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Leading Off:

OR Ballot: Exciting news! Activists in Oregon have begun a drive to put same-sex marriage legalization on the ballot in the Beaver State for the 2014 elections. What makes this effort unusual is that if it's successful, Oregon would be the first state to overturn a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which voters approved by over 13 points in 2004. But obviously, the landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade, and a recent PPP poll shows sentiment completely reverses, with Oregonians now approving of marriage equality at a 54-40 clip.

In any event, organizers need to first submit 1,000 signatures in order to undergo a preliminary review by the Secretary of State. Once that passes muster, they'll need an additional 116,284 signatures—and remember, Oregon is home to fewer than four million people, so we're talking something like 3 percent of the entire population here (and more than that for registered voters). The push will be spearheaded by a group called Oregon United for Marriage, under the auspices of another organization, Basic Rights Oregon. They will certainly have a lot of work ahead of them in the months to come, as opponents are already gearing up to thwart this effort, but after last year's successes at the ballot box in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, the momentum is firmly on the side of the good guys this time.


GA-Sen: GOP Rep. Tom Price, perhaps the biggest name out there in terms of possible successors to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, says he won't make any decision on a bid for higher office until at least May. (Apparently, the House Budget Committee, of which he is vice chair, has a big deadline then.)

NJ-Sen: All these ethics stories about Dem Sen. Bob Menendez (here's the latest) are giving me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anyone else?

WV-Sen: Memo to conservatives: Try a little harder the next time you pick a name for one of your front groups. "West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse" doesn't even sound remotely believable and is on par with Dick Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President (aka CREEP) in terms of "names that should have landed on the reject pile." Anyhow, the organization, which mostly seemed to exist to turn former Democratic state AG Darrell McGraw out of office last year (he lost), has now set its sights on the open Senate race. To that end, they've commissioned a poll from Mark Blankenship Enterprises showing Rep. Nick Rahall getting whomped by fellow Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in a hypothetical general election, 55-37.

But here's what doesn't make sense: They also have Rahall winning a theoretical Democratic primary, taking 37 percent to 16 for Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, 6 for ex-Sen. Carte Goodwin, and 2 for attorney Ralph Baxter. If the idea is to goad Rahall into running a race they're sure he'll lose, then why release the general election numbers? On the other hand, if they want to show Rahall that Moore would stomp him, then why bother with the primary results? I guess asking a group called West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse to make sense is probably too much, though.


FL-Gov: Former Florida Republican Party chair Jim Greer, long under scrutiny for his handling of GOP finances, struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to charges of theft and money laundering. Greer could face more than three years in prison, but the reason I'm filing this under "FL-Gov" is that Charlie Crist was slated to testify had the matter gone to trial, and Greer had threatened to "personally embarrass" him. Who knows if Greer was full of it, but I'm sure Crist, who is now a Democrat and is reportedly contemplating a bid for his old job, is glad to avoid the courtroom.

PA-Gov: Well this is interesting. Marcel Groen, chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, says that Rep. Allyson Schwartz is "80% of the way in" toward a gubernatorial bid against GOP Gov. Tom Corbett. Schwartz was first mentioned at least as far back as last September, and while she's never made any public statements on the matter, but she hired a top fundraiser in December, suggesting she might be ready to move on to bigger things.

Apparently, one motivating factor was a new poll conducted by the DGA reportedly showing Schwartz as the strongest possible Dem against Corbett—but don't get too excited, since the survey's not public. It definitely exists, though, as PoliticsPA's Keegan Gibson says he spoke with "half a dozen Democratic operatives" who confirmed that the DGA did in fact poll the race and what its results looked like, in broad strokes.

While I've generally been of the feeling that Democrats would put up a good candidate even if our bench isn't terribly high profile (particularly because Corbett's vulnerabilities loom so large), Schwartz would likely be a cut above. She's well-connected in the House, holds a leadership position in the DCCC, and would likely be able to raise money at a prodigious clip. (As an added bonus, her 13th Congressional District seat is safely blue.) So you can bet that the DGA is zealously trying to recruit Schwartz, and I'll be plenty of Pennsylvania Democrats would be quite excited to see her enter the race as well.


CO-06: It looks like former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff may have a clear path to the Democratic nomination: ex-state Rep. Karen Middleton and state Sen. Linda Newell have now both pulled their names from consideration in recent days. Newell endorsed Romanoff but Middleton abstained, saying she'd like to see a woman run. But she and Newell were likely the two most prominent women in the district, and if neither of them is willing to go toe-to-toe with Romanoff, he probably has a direct shot at GOP Rep. Mike Coffman.

Speaking of Coffman, he's now trying to moderate his stance on immigration (remember, Tom Tancredo held this seat immediately before him), but will he really be able to put distance between not just himself and his party, but himself and his past views? That sounds like a tough sell, particularly since his "change of heart" is so manifestly expedient.

IA-01, IA-Gov: Progressive blog Bleeding Heartland reports that state Senate President Pam Jochum will not run for Bruce Braley's open seat in IA-01 but may instead challenge GOP Gov. Terry Branstad next year. (Since Jochum was just re-elected last year to a four-year term, she wouldn't have to give up her seat to do so.) As state legislators are wont to do, Jochum says she won't make a decision until after the current legislative session, which ends in May.

Bleeding Heartland also suggests that Jochum's decision may make it easier for state Sen. Liz Mathis, who isn't ruling out a bid, "to consolidate support in a Democratic primary," which sounds plausible. But as soon as one name exits, another enters: Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston now says that she, too, is considering a run. (Linn is home to Cedar Rapids and is the second-largest county in the state.) Given that IA-01 is a reasonably secure Democratic seat, it's no surprise that plenty of serious politicos are interested.

IA-03: That was fast: Just a few weeks after his name was first floated, investor Mike Sherzan has announced his campaign against GOP Rep. Tom Latham. The DCCC openly acknowledged they considered Sherzan a top recruit, and among other things, he's probably personally quite wealthy. As for whether he has political chops, that remains to be seen.

One thing also worth thinking about is how Sherzan's move might affect Latham's own decision-making process when it comes to Iowa's open Senate seat. Latham has been contemplating a run, and he's the Republican establishment's favored choice. However, several polls have shown fellow Rep. Steve King putting the hurt on him in a hypothetical primary, which has to act as a deterrent. On the other hand, if Latham thinks Sherzan will put up a stiff fight, that might incline him more toward taking a gamble on the Senate. I don't pretend to know the mind of Tom Latham, but I imagine we'll soon find out one way or the other.

IL-02: On Sunday, ex-state Rep. Robin Kelly scored a pair of high-profile endorsements: Chicago-area Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis both formally gave their backing to her campaign, making them the first members of Congress to take sides in the Democratic primary. Both Rush and Davis specifically cited Kelly's stance on guns, with Rush pointedly saying that Kelly does not take "marching orders from the NRA." (Kelly will also be Rush's guest at the State of the Union address on Tuesday night.)

Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg's Independence USA keeps pouring it on. They're out with a brand new TV spot that once again hammers ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson on guns. The ad is backed by a $414K buy, bringing the PAC's total investment in the race to over $1.2 million. (That includes yet another $37K for mail filed on Saturday.)

Another super PAC is also getting into the mix: The progressive group CREDO is deploying what they call a "data-driven field campaign" that will target both Halvorson and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson over their pro-NRA records. (To date, Independence USA has only hit Halvorson.)

And one final note: Thursday is the FEC's filing deadline for pre-primary fundraising reports. As of that date, all candidates must detail how much they've raised and spent between Jan. 1 and Feb. 6. Since Feb. 6, by the way, campaigns have been required to report all large donations within 48 hours. Kelly, who led the pack in fundraising as of Dec. 31, has already filed three such reports, totaling $13K. Halvorson and Hutchinson? Bupkes.

MA-05: It looks like another Democratic state legislator announced for Ed Markey's seat over the weekend—or more accurately, half-announced: state Sen. Will Brownsberger, who told Roll Call that if Markey succeeds in winning this year's Senate special election, "I will run, in turn, for his seat." That contrasts with state Rep. Carl Sciortino, who full-on declared his candidacy on Friday. Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with Sciortino's approach: Should the seat not become open, then there's no race, and no one will care. But if it does open up (as it appears likely to), then someone like Sciortino gets to hit the ground running.

MD-06: Maryland GOP chair Alex Mooney is stepping down from what is obviously one of the worst jobs in America, but in announcing his departure, he also said he wasn't ruling out a run for the state's 6th Congressional District. That's an equally crappy job for a Republican, though: Mooney thought about challenging Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the primary last year, but ultimately had to back off in humiliating fashion. Not that it mattered, however, seeing as Bartlett got smooshed 58-38 by Democrat John Delaney in this now-solidly blue seat, so Mooney can keep dreaming.  

MO-08: Over the weekend, Republican officials in southeast Missouri selected state House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith as their nominee in the special election to replace ex-Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. Ten candidates started the day, but Smith slowly built support over six rounds of voting, ultimately defeating Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, 55 votes to 22. (Kinder, the best-known name in the field, was reportedly hampered by the possibility that his LG post could go to a Democrat if Gov. Jay Nixon were able to name a replacement.) In this dark-red district—as I like to point out, even Todd Akin won here—Smith's nomination is all but tantamount to victory, unless something truly remarkable were to explode here. The general election will be held on June 4.

P.S. As an aside, I'd also note that this decision means the ranks of Republican women in the House will shrink further still. Indeed, the only woman up for consideration, ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman, dropped out before the voting began.

SC-01: Wealthy businessman Martin Skelly, who entered the Democratic primary with a promise to put $250,000 of his own money into the race, has now bowed out and endorsed the other notable Democrat running, Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Though a victory here (in the special election to replace now-Sen. Tim Scott) would be a huge upset for Dems, this is a positive development: The large GOP field is likely to require a runoff, while Colbert Busch only has a perennial candidate to fend off. If Republicans tear themselves apart while Colbert Busch consolidates support (and pulls in donations thanks to her famous surname), that could make things a lot more interesting.

Other Races:

Special Elections: It looks like we have our first genuinely competitive state legislative special elections of the year, in Minnesota. Johnny Longtorso, as always, with a special guest appearance:

Kentucky HD-52: This is the seat left open by Republican Sara Beth Gregory, who was elected to the State Senate last December. The candidates are Democratic businessman Harvey Shearer and Republican Ken Upchurch, who held the seat prior to Gregory. This is blood-red southern Kentucky, so don't expect an upset.

Minnesota HD-14A & HD-19A: DKEer OGGoldy has provided a thorough look at these two elections, so I would encourage you to read his analysis.

14A is a GOP-held seat, but OGGoldy thinks Dems have a good chance of picking it up. 19A is a Democratic seat that he believes we should also hold. However, there are Independent Party candidates in both races, and since the IP usually hurts Democrats more than Republicans, anything is possible.

Grab Bag:

Campaign Finance: One thing that people tend to leave out when praising Nate Silver is that he's really good at creating tables and charts, to the extent that the graphic often tells the whole story easily and the accompanying text is just icing on the cake. His new article on the likely ineffectiveness of Karl Rove's plan to seize back control of the Republican primary machinery is a good case in point: It contains a chart of all the establishment-vs.-outsider GOP primaries in the last two cycles, including a number of ones I'd already forgotten about.

It also shows there's no relationship between money and success in getting establishmentarians across the finish line, with the outsider winning nearly half the time regardless of the financial gap. A vastly-outspent insurgent can still beat the establishment's pick, though as you can see from the data, it helps greatly if it's a lackluster establishment candidate, a charismatic outsider, or both. (David Jarman)

Senate: Yeah, maybe we should suffer through 2014 before starting to think about the real fun in the Senate, which will be 2016, but here's an interesting consideration that might lead to an inordinate number of Republican open seats that year: the gravitational pull of the presidential race. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rob Portman, and John Thune are all up for re-election that year, in addition to having presidential designs. The Fix takes a look at how that might shake out: Ohio would allow Portman to run for both at the same time, while Paul, Thune, and Rubio would need to factor in May, June, and August primaries respectively, if they wanted to bail out of the presidential race and try to keep their day jobs. (David Jarman)

Turnout: You probably know that turnout in the 2012 election was down noticeably from 2008, but Michael McDonald (the political scientist, not the Doobie Brother) helps put that in historical context. Indeed, the kind of falloff we saw isn't unusual at all when a president is successfully re-elected—and it was still quite superior to turnout amidst the malaise of the 1970s or the ennui of the 1990s. McDonald also does some helpful slice-and-dice of turnout based on regional and demographic disparities, looking at the effects of Latino growth and Hurricane Sandy. (David Jarman)

WATN?: If you're new to following politics closely, you might not know just how far back Howard Berman and Henry Waxman go. They've been close allies since the late 70s, and National Journal has a great retrospective look at how they took turns assisting each other with their climbs to power in Los Angeles, helped immensely behind-the-scenes by Berman's brother Michael, the mapmaker who was gerrymanderer-in-chief for the Dems for decades. In the end, it was a case of live by the map, die by the map, as California's switch to an independent redistricting commission, in concert with changing demographics, ended Berman's tenure and even pushed Waxman to his closest race in decades. Definitely worth a full read. (David Jarman)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, Daily Kos Oregon, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Comgrats to Oregon! (5+ / 0-)

    I'm glad to hear you're making the jump after all.

    •  Whoops. Meant congrats. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny, Eyesbright

      It's not always easy typing on my Android phone at 5:06 AM.

    •  sad money (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, jimmichagain, blukat, Odysseus, brook

      What I find so disheartening is that people donate large sums to fund groups against inalienable rights.  That church groups put such effort into gay bashing and so little into government efforts to help the needy, the sick, and the aged.  All this in the name of a son of god who preached the exact opposite.  I get that people might be uncomfortable with the gay "thing," but this is the fight you feel the need to donate to, to preach to?
      Gays are not second class citizens--they're even now defending us in the military--as are the "colored."  Time to stop hating those different than yourself.  Smug White men are the ugliest people in our country.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:38:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting stats in the Big O (4+ / 0-)

      this morning:  Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support repeal.  Republicans overwhelmingly oppose.  Younger people overwhelmingly support, older overwhelmingly oppose.  Fortunately Portland, Eugene and the rest of the Willamette Valley have most of the population.

      It will be a fight - both sides will work hard to motivate their voters, and it will depend on what other initiatives make it to the ballot in 2014.

    •  "54 40 or fight!" (5+ / 0-)
      ...with Oregonians now approving of marriage equality at a 54-40 clip
      I dunno, I just couldn't resist the beautiful coincidence of that phrase from an earlier era in Oregon history!
    •  I don't know why Ohio is always overlooked (0+ / 0-)

      Well, I do.

      The big established LGBT organizations are looking down their noses at us because they say "The time isn't right" and they want to focus on what they perceive as more LGBT-friendly states first.

      But we're WAY ahead of Oregon. We got the 1,000 signatures last year (I collected a bunch at my church), and after some squabbling, got the language approved last spring by our GOP attorney general. Signature gatherers have been out in all 88 counties for a while now.

      The organizers — grassroots folks who are calling the effort freedomohio — pulled back from last year because of competition with the presidential and senate races, but they're eying this coming November. The established groups are still dragging their feet, but activists aren't. I wouldn't bet against this effort even if the HRC and others won't recognize the efforts.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:08:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NVLeg: Likely AD 17 vacancy coming soon. (7+ / 0-)

    Following Steven Brooks' second arrest this year, he's now banned from the Legislature building. At this point, it's finally becoming more likely that he will be expelled. But before Johnny Longtorso becomes too excited about the prospect of a new special election, I should say that we don't do that here in Nevada. Rather, the County Commission will appoint a replacement.

  •  Volunteer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapelcovits, Audrid, Odysseus

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:29:09 AM PST

  •  Interesting side bar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nepal introduces 3rd gender category on ID cards

    Agence France Press

    Wednesday 23 January 2013

    Last Update 23 January 2013 11:14 am

    KATMANDU: Transgender citizens in Nepal will no longer have to describe themselves as male or female on their national identity cards under a new government regulation, an official said on Wednesday.
    Bhola Siwakoti, a senior official in the home ministry, said that its offices across the country had been instructed to allow people to register as “a third gender” when completing their citizenship certificates.
    “We have sent circulars to our district administrative offices in all 75 districts to implement this new regulation. From now on, anyone who wants such an identity can apply for one,” Siwakoti told AFP.
    The move comes more than five years after Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of transgender people.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:11:49 AM PST

  •  Alex Mooney (0+ / 0-)

    Is Mooney really that proud of getting 3 questions on the ballot, considering they all failed and it is ridiculously easy to get a law referred in Maryland.

    SEC. 3. (a) The referendum petition against an Act or part of an Act passed by the General Assembly, shall be sufficient if signed by three percent of the qualified voters of the State of Maryland, calculated upon the whole number of votes cast for Governor at the last preceding Gubernatorial election, of whom not more than half are residents of Baltimore City, or of any one County.
    In 2012, that was about 54K signatures. Out of a state with 5.8 million residents. It's not exactly hard.
  •  WV SEN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At this point, Moore-Capito will womp any of the Dems. The only hope is that she gets Teabagged, and so far, that does not look like that it's going to happen. I think we can kiss WV goodbye. Maybe forever.

  •  Better late than never, I suppose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's still amazes me how voters in states such as California and Oregon could find themselves on the wrong side of history on a fundamental civil rights issue, by aligning themselves with other bigoted constitutional ban states like Texas and Kentucky.  Go figure.

    "The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

    by Progressive Pride on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:42:23 AM PST

    •  In the past ten years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Oregon's population has grown and changed so I don't think the ban will continue.

      California confused me. I lived there for over fifty years, all my life till I moved last year. All I could figure is the churches really sunk their claws into people. That out of state money was the reason why Prop 8 passed. Because without it, I don't think it would have passed. The fact that it would be fought in the courts and cost the state money would have made a difference also. But all those ads...

      All I could think it the backers used religion to get people to vote for it. And there were voters who bought that.

      •  All good points.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...especially with regard to out-of-state funding sources and the role of churches (i.e., black churches) in the CA Prop. 8 vote.  But when you think about it, aren't those factors in many elections concerning social / civil rights issues across the country?  Maine recently beat back an effort to permanently ban gay marriage in spite a lot of opposition funding from outside.  The bottom line is, each individual must take personal responsibility to be informed, and "do the right thing" when voting.  All the more surprising that usually enlightened voters in CA and OR would follow the lead of bigots.  Shame on them.

        "The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

        by Progressive Pride on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:55:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know if it could be pinned on enlightened (0+ / 0-)

          voters. There is a rather conservative element in California. Thus we had Arnold with his tent and that whole string of Republican Governors. I do think because there are a decent amount of liberals here with more of a voice that it tones down the conservative outbirks.

          However I really did feel then and now what happened is they hit it hard with the religious aspect which pulled in a number of voters who don't normally vote as much. Ones who tend to not get involved. Seems the statistics support this.

          Driving Factors of Prop 8 Vote

          There are other sites with statistical data which shows the same thing.

          I wonder also if some liberal thinking people believed it would never pass so didn't bother to vote. Which could be also due to California being one of the last states to vote. I know a lot of people there do not vote in Presidential elections because they feel it gets decided before California polls close. They feel their vote doesn't count. Well, this time they were wrong.

          •  I remember... (0+ / 0-)

            looking at the map after the vote.  Those of us living up and down the coast, in the larger cities voted against, while the eastern part of the state, north to south, supported the constitutional change.  Your points are well taken, but further underscore a significant portion of the electorate there came out in support of bigotry.  Also, no one in California could say that they were unaware of the issue on the ballot, as a result of the constant television campaigning on both sides.  But we do agree that there are definite pockets of intolerance in California.  I just never expected to see it surface the way it did.  The ban wasn't just a referendum - it was a drastic change to the state's founding document.  Pretty heavy stuff, in my opinion.

            "The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

            by Progressive Pride on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:53:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Mooney's history... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Answer Guy

    Alex Mooney during his time in the Maryland Senate was viewed very negatively by the Democratic Leadership. In fact in 2010, several of the members of the Democratic Leadership made defeating Mooney a personal issue.

    There are certainly Republican members of the Maryland Senate who don't get that level of animosity. For example, the Republican Minority Leader of the Senate E. J. Pipkin is someone who can be worked with on many issues like the Ecology of the Cheseapeake Bay (he represents an Eastern Shore district that borders the Bay).

    •  He had also long been viewed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Answer Guy

      as a potential successor to Roscoe Bartlett, when the 6th District was Republican.  

      His defeat in 2010 reduced that viability, and further closing off that possibility may have been one thing redistricters had in mind when the district was redrawn, putting his home into a district he can't win.

      37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:43:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's Only D+3 or so.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..the right kind of Republican can win this seat in the right year.

        Of course, Mooney isn't the right kind of Republican and the GOP is unlikely to produce the right kind of Republican for two reasons: the closed primary process is skewed toward wingnuts, and the horrible GOP registration numbers in MoCo put panhandle conservatives at an advantage in such a contest.  

        Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

        by Answer Guy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:12:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure who the "right kind" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          of Republican would be.  A clearly moderate Republican with many liberal stands on cultural issues could theoretically be elected, but as you say would probably be outvoted in the primary.  Plastic Fetus Boy damn sure isn't it.

          In any event, this is academic as John Delaney is no slouch in the campaign department as seen last year, nor is he likely to make any sort of huge screwup that could give an opponent an opening (and if he did he'd likely be more vulnerable in a primary than a general.)  It's telling that this district was nowhere to be seen on a recent GOP list of potential 2014 targets.

          37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

          by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:22:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Congratulations... (0+ / 0-)

            You just described Connie Morella, the last Republican to Represent any part of Montgomery County in Congress. A good chunk of the 2000 redistricting was to get her out of office.

            As far out of step as she was in the Republican party in 1998, she'd be even farther today. Do you remember Lacey Davenport from Doonesbury?

            •  I just looked her up (0+ / 0-)

              Lacey seemed as if she were modeled on Rep. Millicent Fenwick, a culturally liberal Republican from New Jersey in the 70s and 80s, though Garry Trudeau denied that.

              Connie was a good representative in many ways, though in a time when the GOP label, while a definite liability locally, wasn't as toxic as it has been since.  Even if she had survived the 2002 election she might well have lost later (or retired and the GOP would have dropped the seat.)

              But she wasn't actually the last Republican to represent any of Montgomery.  From 2003-12 the Damascus area, an atypically rural and conservative-leaning community at the northern tip of the county, was in the 6th district and thus represented by Roscoe Bartlett (it was mostly switched to the 8th in the current map.)

              37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

              by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:57:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Republicans in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Answer Guy

      Are by and large either batshit crazy or being replaced by Democrats. They're down to 12 this session. I would say in the next few cycles there will be 10 or fewer as the exurbs turn bluer.

      •  They're In Shambles (0+ / 0-)

        I was a bit surprised at what happened in 2010. Four Democratic Senators in what are (in theory at least) tough or semi-tough districts in the Baltimore burbs - Klausmeier, Brochin, Kasemeyer, and DeGrange - had little trouble with re-election. Even with Bob Ehrlich on the ballot, who probably won all those districts (except possibly for Kasemeyer's.)

        DC's exurbs are getting bluer, not sure about Baltimore's except insofar as parts of Howard and Anne Arundel once thought of us as being in Baltimore's outer orbit are more in DC's outer orbit now.

        Having said that, I can't think of a Republican-held seat that's likely to flip. Allan Kittleman is looking to get out, but the Howard County portion probably isn't blue enough to cancel out the parts of beet-red Carroll County in there.  

        Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

        by Answer Guy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:34:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alot will depend on the candidates (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, Eyesbright

          Alot of these Republican incumbents hold on because they are incumbents. In 2010 Kittleman wasn't even opposed by a Democrat. Even a few years ago, nobody would have considered Frederick as a DC suburb, but it's trending bluer. Obama only lost Frederick county in 2012 by about 4K votes. He only lost Anne Arundel County by about 200 votes.

        •  Expect to hear more from him... (0+ / 0-)

          My guess is that he will either run for Governor in 2014 or run for Howard County Executive in 2014, looking toward 2018. He's only 54 years old, he has some time.

          In some ways I hope he runs for Governor. Given that he voted for SSM, the knives would be out in the Republican Primary.

          OTOH, he got his position in the Maryland Senate when he was appointed to finish his Father's term.

        •  Least worried about the State Senate (0+ / 0-)

          Right now the Democrats have the Governor's Mansion, and 2/3 Majority in both houses. OTOH in 2010, we did lose 6 seats in the House (exactly balancing the 2 won in the Senate which is 1/3 the size) and are at 69.7% now. State Senate is at 74.5% Democratic...

          I realize that there are still progressive issues to be put on the table, but I can alsovery much understand if Maryland is used as a place simply to raise money for Democrats so it can be used somewhere else that needs it more.

  •  Come on Oregon, get with the program! (0+ / 0-)

    It is an odd feeling having grown up in Oregon and living in Washington.   I've almost forgotten that other states are still fighting over gay rights.   We are past that and in the process of getting one of the other major stupidities of our time (drug laws) worked out.  

    Are we going to have to tackle immigration reform and gun laws ourselves, also?   Oh well, if we must, but from this vantage point it feels like the other states are stuck in the dark ages.

  •  Midterm election a good or bad idea? (0+ / 0-)

    One of the most critical aspects of the pro-equality victories in 2012 was the fully mobilized electorate that regularly turns out for Presidential elections.

    As I understand it, midterm elections have not generally brought out the same numbers of voters in general, and more specifically, youth/progressive/Democratic voters.

    I'm not a proponent of delay, but I wonder if it would be better to wait for a popular referendum on gay marriage until we know for sure we'll have the votes, in 2016.

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