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Leading Off:

WI-Gov: Wow:

Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a "criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.

The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.

Note that these documents came out because a federal appellate judge is currently reviewing a decision by a district court judge to halt the so-called "John Doe" investigation into these very same campaign finance practices. So it seems there's a very good chance that there will be more to come, especially if the appeals court rules that the investigation can start up again.


LA-Sen: I always feel a bit of glee when I hear about the latest Republican effort to reach out to millennials, because it always winds up looking like a fixie got tangled up in a Cosby sweater and crashed into an accordion. (I'm looking at you, Scott Greenberg.) The newest effort comes from Generation Opportunity, a Koch tentacle supposedly designed to appeal to younger voters that's running a new ad attacking Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

It's a pretty silly spot, featuring a roughly college-aged woman pushing a Landrieu stand-in around in a supermarket shopping cart, as both she and the narrator complain that "Landrieu" is spending too much at the expenses of the yoots. Here's the thing, though: Even if this ad contains an appealing message (which I seriously doubt), is its target audience ever even going to see it? The buy is for $450,000 on TV and $100,000 online, but I'm going to guess that most younger people will be hitting fast-forward, if they even encounter it at all.

MS-Sen: Brett Favre is best known for his legendary playing career with the Green Bay Packers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, but the former NFL quarterback is also a native Mississippian. So he's come back (looking very gray and shaggy) to cut an ad on behalf of Thad Cochran for the Chamber of Commerce, praising him for supporting education and securing aid for the state after Hurricane Katrina.

Cochran's also got some new ads himself. In one, the narrator tries to beat it into voters' heads that McDaniel's dystopian budget cutting fantasies would really hurt the state by depriving it of huge sums for education and highways, which would lead to higher property taxes and worse roads. It's Cochran's main argument, but it's one that, despite its soundness, has run headlong into tea party fervor.

A second spot is narrated (a bit stiffly) by Cochran himself, filled with platitudes about people having "the right to make their own decisions without unnecessary interference from the government."

NH-Sen: A new Suffolk University poll finds Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen beating Republican Scott Brown (late of Massachusetts) by a 49-39 margin, a wee bit tighter than Suffolk's 52-39 spread back in early March, but not much. It's also right around the polling average, too. You have to wonder what Brown's plan is here.


CT-Gov: Connecticut's Republican primary for governor is now down to just two names. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is the latest to bow out, citing a failure to raise enough money to qualify for the state's public financing program. (He only needed to pull in $250,000, so that's pretty feeble.) That follows Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti's decision to drop down to the lieutenant governor's race, though he may not even qualify for that ballot. And previously, former West Hartford Councilor Joe Visconti opted to give up on the GOP altogether, instead trying to run as an independent.

That leaves 2010 nominee Tom Foley, who has his party's official endorsement, and state Senate Minority John McKinney, the son of the late Rep. Stewart McKinney. Foley has held wide leads in all the polling, and he's the heavy favorite, not least thanks to his personal wealth. And in quitting the race, Boughton actually called on the GOP to unite around Foley, despite the bad blood between the two, so McKinney looks very much like a longshot. The winner will take on Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy in November.

IA-Gov: Quinnipiac: Terry Branstad (R-inc): 47, Jack Hatch (D): 38 (March: 46-35 Branstad).


CA-31: Republican Lesli Gooch, the third-place finisher in the June 3 top-two primary, has decided to ask for a recount. Gooch wound up 209 votes behind Democrat Pete Aguilar for the second slot, a difference of about 0.4 percent. But while that might sound relatively small, as recounts go, this margin's quite large. That makes it extremely unlikely to get overturned, especially since election officials have already conducted an audit and "found no anomalies." What's more, the Gooch campaign will have to pay for each day's recount ahead of time, so as the results fail to shift, they're going to have to think hard about whether to keep shelling out cash every morning.

NY-21: Republican pollster Harper Polling, apparently on behalf of itself, surveyed Tuesday's GOP primary in New York's 21st District and found former White House aide Elise Stefanik beating investment banker Matt Doheny 45-37. The only other poll of the race was an ancient Doheny internal from January that gave him an outside 49-13 lead thanks to the name recognition he acquired from two previous failed bids.

But the establishment, wanting a new face, has lined up behind Stefanik, and American Crossroads has nuked Doheny with $750,000 in negative ads and mail. Another pro-Stefanik group called New York 2014 (backed by 2006 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Faso) has shelled out another $366,000 on her behalf. It looks like all this spending has had its intended effect.

VA-07: We've officially reached the point where there are more polls after the fact in the VA-07 primary election than there were before. One new poll is from a previously unknown firm called Silver Bullet (seems like a good low-risk way to get started, by polling a race that already happened), which finds that there was a lot of movement from Eric Cantor to David Brat in the final two weeks. That could explain how the polls from two weeks before the primary were so far off: Among Brat voters, 26 percent switched from Cantor in the last two weeks, and 18 percent didn't decide until the final two weeks when they opted for Brat. (Some 56 percent had supported Brat for more than two weeks.)

The other poll is from McLaughlin himself, who has a reputation to salvage. His basic conclusion is that "Eric Cantor's national standing gave the race a lot of local interest among many more voters than just past Republican primary voters, including politically interested Independents and Democrats as well," creating a much bigger likely voter universe than the one they actually worked with.

For instance, nearly half of the people who voted in the Republican primary weren't regular GOP primary voters; 13 percent reported they were Democrats and 33 percent were independents. Eleven percent claimed they usually vote in Democratic primaries, while another 11 percent said it was their first time voting in any primary. And while 68 percent of the sample plans to vote for Brat in the general, just 17 percent plans to vote for Democrat Jack Trammell.

These results square pretty well with the conclusions from Daily Kos Elections analyst dreaminonempty, that there were 6,000 to 11,000 Obama voters who crossed over to vote for Brat. In other words, there were enough Obama supporters to make the race very close on their own, and, when combined with Republicans who broke for Brat, enough to create a sizable margin for Brat. McLaughlin's own assessment was 7,300 to 13,000 crossover votes, depending on the metric used. (David Jarman)

Other Races:

SC-LG: In a rather strange turn of events, a Democrat has now become South Carolina's lieutenant governor, even though Republicans control the entire state government. The chain of events here is a little convoluted, but the short version is that Republican Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell resigned in order to become president of the College of Charleston.

The next in line for the job was state Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, another Republican, but he didn't want to give up his Senate seat, especially since the lieutenant governorship will be filled again in the November elections. So Democratic state Sen. Yancey McGill agreed to become lieutenant governor, and his fellow senators unanimously elevated him to the post. He becomes the first Democrat to hold the job in 20 years, though if state Sen. Vincent Sheheen can pull off an upset this fall in the governor's race, it's possible state Rep. Bakari Sellers could do the same in the number two slot as well.

Grab Bag:


AK-Sen: Executives at a steel company praise Republican Dan Sullivan as a job creator who stood up to the EPA.

AR-Sen: An Arkansas fireman wonders why GOP Rep. Tom Cotton was the only member of the state's delegation "to vote against disaster relief five times." (Senate Majority PAC)

CO-Sen: Planned Parenthood accuses GOP Rep. Cory Gardner of trying to erase his record, pointing out (as we have) that he's still a cosponsor of a fetal personhood bill, but it describes the legislation in an overly complicated way.

GA-Sen: Rep. Jack Kingston does another fake Obama voicemail wherein "the president" talks about how agreeable he finds David Perdue, Kingston's GOP runoff opponent.

KY-Sen: The Senate Majority PAC is re-upping an existing ad buy targeting Mitch McConnell for another $250,000.

MT-Sen: A paralyzed Iraq vet named John Bennett unloads on GOP Rep. Steve Daines, saying he "never served" and therefore doesn't understand that "the Pentagon treated us like second-class soldiers" when the Montana National Guard deployed to Iraq. Bennett says "[o]nly a piece of plywood protected my Humvee," but explains that Democrat John Walsh "went to bat for us" so that "other Montanans don't have to spend the rest of their lives like this ever again," as he glances at his wheelchair.

OK-Sen-B: The Senate Conservatives Fund sends out Ted Cruz to praise T.W. Shannon as a "conservative fighter."

GA-Gov: GOP Gov. Nathan Deal claims Democrat Jason Carter voted against increasing in education funding while he expanded it. A similar second spot says Carter voted in favor of Deal's education budgets until this most recent one that supposedly expanded it, blaming "politics." Carter responds in similar fashion, saying that Deal's cut education every year except this year, an election year.

MD-Gov: In one of those desperate last-minute ads, Doug Gansler tries to mention every positive thing he's ever done.

MI-Gov: The DGA tries to turn GOP Gov. Rick Snyder's claim that he makes "tough choices" back on him, saying his cuts to education and tax hikes "on retirement" have been "tough" on kids and seniors. The narrator abruptly shifts gears (complete with record scratch) to say that Snyder's pay hikes for his top staffers wasn't a tough choice.

WV-03: Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall blasts Republican Evan Jenkins for wanting to privatize Medicare, featuring a quote of Jenkins saying that "seniors should have some 'financial skin in the game' and think harder about going to the doctor."

Congress: While congressional leadership races are a bit outside our scope here at Daily Kos Elections, Paul Kane's look back at four historic fights for whip is very much worth a read, since it will enhance your understanding of how we've gotten where we are. The most significant battle was Newt Gingrich's narrow upset of Ed Madigan in 1989, a race that only happened because George H.W. Bush tapped Minority Whip Dick Cheney for defense secretary after John Tower's nomination was rejected by Democrats. That of course set Gingrich up to eventually seize the speakership, but really, read the whole piece—there's much more there, and it's all fascinating.

President-by-LD: Today we make stops over in Illinois and Oklahoma, two very different states with two radically different legislatures. As always, you can find our master list of data here.

We have Oklahoma's state House and state Senate broken down by the presidential race. Aside from a brief period from 1921 to 1922, Democrats held the majority in the House from statehood until the 2004 elections. However, it'll be a very long time before Team Blue has the chance to retake the chamber. Mitt Romney won Oklahoma 67-33 while carrying 93 out of 101 districts, and Republicans hold a 72-29 supermajority. Interestingly, former Republican House Speaker and current Senate candidate T.W. Shannon represents the most evenly divided seat: His Lawton City-area seat only went for Romney 51-49.

Democrats, though, still hold 20 seats Romney won, with the reddest being HD-01 at 76-24 Romney. As an upcoming map from Stephen Wolf will visualize, Democrats still retain a good deal of strength in the Little Dixie region of eastern Oklahoma, an ancestrally blue and culturally Southern part of the state. However, it's only a matter of time before Republicans make deeper inroads into this conservative area and put Democrats even further into the minority.

Republicans took their first-ever majority in the state Senate in 2008, and have since transformed it into a supermajority. Romney carried 44 out of 48 seats, and Republicans hold a 36-12 edge. Democrats still control six Romney seats, with the reddest being SD-26 at 74-26 Romney. There is only one real swing seat in the chamber, the Norman-area SD-16: Obama won it 51-49, and it's held by Democrat John Sparks.

We also have Illinois calculated by state House and state Senate. Republicans held the House for a few brief years in the 1980s and '90s, but the chamber is solidly Democratic now. Obama carried his home state 58-41 and took 75 out of 118 seats. Democrats hold a 71-47 edge, the exact number they need to override gubernatorial vetoes. Team Blue will be looking to preserve its delicate supermajority, especially with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in real danger of losing re-election to Republican Bruce Rauner.

Republicans hold nine Obama seats, while Democrats have five Romney districts. The bluest seat represented by a Republican is HD-20 at Obama 53-46, which is also the only Chicago-area seat held by the GOP. The reddest seat served by a Democrat is HD-117 in the southern part of the state. The district went for Romney 60-40, but Democrat John Bradley is running without any opposition this year.

Each state Senate district is made up of two nested House seats. The Republicans held the state Senate from 1992 to 2002, but Democrats have since been firmly in the majority there as well. Former state Sen. Barack Obama carried 38 out of 59 seats in his 2012 presidential re-election bid, and Democrats hold an intimidating 40-19 edge there. Team Blue needs 36 seats to override a veto. Democrats hold all of Obama's seats plus two of Romney's, but neither Democrat in a red seat is up for reelection this year. Unsurprisingly, Obama's former Senate seat isn't going anywhere. SD-13, which has been represented by Kwame Raoul since Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, went for its old senator 89-10. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time to check out a certain district court judge (10+ / 0-)

    and look for any unexpected windfalls.

    a federal appellate judge is currently reviewing a decision by a district court judge to halt the so-called "John Doe" investigation

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:25:05 AM PDT

  •  LA-Gov The Not Ready for Prime Time Player (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, Puddytat

    Vitter's answer that he "might consider" Medicaid expansion was the national headline from his Baton Rouge Press Club appearance this week and, like most, that was about as deep as I looked.

    Then GF pointed me to deeper coverage. The headline should have been: "This Guy Wants to Be Governor???"

    WBRZ  'Vitter: "Haven't done my homework" on issues'

    But five months into his campaign, the Senator lacked any definitive answers on controversial issues like expanding Medicaid for the state's working poor, TOPS funding, or whether he is for or against Common Core standards for Louisiana schools.

    "I definitely want to support standards, strong, stringent standards to compare our kids to others," Vitter said. "I also want to make sure we retain real autonomy."


    Vitter said he'll cover the big issues in more detail at what he calls "leadership forums" to be held soon across the state.

    Bayou Buzz: 'Vitter uncertain, vague on issues at Baton Rouge Press Club speech'

    Questions have arisen whether Vitter was prepared for his grilling.  For certain, he left the door open for future debate over his uncertain positions.

    Here is what the media is reporting.  Also, below is how the Louisiana Democratic Party is trying to keep the Vitter discussion going:

    When speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club luncheon yesterday, Sen. David Vitter said that if elected Governor, it will be his “last political job, elected or appointed, period.” While saying that he’s not interested in talking about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s job performance, Vitter took a subtle shot at him by stating that he is “not even running to gain a cameo appearance on Duck Dynasty,” referring to Jindal’s recent appearance on the show.

    Vitter also spent time explaining where he stands in issues important to many Louisianians. He wants to “overhaul and change” the way Medicaid works before agreeing to the expansion, but he does not rule out accepting federal Medicaid aid. Vitter said that he supports Jindal’s decision to privatize the charity hospitals, but that he would want to adjust and tweak the current system.  

    Vitter said that he did not support the levee board lawsuit, but not having read the bill that Jindal recently signed carefully, he was unable to state whether or not he would have signed it if he was in Jindal’s position.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:01:04 AM PDT

  •  Ralphie beats up Scut Walker... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Radje fradje mumre rrarrhhh gah....


    Scut deserves it.

    Now blow, Scott, blow. That's good.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:03:11 AM PDT

  •  The ad buy on the anti-Landrieu spot is on, (6+ / 0-)

    wait for it, the news. Because if there's one area of programming known for grabbing those 20-somethings, it's the freaking news.

    I'll keep saying it: the Kochs are just not that good at this game.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:08:37 AM PDT

  •  What about Clay Aiken in NC? (5+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see some up-to-date stuff about the race between Dem. Clay Aiken vs. Rep. Renee Ellmers for U.S. Congress in North Carolina.

    Interesting race.  Recent update, anyone?  Can't find much on the Google train.

  •  What Republican voters don't believe: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, Aquarius40, Stude Dude

    1.  Human activity causes Global Warming;
    2.  Women have a right to make decisions about their own health care;
    3.  All citizens have a right to vote;
    4.  The world is round'
    5.  The earth is more than 6,000 years old;
    6.  All people have a right to healthcare and education in a democracy;
    7.  The Republican Party is engaged in an ongoing criminal conspiracy to deny citizens the right to vote and violate every other law that has been written to control campaign finance and spending.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:18:25 AM PDT

  •  I watch very little TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I do watch "Jeopardy" most nights, at 7:30. I'm unfortunately within air range of NY-21, and if my nightly "Jeopardy" viewing is any indication, Stefanik's allies are carpet-bombing the airwaves - multiple ads, from multiple sources, appearing in each commercial break in the show.

    She's disgusting, a total fraud, but I suppose anyone reading this already knew that. I did notice her ads have recently gone from touting repeal of Obamacare to repeal and replace. She's also touted her "successes" working w/Shrub and Paul Ryan, actually puts their images on screen alongside her. Not sure who's running against her she'll prolly win the general, unfortunately.  

  •  Landrieu ad (0+ / 0-)

    Plus, the casting stinks. "Landrieu" actually looks much more like Sen. Gillibrand!

  •  SC-LG: Republican Intraparty issues? (0+ / 0-)

    It seems like the Democrat became LG due to issues inside the SC Republican party more than anything else. Can those issues be further used?

  •  CA-Controller (0+ / 0-)

    The battle for 2nd place in our top two system for Controller is still too close to call.  How close?  The Secretary of State's website now has it as:

    Betty Yee (D) 870,535
    John Pérez (D) 870,217

    That's a 318-vote lead out of 4,413,374 ballots counted so far.

    The unprocessed ballots .pdf file seems to be a little behind, or the counties simply haven't updated that file after updating the vote totals.  But from what it seems, Fresno, Humboldt, Kern, Modoc, Nevada, and Tuolumne counties may actually be completely done.

    The problem is the uncounted ballot numbers were flat out WRONG for certain counties.  Sacramento County reported they only had 3,200 ballots left to count as of last week.  But in yesterday's final update, they actually added an additional 4,579 ballots, and that was JUST in the Controller's race (which some people leave blank when voting for Governor).  Oy.  So if the number of uncounted ballots itself is way off in some of these counties, who the hell knows???

    Like, when Contra Costa claims they have EXACTLY 4,000 provisional ballots and EXACTLY 10,000 other ballots as well left to count, please take that with a HUGE grain of salt.  So until a county self-reports to the SOS website that they have ZERO ballots left and are done, don't just assume they're actually done.

    Anyway, in my updated meaningless projection, based on the percentages so far reported, and the reported number of ballots left to count (which could be totally wrong now), Betty Yee is winning by about 1,800 votes.

    If that happens, a certain front pager will probably not be happy, as he's Pérez's campaign manager.  :-\

  •  Watched (5+ / 0-)

    Chris Hayes this week and their report of the South - if SC and GA could get 70% of their UNREGISTERED AFRICAN AMERICAN Citizens registered to vote and 50% of them vote - SC and GA can be blue. The numbers were staggering of the unregistered eligible voters in both states.. So Voter Registration Drives need to be done.  Ben Jealous - formerly the NAACP CEO said that it would take only $1-2M in each state for that to happen - a small amount compared to the Billions the Obama Campaign spent getting reelected.  I really do miss Gov. Dean's 50 State Plan.  

    This would also be a good time to make sure those registered voters have the newly required Voter ID's.

    I am pretty sure my home state of NC is the same.. and now I need to go volunteer to register some voters.

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:40:10 AM PDT

  •  not to belabor the subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but many have commented (accurately i think) on Cantor's defeat as a sign of his worsened relationship with his constituency. There's a very interesting and influential article on the subject from Richard Fenno Jr--"U.S. House members and their Constituencies: An exploration".

    In it he defines what he calls "home style", or how a representative "allocates, presents, and explains" to secure reelection with their constituents. These styles vary and are flavored by the perception of one's district based on 4 levels of analysis: the whole district, supporters, primary supporters, and one's close circle of friends and family.

    This argument may help explain the ways by which Cantor's success departed from Lindsey Graham on that Tuesday night.

  •  Always thought he looked like a rat. (0+ / 0-)

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:26:45 AM PDT

  •  Scott Brown's plan (0+ / 0-)

    Scott Brown reminds me more and more of Bob Kerrey circa 2012: a former senator as a candidate might seem like a good strategy on paper, but you actually have to have a base in that state that can elect you.

  •  Lesli Gooch will have all the $ she needs (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine Republicans would be stupid enough not to fund the CA-31 recount to its bitter end. This is a fixed amount of money that, if successful, would lock up a D leaning seat for R's for another two years. (That said, I hope they don't!)

  •  I don't believe they should've released the sto... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't believe they should've released the story untill they had enough evidence to take them beyond the aledged category. They did the same rush to judgement with Christie only to have to back down with no indictments. These republicans are very crafty, they know how to manipulate our corrupt legal system to work to their benefit. Don't be surprised if they leave this schrade unscathed.

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