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Political Roundup for December 13th, 2017

Bless your heart, Steve Bannon. In other news from last night, Jim Carlin (R) held IA-SD-3 by a narrower-than-expected 8-point margin.

National

Please, no Moore: Unsurprisingly,The Economist nailed the dynamics of yesterday’s special senatorial election in Alabama. It also correctly pointed out the needle Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) would need to thread to win.

Heritage, Not Hate: Those that fail to learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. Inspired by the Donald’s blaming of “both sides” during a standoff between white supremacists and their opponents, The Economist was inspired to look into the nationalist/populist infatuation with the Confederate battle flag. What did it find? The brand of anti-elitism preached by Steve Bannon (“R”-His Delusions) and his ilk was once shared by two important groups: 1) those fighting for the Confederacy, and 2) many northerners who saw the abolitionist movement as an elite conspiracy to free up a source of cheap labor.

Whataboutism: Politico looks at the evolution of Trump enthusiasts’ defense of their hero’s alleged sexual assaults since the October 2016 Access Hollywood tape leak.

Steve Bannon, Great Populist: ICYMI, defender of the common man Steve Bannon (“R”-Hidden) attacked Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough (I-New Canaan) on an Alabama stage days before the state’s special senatorial election. For what? Bannon, a Georgetown and Harvard alum, exclaimed that he went to better schools than did Scarborough. Where, exactly, is Scarborough’s alma mater? …the University of Alabama. Please tell me more about Bannon’s political savvy.

Taxes: Many billionaires (read: donors) are saying that they don’t find the current tax bills tremendous. Sad!

Only the Best (No, Really): Arguing that the parties are more divided than they’ve been since the Civil War, Mort Kondracke calls for a moderate revolution composed of “the best.” Who? Those that would set aside their differences to work toward civility and common-sense solutions.

Party ID: Since the 2016 election, the GOP has seen a marked drop in partisan identification.

Congress

Democrats: Citing inadequate responses to the #pervnado, younger congressional Democrats are calling for a passing of the leadership torch on Capitol Hill.

Bipartisan Friendships: Who said bipartisan friendships on Capitol Hill are dead? Read this article to find out which New York Democrats(!) are legitimate friends of Ted Cruz(!!) and Louie Gohmert(!!!).

MN-Sen: Governor Mark Dayton (D-Target) plans to name a replacement at 10:00 AM today for latest pervnado casualty, Stuart Smalley Al Franken (D-SNL).

TX-27: Duck, duck, goo… The Houston Chronicle breaks down the candidates aiming to take out the four-term ducky pajama wearer Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi).

AL-Sen: Last night, Doug Jones accomplished an unprecedented historical feat: he subdued Donald Trump.

The States

IL-Gov/C[r]ook County Assessor: A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed C[r]ook County Assessor Joe Berrios (D-Chicago)’ corrupt handling of property tax appeals. To wit, wealthy donors were able to get their property taxes reduced; many got reductions significantly below market value. Accordingly, on Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) demanded that Berrios resign. One of Rauner’s potential Democratic opponents, Heir Extraordinaire J.B. Pritzker (D-Chicago), attacked Rauner. Apparently, the governor and the paper were on a “witch hunt.”

MA-Gov/Zoning: Massachusetts Gubnah Chahlie Baykah (R-Swampscott) has latched onto a popular issue: building more housing in Massachusetts. More residential development which would keep housing affordable and boost the economy. His solution? Eliminating the biggest stumbling block: the state’s supermajority requirement for zoning changes.

#StandWithWendy: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has graced the hoi polloi with an update on the plans of Wendy Davis (D-Austin) and her pink sneakers. Davis, who ruled out a 2018 gubernatorial bid, is apparently not (yet) ruling out a 2022 gubernatorial bid. Surely, Texas will be dark blue by then.

Political Roundup for December 6th, 2017

Well, the President of the United States and the RNC have both officially endorsed a sexual predator for a US Senate seat. Political participation these days feels like a game of Russian Roulette in which every chamber of the revolver is loaded.

Last Night, Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) won the Atlanta Mayor’s race by 1% (759 votes), Brad Hart (R) held Cedar Rapids Mayor for the GOP, and Robb Pitts (D) was elected Fulton County, GA Executive. Republicans picked up a State Senate seat in MA-SD-Worcester & Middlesex with Dean Tran (R), Wendy Carillo (D) took CA-LD-51, and the Dems easily held PA-LD-133. Margaret Good (D) won the nomination in FL-LD-72. Georgia Democrats elected in D-on-D runoffs Jen Jordan (D) in SD-6, Nikema Williams (D) in SD-39, Kim Schofield (D) in LD-60, and Bee Nguyen (D) in LD-89.

President/the Bigger Picture

The Great Sort (or not?): The Economist analyzes recent data regarding American political attitudes from Pew Research. It finds that, while the partisan gap regarding the role of government has widened, Americans broadly agree at an unprecedented level on two electorally influential notions: 1) homosexuality should be accepted, and 2) immigration is a positive force. The magazine also claims that, despite many theses to the contrary, Americans have not been moving to certain areas to be around fellow members of their political party.

Blame Canada (or at least Eastern Europe): ICYMI, President Trump re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos last week (surprise!). Fittingly, ABC‘s Nightline was inspired to take a look at the alarming popularity of white nationalism among the European youth (particularly within the former USSR). With Generation Y being split between the alt-right and Corbynism, our children and grandchildren are all screwed.

The Donald and the GOP: Totally loyal lifelong conservative Republican Donald Trump will definitely be loyal to the GOP. He won’t try destroying it, even if it doesn’t do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

The President’s Taxes (no, not like that): Lyin’ Quinnipiac finds that 53% of Americans disapprove of the GOP’s efforts to update the tax code. Just 29% support them. For context, the pollster notes that those numbers are more dreadful than both Obamacare and Clinton’s tax hikes upon their first times being polled.

Congress

AL-Sen: The RNC has decided to go on a second date with God’s Gift to the World Roy Moore (R-His Selective Conceptions of Morality) after daddy lowered his shotgun barrel.

More AL-Sen: Clearly not attracted the idea of having a child predator in the Senate, Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-Mesa) did the only thing he could do when Steve Bannon (“R”-his Alt Reich) decided to “gift” a trojan horse to the party: he donated to Democrat Doug Jones (D-Birmingham).

#LockHimUp: Doug Jones told a crowd at a Mobile rally that False Prophet Roy Moore (R-Gadsden Mall) belongs in jail, not the US Senate.

MI-13: US Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) is retiring to spend more time creeping on nurses at the old folks home. Accordingly, his Detroit West Side/Downriver/Western Wayne County seat is open for the first time since the court-ordered 1964 redistricting.

TX-05/TX HD-04: State Rep Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) has thrown his ten-gallon hat into the ring in the race to replace outgoing Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas).

The States

CA-Gov: Looking to shore up the moonbat vote, bold progressive State Treasurer John Chiang (D-Los Angeles) is attacking Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-San Francisco). Why? Obviously because Newt Gingrich praised his his 2013 book, Citizenville, for advocating the improvement of government through technology. Of course, Chiang neglected that several prominent Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, also praised Newsom’s book.

CT-Gov: Connecticut Democrats will need to find a new governor next year; incumbent Dannel Malloy (D-Stamford) has realized that the only election he would win these days is a Bob Saget look-alike contest. Accordingly, Nutmeg State Democrats held a symposium at which bold progressives were able to quiz prospective candidates. What purpose did the gathering serve? Attendees used it to discern which contender is the most #woke on pressing issues: the #fightfor15 and hosing the rich.

IL-Gov: Courtesy of pro-life warrior and Madigan stooge Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) is currently locked in a war on two fronts: his social right and his fiscal left. Rauner did not mince words in blasting his primary opponent as a “fringe candidate who betrayed our party.”

The F—ing Golden Governor: Ostensibly to settle questions about campaign finance law, several prominent Democrats in Illinois’ congressional delegation have asked SCOTUS to look into the sentence of disgraced ex-governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Federal Prison).

Harry Lewis and the News: ICYMI, PA State Rep. Harry Lewis (R) will retire from his Coatesville-based, Clinton +24 State House seat at the end of his term. The seat moves to Safe D.

Political Roundup for November 29, 2017

Last night, the GOP scored its first contested legislative special pickup of the year as Neil Whaley (R) won MS-SD-10. Kevin Ford (R) held MS-LD-54, and businesswoman and 2014 US Senate candidate Nancy Mace (R) won the GOP nomination for SC-LD-99 and will face businesswoman Cindy Boatwright (D) in January.

Governor:

CT-Gov: He’s back! Democrat Ned Lamont is gauging interest in running for Governor next year. Lamont beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democrat primary only to lose to Lieberman in the general election. He also lost the 2010 Democrat primary to Gov. Dan Malloy in 2010. Lamont spent over $26 million of his own money on his two unsuccessful campaigns and Lamont still has a lot of money to burn.

IL-Gov: Two top Democratic gubernatorial candidates released tax return information on Monday. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker showed he was a “man of the people” and only earned $14.95 million last year while Kennedy scion Chris Kennedy earned a modest $1.2 million.

MN-Gov: Mayor Giuliani (R) is running for governor! Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens of Woodbury Minnesota that is. She may not be America’s Mayor but she is a Mayor near the Mall of America. Giuliani-Stephens joins a field of about a dozen candidates looking at running for the GOP nomination.

OH-Gov: The publicity stunt Richard Cordray (D) used to launch his gubernatorial campaign seems to be coming to an end as a federal judge ruled that Mick Mulvaney is the rightful director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The kurtuffle Cordray created should help him raise a ton of online cash from the Democrat #Resistance base across the country and should help him secure the Democrat nomination for governor of Ohio. Hopefully it has also exposed what a constitutionally dubious, politically partisan, fraud of an agency the CFPB is and will help build momentum for dismantling it and the business killing regulations King Cordray was trying to impose on the banking industry.

TX-Gov: Andrew White, son of Mark White, is set to announce his bid for the Democrat nomination for the right to lose to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) next November. The Texas filing deadline in December 11th and so far Mr. Leather International Jeffrey Payne is the only other “major” Democrat running.

Senate: 

AL-Sen: Change Research has new poll showing Roy Moore (R-Gadsden Mall) leading Doug Jones (D-Planned Parenthood) 49% to 44% with 7% of voters saying they plan to cast a write-in vote. Change Research was one of the few pollsters to show Moore leading after the charges against him initially surfaced. The 5 point lead they show now is similar to the 4 point lead they gave Moore on November 11th. Change Research is not included in the RCP polling average which has Jones leading by 0.8%.

AL-Sen: Doug Jones (D) is outspending Roy Moore (R) by a 10-1 margin and is blanketing Alabama with TV ads. Jones’ campaign has spent $5.6 million on television and radio ads during the general election while Roy Moore has only spent about $600,000.

MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren is still pretending to be an Native American by cybersquatting the the domain pocahontas.com

VA-Sen: The Virginia GOP may have found someone to stop the embarrassment that is Corey Stewart from winning the GOP nomination for Senate. State Del. Nick Freitas (R) is about to enter the GOP primary for the right to face Yo soy Sen. Tim Kaine (D) next November. Fretias is an Iraq War combat veteran who was first elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2015.

House:

AZ-3: Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Raul Grijalva (D)  paid out a $48,395 taxpayer-funded settlement to hush up a top staffer who claimed he was frequently drunk and created a hostile work place environment. Grijalva holds a D+13 district.

CA-48: A plethora of Democrat congressional candidates could create problems for Democrats hoping to take on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). So far seven Democrats are running in the top two jungle primary in this R+4 district. One Republican, Stelian Onufrei, is also challenging Rohrabacher and has pledged to spend half a million dollars of his own money in the campaign. Because of the seven way Democrat split it is quite possible for Republican Onufrei to end up in a top two with Rohrabacher.

IL-03: A who’s who of wackjob progressive groups have endorsed Marie Newman (D) in her primary against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D). NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org, Human Rights Campaign, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America have joined the Daily Kos in wanting to make an example of Lipinski for his heretical views on the Right to Life. IL-3 is a D+6 district that Hillary Clinton won 55% to 40%.

IL-04: Retiring Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D) has ruled out running for mayor of Chicago or Governor of Puerto Rico and has endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D) to be his replacement. Gutiérrez said he only retired because Garcia had agreed to run to be his replacement.

MI-13: Another former staffer has come forward and accused Rep. John Conyers (D) of making unwanted sexual advances toward her when she worked for him from 1997 to 2005. As a result of the widening scandal the Congressional Black Caucus is in talks with Conyers (and his keepers) in order to get him to resign.

NJ-2: Damnit! State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) is running for Congress. Van Drew will formally announce his campaign today for the R+1 seat of retiring Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R). Between Van Drew’s local popularity and the Congressional GOP’s plan to raise taxes on many swing voters in this it could be one of the harder seats for the GOP to hold next year.

TX-5: Retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R) former campaign manager Bunni Pounds (R) has filed to run to replace her boss. So far former state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) is the only major Republican candidate running in this R+16 seat.

TX-6: File this one under “Just in Case”. With the December 11th Texas filing deadline fast approaching Texas Veterans Commission member Jake Ellzey (R) has filed to run in Republican primary. Rep. Joe Barton (R) has been in an uncomfortable position after pictures of him in an all too comfortable position he sent to an ex-girlfriend were released without his authorization over the internet. Ellzey hasn’t said if he is actually running or not but by filing now he can launch a campaign if things gets worse for Barton or if Barton bows out.

State, Local & Other:

MA-SoS: 33 year old Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim (D) will primary longtime Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin (D) who is seeking his 7th term in office. The Zakim Bridge across the Charles River in Boston is named after Josh Zakim’s father.

Political Roundup for November 1, 2017

Check back at noon for the first in our 3-part series of general election previews. Today we’ll be covering legislatures, county races, and the NYC Council. Part 2 tomorrow at 3 will cover Mayors, and part 3 on Monday will cover big-ticket races in NJ, VA, and NYC.

Polling Quick-Hits:

AL-Sen: The Senate Leadership Fund (R) has ex-State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) up 56-39 on ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (R).

AZ-Sen (R): Data Orbital has ex-State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) at 28, Rep. Martha McSally (R) at 19, ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (R) at 10, and others in single digits.

NV-Sen (R): JMC Analytics has perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) up 44-38 on Sen. Dean Heller (R).

VA-Gov: WaPo has LG Ralph Northam (D) up 49-44 on ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R).

Charlotte-Mayor: SUSA has councilwoman Vi Lyles (D) leading fellow councilman Kenny Smith (R) just 41-40; Lyles had been thought a heavy favorite.

Nassau, NY-CE: Siena has ex-State Sen. Jack Martins (R) up 43-41 on county commissioner Laura Curran (D). Internals for both candidates are also out: Martins has himself up 47-41, while Curran’s internal has her up 43-39.

Governor:

CA-Gov: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) announced Monday he would not run for Governor. Garcetti was the last major candidate considering a run here, and could have shaken up the race if he entered. It looks like the field is set with four serious Democrats, LG Gavin Newsom (D), Garcetti’s predecessor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), Treasurer John Chiang (D), and ex-Superintendent Delaine Eastin (D).

CO-Gov: Ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) is making his third bid for Governor, after losing a third-party run in 2010 and a primary bid in 2014. Tancredo, a polarizing figure known for his strident opposition to illegal immigration and occasional foot-in-mouth tendencies, will join a crowded primary field. Also in the GOP race are Treasurer Walker Stapleton (R), Arapahoe DA George Brauchler (R), and a pair of self-funding businessmen, ex-State Rep. Vic Mitchell (R) and Romney relation Doug Robinson (R), with AG Cynthia Coffman (R) thought to be considering.

IL-Gov, IL-LG: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) has begun circulating petitions for a primary challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), though she has not officially committed to a run. Ives, a second-term legislator from DuPage County, was incensed at Rauner’s signing of a bill permitting taxpayer-funded abortions. She could potentially harness social conservative enthusiasm to oust the incumbent. Unlike Rauner, however, Ives is not personally wealthy, and would likely find the general election very difficult in the large and deep-blue state. Ives has selected Rock Island County commissioner and ex-State Rep. Rich Morthland (R) as her running mate.

MI-Gov: Attorney Andy Levin (D) is considering a run for Governor. Levin’s only electoral foray was a 2006 State Senate bid that he lost by 700 votes, and he also held some minor positions in the Granholm administration. However, his biggest asset is his name: Levin is the son of MI-9 Rep. Sander (D) and nephew of ex-Sen. Carl (D), giving him instant statewide name recognition. Levin would face ex-State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), businessmen Shri Thanedar (D) and Bill Cobbs (D), and Detroit city official Abul El-Sayed (D) in the Dem primary. It seems possible Levin’s interest in this race may be more about raising his name recognition for an MI-9 bid if his father decides to retire.

OH-Gov: State Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill (D), the only Ohio Democrat holding a statewide state-level elected office, has joined the primary for Governor. O’Neill intends to remain on the court while campaigning until February (he is required to step down when petitions are due), which may be legally problematic as the court does not allow recusal from cases. O’Neill joins a quartet of other Dems, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton (D), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D), and ex-State Rep. Connie Pillich (D), in the crowded Dem primary.

Congress:

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) has rested his defense case in his corruption trial. Menendez did not take the stand in his own defense, a move that could have been politically problematic for him even if he were acquitted. The jury is likely to begin deliberations by the end of the week.

FL-5: Rumors are flying that ex-Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (D) is considering a primary challenge to first-term Rep. Al Lawson (D) in this Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee seat. Brown’s bid could be complicated if another Jacksonville Democrat, State Sen. Audrey Gibson (D), also decides to primary Lawson, as they would likely split the Jacksonville vote.

NH-1: State Rep. Mark McKenzie (D), a former state AFL-CIO chair,  is the latest candidate into this crowded race. McKenzie joins Obama admin offiical Maura Sullivan (D) and ex-Strafford DA Lincoln Soldati (D) in the race to fill the purple open seat of retiring Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D); the GOP also has a crowded field.

TX-5: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) announced his retirement yesterday. Click for our full post and Great Mentioner for his R+16 Dallas-to-rural East Texas seat.

State Offices:

AZ-SoS: Oof, now this is about as damning an indictment you can get without actually being indicted. An investigation has found that SoS Michele Reagan (R) broke the law through sheer incompetence in office. Reagan was supposed to mail out the state-produced voter information pamphlets for a referendum in May 2016, but the pamphlets did not go out in time. However, there will be no punishment, as the criminal law requires willful neglect of duty, and this error “demonstrates poor or incompetent execution of the task, not a knowing omission of their duty.” Reagan’s staff apparently hid the technical error responsible for the missed mailing from her, but the investigation also found she was responsible for covering up the error for 19 days before admitting it publicly, time during which the referendum ballots were sent out and votes cast without the information pamphlet. Reagan is currently facing a primary challenge from State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R). Democrats are seriously contesting this seat as well, with State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) and attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) squaring off in the primary.

CA-AG: Republicans have a mildly credible candidate for this race, as retired judge Steven Bailey (R) has announced a bid to take on appointed incumbent Xavier Becerra (D). Bailey has some GOP establishment support, but has no chance in the deep-blue state’s general given his lack of cash or name recognition. That said, it’s still good to know we will probably have a non-embarassing nominee, and Bailey could be a solid get for a legislative seat or CA-4 in the future.

CO-Treas: Two new candidates have entered this crowded field. For Republicans, businessman Brian Watson (R), who lost a State House race in 2012 but has proven fundraising ability, is the latest candidate into this crowded primary. Watson joins State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R), State Reps. Polly Lawrence (R) and Justin Everett (R), Routt DA Brett Barkey (R), and Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn (R). On the Dem side, State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) now has a serious primary rival in fellow State Rep. Dave Young (D) of Greeley.

DE-AG: Tom Neuberger (R), a prominent attorney who has made his name suing the state on behalf of public employees, will run for AG. Neuberger most notably represented correctional officers alleging unsafe practices led to a prison riot at the state’s main prison in February. Neuberger could be a credible candidate for the GOP in this race. Former AG’s office CoS Tim Mullaney (D) is the only other  candidate in the race, but ex-AG Charles Oberly (D) and State Rep. Sean Lynn (D) are considering.

DE-Aud: Kathleen Davies (I), the former top deputy to State Auditor Tom Wagner (R), is running for her boss’s seat as an Independent. Davies could be a credible candidate, but there are allegations she was forced out of the office over misappropration of travel reimbursements. Wagner has not declared if he will seek an eighth term; ex-State Rep. Dennis Williams (D) is in the race for Dems.

FL-AG: State Rep. Sean Shaw (D) is considering a run for AG. Democrats have struggled to find a recruit for this race, with no candidate obviously making moves toward a bid so far. While Shaw, a first-term Rep. from a heavily Democratic Tampa seat, is not considered a top-tier prospect, he would likely be stronger than the only Dem in the race so far, little-known attorney Ryan Torrens (D). The GOP has a 3-way primary between front-running retired judge Ashley Moody (R) and State Reps. Jay Fant (R) and Frank White (R).

FL-Ag Comm: Former Orlando Mayoral candidate Paul Paulson (R) is dropping out of the race for Ag Commissioner and endorsing State Rep. Matt Caldwell (R). Paulson had some self-funding ability but little name rec or establishment support and was thus considered a long-shot. Caldwell is facing State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R) and ex-State Rep. Baxter Troutman (R) in the primary.

GA-PSC: Public Service Commission Chair Stan Wise (R) will not run for re-election next year. Seats on the 5-member, currently all-GOP, board are elected at-large for staggered 6-year terms.

KS-SoS: State Sen. Marci Francisco (D), who represents a deep-blue Lawrence seat, is considering a run for the open SoS post, becoming the first Dem to declare interest in this seat. Three Republicans are in the race, KSGOP chair and Sedgwick County commissioner Kelly Arnold (R) and State Reps. Keith Esau (R) and Scott Schwab (R).

LA-Treas: The State Democratic Party has belatedly endorsed attorney Derrick Edwards (D) in his November 18 Treasurer runoff. Edwards came in first in the October primary, but did not run a serious campaign and the three Republicans took 2/3 of the vote. State Rep. John Schroeder (R) is considered the prohibitive favorite in the runoff, but there is a theoretical chance high New Orleans turnout for the mayoral race and ultra-low turnout elsewhere could give a D-heavy enough electorate for Edwards to shock.

NM-AG: Immigration attorney Michael Hendricks (R), who had previously been exploring a run for the open congressional NM-1, will take on AG Hector Balderas (D). Balderas is considered a strong favorite for re-election in the medium-blue state.

OH-Aud: State House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) will not run for Auditor, ending a few days of speculation that he would jump into the race. Rosenberger’s decision keeps the primary field clear for State Rep. Keith Faber (R), the former State Senate President. Ex-Rep. Zack Space (D) is the likely D nominee.

SC-AG: State Rep. Todd Atwater (R) is considering a primary challenge to AG Alan Wilson (R). Atwater is well connected, having spent over a decade as director of the state’s Medical Association and as a former gubernatorial and congressional staffer. Atwater would likely plan to hit Wilson on his close ties to indicted lobbyist Richard Quinn (R).

Local Offices:

Westchester, NY-CE: The hits just keep on coming for State Sen. George Latimer (D). After it came out that he owed $48K in back property taxes and missed a key legislative vote to take a vacation with his mistress, Latimer has had another embarrassment come out: his car registration has been suspended for unpaid parking tickets (and he is driving the car anyway). Latimer is in a closely-fought race with incumbent Rob Astorino (R) in this deep-blue county.

St. Paul-Mayor: Ex-councilman Pat Harris (D) is disavowing a mailer on his behalf from the city’s Police Union. The mailer attacks ex-councilman Mel Carter (D), thought to be Harris’s main rival in the 5-way race, for failing to secure guns at his home that were stolen in a robbery. Harris, who is the “moderate” in this extremely left-wing field, is disavowing the mailer as racist.

St. Petersburg-Mayor: Ex-Mayor Rick Baker (R) is going nuclear on his rival, incumbent Rick Kriseman (D). Baker is bringing up the history of Kriseman’s CoS, who propositioned a teenage girl while working as a substitute teacher in 2001. The runoff next week has been very hard-fought as the two were separated by just 70 votes in August.

Coroners: Finally, here’s an absolute must-read piece from mapmaker/consultant Matt Isbell on the election of Coroners. A surprising number of counties still elect their coroner, and the combination of a low-profile and technical office with an uninformed electorate can lead to some weird political stories.

Political Roundup for October 25th, 2017

Last night, Tim McGinnis (R) won SC-LD-56 outright, no runoff necessary.

Anyway, as the GOP continues to Flake on reason, I bring you yet more disheartening news.

National/POTUS

Where did the GOP go?: The Economist warns of the rapid deterioration of the GOP’s already tenuous commitment to the tenets of fiscal conservatism. To wit, over the last half-century, Republican administrations have added more to the national debt than have those of Democrats. The problem? Republicans have, over the past four decades, become reliant on the votes of those disinterested in entitlement reform. Why? You guessed it! The GOP continually chases voters who feed on the trough of said entitlements. But, but… *dog whistle about welfare and The Inner Cities*!

Evangelicals: A striking generational divide has emerged among self-described evangelicals. Unsurprisingly, younger evangelicals did not overwhelmingly accept Cheeto Jesus as their lord and savior in 2016. Why? According to The Economist, unlike their Trumpier older counterparts, they have no loss of majority status to lament in an increasingly diverse and secular America. More interestingly, young evangelicals don’t seem as committed to the GOP as their older counterparts. But, of course, there’s nothing to see here…

Democrats: The liberal losers at the failing New York Times are pushing Medicare for all. Oh, wait, no, it actually noted that Bernie(care?) is both bad policy and electoral poison. Yet, as the Times explains, many Democrats are so afraid of the bold progressives that they’re afraid to admit their opposition. Both parties are burning.

Congress

AZ-Sen: One of the good ones, AZ US Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Mesa), has chosen to retire. Instead of becoming “complicit and silent,” Flake says, he will continue to serve as a watchdog to POTUS.

FL-Sen: A University of North Florida poll finds US Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Melbourne) leading Gov. Rick Scott (R-Naples) by a hair, 37-36%.

The States

MO-Sen: Air Claire must be racking up her frequent flyer miles. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Kirkwood) is raising money from states other than Missouri—58% of her funds so far. It should be noted, however, that it is not unusual for a Senator seeking re-election. Yet, the GOP will take a good sign these days.

CA-Sen: Speaking of US Sen. Bernie Sanders (“I”-Burlington)’ Medicare-for-All plan, the least surprising news ever has broken; State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), currently seeking to remove ‘State’ from his title, has come out in favor of the ponzi-scheme proposal.

WATN: In slightly schocking news, a federal judge threw out two of the twenty-two corruption charges against disgraced ex-boy wonder and US Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria).

The Donald’s Taxes (no, not like that): In news that must be fake, crooked Reuters reports that fewer than one-third of Americans support the President’s rumored tax plan. The poll further found that 63% believe that deficit reduction is more important than tax reform.

IL-Gov: Have you heard the bad news? IL State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) believes that she should primary Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka). Ives claims that the Harley-riding governor can’t win.

Illinois’ Broke, Dysfunctional State Government: WMAQ has an excellent primer on the looming series of showdowns between IL Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) and the state’s legislative Madiganicrats. Rauner has, for the first time as governor, declared the state’s budget to be out of balance. The governor’s move sets up a fight over which expenditures should be cut.

GA-LG: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiles ex-State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming), who is running for Lieutenant Governor on a platform of draining the Atlanta swamp.

WA SD-45: Seattle’s KING-TV reports that the special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late, truly great State Sen. Andy Hill (R-Heaven) has become the most expensive race in Washington State history. The election in the medium-blue Eastside district will determine partisan control of the chamber.

TX HD-46: Travis County prosecutors have dropped all thirteen criminal corruptions charges against State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin).

Political Roundup for October 24, 2017

First, there is a single legislative special primary today. SC-LD-56 is an R+17 (2016) seat covering most of the inland suburbs of Myrtle Beach along State Route 31. Retired TV news anchor Tim McGinnis (R) looks like the front-runner for the seat due to his high name recognition, but chiropractor Dwyer Scott (R) has self-funded and also seems serious. College student Adam Miller (R) seems less serious. Either McGinnis or Scott could win, or the two could advance to a runoff in two weeks if Miller holds both below 50. No Democrats are running.

President:

Cuban: Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has stated that if he runs for president in 2020 he would “probably” do so as a Republican. However, this is probably not the “Cuban” presidential candidate most Republicans were hoping for.

Governor:

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) rode a Harley and criticized state Boss House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) as he officially announced his run for a second term. Rauner released a two-minute video with him riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and promising to fight for Illinois.

NY-Gov: NY Mets owner and Ponzi scheme magnet Fred Wilpon has donated $65,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) re-election campaign as he lobbies the state for approval of an arena for the NY Islanders at the Belmont Race track because this is how business is done in New York State.

RI-Gov: State Rep. Patricia Morgan becomes the first Republican to enter the race to challenge incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo  (D) in 2018. Morgan is one of eleven GOP members of the 75 member Rhode Island state House and enters the race for governor with about $90,000 in her campaign account. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and former Rep. Joseph Trillo are also considering a run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

VA-Gov: Republican Ed Gillespie’s new ad hits Democrat Ralph Northam for supporting the automatic restoration of voting rights to felons that would make it easier for them to get guns and serve on juries. The ad is part of Gillespie’s tough on crime message that seems straight out of old GOP playbooks.

Senate:

CA-Sen: State Senate leader Kevin de León (D) has $3.8 million in his state campaign account that cannot be rolled into his federal account as he seeks to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D). Political strategists Maclen Zilber and Dave Jacobson have created a super PAC called A Progressive California to help support De León but it is unclear if he can transfer money from his state committees to the PAC. The legal issue may have to be resolved by federal authorities or courts as federal law restricts contributions by candidates to super PACs that support them.

MA-Sen: Republican John Kingston allegedly asked Beth Lindstrom to drop out of the Republican primary during a meeting they had last month. Kingston claimed he would be a better senate candidate against incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Faux Cherokee Nation) and allegedly offered to help Lindstrom with a congressional campaign for the MA-3 seat that Niki Tsongas is vacating or a challenge to US Senator Edward Markey’s re-election in 2020. Massachusetts state law prohibits a candidate for elected office to give another candidate anything of value in exchange for not running in the same race and Lindstrom clearly leaked this story to the Boston Globe as a way of ratf**king Kingston’s campaign. Conservative state Representative Geoff Diehl, self-promoter Shiva Ayyadurai and 2013 senate candidate Gabriel Gomez are also seeking the GOP nomination for the uphill task of unseating Warren.

MI-Sen: Former Trump White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is in regular contact with musician Kid Rock (R) about a potential Senate run.

MS-Sen:  If Sen. Thad Cochran (R) resigns from the Senate early who would Gov. Phil Bryant (R) would appoint a temporary replacement? Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is believed to be the most likely option but Rep. Gregg Harper (R) and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) could also be possibilities. Reeves has been planning a run for Governor in 2019 so taking a Senate appointment could shake up that race. If Cochran leaves office before Nov. 6 it would prompt a special, nonpartisan election within 100 days and if he leaves office after Nov 6th it would trigger a special, nonpartisan election in November 2018 to serve out the remainder of his term which will expire at the end of 2020.

OH-Sen: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) says the White House is full of “Goldman Sachs executives” and “white supremacists” which if true is probably just as bad as a US Senate full of wife beaters.

House:

CA-24: Republican Justin Fareed is back and will make his third run for this congressional seat. Fareed lost to Rep. Salud Carbajal (D) by 7 points in 2016 and did not make it to the top two in 2014. Fareed has raised more than $215,000 for his campaign.

MS-4: Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes (R) is “strongly considering” a primary challenge of Rep. Steven Palazzo (R). Hewes, 55, has been mayor of Gulfport since 2013 and formerly served in the state Senate from 1992 to 2012 and was president pro tem, the second-ranking position in the Senate, from 2008-2012. Hewes also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2011.

NH-1: Illinois native Obama administration official Maura Sullivan (D), who was originally recruited to run in IL-6, is exploring a run for Congress from her new home of New Hampshire. I guess there is no better way to see a state for the first time than by travelling around it campaigning for public office.

OH-12: Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien (R) has become the first Republican candidate to announce a run for the seat Rep.  Pat Tiberi (R) intents to resign from in January.

PA-18: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has set Tuesday March 13th as the date for the special election to replace ex-Rep. Tim Murphy (R). Under Pennsylvania law nominees will be picked through party conventions rather than primaries. Donald Trump won this seat 58% to 39% in 2016.

VA-10: Dumb viral videos work! Some dude Army vet Dan Helmer’s (D) campaign for Congress has taken off after he released a painfully bad to watch “Top Gun” themed ad in September. Helmer’s campaign account has $397,941 cash on hand which is a a lot more than Democrat rivals state Sen. Jennifer Wexton ($255,075) or former Obama administration official Alison Friedman ($241,857) have on hand. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) who has a history as a strong campaigner and winning elections in a swing district.

WI-3: Retired Army veteran Steve Toft (R) announced he will challenge Rep. Ron Kind next year. Kind had the good fortune to run unopposed in 2016 when his district swung from 55-44 for Obama in 2012 to 49-45 for Trump.

State, Local & Other:

Houston-Bond Measure: Lift Up Houston plans on running $250,000 worth of broadcast TV ads supporting the five bond measures on the ballot this November. The 30 second ads features Mayor Sylvester Turner urging Houstonians to go into debt to pay for pension reforms and “public improvements”.

CO-Broomfield Ballot issue 301: The Vote No on 301 supporters have raised more than $344,000 to fight this November’s ballot issue 301 which would restrict the presence of oil and gas industrial operations in Broomfield, CO.

NY-Westchester County Executive: Democrat George Latimer has released an internal poll showing him with a 1-percentage point lead over Republican incumbent Rob Astorino. If a 1 point lead is the best Latimer can show in his press release/poll there is a good chance Astorino is leading this race.

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