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2009/2010: Schilling balks at run

"Politically vulnerable Democrats say Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders aren't offering them the protection from tough votes that they did in the last Congress," The Hill reports. "Conservative Democrats fear that dozens of members could be swept out of their districts in the midterm election next year, and that fear has been intensifying in recent weeks. Between a tough vote on a climate change bill that many don't expect to become law and a leftward push on healthcare legislation, Pelosi's (D-Calif.) critics within her caucus say she's left the so-called 'majority makers' exposed."

MASSACHUSETTS: "Governor Deval Patrick huddled with a small group of trusted advisers last night to finalize his choice for an interim U.S. senator, with indications pointing to former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr., who has the strong backing of the immediate family of the late Edward M. Kennedy, as the overwhelming favorite," the Boston Globe writes. "A person with knowledge of the process said last night that former governor Michael S. Dukakis, considered a leading candidate for the appointment, was unlikely to be chosen. At the same time, senior Democrats in Washington told The New York Times that they were certain Kirk would be the choice."

Meanwhile, Curt Schilling won't run for Kennedy's Senate seat. "Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that's been given to me, it just did not make sense," he said on HBO's Joe Buck Live. OK, well, there wasn't that much support, actually. According to a Suffolk poll, which we reported on a week ago, baseball's goodwill wasn't translating into political support. Just 29% viewed him favorably versus 39% who viewed him negatively.   

NEW JERSEY: "Chris Christie acknowledged yesterday he bought and sold stock in a travel and real estate company while it was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office he led at the time," the Star Ledger reports. "Christie purchased shares of Cendant Corp. in 2004 and sold them in 2005… In 2002, his office had renewed an investigation into Cendant, leading to fraud convictions of two of its former top executives in 2005 and 2007. Asked about the investment during a news conference yesterday, Christie acknowledged seeing it on his disclosure reports but said his financial adviser bought and sold the stocks without his knowledge." This comes as Republicans have slammed Democrat Jon Corzine for investing in TPG-Axon, a hedge fund whose founder is the corporate owner of four New Jersey casinos.

In what's being billed as a "Garden State Party," Corzine will head to the West Coast next week for a fancy fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman." Guests are being asked to pay between $1,000 and $10,000. And "the 'special guest' listed on the invitation is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. It's an interesting choice for a highlighted guest," says NBC New York.

NEW YORK: It wasn't just the White House acting on its own to push Paterson out, Politico notes. New York Democrats want him out and told the White House as much. Check out this quote: "Clearly, the situation in New York is unusual and requires leadership at a greater level than anyone in New York can provide," said Rep. Dan Maffei, a first-term Democrat who occupies a seat in upstate New York. "I, for one, welcome the president's involvement." And: "It's hard to argue that he can excite a lot of voters at this point," said one New York House member. More: "Two senior Democratic officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said members of the House delegation had sent a strong message to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in closed-door meetings that it was time for Paterson to move on."
 
And Paterson for the first time acknowledged he might step aside. "I think if I got to a point where I thought my candidacy was hurting my party, obviously it would be rather self-absorbed to go forward," Paterson said at a Syracuse luncheon. He added, "I didn't say that anybody would have to convince me [to step aside]," he said. "I don't think anyone who is clearly hurting their party would [run] when it is going to make the party lose."