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Political Roundup for February 22, 2017

“If I was Governor, I’d sure find better things to do with my time. Like getting Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday back to separate paid holidays. Presidents’ Day. What a rip-off.”

Last night in WI-Supt, we saw a moderate surprise as Beloit local superintendent Lowell Holtz (R), the more conservative candidate, easily bested the more moderate John Humphries (R) for the right to take on incumbent Tony Evers (D). Evers, however, cruised overall, winning 2/3 of the vote, and will likely have little trouble in the general in April barring something unexpected.

President/National:

DNC Chair: NH Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley (D) dropped his bid for DNC chair over the weekend and will back Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D). Buckley was considered a longer-shot to win but still had a significant base of support. His endorsement probably doesn’t give Ellison a huge advantage in his competitive fight with co-front-runner Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D), but it probably does significantly hurt the chances of the third major candidate in the race, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who needs both Ellison and Perez to deadlock well short of a majority in order to have a shot. SC Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison (D) is the only other candidate with any significant support, but he seems a long-shot.

Senate:

MI-Sen: Buried in this Great Mentioner piece about possible challengers to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is the revelation that ex-State Sen. Randy Richardville (R), who held down a swingy district at the state’s southeast corner from 2006 to 2014, is considering the race and will decide “by this summer.” Stabenow has not definitively said whether she will seek re-election, but is expected to; many other Republicans are considering the race, though Richardville seems to be the most obviously serious. One potential candidate taking herself out of the running though is termed-out SoS Ruth Johnson (R), who seems to have her eye on a safely Republican State Senate seat in her home of exurban northern Oakland County instead.

NJ-Sen: George Norcross (D), the dictator of the southern half of the state, and his brother, Rep. Donald Norcross (D), have made their decision on whether to play nice with indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) or seek to push him out the door, and they’ve chosen the former. La Cosa Norcross will host a fundraiser for Menendez next month, which probably closes the door on Don running against him. It seems they are betting on Menendez either going down quickly with time for Don to enter the primary, surviving his trial, or not going down until after the election, triggering a special – a combined outcome with reasonable chance to happen but still a bet that’s not without risk. It’s unclear whether the other major candidate interested in the seat, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D), will make the same calculation. Menendez limping through the primary to a general election with a cloud over his head is probably the only chance Republicans have to make a serious play for this seat, but no Republicans have as yet indicated interest.

OH-Sen: State Sen. Matt Huffman (R) will not run for US Senate this cycle. Huffman had been mentioned as a potential more establishment-friendly alternative to the candidate already in the race to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), State Treasurer and 2012 nominee Josh Mandel (R), and had apparently already secured some donor commitments. However, Mandel’s head start (he has been more or less running continuously since 2015) could pose a daunting obstacle to someone with little name rec. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) is the only other major candidate thought to be considering the race.

WI-Sen: On the heels of Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R) announcement that he will not run for the Senate, State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) is considering a run. Vukmir has represented a district in deep-red Waukesha County for over a decade, which could give her a geographic base. With the only field-clearer (Duffy) out of the picture, the GOP primary to taken on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is expected to be very crowded.

Governor:

AL-Gov: Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R) is considering a run for Governor. Tuberville, who has lived in Texas and Ohio since leaving Auburn in 2008, could have a dedicated base of fans in the state where College Football is perhaps taken most seriously of all – but coming from the state’s second most popular school (and arch-rival of its most popular) could be a handicap. Many other Republicans are considering the race, most notably LG Kay Ivey (R), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R), State Sens. Del Marsh (R) and Cam Ward (R), and ex-State Supreme Court Justice and 2010 candidate Roy Moore (R). Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell-Cobb (D) and State Rep. Craig Ford (D) are considering runs on the Dem side.

AR-Gov: Country radio host Bobby Bones (D/I?) had dinner with Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday. It’s unclear what the conversation entailed; Bones has been considering a challenge to Hutchinson, but it’s not clear how serious he is about such a bid, as his show is based out of Nashville, TN. Anyone will likely face a very uphill battle against the popular incumbent.

CO-Gov: Ex-State Rep. Victor Mitchell (R), who served a term in the legislature a decade ago and has since become a prominent businessman and activist, will run for Governor and says he will self-fund $3M. Michell is the first GOP candidate to declare; State Sen. Mike Johnston (D) is in on the Democratic side and a large number of others from both parties are considering this race. Both primary fields are expected to be crowded.

FL-Gov: Two new candidates are considering this race on the Dem side, though neither sounds particularly serious about it. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) told Ebony that he is considering “what 2018 looks like” while self-funding 2010 Senate candidate Jeff Greene has been “talking to consultants”. Democrats’ major options here still look like ex-Rep. Gwen Graham (D), Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D), and prominent trial lawyer John Morgan (D), though many others have expressed at least some interest. Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) is the front-runner for the GOP nod.

KS-Gov: Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer (D) has entered the race, giving Democrats a top-tier candidate here. Though Kansas is deep-red, Democrats sense an opening due to the extreme unpopularity of Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and the ongoing feud between moderate and conservative Republicans. Brewer, who led the state’s largest city from 2007 to 2015, may face ex-State Rep. and 2014 nominee Paul Davis (D) in the Dem primary. SoS Kris Kobach (R), LG Jeff Colyer (R), ex-State Rep. Ed O’Malley (R), and businessman and 2010 KS-4 candidate Wink Hartman (R) are considered the most likely candidates on the GOP side.

MN-Gov: State Sen. David Osmek (R), a staunch fiscal conservative, has indicated an interest in this race. Both sides’ conventions are likely to be crowded; Osmek could face any or all of State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R), 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), MNGOP Chair Keith Downey (R), State Sen. Michelle Benson (R), and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (R). On the D side, Auditor Rebecca Otto (D), St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D), and State Rep. Erin Murphy (D) are already in the race, while LG Tina Smith (D), AG Lori Swanson (D), and Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Tim Walz (D) are all thought to be interested.

WI-Gov: Rep. Ron Kind (D), whose western-Wisconsin prairie-populist House seat trended hard-right in 2016, is not ruling out a run for Governor. Gov. Scott Walker (R) is widely exprected to seek a third term; Kind would likely be Democrats’ strongest prospect given his two decades representing the swingy rural west of the state. Dane CE Joe Parisi (D) and State Sens. Jennifer Shilling (D) and Kathleen Vinehout (D) are other commonly-discussed names for the D side in this race, though no one has made strong moves as of yet.

House:

CA-34: An internal from FM3 for nonprofit exec Sara Hernandez (D) shows her in second place in this Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle primary, trailing State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) 20-9. However, there are a ton of undecideds and it’s unclear we can really say anything about the race for this deep-blue downtown LA seat from this poll besides Gomez likely being in first.

GA-6: We have a new poll from Clout Strategies (aka Wenzel) for this April Louisiana-Rules Top Two Jungle Primary. Congressional Staffer Jon Osoff (D) leads with 32, followed by ex-SoS Karen Handel (R) at 25 and no one else above 11. However, this poll has a few problems: first, it does not test the second non-Some Dude Democrat in the race, ex-State Sen. Ron Slotin (D), who has lost out on most establishment support but may draw a few points. Second, the demographics of this poll seem a bit off as it is almost entirely white and very old. So bottom line, salt to taste.

MT-AL: A group of county officials is asking the state to hold the special election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) by mail instead of through normal polling places to save money. A bill has been proposed in the State Senate and will be considered today; it would give individual counties the choice of running a standard poll or all-mail election. Assuming Zinke’s confirmation proceeds as planned a week from today, the special election is likely to be held on June 6; 2016 gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R) will likely face off with either ex-State Rep. and 2014 Senate nominee Amanda Curtis (D) or musician Rob Quist (D).

NJ-5: State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R), who was widely considered the GOP’s top choice to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D), has said will likely not run for Congress this cycle (though she did leave the door open the smallest of cracks). This decision puts the GOP back to square one in this suburban seat, based in wealthy northern Bergen County, that narrowly backed Trump but trended left.

SC-1: Buried in this worthwhile longread on Rep. Mark Sanford (R) is the revelation that Ted Fienning (R), a veteran and businessman will run against him in the 2018 primary and seed his campaign with $250K of self-funding. The full article is worth a look; Sanford is certainly one of the most complex characters in DC and his willingness to cross Trump in service of fiscal conservatism could make him a key player over the next few years.

State Races:

FL-Ag Comm: State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R) of southwest Florida is planning a run for Ag Commissioner. Should he enter, he will face State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and former Orlando mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as yet declared interest in this seat.

OK-AG: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has appointed Secretary of State (an appointed position in OK) Mike Hunter (R) as the new Attorney General, replacing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (R). Hunter will most likely seek a full term in 2018.

IN-Supt ’20: The Indiana Senate has killed a bill that would transform the State Superintendent from an elected office to an appointed one under the purview of the Governor. Republicans had supported the change after then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) spent much of his term fighting with then-Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D), a staunch liberal. But last year Ritz was defeated by Jennifer McCormick (R), and so some of the partisan urgency was lost. A little under half the Senate’s Republicans decided to break ranks and join with Democrats to kill the proposal.

VA-LD-28: Virginia State House Speaker Bill Howell (R) of Stafford County in the DC exurbs will retire this year after a decade and a half as Speaker. Howell turned a narrow GOP majority into a dominant 66-34 one and was at times the key Republican figure in state Government when Democrats controlled the Governorship and Senate from 2007-09 and 2013-14. Howell will likely be succeeded as Speaker by Kirk Cox (R) of suburban Richmond.

AL-Redistrict: Alabama has started redistricting to unpack some black-majority legislative districts that courts have struck down as racial gerrymanders. General consensus is that there will be little more than minor tweaks to the lines.

Local Races:

Buffalo-Mayor: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D) announced his campaign for a fourth term yesterday. Brown will likely be favored as he maintains most establishment support. Brown’s major challenger is mavericky city Comptroller Mark Schroeder (D).

Cincinnati-Mayor: The field is set for the Cincinnati Mayoral race; moderate incumbent John Cranley (D) will face two more liberal candidates in city councilwoman Yvette Simpson (D) and university board member Rob Richardson (D). The California-Rules Top Two primary is on May 2.

Detroit-Mayor: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) is broadly popular, and for a time it looked like he may not draw a significant challenger, but that changed as State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D), son of the longtime 70s and 80s Mayor of the same name, entered the race. Young will likely run to the left of Duggan, the first white Mayor to lead Detroit since the 70s.

St. Louis-Mayor: A new Remington poll of the St. Louis Mayoral Primary in two weeks shows councilwoman Lyda Krewson (D), the most moderate and only serious white candidate, with a wide lead. Krewson takes 36% to 16% for left-wing favorite city Treasurer Tishaura Jones (D), 13% for council President Lewis Reed (D), a black establishment liberal, and 12% for left-wing councilman Antonio French (D). Councilman Jeffrey Boyd (D) brings up the rear among serious contenders with 4%.

International:

Ecuador: The Ecuadorean Presidential election has officially been called as heading to a runoff between left-wing ex-VP Lenin Moreno and center-right banker and 2013 presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso. Though Moreno led the first round by nearly 10 points, Lasso is considered a slight favorite in the April 2 runoff.

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Political Roundup for February 21, 2017

To start off we have a preview of today’s primary election for Wisconsin State Superintendent, our first domestic non-special election of the year. It’s a relatively sleepy affair so we’ll roll discussion of it into the Roundup. The race uses a California Rules Top Two nonpartisan format; the top two candidates will advance to an April 4 general regardless of whether one crosses the 50% mark. Polls close at 9PM ET but there isn’t enough at stake here to merit a liveblog. Incumbent Tony Evers (D) is a liberal who is backed by the teachers’ unions and repeats the standard union priorities of opposition to charters and more money for regular public schools. Evers still has a decent working relationship with state GOP legislative leaders though, which has insulated him from particularly strong challenges as he seeks a third term. Evers is guaranteed to advance today, but this primary will pick his challenger and serve as a straw poll of his support. It looks likely he will head to a general with school administrator John Humphries (R?), who has institutional support from the conservative education reform establishment and allies of Gov. Walker. It’s actually not clear whether Humphries identifies as an R or moderate D, as he supported the Walker recall five years ago, has some notable Dem supporters, and says he considers himself progressive on other issues. The third candidate in the race, Beloit local schools superintendent Lowell Holtz (R), is more conservative than Humphries and could pull the upset if his base shows up for what is expected to be an extremely low-turnout affair. But overall Evers and Humphries look likely to advance. While conservative donors have made some hay about backing Humphries and could energize his campaign ahead of April, so far ousting Evers doesn’t seem to be a priority – both Holtz and Humphries have raised less than $20K for their campaigns. Additionally, in the last few days the two have engaged in petty sparring, with each accusing the other of trying to buy him out of the race with a job offer. The beneficiary of this squabble is Evers, who looks like a pretty strong favorite over either in the general. RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Likely D.

And now the rest of the day’s news…

President-National

NSA:  Lt. General H.R. McMaster has been appointed National Security Adviser replacing Michael Flynn, the former General who was sacked resigned for defying Vice President Pence and the Deep State, and colluding with the Russians.  McMaster is a more conventional pick from a worldview and is known as a warrior-scholar.

Trump Supporters:  The Washington Post looks at how President Trump’s supporters view him as the greatest thing since sliced bread while not understanding why everyone else does not view him as the greatest thing since sliced bread as well.  I guess they feel the same way I felt when people on the right accused former President Obama of being anti-energy while he was the most pro-fracking president in history (before Trump).

Cuomo:  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D / IDC / RINO / Whatever gets me votes today) released New York’s DNC delegates to vote their conscience in the DNC chairperson race.  This is clearly a sign there is no frontrunner so Andy needs as much cover as he can get.

Identity Politics: Victor Davis Hanson examines identity politics and whether we are seeing the End Times of identity politics with the era of Trump.  Hanson argues increased diversity and conflicting goals in the various political coalitions might mean we are seeing the apex of identity politics with a decline occurring in the near future.  We can only hope!

Trump-LBJ:  National Review examines the similarities between President Trump and former President (and the worst president of the last 50 years) Lyndon Johnson.   National Review in particular looks at how the left loves the results LBJ obtained while using Trump style tactics.

RNC:  The RNC has had two record months in a row.  It broke its previous post-presidential election record for January by raising $19.8 million, which is higher than the record breaking December the RNC had.

CPAC:  Showing yet again why CPAC should be banned from occurring by constitutional amendment for the sake of the Republic, the organizers have embarrassed themselves by inviting and uninviting mentally/morally compromised Milo Yiannopoulos over the holiday weekend.  Milo, the gay male Ann Coulter, got himself into real deep sh*t by essentially trying to justify inappropriate relationships between older men and teenage boys.  As conservatism is dead, it is fitting that CPAC and the ACU commit ritualistic suicide by first inviting Milo angering the remaining socially conservative rump then sticking the knife back in their gut by uninviting him unleashing the wrath of his militant sympathizers.

Congress

Senate 2018:  While the Republicans have a very favorable map in 2018, recruitment efforts appear to be lagging as several high profile candidates have bowed out.

PA-Sen:  PoliticsPA examines the effective social media strategy used by Senator Pat Toomey (R) in his reelection bid last year.

States

IL-Gov:  Representative Cheri Bustos (D) will not run for Illinois Governor against Governor Bruce Rauner (R).  Democratic hacks seem to be focusing on heir force candidate Chris Kennedy (D).

NJ-State Senate:  We have our first primary challenge arising out of New Jersey deciding to tax the one thing it had not taxed to death already, gasoline.  State Senator Steve Oroho (R-Gas Taxer) will be challenged by State Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R-Not Gas Taxer) for the 24th District, which is based in Sussex County (aka the northwestern county that wishes it was part of Pennsylvania).

NJ-Gov:  The hopes of countless residents of the Garden Garbage State were dashed by Governor Chris Christie (People who go to jail are more popular) not receiving an appointment by President Trump.  I suspect Christie is being teased by President Trump, whose probably getting enjoyment by watching Christie wonder when he is going to be rewarded for selling his soul to Trump.

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2017 Presidents Day Open Thread

Programming note:  there will be a policy thread later this morning.

Question: what percentage of the electorate does not believe anything the mainstream media says?

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Weekend Open Thread for February 17-20, 2017

Welcome to the Presidents’ Day Weekend; we will have our traditional policy thread on Monday in lieu of a Roundup. But we’re kicking things off with some announcements. First, if you have been having trouble logging into the site, please clear your browser cache and delete cookies. We have been having a problem with one of our site security systems that has been causing people to be improperly flagged as spambots. Clearing your cache should solve this problem.

Second, we are also making the following three Race Ratings Changes for upcoming House/Row Officer elections. Our full ratings can be found by clicking the Race Rankings tab above.
MT-AL Likely R from Lean R || SC-5 Safe R from Likely R || WI-Supt Likely D from Lean D

Third, this Sunday there is a general election in Ecuador. Ecuador is a country of 15M at the western tip of South America, on the Pacific Coast between Colombia and Peru. As you might guess from the name, it straddles the Equator. Oil production and agriculture (particularly bananas) form the core of the economy. Ecuador has been led by a left-wing government under President Rafael Correa, a watered-down, less-autocratic Chavista, for a decade, but that may change this year as Correa is standing down. Ecuador uses a French two-round system with a caveat: you either need to get 50% OR 40% and a 10% margin over your nearest opponent to win. Correa’s pick to succeed him is former VP Lenin (yes, Lenin) Moreno of his left-wing PAIS (“Nation”) party. Moreno, who is an interesting figure in his own right for his story of being paralyzed in a robbery, is likely to come in a comfortable first, and there is an outside chance he may pass the 40% and 10% margin to win outright. However, odds are that he will head to a runoff. His likely opponent there is Guillermo Lasso of the center-right pro-business CREO (“Believe”) party, a banker who lost the 2013 presidential election to Correa. Lasso is likely to take a bit over 20% of the vote. Lasso could be upset for a second runoff spot by legislator Cynthia Viteri of the christian-democratic Social Christian Party, who has been polling in the high teens. A fourth major candidate, ex-Quito Mayor Paco Moncayo, could take around 10% on a center-left platform. Moncayo is unlikely to make the runoff, but his supporters could be swing votes in a second round. The remainder is likely to splinter among a number of minor candidates who will not crack out of low single digits but could draw 10% or more together. Runoff polls show Lasso or Viteri ahead of Moreno, as the current government is unpopular due to allegations of widespread corruption. The economy has also slowed with lower oil prices, and Chavism (even in Correa’s watered down form) has been showing its negative economic effects. However, Correa does have a dedicated base of supporters that will come out for Moreno, so whether the 40%/10% margin rule is triggered could dictate whether the nation has a left-wing or center-right government.

And now, without further ado,  this week’s questions:

1. Which unsuccessful presidential candidate in American history do you most wish had won?

2. What is your favorite political-related twitter feed (other than ours, of course)? I’m partial to Don Willett’s light-hearted @justicewillett stream.

And because it’s the weekend, we give you the new policy of America First/The Netherlands Second HERE.

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Political Roundup for February 17, 2017

Senate:

MI-Sen: Apparently one Republican rock musician considering a Senate race in Michigan isn’t enough. With Kid Rock being talked about a possible candidate, now Ted Nugent is said to be considering a race as well. Nugent is a strong supporter of President Trump and the state director for Trump’s campaign says he thinks Nugent could be the perfect candidate to replicate the Trump campaign’s successful coalition that turned the state red for the first time since 1988. Nugent says he has things to consider before making the race-including the fact he will be 70 next year and that he needs complete support from his family.

WI-Sen: Republicans have lost their most prominent potential candidate to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). Rep. Sean Duffy (R) has announced he will not run. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had been waiting on Duffy’s decision before he decided whether to make a bid. Management consultant and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde are other Republicans who have expressed interest in the race.

House:

GA-6: For a district that only voted narrowly for Donald Trump, two Republican candidates don’t seem to be concerned about ties to him-in fact, they are fighting over who has the closer ties. Bruce LeVell, a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and technology executive Bob Gray both claim to have the mantle of the president’s biggest supporter. Levell was executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition during last year’s campaign while Gray claims a personal relationship with him. Others in the race are claiming other prominent endorsements-former state Sen. Dan Moody (R) has allies of Sen. David Perdue (R) behind him, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who formerly held this seat, has endorsed former state Sen. Judson Hill (R). Former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is still seen as the frontrunner.

MT-AL: As the wait continues for Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) to be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, state Senate President Scott Sales (R) has dropped out of the race to succeed him. 2016 GOP  gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte, state Sen. Ed Buttrey (R), former state Sen. Ken Miller (R) and businessman Eugene Graf are still in the running for the Republican nomination.

SC-5: Mick Mulvaney was approved yesterday as OMB director by a 51-49 vote and has resigned his seat in Congress, setting in motion the official schedule to fill the seat. The primaries will be May 2 with a runoff if necessary May 16. The general election will be June 20. State Rep. Ralph Norman (R) is resigning his seat in the Legislature to concentrate on the campaign. Other Republicans running are state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R), former state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly, party activist Shari Few, attorney and State Guard commander Tom Mullikin and attorney Kris Wampler. No Democrats have yet announced they plan to run-state Sen. and two time Democratic nominee for governor Vincent Sheheen (D) is not running.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R) is considering running for governor next year. Lauretti, who has been mayor of Shelton for 26 years, intended to run in 2014 as well, but did not get on the ballot. Two other Republican mayors are also considering running-Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton have both formed exploratory committees for statewide office. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) has not yet announced if he will seek a third term next year.

FL-Gov: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) has long been considered a potential candidate for governor next year, but doubts are growing about whether he will make the race. Friends believe he has not made up his mind yet, and he says he needs to decide if it’s something he really wants. He has not started actively making moves toward a campaign yet, unlike fellow Democrats former Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and political newcomer Chris King. Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is also considering a run on the Democratic side.

KS-Gov: Businessman Wink Hartman (R) has announced a run for governor next year. Hartman previously ran for Congress in 2010 as a “Tea Party conservative”, losing to now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the GOP primary. Ex-state Rep. Ed O’Malley (R) is the only other person to formally announce a bid.

OK-Gov: LG Todd Lamb (R) has resigned from the cabinet of Gov. Mary Fallin (R) over Fallin’s proposed tax increases. Lamb was in Fallin’s cabinet as the state’s Small Business Advocate-the resignation does not affect his position as the state’s Lieutenant Governor. The move is seen possibly as a way for him to separate himself from an unpopular tax increase proposal as he is considered a likely candidate for governor next year.

State & Local:

LA-Treasurer: State Sen. Neil Riser (R) has officially entered the race for state Treasurer. Riser formerly ran for the LA-5 congressional seat in 2013, being defeated by Vance McAllister in the runoff. He joins state Reps. Julie Stokes (R) and John Schroder (R) in the race.

MI-resigning legislators law: The Michigan House is debating a law that would forbid state legislators that resign or are removed from office from turning around and running for the seat again in a special election. The law appears to be aimed primarily at former state Rep. Brian Banks (D), who resigned his seat last week in a plea deal stemming from charges involving fradulent loan documents. Banks sent out fundraising e-mails less than 48 hours after resigning and would not rule out running again. The law would also address the situation of former state Reps. Todd Courser (R) and Cindy Gamrat (R) after they had an extra-marital affair and plotted to cover it up in 2015. Courser resigned his seat under pressure and Gamrat was expelled, but both ran in the special election to fill their seats. Both were defeated in the primary. The law would only preclude resigned and expelled legislators from running in the ensuing special election-they could still run again in the future.

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Political Roundup for February 16, 2017

Good morning.  We wake to an America where the Deep State / Political Staffer-Consultant Industrial Complex continues to incompetently plot coup-like behavior and the Trump administration continues to respond to it an equally incompetent fashion while the Democratic Party collectively lights itself on fire.  It is now time for today’s roundup:

President-National

Labor: Andrew Puzder proved that being a scumbag only allows you to become president and is a disqualifying attribute for Secretary of Labor.  To that end, Puzder withdrew his nomination on Wednesday for the post as evidence mounted that he is not a good hombre, but an hombre who threatened his ex-wife.

OMB:  Senator John McCain (R-Defense Department) plans on voting against President Trump’s nominee for Director of Office of Management and Budget, Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-Club for Growth).  McCain accuses Mulvaney of aiming at the Defense Department in his efforts to cut the deficit.  This seems like one of those situations where Mulvaney needs to explain to our dear friend Senator McCain that Mulvaney will be busy aiming at whatever discretionary spending is left in the budget.

NSA:  The National Security Adviser position might be going to Vice Admiral Robert Hayward.  Hayward would replace former National Security Adviser former General Michael Flynn resigned based on allegations he was in bed with the Russians, which may or may not be true depending on what side of the Deep State you trust as your source.

Obamacare:  While the Republicans are allegedly planning to repeal and replace Obamacare any day now (I bet it happens the same day the Deep State decides it must follow Trump’s orders), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released new rules that might more insurance companies to play in the infamously underperforming individual marketplace exchanges.

Congress

PA-COH:  Here are the latest COH numbers for Pennsylvania congressional critters.  Congressman Pat Meehan (R-Delco) is sitting on a big pile of cash.

NRCC:  The NRCC named its top ten defensive targets for 2018 Wednesday.  No real surprises here.

DCCC:  The DCCC on the other hand is claiming that it is getting a lot of interest from veterans to run as Democrats in 2018.  Lets see if this plays out or are they really just talking to Manan Trivedi about PA-6 again. RRR cannot control himself if Manansanity breaks out again!

States/Local

VA-Gov: Progressive favorite and generally overrated former Congressman Tom Perriello (College Town D) compared Trump’s election to 9/11.  While insulting all those people who died that September day and all of those who have died or were wounded subsequently in the various wars in response, Perriello’s behavior resembles the stereotypical Democratic politician now incapable of containing the urge to lead the Bold Progressive horde to fight the political anti-Christ, President Trump.

PA-Corruption Update:  We have not had too many good PA corruption updates lately (Thank you former Governor and Attorney General Tom Corbett for jailing so many political deadbeats).  We have an interesting one from Lycoming County where the current District Attorney is running for a Common Pleas judge spot and he allegedly started an investigation against his rival, which was subsequently dropped by the Attorney General’s office when it took over the case.

Canada

Trudeau:  My friend JJ McCullough highlights how important the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Supreme Allied Commander of the Heir Force – Left) to Washington was viewed in Canada while nobody could care less here in the US other than it being clear Trump considers Canada “Good Trade Hombres” and used the gatherings associated with it to highlight how the Mexicans are “Bad Trade Hombres”.

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Political Roundup for February 15, 2017

Election News:  Republican Anne Neu won the Minnesota State House special election for seat 32B last night.  Democratic State Senator Bill Perkins won a vacant City Council seat in Harlem as well.  Now for the rest of the roundup…

President/National

Flyover Country:  In case some of our readers were wondering as they are worrying about President Trump from their homes on the respective flanks of the country, Trump is still popular in middle America.

Obamacare:  As I predicted months ago, the Republicans are running into serious internal issues regarding the repeal of Obamacare.  If a repeal happens at all, you got to wonder if it will take as long as it took the Democrats to pass Obamacare.

DNC:  Tom Perez claims to have enough votes to win the race for DNC Chairman.  A Perez win would continue Obama control of the DNC.

SBA:  Linda McMahon was confirmed as SBA Director.  She received strong support from both parties by today’s standards.

MI-Sen:  With a dearth of interested candidates, Republicans in Michigan are floating the idea of Kid Rock running for US Senate.  Crazy to think that Kid Rock as a candidate is not that far outside the realm of possibility.

States

Women:  The number of women in state legislative seats has reached 25% of the total membership with women controlling state legislative chambers also reaching an all time high.

Voting Laws:  As often seen in life, when your side cannot win on the merits, you challenge the rules.  Democrats are now focusing their political rage on the election rules as a source of their defeat.

International

UK:  Ahead of two key byelections, the Labour Party appears poised to lose two seats and potentially impair Jeremy Corbyn’s “leadership” of the Labour Party.

 

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Political Roundup for February 14, 2017

Happy Love Day -er- Valentines Day. First off, there are two Special Elections to preview for today, one legislative and one for the NYC Council. The State House special this week is for MN-LD-32B, an R+8 (2012) seat in deep-red northeast Twin Cities exurbs along the Wisconsin border near Lindstrom. The seat is open after the 2016 election was invalidated, due to the prior incumbent’s residency violations. Anne Neu (R), a veteran MNGOP campaign operative, should be a clear favorite over 2014/2016 nominee and former Duluth city councilwoman Laurie Warner (D), especially as this seat likely moved right in 2016. However, Dems are targeting this race with a surprising amount of enthusiasm, and a surprise upset may be possible.

There is also a NYC Council Special for NYC-CD-9, a 60% BVAP, D+44 (2008) district basically coextensive with Central Harlem. NYC Council specials are in a non-partisan winner-take-all format. There are 9 Democrats and 1 Republican running, six of them serious and three with some chance to win. State Sen. Bill Perkins (D) is the clear front-runner, as he has represented the entire area in the Senate for a decade. However, Perkins has had a mavericky streak at times that has left him on mediocre terms with the Harlem machine. Transit union official Marvin Holland (D) looks like Perkins’s most serious competition. Holland has lapped the field (including Perkins) in fundraising and has strong labor support. However, his name recognition is poor and he has alienated some establishment figures with a very aggressive campaign (including trying to get almost all his rivals disqualified over petition technicalities). If Labor gets out the vote for him, Holland could pull the upset over Perkins’s name rec. The other candidate who could upset Perkins is former civil servant Larry-Scott Blackmon (D). Blackmon has surprisingly attracted a considerable amount of establishment support, including an endorsement from the previous council member, but doesn’t have Holland’s labor backing or Perkins’s name recognition. He also has received unflattering headlines for allegedly getting insiders to pull strings to keep him on the ballot in spite of an illegal party name. Thus, he looks like a long-shot. Two other Dems, Athena Moore (D), a staffer for the Manhattan Borough President, and Community Board member Charles Cooper (D), are both running serious campaigns and have a modicum of establishment backing, but look like very long-shots to come out on top. An interesting candidate who won’t win is social worker and businesswoman Dawn Simmons (R). Simmons is a credible candidate who has actually raised the third-most of the field, and received headlines for being endorsed by “Rent is Too Damn High” perennial candidate Jimmy McMillan (RITDH), but her party label (and thus her lack of Dem establishment support) will prevent her from taking more than a few percent here. The other four candidates, realtor Todd Stevens (D), attorney Pierre Gooding (D), businessman Donald Fields (D), and a Some Dude, seem to be non-serious. Overall this still looks like Perkins’s race to lose, as the establishment and anti-Perkins vote is split among enough candidates with low name rec to mean that Perkins’s name rec and machine should get him to a victory. However, that victory will probably be a low plurality one and Holland or Blackmon could pull the upset.

Now the rest of the day’s news….

President/National:

Natonal Security Adviser: Last Night Mike Flynn resigned as NSA over allegedly lying to Pence about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador. Retired admiral Robert Harward is apparently the front-runner to take over the job.

Treasury/VA: The Senate confirmed Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin and VA Sec. David Shulkin to their posts last night. Linda McMahon (SBA), Mick Mulvaney (OMB), Scott Pruitt (EPA), Wilbur Ross (Commerce), Ryan Zinke (Interior), Ben Carson (HUD), and Rick Perry (Energy) are all considered likely to go through before the end of the week.

Congress:

MA-Sen: State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R) is considering a run against Sen. and cookbook author Elizabeth Warren (D). Diehl is a staunch conservative who represents a deep-red district by Bay State standards, so he’d likely stand little chance, but he does not have the polarizing image of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (R), who has some controversial statements and a failed video game company under his belt. Businessman Rick Green (R), who runs a conservative activist group as well, is also considering a run.

TX-Sen: Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) is considering a run for the seat of Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and will decide in the next 8 weeks. Castro joins fellow Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) in exploring this contest; Democrats may be feeling emboldened to take on Cruz after Hillary did better than expected in the Lone Star State, but the state’s huge size and inelastic nature presents a high hurdle.

GA-6: 8 candidates filed for HHS Secretary Tom Price’s (R) vacated congressional seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs. Four candidates are notable, State Sen. Judson Hill (R), ex-State Sens. Dan Moody (R) and Ron Slotin (D), and former congressional staffer Jon Osoff (D), who has had strong fundraising. Several others are expected to enter as well.

SC-5: Ex-SCGOP chair Chad Connelly (R) will run for the seat of OMB-director designate Mick Mulvaney (R); Connelly joins about a half-dozen other Republicans in the race for the deep-red seat. Connelly’s establishment ties could make him a credible contender and he looks likely to join State Reps. Tommy Pope (R) and Ralph Norman (R) in the first tier of contenders for this seat.

Governor, State & Local:

MA-Gov: 1994 LG nominee Bob Massie (D), a bold progressive netroots favorite, is considering a run against Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) and Gov. Deval Patrick admin official Jay Gonzales (D) have also been exploring bids here.

NJ-Gov: Former Saturday Night Live star Joe Piscopo (R) is doing “due dilligence” on a run for Governor of New Jersey, the clearest indication that the comedian is serious about exploring a bid. Piscopo would join LG Kim Guandagno (R) and State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli (R), along with some minor candidates, in the race for the nomination to succeed toxic Gov. Chris Christie (R). Former ambassador Jon Corzine Jr. Phil Murphy (D) is considered the likely Dem nominee and the favorite over any GOP contender.

MI-SoS: 2010 nominee and law school dean Jocelyn Benson (D) is considering a second bid for SoS in 2018. Benson would likely be the front-runner for the Dem nod if she ran, as her 2010 campaign was well-regarded by party insiders. State Sen. Mike Kowall (R) and State Rep. Lee Chatfield (R) are considering runs on the GOP side for the seat of termed-out incumbent Ruth Johnson (R).

PA-LG: Ex-State Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R) of Lancaster County is the first candidate to consider a run for LG. Pennsylvania uses the “shotgun wedding” system in which LGs and Governors run separately in the primaries but together in the general, which can create some chaotic LG races in which candidates have no idea who their running mates will be.

St. Petersburg-Mayor: Ex-St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker (R) has flirted with bids for multiple offices over the last couple years, including runs for FL-13, Florida Governor, and Attorney General, but now it looks like he may run for his old job, taking on incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (D) in this year’s election. Baker, who is well-regarded, would almost certainly be the GOP’s strongest candidate for the mayoral post.

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Political Roundup for February 13, 2017

Saturday in KS-4, Democrats shockingly nominated attorney Jim Thompson (D), a total Some Dude, over ex-State Treasurer Dennis McKinney (D), who was heavily favored going in. With zero name rec and no obvious self-funding ability, Thompson will be a very decided underdog to State Treasurer Ron Estes (R) in the April general election for this deep-red Wichita-area seat, which we currently rate as Safe R.

President/National:

Polling: Even some liberals seem to be tiring of PPP (D)’s long-standing practice of asking Republicans joke polling questions designed to make them look bad. HuffPo has called out PPP for asking a question on the “Bowling Green Massacre” that implied (to those not closely attuned to the news) that the fictional event made up by Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway was reality.

DNC Chair: Under two weeks ahead of the vote, neither of the front-runners to lead the DNC, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D) or ex-US Labor Sec. Tom Perez (D), is anywhere close to a majority, which could open up the door for another candidate like South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttgieg (D) to come up the middle.

Kasich: He is starting a SuperPAC, which may be a prelude to a possible Trump primary challenge in 2020.

Senate:

CA-Sen: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), the Senate’s oldest member at 83, will hold a kick-off fundraiser for her 2018 re-election bid next month. This is as good a time to as any to remind you that holding fundraisers and proclaiming your intent to run again does not necessarily preclude a late retirement.

PA-Sen: State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) of suburban Pittsburgh will run for the seat of Sen. Bob Casey (D). Saccone seems a credible “C” lister, but as 1 of 203 State Reps. the PA GOP will likely continue searching for someone with a bigger profile.

Governor:

IL-Gov: Bob Daiber (D), a local schools superintendent in the downstate suburban St. Louis area, is running for Governor. Daiber doesn’t really seem to have the profile to compete in the large state where most of the Dem primary base is in Chicago, so he seems a long-shot at best. Daiber joins businessman and heir force candidate Chris Kennedy (D) and Chicago councilman Ameya Pawar (D) in the race.

IA-Gov: 2014 State Auditor nominee Jon Neiderbach (D) will run for Governor, joining another “C” list Democrat, former state cabinet official Rich Leopold (D). Several other Democrats, all relatively little-known, are considering runs for the seat of Governor-designate Kim Reynolds (R).

NV-Gov: State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R), an antiestablishment conservative, is considering a run for Governor. He would likely face AG Adam Laxalt (R), who himself has some antiestablishment tendencies, in the primary. Schwartz would likely start at a major deficit to Laxalt in financial resources and institutional support.

House:

CA-34: The state Democratic party gave its official endorsement to State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) for this deep-blue downtown-LA based seat. Gomez is the only prominent elected official in the race, and thus the clear front-runner in April’s special. However, he faces a huge number of lesser-known candidates that may force a runoff.

NV-3: Ex-Rep. Joe Heck (R) will cash out to the lobbying world and will not run against Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) in 2018. However, Heck did not rule out another bid down the line.

NC-5: Democrats may have a non-Some Dude candidate to run against Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) in Winston-Salem councilwoman DD Adams (D). This Winston-Salem based seat also includes some deep-red territory in the northwest part of the state, making it deeply Republican overall; thus, Adams is probably unlikely to make it competitive.

State Row Officers:

AL-AG: Gov. Bentley has appointed Marshall County DA Steve Marshall (R) to Sen. Luther Strange’s (R) vacated AG seat. Marshall is expected to seek a full term in 2018; it’s unclear if he will face credible primary opposition, but a half-dozen other Republicans also interviewed with Bentley for the job.

FL-CFO: Florida CFO Jeff Atwater (R), who had already announced he would not run for anything upon being termed out in 2018, will step down after the legislative session to take an administrative job at Florida Atlantic University. The decision isn’t a huge surprise as Atwater had been looking for an exit ramp from politics since 2015, exploring several different university and appointed positions while passing on overtures to mount campaigns for Senate last cycle and Governor in 2018. Nevertheless, his decision to leave early will allow Gov. Rick Scott to make an appointment to his seat. The blog FloridaPolitics has a Great Mentioner of the more than half-dozen names Scott could pick, all of whom could also be candidates for the seat in 2018. State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) has been considered the most likely Dem candidate for this race, but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) and ex-Rep. Fratrick Murphy (D) have also been mentioned.

LA-Treas: Two candidates entered the race for this fall’s special election last week; State Rep. Julie Stokes (R) of suburban New Orleans announced she is in, while State Sen. Neil Riser (R) of the rural northeast part of the state leaked a memo that he is about to enter. They join State Rep. John Schroeder (R) in what is expected to be a very crowded jungle primary. Appointed incumbent Ron Henson (R) has not announced if he intends to stand for election.

WI-Supt: Incumbent State Superintendent Tony Evers (D) has a large financial lead over his rivals, school administrator John Humphries (R) and Beloit local schools superintendent Lowell Holtz (R), though that’s mostly due to his rivals being broke rather than Evers being flush. The California-Rules Top Two primary for this race is a week from tomorrow with a general in April in which Evers is expected to be favored over Humphries.

Local Elections:

Pittsburgh-Mayor: Councilwoman Darlene Harris (D) has filed to run against Mayor Bill Peduto (D) in the May primary. Harris, a mavericky Dem who has clashed with Peduto’s liberal agenda, is Peduto’s only major challenger.

Corpus Christi-Mayor: Ex-councilman Chad Magill (D) will drop out of the race for Mayor in May’s special election. Three major candidates are seeking the seat, ex-Mayor Nelda Martinez (D), councilman Joe McComb (R), and ex-councilman Mark Scott (R).

Westchester, NY-CE: State Sen. George Latimer (D) and State Rep. Tom Abinati (D) are considering runs against Westchester CE Rob Astorino (R), who is seeking a third term in the deep-blue county this year. Defeating Astorino is a priority of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), as Astorino was the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2014 and is likely to run for Governor again in 2018 if he wins re-election. Latimer and Abinati would each be a top-tier candidate against Astorino.

Philadelphia-DA: Philly DA Seth Williams (D) has announced he will not seek re-election this year, apologizing for bringing “embarassment and shame” to his office in a gifts scandal, which has resulted in a federal probe that is apparently nearing completion (and will probably result in charges). Williams allegedly accepted gifts from attorneys with cases he was prosecuting, among other penny-ante corruption. The Dem primary for this seat, which is tantamount to election in ultra-blue Philly, is in May.