Barbour (right, with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels) attends a Mississippi Republican Party fundraiser earlier this month.
So how much have the RNC's fundraising -- and spending -- woes cost the GOP? Republican Governors Association Chair Haley Barbour puts the price tag at $10 million, per Politico's Martin.
Mississippi Gov. and Republican Governors Association Chairman Haley Barbour said Wednesday that the RNC’s financial difficulties had forced him to direct millions of dollars to voter turnout programs that are typically funded by the national party.
In his most candid public assessment to date about what the Republican National Committee’s cash crunch meant for gubernatorial races, Barbour hung a price tag on the woes of the beleaguered party he once chaired.
“We have to come up with about $10 million that normally would have been pushed into the governors races in various directions, largely through state parties," Barbour said at a press breakfast in Washington, addressing what he called “the impact” of the national party’s deficiencies.
*** UPDATE *** RNC spokesman Doug Heye responds that the RNC has "already raised more than the DNC did in the entire 2006 cycle," and is "on pace to top what the RNC raised in the entire 1994 cycle (inflation adjusted) when the committee could take soft money."
Heye also points to a memo the RNC released last week on its ground-game efforts. "The Republican National Committee has made it a priority to build upon the RNC’s traditional Victory program and expand its reach into all 50 states through the Delaware-to-Hawaii (D2H) Victory plan. For the first time, Party resources have gone towards identifying and mobilizing Republican volunteers in states that have not traditionally been a part of the Victory structure. We witnessed the success of the D2H Victory program with groundbreaking wins in Virginia and the traditionally Democratic states of New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii."
Candidates on both sides of the aisle have already touted their opposition to the Troubled Asset Relief Program as a way to demonstrate their independent voting record.
But, Factcheck.org points out, five freshman Democrats have campaign ads saying they voted against TARP - even though they weren't in Congress when the bill passed.
* Mary Jo Kilroy says she "voted against the bank bailout."
* Kathy Dahlkemper says she voted "against a bailout that helped Wall Street."
* Frank Kratovil claims to have cast his vote in opposition to "the big bank bailout."
* Dina Titus’ ad maintains she "even voted against the bank bailout."
* Glenn Nye’s ad tells viewers he went "against his own party" and "voted against the Wall Street bailout."
When TARP was passed, the Treasury Department had access to half of its money, $350 billion. Then-President George W. Bush had to ask Congress for access the second half, which Treasury would receive unless both the House and Senate voted against giving the funds up.
By the time President Bush requested the second $350 billion, TARP had become unpopualar, but the Senate still defeated a resolution that would have disapproved the funds, 52-42,meaning Treasury would get the $350 billion regardless of how the House voted.
A week later - two days after President Obama was sworn in - the House, including Kilroy, Dahlkemper, Kratovil, Nye and Titus, passed a disapproval resolution, 270-155. But Treasury already had the funds, so the vote was purely symbolic.
As NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D) argues, the upcoming midterms are more a referendum on the economy than on President Obama. But the war over the TV airwaves has increasingly become about the president, and we're seeing high-profile Democratic candidates trying to change the subject.
We mentioned this TV ad by Florida gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink (D) earlier today: "Unfortunately, Rick Scott seems to think that running for governor is all about President Obama," Sink says in it. "While Rick Scott is focused on Obama, I'm focused on creating jobs... He can just keep on attacking Obama. But you and I know we need a governor who attacks Florida's challenges."
Now comes this brand-new ad from Robin Carnahan in Missouri. "Congressman Roy Blunt -- he seems to think he's running for the Senate against Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi," Carnahan says in it. "Hey Roy, you're running against me."
*** UPDATE *** And speaking of Obama-centric ads, here's one where Illinois Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias (D) puts the president's support front and center.
Other public figures, including General Petraeus and Angelina Jolie, have also urged the pastor to reconsider.
From NBC's Courtney Kube For the second time in about 18 hours, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned a Florida pastor's plan to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. Clinton also expressed her hope that the media will not cover the event on Saturday "as an act of patriotism."
"It's regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, FL, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan, and get the world's attention," she told a group at the Council on Foreign Relations this morning.
"It doesn't in any way represent America, or Americans, or the American government, or American religious or political leadership," she said, adding that the planned act "will have potentially great harm for our troops."
*** UPDATE *** A Pentagon spokesperson said on Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert Gates "strongly endorses" General Petraeus' statements on the Florida pastor's plan to burn the Quran. Petraeus warned earlier this week that such an action could endanger the lives of American forces serving in Afghanistan, and harm the overall effort in that country.
Christine O'Donnell participates in a news conference during her Senate race against Joe Biden, Oct. 2008.
As pointed out this morning on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, Christine O'Donnell, who is challenging Rep. Mike Castle for the Delaware GOP Senate nomination, recently landed in hot water for saying she had won two (of three) counties in 2008 against Joe Biden.
She did not.
She then backtracked on a radio program and said she meant she tied. She did not do that either. She lost Kent County 57%-43% and came extraordinarily close in Sussex County, the Southernmost county, losing by just 272 votes.
But even if she had won two of three counties, could a candidate still win? The short answer to that question is yes, particularly a Democratic candidate. In fact, it was done in the 2004 presidential election when John Kerry won Delaware but lost both Kent and Sussex to former President George W. Bush.
Why is this possible? Aside from the obvious -- that a candidate could win by one vote, say, in both counties and the other could win by three in the other -- there's a practical reality. Just 885,000 people live in Delaware, according to 2009 Census estimates. Sixty percent of them (about 535,000) live in New Castle County, the most Northern County in the state and which is heavily Democratic. New Castle, which is largely a Philadelphia suburb, is the one you drive through on I-95. It includes Wilmington, which is heavily African-American, as well as Newark, where the University of Delaware is (from where this First Read writer got his undergrad degree). President Obama won New Castle 70%-29%; Biden won it 72%-28%.
Kent and Sussex, which are just below the Mason-Dixon line, lean more Republican than New Castle. President Obama won Kent, which includes Dover Air Force Base and Dover Downs NASCAR raceway, with less than 55% of the vote and lost Sussex, the Southernmost county, 54%-45%.
Obama and Emanuel walk on the South Lawn before the president's flight to Chicago, Aug. 4, 2010.
Will Rahm Emanuel run for Chicago mayor?... The timing for a key staff departure -- right now -- isn’t ideal for the White House… Naming possible replacements… The progressive campaign against Rahm… Obama to oppose extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in Cleveland at 2:10 pm ET… Perception vs. reality on the stimulus… As we told you, live by the Gallup tracking, die by the Gallup tracking… Castle learns the Murkowski lesson… And previewing FL-22.
From NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg *** Mayor Rahm? With Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s announcement that he won’t be seeking re-election next year, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has made no secret about his desire to be Chicago mayor, telling Charlie Rose in April that it’s “always been an aspiration of mine.” And he did nothing to tamp down the speculation when he released this statement yesterday: "While Mayor Daley surprised me today with his decision to not run for reelection, I have never been surprised by his leadership, dedication and tireless work on behalf of the city and the people of Chicago." If Rahm wanted to tamp down the speculation because he was leaning against running, he would have done so. What’s more, he can leave on his own terms and do so without embarrassing himself or the president. Rarely do chiefs of staff get to do that. Jim Baker may have been the last one to pull that off.
*** Awful timing for the White House: That said, the timing is awful. The last thing this White House needs right now is internal uncertainty. Was a staff change inevitable next year? Of course. Ideally, however, the orderly President Obama would have wanted it done smoothly and seamlessly; that would have made sense for the start of his re-election campaign. Chicago political veterans tell First Read that Rahm knows he has to make a decision sooner rather than later. While the filing deadline is after the midterms (Nov. 22, 2010), he can't afford to wait to get in or other candidates will fill the vacuum. The key constituency groups in Chicago will give Rahm some time, but not more than a few weeks.
*** Palace intrigue time: So who replaces Rahm if he decides to run? It is a total Washington outsider (Mike Bloomberg, GM’s Ed Whitacre)? A former insider (Tom Daschle, John Podesta, Leon Panetta)? A politician with a business background (Mark Warner)? Someone who won’t rock the boat, gets along with everyone, and is already on the senior staff (Ron Klain, Phil Schiliro, Tom Donilon)? Or what about a Republican (Ken Duberstein, Ray LaHood)? Remember, despite his Chicago ties, Rahm was an outsider to Team Obama, and he certainly had his share of disagreements with staff and the president. We'll learn a lot more about Obama if this job becomes vacant as the early betting suggests. On TODAY, White House adviser David Axelrod said there are plenty of folks in the White House ready to fill “the breech.” Is that a hint the replacement could come from the current team? Sure sounds like it, and keep this in mind: The four people in the West Wing who will have the most influence on the president about the next chief of staff are: Rahm, Axelrod, Gibbs, and VP Biden.
*** Progressives vs. Rahm: A final point to make here: This liberal/progressive campaign against Rahm has been one of the more bizarre developments we've seen. How they separate him from the president is laughable. Don't they realize that by claiming Rahm is so bad but Obama is so good, they are insinuating that the president is someone run by his staff and that it's demeaning their own president? It's ludicrous. Obama brought in Rahm because he didn't want to make the mistake Carter, Bush 41, and Clinton all made, by bringing in inexperienced non-Washington hands and then seeing them get rolled by Congress. For better or worse, Rahm did his job -- which was manage legislation and get it passed. In that respect, he’s been as effective as any White House chief of staff since Baker. Of course, don't forget: Progressives have been upset with Rahm since his days of running the DCCC in 2006.
*** Obama to oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy: At 2:10 pm ET today, Obama delivers a speech in Cleveland, OH, where he will propose some business tax cuts to help spur the economy. Per the New York Times, the president also is expected to announce his opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $250,000. “Mr. Obama’s opposition to allowing the high-end tax cuts to remain in place for even another year or two would be the signal many Congressional Democrats have been awaiting as they prepare for a showdown with Republicans on the issue and ends speculation that the White House might be open to an extension. Democrats say only the president can rally wavering lawmakers who, amid the party’s weakened poll numbers, feel increasingly vulnerable to Republican attacks if they let the top rates lapse at the end of this year as scheduled.” Is this a line in the sand, or the start of the negotiations that end up leading to a, say, one-year extension of the top tax rates, while making the middle class tax rates permanent? That would force this debate into next year, which would end up being ONLY about tax cuts for the wealthy.
*** Perception vs. reality: That the White House doesn’t want to even suggest that the business tax cuts President Obama is proposing today are part of a second stimulus is yet another sign how the original $787 billion stimulus was a failure -- of perception. In our new NBC/WSJ poll, 30% said the stimulus made things better, 30% said it made things worse, and another 30% said it’s too soon to tell. But the reality is different: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that the stimulus raised GDP between 1.7% and 4.5% in the second quarter of 2010; it lowered the unemployment rate between 0.7 and 1.8 percentage points; and it increased employment between 1.4 million and 3.3 million. In addition, two prominenteconomists have argued that the stimulus and other actions “probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0.”
*** Caveat emptor, Part 2: Last week, when Gallup showed Republicans with a whopping 10-point lead in the generic ballot among registered voters (51%-41%), we cautioned: Live by the Gallup tracking poll, die by the Gallup tracking poll. Lo and behold, this week’s tracking now has Democrats tied with Republicans (46%-46%). Amazing how wild the swings continue to be with Gallup. Once again, we urge extreme caution.
*** Learning the Murkowski lesson: This new TV ad by Delaware Senate front-runner Mike Castle is yet more evidence that Castle, as well as national Republicans, learned from last month’s surprise in Alaska, where virtually-unknown Joe Miller beat incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The lesson: If you’re an incumbent or the established-backed candidate in this political environment, you have to disqualify your outsider primary opponent -- or else. This Castle TV ad hits primary opponent Christine O’Donnell for not paying back taxes, for defaulting on her mortgage, and for running up a big campaign debt and not paying vendors and staff. “Say hello to Christine O’Donnell,” the ad concludes.
*** 75 House races to watch: FL-22: The Democratic nominee is two-term incumbent Ron Klein, while the GOP nominee is Lt. Col. (retired) Allen West, who challenged Klein in ’08 but lost. In 2008, Obama won 52% in this district, and Kerry won 53% in ’04. As of Aug. 24, Klein had $2.5 million in the bank, versus $4 million for West. Klein voted for the stimulus, cap-and-trade, and health care. Cook rates the district as Lean Democrat, and Rothenberg has it Democrat Favored.
*** More midterm news: In Florida, Dem gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink has a new TV ad that, while not running away from Obama, doesn’t exactly embrace him… In Ohio’s Senate contest, Lee Fisher (D) has a new TV ad whacking Rob Portman (R)… And in Wisconsin’s Senate race, Ron Johnson (R) is airing a TV ad that grinds away at incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold’s maverick reputation, calling him a “career politician” and a party-line Democrat,” Politico writes.
Countdown to DC, MD. MA, NH, NY, RI, and WI primaries: 6 days Countdown to HI primaries: 10 days Countdown to Election Day 2010: 55 days
The AP: "During a trip to Cleveland, the president will outline a $50 billion infrastructure investment, a permanent expansion of research and development tax credits for companies and new tax breaks that would allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their new capital investments through 2011.”
The New York Times: “President Obama on Wednesday will make clear that he opposes any compromise that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy beyond this year, officials said, adding a populist twist to an election-season economic package that is otherwise designed to entice support from big businesses and their Republican allies.”
Mayor Rahm? The Chicago Tribune: "Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff, has been pining for that office for months, telling people he wanted to leave the Obama administration to run for mayor if Daley, a friend, decided not to." And: "[S]taffers at the White House expect that Emanuel will run, one administration official said, recalling what the chief of staff said several weeks ago: 'If and when Rich doesn't run, I'll do it.'" More: "His departure would change the Obama administration in significant ways, in large part by tempering the strong Chicago influence over the West Wing. Along with Chicago friends and senior advisors David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, Emanuel presides over a circle of aides who have a long history with each other and share an intense loyalty to the president."
Lynn Sweet adds, however: "While White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is lionized in Washington, he would not start a mayoral race in Chicago automatically first in line to replace Mayor Daley… Emanuel has a million dollars in his campaign fund and formidable fund-raising ability, giving him a running start against rivals -- if he jumps in the contest. Emanuel, a former House member from a district anchored on the North Side, is without a solid political base in Chicago. The unions and other progressives are mad at him over national issues that would seep into a mayoral contest. Emanuel would have to do a lot of work to get Democratic committeemen to unite around his candidacy -- but he knows a thing or two about coalition building." She finds some aldermen who aren't exactly on Team Rahm at this point.
The replacement speculation list "includes senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, deputy national security adviser Thomas Donilon, senior adviser Pete Rouse, and Obama’s head of legislative affairs, Phil Schiliro. Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is a possible contender, as are former Senate majority leader Thomas Daschle and former Bill Clinton chief of staff John Podesta."
“That is how Senate Republicans are likely to respond to President Barack Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure proposal when they return to work next week following the August recess," Roll Call reports. "Individual Republican Senators have already criticized Obama’s latest job-creation plan, which the president introduced Monday during a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee. And although the GOP Conference is still set to discuss the issue at the weekly caucus lunch Sept. 14, Republican sources said the verdict is in."
"Jacob Lew, nominated to be the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, will sit for his confirmation hearings Sept. 16," Roll Call writes.
Post-primary McCain? We missed this one over the weekend from Roll Call: "Senate Democrats are finally ready to press ahead with a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy banning gays from openly serving, hoping that a key objector -- Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain -- is ready to soften his opposition."
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that attempts to tackle climate legislation in the next Congress should start with a 'piecemeal' approach focused on electric power plants rather than a more sweeping proposal," The Hill writes. "I think we are looking to a time when we can get part of this done. We can’t get everything done at once,” Reid said.
The AP's Glover profiles former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who appears to be running for president. "Despite two terms as governor of New Mexico and recent visits to 26 states, most Americans have never heard of Gary Johnson. The former Republican governor is mulling a run for president, and his libertarian views and small government platform fit the disenchantment many voters feel toward Washington. Among his supporters is Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, who drew a committed following in his 2008 campaign for president and was quoted in the conservative online website The Daily Caller as saying if he didn't run again in 2012, the best candidate would be Johnson."
At 12:30 pm ET today, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine will deliver a speech at the University of Pennsylvania, kicking off what the DNC is billing as the start to the Democrats’ campaign efforts this fall. An excerpt of what Kaine will say: “On Election Day, it will be Americans’ turn to choose. They can choose Republicans who drove our country into a ditch; who have not offered a helping hand to the millions of middle class Americans they left stranded at the bottom; and who have not presented a single idea for how to get America growing again.”
“Or they can choose Democrats who are helping us climb out of that ditch; who have taken the bold actions necessary to repair the damage caused by nearly a decade of failed Republican leadership; and who are committed to doing everything within their power to help American families, workers, and businesses succeed.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association holds a conference call at 10:00 am ET to unveil its “Project Extreme GOP Makeover” strategy.
"The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday added more than $2 million in television ad reservations in four Democratic-held districts that are increasingly viewed as vulnerable. The new targets are Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader (above) and Arizona Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell," Roll Call writes.
"Based on the latest financial reports, House and Senate candidates in this election cycle raised nearly $1.2 billion, well ahead of the pace for contests in 2008, 2006 and 2004," the AP reports. "Races for governor in 37 states -- more than half of those for open seats -- are also setting fundraising records. Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman leads the way, pumping $104 million of her own money into her campaign for California governor." More: "Bitter intraparty fights, up to 100 competitive House races, a large number of open seats and early partisan attacks have created a growing demand for cash. The national parties are competing for dollars with outside groups and their often-anonymous contributors. And while Democrats have an advantage at the national party level, Republican-leaning groups seem to have more than filled the void."
“Republicans are within reach of gaining control of eight or more chambers in state legislatures this fall,” the New York Times writes. “That would give Republicans the power to draw more Congressional districts in their favor, since the expected gains come just as many legislatures will play a major role in the once-a-decade process of redrawing the boundaries of those districts.”
The AP fact-checks the claims made in several new campaign ads that support or oppose President Obama’s health care initiative.
ALASKA: "Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn’t ready to give up the fight for re-election just yet, the Alaska Republican told the Associated Press on Tuesday," per Roll Call. She said, “I have not made that determination that I’m going to give up. I’m not a quitter, never have been. And I’m still in this game."
Per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, Sen. Jim DeMint (R) endorsed Joe Miller yesterday. "I want to congratulate Joe Miller ... and offer him my full support," DeMint said. "He pulled off the upset victory of the year because he ran on principles and because Alaskans, like all Americans, want to stop to the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country. I applaud Senator Murkowski for gracefully conceding this race and for doing her part to help Republicans in Alaska move forward...Now it's time for Republicans to unite behind Joe Miller and help him win this important race in November.”
FLORIDA: “It may not be fair to say that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is running away from President Barack Obama and his less-than-stellar poll numbers, but a new ad makes it clear she’s not cozying up to him either, the Orlando Sentinel writes. “Unfortunately, Rick Scott seems to think that running for governor is all about President Obama,” Sink tells the camera in a new ad released today.
ILLINOIS: In “stark contrast to how the president is being treated by other high-profile Senate candidates,” Alexi Giannoulias will run a new ad starting tomorrow featuring an extended endorsement from President Barack Obama,” the Washington Post’s Cillizza writes.
KENTUCKY: “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is back in scrubs for his first TV ad of the fall campaign, declaring: ‘I'm a physician, not a career politician,’” the Washington Post writes.
OHIO: Democratic Senate nominee Lee Fisher released a new ad criticizing Republican opponent Rob Portman for advocating policies that outsourced jobs to China, with a suggestive Chinese flag pattern at the end of the ad.
WISCONSIN: “Wisconsin Senate candidate Ron Johnson is airing a television commercial beginning today that grinds away at incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold’s maverick reputation, calling him a “career politician” and a party-line Democrat,” Politico writes.
Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally of Aug. 30 attracted throngs of Tea Party supporters, despite being promoted as "non-political."
For the second time this month, the NBC/WSJ poll results show that the Tea Party has a net negative rating. In the latest poll released today, 36 percent of respondents said they have a somewhat or very negative opinion of the movement, compared with 28 percent who said they view it positively. That’s the highest negative rating for the nebulous political movement since pollsters began asking respondents’ opinion of it in January 2010. (Although it’s worth noting that the negative ratings for the Democratic and Republican parties – at 43 percent apiece – are still worse.)
The NBC/WSJ poll surveyed respondents in the field from August 26-30 – the height of news coverage of FOX News host Glenn Beck’s controversial “Restoring Honor” rally, which attracted scores of Tea Party adherents to Washington D.C.
We wrote last month that likely voters who say they are interested in supporting the Tea Party tend to be conservative Republicans, although there are some highly disaffected Democrats and Independents who also identify with the group.
The 85 percent of respondents who said they’ve heard of the Tea Party, however, are split - mostly along party lines - about how exactly to classify it. About 40 percent said that the Tea Party is a separate and independent group that is not part of the Republican party; the same share of respondents said that the Tea Party is part of the GOP.
(A deeper dig into the poll's data shows that those perceptions are highly linked to party ID. Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they view the Tea Party as a wing of the GOP, while just 35 percent of self-identified Republicans said the same.)
Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello's latest ad tries to hit his Republican opponent on ties to lobbyists; Delaware Rep. Mike Castle lumps all of his Senate primary challenger Christine O'Donnell's flaws into one 30-second spot; South Carolina Republican gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley releases her first general election ad; and in Wisconsin, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann responds to an attack ad by primary opponent Scott Walker tying Neumann to Nancy Pelosi.
VA-5, Perriello, "Lobbyists' Best Friend" 9/7 LOBBYIST: Us lobbyists? Big supporters of Senator Hurt. His ten years in office, he's learned the game. You write him a check, he does what we say. Senator Hurt has helped us raise your electric rates again and again. Every time you turn on the lights, more money in our pockets. More money in his. But this Perriello guy? Doesn't take lobbyist dollars. And he keeps voting for the people instead of the powerful. PERRIELLO: Lobbyists don't need another friend in Washington. I'm Tom Perriello. And I support this message because no one will fight harder for you.
AR SEN, Lincoln, "Congressman Boozman's Big Idea" 9/3 LINCOLN: "I'm Blanche Lincoln and I approve this message." ANNCR: "A 23 percent national sales tax. It's Congressman's Boozman's big idea. During his nine years in Congress, he sponsored not one but two bills replacing the income tax with a 23 percent national sales tax on everything you buy: food, cars, houses, farms, student loans. A lot more taxes on the middle class, a lot less on the wealthy. John Boozman. Bad for Arkansas's economy"
DE SEN, Castle, "Snapshot" 9/7 ANNCR: Do you recognize this Delaware politician? Here's some hints. According to the News-Journal, she didn't pay thousands in income taxes. Had to be sued by a university for thousands of unpaid debts. Defaulted on her mortgage. She ran up a huge campaign debt, and left vendors and staff unpaid while using campaign funds to pay her own rent and personal expenses. Say hello to Christine O'Donnell.
MO SEN, Blunt, "Small Business Success" 9/6 BLUNT: "Laurie's grandfather started to work in cleaners in 1918. Right now she'd like to hire two more workers. But the uncertain costs of government-run health care and job-killing ideas, like a new energy tax, are destroying job growth. (Sec/State) Robin Carnahan (D) supports the Obama agenda. I don't. My jobs plan's based on lower taxes, less red tape, more American energy, and encouraging small business to do what they do best: create jobs. Read my plan at Royblunt.com. I'm Roy Blunt, and I approve this message"
NH SEN, Binnie, "Fact" 9/2 BINNIE: "I'm Bill Binnie. This is where I stand and what I've done. Fact -- I've created businesses and employed thousands. Fact -- I have never moved American jobs out of our country. Fact -- I will secure borders, say no to amnesty and make English our national language. Fact -- I will defend our second amendment rights. Fact -- I will vote for and support conservative judges. Fact -- I will focus on fixing our economy. I'm Bill Binnie, and I approved this message"
NH SEN, Hodes, "Hotdog" 9/7 HODES: "I'm Paul Hodes and I wanted to give you an idea of how they like to spend money in Washington. So we came here to the Winnipesaukee Pier in New Hampshire. This is what I see every day in Congress. It's why I voted against the Wall Street bailouts. I'm working to bring back the Gramm-Rudman spending limits. I refuse to take earmarks and I voted against every single congressional pay raise. I approve this message because you deserve a senator who's a real fiscal conservative -- and who gets rid of the pork"
NV SEN, Reid, "Worse" 9/7 ANNCR: We know what shattered the economy. Wall Street greed and CEOs shipping jobs overseas, the cost of foreign oil and Bush economics. But Sharron Angle's blaming Harry Reid. Come on. Sharron Angle's the one who opposed Wall Street reform. Wants to protect tax breaks for companies that shipped jobs overseas. And says it's not her job to create jobs. ANGLE: I'm not in the business of creating jobs. ANNCR: That's Sharron Angle. Extreme ideas. That will make things worse.
PA SEN, Toomey, "Bailout" 9/7 TOOMEY: "I'm Pat Toomey and I approve this message. I worked on Wall Street just out of college and left twenty years ago. That was before my brothers and I started a small business in Allentown. Way back then, I learned that Wall Street's the last place that should ever get a taxpayer bailout." ANNCR: "Congressman Joe Sestak voted for the Wall Street bailout. Then, Sestak took thousands of dollars from the same Wall Street banks he bailed out. Joe Sestak - too liberal with our money."
PA SEN, Toomey, "Focus" 9/7 TOOMEY: "Just a few months ago, Kris and I had our third child. There's really nothing like the wonder of a new baby to focus your attention on the future. I'll always be optimistic about America, but I worry about the direction we're heading -- too much debt, not enough jobs, and the Washington politicians are making it worse. I'm Pat Toomey. I approve this message because I know we can do better, and I have a pretty good reason for wanting to."
CA GOV, Brown," JB401" 9/2 ANNCR: "As governor he cut waste, got rid of the mansion and the limo. Budgets were balanced. $4 billion in tax cuts. World-class schools and universities. Clean energy promoted. 1.9 million new jobs created. California was working." BROWN: "I'm Jerry Brown. California needs major changes. We have to live within our means. We have to return power and decision-making to the local level, closer to the people. And no new taxes without voter approval." ANNCR: "Jerry Brown. The knowledge and know-how to get California working again"
FL GOV, pro-Scott (FL GOP/RGA), "Whatever it Takes" 9/3 ANNCR: "Attention Florida voters: here are your official orders from Washington." OBAMA CLIP: "I need to raise money, I need you to walk and knock on doors. Whatever it takes to make sure that Alex Sink is the next governor of Florida." ANNCR: "Maybe that's because Sink supported Obama's government takeover of healthcare, or because Sink supported Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus bill, the one that gave us big debts and no jobs. What will Obama do to make sure liberal Alex Sink is the next governor of Florida?" OBAMA CLIP: "Whatever it takes."
GA GOV, Barnes, "Investigation" 9/6 ANNCR: "A group of Republicans and Democrats finally found something to agree on: an investigation of Congressman Deal. He resigned to stop the investigation, but it continues. Congressman Deal. Will he spend more time in court than an office?"
ID GOV, Allred, "Keith's Values' 9/6 ANNCR: "A fifth-generation Idahoan. At 16, the lone hand on his grandpa's cattle ranch. A family man. A sportsman. A concerned citizen. Not a politician. Keith Allred." ALLRED: "I'm Keith Allred. I founded a nonpartisan citizen's group. We cut property taxes for Idaho homeowners and stopped Butch Otter's gas tax and registration fee hikes. I'll be a governor of, by and for the people. Not of, by and for special interests." ANNCR: "Keith Allred"
IA GOV, Branstad, "Big Bad Debt" 9/6 CHORUS: "Big Debt Mmmmmm mmmmm." ANNCR: "In Iowa, we call our Governor Chet, said he give us jobs but what we got was big debt." CHORUS: "Big Debt -- big bad debt." ANNCR: "His I jobs plan's more than a billion in cost, while thousands of Iowans have jobs that are lost. And Ole' Chet's spent a couple billion more'n he's taken in, pushin' property taxes so high it's a sin." CHORUS: "Big debt." ANNCR: "That's all we get from old Governor Chet." CHORUS: "Big bad debt"
MD GOV, Ehrlich, "Let's Get to Work" 9/3 EHRLICH: "I'm Bob Ehrlich. I'm not the kind of guy who likes to hang on the sidelines. Today, Maryland is in trouble. We're worse off than we were four years ago. Dangerous Debt, Higher Taxes, Not enough jobs. We need real leadership to turn this state around." MOTHER: "Fix the budget, honestly." BUSINESS OWNER: "Grow small businesses, really." STUDENT: "Excellent schools, everywhere." FISHERMAN: "Protect the bay, finally." EHRLICH: "It's why I'm running. To make the state we love, not just good, but great. Now let's get down to work"
MD GOV, Murphy, "Refuse to Settle" 9/3 MURPHY: "I'm Brian Murphy, Republican candidate for governor of Maryland. I'm running to fix the budget -- for them, and for you. America is made up of families setting out, chasing their dreams, opening small businesses -- and as a small businessman, I know how difficult it is to be an entrepreneuer in Maryland. In the last eight years, the entreprenurial spirit has been choked in Maryland. Our last two governors forgot their role and put us where we are. We can do better. We need a governor who understands that small business is the heart and soul of Maryland. So vote Brian Murphy September 14th. Thank you and God bless you"
MN GOV, Horner,"Picture" 9/3 HORNER: "The Republican candidate for governor only looks too far to the right, so he only sees part of the picture. And the Democratic candidate is only looking too far left. Most of us would agree that we need a governor who sees the whole picture. I'm Tom Horner. I'll use common-sense solutions to get Minnesota back to work"
MN GOV, anti-Dayton (MN Forward), "Don't Let Mark Dayton Knock Us Down" 9/6 ANNCR: "Feel surprised? A bit frustrated? Scared? That's how Minnesotans feel when they hear Mark Dayton's bad ideas. Dayton will raise taxes by $5 billion. Higher income taxes. Higher property taxes. He even supported a tax on email. Dayton wants more government spending and thinks ideas to reduce wasteful spending are idiotic. Dayton's plans will hurt Minnesota's economy. We can't afford to let Mark Dayton knock us down"
RI GOV, Caprio, "Lincoln Chafee Doesn't Get It" 9/7 ANNCR: "We're hurting -- struggling to pay the mortgage and pay the bills. But Lincoln Chafee doesn't seem to notice. Chafee's tax plan hits those who can least afford it the hardest, squeezing seniors and the middle class with a new tax on groceries, a tax on clothes for your kids, prescription drugs, even gas at the pump. He may not feel it, but we sure do. Lincoln Chafee just doesn't get it"
SC GOV, Haley, "Movement" 9/7 ANNCR: All across South Carolina, there's a movement taking hold. ASSORTED SUPPORTERS: It's a movement to take back our government. To include people who have been left out. To make Columbia accountable for how it spends our money. To stop talking about creating jobs and to start doing it. HALEY: To give us honest conservative government we can be proud of. ANNCR: Nikki Haley for governor. Join the movement.
WI GOV, Walker, "Congressman Neumann" 9/7 ANNCR: Mark Neumann says he's against government spending. But in 1998, Congressman Neumann voted for one of the largest transportation bills in history. A bill that contained 9 billion dollars in pork barrel spending, including funding for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, and a highway in Canada. You know who else voted for that 9 billion dollars in pork barrel spending? Mmmhmm. Nancy Pelosi. NEUMANN: Hi folks. ANNCR: Take a closer look at Mark Neumann. Remind you of anyone?
WI GOV, Neumann, "Honored" 9/7 NEUMANN: Hi folks, I'm Mark Neumann. Scott Walker claims I'm Nancy Pelosi? He must be kidding. In Congress back in the '90's I fought to cut spending so hard the leaders of my own party kicked me off the appropriations committee. Negative attacks are for career politicians. Scott Walker, 16 year career in politics from Milwaukee. I've spent 26 years building a business. Instead of negative attacks, I'll focus on our conservative plan to cut spending and cut taxes. I'd be honored to have your support.
Will Rahm Emanuel run for mayor of Chicago, given Richard Daley's retirement?
The AP with the breaking news:
Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election, saying it is time to move on.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has more than suggested he'd like to run for Chicago mayor, if Daley declined to run for re-election.
NBC's John Yang reminds us that the filing deadline for Chicago's mayoral election is Dec. 13, 2010.
*** UPDATE *** As NBC's Libby Leist notes, it was on "Charlie Rose" in April when Emanuel suggested he wanted to be Chicago mayor.
MR. ROSE: Is there any other job in government you'd like to have? MR. EMANUEL: In government? MR. ROSE: In government. MR. EMANUEL: Yeah. MR. ROSE: What? MR. EMANUEL: It's no secret -- MR. ROSE: You want to be Speaker of the House. MR. EMANUEL: Well, that's over. No. I would one day -- first of all, let me say it this way: I hope Mayor Daley seeks reelection. I will work and support him if he seeks reelection. But if Mayor Daley doesn't, one day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago. That's always been an aspiration of mine -- even when I was in the House of Representatives.
President Barack Obama will commemorate the ninth anniversary of September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon – the same location where he marked the day last year.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced in a briefing Tuesday that the president will attend a ceremony at the site of the Pentagon plane crash, while Vice President Joe Biden will travel to New York City. As previously announced, First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush will attend a ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.
As POLITICO and others pointed out last week, Obama’s options for the marking the anniversary were complicated by the fact that an appearance at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan would have likely reignited the still-smoldering political controversy over the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from where the Twin Towers stood.
As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama observed the seventh anniversary of the attacks in New York City, attending a ground zero ceremony alongside then-GOP opponent Sen. John McCain.
Post-Labor Day general election ad season in Florida kicks off today with new spots from two of the Senate race’s three candidates. And party identity -- not to mention overall campaign strategy -- is front and center.
Independent candidate Charlie Crist’s first general election ad stresses a central plank of his candidacy – that Americans are tired of partisan bickering and should bet on a senator unshackled by the demands of a particular political party. “As an independent, I will take the best ideas of Democrats and Republicans to get things done,” Crist promises in the ad.
“At the end of the day, there’s only one party I work for,” he concludes against the backdrop of the word “Americans” – an anagram of the letters making up “Republicans” and “Democrats.”
But while Crist’s ad names no specific policy positions that address achieving “our common goals,” Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek uses his first spot to enumerate his stances on a litany of state and federal issues (He also doesn’t shy away from his party identity – he notes that he’s the state’s “Democrat for Senate” within the first three seconds of the ad.)
“With three of us running, you should know what makes me different,” Meek says in the mostly positive spot, going on to underscore that he is pro-choice, opposes privatizing Social Security, and supports raising the minimum wage. (He tweaks Crist – not by name – on the issue of offshore drilling, emphasizing that he opposed it “before AND after the BP spill.” Crist withdrew his support for drilling in April, saying that the BP disaster illustrated that practice is “the opposite of safe.”)
Meek is also quick to note that, of the three candidates in the race, he’s “the only one … who took on George Bush.”
Former Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag
In his debut New York Times column, former Obama OMB Director Peter Orszagproposes a compromise on what to do with the Bush tax cuts.
In the face of the dueling deficits, the best approach is a compromise: extend the tax cuts for two years and then end them altogether. Ideally only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it.
Why does this combination make sense? The answer is that over the medium term, the tax cuts are simply not affordable. Yet no one wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two, which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned.
Can Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party stake a comeback?
New NBC/WSJ poll shows GOP with nine-point lead (49%-40%) among likely voters, but it’s tied among registered voters (43%-43%)… How Democrats can fight back: by hitting Republicans on Social Security and Bush… But the poll also suggests that playing the Bush card might not be as strong as it was in ’06 and ’08… Do Dems use Obama (whose approval is at 45%) on the trail, or do they keep him away?... What “Recovery Summer”?... The public lacks confidence in almost all U.S. institutions -- government, media, Congress, big business… And profiling FL-8.
From NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg *** A GOP tidal wave building? With the official start of the campaign season now underway, the latest NBC/WSJ poll shows Republicans leading on the generic ballot by nine points among likely voters (49%-40%) and 18 points among those expressing a high interest in the midterms (53%-35%). Among registered voters, however, the score is even (43%-43%), suggesting that Democrats can limit their losses if they turn out their voters. The current political environment, in some respects, is worse than it was in 1994 or 2006. For example: 61% currently believe the country is on the wrong track. But at this point in time in ’06, 54% said this, and in ’94, it was 57%. Yesterday, President Obama accused Republicans of being of the party of “No, no, no, no.” But, according to this poll, "No, no, no, no" seems to be working for the GOP. http://bit.ly/97VcSM
*** How the Democrats can fight back: With the poll showing Republicans with the clear advantage, the question now becomes: How do the Democrat fight back? The survey offers a couple of clues. First, as we’ve already seen, Dem candidates will hit their GOP opponents on Social Security: 68% say they’re uncomfortable or have reservations about candidates who -- like Sharron Angle or Joe Miller -- want to phase out the entitlement program. That particular attribute was the worst on a list of nine different candidate attributes. The second worst: 62% have problems with candidates who support George W. Bush’s economic policies. (The third worst: A candidate who supports Obama's economic policies.)
*** But the Bush card might not work: But the poll also finds that the Bush attack -- “You cannot have the keys to the car back,” as President Obama likes to say. “You drove it into the ditch” -- might not deliver the punch it did in 2006 or 2008. In the survey, 58% believe that Republicans, if they take back control of Congress, will have different ideas than Bush’s, versus 35% who think they will return to Bush’s policies. “That’s going to be a good deal more difficult to make stick,” says NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R). Yet Peter Hart (D) counters that Democrats still have to make the argument. “As much as the Republicans have going for them, that’s as good of a post-up as Democrats have.”
*** Dems need to use Obama: Here’s another question: Do Democrats put President Obama -- whose approval rating in this poll sits at 45% -- out in front to lead the defense, or do you keep him away? Hart contends the former move makes the most sense, because Democrats are already receiving his negatives so they should utilize his positives. According to the poll, only 31% of those ages 18-34 express a high interest in the midterms (down from 43% in 2006); just 52% of African Americans are highly interested (compared with 63% in ’06); and 46% of Democrats indicate a high level of interest (a drop from 59% four years ago). What’s more, among low-interest voters, Obama’s approval rating is 75%-22%. “Can [Obama] inspire those people?” Hart asks. “There are a lot of things you can do to save seats.” We've seen four statewide elections since Obama's election in 2008: Georgia Senate run-off, Virginia governor, New Jersey governor, and Massachusetts Senate. And in all four cases, these Obama surge voters never showed up. What do all four races have in common? Obama's name was NOT on the ballot.
*** What 'Recovery Summer'? Moreover, the poll shows that the “Recovery summer” was anything but. Only 26% think the economy will improve in the next 12 months (which is down 14 points from the May NBC/WSJ poll), and just another 26% believe their wages will increase in the next year. In addition, Obama’s economic handling is just 39%, his lowest mark ever on this question. The elections aren’t really a referendum on Obama -- just 12% of those preferring a GOP-led Congress say it’s because they’re protesting the administration’s performance – but rather a referendum on the economy. It's striking the difference where voters thought the economy was heading in the first five months of this year, and where they view it now. As we noted last week, starting in May, economic numbers took a turn for the worse in just about every measurement imaginable: job creation, housing starts, business investment, you name it.
*** A vote of no confidence: The American public, however, isn't just pessimistic about the state of the economy. Check out these numbers: Only 18% have confidence in the federal government; 13% have confidence in the news media; 12% have confidence in large corporations; 10% have confidence in the financial industry; and only 9% have confidence in Congress. In fact, the numbers for the media and Congress are the lowest percentages for those institutions in the history of the poll. The only institution that saw its numbers go up? The automobile industry, which went from 13% confidence in Jan. 2009 to 19% in this poll.
*** On Iraq, Afghanistan, and the New York mosque: Turning to foreign policy, 53% think the Iraq war has been successful, versus 43% who say it has been unsuccessful. Regarding Obama’s call for a conditions-based reduction in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan by July 2011, 37% say U.S. troops should be removed depending upon the military conditions next year; 25% say they should be removed only after the Afghan government has stabilized and the Taliban is defeated; 18% want them removed now; and 16% want them removed on the timetable of July 2011. And concerning the controversial mosque that’s planned to be built near Ground Zero in New York City, 51% say they oppose it, while only 22% support it.
*** 75 House races to watch: FL-8: The Democratic nominee is first-term incumbent Alan Grayson, and the GOP nominee is former state Sen. Dan Webster. Obama won 52% in this district in 2008, while Bush won 55% in 2004. As of Aug. 24, Grayson had $3.7 million in the bank, versus just more than $300,000 for Webster. The liberal Grayson voted for the stimulus, cap-and-trade, and health care. Cook rates it a Toss Up, and Rothenberg has it as Toss Up/Tilt Republican.
*** More midterm news: In California, Jerry Brown (D) went up with his first TV ad… In Florida, Charlie Crist (I) also released his first ad of the general election, Politico reports… In Indiana, the NRCC is hitting Joe Donnelly with its first TV ad… And in Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak is launching his fall campaign with an economic speech Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh at 11:00 am ET.
Countdown to DC, MD. MA, NH, NY, RI, and WI primaries: 7 days Countdown to HI primaries: 11 days Countdown to Election Day 2010: 56 days
President Obama talks about federal infrastructure improvements at the Transportation Department, April 2009.
"President Obama called yesterday for Congress to approve major upgrades to the nation’s roads, rail lines, and runways, part of a six-year plan that would seek to boost jobs, cost tens of billions of dollars, and create a government-run bank to finance innovative transportation projects," The Boston Globe reports. "With Democrats facing an increasingly bleak midterm election season, Obama used a speech at a union gathering on Labor Day, the traditional start of the campaign season, to outline his plan. It calls for a quick infusion of $50 billion in government spending that White House officials said could spur job growth as early as next year if Congress approves."
The New York Times: “Central to the plan is the president’s call for an ‘infrastructure bank,’ which would be run by the government but would pool tax dollars with private investment, the White House says. Mr. Obama embraced the idea as a senator; with unemployment still high despite an array of government efforts, the concept has lately been gaining traction in policy circles and on Capitol Hill. Indeed, some leading proponents of such a bank — including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican of California; Gov. Ed Rendell, Democrat of Pennsylvania; and Michael R. Bloomberg, the independent mayor of New York -- would like to see it finance a broader range of projects, including water and clean-energy projects.”
The New York Post mocks the president's idea, calling him the "Pothole Prez" on its cover.
The Washington Post notes that Obama also was in campaign mode yesterday. “Obama defended his record and criticized Republicans and his Washington foes as opponents of the middle class ‘who talk about me like a dog.’ He told several thousand cheering labor union members that the Republican Party is peddling failed economic policies, and he vowed to ‘make this case across the country between now and November.’” ‘Their slogan,’ he said of Republicans, ‘is 'No, we can't. No, no, no. No.’” The crowd answered by chanting Obama's signature 2008 slogan, ‘Yes, we can.’”
"The United States expects to spend about $6 billion a year training and supporting Afghan troops and police after it begins withdrawing its own combat troops in 2011," AP writes. "The estimates of U.S. spending through 2015, detailed in a NATO training mission document, are an acknowledgment that Afghanistan will remain largely dependent on the United States for its security."
"A group that opposes secrecy in government says the federal government significantly reduced its backlog of document requests from the public last year, but also slowed its pace of opening previously confidential material to public view," AP reports. "A report Tuesday from OpenTheGovernment.org said the government's record is mixed, but suggested the Obama administration could be less secretive than its predecessor, the Bush administration."
Writing in Politico, Elizabeth Drew argues that it’s time that Congress actually gets some respect. “It's time to retire the overused -- and inaccurate -- words ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘paralysis’ that have appeared in a recent spate of articles and commentary propagating the fashionable view that the current Congress has gotten little or even nothing done. In fact, this has been one of the most productive Congresses in decades.”
Drew adds, “The dim view of Congress's record stems from a widespread confusion between two things: the heavy use of the filibuster in an opposition party's unprecedented determination to prevent the president from achieving anything and the fact that the president has, nonetheless, achieved a lot. Process overtook substance. Skirmishes became confused with the war. The nearly daily coverage of the health care bill as a Bataan Death March failed to help people understand what the fight was all about. Therefore, it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did that so few usually well-informed people had a clue as to even the basics of what was in the bill —- though it represented a major breakthrough in public policy, one that had been sought unsuccessfully by several presidents for more than 50 years.”
"A determined Republican stall campaign in the Senate has sidetracked so many of the men and women nominated by President Barack Obama for judgeships that he has put fewer people on the bench than any president since Richard Nixon at a similar point in his first term 40 years ago," the AP writes.
House Minority Leader John Boehner speaks in Milwaukee at the American Legion convention on Aug. 31, 2010.
"Between fundraising events on his multistate August bus trip, Minority Leader John Boehner began to transition from being the lead agitator for the minority party to the role he hopes to fill next year: Speaker of the House," Roll Call reports. "The Ohio Republican’s recent speeches in Cleveland and Milwaukee focused more on policy than politics -- a sign, some Republicans say, that Boehner is trying to demonstrate he is more than just a prolific fundraiser and political strategist."
"House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio Monday criticized President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost infrastructure investment as more stimulus spending doomed to fail," The Hill writes. Boehner said, "As the American people, facing near double-digit unemployment, mark Labor Day by asking, where are the jobs, the White House has chosen to double-down on more of the same failed ‘stimulus’ spending."
On Sunday, the New York Times front-paged that Democrats -- with finite funds -- will have to plan on political triage in their bid to keep the House. “In the next two weeks, Democratic leaders will review new polls and other data that show whether vulnerable incumbents have a path to victory. If not, the party is poised to redirect money to concentrate on trying to protect up to two dozen lawmakers who appear to be in the strongest position to fend off their challengers.”
More: “With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Representatives Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio and Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland, whose districts were among the 55 Democrats won from Republicans in the last two election cycles.”
Today, however, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing polls showing that many of its incumbents -- including one above -- is doing better than the C.W. suggests. In Alabama, Bobby Bright is leading 52%-43%; in North Carolina, Larry Kissell is up, 49%-40%; in New York, Michael Arcuri is leading 50%-37%-4% in a three-way race; in South Dakota, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is up 50%-39%-4% in a three- way race (and 50%-41%) in a two-way; an in Virginia, Perriello is down 42%-44%-6% in a three-way contest.
"House Democrats have one goal, and only one goal, when it comes to Nov. 2: Hold on to a bare majority," Roll Call writes, quoting a Democratic leadership aide, who says, “At the end of the day, all that matters is whether we control the majority ... that’s the only thing that matters, and we have to set up an environment where our ultimate objective -- maintaining the majority -- is met.”
Over the weekend, the Boston Globe looked at the GOP's crop of political neophytes. "They are political newcomers -- some buoyed by personal wealth, others running on little more than populist heat -- who have tapped the anti-Washington vein of the American electorate. But while they are riding high on voter discontent, these candidates, who are crucial to GOP hopes of retaking the Senate, are among the least politically experienced contenders in a generation."
Per a source, “The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) is announcing the launch of the ‘One More Vote’ campaign and website: OneMoreVote.org. The initiative is a grassroots-driven, online enlistment of activists across America focused on pressuring Congress and the administration to enact fundamental spending and budget reforms.”
ALASKA: "Although Alaska’s Libertarian Party has already voted against allowing GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski to run for another Senate term as the Libertarian candidate, discussions have occurred since then, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday," per Roll Call.
ARIZONA: In a new ad “Attorney General Terry Goddard is taking aim at Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer for making the false suggestion that law enforcement officials in the Grand Canyon State have turned up 'beheaded' bodies in addressing crime related to illegal immigration,” the Huffington Post writes.
CALIFORNIA: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown released his first campaign ad yesterday, “a 30-second spot that aims to introduce him to voters unfamiliar with his legacy,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
FLORIDA: “Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is up with his first television ad of the general election and it’s provoking a fierce response from his former party,” Politico writes.
NORTH DAKOTA:Roll Call goes to North Dakota with vulnerable Rep. Earl Pomeroy and finds a congressman with "determination to crisscross the state to promote his experience, name recognition and tenacity defending North Dakota independent of the Democratic Party on the campaign trail."
OHIO: Vice President Biden was campaigning for Gov. Ted Strickland, running for re-election.
PENNSYLVANIA: Democratic Senate nominee Joe Sestak is launching his fall campaign with an economic speech Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh at 11:00 am ET. Per excerpts, Sestak will say: “Congressman Toomey wrote about the impact of his economic policies by noting that: ‘The failing companies understandably evoke our sympathy and make the front pages of our newspapers…’ He seems to miss the human cost of his callous policies. And he offers no solutions to protect people’s livelihoods, except to say that the plight of working families is worth a ‘serious discussion.’”
“Meanwhile, he’s said he wants corporate taxes eliminated. So while our taxes go up, companies like BP, Halliburton, and Monsanto pay absolutely nothing. Big companies don’t deserve another unpaid-for tax break, and working families don’t need another ‘discussion.’ We need real, practical solutions.”
TEXAS: “Gubernatorial candidate Bill White says he has found at least one multimillion-dollar program Texas can do without: advertisements promoting Texas,” the AP writes.
In South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's district, Democratic opponent Rob Miller accuses him of outsourcing jobs to Central America. And in an example of how European politics are affected by immigration issues, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats release a controversial spot in which an elderly woman vies for government funds against Muslim women in burqas. A Swedish TV station is refusing to air the ad in advance of the country's Sept. 19th elections, prompting politicians in neighboring Denmark, a nation familiar with immigration controversies, to accuse the station of censorship.
SC-2, Miller, "Went" 9/2 WOMAN: Our jobs went to Central America. MAN 1: Places like Honduras, and Guatemala. MAN 2: Some guy in El Salvador has my job. MILLER: Instead of protecting South Carolina jobs and our workers, Joe Wilson voted for CAFTA, an unfair trade deal that sent thousands of South Carolina jobs overseas. MAN 2: Congressman Wilson. When you put helping Central America MAN 1: over helping South Carolina WOMAN: You lost touch with people here. MAN 2: Congressman Wilson. MAN 1: You oughta be ashamed of yourself. MILLER: I'm Rob Miller and I approve this message because I'll never outsource South Carolina jobs.
Sweden Democrats, "Swedish" 8/27 TEXT ON SCREEN: State Budget ANNCR: Politics is all about priorities. What is your choice? The 19th of September you can choose if you want to save money from the pensions or immigration budgets, the choice is yours. Vote Sweden Democrats.
CA SEN, Boxer, "Contra Nostros" (Against Us) 8/31 TRANSLATION: Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers when she was the CEO of HP. Families who watched as Fiorina exported American jobs to China. And then she tripled her salary making millions. Right now, Carly Fiorina is against education funding that will stop teacher layoffs. Fiorina is against education funding that will stop teacher layoffs. And against comprehensive immigration reform. Carly Fiorina is not for us. She’s out for herself.
MD SEN, Wargotz, "Political Insidersaurus" 9/1 ANNCR: "This is a brontosaurus. This is a political insidersaurus Barbara Mikulski. Inhabiting Washington for many years. Famous for spending, raising taxes, roaming Washington with insidersauruses like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi. This is Eric Wargotz. Physician. Family man. A citizen just like you. Eric Wargotz is taking on political insidersauruses who have inhabited DC for too long. His mission? To make political insidersauruses extinct." WARGOTZ: "I'm Eric Wargotz and I approve this message"
FL GOV, Sink, "Happen" 8/31 SINK: "The oil spill has been devastating to Florida's environment and economy. I'm Alex Sink. And while we're fighting to repair the damage and hold BP accountable, we also need to diversify our economy starting right now. That's why I have a detailed plan to develop new industries and attract new businesses to Florida -- like renewable energy, health care and biotech companies. We need a more stable economy for Florida's future. And as your governor, I've got a plan to make it happen"
MA GOV, Baker, "Turnaround' 9/3 WOMAN #1: "Have you had enough?" MAN #1: "Enough spending and enough taxes." WOMAN: "Enough insider deals." MAN #2: "Those guys on Beacon Hill." WOMAN #2: "(Gov.) Deval Patrick (D) and (Treas.) Tim Cahill (I)." WOMAN #1: "They just don't get it." MAN #3: "They raised taxes eight times." MAN #4: "Eight times." MAN #5: "They never cut a thing." WOMAN #3: "And pat themselves on the back." MAN #4: "And everything's going up to New Hampshire." WOMAN #2: "Last time I voted for Patrick and Cahill." MAN #6: "They didn't get it done." WOMAN #3: "We need a change." WOMAN #1: "We need Charlie Baker." WOMAN #2: "Charlie will say no to things we can't afford." MAN # 4: "He will turn this state around." BAKER: "So if you've had enough, join us." WOMAN #2: "We can do better"
MA GOV, Cahill, "Daughters" 9/3 DEVIN CAHILL: "My dad Tim Cahill taught us to do right." MAKENA CAHILL: "Don't be wasteful and watch your money." NICOLE CAHILL: "Just because everyone's doing something, doesn't make it right." M. CAHILL: "Leave a party if people behave badly." D. CAHILL: "Oh yeah." KENDRA CAHILL: "If you want new results." D. CAHILL: Go in a new direction." K. CAHILL: "Be independent." T. CAHILL: "Wow, sounds like they were listening after all"
MA GOV, Cahill, "It's Time" 9/3 CAHILL: "Governor Patrick passed a tax increase without looking for cuts, so I left the Democratic Party. Baker and the Republicans, they ran the Big Dig. That's not an option. So I registered Independent because only a different direction can bring different results. And it's time"
WI GOV, Walker, "Make it Right" 9/2 WALKER: "When I became the county executive, I didn't go to work for the government. I went to work for the taxpayers. We had a pension scandal. Politicians were helping themselves to millions instead of helping us. I ran to make it right. We took back our government, turned deficits into a surplus, held the line on taxes and made government smaller -- things Gov. Doyle didn't do and Tom Barrett will not do. I believe in Wisconsin. Together, we will put government back on our side"
Maes has run a rocky campaign, with third-party candidate Tom Tancredo urging him to drop out of the governor's race and later with the Denver Post reporting that Maes embellished his record as a law enforcement officer by claiming he worked undercover for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
While Buck didn't refer to Maes' record, he said in a statement that Maes "is struggling to determine the best path for his campaign, his family and for Colorado."
"I have decided that I can no longer support his candidacy for governor of Colorado," Buck wrote.
Buck is the latest in a series of prominent Colorado Republicans to pull their endorsements of Maes. Earlier this week, former Sen. Hank Brown and former Colorado Senate presidentJohn Andrews withdrew as well.
PHOENIX - Arizona voters won't be seeing any more debates between the top gubernatorial contenders.
Incumbent Republican Jan Brewer said Thursday she has no intention of participating in any more events with Democrat Terry Goddard. She said the only reason she debated him on Wednesday is she had to to qualify for more than $1.7 million in public funds for her campaign.
"I certainly will take my message in a different venue out to the people of Arizona," she said.
This comes after her disastrous debate performance on Wednesday, when Brewer froze during the debate.
And also when she was unable to answer opponent Terry Goodard's charge that she wasn't truthful in stating that there have been beheadings in the Arizona desert.