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• KY Redistricting: Kentucky's been one of the laggard states when it comes to redistricting, I suspect because pols there wanted to wait until their odd-numbered-year elections concluded. But now things are finally moving forward, and Democrats are out with new proposed maps, which you can see below. Both of them shore up Dem Rep. Ben Chandler, but note that these are just initial drafts/ Democrats control the governor's mansion and the state House, but the GOP runs the Senate, so either a compromise or a court-drawn map will be necessary.
• PA-Sen: Sam Rohrer, who has been inching toward a run for some time, will formally join the Republican primary field on Monday. Rohrer is a former head of the Pennsylvania chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the notorious Koch brothers front group.
• MO-Gov: Ah, fun. Some serious TARP-related troubles for plastics magnate Dave Spence, the newly-minted Republican gubernatorial savior:
In addition to Alpha Packaging, Spence served for six years on the board of directors for Reliance Bancshares Inc., a bank holding company headquartered in St. Louis. In February, the company announced it would stop making payments to the U.S. Treasury on the $42 million it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Spence told the Associated Press that he didn't recall any details about that decision to stop making payments. But he defended the federal bank bailout program, saying it helped avoid a potential economic disaster by providing banks with "extra cushion of capital."
He told PoliticMo on Tuesday that he resigned from the board in March because of the issue, although paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission says his March resignation was "not related to any disagreements with [Reliance Bancshares'] operations, policies or practices."
Supporting TARP is usually sin enough to earn some serious noogies on the campaign trail. Actually taking TARP money is something else altogether… and refusing to pay it back? Oof. (Note that this is not a comment on the merits of TARP itself, but rather how it plays as a campaign issue.)
• NH-Gov: This should be an entertaining battle of the crazies. Conservative activist Kevin Smith, former head of an advocacy group called Cornerstone Action, has, as expected, declared that he will enter the Republican primary. He joins fellow nutter Ovide Lamontagne, which is almost perfect for us, since the two will very likely try their hardest to out-lunatic each other as they seek the GOP nomination.
• WI-Gov: Somehow, St. Norbert College has found support for recalling GOP Gov. Scott Walker at an astounding 58-38 spread, up from 47-48 in April. That is basically impossible to believe, especially since 24% of Republicans supposedly in favor of the idea. It's also contradicted by PPP's polling, which has consistently seen an evenly-divided electorate. Really, I just can't take this poll seriously.
• AR-04 (PDF): Beth Anne Rankin, the unsuccessful 2010 Republican nominee in the 4th CD, is touting an internal which shows her with a huge 40-3 lead over newly-minted golden boy Tom Cotton in the GOP primary. The poll, from the firm of Dresner, Wickers, Barber, Sanders, does contain one oddity. At the top of the memo, it says: "The margin of error, at .90 confidence is +/- 4%." I've never seen a single political poll which uses anything other than a 95% confidence interval—indeed, that is such a common standard that you almost never even see the confidence interval mentioned. I don't know why they chose to play this game, since the poll reveals its sample size, a perfectly respectable 400. (That's a 4.9% MoE by normal reckoning.)
• AZ-02: Local sports radio announcer Dave Sitton says he's forming an exploratory committee to run in the proposed new 2nd CD, which would pit him against Rep. Gabby Giffords if she seeks re-election (and if the draft redistricting map is actually adopted). Sitton's the third Republican in the mix, along with state Sen. Frank Antenori and 2010 nominee Jesse Kelly.
• CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, whose name first emerged as a possible candidate back in August, was expected to officially join the race for California's redrawn 26th District on Wednesday. There are a few other Democratic contenders here, though with Bennett's entry, he probably becomes the frontrunner. No Republicans are in the race as yet because everyone is waiting on Rep. Elton Gallegly to decide if he'll run here or just bail altogether.
• CA-44: Republican businessman Craig Huey, who ran a decently competitive race against Janice Hahn in the CA-36 special election earlier this year, won't seek a rematch (Hahn's since moved over to the new 44th) and will instead run for the state Assembly.
• CO-03: Sal Pace is definitely in this thing: He just stepped down from his post as state House Minority Leader in order to concentrate on his run for Congress against GOP freshman Scott Tipton.
• IL-08: A pair of locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (aka the UFCW) endorsed Tammy Duckworth's candidacy for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.
• IL-10: We missed this last week, but activist Ilya Sheyman just picked up his second endorsement from a member of Illinois' congressional delegation: Rep. Danny Davis joined Jesse Jackson, Jr. in giving his support to Sheyman in the Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, I've received confirmation from the Brad Schneider campaign that DCCC recruiting chair Allyson Schwartz did not endorse Schneider, contrary to this piece from Grayslake Patch. However, back in June, her leadership PAC ("We the People PAC") gave him $1,000.
• IL-12: GOP state Rep. Mike Bost had been considering a run for the seat left behind by retiring Dem Rep. Jerry Costello, but now he says he won't pull the trigger. (He will instead run for re-election to the state House.) Last year's Republican Lt. Gov. nominee, Jason Plummer, entered the race late last month, so that may have been a deterrent to Bost.
• MA-09: Dem Senate President Therese Murray says she won't run in the new, and nominally open, 9th CD, to which Dem Rep. Bill Keating is relocating. Keating's 2010 opponent in the general election, GOPer Jeff Perry, says he won't run, either—nor will Republican state Rep. Vinnie DeMacedo. But the Boston Herald lists several other new potential candidates, including Keating's 2010 primary rival, former State Sen. Robert O’Leary (who says he's considering the race), Dem state Sen. Mark Montigny, and Republican Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.
• NJ-02: Michael Assad, a member of the Absecon (pop. 8,400) Board of Education and a self-identified Tea Partier, says he plans to challenge veteran Rep. Frank LoBiondo in the Republican primary. Godspeed, little buddy.
• NV-04: State Sen. John Lee's campaign manager says his boss is reconsidering his run for congress in Nevada's new, blue-tinted 4th CD—and if he gets out, that would clear the way for one of Horsford's fellow state senators, Majority Leader Steven Horsford, to scoop up the Democratic nomination. I've gotta believe Lee will bail after making remarks like these—it's a lot harder to win a race after you publicly moot quitting it.
Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Jon Ralston seems to be suggesting that Danny Tarkanian is polling a potential primary matchup in the new 4th against state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, who just entered the race late last week. The numbers apparently show a massive lead for Tark, who has failed in three prior runs for office (and whose wife was recently elected chair of the Nevada Republican Party). In response, newly minted GOP Rep. Mark Amodei endorsed Cegavske, which Ralston thinks is a message to Tarkanian to stay out of the race.
• OH-07: Dem ex-Rep. Zack Space, who lost in last year's red tide, had reportedly been considering a comeback bid, though I don't believe we ever heard so from the horse's mouth. Now, though, that seems very unlikely, since he just took a job with an Ohio-based consulting firm. Space is only 50 years old, though, so he could conceivably run again somewhere down the line. (By the way, I've filed this under OH-07 even though Space's old district was the 18th; that's because the 18th has been eliminated and the guy who beat Space, Bob Gibbs, has been placed in the new 7th.)
• SC-07: Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice officially launched his campaign for the GOP nomination for South Carolina's new 7th CD on Wednesday. It's definitely going to be a busy Republican primary.
• WA-03: Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, who first said he was looking at a run against GOP freshman Jamie Herrera Beutler back in August, just announced that he won't make a bid for Congress. However, at least one other potential candidate is still waiting in the wings, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt. (Leavitt's never actually declared that he's a Democrat, but given Washington's top-two primary system, a run as a Republican would probably be doomed.)
Also, earlier this week, Jon Haugen, a Navy vet and commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines, became the first challenger to enter the field. Haugen lost a state Senate bid in 2008 as a Democrat, then ran without any party line for a state House seat last year (also unsuccessfully), so it's not clear if he's running as a Democrat this time or what.
• Ads: Two new ad campaigns have been launched this week in a variety of federal races. First up, a trio of labor groups— AFSCME, SEIU, and Americans United for Change—are targeting Republicans Denny Rehberg (MT-Sen), Scott Brown (MA-Sen), and Dean Heller (NV-Sen), warning them not to cut Medicare. The ads use the same script; here's the Brown version:
In response, or so it would seem, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching spots dinging Dem Sen. Jon Tester in Montana and fluffing Heller in Nevada. They also go after another Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, but the rest of their ads (which you can watch here
) are all positive spots for three Republicans representatives: Tom Latham (IA-03), Pat Meehan (PA-07), and Dave Reichert (WA-08). Those last two are odd choices because that means expensive buys in the full Philadelphia and Seattle media markets (you can't really target just a single congressional district in a big city).
• Demographics: Here's a startling new data point from the Census Bureau: mobility is at its lowest level since the Census started keeping track of it, in 1948. In other words, a smaller percentage of people changed residences last year than in any previous year, only 11.6%. A lot of that, of course, has to do economic conditions: more people are stuck because they're underwater on mortgages, and fewer people are moving for new job opportunities. Naturally, this has political implications, too, as we may be entering a new period of population stasis rather than what we saw in the last decade, where Sun Belt states grew rapidly (but also where their urban areas got bluer). (David Jarman)
• Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick just signed legislation moving Massachusetts' super-late Sept. 18 primary all the way to… Sept. 6 (which is a Thursday). The original date would have conflicted with the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and it also would have made compliance with the federal MOVE Act impossible. That legislation requires that absentee ballots be sent to overseas voters at least 45 days before a federal election. It seems pretty bone-headed to shift the primary by just twelve days, though, because the state would still risk a MOVE Act violation if there are any protracted recounts. Anyhow, there had been talk of consolidating the state's March presidential primary with the September election into a single unified June primary, but with the passage of this bill into law, that seems unlikely now.
• Pennsylvania: Ordinarily, a change in the party control of a county council would be too down in the weeds for us, but as the last votes from last week's elections get swept up, I think we can point to an overall trend here. In 12 different counties in Pennsylvania (most of which are historically Democratic), county council control switched from Democrats to Republicans. We mentioned last week that Westmoreland County in Pittsburgh's suburbs finally switched to GOP control at the county level (after having gone red, presidentially, for the last few decades), but now several other big but aging and shrinking counties (including Cambria, where Johnstown is, Mercer, another steel mill county near Pittsburgh, and Schuylkill, in coal country north of Harrisburg), plus a host of other smaller ones mostly in western Pennsylvania, flipped too.
However, again, the real story is that the two halves of the state are moving in totally opposite directions, preserving the state's swingy balance. Two counties moved from GOP to Democratic control, one of which is Philadelphia's most populous suburban county, Montgomery; in fact, the 12 counties that switched to the GOP, with their populations all added up, only have a few hundred thousand more people than Montgomery by itself. (David Jarman)
• AK Redistricting: Unusually for us, we have not one but two state-level redistricting stories today, but we don't mention Alaska much and I thought this one was interesting. Despite the state's red hue, the Alaska Senate is actually evenly divided between 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans—and power is shared rather unusually. Six of those Republicans (the saner ones in the bunch) are part of a governing coalition with all of the Democrats, due to a split on the GOP side that dates back to 2006. However, thanks to redistricting, a number of Democratic seats are vulnerable next year, which could return the chamber to a Republican majority. That may or may not change the balance of power, though, since the original coalition was formed back when Democrats had only nine seats—and hardcore Republicans are talking about trying to win six seats, which suggests that a simple GOP majority might not affect the current arrangement.
• CO Redistricting: As I say, we don't usually cover legislative redistricting here are DKos Elections unless there's something unusual to discuss... but, well, this is unusual. Colorado's Supreme Court just struck down the state's new legislative maps because too many counties were split up. The plans were drawn by a commission, which was split between five Republicans and five Democrats, with an independent member acting as the tie-breaker, though both maps passed by wide majorities (8-3 for the House and 9-2 for the Senate). In any event, the commission must go back to the drawing board and re-submit new maps to the high court by Dec. 6.
Meanwhile, on the federal level, it looks like Colorado Republicans are ready to roll dem bones. After pondering for a week, they've decided to appeal the trial court decision which adopted a Democratic-drawn congressional map to resolve the state's redistricting impasse. The poignant problem they face, of course, is that a higher court could very well produce an even worse map for them—a very real risk, given how unrealistic the GOP's proposals have been so far.
• MA Redistricting: On Tuesday, the Bay State's new congressional redistricting plan flew through the Democrat-controlled House as expected (by predictably huge margins). However, in a surprise twist, Dem state Sen. Brian Joyce used a procedural move to hold up consideration in the upper chamber. It sounds like Joyce is unhappy that his home town of Milton is split in the new map, and he wants lawmakers to consider amendments. I don't know how much ability Joyce has to actually derail the legislation, though, since debate was set to resume on the map on Wednesday.