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Political Roundup for November 20th, 2017

Over the weekend, ex-State Rep. John Schroder (R) won LA-Treasurer as expected, councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (D) won New Orleans Mayor, Covington Councilman Mark Wright (R) won LA-LD-77, and ex-federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D) won the right to take on State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) in PA-18. In Chile, ex-President Sebastian Pinera of the center right will face Senator Alejandro Guillier of the center-left in a December runoff.

Congress

MI-Sen/MI-06: Well, I think that this turned out for the best. Rep. Fred Upton (R) has backed off of his Senate campaign and is running for reelection to his Southwest Michigan congressional seat.  Not having his district open next year can only help House Republicans, and he just wasn’t catching on in the primary for Senate.

MI-Sen Continued: With Upton out of the race, all eyes are now on frontrunner veteran/businessman John James (R). James still has a few notable primary opponents, including ex-State Supreme Court Justice Bob Young (R) and newly-entered businessman Sandy Pensler (R), but he’s polling ahead of them. He’s also African-American, so expect a bit more coverage than your run-of-the-mill Republican Senate candidate would get. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is a tough candidate to beat in any year, so James has his work cut out for him if he makes it out of the primary.

MN-Sen: If this opinion piece is at all representative of progressive opinion on the matter, we won’t be seeing any special Senate election fun in Minnesota. Sen. Al Franken (D) has been caught up in the wave of allegations of sexual misconduct that is currently sweeping the upper echelons of American public society. However, it seems like many are willing to close ranks around him not necessarily because he might be innocent, but because he votes the right way. This woman is just more honest about it than most.

TX-Sen: Some Dude Bruce Jacobson (R) is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the Republican senatorial primary next year. Jacobson doesn’t seem to have much of a platform aside from criticizing gridlock. Jacobson may be a Some Dude, but I expect he might actually might have a bit of funding because he’s a television producer for a Christian outlet.

IL-03: Off the Sidelines, a PAC linked to New York Sen. Kirsten Gellibrand (D) has endorsed Some Dude Marie Newman (D) in her bid to oust Blue Dog Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) in the Democratic primary for his seat, based in Chicago’s southwestern inner suburbs. This has fueled speculation that Gellibrand, who’s been an ideological chameleon since entering elected office, may be trying to burnish her progressive credentials ahead of the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary.

MD-07: This is from Gateway Pundit, so take it with a grain of salt. However, it’s fascinating if true. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) may have colluded with elements of the IRS to suppress some Republican-friendly outside groups. It’s still early, but Cummings has been contemplating leaving the House in one way or another for a while now. This could be the push that finallyopens up his Baltimore-based seat.

NJ-05: Well-connected lawyer John McCann (R) has joined perennial candidate Steve Lonegan (R) in the race to take on freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D). Trump actually narrowly won this district based in suburban, exurban, and rural North Jersey, so the moderate McCann might have a decent shot even in a good year for Democrats. First, though, he has to get by Lonegan, who rarely wins races, but does have high name recognition.

PA=15: Well, State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie’s (R) life just got a bit easier. Fellow State Rep. Justin Simmons (R), Mackenzie’s biggest stumbling block on the way to winning the Republican primary for this swingy open seat based in the Lehigh Valley, has dropped out of the race. Mackenzie isn’t out of the woods yet, though. He still has, at the least, a tough general election campaign ahead of him.

State/Local

CO-SD-27: In the current wave of sexual harassment allegations, at least a few are likely false or not representative of the person’s general behavior. It seems that this may be the case with the allegations against Colorado State Sen. Jack Tate (R). Multiple women who work alongside him have spoken out in defense of his conduct. It looks like Democrats will have to wait until 2020 if they want to try and take Tate’s Centennial-based seat.

FL-Leg: I think that Ryan may be right in his oft-repeated prediction that the tsunami still has yet to rush in on the sexual misconduct allegation phenomenon. 97% of Florida political insiders surveyed by the Tampa Bay Times seem to agree with both of us. What’s interesting is that it’s so nearly unanimous. They can’t all know about the same single offender. Expect more open legislative seats in next year’s election than are currently forecast.

VA-Leg: Democrats in the Old Dominion are still trying to flip the House of Delegates. They plan to file for recounts in HD-28, HD-40, and HD-94. All three races were extremely narrow Republican victories. If Democrats get one more seat, they can tie the chamber. Two more seats get them the majority. There was an earlier report that hundreds of voters in HD-28 had bee given the wrong ballots, but that appears to have been erroneous.

TX-HD-134: In a move that has surprised many, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is backing a challenger to a fellow Republican. Susanna Dokupil (R) is challenging State Rep. Sarah Davis (R) for her seat on Houston’s wealthy west side, and has the Governor’s backing in her endeavor. Abbott’s move may have something to do with an ethics reform that Davis proposed that would bar donors to governors from serving on state boards and commissions.

Political Roundup for November 13, 2017

Over the weekend in PA-18, State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) took the GOP nomination. Democrats will nominate their contender this coming Sunday. Also check below for our preview of today’s election in Somaliland (where and/or what the heck is that, you ask?… read on).

Now, after a week in which I am reduced to not giving a f* about what happens to the broader GOP while resolving to spend the next year hoping and praying that Larry Hogan will not be doomed by a massive wave, it is time for today’s Roundup…

Briefing: New Nominees for our Anthony Weiner Award for Pervert of the Year:

AL-Sen: A former Roy Moore colleague said that it was “common knowledge” he was interested in high school girls when they worked together as prosecutors. Over the weekend, multiple polls have come out showing the race between Moore and ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D) is a dead heat; in particular, one from JMC Analytics has Jones up 46-42.

CO-Treas: State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) is under fire for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow lawmaker, State Rep. Faith Winter (D). Lebsock had looked like the Dem front-runner for the open Treasurer seat, but fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) entered the race last week (perhaps getting tipped off about the allegations?) and now looks likely to be the Dems’ consensus pick. Democratic leaders are now calling for Lebsock’s resignation.

CA-SD-32: State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) repeatedly attempted to get a young woman interviewing for a staffer job to come home with him to “review her resume”. Mendoza is the roommate of fellow State Sen. and US Senate candidate Kevin DeLeon (D).

CA-LD-26: State Rep. Devon Mathis (R) is under investigation by police for allegedly digitally penetrating a staffer.

MN-SD-54, MN-LD-22B: Two Minnesota legislators are also under fire for harassment. State Rep. Erin Maye-Quade (D) claims she was harassed by both State Sen. Dan Schoen (D) and State Rep. Tony Cornish (R). Allegations against Schoen were also leveld by multiple other women, and allegations against Cornish have been brought by a lobbyist.

Now, in non-perversion news:

Governor:

CA-Gov, CA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Doug Ose (R), who served three terms representing suburban Sacramento in the 90s and 2000s before a failed comeback bid in CA-7 in 2014, is now considering a run for Governor. Ose’s entry as a third Republican would likely completely ensure that two Democrats (and neither of the other two Rs, businessman John Cox (R) and State Rep. Travis Allen (R)) make the general election. But Ose may not need to enter to ensure that: a new USC/LA Times Poll shows LG Gavin Newsom (D) leading the gubernatorial race with 31%, with ex-LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) taking the second slot with 21%. Allen and Cox are banging heads to split the GOP vote with 15% and 11% respectively. Two longer-shot Dems, State Treasurer John Chiang (D) and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D), are at 12% and 4% respectively. For the Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) holds a strong lead over State Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D), who is challenging her from the left. Feinstein leads 58-31 in the two-way race.

MN-Gov: Woodbury (pop. 68K) Mayor Mary Guiluiani-Stevens (R) has reserved domain names pertaining to a gubernatorial run, but is so far tight-lipped on her intentions. The mayor of the large eastern Twin Cities suburb would join a crowded field of Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 nominee Jeff Johnson (R), State Sen. David Osmek (R), State Rep. Matt Dean (R), and ex-State Rep. and ex-MNGOP chair Keith Downey (R). State House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) and ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) are also thought to be considering.

TX-Gov: Democrats continue to cast about for a sacrificial lamb to take on Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The latest name considering making a late entry here is Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D). Valdez is little-known outside of her county, but seems a significantly more credible candidate than investor Andrew White (D), who is the current Dem front-runner on little other than being the son of 80s-era ex-Gov. Mark (D).

Senate:

MA-Sen: Businessman, self-proclaimed “inventor of e-mail”, and Fran Drescher’s ex Shiva Ayyadurai is leaving the crowded GOP primary to take on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) and running as an Independent. Ayyadurai, a firebrand conservative, was an amusing sideshow in the race but had little institutional support as the primary field filled up with three more connected and traditional candidates, Romney aide Beth Lindstrom (R), State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R), and businessman John Kingston (R). Needless to say, none of these candidates pose a threat to Warren in the general.

NJ-Sen: A juror was dismissed from the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Mendendez (D) last week for a previously-planned vacation; jury deliberations will now start from scratch today. The excused juror, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, said (quite colorfully) that she was a firm “not guilty” vote, but the jury was deadlocked and she expected an ultimate hung jury.

KY-Sen ’22: Sen. Rand Paul (R) has apparently been told that federal charges will be filed against Rene Boucher, a neighbor who attacked Paul and broke four of his ribs last week. Prosecutors likely believe the attack was politically motivated, while Boucher’s attorney says that it was due to a non-sepcific “trivial dispute”.

House:

KY-6: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (D) is considering a run against Rep. Andy Barr (R). Gray would likely be Democrats’ top recruit for the medium-red seat, as he carried the district in his 2016 Senate run against Sen. Rand Paul (R). However, Gray’s profile as a well-known liberal may make the race more difficult.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) is the first candidate into the race for Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R) open San Antonio to Austin seat. Isaac represents about 20% of the district and could be a front-runner, but the field for this red seat that swung against Trump could grow significantly.

VA-6: Andy Parker (D), father of Alison Parker, a journalist who was murdered on live TV, is considering a run for this open congressional seat. Alison’s boyfriend Chris Hurst (D) was elected last week to a purple State House seat in the Blacksburg area. Parker would face a much tougher bid for the very conservative district; State Rep. Ben Cline (R) and RNC official Cynthia Dunbar (R) are already in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.

State & Local:

FL-AG: State Rep. Ross Spano (R) of suburban Tampa is the latest Republican considering an entry into this primary. Spano would join front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R), who also hails from Tampa Bay, and fellow State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R). Little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D) is the only Dem in the race.

GA-PSC: Deal Admin official Tricia Pridemore (R), who lost the 2014 primary for the congressional GA-11, is now running for an open seat on the Public Service Commission. The 5-member, all-GOP board is elected statewide for staggered 6-year terms.

IL-Comp, IL-Treas: Illinois Republicans have found two “C” list candidates to fill out their Row Officer ticket. Ex-State Rep. and 2014 IL-11 nominee Darlene Senger (R) will challenge Comptroller Susana Mendoza (R) and Orland Park councilman Jim Dodge (R) will challenge Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D). Both incumbent Democrats are heavy favorites for re-election in the blue state. They join former congressional candidate Erika Harold (R) for the open AG seat and Grundy DA Jason Helland (R) for SoS as the ILGOP’s presumptive Row Officer slate.

MS-LG: Vicksburg (pop. 23K) Mayor George Flaggs (D) is considering a run for LG in 2019. The moderate Flaggs says he may run as a Democrat or switch parties and run as a Republican. Incumbent Tate Reeves (R) is widely expected to either run for Governor or score an appointment to the Senate seat of Sen. Thad Cochran (R) should the latter resign soon, as expected; SoS Delbert Hosemann (R) and State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) have also been connected with LG runs, but much will depend on how the Cochran musical chairs play out.

NV-Treas: Financial planner Derek Uehara (R) is running for State Treasurer, joining ex-Las Vegas councilman Bob Beers (R) in the primary. No Democrats have as of yet declared for this seat, which is open as incumbent Dan Schwartz (R) is running for Governor.

Howard, MD-CE: County Commissioner Calvin Ball (D) is running for County Executive in my home county against incumbent Allan Kittleman (R). Ball is a top-tier recruit for Dems in this blue suburban Baltimore county, heavy with upscale liberals, that continues to trend left despite my best efforts. (sigh)

PA-Redistrict: The State Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track a Democratic challenge to the state’s congressional map, placing it on a timeline that could lead to new maps in time for the 2018 elections. A new map would likely flip at least one of three competitive GOP-held districts in the Philly suburbs, PA-6, 7, and 8, and potentially make a couple other districts, most likely the open GOP-held PA-15 and the Dem held Trump-voting PA-17, more competitive.

International:

Today, continuing our commitment to bringing you coverage of elections in places you didn’t even know existed, there is an election in Somaliland, which might be best characterized as an accident of diplomacy. Calling it a de facto nation would be selling it short: in every arena but international status, Somaliland is a more of a nation than a sizeable fraction of the world’s recognized nations. It has a population of 3.5M, occupying what is internationally recognized as (theoretically) the northwest part of Somalia along the south shore of the Gulf of Aden. However, that international recognition is a diplomatic fiction, as the dysfunctional-at-best Somali government hasn’t had the slightest bit of control (or even influence) over the area for over 25 years. Somaliland broke off when the nation’s central government disintegrated in 1991 and hasn’t looked back, but the desire to not further hurt the legitimacy of the fledgling-to-nonexistent Mogadishu government has led all other countries to hold back from recognizing Somaliland’s obvious independence. Making its lack of international recognition even stranger is that Somaliland would under normal circumstances be one of both Africa’s and the Islamic World’s biggest success stories. It is a relatively stable and democratic nation (at least by the global region’s low standards), with a functioning central government and economy, and a free politics and civil society that easily surpass a majority of Africa’s recognized nations. Today, the presidential election is open as the incumbent is peacefully standing down, and there is a lively competition between the country’s three strong parties, which are well-developed enough to even have rudimentary ideologies instead of being mere personality or clan vehicles. All of the three parties have large caucuses in parliament and are running credible candidates, who even had a televised debate last month. Furthermore, all three candidates at least appear to be relatively pro-Western and within democratic norms. The candidate of the incumbent party is Musa Behi, who serves as the party’s chair. He is facing public works minister Faysal Warabe and parliament speaker Abdiraman Irro. It’s hard to handicap this race, but Behi seems to be the candidate of the capital’s establishment and military, Irro seems to have the strongest ties to rural traditional clan leaders, and Warabe seems to be closest to a Western-style social democrat. Behi seems to be the front-runner, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Political Roundup for November 6th, 2017

Off-Year Election Day is tomorrow, so if you want to read the 5,000 polls that came out of Virginia over the weekend, go read RCP. If you want to find out that there is more than one race tomorrow, check out our Legislative/County and Mayoral previews. And return here at noon today for our big-ticket race previews, and tomorrow night at 7 PM EST for the the actual results of the various races. In the meantime,

2016

President: Wow. The amount of shameless ass-covering coming out of Donna Brazile’s mouth is almost impressive. Brazile claims that when Hillary Clinton collapsed at a 9-11 memorial last year, she considered replacing Clinton with VP Joe Biden or Sen. Cory Booker. This was less than two months before the election. Such an action would have been impossible. You probably couldn’t have even gotten the ballots reprinted in time. There is no way in Hades that someone as experienced as Donna Brazile thought such a thing was possible at the time unless she was in a psych ward.

Turnout: I know, I know, it’s from Center for American Progress, but read this. The findings are interesting.

Congress

CA-Sen: This is going to be a lot of fun. I’m not 100% sure of which way it’s going to be fun yet, but everyone’s least favorite online news team definitely just threw a grenade of exploding fun down the hallway. To explain, Alison Hartson, director of the Young Turks’ (an online ‘news’ channel with a very high opinion of its importance in the world) political action committee, has decided to throw her hat in the ring and challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). This is all under the banner of the ‘Justice Democrats’ movement that the Young Turks founder, Cenk Uyghur, decided to launch almost a year ago on Election Night. That’s the reason that Hartson’s candidacy is a no-lose scenario for enjoyment; either she makes Top Two (very unlikely) and the Democrats field a complete nutcase who we can make fun of regularly but has no chance of beating Feinstein, or, more likely, we can watch as she pulls single digits and the Young Turks’ sense of self-importance gets brought back down to earth in spectacular fashion. I rarely say this, guys, but we can’t lose here.

NV-Sen: The boys and girls over at the Nevada Independent seem a tad shocked that so much out-of-state money is pouring into the coffers of candidates for US Senate in Nevada. Welcome to being a swingy small state with competitive Senate elections. New Hampshire feels your pain.

PA-06: Well, this is a bit early for an oppo dump, but I guess the 2018 circus has to start sometime. Apparently Chrissy Houlahan (D), main opponent to Rep. Ryan Costello (R), may not have been telling the truth when she bragged about how well the workers that made her former employer’s athletic shoes were treated. That wouldn’t be a huge issue, except that she was supposedly the one who was in charge of overseeing production…

Governor

FL-Gov: Congratulations, Adam Putnam! You have won the 2018 Florida Republican Gubernatorial Primary! Pass GO and collect millions more in campaign contributions. Seriously, though, if State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) wasn’t immediately out of the running for the nomination by virtue of being himself, he’s out now. Following a leaked image of Latvala kissing a lobbyist, six women have publicly accused him of sexual harassment.

FL-Gov: Adam Putnam actually had a double helping of luck over the weekend, because his biggest rival, former Rep. Gwen Graham (D), bombed hard in front most of the state’s political reporters. It’s pretty great stuff. I don’t think this will kill Graham’s campaign or anything like that, but it can’t help.

State/Local

CO-Leg: Apparently some state representative from Pueblo is taking a minor post in the Trump Administration. That’s cool and all, but what I’m really interested in is the Centennial State’s apparent lack of love for special elections. It looks like all vacancies are filled by a party committee until the next scheduled election. That’s no fun.

KY-Leg: Accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful people seem to be the ‘it’ thing at the moment. Just think about how low Bill Clinton is lying right now. Anyway, the craze has made its way to Kentucky, where State House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R) and three other representatives are under investigation. Hoover has resigned as Speaker, but will not resign his seat. There may be primaries or special elections resulting from some of these accusations.

NJ-Leg: Now here’s something that you don’t see every day: a public poll of a state legislative race! It’s not even for a special election! The poll, conducted by Stockton University, finds Assemblyman (not that) Chris Brown (R) leading Colin Bell (D) 46-43 ahead of Tuesday’s off-year general election. This is very interesting if accurate because this seat covers Atlantic City and went for Clinton by seven points (and by twenty for Obama).

NV-Leg: It seems that opponents of State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse (D) have enough valid signatures for a recall petition. The lawyers still have to fight it out, but as of now it looks like we’ll have a recall election sometime in December.

WA-SD-45: In case you forgot, Virginia and New Jersey don’t have all of the important elections tomorrow. There is a special election in the Seattle suburbs that will decide control of the state senate, and the New York Times gets breathless about it at the link.

Political Roundup for June 19th, 2017

About last night: Over the weekend Emmanuelle Macron’s new En Marche! party got a majority of the seats in the French parliamentary election, coming in at the lower end of expectations.

Tomorrow is special election day. Be sure to check back here at 3p ET today for our preview and at 7p ET tomorrow for our liveblog of the special generals for GA-06 and SC-05. Now, onto the news!

President

Landrieu: File this one under either ‘columnists don’t understand psephology’ or ‘someone had too many hurricanes on Bourbon Street just before a deadline.’ Apparently, a few Democrats are floating New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s (D) name as a possible presidential candidate. Oy. Here we go. For the next few years we’re going to get just about every reasonably-prominent Democrat in the country who does something half-noteable (in this case, a speech on the removal of Confederate monuments) run through the machinery of the Great Mentioner for at least a week or so. Never mind that Landrieu isn’t even the mayor of a mega-city, let alone a senator, governor, or even a celebrity businessman. No, he’s just the mayor of a reasonably-large city in a country full of them. But, The Hill needs something to write about, and stories about presidential campaigns, real or imagined, get clicks. Expect more of this drivel for a few years. Maybe a few of them will actually make also-ran status.

Kander: …And just as I say that, another one drops. At least this article is more intelligently written than the first one. It’s premise is just as stupid, though. Is former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) a rising star? Yes. Is he making the rounds that presidential hopefuls make? That’s certainly so. Does he have a snowball’s chance in Hades of becoming President this cycle? Hell no (unless he succeeds Sen. Claire McCaskill first). His performance against Sen. Roy Blunt (R) last year was impressive, though some of it can be put down to Blunt’s ineptitude and lack of likability. As the article rightly points out, Kander has nothing to run for that he could conceivably win unless Sen. McCaskill (D) steps aside. Therefore, he’s making the speaking circuit. I doubt it’s about more than keeping himself relevant. Most politicians have delusions of grandeur, but if he believes he’s going to be nominated for President in 2020 with no office in between, someone should stick him in a psych ward. Another day, another DC journalist has a deadline, another ridiculous presidential Great Mentioner story…

Congress

GA-06: Ahead of tomorrow’s special election, WSB-TV/Landmark has Han Solo impersonator John Ossoff (D) up two points over former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R). RRH currently rates this race as Lean D.

NE-02: Is former Rep. Brad Ashford (D) a one-term wonder, or a comeback kid? If that was one of the burning questions that you’ve been dying to know, rejoice! You’re probably about to find out. Ashford has announced a revenge run against the man who beat him in 2016, now-Rep. Don Bacon (R). He’s probably the Democrats’ most credible candidate, and could certainly win in a wave. Still, I’m skeptical. Who wouldn’t vote for more bacon?

WA-03: You have to give former State House nominee Teresa Purcell (D) credit for one thing: confidence. Even though she lost a state house seat that Democrats had held for decades and is currently under investigation by the (Democratic) state attorney general for reporting violations, she still wants to run for Congress. If I were Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R), though, I’d definitely want Purcell to make Top Two.

Governor

KS-Gov: If at first you don’t beat a Democrat in Kansas… try again? Former State Sen. and 2006 gubernatorial nominee Jim Barnett (R) seems to think so. He’s launching a second bid for the office, this time to succeed Gov. Sam Brownback (R).

PA-Gov: This one might be a record. Just days after entering the gubernatorial race, businessman Kris Hart (R) is exiting it. Why, you ask? Because, Pennsylvania has a ludicrous seven-year residency requirement for anyone who wants to be Governor of the Commonwealth. Hart likely wouldn’t have gotten very far, and he only arrived in the state in May. Still, seven years is a tad much for a residency requirement.

VA-Gov: The first real general election poll for this year’s contest in Virginia couldn’t be more exciting. It’s a tie, 46-46, or so says Harper Polling. They did pretty well last cycle, though they tend to have a Republican lean. Both candidates are viewed pretty favorably. It will be interesting to see how those numbers shift as the race progresses and attacks are likely to start flying.

State/Local

CA-SD-29: Naughty, naughty *wags finger*. California Democrats, fearful that State Sen. Josh Newman (D) would be successfully recalled, changed the rules mid-stream. They slipped a change into the budget requiring the recall to be held at the next general election, likely boosting turnout for the race. Something tells me that they’ll eventually regret this, but that’s politics for you.

CO-Leg: Some people really like to burn money. Take the people featured in this article, for instance; they want to recruit candidates to run under a ‘Centrist’ banner against incumbents of both parties in the Colorado Legislature. Their goal is to beat five incumbents and hold the balance of power in the legislature. The article makes several sound critiques of this plan. The biggest hole in the scheme, though, is that any third party candidate only succeeds in freak circumstances or with established personal popularity. Anyone who gives these people money might as well douse the cash in gasoline and throw a lit match at it.

IN-Redistrict: Here’s a piece talking about the fact that Indiana will likely lose a congressional district in the future. That’s mildly interesting in and of itself. However, what’s more interesting is who the author is: Christina Hale. I said she’d stick around, and she has. This is exactly the kind of ‘talking seriously about the state’s problems’ piece that politicians write when they’re in the wilderness and building up their positive credit for a comeback.

WI-SC: Justice Michael Gableman, a member of the conservative wing on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, will not seek a second ten-year term on that body. There is speculation that he may step down early to give Gov. Scott Walker (R) a chance to appoint his replacement. The court is currently split 5-2 in favor of the conservative faction.

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