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Leading Off:

Michigan: There are two big ballot measures attempting to stem the tide against radical Republican legislation that look like they may go before voters in Michigan this fall. One effort, known as the "Protect Our Jobs" amendment, would "enshrine collective bargaining in the state constitution" and just got a boost on Monday when the Secretary of State said it lacked authority to determine whether the measure was too broad to appear on the ballot. I'll bet that opponents will go to court to try to block it, though. In the meantime, the SoS will continue to vet signatures that organizers submitted; they needed 323K but filed 684K, so they should be good.

On a separate front, a referendum that would undo Michigan's extremely controversial, anti-union "emergency manager" law (known as Public Act 4) is further along in the legal process. An appellate court previously ruled that the measure should indeed appear on the ballot this November, but opponents have now filed an appeal with Michigan's supreme court. Amazingly, the dispute centers around whether organizers used a sufficiently large font on their petitions! Michigan's high court, filled with Republican appointees, is notoriously hacktacular, so a reversal always remains a possibility.


AZ-Sen: Secure Arizona PAC finally filed an independent expenditure report for the anti-Jeff Flake ad they put out a couple of weeks ago. Turns out the size of the buy is $17,500—still piddly, but more than double the $8K they initially promised. It's a pretty killer ad, though—allies of Wil Cardon who want to see him win the Republican primary would be wise to re-use that lead-off clip of Flake saying "I lied" when asked why he didn't keep his term-limits pledge.


CA-03, CA-09, CA-24: The NRCC is back to airing video press releases—low-dollar buys of television ads attacking Democrats that will be seen by about as many reporters as voters (that is to say, not many). Their latest targets are three California congressmembers: Lois Capps (CA-24), John Garamendi (CA-03), and Jerry McNerney (CA-09), and the total buy is just $43K across all three races. The spot is the same in each cases, an incredibly slow-moving, wordless, minute-long ad which features a woman on screen texting with some unseen family member about how pissed they are that the Supreme Court "upheld Obamacare" and how they want to get rid of their representative. Every few seconds, a new text message appears on the screen while the protagonist makes groany faces. I don't think this would work as a real ad.

CT-05: It turns out that the PCCC did in fact release a standard topline for its CT-05 Democratic primary poll, not just their who "do you think would be the strongest candidate in the general election" question. The results are virtually identical, though, to the who "do you think would be the strongest candidate in the general election" numbers that circulated on Friday.

FL-18: Today in Allen West lunacy:

Republican Rep. Allen West kicked off his Treasure Coast campaign for congressional District 18 on Sunday with a rally, during which he criticized President Obama on a variety of issues, using phrases and language guaranteed to get attention.

"He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He'd rather you be his slave," said West.

FL-22: A couple of endorsements in the FL-22 Democratic primary. First up, Rep. Ted Deutch, who's seeking re-election in the adjacent 21st CD, has given his backing to former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel. Meanwhile, the SEIU just announced its support for Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

NY-11: Democrat Mark Murphy, a former aide to NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, just released a new internal poll (from Global Strategy Group) of his race against GOP freshman Mike Grimm. On the initial ballot test, Grimm leads 47-32, so not particular close, but the incumbent is under 50. Murphy of course fares better on the informed ballot questions, and he's also (as you'd expect) largely unknown, with 16-7 favorables. (Grimm is at 45-22.) The polling memo also includes presidential toplines: Barack Obama has a 46-44 edge over Mitt Romney. That seems pretty reasonable, seeing as John McCain won here 51-48 in 2008.

NY-13: Rep. Charlie Rangel's lead over state Sen. Adriano Espaillat is now down to just 802 votes, out of the more than 40,000 cast in last Tuesday's Democratic primary, and yet we're still not entirely clear on who won. Espaillat went to court on Monday, in part to demand that the NYC Board of Elections open up its vote-counting process to public scrutiny, but the judge took no action, since Espaillat's team said they would re-file a new, broader complaint on Tuesday. One cause of action they plan to include (but caution they may never act on) is a request for a new election. Hopefully we'll know more soon, but man... what a mess.

P.S. This isn't apropos of anything, except for the fact that I went digging through the NYT archives for stories about Charlie Rangel's victory over Rep. Adam Clayton Powell in the Democratic primary in 1970 (in what was then numbered New York's 18th Congressional District). But this quote, offered shortly after Rangel won that year, was too good not to share:

Assemblyman Charles B. Rangel termed President Nixon and Vice President Agnew as "one of the most honest Presidents and Vice Presidents probably in the history of the United States."
In fairness, the piece (which I don't have full access to) is headlined "Rangel Calls Nixon Honest But Deplores His Policies." Still, though....

NY-18: This is heartening to see: Though the Democratic primary turned fairly negative in the 18th Congressional District, victor Sean Maloney's opponents are all participating in a unity rally with him on Monday. That includes physician Richard Becker, mayors Matt Alexander and Tom Wilson, and small business owner Duane Jackson, as well as ex-Rep. John Hall (who represented the predecessor seat to the 18th for two terms before being defeated by the woman Maloney is hoping to unseat, Nan Hayworth) and retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey (who currently represents about a quarter of the new district).

Speaking of Hayworth, she just got some bad news: A judge has booted her from the Independence Party line for submitting an insufficient number of valid signatures. (She needed 770 but filed only 814, leaving her short after 66 petitions were ruled invalid.) Hayworth's campaign says they'll appeal.

TX-23: The League of Conservation Voters, which threw down almost a quarter million bucks to help state Rep. Pete Gallego against ex-Rep. Ciro Rodriguez leading up to the Democratic primary, is getting back in the game on his behalf for the runoff. They just spent another $24K on "live ID and persuasion calls," and I'd expect them to spend more.

Other Races:

WI Recall: Well, the recount in the Wisconsin SD-21 recall is finally over, and Democrat John Lehman's 834-vote lead over Republican Van Wanggaard has been cut all the way down to... 819 votes. I said at the time (as did everyone with any sense) that there was no point to a recount, unless Wanggaard and the GOP were trying to delay Lehman's entry into the state Senate. Wanggaard swore up and down that he was doing no such thing, but the AP says that his staffers "hinted they may challenge the final count in court." What else could that be other than a thuggish delay tactic?

Grab Bag:

DGA/RGA: Both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial committees announced record second-quarter fundraising hauls. The DGA pulled in $13 million while the RGA took in $16.7 million. For the year, that's $21 mil for the Dems and $29 mil for the GOP. No word on cash-on-hand for either side, though.

Note: It sounds like these numbers don't represent a direct apples-to-apples comparison. The DGA's release says the 2Q numbers are for "all entities," which includes their non-profit arm. The RGA complains that these numbers shouldn't be packaged up because there are "many more restrictions" on how non-profit money can be spent. That's pretty bogus, though, given that non-profits can run issue ads. The real question is why won't the RGA release its non-profit hauls—and the answer is probably because they want to keep them secret. Quite Rovian that they're trying to attack the DGA for going above and beyond the legally required disclosures!

House: The House Majority PAC and SEIU have jointly made a $20 million TV ad reservation that "targets at least 47 competitive House races that include vulnerable Republican incumbents as well as Democratic lawmakers facing strong challenges." HMP is putting in $17 mil while SEIU is contributing $3.7 million to the cause. The AP has details on some of the specific reservations at the link. A full list of all the reservations is available at the link, organized by media market. I will leave it up to you guys to determine which districts might be covered.

Maps: Random and not really political, but the linked site, IDV Solutions' Uxblog, has some really cool maps, including things like 61 years of tornado tracks and the United States of Craigslist.

Medicaid: I think this is going to be an interesting campaign issue, so if you see it play out on the trail, hit us with a link. As you know, the Supreme Court did rule that one part of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional: the Medicaid expansion, which provides greater insurance coverage to lower-income people. Instead, the expansion will now become optional for the states. A lot of Republican governors are resisting taking the money on berserk ideological grounds, even though the feds will pay 100% for the first five years and at least 90% thereafter, simply because arga blarga federal intrusion broken system whatever. (ThinkProgress is keeping a whip count.) I'm curious to see how Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates (not just incumbents) react, though.

Polltopia: For you serious polling nerds, Pollster just released a new API which "lets software developers access the information about public polls" in Pollster's database—all 13,000 of them, covering 215,000 responses to questions.

Redistricting Roundup:

MD Redistricting: Maryland Republicans managed to gather enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot that would invalidate the state's new congressional map—but only just barely, and only in theory. They files 65,722 signatures but needed 55,736, which means that if more than about 18% of their submissions are invalid, the measure will get the boot. And it does indeed sound like Democrats plan to contest the signatures.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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