• HI-Sen: Yeah, she went there: In the wake of the surprise endorsement (for primary purposes only) of Democratic Rep. and Senate candidate Mazie Hirono by Republican Rep. Don Young, Hirono's likely GOP opponent Linda Lingle told the 11th Commandment to shove it and went after Young:
"It should be troubling to the people of Hawaii that Mazie Hirono's first attempt to convey any example of bipartisanship is a video advertisement with one of the House of Representatives's most controversial members, who even Mazie's fellow Democrats have criticized on a range of ethics and spending issues," Lingle campaign manager Bob Lee said in a statement late Tuesday night....
• IN-Sen: Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly tries to tie himself to Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in his newest spot, noting that they both supported the auto bailout. By contrast, the tea partier who beat Lugar in the primary, Richard Mourdock, "wasted millions suing to kill Chrysler jobs." Just like in his first ad, where a Mourdock stand-in hollers at Coach Donnelly from the bleachers, another stand-in barks at Donnelly from his convertible, "like a guy with road rage."
• MA-Sen (PDF): MassInc polled for WBUR radio (Boston's NPR station) and finds Democrat Elizabeth Warren edging Republican Scott Brown, 40% to 38%. This is similar to both their February poll (which showed Warren up 46-43) and their April poll (which had Warren up 43-41), albeit with more undecideds. Of note: Despite Brown's vaunted "likability," Warren actually enjoys superior favorables at 47/26 to Brown's 50/33.
MassInc didn't offer presidential head-to-heads (not like we need them in MA), but President Obama's favorables are excellent, even for Massachusetts. He clocks in at 60/34. Conversely, Massachusetts' former governor doesn't look like he could get elected deputy dog-catcher among those who know him best: Mitt Romney's favorables are a submarine 39/53. (Arjun Jaikumar)
• MI-Sen: It was only a matter of time before even the deities got involved in the Super PAC game: Gongwer News Service reports that jackal-headed god of the underworld Anubis is the main force behind the creation of a new PAC running issue-oriented ads ("Send a papyrus to Amenhotep IV, and tell him to say 'no' to Aten and support the pantheon of gods; monotheism goes against Egyptian values").
Wait... what's that? It's Saul Anuzis, the former state GOP chair? And it's a PAC called Prosperity for Michigan, that's running $400K in anti-Hoekstra ads on behalf of Clark Durant? Well, that makes a little more sense....
P.S. Here's yet another swing state poll where the Presidential numbers seem plausible but—contrary to basically everyone else—the incumbent Dem Senator is underperforming the President. Rasmussen finds Debbie Stabenow leading Pete Hoekstra 46-40 and Clark Durant 47-39 (down a smidge from last month, when she led Hoekstra 48-39 and Durant 48-37). (David Jarman)
• MO-Sen: Former Republican state treasurer Sarah Steelman must be seeing some polling data suggesting that she's in a tight race in the GOP primary and there's a path to get over the top, as she just self-funded last Friday to the tune of $100,000. Steelman has polled competitively against Dem Claire McCaskill, but has been a fundraising flop and faces a deep-pocketed rival in John Brunner, who's already put in $4.8 million of his own dough. The primary is coming fast, on Aug. 7. (David Jarman)
• NM-Sen: Republican ex-Rep. Heather Wilson is launching her first negative ad of the race, attacking Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich for voting for the Affordable Care Act, which included a medical device tax that Heinrich had previously spoken out against. Meanwhile, yet another new environmental group is getting in on the action here: The National Resources Defense Council is throwing down $38K on mailers hitting Wilson. In addition to the NRDC, you've got the Defenders of Wildlife, Environment America, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters. Wilson must have pissed them off something fierce, because all told, they've spent almost $1.5 million to defeat her so far.
• NY-Sen: The intro tag is "NY-Sen" and if you hover your cursor over the link, you'll see it resolves to quinnipiac.edu, which means there's really nothing to see here.
• WI-Sen: Yet more anti-stimulus hypocrisy from Republican Eric Hovde: He's the second-largest shareholder of a tech company called ePlus, which received more than $2.3 million in stimulus funds. He's also a member of ePlus's board and has earned some $133K for his troubles. Hovde's two main primary opponents, Tommy Thompson and Mark Neumann, are half-heartedly trying to make an issue of the revelation, but both of them have also been involved with companies that benefited from the stimulus, so I expect that this news will mostly just serve to take the issue off the table altogether.
Hovde's also on the receiving end of yet another attack ad from Mark Neumann, who deploys clips of Hovde's own statements in favor of the bailout and higher taxes for the rich (like himself). There's also some dumb comparison with a diary cow. Moo.
• AZ-04: The Club for Growth lights into GOP Rep. Paul Gosar with their newest ad, attacking him for voting to raise the debt ceiling and accusing him of voting "to give our tax dollars to ACORN, the radical liberal group notorious for voter fraud." ZOMG! ACORN sighting! Size of the buy: $69K. (The CfG has endorsed state Sen. Ron Gould in the primary.)
• AZ-06: Outside group National Horizon is actually spending a semi-decent chunk of change to air their new "Prince Ben" ad attacking GOP Rep. Ben Quayle: $90K. You know, if all you ever did was watch political campaign commercials, you'd think there wasn't a single "true conservative" in the entire country.
• AZ-09: Sometimes I see comments from a politician and, with a wince, I think, "I bet they wish they could un-say that." In this case, though, Andrei Cherny—currently atop the leaderboard for "worst Democrat running this cycle" (non-Larouchie division)—is such a d-bag that he probably doesn't, were it not for political pressure forcing him in this particular case. John Celock at the Huffington Post summarizes:
A Democratic congressional candidate in Arizona is under fire for comments he made at a 2010 Tea Party forum, where he said he was "proud" of the group and said he opposed the Affordable Care Act.
Andrei Cherny, a former state Democratic Party chairman who is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Phoenix-area congressional seat, said he believed in Tea Party ideas on economic and tax policy in 2010—he was one of several Democrats to appear at Tea Party events around the state that year. At the time, Cherny was the Democratic nominee for state treasurer, a race he lost to Republican Doug Ducey.
Amazing that a former state party chair could say such things. Now, of course, Cherny's trying to dance away from his remarks, claiming that the tea party has since been "corrupted" and that he actually opposed the ACA from the left
In other Democratic primary news, ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is out with her first ad, in which a parade of Republican faces scrolls by (Gingrich, Limbaugh, and interestingly, John McCain), all of whom she says are "more focused on dictating women's personal health care decisions, like birth control, than getting our economy back on track." She also says she "took on" GOP Gov. Jan Brewer "to stop cuts in local schools and protect children's healthcare."
• CA-26: Getting a Democratic pickup out of the 26th—a rejiggered version of Republican Elton Gallegly's old Ventura County seat, made Dem-leaning enough that Gallegly opted to retire—was always going to be trickier than the on-paper numbers indicated. Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland has a high profile locally (and it's an affluent suburban area that's more favorable to the GOP downballot than at the prez level); Democrats had to navigate a weird Top 2 primary with a credible independent candidate, after their original top-tier recruit unexpectedly quit. Despite all that, according to a new poll taken for Dem Julia Brownley, whatever they're doing is apparently working. The poll, by Tulchin Research, finds Brownley leading Strickland 48-44. (The poll also finds Barack Obama leading 50-45, so it's not an overly-rosy sample, considering that Obama won under the new lines 56-41 in '08.) (David Jarman)
• CT-05: The other day, I called out EMILY's List for its efforts to attack Democratic state House Speaker Chris Donovan using the right-frame that he's a tax-raiser—a particularly galling move since Donovan was a key architect of a 2009 budget which increased taxes on millionaires... you know, the people who ought to pay more in taxes. EMILY now says that their negative mailers refer to a 2011 budget, which they claim hurt middle-class families and was anti-progressive. (I asked to see a copy of the flyer and received no response.)
But this, too, is garbage. From a Bloomberg writeup of the budget when it went down last year:
Connecticut's income tax will become more progressive, with six income brackets instead of three, adding 5.5 percent, 6 percent and 6.7 percent rates under the spending plan. Residents reporting earnings of more than $50,000 will pay 5.5 percent, up from 5 percent. Top earners, including couples making $1 million or more, will pay 6.7 percent, up from 6.5 percent. The plan also creates an earned-income tax credit for lower-paid workers.
What's more, the budget included no layoffs
and avoided major cuts to state agencies. On top of that, the candidate EMILY is trying to boost, Elizabeth Esty, seems very confused about where to stand. She doesn't want to attack Gov. Dan Malloy, who signed the budget, but she nevertheless tries to argue that the "budget shortfall Governor Malloy faced in 2011 was a direct consequence of Speaker Donovan's repeated failure to address Connecticut's economic crisis with honest solutions." The problem with this strange argument is that Malloy was completely on board
with the budget:
"I know it's a tough vote—it's also the right vote," Malloy, 55, said yesterday in a statement. "The budget is balanced, honest and contains none of the gimmicks that helped get us into this mess."
Malloy himself called the budget "honest"! So where is Esty even getting this notion from? Like I said, this is all garbage.
• FL-18: In GOP Rep. Allen West's new TV spot, a sergeant who served under West in Iraq says that West saved his life by giving the soldier his own body armor, which he says saved his life during an attack—and allowed him to later see his son, who was born after he deployed overseas. At a minute in length, the spot is too long, and you might be left wondering why the sergeant didn't have his own body armor, but there's no question it's a good story and the kind of ad West needs to be running to get out from under his own crazy mouth.
• HI-02: The Sierra Club is sending out mailers for Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, and for once, you can actually see what the flyers look like (click through and follow the links within). They are mostly positive, with callouts of varying sizes that attack Gabbard's chief primary rival, Mufi Hannemann. The total spend is about $28K.
• IA-04: It turns out that that new House Majority PAC ad promoting Dem Christie Vilsack was a collaboration between the HMP and two labor groups, AFSCME, and SEIU COPE. Each organization contributed both to the production costs and to the actual airtime. The buy totals $90K, divided as follows: HMP, $24K; AFSCME, $29K; and SEIU, $37K.
• IL-08, 10, 11: A super PAC called the New Prosperity Foundation has launched utterly bogus ads targeting three Illinois Democrats: Tammy Duckworth in IL-08, Brad Schneider in IL-10, and Bill Foster in IL-11. All three spots are identical, just subbing in the appropriate candidate's name and saying that voting for any of these three "is a vote for Nancy Pelosi." The most mendacious claim is that the Affordable Care Act provides for "a panel of bureaucrats who can choose what treatment you receive despite what your doctor thinks." This is a straight-out lie, since the panel the spot refers to is prohibited by law from making "any recommendation to ration health care."
So I wonder if any of the Dem campaigns will try to get this ad knocked off the air. But it might not be worth it, since the buys are all very small: Just $10K each for Foster and Schneider and $39K for Duckworth. (I also wonder if the group has anything to do with Americans for Prosperity, just based on the name.)
• MI-03: VoteVets is spending $71K on mailers supporting activist Trevor Thomas, who is running in the Democratic primary against ex-state Rep. Steve Pestka. I'm guessing that VoteVets is interested in the race because of Thomas's work on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
• MI-06: The Radiologists are spending $50K in mailers (here and here) in support of GOP Rep. Fred Upton.
• MI-11: Kerry Bentivolio is a teacher. He's also a military veteran. Maybe you even know that he's a reindeer farmer. (True!) But did you also know that "actor" is on his resume? Yep, he played a physician in a D-grade satirical film called "The President Goes to Heaven," and that's the target of a new ad from Nancy Cassis, Bentivolio's GOP primary opponent. The narrator characterizes the movie as "accusing President Bush and Vice President Cheney of ordering the 9/11 terrorist attack on America" and calls it "sickening."
Meanwhile, outside group Liberty for All continues to spend on Bentivolio's behalf, with $34K more on mailers and $13K on robocalls.
• MO-04: Democrat Teresa Hensley, running against GOP freshman Vicki Hartzler, is out with her first ad. The father of a young woman killed in a drunk driving accident praises Hensley, a local prosecutor, for seeking justice for his daughter. It's a simple ad, but I think it works.
• NY-24: The pro-Dem House Majority PAC is out with their second New York poll in as many days. This time, they head upstate to the Syracuse region, where they find ex-Rep. Dan Maffei leading the GOP freshman who beat him last cycle, Ann Marie Buerkle, 44-40. Maffei has a 37-31 favorability rating, while Buerkle is under water at 35-36. Obama also beats Romney, 49-39; in 2008, he won the district by 14 points, so you can't accuse this poll (from Normington Petts) of having a rosy sample.
• PA-18, PA-12: I think big ad reservations (buying TV ad space in bulk up front long before you need it, so you pay lower rates and get the best placement) have moved from merely a trendy experiment to standard operating practice in the last few months. Evidence that it's trickled down from the big players to even some of the rank-and-filers in the second- and third-tier races: Larry Maggi, the Dem candidate in the fairly-low-profile race in PA-18 against incumbent GOPer Tim Murphy, just reserved $495K in the Pittsburgh market for the last weeks of the campaign. (Similarly, the Republican challenger in PA-12, Keith Rothfus, has made $429K in reservations.) (David Jarman)
• TN-06: The Radiologists are tossing in another $18K on mailers for GOP Rep. Diane Black, on top of the $50K for radio ads we mentioned in the previous Digest. But they aren't keeping up with the Joneses: Citizens 4 Ethics in Government is adding another $24K for their existing TV buy attacking Black, which now stands at over $130K (not including radio or other media).
• WA-06: Democratic state Sen. Derek Kilmer's first ad is a pretty generic biographical spot, trying to explain why his upbringing led to his concern for the middle class. Not really impressed with the production values here.
• WI-02: A bit of backlash for state Rep. Kelda Roys in the wake of her negative ad attacking fellow state Rep. Mark Pocan: Another state rep., Fred Clark, has withdrawn his endorsement of Roys, citing his unhappiness with the ad. (You may remember Clark from his close loss to GOP state Sen. Luther Olsen in the 2011 recalls.)
• WA-Init: The same Elway sample that gave Democrat Jay Inslee his first solid lead in the gubernatorial race also looked at the ballot measures that will confront Washington voters in November. Support for Ref. 74, which would uphold Washington's same-sex marriage law that was passed by the legislature, is running 49-39. (Support for same-sex marriage itself is at 52-40, suggesting some confusion among voters about what the referendum means.) I-502 (marijuana legalization) is supported only 46-44, odd since most other pollsters have shown it broadly popular. (David Jarman)
• New Mexico: PPP's bucket of miscellany for the Land of Enchantment has a mixed bag for Democrats: Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall have seen some erosion in their approvals (down to 48/36 and 45/37, respectively), but Dems still lead the generic state legislative ballot, 46-38. (The Dems have a comfortable edge in the state Senate, but control the House only 36-33-1, so they'd like to pad the margin there.) (David Jarman)
• Polltopia: I'm still pulling for Connecticut in PPP's "where should we poll" poll.
• Tennessee: The Volunteer State freakishly holds its primaries on a Thursday—next week, in fact. So we have pre-primary fundraising reports wrapped up for you at the link. In the TN-03 Republican primary, wealthy ice-cream kingpin Scottie Mayfield loaned his campaign $150K, but Rep. Chuck Fleischman has nevertheless managed to outspend him and still has more cash for the stretch run. Meanwhile, in TN-06 GOP contest, Rep. Diane Black sure is spending like the dickens, even though her opponent, Lou Ann Zelenik, got a late start and trails considerably in the fundraising department. Finally, progressive hero and one of our all-time favorite congressmen dating back to the SSP days, TN-09's Steve Cohen, evidently feels he has nothing to worry about from Tomeka Hart. Hart's raised little, and Cohen fearlessly still has almost a million bucks in the bank.
• MD Redistricting: Maryland's Republicans collected enough signatures to get a measure on the November ballot that would strike down the redistricting map created by the Dem-controlled legislature. But the number of signatures only narrowly exceeded the threshold (59K, with 55K needed), and the state Dems just filed suit alleging that the Board of Elections accepted too many invalid signatures (many of which were collected online). The suit flags more than 5,000 signatures, so, if it succeeds, the challenge would be off the ballot. (Either way, the map is in place for 2012, so a Republican win in court wouldn't boost Roscoe Bartlett's chances of surviving in the much-bluer MD-06.) (David Jarman)
Comments are closed on this story.