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Leading Off:

OH-Gov: Things sound pretty rough for Democrat Ed FitzGerald, who's reportedly losing many of his top staffers and consultants, including his campaign manager and communications director, just seven weeks before the start of early voting in Ohio. These departures, though, are just outward symptoms of severe, ongoing problems.

For one, FitzGerald has a serious lack of campaign cash that may keep him off the air after Labor Day. For another, FitzGerald's public image has taken a serious hit after recent revelations that he went a decade without a valid driver's license but drove vehicles paid for by taxpayers during that time. Making matters worse, he repeatedly punished his own employees for the exact same offense.

The Republican Governors Association is pouncing on this serious lapse in judgment with a new ad that features clips of TV news anchors discussing the story, as well as man-on-the-street interviews from those same news reports with folks who pronounce the whole episode "shady." The spot also references the fact that FitzGerald's campaign was anything but forthcoming about the whole affair. With his communications staff heading for the exits, answering those questions won't get any easier.

Meanwhile Republican Gov. John Kasich, who FitzGerald is hoping to unseat, goes positive. His spot features a police officer describing Kasich as tough, but effective. Interestingly, the guy says that when Kasich came into office he upset many working people, including him, but the governor listened to his critics. Seems like a reference to the 2011 SB-05 debacle, and Kasich's subsequent recovery. (David Nir & Jeff Singer)

Head below the fold for more.


AR-Sen: The battle over which candidate hates sick children continues. Senate Majority PAC spent several million dollars a few weeks ago accusing Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of voting against funding a children's hospital. Cotton responded, saying that he voted for the funding and that Pryor was the one who voted against it. Now the DSCC is up on the air, stating that there was only one vote on the hospital funding and Cotton not only voted against it, he's lying. Patriot Majority also is spending $202,000 against Cotton.

CO-Sen: NextGen Climate hits Republican Rep. Cory Gardner on climate change, same sex marriage, birth control, and abortion.

GA-Sen: Democrat Michelle Nunn takes a page from the Obama playbook and portrays Republican rival David Perdue as someone who got rich off other people's misery. The spot features residents of the small town of Kannapolis describing how Perdue took over Pillowtex, a major source of local jobs. In less than a year, the Pillowtex factory closed and Perdue left with millions, while thousands in Kannapolis lost their jobs.

IA-Sen: NextGen Climate ties Republican Joni Ernst to Big Oil once again.

KY-Sen: The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition has two spots out (here and here). The first spot ties Democrat Alison Grimes to Obama and to interests described as "anti-coal." The second spot praises Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for working to get rid of the estate tax (which the narrator, like pretty much every Republican, calls the "death tax.")

MN-Sen: Republican Mike McFadden has an interesting approach to the usual "My opponent votes with the president" trope. The spot portrays Democratic Sen. Al Franken as driving a car with a boat attached and repeatedly missing and hitting things, with the narrator describing Franken's voting record. It's a lot more creative and memorable than the usual fare.

NC-Sen: Senate Majority PAC shells out another $254,000 against Republican Thom Tillis.

NH-Sen: Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen talks about her bill to help families save money on child care.

OR-Sen: Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley talks about fighting big interests that could have taken away jobs.

SD-Sen: Democrat Rick Weiland has a 15-second ad, using his small car campaign vehicle as a contrast to Republican Mike Rounds' big campaign bus to call for taking big money out of politics.

Crossroads: Crossroads GPS goes after several Democrats, each with a unique spot. For Arkansas, the group hits Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Social Security and Medicare. In Colorado, Crossroads goes after Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Obamacare. In Iowa, the organization spends $412,000 hitting Rep. Bruce Braley for missing votes on the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Crossroads also plays in two California House races it previously announced it would target. CA-07 Rep. Ami Bera is hit on Obamacare, while CA-52 Rep. Scott Peters is criticized on taxes and spending.


AZ-Gov: Two Republican primary contenders have another spot a week away from the Aug. 26 primary. Treasurer Doug Ducey is praised by former Sen. Jon Kyl and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. An ad for former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith features Gov. Jan Brewer endorsing him.

CT-Gov: Republican Tom Foley hits Gov. Dan Malloy on the condition of the state economy.

FL-Gov: Holy crap, a positive ad?! Republican Gov. Rick Scott features veterans praising his military background, with the governor popping in to talk about his work to help both active-duty soldiers and state veterans.

IA-Gov: Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is seen as the clear favorite to win over Democrat Jack Hatch, but he's taking no chances, reserving $2.5 million in fall advertising.

KS-Gov: The RGA portrays Democrat Paul Davis as a tax-loving Obama clone.

MA-Gov: Democrat Don Berwick stresses his accomplishments as a physician and combating medical errors. In the middle of the spot, the narrator describes how his efforts against errors saved over 100,000 lives: Way to bury the lede there.

RI-Gov: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hits both Democratic primary rivals, Treasurer Gina Raimondo and former Obama administration official Clay Pell.


IL-12: Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart is out with his first spot, describing his service as head of the state National Guard during catastrophic flooding, as well as his service in Congress.

IN-02: Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski continues to run on bipartisan themes, this time emphasizing her support for the Violence Against Women Act.

MA-06: Vote Vets has a local World War II veteran praising fellow soldier Seth Moulton for his service. Seth Moulton is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. John Tierney in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.

NY-01: Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop spends half his spot going positive on jobs, and the second half bashing Republican rival Lee Zeldin on tax cuts for the wealthy.

NY-19: Democrat Sean Eldridge is going on the air with his first two spots (here and here). Both are positive, stressing Eldridge's love for the Hudson Valley and subtly pushing back on attempts to portray him as a carpetbagger. Eldridge lays out his agenda in both, emphasizing getting special interest money out of politics.

NY-23: Republican Rep. Tom Reed portrays Democratic foe Martha Robertson as a crazy liberal, with a very strange cartoon of Robertson driving around in a hippie car as the narrator sarcastically ads hippie slang. And here I thought in this day and age the only person who hated hippies this much was Eric Cartman!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Senior Elections Writer, Daily Kos. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

    by Jeff Singer on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:30:49 PM PDT

  •  Kasich Has Been Going Positive Since Winter, Seems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    like almost Christmas or so.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:33:21 PM PDT

    •  Kasich has been boasting about his (11+ / 0-)

      "economic miracle," including right here on DailyKos, something everyone knows is a lie. But other than that, Kasich has refused to take positions and is being a blank slate again so people think "Oh, he's not so bad." Meanwhile our state newspapers have attacked Ed relentlessly over things they'd be relentlessly calling out Democrats for if they tried to use those kinds of things against Kasich. Because they don't give a shit that reelecting Kasich would be a debacle for 90% of the state's citizens including all its women, poor people, labor, and its schools. If Kasich is reelected, and I am not ready to concede this, ohio will be a smoking pile of ruins within a year or two and Kasich WILL be engulfed in a corruption scandal. At very least that will dash any presidential hopes he might harbor. Ed would be a GREAT governor, and the people I am MOST pissed at are those on OUR side who have decided quitting, putting our heads in the guillotine, and abandoning any hope that we might have ANY power in the state for the next decade and a half is appropriate because we don't have some magic, perfect candidate who doesn't exist. Kasich has at least a dozen or more HUGE liabilities, any one of which our state media would be using to destroy Ed FitzGerald. They have nothing on Ed though, so they're making mountains out of molehills. Am I pissed? Yes. My survival depends on Ed's election too. He raised my taxes $500-plus a year at a time when my income barely reached five figures. He IS the worst governor in America. Period.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:57:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too bad there isn't a better Gubernatorial (10+ / 0-)

    candidate in Ohio.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:56:28 PM PDT

  •  OH-Gov Safe R (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    AZ-Gov There's no e in Jon Kyl.

    MA-Gov Berwick, wow.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 03:58:14 PM PDT

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    where can I find state executive office's fundraising? I'm going to do a diary soon about competitive races but I can't find anything at OpenSecrets since it's all federal races.

    18 year old gay Democrat living bright blue in deep red SC-04 (Gowdy). "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." - John Lennon

    by SCDem4 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:14:47 PM PDT

  •  It amazes me how candidates dont vet themselves. (12+ / 0-)

    These days, whatever you got needs to be out and out early. Fitz lied to his staff, im sure. Thats a campaign killer every time. Its like lying to your lawyer. No matter how awful the truth is, tell it. Else your people cant defend you.

    •  Disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clecinosu, Stude Dude, looseleaf

      If Democrats "vetted themselves" for every trivial thing that the Republican make a big issue out of, we would have no candidates, period.  I sincerely doubt Ed lied to anyone. But I know Kasich had lied constantly, especially to the citizens of Ohio. In fact, every word in his campaign is a lie, as we'll find out if he's reelected. I hope you are not from Ohio because we don't need people like you here, and personally, I think we need out-of-state defeatists to stand down and be quiet.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:18:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh, this should have been an easy pickup... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Stude Dude

    Is it to late for him to withdraw?

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

    •  Way too late. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It would pretty much be another Montana if he did.

      •  Ohio has no bench to draw from? (0+ / 0-)

        I know its not optimal... but...

        A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

        by falconer520 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's virtually impossible (6+ / 0-)

          and any random candidate at his point is going to be smeared even worse than Ed, who is by far the strongest choice. Do any of you doomsters know anything about Ohio politics? It doesn't sound like it. The "optimal" thing is for the long faces to fade into the background and the fighters to come back and fight hard – because Ed would be a great governor. And if he doesn't win, we won't win in 2018 either, because the Ohio Democratic party will fall apart. That could impact 2016 too, depending on who the Republicans put up. But you can look for severe voter suppression in 2016 and no one to fight it.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:27:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your personal insults aside... (0+ / 0-)

            My concern is that his campaign manager and communications director have already left with rumors of more staffers to follow... Their leaving has nothing to do with "GOP smear tactics"

            If by withdrawing he can stop the bleeding and not impact down ballot candidates, that would be worthwhile...

            And keep fighting the good fight that is why we are all here.

            A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

            by falconer520 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:08:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Montana is bad? (4+ / 0-)

        Ohio is looking much worse.

        Plagiarism is teh stoopid, but this is much, much worse. Plagiarism doesn't say, "I think I'm better than the rest of you."

        Voters can imagine a high-priced ticket for driving without a license happening to somebody like themselves. But Mayor Big Shot thought the rules don't apply to him?

        FitzGerald should immediately resign. Leave the country if that's what it takes. Vacate the nomination any and every possible way.

        The Ohio Democratic Party could nominate a high school math teacher and have a much better candidate.

        If they don't replace Mayor Big Shot, they excuse his actions, and that smears every candidate on the ticket. Get him outta there!

    •  No, it was NEVER going to be an "easy pickup" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because of the money and the media. Ed is a great candidate. Why should he withdraw and give Kasich an unopposed race, since we can't put up a new candidate? And why should he withdraw anyway? His trivial gaffes pale next to the wholesale destruction wreaked by Kasich and the pile of skeletons in HIS closet we can't use because the newspapers would attack us for doing so.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:19:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I respect your writing and your long history (0+ / 0-)

        as a poster here.  But you are fighting a losing battle, and this line of argument makes you sound desperate.  

        This is a mortal wound for the candidate.  He will not recover from this.  And frankly, no candidate who would do this to his own staff, to the party, and to the voters, deserves their loyalty or support.  

        I'm sorry to say that this race is gone and that in so many places where Democrats had a good chance to pick up, the part has acted as its own worst enemy.  It's really too bad when Democrats shoot themselves in the foot.  It's become an all-too-common occurrence.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:30:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where do we find these guys? (6+ / 0-)

    Walsh and Fitzgerald.  Do the D's do any vetting?

    •  Do you friggin' KNOW anything about Ed? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clecinosu, looseleaf

      He's smart, terrific, compassionate, bold, pragmatic, and extremely progressive. He would likely be one of the best governors Ohio has had since the ’80s, since Celeste at least. This immediate acceptance of rightwing media smear by people here is on my nerves, just like a major black writer here who accepted unequivocally the police cut of the convenience store tape and publicly branded him a "thug" and a "bully."

      Everything you think you know about Ed is wrong.

      And if we lose, we have no shot at electing anyone in 2018 either, which means another decade of extreme gerrymandering as well as demoralization of Democrats here (which y'all are helping to make happen) so that the party basically will cease to exist in this 50/50 state. Thanks. Thats going to have some BIG national impact. Pat yourselves on the back.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:22:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but he has to get elected first (3+ / 0-)

        A great candidate that's not electable doesn't do us much good.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:21:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are WAY wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ourselves?  Us?  What did we do?


        Who does that???

      •  I'm smart, terriffic, compassionate, bold, (3+ / 0-)

        pragmatic and extremely progressive and would make a great governor too, but I'm not a professional politician. I'll never be elected Governor of Ohio.
        It's Fitzgerald's freaking job to make sure he has a driver's license, and is not caught in a car with a woman that's not his wife in a parking lot at 4 in the morning, no matter how innocent the circumstances may be. That's his job. And, it's Kasich's job to take advantage of all the ammunition Fitzgerald is handing him. If I were Kasich, I would be doing the same thing. That's politics, for better or worse. Ed could be Gandhi, Buddah, Jesus, Mohammed and Mother Teresa all rolled in to one, but if he can't get himself elected, so what.
        If Ed can't play that game, he should get in another line of work. Which at this point, will probably be the case anyway.
        Ed doesn't need to work at getting voters from Daily Kos to show up to the polls, he needs to get Mr. and Ms. "independent" that is only semi informed and for whatever reason, will bother to come out to vote on an off year election. Stuff like this just makes him look stupid and elitist in their eyes.

  •  Az-Gov Hopefully GOP civilwar will let us pickup (0+ / 0-)

    this state.

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:09:34 PM PDT

  •  We should have run Jennifer Brunner (3+ / 0-)

    But no one in Ohio listens to me.

    •  Oh please. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jennifer would be in EXACTLY the same place as Ed is now — only she would have been out of money and out of the running a lot sooner. And I love her; I worked hard in her Senate primary. But she didn't get in the race for whatever reason, and I don't think she was as strong a candidate as Ed is.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:28:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I love Jennifer Brunner... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      However, her campaign in 2010 left much to be desired to say the least. Actually, it was really bad and really broke... She would have been crushed out of the gate.

      "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

      by LordMike on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile, in BizarroWorld (AKA Cambridge, MA), (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anti-PAC Mayday PAC has posted a lackluster ad for its endorsee Ruben Gallego in the AZ-07 Democratic primary...a distinctly bizarre development considering that Gallego voted in 2011 to outlaw public campaign financing in Arizona.

    Mayday's meatheaded interferences in this campaign cycle just keep getting weirder and weirder. Somebody please give Lessig a dose of Narcan before it's too late.

  •  Ohio Governor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, looseleaf, apimomfan2

    I will never vote for Kasich. I don't understand how women, state and local government employees, workers and minorities could vote for Kasich given his record. He has cut income taxes for the very wealthy and at the same time has cut funding for local government services.  He has supported the Republican legislature in making voting harder. Also, the other Republicans in state wide offices are terrible, with Josh Mandel the state treasurer as a perfect example. I do not condone what FitzGerald did with his driver's license, but the way Republicans treat anyone who is not wealthy or politically connected is way worse than what FitzGerald has done.

  •  What the hell happened to FitzGerald? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Wasn't he leading at one time?

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:11:52 PM PDT

  •  Kasich is in, obviously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Nice work, Fitz.

    Kasich is my darkhorse for the GOP 2016 nod.  They could do way, way worse.

  •  As a former Ohioan, (0 / 0) (0 / 0) (5+ / 0-)

    I'm just shaking my head.  After SB5, Kasich should have been a political dead man walking.

    “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring." -- John Oliver

    by jim304 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:31:49 PM PDT

  •  KY-SEN (0+ / 0-)

    Call me crazy, I just think the first ad (tying Grimes to Obama) is weaksauce. It goes overboard IMO:

    2nd ad is pretty hard hitting. Also interesting that it never actually says to vote for McConnell, bet it was paid for with c4 money:

    Grew up in southern VA. Have worked in 9 states across America. Managed races in NM/VA/DC. Was Deputy Political Director at DGA for the 2012 cycle. Follow me @bharatkrishnan if you want to be my friend. Currently managing Catherine Begaye for NM-HD 23

    by Bharat on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:50:51 PM PDT

  •  Let me see if I understand this correctly (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats in Montana nominate a guy who plagiarized his 13-page master's thesis at West Point.  

    Democrats in Ohio nominate a guy who drove without a license for a decade.  

    Democrats in Missouri elected a Jello-lite coward to enforce the rule of law in their state.  

    Democrats in Chicago and in my state of New York elect hydrofracking, Wall Street assholes who declare war on public employees.  

    All this from the party that nominated John Kerry for President.  I think I'm getting the picture here.  

    More Dems?  Fuck that.  Better Dems, or none at all.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:20:40 AM PDT

    •  And then there's the new, "liberal" mayor of NYC (0+ / 0-)

      Eric Garner's murder by New York City cops happened just a few days before Mayor DeBlasio was scheduled to go on vacation — to Italy.  How convenient!  Nice optics there.  

      Where is this liberal mayor, who capitulated to Governor Hydrofracking and is now AWOL on the question of police executions of young black men?  Has he returned from his vacation yet?  I hope he had a nice time.  

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:11:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RGA piling on to gain super maj in OH state house (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wish the clueless OH state Dem party would get that or end up with the bullshit we are dealing with in Michigan

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