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Leading Off:

SC-01: Following last week's utter Mark Sanford lunacy, Public Policy Polling went back into South Carolina's 1st Congressional District and finds that things really do not look good for the former governor in the upcoming May 7 special election. Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch's narrow lead last month has expanded considerably:

Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D): 50 (47)
Mark Sanford (R): 41 (45)
Eugene Platt (G): 3 (--)
Undecided: 5 (8)
What's amazing, though, is that Sanford's approval rating hasn't dropped, though it's certainly not good: He's at 38-56, which is actually an improvement from his 34-58 mark in March. Colbert Busch, though, has also seen her numbers move up, to a remarkably strong 56-31, from 45-31 last time. So what accounts for the change in the toplines?

Well, it seems like Democratic enthusiasm is way up, and Republican enthusiasm is way down. This district voted for Mitt Romney by a 58-40 margin in 2012, and in PPP's first poll, respondents said they had supported Romney by a figure very close to that spread, 56-40. Now that gap is down to a remarkable 50-45, which either means PPP wound up with a too-blue sample or, simply, that Democrats are now pumped for this race and Republicans are less eager to answer their phones when a pollster calls. If anyone could inspire that kind of phenomenon, it's Mark Sanford.

To catch you up on what's transpired lately, were it not for the tragedies in Boston and Texas, Sanford probably would have been the top news story last week. It began Tuesday night, when the AP reported that Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, had filed a legal complaint alleging that her former husband had violated the terms of their divorce agreement and trespassed at her home. The next day, Sanford denied nothing and instead offered up a cockamamie explanation that revolved around not wanting his 14-year-old son to have to watch the Super Bowl alone.

By that point, though, the proverbial damage had already been done, in a fashion only the incomparable Mark Sanford could manage. By Wednesday afternoon, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced, on the record, that it was cutting Sanford off and wouldn't support his special election bid. (In a district this conservative, it's remarkable that Sanford would even need help in the first place.) Other right-wing groups like the Club for Growth quickly followed suit. Republican frustration with their own nominee has to be at record levels, but once again, it's a self-inflicted wound.

As the GOP was rushing out, though, Democrats rushed in. The House Majority PAC jumped first, throwing down the first $107,000 installment of a reported half-million dollar buy on a TV ad attacking Sanford over his ethical misdeeds, including his notorious 2009 hike on the Appalachian Trail. A day later, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee came in with $208,000 on a spot hitting the same themes, albeit much more darkly.

Now the progressive veterans organization VoteVets has also gotten into the act, with a $30,000 spot featuring a retired National Guard colonel who lacerates Sanford for his disappearing act. Says the officer, who did a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was 58 years old and now lives in the district, "If I had abandoned my post, I could be court-martialed." It's a very searing way to frame the issue.

But of course, it's the trespassing making news right now, and that's obviously hurting Sanford. According to PPP, 51 percent of respondents harbor "serious" or "somewhat serious" doubts about his "fitness for public office," versus 44 percent who do not. This issue mostly divides along party lines, with Republicans largely unconcerned—but not entirely. It helps explain why Colbert Busch is pulling the support of 19 percent of self-identified Republicans while only 7 percent of Democrats say they're backing Sanford.

And apparently believing that when you're explaining, you're winning, Sanford has reduced himself to taking out a full-page ad in the Charleston Post and Courier featuring an incredibly lengthy account of his encounter with his wife at her home on Super Bowl Sunday as well as a deeply boring response to the various Democratic attack ads described above. He manages to compare his situation to the Alamo and even asks people to call him on his cell phone "if you have any further questions"! Sad doesn't begin to cover it. (Also, didn't most of the guys at the Alamo die?)

Remember, though, that this is still extremely red turf: Only three Democrats sit in seats more Republican than this. So if Colbert Busch were to win, it would still be a remarkable upset—and an extremely tough district to hold in 2014. But you always have to play to win, and right now, Democrats have a shot, thanks to one man. Mark Sanford has proven once again what a singular force he is in American politics. With him, anything is possible.

P.S. Count South Carolina's Republican congressional delegation on the list of those trying to jet away from Sanford at Mach 3. To a man, they all refused to discuss him when approached by reporters last week. And this week, both senators and all five GOP congressmen were scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Sanford in DC, but The Hill reports that the event has been cancelled. I'll be very curious to see Sanford's FEC report this Thursday, since he may well be having serious money problems at this point.


HI-Sen: An unnamed DSCC official, "speaking on background," tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the campaign committee is "supporting" recently appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in his bid to win the final two years of the late Sen. Dan Inouye's term in 2014. The news comes on the heels of an inconclusive report a few days earlier in the Washington Post that said that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who was passed over for the position Schatz won, had talked with the DSCC about a possible challenge in the Democratic primary. The WaPo piece, however, didn't describe the outcome of the meeting.

Presumably, the DS would prefer not to have to worry about spending money to prop up Schatz (if they even intend to at all), so this kind of statement looks like a public warning shot to Hanabusa—though you have to wonder why it was necessary to take it to the papers. (Was the message not adequately conveyed or received in their reported get-together?) If the DSCC succeeds in deterring Hanabusa, that may push her toward a run against Gov. Neil Abercrombie instead, since the DGA isn't typically in the business of helping incumbents survive primaries. Or Hanabusa might just take the path of least resistance and seek re-election.

MA-Sen: Western New England University's new Massachusetts Senate special election poll is a bit odd. For one, it was in the field for a remarkably long eight days—and the second half of the poll was conducted after the Boston Marathon bombings, when all candidates suspended their campaigns and I suspect most Bay Staters had other things on their minds. The other strange thing is that despite the lengthy field period, the sample sizes are incredibly small: just 270 for the Democratic primary and an unacceptably crummy 128 for the Republican contest.

The number of Democratic respondents is really below acceptable minimums, but for what it's worth, Rep. Ed Markey edges Rep. Stephen Lynch 44-34, continuing his unbroken series of leads in all public polling released to date. Lynch performs better in the general election (something we've also seen before in one or two surveys), cruising by margins in the 30s, whereas Markey leads in the mid-to-high teens. If Lynch wants to make some kind of electability argument, he's almost run out of time (Election Day is April 30), but in any event, Markey's over 50 percent, so it wouldn't be an especially strong one.

As for the GOP side, I can't really bring myself to mention polling data from such an abysmally tiny sample, but I will say that they somewhat resemble an early April internal from businessman Gabriel Gomez (conducted by OnMessage) that portrays him and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan as the leading candidates, with state Rep. Dan Winslow trailing. They all fare similarly in the general elections matchups mentioned above, though.

MI-Sen: It sure seemed like Debbie Dingell was building up a head of steam for a Senate run, but she apparently had a change of heart over the weekend and decided not to seek retiring Sen. Carl Levin's open seat. Dingell, a DNC committee woman and the wife of record-setting veteran Rep. John Dingell, did give a shout out to Rep. Gary Peters in her statement announcing her choice, calling him a "good candidate" and adding that "a primary would be divisive at a time that cries out for unity." Peters is at the top of Democratic wish lists and while he hasn't made up his mind about a bid for Senate yet, this may signal that he and Dingell have spoken and that he's perhaps closer to getting into the race.

SD-Sen: At long last, ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has decided to speak on the record about her intentions regarding South Dakota's open seat Senate race. Herseth Sandlin says she's been having "serious conversations" about running with family members and supporters and plans to decide "in the next few weeks," in the phrasing of the Argus Leader. She doesn't sound super jazzed about the prospect, though, saying she loves her job as general counsel for Raven Industries, a local high-tech manufacturing firm, and that she's also "loving my family life in Sioux Falls"—something that a return trip to DC would seriously impinge on. But one reads tea leaves at one's own peril.

The other top Democrat who may be looking at the race, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, has declined to comment because his current role as a civil servant precludes him from engaging in partisan political activity. If he were to make the jump, he'd presumably have to resign as U.S.A.


MI-Gov: There's a ton of undecideds in EPIC-MRA's new Michigan poll, but this definitely isn't where GOP Gov. Rick Snyder wants to find himself. Ex-Rep. Mark Schauer has a bare 39-38 lead over the incumbent, while another Democrat, ex-Rep. Bart Stupak, trails by the same margin. Those numbers are pretty similar to the 40-36 edge for Schauer that PPP found in early March. (Stupak only started expressing interest more recently, so he wasn't tested back then.) Interestingly, Schauer performs just a touch better than the conservative Stupak, despite the latter being better known.

PA-Gov/Sen/07: Joe Sestak, the confounding honey badger of Pennsylvania politics, confounds us yet again. The excellent Keegan Gibson reports that Sestak, who, so far as anyone is aware, isn't actually running for anything at the moment, nevertheless managed to raise $460,000 in the first quarter of the year. The money went into Sestak's federal account, which is formally designated for a Senate race but has been renamed "Friends of Joe Sestak" from "Sestak for Senate." That means Sestak could use the funds for another Senate run in 2016 or try to win back his old House seat in the 7th District, now held by GOP Rep. Pat Meehan.

Or, under Pennsylvania law, he could transfer that money to a state-level account for, say, a gubernatorial bid, something that Rep. Allyson Schwartz just did to the tune of $3 million. Abiding by federal contribution limits allows Sestak to retain more flexibility in terms of how he uses his money, but if he does decide to run for governor, it would put him at a monetary disadvantage, since the Keystone State doesn't have a cap on contributions. Of course, Sestak could just go back to his donors and ask them to give more, and considering he pulled in half a million bucks without anyone noticing and while not even telling people what office, if any, he's running for, it doesn't seem like he has much difficulty raising money.


CA-17: Hey! It's Ro Khanna's first noteworthy endorsement in his quixotic race to unseat fellow Democrat Mike Honda—and, naturally, it's from the biggest d-bag in California politics! I guess if Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is all you've got... well, actually, no. I wouldn't bother trying to court the unctuous slickster Newsom in the first place, and if he wanted to endorse me, I'd decline as quickly as I would a free ticket on the National Review's annual cruise. This may well be one case where beggars should be choosers.

CA-03: For whatever it's worth, term-limited GOP state Rep. Dan Logue, who said back in January that he was considering a bid against Rep. John Garamendi, now says he's formed a proverbial exploratory committee.

GA-11: State Sen. Barry Loudermilk is the newest entrant into the GOP primary for the seat left open by Rep. Phil Gingrey, who is seeking a promotion to the Senate. Jim Galloway describes Loudermilk as a "constitutionalist... in the mold of Paul Broun," which means that if you like your Republican caucus as crazy as possible, root for him. The other declared candidates in this dark red district so far are state Rep. Edward Lindsey and ex-Rep. Bob Barr.

LA-06: Roll Call is calling their newest feature "The Field," but you could also just dub it "The Great Mentioner," since their intention is to run through lists of potential candidates in interesting Senate and House races. First up is Louisiana's 6th Congressional District, which GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy has just left open on account of his newly launched Senate bid. This is an extremely red seat (66-32 Romney), so you can expect all the action to be on the Republican side. Kyle Trygstad identifies several state legislators who could make a bid: state Sen. Dan Claitor, and state Reps. Erich Ponti, Hunter Greene, and Steve Carter.

But the most intriguing name is ex-Rep. Jeff Landry. Landry seems to be focusing on his new super PAC these days, so a run for office seems less likely. But it could be a good way for Cassidy to get him out of his hair, since Landry had chiefly been eyeing a Senate bid before creating his new PAC that's intended to support uber-conservative House candidates. Landry doesn't live in the 6th, but he did represent about 21 percent of it during his single term in office (before redistricting), so that might give him a bit of a base to start off with.

Other Races:

LA Mayor: It seems like City Controller Wendy Greuel is going to have to change things up in a meaningful way in order to have a shot in next month's mayoral runoff. After taking first place in the primary, City Councilor Eric Garcetti has held considerable leads in all public polling since then, and the new USC/LA Times survey is no different. (The poll was conducted by Republican firm M4 Strategies and Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group.) Garcetti has a 50-40 edge over Greuel, very similar to the 49-40 lead SurveyUSA recently gave him.

Apparently mindful of this, Greuel recently launched the first negative TV ad of the campaign, attacking Garcetti as a self-dealer. One of the claims involves an oil lease owned by Garcetti that earned him all of $1.25 a year, which seems like a bit of a stretch. Anyhow, the spot is paired with a positive ad touting endorsements from Magic Johnson and Sen. Barbara Boxer, and the two commercials are reportedly splitting a $700,000 buy. Bill Clinton's also been stumping for Greuel some more, but unlike some other recent primaries where a Big Dog endorsement seemed to have a noticeable impact, Clinton's support seems like it's getting somewhat lost in the giant-sized Los Angeles shuffle.

Grab Bag:

Fundraising: March fundraising reports are now available for all six of the major party committees:

Committee Mar. Receipts Mar. Spent Cash-on-Hand CoH Change Debt
DCCC $10,213,197 $8,922,776 $8,873,004 $1,290,421 $4,500,000
NRCC $8,085,101 $4,383,335 $8,108,294 $3,701,766 $8,250,000
DSCC $5,200,000 $8,400,000 $3,300,000 $15,000,000
NRSC $3,200,000 $5,300,000 $2,200,000 $9,500,000
DNC $5,696,640 $3,850,304 $5,893,715 $1,846,335 $22,564,236
RNC $6,356,674 $5,187,851 $8,671,852 $1,168,823 $0
Total Dem $21,109,836 $12,773,080 $23,166,718 $6,436,756 $42,064,236
Total GOP $17,641,776 $9,571,186 $22,080,146 $7,070,589 $17,750,000
House and Senate Democrats continued to stick it to their Republican counterparts, with the DCCC raising a record $22.6 million in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the NRSC put up their worst quarter in 10 years (though they did pick up four Senate seats that cycle). The DCCC also paid down a large chunk of its debt, which stood at nearly $11 million just a month ago. Despite that, they were still able to increase their cash stockpile.

NRCC: On Monday, the NRCC rolled out the first batch of 2014 inductees into its "Patriot Program," their counterpart to the DCCC's "Frontline Program" aimed at shoring up vulnerable incumbents. Ten of their 11 picks are freshmen or sophomores (CO-06's Mike Coffman is the only exception), and almost all of them had tough races last cycle (they averaged 52 percent) or can expect tough races this cycle. The most surprising inclusions are Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08), who handily defeated a good challenger last year, and Bob Gibbs (OH-07), whose once-touted opponent failed to catch fire. PA-08 at least is a swingy district, though, while OH-07 went for Romney by 10. Gibbs, though, may get a serious challenge from ex-Rep. John Boccieri.

The absences are more notable. Gary Miller (CA-31) has the distinction of serving the bluest seat in the nation held by a Republican. He also refused to say whether he was running for re-election when asked a few weeks ago, so perhaps he's already dead man walking (out the door). Dan Benishek (MI-01) was targeted heavily last year as well but also is not on the list. These rosters can change at any time, of course, and it's not like the NRCC is obligated to add someone to the rolls if they're vulnerable and need help, so at best, it's just a partial look at the seats Republicans are concerned about defending.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  watch out ECB (7+ / 0-)

    Mark Sanford might sneak into your house and watch the Superbowl with your son too.

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

    by sapelcovits on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:07:36 AM PDT

  •  Woo Hoo! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Say "No" to Chained CPI.

    by Arlys on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:16:29 AM PDT

  •  RRH lurkers/posters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, RUNDOWN

    any of you guys read the posts by TexasR? He can be a decent poster at times, but he has to be one of the biggest broken records. He thinks that if the GOP can stick to the fiscal issues, then they win. While he may be on to something, he is a pompous know it all and his age (he's barely out of high school) makes it all the more funny.

    I sort of wish IJB was still there because he always had a way of fanning the flame. The person who argues with TexasR the most is SonoftheSouth who basically wants the GOP to become a type of Third Positionist party (Occidental Observer or Vdare).

    Not sure if this is representative of the GOP as a whole, but if there is GOP infighting, this makes the opportunity all the more riper to hit the elephant with a 2x4.

    RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

    by demographicarmageddon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:32:24 AM PDT

    •  What is RRH ? I may be missing something but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not sure what stands for.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:16:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I saw under the CA-52 diary (from a link here) (0+ / 0-)

      he had an argument with SotS over something in Republicanism called "fusionism."

      "It is the stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

      by KingofSpades on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:26:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

        but I suspect fusionism is referring to the combination of social and fiscal stances that Republicans use to win evangelicals and Chamber of Commerce allies.

        "It is the stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world." -Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

        by KingofSpades on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:31:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a William F Buckley word (3+ / 0-)

        for using the libertarian creed of smallest of small government and selling that to social conservatives as a way to protect "Traditional America" from government agendas.

        This was the Poli-Sci term to describe Reagan Republicanism.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:38:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mitt Romney Lost The Last Election..... (0+ / 0-)

      .....mostly because he DID talk about fiscal issues through the prism of the GOP's plutocratic worldview.  Doubling down on the party's untenable economic policies will not endear them to new voters....and it may cost them some of the social conservatives/economic populists in their ranks.

    •  Differences in values (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christopher Walker

      Most everyone, Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated has an order in which their values are of importance. A lot of people here for instance are very liberal, but some seem to harp more on economic equality, while others focus on gay rights, or equal pay for women, or whatever. It isn't that those two disagree, its just that they feel more strongly about economic or social issues than the other. And their worldviews cloud their judgement about what Republican policies will sell best to 50.1%. And really it is fundamentally different groups of people you're trying to bring into the fold if you focus on one vs. another. There are fiscally liberal social conservatives, especially in the minority communities that could be attracted to hard core SoCons. Whereas there were socially liberal fiscal conservatives, especially bin more affluent white suburbs. It really is a matter of which voters they are trying to attract.

      I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

      by OGGoldy on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DC Municipal elections today (4+ / 0-)

    For an at-large council seat. It looks like it's going to come down to a former Republican who is now says he's an independent or an old school DC machine candidate with some question marks in her past.

    Also on the ballot is a question about giving DC full control of their budget. It would be non-binding since it would take an act of Congress (literally) to change the way DC gets to spends its money.  

  •  Sanford is pathetic (9+ / 0-)

    He is running for a really red house seat.  

    The guy really seriously thought that this election would help restore his name and career.  

    This election is all about him.  

    I bet the guy is still trying to win his estranged wife over.  

    It would be nice to have an ad with Sanford looking into the camera, and saying in a sexy voice, " Call me."


    by otto on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:49:12 AM PDT

  •  Keep stalking the former family, Mark. (7+ / 0-)

    The scary-ex-husband vote is under sampled.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:09:33 AM PDT

  •  but just days ago..... (0+ / 0-)

    Sanford expands lead......

    51% say the revelations about his trespassing last week give them doubts about his fitness for public office. Interestingly, the events of the last week haven't hurt Sanford too much with Republicans though- 65% say the trespassing charges don't give them any doubts about him, and his favorability with GOP voters has actually improved from 55/39 a month ago to now 61/32.

    While Mark Sanford's poll numbers with Republicans have improved since the last time we looked at this race, Jenny Sanford's have gone in the other direction. What was a 57/15 favorability rating for her with Republicans is now 47/27, suggesting that a lot of GOP voters are holding the trespassing allegations against her instead of her ex-husband.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:10:54 AM PDT

    •  Not quite a "lead" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, MartyM

      It's his standing with Republicans. The fact that he's still at 32 percent unfavorable in his own party his not good news for him.

      As the blockquote says, it seems a bunch of Republicans in the district didn't like him until he started stalking his family, and those same people liked his ex until she tried to enforce a court order.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:52:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mark Sanford is extraordinarily egotistical... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and that's saying something for a politician. He's apparently delusional too. I sure don't want to watch the Super Bowl with him.

  •  Sanford Out With Ad Attacking Busch (0+ / 0-)

    Attacking labor union connections. Don't want any of those commie labor leaders from the north around here.

    Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose campaign in the 1st district special election was rocked last week by the revelation that he’d allegedly trespassed at his ex-wife’s house, is going back on offense against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a new ad today. The ad hits Colbert Busch for her ties to unions, calling her “Labor’s voice” and quoting the Democratic candidate as saying, “The voices of the union are not being heard.” “Colbert Busch is funded by labor union special interest money, even the one who tried to shut down Boeing,” the ad’s narrator says. “In Congress she’ll return the favor.” The ad, which begins running across broadcast and cable TV today, is Sanford’s first big move to get past the trespassing bombshell of last week — an issue that cost him the support of the NRCC and made him the underdog in his battle to win back his old congressional seat. Sanford ran a full-page ad in the Post & Courier explaining the trespassing incident
  •  Anyone have details from MN-06? (0+ / 0-)

    And I mean election news, not legal scandal news.

    There is not a single race I will enjoy watching more in 2010 then MN-06 if we can pull it off.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:35:32 AM PDT

    •  It is a very Republican district (0+ / 0-)

      And it'd be quite an expensive race for a 2 year rental.

      As far as election news goes, Jim Graves is in, and that's about all that has been going on other than Bachmann being bruised up a bit by the whole Iowa ordeal.

      I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat

      by OGGoldy on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:59:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While Labor is very unpopular in SC, it is not (5+ / 0-)

    nearly as toxic to a candidate as in say the Upstate where the textile economy is now the BMW economy.  In the Lowcountry (SC-1), labor unions associated with our ports (Longshoremen, Stevedores, Habor Pilots, Teamsters) have long been (for the most part) accepted as the price of doing business (sort of like the Mafia in Bergen County, NJ).  Now, if the Boeing plant in North Charleston tried to unionize, all hell would break out.  People are fighting like dogs to get those $25.00+ an hour jobs and if the folks who have those jobs now tried to unionize, there would be a war.   Sanford is trying to tie Colbert-Busch's support from unions to apprehension about a potential unionizing war at Boeing.  It's a smart strategy that just might have worked ... if he wasn't Mark Sanford ...

    •  Just a sad commentary (0+ / 0-)

      when being associated with labor is "toxic" to a candidate. I think I'll stay up here.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:54:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The reality is that there just isn't much (0+ / 0-)

        organized labor down here.  Because unions are a bit exotic, they are easy for politicians to demagogue.  That said, there is a strong philosophical opposition down here to the concept of a "closed shop."  In the private economy, I don't think most folks have a problem with voluntary associations of people collectively bargaining for pay and benefits.  It is the notion of forced association that gets people (and by people - I mean working people, hourly wage earners) upset.  Folks down here (in the Lowcountry anyway) take their freedoms very seriously, and I think most people appreciate not only their freedom of association but also their freedom NOT to associate.

        When it comes to public employee unions (public employee collective bargaining and strikes are illegal in SC), however, it is a completely different story.  If Sanford is able to tie Colbert-Busch to public employee unions, it could be a game- changer.  Hopefully, she is smart enough to have not taken any money from them. They are absolute pariahs. Folks still cling to the notion of public service as a calling - as an intentional sacrifice for the public good.  Just as you wouldn't go into the ministry to make money, you wouldn't go into to public service to make money.  So in that context, public unions are seen as working to raise taxes so they can create larger bureaucracies of people who are concerned about turf instead of service...  I know, we really are different down here.  But, we have a whole lot of people move in (and a lot of them are "progressives") and practically no one moving out...

        •  Polar opposite view (0+ / 0-)

          The courts already have given them all the freedom not to join the need. There is no "closed shop" anywhere in the U.S., just a "union shop" if you can bargain for it. The issue is whether people can be compelled to provide financial support for a collective bargaining rep via dues. Without it you have a huge "free rider" problem. I don't understand people whose idea of "freedom" leaves them free to remain broke and powerless. It seems it's that conception of "freedom," and the policies enacted when people vote based on it, that makes unions so rare and "exotic" there.

          And public sector? That's just insane. My grandmother was a union public school teacher for decades and nobody suggested she shouldn't be paid decently. What are they saying about all the unionized police here in Massachusetts who just caught this bomber? Yeah, I'll stay where I am.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:25:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A "Union Shop" is a "Closed Shop" if you (0+ / 0-)

            are forcing someone to pay union dues as a condition of their employment.  Freedom will only leave you broke and powerless if you choose to remain broke and powerless.  Don't like your pay? Go find a better paying job.  Can't find a better paying one? Then perhaps you are being paid what you are worth.

            Three of my grandparents were teachers as were both of my parents as are my spouse and sibling.   It is a noble profession that pays reasonably well down here in non-union SC.  A public school teacher with 15 years experience and a master's degree makes 50k-60k depending on the school district and subject matter.  Become nationally certified and its an extra 7.5k a year.  Benefits are superior to most any private sector employment anywhere.  Teachers at a quality independent school will make about 95% of what they would make in the public sector.  When you consider the reasonably low cost of living (except for housing right along the coast) and that average per capita income is around half of that, it's not a bad life - a much better life than trying to live in Massachusetts on say 90k a year. But here's the thing: the best teachers (and my wife and sister are consistently recognized at the state and national level as being among the best) deserve to be paid more.  The least capable third or so of public school teachers deserve to make less.  Even in non-union SC, school districts use the mindless step-grade pay system because it is easier than thinking I suppose.

            •  Not a closed shop (0+ / 0-)

              A closed shop requires you to join the union before you can be hired. A union shop - quite reasonably - requires that you pay for being represented. Without it you have free riders that kill the very possibility of being represented at all. And that's why SC is about 4% union.

              As far as the definition of "freedom" there, I think the evidence speaks for itself in the very fact that the average per capita income is so much lower than the (low) teacher salaries. Don't negotiate for better pay where you are, go find a better-paying job? Sounds like you don't have many better-paying jobs. If you're being paid a pittance you're being paid what you're worth? Sounds like even the liberals down there are right wing.

              The problem with the alternatives to step-grade pay is that it's hard to measure quality. Those pay scales were put in place because of abuse by administrators giving raises to those who went along with their agenda and not to anyone who raised objections. The primary "objective" measure being pushed is test scores. I guess using test scores is easier than thinking, too.

              And 50-60K after 15 years? My wife, with a master's, made that in year one and two. 90K in Massachusetts is just fine. Even if they paid a million in South Carolina you wouldn't get us there.

              Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

              by fenway49 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 05:25:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not sure whether you understand that (0+ / 0-)

                I am not a "liberal" in the "welfare state liberal" sense of the term.  Classical liberalism is the philosophy of our founding fathers and those who influenced them (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill).  Modern or "Welfare State Liberalism" as developed by Keynes, Debs, Henry Wallace, Huey Long, the AFL-CIO, and LBJ is something else entirely.  The thing is once you go "big fed" to help the poor, it is a short trip to going big fed to fight an unconstitutional, unnecessary and unprovoked war in Vietnam (JFK, LBJ).

                And I have spent enough time in Boston to know that 90k a year up there is no better than 60k a year down here.  My larger point is that if you are going into the education profession (or any field of public service) particularly concerned about your level of compensation, you need to do something else with your life.  First, there are easier ways to make a lot more money.  Second, there are plenty of talented, dedicated, public-spirited folks out there who will do your job better for less pay.  I remember well an old hippie college professor of mine being very concerned about calls for increasing teacher pay back in the 80s.  His reasoning was that if you raise the pay of all teachers high enough, the incompetent ones will never get frustrated, quit, and become insurances salespeople.  Pretty irrefutable logic in my opinion.

  •  I so want to be a fly on the wall in those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Faito

    hundreds of SC "conservative family values Republican" homes where voters are doing rhetorical pretzel-twists-- a.k.a. making rankly hypocritical excuses-- to justify Sanford as their candidate of choice.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:53:15 AM PDT

  •  Max Baucus is retiring... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


  •  Time for Schweitzer! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dopper0189, some other george

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:09:14 AM PDT

  •  I still can't believe the GOP nominated Sanford (0+ / 0-)

    it wasn't the fact he cheated, it's the whole way he handled it he is clearly unstable.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:41:46 AM PDT

    •  Huge number of candidates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the primary makes it easier for someone with high name recognition to emerge with a fairly low percentage of the vote.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:55:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep - and the candidates were of dubious (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fenway49, dopper0189

        quality.  A few state legislators who were thought to be serious contenders fell on their faces on the larger stage.  Teddy Turner ran a strong campaign finishing 4th out of 16.  He would be sailing (no pun intended) to victory if he were the nominee.  But, despite Teddy's pretending to be more conservative than he is and his distancing himself from his already-estranged father, he couldn't get quite make it to a runoff where he may well have beat Sanford.  Instead, Sanford drew a Christian Coalitioner who was dead on arrival in a district where "Keep my taxes low, but let the good time roll" is the mantra of a significant majority of Republicans (and non-Republicans for that matter)...

  •  very soon with the way (0+ / 0-)

    the polls are trending we may see sanford either disappear on the imaginary trail he is so famous for or just break down and shed a tear in the hope of garnering votes of sympathy.

  •  SC-1, 50-45 mitt supporters not surprise. Band (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    wagon effect usually leads people to favor eventual winner in greater numbers than actual.  My company asked the Pres-pref question a couple years after 2000, and suddenly a slight majority supported Bush.  As professional pollster I see this all of the time, so that shouldn't be a concern with the SC-01 poll.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:13:48 AM PDT

  •  So where's the Act Blue link. I love spending $3 (0+ / 0-)

    on such worthy causes.

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