8:51 AM PT: CA-33: In case you missed it, we put together the most comprehensive list of potential successors to retiring Rep. Henry Waxman in Friday's Morning Digest. And one Democrat is already running: former L.A. City Controller (and 2013 mayoral runner-up) Wendy Greuel.
9:09 AM PT: NH-Gov: As expected, conservative activist Andrew Hemingway has entered the race for governor, making him the first Republican to challenge freshman Gov. Maggie Hassan. Hemingway ran Newt Gingrich's New Hampshire campaign back in 2012, when Newt finished in fifth place (out of the five remaining candidates) with just 9 percent of the vote.
9:22 AM PT: CA-17: Hah, this is great. Rep. Mike Honda's campaign dug up some video—from less than two years ago—of fellow Democrat Ro Khanna... praising him effusively to a group of community leaders? Well, of course! Everyone loves Mike Honda, except for the newly minted 2013 edition of Ro Khanna. But here's what Khanna had to say in 2012:
My remarks'll be very brief, but I do want to acknowledge our great congressional team that represents this area. We of course have Congressman Mike Honda. And I think what people—everyone says good things about Congressman Honda, and the one thing that I can add, having been in Washington, is Congressman Honda of course is a outstanding representative for our area. [Applause] But he is also the one person in the entire United States Congress, who, if there's an issue concerning the Asian-American community, anywhere and—or if there's an issue the administration wants to know about Asia, they go to Congressman Honda. So it's a privilege to have him from this area.Amusingly, Khanna's campaign called Honda's release of this video a "silly attack." I love the idea that pointing out that your opponent once had nothing but kind words for you is a some sort of "attack."
9:58 AM PT: MT-AL: Former state Sen. Ryan Zinke, who's seeking the GOP nomination for Montana's open House seat, called Hillary Clinton "the anti-Christ" and "the real enemy" at a recent campaign stop. And Zinke is supposedly one of the more "moderate" Republicans running.
10:06 AM PT: NY-18: With FEC filings due today, we'll be rolling out our usual quarterly chart soon, but some fundraising numbers are still worth special scrutiny. In particular, ex-Rep. Nan Hayworth's fourth quarter haul of just $37,000 is remarkably pathetic, and it calls to mind a tidbit Emily Cahn offered in December: "[P]rivately, GOP operatives also complain that Hayworth didn’t have the kind of professional organization to run a successful bid in 2012. They add that she hasn’t yet learned from that mistake this time around." Hayworth does have some ability to self-fund (she gave her first campaign over half a million in 2010), but this is a very weak way to wage a comeback bid.
10:26 AM PT: CA-33: As expected, state Sen. Ted Lieu declared for retiring Rep. Henry Waxman's House seat on Friday, making him the second Democrat to enter the race after former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel. Meanwhile, former California first lady Maria Shriver, like her brother Bobby Shriver, is saying no, as is former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. However, wealthy Republican-turned-independent businessman Bill Bloomfield, who gave Waxman the toughest race of his political career last cycle, says he's "leaning toward" a second bid.
12:30 PM PT: NE-Sen: A group called Special Operations for America (which amusingly refers to itself as "SOFA") is running an ad touting former state Treasurer Shane Osborne's role as pilot of the Navy reconnaissance plane that made an emergency landing at a Chinese airbase after sustaining serious damage in a mid-air collision with a Chinese jet back in 2001 (known as the "Hainan Island incident"). There's no word on the size of the buy, but in a bit of unwanted kismet, SOFA's founder happens to be none other than Mr. Anti-Christ himself, Ryan Zinke. (See our MT-AL item below.)
1:28 PM PT: PA-Gov: During his brief campaign for governor, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski had failed to gain any traction in the Democratic primary, so it's no surprise that he'll reportedly drop out Monday and endorse state Treasurer Rob McCord. Pawloski's campaign didn't deny (or confirm) the decision, but it is promising an announcement Monday.
1:33 PM PT: CA-31: Ex-Rep. Joe Baca has once again posted joke fundraising totals: $20,000 raised in the fourth quarter, $21,000 cash-on-hand. The real fight to represents Democrats in November seems confined to just Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar and attorney Eloise Reyes.
1:48 PM PT: NY-04: Even though Nassau County District Attorney has strong name recognition, support from the DCCC, and the endorsement of retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, she may not have the Democratic primary to herself. Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams has filed with the FEC so that he can start raising money to explore a bid. Abrahams' announcement actually came shortly before Rice's entry, so he may now be having second thoughts—or he may just want to get his name out there a bit in anticipation of some future bid for higher office. Abrahams would be the first African American to represent Long Island in Congress, but the district is only 14 percent black, and given all of Rice's advantages, it's hard to see him wresting the nomination from her.
2:07 PM PT: FL-19: Businessman Curt Clawson, one of several Republicans seeking the seat of disgraced ex-Rep. Trey Radel, is making the stunty move of airing a campaign ad during the Super Bowl. (Locally, of course. Unless you live in Fort Myers, you won't see it on Sunday.) Mixing the day's sports metaphors a bit, Clawson says he's "challenging President Obama to a three-point contest" because Obama's "been missing a lot of shots lately—not just in basketball." It's content-free but not unpleasant, and at least it's a damn sight better than the last Republican ad released during the Super Bowl. (That'd be Pete Hoekstra's.)
2:21 PM PT: FL-13: Both party committees have released new ads in the Florida special. The NRCC accuses Democrat Alex Sink of spending "$400,000 of taxpayer money to jet around in a state-owned plane" and claims she used the plane "so she could get to a vacation in the Bahamas." (She actually flew from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, then grabbed a commercial flight.)
The DCCC, meanwhile, castigates Republican David Jolly for "cashing out" after working as a Congressional aide "to sell his influence." The only specific charge is that he lobbied "to keep tax loopholes benefitting Big Oil." The ad features a stand-in for Jolly (neck-down, in a suit) making his rounds through D.C., at one point carrying a slightly silly-looking Redweld folder labeled "DAVID JOLLY LOBBYING CONTRACTS" in large type.
2:50 PM PT: 4Q Fundraising:
• AK-Sen: Mark Begich (D-inc): $850,000 raised, $2.8 million cash-on-hand
• IA-Sen: Bruce Braley (D): $1 million raised, $2.6 million cash-on-hand; Sam Clovis (R): $71,000 raised, $24,000 cash-on-hand; Joni Ernst (R): $203,000 raised, $290,000 cash-on-hand ; Matt Whitaker (R): $331,000 raised, $232,000 cash-on-hand
• NC-Sen: Greg Brannon (R): $250,000 raised
• SC-Sen-A: Lindsey Graham (R-inc): $1.3 million raised, $7.6 million cash-on-hand
• RI-Gov: Angel Taveras (D): $325,000 raised, $1 million cash-on-hand ; Gina Raimondo (D): $486,000 raised, $2.5 million cash-on-hand; Clay Pell (D): $1.1 million cash-on-hand (includes $1 million personal loan)
• WI-Gov: Scott Walker (R-inc): $5 million raised (in second half of 2013), $4.6 million cash-on-hand
3:11 PM PT: Party Committees: Both of the major Democratic congressional committees widely outraised their Republican counterparts in 2013, according to newly released year-end numbers. On the Senate side, the DSCC hauled in $52.6 million to finish the year with $12 million in the bank (and $3.75 million in debt), while the NRSC took in just $36.7 million and has $8 million on hand (albeit with no debt).
The DCCC also whomped the NRCC, which is perhaps a little more remarkable considering that Democrats are in the minority in the House. Nevertheless, Democrats raised $75.8 million for the year and have $29.3 million saved up. Republicans, meanwhile, raised only $60.6 million and have a much smaller $21 million war chest. (Neither committee is carrying any debt.)
Republicans did outpace Democrats by a big margin in terms of how their gubernatorial committees performed, though. The RGA raised $52.5 million compared with $28 million for the DGA. However, the RGA always raises more, largely because wealthy interests can give huge donations at the state level that they simply cannot to the federal committees. That's why the DGA pre-emptively issued a press release arguing they've won eight of nine recent gubernatorial elections where both committees competed, despite getting outspent in seven of those.