In the spot above, the Republican Governors Association slams Democrat Mark Schauer, who is running for governor in Michigan, for allegedly supporting "a new fee on nursing home beds" when he served in the legislature. I mean, look at that crazy libruhl—taxing the elderly and infirm just so they can have a place to lay their heads at night! Can you imagine the kind of person who would support such a thing?
Here's one: Republican Gov. Rick Snyder—the very man Schauer is running against. Of course, the law is nothing like the RGA's caricature. Rather, according to a press release Snyder issued when he extended the program in 2011, "the state receives more in federal matching Medicaid funds than what is paid out by nursing homes." Those matching funds are then returned to the nursing homes, who wind up as net beneficiaries.
Indeed, the original legislation passed with broad bipartisan support, and it was signed into law by another Republican governor, John Engler. So a group devoted to electing Republican governors is attacking a program supported by Republican governors—and one that brings in more money for the state, no less. Makes perfect sense to me.
Kurt Zellers (R): $71,000 raised (plus $20,000 loan), $80,000 cash-on-hand
Jeff Johnson (R): $32,000 raised, $142,000 cash-on-hand
Marty Seifert (R): $64,000 raised, $139,000 cash-on-hand
Dave Thompson (R): $67,000 raised, $38,000 cash-on-hand
• KS-Sen: I find it incredibly hard to believe that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who previously served as governor of Kansas, is actually considering a bid for Senate in her home state this year. I don't think this really needs much explication beyond "disastrous Obamacare rollout on her watch" and "deep red state that hasn't elected a Democratic senator since the New Deal," but that's not just speculation. It's borne out by a recent PPP poll, which presciently tested Sebelius' numbers.
Indeed, her favorability rating is a miserable 38-55, and she drives up the GOP vote share compared to little-known Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor. The key point of comparison: Tea partying physician Milton Wolf, who is also mostly unknown, edges Taylor just 33-32. But against Sebelius, he shoots up to 46-39. Sen. Pat Roberts also moves up, from 48-32 versus Taylor to 52-38 against Sebelius. This movement is entirely attributable to the fact that Sebelius' name automatically motivates Republicans to side against her, and in a state like Kansas, there's no avoiding that.
Meanwhile, Wolf has launched his first TV ad of the race. A narrator starts off with a theme Wolf has long hit, saying, "After 47 years in Washington, Kansas is a distant memory for Pat Roberts." Wolf "wakes up every day and saves lives," he continues, and after he accomplishes his goals in D.C. (repeal Obamacare, pass term limits), he'll "come back and practice medicine—because nobody should spend 47 years in Washington."
• MS-Sen: In a new ad, GOP Sen. Thad Cochran slams state Sen. Chris McDaniel for his dodgy voting record over the years. In 2003, the narrator says that McDaniel voted in the Democratic primary, even though Republicans were trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove that year. (They did, and it's not clear how McDaniel voted in the general.) He also allegedly didn't vote at all in 2004, or in the GOP presidential primary in 2008.
• NC-Sen: American Crossroads' new ad features clips of both Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan offering some version of "if you like it, you can keep it," then transitions into praising Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis as a "fiscal conservative with the guys to repeal and replace Obamacare."
• CO-Gov: Yeesh. Ex-Rep. Bob Beauprez very nearly failed to qualify for this year's GOP gubernatorial primary, after the secretary of state's office invalidated over 10,000 of his petitions—almost half the amount he filed. Beauprez managed to scrape by with just enough signatures, but this is not the sign of a well-run campaign.
• GA-Gov: GOP Gov. Nathan Deal is up with his first ad, backed by a reported $1 million buy. A narrator touts Deal's tax cuts and claims he created "175,000 new jobs." He also says that "for the first time in history, Georgia is the number one place to do business," though absolutely no citation is given for that claim, whatever it's supposed to mean.
• ME-Gov: For the first time in over a year, a public poll finds GOP Gov. Paul LePage leading in his bid for re-election. Pan Atlantic SMS, which in fact was the last firm to put LePage on top, now has him at 39 in their latest survey, with Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud at 37 and independent Eliot Cutler at 20. Back in November, Michaud had a 37-36 edge, while Cutler was at 18, so we're only talking a small shift—and that prior result was actually one of the closest anyone's seen. So it seems fair to say that PanAtlantic's numbers have generally been a bit more favorable toward LePage than those of other pollsters, such as PPP, which gave Michaud a 44-37 lead earlier this month.
• PA-Gov: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett's wife narrates a new minute-long ad, arguing that her husband has "increased spending in the education department by $1.5 billion over what it was when he came into office." Corbett, though, is notorious for the cuts he's made to education, and in fact it's been the number one issue that's tanked his poll ratings. So it'll be quite the trick if he can convince voters otherwise.
• CA-25: Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, who is seeking Rep. Buck McKeon's open seat, is airing his first ad of the race. Strickland says "Washington spending is out of control" and that he wants to repeal the ACA and pass a balanced budget amendment.
• MI-07, FL-13: The NRCC has added two congressmen to its "Patriot Program," which is designed to help vulnerable incumbents. One is Rep. David Jolly, who of course just won a special last month in Florida's swingy 13th District and could have to deal with another serious race again this fall. The other is Rep. Tim Walberg, who faces a challenge from former state Rep. Pam Byrnes in Michigan's 7th. This brings the Patriot Program to 17 members; the rest of the list can be found here.
• MI-08: Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing, who had been considering a bid for Congress, says he'll run for retiring Rep. Mike Rogers' open seat. That gives Democrats their first candidate with elective experience; Central Michigan University professor Susan Grettenberger and former state demographer Ken Darga are also seeking the party's nod. Two Republicans are running here as well: former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.
• MI-11: Attorney Dave Trott, who's already taken a good bit of heat on the airwaves in the GOP primary, is going up with a positive spot of his own. The first half is kind of weird and features a few random clips of news reports meant to suggest that Congress does nothing but sit around and talk. In the second half, Trott touts himself as an "outsider" who knows "how to create jobs." I'd suggest Trott hire a professional narrator for his next spot, as he does not have an appealing voice.
• MT-AL: State Sen. Matt Rosendale, one of many Republicans seeking Rep. Steve Daines' open seat, is running a new ad featuring video footage of himself captured by a "government drone"—until he disables it with a shot from his rifle. Given that this is totally fake, all the people who complained about Mary Landrieu's Senate hearing re-enactment are going to be furious about this one, too. That's how it works, right? (P.S. Shooting drones, just like shooting at manned aircraft, is illegal.)
• NY-01: Oh man. A new super PAC called the U.S. Jobs Council is riding to state Sen. Lee Zeldin's rescue with a truly lulzy new ad attacking attorney George Demos, Zeldin's GOP primary rival. The narrator claims that the ultra-conservative Demos is trying to use the "Pelosi campaign cash machine to buy a seat in Congress." The hook is incredibly slender: Apparently, Demos' father-in-law is a rich California developer who has donated to Democrats. Are any voters going to believe that Demos is a closet liberal? I guess we'll see.
• NY-22: Boy, this is pathetic. Even though Mitt Romney carried New York's 22nd Congressional District by less than half a percentage point in 2012, Democrats have failed to field a single candidate here—not even a sausage. It's especially sad because the Republican incumbent, Rep. Richard Hanna, faces a primary challenge from the right from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. While a Tenney upset isn't likely (it wouldn't be a potential upset if it were), you always at least want to give yourself a chance to capitalize on a situation like this. Truly, a missed opportunity.