• CA-17: This is pretty hilarious. On Thursday, Ro Khanna sent fellow Democrat Mike Honda one of those fashionable proposals to limit outside spending in their race. But it's a self-serving move from Khanna, who has raised millions from wealthy tech types and is challenging Honda, a progressive incumbent, from the right. So taking the offer for what it was worth, Honda's people suggested going one better—and then some:
In the true spirit of keeping undue influence out of this election, we propose limiting contributions to all candidates in this race to an amount that puts millionaires on a level playing field with ordinary folks: $570. This is the same limit as local elections in the city of Fremont, in our district.Unsurprisingly, Honda's campaign hasn't heard back. (And here's more on those Honda supporters who asked for refunds from Khanna.)
We propose that all campaigns refund contributions to any donors who have already given more than this limit of $570. Your campaign can start by refunding the $11,000 in contributions from the five donors who have already requested a refund because Ro misled them. He had asked for their max-out contributions to run for an open seat, then used their money to run in a different district—against Mike.
Then your campaign can continue by refunding contributions to Marc Leder (gave $5,200 to Ro) who hosted Mitt Romney for the fundraiser where he made his 47% remark, and Peter Thiel (gave $2,500 to Ro) who has given millions to the Club for Growth in order to elect far-right conservatives like Ted Cruz.
We look forward to your response.
• KY-Sen: So it looks like the Senate Conservatives Fund just shelled out $55,000 to run a TV ad on behalf of Republican businessman Matt Bevin, but there seems to be no mention of the actual spot anywhere, including on SCF's own website. (There's also $7,000 tucked in there for mailers as well.)
• NY-Sen: So bizarre. Late on Thursday evening, federal prosecutors announced they were indicting conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza on charges that that he directed contributions from other people to a 2012 Senate campaign and then reimbursed the donors—a practice that is very, very illegal. The indictment didn't specify which candidate was the recipient, but his lawyer admitted that it was Republican Wendy Long, an old college bud of D'Souza's who got obliterated by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and who was the only person D'Souza donated to last cycle. (D'Souza's attorney also admitted to the facts of the case, saying only that his client lacked the requisite intent to commit a crime.)
So how did the U.S. Attorney's office even find out about these allegations? We don't know, but there's one interesting, albeit very speculative, hint. On the same day in 2012, D'Souza's wife was also reported as giving the same amount ($5,000) to Long's campaign. Later that year, though, D'Souza was busted for having an affair and was booted from the presidency of a tiny Christian college in New York City as a result. He also filed for divorce, though it's not clear if the divorce is final yet. D'Souza claimed he was separated from his wife at the time, so if the donation in her name wasn't kosher, she might have learned of it and told someone.
TPM also points out another wrinkle: D'Souza's fiancée, Denise Odie Joseph, gave $15,000 to Long—three times the legal maximum. Last year, long after the election was over, Long's campaign refunded $5,000 to Joseph, meaning her total donations to Long were still well over the limit. But if you combine Joseph's original $15,000 and Dixie D'Souza's $5,000, that gets you to the $20,000 total that the indictment alleges D'Souza reimbursed. Joseph also made her first donation in Aug. 2012, which is the same timeframe the indictment says D'Souza coordinated this scheme.
• OK-Sen-B: He's received Great Mentioner treatment before, but now for the first time, former Republican Gov. Frank Keating confirms he's considering a bid for Tom Coburn's Senate seat. Rep. James Lankford is the only Republican running so far, but a few others, including Rep. Jim Bridenstine and state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, are looking at the race, too.
• TX-Sen: Um, okay.
• HI-Gov, -01: Oh barf. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who said not long ago that he might in the Democratic primary in Hawaii's open 1st District, is now being rumored for a potential gubernatorial bid—as a Republican. And here's why we're even mentioning something that's merely at rumor level: When asked directly about this, Hannemann said nothing to contradict the idea and just offered some pablum about how he's "in discussions with a lot of people."
If the conservative Hannemann does run, he'd prove every Democrat who ever mistrusted him right, and he'd also potentially set up an amusing primary with former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, who recently said he was gearing up for a gubernatorial bid, too. How either man thinks he might beat Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie, however, remains a mystery. (And as a reminder Abercrombie thoroughly whooped Hannemann in the 2010 primary, 59-38.)
• NY-21: Former Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, whose 2009 special election bid is a thing of legend, is being awfully cagey about whether she might run for Congress again, though she isn't ruling it out. But Scozzafava, a Republican who later became a Democrat, isn't even saying what party line she might run on. Of course, the only chance in hell she'd have is with the blue team, since it was her regular departure from conservative orthodoxy that led to her campaign's 11th-hour implosion back in 2009.
Meanwhile, one more Democrat (who doesn't harbor doubts about his party affiliation) is saying he's looking at a possible bid for New York's now-open 21st District: Essex County Board of Supervisors chair Randy Douglas, who is also the supervisor of the town of Jay. The same piece also mentions that an anonymous DCCC official recently talked up ex-Rep. Scott Murphy, who says he's "not making any decisions right now" but sounds somewhat positive about things.
• VA-08: Here's a big—and unexpected—name showing up in the Democratic primary for retiring Rep. Jim Moran's seat: former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, who served two terms back in the 1990s. Since then, Beyer raised a bunch of money for Barack Obama, earning him an ambassadorship to Switzerland. Now he tells Roll Call that he's "interested" in running for Congress and will "likely" announce his plans this coming week (in Emily Cahn's words). Beyer probably still has some name recognition (at least in Democratic circles), and he certainly has fundraising connections, so he could start off as the most prominent candidate in the race. But he hasn't held office in 16 years and his last campaign was in 1997, when he lost the governor's race 56-43 to Republican Jim Gilmore.
• VA-10: Well, it's not quite a mop and it's not quite a puppet... but man. Local Republicans in Northern Virginia aren't going to rely on the state's regular primary to pick a nominee in the 10th District, and they won't conduct a convention, either. Instead, they've decided to hold what's known as a "firehouse primary" on April 26, which I guess is somewhere in between. But because of its more informal nature, and the fact that it'll have fewer polling locations and won't take place on a day when people normally expect to vote (the 26th is a Saturday), this method could give a more radical candidate an opening. However, Republicans claim they're doing it this way to give their nominee a jump on the Democrats, who won't vote until June 10.
• Pres-by-LD: Good news for data junkies: We're resuming publication of presidential election results by state legislative districts this week, and a few big states you've been clamoring for are on tap. In the meantime, you can find all of our existing data sets here—a link you'll definitely want to bookmark, as we'll be adding permalinks for our new data there as well.