8:05 AM PT: KY Redistricting: Kentucky lawmakers have returned to the state capitol for a special session called by Gov. Steve Beshear to finish the long-delayed work of legislative redistricting. The legislature actually passed a set of maps last year but they were thrown out in court; because there wasn't time for the Republican-held Senate and the Democratic-controlled House to agree on a new set, the 2012 elections were held under old maps which were badly out of date. That won't happen again, though: If both sides can't reach a deal on new lines, a federal court has said it will step in and draw new districts itself.
8:21 AM PT: MI-Sen: After briefly flirting with a Senate bid, GOP Rep. Dave Camp evidently concluded what every outside observer had: He'd be giving up a safe House seat—and a lot of seniority—for a longshot chance at a promotion. So, wisely, he's decided against the Senate race, though interestingly, in his statement announcing the decision, he didn't say anything about seeking re-election. Regardless of what Camp now does next year, though, it seems like all he's accomplished is to reinforce the fact that national Republicans are dissatisfied with their only announced candidate so far, ex-SoS Terri Lynn Land.
Meanwhile, in response to Camp's move, Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra says he's considering the race afresh. (Holland, in western Michigan, has a population of just 33,000.) And another Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, still hasn't made up his mind, though he sounds unlikely to join. On the Democratic side, Rep. Gary Peters has an unobstructed path to the nomination.
8:42 AM PT: OR-Sen: Freshman Sen. Jeff Merkley finally has his first declared opponent, former Linn County Republican Party chair Jo Rae Perkins. Perkins is a tea partier who's never run for office before and sits at the Some Dude end of the spectrum, which gives you a sense about both GOP enthusiasm for taking on Merkley and the state of the party's bench in Oregon.
8:47 AM PT: PA-Gov: Former state Auditor Jack Wagner, who lost a bid for Pittsburgh mayor earlier this year, is reportedly considering a late entry into the Democratic primary for governor. Unnamed sources tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Wagner will apparently decide next month. He'd face a crowded field, though, with several big-name contenders, including Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Treasurer Rob McCord, though Wagner would be the main contender from the western part of the state.
9:01 AM PT: WY-Sen: Despite formally announcing his re-election plans last month, and despite, of course, the challenge he faces from Liz Cheney in the GOP primary, Sen. Mike Enzi still hasn't kicked his campaign into gear. Enzi has no website and, according to the Casper Star-Tribune, no campaign staff, either. Hrm.
10:06 AM PT: Or maybe this line just says it all: "Perkins announced her candidacy in Salem at the Capitol to one audience member, the press and a Democratic operative."
10:28 AM PT: NYC Mayor: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is out with his second ad, which like the first, focuses heavily on stop-and-frisk. This time, de Blasio speaks to the camera himself, saying that he and his wife have talked to their biracial son Dante, the star of de Blasio's first spot, "many times about the fact that some day you will be stopped." The airwaves are getting pretty crowded now, since ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Comptroller Bill Thompson both went on the air last week, while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is up with her second ad.
11:27 AM PT: NY-11: Ofer Biton, an Israeli citizen who had helped raise money for GOP Rep. Mike Grimm, pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he provided false information on a visa application. Biton had tried to secure a permanent visa by investing $500,000 in a U.S. business but admitted to lying about the source of those funds.
Separately, Biton has also been accused of squeezing congregants of a prominent Israeli rabbi based in New York for donations for Grimm, allegedly including improper cash contributions and money from non-citizens—a matter which is also under federal investigation.
It's not clear whether Biton's plea deal means he's cooperating with the Grimm fundraising inquiry, though Biton was released from house arrest, likely won't receive jail time, and was not charged with extortion or money laundering, as prosecutors had previously suggested he might be. So it's possible this relatively lenient treatment might mean Biton's working with the authorities, though the Daily News reports that he's still likely to face deportation proceedings.
11:54 AM PT: MA-Gov: Former GOP Sen. Scott Brown's spent Sunday at the Iowa State Fair, pretending like he might run for president. He did also mention, though, that he plans to announce whether he'll seek the governor's mansion back in his home state "in a week to 10 days."
12:11 PM PT: MT-Sen, -AL: State Sen. Matt Rosendale is the latest to join the crowd of Montana Republicans waiting to see if first-term Rep. Steve Daines will run for Senate. Rosendale has hedged his bets, filing paperwork with the FEC for an unspecified statewide campaign: Senate if Daines stays put, and House if the incumbent goes for the promotion.
12:16 PM PT (David Jarman): Maps: If you've ever wondered which members of the House are members of which religion, and where they're concentrated, wonder no more: Buzzfeed is out with a map about just that. And the different religions show up pretty much where you'd expect them: Catholics in the northeast, Florida, and southwest border region, Lutherans in the upper midwest, Mormons in the mountain west. Unfortunately, the color scheme is a bit of a clashing eyesore; maybe it would have made more sense to have different versions of Protestantism different shades of the same color. Between that and the lack of zoomability, it might be more illuminating to look at the data in list form.
1:19 PM PT: CO Recall: The progressive veterans organization VoteVets is running an ad on behalf of Democratic state Senate President John Morse, who is the subject of a recall election next month. The spot features an Army vet who says Morse "has stood up for veterans issues" as on-screen captions tout his career in law enforcement. There's no word on the size of the buy, but the Denver Post reports that the ad will run for eight days, starting today.
1:38 PM PT: CA-31: Two more establishment figures are backing Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar for the right to take on GOP Rep. Gary Miller, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Jose-area Rep. Zoe Lofgren. Aguilar is competing with three fellow Democrats: ex-Rep. Joe Baca, attorney Eloise Reyes, and local school board official Danny Tillman.
3:42 PM PT: LA-Sen, LA-Gov: The NRSC has released a new internal poll from OnMessage, which puts Sen. Mary Landrieu up 45-41 over her chief GOP challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy. Naturally, Republicans are highlighting the fact that the incumbent is well below the 50 percent mark, but there's not much else to say about the survey, since the release doesn't even include favorability numbers for the candidates.
Republican pollster Harper Polling, on behalf of frequent client Conservative Intelligence Briefing, does offer more detail with their own new Louisiana survey. They have Cassidy up 47-45, and they also pair Landrieu with a couple of JV squad conservatives, party-switching state Sen. Elbert Guillory (who hasn't actually declared) and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness; Landrieu ties the former at 44 and leads the latter 47-41. However, under Louisiana's "jungle primary" system, all candidates appear together on one ballot, with a runoff if no one reaches 50 percent. The more Republicans in the race, the more likely that is.
And all of these GOP hopefuls are largely unknown, even Cassidy, though Landrieu is actually a touch above water with favorables of 45-41. But by far the least popular Pelican State official is Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who clocks in with just a 35-51 score. That might be why the NRSC did Jindal a favor by including his job approval numbers at the end of their presentation, finding him at 50-46. (It's a bit troubling, though, that the Jindal numbers are listed on a slide right after one about his opposition to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. I really hope the questions weren't asked in that order.)
But if Jindal's friends at the NRSC were concerned about friendly fire from Harper, it's really PPP they should be worried about. Tom Jensen teased that Jindal's job approvals look like "an even bigger disaster" than they did in February, when he had just a 37-57 rating. He won't be on the ballot next year, of course, but Mary Landrieu can't be too unhappy about having a deeply unpopular governor as a foil.
P.S. It's worth noting that the only attack angle the NRSC released involved Obamacare. Does the GOP have nothing else? Consider this: Their new ad targeting Landrieu spoofed the classic NES game "Duck Hunt" and was aired on a show about hunting ducks, yet it didn't even mention guns, despite Landrieu's vote in favor of expanded background checks. What does that say about how that issue's polling?
3:54 PM PT: ID-02: We don't really do Boehner Alert!s here at Daily Kos Elections, because really, His Orangeness is not the kind of guy who excites the rank and file to come out for big rallies on behalf of his endorsees. So it's more than a little odd that the House speaker is headlining a fundraiser in Boise for Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a Club for Growth-backed primary challenge from attorney Bryan Smith. When you're looking to tell insurgents you're one of them, buddying up with Mr. Establishment himself pretty much sends the opposite message. And sure, Boehner can raise a lot of money when he's motivated, but the event is for only $50 a head, so color me confused. Better than orange, though.
Simpson is also staffing up big-time, bringing on two Romney campaign heavyweights as advisors. And interestingly, he's hired a finance director who used to work for his Idaho colleague, tea party Rep. Raul Labrador. Labrador rather pointedly has refused to endorse Simpson.
4:03 PM PT: WI-Gov: Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, who has been weighing the race for a while, sounds like he's just about ready to jump in against Gov. Scott Walker. In a new interview, Harris said: "I think I'm going to throw my hat in the ring and see where it goes from there." So far, no Democrats have declared, though Madison School Board member Mary Burke (who could self-fund) and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (who unsuccessfully ran in the gubernatorial recall primary last year) are also considering.
4:26 PM PT: LA-05: We're getting some more clarity in Louisiana's 5th, as potential candidates make up their minds about running in this fall's special election to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Marcus Hunter confirmed that he's "110 percent" in, and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo also entered the fray. They join state Rep. Robert Johnson, who had previously declared. Meanwhile, state Sen. Rick Gallot and Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy have both said no.
So far, only two Republicans—state Sen. Neil Riser, the establishment favorite, and state Rep. Jay Morris—have stated they'll run, but the filing deadline is Wednesday, so the field will be set soon. In the meantime, we have a new one-day poll from local pollster JMC Enterprises to chew on (apparently conducted in-house, PPP-style). All of the candidates mentioned above, plus attorney Jeff Guerriero, are included on a single ballot, as per Louisiana's all-party "jungle primary" system:
Riser (R): 29While Democratic chances of a pickup here are slim, it would be quite sad if two Republicans made it into the runoff.
Johnson (D): 11
Mayo (D): 11
Morris (R): 10
Hunter (D): 5
Guerriero (R): 5
4:35 PM PT: VA-Gov: Democrat Terry McAuliffe's new ad features pretty much nothing but news clips about the gifts Republican AG Ken Cuccinelli took from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, whose largesse to state officials has been at the center of an investigation into Gov. Bob McDonnell and has loomed large in the race to succeed him as well. Unlike other scattered spots which haphazardly use news footage to get scary-sounding buzzwords in front of viewers, this McAuliffe spot actually weaves the clips together to tell a coherent story, including Cuccinelli's acceptance of a "$1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner." That's a lot of turkey.