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• FL-Sen: There must be a special on cat fud down at the supermarket, because there sure is a lot of it getting flung around in this digest. The latest installment: Recently departed Senate candidate (and embarrassing disgrace) Mike Haridopolos refused to endorse fellow Republican Adam Hasner, saying: “I can tell you one thing: I will not be supporting Adam Hasner for the Senate." Haridopolos also added the he hopes a “a principled and trusted conservative” gets into the race — i.e., there ain't any already running. Reminds me a bit of the Bill McCollum-Rick Scott fallout from last year's gubernatorial primary. Fun!
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Larry Sabato says it "[l]ooks like Rep. Vern Buchanan may run" for the GOP nomination. I don't recall Buchanan ever definitively ruling it out (correct me if I'm wrong?), and despite his baggage, I think he'd be a formidable primary candidate, given his strong conservative pedigree and immense personal wealth. And seeing how weak the Republican field is, he may be better than anything else they could offer for the general.
• IN-Sen: Dick Lugar's campaign attacked that Club for Growth poll we mentioned the other day (the one showing him trailing Richard Mourdock 34-32 in the GOP primary), saying it "does not resemble anything we are seeing"... but refusing to provide any internals of their own.
• MA-Sen: "It Gets Better" gets better. On Wednesday, we told you about an "It Gets Better" video that the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation participated in, except for Scott Brown. Well, as it turns out, of course Brown was invited. His excuse for not participating? "His main focus right now is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track." So what legislation was Brown working on to further these goals? Increasing the penalty for harming seals.
In other MA-Sen news, on a recent radio show, Gov. Deval Patrick mentioned two names that haven't gotten a lot of play so far as potential Democratic candidates: former John Hancock CEO David D’Alessandro and Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino. In an interview with the Boston Herald, D'Alessandro laughed about the idea but would not rule out a run.
• MD-Sen, MD-02: State Delegate and conservative talk radio host Pat McDonough was last seen running against veteran Dem Dutch Ruppersberger for the 2nd CD House seat. He's now characterizing his campaign as "testing the waters," and says that if the district gets "gerrymandered, rendering it impossible to win," then he might instead challenge Sen. Ben Cardin.
• MO-Sen: This is nice-n-scuzzy: David Farr, the chairman of electrical conglomerate Emerson, sent a letter to his employees (all 128,000 of them, I wonder?) encouraging them to attend a fundraiser for GOP Rep. Todd Akin. The suggested donation is $1,000, but if you give $5,000 you get invited to "an intimate dinner event" with Akin, Farr, and Farr's wife. No question that it's his right to do so, but I'd feel pretty uncomfortable if I ever got a note like that from my employer.
• NM-Sen: Karl Rove will be headlining a fundraiser for ex-Rep. Heather Wilson next month, and as Matthew Reichbach points out, that ought to cast a spotlight back on the sordid business of the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, something both Rove and Wilson were intimately involved with — though they had contradictory self-serving stories to tell about the whole affair.
• WA-Sen, WA-08: Mike Seely of the Seattle Weekly says he's heard "somewhat credible rumors" that GOP Rep. Dave Reichert might run for Senate… something he's never formally ruled out (and on account of that, these kinds of "rumors" have percolated now and again for some time). But Dem consultant Blair Butterworth says: "I've always thought that he was using the rumor as leverage on the redistricting commission so as not to make the 8th District more Democratic."
• NE-Gov: That's getting an early start: Republican Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy says he's planning to run in 2014, when current Gov. Dave Heineman will be term-limited out.
• IL-08/IL-14: Priceless: GOP freshman Joe Walsh, a teabagger princeling who loves to lecture everyone else on fiscal responsibility, has been sued for over $100,000 in unpaid child support by his ex-wife. Terrific cover on the Chicago Sun-Times, too. (By the way, I'm considering Walsh to be in a Schrödinger’s Seat-type situation. I don't think he's formally declared for the 14th, but it's the most logical place for him, and the Club for Growth endorsed him to run there.)
• IL-16: God, these pre-pre-pre-announcements are just getting ridiculous. Republican Winnebago County Board member Frank Gambino, who previously expressed interest in a congressional run, is informing reporters that he will "announce formation of an exploratory committee." The way I read that, he's not even creating the exploratory committee — just announcing that he will. Which means this news constitutes and announcement of an announcement of something that actually doesn't really exist. (The FEC doesn't recognize any such creature as an "exploratory" committee. It's a campaign committee, period, regardless of what candidates call it.)
• NC-11: Well, this statement from Heath Shuler's spokesman sounds pretty reverse-Shermanesque (Shuleresque?):
“Heath Shuler is running for reelection in 2012. He is not going to be the next athletic director at the University of Tennessee. He has not sought it. He has not interviewed for it. If offered, he will not accept it. He will not be the next AD at UT. He is running for reelection.”
Here's a thought, courtesy David Jarman: Could Shuler pull a Tim Holden and instead run in the redrawn 10th CD? It contains the Democratic town of Asheville, it's overall less red than the new 11th, and even though it has an incumbent, does anyone really like Patrick McHenry?
• ND-AL: GOP state Rep. Kim Koppelman claims he's being "strongly encouraged" to run for Rick Berg's open seat by local and national leader. No timeline on a decision, though.
• NY-09: This might be the one district where you actually want his help: Joe Lieberman (remember him?) just endorsed Democrat David Weprin in the special election, a move aimed to push back at Ed Koch's ridiculous endorsement of Bob Turner.
• OH-04: Now this is the kind of cat fud we all live for. If you've been following the debt ceiling absurdities, you may be aware that a top aide to the ultra-rightist Republican Study Committee sent out emails trying to whip votes against John Boehner's latest proposal. This infuriated the GOP caucus for a whole host of obvious reasons, with RSC chair Jim Jordan being the chief object of their rage — and now Jordan may pay the ultimate price. With Ohio losing two seats in redistricting, one Republican source tells the Columbus Dispatch that Jordan "doesn't know it, but he solved a problem for Republican line-drawers by (figuratively) standing up and saying, 'I'm a jerk and I deserved to be punished.'" Punished, that is, by having his seat dismantled. Another nameless Republican concurs, saying: "The easiest option for everybody has presented itself." Jean Schmidt ought to send Jim Jordan a birthday cake… but the only thing he's eating right now is a box of Purina.
Yesterday afternoon, in response to the idea that Jordan's district might get dismembered, House Speaker John Boehner said "the word 'retribution' is not in my vocabulary." Boehner may not (yet) be chopped liver, but he's also not a member of the Ohio legislature. And if that body should nonetheless decide to do Jordan in… well, Boehner can say it again: retribution is not in his vocabulary!
• RI-01: Things have been looking quite rocky lately for freshman Dem David Cicilline, with a whole host of folks thinking about primarying him — and a pretty serious general election challenger emerging in the form retired state police chief Brendan Doherty. But ex-Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the man Cicilline replaced, is still standing by him, holding a fundraiser in California for Cicilline last month and planning another this fall. On the flipside, in "Did you know they were Republicans?" news, the Farrelly brothers — of Something About Mary fame — are hosting a fundraising event for Doherty.
• UT-02 (?): Republican Morgan Philpot, who came close to beating Rep. Jim Matheson last year and had previously expressed interest in running again, says he's forming an exploratory committee — but, as is so often the case, he's not sure which district he'll run in. In addition to Matheson's CD, Utah is getting a new seat and Jason Chaffetz looks like he'll run for Senate, so he might have as many as three options. (Hell, maybe Rob Bishop will primary Gov. Gary Herbert.) As an aside, can I just say I'm really glad we only have to deal with redistricting once a decade? Because writing up these "he could run in eleventy thousand different districts" stories is starting to wear me out. Thank you for letting me complain.
• WA-01: Oregon 1st CD voters, breathe easy. Dennis Kucinich is indeed headed back to the Pacific Northwest next week, but to his usual stomping grounds in Seattle. He'll speak at the Washington State Labor Council's yearly convention, along with actual Washingtonians like Roger Goodman, Marko Liias, Laura Ruderman, and Denny Heck. Actually, since OR-01 will have a special election, couldn't Kucinich run there first and then run in WA-01 as a fallback option? Hahahahah! Yes he could!
• WI Recall (PDF): A company called the Campaign Media Analysis Group has an impressive roundup of what looks like every ad airing in the Wisconsin recalls, as of last Friday. Though the link is to a PDF, the file contains links to all the ads, including those by third-party groups. Very much worth checking out.
• CA Redistricting: Some confusingly-titled "final drafts" of the CA redistricting commission's work were circulated yesterday, but the actual final maps are being released today. While the commission didn't leave itself a lot of time, it's possible some last-minute tweaks will be made.
• NC Redistricting: North Carolina's GOP-held legislature passed its new legislative and congressional plans on Wednesday, and since Dem Gov. Beverly Perdue doesn't get a veto, these maps are now "final." I put "final" in scare-quotes, of course, because there will indeed be serious litigation over these plans, guaranteed. You can see the congressional map just below. It looks like it changed only slightly from version 2, which we analyzed here. Click for a larger version: