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Leading Off:

CA-26: Please, please promise me you'll watch to the very end of this ridiculous, crappily-produced television ad (that is actually on the air!) from Republican-turned-independent Linda Parks. I assure you, the last line is very much worth waiting for:

Big hat-tip to DrPhillips for unearthing this absurd scoop of ice cream!

1Q Fundraising:

AZ-Sen: Rep. Jeff Flake (R): $935K raised, $3m cash-on-hand

CA-07: Rep. Dan Lungren (R): $513K raised, $898K cash-on-hand

FL-16: Keith Fitzgerald (D): $300K raised

FL-18: Patrick Murphy (D): $350K raised, $1 mil cash-on-hand

IA-03: Rep. Tom Latham (R): $400K raised, $2 mil cash-on-hand

IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock (R): $875K raised, $430K cash-on-hand

NE-Sen: Jon Bruning (R): $530K raised, $1.45 mil cash-on-hand

NJ-03: Rep. Jon Runyan (R): $296K raised, $735K cash-on-hand; Shelley Adler (D): $309K raised, $290K cash-on-hand

MT-Sen: Sen. Jon Tester (D): $1.2 mil raised, $4.3 mil cash-on-hand; Rep. Denny Rehberg (R): $1.2 mil raised, $2.7 mil cash-on-hand

NC-11: Hayden Rogers (D): $301K raised (in six weeks), $281K cash-on-hand

NJ-Sen: Joe Kyrillos (R): $1.75 mil raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand

NM-Sen: Rep. Martin Heinrich (D): $490K raised, $1.5 mil cash-on-hand; Heather Wilson (R): $760K raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand

NY-08: Hakeem Jeffries (D): $238K raised, $400K cash-on-hand

PA-Sen: Sen. Bob Casey (D): $1.5 mil raised, $5.2 mil cash-on-hand

TX-Sen: Ted Cruz (R): $1.3 mil raised

WI-01: Rob Zerban (D): $326K raised


IN-Sen: Several Indiana links to hit all at once. First up, GOP Treasurer Richard Mourdock has yet another ad out, mostly attacking Sen. Dick Lugar on the usual theme of his betrayal of the conservative movement. And speaking of attack ads, the Club for Growth has begun filing reports on its independent expenditures on behalf of Mourdock, starting with a pretty hefty $635K for television time.

But for once, there's a little bit of good news for Lugar, who just earned the endorsement of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. And finally, on Wednesday night, Mourdock and Lugar both met in their only debate before the May 8 Republican primary, but it sounds like it was a pretty dull affair. You can check out the Indianapolis Star's run-down for full details, but the paper notes that there were "no deeply negative attacks by either man." It honestly sounds like there were almost no negative attacks of any kind. Bor-ring!

ME-Sen: Republican state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin is out with a new TV ad, which I believe makes him the first candidate for Senate to go on the air. The spot features some high-quality footage of a home getting flooded (America is "drowning" in debt, get it?), then being cleaned up by conservatives like Poliquin. For some reason, the opening imagery seems really familiar to me, though. Have we seen in (or anything like it) in other ads before? Ringing any bells? Anyhow, you can watch at the link or below:

MO-Sen: It's the wingnut seal of approval for Rep. Todd Akin: Two of the House's uber-craziest members, Minnesota's Michele Bachmann and Iowa's Steve King, are endorsing their fellow member of Congress for the GOP Senate nod in Missouri.

NE-Sen: Speaking of the Club for Growth (see the note in our IN-Sen item above), they've also filed an independent expenditure report for $270K worth of ad time in the Nebraska Senate race, where they're targeting AG Jon Bruning, in an effort to boost Treasurer Don Stenberg.

NJ-Sen: Quinnipiac's new poll shows Sen. Bob Menendez leading his little-known Republican challenger, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, 44-35, but there's an odd drop for the incumbent from February, when he was up 49-34. I feel like these weird movements seem to happen a lot in New Jersey polling in general, so I'm not going to read too much into it. I will note, though, that Kyrillos did manage to raise a pretty impressive $1.75 million in the first quarter, which seems like more than enough to once again fool the GOP into thinking that this seat is winnable for them.

PA-Sen: We seem to see an awful lot of internal polls of the Republican primary in the Pennsylvania Senate race, and they always seem to say the same thing: "Who?" is always way in the lead. The name of the actual candidate on top occasionally changes, though, and this time it's Tom Smith (not surprising, since it's his poll, from McLaughlin & Associates... and also not surprising since he's been the busiest on the TV airwaves). He's at 29, with Sam Rohrer at 14, Steve Welch at 9, David Christian at 7, and Marc Scaringi at 2. (David Jarman)

TX-Sen: Former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert is doing everything he can to pretend he's not a former Dallas mayor and instead recasts himself as a businessman and "job creator" in his latest TV spot—just like he did in his first ad, all the way back in October. Oddly, when explains "how" he created all these jobs, he just rattles off a list of people he "didn't call," like his opponents in the GOP primary, or Barack Obama. Good to know! Anyhow, you can watch the ad at the link.


NC-Gov: I'm not sure I could care less about this Rasmussen poll.

TX-Gov: Burnt Orange Report is out with a new Texas poll, their first in a series of half a dozen, conducted by the firm People Calling People. This survey focused mostly on issues (like contraception coverage and gay marriage), but it also included job approvals for GOP Gov. Rick Perry. He's not faring very well, with 35% approving and 57% disapproving.

WI-Gov: GOP Gov. Scott Walker is out with two new attack ads aimed at his two likeliest opponents in the recall. One hits Tom Barrett, the other Kathleen Falk, both over taxes and spending. Both are much better than the weird positive spots featuring awkward people talking to the camera in front of a black background he ran in the past, though I think the Barrett one is the better of the two, with some pretty good visuals. You can watch them both at the link, though I'm also including the Barrett ad below:

It's sort of unusual to see a candidate of one party go after not one but two potential challengers from the other party, and interestingly, the Barrett campaign claims that according to a "spot check" of local TV stations, Walker's media buy "seems to be 100% focused" on attacking Barrett. Barrett's argues, of course, that this means Walker is most concerned about facing their guy, not Falk.

Meanwhile, Falk herself is out with a new ad of her own, a spot that's a little bit more pointed than her last one in that it specifically talks about "defeating Scott Walker." But it's otherwise positive, mostly touting her accomplishments and saying that she "worked with the unions" to "save taxpayers $10 mill without taking away workers' rights." You can watch it at the link or below:


AK-AL: I don't expect Alaska's at-large congressional race to suddenly become competitive for the Dems (unless new corruption allegations against long-timer Don Young suddenly surface, or unless Joe Miller suddenly emerges from his bunker for a kamikaze third-party run), but they have lined up an honest-to-gosh state legislator to take on the task. State Rep. Sharon Cissna of Anchorage will be the candidate, though it sounds like she's running primarily on a rather niche-y (and axe-grindy) platform of reforming the Transportation Safety Administration, with whom she had a bad run-in last year in the Seattle airport. (Though, given Alaska's heavy reliance on air travel, maybe this issue has more resonance in Alaska than it would elsewhere.) (David Jarman)

AZ-08: Hah, what an absolute cock-up. GOP state Sen. Frank Antenori, running in the special to replace Gabby Giffords, has now fired his treasurer, whom his campaign says "just completely burned us." We mentioned that Antenori filed his pre-primary report late in the previous digest, but the full picture is even worse. The Hill's Josh Lederman takes a deep dive into Antenori's disastrous financial situation, starting at the top:

Antenori’s campaign missed the April 5 deadline to file a report detailing the campaign’s finances leading up to the primary, which is set for next Tuesday. When he eventually filed four days later, FEC records show, he filed twice; one set of records appeared to have used the wrong form. Then a third, amended version was filed a day later.

All three versions showed different totals for contributions, expenses and cash on hand.

But they aren't done amending yet. Antenori's campaign manager acknowledges that the latest report is still deficient and that they plan to file yet another version. Even more remarkably, the now-departed treasurer who screwed this all up, Jeffrey Hill, wasn't some slacker college kid trying to earn some extra pay on spring break. He's a former state senator! What a train-wreck.

Meanwhile, even though the Arizona state GOP doesn't know who they'll nominate to oppose Dem Ron Barber in the special election, but they're already shelling out some cash to soften up Barber. They're spending $47K on direct mail and robocalls attacks. (David Nir & David Jarman)

FL-09: Conservative activist Todd Long is taking a third shot at a congressional bid, jumping into the relatively busy GOP primary in the brand-new 9th District. This seat leans blue, but with Alan Grayson as the likely Democratic nominee, Republicans seem eager to take him on, and three others, including Osceola County Commissioner John Quiñones. Long, you may recall, ran for the GOP nod in the old 8th District in 2010, coming in second (with 23%) to the guy who eventually beat Grayson later that year, Daniel Webster. The cycle before that, Long very nearly unseated Rep. Ric Keller, losing in the primary by just six points. (Grayson went on to beat Keller.)

IL-13: The official canvass is now complete in the IL-13 Democratic primary, and David Gill's lead over Matt Goetten has increased 19 votes, from 143 to 162. Goetten isn't conceding yet, though, saying he may contest the outcome. He probably won't decide until after the state Board of Elections certifies the results, which should happen on April 20.

MI-06: Here's another race where I don't expect the Dems to become competitive, unless hard-right ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk knocks off long-time moderate Rep. Fred Upton in the GOP primary. But we've just landed a decent-sounding recruit, Mike O'Brien, which is good news in case we get to take advantage of that opportunity. O'Brien certainly brings a manly-yet-environmentally-friendly resume to the table: He's a Marine vet, a former organic farmer, and a former wind power executive. Currently, though, he's a marketing executive at the Herman Miller office furniture company—for whatever reason, the Grand Rapids area is the center of the office furniture industry. (If that Herman Miller gig sounds oddly familiar, that's because it's the exact same job that the previously-never-before-elected Pete Hoekstra held before getting elected as U.S. Rep. for the first time in 1992.) (David Jarman)

NC-11: Real estate investor Mark Meadows, the apparent frontrunner for the Republican nomination in this open seat, is out with an introductory spot that may be the most overtly Christian-conservative I've seen so far this cycle. Meadows, speaking to the camera, says: "I'm driven by a moral obligation to stop Barack Obama's assault on our values, to protect marriage between one man and one woman," and adds, "Above all, I'm guided by my Christian faith, and that will never change." You can watch it at the link or below:

NJ-10: A big-name endorsement for Newark councilman Ron Rice as he seeks the seat of the late Rep. Donald Payne: Former Gov. Richard Codey is backing his candidacy. Rice faces a crowded Democratic primary in this safely blue seat: Newark City Council President Donald Payne, Jr. (son of the former incumbent), state Sen. Nia Gill, and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith are all running.

NY-08: It seems like Capital New York may have buried the lede a bit here. Check out this quote in the very last graf from Rep. Ed Towns' consultant, Hank Scheinkopf, in response to whether Towns actually plans to run again in the Democratic primary:

"No one, including the already anointed candidate of Manhattan's one percent, Mr. Jeffries, is a candidate until petitions are filed. So we shall see what happens."
Ignoring the stupid slam on Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, that's either quite the admission, or Scheinkopf is really just fucking with all of us. Meanwhile, Towns' disappearing act continues: He cancelled on the AFL-CIO, which is holding candidate endorsement interviews, at the last minute on Thursday. A spokesman actually surfaced, claiming that Towns would reschedule because he "had to go to Washington for official business." One problem with that explanation: Congress is in recess.

NY-24: Ugh. I knew that when the Green Party somehow succeeded in scoring 50,000 votes in the 2010 gubernatorial election—thus granting it an automatic ballot line for the next four years—that no good would come of it. Unlike the Working Families Party, the Greens like to run left-wing spoiler candidates in competitive races, thus hurting Democratic chances. Case in point: Some Dude Ursula Rozum is planning to run under the Green banner in the redrawn 24th, which is the very best Democratic pickup opportunity in the whole state. (Ex-Rep. Dan Maffei is seeking a rematch against freshman GOPer Ann Marie Buerkle in this now-bluer district.)

Rozum sounds typical "pox-on-both-your-houses" Green, saying: "I'm running because the Democrats and Republican have failed to solve basic problems like funding public transportation." Weirdly, though, she volunteered both for Obama and Maffei in 2008, but I guess she now has to take her mild disillusionment out on the rest of us. Maffei lost by just 567 votes in 2010, so even if Rozum only grabs a small share of the vote, that could well swing the outcome. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some petition challenges here.

NY-27: A funny thing's happening on Chris Collins' way to the Republican nomination. Though the former Erie County Executive has been touted as the GOP's strongest candidate and is the clear favorite of national Republicans, he's run into an unusually tenacious obstacle in the form of Iraq vet David Bellavia. Bellavia's been racking up endorsements from local parties in the eight counties which make up the redrawn 27th District. First it was Orleans, a few days later Livingston, and then a week ago Wyoming. These counties are all on the smaller side, combining for 21% of the district's population.

But as the Buffalo News' Bob McCarthy explains, the situation is actually worse for Collins than it appears. The two biggest counties, Erie and Niagara, both said they wouldn't endorse anyone—and Erie is, of course, Collins' home turf. Ontario won't, either, and Monroe's top Republican says he's not a Collins guy, either, with only Genesee unaccounted for. So it's pretty much goose-eggs for Collins, whom Murphy suggests is paying a price for two high-profile losses in the region last year: the congressional special election won by Democrat Kathy Hochul, and his own county executive race, which he lost in an upset. I also have the sense that Bellavia is simply more appealing to your typical movement conservative activist, rather than a longtime pol like Collins, who's had to actually govern and work with Democrats.

Still, Collins will almost certainly be better-funded and is not without his advantages, like much greater name recognition. But there may be an upset in the making here.

PA-12: Look out! This could be quite the game-changer: Bill Clinton has just endorsed Mark Critz, and in a sign that this was clearly in the works for some time, Critz already has an ad out attacking his Democratic primary opponent, Jason Altmire, over Medicare and Social Security—and touting the Clinton endorsement. You can watch it at the link or below:

PA-17: Matt Cartwright is out with his first negative ad going after Rep. Tim Holden, his Democratic primary opponent, though it's a compare-and-contrast spot which finishes with some positive notes about his own priorities. Since Holden used to represent much more conservative turf (and voted accordingly), Cartwright has his pick of roll calls he can ding Holden for. In this case, he's focusing on healthcare reform and the so-called "Halliburton loophole." You can watch here or below:
WA-01: State Rep. Roger Goodman has dropped out of the huge Democratic field in the race to replace Jay Inslee; he'll run instead for re-election to the state House in the Kirkland-area LD-45. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since in late March he publicly announced that his fundraising was "anemic" and that he was weighing dropping out, which isn't something you publicly telegraph to your donors unless you've basically already decided to bail. The main beneficiary here probably is Darcy Burner, who was competing with Goodman for votes on the party's left flank. Once Burner got in, Goodman's path started looking like a dead end, despite his strong progressive bona fides, since he isn't well-known outside of his district. (David Jarman)

Meanwhile, state Sen. Steve Hobbs is, to most observers, the most right-leaning candidate in the field, but interestingly, he's now gotten an endorsement from a sizable union: the SEIU-affiliated Public School Employees (i.e., clerical staff and bus drivers). (David Jarman)

WA-??: Well, Dennis Kucinich is still refusing to rule out a second congressional run in Washington this year, where the filing deadline isn't until May 18. It's worth pointing out that Kucinich made these comments while actually visiting the state—he's doing a bunch of events in various districts. Of course, he also spent plenty of time out in Washington last year, too, before deciding to chance his fate against the buzz-saw that was Marcy Kaptur. Who knows? Maybe he'll make history yet.

Other Races:

OK-HD-71: This is why voting matters! In the 71st House District special election in Oklahoma, Democrat Dan Arthrell led by just 3 votes out of over 2,800 cast. Then, after a recount, Arthrell heartbreakingly fell behind by one vote to Republican Katie Henke. But it ain't over! Two ballots have since been found stuck in a voting machine, and both were for Arthrell, which would put him back up by one! The matter, as you'd expect, is going before a judge, and it may be some time before we have a final winner here, but fingers crossed. If Arthrell can hang on, this would be a pickup for Team Blue in a seat that Republicans have controlled for almost continuously for half a century.

Grab Bag:

New York: In case you haven't seen it yet, we have a new redistricting-inspired "cheat sheet" for New York, where the districts got scrambled a fair bit under the new map. You'll want to bookmark it, along with our earlier California and Florida cheat sheets, two other big states where the map-making process wreaked a good amount of havoc.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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