $100K, but that gets you 1,000 points in the Harrisburg market. (Perry also, in the last few days, has obtained backing from the NRA and Citizens United.)
10:41 AM PT: Man, the 1Q fundraising numbers are just absolutely flooding the old inbox today. We already have over two dozen and it's only the early afternoon:
AZ-Sen: Richard Carmona (D): $800K raised, $1.1 mil cash-on-hand
AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick (D): $307K raised, $655K cash-on-hand
CA-02: Norman Solomon (D): $200K raised
CA-39: Jay Chen (D): $305K raised, $247K cash-on-hand (in eight weeks)
CO-06: Joe Miklosi (D): $235K raised, $350K cash-on-hand
CT-Sen: $855K raised, $3 mil cash-on-hand
FL-Sen: Sen. Bill Nelson (D): $1.6 mil raised, $9.5 mil cash-on-hand
FL-06: Ron DeSantis (R): $227K raised, $218K cash-on-hand
FL-22: Adam Hasner (R): $335K raised
MN-08: Tarryl Clark (D): $321K raised, $418K cash-on-hand
MT-Gov (3/6 to 4/5 only): Steve Bullock (D): $105K raised, $521K cash-on-hand; Rick Hill (R): $31K raised, $303K cash-on-hand
NV-04: Danny Tarkanian (R): $344K raised, $290K cash-on-hand
OH-16: Rep. Betty Sutton (D): $455K raised, $750K cash-on-hand; Rep. Jim Renacci (R): $431K raised, $1.2 mil cash-on-hand
PA-08: Kathy Boockvar (D): $330K raised, $250K cash-on-hand
PA-18: Evan Feinberg (R): $72K raised, $81K cash-on-hand
RI-01: Rep. David Cicilline (D): $316K raised, $700K cash-on-hand
TX-Sen: David Dewhurst (R): $1.7 mil raised
TX-23: Pete Gallego (D): $300K raised, $290K cash-on-hand
UT-Sen: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R): $1.3 mil raised, $3.3 mil cash-on-hand; Dan Liljenquist (R): $169K raised, $242K cash-on-hand
WA-10: Denny Heck (D): $400K raised, $933K cash-on-hand
WA-Gov (March only): Jay Inslee (D): $580K raised (incl. $50K from state party), $2.7 mil cash-on-hand (note: Rob McKenna (R) was forbidden from fundraising because the legislature was in session)
WI-Sen: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D): $2 mil raised, $2.8 mil cash-on-hand
10:45 AM PT: AZ-08: The other day, we noted that Republican state Sen. Frank Antenori hadn't bothered to file a mandatory FEC report detailing his fundraising in the period prior to Tuesday's primary for the AZ-08 special election. That led me to speculate he'd quietly dropped out... but he did eventually wind up filing a report, several days late. He might as well have quit, though, since his numbers were terrible: just $37K raised and negative $3K cash-on-hand.
11:05 AM PT (David Jarman): WA-Gov: As we highlighted above, the initial report from Democratic candidate Jay Inslee looks good on the surface: $580K raised in March, and a solid cash-on-hand edge over Rob McKenna, with $2.7 million to McKenna's $2.3 million. However, there are some signs of stress there: as the Post-Intelligencer reports, that's after working his donors extra-hard during the last few days of the month, and then after a $50K infusion from the state party on Mar. 31. And some pundits are wondering if Inslee's disparity should be bigger, given that McKenna was sidelined from fundraising during the ongoing legislative special session... which in fact just ended Tuesday, so expect a monster April from McKenna thanks to pent-up demand.
In addition, here's a perceptive piece from Goldy at the Stranger (and formerly on Horse's Ass) about how it seems like the local media (not just the Seattle Times, whose man-crush on McKenna goes back for ages, but pretty much everyone, even Publicola) have already decided that McKenna is going to win this race. And while that doesn't mean they're in the tank for McKenna, it does show up in the damned-in-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn't coverage that Inslee always seem to get in the local media (a key example would be the recent controversy over paying for the special election his resignation created, which we mentioned yesterday).
12:23 PM PT: IL-16, IL-18: It's pretty amazing how the fallout from the Eric Cantor/Campaign for Primary Accountability story just keeps continuing. The capsule version so far: Cantor, the House Majority Leader, contributed $25K to the CPA, a super PAC devoted to unseating incumbents of both parties. Cantor claims his donation was earmarked to target only Illinois Rep. Don Manzullo (who indeed lost his primary last month), but the CPA says there was no such arrangement, meaning the money could have been used against anyone—and further enraging rank-and-file members of the House GOP caucus who are furious that Cantor had it out for Manzullo in the first place.
Now the latest twist involves how Cantor came to donate to the CPA in the first place. As was previously reported, another Illinois Rep., Aaron Schock, informed Cantor that he planned to give $25K to the CPA and asked if Cantor would match his gift. The problem, as The Hotline's Scott Bland explains, is that the FEC issued an advisory opinion last year which says that federal officeholders and candidate can only solicit up to $5,000 on behalf of super PACs. Schock's ask was five for times that amount. As Bland notes, the FEC has spiralled into utter dysfunction, deadlocked between Democrats and Republicans, so Schock is likely to skate. But this still doesn't look good for him.
12:28 PM PT: MI-07: Last week, ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz said he'd decide whether to make a congressional comeback bid "after Tuesday." Well, Tuesday came, and he promised a decision within 48 hours, so I guess we'll know by Thursday, if he sticks to his timetable. Says Schwarz: "I know what the options are, and I know the support the DCCC has offered, which is significant. So it's just a matter of me deciding whether this is something I should do. Not that I want to do, because I do want to do it." (Schwarz represented this district for one term as a Republican, but is being courted to run as a Democrat against the man who ousted him in the primary in 2006, GOP Rep. Tim Walberg.)
12:32 PM PT: NH Redistricting: It looks like New Hampshire's surprisingly contentious congressional redistricting process is about to come to an end. The state House just voted in favor of a plan passed by the Senate last month, which reflects a compromise between the state's two Republican congressmen, Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta. (Both wanted redder turf, of course, but in a state with just two congressional districts, it's obviously a zero-sum game.) Now the map goes to Dem Gov. John Lynch for his signature, and I have to doubt he'd veto it.
1:02 PM PT: WI-Gov: Just a couple of days after his chief rival for the Democratic nomination in the recall election, ex-Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, went on the air, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett is doing the same. Unlike Falk's positive, mostly biographical spot which didn't even mention Gov. Scott Walker, Barrett goes directly at the incumbent, and specifically attacks him for Wisconsin's lousy jobs numbers. There's no word on the size of the buy or where the ad is airing, but you can watch it at the link or below:
1:29 PM PT: NY-St. Sen: It's a few weeks old, but Politicker's Colin Campbell has a good piece taking a look at which Dem-held state Senate seats New York Republicans are planning to target this year—assuming their new map holds up in court. If it does, the GOP has pushed the lines so hard that there are really only four swingable districts left that they might still target. Each situation is unique, though, and thanks to the perturbations wrought by new map they're all difficult to summarize, so I'd encourage you to click through.
1:31 PM PT: WI-Gov: And yet one more big establishment name has come out for Tom Barrett: Retiring Sen. Herb Kohl is endorsing the Milwaukee mayor, joining Rep. Ron Kind and ex-Reps. Dave Obey and Steve Kagen, who all got on board in the last week.
2:09 PM PT: FEC: Here's a useful Google Doc we've put together of pre-primary FEC filing deadlines. As you may know, federal candidates are required to submit fundraising reports to the FEC not only quarterly, but also 12 days before any election. That includes primaries, runoffs, conventions (where applicable), and the general election. The FEC has a calendar on their website, but it's not the most user-friendly, so we've transformed it into spreadsheet format. We've also sorted it by date (rather than alphabetically), so that you can keep a ready on eye on upcoming deadlines. (Indeed, reports were just due in Utah because both parties are conducting nominating conventions on April 21.) Horserace junkies will definitely want to keep this one bookmarked.
2:39 PM PT: FL-Sen: Hey, Connie Mack: John McCain called and he wants his crotechy-old-man-grumps-about-silly-sounding-earmark shtick back. Look, I dunno. Maybe people get exercised about budget line items that come across (if you're being stubbornly anti-intellectual) as goofy and wasteful. So perhaps Connie Mack has struck political gold with his first televsion spot of the campaign, an ad attacking Dem Sen. Bill Nelson for supporting the stimulus... which supposedly contained funding to study "how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine." Oh boy, I'm sure those researchers got a real hoot out of watching those monkeys get all strung out snorting eight balls! Because obviously this money was used to entertain a bunch of bored scientists, not learn how to better treat cocaine addiction, right? Whatever. Enjoy a bunch of random simian footage at the link or below:
2:59 PM PT: NRSC: The National Republican Senatorial Committee is reserving $25 million worth of airtime in key Senate races this fall, which is somewhat earlier than when campaign committees usually make such a move. This allows the NRSC to lock in lower rates before the airwaves get crowded later this fall, but can come with some complications. (For instance, if you break a reservation, you might wind up having to forfeit a deposit—or you might seriously cheese off a TV station who will then look to charge you much higher rates if you try to change your mind a second time.) In any event, the reservations range from $3 mil to $5 mil in six states: MO, MT, NM, NV VA & WI. Shira Toeplitz has full details at the link.
3:47 PM PT: Another batch of fundraising numbers to finish off the day:
CA-07: Ami Bera (D): $366K raised, $1.1 mil cash-on-hand
CA-09: Rick Gill (R): $300K raised
KY-Sen (2014): Sen. Mitch McConnell (R): $1 mil raised, $5 mil cash-on-hand
MI-Sen: Clark Durant (R): $558K raised, $1.5 mil cash-on-hand
MI-01: Gary McDowell (D): $273K raised, $500K cash-on-hand
NV-03: John Oceguera (D): $373K raised, $472K cash-on-hand
TX-23: Rep. Quico Canseco (R): $390K raised, $800K cash-on-hand; Ciro Rodriguez (D): $100K raised