• WI-Gov: During the Green Bay Packers’ Monday Night Football game, Gov. Scott Walker aired an ad to make the case against the recall effort that is newly targeting him. The intro is deeply weird, with a school board member talking to the camera in front of a jet black background, sounding somewhat pained, speaking in an odd cadence, and audibly breathing, almost to the point of seeming like exasperated sighs. Oh, and the barely-audible music is bizarro, too. Then Scotty Dubs hops on the scene and acts like Mr. Cheerful. I don’t know what to say, except check it out for yourself:
There’s more discussion in WisJohn’s diary, but so far as I can see, no word on the size of the buy. I have to imagine it was locally targeted, though—would Walker really blow money on sticking his ugly mug in front of a national audience? Even so, an MNF buy is surely more expensive than, say, taking out a spot on your local TV news.
• NY-Sen (PDF): Ordinarily I might be inclined to give a poll like this its own post, seeing as these are some of the first numbers testing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand against (potential) named Republican opponents. But given that she leads former state Comptroller candidate Harry Wilson 63-21 and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos 65-17, you can see why I’m relegating these to the digest.
• OH-Sen: For a state treasurer, Josh Mandel sure sucks at actually keeping track of his own money. First there was the half-year-long saga of his missing personal financial disclosure; now the Ohio Dems have busted him for failing to record the purpose of some 300 expenditures in his most recent FEC filing. Mandel’s excuse is the kind of crap that didn’t even pass muster when I tried it on my 8th grade English teacher twenty years ago: a “software glitch.”
• VA-Sen: This is sort of surprising. George Allen has agreed to meet all of his Some Dude-esque primary opponents in a series of three debates next spring sponsored by the state GOP. I guess maybe he thinks he can look all senatorial by comparison?
• UT-Sen: State Rep. Chris Herrod, who has been considering a run against Sen. Orrin Hatch for the GOP Senate nomination, says he hopes to decide by the end of the year. That’s also the same timeframe put forth by another possible challenger, state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.
• MO-Gov: While the “Anybody But Romney” movement has been an utter failure so far on the national level, at least the GOP seems to have succeeded with its “Anybody But Kinder” efforts in Missouri. Plastics magnate Dave Spence now says he will run in the gubernatorial primary, regardless of what Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder does. In October, when he first confirmed his interest, Spence said he’d only run if Kinder didn’t, but last week, he started changing his tune and suggested he might get in regardless of what Kinder decided. Evidently, he didn’t want to wait any longer.
In related news, Republicans have also found a replacement for state House Speaker Steven Tilley, who abruptly dropped out of the Lt. Gov. race late last week. State Sen. Brad Lager says he’ll run for the post, which means that even if Kinder wanted to drop down and seek a third term as LG, he wouldn’t have a clear field here either. (Indeed, at least two other state senators are also considering the race.) So Kinder is now officially squeezed no matter where he goes—though given his immense baggage and propensity for unforced errors, Democrats have to hope he doesn’t drop out of politics altogether.
• AZ-08: On Monday night, ABC aired the first public interview given by Rep. Gabby Giffords since she was shot in January. The Atlantic’s Erik Hayden summarizes:
In the clip below, seated with husband Mark Kelly, Giffords is asked (2:20) whether she sees herself returning to Congress, she replied, “No … better.” She paused briefly after that and looked at her husband, who clarified, “She wants to get better.” And, after Sawyer asked the follow-up question if she would go back to Congress if she got better, Giffords nodded, “Yeah.”
• CO-06: In a bid to ward off potential primary opponents in the suddenly-much-more-appealing 6th CD, state Rep. Joe Miklosi just put out a long list of endorsers, featuring every Democratic legislator in the state House. As the Denver Post notes, some of these supporters were possible candidates themselves, so they’ve taken themselves out of the running—but still no one has heard either way from former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
• IL-10: As Dave Catanese notes, it’s definitely an unusual move: House Whip Steny Hoyer is taking sides in the 10th District Democratic primary, a race which doesn’t involve any incumbents or former members. Rather, he’s endorsing consultant Brad Schneider, whose campaign seemed to have hit a stall in the last few months, pulling in a surprising $ 79K in 3Q after a hefty $ 321K in Q2. Schneider is competing with progressive activist Ilya Sheyman for the nomination, and they’ve also recently been joined by businessman and Air Force reservist John Tree. In fact, though Catanese doesn’t mention Tree at all, I wonder if his entry is what prompted Hoyer to rally around Schneider.
• MA-06, MA-04: Former state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei is going to have company in the Republican primary: Attorney Bill Hudak, who lost to Dem Rep. John Tierney by a 57-43 margin last year, says he’s going to run again in the redrawn 6th. Meanwhile, Republican Elizabeth Childs, a former state mental health commissioner, says she plans to challenge Dem Rep. Barney Frank in the revised 4th, which looks to have gotten a bit redder (but is still quite blue).
• MD-06: This comes as no surprise, since he didn’t sound very interested when his name first surfaced, but former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan says he won’t run in the Democratic primary for the 6th CD. Interestingly, he says he’s looking to “help” John Delaney, the financier who only first said he was looking at the race just the other day.
Duncan also took a gratuitous shot at fellow Democrat and state Sen. Rob Garagiola, the frontrunner for the nomination. Duncan claimed that Garagiola will face “resentment” over how the district was redrawn (something that Garagiola allies in the state legislature had a hand in). Garagiola fired back, pointing out that Duncan’s preferred candidate, Delaney, doesn’t exactly have the kind of profile you want when running for congress these days. (I suspect “money lenders” are not too well thought-of in this economic climate.)
• MI-03: We all knew this had to happen… the only question was who. Well, that’s still the question, because unhappy Michigan Republicans still haven’t found anyone to challenge dystopian loose cannon Justin Amash in a primary. Amash is the kind of guy who does think there is an “I” in “team,” and he regularly votes against GOP leadershipor the rank-and-file.) The only name even hinted at is that of former SoS Terri Lynn Land, but she declined a run for Senate earlier this year and is apparently helping ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra with his own Senate bid. Would be really interesting if Amash managed to make it back for a second term.
• NC-05: That was quick: Wilkes County Democratic Party Chairwoman Treva Johnson had only just created an exploratory committee to challenge GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx the other week, but now she’s already making her bid official. Tough sledding in this very red district, though.
• NC-08: Is Richard Hudson the man to beat in the crowded GOP primary fight to take on Dem Rep. Larry Kissell? Hudson, a former district director for ex-Rep. Robin Hayes, just announced that he’s raised over $ 100K in his first month in the race, but as the News & Observer notes, it’s his donor list that’s particularly interesting:
Hudson’s contributions include $ 5,000 from Barbara Hayes, the wife of his former boss, Congressman Robin Hayes, who is now state party chairman, and $ 2,500 from Robin Hayes’s son, Robert Hayes Jr. […]
He also received $ 5,000 from ERICPAC, the political action committee of House Majority leader Eric Cantor, who endorsed Hudson at a recent campaign event.
• NC-10: And another fast turnaround from “just exploring” to “actually running” for a North Carolina Dem: Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy will indeed challenge GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, barely a week after saying she was considering the race.
• ND-AL: If you’ve heard about a recent poll of North Dakota’s open-seat House race from a firm called “Odney,” North Decoder’s Adam Blomeke tells you why you should ignore it. It’s being pushed by a Koch brothers-funded faux media organization called “Plains Daily,” and Odney is run by an old chum of GOP Gov. John Hoeven. You’ve been warned!
• OH-16: It’s been a while since we heard from Dem ex-Rep. John Boccieri, but he just told the Youngstown Vindicator that he hasn’t “taken running for Congress off the table.” Boccieri is reportedly considering a comeback bid in the redrawn 16th, but could also conceivably run in the new 6th or 7th CDs as well. (Given that fellow Dem ex-Rep. Charlie Wilson has created a new campaign committee in the 6th, that doesn’t seem like a likely gambit for Boccieri, though.) In September, Ohio Dem chair Chris Redfern claimed that Boccieri was “very interested” in a potential run, but back in June (before the new map came out, Boccieri said: “I’ve been on the political turnpike for 12 years. It feels good to pull off the turnpike into a rest area for a while.”
• UT-04: As expected, state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom has entered the race for Utah’s new 4th District. (Sandstrom started expressing interest in the contest last month, after GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz declined to run for Senate, meaning his 3rd CD seat would not come open.) He joins fellow state Rep. Carl Wimmer in seeking the Republican nomination—and, apparently, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who has been considering a congressional run since at least August. She just filed paperwork to create a campaign committee with the FEC.
• Primary Calendar: We’ve made a bunch of updates to our sortable primary calendar. There’s now a list of GOP presidential primary dates (seeing as Republicans have finally figured out their schedule), and we also added congressional filing deadlines, courtesy of the FEC. Definitely bookmark this.
• Voter Suppression: Even though a voter ID bill died in the legislature earlier this year, and even though voters soundly rebuked an attempt to eliminate same-day voter registration at the ballot box last week, Maine Republicans are going to try to revive that old voter ID bill in their next legislative session. Unfortunately, such legislation always polls well, so if the GOP can overcome whatever hurdles derailed them last time, I wouldn’t be optimistic about the chances for a people’s veto of this legislation.
• OH Redistricting: We haven’t seen a copy of the plan yet (though we’re hunting one down), but according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Democrats have put forth a redistricting proposal of their own in their ongoing negotiations with the GOP—and they sound somewhat positive about reaching an agreement:
In the meantime, Democrats have counter-offered with what they call a “6-4-6 plan” that draws six solid GOP seats, four Democratic seats and six GOP-leaning, but competitive districts.
“We’d like to have it even, but we feel like the 6-4-6 map is fair in terms of creating more competitive districts,” said House Minority Leader Armond Budish. The Beachwood Democrat said he was hopeful a deal could still be reached.
“I think I’ve had positive discussions with Representative Huffman,” he said. “The conversations have been good, but we are still not there yet.”
The main difference between the second GOP map and the Democratic offer: The Democratic plan draws more Democratic voters into the districts of Republican Congressmen Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, Steve Stivers of Columbus and Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, making all three face more competitive races.
If there is no deal, state House Speaker William Batchelder says he’d still rather go with the revised map that Republicans recently introduced to try to sway black lawmakers, rather than the plan they originally passed in September. That would be a boon to Democrats, who would benefit from a restarted clock for gathering signatures to put the map on the ballot for a voter referendum.