• NY-11: You know you haven't passed the laugh test when the Daily News is headlining their story "Grimm Fairy Tale." So what's this all about? Well, GOP Rep. Mike Grimm is claiming his campaign headquarters were vandalized over the weekend, with cement blocks thrown through the windows (okay...) and computer hard drives erased (what?). The whole story is seriously cockamamie since a cat could barely squeeze through the holes made by the alleged miscreants (pics here), so how exactly were the computers accessed and the drives wiped? And who would even do such a thing? As one Democrat says, if your goal was to actually format some hard drives, why leave the evidence of a smashed storefront?
Oh, and also, the Grimm campaign is claiming that the NYPD itself discovered the computer malfeasance... but police are refusing to confirm, saying only that they "will investigate further any assertions that computers there were tampered with." I also loved Grimm's claim that "someone installed the Linux operating system on the office's computers"—what, radical open-source hacktivists who wanted to add breaking and entering to their resume? Turns out, it's all an even bigger pile of garbage than Windows Vista:
But a law enforcement official said on Monday night that police experts had examined the campaign's computer systems and concluded that nothing had been erased or tampered with.But this part might have been best:
"In fact, one officer said to me today they see this as a crime against the government, because I am a sitting United States congressman and they take it very seriously. You know, especially in light of what happened with Gabby Giffords, we're not in the world today where we can shrug things off," Grimm said. "Violence is violence. Throwing large stones and concrete through the window is an act of violence, and we've got to take it seriously."Yep, just like what happened to Gabby Giffords. Jackass.
• CT-Sen: Ahh, wonderful. After trying to hammer Democrat Chris Murphy over late mortgage and tax payments, it turns out that Linda McMahon also paid some taxes late—and a lot more recently, too. She and her husband "were more than 1½ months late in paying their property tax bill on the multimillion-dollar condominium unit they co-own" this very year. In fact, they only paid up the full amount owed this past Friday. A surprising screw-up for an election year, but let's see if she has the chutzpah to keep attacking Murphy despite her own identical issues. (This also shows how stupid this kind of crap is.)
• FL-Sen: Mason-Dixon: Bill Nelson (D-inc): 48 (47), Connie Mack (R): 40 (42).
• IN-, NV-Sen: According to Politico's Maggie Haberman, the DSCC has upped its ad reservations in both Indiana (to the tune of $525K) and Nevada ($630K). Both are for the final week of September, and of course both races represent pickup opportunities for Democrats.
• MT-Sen, MT-AL: The rest of that new Mason-Dixon poll of Montana is now available, and they find GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg leading Dem Sen. Jon Tester 48-45 in the Senate contest. (This is actually their first poll of the state all cycle, so we have no trendlines.) They also find Republican Steve Daines beating Democrat Kim Gillan in the House race, 46-38, which is a good bit wider than the 40-37 margin PPP saw earlier this month. (One side-note: Gillan was recently, and quietly, added to the DCCC's Red to Blue list.) On the presidential front, Romney is ahead of Obama 51-42 (PPP had Romney up just five).
• NE-Sen: In the first poll of Nebraska in a good long while, Weise Research finds Democrat Bob Kerrey getting crushed by Republican Deb Fischer, 56-40. I have no idea what a possible path to victory for Kerrey might look like.
• OH-Sen: Last month, the University of Cincinnati's so-called "Ohio Poll" showed Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown up just 48-47 over Josh Mandel, a result so much narrower than all other reputable polling that it raised a few eyebrows. (No, Gravis, you don't count.) Now, a new poll from the university (this time taken on behalf of a big consortium of Ohio newspapers, and not branded as the "Ohio Poll") features a much more in-line result, with Brown on top 52-45. That makes this one of the few polls to show Brown actually clearing the 50% mark, and as the writeup notes, it comes in spite of outside groups spending $18 million to trash the incumbent. Also, Obama's up 51-46.
• WI-Sen: Here's as good an explanation as any for Democrat Tammy Baldwin's surge in Wisconsin: She and allied groups have spent twice as much on the airwaves as Tommy Thompson and his Republican friends have in the past month. And to show you just how broke the GOP primary left Tommy, Baldwin's own campaign has outspent him on TV by a ridiculous 10-to-1 ratio. Tommy may want to continue "resting."
• MA-Sen: GOP Sen. Scott Brown takes a turn for the negative, using news clips to pummel Elizabeth Warren over the whole Native American ancestry flap. Doesn't seem like the kind of move a confident campaign makes. In another ad, Brown chats with a single mom who's unemployed, then says that one of his first votes in the Senate "was for a Democratic jobs bill."
• ME-Sen: Independent Angus King pushes back against a Republican ad that attacked him for supporting windmills, with a bunch of people saying how great he is. Turbines briefly spin in the background, but they aren't directly mentioned.
• MT-Sen: I'm not sure whether to be amused or terrified at this new ad from Dem Sen. Jon Tester, though I admit I cracked a bit of a smile in the midst of my queasiness. A hunter places a framed photo of himself and Tester in his trophy room—as the animals he's killed and mounted all come to life and start... gosh... praising Tester for making it easier to kill them! Maybe the animals should be, like, mad at Tester or something? Meanwhile, the NRSC finds a rancher who claims that, with his father now deceased, he "could lose the whole outfit" thanks to the "death tax"—and then castigates Dem Sen. Jon Tester for allegedly voting "for" it.
• ND-Sen: Patriot Majority USA attacks Rick Berg over the Ryan plan, this time by highlighting excerpts from an AARP report that investigated "serious concerns" over what Ryan's budget would do to Medicare.
• NV-Sen: GOP Sen. Dean Heller features clips of local reporter/analyst Jon Ralston calling Dem Rep. Shelley Berkley's attack ads "desperate"—but he also includes clips of Elizabeth Crum saying similar stuff. Whodat? Well, I got a total Fox & Friends vibe watching her, so I wasn't surprised when I Googled her and discovered she calls herself a "conservative-libertarian blogger." Now who's looking desperate?
• WI-Sen: Tommy Thompson tries to see how many times he can fit the word "liberal" into this spot attacking Dem Rep. Tammy Baldwin but winds up burying a potentially harsh clip of her saying, "I actually was for a government takeover of medicine."
• WV-Sen: Dem Sen. Joe Manchin's latest ad features him getting a haircut by his wife—the "same barber" who's cut his hair for "20 years"—as a testament to just how frugal he is.
• NH-Gov: Rasmussen: Maggie Hassan (D): 44, Ovide Lamontagne (R): 48.
• AR-01, -02, -04: The folks down at Talk Business, relying on their usual partners at Hendrix College, have polls out of all four Congressional races in Arkansas. Only one of these seats represents anything resembling a pickup opportunity for Democrats, AR-01, but maybe not anymore: GOP freshman Rick Crawford leads Democrat Scott Ellington by a hefty 53-28. And while we long ago gave up on any hopes of a Dem hold in the 4th District, this should be the nail in the coffin: Republican Tom Cotton is beating Democrat Gene Jeffress 51-22. Surprisingly, the closest numbers come in AR-02, where Democrats experienced a recruiting fail—but it ain't that close: Republican freshman Tim Griffin tops Democrat Herb Rule 49-29. Amazing to think that just a cycle ago, the Arkansas delegation was 3-1 Dem. Now it's on the verge of becoming 4-0 GOP, and that's despite Democrats having complete control over redistricting last year.
• FL-02: A very good catch by our own spiderdem: Democrat Al Lawson, who is running against GOP freshman Steve Southerland, has been added to the DCCC's Red to Blue list, which as you know highlight candidates in the most competitive races in the country. That's an unexpected development, since Lawson has raised peanuts (less than $200K), and he also beat establishment pick Leonard Bembry in the primary. Really curious to know what the D-Trip is seeing here.
• FL-26: The Lamar! saga I think has unquestionably secured its spot as the craziest story of the election:
A key witness in a federal grand jury case involving U.S. Rep. David Rivera is still missing, but she left important evidence behind for investigators: at least four envelopes that had been stuffed with unreported campaign cash.And even though she's now been "missing" for two weeks, Alliegro's family still hasn't filed a missing person's report. Does anyone else think we've got a "Pop-Pop in the attic" situation?
Ana Alliegro, a Republican political operative, delivered the cash-stuffed envelopes to a Hialeah mail house that sent out fliers in a congressional race against a Rivera political rival, the mail house owner told the FBI.
The FBI has the envelopes to check for fingerprints and handwriting comparisons.
Also in the hands of FBI agents: at least six invoices initially made out to the attention of David Rivera — all marked paid "cash" — to cover the mailings for Democratic primary challenger Justin Lamar Sternad, a suspected Rivera straw-man candidate. The congressman demanded that his name be removed from the invoices with Wite-Out, documents and interviews show.
While we're on the race, here's a third Democratic poll showing Joe Garcia manhandling Rivera: GBA Strategies (on behalf of House Majority PAC and SEIU) has Garcia up 50-41 over the incumbent, a margin identical to the nine-point spread Benenson Strategy Group saw in a Garcia internal last month, and very similar to the seven-point edge PPP gave Garcia just last week in a poll for DFA. This is well-timed pushback to a garbage Rivera internal from the other day, which also featured Mitt Romney romping in this district. GBA, however, sees the POTUS crushing, with a 54-41 edge for Obama. That's a huge difference from 2008, when the district split evenly, but Benenson had Obama up 10, so maybe there's particular enthusiasm for the president in South Florida this year.
• MI-01: The House Majority PAC, along with the LCV and AFSCME, has another poll out in Michigan's 1st, showing the most dominant lead Democratic challenger Gary McDowell's seen to date. He's beating GOP freshman Dan Benishek 49-40 according to Garin-Hart-Yang, up from a 40-38 Benishek lead back in June. That's a big surge for McDowell, of course, while Benishek's remained mired in the low 40s, the same place other polling's shown him. Republicans have yet to release any surveys of their own here.
• NE-02: A new survey of the state of Nebraska by local pollster Wiese Research shows GOP Rep. Lee Terry beating his underfunded challenger, Democrat John Ewing, by a sizable 51-38 spread. That's considerably worse than a strange Ewing internal from last month that showed him trailing just 46-40, but the one bright bit of news comes in Wiese's presidential toplines. There, Obama and Romney are tied at 44, though since you'd expect to see Terry running ahead of the top of the ticket, Obama coattails simply won't be enough for Ewing. Importantly, it doesn't seem like the president is making a play to steal a lone electoral vote in "Obahama"; notes the Omaha World-Herald:
In 2008, Obama became the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 to win an electoral vote in Nebraska. He did it after opening three campaign offices and hiring more than a dozen full-time campaign workers.• Ads:
This year, Obama has opened only one office and hired one campaign worker.
• CA-10: Jose Hernandez attacks GOP Rep. Jeff Denham as a foot solider in the war on women and says he's "most proud of" his work "helping develop mammogram technology."
• CT-05: Good to see Democrats can play this game, too: Even though Republican Andrew Roraback has cagily refused to support the Ryan budget, the DCCC ties him to it anyway, carefully describing it as the plan of "tea party Republicans" and saying that they "need Andrew Roraback's vote." Roraback's pissed, and a week-kneed media might let him get traction on this, but we have political parties in America, and Congress is run by them, not mavericky centrists.
• FL-18: Democrat Patrick Murphy pushes back against Allen West's attacks on his family company, saying he "fired subcontractors who outsourced." He also attacks West for voting "to cut billions in taxes for corporations sending jobs to China and Mexico."
• FL-26: Democrat Joe Garcia decries "partisan infighting" and says he has a record of working across party lines.
• GA-12: The YG Action Fund attacks Dem Rep. John Barrow as two-faced, for saying he's "stood up to Nancy Pelosi" but voting "twice to elect her Speaker," which is "how we got Obamacare." Barrow voted against healthcare reform, but of course he's being tagged with it—very much a mirror image of the CT-05 ad above.
• IL-10: Democrat Brad Schneider's wife says he's "not flashy, but he gets things done."
• IL-12: The DCCC attacks Republican Jason Plummer for calling the benefits of the Ryan plan "pretty obvious."
• IL-13: In Democrat David Gill's new spot, a narrator describes how Gill, an ER physician, tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate a 39-year-old woman who, a week earlier, had sought treatment for chest pain but "didn't have health insurance, so she went back home." Quite moving.
• IN-02: Republican Jackie Walorski attacks Brendan Mullen as a carpetbagger who supports Obamacare, with the tagline "Washington address, liberal values."
• NC-07: Republican David Rouzer attacks Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre for saying "Southeastern North Carolina is better off now than in 2008" and tries to link him to Barack Obama's infamous remark that the "private sector is doing fine."
• ND-AL: This is taking the GOP playbook to the extreme: Republican Kevin Cramer lines up not only his parents but his wife's, too (well, three out of four, at least), saying he'll "Work to protect Social Security and Medicare for them and their generation."
• NE-02: GOP Rep. Lee Terry touts his work on a piece of legislation from 2007 that would increase America's energy independence by "cutting oil imports from OPEC by 584 million barrels a year." What the spot doesn't mention is that his bill did so by increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, the sort of thing which is a ordinarily a grave sin in the Republican world.
• NJ-07: Democrat Upendra Chivukula's first ad goes the introductory/bio route and finishes with him saying, "In Congress today, there are six engineers, and they could use one more—myself."
• NY-01: House Majority PAC slams Republican Randy Altschuler for outsourcing jobs overseas—the main purpose of his company he ran. (Size of the buy: $260K.) Dem Rep. Tim Bishop also goes after outsourcing, as well as Altschuler's support for the "Paul Ryan budget." While the Ryan budget is the single-most common theme in Democratic campaign ads this cycle, the plan's author is rarely mentioned by name.
• NY-19: This is unexpected: The DCCC is attacking GOP Rep. Chris Gibson, a guy who usually only makes the second tier of vulnerable Republicans at best. Also interesting is that they not only tie him to the Ryan plan but specifically to Mitt Romney, something I've almost never seen done. That suggests Romney must poll particularly poorly here, perhaps worse that the 49-45 edge Siena recently saw.
• NY-24: A woman who's been a nurse for 40 years attacks GOP Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle on Medicare, on behalf of Dan Maffei.
• PA-12: The NRCC has a bajillion new ads out (see bullet below), but I'll highlight one in particular. In PA-12, their new spot is mostly devoted to attacking a blunder by the DCCC which we've previously mentioned—a bogus reference to China in an anti-Keith Rothfus ad which forced the D-Trip to re-do their spot. The NRCC delights in calling it "Pelosi's group," as a means of tying her to Dem Rep. Mark Critz. An unforced error by Team Blue.
• PA-18: In his first ad, Democrat Larry Maggi goes the introductory bio route (talking about his rise through law enforcement ranks), then offers some "pox on both houses" shtick about both Democrats and Republicans.
• SD-AL: GOP Rep. Kristi Noem touts her efforts to reverse a Dept. of Labor rule that allegedly would have "ban[ned] kids from doing certain chores on farms" as she torments her young son into grooming and tacking a horse. Maybe you have to be a parent to appreciate this sort of thing, but I didn't find it very charming.
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with 26 new ads in as many districts, backed by a collective $6.3 million buy. Roll Call has rounded up 25 of them at the link (not quite sure what happened to no. 26).
• MN Ballot: The Minneapolis Star Tribune's new poll from Mason-Dixon has troubling news for supporters of marriage equality. In November, Minnesotans will vote on whether to amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, and M-D finds 49% in favor of the idea and just 47% opposed. That's almost identical to the 48 supporting/47 against that PPP found earlier this month. Since these measures often seem to poll better for the good guys than they wind up performing on election day, I'm growing pretty concerned.
• PA-AG: An attorney general's race ad is a little "down in the weeds," as we often say at Daily Kos Election, but, wow, they rarely blow up in your face like this one. The RSLC (a national committee that's kind of the GOP equivalent of the DLCC, handling legislative and statewide downballot races) started running a $500K ad that they probably thought was a good, hard hit on Dem nominee Kathleen Kane. The spot said that while she was a prosecutor, a judge once rejected a plea bargain she had arranged in a rape case because it wasn't tough enough. Not only did Lackawanna County say late last week that Kane had nothing to do with that plea bargain, but then the father of the rape victim also came forward to verify that and demand the ad be taken down. The RSLC sheepishly said they'd re-cut the ad to remove the reference to that case, but as of Monday, the re-done ad hadn't seemed to have surfaced yet. (David Jarman)
• Independent Expenditures: Pro-Dem:
• House Majority PAC: FL-18: $115K; NV-03: $79K; WV-03: $100K
• Sierra Club: CA-07: $525K
• Center Forward: UT-04: $318K
• DSCC: CT-Sen: $288K
• Majority PAC: CT-Sen: $502K; MT-Sen: $503K
• Connecticut's Future PAC: CT-Sen: $100K
• AFSCME: HI-Sen: $71K
• Ohio Families United: OH-Sen: $250K
• League of Conservation Voters: VA-Sen: $696K (mail)
• YG Action Fund: FL-22: $430K; PA-12: $530K