Thursday, April 30, 2009

HR 1913: Hate Crimes Bill Passes Passes House

HR 1913 (Local Law Enforcement Prevention Act of 2009) has passed the House of Representatives, 247-175.  Please take a look at the roll call to see if your Congressional Representative voted for the bill.  Please call and thank them for their support if they voted yes.  I'm proud to say that Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-5), my representative, voted for the bill as did Steve Cohen (TN-9). 

Seventeen democrats voted against the bill, three of them, sadly, from Tennessee:  Davis (TN-4), Gordon (TN-6) and Tanner (TN-8). There were 18 Republicans who voted in favor of the measure.

The Senate is expected to pass its version of hate crimes legislation, which was introduced earlier this week by Ted Kennedy (S.909).  Here's a list of the 33 co-sponsors who have signed on already. 

Sen. Edward Kennedy [D, MA]
Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]
Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN]
Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]
Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]
Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT]
Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY-20]
Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]
Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA]
Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]
Sen. Carl Levin [D, MI]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
Sen. Jeff Merkley [D, OR]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]
Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]
Sen. John Reed [D, RI]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Arlen Specter [D, PA]
Sen. Mark Udall [D, CO]
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Congresswoman Foxx Comparing Being Gay To Prostitution

I don’t know why I’m surprised anymore, but hateful comments like this catch me off guard.

Many of you know that we’ve been closely following the Hate Crimes Legislation (HR 1913) that’s swiftly moving through Congress. During discussion today in the Rules Committee, Congresswoman Virginia Fox, citing reasons why she objects to expanding hate crimes language to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” said these words this afternoon:
"Why is it worse to go after someone who's gay than going after someone who's a prostitute?"

"Should there be an amendment to this to say that prostitutes are a protected class?"
You read it right. A sitting US Congresswoman has officially declared a comparison of gays and lesbians to an act that is considered a crime in 99% of the country.

I just got off the phone with someone from her office, expressing my deep disappointment that an elected official to the US Congress would make such remarks. Please take a few minutes and call Foxx’s office as soon as possible to let her know how you feel. Please be civil.

Her Washington number is 202-225-2071.

Specter Reaction: Sour Grapes For Martinez

You gotta love Twitter! Mel Martinez's off the cuff remark just moments ago makes me wonder if he's a little jealous. Martinez announced that he would not be seeking reelection after polls long ago indicated big trouble for him in 2010. Now, he'll have to ride off into the sunset without Specter by his side. Maybe Jim Bunning, Kitt Bond, Judd Gregg, and George Voinovich can keep him company. 
(1:50 pm)  RE Specter's Party Switch:The pressure is now on moderate democrats to stop the radical agenda. I am disappointed and surprised.

(two minutes later) On lighter note, Sen Dodd came to Republican meeting where Specter was speaking and asked if Ds could trade for someone else. 

Switcharoo! Specter (D-PA)

Sometimes you do what you have to do.  Arlen Specter, a Republican since 1966, is switching parties.


A Quinnipiac poll, released just moments ago, shows Specter trailing Pat Toomey by 14 points in PA's Republican 2010 Primary. Even more grim was Rasmussen's poll earlier this week which put Specter behind by 21. (See fourth paragraph "studied public opinion...")

With Toomey out of the way, Specter should be safe.  Rothberg Political Report has already updated their projections to include Specter's seat listed as "clear advantage for incumbent party."  We'll keep you updated as new polls become available.

Here's Specter's press release:
April 28, 2009

Statement by Senator Arlen Specter
I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania's economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords' switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.
President Obama's reaction:  "You have my full support, and we're thrilled to have you."  

ILLINOIS SENATE 2010: Democrats Safe - Burris Not So Safe

INCUMBENT: Roland Burris, Democrat
  • Appointed December 30, 2008 by Ex-Governor,  Rod Blagojevich
  • Burris is filling the vacated seat left by President Obama
  • DOB - 08/03/1937
POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS (names being tossed around): Representative Jan Schakowsky, Alexi Giannoulias, Representative Mark Kirk.

2008 PRESIDENTIAL STATE RESULTS: Obama 62%  McCain 37%

Believe it or not, the Illinois 2010 Primary is less than one year away. Roland Burris has indicated that he'll announce "in the very near future" whether or not he intends to defend his seat. With little more than pocket change to show for as well as the guarantee that other heavy-hitting Democrats will be showing up, our bet is that Burris doesn't stand a chance. There's also that 19% favorability rating... 

An internal poll, released by Representative Jan Schakowsky, shows her leading Burris and State Treasurer, Alexi Giannoulias. The good news for all of them is that more than a third of the respondents were undecided about who they would vote for. Schakowsky, should she run, will have to overcome the fundraising advantage Giannoulias, who has more than a half-million dollar edge already.

Despite a weak showing by Burris, there's little chance that of this seat turning red, regardless of which Democratic candidate emerges. One Republican name that's being tossed around is Mark Kirk, although he's still unsure about whether or not he's going to run in the senate or governor race.

Friday, April 24, 2009


A new PPP poll shows that Democratic Senator, Michael Bennet, needs to get back in the good graces of Colorado voters.  Just 34% of Colorado residents approve of the job he's doing. While Bennet is still favored over most potential Republican challengers, getting reelected may come down to improving support from Hispanics.
There’s still some indication within the numbers that Hispanic voters might be angry that one of them was not appointed to replace Ken Salazar. Bennet’s spread with Hispanics is 36/45, much worse than Barack Obama’s 58/36 and one he’ll have to improve with that Democratic leaning demographic if he’s going to be reelected.

ARIZONA SENATE 2010: Simcox Will Challenge McCain In Republican Primary

Nothing is easy for John McCain these days.  There will be no free ride for mavericks in the 2010 Arizona primary.

Border hawk and Minuteman founder, Chris Simcox, already has his website up and running. Portraying himself as the only conservative in the race, Simcox begins throwing hard blows at McCain on the issue of border security.
"[John McCain] is fully responsible for the deaths along our borders, the raging violence in Mexico and the violence we have in the streets of U.S. cities from border to border and coast to coast. We need someone to take a strong stance, say, 'Enough is enough, you're not representing us.'"
Which John McCain will show up in this election?  Will he support steps toward citizenship for illegal immigrants, as he has in the past, or will he pander to the right-wing of his party?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

HR 1913: Hate Crimes Legislation Clears House Committee

Following up on our Monday blog, we are pleased to inform you that the House Judiciary Committee passed HR 1913, 15-12.

Democrats are well aware of public support for this legislation as they advance it toward President Obama's desk.  A gallup poll in May 2007 revealed that 68% of Americans support expanding current hate crimes laws to include "gender," "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." George Bush vetoed a similar bill in 2007.

Leaders from within the gay community have also been pushing members of Congress to extend health insurance benefits to same sex couples who are federal employees.  Another hot button issue has been a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which was introduced once again last month. But don't look for these particular debates to make much progress anytime soon.  Barney Frank, just yesterday, advised a wait strategy before taking up Don't Ask, Don't tell.   
“I believe we should and will do ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ next year. We haven’t done the preliminary work, the preparatory work. It would be a mistake to bring it up without a lot of lobbying and a lot of conversation.”

“People think because they know the rules, that somehow you gain some advantage from it. ... But we all know the rules; the question is when to do it. The key issues are not procedural, it’s political."
My take:  With precision, Democrats are targeting these issues as they develop into more feasible achievements. While some gay and lesbian advocate groups may want Congress to vote tomorrow on gay marriage, they would be asking for too much, too soon. Imagine if one of these issues were defeated in a Democratic controlled congress.  Social conservatives would claim a moral victory, yet again, and the argument would be dead, yet again.

For now, it appears that HR 1913 is headed for the Senate where Republicans will certainly do all they can to muster a filibuster. But defeating hate crimes legislation this time won't be as easy as in 2007.  Both Maine Republicans, Snowe and  Collins, voted for the 2007 bill. Besides fewer votes to work with, there's a Democrat in the White House waiting to sign the bill into law - signaling to anxious gay and lesbian advocates that the new administration is still on their side.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hate Crimes Legislation - Your Action Is Needed

Everyone please mark your calendars for April 22nd. The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Language in the bill includes “sexual orientation,” which is why this bill has our attention (and why so-called family groups are in a tizzy.) Forty-two congressmen have already signed on as co-sponsors.

Please call your own US Representative today to express your support for H.R. 1913, especially if they are on the House Judiciary Committee (link to members here).  Ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor if they haven’t already.

The right-wing Traditional Values Coalition has already released this statement regarding the bill. Unsurprisingly, they have also organized an effort to lobby Congress.
“The so-called hate crimes bill will be used to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute and persecute pastors, business owners, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, Christian counselors, religious broadcasters and anyone else whose actions are based upon and reflect the truths found in the Bible.”
This same argument has been used over and over in the past to defeat similar bills. Their position is inaccurate and irrational. HR 1913, in fact, does not restrict free speech whatsoever. Lawmakers who drafted the bill went out of their way to ensure freedom of speech. Section 10 makes this abundantly clear (see text of the full bill).  A simple google search of “HR 1913 Hate Crimes” will reveal a fierce opposition to this bill by some social conservative groups who have adopted the very same talking points (other groups are gearing up for an all-out fight in the Senate).

When I contacted TVC this morning, I asked them to point out any language that restricted free speech. Of course, the agent could not highlight any portion whatsoever and instead claimed that an appointed group of lawyers had discovered in the language dangerous nuances that would compromise “free speech for pastors at the pulpit.”

Fight back by calling your Representative, and those on the House Judiciary Committee, today. Tell them to vote “YES” on HR 1913. You can bet that organizers on the opposite side of this fight are lobbying Congress, even as you read these words. We cannot allow them to defeat hate crimes legislation again.

Dobson Has A New Office In DC

Focus On The Family is opening an office in Washington for the first time ever according to Washington Whispers

Advancing a right-wing social agenda from Colorado Springs is one thing.  Launching similar campaigns from within the beltway is another.  Liberals will tear these guys apart -- we hope. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Tea Party Video

H/T: R. Neal, KnoxViews

Precious Tea Party Video

Bless their hearts...


Senator Dodd's poll numbers may be way down, but that hasn't stopped his supporters from digging deep from within their pockets. $1M in three months -- not too shabby.

Kentucky Senate 2010: Mongiardo Rakes It In - Bunning's Numbers 'Lousy'

While we wait on Kentucky Senator, Jim Bunning's numbers, potential Democratic challenger, Lt. Governor, Daniel Mongiardo, reports having already raised more than $400,000.  

Fair & Balanced Screenshot of the Day

The Counterrevolutionary Media just can't help themselves. The front page of their website this afternoon shows pictures of Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper and David Shuster with capital lettered words written across all of them reading, "TV TOILET HUMOR."

Promoting yesterday's freakshow event like a rock concert made a lot of us laugh. Now, Fox News ' feelings are hurt.  They're fighting back, exposing those left-wing media types and all of those supposed filthy jokes they've been broadcasting -- because the tea parties were such a family event. (see the Huffington Post's Top 10 most offensive tea party signs

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gimmick Alert! Tea Parties & The Tenth Amendment

The lunacy continues.   The shameless, right-wing fringe continue to teabag not only Democrats but each other.   And now, another cowboy Governor from Texas is making a fool of himself.

Texas Governor, Rick Perry, who plans to attend a tea party himself, just yesterday expressed his support for Texan sovereignty.  Uuhh boy...

Here we go again, yet this time, it's the tenth amendment.

Before now, as you may remember, it was all about the 2nd amendment, when the same tea-bag waving crowd of flakes claimed (and still do) that Obama was going to take away all of our guns.

Before that, no sooner than President Obama raised his right hand, a short-lived, anxiety-packed, petition the government now or else 1st amendment movement began when right-wingers persuaded Republican tea-baggers of a scary liberal conspiracy aimed at reviving the fairness doctrine. Those who got caught up in that hullabaloo had their jets calmed when Fox News broke the news (and even told the truth) of Obama's opposition to the idea.

Now, the most paranoid teabaggers among us have taken gimmickery to the next level in forming tenth amendment movements, as if any of them have ever read a book in their entire lives, let alone the Constitution.

Here's an interesting twist.  The same Governor Perry who now suddenly believes that tyrants in Washington are forcing their will by making him accept federal funds is also the the same Governor Perry who, in 2002 (see his own press release), gladly accepted hundreds of millions in No Child Left Behind funding.  All of a sudden, Perry and thousands of Republican tea-baggers just like him are wholly devoted to states rights.  

Perry's political posturing scheme mirrors the same kind of erratic behavior of John McCain's when he suspended his Presidential campaign. Since when has a state governor ever refused federal funding in the past?

Perry isn't alone in his political posturing.  South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, in an effort to appeal to his own tea party base, proudly claimed back in March that he was rejecting federal stimulus funds. Now, quite predictably, he's backtracking.  So much for that Free Republic interview when Sanford said he "loved the concept" of a tenth amendment movement.

What's next for these phonies? Secession? States printing their own money?  Negotiating treaties? Didn't we settle this argument in 1865 when southern states believed, before then, they were sovereign in their right to decide whether or not they were free or slave? What about that thirteenth amendment?

Where were these tea party people when George W. Bush was squandering away a budget surplus -- blowing up billions of dollars (and lives) in the desert sand -- and dolling out tax cuts for the wealthiest? Truth be told, not one of these teabaggers will pay higher taxes under Obama's plan.

Some would have you believe these protests are handwritings on the wall for a divided America.  But I couldn't disagree more.  You see, Americans in November proved they wanted more than just gimmicks.  They soundly rejected Drill Baby Drill, Joe the Plummer, suspended campaigns, lipstick on a pitbull, gas tax holidays and freezing federal spending. Americans rejected the notion that Obama was a radical Muslim from Kenya who wants to take away your guns, bibles and talk-radio.  Those who still believe it are out in full force today, waving their teabags, screaming "Impeach Obama" and claiming they know something about the tenth amendment.  

We'll keep tabs on how all that's working out for them. I'm looking forward to some of that juicy video tea party footage.  You know it's coming!

Meanwhile, for all of their hard work, President Obama's approval rating is still in the mid-sixties; and a recent Gallup poll shows that 71% of Americans trust the President in his handling of the economy.  Only 38% in the same poll said the same about Republicans.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Minnesota Court: Franken is the Winner!

It's only been 160 days since Minnesota residents last voted for who should become their U.S. Senator. Today, a Minnesota court ruled that Al Franken has won.  From the Minnespolis Star Tribune...
"The judges swept away Coleman’s argument that the election and its aftermath were fraught with systemic errors that made the results invalid."

"'The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.'"
We wonder how much more money Coleman will waste in this appeals process.  He now has 10 days to make a decision as to whether or not he will appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Ford Not Running For TN Governor

He's leaving the door open to state Democrats, Kim McMillan, Roy Herron , Ward Cammack and Andy Berke (?).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Equality In Vermont!

2009 is becoming a landmark year for the rights of same-sex couples. Vermont, just moments ago, became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage, thanks to a Vermont Legislature that overrode a Republican Governor's veto. The measure easily passed the Vermont Senate, 23-5 and it received exactly 100 supporters (100 needed to override) in the House.

Take a look at the front page of the Burlington Free Press, where you'll find statements from both sides, video and a whole lot more. See video here  from today's House procedure.

Today's victory in Vermont is a first for same sex couples by way of a legislative process. Other states, including Iowa just four days ago, made their own history through the courts instead. Massachusetts and Connecticut also recognize same-sex marriage. Who's next?

**  UPDATE **  Here's a roll call from today's House vote in Vermont.

2010 US Senate Race: Connecticut

INCUMBENT: Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat
  • First elected in 1980
  • Defeated Jack Orchulli, 64-32, in 2004
  • DOB - 05/27/1944

2008 PRESIDENTIAL STATE RESULTS: Obama 61%, McCain 38%.

The Connecticut Senate race is, very surprisingly, shaping up to perhaps be the toughest race for Democrats in 2010. Republicans are still reeling in New England, however this is not a competitive race due to some sort of Republican resurgence but rather because of the incumbent Democrat’s incessant stumbling.

Senator Chris Dodd is seeking his sixth term, and is the son of former Senator Thomas Dodd (who, ironically, lost in 1970 as a result of perceived unethical behavior) and a former Presidential candidate. That’s where the problems began, moving his family to Iowa (literally, they bought a house) with a poorly defined reason for running left his constituents with the distinct impression that he had long left Connecticut behind. Added to this is the widely reported favorable mortgage rate from Countrywide Financial, and his high profile dealing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in his capacity as Senate Bank Committee Chair, has put him in the precarious position of being at the forefront of his constituent’s anger over the financial crisis. Finally, his purported role in the AIG bonus fiasco has further made things difficult for Senator Dodd.

Republicans scored a nice recruit in Fmr. Congressman Rob Simmons (who was defeated in a razor close race in 2006 by Democrat Joe Courtney), who has political experience, ability to raise money, and name recognition. Simmons’s major liability, however, is his close ties to the Republican Brand and President Bush as well as his continued close ties to lobbyists which will make it difficult for him to make an effective case that Dodd is the unethical one in the race. GOP State Senator Sam Caligiuri has also declared his candidacy, and former Irish Ambassador Tom Foley is considering a run in the GOP primary, but Simmons starts the race as the clear frontrunner for the nomination.

Dodd has shown no indication he’s willing to retire and the DSCC is standing firm behind him; and his close personal friendship with party heavyweights like John Kerry (who sent out a fundraising appeal for Dodd recently) and Ted Kennedy make it unlikely Senate Democrats will force Dodd into retirement. Likewise, with his pedigree and legendary name, no serious opposition appears likely for Dodd in the primary. But if Dodd steps down, look for State AG Richard Blumenthal to seriously consider the race.

The most recent polling has Simmons with a double-digit lead over Dodd at this juncture (though the immediate aftermath of the AIG fiasco likely artificially deflated his numbers). As Senate Banking chair, Dodd has the ability to fundraise easily; however considering his current issues raising a ton of money from Wall Street and Banking interests could end up being a liability to Dodd’s image.

Dodd has a few more months to turn his numbers around before his political grave begins to be dug. Connecticut’s strong blue tilt makes Simmons’s campaign an uphill battle, but Dodd’s sorrowful approval ratings makes this a true toss-up and a must-watch race.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fox Newt Would've Used Ray Guns

Imagine this: a trigger-happy Republican, who also happens to be a Fox News contributer, telling a right-wing, Fox News audience that he would have taken out the North Korean missile. Newt's proposing a preemptive attack using ray guns this time.  Brilliant.

The wheels are seriously starting to fall off the Republican bus

Tennessee's Jim Cooper Supports Gates' Military Plan

From today's Washington Post.
"Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the Pentagon's top weapons priorities that he said will orient the U.S. military toward winning unconventional conflicts like the one in Afghanistan rather than focusing on war with major powers like China and Russia."

"By curtailing some of the most expensive and complex weapons systems, Mr. Gates is making lasting changes that he believes are needed given the dual imperative of near-term fights against insurgent groups and increasing economic pressure."
Congressman Cooper on Gates' plan to reform:
“In taking these actions, Secretary Gates acts as a statesman, putting the country’s security over political expedience. I commend him for his straightforward, fact-based decision-making.

“Congress will surely debate these recommendations, but let us debate them on their merits. America is fighting two wars and a recession; we no longer have the luxury of running the Defense Department as a hometown jobs program. That’s why, in the words of Secretary Gates, we must rise above parochial interests and do what’s in the best interest of the nation as a whole. I hope my colleagues will join me in accepting his challenge.”
h/t: Post Politics

Bluedog Raises Green In New York

A Quinnipiac poll released just today shows that most New Yorkers barely know their new Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand.   The timing of the poll arrives on the same day when Gillibrand announced to the world that she's gearing up, in a big way, for 2010. 

It's true.  A fiscal-conservative Democrat is raking it in -- in New York of all places.
"I wanted to personally thank you for your support and let you be the first to know that thanks to an overwhelming show of support from voters all over New York, our campaign shattered our goals. The numbers will not be officially released until later this month, but you've helped me raise more than $2.3 million in the two months since I was sworn in to the Senate."

Kentucky Senate 2010: Rematch?

He may have a few Democratic primary opponents, but Kentucky's Lt. Governor, Daniel Mongiardo, has raised in excess of $400K already (story) for his upcoming US Senate race in 2010. Out of the gate and in the lead already, Mongiardo has already received (predictably) a key endorsement from Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear

Other notable potential challengers to Mongiardo in the Democratic primary are: Attorney General, Jack Conway; state Auditor Crit Luallen; and U.S. Representative, Ben Chandler.

A Democratic primary victory for Mongiardo would setup another showdown, which would feature a rematch of Kentucky's 2004 election when Bunning narrowly defeated Mongiardo (51% - 49%).

News of Mongiardo's fundraising success comes just days after Republican Senator, Jim Bunning, admitted having trouble raising money -- blaming his state colleague and Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell and the economic downturn.  Take responsibility much, Senator?

Perhaps he should be blaming himself and the former President Bush?

Presidential Results By Congressional District

Swing State Project has published a handy presidential results data table for 2000, 2004 and 2008. Downloadable, state by state results are located at the bottom of the page. 

Public officials generally do not track and release election results by congressional district. Hats off to SSP and their volunteers for their hard work in extracting the data into a practical format.

Friday, April 3, 2009


INCUMBENT: John McCain, Republican
  • First elected in 1986
  • Easily defeated Stewart Starky, 77-21, in 2004
  • DOB - 08/29/1936
POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS (names being tossed around): Janet Napolitano, State Attorney General Terry Goddard, Phil Gordon, Gabrielle Giffords, Jim Pederson, JD Hayworth (primary challenger?), State Treasurer Dean Martin, Congressman John Shaddegg (not running for reelection in '10), Hugh Hallman (Tempe Mayor), Chris Simcox 


The Arizona bench is full of Democratic candidates who might run against John McCain in 2010. The problem in projecting McCain's challenger is that Arizona also has a wide-open Governor's race that year too.

McCain's home state performance against Barack Obama in '08 was nothing to write home about. Republicans, including John McCain himself, realize that 2010 will be a "tough race." Janet Napolitano would have been a shoe-in had President Obama not called her to serve as the Homeland Security chief.  So who's next?

It would be a very tough race, but Phil Gordon could beat John least some believe he can. Gordon has time on his side, not to mention a western constituency that's moving away from right-wing politics and an approval rating in the 70's. If Gordon opts out of the Governor's race and puts his hat in the ring to challenge McCain, a heavyweight fight will ensue. The same can be said for Goddard, although most believe his eyes are set on the Governor's office.

We also shouldn't rule out the possibility of McCain retiring, regardless of what he's said already. He will be 74 on election day 2010. He may change his mind (or lose it) between now and then.

McCain has a tendency to lose his cool under pressure. A "tough race" isn't something he's used to, especially a race for his own seat. Hispanics abandoned McCain in 2009, a defeat that burns him still. McCain's huff-n-puff could be nocuous to his campaign in 2010 if resentment toward Hispanics resonates within the community.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


INCUMBENT: Lisa Murkowski, Republican
  • Appointed in 2002 by her father, then Governor, Ted Murkowski.
  • Narrowly defeated Tony Knowles in 2004 by just 3%
  • DOB - 05/22/1957
POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS (names being tossed around): Governor Sarah Palin, Ethan Berkowitz


We were reminded in 2008 just how difficult it is to win as a Democrat in Alaska. For the first time in nearly three decades, Mark Begich proved that Democrats really can win there, although we should note it took running against a convicted* felon to pull off the victory(barely).

So, here's what we know:  Unless Palin gets in the race (unlikely because Palin has more to lose than she's lost already), Murkowski is on her way to victory..that is unless she commits first-degree murder.  Even then, the race would be a coin-flip given what we know about 2008.

Although Berkowitz's name is being tossed around, it's more likely that he'll run for Don Young's House seat after narrowly losing to him in 2008. Young, who's in his mid 70's and growing more and more unpopular, makes for an easier target than Murkowski in the Senate. A Hays Research poll from March '09 shows that 72% of Alaskans view Murkowski favorably, even if she is known as "liberal Lisa" by some right-wingers.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Carly 'Seriously Considering' California in 2010

Despite current treatments for cancer, Carly Fiorina says she is "seriously considering" challenging Barbara Boxer in California's 2010 Senate race.  Just out of surgery only a few weeks ago, Fiorina has an "excellent prognosis for a full recovery."

The San Jose Mercury News breaks the story.