From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson warns of side effects that a Republican "purity test" resolution, proposed by RNC Committeeman Jim Bopp, would have on the party's 2010 chances. The test would deny RNC funding to any GOP candidate who disagreed with more than two of the resolution's ten policy positions. Erickson cites the precedent of Dede Scozzafava, a moderate Republican who Erickson said received undue conservative bona fides by signing a no-new-tax pledge from the group Americans for Tax Reform. "Conservatives in the RNC, however well meaning they may be, risk giving liberal candidates easy opportunities to get conservative endorsements simply by checking the box without ever meaning it," Erickson writes.
The New York Times Caucus blog points out this "tiny point" with Erickson's post: "Mr. Erickson kicks off his post with a neat line suggesting that if Rome no longer sells indulgences, why should conservatives? Well, believe it or not, the Vatican has revived its indulgence policies, with bishops explaining that sinners need all the help they can get these days."
FLORIDA: Marco Rubio amps up his conservative creds with a shout-out from Rush Limbaugh, during the talk show host's appearance on a local radio show, according to liberal blog Talking Points Memo. "I like Rubio," said Limbaugh, in a guest appearance on a local Florida radio show. "I've never met him, nor have I met Crist, but I know that there's a sea change brewing and effervescing in this country." Rubio posted the interview clip on his website.
ILLINOIS: Chicago's CBS 2 News reports that State Treasurer and candidate for President Obama's former Senate seat Alexi Giannoulias says he will release copies of his income tax returns today. In question is Giannoulias' share of a $70 million dividend his family took from the Broadway Bank it owns."Heavily involved in real estate loans, it's now ranked as one of the weakest financial institutions in the state of Illinois." When asked by CBS 2 about his role at the bank, Giannoulias said, "When I left the bank, it was a well-capitalized financial institution. That was four years ago. And I think at the end of the day, people want to hear what I've done as state treasurer."
MISSOURI: "Add another candidate to the bulging roster of Republican candidates running for the southwestern Missouri district Rep. Roy Blunt (R) is leaving open to run for the Senate," CQ Politics reports. "Michael Wardell, a businessman and retired Marine, has filed candidacy paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to formally organize a campaign in Missouri's 7th district, which includes Springfield and Joplin." Blunt's 7th District, where 63% of voters supported John McCain in the 2008 election, will "surely" remain Republican, according to CQ.
PENNSYLVANIA: Sarah Palin continues to factor in 2010 races for both Democrats and Republicans, most recently in a new web ad from Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak, The Hill reports. The ad "Going Rogue's Missing Chapter," features images of then-Republican Specter standing with Palin at McCain rallies interspersed with text reading: "He campaigned for me" and "he still believes in me."