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Race Ratings:

We're making five moves this week: one Senate race and four House races. One move is in favor of the Democrats—Tennessee's 4th Congressional District—while four are in favor of the GOP.

PA-Sen (Likely D to Lean D): Barack Obama's swooning fortunes have, in most cases, actually not involved concomitant drops for Democratic Senate candidates, but Pennsylvania seems to be an exception. Though a lot of the polling is from sketchy, unreliable firms, some better pollsters (like Quinnipiac) also agree that Dem Sen. Bob Casey's seen his race with Tom Smith tighten considerably. Casey also faces a problem beyond just top-of-the-ticket woes: Smith loaned his campaign a massive $10 million in the last quarter, and he seems intent on spending all of it. Casey still has the edge—he's got money, his family name, and PA's blue tilt. But it won't be as easy as it looked all cycle.

MA-06 (Tossup to Lean R): Fairly or not (and I don't think it's fair, but that doesn't matter), Dem Rep. John Tierney's been tarred by an ugly scandal related to illegal gambling and tax evasion that's ensnared his brothers-in-law and sent his wife (briefly) to jail. That's been a game-changer in this otherwise blue-leaning seat, though Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature didn't help Tierney any by redistricting him into the reddest seat in the state. Tierney also drew top-shelf opposition in the former of ex-state Sen. Richard Tisei, who is gay and has long cultivated a "moderate" image, making him the kind of Republican whom LGBT groups are excited about supporting. Tierney and the DCCC have been drawing down their ad efforts and no one bothered responding to a Tisei poll that had him up by a punishing 17 points.

NY-11 (Lean R to Likely R): Democratic recruitment fell short in this district, with a ton of local elected officials (as well as ex-Rep. Mike McMahon) declining to run. That left Team Blue with Mark Murphy, son of a former congressman but lacking in a lot of political skills. The hope here, though, had long been that GOP Rep. Mike Grimm's various scandals (mostly related to campaign finance) would come home to roost and would open up an opportunity in this Republican-leaning seat. While serious investigations are still pending, it doesn't sound like any shoes are going to drop before election day. Outside groups haven't shown any interest in helping out in this, the most expensive media market in the nation, and it's hard to imagine Murphy having a shot, but the slim possibility of an indictment has us keeping the race on the big board, just to be safe.

PA-18 (Likely R to Safe R): Larry Maggi, a local official with a background in law enforcement, looked like a solid, against-type recruit for Democrats. But this race, against veteran Rep. Tim Murphy, was always going to be a stretch, especially given how conservative the district is. The DCCC recently cancelled all of its ad reservations here, an acknowledgement that they're giving up.

TN-04 (Safe R to Likely R): Though we were lonely in doing so, we kept TN-04 at Likely R for a long time. A few weeks ago, however, we concluded that there just weren't any signs that Democrat Eric Stewart, decent recruit though he was, could pull off an upset, so we moved it to the Safe column. Well, a funny thing happened, as you undoubtedly know: The transcript of a phone call made by GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais to his mistress—who also happened to be a patient of his—was made public, in which he (a supposedly "pro-life" Republican) pressured her to have an abortion. Needless to say, that's the kind of unexpected bombshell that can change the calculus, even in a dark-red district like this.

That alone wouldn't have been enough for us, though, but now we have additional evidence of movement here: A Stewart poll putting him back just 5 points, the DCCC adding him to Red to Blue, and a brand-new $100K ad buy from House Majority PAC (see the TN-04 item below in our "House" section). Given how conservative this seat is (McCain won 63-36), a Stewart win is still an incredible longshot, but this is why they play the games.


AZ-Sen: As a general rule of thumb, if you've been hit with accusations that you've had problems with women in positions of authority—even if you've apparently successfully rebutted that with an ad featuring an endorsement from a female ex-supervisor—it's usually best not to top off a public appearance with a sexist joke. Nevertheless, Democratic candidate Rich Carmona complimented the moderator of the latest Arizona Senate debate, Brahm Resnik, by telling him that "you're prettier than" presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley. Carmona apologized afterwards, and it may not be the kind of thing that moves many votes, but it's a remarkably poorly-timed gaffe. (David Jarman)

CT-Sen: Pennsylvania's Tom Smith (who's put $17 million of his own money into the PA-Sen race) is just a piker when compared with Linda McMahon: she's up to $27 million in self-funding now, after self-loaning $14 million for the third quarter. That's on top of the $50 million she spent on her unsuccessful 2010 run, which probably did help seed the ground for the re-run, though. Presumably she'll write herself more checks for the closing weeks as well. (Of course, they're both pikers compared with California's Meg Whitman, the likes of which we may never see again.)

But while we're on the subject, here's something that's totally nuts: The Chamber of Commerce is spending $700K on McMahon! That's like making a charitable donation to the Bellagio. So either the Chamber's political arm is wildly clueless, or it's a sign they don't trust McMahon, because money is the one thing she emphatically does not need. (David Jarman & David Nir)

HI-Sen: Linda Lingle's gonna have to do better than that: Just a couple of days after she released a sketchball poll showing that she was "only" four points back of Democrat Mazie Hirono, Hirono's firing back with another internal from Benenson that has her up 54-37. Sound familiar? Yep, that's because Hirono was also up 54-37 in her prior poll as well.

MA-Sen: Wow. Listen to Scott Brown whine about getting (deservedly) beaten up for insinuating that family members of asbestos victims were "actors":

"She's been the one who's been representing those large corporations against those victims. It's unfair. I should have verified it. I said I was sorry and I want to reiterate that," he said.
It's unfair! Wow. Evidently, it's unfair that despite Brown believing conservative delusions about Elizabeth Warren's life work, there are some little guys who actually know that Warren's on their side. And it's accordingly unfair that Brown got tripped up, because (since he knows Warren obviously is not out to help ordinary folks) he had every reason to believe those folks who appeared in here ad were actors. Man. There's no crying in baseball, and there's no whining in politics. Good thing Scott Brown doesn't realize that.

MO-Sen (Rasmussen): Claire McCaskill (D-inc): 51 (51), Todd Akin (R): 43 (45).

PA-Sen: Two internal polls have the Pennsylvania Senate race going in completely opposite directions, maybe even more so than internal polls usually do. One is from local R-friendly pollsters Susquehanna on behalf of the state Republican party, the first poll of the race to ever show Republican Tom Smith (who's clawed his way into contention through $17 million worth of self-funding) leading; he's up 48-46. The other is an internal from Bob Casey, obviously intended to counter the PA GOP poll (as well as friendly fire from Ed Rendell attacking Casey's allegedly lackadaisical campaign). Garin-Hart-Yang's survey gives Casey a 52-39 edge over Smith, which, the memo points out, is right in line with the recent PPP and Inquirer polls. (David Jarman)

SD-Sen: This isn't a big surprise since he'd already publicly stated that he was interested in exploring the South Dakota Senate race in 2014. But now Republican ex-Gov. Mike Rounds has made it official: He's filed committee paperwork with the FEC, meaning the 2014 cycle is now formally underway. This puts Rounds on a collision course with Dem incumbent Tim Johnson—unless Johnson, who's in his 60s but has had some health problems, decides to retire (and Rounds's early start might be designed to hasten Johnson's retirement decision). (David Jarman)

WI-Sen (Marist): Tammy Baldwin (D): 49 (48), Tommy Thompson (R): 45 (46); Obama 51-45 (50-45). Anyone else feel that these Obama numbers are a bit optimistic?

WI-Sen: Somehow I don't think Tommy Thompson was counting on having to break out his own checkbook when he got recruited to be the GOP's savior in the Wisconsin Senate contest. But now it's come out that he's had to put $832K of his own money into the race (maybe not that big a hardship for a man who can't remember how many houses he owns, but still...). Much of that came before the primary, though, when he had to fend off a late surge by self-funder Eric Hovde.

But Thompson still seems to be scrambling for money—as we saw when he went dark for the weeks following the primary, which allowed Tammy Baldwin to shoot into the lead. Remarkably, he also still hasn't made his ad reservations for the race's closing two weeks—so it's possible another deep dive into his wallet could be imminent. (David Jarman)


NH-Gov: The presidential toplines in PPP's latest New Hampshire poll aren't very appealing (they have Mitt Romney up 1), but they still have Democrat Maggie Hassan with a narrow edge in the gubernatorial race. She leads GOPer Ovide Lamontagne 45-43, thanks in part to strong support among independents (45-37 among indies). (The trendline is from either Hassan +2 or Hassan +7, depending on whether you want to use PPP's last on-their-own-behalf poll or a PCCC internal.) Looking ahead to 2014, they also find Dem incumbent Jeanne Shaheen leading a Generic R 48-42 in the Senate race. (David Jarman)

Meanwhile, both gubernatorial candidates just filed reports detailing their fundraising since the Sept. 12 primary. Hassan outraised Lamontagne, $470K to $302, but Lamontagne has more cash on hand, $286K to $134K.


AZ-02: Oh, this was unwise. The conservative 60 Plus Association (the evil twin cousin of the AARP) is running an ad targeting Dem Rep. Ron Barber... using a photo of him taken at the one-year memorial of the Tucson shooting which left him badly injured (among many wounded and dead). They really didn't have any other pictures they could use? Meanwhile, the group is also unveiling a $340K buy targeting Democrats Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) in the same spot. Though the two districts don't have a lot in common, they're both covered by the sprawling Phoenix media market.

CA-15: More lunacy from Dem Rep. Pete Stark. What is with him and his crazy accusations about "developers"? (They must be the equivalent of Jim Bunning's "little green doctors.") The latest:

This week, Castro Valley real estate broker Otto Catrina said Stark made a false charge about him. Catrina contacted a lawyer.

Catrina said he was shocked when his phone started "ringing off the hook" this week after he was named in an attack mailer from Stark that claimed he was one of the "shady," big-money "developers" who have donated to Swalwell, a Dublin city councilman.

"I've never developed anything in my life," said Catrina, who is on the board of directors of the California Association of Realtors.

His attorney, Jim Wagstaffe of San Francisco, said the Stark attack mailer, which alleges pay-to-play politics, is "defamation by juxtaposition" because it is "clearly designed not to make (Catrina) look good."

Wagstaffe said he will ask Stark to "correct the false statements made in the public arena." Swalwell called the new accusations from Stark "flat out lies."

CA-36: Well, this is pretty damn disastrous:
Officials with Rep. Mary Bono Mack's campaign, at a press conference Thursday, released an audiotape in which her Democratic opponent, Raul Ruiz, can be heard reading a letter of support for Leonard Peltier, a Native American convicted in 1977 of murdering two FBI agents on an Indian reservation in South Dakota.

The tape is purportedly from an anti-Thanksgiving rally in 1999, two years after a similar rally highlighted last week by Bono Mack's campaign at which Ruiz, then a Harvard University medical student, was arrested. Ruiz pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and tumultuous behavior in the 1997 incident, and the charges were later dropped. [...]

In the audio, Ruiz can be heard reading a letter to Peltier written by "Subcomandante Marcos," a Marxist leader of the Zapatista liberation movement for indigenous people centered in the rural Mexican state of Chiapas. Ruiz spent eight months there as part of a medical research project while attending Harvard medical school, during a period of armed conflict between the Zapatista rebels and Mexican government.

This is an amazing blast from the radical past, which Ruiz doesn't deny—though he did say he "regrets" reading the letter, which also expressed support for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Here's the full audio and a transcript. I just don't see how this isn't incredibly damaging to Ruiz's hopes:
"Leonard Peltier's most serious crime is that he seeks to rescue in the past, and in his culture, in his roots, the history of his people, the Lakota," Ruiz's voice on the tape states. "And for the powerful, this is a crime, because knowing oneself with history impedes from being tossed around by this absurd machine that is in the system.

"If Leonard Peltier is guilty, then we are all guilty, because we seek out history. On his shoulders, we fight for a better place in the world, a place of dignity and respect."

It's a remarkable turn-around for Bono Mack, who came under a lot of fire for attacking Ruiz as anti-Thanksgiving and anti-American over his involvement in Plymouth Rock protests in the late 90s and early 00s. Ruiz was arrested at one protest, but released an ad saying he was protecting an older person from being beaten, and that all charges were dropped.

I don't really see how any of that pushback matters now, though, not when you're facing headlines like this. Damn.

FL-18: Well, now we're officially in bizarro world: We've got a poll from a Democratic pollster showing the Republican doing well, and a poll from a Republican pollster showing a tie game—though neither are internals (both were commissioned by media companies). PPP conducted a second South Florida survey for some local Scripps outfits (they did an FL-22 poll a few days before), finding GOP Rep. Allen West up 51-42 over Patrick Murphy. The presidential toplines, though, seem somewhat favorable to Romney, who's up 50-45 in a district Obama won 51-48.

But Voter Survey Service (aka the Republican-affiliated Susquehanna) has West ahead just 49-48. VSS also sees Romney out in front, but by a slightly smaller 50-47 margin. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if other polling emerges—though I suspect that if West had an internal were he was up 9, he'd have dropped in by now.

FL-22: I caught wind of this ad from Republican Adam Hasner on Thursday, and since then, it seems to have picked up a fair amount of attention. I gotta admit, it's both pretty funny and effective: A young woman complains about a series of perks Lois Frankel allegedly secured for herself at taxpayer expense—including $13,000 for "a marble shower, in a private bathroom, with her own toilet." The camera then pans back to reveal—rather unexpectedly—the woman sitting on a toilet herself, which she then flushes, adding: "When you gotta go, you gotta go."

IL-08: Could Joe Walsh's big mouth be the thing that saves Democrat Tammy Duckworth? It wouldn't exactly be unforeseeable:

Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it's never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, "Absolutely."

"With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," he said. "... There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing."

There's also some new polling evidence that Duckworth may not be in as much trouble as the outside spending (or that stray We Ask America poll) in IL-08 would indicate. The League of Conservation Voters has commissioned a survey of the race (using live-callers Anzalone Liszt instead of Public Policy Polling this time) and finds Duckworth leading 54-39. Duckworth's faves are at 49/36, while Walsh's approval is 39/49; Barack Obama leads 53-41 at the top of the ticket. The field dates were Oct. 16-18, before Walsh's Thursday-night foot-in-mouth insertion. (David Jarman)

IL-11: Several TV stations are refusing to run a new NRCC ad that's just absolutely scurrilous. The spot claims that Democrat Bill Foster "used insider information from a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders to cash-in before the 2008 housing crash." Some stations are still airing the ad (or possibly a re-worked version of it) "after the NRCC provided more information." I sure would like to see that "information." This attack sounds totally like some post hoc, ergo propter hoc b.s.

MN-08: The conservative American Action Network is dumping another $500K into Minnesota's 8th Congressional District to help save GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack from Rick Nolan. AAN is scheduled to spend $1 million from now through election day on this seat alone, on top of the $700K they've previously dished out here.

NY-18 (Siena): Sean Maloney (D): 42 (33), Nan Hayworth (R-inc): 49 (46). Maloney's upward movement is obviously positive, but then again, it's expected—no well-funded Democrat is going to take 33% on election day in a district like this. More concerning is Hayworth getting so close to 50%. The presidential toplines have barely budged: Romney's up 49-46, vs. 49-45 a month ago.

TN-04: I have to admit, I was seriously skeptical as to whether revelations about GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais pressuring his mistress/patient to have an abortion could be a sufficient game changer to make the House race in this implacably red district competitive. But the House Majority PAC is apparently willing to take a chance: They're throwing down $100K on a new ad, and you can obviously guess at its contents. This follows the DCCC adding Democrat Eric Stewart to their Red to Blue list (though oddly, they don't seem to have issued a press release). Crazier things have happened....

TX-23: You know you've gone too far when members of your own party, less than three weeks before election day, criticize you for your mailers—especially when you're a Republican. Three GOP state legislators (colleagues of Democrat Pete Gallego) are chastising Rep. Quico Canseco for a flyer which "uses both the face of Jesus and two men kissing each other to criticize the Democrat's stand on social issues." You can see a copy of this ridiculousness here.

Other Races:

CA Ballot: Yes, Reason is one of the brain-trusts of the libertarian movement, but they do use Princeton Survey Research, a reputable pollster, for their polling efforts. Their California state poll's toplines are a snooze (with leaners pushed, Dianne Feinstein is leading Elizabeth Emken 60-34, and Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 53-38). The state's various ballot measures are all very close, though. Prop 30, which would increase income taxes on the wealthy for better K-12 funding, is passing 50-46. Prop 38, which has also increases K-12 funding but casts a broader income tax net, is failing 42-52. And Prop 32, which would prohibit deducting money from workers' paychecks to use for political purposes (effectively de-funding unions), is failing 45-48. (David Jarman)

Judges: I'm a big opponent of judicial elections—I think all judges should be appointed. But my feelings aside, the fact is that a whole lot of members of the bench are indeed picked by voters, including those who serve on a number of state supreme courts. And these elections can have profound importance on all manner of cases that affect ordinary folks (which is why conservative interests have spent many years and much cash trying to influence them). So if you're interested in following the key judicial races across the country, Judgepedia has a terrific roundup at the link.

OR Ballot: SurveyUSA is out with a poll of the Beaver State despite an overall lack of competitive statewide races there. The topline finds Barack Obama leading the presidential race by a solid-yet-diminished 49-42 (it was 50-41 in September). They also find the state's marijuana legalization measure failing, down 36-43. That contrasts sharply with polling of similar measures in Washington and Colorado, though that's because Oregon's measure has no money behind it. Washington's measure has had nearly $4 million behind it, while Oregon's measure, all of $1,800!. An initiative to move corporate income tax "kicker" refunds into K-12 education is also passing, but only after the pollster laboriously explains it to the respondents. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

DSCC, NRSC: The DSCC outraised the NRSC in September, $15.6 mil to $12.9 mil. They also have more cash-on-hand for the stretch run: $27 mil to $23.1 mil. Meanwhile, the Dem-aligned Majority PAC (sort of the official unofficial super PAC arm of the DSCC) also did well, taking in $20 million between Sept. 1 and Oct. 17 (which includes $10.4 mil in September alone and the balance in the first half of October). And speaking of Majority PAC, here's there latest round of ad buys, covering Senate races in six states.

Site News: Hey, guess what? Friday was the ninth anniversary of the founding of the Swing State Project, the predecessor to Daily Kos Elections. Thanks to all of you who have been with us throughout these many years, and to many more to come!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  MN 8: Nolan 50-43 (17+ / 0-)

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:06:30 AM PDT

  •  MI Angus-Reid online: Obama 52-43 (9+ / 0-)

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:15:06 AM PDT

  •  here is some info on Oregon's ballot measures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, Square Knot, Larsstephens

    Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:19:32 AM PDT

    •  I voted the opposite of you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Jahiegel

      on the legislative referrals.  I appreciate the spelling errors in the constitution.  Makes it seem more antiquated.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:19:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like how the Politico poll has been (10+ / 0-)

    added to RCP's average immediately. While, Zogby/Wash Times(Obama +3) hasnt, even though they had the previous poll in their two weeks ago.  

  •  Is NY-11 THAT Republican (0+ / 0-)

    ... that they are ready to re-elect a criminal?

  •  Notes on TN-04 (6+ / 0-)

    The composition of TN-04 is still very safely (R), but it has picked up some of the (slightly more) liberal TN-06.    My parents are FAUX Red, but even they were stunned by this guy's actions (they are new in the 4th, they just came from the 6th in redistricting, so they have no loyalty to the man).

    Personally I think he'll keep the seat unless more info comes out, or the DNCC spends more than they want to on the seat.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:27:53 AM PDT

  •  TN-04 - This is a perfect example (11+ / 0-)

    of why Democrats need to run a 50-State Strategy.

    You just never know when the other side is gonna get caught with their pants down.

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:28:52 AM PDT

    •  I think it's more an argument (6+ / 0-)

      for building up the state parties. I don't blame the DCCC for not being involved sooner; I mean, how was it supposed to know what would happen? Stewart has a good if not great profile, but lots of our candidates do. But if the TDP were in better shape, perhaps we'd have been closer all along, making some last minute involvement from the national groups even more powerful.

      "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

      by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:11:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree but ... (6+ / 0-)

        How do we support an organization whose political malpractice allowed the nomination of a leader of a anti-gay, SPLC-documented hate group for a US Senate seat? TN Dems need more than support. They need a complete overhaul. Maybe electing Eric Stewart for DesJarlais' seat would be a good start.

        Rakoff for president! "An application of judicial power that does not rest on facts is worse than mindless, it is inherently dangerous..." -- Medicare for All -- "Justice delayed is justice denied" for the 99%

        by EquityRoy on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 07:03:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't support the TDP. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Not without some serious changes, that is. I agree that much, if not all, needs to be changed, but that's part of the plan for focusing on rebuilding state parties, not a separate issue.

          "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

          by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 10:35:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that a problem .. (0+ / 0-)

        that a lot of "red state" state parties have .. they are down right awful .. pretty much the whole old confederacy doesn't have one(well .. maybe North Carolina .. kinda sorta) competent party between them

        •  To a large degree, yes, or so I think. (0+ / 0-)

          "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

          by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 10:36:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Worth the effort, even if Stewart serves just one (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Odysseus, Larsstephens

      term.  If Stewart wins, he could end up like the Democrat who won Tom DeLay's seat for one term.  But that's still a gain.  A new Republican will start on the bottom of the ladder for seniority, and the GOP would probably nominate someone who isn't a mouth-breathing Tea Party type to run against him.  Maybe they'll learn they can get the district to elect a conservative, but not a "pro life except for my mistress" hypocrite.

      TN-04 (Safe R to Likely R): Though we were lonely in doing so, we kept TN-04 at Likely R for a long time. A few weeks ago, however, we concluded that there just weren't any signs that Democrat Eric Stewart, decent recruit though he was, could pull off an upset, so we moved it to the Safe column. Well, a funny thing happened, as you undoubtedly know: The transcript of a phone call made by GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais to his mistress—who also happened to be a patient of his—was made public, in which he (a supposedly "pro-life" Republican) pressured her to have an abortion. Needless to say, that's the kind of unexpected bombshell that can change the calculus, even in a dark-red district like this.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:03:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tidbits from a pro-Romney Politico article (10+ / 0-)

    Sifting through all the Romney bluster and bravado:

    Romney campaign thinks it has a better shot at Iowa and Colorado than Wisconsin and Nevada.

    Obama has a 3 point lead in Ohio according to a Democratic operative familiar with internal polling

    Romney doesn't appear to be serious about contesting Pennsylvania.

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:33:14 AM PDT

    •  And they'd be right. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Sylv, EcosseNJ

      Colorado in particular looks very tight, could go either way.

    •  Not clear whose internal polling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin, sportsman885

      One thing we know is that there is lots of internal polling on both sides, we can't assume this means the Obama campaign's own polling in this instance (or the Romney campaign's own polling in other instances).

      The "internal polling" cited by this "Democratic operative" easily could be Priorities USA or the Sherrod Brown campaign or the Ohio Democratic Party, among others.  In fact, I bet it's not the Obama campaign.

      One thing I notice in these stories is that if they specifically attach either campaign to a claim regarding where a state really is today, that virtually never includes a number.  It's always something like David Plouffe's comment to Major Garrett ("significant lead") that merely characterizes things, rather than providing a numerical margin or range.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:50:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, now I see something new (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I didn't read the whole thing before posting the above comment, but now I see this line:

        Obama aides scoff at audacious predictions about the expanded map — and have begun to break their own rules to make their case, leaking data showing them far ahead of public polls that portray Pennsylvania as tightening to within the margin of error.
        Problem is, Politico then doesn't tell us what "data" is disclosed.  Is it really any numbers, or just characterizations like Plouffe's last week to Major Garrett?

        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:57:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More bluster than anything else. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You gotta love the fact that the article characterizes their side as being on the advance, despite the fact that they can't get a clear lead in Florida or Virginia and even North Carolina and can't get a lead at all in Ohio. If Romney's advancing, he's no different than that general Haig from World War I, who kept on telling his troops that the machine guy fire was nothing to worry about and that they just needed to push harder on horses.

        "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

        by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:14:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In case you didn't already despise Politico... (9+ / 0-)

    ...this ought to do it.

    Allegedly an analysis of how the two campaigns are planning the final two weeks, they claim that

    a surging Romney is suddenly playing offense all over the map.
    Like where exactly?
    Conversations of late with Romney officials that begin with discussions of Florida or Ohio quickly move to raised-eyebrow, “did-ya-see” mentions of polls in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and even Oregon, where Obama leads by high double digits.
    Err, what? I hope these officials have weight in the Romney campaign. Please, please send Mitt to Oregon and Minnesota. He has such great chances of pulling off upsets there.

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

    Romney finds himself hobbled by previous mistakes, namely a failure to develop competitive ground operations — or even a baseline of competitive advertising — in potential battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
    •  Yeah, read like something you'd find on red state (7+ / 0-)

      or hot air.

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:38:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's more interesting to me is... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tk421, askew, MBishop1, itskevin, EcosseNJ

        ...the Romney campaign's bluster.

        They've always had this bluster all year.

        And I've always wondered how much of it is sincere, and how much is knowingly blowing smoke to project confidence and swagger.  I suspect a little of both.

        I also wonder who these "Romney officials" are.  Are they individuals who actually have access to the campaign's private polling?  Or are they advisers or staff who aren't trusted on that level?

        And are the "polls" in distantcousin's blockquoted passage about PA/MI/MN/OR really internal polls, or just public polls?  It's political malpractice if the Romney campaign is really spending money on privately polling those states with less than 3 weeks to go, with no time to do what's needed to win states they haven't been contesting.  So I suspect this refers to random public polls which, of course, are junk.

        I'm just amazed at how much trash talk comes out of the Romney camp, all without anything to back it up.

        Unless Obama implodes tonight or some other moment in the next couple weeks, there's going to be a lot of laughing at Team Romney on our side after November 6th, and a lot of justified finger-pointing at Team Romney in the GOP's post-election cannibalization.

        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Flack Halperin is pushing the line (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, MBishop1

          Must be the line for the week; the Roveian line.

          Also, I notice that the headlines on the Q Ohio polling are all "Romnet closing in," "cut the lead in half."  Which is technically true, but ignores that a 5 point lead in Ohio, is a 5 point lead.  And the 10 point was always unrealistic.

          “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

          by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:11:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well...what are they supposed to say (0+ / 0-)

            Of course some of its bluster, but when in politics does being woefully honest become better than being over-confident?

            You don't want to lay otu a single path to victory as people can point out the flaw with a single state and tear i apart.  Might as well say you're seeing trends in your direction everywhere.

            If they said they only saw positive trends in 3-4 states, they'd basically be disagreeing with Gallup, which is their best friend in the media right now.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:19:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Campaign trash talk from Romney is like policy (5+ / 0-)

          talk: there's little to back it up, and they just say whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter what they just said five minutes ago.

          "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

          by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:18:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  bluster (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DCCyclone, itskevin

          The guy who's behind has to talk like that, to prevent his own supporters from giving up. If that happens, a slim chance to win turns into no chance.

          SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

          by sacman701 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:14:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comments like yours, sacman, are why (0+ / 0-)

            I've never really believed Romney was ahead.

            "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

            by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 10:38:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  High double digits--like 80 or 90? n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Osiris, bumiputera

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of Rove sending Bush to CA (1+ / 0-)

      late in 2000.

      Weird since, I think the PPP and SUSA poll of MN have shown better numbers for Obama than their previous polls.

  •  PA-Sen: you can't take Smith's willingness... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redrelic17, JBraden spend million on his behalf as any indicator of the state of the race.  He's just another wealthy narcissist.  And he's almost parodically bad as a TV presence, to the point where as a Casey supporter (with the usual big caveat) I'd rather give money to Smith to get his sad-sack self out there even more.  

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:43:16 AM PDT

  •  NY-18: The prior poll (0+ / 0-)

    included 10% for a Working Families Party candidate, who has since left the race, with the WFP now cross-endorsing Maloney.  Not a positive for Maloney, and it puts incumbent teabagger Hayworth (trying to run as a moderate) in a pretty good position.  Unfortunately.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:50:28 AM PDT

  •  WI Sen RAss: Thompson 48-46 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, WisVoter

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:51:49 AM PDT

  •  MA-Sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    maybe instead of calling people in Warren's ad actors, Brown should worry more about the people in his ads?

    Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

    by sapelcovits on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:53:29 AM PDT

  •  Steven King for Civility. (0+ / 0-)

    A voter actually wrote this to a newspaper:

    "I commend Congressman Steve King for staying above the fray. In the debates, while Vilsack tosses baseless allegations, King simply answers the question asked of him...I'm casting my ballot for civility and solutions. I'm voting Steve King for Congress." Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:57:25 AM PDT

  •  Is Richard Tisei Going to Be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A Michael Patrick Flanagan-Joseph Cao type Deal? He's only getting elected because the Dem is corrupt and then promptly will get booted the next time out?

    •  One would hope <n/t> (0+ / 0-)

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:13:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thankfully (0+ / 0-)

        Tisei is probably going to be with us on many votes because he's in Massachusetts I expect him to not be an extreme Republican. After all, he is Gay and is pro-choice. BTW, it's going to be strange how Tisei is going to be the one gay member of that party.

        •  The one *openly* gay member (6+ / 0-)

          As Mr DesJarlais reminded us recently, the Republicans are past masters at, shall we say, differentiating the public and the private.

        •  I dont know how much he will vote with Dems (0+ / 0-)

          He will likely face a strong re-election challenge in 2014 and will need help from the national party.

          I think it depends on what margin the GOP has in the House.

          •  Tisei is more Liberal than Brown (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NeverThere, JGibson

            I don't know how much of a social conscience he had but you can better believe he will be the most Liberal House Member of the Republicans Caucus should he win. Dems would be in trouble if Republicans ran more candidates like Tisei.

            •  Personally, he may be more liberal (0+ / 0-)

              but I wonder what his voting record will be. And I think that will depend on the GOP margin in the House.

              Would he be the deciding vote against a key piece of legislation, like the GOP budget for instance?

            •  Of course they ran more candidates like him . . . (1+ / 0-)

              It would mean:
              1) Moderates actually controlled the GOP
              2) People like Lugar would be able to run.
              3) We could have more common sense discussions without it degenerating into "Death Panels, FEMA camps, socialism et al"
              4) The tea-party would be a minority in the party.
              5) The Log-Cabin Republicans could freely donate to the GOP Candidate of their choice.

        •  He's pro-choice and gay (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NeverThere, JBraden, PALiberal1

          Boy he's going to fit in REALLLLLLLLLY well with the House GOP caucus.

        •  Not true at all (5+ / 0-)

          I"m in his district and in fact live in the same town.  I don't know him personally, but I know people who do.

          He's a typical, entitled, self-important Republican.  He's voted AGAINST the LGBT agenda as State Senator.  He was always there for seniors and vets and others, yes, but when it came to schools, forget it.  He didn't lift one finger to help us.  Why?  Kids can't vote.  He will vote with the Republicans and be another Scott Brown.   He's no different that Romney or Brown.  

          I caught him parking in a handicapped space in our town and when I tried to get some sort of response from him about it (I have a temporary handicap placard due to mobility issues), he ignored me.  He was livid during our 4th of July Parade when he was told that he couldn't break the rules and march with Sen Barn Coat.  He got in the parade organizer's face and cussed her out and made her cry.  He's got his own ethics issue, in my mind, FAR worse than anything the Tierney's may have done.  He and his family have been scamming people for years in their real estate business and getting away with it.

          He's probably going to win.  I see the data and I'm sick.  But the Dems in this district are determined that on Nov 7, the campaign to unseat this empty suit goes in high gear.  We will track every vote, call his office constantly.  He does NOT represent the values of this district.  And just like Sen Barn Coat's votes and true self have come to light, so will Richard's.  

          •  How has Tisei been scamming people (0+ / 0-)

            with his real estate businesses?

            "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

            by bjssp on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 10:39:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read all about it.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bumiputera, JBraden


              During a canvass this weekend, we canvassed a former Republican and supporter who left the party and will vote for Tierney (and probably Warren) after his dealings with Tisei on our local Town Republican Committee.

              He has wide support, but he CAN be beat with the right candidate.  Tierney, although a great congressman (ever hear of the Tierney Rule?), is not that candidate.  Too many questions and he didn't handle it well in the media in my opinion.

    •  unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Adam B, jncca

      Tisei won't be as much of a lock to lose in 2014 as Cao was in 2010.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:19:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        I think that we can make the argument in 2014 that Tisei may be all well and good but he's still going to vote to make John Boehner or whoever the hell it is at that time the Speaker.

      •  Perhaps not (0+ / 0-)

        Then again Tisei may just become the proverbial liberal Republican (remember those).  Or he votes with Boehner and becomes much more beatable.

        He doesn't worry me too much, if it turns out Tisei is seat #218 come election night, Dems will have had a good night.

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:22:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm confident Tisei will lose because... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the GOP House Caucus demands such obediance that it's impossible to defect enough for a Republican to hold that blue a district.

          I'll be shocked if Tisei really defects enough to remain electable the next time out.

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:37:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, and I made this point before and... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...will make it again here:  that we're going to have a GOP House the next 2 years makes Tisei's reelection that much harder, probably impossible.  The problem is that his voters will be litigating the GOP House agenda, which necessarily is a hard-right one way out of touch with the district.  Right now they've shelved that to litigate the incumbent's family scandal.  But they'll move the GOP agenda to the forefront the next time out, assuming the Democrats offer a minimally competent alternative.  And it's awfully hard to Tisei to wage a campaign that says, "I hate my party, too."  He'll call himself "independent" but is unlikely to have the voting record to back it up.  Scott Brown's predicament just underscores the point, you really have to be a thorn in your own party's side to win as a Republican there.

            44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:41:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not even close (0+ / 0-)

        Cao and Flanagan sat in very blue district, and Flanagan was a party-line R. MA-06 is really only bluish-purple at 57% Obama, so Tisei probably isn't that bad a fit.

        Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

        by fearlessfred14 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:55:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Trump teases big announcement about Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, EcosseNJ


    Really if you needed any more motivation to vote for Obama, just imagine Trump gloating about a Romney win the day after the election.

  •  Which "LGBT groups" are you referring to that are (3+ / 0-)

    excited about Richard Tisei? The 800 pound gorilla of LGBT groups, Human Rights Campaign is supporting Tierney. Stonewall Democrats is supporting Tierney, to my knowledge local clubs are supporting Tierney. The only LGBT groups I am aware of supporting Tisei are Log Cabin Republicans (duh, they would support any Republican, sadly) and Victory Fund endorsed him. Victory Fund has actually gotten a lot of crap for it from the LGBT community. (As Emily's List does when they endorse an occasional GOP woman.) 

    But it's incorrect to say, as you do, VF endorsed because Tesei is attractive as a moderate. Victory Fund does not consider candidate positions as a criteria for endorsement. But VF's mission is not electing Democrats, or even necessarily gay rights advocates. Their mission is to elect more LGBT people into elected office, only. They are party neutral. Their only real disqualifier is "viability." they don't endorse LGBT people who are not "serious" candidates with a plan to win. It is just to get gay people a seat at the table. Much as I respect what they do, I rather doubt VF's endorsement is that influential. 

    Anyway, I think it's a total mischaracterization to imply--as you have--MA LGBT groups have abandoned Tierney to the wolves, and at total odds with the conversations and reports I am hearing. Many LGBT groups and leaders are quite concerned about preserving that friendly seat. 

    Perhaps check with the Tierney campaign and see what they say?

    Supporter: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Adlai Stevenson: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 07:03:33 AM PDT

    •  Yep. Sounds like more stereotyping. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge

      This site occasionally sees variants of the idea that LGBT voters are really just itching to vote for Republicans, and we really would if Republicans would just moderate their homophobic/transphobic stance.

      This idea manifested itself after the 2010 elections, when we had a slew of diaries and comments blaming LGBT voters for insufficient loyalty to Democratic Party candidates in that election.  Of course, if memory serves, exit polling showed that something like 69 or 70 percent of self-identified LGBT voters voted Democratic.  This exceeded the Democrats' share of the vote among other key Democratic constituencies, such as Latinos and women, yet only LGBT voters were accused of somehow secretly wanting a GOP victory.  

      One also sees it whenever groups like the Log Cabin Republicans or GOProud are mentioned.  Straight Kossacks fall all over themselves to express their dismay and anger over how any LGBT person could possibly support the Republicans, yet no one ever writes nasty diaries or comments about, say, the hefty percentage of Latino voters who regularly cast their votes for Republicans.  

      Let me just say this to the straight people who want to push this line.  You can start complaining about how an insufficient percentage of LGBT voters support the Democrats once you straight folks start supporting Democrats by the same percentages as we LGBTs do.  So please, let me know when you guys get up to 69%.  Then we'll talk.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 09:51:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When has EMILY endorsed a Republican woman? (0+ / 0-)

      I thought they were specifically dedicated to electing Dem women.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 04:46:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i live in CA-36 where it is Bono-Mack vs. Ruiz (0+ / 0-)

    the headlines in our local paper have not been favorable to Raul Ruiz but that does not come as a surprise since the paper has endorsed Mary Bono-Mack in election as long as I have lived here.

    if you were to read the comments to all of the mudslinging articles you would that they are more than 90% in opposition to Bono-Mack's tactics.  this is the only thing that Bono-Mack is betting on to win her re-election.  she has offered nothing to the voters about her 14 years in Congress.

    even Native American tribes in our region have voiced opposition to Bono-Mack's ploy of accusing Ruiz's support a  to Native American cause as anti-American.  the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations have both made statements.

    Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

    Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations

    now, mind you, the paper requires having a Facebook account in order to leave comments.  so, it is very possible that the elderly people here who don't participate in Facebook may have a very different opinion than the comments i have read in response to the news articles.

    this district is now labeled as "toss-up".  it is the closest a Democratic opponent has been to defeating Mary Bono-Mack since 2000.

    for you to simply rely on the headlines and say this is "bad" for Ruiz is missing the whole picture.  don't spread the b.s.  you're not helping!

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 02:02:09 PM PDT

  •  stark versus swalwell (0+ / 0-)

    As maybe two of you remember, I've been concerned that in all of the fun people here have been making of Pete Stark, no one has bothered to outline Eric Swalwell's politics.

    I admit that I'm partial to Stark because of his past profile as a courageous opponent of the Vietnam War and because of his staunchly progressive record over the years. I'm also concerned about his current propensity to make wild charges, however. On the other hand, to include a realtor of developers in a list of developers supporting his opponent does not seem all that outrageous.

    Anyway, what's the deal with Swalwell? What are we getting if we support him in a fit of pique against an injudicious Stark? I Googled Swalwell up and discovered that he is, as I suspected, a moderate Democrat, supported by the likes of Ellen Tauscher, who used to annoy many of us back in the day. That said, Swalwell's positions are not bad.

    He seems particularly good on the environment. He is also fine on LGBT issues, women's issues, education, immigration (supporting the Dream Act), public transportation, and the Affordable Care Act. My main worry is that he supports raising the retirement age for Social Security. I didn't see Swalwell saying anything about foreign policy, but maybe he does somewhere.

    In general, I would say that Swalwell is acceptable but uninspiring. He'll perhaps join the New Democrats. He'll perhaps be slightly to the right of his district. Or he'll perhaps evolve into a strong, thoughtful progressive, as Garamendi has done over the years. Who can say for sure?

    If Swalwell seems basically acceptable, Stark now seems locked too tightly into his own bubble of certainty and self-regard. I'd still love to hear from knowledgeable individuals from the Bay Area about this race. Right now, I feel myself moving toward Swalwell in my sympathies. Here's some Swalwell Q and A from the League of Women Voters:

    1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nation’s economy?

    America's comeback starts with new energy and a strong resurgence in American innovation and manufacturing. This includes rewarding companies that create jobs in America and penalizing companies, in the form of higher taxes, for moving jobs overseas; provide research and development loans, grants, tax credits, and incentives to facilitate the successful development, manufacturing and exporting of clearn energy systems; support small business owners by ensuring the self-employer's tax contribution is no higher than an employee's and defer all federal government taxes for the first year of any new small business -- deferred taxes will be collected over a four-year payback period; create a fairer tax code to make big corporations and the rich pay their fair share.

    2. How should the federal budget deficit be addressed, now and into the future? How should budget priorities for defense and domestic programs be adjusted?

    If we are to stabilize the economy we must stop wasteful government spending and reduce our national debt. Debt reduction must be balanced with the need for government spending on programs that care for our elderly and neediest citizens and programs that protect and defend our nation. The Pentagon is currently working on a budget that will reduce military and defense spending, which I agree with, for the most part. I do not agree with cutting already-promised health care and benefits to our Veterans and current active duty military personnel. We must also look at shoring up Social Security for the long term, including raising the cap on wages and raising the retirement age gradually to index to life expectancy rates.

    3. What are your priorities with respect to our nation’s energy policy? Should there be an emphasis on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions, and/or on reducing our dependence on foreign sources?

    Clean energy innovation is a top priority for me. I believe the US must adopt a sensible national renewable energy policy with clear goals for reducing pollution and our dependence on dirty and outdated energy systems. We should facilitate the successful development, manufacturing and exporting of clean energy systems. This includes research and development loans and grants and tax credits and incentives. Not only will these new, clean energy systems reduce carbon emissions and help clean our environment, this could be the biggest engine of next-generation technology and manufacturing -- and the US should be reaping the economic benefits of the clean energy industry. We must also do more to develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on oil.

    4. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?

    I support the recently enacted Federal Health Care Reform legislation which is already providing relief to millions of American families in the form on continued health care insurance coverage for children until the age of 26. However, there is much more we can do to hold down health care costs. As a member of the Alameda County Fire Commission, we have created a pilot project that provides drop-in preventative health care services to the public at our firestations. We need to look at more creative ways to reach those without health insurance and provide low-cost preventative services to avoid higher cost care later.

    5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing?

    I am opposed to the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court that ruled corporations have a right to free speech and can provide unlimited funding to campaigns in the form of Super PACS.

    To conclude in my own voice: Best to everyone here! Go Obama!

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