The importance of state-legislative races… Glenn Thrush: “Barack Obama has spent well over $1 billion on his political campaigns, but it’s the $20 million to $30 million Democrats didn’t shell out three years ago that is costing the White House as he slogs through the first six months of his second term. The GOP’s wildly successful, low-key and stunningly cheap campaign to seize state capitals in 2010 has come back to haunt Obama and his fellow Democrats. It’s now clear that the party’s loss of 20 state legislative chambers and critical Midwestern governorships represents an ongoing threat every bit as dangerous as the more publicized Republican takeback of the House that same year.”
“Fans attending a major NASCAR race this weekend will see a most unlikely video posted on a giant video screen shortly before entering the track: a pro-marijuana legalization ad,” USA Today writes. “Outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, the same track that hosts the famed Indianapolis 500, Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest pro-marijuana legalization advocacy group, has purchased space to air – dozens of times over the weekend – a video that pushes the theme that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. It marks the first time a pro-marijuana legalization ad will appear so close to an entrance gate of a major sporting event.”
Here’s the ad and script: “If you’re an adult who enjoys a good beer, there’s a similar product you might want to know about – one without all the calories and serious health problems, less toxic, so it doesn’t cause hangovers or overdose deaths and it’s not linked to violence or reckless behavior. Marijuana. Less harmful than alcohol and time to treat it that way.”
CALIFORNIA: The pressure tightened for Democratic San Diego Mayor Bob Filner as four more, prominent, highly successful women, came out to PBS and accused him of “inappropriate touching and sexual innuendo.”
The San Diego Union Tribune: “Four prominent women came forward Thursday to accuse Mayor Bob Filner of unwanted sexual advances, adding their voices to the growing chorus of alleged victims calling for the mayor to step down. The women — San Diego Port Tenants Association President Sharon Bernie-Cloward; retired Navy Rear Adm. Ronne Froman; San Diego State University Dean Joyce Gattas and local businesswoman Patti Roscoe — shared their stories in a joint interview with KPBS. They accused Filner of inappropriate touching and sexual innuendo in multiple incidents during the past few years.”
The county Democratic Party is abandoning him, calling for him to resign. “Support for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner continued to crumble Thursday when the county Democratic Party demanded he resign as the sexual harassment scandal around him intensified,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
In total, so far, seven women have come forward accusing the Democrat of “unwanted sexual advances and crude behavior.”
And it’s not just the allegations of sexual harassment. Filner’s now also dealing with an investigation by the Union Tribune into a tax-payer/private-group sponsored trip to Paris he took, in which his expenses aren’t detailed and the high cost of his flights are called into question. “San Diego Mayor Bob Filner made public late Thursday the expenses he and his security detail incurred for his June trip to France,” the Union-Tribune writes. “Filner’s office said the cost for his trip was $31,363, not all of it paid for by taxpayers. Filner said his own $9,839 in travel costs were covered by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group Filner described as a nonprofit organization although it is not listed as such in two national databases checked by U-T Watchdog. … Filner’s airfare was $8,304. The 9:07 p.m. statement from the mayor’s office did not explain why the trip was booked at the last minute, with less than a week to spare before the June 22 rally for the Iranian resistance. U-T Watchdog checked airfares and found that, with more notice, San Diegans can fly to Paris for about $1,200.”
MASSACHUSETTS: A Republican Harvard nanophysics professor is running for Ed Markey’s (D) House seat.
NEW JERSEY: Chris Christie called Rand Paul’s libertarian national-security ideology “dangerous.” “This strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought,” the New Jersey governor said on Thursday at a Republican governors forum in Aspen, Colo. “You can name any number of people and (Paul is) one of them.”
NEW YORK: Anthony Weiner says it wasn’t just one woman after he resigned from Congress, it was three. And one of the women was on Inside Edition yesterday, saying she loved him, but now despises him. In all, he says it was about 10 women.
The New York Post says Weiner donors are privately saying the only reason they’re giving to his campaign is because of his wife and won’t abandon him until she does.
“A number of Anthony Weiner’s donors won’t abandon the scandal-scarred mayoral candidate as long as his wife, Huma, a Hillary Rodham Clinton aide, still supports him,” the reports.
And finally, Page Six claims Eliot Spitzer’s wife is planning to leave him.
TENNESSEE: Wonder why Lamar Alexander (R) was running those ads so early? Politico: “When Lamar Alexander joined 13 other Senate Republicans to vote for the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill last month, he was waving a red flag in front of the tea party. Attending a rally in Smyrna, Tenn., last weekend, Alexander was greeted by a crowd of about 300 conservative activists — organizers said — wearing bright red T-shirts that read ‘Beat Lamar’ in big bold letters. They held signs that blared: ‘You betrayed us’ and ‘No more RINOs. Conservatives only.’ And to drive their point home, the activists lugged around a rhino mascot dubbed ‘Lamar.’”
Said Drew Ryun, political director of the conservative Madison Project and a former Republican National Committee deputy director, “Unlike previous cycles, Lamar Alexander is in trouble. Immigration is the big issue, especially given some of the things he’s said in the past. His political doublespeak isn’t going to work this time.”
TEXAS: The Austin American Statesman: “Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, swept through Washington on Thursday with a high-dollar breakfast fundraiser in the morning, and a lower-budget affair in the evening, amid indications that she isn’t considering a run for lieutenant governor as an alternative to a run for governor or re-election to the state Senate.”