7:26 AM PT: LA-05: That was quick. Even though Rep. Rodney Alexander won't resign until next month, Gov. Bobby Jindal has already set the dates for the special election to replace him. The election will be held on Oct. 19, and if no one gets more than 50 percent, a runoff will take place on Nov. 16. Candidates must file by Aug. 21. Also, clearing up any confusion about his party affiliation, Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy confirmed that he's considering the race, and added that "in some ways I believe the district favors a centrist conservative Democrat like myself."
8:00 AM PT: SC-Sen-A: From the "Not Ready for Prime Time" Dept.: Sen. Lindsey Graham's newest primary challenger, Nancy Mace, re-tweeted a tweet in which a supporter referred to Graham as a "nancy boy"—then swiftly deleted it. (The Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops site recovered it.) Mace blamed the incident on a staffer, but amusingly, she refused to say how many people are working for her campaign; given that she just launched, that number could conceivably be zero, if all she has so far is a general consultant. But while Mace receives noogies from the media, I'm sure that insinuations about Graham's sexuality play just fine in a GOP primary.
9:04 AM PT: IA-01: After weighing the race since at least May, state House Speaker Kraig Paulsen has ultimately decided not seek the House seat left open due to Rep. Bruce Braley's bid for Senate. Paulsen would likely have been the GOP's best bet, but he would have faced a tough race in this blue-leaning seat. Two other Republicans are running, though: businessmen Steve Rathje and Rod Blum.
9:12 AM PT: CO-Sen: Here we go: Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who somehow managed to screw up a Senate race in 2010 that any halfway-decent Republican ought to have won, is going to try again. Only this time, instead of running against an appointed incumbent during a monster GOP wave, he'll be looking to take on freshman Sen. Mark Udall, who has established himself well after scoring a strong initial victory five years ago. In addition to much longer odds, the tea partying Buck also faces a contested Republican primary, since state Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Owen Hill are already running. Buck has to imagine he'll do better this time, but the facts on the ground augur otherwise.
10:57 AM PT: Georgia: There's not too much to talk about in PPP's batch of Georgia miscellany. The state remains broadly hostile to same-sex marriage, but at least the trends are in the expected direction: The electorate stands at 32 percent in favor and 60 opposed now, compared to 27-65 last year.
11:22 AM PT: HI-Sen: Christopher Raymond, the congressional aide who sent that notorious email trying to facilitate coordination between the drug industry lobbying group PhRMA and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's Senate campaign on a supposedly "independent" expenditure, has now quit. Raymond's departure follows the filing of an FEC complaint over the matter by a local attorney, but regardless of whether any kind of sanction is ever issued, PhRMA will now have to tread very cautiously in this race.
1:40 PM PT: Democrats already have one candidate, though, in state Rep. Marcus Hunter, who just joined the race. (Another Dem, state Rep. Katrina Jackson, has declined.) Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Neil Riser continues to quickly consolidate establishment support. Rep. Charles Boustany has now endorsed him, in addition to Rep. John Fleming, who did so a day earlier.
1:53 PM PT: HI-01: Two more Democrats are jumping into the primary for Hawaii's open 1st District: state Rep. Mark Takai and Honolulu Council Member Ikaika Anderson. They join state Sen. Will Espero and Honolulu Council Member Stanley Chang, who are already in the race.
2:24 PM PT (David Jarman): Campaign finance: You may remember when we flagged a mammoth new database full of campaign finance information assembled by poli sci professor Adam Bonica several weeks ago, and wondered what you could do with it. Well, here's one good way of putting it to use: it's a chart that tries to pin down the donor habits of some of the biggest-name, wealthiest donors, describing their ideological position by relation to the ideology of the politicians they contribute to. As a comparison point, it also compares top 0.01% donors versus small donors, who tend to give less to establishment figures and more to more polarized names.
Donors sort out mostly where you'd expect them to: George Soros and Warren Buffett left of center (though not as much as Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin), Koches and Waltons on the right. Tech figures tend to wind up in the middle, especially Jeff Bezos (who, with his recent Washington Post purchase, is the main reason this chart is getting talked about) ... though "middle" might not be an accurate descriptor for the more libertarian-minded Bezos, as seen by his giving for Washington ballot initiatives (very much in favor of same-sex marriage, very much against income taxation).
2:43 PM PT: KY-Sen: It's not a good day to be Jesse Benton. When you're already accused of selling out the tea party to take a job managing Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign, you probably really don't want to get caught on tape saying this:
I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years. What we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16.Benton's true feelings came to light because former Ron Paul aide Dennis Fusaro has gone public with accusations that Paul's presidential campaign paid off Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson to switch his allegiance from Michele Bachmann to Paul just before last year's Iowa caucuses. Fusaro has released a whole bunch of emails and recorded phone calls to make his case, and rather notably, Benton—who serves as Paul's campaign chair—appears on a number of communications involving Sorenson. (Sorenson is already under investigation by the Iowa state Senate over allegations he accepted improper payments from Bachmann.)
2:53 PM PT: NYC Mayor: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is now the second Democrat to go up on the air (following City Council Speaker Christine Quinn), with a spot featuring his awesomely-coifed 15-year-old son Dante:
The younger de Blasio says his father is "only Democrat with the guts to really break from the Bloomberg years" and then goes on to tout his dad's progressive aims, saying he'll "raise taxes on the rich" to fund education and "will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color." That last line packs an unusual punch: Bill de Blasio is white, and his wife is African-American, so stop-and-frisk undoubtedly means something personally to a kid who looks like Dante. De Blasio is reportedly spending a sizable $800,000 to air the ad over the next two weeks.