• MI-11/WATN?: This Thad McCotter story is just unreal:
As U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter's short-lived presidential run fizzled last year, the Livonia Republican turned to another aspiration: writing a TV show.Some amazing stuff:
"Bumper Sticker: Made On Motown" starred McCotter hosting a crude variety show cast with characters bearing the nicknames of his congressional staffers and his brother. They take pot shots about McCotter's ill-fated bid for the White House while spewing banter about drinking, sex, race, flatulence, puking and women's anatomy. It features a cartoon intro and closing snippet with an Oldsmobile careening through Detroit and knocking over the city's landmarks. The double-finned car has a Michigan license plate reading: "Made on MoTown."
The News obtained a copy of the script from a former staffer who offered it as evidence of what the five-term congressman was pitching while in elected office and the tawdry humor unbecoming of a public official who had become disinterested in serving the 11th Congressional District.
Some congressional staffers included in his 42-minute pilot episode dated Oct. 17, 2011, were the same longtime employees who handled the collection of petition signatures that botched his chances of getting on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. The character named "Wardo," the nickname others acknowledge is used for District Director Paul Seewald, dresses in a matador costume, gets drunk on a whisky-laced Slurpee and runs off stage after puking.Much, much more at the link. Okay, wait, I gotta quote one more bit:
"Chowsers," the nickname for Deputy District Director Don Yowchuang, leers at women's body parts and snaps cell phone pictures of them, goes "cougar hunting" and repeats the line "I'm Thai."
Seewald and Yowchuang received substantial pay increases in the first quarter of this year—19 percent and 32 percent, respectively, compared with previous quarters, according to records from Legistorm.
In "Bumper Sticker," conservative commentator S.E. Cupp is cast as guest on the pilot. Cupp, a regular guest on cable political shows, also has appeared on "Red Eye" and co-hosts MSNBC's "The Cycle."Yow!
McCotter tries to ask serious questions of the columnist, while his sidekicks chime in by asking how she "keeps that great stripper bod?" and whether "D-Cupp" is dating anyone. In the script, Cupp is disgusted by the "train wreck" of the show.
It's unclear whether Cupp knew of her role in the pilot. Reached by e-mail, she didn't want to talk about McCotter.
• AZ-Sen: Hah! That's chutzpah! A Republican tracker shadowing Democrat Richard Carmona's campaign, taking a break after his camcorder's battery died, asked Carmona, a physician, if he'd look at a lump on his leg! And Carmona, being a freakin' mensch, actually did so, diagnosing a hematoma—but also advising the tracker to consult his own doctor. No kidding!
• HI-Sen: A labor-backed group called Working Families for Hawaii is spending $36K on radio ads on behalf of Rep. Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary. This is their first expenditure of the cycle, though in 2010, they shelled out almost a quarter million to help Colleen Hanabusa defeat GOP Rep. Charles Djou.
• MO-Sen: Former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee cuts an ad for Todd Akin, who is seeking the GOP Senate nomination. You can pretty much guess what Huck touts about Akin's record (repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, true conservative, etc., etc.), but the editing is weirdly herky-jerky, with frequent "sped up" clips that seem to serve little purpose except to jar the viewer.
• OH-Sen: Dem-aligned Majority PAC is out with a new ad attacking Republican Josh Mandel, hitting some mostly familiar themes: his absenteeism as state treasurer, his extreme devotion to fundraising, and his support for a Republican budget plan that's denounced in the spot as costing "300,000 Ohio jobs." The group says the ad is on the air "in the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Zanesville, Lima, Charleston-Huntington, and Wheeling-Steubenville markets." Whew! We'll know how big the buy is just as soon as they file an independent expenditure report.
• TX-Sen: The Texas Conservatives Fund, a pro-David Dewhurst super PAC which spent over $2 million boosting his candidacy before the primary, is getting back into the game. They filed an independent expenditure report for some $59K on "advertising and production," targeting Ted Cruz in the runoff That's a rather small sum for a television ad, especially in Texas, but it could be for radio—or it might really all just be for production costs (which would make it a pretty expensive shoot). Either way, be on the lookout for new paid media from the group soon.
• WI-Sen: Businessman Eric Hovde has released his own internal poll of the GOP primary, showing him not far behind ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson. In the survey from OnMessage, Thompson takes 34 percent while Hovde is at 29. Ex-Rep. Mark Neumann trails with 16 and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald is all the way back at 7. Fourteen percent were undecided. That's fairly similar to what we've seen in other recent polling.
Meanwhile, Hovde's personal financial disclosure is now available, so now we know not just that he's rich, but how rich—within a range. Actually, it's a pretty broad range—anywhere from a cool $58 million to a monster $240 million—since PFDs don't require you to state exactly what your assets and liabilities are worth. And there are still plenty of questions about Hovde's finances, since, like any good uber-1%er, he has some mysterious offshore holdings in the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven.
• NC-Gov: Well, well, well. Looks like the conservative Civitas Institute has a very different outlook on the North Carolina governor's race than they did a little over a month ago—perhaps because they switched pollsters, or perhaps because they included a third-party candidate, or perhaps for both reasons. Civitas's latest poll, from SurveyUSA, now has Republican Pat McCrory leading Democrat Walter Dalton by just a 46-44 margin, with Libertarian Barbara Howe at a rather high 7 percent.
Back in May, Civitas employed Republican pollster National Research to conduct a survey, which found McCrory ahead 48-36 (sans Howe). The new poll also has Romney leading Obama 50-45, so you can't accuse it of being overly-favorable toward Democrats—and it looks like McCrory is trailing the top of the ticket, which strikes me as unexpected.
• CT-05: Former U.S. Attorney Stan Twardy has released the findings of his internal inquiry into an illegal fundraising scheme allegedly perpetrated by former staffers for Democrat Chris Donovan and says he's found no evidence that Donovan had any knowledge of the purported wrongdoing. However, Twardy was unable to interview several key players in the story because Donovan's former finance director lawyered up after his arrest (as did other fired staffers who have not been directly accused). A federal investigation is still pending.
• FL-13: GOP Rep. Bill Young, ass—or just incoherent?
CONSTITUENT: Hi, I’m (inaudible) how are you? Happy Fourth of July. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is passing a bill around to increase the minimum wage to 10 bucks and hour. Do you support that?I actually vote for incoherent ass.
YOUNG: Probably not.
CONSTITUENT: 10 bucks, that would give us a living wage.
YOUNG: How about getting a job?
CONSTITUENT: I do have one.
YOUNG: Well, then why do you want that benefit? Get a job.
• IL-02: On June 25, Dem Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s office revealed that the congressman had been on medical leave since June 10, being treated for what they called "exhaustion." Now his staff is saying that Jackson's condition is "more serious than initially believed" and that he has "grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time" and is being treated at an in-patient facility. Jackson is 47 and was first elected to Congress in a special election in 1995.
• MI-03: Steve Pestka (D): $574K raised (includes self-funding), $690K cash-on-hand. Note: Pestka's campaign told me they did not "have the exact breakdown" on how much Pestka put in, but his press release reports both fundraising and cash totals down to the exact dollar ("$573,846"). So I find that claim hard to accept.
• NY-13: As paper ballots are finally being tallied in the NY-13 Democratic primary (New York 1's Grace Rauh is keeping a running tab on Twitter), Adriano Espaillat's campaign just won a favorable ruling from a judge who says that he will now oversee the counting process. The judge also forbade the New York City Board of Elections from certifying any results "until further order of this court." But unless Espaillat can show some serious problems with how the vote proceeded, he looks unlikely to make up the roughly 800-vote gap between himself and Rep. Charlie Rangel.
• WA-01: A new group called Progress for Washington just shelled out $21K on mailers opposing Suzan DelBene's candidacy in the Democratic primary. Though it's a classic shadowy super PAC, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Joel Connelly reports that the man whose name is on the independent expenditure report, p.r. exec Jeremy Pemble, "has endorsed Democratic rival Laura Ruderman and given $1,500 to her campaign." As for the flyer itself, it attacks DelBene by saying: "Nearly every business Suzan DelBene ran eventually failed." A DelBene spokesman says the claims are garbage, but you already knew that at least one of them was deeply problematic, considering that DelBene was an executive at... Microsoft. Still there, I think.
• AL-Sup. Ct.: Charlie Mahtesian flags a fascinating, if depressing, article in the Birmingham News about a major sea-change in the politics of electing judges in Alabama. Plaintiffs' attorneys had almost always supported Democratic candidates—against Republican nominees put forth by big businesses that wanted to see monetary judgments against them reigned in—but now that's changing.
With the state Democratic Party a husk of its former self and putting forth few viable candidates, trial lawyers are now picking between the lesser of various GOP evils and contributing to Republican candidates who are seen as more friendly to their cause. Remarkably, one such judicial nominee is none other than the notorious "Ten Commandments judge," Roy Moore, who's received almost 20% of his funding from plaintiffs' lawyers in his bid to regain his position as chief justice. (Moore was removed from the bench in 2003 for refusing to move a monument of the Decalogue from his courthouse.) Evidently, Moore must have been the least-bad option in the GOP primary, and now he's set to cruise to victory in November.
• CA-Init: A new Field Poll paints an interesting, and somewhat complicated, picture of the tax initiative being offered by Gov. Jerry Brown in November. The poll gives the proposal a decent chance of passage, with 54 percent leaning in favor of it versus just 38 percent opposed. By way of contrast, two competing measures (the more broad-based tax package being proposed by attorney Molly Munger and a third initiative targeting multi-state corporations) are running about even in terms of support and opposition.
However, while voters may be leaning towards passing Brown's package, they are also mighty pissed about Brown's vow to immediately slash the education budget midyear should his tax package fail at the ballot box. The trigger cuts to K-12 education, referred to in some corners as "the ransom note," are opposed by 72 percent of voters, with little disparity by party. (Steve Singiser)
• House: The folks at the National Journal have put together a cool interactive map of fall television airtime reservations made so far by the three biggest players on the House scene: the NRCC, the DCCC, and the Dem-aligned House Majority PAC, which recently made a bunch of reservations in conjunction with the SEIU.
• Oregon: PPP has some Oregon miscellany, finding the state closely divided on legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana, among other things.